5. O’Fallon – Cherry Chocolate and Smoke

Back to the ol’ grind.

I’m starting to settle into my new job.  Things are going well here.  Good people, steady work.  I’m learning new things and taking on new challenges daily.

The building I work in is huge and ridiculous.  It’s right across the street from the Sears Tower (I called it the Willis Tower once [its real name], and I thought the Chicagoan near me was going to have a stroke).  So, I’m right in the Loop surrounded by huge, ridiculous buildings.  And, as I said earlier, my building is one of those huge, ridiculous ones.

To get to my floor I have to take two elevators.  Yeah, two elevators.  The first gets me up to the Sky Lobby.  Yeah, the Sky Lobby.  Then I take another elevator up to the 55th floor.  Yeah, the 55th floor.  It’s crazy, my ears pop the whole time I’m going up to my floor.  It’s like ascending and descending a small mountain in a matter of seconds each day.

And the lobby!  As I said in my previous post, I wanted to mention the lobby of my office building.  Look:

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This is the walkway as I’m entering the building.

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See that off in the distance there?  That’s a fountain.  A huge fountain with a mostly naked guy wrestling with what appears to be a blanket.  I’m told he’s supposed to represent Chicago and the great engineering feat of reversing the flow of the river.  I don’t see it.

Either way, the lobby reminds me of a walk on the beach near the ocean… if the sand were to turn into black and white marble.  It’s so luxurious!

This week I’m reviewing two beers.  Both are from O’Fallon Brewery.  It’s a little 30 barrel operation out in O’Fallon, Missouri.  They’ve managed to win a few awards at the Great American Beer Festival, so they can’t be half bad, right?

First up, the Cherry Chocolate beer.  I’m a sucker for these things.  I really need to start rethinking that.

Sight:  It was faded brown in color, which was very surprising to me.  I assumed it was going to be dark, perhaps because of the “chocolate” in the name.

Smell:  It had an odd cherry smell.  It reminded me of smashed Maraschino cherries.  Nothing beer related.

Taste:  It reminded me of chocolate covered cherries, but in a bad way.  There was an odd aftertaste that I had trouble placing, the good part was that it went away quickly and ended clean.  This beer needs more chocolate and less cherry.

My overall grade:  D-

(I didn’t give it an F because it still had alcohol in it)

Next, Smoke.  This beer was intriguing.  A nice smoked porter, plus it won an award at GABF.

Sight:  Dark brown in color, nearly black

Smell:  Big smoky aroma, like walking into a true BBQ joint.

Taste:  Malty, not too sweet, very smoky (like shoving half a rack of ribs into your mouth) with a surprisingly light and clean finish.

My overall grade:  B+

The Smoke was pretty tasty.  It reminded me of the Schlenkerla, but a little more subdued.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m heading to the Sky Lobby to watch the ants marching in the streets below.

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