Nine o’clock at night on a Tuesday and we’d just landed in the Big D. We were ready for a busy couple of days ahead of us as we had a full itinerary of cigar stores and cigar friendly spots to visit in Dallas. But it’s only 9 p.m.; not ready to sleep just yet. The plan was to track down some beers we don’t get back home in the Sunshine State.
The Texas beer scene has been exploding for the past decade. Sitting at this bar, overwhelmed by taps and bottles I’ve never heard of, it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Peering at the bottle lineup from across the bar, I was drawn to a big 750 ml bottle labeled Black Rhino. I’m used to oddly named craft beers. It’s one of the fun things about them, but Black Rhino? Where are they going with this? Is the yeast strain in the beer on the critically endangered list? Then there’s the image of a bearded dude with glasses on the bottle that looks like our senior editor. It’s a sign; let’s taste it.
As I read the story on the bottle about how “Del,” which I presume is short for Adelbert, spent time in Kenya and would go on safaris looking to shoot black rhinos (I found out later that Del loved photography and was looking to photograph black rhinos, not drop ‘em). I couldn’t help it; the image of Nestor Miranda and his hilarious and legendary safari stories kept creeping into my mind. Then as I started to taste the beer it blindsided me like a runaway wildebeest (you thought I was gonna say rhino didn’t you?). The Adelbert’s Black Rhino and the Nestor Miranda Collection Maduro were going to be our next Perfect Pairing!
Enjoy a night around town before two full days of work: CHECK! Figure out our next Perfect Pairing: CHECK! Drink some beer that we can’t find back home: FAIL! But this is actually a good thing. It turnsout that Adelbert’s does have some distribution outside of Texas! And Florida is one of those markets, along with California and New Mexico.
Nestor Miranda Collection Maduro
Black Rhino is an interesting beer in that it is hard to categorize, but easy to describe. The label calls it a Belgian-style black ale, but that’s not a very common style. Think of it as a porter with all of its roasted malt and chocolate goodness combined with a Belgian Dubbel like, say, Chimay Red. The porter’s chocolate combined with the fruit and bottle-conditioned carbonation of the Belgian-style give this beer a very unique characteristic that happened to pair well with the Nestor Miranda Collection Maduro’s earthy and peppery core.