668 The Neighbor of the Beast (Belgian strong pale ale)
Single can for $2.99, 9% ABV
Purchased at Connecticut Beverage Mart, New Britain
This is great beer. No use beating around the burning bush, for New England Brewing to mask the 9% alcohol in a delicious, smooth, hoppy and complex ale is nothing short of remarkable. If you have an adjunct-only swilling friend who eschews craft brews, give them a 668. I think it’s the perfect gateway beer to convince someone the merits of high-octane high-quality beer.
Furthermore, you can also provide a 668 to any beer snob friends who eschew small local breweries because they aren’t trumpeted on Beer Advocate enough or something (although that makes no sense here because Beer Advocate reviewers love NEB. The clowns who run BA don’t.)
And why not have a supply on hand for your bible thumping god-squad acquaintance who is terrified of such evil concoctions made from hops and grain. The wonderfully hilarious and sacrilegious label should be enough to keep that acquaintance away for good.
“Good fences make good neighbors” – unless you live next door to Satan. Then you may need something extra to help you cope – like our ‘668’. This hellaciously delicious Belgian Style Ale is brewed with pilsner malts, candi sugar and blended with American and German hops. ‘668’, Mortal tested… Goat Lord approved.
Goat Lord approved? Indeed. And while we’re at it, you should also try to always have a couple on hand when you invite yours truly over for whatever; historical society talk, radio show, book deal proposal, TV show brainstorm session…
You get the point. This is fantastic beer. Not too many locals attempt to approach the perfection of Belgian beer so not only is it great that NEB does – but that they do it so well.
Some random stuff about the clever name. Of course it refers to 666 being the so-called “number of the beast.”
Let’s pause for 5 minutes of Maiden. I’ll wait.
While it is sadly true that more than a few people actually put merit into the 666 nonsense (even though older versions of the bible refer to 616, but whatever), it is even more sad that we elected and have subsequently almost deified a noted sufferer of hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia. You know, the ol’ fear of the number 666.
It’s (said to be) true that Ronald and Nancy Reagan changed the address of their post-Presidency house from 666 St. Cloud Road in Bel-Air to 668. For real, yo. Leader of the free world, that guy.
[Side note worth mentioning: It’s also true that more than one person has questioned our naming our son Damian because of the nearly 40 year old fictional child named Damien, with an ‘e’, in “The Omen.” Who knows what these morons say behind our backs, but I’m sure they are smart to keep it behind our backs.]
666 has some cool mathematical properties. For instance, it’s a triangular number. What that means is if you add up every number 1 through 36, it equals 666. So if you built an equilateral triangle of, say, delicious NEB beer cans with one on top, then 2, then 3 and so one down to a base of 36, there will be 666 delicious NEB beer cans with 36 on each side. Cool, huh?
The Roman numeral for 666, DCLXVI, has exactly one occurrence of all symbols whose value is less than 1000. I enjoy that one.
These are the types of things a sessionable 9% beer can make one think about. I strongly suggest you do your best to find some for yourself and see what crazy mathematics you come up with.
Overall Rating: A
Rating vs. Similar style: A-