One of the best places to get interesting and rare beers in San Diego closed its doors last year. South Bay Drugs in Imperial Beach on Palm Avenue got forced out of their location in an eminent domain dispute after inhabiting the space for 28 years. The store provided prescriptions, minor sundries, and most importantly an excellent selection of craft beer. The owner's son, Geoi, is an avid supporter of craft beer and his collection of beers was stellar. Geoi shared many different rare and interesting bottles with me, but a few months before they were forced to vacate, he gave me a 3 year old bottle of Rochefort 8. It smelled of candi sugar and maple with some small vegetal notes mixed in. Its taste was sweet but far from cloying, with plenty of soft fruit (big raisin, fig, plum) flavors and even some caramel/toffee present.
|Golden Raisin Dubbel in the chamber.|
South Bay Drugs has relocated to Normal Heights and has gained new life. Their new name is Bine & Vine Bottle Shop. I have no illusions about my dubbel being comparable to that aged Rochefort 8, but I still need to set aside a bottle of it for Geoi.