Jared Smith has exquisite taste. The café manager at Crow's Feet Commons and front man for local indie rock band Wilderness recently brought in an international selection of seven top-shelf, hard-to-find bottled beers, ranging in price from $12 to $28. We can honestly say that each one is well worth every penny.
Straffe Hendrik, Heritage 2011 (Belgium) The oak-aged version of the popular Straffe Hendrik (translation: Strong Henri) quadruple is a heavy, dark beast of a beer with a heady 11 percent ABV. The recipe is literally from medieval Bruges, but has withstood the test of time and continues to receive high marks from beer connoisseurs worldwide. $28.
The Bruery, Tart of Darkness (Orange County, Calif.) For lovers of sour beers, pick this one from the Belgian-inspired Southern Californian brewery. Tart and relatively low alcohol (5.6 percent), this oak-aged sour stout is as inventive as it is drinkable. Did we mention it was sour? $22.
Gouden Carolus, Cuvee Van de Keizer (Belgium) A refreshing yet warming Belgian strong ale, perfect for taking the edge of winter's chill. With tastes of dried fruit and roasted malts, this 11-percent doozy is another gorgeous option. $15.
De Garde Brewing, Lee Noir (Tillamook) What? Why haven't we heard of this Oregon brewery and its remarkable wild fermented beers? This spontaneously brewed red ale weighs in at 8.6 percent and is similar to a Flanders-style red (think, Duchesse de Bourgogne, one of the world's best beers) and aged in port and bourbon barrels. $18.
Xbeeriment, Black Force One (Denmark) An Imperial Stout made with five malts (and lots of peat-smoked malts) and bottle conditioned. Best served closer to room temperature and, at 10.4 percent, shared with a friend. $14.
Crux Fermentation Project, Tough Love (Bend) This one you know—a locally brewed Russian Imperial Stout (11.5 percent ABV) with notes of vanilla and cherry. Mostly, though, we taste greatness. $12.
HaandBryggeriet, Odin's Tipple (Norway) A boozy, Norse Russian Imperial Stout with a Lord of the Rings-style label that would make Peter Jackson proud. It's 11 percent and earned a "world class" rating from beeradvocate.com. Burly and beautiful. $12.