Thirteen years ago I went on an international flight from JFK in NY to Charles de Gaulle in Paris. Everywhere at the terminal, there were two airports listed that didn't meet the US Department of State guidelines for meeting certain safety criteria. Yes, only two! One was somewhere in Africa, maybe Nigeria. The other was El Dorado International Airport in Bogota, Colombia, from where I just returned.
A lot has changed since 1996 in Colombia and in the airport. Seriously, President Alvaro Uribe and his predecessor would have been MUCH better Nobel Peace Prize winners than President Obama. No doubt about it! I digress. The country is on the rebound and is much safer. If they can figure out a way to bring in tourists and improve their infrastructure, Colombia has so much potential--between two coasts, their natural resources, food, people, and culture, it's a goldmine.
This is the new El Dorado airport you can expect. First, there will be no shortage of porters out front ready to help you out with your bags. Sorry, these aren't the porters you can drink! We'll be getting to the beer shortly. Inside, there will be mass confusion, although somehow they make it work. After you check in, you will not have a hard time finding your gate, at which point you'll hit the first metal-detector-dog-sniff-pat-down checkpoint. There will be several!
Multiple duty free stores, vendors selling shots of liquor, more crotch and bag sniffing dogs, line up by the rope, and we haven't been through the official security check point yet. Some dude will drop a bottle of aguardiente, look around, then walk fast the other direction leaving a pool of licorice liquor and glass that hundreds tread through. Clean up on aisle 4 never happens! Finally, you'll get where you're going, you'll be asked to fill out some paperwork that you and 90% of the other passengers neglected to complete, you'll be asked to remove your belt, etc, and you'll go through another metal detector and dog sequence.
Then you will think you're done. You will open a book and sit back to wait for boarding. But my sons will break the [silence], each yelling loudly that the other son just farted! Or it will be some other American brats!
Today I'm drinking Delirium Noël brewed by The Huyghe Brewery in Melle/Ghent, Belgium. Not only is the bottle cool, it's also wine-sized. There is a pink elephant on skis in the foreground. In the background, three more pink elephants pull Santa and his sleigh in front of a full moon. It's taking me forever to get the sticky red foil off from around the top. Little flakes are everywhere, like the red snow someone with delirium may see! My cork says 2009--I think it's a fake cork.
Pop! Wow! Powerful banana right up front on the nose. Very fruity with cloves and booze. The flavors start out similarly, with lots of fruit and spicy cloves. Apples, pears and bananas, lots of fruits. You will also taste plenty of yeast. A nice touch of vanilla also makes its way into the profile. The 10% alcohol is noticeable and warming, like a fine brandy. The fruits wrap themselves inside that alcohol and then tell you they've been there all along, blending together wonderfully. High carbonation provides good mouthfeel, body is medium. A smooth beer that I suggest you try this Christmas season!
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