Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Post Road Pumpkin Ale

Brewed by Brooklyn Brewing. 5% abv
12 oz dark brown bottle. Freshness date stamped on bottle. Served in a pint tumbler.
A shiny copper ale-colored brew with a bubbly, fast-fading off-white head. Very little in the way of lacing.
The aroma is underwhelming. It could use a little more pumpkin punch, but overall it is a pleasing smell, with dry malt, floral hop and pumpkin and spice undertones.
As in the aroma, this brew could use a bit more pumpkin. A little more of an alcoholic kick would improve things too, I think.
A caramel maltiness and crisp hop bite compliment each other nicely. A faint taste of limes adds dimension, but again, more pumpkin would be just right.
It goes down quickly as it's a bit thin.
All in all, a nice pumpkin ale that could use a little more pumpkin.

Serving type: bottle

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pietra Bierre - Amber

Brasserie Pietra Furiani, France - Corsica
On tap from notes taken in 2009.
The color is a nice amber/gold color with a fast-fading white head. Some trailing and webby lacing clings the glass.
Smells of grain husk, nuts and hint of damp basement mix with a mild floral hop and caramel candy.
Sweet honey taste and nutty caramel malt are tempered a bit by the slightly citrus hop bite.
A little back-of-the-throat hop edginess gives a sprightly tingle going down. This is a refreshing brew, despite the well-hidden the 6% abv.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Dogfish Head - Punkin

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery - Delaware Punkin Ale 7.0% abv
Someone should send a bottle of this to Shipyard, so they understand what a "Punkin" Ale is supposed to taste like. It pours an orange tinted amber with a fading white head. Pumpkin, nutmeg, allspice, malt and alcohol fumes (in that order) make up the aroma. The malt body could use a bit more oomph, but it's far more substantial than that weak-ass Shipyard. Flavors of pumpkin pie come to mind - as it should. Pumpkin and cinnamon dominate, as allspice, sugar and nutmeg offer a nice supporting touch. A mild lime-like bitterness seems almost out of place, but after a few gulps, seems to fit in with the "Punkin" gang. Warming alcohol provides the expected punch when you smell and taste it.
Nice fall ale. It pairs nicely with a nice rich autumn lamb stew with thick root vegetables and pumpkin pie with vanilla ice cream.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Troegs-Flying Mouflan - Barley wine-style Ale

Troegs - Flying Mouflan - Harrisburg, PA - 9.3% abv
22 oz brown bottle. No freshness date.
The color is deep, dark amber/mahogany. A very fast-fading caramel head becomes a thin ring.
A big whiff of rum-soaked plums hits with a bang. Caramel malt, citrusy and floral hop smells are present throughout. A light smell of milk chocolate is noticed.
Flavors of a mixed fruit bowl drenched in dark rum and port wine come to mind. Prunes, raisins, pears, tangerine and pineapple, with a hint of banana. Does this count for my daily fruit intake? The citrusy hops poke through, as does a nice rich malty taste. Sweet caramel candy adds the sweetness note.
As the label suggests, I will cellar one and see how things transform in a year. If I can wait that long.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Schneider & Sons - Aventinus

25oz dark brown bottle. Freshness date on label.
Pours a dark ruby-hued brown with a thick and lasting beige/tan head with loads of clinging lace.
A big sweet smell of molasses and brown bread, along with smells of cloves, bananas and citrusy hops.
The full malt body carries tastes of toffee, fresh rye bread, molasses, figs, bananas and peppery spices.
A light lemon and lime bitterness and countering pleasant basil-like herbal taste softens the hop bite.
A light sweet rum-like alcohol fuminess lingers in the background.
Nice complex, though well-structured brew!
Try with a mix of salami, sausages with grainy mustard and cheeses.

Huvila - Baltic Porter

Huvila - Malmgardin (formally brewed at Savolina), Finland - Baltic Porter 7.0% abv
1 Pint 0.9 oz brown bottle. Bast Fore (Best before date) not legible. Poured into an Allagash goblet.
A real beautiful, nearly impenetrable dark coffee color with a reddish hue when held to the light. Big billowy tan head with loads of sticky lace raises expectation.
A fairly potent smell of dark chocolate rises at first pour. Smells of roasted malt, coffee and rye bread follow. A light whiff of peppery hop is noticed.
Tastes of coffee, bitter chocolate and rye crackers are dominant. Tea-like and flowery hops linger. A mild vodka-like fuminess inches forward as it warms. There is an odd astringent tartness that seems a bit out of place, though not too off-putting.
The body is a little thin for the style, yet its roots are certainly Baltic.
It improves as it warms (as does most beer), but this improvement is very noticeable.
I wish I had bought 2 now.
Try it alone or with creamy cheeses. Would go well with vanilla or coffee ice cream.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Oktoberfest 200th Anniversary-World's Largest Beer Festival

Oktoberfest 200th Anniversary 1810-2010 - World's Largest Beer Festival

The very first Oktoberfest took place on October 18, 1810 in a meadow bordering the town gates of Munich, Germany. It didn't start out to be strictly a beer festival. It just blossomed that way. The original celebration bash was created during the marriage of The Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria (later Ludwig I.) to Princess Therese of Saxon" Sachsen-Hildburghausen". The meadow was christened later in honor of the bride "Theresienwiese" (Meadow of Therese). There were horse races, music and a celebration of food, life and beer. Lots of beer. The party lasted five days…seven for some who were unable to find their way home. The beer was tapped in simple huts. This was a special, more potent brew known as a Marzen. It was brewed in March, aged in cool cellars (lagered) and tapped in the fall. While the king, his court and attendants celebrated the reception in their comfortable tents, the commoners partied in the open air. The fact that it rained the entire time was a testament to the quality and quantity of the beer. Despite sloshing around in mud-soaked pants for days on end, the weather failed to deter the thirsty revelers or dampen their spirits…so to speak. These hearty Bavarians took the opportunity to party seriously! Today’s Oktoberfest still takes place in Munich on some of the very same grounds. The horse racing no longer takes place, although there remains a small local produce and farming exhibition. The event now takes on a more carnival atmosphere with Ferris wheels and roller coasters and a little something for everyone, but there can be no doubt as to the main attraction.

Local brewers, Hacker-Pschorr, Spaten, Hofbrau and Paulaner produce some of the most authentic representations of the style, while Lowenbrau, Augustiner and Ayenger set up tents (Beer Halls) for their particular take on the Oktoberfest style. The Munich Oktoberfest now runs 16 days. In this time 6 million visitors consume 6 million liters of beer and 400,000 of sausages. It is the world’s largest annual public event.

This year the event runs from September 18 – October 4, 2010. If you can’t make it to Munich, you can still enjoy an Oktoberfest beer or two. And you don’t need to soak your lederhosen to get into the spirit.

Cheers! And Prost!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Kirkland-Hefeweizen (Costco)

12 oz brown bottle. No freshness date noticed.
It pours and amberish tan color with a fast-fading off-white head.
It lacks most of the distinct Hefeweisen aroma one would normally expect. A wet hay and cereal grain smell mingle with a light hop and dose of cloves.
It tastes more like a Vienna Lager than a Hefe. The body is well-rounded and the flavor is pleasant enough...just off the mark.
It goes down smooth and easy. The 5.5% abv is very well disguised.
This is the kind of beer someone might brew as to not offend anyone. And that's the problem with it. I do like the idea that a large chain like Costco would reach out to their customers with a sampling of a better beer than the mass-mega swill producers make, but it would have been even better if they perhaps went a little more bold-flavored and hit the style range a bit more.
All in all, kudos to Costco. Now get out there and brew something over-the-top!

Serving type: bottle

Saturday, September 11, 2010

BeerStyles-Beers from Ireland

Here's a clip from one of our "Beer Styles" shows.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Estella Damm - Inedit

Estrella Damm - Enedit - Barcellona, Spain - 4.8% abv
26.4 oz dark olive green bottle. Freshness date stamped on neck label.
Listed as a Witbier, more like a mild farmhouse.
The color is an opaque, foggy caramel candy with a rocky, firm white head. Patchy and trailing lace lasts throughout the glass.
Aromas of herbs and flowers are present at first pour. Smells of coriander and citrus follow and remain. A light whiff of wet cut grass seems out of place. A hint of banana sneaks in late.
The flavors are mild yet distinct. Orange Tang, herbs, and a little wheat in the background. Tastes of tart Chardonnay, citrus peel and limes are very pleasant. As in the aroma, a slight taste of banana is noticed as it warms.
This a very gulpable brew! Complex, but subtle. Unusual and difficult to compare.
Nice fringe beer!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Nogne O - Brown Ale

Nogne O Brown Ale- Gamle Rygene Kraftstasjon - Grimstd, Norway - 4.5% abv
1 PT .9oz dark brown bottle. No freshness date.

Pours an overly dark, almost Porter-like dark black coffee color with a thin, but creamy beige color, along with some patchy and trailing lacing.
A mild damp woody aroma fades fast. With some concentration, a whiff of dried chocolate malt escapes.

Tastes of strong coffee, toffee and scorched malt are upfront. Minor flavors of sweet grapefruit and a metallic bite lie beneath.

Oddly, for such a low abv brew, a light alcoholic fuminess is noticed.

A nice brew, just somehow floating about as a Brown Ale. Too dark for a brown, too mild for a Porter, perhaps it's a Dark Brown Ale?

Michelob-Amber Bock

I chose a pseudo-craft beer as my 100th review on BeerAdvocate in 2003. One of our duties as reviewers is to enlighten or warn the unsuspecting, so here goes. I sampled this horrible brew at The Tiki Bar, an outdoor grill on the beach on Marco Island. Michelob was test-marketing Amber Bock in several states and it was my misfortune for having vacationed in Florida at this time. It was a sunny and balmy afternoon. Bikini clad beauties were bouncing around, showing off what they had developed over the winter (quite a distraction from my relaxed reading and quite the chore of appearing disinterested with my girlfriend's harsh glare beating down upon the back of my neck). The smell of grilled shrimp and burgers wafted over me, exciting my remaining senses. I wandered over to the Tiki and noticed, with curious interest, Michelob Amber Bock on tap. Hmmm! How bad could it be? Well, despite my most excellent surroundings and laissez-faire attitude, the answer, to be kind is Disgusting!! Flat dark tan in color and rapidly vanishing off-white head. Sweet sugary malt and soaked corncob aroma. The pasty-mealy malt is difficult to swallow. This bland, sweet tasting, lightly hopped beer is in keeping with the A-B tradition of marketing over quality brewing techniques. Again A-B had the opportunity to enter the craft brew market by brewing a really fine bock beer. They chose instead, the road of mass-produced-type swill and major advertising campaigns. Argh! In case you’re still interested, the rest of my vacation went very well despite A-B’s attempt to ruin it.


12oz dark brown bottle. No freshness date.
Pours a deep red-tinted root beer-like color with a fast-fading light tan head, along with some wispy trails of lacing.
Smells of coffee and dark chocolate are present throughout. Light whiffs of barnyard hay and hints of citrusy hops come and go.
Fairly strong tastes of sweetened coffee with rich chocolate are upfront. Mild citrusy hop bitterness lends a little balance. As it warms, a light taste of prunes peeks through
A flavor of toasted rye bread is noticed. A light rummy alcohol fuminess adds a bit of interest.
Smooth...almost oily (in a good way) Nice easy-to-gulp Porter.
Well done!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project - 1832 Mild Ale

A recreation of a beer originally brewed on Brick Lane, London of February 27th, 1832
22oz brown bottle. No freshness date.
The color is a leathery, hazy copper with a thin beige head and loads of web lacing.
A strong aroma of caramelized sugar and barley malt are dominant. A sharp breath of citrusy and floral hops spring forth. A mild rummy fuminess fades in and out.
Tastes are simply, yet wide-ranging. This is an amazingly balanced brew. The sweet buttery malt, edgy citrus and metallic hop and floral flavors blend very well with a strong Grand Marnier/Triple Sec alcoholic kick. Subtle flavors of tart orange zest and doughy bread come to mind.
We love to see and taste the results of Dann Paquette's projects. Quite the brewer!
This is a nice strong ale to warm by the fire with. Sharp aged cheese or dark chocolates will pair nicely.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Stout Beer Cake

Lucky me! My wife created a birthday cake for me made with Stone's Bitter Chocolate Stout (9.2% alcohol by volume). It's really quite good. Lots of chocolate flavors with stout flavors in the background. Lovely!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sierra Nevada - Tumbler Autumn Ale

Sierra Nevada - Tumbler - Chico, CA 5.5% abv
12 oz dark brown bottle. No freshness date.
I enjoy this dark auburn, brown leathery color with a medium-sized beige head on top. Loads of sticky lacing cling to the glass throughout.
The aroma is mostly malt-driven, with dry grain, caramel malt and farina wheat smells. There is a bit of fruit and citrus peel to the hop aroma.
The flavors are under-whelming. I expected a strong, sweet malty taste with a solid hop blend for support, but was a little disappointed. It sort of reminds me of a New Castle Ale, except with a bit more of a hop and alcohol kick.
The body has an unexpected spritzy effervescence. I would like a little more solid, rich malty body in an autumn ale. Something to stand up to creamy, thick autumn stews, perhaps.

Sierra Nevada - Big Foot Barleywine

Sierra Nevada Big Foot Barleywine - Chico, CA - 9.6% abv
It pours a lovely sun burnt orange amber with a smallish but fairly long-lasting beige head.
Potent floral hop aromas burst out of the glass while pouring. A smell of spruce, malt and alcohol blend in.
Caramel and candy sugar sweetness are easily noticed. Doughy bread, rum-soaked raisins and a light taste of herbs begin to emerge, though settled in the background.
Sharp grapefruit, lemon zest and a bit of a metallic bite provide quite a bite. The piney esters of whole fresh hops and the big alcohol kick remain quite separate from the other tastes, which begin to mingle halfway through the glass. Bigfoot is an original Northwest American-style Barleywine. I hope that just because something else more extreme flavor-wise, or more potent in the ABV department comes along, doesn't relegate this wonderful brew to the back shelf. Long live the legend of Bigfoot

Paper City-Holyoke Dam Ale

On-tap at Daddy's in Hull.
It pours a deep ruby-hued amber (too dark for the style) with a fast-fading off-white head. Some sticky and trailing lacing.
The smell is for the most part, malt driven. Whiffs of dry grain and damp basement stand out. A light smell of prunes and citrus are in the background.
Flavors of sweet caramel malt and dextrose are upfront. Citrusy and tea-like hop bitterness are hidden under the layers of malt.
The style of this brew more closely resembles a mild Scottish Ale. In fact, with a little boost in abv, it would be a very nice Scottish ale.
This is a very drinkable brew. Just a bit off the mark if this is to be classified as an APA.