Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lefebvre - Hopus Ale

Brewery Lefebvre - Hopus Ale Quenast, Belgium 8.3% abv
11.2oz stubby brown flip top bottle. Best before date stamped on back label. Served in Kapittel Watou stemmed snifter.
Pours a cloudy caramel toffee color with a fluffy white head and loads of sticky, clinging lace.
The smell is a little disjointed with sour yeast, dry hay, horse barn, oak, floral hops and gin.
The flavors are rangy as well, but with more complimentary results. Edgy astringent hops, lemon zest, gin, orange peel and Orange Lifesavers. A little metallic tang is noticed in the finish.
The mouthfeel is a little raspy at the first few gulps but mellows out as it warms.
For some reason, I feel this tart and bitter brew will go nicely with lemon tarts or bitter pineapple upside down cake.

Four + Brewing - Punk'N Ale

12 oz stubby brown bottle. Bottled on date stamped on bottle.

It pours a deep coppery amber color with a fast-fading beige head and some trailing and sticky lacing.
It does not give off enough pumpkin aroma, though there's plenty in the flavor profile. Secondary smells of wet hay, floral hops and citrus come and go.
The upfront taste is indeed pumpkin, and quite nice at that. A minor taste of sweet malt, orange Koolaid and metallic hops come through. It's sort of a Brown Ale with Pumpkin flavoring.
The body could be a little fuller, although it is a refreshing brew. This is the mildest Pumpkin Ale I have sampled so far.
It would go well with a Turkey sandwich with cranberry and stuffing.

Serving type: bottle

Fischer - Amber Ale

Fischer - Alsace Amber ale - Schiltegheim, France 6% abv
I guess I'm in the minority here for liking this beer, but I can't help's good...not great - good. It pours a tannish amber and holds a firm and rocky head with some trails and sticky lace. The malt aroma works itself through a mildly sulfuric hop smell. The full malt body is lightly caramel sweet. The hops provide and lime-like, lightly metallic and a faint tea-like qualities. A light mineral taste is noticed throughout. This is a balanced brew that finishes clean. Nice recapable bottle!
Try it with mussels and minced shallots and herbs de Provence steamed in this brew.

St Landelin - La Divine

St Landelin - La Divine - Biere de Garde Les Brasseurs De Gayant - Douai, France - 8% abv
25.4 oz brown bottle. Freshness Date stamped on label.
It pours a bright and shiny orange-hued amber color with a snow white finely bubbled head on top, with some patchy, clinging lace.
A yeasty citrus smell rises out at first pour. A musty basement smell follows. After that, a whiff of orange zest, dry hay and a bit of peppery spice. A hint of gin fumes seems to stay around throughout.
A taste of tart green apples is upfront. A complex mix of flavors include plums, caramel malt, citrus zest, coriander and again, gin comes to mind.
This is a well-rounded brew, that is slick, wet with a bit of a edgy bite.
I could drink this all evening, but at a well-hidden 8% abv, that probably is not a great idea.
Nice brew!
Goes very well with creamy cheeses, Fish and Spicy Chicken dishes.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Grand Teton Brewing - Sheep Eater Scotch Ale

Grand Teton Brewing - Sheep Eater Scotch Ale - Victor Idaho - 7.5% abv
33.8oz dark brown bottle. 2009 vintage.
Poured into a Sam Adams fluted glass.
The color is a deep ruby-hued mahogany with a fading tannish beige head. A little trailing and clingy lace slides into oblivion.
A very heavy smell of dark roasted malt, caramel candy and a dark rummy whiff are upfront. Smells of peat, molasses and berries are noticed throughout.
Big robust malty flavors carry tastes of creme brulee, chocolate covered cherries, dark rum-soaked pears and spicy hops.
I enjoy the the nearly oily, silky smoothness in the mouth and throat feel.
Such a large bottle, so smooth, fairly high octaine = Bliss.
Very nice brew, but expensive as hell.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Rogue-John John Ale

Rogue - John John Ale Brewed w/ Juniper Berries and Aged in Spruce Gin Barrels.
Newport, Or. - 5.2% abv
One pint 6 oz brown bottle. No freshness date. Pint glass.
The color is a hazy orange-hued amber with a fast-fading white head and some trailing lace.
Smells of dry hay, dry malt, oak, lemon zest and resinous hop meld well together. A slight alcoholic whiff is noticed.
Sharp-edged citrusy bitterness slices through the malty sweetness without much effort. There really is the ginny perfuminess in the taste. Light flavors of oak, lemons, caramel sweetness and tart berries peek through.
There is a certain drying sensation in the mouthfeel.
It does go down well, although I really would have appreciated a bit more gin-like kick to this brew. Imagine this in an Imperial style...
This goes well with creamy cheeses, light poultry dishes, and mild seafood.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Goose Island-Bourbon County

Goose Island Chicago, Il- Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout - 13% abv
Served in a goblet
Brown 22 oz bottle. Freshness date.
Big thick spent engine oil black with a moderate sized, fast fading tan head. Some sticky and patchy lacing clings to the glass.
A strong alcoholic smell rises at first pour. Smells of dark coffee, chocolate, bourbon, piney hops and camphor remain potent throughout.
Wow! A taste of Kalua and bourbon jump straight out. Coffee, dark chocolate, malt and edgy hop bitterness follow.
The alcoholic kick is unmistakable.
Lovely in an extreme sense! Try with dark chocolate, rich vanilla ice cream, creme brulee, or creamy, aged cheese.

Serving type: bottle

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Great Divide - Smoked Baltic Porter

Great Divide - Denver CO. - Smoked Baltic Porter - 6.2%abv
22oz brown bottle. Bottled on date stamped on label.
Served in a goblet.
It pours a dark black coffee color with a thin tannish beige head. Not much lacing.
Smells of smoked peat, coffee, chocolate, dry hay, metallic hops.
A nice bitter chocolate malt taste is complimented by a liberal amount of smoky malt flavors. Tastes of coffee Kalua, flowery hops and a hint of burnt caramel blend well into the mix.
The body is slick, yet there is a under-lying astringent raspy mouthfeel. It's quite gulpable, though one is enough. Goes well with grilled or smoked meat, and really well with dark chocolate.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Long Trail - Quercus Vitus Humulus

Long Trail - Quercus Vitus Humulus - French Oak-aged Ale brewed with French Grape Juice, fermented with Champagne Yeast - Barley Wine - Strong Ale - Middlebury, VT 12% abv. Poured into a fluted Allagash Ale glass.
22 oz dark brown bottle. No freshness date.
It pours a ruby-hued copper color with a thin, fast-fading off-white head.
Smells are all over the place! Sparkling wine, toasted rye toast, aging, fermenting fruit bowl, spicy and floral hops and lemon zest. A hint of sherry lingers in the background.
The flavors are also varied and complex. Sangria comes immediately to mind. Dry malt, lemony, metallic and spicy hops add an edgy dimension. Orange liquor, doughy bread, lemon hard candies and honey temper the upfront, edgy flavors. A little natural woody flavor lasts throughout.
There's a bit of an unappealing astringent rasp in the mouthfeel, yet it abates a bit as it warms.
While it is certainly a beer with a big alcoholic bang, it's fairly gulpable, and that's a bit scary. This one could get the unsuspecting in a little trouble if he/she should drink two or more of these extreme beers.
Strong cheeses and hearty rye crackers or rich dark chocolate. You can pour a little over vanilla ice cream with shaved chocolate and crushed nuts.

Long Trail - Harvest

Long Trail - Harvest Brown Ale Bridgewater Corners, VT 4.6% abv
12oz brown bottle. Fresh date on label.
It pours a tan/cordovan with a smallish off-white head and some patchy and trailing lace.
The aroma is mostly of sweet malt and brown bread.
It's not as malty as one would expect after reading on the label about all the malts used in the brewing.
There's a light caramel sweetness and a taste of fresh marble rye, along with the essence of brown bread.
A sweet lime-like bitterness is matched by a taste of hard water and faint metallic tang.
This is a flavorful brew despite the fact that it is low in alcohol.
Nice stuff to quell spicy chili.

Weihenstephaner - Festbier

Weihenstephaner Oktoberfest - Freising,Germany - 5.8% abv
This is the World's Oldest Brewery (1040 AD)
The color is a cloudy golden amber with a medium-sized snow-white head and lots of sticky and trailing lace.
The smell is certainly German OFest-like. Grassy malt, citrus fruit, pears, minty herbs and a hint of vodka.
Sweet honey maltiness supports a nice blend of citric and spicy hops. A little fresh bread, mellon and hint of mint round things out.
The body is slick, almost buttery and so rounded and smooth.
You really should buy at least two of these beauties because it goes down so easy and delightful. Pair with brats boiled in fest beer with sauerkraut or weinerschnitzel and fried pototoes. Das is gud!!!