Thursday, December 30, 2010

Nogne - Sunturnbrew - Barley Wine

Nogne Sunturnbrew - Grimstad, Norway - 11% abv
16.9 oz dark brown bottle. A place for "Best fore" date but not stamped on label. Batch # 474.
It pours a spent motor oil black with a thin beige head and some splotchy lacing.
Smells of rum-soaked prunes and an odd whiff of camphor on a Band-Aid are released upon first pour. Smells of fresh rye bread, molasses, citrus peels and mixed fruit follow.
This huge-bodied sweet beast is certainly boozy! A big hit of Kahlua hit home beat feet fast. Caramel candy and bread pudding comes to mind as does honey and Vicks Cough Syrup. A medicinal taste of camphor and Band-Aids takes me down a road best forgotten, but it's not altogether unpleasant.
It's a bit on the thick side, so the drinkability factor comes down a notch.
Brie and crackers would go well with this.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Brasserie Dieu du Ciel-Rigor Mortis Abt

Brasserie Dieu du Ciel-Rigor Mortis Abt - St. Jerome, Quebec, Canada - 10.5% abv
12 oz brown bottle. Indecipherable freshness date code.
Allagash glass.
It pours a muddy Coca Cola color with a thin, fast-fading beige head.
Fruity, yeast esters are quite potent. Smells of horse barn, cut hay, cloves, and citrus blend very well together. A nice warming gin-like perfume fuminess rises.
As in the aromas, there are big dominant flavors. Tart white grapefruit, strong gin, limes and a slightly astringent medicine taste slowly allow the sweet caramel maltiness to inch forward. Tastes of rum-soaked prunes and lemon zest peek through and lasts throughout. A little bit of wood, peppery spices and tobacco is noticed.
The mouthfeel is rich, slick and deeply satisfying.
Two of these powerful brews is plenty.
Rich creamy cheese and strong tasting salami goes well with this big, flavorful brew.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Haandbryggeriet - Aqauvit Barrel-Aged Porter

16.9 oz dark brown bottle. Bottled on 23.07.10
Poured into a Sam Adams fluted glass.
It pours a very deep and dark root beer-hued spent motor oil color along with a lively mix of large and medium sized tannish bubbles. Some patchy and webby lacing sticks and stays.
The aroma is a must smell... ASAP! Smells of fresh robust espresso and dark chocolate fumes fill the air surrounding the glass. A nice whiff of black licorice and Aquavit is quite noticeable and lasts throughout. A slight woody smell mingles with a bit of grapefruit rind.
The flavor is all over the damn place! Sorry to say, after the lovely aroma experience, the flavor profile sort of falls apart. There's coffee, Aquavit, citrus hops, green wood, dark chocolate, followed by an off-putting yeasty sourness. A bit of a copper metallic tang seems a little out of place. Porters, Baltic, Robust, or Imperial should not have any funkiness in the flavor department.
A change of yeast is called for here. I believe this would be a first class beer if only the sour/tart flavors were mellowed out.
Try pairing with ginger candies or very dark, bitter chocolate nibs.

Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye

It pours an old worn leathery amber color with a solid beige fluffy head and loads of lace. A strong floral hop aroma dominates while strong smells of rye crackers and whiff of alcohol creep up. This potent brew is just bursting with unrestrained flavors. Wild malt (6 row?) and edgy rye flavors are completely separate from sharp grapefruit, zesty orange peel, light lemon and a hint of metallic tanginess. A touch of toffee sweetness does little to counter sharp flavors, but that's ok. All of these sharp edged flavors are accompanied by a constantly noticeable alcohol kick tempered with honey. This beer is unrelenting in its wild character and never mellows or sweetens further, even when it warms. I love this stuff!
Goes well with sharp aged cheddar, lamb chops or any wild game. Might pair nicely with a rich creme brulee or Indian pudding.

Monday, December 20, 2010

What a way to Go!!!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The London Beer Flood occurred on October 17, 1814 in the parish of St. Giles, London, England. At the Meux and Company Brewery on Tottenham Court Road, a huge vat containing over 135,000 imperial gallons (610,000 L) of beer ruptured, causing other vats in the same building to succumb in a domino effect. As a result, more than 323,000 imperial gallons (1,470,000 L) of beer burst out and gushed into the streets. The wave of beer destroyed two homes and crumbled the wall of the Tavistock Arms Pub, trapping teenaged employee Eleanor Cooper under the rubble.

The brewery was located among the poor houses and tenements of the St Giles Rookery, where whole families lived in basement rooms that quickly filled with beer. Eight people drowned in the flood.

The brewery was eventually taken to court over the accident, but the disaster was ruled to be an Act of God by the judge and jury, leaving no one responsible. The company found it difficult to cope with the financial implications of the disaster, with a significant loss of sales made worse because they had already paid duty on the beer. They made a successful application to Parliament reclaiming the duty which allowed them to continue trading. The brewery was demolished in 1922, and today, the Dominion Theatre occupies a part of the site of the former brewery.

A likely joke that may have made the rounds back then;
Policeman: "I'm sorry to report this Mrs.Murphy, but your husband Mick fell into the brew vat in the brewery and sadly has drowned"
Mrs. Murphy: "Oh my, I hope he didn't suffer too much"
Policeman: We're not sure, but he did crawl out twice to use the bathroom."

Monday, December 13, 2010

Samuel Adams and Weihenstephan - Infinium

Samuel Adams and Weihenstephan Breweries - Infinium - Biere de Champagne (Biere Brut)
Brewed in Boston, MA 10.3% abv
50 ml dark brown bottle. Best before July 2011.
Served in an Orval goblet.
Pours a very clean tea-colored amber with slow fading fine effervescent white bubbles and some patchy and trailing lacing.
The initial aroma reminds me of an oaky Chardonnay with light smells of light-roasted malt and some citrusy hop notes.
This unique brew has a very tart fruity white grape at first taste. A slightly sweet malty taste slides through and gains ground as it warms. The hop profile is fairly simple with a little lemony citrus and a slightly resinous back-of-the-throat flavor. A taste of salt is present throughout. An ice wine-like taste provides an unusual, though agreeable alcoholic kick.
The extra bubbly effect fades within minutes of pouring
Champagne is not high on my list of favorite alcoholic beverages, though, it's the perfect drink to enjoy with friends and family on certain occasions.
This is just the beer for special times.
Enjoy with fine aged cheeses or, perhaps fruity, tart sherbet.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Southern Tier - Robust Porter

Southern Tier - Robust Porter - 5.8% abv - Lakewood, New York
12 oz dark brown bottle. No freshness date.
Poured into a Sam Adams fluted glass.
It pours a very deep root beer color with a moderately fading tannish beige head.
Smells of dark roast coffee, chocolate, rye bread and citrus peel.
This is a malt-forward brew. Cocoa, coffee, sweet vanilla, and malt dextrose dominate. A light grapefruit bitterness pokes through. A faint metallic tang is way in the background.
The body is velvety smooth, almost buttery in texture.
It's very gulpable.
The label lists this as a "Robust" Porter. I don't think so. It lacks any alcohol punch.
Pairs well with grilled burgers with cheddar, or vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Innis and Gunn - Oaked Aged ale

330ml Clear bottle. Best before 12/10
It pours a coppery/amber color with a fair-sized off-white head, along with some thin trails of lacing.
Smells of peaty Scotch are upfront. A sweet grassy malty aroma lingers in the background as does a whiff a mild citrusy hops.
A totally enjoyable separation of tastes are evident early. Separate smoky, sweet malt grain, citrusy and tea-like hop flavors and a slight metallic tang, slowly begin to mingle with an undercurrent of Scotch. A light alcoholic fuminess is noticed throughout.
Once the flavors meld together, this becomes a very tasty session ale.
Try with roast or smoked duck, or dark turkey meat...perhaps a drum stick.