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!!!