Saturday, October 31, 2009

He'Brew Jewbelation Bar Mitzvah (13)



He'Brew Jewbelation
Bar Mitzvah (13)

Brewed by:
Shmaltz Brewing Company (He'Brew)
San Francisco, California

American Double / Imperial Stout
 

13.00% ABV





Background:
I can’t believe that this is my 60th beer review. But I should have a good one here.

Last year I found an outstanding beer, He’Brew Jewbelation 12. It was the 12th anniversary beer from the Shmaltz brewing company, He’Brew the Chosen Beer, gotta love wordsmith. I thought it was the best new beer of last year; 12 malts, 12 hops and 12 % alcohol. It was also a limited release and could not be found after the spring of 2009.

I heard rumors of the next anniversary brew but never really knew when it was gong to be released. Every week I would check the shelves at State Line but never saw it. I really have been waiting for this beer for months. Finally I saw that Mark from VideoBeerReviews on YouTube posted a review on it. The next day after seeing Marks review I emailed Robert at State Line and he told me that it was due in on Friday afternoon.

So this Friday after work I stopped over at State Line Liquors, which seems to be my Friday routine. I did not see it on the shelf and was concerned that it didn’t come in. The store was very crowded but Robert sent one of his workers to the loading dock to bring up a case. So a young man brought up a case and asked me how many I wanted. I paused and thought about buying the whole case but I didn’t. Since I haven’t had this beer yet I settled for four bottles. It was pretty cool being the first one to check out with He'Brew Jewbelation Bar Mitzvah (13).

As with the 12 this beer is brewed with 13 malts, 13 hops, and it is 13% ABV. This beer is an Imperial Stout.

Review:
This beer pours a dark brown almost black, stout black. I can’t see any light getting through this beer not even on the bottom edge of the glass. There is a very nice tan head, very fluffy with just a few soapy bubbles.

Wow, what a nose on this beer. It has just about everything coming off of this beer; rich roasted malts with notes of chocolate and coffee. There is also a sweetness; could be some of those hops making there presence known. I just can’t wait to dive into this beer.

Oh my, wow, that was everything I hoped for and more. I’ve been anticipating this for months and I am not being let down one bit.

 Wow, I’ve going to have hard time explaining this one. This is just phenomenal. I’m just thrilled with it. I’m like a little kid that just got everything he wanted for Christmas! Ok, a bit of an exaggeration but I do need to get a grip so I can describe this to you.

It starts out with that classic rich roasted malt sweetness; like a rich dark chocolate sweetness. There is not much in the middle of the taste but the back end is unbelievable. The back end has a hop drying effect along with that rich malt sweetness but more intense and to top it all with that 13% of alcohol. The final finish is part classic roasted malt stout but the drying effect of the alcohol and hops just gives it an over the top malt finish that is a bit beyond my explanation. After the full tasting experience there is a complete warming effect felt through the chest. This is like the ultimate winter warmer.

Sorry, this is the most difficult beer I’ve ever tried to explain the experience of tasting. This is one of those situations that I wish I know more about beer so I could accurately explain what I’m experiencing with this beer.

This nectar is now at 64 degrees and it just keeps getting better. The malts are more pronounced now but the beer also seems to be getting smoother and creamier.

I almost forgot to mention that the lacing on this beer is also pretty impressive.

The last few sips in glass are now at 67 degrees. It’s just unbelievable how much this beer keeps getting better as it warms. You would expect a beer with this much malt to get syrupy at this temperature but this is still smooth and creamy.

Well, I’m going to have to pour another glass while I work on my final thoughts. I did not put the bottle back into the frig so this second class is pretty close to room temperature already, now at 67 degrees.

Already I can feel the effects of the alcohol and I don’t mean that warming effect either. This is one of those sitting by the fire roasting peeps (if you’re Missy) beers. This is not a beer to take lightly. The alcohol is not very noticeable in the taste or mouthfeel of this beer. Well, it doesn’t seem like 13 percent anyway but it does catch up with you.

This is one phenomenal stout.  The end of the second glass is now at 69 degrees and there is nothing unpleasant about it. Usually a beer picks up some unpleasantness at room temperature but not this one.  This beer is rich and creamy to the last warm drop.

This is just an outstanding beer; a truly phenomenal brew. A rating of an A+ doesn’t seem do it justice.

I highly recommend this beer to anyone that likes a rich malty stout. The taste, mouthfeel and warming effect of this brew is truly something to be experienced. If you have this beer in your area please pick it up while you can. It will be an experience that you will not regret.

Samuel Adams Winter Lager


Samuel Adams Winter Lager

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company

(Samuel Adams)
Boston, Massachusetts

Bock

5.80% ABV

 






Sorry about the stock photo but this is another impromptu index card review; this time at The Olive Garden.

Pours a nice copper color with rich amber hues and a fairly rich off white head.

Nice rich toasted caramel malts, light hops and some spicy notes on the nose.

This beer looks and smells great but I don’t want to get my hopes up, after all this is a Sam Adams.

Not bad for a Sam Adams, sweet caramel malts upfront then a nice carbonation effervescence over the tongue then finally a very nice caramel malt finish with just enough hops for a very pleasant dry finish.

The head as diminished to a nice protective layer over the top of the beer and a ring around the glass. It is also leaving some nice lacing.

This beer is gaining a bit of a hop bite as it warms. There is a lot more flavors as it warms, a richer malt and also some spice.

Even as this warms to almost room temperature it does not pick up any unpleasantness.

Not the most robust winter beer but a very good lager.

It’s almost like this should be their Oktoberfest and they should make a real winter warmer. All and all this is not a bad lager. It’s a good drinkable beer.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Spaten Oktoberfestbier Ur-Märzen



Oktoberfestbier Ur-Märzen

Brewed by:
Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
Munich, Germany

Oktoberfest/Märzen

5.9% ABV

 




This beer pours a clear dark amber with an off white head and moderate carbonation.

Interesting nose on this beer; light caramel malts, mild hop presence and that good old fashion German skunk. I still don’t know where the skunk comes from but it seems to be in a lot of German beers especially if bottled in a green bottle.

Well that German skunk is in the taste of this beer also. It starts with a nice caramel malt sweetness then a little bit of that bite starts to make itself known but it is quickly replaced with a cleansing effervescence and then, you guessed it that German Skunk along with a dry hop finish. The skunky bite stays with you longer than the hops do but it also fades to little or no final aftertaste.

This sounds a little harsh but it’s really not, I do actually like this beer. The Belgians have their “Funk” and the Germans have their “Skunk”.

The beer is warming up a bit; it is now at 64 degrees. It has gained a little more of a malt sweetness as it opens up a little.

All and all this was a good beer. Not my favorite Oktoberfest but still a good beer. That German hop and skunk taste but me back just a little. I don’t mind it on a pilsner or other lighter more refreshing beers but I really didn’t care for it as much on an Oktoberfest.

Still, it was a good beer and I do recommend it to anyone that likes a caramel malt lager with that classic German bite (skunk). If I have to give a rating it would be a B.

Köstritzer Oktoberfest



Köstritzer Oktoberfest

Brewed By:
Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei (Bitburger)
Germany

Oktoberfest/Märzen
5.6% ABV


 




This beer pours a clear true copper color with a fairly rich looking off white head. There also seems to be a good amount of carbonation in this brew.

Sweet caramel malts on the nose with a slight hop aroma and some interesting earthy background notes.

This a very pleasant tasting beer but there is not much more to this beer than any other all malt lager. Don’t get me wrong it’s not bad but it doesn’t seem to have that richer caramel malt flavors that I have come to expect in an Oktoberfest.

The taste starts with a pleasant but very light caramel malt sweetness then a nice effervescence and a very nice dry hop finish with an almost sweet final finish. I really can’t find anything wrong with this beer.

This is a good beer but it’s not one of those Oktoberfest that you can mistake for an ale; this is a definitely at lager. This beer does not have those rich caramel malt flavors of an Oktoberfest.

It has warmed up to 67 degrees and it is still a very good beer. This beer is picking up a slight unpleasantness on the backend of the swallow. It’s not bad but it certainly isn’t as good as it was.

All and all this is a pretty good beer. Nothing outstanding; an above average lager but not a very good Oktoberfest.

I don’t think I will be buying this again and I really can’t recommend it; although it is a drinkable beer. So for an overall all malt lager it’s pretty good like a B-, for an Oktoberfest, not so much, C-. This was a little disappointing for a German Brewery.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Skull Annihilator



Skull Annihilator

Brewed by:
Swashbuckler Brewing Co, LTD
Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire

Manheim, Pennsylvania

Doppelbock
ABV ?


Grower



This week’s grower from the Swashbuckler Brewery at PaRenfaire is their Skull Annihilator. This is their Doppelbock. I’m really looking forward to his since I didn’t get a grower last week.

Pours a dark brown, almost completely opaque with amber hues and an off white head.

There is some toasted malt aromas on the nose. There is also a bitterness that manifests itself with just a gentle swirl of the glass. This does not seem to be a hop bitterness but more of a robust malt aroma.

This is a pretty heavy bodied malty beer. There is a rich toasted malt sweetness up front then a nice frying effect and the final taste is a nice but robust toasted malt flavor with an almost creamy mouthfeel. There is a somewhat lingering malt taste but it is not as strong as a stout would be.

This is pretty good even as it warms up. It is now 68 degrees and it’s still impressively good; smooth and rich with a toasted malt goodness.

That one was so good I’m going to have anther as I work on my final thoughts.

The second was actually better then the first. This is an impressive Doppelbock. Aside from the Saison this may be the best beer I’ve had from Swashbuckler.

I have purposely let this second beer go; it has been sitting or while and it is now at 74 degrees, so let’s see what this beer is make of.

Wow, that’s just amazing. This beer just keeps getting better as it warms up. There is no carbonation left in it so you would expect a malty beer like this to get syrupy but it didn’t. It maintains this smooth creamy malty taste that is very enjoyable.

Now I realize that these are extreme temperatures but I am so impressed when a beer not only holds up to this test but it surpassed my expectations. This beer did not pick up any unpleasantness even up to 74 degrees. Now That’s A Beer!

OK, it’s not as good as the Ayinger Celebrator but it is a very good to excellent Doppelbock, somewhere around a B+ for the Swashbuckler Doppelbock.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fruit Lambics

This is not going to be one of my typical reviews. It is going to be more of a Style Discussion but I will highlight one beer in particular during this discussion.

Fruit Lambics
There is a real need to talk a little about these biers. So many times I’ve seen YouTube’rs and other reviewers get caught off guard when trying one of these beers for the first time. They see a brand name and that it’s got an A rating on BeerAdvocate.com so they want to try it, only to find out that Lambics are a different animal in the beer kingdom. Technically they are beers; they are brewed with malts, yeast and hops but mostly fruit tasting. They are more like a highly carbonated wine cooler than a beer. And they are extremely tart and sweet, not a malty beer sweetness but more like a candy sugar syrupy sweetness.

I should also mention that I am discussing the Fruit Lambics. There are other styles of lambics that are sour Belgian style ales that don’t have the fruit in them. A Lambic is a spontaneously fermented Ale. They do not pitch the yeast like modern brewers. It is an open fermenting tank that allows the natural yeast to blow in and ferment the bier. The traditional Lambic is a sour/tart ale. Some Lambics are blended of old and young brews called gueuze. I’ll post a separate discussion on gueuze when I review some of them.

Ok back to Fruit Lambics. These biers are aged lambics then when the fruit is added a second fermentation takes place and they are aged again. The final result is an amazingly fruity ale.

I must admit that these biers are really too sweet for me. I do occasionally enjoy them but usually in small quantities as a dessert bier or as an aperitif before a dinner to wake up the taste buds.

Here are some names of typical Fruit Lambics and the fruit that is in them.
Casis, Black Currants (tastes more like a blueberry)
Famboise, Raspberries
Kriek, Black Cherries
Pesche, Peaches
Pomme, Apple


I think the best of the fruit lambics is the Framboise. The Framboise is the Lambic Ale make with Raspberries. It also seems to be the most versatile of the lambics. I have had several of these Framboise Lambics and Lindemans is the one I like best so far.

Because of the sweetness I find that the straight up Fruit Lambic drinkers are usually women. Most guys take a sip or two and enjoy it but that’s about it. But it is usually the ladies that really like it and can’t believe that it’s a beer. As a matter of fact I usually bring a bottle of Lindemans Framboise to a dinner party and it goes over pretty well; again mostly with the ladies. It’s an easy way to get someone’s attention about the world of Belgian Biers. As always it’s not for everyone but it is usually an interesting ice breaker at a party.

Yes, I did mention versatility earlier. My favorite use for a lambic especially the Framboise is as a topper. I pour it over a berry fruit cup and even over ice cream. Yeah, that’s right I pour beer over ice cream. That is how sweet this bier is. We served a Framboise Fruit Cup over vanilla ice cream at our Belgian Bier Event for dessert. It was really good. Just about anywhere that you would use raspberry syrup you can use Lindemans Framboise. Tonight I poured it over my favorite Butter Pecan ice cream. Last night we had family over for a birthday party and I talked three guests into Framboise over ice cream and they all loved it. Although I have not tried it yet I have always suspected that it would also make a great Ice Cream Float.


So if you are looking for something different or want to make and impression at your next dinner party try a Fruit Lambic Ale like Lindemans Framboise.

Stoudts Oktoberfest



Oktoberfest

Brewed by:
Stoudts Brewing Co.
Adamstown, Pennsylvania

Märzen / Oktoberfest
5.00% ABV








Pours a nice copper color with amber hues and a fairly rich off white head. The head diminished to a protective film and a ring around the top of the beer fairly quickly but it looks like it will leave some lacing.

This is also a highly carbonated beer with lots of tiny bubbles rising up from the bottom of the glass.

Nice caramel malts on the nose and with a gentle swirl a pleasant aroma of light flowering hops is released.

Wow, that’s an American Oktoberfest. It starts out with that traditional caramel malt sweetness then a nice cleansing effervescence but that’s where it leaves tradition behind because then you are hit with an American hop finish. Not overpowering, there is still a nice malt balance to this beer but a very noticeable dry hop finish. I kind of like it but the purist in me is having a hard time looking at this as an Oktoberfest. It’s more like a fall harvest ESB, not quite hoppy enough for an American IPA.

Well let’s see what happens when it warms up a little.

Ok, we are now at 63 degrees and this is still a very good tasting beer. It seems to be fewer hops and more malt flavors when it warms up a little.

The warmer this beer gets the smoother it gets. Now at 66 it’s turning into one of those beers that I just want to savor it for all I can get out of it.

Well all good things must come to an end and so must this brew. The last few sips at 67+ degrees were just fine. This was an impressive beer. I am a sucker for a beer that maintains a good flavor when it reaches room temperature. That type of character just sets some beer apart from some others in my mind. What is more impressive is that this beer is a lager. I had to check it out on their website just to make sure and yes it is a lager. So as impressed as I am with this beer I’m not sure if I’m impressed with it as an Oktoberfest. It just seems too hoppy for an Oktoberfest Marzen.

This particular beer is the most difficult one for me to rate.

Here is my dilemma:
As an Oktoberfest it’s just okay because it is a little too hoppy for the style. As an overall drinkable beer It’s pretty darn good, it holds it’s own and it is very enjoyable. As a amber or red lager It’s excellent, you would be hard pressed to find a lager make in America that tastes as good as this one does at room temperature. So I guess for an overall rating this would be a good to very good beer around a B- or B.

I am probably over thinking this so here is the bottom line. I do recommend this beer to anyone that likes a medium bodied caramel malt beer with a dry hop somewhat bitter finish.

About The Reviews

About The Reviews

Generally I take a picture of the beer and bottle then sit down and write the review as I’m experiencing that beer. I try to capture character development as the beer warms and opens up. I also jot down any random thoughts and comments that pop into my head about the beer.

I general try to follow the ASTM method of reviewing. Appearance; what does this beer look like. Smell; what aromas are on the nose of the beer. Taste; what does this beer taste like. Mouthfeel; what is the overall mouthfeel and finish of the beer. I loosely follow this method but try to put it in more of a story form.

Each beer tells a story. Sometimes the character development is incredibly complex and impressive. Sometimes it is just downright awful. None the less they all have story to tell. To encourage this character development I like to let the beers warm up as much as I can. This is as much of a stress test or extreme test that I can come up with. Even though you will most likely drink any beer chilled, my general feeling is that a well crafted beer doesn’t taste bad warm. So if I can I will let the beer I’m reviewing get to room temperature and try to document its development.

I try to keep these reviews light and somewhat humorous. The only problem with that is, my English ain’t too good so it don’t come off liken I means it.

I try not to find out too much about a beer before I review it. I don’t want someone else’s opinion to influence my review. I also will try and state up front on the review if I’ve had this before or if it was one of my favorites but I will still put that beer through its paces.

I’m still not sure about a rating system; good, very good verses a letter grade B, B+. The one thing that I know for sure is that I will do my best to evaluate the beer based on its individual style. So a B or Very Good for one beer doesn’t mean it’s as high-quality as B or Very Good for another beer of a different style. For instance; gave Flying Dog’s Dogtoberfest Oktoberfest Marzen a B+ then I gave Moosehead Pale Lager the same rating, a B+. The Flying Dog beer is by far the more superior brew and can’t even be compared to Moosehead. But based their individual beer styles they are both a B+. I may also give an overall rating but I have to maintain a rating by style. So in this case Dogtoberfest would have an overall B+ rating but the Moosehead would be more like an overall C-.

Like I’ve said many times here, I Am Not An Expert; just a regular guy giving you my humble opinion on what a beer taste like.

Hopefully as I learn more I can identify the different hops and malts that are used in the beer. For now you’ll just have to put up with me saying; it’s hoppy or malty.

Here is the one thing to keep in mind:
It is all a matter of taste; your personal taste. Just because I or someone else thinks a beer is good, it doesn’t mean that it’s good for you.

About This Blog

About This Blog

First of all I need to tell you that if you are looking or a real beer expert then you are still looking because it’s not me. I’m just a regular guy sharing his opinion and enthusiasm for craft beer.

This blog started shortly after my son John started doing video beer reviews on YouTube. In order to keep up with him and others on YouTube I had to create a YouTube channel. In the channel set up they ask for a link to a home page. So in an effort not to have this area blank I created this blog. Shortly after I posted my first review of Dogfish Head Squall, then with some encouragement from family and friends I decided to continue.

I’m not sure what I’m doing with this blog we’ll just have to let it run and see what happens. In general this has turned into an avenue to help document some of my beer madness. Like I said earlier I’m not an expert. I am however a long time beer enthusiast.

I have always looked for better beers than the so called “Premium” American beers, now referred to as American Macro Lagers. Does anyone remember Erlanger? It was a drinkable beer that was made by Schlitz in the late 70’s early 80’s. That was one of my first attempts in finding better American beers. At that time you had to settle for costly imports if you wanted a drinkable beer. I don’t want to get into the whole craft beer development story but needless to say there were a lot a junk micro brews produced in the 80’s and 90’s that turned me off from looking any further. I just kept to imports and settled for a few American beers like Sam Adams, Yuengling Traditional Lager etc.

About 5 years ago I stumbled across a few Belgian beers. My reaction was; wow this is what beer is supposed to taste like. I was content with my new beer home as it were and stayed with Belgians for quite a while. Then about 3 years or so ago I was introduced to Robert Murray, owner of State Line Liquors in Elkton, MD. Robert has monthly beer tastings and stocks an unbelievable variety of beers, now over 1600. So I started going to the Belgian tastings then I gradually started tasting and experimenting with all styles of craft beer, which brings me to my current beer insanity and this blog.

One again, I Am Not An Expert! But I do have a few beers under my belt, well, in my case they may be over my belt. I created a beer list and have documented over 440 craft beers that I have tried over the last few years. These beers are from 15+ countries and 75+ different styles. That may sound like a lot of beers to some but I am just scratching the surface of this craft beer world and I am learning new things about beer everyday.

So part of my goal or purpose with this blog is to help family and friends navigate through the vast expanse of craft beers. The days are gone when you could go into a store, blindly pick up a beer and think that you might like it. We all need to learn the lingo and styles of this craft beer world in order to successfully pick up something new and hope to enjoy it. Maybe with my limited experience we can help each other find those enjoyable beers, discuss different styles and find the beer or style of beer that we like the best. With the diversity of beers out there I am convinced that there is a beer for everyone. So maybe we can help each other illuminate the good beers and navigate through this new world of Craft Beer.

Here is the one thing to keep in mind:
It is all a matter of taste; your personal taste. Just because I or someone else thinks a beer is good, it doesn’t mean that it’s good for you.

Thanks for being here.
John

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Clipper City MärzHon



Clipper City MärzHon
 

Brewed by:
Clipper City Brewery
Baltimore, Maryland
 

Märzen / Oktoberfest
5.25% ABV








Brewery Description
A classic marzen style lager, amber in color with a rich, toasty malt flavor and finish. Well balanced and smooth. Marzen is the style of beer traditionally associated with Oktoberfest. The name is a play on words since in Baltimore, everyone is "hon!"  Once a year this beer gets a special "Oktoberfest" label.

The Review

Pours a true copper color with a soapy white head.

Nice caramel malts on the nose with a light hop background.

Very nice classic Oktoberfest tastes of caramel malts on this beer.

The head didn’t stick around too long and there is little to no lacing.

It starts out with a sweetness of caramel malts then a nice drying hop effect and a very pleasant caramel malt finish.

This is a pretty good Oktoberfest.

This is a nice beer even now at 67 degrees it’s even smoother than it was when it was colder.

I do recommend this Oktoberfest. It has a very pleasant caramel malt flavor. It holds it own against any of the American Oktoberfests that I’ve had so far. It’s not the most flavorful Oktoberfest but it’s still very good so I’m giving it a B-.

Moosehead Lager



Moosehead Lager
 

Brewed by:
Moosehead Breweries Ltd.
New Brunswick, Canada

American Pale Lager
5.00% ABV







Background:
Yes, I am going to review Moosehead Lager. So let me tell you how I got to this point.


I stopped off at State Line Liquors as I usually do on a Friday after work. This Friday’s rep tasting was Moosehead. I couldn’t walk past the man without sampling his beer. I haven’t had a Moosehead beer in years, many years. I was pleasantly surprised with the tasting. It really wasn’t a bad lager. So I bought a 12 pack since we are having my non-craft beer drinking family over this weekend for a birthday party. The rep though in a tumbler glass and the 12 pack came with a free bottle opener. So I got a couple practical tools and a beer my brothers will drink.

Review:
Pours a clear golden pale straw color with a bright white head. This is also a highly carbonated beer with lots of tiny bubbles rising up from the bottom of the glass.

Light crystal malt? and a hint of flowering hops on the nose. This beer does not have that grainy aromas that most American lagers have.

Light smooth and refreshing. I really can’t believe I just said that but it’s true. The taste starts out with a light malt sweetness then a very refreshing effervescence over the tongue followed by a hop drying finish without the hop bitterness and the final taste is a very clean and almost sweet fresh taste of hops and malt, although both or very subtle.

This is really fresh clean refreshing beer. There is not much to it but there is nothing offensive or even unpleasant about it. And this style of beer, American Pale Lager, doesn’t have much going for it anyway.

I purposely let this beer sit for a while to see how it is after it warms up. This is a very risky proposition for an American Pale Lager. I would not even attempt it with one of the macro lagers.

Now at 70 degrees and this is still a drinkable beer. There is actually a fail amount of carbonation left in it also. I continue to be surprised by this beer, I thought for sure it would develop a foul or at least an unpleasant taste after warming up to 70 but it didn’t.

This is a very good Pale Lager; clean and refreshing and it has a very pleasant fresh almost sweet finish. Now for a rating; wow this is a bit of dilemma for a craft beer enthusiast. Oh well I have to rate it like I always try to do, by style. So for an American Pale Lager this has got to be a B+ if not an A.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Paulaner Oktoberfest-Märzen


Paulaner 
Oktoberfest-Märzen

Brewed by:
Paulaner Salvator Thomasbraeu AG
Germany

Märzen / Oktoberfest
 

5.80% ABV






Update: August 8, 2010

Commercial Description:
Amber in color with a rich creamy head, and a smooth, lightly hopped flavor.
(ratebeer.com)
  
General Pricing:
12oz bottle, ~ $9.50 6pack, ~$35.00 case
5L mini keg (CAN),~$19.00-$21.00

Background:
I have had this beer several times in the past; at beer tastings, from the bottle and I occasionally buy the little 5liter mini keg for parties etc. I know that I like this beer but I have never really sat down like this to reviewed it, so let’s how good this beer really is.

Review:
It pours medium to dark amber with an off white head. The head is somewhat soapy and diminished fairly quickly.

There are nice caramel malts on the nose, along with some light flowing hops.

This is a very nice tasting beer. Sweet light caramel malt up front not much in the middle then a very nice dry hop finish without any bitterness on the back end and you are left with a very pleasant toasted malt flavor. This is a very smooth and easy drinking beer.

This is one of those beers that just get better as it warms up.

Now at 66 degrees and it’s even smoother than it was when it was cold. It is very impressive how some to these German Lagers and Hefe’s build character as they warm up. And most of their American counterparts you have to drink ice cold so you can’t taste them.

Excellent beer, even now at 75 degrees, very impressive.

This is an A for me an excellent Oktoberfest. Although I think the Ayinger Oktoberfest had just a little more flavor.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Magic Hat Roxy Rolles



Roxy Rolles
Brewed by:
Magic Hat Brewing Company
Burlington, Vermont


American Amber / Red Ale
5.10% ABV

Autumn Seasonal





It pours a dark brown almost opaque with just a hint of reddish/amber hues. This beer also has a very rich looking off white almost tan head.

Nice rich malt aromas on the nose with notes of toffee and chocolate. Wow, this is a very nice smelling beer. I can’t wait to dive into it.

Oh my, that was unexpected. This is a medium to full bodied beer; almost stout like. I’ve had several stouts and porters that did not have this much going for them. This is a very tasty beer from Magic Hat.

The head has diminished to just a film on top of the beer but it is leaving some very impressive lacing.

Sweet roasted malts up front then a nice effervescence over the tongue followed by a hop and roasted malt bitterness and then you are finally left with that classic roasted malt coating in your mouth like a rich porter or stout would leave.

This is classified as an American Amber/Red Ale but it is more like a Brown Ale. Actually I’ve had many browns and porters that a lighter and less flavorful than this brew.

Let’s see what happens as this ale warms up a little.

72 degrees and it still tastes pretty darn good. This beer sat for a half hour or more while I worked on something else. I took the temperature at 72 degrees and was almost afraid to take another sip. Kudos to Magic Hat this is a pretty impressive amber ale, still want to call it a brown.

There is a bitterness on the back end of this beer. I don’t think it’s all hops either, there is that same roasted almost burnt malt bitterness that you find in some of these roasted malt beers. It’s not bad but it’s not as smooth as you would think. It adds a certain robustness to the experience.

That bitterness is going to hold me back from giving this an A rating. But it is a solid B+ and a very pleasant surprise. I did not expect this good of beer especially after it warmed up to 72 degrees. Hats off to Magic Hat this Autumn Seasonal is a winner in my book.

Michelob Marzen



Michelob Marzen

Brewed by:
Anheuser-Busch, Inc.
Saint Louis, Missouri

Märzen / Oktoberfest
5.10% ABV








I just realized that this is my fiftieth beer review. If I had known earlier I probably would have chosen a different beer. Oh well Michelob it is.

Pours a dark copper color but it has a very different hue to it; it’s almost gray. It’s not those amber reddish orange hues that I’m use to. There is also a fairly rich looking off white head.

There is not much on the nose of this beer just a light almost grainy malt aroma. I gave the beer a fairly aggressive swirl and I got the must unusual aroma. I guess its malts and spices but it comes off as a chemical smell, like a turpentine or paint thinner; very odd.

Well there is not much on the taste either. There is nothing bad or unusual about it, it’s just a boring beer. It’s really not much better then any of the standard American Macro Lagers. Well, maybe it is a little better than that. It may have just a little more flavor but it does also have that typical cereal taste to it like the macros do.

As this beer warms up it is picking up a harshness on the back end of the swallow. It is still drinkable but turning a little unpleasant.

All and all this is not a bad tasting beer. It did get a little tough as it warmed up. Basically this is just a typical lager nothing really offensive but also not very enjoyable. I’m gong to give this a C. I can’t really find anything wrong with it but I really can’t recommend it either.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Erdinger Oktoberfest Weizen



Erdinger Oktoberfest Weizen

Brewed by:
Erdinger Weissbräu
Germany

Hefeweizen
5.60% ABV








Pours a cloudy pale copper with a rich white head.

Classic Hefewiezen notes on the nose. Rich caramel malts with notes of citrus banana and a hint of clove. This is labeled an Oktoberfest but it is a Hefe so this should be an interested beer. Lets dive in and see what it taste like.

This is a good hefewiezen. I’ll have to compare it to there regular Hefeweizen to see what else this one has. I did expect richer caramel malt flavors then what I’m getting. But I do like what this beer has to offer so far.

Light and smooth caramel malts up front then a clean hop drying effect without the hop bitterness and then the classic somewhat spicy Hefe finish.

I have had this beer before at a tasting but you never really experience a beer until you fill a glass and let it develop.

This is one of the excellently crafted beers that I just want to keep nursing. It’s now at 72 degrees and it’s just as good if not better then it was when cold.

It’s not as flavorful as Ayinger Oktoberfest but this is still an excellent beer. Another great German beer that is good to the last worm drop.

This is an A for me, just an excellent Hefeweizen.

Goose Island Harvest Ale



Harvest Ale

Brewed by:
Goose Island
Chicago, Illinois

Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
5.60% ABV







Pours a clear copper with reddish/orange hues and a rich off white head.

Sweet caramel malts with a citrus and pine hop aromas on the nose.

Very nice ale; there is a nice malt sweetness up front, not much in the middle but the back end is very impressive dry hop finish. Make no mistake this is a very hoppy beer but it also has a nice malt balance.

This is a very good ESB, it may even rival Stoudt’s Scarlet Lady.

The head has diminished to a nice protective layer and it is leaving excellent lacing on the glass. You can see the level left behind from every sip.

Well not quite a Scarlet Lady; it is loosing some of its luster as it warms up.

At 64 degrees this is still a very good ESB. I really like the beer it’s a solid B for an ESB. Not quite sure why it’s marketed as a Harvest Ale seasonal this is a very refreshing beer that could be enjoyed year round.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Victory Festbier



Victory Festbier

Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company
Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Märzen / Oktoberfest
5.60% ABV







Pours a clear amber with reddish hues and an off white head.

Not a whole lot on the nose but there is a nice toasted malt aroma.

Well there is not much on the flavor also but more importantly there is nothing offensive about the taste either.

It has a pleasant lightly toasted caramel malt sweetness with nice carbonation which makes this a very easy drinking and refreshing beer.

It’s a good lager for sure but it’s not a good Oktoberfest. There really is not a lot of anything going for this beer. It’s not bad, not bad at all, I do rather like it. If you told me this was an American Amber/Red Lager I would rate it very high but not so much as an Oktoberfest.

Still a very good lager even as it warms up a little. As an American Amber/Red Lager a solid B as an Oktoberfest it’s just a C, kind of average or a little below average.

Saranac Octoberfest



Saranac Octoberfest

Brewed by:
The Matt Brewing Company
Utica, New York, 13502
 

Märzen / Oktoberfest
5.40% ABV







Pours a clear copper/amber color with a rich white head. This is also a highly carbonated beer with lots of tiny bubbles rising up from the bottom of the glass.

Nice cameral malt sweetness on the nose. There are also some flowering hops aromas. This is a very nice smelling beer, I hope it taste as good as it smells.

Not bad but there is an awkward taste on the back end and finish. It’s not necessarily a bad taste but it’s an odd bitterness that does not seem to be from the hops or malts.

Whatever that foul taste is on the back end it gets even worse as the beer warms up.

The sip starts out with a nice little caramel malt sweetness then a pleasant effervescence over your tongue then just when you think this is building up for a wonderful climactic finish you get hit with one of the worst finishes in the history of brewing. OK, a bit of an exaggeration but the finish is not just a let down its awful tasting. 


The finish went from awkward to foul to awful as this beer warms up. I can’t let this warm up any more. It’s at 61 degrees now and it’s just about all I can take.


It’s probably drinkable if it’s ice cold but don’t let it warm up, you don’t want to taste it. That’s just a bad beer. An F may be too harsh but a D- seems too generous.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Blue Point Oktoberfest



Blue Point Oktoberfest

Brewed by:
Blue Point Brewing Company
Patchogue, New York

Märzen / Oktoberfest
5.50% ABV






Pours an amber color with a very rich off white head. This head is very creamy with just a small amount of soapy bubbles. This is also a highly carbonated beer with lots of tiny bubbles rising up from the bottom of the glass.

Sweet cameral malts on the nose with just a hint of light hops.

Ok, but not much going on in the taste of this beer. A light touch of caramel sweetness then a fair amount of carbonation over the tongue and then there is a bit of a letdown on the finish. The finish is just a ho-hum lager finish. This beer really doesn’t have anything more than their Toasted Lager, with I really enjoyed.

This is not a bad beer, I just expected a little more in an Oktoberfest brew from Blue Point. It’s OK but that’s a about it, just OK. It would be interesting to have this head to head with their Toasted Lager. Right know I don’t know if I could tell the difference between them.

Well let’s see what happens as it warms up a little.

It’s holding it’s own at 64 degrees, smooth with toasted cameral malt flavors. It is picking up a little harshness on the back end of the swallow. 

I’m going to settle for a C. It’s a good lager just not a very good Oktoberfest.

Otter Creek Oktoberfest



Otter Creek Oktoberfest

Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
Middlebury, Vermont

American Amber / Red Ale
4.80% ABV







Technically I guess this is not considered an Oktoberfest since this is an ale and a traditional Oktoberfest is a lager. But I am labeling this review as an Oktoberfest just to keep it all straight in my head.

This ale pours a nice clear copper color with reddish orange hues and a nice mostly creamy white head. There is also a fair amount of carbonation rising up from the bottom of the glass.

It smells delicious with rich sweet caramel malt aromas and a little bit of citrus hops on the nose.

Wow, that was like the perfect medium to light body beer. Just a hint of sweetness up front then a nice effervescence, next toward the back end is more malt sweetness then the most pleasant drying hop bitterness and the final finish is just a clean all-around good beer taste. There are just enough finishing hops to dry the finish without leaving you with a lingering hop bitterness.

Very nice all around good beer flavors in the brew. Nothing extreme or out of the ordinary just a well crafted refreshing and delicious ale.

The head has diminished to just a thin layer over the top of the beer with a nice ring around the glass and very impressive lacing.

This is a very nice beer. I love the finish on this. It has a good bite on the back end but it fades away very quickly. The snappy bite or crispness would remind you of an old fashion pilsner but the ale yeast gives this beer much more character.

Let’s see what happens as this warms up a little.

Still watching tiny bubbles rise up from the bottom of the glass. The thin protective layer of head on the top of the beer will not go away.

At 62 degrees it’s just a little smoother than it was. The crispness is not as sharp as it was and there is more of a caramel malt smoothness now.

At 67 degrees now and this beer just keeps on giving. That was a very good beer. I’m going to have to pick up some more of this one.

I’m going to give this an A-, an Excellent Autumn Ale.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Yuengling Bock

Yuengling Bock

Brewed by:
Yuengling Brewery
Pottsville, Pennsylvania

Bock
5.10% ABV

On Draft

Background:
Sorry no picture on this one. The beer madness has reached such a point that I actually wrote this down on an index card while at Champs restaurant last night. No Missy, I do have a problem or need any help, LOL.
I had a sample of this beer in May at the Mount Hope Beer Festival. The brewery representative told me that this beer was discontinued back in 1972 and just brought back this year. I was so excited to see it at Champs that I was compiled to do an impromptu review. I still have not seen this in stores and it is not listed on their website.

The Review:
Pours a dark brown almost black with amber reddish hue and an off white rich foamy head with just a few soapy bubbles in it.

Nice toasted malts on the nose.

Nice flavors in this beer, very smooth and excellent lacing.

This is the best thing Yuengling has done in years. I hope the bottles are as good as this draft was.

The beer is very smooth even after it warms up a little. No, I did not bring my thermometer; see the madness isn’t that bad, yet.

This was so good I asked for another one. I am only about halfway through this one but the beer is served a little too cold for me. I’m hoping by the time I’m ready for the second one it will have warmed up for me.

Typically the local Yuengling beers have a metallic taste to them; not the case with this one. I’m not sure if that’s because it’s on draft or not but this is a nice tasting beer. I am pleasantly surprised.

This is a very good Bock, a B or even a B+. I need to review more bocks and then see that if compared to the style this rating may go down a little. But for a nice easy drinking beer that has a good amount of toasted malt flavor I’m sticking to a B or B+. It could be that I’m just excited that Yuengling has produced such a nice beer.

Wow I just noticed that I wrote “A for a good drinkable beer from Yuengling” I guess I’ll have to stick with an A until I have this again.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Score! On Some Oktoberfest and Fall Brews

I stopped in at Stateline Liquors like I usually do on Fridays after work. Our friends from Wyerbacher (Easton PA) were there having a free rep tasting so I had to partake. I bought a few of their beers that I will probably review sometime later. For now they ended up in the beer cabinet.

I got my shopping cart and walked around the store picking up odds and ends trying to stock up the beer cabinet. I had my eye on an Oktoberfest variety case for some time but I didn’t see it. I ask Matt, one of the managers and he said that they had sold out of them. When I asked if they were going to put any more together he said that he would put one together for me and if I could wait it would only take a few minutes. So I continued to shop around until Matt was free to put my case together. Shopping at Stateline isn't hard to do since they now carry over 1600 beers. Matt comes back with a cart and starts to pick up two of each of the beers for the sampler case. Then it turned into, what do you want? Well I was like a kid in a penny candy store, two of these and two of those, oh yeah I’ve been waiting to try that, and there was at least one of, don’t bother with that (Sam Adams). It was awesome walking around the store with Matt picking up beers for my variety case.  


This store is just incredible; good people, friendly service, they just seem to go out of their way for everyone that come into the store. I just can't say enough about Stateline Liquors.

Well here are the results of my big kid trip to my candy store. I will be posting reviews for the new beers in the next week or two.



Brooklyn Oktoberfest Beer
Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.50% ABV

Leinenkugel's Oktoberfest
Brewed by:
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.10% ABV

Spaten Oktoberfestbier Ur-Märzen
Brewed by:
Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
Germany
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.90% ABV

Mendocino Autumn Lager
Brewed by:
Mendocino Brewing Company
California, USA
Oktoberfest Lager | 6.1% ABV

Stoudt's Oktoberfest
Brewed by:
Stoudts Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  4.75% ABV

Victory Festbier
Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.60% ABV


Blue Point Oktoberfest
Brewed by:
Blue Point Brewing Company
New York, United States
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.50% ABV

Erdinger Oktoberfest Weissbier
Brewed by:
Erdinger Weissbräu
Germany
Hefeweizen |  5.60% ABV

Köstritzer Oktoberfest
Brewed by:
Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.
Germany
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  ABV ?


Saranac Octoberfest
Brewed by:
The Matt Brewing Company
New York, United States
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.40% ABV

Otter Creek Oktoberfest
Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
Vermont, United States
American Amber / Red Ale |  4.80% ABV

Harvest Ale
Brewed by:
Goose Island
Illinois, United States
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.60% ABV

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Southen Tier Pumking



Pumking
Imperial Pumpkin Ale


Brewed by:
Southern Tier 

Brewing Company
 

Lakewood, New York

Pumpkin Ale
9.00% ABV






This is the last pumpkin ale that I have in the house. I may find a few more but this will most likely be my last pumpkin ale review; especially since I have been eying up a variety case of Oktoberfest brews at Stateline.  

Pours a light clear copper with a rich white head.

There is a very different aroma from this beer. I can’t quite put my finger on it; it’s sweet almost vanilla.

Wow, whatever that aroma is on the nose is actually on the taste also. This is so different I’m not sure what I think about it, well not yet anyway.

This is really odd. It does not taste bad but I’m not getting pumpkin. I am still dumbfounded by this beer. It is nothing like I expected, it’s more of a sweet vanilla than a pumpkin.

It is not getting any better as it warms up. Sorry to be such a downer on this beer but I really don’t care for it. Like I said earlier it’s not bad it’s just not for me.

I just did a quick search on some reviews on this beer and apparently I’m the only person in the world that doesn’t care for it. Like I always say it’s all a matter of taste, your personal taste and I just don’t taste with everyone else tastes in this beer.

Ok we are at 66 degrees and I have to kill the king. This is certainly not one to nurse for long time.

I may try this again just to see if it’s still the same. Hopefully it will be on someone else’s dime. I’ve tasted enough beer under various conditions so I can tell you that time and place does matter. Your pallet does change on how you feel and what you have eaten before or with a particular beer. So I will try this again. Or it could be that there is something in this brew that just does not register on my pallet.

Ok it’s not at the bottom of the pumpkin ale list. It’s not a bad beer or a badly brewed beer and I can appreciate the craftsmanship in it. Either I am missing something that is there or they are missing something. I do not pick up an authentic pumpkin flavor in this beer it turned out like a sweet cinnamon vanilla bean.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rauchbier Chili


Just a quick little post to share with you a really good time we had over the weekend.
We were invited to a party in which the dads had a bit of a chili cook off.

I have not made chili in over 20 years so I had to experiment for a week or so before the event. Now I don’t think anyone in my family will be eating chili for another 20 years.


Of course my chili had to have beer in it but which beer? I experimented with several and settled for a German Rauchbier (smoke beer), Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock. The chili was made with Black Angus Beef cubes not ground beef. It was served with smoked Gouda Cheese, Fresh Cilantro, Green Onions and Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock Bier.



It was a wonderful afternoon and evening and a good time was had by all. There were 8 completely different chilies there and they were all very good. No, I did not win but I also did not take much home so someone must have liked it even if Fr. Olson our judge didn’t.




Special thanks to food friends and gracious hosts for a wonderful day.

Fisherman's Pumpkin Stout



Fisherman's Pumpkin Stout

Brewed by:
Cape Ann Brewing Company
Gloucester, Massachusetts

Pumpkin Ale

6.75% ABV






Well, this is the last of the verity case of pumpkin ales. I not sure if I saved the best for last but I know by the title this will be the most unique. I’ve never had nor have I ever heard of a Pumpkin Stout before so this will be interesting.

Pours black, stout black and completely opaque with just a tinge of light trying to show through the bottom of the glass. The beer has a very rich fluffy tan head with just a few soapy bubbles in it.

This smells like a sweet stout with a light hop presence. There is just a slight hint of pumpkin on the nose along with those classic roasted malt aromas.

That’s a nice tasting stout with just a hint of pumpkin on the back end of the finish. This is nice, very nice indeed.


This is a very good stout. Classic roasted malt flavors up front with a dry finish with notes of chocolate and pumpkin. The pumpkin and spice flavors on the back end of the taste are very pleasant, smooth and natural tasting not artificial at all. This beer also has a very surprising dry finish like a like and dry Irish stout. 

Well, lets see what happens after this warms up a little.

This is one of those beers that just keep getting better and better as they warm up. It is even smoother now at 64 degrees.

The head has diminished to just a small ring around the class and little to no lacing.

Since I only have this one I’m trying to nurse this for as long as I can. It’s now pretty much at room temperature at 68 degrees and it still has a lot to give. This is still an easy drinking beer with a nice smooth roasted chocolate malt and pumpkin finish. The very last couple of sips were a little sweeter than it was earlier.

Wow, what a pleasant surprise to find this beer so enjoyable; I just didn’t know what to expect from a pumpkin stout. This is a very good beer; pumpkin ale or a stout. It has very nice natural pumpkin flavors and it is a very good dry stout. I recommend this to anyone that likes a good stout. As a stout the pumpkin flavors are subtle and natural tasting and it has all the other qualities of an excellent dry stout. Any pumpkin ale lovers that like a well crafted pumpkin ale even if it is a stout will also like this beer.

I almost feel I need to give this two ratings one for a stout and one for a pumpkin ale. I think I’m going to have to give this an A.  An overall excellent stout that is also a very good pumpkin ale.

Weyerbacher's Imperial Pumpkin Ale



Imperial Pumpkin Ale

Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Easton, Pennsylvania

Pumpkin Ale |  8.00% ABV









Pours a dark amber/copper with reddish/orange hues and an off white head. It is not totally clear but it does seem to be filtered a little.

Pumpkin Pumpkin and more Pumpkin spice on the nose. There is also a dry hoppy aroma.


Well that was unexpected. This was not as spicy as the nose would lead you to believe. This beer has a little malt sweetness up front then a nice carbonation over the tongue and a very pleasant dry hop and pumpkin spice finish. I thought it would be more intense than this. This is really good. I am pleasantly suppressed; sometimes Weyerbacher goes over the top on their beers but this is nice, very nice. This may have the strongest spice flavors of all the pumpkin beers I’ve had so far this year but it works for me. I don’t know why but it does, I really like this beer. I usually like less spice and more plan pumpkin flavors but this is OK.

Let’s see what happens as this warms up a little.

We are at 58 degrees now and this is even better than it was earlier. It’s opened up a little and there is more of a malt flavor in the background now. I still can’t believe I like a pumpkin ale that is this spicy. The final lingering aftertaste is of sweet caramel malts and pumpkin spice.

The head has completely disappeared and there was little to no lacing left on the glass. I just looked to see what the ABV was on this beer since they call it an Imperial; it’s 8% but you don’t taste or feel the alcohol in this brew. That may be just hiding behind the pumpkin spices.

All and all I’m pretty impressed with this beer. This is a really good Pumpkin Ale. I’m not sure if 8% would qualify for an Imperial label but I’ll go along with it. This is the highest ABV pumpkin ale that I’ve had so far this year.

Finishing this glass at 65 degrees and it’s picking up a slight harshness on the back end of the swallow but this is still a very impressive Pumpkin Ale.

I’m ending up with a B+ on this one; a very good pumpkin ale. I recommend this to anyone that likes a spicy pumpkin ale and at 8% ABV it’s a nice fall warmer also.

Brooklyn East India Pale Ale



Brooklyn 
East India Pale Ale
 

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
Brooklyn, New York

English India Pale Ale (IPA)
6.90% ABV







Pours a nice pale copper with a very rich looking white head.

Very nice nose, light caramel malts with a very pleasant flowering hop aroma.

This is a nice representation of an English IPA. Lightly sweet caramel malts up front a nice combination over the tongue and then a light hop bitterness and more light malts on the back end and finish.


I’m not a big fan of American IPA’s but this English IPA is pretty good. There is good deal of hop bitterness but it is balanced with caramel malts better then most of the American versions are.

This is a nice refreshing ale with a good amount of a bite, or hop bitterness. It is a very hoppy brew but the hops do not overpower the beer.

The head has diminished to just a patchy island and a ring around the glass. It is also leaving some pretty nice lacing.

Now at 67 degrees the beer is a little smoother or maybe I’m getting use to the hop bitterness. All and all this is a very nice beer. I think I’ll have another one as I work on my final thoughts.

The second beer is even more enjoyable. I usually find that Brooklyn’s beers are very faithful to the style. My general rule of thumb is that if you don’t like one of Brooklyn’s beers then you most likely don’t like that style of beer. I like this beer, it’s a nice drinkable IPA and the English IPA is more palatable for me. I’ve had several English Bitters before but I’m not sure about an authentic English made IPA. Assuming this is true to that form I’ll have to look into more English IPA’s; they may be a nice summer alternative for me.

Well, IPA’s are not my thing so rating this beer is a little difficult. Just based on how much I like it is about a B or a B+ but I really don’t know enough about the style to rate this to the English IPA style.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout



Brooklyn
Black Chocolate Stout
 

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
Brooklyn, New York

 

Russian Imperial Stout
10.60% ABV






Background:
In full disclosure I must admit up front that this is one of my favorite Russian Imperial Stouts. Even my “Better Half” Kathy likes the chocolate aftertaste in this beer. I was very excited to see it so early in the store, this beer was not released until November last year and then you couldn’t find it after Christmas.

Review:
Pours a dark brown/black, stout black, totally opaque with a very rich and creamy tan head, mostly creamy with a few soapy bubbles mixed in.

Rich roasted malts on the nose, sweet and almost smoky, notes of coffee and chocolate a slight hop presence and just the hint of dryness, alcohol I suspect.

Wow, if I used a word like Luscious to describe a German doppelbock I don’t know what I’m going to use to describe this succulent beverage. This is almost beyond words, well at least beyond my vocabulary.

This is another one of those beers that’s one continuously building experience of pleasure climatically finishing with a smooth rich sweet and creamy mouthfeel then exquisitely chocolate finishing notes in the aftertaste. There is also the most pleasant warming feeling following the taste as you feel not taste the alcohol warming your chest with every sip.

This has got to be on of, if not the smoothest, Russian Imperial Stout I’ve ever had.

The warming effect of this beer just makes you melt, let out a long sigh, sink back into your seat and bask in the comfort of this brew. For me it’s like being reunited with a long lost friend that I haven’t seen since last winter. The world just turns a little slower when drinking a Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout.

We are now at 70 decrees and it’s even smoother and more flavorful then it was when it was cold. The head has completely disappeared. There is not lacing per se but this beer is so rich and creamy the beer itself is clinging to the glass.

It’s hard to believe that a beer can continue to taste this good at 73 degrees. The alcohol is a little more noticeable at this temperature but this is still one smooth brew

This is a true Comfort Beer; something that can soothe and warm you without a fire. Just set back, relax and enjoy the experience.

One Phenomenal Brew a Solid A+ assuming I don’t create an O for outstanding letter grade.



PS
And I even shared a snifter with my Better Half.