Saturday, June 25, 2011

Evolution Exile ESB



Exile ESB

Evolution Craft Brewing Company
Delmar Delaware, USA

Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

5.80% ABV






Commercial Description:
Light amber in color, assertively hopped but well balanced. Fruity & aromatic, generously dry hopped with Cascades & East Kent Goldings. 48 IBU’S, 5.8% ABV. (RateBeer.com)

General Pricing:
12 oz bottles: ~$9.00 6 pack, ~$32.00 case

Background:
This was another gift from my friend Gene. I think it’s time to start repaying him.
I have had several beers from Evolution and have liked them all. I have not had this one so it will be very interesting to see how their ESB is.

Review:
The beer pours a slightly hazy amber with orange hues and a fairly creamy off white head.

The nose is nice with caramel malt aromas and in interesting hop complexity, but floral and citrus hop aromas.


Wow, that’s a nice ESB. This may rival my favorite ESB, Stoudts Scarlet Lady.

The experience starts out with a caramel malt sweetness up front, then the most pleasant effervescence over the tongue in the middle of the sip. There is a hop robustness that builds during the middle of the sip into the back-end. This robustness is not bitter, it’s more earthy. The back-end is fairly easy drinking with a carbonation release during the swallow that masks some of this beer’s flavors. The finish pulls it all together with a rich caramel malt flavors along with a very interesting hoppiness. The hop bitterness is not overwhelming and it is fairly complex. The hops on the finish are earthy and floral with some pine and citrus notes. This is an excellently balanced ESB; the caramel malts and rich hops play very will together in this beer. There is a lingering aftertaste but it is not a lingering bitterness. It is both the hops and malts that stay with you for a while.

The head has diminished to just a nice protective layer over the top of the beer. It is also leaving some very impressive lacing.

The beer has warmed to 65 degrees.

This is a very rich ESB. The caramel malts in the beer really are outstanding.  I’m going to let the set a little more as see how it warms.

We are not at 72 degrees.

Wow this warms amazingly well for an ESB. The carbonation is almost completely gone now. This beer is very smooth with an almost creamy mouthfeel. The malt flavors are much richer and the hop bitterness seems to have diminished. What a pleasant experience.

This is an A for sure maybe even an A+. The beer was delicious with rich caramel malt flavors excellently balanced with a robust hop complexity. This is fairly rich but smooth and somewhat refreshing even until it reaches room temperature.

I don’t think this will be my new gold standard for the style but it is a very close second. In some respects it is richer and more complex than the Scarlet Lady but the Lady has the most refreshing quality to it that in my humble opinion gives it a slight edge over this one.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Duckstein Rotblondes Original


Duckstein Rotblondes Original

Brewed by: 
Hanseatische Getränke-Industrie (HGI) Holsten-Brauerei AG
Germany

Altbier

4.90% ABV





Commercial Description:
The formulation of the fermented beer specialty is based on a 400 year old brewing tradition. Selected ingredients and maturation to give Buchholz Duckstein original soft, slightly bitter caramel taste with a fine touch. The airy foam and a clear reddish-blond color makes it visually a treat.
(Translated from duckstein.de)

Background:
This is a gift from my friend Gene. He was just in Germany and brought this back with him. The only issue may be that his luggage was lost for more than a week so I’m not really sure what kind of abuse this beer may have seen.

Review:
The beer pours a clear dark copper with amber hues and a diminishing off white head.

The nose is classic Altbier with caramel malt aromas and a very distinct earthiness almost skunky aroma. I still don’t know where that comes from but I usually like it. There is just a slight hint of floral hops on the nose.

Wow, that is a different tasting beer. It is very good but has an odd complexity to it; almost like a blend of old and new beer.

The experience starts out a light malt sweetness up front but that only last for a split second. It is immediately replaced by an earthiness and bitterness followed by an effervescence over the tongue during the middle of the sip. The back-end is fairly easy drinking with a carbonation release during the swallow. The finish is where all the flavors of this beer come together. There are sweet caramel malts along with a very unique earthiness, and a slight hop bitterness on the finish. There is just a slight aftertaste of lingering malts and that unique earthiness.

All and all I am really enjoying this beer but it’s not the easiest drinking beer. There is a unique richness to it this beer that is hard to put your finger on and sometimes hard to swallow. OK it’s not hard to swallow but here is a good hesitation. I assume that is part of the odd Altbier style.

This beer is getting more robust as it warms and opens up a little. The carbonation has diminished and the beer is smoother and richer now that the effervescence is not masking them.

Altbiers are very unique, I really have to have more of them.

I’m giving this a B+. That may be low but I really have not reviewed too many Altbiers. This beer has nice rich caramel malt flavors, nicely balanced with just a slight hop bitterness and the most unique earthiness.


Monday, June 20, 2011

R.J. Rockers Fish Paralyzer Pale




Fish Paralyzer

Brewed by:
RJ Rockers Brewing Co.
Spartanburg, South Carolina USA

Belgian Pale Ale

7.50% ABV






Commercial Description:
Fish Paralyzer is a Belgian-style pale ale that is moderately hopped with Tradition and Saaz. The grain bill calls for a combination of specialty malt to produce its sweetness and copper color. The Belgian Ale yeast used provides a strong Belgian essence to Phenolic and spicy flavors and aromas.
(RateBeer.com)

General Pricing:
22 oz bottles: ~$5.50 each

Background:
This was a gift from my daughter Molly. She brought it have several weeks ago and it has just been sitting in the beer fridge waiting for me to review. So lets see how Belgian this Belgian Pale Ale is.

Review:
The beer pours a slightly hazy dark amber with a fairly rich off white head.

The nose is Belgian for sure. There is no mistaking the yeasty fruity esters produced by the Belgian yeast. There are also nice caramel malt aromas with very little to no hop presence on the nose. This is very inviting for a Belgian nut like me. I can’t what to take the first sip.

Not bad, not bad at all. The first sip was a little lighter than I expected but very enjoyable.

The taste starts out with a faint malt sweetness up front then the most pleasant washing over the tongue during the middle of the sip. There is a robustness that builds toward the back-end. The swallow is fairly easy but there is a hesitation. At the top of the swallow it feels like a big beer but then there is a refreshing carbonation release during the swallow that mellows the experience. The finish is rich with nice malt flavors along with spicy notes and just the hint of hops. The final aftertaste is a slight lingering yeasty spicy note.

This is a very nice beer but it is lacking the complexity that is usually present in a Belgian Pale.

The malt flavors are more like a caramel malt; fairly dark for a Belgian Pale.

This beer has nicely warmed to room temperature. It is richer and smoother now and has not picked up any unpleasantness whatsoever.

All and all this was a very enjoyable experience. This beer does lack some to the Belgian complexity that I’m use to but still a very nice American interpretation of the style.

I have to go for a B on this one. Lacking some complexity but with excellent Belgian flavors, yeasty notes and esters. This one is sure to please anyone that likes the Belgian styles of ale.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Highland Oatmeal Porter



Highland Oatmeal Porter

Brewed by:
Highland Brewing
Asheville, North Carolina, USA

American Porter

5.80% ABV






Commercial Description:
A unique Highland creation, this robust beer is black in color, very malty with hints of chocolate-roasted flavor and a well balanced hop character.
(RateBeer.com)

General Pricing:
12 oz bottles: ~$8.50 6 pack

Background:
To set the stage, I’m vacationing at my sister-in-law’s house in Front Royal VA. I have been doing some late afternoon early evening reviews from the deck after a long hot day playing with the kids in the poor. I ran out of the beers that I brought with me so I went to the local store today and picked up something that I can’t get in PA. It’s around 8:00 am and it has really cooled off. So let’s check out this Oatmeal Porter. This will be the last  of my “Deck Side Reviews”.


Review:
The beer pours a dark brown completely opaque with a very rich and creamy tan head.

The nose is nice with rich dark roasted malt aromas with notes or dark fruit, chocolate and a hint of coffee.

Wow, that was nice, very nice. This is a very rich but smooth robust porter.

The experience starts out with a dark malt sweetness up front then the most pleasant smooth mouthfeel as the beer washes over the tongue in the middle of the sip. The back-end is fairly easy drinking with just a slight hesitation on the top of the swallow. The finish is fantastic with rich dark roasted malts and notes of dark fruit and chocolate. There is a mild stout-like aftertaste of robust dark roasted malts.

This is very impressive. This beer is very robust but is maintains a very easy drinking medium body with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel.

All and all this is an exceptional porter.

The head on this beer has not quit. Even now when the beer is at the end of the glass there is still a very rich ¼ inch protective layer over the beer. The lacing has outstanding with a rich coating on the glass.

This beer is close to room temperature now and it is even smoother and richer than it was when cold. It is always impressive when a beer warms this well.

This is a solid A. It is a very rich but also smooth and creamy robust and hearty American Porter. This has been very impressive experience. I can’t wait to try more offerings from Highland Brewing.

Starr Hill Lucy




Starr Hill Lucy


Brewed by:
Starr Hill Brewery
Crozet, Virginia, USA

Herbed / Spiced Beer

4.40% ABV






Commercial Description:
Lucy is a light English summer ale, spiced with ginger, lime, and coriander. It will remind you of warm summer nights on the beach.
(RateBeer.com)

General Pricing:
12 oz bottles: ~$8.50 each

Background:
To set the stage, I’m vacationing at my sister-in-law’s house in Front Royal VA. I have been doing some late afternoon early evening reviews from the deck after a long hot day playing with the kids in the poor. I ran out of the beers that I brought with me so I went to the local store today and picked up something that I can’t get in PA. So let’s see what Lucy holds in store for us.


Review:
The beer pours a clear golden yellow with a diminishing bright white head. This beer is highly carbonated with a tremendous amount of tiny bubbles rising up from the bottom of the glass.

The nose is very sweet with predominately citrus aromas. This actually smells more like a Shandy.

Well, it tastes like a lime Shandy also. There is also a little spice on the final aftertaste.

The taste starts out with a touch of sweet light malts up front on the tip of the tongue but that only lasts for a split second. It is immediately followed by a citrus sharpness; a tingling on the tongue. (Similar to an IPA sharpness on the tongue but without the bitterness) That is followed by cleansing effervescence over the tongue throughout the middle of the sip. The back-end is extremely easy drinking with an effortless swallow. The finish is very refreshing with a light malt sweetness and sharp tastes of lime citrus and spicy notes. The finish is also very dry for a light ale but there is little to no hop bitterness. The dryness seems to be coming from the citrus. The final aftertaste is a lingering citrus flavor (more lime than lemon) along with a very interesting spicy note. The spice seems to also add to the dryness of the beer.

I’m really not sure how much I like this but it is a very refreshing beer.

There is the most unique tingle on my tongue. It’s like a very hoppy IPA but there is no hop bitterness. The bitterness seems to be all from the citrus (lime).

I just poured a second one to help me decide if I like this or not. It’s really is not bad, I just don’t know what it’s trying to be. Or am I trying to force it into being something it’s not.

I think if this was marketed as a Lime Shandy I would have a different opinion of it. Wow, is that the beer snob in me or what.

I just looked back at the description and noticed that this is brewed with Ginger. That’s the bitterness that I couldn’t understand earlier.

So I finally got it; Sarsaparilla Ginger Lime-Aid Ale. That is what this taste like.

It is a pretty refreshing beer it’s just not all that enjoyable for me.

I’m going for a C+. It is a very refreshing lime citrus ale with a dry spicy note finish. This will be a great summer ale for those really hot days at the beach.



Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Aged Dogfish Head Squall


Aged Dogfish Head Squall


Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Milton, Delaware USA

Double / Imperial IPA

9.00% ABV






Commercial Description:
An unfiltered, 100% bottle-conditioned, super-pungent imperial I.P.A. clocking in at 9% ABV and dry-hopped with Palisade, Amarillo, Simcoe, Cascade, CTZ, and Willamette hops. The beer will come out in June of 2009 in a handful of eastern seaboard states. It will only be packaged in 750ml champagne bottles. Seek it out... and hoard it from the non-believers.
(RateBeer.com)

Cellaring/ Ageing

General Pricing:
750ml bottles: ~$9.00 each

Background:
I received this as a birthday present from my friend Bob. I have had this several times before and I really like. This beer was actually my first review, Dogfish Head Squall. What’s going to make this one special is that this one has been aged for two years. This one was bottled in February, 2009.  I am a big fan of Cellaring/Aging and have experimented with it a few times. I can’t wait to see what effects it has had on this wonderful beer. Anticipating a rich sipping experience I chose a snifter, not your typical ale glass.


Review:
The beer pours a hazy amber with orange hues and an off white head.

The nose is fantastic with rich caramel malt aromas with a unique hop complexity. The hop aromas do not seem as intense as I remember them.

Outstanding! Wow what a great first sip. I remember this having an In Your Face type of intensity. It is amazing how this beer has mellowed in two years.

The experience starts out with rich sweet rich caramel malts up front then the most exquisite mouthfeel as this delectable beer rolls over the tongue in the middle of the sip. The back-end is smooth and rich but you know this is a heavyweight. It still remains smooth through the swallow but there is no doubt that this is a big beer. The finish is exquisite with rich caramel malt flavors, sweet alcohol with a mellow hop intensity. The final aftertaste is a little hoppy but mostly caramel malt.

There is a creamy mouthfeel and coating throughout the entire mouth. Similar to how a stout leaves that coating but this one is sweeter with lighter malts.

This is amazingly smooth and rich. It reminds me more of Samichlaus than a Double/Imperial IPA.

This beer keeps getting smoother and more delicious as it warms.

I’m been nursing this bottle for quite a long time. The last couple of snifters have been at room temperature and just delectable. What a great sipping experience.

This was fantastic! The beer aged from intense IPA to a smooth “Beer Liqueur”.

This is an A+ for sure. This exquisite ale has aged to perfection. It is hard to believe how much this beer has changed in two years. This is now the most exquisite smooth and rich experience.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Brooklyn Local 2



Brooklyn Local 2

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
Brooklyn, New York, USA

Belgian Strong Dark Ale

9.00% ABV






Commercial Description:
Belgian-inspired bottle-conditioned strong dark abbey ale, with sweet orange peel and raw wildflower honey from a local family apiary.
(RateBeer.com)

General Pricing:
750ml bottles: ~$9.00 each

Background:
I’m vacationing at my sister-in-law’s house in Front Royal VA and have been doing some “Deck Side” reviews. It’s cooled off a little today and it’s now around 8:00 PM. I brought a bottle of Brooklyn Local #2 so I figured I’d give it a Deck Side Review.

I received this as a birthday present from my friend Bob. I have had this several times before and really liked it. I have not had it in over a year and I have never reviewed it. So I’m really looking forward to reviewing this tonight.

Review:
The beer pours a slightly hazy dark brown with copper hues and a fairly rich off white to tan head.

The nose is like a classic Belgian Dubbel; rich caramel almost roasted malt aromas along with dark fruit esters and nutty notes with no hop presence.

Oh MAN that was great! That first sip was fantastic with rich dark malt flavors, smooth and creamy with an effervescence that almost makes it refreshing as well. What a great first sip.

The experience starts out with a dark malt sweetness up front then a slight effervesces over the tongue during the middle of the sip. The back-end is smooth and easy but there is a slight hesitation on the swallow. Your palate knows this is not a light beer. Still just the same the swallow is easy and with a creaminess that develops just before the finish. The finish is exquisite. This is where all the flavors come together. It is smooth rich and creamy with great dark roasted malt flavors along with notes of dark fruit, sweet candi sugar, chocolate, and that classic Belgian yeasty finish. There is a lingering aftertaste of dark fruit with a pinch of chocolate.

This is one of those complex beers that you keep picking up something different on every sip. That time there was an almost oak taste on the finish. Just before that I thought I picked up spices that were cinnamon-like. I guess these are those dark fruit esters that are adding so much enjoyment to this experience.

Wow, I can’t wait to see what this does as it warms and opens up a little.

I don’t have my thermometer but this as got to be close to room temperature now. Wow, I just love it when a beer taste as good if not better as it warms.

This is much smoother now that the carbonation has released. What a great Belgian Strong Dark. This is smooth, rich and creamy to the last warm drop. It’s another impressive creation from Garret Oliver at Brooklyn.

This is a solid A+ for me. This is a great rendition of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale; smooth, dark roasted malty goodness with rich dark fruit esters that and a unique complexity to the experience. It warms exceptionally and is delicious to the last warm drop.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Unibroue Blanche De Chambly




Blanche De Chambly

Brewed by:
Unibroue
Quebec, Canada

Witbier

5.00% ABV







Commercial Description:
White beer on lees.
(RateBeer.com)

General Pricing:
750ml bottles: ~$6.00-$8.00 each

Background:
I’m vacationing at my sister-in-law’s house in Front Royal VA and have been doing some “Deck Side” reviews. Well, a late day thunderstorm forced me inside for this none.

I received this as a birthday present from my friend Bob. I have had this before but just at tastings. I don’t think I have ever had a full glass or bottle so I’m really looking forward to this review.

Review:
The beer pours a hazy golden yellow with a bright white head.

The nose is classic Belgian Wit: sweet light malts with citrus notes on a yeasty background with little to no hop presence. This is a very inviting nose.

AHHHH what a great first sip; clean and refreshing with just a hint of citrus notes.

The taste starts out with light sweet wheat malts up front, then the most pleasant cleansing effervescence over the tongue through the middle of the sip. The back-end is extremely easy drinking with an effortless swallow. There is a yeastiness and earthiness building up during the swallow. The finish is classic Belgian Wit; light clean and refreshing with a hint of citrus and spice. There is just a slight aftertaste of lingering wheat and yeast.

Wow, what a nice Wit. I have had this before but just at a tasting. This is the first time that I’ve had a full glass.

That was so light and refreshing the first glass is gone. It’s a good thing this is a 750 bottle.

I need to have this one head to head with Blanche De Bruxelles. I’m really not sure which one I like the best. They are both very nice Wits, clean and refreshing.

This is a solid A maybe even an A+. What a great clean and refreshing Belgian Wit with classic notes of citrus a hint of spice all on a wheat background.

Dundee India Pale Ale



Dundee India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Genesee Brewing Co. / Dundee Brewing Co.
Rochester, New York, USA

American IPA

6.30% ABV






Commercial Description:
Our India Pale Ale is brewed with an aggressive hop profile derived from Amarillo and Simcoe hops. A blend of Crystal malts creates the backbone which supports the hop character without diminishing it.
Formerly JW Dundee’s India Pale Ale
60 IBU
16.5°
(RateBeer.com)


Background:
I received a variety case of Dundee Craft Beer for my birthday. The only Dundee that I have had was the Honey Brown and it’s been a long time since I’ve had one of those. (Like 5 years or more) I did not know that they made any other craft beers so these next few reviews will be interesting as I sample my way through the case.

To set the stage, I’m vacationing at my sister-in-law’s house in Front Royal VA. I have been doing some late afternoon early evening reviews from the deck after a long hot day playing with the kids in the poor. So to continue our “Deck Side” reviews here is the last of the sample case from Dundee. It’s their India Pale Ale (American IPA).

Review:
The beer pours a copper color with amber hues and a fairly rich off white head.

The  nose is modest with light malt aromas with noticeable but not overwhelming hop presence.

That’s my kind of an IPA. I’m not a hop head so this lighter IPA is just right for me. That was a very pleasant first sip.

The taste starts out with a light malt sweetness up front on the tip of the tongue. That only last for a split second and is immediately replaced by hop bitterness. This hop bitterness builds through the middle of the sip. Just as you get to the back-end this seems to diminish. It is almost floral by the time you get to the top of the swallow. The swallow is almost effortless but there is a noticeable hesitation. You are expecting this to turn extremely bitter but it doesn’t. There is a slight carbonation release during the swallow that add a refreshing aspect to the experience. The finish is pleasant clean and crisp with a refreshing hop bite. There is very little of an aftertaste, just a slight lingering hop bitterness.

At no time are the hops in this beer overpowering. There is a caramel malt backbone to this beer that is present throughout the experience. This is a nicely balanced IPA. Perfect for me since I’m not a big fan of overly hopped beers.

These beers remind me of the Saranac Beers. They are brewed to be widely drinkable not extreme. All of these Dundee beers have had that same easy drinking aspect to them.

This is a very nice American IPA. For most hop heads this will seem like an American Pale. Actually I have had hoppier American Pale Ales than this IPA.

There is not much complexity even the hop bitterness seems to be on the same note.

All and all this is a very nice drinking beer; perfect for a hot summer evening.

This is a solid B+ for me, maybe even an A-. There is a strong hop presence but at no time did it overpower this beer. The malts in this beer held their own through the whole experience. This is a winner for me; nicely balanced and refreshing American IPA.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Dundee Stout



Dundee Stout

Brewed by:
Genesee Brewing Co. / Dundee Brewing Co.
Rochester, New York, USA

American Stout

5.80% ABV





Commercial Description:
Dark and Drinkable. A smooth and classic sweet stout. This dark rich brew is a combination of roasted malts and hops that bring the chocolate and coffee flavors to life. 17°
(RateBeer.com)


Background:
I received a variety case of Dundee Craft Beer for my birthday. The only Dundee that I have had was the Honey Brown and it’s been a long time since I’ve had one of those. (Like 5 years or more) I did not know that they made any other craft beers so these next few reviews will be interesting as I sample my way through the case.

I’m vacationing at my sister-in-law’s house in Front Royal VA. I’m cooling off inside after long hot day playing with the kids in the poor. It’s late in the evening so I figured I would go for the Dundee Stout this time. I did not bring a pint/tumbler with me so I will be using a standard Cervoise glass. This will be the last of the Dundee Craft Beer Reviews.

Review:
The beer pours a dark brown stout dark, totally opaque with no light getting through and a modest but creamy dark tan head.

The nose is also modest for a stout but here are nice aromas of dark roasted malts with notes of dark fruit and chocolate.

Well, I have to say that that first sip did not blow me away. Actually it was a bit of a let down. It’s not bad, it just does not have a lot going for it.

The taste (or lack there of) starts out with a dark malt sweetness up front then an almost cleansing mouthfeel in the middle of the sip. There is a slight robustness that builds toward the back-end but seems to fade again by the time you get to the top of the swallow. This is a very easy drinking stout with an almost effortless swallow. You really do not start to pick up stout like flavors until you get to the finish and that is light also. The finish has some dark roasted malt flavors with notes of dark fruit and maybe a touch of chocolate but once again these are very light flavors for a stout. There is little to no aftertaste. Typically there is a lingering roasted malt aftertaste with a stout that is not present here.

This is a very easy drinking beer. And I think that’s my problem with it. It’s too easy drinking for a stout. Actually this is light bodied for a lot of porters.

As this beer warms and opens up a little it is getting more robust. It is still a very light easy drinking stout just a little more robust.

Well, I’m not sure how to rate this one it’s not a bad beer it is actually quite enjoyable. I was just expecting a more “stout-like” stout. This has the body and mouthfeel of a brown ale or light porter not a stout. But on the other hand this beer was probably made lighter so it would be more appealing for a wider drinking audience.

Since this was a nice drinkable beer a C does not seem fair so I am going for a B- on this. It’s a nice drinkable sweet stout. It should be appealing to a wide beer drinking audience. I would rather it be a little hardier but all and all it was a good tasting beer.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dundee Pale Bock Lager


Dundee Pale Bock Lager

Brewed by:
Genesee Brewing Co. / Dundee Brewing Co.
Rochester, New York, USA

Maibock / Helles Bock

6.20% ABV




Commercial Description:
A traditional German Maibock with a deep, golden color, malty-sweet aroma, and clean finish from Magnum and Czech Saaz hops. Gold Award Winner of the 2006 World Beer Cup: German-style Heller-Bock/Maibock Category. ABV: 6.25% IBU: 25 16.5° (RateBeer.com)


Background:
I received a variety case of Dundee Craft Beer for my birthday. The only Dundee that I have had was the Honey Brown and it’s been a long time since I’ve had one of those. (Like 5 years or more) I did not know that they made any other craft beers so these next few reviews will be interesting as I sample my way through the case.

To set the stage, I’m vacationing at my sister-in-law’s house in Front Royal VA. It’s been a long day playing with the kids in the poor. It’s now early evening and I just fired up the grill. What a perfect time for a “Deck Side Review”. I’ve chosen the Maibock to review today.

Review:
The beer pours a clear light copper with orange hues and a modest bright white head.

The nose is nice with caramel almost toasted malt aromas with a very pleasant slight floral hop presence.

Not a bad Maibock! Really that’s pretty good. I am very pleasantly surprised by that first sip.

The taste starts out with a light malt sweetness up front. The middle of the sip is very refreshing with a pleasant effervescence over the tongue. The back end is very easy drinking with an almost effortless swallow. The finish is where that beer shines; light caramel malt flavors with a slight hint of floral hops and an earthy almost bite to it. Just like a Maibock should have. There is very little to any final aftertaste just a slight lingering floral hop and earthiness.

All and all I really like this experience so far, what a good Maibock.

Well the burgers and dogs are done on the grill. I think I’ll have another one of these with dinner and get back to the review in a few.

OK, I’m back and all I can say is “what a perfect picnic beer”. This Maibock went great with burgers and dogs off the grill. The more robust malts in the Maibock complemented the grilled burgers and dogs perfectly. Plus it was light enough to cleanse the palate refresh at the some time. This may displace Stones Smoked Porter as my favorite picnic beer.

This is not the most flavorful Maibock but it is really good.

I’m going for a B+ on this. I just can’t seem to pull out an A. This is a very good beer. It’s a great beer when you want something more than a pale lager or ale but want to still keep it a little on the light side. Nice caramel almost toasted malt flavors and a hint of floral hops on a nice earthy body. This was a very pleasant experience.


Dundee Kolsch Style Ale


Dundee Kolsch Style Ale

Brewed by:
Genesee Brewing Co. / Dundee Brewing Co.

Rochester, New York, USA

Kölsch

5.70% ABV






Commercial Description:
In Germany, Kobes(brewery waiters) have been serving Kolsch since 1906. But they’re notoriously tough to pin down, always rushing past with grilled potatoes, cabbage, sausages, sandwiches, and big round trays of their namesake brew. And while you might need to speak Germanto order a Kolsch in Koln, you don’t need any such skill to enjoy one here. Ours is light and refreshing with subtle "biscuity" notes and a clean refreshing finish. It’s also considerably less difficult to order. And thats something we can all drink too. Prost! 14°
(RateBeer.com)


Background:
I received a variety case of Dundee Craft Beer for my birthday. The only Dundee that I have had is the Honey Brown and it’s been a long time since I’ve had one of those. (Like 5 years or more) I did not know that they made any other craft beers so these next few reviews will be interesting as I sample my way through the case.

Today I’m doing a deck side review is the Dundee Kolsch Style Ale. I’m vacationing at my sister-in-law’s house in Front Royal VA. It’s been a long hot day playing with the kids in the poor. It’s now late in the afternoon and a perfect time for a “Deck Side Review”. I’ve chosen the Kolsch to review today. Seems like a good time for a refreshing Kolsch.

Sorry another Kolsch review without the proper glass. The Stange glass is still the only style beer glass that I don’t have. So today I’m using a pilsner glass.


Review:
The beer pours a crystal clear pale golden almost straw color with a modest bright white head. This beer is highly effervescent with a tremendous amount of tiny bubbles rising up from the bottom of the glass.

The nose is modest with pilsner type malt aromas along with a slight floral hop presence and an underlining earthiness that I can’t put my finger on.

That’s a refreshing beer. I’m not picking up “Kolsch” but it’s nice and there is an interesting earthy final aftertaste. It’s not Gaffel or Reissdorf but it close enough to enjoy as a Kolsch.

The taste starts out with just a slight hint of malt sweetness on front on the tip of the tongue. Then there is the most pleasant effervescence over the tongue in the middle of the sip. The back-end is extremely easy drinking with an effortless swallow. There is also another carbonation release during the swallow. The finish is clean and crisp with just a hint of hops to dry but there is no bitterness whatsoever. There is a distinct earthiness to the finish and final aftertaste. All and all what a pleasant and refreshing experience.

I often describe a Kolsch as an earthy pilsner. This one does have a touch of that earthiness. However if I did not read the label I would not have called this a Kolsch. It drinks more like an American summer ale but without the citrus notes. At any rate I am enjoying this nice and refreshing beer.

That first one went down so easily I think I’ll have another as I work on my final thoughts and summary.

Even though this is lacking some of that Kolsch flavor I’m still going for a B maybe even a B+. This is very refreshing light and crisp beer that is highly carbonating and extremely easy drinking.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Lohrer Keiler Weissbier



Keiler Weissbier

Brewed by:
Lohrer Bier/Privatbrauerei Stumpf GmbH
Germany

Hefeweizen

4.90% ABV






Commercial Description:
Bottle - unfiltered.
Ingredients: Water; Wheat malt; Barley malt; Yeast; Hops; Hop extract
(RateBeer.com)


Background:
This beer is a gift from my friend Dave. Dave was just traveling in Germany on business and brought back one for me.
So to set the stage for this one, it’s a warm day in early June. We are visiting relatives in Front Royal VA. I just spent the day with the kids in the poor. It’s around 5:00 PM, I just fired up the grill and figured I had some time to review a beer. And what better beer to have on a warm afternoon than a German Hefeweizen. So lets get started on the this “Deck Side Review”.

Review:
The beer pours a cloudy golden yellow with deep orange hues and a very rich bright white head.

The nose is extremely inviting and just delightful with sweet citrus and banana notes on a wonderful yeasty wheat background. I can’t wait to dive into this. Literally, my mouth is salivating in anticipation.

Man O Man did that hit the spot. What a perfect beer for a warm late afternoon. This hefe is amazing; sweet, effervescent light and refreshing, just what Doctor John ordered for himself.

The experience starts out with light malt sweetness up front, then the most pleasant effervescence over the tongue in the middle of the sip. The back end is very easy drinking with an effortless swallow. There is a carbonation release during the swallow that adds to the refreshing aspect of this beer, it also masks some of the flavors during the swallow. The finish is delightful with sweet wheat malts, light citrus notes along with the classic notes of banana and a pinch of spice. There is little to no hop presence of the finish just enough to take the edge off of the sweetness. There is a slight lingering aftertaste of citrus with a touch of wheat and yeast.

As soon as you put the glass down you want to pick it up and start all over again

That creamy head has not quit. It has diminished somewhat but only to leave a very rich protective layer over the top of the beer. This creamy head is also adding a very smooth mouthfeel to this experience.

Wow, what a great refreshing experience.

As the beer warms a little the banana notes are becoming more predominate.

This beer is also maintaining all the refreshing qualities as it warms and opens up.

I have had more flavorful hefes but I don’t think that I’ve have one this refreshing.

That was good! Man, I hated to finish this glass.

This is a solid A for me. I may have had a more favorable Hefeweizen but I never had a hefe that was this refreshing. If I lived in Germany this may be my everyday beer. It could also be that since this was brought  back from Germany it may be the freshest Heffe that I’ve ever had also. At any rate this was a great experience.