Tuesday, July 31, 2012

New Belgium Dig



New Belgium Dig

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Fort Collins, Colorado USA

American Pale Ale (APA)

5.60% ABV






Commercial Description:
Unearth your bottle-opener because this Pale Ale is something you can Dig. Sorachi Ace hops provides a fresh Spring zing with incredible lemon aroma. Nelson Sauvin is next in line with bursts of passion fruit, mango and peach. American favorites, Cascade and Centennial round out this crisp, clean Pale Ale. Dig in!
(RateBeer.com)

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

Background:
I’m finally catching up on some spring and summer beer reviews. This was left over from a gift crate of beer that my co-workers got for me at State Line Liquors when I have home sick with the Shingles back in February.

Review:
The beer pours a clear pale copper with orange hues and a fairly rich off white head.

The nose is delightful with sweet almost caramel malt aromas and a touch of floral hops. This is very inviting; I can’t wait to see what this taste like.

Wow, what a clean crisp and refreshing first sip with a nice hop bite on the finish.

The taste starts out with a touch of pale malt sweetness up front followed by a cleansing effervescence over the tongue in the middle of the sip. The back-end is very easy drinking with an almost effortless swallow. The finish is clean crisp and refreshing with great pale malt flavors and a healthy hop bite. The bite is not bitter just a nice crisp floral hop bite with fruity citrus notes. The malt flavors on the finish are no slouch either. The malt flavors a pale in nature but also robust with caramel notes. The final aftertaste is just a hint of pale malts and a touch of that nice bite.

All and all this is a nice spring/summer beer. I am really enjoying this experience.

The head on this beer never quit. There has been a nice protective head over the beer to the final sip and the lacing was impressive.

Well, that’s it for this nice little spring ale. It was so enjoyable and refreshing it’s gone!

A | New Belgium has another winner with Dig, A very enjoyable American Pale Ale that is as hearty as it is refreshing with delicious pale malt flavors, a very light and refreshing mouthfeel and a finish that has great pale malt flavors with caramel notes and a nice floral hop  bite with citrus finishing notes. What a nice spring/summer ale.

Abita Amber Lager



Abita Amber Lager

Brewed by:
Abita Brewing Co.
Abita Springs, Louisiana USA

Vienna Lager

4.50% ABV






Commercial Description:
Abita Amber is a Munich style lager brewed with crystal malt and Perle hops. It has a smooth, malty, slightly caramel flavor and a rich amber color.
(RateBeer.com)

General Pricing:
12oz bottles: ~$7.00 6pack

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

The nose is very inviting with sweet caramel malt aromas and floral hop notes.

What a nice first sip. There is a little harshness but all and all a nice amber lager.

The taste starts out with a touch a malt sweetness up front. That is followed by a cleansing effervescence as this beer washes over the tongue in the middle of the sip. The back end is very easy drinking with an almost effortless swallow. There is a perceived robustness that builds during the swallow into the finish. The finish is very nice with light caramel malt flavors and just a touch of floral hops to dry without bittering. The final aftertaste is just a touch of caramel malt sweetness.

All and all this is a very nice Amber Lager; I am really enjoying this beer.

There is a touch of that typical lager harshness.

B | Abita Amber is a very good Amber/Vienna Lager with nice light caramel malt flavors, a refreshing effervescent mouthfeel followed by a clean dry finish. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Schlafly Reserve Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout


Schlafly Reserve - Imperial Stout
           
Brewed by:
Saint Louis Brewery / Schlafly Tap Room
St. Louis, Missouri USA

Russian Imperial Stout

10.50% ABV





Commercial Description:
Around the time of the Louisiana purchase, beer was shipped in barrels. if one had been lucky enough to receive a used Bourbon barrel of Imperial Stout, this is what his/her happy taste buds would have encountered: roasty, rich, malty imperial stout with a strong dose of caramel, oak, and Bourbon character. This is the perfect beer to pair with hearty, cold weather dishes, smoked meats, and virtually any dessert.
(RateBeer.com)

General Pricing:
750ml bottles: ~$13.00 each

Background:
It is hard to believe but this is my 400th beer review. I really did not plan anything special. I just looked in the beer cabinet for something different and this one should foot the bill. I have been thoroughly impressed with Schlafy’s beers and then I was informed about their high-end series. So on one of my trips to State Line Liquors I picked up this bottle. What a better time than my 400th to review this.    

Review:
The beer pours a dark brown stout dark completely opaque with no light showing through the beer and a dark tan head.

The nose is exquisite with rich dark roasted malt aromas with deep oaky notes of chocolate and sweet alcohol.

Wow! What a fantastic first sip. I made a good choice for my 400th, this is amazing.

This exquisite experience starts out with dark roasted malt sweetness up font on the tip of the tongue. That is followed by a sensationally silky smooth and creamy mouthfeel as this delicious nectar rolls over the tongue in the middle of the sip. You know that this is a big beer by the time you got to the back-end with a healthy hesitation at the top of the swallow. The extremely smooth experience continues through the swallow into the finish. During the swallow you get a feel for the high alcohol in this ale. The finish is beyond my explanation with rich but smooth roasted malt flavors followed by dark oaky notes of toffee and chocolate. You can feel the warming effect in the chest as you can also taste the sweet alcohol in the finish. There is also that classic dark roasted malt stout coating throughout the mouth. The final aftertaste is lingering dark roasted malt sweetness and sweet alcohol.
What a phenomenal experience. This is an amazing beer.

This experience is getting better as it warms and opens up.

I nursed the second snifter until it reached room temperature. It’s impressive how good this is at this temperature. Rich and silky smooth to the last warm drop.

A+ | Schlafly Reserve - Imperial Stout is an outstanding Russian Imperial Stout with exquisite rich dark roasted malt flavors that leads into a silky smooth mouthfeel as this delectable ale rolls over the tongue in the middle of the sip and concluding with a chest warming finish of rich malts with oaky notes of toffee, chocolate and sweet alcohol.  What a phenomenal experience.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Leffe Brune




Leffe Brune
           

Abbaye de Leffe S.A.
Belgium

Belgian Dark Ale

6.50% ABV







Commercial Description:
A traditional Belgian abbey beer with a deep brown colour and a full, sweet and fruity aroma.
Ingredients: dark and torrefied malt, corn, water, hop and yeast.
(RateBeer.com)

General Pricing:
12 oz bottles: ~$7.50 6 pack

Background:
Leffe Blonde was my go-to Belgian for several years. Just this year Leffe Brune became available in our area. Since then I always seem to have some in the house. So I figured it was time to give this a formal review.

Review:
The beer pours a clear dark brown with deep copper hues and an off white to tan head.

The nose is really nice with dark roasted malt aromas with notes of toffee and chocolate.

What a nice first sip; fairly rich but smooth and refreshing.

The taste starts out with dark roasted malt sweetness up front. That is followed by an almost cleansing, certainly refreshing effervescence over the tongue in the middle of the sip. The back-end is fairly easy drinking with an almost effortless swallow. There is an additional carbonation release during the swallow that masks some of the flavors. The finish is where this beer pulls it all together with rich dark roasted malt flavors with notes of toffee and chocolate. There is very little final aftertaste, just hint of dark roasted malts.

As dark and rich as this beer is it still maintains a very pleasant medium to light body mouthfeel and a very refreshing quality. I assume most of this is due to the carbonation.

There is also an interesting earthiness underlining this experience. I can only assume that is from the Belgian yeast.

As the beer warms the malt robustness builds. The subtle toffee notes are now becoming more pronounced. Also as the carbonation releases and diminishes in the beer it is becoming smoother with an almost creamy mouthfeel.

What a nice little Brune.

This is falling short of an A but this is a solid B+ for sure.

B+ | Leffe Brune is a very nice Belgian Dark Ale with hearty dark roasted malt flavors but maintaining a medium body mouthfeel and refreshing quality throughout with nice finishing notes of toffee and chocolate.







Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sweetwater Georgia Brown



Sweetwater Georgia Brown
           
Brewed by:
SweetWater Brewing Company
Atlanta Georgia, USA

English Brown Ale

5.10% ABV






Commercial Description:
Definitely one of the finer American Brown Ales. A deep copper colored, mild brown ale. SGB is accentuated by a slight nuttiness from its malt character. Designed to be a session beer it has a real smooth finish with a very subtle hop character.

Medal: Gold medal winner at the 2001 Great American Beer Festival – English Style Brown Ales.

Malt: 2 Row, Black, Victory, 30-37 Carastan, 70-80 Crystal, Chocolate

Hops: Columbus, Willamette
(RateBeer.com)

General Pricing:
12 oz bottles: ~$9.00 6 pack

Background:
I was on a business trip in Atlanta and figured I would check out some local brews. I managed to pack a 6 pack of these in my luggage.  This will be the last of my Atlanta Beer Reviews. Man O Man did I find some good beers in Atlanta. The notable tagline on this beer is “Smoother than a Clinton Apology”

Review:
The beer pours a clear dark brown with rich ruby hues and an off white to tan head. This beer is highly carbonated with lots of tiny bubbles rising up from the bottom of the glass.

The nose is very inviting with sweet caramel and roasted malt aromas with a touch of earthy hop notes.

Wow, what a great first sip. This is a nice English brown.

The experience starts out with rich caramel malt sweetness up front followed by a very smooth mouthfeel as the ale rolls over the tongue in the middle of the sip. The back end is very easy drinking but the richness of the ale does force a slight hesitation at the top of the swallow. The finish is very nice with rich but smooth caramel and roasted malt flavors with notes of toffee and chocolate followed by a touch of earthy hop notes. The final aftertaste is a lingering dark malt sweetness.

What a great English Brown. I am really enjoying this experience.

Well, I obviously did more drinking than writing since my glass is empty all ready.

A | Sweetwater Georgia Brown is an exceptionally smooth well crafted English Brown Ale with great rich dark roasted malt flavors that leads into a silky smooth mouthfeel and a superb finish with notes of toffee and chocolate. I don’t know about the Clinton Apology but this is as smooth as you can get for an English Brown.

Sweetwater IPA


Sweetwater IPA
           
Brewed by:
SweetWater Brewing Company
Atlanta Georgia, USA

American IPA

6.30% ABV






Commercial Description:
This mammoth IPA is defined by generous quantities of premium hops and balanced with a premium selection of English malt. Traditionally unfiltered IPA’s lead to the slight haze appearance. An extensive dry-hopping process contributes to its very intense floral hop aroma. The IPA is unfiltered and as always, unpasteurized to leave all the natural flavors intact. If you’re at the brewery you’ll be able to guess what style of beer every brewer has in his hand. THE BEER YOU'VE BEEN TRAINING FOR!
(RateBeer.com)

General Pricing:
12 oz bottles: ~$9.00 6 pack

Background:
On a business trip in Atlanta and figured I would check out some local brews. These are my first hotel room beer reviews. Sorry about the cell phone pics I forgot to bring a real camera.

Review:
The beer pours a clear light copper with orange hues and a fairly rich off white head.

The hop complexity on the nose is very impressive. There are also sweet pale malt aromas and citrus notes.

Nice first sip for an IPA. Sorry that didn’t sound too good. IPA’s are not my fav but this first sip was pretty darn good.

The second sip was even better.

The experience starts out with a touch of malt sweetness up front on the tip of the tongue but that only last for a split second and is immediately replaced by tingling bite and effervescence over the tongue throughout the middle of the sip. There is also a hop robustness that builds toward the back-end. The back-end is fairly easy drinking with a modest hesitation on the top of the swallow. The hop robustness diminishes during the swallow as it is masked by an additional carbonation release. The finish is very nice with solid pale malt flavors and a great hop complexity. The hops flavors run the gambit with citrus, pine, grapefruit, earthy and floral. That is all still riding on a nice bed of pale malts. The final aftertaste is a lingering hop bite.

The really impressive thing is that with this robust hop complexity it’s not overly bitter. It really does have some balance to it.

A+ | SweetWater IPA is an excellent IPA with incredible hop complexity still riding on a nice bed of pale malt sweetness.

Terrapin Rye Pale Ale


Terrapin Rye Pale Ale
           
Brewed by:
Terrapin Beer Company
Athens, Georgia USA

American Pale Ale (APA)

5.30% ABV





Commercial Description:
We Consider this an extreme version of an American Pale Ale. It has a very up front floral and citrus aroma from a late cascade addition and dry hopping with Amarillo. This beer also has a big malt background to balance the bitterness of the hops. The rye malt cleans up your palette after you swallow so the hop flavor does not stick in your mouth too long.
(RateBeer.com)

General Pricing:
12 oz bottles: ~$9.00 6 pack

Background:
On a business trip in Atlanta and figured I would check out some local brews. These are my first hotel room beer reviews. Sorry about the cell phone pics I forgot to bring a real camera.

Review:
The beer pours a clear pale copper color with a white head.

The nose modest but very nice with pale malt aromas and a touch of rye and floral citrus notes.

What a great first sip; smooth and refreshing with some character and a nice finish.

The taste starts out with a touch of pale malt sweetness up front followed by a cleansing effervescence over the tongue in the middle of the sip. The back-end is very easy drinking with an almost effortless swallow. As refreshing as this is there is an interesting robustness that builds during the swallow into the finish. The finish is very nice with rich pale malt flavors and a touch of rye. There are also some interesting earthy and citrus notes on the finish. The final aftertaste is a touch of earthy rye and citrus.

B+ | Terrapin Rye Pale Ale is refreshing and hearty with great light malt flavors with a nice touch of rye on the finish with pleasant earthy and citrus notes.


Terrapin Golden Ale



Terrapin Golden Ale
           
Brewed by:
Terrapin Beer Company
Athens, Georgia USA

Cream Ale

5.00% ABV






Commercial Description:
“With its golden hue and gentle complexity, the Terrapin Golden Ale brings refreshing to a whole new level. Its combination of flavor, smoothness and drinkability is difficult to find in most craft beers. Sometimes even hopheads like us want nothing more than to enjoy a beer that is crisp, smooth and refreshing. That is why we created the perfect session beer - the Terrapin Golden Ale.”
(RateBeer.com)

General Pricing:
12 oz bottles: ~$9.00 6 pack

Background:
On a business trip in Atlanta and figured I would check out some local brews. These are my first hotel room beer reviews. Sorry about the cell phone pics I forgot to bring a real camera.

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

The nose is modest with pale malt aromas along with some grassy and earthy notes.

What a nice refreshing first sip.

The taste starts out with a touch of pale malt sweetness up front followed by a cleansing effervescence over the tongue in the middle of the sip. The back-end is very easy drinking with an effortless swallow. There is a unique earthiness that builds throughout the middle of the sip and into the swallow. It diminishes in the finish into a very pleasant earthy finishing note. The finish also has some very nice pale malt flavors and just a hint of earthy and floral hops. The final aftertaste is a touch of pale malts and citrus.

I know this was slightly hazy when I poured it but it’s now crystal clear; still golden yellow but now it’s clear. I assume this has something to do with temperature.

All and all this is an excellent Cream Ale. I am really enjoying this experience.

I’m enjoying this so much that it’s gone already.

A | Terrapin Golden Ale is an excellent cream ale with very pleasant pale malt flavors, easy drinking and refreshing with earthy and citrus finishing notes.

Sweetwater Exodus Porter


Sweetwater Exodus Porter

Brewed by:
SweetWater Brewing Company
Atlanta, Georgia USA

American Porter

5.90% ABV





Commercial Description:
This is a classic American Porter, poured on tap it has a good head that stays and leaves a nice lace. It is defined by its chocolate malt, medium body, and smooth mouthfeel. Balanced by the Golding and Columbus hops on the finish is a hint of bitterness. Don’t be afraid of the dark.

Medals: 2003 Silver Medal – Great American Beer Festival; 2002 Gold Medal - World Beer Cup; 2002 Gold Medal - Great American Beer Festival; 2000 Silver Medal – Great American Beer Festival; Originally crafted as the symposium beer for the 1998 National Craft-Brewers Conference

Malt: 2 Row, Munich, 13-17 Crystal, 70-80 Crystal, Chocolate

Hops: Centenial, Golding
(RateBeer.com)

General Pricing:
12 oz bottles: ~$9.00 6 pack

Background:
On a business trip in Atlanta GA and figured I would check out some local brews. This will be my first hotel room beer review. Sorry about the cell phone pics I forgot to bring a real camera.

Review:
The beer pours a dark brown almost completely opaque with just a hint of ruby hues peeking through the bottom of the glass.

The nose is nice with sweet caramel malt aromas with toasted notes of coffee and chocolate. There is also an interesting underlining sweetness in the background.

What a nice first sip, this is an excellent porter, smooth and rich but light enough to be refreshing and easy drinking. Great flavors!

This great experience starts out with some nice dark malt sweetness up front followed by a very smooth but also refreshing mouthfeel as this porter rolls over the tongue in the middle of the sip. The back-end is fairly easy drinking for such a dark beer. The finish is nice with dark roasted malt flavors and notes of chocolate and toffee. There is also a nice earthiness on the finish. The final aftertaste is of these lingering malt flavors.

What a nice Porter; I am really enjoying this experience.

A | Sweetwater Exodus is an excellent American Porter that is as rich as it is refreshing with a perfect blend of dark roasted malts that lead into a smooth mouthfeel and ends in an exquisite finish of roasted malt flavors with notes of chocolate and toffee. What a nice little Porter!

Wild Heaven Ode To Mercy


Ode To Mercy

Brewed by:
Wild Heaven Craft Beers
Decatur, Georgia USA

American Brown Ale

8.20% ABV



Commercial Description:
Ode To Mercy is an imperial brown ale combining the flavor and aroma of deep roasted malts, oak and coffee specially blended by Athens, GA’s 1000 Faces Coffee, yielding a smooth, creamy finish. Bottles will be available by the end of the year.
(RateBeer.com)

Background:
On a business trip in Atlanta GA. I stopped in at a recommended bar to sample some of the local beer. At that point I flipped over a business card and started writing an impromptu bar side beer review.

Review:
Wow, what a nice beer; with rich dark malt flavors with coffee and a note of chocolate. This is rich with a silky smooth mouthfeel.

This is like a chocolate coffee Dubbel with American yeast.

What a fantastic beer!

This was delicious to the last warm drop.

Side Notes:
This beer was served at the bar in its own tulip style glass. I nursed it as long as I could and used the bowl of the class to warm the ale with my hand. It was just amazing. The warmer I got it the better it tasted; smooth and rich with a silky smooth mouthfeel to the last warm drop. This truly was the best beer that I had in Atlanta. I just hope that they can distribute this to us Yankees. For a really cool bonus the bar tender let me keep the glass and I got it home safely.

A+ | Ode to Mercy is the most original American Brown Ale that I have ever had. What a treat finding this in Atlanta. This exquisite ale is full of the most rich dark roasted malt flavors followed by a natural real roasted coffee flavor and finishing notes of toffee and chocolate with the most delectable silky smooth mouthfeel. This Georgia Gem was delicious to the last warm drop.

Terrapin Hopsecutioner India Pale Ale


Terrapin Hopsecutioner

Brewed by:
Terrapin Beer Company
Athens, Georgia USA

American IPA

7.30% ABV

Commercial Description:
Hear ye, hear ye... All hopheads shall herewith rejoice! Terrapin hath recruited ye old HOPSECUTIONER to execute the exact hop profile for this killer IPA. You may lose your hophead over this one!

IBU’s: 78. O.G.: 16.3. FG: 3.0. Malt: 2 Row Pale Malt,Munich, Pale Crystal 24L, Victory. Hops: Warrior, Chinook, Centennial, Simcoe, Amarillo, Cascade (dry hop) (RateBeer.com)

Background:
On a business trip in Atlanta GA. I stopped in at a recommended bar to sample some of the local beer. At that point I flipped over a business card and started writing an impromptu bar side beer review.

Review:
What a great IPA. And that’s saying a lot since they are my least favorite craft beer style.

The nose is IPA all the way with wonderful hop aromas from citrus to pine to grapefruit.

This beer has a very unique hop complexity. There is also good pale malt flavor that almost balances this ale. The finish is great, clean and refreshing with a nice complex hop bite. The hop flavors in this ale are never overpowering. What a great experience.

A | Terrapin Hopsecutioner is a great American IPA with a very unique hop complexity riding on top of a nice pale malt base. As robust as this ale is it is also clean and refreshing. What a nice experience. I’m loving these Georgia Beers.

Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale


Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale

Brewed by:
SweetWater Brewing Company
Atlanta, Georgia USA

American Pale Ale (APA)

5.40% ABV




Commercial Description:
Our most popular beer. 420 Extra Pale Ale is a tasty West Coast Style Pale Ale with a good hop feel to it and a crisp finish. First brewed on April 20th, 1997 this beer has developed quite the following in the Southeast. Drink em if you got em

Medals: 2002 Silver Medal - Great American Beer Festival; 1997-2003 Creative Loafing - Readers and Critic’s Choice - Best Local Beer; Silver Medal winner at the 1998 World Beer Cup; Voted top ten beers in Atlanta by the Atlanta Journal Constitution

Malts: 2 Row, Munich, Carastan 30-37

Hops: Centenial, Cascade
(RateBeer.com)

Background:
On a business trip in Atlanta GA. I stopped in at a recommended bar to sample some of the local beer. At that point I flipped over a business card and started writing an impromptu bar side beer review.

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

The nose was modest with pale malt aromas and a touch of floral hops.

What a nice APA with great pale malt flavors citrus notes and touch of earthiness followed by a clean dry finish.

Clean and refreshing to the end; this is an A for me.

A | Sweetwater 420 is a great APA with wonderful pale malt flavors, easy drinking, clean and refreshing through and through. This could be my everyday go-to beer. What a nice experience.

Saison De Pipaix Homebrew Clone



Saison De Pipaix
Homebrew Clone

Brewed by:
Dave Henderson
Hockessin DE

Saison

7.6% ABV







Commercial Description:
SAISON DE PIPAIX 6 %vol. 75cl a traditional Wallonian saison beer, born with the brewery in 1785. Dry, normally hopped, slightly acidic, very spicy (black pepper, ginger, sweet orange peel, curaçao, star anise...)
(RateBeer.com)

Style Description:
Saisons are sturdy farmhouse ale that was traditionally brewed in the winter, to be consumed throughout the summer months. Not so long ago it was close to being an endangered style, but over recent years there's been a massive revival; especially in the US.

This is a very complex style; many are very fruity in the aroma and flavor. Look for earthy yeast tones, mild to moderate tartness. Lots of spice and with a medium bitterness. They tend to be semi-dry with many only having touch of sweetness.

Average alcohol by volume (abv) range: 5.0-8.0%
(BeerAdvocate.com)

Background:
This was is a homebrew clone from my friend Dave. I have never had this Belgain Saison before so it will be an interesting experience.

Review:
The beer pours a hazy light copper with orange hues and a white head.

The nose is very interesting with sweet light malt aromas and a lot on interesting spicy notes. I’ve never smelled a beer with this spicy a nose before.

Wow, and I mean WOW that was a very unique first sip; this is spicy!

The experience starts out with a hint of malt sweetness up front on the tip of the tongue. That only last for a split second and is immediately replaced with a unique spicy tingle as the ale rolls over the tongue in the middle of the sip. This robust spiciness builds into the back-end and creates a hesitation at the top of the swallow. The finish is incredible with pale malt flavors and the most intense spice of mostly black pepper. The final aftertaste is a lingering black pepper note.

All and all this is a really good beer but I’m afraid it’s a little too spicy for me and the style.

As this ale warms up the spice is becoming more intense and are overpowering the subtle complexities of the Saison style. There also may be an accumulative effect of the spice; each sip seems to be spicier than the last.

What a unique experience. I’m still going for a B on this one but I may encourage Dave to try this again with a little less black pepper. I think he will have an A then.

B | Dave’s clone homebrew of Saison De Pipaix has been a very unique spicy experience. This Saison is full of surprises, from and nice pale malt flavors to the very spicy finish.  

Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat Beer


Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat Beer

Brewed by:
Boulevard Brewing
Co.
Kansas City, Missouri USA

American Pale Wheat Ale

4.60% ABV





Commercial Description:
Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat Beer is a lively, refreshing ale with a naturally citrusy flavor and distinctive cloudy appearance. It is reminiscent of the wheat beers that were brewed at the turn of the century, before the advent of modern filtration. This easy-drinking American-style wheat beer has become our most popular offering, and the best-selling craft beer in the Midwest. 2008 GABF gold medal winner in Session Beer category. (RateBeer.com)

General Pricing:
12 oz bottles: ~$9.00 6 pack

Background:
This is another gift from my friend Gene. Gene has been spot on with his last recommendations so I can’t wait to see what this one is like.

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

The nose is modest with light wheat malt aromas along with some grassy notes.

Wow what a clean and refreshing first sip.

The taste starts out with a light malt sweetness up front followed by a very refreshing effervescence as this refreshing ale washes over the tongue in the middle of the sip. The back-end could not be easier drinking with an effortless swallow. The finish is modest but all so refreshing with pale wheat malt flavors and just a touch of citrus. There is very little of a final aftertaste just a hint of wheat malt and citrus.

This is going to be a short review. This is so easy drinking and refreshing it’s almost gone.

Well, I obviously did more drinking than writing on this one. This refreshing ale is gone already.

B+ | Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat is a very refreshing pale wheat ale that is smooth and easy drinking with a touch of citrus and spice.

Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat


Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat

Brewed by:
Goose Island Beer Co.
Chicago, Illinois USA

American Pale Wheat Ale

4.20% ABV







Commercial Description:
Like the digits suggest, it’s a beer that’s densely populated with flavor and loaded with character. We don’t filter it, so none of its life and soul is stripped away. The first thing you notice is the hazy, cloudy appearance. That’s how you know it’s unfiltered. What hits you next is the spicy aroma of Cascade hops, followed by the crispy, fruity ale flavor delivered in a smooth, creamy body, the result of blending barley malt with torrified wheat. It’s not like any other Goose Island Beer, but no less that you’d expect. (RateBeer.com)

General Pricing:
12 oz bottles: ~$9.00 6 pack

Background:
This beer was a gift from my friend Gene. I have never had this before so I am really looking forward to this review.

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

The nose is very inviting with sweet wheat malt aromas with notes of citrus and a touch of spice.

What a nice and refreshing first sip.

The sip starts out with a touch of pale wheat malt sweetness up front followed by the most refreshing mouthfeel as this ale washes over the tongue in the middle of the sip. The back-end is extremely easy drinking with and effortless swallow. There is an additional carbonation release during the swallow that adds to the refreshing aspect of the beer. The finish is modest but very pleasant with pale malt flavors followed by notes of citrus with a touch of banana and clove. The final aftertaste is a touch of pale malts and spice.

There is not much going on here but what a great refreshing summer beer. This is one I could drink all day long at a picnic or after doing some work around the house.

That a nice little beer.

As it warms it’s getting more flavorful; the classic wheat flavors on the finish are more pronounced now.

All and all this has been a nice experience.

B+ | Goose Island 312 is a perfect summer ale with delightful wheat malt flavors that is refreshing from the start to the finishing notes of a classic wheat ale with citrus and spice. What a great summer beer.

Coopers Vintage Ale 2009



Coopers Vintage Ale 2009

Brewed by:
Coopers Brewery Limited
Australia

English Strong Ale

7.50% ABV






Commercial Description:
Brewed with choice malts and an extended top fermentation. This naturally conditioned ale experiences interactions between the robust malt, hop and yeast characteristics, to exhibit an intriguing journey of flavour development over a period of five years when stored under cellar conditions.
(RateBeer.com)

General Pricing:
12 oz bottles: ~$12.00 6 pack

Background:
This was one of my birthday gifts from my friend Mike. That was back in May and I’m just getting around to posting this review. Better late then never. Thanks Mike.

Review:
The beer pours a hazy dark copper with orange hues and a fairly rich off white head.

The nose is fantastic with rich caramel malt aromas and nice earthy notes. There is little to no hop presence on the nose.

Oh man that was a nice first sip with rich caramel malts and that classic English earthiness.

The experience starts out with a caramel malt sweetness up front on the tip of the tongue. That is followed by the most sensational rich but also refreshing mouthfeel as this ale washes over the tongue in the middle of the sip. There is also unique malt robustness that builds toward the back-end. The back-end is easy drinking with an almost effortless swallow. The finish is fantastic with rich caramel malt flavors and earthy notes. There is also that perceived “hard water” flavor and nice earthy hop flavors. The final aftertaste is some lingering caramel malt sweetness.

I am really enjoying this ale.

We are only at 59 degrees and as the beer warms and opens up a little the malt flavors are intensifying. It is a little less refreshing now but much more flavorful.

The head on this beer has not quit. Sip after sip there has been a nice thick head on top of the glass. This has also added creaminess to the mouthfeel.

We are almost at room temperature now and I am picking up a nice warming effect. I know that this is only 7.5 percent but that’s enough to add a sweet alcohol warming to the finish.  

What a great experience. This is a sold A for me.

A | Coopers Vintage Ale 2009 is an exceptional sipping ale that is aged to perfection with rich malt flavors and smooth, almost creamy mouthfeel that leads into an incredible finish with wonderful caramel malt flavors, earthy hops flavors and a sweet warming of alcohol.

Shiner Old-Time Alt




Shiner Old-Time Alt

Brewed by:
Spoetzl Brewery
Shiner, Texas, USA

Altbier

4.20% ABV







Commercial Description:
The Shiner Brewing Association and original brewmaster Kosmos Spoetzl began an old world brewing tradition that continues today in Shiner, Texas. This copper-colored, medium-to-full-bodied Dusseldorf-style alt features a balance of malt and hops, a long-lasting, creamy head, and a dry smooth finish. This small-batch brew is our first Brewer’s Pride selection, and we hope you savor every sip. Prosit!
(RateBeer.com)

General Pricing:
12 oz bottles: ~$7.00 6 pack

Background:
Kathy’s Uncle Jesse stopped by around Christmas time and gave me a 6 pack of Shiner beers. Most of which I have not had before so I’ve been saving them to review. I am finally getting around to them.

Review:
The beer pours a clear dark copper with a fairly rich white to off white head.

The nose is nice with caramel malt flavors and a touch of that classic Alt earthiness.

Hey, that was a pretty nice first sip.

The taste starts out with a touch of malt sweetness up front. That is followed by a cleansing effervesce over the tongue in the middle of the sip. The back end is very easy drinking with an almost effortless swallow. You can start to pick up that unique Alt earthiness toward the end of the swallow. The finish is nice with great caramel malt flavors and a touch of that Alt earthiness. There is just a slight lingering of the malt sweetness on the final aftertaste.

All and all this is a pretty good Alt. I am really enjoying this experience.

As this beer warms and opens up a little that unique earthiness becomes more pronounced.

Well, once again I have done more drinking than writing since the glass is empty.

This was a very nice but short experience. I don’t know if this Alt beer is available outside of this variety pack but it should be. I would buy a six pack of this one any day.

A- | Shiner Old-Time Alt is an excellent Altbier with great caramel malt flavors. smooth easy drinking mouthfeel followed by a great classic Alt finish with nice malt flavors and classic Altbier earthiness on the finishing notes. What a nice experience. 

Shiner Hefeweizen




Shiner Hefeweizen

Brewed by:
Spoetzl Brewery
Shiner, Texas, USA

Hefeweizen

5.40% ABV







Commercial Description:
Shiner Hefeweizen (Hef-ay-vite-zen) is a classic unfiltered Bavarian-style wheat brew. Once poured into a glass, the distinctively cloudy Shiner Hefeweizen delivers a fresh, satisfying flavor from start to finish.
(RateBeer.com)

General Pricing:
12 oz bottles: ~$7.00 6 pack

Background:
Kathy’s Uncle Jesse stopped by around Christmas time and gave me a 6 pack of Shiner beers. Most of which I have not had before so I’ve been saving them to review. I am finally getting around to them.

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

The nose is very modest, a little grassy but with some nice light malt aromas. Absent are the typical Hefeweizen banana and clove notes on the nose.

The first sip was nice and refreshing, perfect for this 95 plus degree day.

The taste starts out with a touch of pale malt sweetness upfront followed by a very refreshing cleansing effervescence as the beer washes over the tongue in the middle of the sip. The back end is very easy drinking with an effortless swallow. There is not much to the finish but it is also very refreshing with light wheat malt flavors and just a hint of citrus and even a lighter note of banana and clove. The final aftertaste has just a slight continuance of the citrus note.

All and all this is a very nice refreshing summer ale but it’s not the best example of a Hefeweizen.

To give you some idea of how much I’m enjoying this on a hot afternoon the beer is just about gone. So it is a positive YES, to a great easy drinking summer beer but it’s not going to rate high for a German Hefeweizen.

As the beer warms I am picking up more of that classic banana and clove but it is still very subtle.

C+ in Style | Shiner Hefeweizen is a very nice easy drinking and very refreshing summer ale with a touch of wheat malt flavors and notes of citrus and a hint of banana. For overall easy drinking summer ale this is an A however its flavors are too subtle for the style.

Shiner Kosmos Reserve




Shiner Kosmos Reserve

Brewed by:
Spoetzl Brewery
Shiner, Texas, USA

American Pale Lager

4.98% ABV






Commercial Description:
“Kosmos Spoetzl knew how to brew great beer. Born in Bavaria, Kosmos’ mastery of German brewing carried him as far as Egypt before he found his way to the small Texas town of Shiner. Our proud brewery still carries his name and commitment to excellence in brewing. This full-flavored, hop-jacked lager is every bit as unique as the man himself and our way of saluting the brewmaster who started it all.”
(RateBeer.com)

General Pricing:
12 oz bottles: ~$7.00 6 pack

Background:
Kathy’s Uncle Jesse stopped by around Christmas time and gave me a 6 pack of Shiner beers. Most of which I have not had before so I’ve been saving them to review. I am finally getting around to them.

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

The nose is very pleasant with sweet pal malt aromas with grassy notes and a touch of earthy hops.

That was nice first sip; pleasant pale malt flavors with a dry refreshing finish.

The taste starts out with a very pleasant pale malt sweetness up front followed by a refreshing cleansing mouthfeel as the beer washes over the tongue in the middle of the sip. The back-end is very easy drinking with an effortless swallow. The finish is very nice with great pale malt flavors followed by a clean dry finish. There is just a slight aftertaste of some lingering light pale malts.

All and all this is an excellent Pale Lager.

I have really enjoyed this beer.

This is an A for sure, one of the best Pale Lagers that I have ever had.

A | Shiner Kosmos Reserve is an excellent Pale Lager maybe even the best that I have had. It is very refreshing and easy drinking but carries along with it great pale malt flavors, smooth easy mouthfeel and a great clean finish with little to no aftertaste. This could be my new gold standard for this style. What a nice little beer

Shiner Blonde




Shiner Blonde

Brewed by:
Spoetzl Brewery
Shiner, Texas, USA

American Pale Lager

4.40% ABV







Commercial Description:
Blonde made its debut as the original recipe Kosmos Spoetzl brought to the "Little Brewery." A golden lager that pays sincere tribute to its Bohemian roots, Shiner Blonde carries a distinctive flavor followed by a satisfying, smooth finish. Although our Blonde owes its heritage to the German homeland, it represents the best of a true American lager. That's our Shiner Blonde – red, white and brewed.
(Shiner.com)

General Pricing:
12 oz bottles: ~$7.00 6 pack

Background:
Kathy’s Uncle Jesse stopped by around Christmas time and gave me a 6 pack of Shiner beers. Most of which I have not had before so I’ve been saving them to review. I am finally getting around to them.

Review:
The beer pours a clear pale straw with yellow hues and a diminishing white head.

There is not much on the nose just a hint of some pilsner malt aromas with a grassy background.

Well, on a hot day and being ice cold that may not have been a bad first sip. However it’s not ice cold and it’s about 9:00 at night. So that first sip was mediocre at best.

Actually a full play by play may even be difficult. There is not much going on with this pale lager.

The taste starts out with a touch a pale malt sweetness up front followed by a cleansing effervescence over the tongue in the middle of the sip. The back end is as easy drinking as you can get with an effortless swallow. There is not much of a finish just a hint of those light pilsner malts. There is also that typical lager harshness on the finish with little to no final aftertaste.

All and all this is not bad for a Pale Lager. After all there is not much to the style.

There is lager harshness but even as it warms it’s not picking up anything offensive.

No Rating | Shiner Blonde is a very easy drinking Pale Lager with light pale malt flavors and a refreshing clean dry finish. There is not much to this lager. If you like pale lager such as Bud this one will certainly please. 


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Holy Saviour Parish Oktoberfest 2012


Sponsored by The Knights of Columbus Council 13710 and The Holy Saviour Women's Club.

This 5 hour event is a celebration of domestic fall seasonal beers in a 2 hour tasting followed by 6 beers from Germany on draft along with a full buffet dinner. 

The cost of the event is only $30.00 a person and $15.00 for a designated driver.

I am really excited about this Oktoberfest. It is to early for the tasting lineup but the German drafts beers are shaping up to be among the best beers of Germany. 

Gaffel Kölsch, Schneider Weisse Original Hefeweizen, Ayinger Oktoberfest Märzen, Schneider Hopfen-Weisse Weizenbock, Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock, and Schneider Aventinus Eisbock.

As always it's not just about the beer. We will also have at least 3 different "Award Winning Black Box Wines" and a keg of Old Dominion Root Beer. Along with a DJ, dancing, door prizes and raffles there will be a little something for everyone.

For updated information, online ticket sales and a printable flyer please see:
http://www.holysaviourparish.org/oktoberfest

I hope to see you there.

Cheers!

John