Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout


Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
Brooklyn, New York, USA

Russian Imperial Stout

10.00% ABV





Commercial Description:
This is the famous Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, our award-winning rendition of the Imperial Stout style once made exclusively for Catherine the Great. We use three mashes to brew each batch of this beer, achieving a luscious deep dark chocolate flavor through a blend of specialty roasted malts. We brew it every year for the winter season. It is delicious when newly bottled, but also ages beautifully for years.
(RateBeer.com)

General Pricing:
12oz bottles: ~$8.00 4 pack ~$42.00 case

Background:
I have had this beer many times over the years. I last reviewed it back in 2009 and gave it an A+. The ABV on this beer seems to change from year to year. I thought when I first had it (before this blog) it was over 11%. In 2009 it was at 10.6 % ABV and I have seen it in recent years to be as low as 8.5%. I just sampled this beer last week at Chocolate Beer tasting at State Line Liquors and noticed that it was back up to 10%. I also thought it was pretty good and worth revisiting.

Review:
The beer poured a dark brown completely opaque with no light getting through and a modest dark tan to chocolate milk head.

The nose is nice with dark roasted malt aromas, sweet alcohol and a touch of chocolate. There is no doubt that this is an Imperial Stout.

AHHH what a great first sip; smooth rich and warming, perfect beer for a chilly winter’s night.

This impressive ale starts out with a touch of dark malt sweetness up front then smooth but intense mouthfeel as the rich ale rolls over the tongue in the middle of the sip. This is certainly a “Big Beer” as sensed by the noticeable hesitation at the top of the swallow. The finish is fantastic with rich roasted malt flavors with notes of chocolate and a touch of coffee followed by sweet alcohol and a most soothing warming. The final aftertaste is of lingering rich roasted malts.

The ale is getting smoother and richer as it warms. This is still one impressive stout.

A+ | Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout is a most impressive Russian Imperial Stout with rich dark roasted malt flavors a smooth mouthfeel and warming finish with notes of chocolate and a touch of coffee. A wonderful experience that was rich and sweet to the last warm drop.

Samuel Smith's Organic Chocolate Stout


Samuel Smith's Organic Chocolate Stout


Brewed by:

Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

Tadcaster, United Kingdom (England)


Milk / Sweet Stout


5.00% ABV

Commercial Description:
Bottle: Filtered
Ingredients: Water; Organic malted barley; Organic cane sugar; Yeast; Organic hops; Organic cocoa extract; Carbon dioxide
Brewed with well water (the original well, sunk in 1758, is still in use with the hard well water being drawn from 85 feet underground), the gently roasted organic cocoa extract impart a delicious, smooth and creamy character, with inviting deep flavours and a delightful finish - this is a marriage of satisfying stout and luxurious chocolate. (RateBeer.com)

General Pricing:
12oz bottles: ~$10.00 4 pack ~$55.00 case
18.7oz bottles: ~$4.00 each

Background:
I just sampled this beer last week at Chocolate Beer tasting at State Line Liquors. I thought it was the best chocolate flavored beer at the tasting and thought I should give it a full review.

Review:
The beer pours a dark brown, almost completely opaque with just a hint of ruby hues peeking though the glass. The pour also produced a fairly rich tan to cocoa colored head.

The nose is almost all chocolate with some roasted malt aromas mixed in.

Wow, what a great first sip; rich chocolate malty goodness.

This wonderful experience starts out with a dark malt sweetness up front followed by a silky smooth and creamy mouthfeel as this rich ale rolls over the tongue in the middle of the sip. The back-end is very rich, thick and malty but still fairly easy drinking with an almost effortless swallow. The finish is amazingly rich with smooth dark roasted malt flavors with notes of chocolate and a touch of coffee followed by the most impressive chocolate aftertaste.

The head on this beer has diminished but still remains thick enough to add a nice creaminess to the mouthfeel.

This has got to be the chocolatiest tasting chocolate beer that I have ever had.  

As the beer warms it is getting richer and smoother and the chocolate notes are just outstanding.

Wow, Rich chocolaty malt goodness to the last warm drop. Gotta Love It!

A+ | Samuel Smith's Organic Chocolate Stout is probably the best tasting natural chocolate flavored beer that I have ever had with it’s rich dark roasted malt flavors and velvety smooth mouthfeel this chocolate delight has rich malty goodness to the last warm drop.

DuClaw Sweet Baby Jesus


Sweet Baby Jesus

Brewed by:

DuClaw Brewing Company

Abingdon, Maryland USA


American Porter


6.50% ABV



Commercial Description:
Chocolate peanut butter porter. This is the 2011 H.E.R.O. Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter re-branded and released again in December 2012.
(RateBeer.com)

General Pricing:
12oz bottles: ~$9.00 6 pack ~$34.00 case

Background:
I just sampled this beer last week at Chocolate Beer tasting at State Line Liquors. I thought it was very interesting at the time and thought I should give it a full review.

Review:
The beer pours a dark brown almost completely opaque with just a hint of ruby hues peeking though the edges of the glass. The pour also produced a fairly rich tan head.

The nose is very unique with dark roasted malt aromas along with very strong notes of chocolate and peanut butter; actually the peanut butter very predominant on the nose. This is a first for me.

Wow, what a unique first sip; full with rich roasted malts, chocolate and peanut butter.

This unique experience starts out with a touch of dark malt sweetness up front followed by a very smooth almost silky mouthfeel as this rich ale washes over the tongue in the middle of the sip. The back-end continues to be smooth but the richness provides a slight hesitation on the swallow. The finish is as unique and complex as the nose with rich roasted malt flavors with notes of coffee, toffee and chocolate followed by the flavor of peanut butter. The final aftertaste is of lingering toffee and peanut butter.

This may be the most unique beer that I have ever tasted.

As the beer warms I’m picking up more peanut butter and also a touch of bitterness. There is so much complexity in the experience that I did not notice the dry hops on the finish until now that it as warmed a little.

Certainly for craftsmanship alone this is a solid A. I’m still a little put off or completely not accepting of a peanut butter flavored beer but I have to acknowledge the quality of this fine brew.

A | DuClaw Sweet Baby Jesus is a most unique American Porter with rich roasted malt flavors with notes of coffee, toffee and chocolate followed by the strong  but natural peanut butter flavors on the finish.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Leinenkugels Snowdrift Vanilla Porter


Snowdrift Vanilla Porter


Brewed by:

Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company

Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin USA


American Porter


6.00% ABV

Commercial Description:
Leinenkugel’s Snowdrift Vanilla Porter is a robust and velvety addition to Leinenkugel’s seasonal selection. This porter-style beer is aged on real vanilla to reveal rich layers of caramel, coffee and chocolate that is ideal for the season.
(RateBeer.com)

General Pricing:
12oz bottles: ~$8.50 6 pack ~$31.00 case

Background:
This seemed to be a staple for us over the holidays. It was originally recommended to me by my daughter Molly. This was also in a variety case of Christmas bees that I got from State Line Liquors just before Christmas. I managed to save a few of these to review.

Review:
The beer pours a clear dark brown, almost completely opaque with just a hint of deep ruby hues peaking through the glass.

The nose is very nice with roasted malt aromas with a touch of vanilla.

Ahhh with a nice first sip; smooth, mildly rich and easy drinking with touch of vanilla on the finish.

The experience starts out with a dark malt sweetness up front on the tip of the tongue. That is followed by a smooth almost creamy mouthfeel as the rich porter rolls over the tongue in the middle of the sip. The back-end continues to be smooth and easy drinking with just a slight hesitation at the top of the swallow. The finish is nice with smooth but rich roasted malt flavors with notes of toffee and chocolate. There is also a very pleasant natural vanilla taste in the finish. There is very little of a hop presence just enough to slightly dry the finish. The final aftertaste is some lingering roasted malt and a touch of vanilla.

I’m a sucker for a good porter and this one is not bad at all. This may be the best beer that I’ve had from Leinenkugel.

It is also impressive when a beer warms up to room temperature and tastes as good if not better than it did when chilled.
B+ | Leinenkugel’s Snowdrift Vanilla Porter is a very nice easy drinking porter with great roasted malts flavors and a touch of vanilla on the finish.

Saranac Season's Best Nut Brown Lager


Saranac Season's Best - Nut Brown Lager


Brewed by:

Matt Brewing Company

Utica, New York USA


Vienna Lager


5.30% ABV


Commercial Description:
Brewed with a special blend of domestic and Belgian malts for a delicate nut-like character, you'll love this lager's rich taste and signature hop aroma. The exceptional full-bodied taste reflects our brewery's extraordinary commitment to brewing beers of the highest standard of quality. We hope you'll enjoy it. Happy Holidays!
(RateBeer.com)

General Pricing:
12oz bottles: ~$7.50 6 pack ~$27.00 case

Background:
This was in a variety case of Christmas bees that I got from State Line Liquors just before Christmas. I managed to save a few of these to review.

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

The nose is interesting with pilsner and caramel malt aromas along with grassy notes and a touch of floral hops.

Not a bad first sip; easy drinking, somewhat sweet with caramel malt flavors and nutty notes.

The taste starts out with a touch of sweetness up front followed by effervescence over the tongue in the middle of the sip. The back-end is very easy drinking with an effortless swallow. There is additional carbonation release during the swallow that masks flavors and adds a refreshing aspect to the experience. The finish is pleasant with pilsner malt flavors with a touch of caramel followed by a slight hop bite and touch of spice. There is also a distinct harshness on the finish. This is not bad, for me it’s more typical of a lager. There is little of a final aftertaste just a hint of some caramel malt.

At this beer warms that harshness is almost overpowering and now leaving a bad aftertaste.

C | Saranac’s Seasons Best is anything but the best. It’s not a awful lager but it’s also not a very good one. It does have nice malt flavors with a touch of caramel and spice with a slight hop bite on the finish. However it also has a harshness that turns down right unpleasant as the beer warms.