Friday, October 22, 2010

McSorley's Irish Black Lager

This beer pours pitch black.  It has a slightly spicy aroma.  I don't believe it is brewed with rye but it has an aroma of a bit of rye and a hint of smoke.  It tastes of dark roasted malt, a hint of coffee, a hint of smoke and a hint of sweetness on the back end.  It is flavorful yet not heavy. 

McSorley's is a famous pub in New York City that was established in 1854 and sits at 15 E. 7th Street.  It is supposedly New York's oldest continuously operated pub.  Women were not allowed access until 1970.  The floors are still strewn with sawdust.  However, this bottled beer is now brewed in Latrobe, PA.  It was at some point brewed by the Lion Brewery in Wilkes-Barre.  The fact that it is now brewed in Latrobe makes me think that it might actually be brewed now by City Brewing as I understand that they bought out Rolling Rock from Latrobe and now actually brew that beer as well.  Does anyone know for sure?

For some interesting history on McSorley's Pub see this link:

Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Tadcaster Pure Brewed Lager Beer

From the famous Samuel Smith Brewery in England, declared by the bottle to be Yorkshire's oldest brewery.  This beer pours a dark honey golden color.  Aroma is of a slightly dusty grain bin full of grain, with a hint of floral sweetness.  It has a full malt and grain flavor, a bit of the musky lager funk and a slightly crisp, slightly creamy finish on the mouth.

Tyranena Brewing Company

Brewed in Lake Mills, Wisconsin.

Three Beaches Honey Blonde (Ale Brewed with Honey) - Pours a dark golden honey color with ample, fine effervescent carbonation.  Aroma is of honey touched grain.  Tastes like a good, solid American lager with a touch of honey.  Very drinkable, would be a great summer session beer. 

Bitter Woman IPA - This beer pours a light copper in color.  It has an intensely hoppy aroma of tropical fruits and citrus.  It is extremely hop forward with tons of hop fruit, flowers and citrus.  It is like a hop-tropical fruit punch.  It has just a tad of hop pine bitterness, but it is a more fruit forward hoppy beer than a totally bitter IPA, despite its name.  This is a damn fine hoppy American IPA.  According to the bottle, the "bitter woman" is Aunt Cal, an early resident of Lake Mills who never married but was a love of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  Like the beer named after her, she was very fruity and intensely bitter.

Scurvy IPA brewed with orange peel - This beer pours dark copper to amber in color with a very rapidly disappearing head.  The aroma is light fruit, a bit of orange and some caramel malt.  The taste is of orange peel and fruit laden soda bread with a very bitter finish from both hops and orange peel.

Headless Man Amber Alt - Pours light brown and amber in color.  Has a malty aroma, a bit of fruit and a hint of grass.  The flavor is malt forward, toasty, roasted malt with a bit of nut in the background.  According to the bottle: "The Headless Man is brewed in the 'old way' of a Dusseldorf-style Altbier.  A unique cold lagering process this amber ale its smooth taste."

Stone Tepee Pale Ale - Pours a dark, honey-golden color with a hop forward aroma of light citrus, fruit, and flowers.  The flavor is light hops with a bitter finish.  This is more bitter than I would expect from the aroma.  Strangely, it is in fact more bitter than the Bitter Woman IPA.

Chief Black Hawk Porter - This beer pours pure black.  It has an aroma of dark roasted malt, coffee and dark chocolate.  The taste is rich and dark, coffee and chocolate, a bitter finish and not overly sweet.  My chief complaint with many American porters is that they are too sweet for my taste.  This one is not. 

Rocky's Revenge - This pours a dark brown but still translucent.  The aroma is malty, slightly sweet, a bit of caramel and a hint of bourbon.  The taste is exactly like what this is, brown beer with bourbon.  This beer is an American brown ale with a portion aged in bourbon barrels.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dark Horse Brewing Company Boffo Brown Ale

The Dark Horse Brewing Company is out of Marshall, Michigan.  This brown ale pours very dark brown to mostly black.  Its aroma is dark roasted malt, hints of coffee and mocha, with an apparent sweetness.  Its taste follows its aroma directly.  There is an almost cloying sweetness at the beginning but it fades into a nicely  bitter coffee and dark chocolate finish. 

Boulevard Brewing Company Amber Ale

The Boulevard Brewing Company is based in Kansas City, Missouri. This beer pours a light brown-amber-touch-of-ruby color with an aroma amazingly like fruit punch.  The flavor is relatively light, fruity and with a hint of yeast  It reminds me of some of the fruitier English ales.  Sorry for the blurry picture.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Barley Island Brewing Company

This brewery is in Noblesville, Indiana. 

Dirty Helen Tavern Style Brown Ale - This pours a very dark brown with a hint of ruby and a half inch head which does lace the glass.  The aroma is more hoppy than I would expect from a brown ale but has a nice roasted malt in it as well.  This has a nice roasted coffee malt flavor, with some floral, fruit hops, although less than I expected from the aroma.  There is a hint of sweet and a hint of sour.  The beer is unfiltered so some of the sour is from the yeast I believe.  An interesting and very flavorful take on a brown ale.

Sheet Metal Blonde - A Belgian style wheat ale brewed with herb and spices.  Pours pure golden with a massive head.  The aroma is yeasty, a bit fruity, metallic like grain in a cold metal bucket on a late fall day.  It tastes like honey and fruit, with a hint of spice, and a very crisp, fizzy mouthfeel.

Stevens Point Brewery Brewmaster's Series - Whole Hog Imperial Pilsner; Whole Hog Six-Hop IPA

Whole Hog Imperial Pilsner -  Dark honey gold in color and slightly cloudy.  Aroma of fresh grain and grass with a hint of sweetness.  It is sweet and bitter at the same time with a heavy undertone of malted grain and a bracing pilsner hop finish.  Not as sweet and alcohol laden in flavor as many imperials.  8.5% ABV.

Whole Hog Six-Hop IPA - This 8.5% ABV beer pours a medium brown, dark copper, and orange in color with a half inch of off white head.  The aroma is burnt sugar, caramel, stale port wine.  I am suspecting this bottle is past its prime, it does not smell like an IPA.  The taste is cloying sweet, burnt sugar, old sherry.  I wish this had a best before date on it.  Right now it is trash.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Oaken Barrel Brewing Company Indiana Amber Hoosier-Style Red Ale

Brewed in Greenwood, Indiana.  This pours a very dark copper to brown with a bit of ruby in the color.  The aroma is of sweet caramel and fruit.  The flavor is of deep, rich roasted malt, with a hint of sweetness, caramel and fruit, but with a very dry, bitter finish.  5.3% ABV.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Three Floyds Brewing Company Pride & Joy Mild Ale

This 5.0% ABV beer is from Three Floyds Brewing of Munster, Indiana. 

The beer pours a very light copper color with a generous head.  The aroma is hoppy with pine and some citrus.  It is very flavorful, yet light on the palate, with beautiful citrus, tropical fruit and floral hop flavors with just enough malt that the hop doesn't go out of control.  It finishes dry, light and bitter.  This beer is delicious.

Hair of the Dog Brewing Company Ruth American Pale Ale

Hair of the Dog Brewing Company hails from Portland, Oregon.  This beer pours a cloudy golden with a massive head.  The aroma is hoppy, with floral and pine, and yeasty.  The taste is hop forward, fruity, tangy, citrus, zesty, with a hint of yeast.  It is surprisingly light despite its intensity of flavor.  4.3% ABW.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Deschutes Brewery Twilight Summer Ale

The Deschutes Brewery is in Bend, Oregon on the banks of the Deschutes River which provides pristine water from the Cascade Mountains for brewing, or at least so the bottle says.  They have been brewing since 1988.

Twilight Summer Ale - This 5.0% ABV seasonal beer pours honey golden with an orange tint in color. It has about an inch of thick, creamy foam that is white to just off-white.  The aroma is fresh, grassy, fruit sweetness and citrus zestiness, orange, grapefruit, lime and a bit of passion fruit.  The taste is fruity hops, citrus and light tropical fruit with a mildly bitter grapefruit dry finish, all over a bed of toasted malt.  This beer is crisp, fruity and refreshing, nicely carbonated.  This is a very nice summer beer, heck, it would be good anytime.

Flying Dog Dogtoberfest Marzen

This pours a dark copper to light brown in color.  The aroma is very malty, slightly sweet and caramel.  The flavor is intensely malty, sweet, with a bitter finish.  This is 5.6% ABV and it tastes like it is 9.6% ABV.  It is incredibly full-flavored to the point of heaviness.  Flying Dog Brewery is out of Frederick, Maryland.  Their labels are drawn by Ralph Steadman, who illustrated for Hunter S. Thompson.  There is a Hunter quote on the bottles, "Good people drink good beer."

Warsteiner Oktoberfest

An actual German Oktoberfest beer.  Pours a dull, honey-yellow, with an aroma of a slightly sweeter, heavier German lager, lots of grain in the aroma.  The flavor is not very bold.  tastes like a sweet, toned down German lager.  It is 5.9% ABV but tastes like it has more alcohol in it.

Leinenkugel's Oktoberfest

Leinenkugel's Brewing Company is from  Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.  They began brewing in 1867. Leinenkugel's has been owned by Miller for some time now (who is now owned by MolsonCoors). This is their 5.1% ABV German-style Marzen beer.

The beer pours a clear and bright copper in color. There is a relatively short head off fizzy, off-white foam. The aroma is lightly malty, tangy, grassy, dried grains. The taste follows the aromas, a bit roasted and toasted, toasted grains, very light caramel, with a grassy and lightly bitter finish. It drinks easy and crisply carbonated. There is a lot more “lager” than “marzen” in this, but it is very pleasant in its own way, just not what I would choose if I wanted a really malt forward Oktobefest

2014 bottle:

2010 bottle:

Friday, October 15, 2010

Shiner Marzen-Style Oktoberfest

Shiner beers are from the Spoetzel Brewery in Shiner,Texas.  "Nothing Finer Than a Shiner."  "So Fine in a Stein!"  Shiner, Texas, according to the bottle, has a population of 2,070. 

This beer pours a light copper color and has a malty aroma, with a lot of fresh grain and light sweet potato.  There is a bit of a sharp note, and a tang of hops.  The taste is brightly bitter, tangy hops, solid malt, sweet potato, with just a hint of burnt caramel.  The finish is dry and lightly bitter, enough hops to overcome the sweetness of the malt. I don't know if I would call this a great "Oktoberfest" beer, but it does make for a pretty tasty American take on the style that is easy to drink.

Drinking it again in 2017: The beer pours a shining amber in color. There is a half-inch of off-white head that fizzles away quickly. The aroma is malty, caramel, toasted, light toffee. The taste follows the aroma malty and toasted. The finish is dry, with a light, grassy bitterness. The beer drinks smooth and easy with moderate carbonation. I see no discernible change to the bottle art.

Capital Brewery Oktoberfest; Supper Club

Oktoberfest - A seasonal offering from the Capital Brewery in Middleton, Wisconsin.  This beer pours copper and medium brown in color.  It is not quite transparent.  There is a quarter inch of off-white, slightly creamy head.  It has a malty aroma resplendent with grain.  There is a note of toffee and a vinous hint reminiscent of a rose.  It tastes richly malty, slightly sweet, a light touch of caramel and fruit and somewhat dry on the finish.  5.5% ABV.  This is a nice beer.
I also wanted to add that their Supper Club lager is a really good American-style lager, and it has one of the best names for a beer ever invented.  If you have never heard the term "supper club" you are not from the Midwest.  This 5.0% ABV beer pours a shiny deep golden in color.  There is a rapidly dissipating head of white foam.  The aroma is very malty grain, slightly sweet, a light touch of sweet potato.  The taste is deep and rich malt, with just a slight touch of hop bitterness on the finish.  A very malty American lager.

Point Cascade Pale Ale

The Stevens Point Brewery is in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. 

This beer pours a light copper in color with a half-inch of just off white creamy, foamy head.  The aroma is somewhat hoppy, a bit of pine, fruity, and a sligthly spicy maltiness like rye bread.  There is bit of tea as well.  The taste is malty, slightly sweet, more rye bread than fruit, with a dry and ever so slightly bitter finish.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Schneider Weisse

This hefe-weizen comes from the G. Schneider & Sohn brewery in Kelheim, Bavaria, Germany.  According to the bottle it is Bavaria's oldest Weizen brewery.  It is bottle fermented, unpasteurized and unfiltered.  Pours a light, slightly cloudy brown with champagne like carbonation. 

It has an aroma of bananas, yeast. sweet caramel, fruit and root beer.  It has a light taste of roasted malt, a lot of light, sweet fruit and a hint of root beer on the finish, with an extremely carbonated and crisp mouthfeel.  I don't like a lot of hefe-weizens because the yeast and old banana predominate to my palate and I find them disagreeable in that combination.  This is like hefe-weizen root beer and quite intriguing.  I also like the champagne like carbonation.

Breckinridge Brewery Agave Wheat

This 4.2% beer is from the Breckenridge Brewery of Denver, Colorado. It is an unfiltered wheat ale brewed with agave nectar. Agave, of course, is the plant from which tequila is distilled. 

The beer pours a hazy dark honey golden yellow in color. There is a short lived head of white foam. The aroma is toasted wheat with tangy, floral and citrusy note.  The taste is rich, toasted wheat with a complementary tang on the finish. It drinks light, dry and refreshingly crisp with a pleasant aftertaste.  This is a nice and tasty take on a wheat ale.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Tyskie Gronie

This lager beer is made in Poland and comes in at 5.6% ABV.  It pours a pure golden color.  Its aroma is resplendent with harvest-time grain, bitter hop and a dash of European lager musk.  It has a full, round, creamy yet carbonated mouthfeel.  The flavor of grain predominates with a refreshing bitter hop finish.  This is a good Polish lager and would make an excellent session beer.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Plank-Bier Pils

This beer is from the Bavaria region of Germany.  It pours a golden color with a generous head that laces as it dissolves.  The aroma is of slightly sweet, fresh, dry grain, with a hint of the common pilsner "musk."  It tastes as it smells with a crisp, refreshing and bitter hop finish.  A nice, very tasty German pils.  4.9% ABV.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Hiland Beer

What a discovery!  I don't know why, but coming across strange, regional cheap beers with limited distribution always makes me giddy.

Kum & Go is a chain of Midwestern Convenience stores based out of West Des Moines, Iowa.  Perhaps in an attempt to take on 7-Elevens new proprietary beers, Game Day, Kum & Go now has beer in their long standing store brand, Hiland.  The beers slogan is "Midwestern Beer made by a Midwestern Brewery."  It comes in Light (4%), Lager (5%), Ice (6.2%) and Reserve Malt Liquor (a whopping 10%).  Until this past year, the Ice and the Reserve would not have even been able to have been sold in Iowa.  The beer is available at Kum & Go stores in Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri.  It is brewed by the Minhas Craft Brewery out of Monroe, Wisconsin. 

The Light, Lager and Ice come only in 12-packs of 12 oz. cans.  Priced at the local Kum & Go for $6.99.  The Reserve comes only in 24 oz. cans and is priced at $1.59.

Hiland Light - 4% ABV.  Pours golden in color with a quickly dissipating head.  Aroma of dry corn with hints of both sweet and green apple.  Taste is fairly bland but not directly off-putting, a bit of corn, but the sweet and sour in the aroma do not show up in the flavor.  I would drink this over Bud Light and it is much cheaper.

Hiland Lager - 5% ABV.  Pours the same as the Light, but perhaps just a touch darker golden.  The aroma is also similar to the Light but with just a touch of lager "funk."  The taste is slightly sweet, a bit metallic, like dry corn in a metal bucket, and a touch of sour.  This is middle of the road cheap beer.  It is nowhere near as good as the Pabst owned labels, the Hamm's line or similar cheap beers.  But it is nowhere near as bad as many of the discount beers of this type.  It is middle of the road cheap beer.

Hiland Ice - 6.2% ABV.  Pours just as the lager.  Smells like a freshly cut fall apple.  The taste is cloying, sweet and tart like an apple.  This is a bad, high alcohol beer.  I fear the Reserve at this point.

Hiland Reserve Malt Liquor - 10% ABV.  Pours a slightly darker golden than the Ice.  Smells like Canadian whiskey with Squirt or sour mix.  Wow, can't believe how much this smells like a whiskey cocktail.  Horribly, terribly, cloyingly, chokingly sweet and alcohol laden.  I have had some cheap  malt liquors in the 10-12% alcohol range that are actually worse, but this is also truly bad and nearly undrinkable.

The Light and Lager are fine for what they are, cheap, store-brand beers.  But the higher alcohol Ice and Reserve are just lousy and not worth any price, no matter how low it might be.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Left Hand Brewing Jackman's American Pale Ale

The Left Hand Brewing Company is in Longmont, Colorado by the St.Vrain River. This is their 5.2% ABV American Pale Ale.

The beer pours a very light copper in color and is slightly cloudy in appearance.  It has a light floral smell balanced by a caramel baked good malt aroma.  While it does have some light floral and fruit hop flavors, they are a bit overbalanced by the malt.  While there is not actually rye in this beer, it has that sharp rye/pumpernickel flavor that some malts impart.  The 400 Pound Monkey overwhelmingly had the sharp rye flavor.  Now, I like rye, but the 400 pound monkey tasted like vomit to me.

Carib Lager

This beer is from Trinidad.  It pours a light, clear golden color with a bit of head that leaves slight lacing.  It has a funky European lager aroma of musky grain and straw.  It has a flavor that is both light yet satisfying at the same time without jumping forward in any particular area of flavor.  It is a refreshing lager whose aroma is a bit bigger than its flavor but would be a good complement to laying on the beach.