Friday, February 25, 2011

Covington Brewhouse Bayou Bock Beer

The Covington Brewhouse is in Covington, Louisian and is brewed and bottled by Heiner Brau.  "Lively as a Cajun Two-Step".

This beer pours a honey golden in color.  The aroma is pretty subdued, just a very light malty beeriness.  The taste is sweet and malty.  This actually reminds me quite a bit of Grain Belt Premium beer.

Dixie Jazz Amber Light

The Dixie Brewing Company is from New Orleans, Louisiana.  The label says they were nearly destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and are rebuilding, which may explain why the bottle says the beer is brewed for them by the Joseph Huber Brewing Company of Monroe, Wisconsin (this would be the Minhas Craft Brewery).

The beer pours a dirty honey golden to light brown in color.  The aroma is grainy malt and a bit toasted.  The taste follows the aroma but is just a tad watery.  This is not surprising as this beer is only 92 calories in a twelve ounce bottle.  This is a decent and drinkable beer on its own, but if you are seeking a flavorful light beer, you need to try this.

Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale

The Lazy Magnolia brewery is in Kiln, Mississippi.

This nut brown ale is literally brewed with nuts, pecans that is.  The beer pours medium to dark brown with a hint of ruby.  The aroma is nutty and dark roasted malt.  The taste is rich, dark roasted malt, slightly sweet, yet dry on the finish.  There is a slight tang on the back end as well.  This is a very nice "nut" brown ale.

Abita Strawberry Harvest Lager

The Abita Brewing Company is in Abita Springs, Louisiana.

This beer pours honey golden in color and is somewhat cloudy.  The aroma is of sweet and tart strawberries, a bit like a strawberry shortcake.  The taste is very fruity, strong strawberry, with just that hint of biscuity, shortcake malt behind it.  The fruit taste is slightly perfumy, but not strongly so.  If you like fruit beers, I think you will like this one.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Horny Goat Brewing Company

Brewed in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

Hopped Up 'N Horny - This 5.3% ABV beer pours a bright and shiny copper/amber in color.  The aroma is hop forward, fruity, with a solid malt background.  The taste is bitter and malty, a bit of fresh brewed sun tea.  I suspect this bottle might be past its hop fresh prime.

Horny Goat Belgian Style Wheat Beer - Brewed with coriander and orange peel.  This 5.2% ABV beer pours golden in color, bright yet cloudy.  The aroma is yeasty, very heavy on the banana, and the coriander is evident.  The taste is a very strong yeast-wheat-banana effect that is found in many wheat beers.  If you like that, you will very much enjoy this beer.  I am not a big fan of it, but find this beer more palatable than many with that flavor profile.

Red Vixen Vienna Style Lager - This 5.4% ABV beer pours light copper and amber in color.  The aroma is both sweet and tangy, grain and fruit.  The taste is light, fruity, slightly sweet, on a bed of grain, with a bitter hop finish.  This is pretty drinkable, but it has a very bitter and lingering aftertaste.

Horny Blonde Lager - This 5.0% ABV beer pours golden in color.  The aroma is a slight, sweet graininess and spicy hops.  The taste follows the aroma.  The finish is bitter and dry.  It is very amply carbonated and burns the mouth.

Exposed - This is their take on a farmhouse ale.  The 4.9% ABV beer pours dark honey golden in color, a bit cloudy, with a dense white head.  The aroma is lightly fruity, a bit of zest.  The taste is fruity, plum and grape, with a base of grain, and a bitter hop finish.  This is not going to knock your socks off, but it is interesting and solid.

Stacked Milk Stout - Pours black with medium carbonation and a small off white head.  The aroma is clean and brassy, with a bit of chocolate and coffee.  The taste follows the aroma directly.  It tastes a lot like Guinness with a less creamy and more carbonated mouthfeel.  A very drinkable and tasty light stout.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Southern Tier Brewing Company

The Southern Tier Brewing Company is from Lakewood, New York.

India Pale Ale - This 7.3% ABV beer pours a light, brilliant and shiny, copper in color.  The aroma is hop forward, tropical fruit and melon with a discernible malt backbone.  The taste is hoppy, following the aroma, very fruity, on a solid malt base, biscuity, and bitter on the finish.  This is a very drinkable and enjoyable American IPA.

Pale Ale - This beer pours golden in color and a bit cloudy.  The aroma is piney hops, resin, and just a tiny bit soapy.  The taste is strong, yet light on the mouth at the same time, piney, fresh, and bitter on the finish.  Very enjoyable.

Phin & Matt's Extraordinary Ale - This beer pours dark honey, light copper/amber in color.  The aroma is tangy and hoppy on a biscuity malt base.  The taste is fruity, lightly malty, bitter on the finish.  This would make a nice session ale.

422 Pale Wheat Ale - "Make Every Day Earth Day"  This beer pours golden and cloudy.  The aroma is lightly fruity and flowery, a bit zesty.  The taste is fresh, clean grain with a nice bitter finish.  This is imminently drinkable and exceeded any of my expectations.

Heiner Brau Kolsch

This is an unfiltered German style Kolsch beer from Heiner Brau brewery in Covington, Louisiana.  They brew according to the German Purity Law of 1516 (Reinheitsgebot), meaning only barley, hops, yeast and water; no adjuncts artificial carbonation or heat pasteurization.

The beer pours honey golden in color and somewhat cloudy.  The aroma is fresh grain, tall grass, a bit fruity.  The taste is grain, french bread, a slight sweetness and fruitiness, and a crisp, grassy finish.  It is well carbonated and refreshing.  This is a really enjoyable beer and it would make a great session beer.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Lilja's Argosy IPA

This is from the Sand Creek Brewing Company of Black River Falls, Wisconsin. 

The beer pours dark honey golden in color and somewhat cloudy.  The aroma is aromatic, floral, fruity.  The taste is fruity and mouth-puckeringly bitter.  This is meant to be a British style pale ale and I think it works on that level.  Don't get this if you are looking for a citrusy American style IPA.

Rooster Lager

This is from the Bank Beer Company in Hendricks, Minnesota (but brewed by the Cold Spring Brewery in Cold Spring).  All the profits go to land acquistion to build a wildlife area. 

The 5.4% ABV beer is amber/copper in color and is somewhat cloudy.  The aroma is somewhat sweet, malty, and fruity.  The taste is toasted and malty, with a bit of caramel.  This is a solid amber lager.  I had this again on another day and the second taste affirmed that this is a tasty beer!

Boxer Light

Boxer beers come from the Minhas Brewery in Monroe, Wisconsin. 

I picked this up in Omaha, Nebraska.  As far as I know, it only comes in 36 packs of cans.  It was $16.99 for 36.  This 4.2% ABV beer pours a very yellow golden in color with a small white head.  The aroma is like apples and cream of wheat.  The taste is a bit fruit sweet and a bit fruit tart, very, very light grain with an extremely light bitter note on the end.  The regular is better tasting than the light.

Pennsylvania Style Beer - Lager; Light; Ice

These beers are by GJS Sales of La Crosse, Wisconsin - contract brew by City Brewing.  It comes in Light, Lager and Ice.  This is a very cheap beer about $12-$13 for a 30 pack.  I got the light on sale in Owatonna, Minnesota for $10.49.

Light - This beer pours a very pale gold in color with over an inch of foamy head that dissipates rather quickly.  The aroma is fresh grain in a metal bucket, and fresh cut green apples.  It is very highly carbonated and stings the mouth.  The taste is light, slightly sweet and lightly fruity.  I have had many worse cheap beers.  This is at least drinkable.  I have never understood why there are so many ultra-cheap beers brewed that are essentially undrinkable when just a few cents more can buy enjoyable cheap beers.

Lager - Pours dark golden in color, much darker golden than the light.  The aroma is sweet and slightly fruity, almost like the circus peanuts candy.  The taste is hard to describe, not a lot going on.  Very light grain, slightly tart.  It is not actively bad, but it is also not even passively good.  It is right on the line, but it is still on the drinkable side of the line.  The light is probably the better of the two.

Ice - This beer pours golden in color, well carbonated, with a quarter inch of white foamy head.  The aroma is tart grain, almost like a hint of vinegar.  Still, I prefer it to the green apple aroma common in these ultra cheap beers.  The taste is smooth, light grain, with a light tang on the finish.  This is the best of the three.  If your budget only allows you to get Pennsylvania style beer, then buy the ice, because you are then getting the best bang and taste for your buck.  Available in six packs in Minnesota for $2.99.

Hauenstein Beer

"Make Mine Hauenstein." The Hauenstein Brewing Company of New Ulm, Minnesota started brewing in 1864.  After a few transfers of ownership, they eventually went out of business.  However, the brand was later revived and is now contract brewed by Schell's.  The distribution, as far as I can tell, is limited to south central Minnesota and the beer does not appear to be available year round.  According to the bottle it is "The beer with a little character". (2014 - There is now expanded distribution, I have seen it in the Twin Cities and in Iowa).

The beer pours a pure golden in color with a rapidly disappearing head.  The aroma is slightly sweet and floral, touch of grass, touch of apple.  The taste is slightly sweet grain with a grassy bitter and dry hop finish.  It is well carbonated and crisply refreshing.  It is like Old Milwaukee with a stronger German lager-like hop finish (I mean this in a complimentary way, this is a really good regional American lager, so many of which have gone the way of the dinosaur). "Pure, Palatable, Delicious."

Friday, February 18, 2011

Founders Centennial IPA

The Founders Brewing Company is in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

This 7.2% ABV dry-hopped and unfiltered IPA pours copper and deep amber-orange in color.  There is a half-inch of creamy and foamy head, off-white to very light brown in color.  The aroma is tropical fruit, pineapple, melon, sweet, floral, with a solid malt background.  The taste is melon, light tropical fruit, lots of semi-sweet orange, bitter, floral hops, with some distinct caramel maltiness.  The finish is dry and bitter, grapefruit rind, but also with a long, lingering fruitiness. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. A very solid IPA.

Leinenkugel's Limited Golden Lager

The Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company is from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.  It is now part of Miller.  This is a revival of what used to be their Northwoods Lager.

The beer pours a dark, honey golden in color with a quarter-inch head of white foam that dissipates fairly rapidly.  The aroma is malty grain and zesty, floral hops with a touch of lager funk.  The taste is slightly sweet at the beginning, fresh grain, and an aromatic and bitter, dry hop finish.  This reminds me of a more substantial and malty Grain Belt with a strong hop finish.  It is very good.

Milkwaukee Special Reserve Light

This beer is brewed by GJS Sales in La Crosse, Wisconsin which I assume means it is brewed by City Brewing. It comes in Light, Regular and Ice.  I have had all three, but only have the light now, so I will review that one.

Light - This beer pours light pale golden in color with a head that disappears instantly.  The aroma is sweet and somewhat fruity, like malt-o-meal with apple slices on it.  The taste is unfortunately not as good as the aroma.  Expectations are low with a beer like this, but the taste of these cheap beers is usually slightly better than their aroma.  That is reversed in this case.  The taste is like slightly sour apple, a bit metallic, with a touch of old, wet grain.

If you get MSR, get the regular or ice, they were much better than the light, and I recall them as not too bad for ultra-cheap beers.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Goose Island 2011 Christmas Ale

The Goose Island Brewery is in Chicago, Illinois.

This brown ale is 6.2% ABV and pours medium brown, with ruby and some orange.  There is a quarter to half inch of light brown creamy, foamy head.  The aroma is spicy, mainly of cloves.  The taste is malty, spicy, floral like geraniums, and bitter.  The flavor improves somewhat as the beer warms.  The bottle says this can age up to five years.  I hope it gets better with age, as it is not very good right now.

Well, let's see how it did with some age. This is a 2011 bottled on October 21, 2011 and being tried on May 17, 2014. The beer pours a cloudy burnt umber in color. There is a short, but lasting, head of light brown foam. The aroma is very malty, sweet, yams, caramel, toffee, butterscotch, some dark fruits, a bit of a tang. The taste is a very deep maltiness, sweet, but never cloying, lots of dark caramel, roasted sweet potatoes, sherry, toffee, with spiced dark fruits. It drinks medium-bodied and smooth with a light carbonation. This is now a much more interesting beer, not heavy or high in alcohol, but a sipper nonetheless. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Quelque Chose

This 8.0% beer comes from Unibroue of Chambly, Quebec Canada.

It is a blend of 50% dark ale and 50% brown ale brewed with cherries.  The beer pours a light red in color with a tinge of brown.  Its color is a bit like a bright, dark rose wine.  When less light is hitting the glass, it appears ruby colored. It is carbonated, but very slightly.  The aroma is massive tart cherry and a slight oakiness.  The taste is not nearly as tart as the aroma would indicate.  It is massive and slightly sweet cherry with just the right tartness to keep it balanced and crisp.  If you like krieks and other cherry beers, you will love this.  One of the top three cherry beers I have had.

Incredibly, the bottle suggests you can age this until the end of 2025.  Now I wish I had gotten two bottles and had one to put up for a decade and see how it was then.  If I run across it again, perhaps I will do just that.


Big Sky Brewing Co. Cowboy Coffee Porter

Big Sky Brewing is out of Missoula, Montana.

This 6.2% ABV beer pours completely black with a quarter inch of light brown foam.  The aroma is predominantly coffee, smelling like fresh ground coffee more than brewed.  The taste is coffee, roasted malt, a slight sharpness and an intense bitter coffee finish.  This seems like an aptly named brew.

The bottle describes this as a malt beverage with coffee added, so there must be a decent amount of coffee added to this brew.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Stockyard Oatmeal Stout

This is by the Josephs Brau Brewing Company of San Jose, California and is from Trader Joe's.

The beer pours a deep, dark black in color, with some very dark ruby and garnet when held to the light.  There is a small head of light brown foam, almost creamy.  The aroma is dark roasted malt, coffee, and some dark cocoa, with some tart notes.  The taste follows the aroma with dark roasted malt, dark cocoa and black coffee.  The mouthfeel is creamy.  This is a solid stout, especially taking into account the price.

Josephs Brau Brewing Company Dunkelweizen

This is an amber unfiltered wheat beer in the German style from Josephs Brau Brewing Company of San Jose, California.  This is a Trader Joes brand.

This 5.2% ABV beer pours medium brown and very cloudy.  The aroma is overwhelming banana.  The taste is banana and caramel.  If you like the German style hefeweizen that is heavily banana then this beer is definitely for you.  Unfortunately for me, I am not a fan of the banana note weizens.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Arsenalnoye Extra Lager

Brewed by the Baltika Breweries of Saint Petersburg, Russia.

This 7.0% ABV beer pours a light golden in color with a rapidly dissipating head of white foam.  The aroma is slightly sweet grain, like a cereal with milk.  The taste is sweet grain with just a bit of lager funk and bitterness on the finish.  Pretty good for such a high alcohol lager.

This beer is available in a large plastic jug that holds two quarts, one pint, 4.5 fl. oz.  That is a lot of beer, even bigger than the old sixty-four ounce jugs of Colt 45 and Olde English 800 that used to be available.

According to the website:  "Arsenalnoye, beer with a male character, is brewed for real men who value honour, strength, patriotism, family, Motherland."  So chug some Arsenalnoye and then fight the Nazis at Stalingrad.

Black Toad Distinctive Dark Ale

I got this at Trader Joes.  It is brewed by the Josephbrau Brewing Co. of San Jose, California.

This 5.3% ABV beer pours very dark brown to black, with a hint of ruby and only a touch of translucency around some of the edges.  The aroma is dark roasted malt, slightly malted milk and vanilla.  It tastes like a strong coffee flavored ice cream drink.  It has elements of sweetness and creaminess, but finishes with a coffee like bitterness.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mission St. - Brown Ale; India Pale Ale; 2011 Anniversary Ale

Brewed and bottled by the Steinhaus Brewing Co. of Paso Robles, California.  I got this at Trader Joes.

Brown Ale - This 5.7% ABV beer pours a dark translucent brown.  The aroma is nutty, slightly roasted, with some grain.  The taste is lightly roasted, just a touch of sweetness, a hint of burnt caramel and a long, lingering aftertaste that stays true to the original flavor.  There is also a bit of light, plum-like fruitiness.

India Pale Ale - This 6.1% ABV beer pours copper colored with a small head that leaves light lacing down the glass.  The aroma is hop forward, tropical fruit and cantalopue on a malt base.  The taste is fruity hops that ride over (not roughshod but fairly balanced) a caramel malt base with just a bit of rye spiciness.  This drinks extremely light for its ABV and flavors.  This is a very good "generic" IPA and probably the best of the Mission St. beers.

2011 Anniversary Ale - This 8.5% ABV Imperial Brown Ale pours extremely dark brown to light black, opaque, with a touch of ruby when held to the light.  There is a small head of light brown foam that leaves some lacing on the glass.  The aroma is sweet, roasted, a bit of mocha coffee and a sour note.  The taste is slightly sweet, dark roasted malt, some creamy coffee at the back of the throat, a touch of nut and a slightly dry and medium bitter finish.  The aftertaste leaves a lingering bitter/sour sensation at the back of the throat that is mildly off-putting.  This beer is interesting and has some good flavors, but I wish it had a cleaner finish.


Breckenridge Brewery - Pandora's Bock; Summer Bright Ale

The Breckenridge Brewery is in Denver, Colorado.

Pandora's Bock - This beer pours a dark copper/amber in color.  The aroma is malty, with clean, long grass and some fruitiness.  The taste is roasted, nutty, a bit of burnt caramel, with just a bit of rye-like spiciness.  There is a crisp, clean lager finish, with some slight bitterness.  This is a tasty and drinkable beer.

Summer Bright Ale - This 4.5% ABV beer is brewed with orange and lemon peels.  It pours light golden and pale straw in color with a slight white head that dissipates quite rapidly.  The aroma is fresh and clean, dry grain, a touch of lager funk and a bit of citrus zest.  The taste follows the aroma with a nice citrus zest in the aftertaste.  This is a crisp and refreshing summer lager.  I like that the addition of the lemon and orange peels adds a subtle rather than overwhelming flavor.  A truly great take on a summer beer.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Lakefront Brewery Big Easy Imperial Maibock Lager

The Lakefront Brewery is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

This 7.7 % ABV beer pours a bright, sparkling copper in color.  The aroma is malty, slightly sweet, and a bit spicy and aromatic, like a spiced bundt cake.  The taste is sweet and malty, with grain and some aromatic fruitiness.  It finishes clean.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Karpackie Super Mocne (Super Extra)

This is from the Van Pur Brewery in Rakszava, Poland.

This 9% ABV lager pours a dark golden to light brown-copper in color.  The aroma is malty, grain, molasses and root beer.  The taste is somewhat sweet, but surprisingly for its ABV, it is not overly sweet or cloying.  The taste is malt forward, a bit of molasses, cookie and slight root beer.  For a 9% lager, this is amazingly drinkable.  Generally a lager that high in alcohol tastes terribly sweet, and also sour at the same time, alcohol forward and usually borders on the undrinkable.  This has some similarities to the Zlaty Hrad, but is much better.

Karpackie Mocne (Extra)

This is from the Van Pur Brewery in Rakszava, Poland.

This 6.8% strong lager pours dark honey golden in color.  The aroma is of corn in a metal bucket, with a hint of hay and some fresh tall grass.  The taste is of grain with some hop floral and bitter notes.  For a higher alcohol lager it drinks fairly refreshing, and is not overly sweet or alcoholic in flavor.  This is one of the better Euro strong lagers I have had recently.

Amber Brewery Kozlak Bock Beer

The Amber Brewery is in Pomerania, Poland.

This 6.5% ABV beer pours medium dark-brown and ruby.  It is somewhat cloudy and translucent.  The aroma is powerful, and subtly sweet, with molasses, and a bit of vanilla. It is like a chewy molasses cookie. There is also a bit of barnyard in the aroma, that not unpleasant mix of fresh mud, straw, hay, grain and manure. The taste is strong and follows the aroma, sweet but not cloyingly so, with a lot of malt, molasses, and cookie.  There is just enough bitterness to prevent it being overly sweet.  If you like a kick you in the butt bock, this is one for you.

Trader Joe's Vienna Style Lager

This 5.7% ABV beer pours a dark copper-amber with orange and brown.  The aroma has a lot going on.  It is malty, roasted, sweet, tart, yeasty, and fruity all at once.  The taste is malt forward, roasted, nutty, a bit of tobacco with a bitter finish.  The mouth feel is crisp, well-carbonated and dry.  This is pretty good for a store brand.

Mission St. Blonde Ale

I picked this up at Trader Joe's.  It says it is brewed and bottled by Steinhaus Brewing Co. of Paso Robles, California.

This 4.4% ABV beer pours dark honey golden in color.  The aroma is slightly sweet, with an orange marmalade type fruitiness.  The taste is slightly sweet, a touch of honey, but dry, like fruit jelly on a Bisquick biscuit.  There is some yeast apparent in the taste. It finishes with a dry, mellow bitterness and a pleasant aftertaste.  There is a just right sweetness in this beer.  It manages to be both sweet and dry at the same time, it is not overly sweet at all.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Colt 45 High Gravity Lager

From Colt 45 (a Pabst brand). This 8.5% ABV beer pours dark golden in color with ample carbonation and a thick foamy white head that leaves some light lacing.  The aroma is sweet yet with a sharp tartness, slightly metallic, a bit of green apple.  The taste is sweet with a sour finish.  Any individual flavors are hard to discern.  It is more drinkable than some higher alcohol malt liquors, but in and of itself it is not very enjoyable.  Colt 45 Double Malt is good, the regular Colt 45 is okay out of a bottle, but this is too sweet and too sour all at once.