Friday, March 25, 2011

Chakra Premium Lager

This 5.2% ABV beer comes from the Chakra Brewery in India (but is brewed in Rochester, New York at the High Falls Brewery, makers of Genesee, "under technical supervision of the Chakra Brewery").

The beer pours a dark honey golden in color with lots of fine champagne-like carbonation.  The aroma is slightly smokey, like malted barley for scotch whiskey.  The taste is full, malty, slightly sweet, but with a green apple finish like that of cheap sub-premium beer.  This beer is a strange mixture, nice aroma, poor finish on the taste.  The finish leaves the overall impression of a very bad cheap beer.

Astika Lager

This is a product of Bulgaria.

This 4.5% ABV beer pours light golden/straw colored with a nice thick and creamy head of foam that leaves substantial lacing down the glass.  The aroma is big, lots of grain, and some spicy, grassy hops.  The taste is freshly harvested, dry corn with a pleasingly bitter finish.  It is amply carbonated.  A refreshing and pleasant light European lager.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Lakefront Brewery - Eastside Dark Lager; Snake Chaser Irish Style Stout; Klisch Pilsner; IBA India-Style Black Ale; Rendezvous Biere de Garde

The Lakefront Brewery is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Eastside Dark Lager - This beer pours dark brown, and is translucent only around the edges.  The aroma is light, a slight hint of dark roasted malt and a bit of fresh, zesty hops.  The taste is deep, rich, dark roasted malt.  It is full flavored while still being light drinking.  A very sessionable dark lager.

Snake Chaser Irish Style Stout - This beer pours pitch black with a small light brown head that dissipates quite rapidly.  The aroma is dark roasted malt, some coffee, and both slightly sweet and slightly tangy.  The taste is very deep, rich, dark roasted malt, coffee like, a bit of cocoa, and a touch of both sweet and sour.  The beer finishes dry and tangy.  This is a stout that suits my taste, too many American stouts are too sweet for me, I like the drier finish.

Klisch Pilsner - This beer pours golden in color with a slight head.  The aroma is lightly fruity, plums and apricots.  The taste is fruity with a tangy aftertaste.  Nice, but not exceptional. 

IBA India-Style Black Ale - This 6.5% ABV beer pours dark black in color, completely opaque, with a large, thick, creamy and foamy head that is light brown in color.  It leaves sticky lacing of light to medium density down the glass.  The aroma is fruity, citrusy, dark roasted malt and yeast all wrapped together.  The spicy zest of hops and yeast combined with the dark roasted malt give an almost light smokey quality.  The taste is rich, yet feels light.  The flavors combine much like the aromas.  The taste is like a spicy rye/pumpernickel bread, toasted, with fruit jelly on it.  The malt is dark enough to leave a bit of coffee taste as well. 

Rendezvous Biere de Garde - This 7.2% ABV beer is a French-style ale, the "beer to keep" that is a traditional Northern French farmhouse style.  The beer pours a clear and glowing burnt orange, deep amber, light brown, copper in color with a tall half-inch of creamy and foamy head that is off-white in color.  The aroma is malty, stone fruits, and a bit of zesty grassiness.  The taste is malty, caramel, stone fruits, a fruity tartness.  This is too heavy on the sweet malt side without enough countering hops to make a good biere de garde, but it is quite tasty in and of itself.  It would actually make a great Oktoberfest beer.

Augustiner Amber Lager

Brewed by the Iron City Brewing Company of Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

This beer pours amber/copper in color.   The aroma is malty, slightly fruity, with a hint of tea.  The taste is ever so slightly sweet, malty, a touch of caramel and roasted malt, a touch of grain, and a little fruit and hops.  This is a very drinkable beer.

Lakefront Brewery Riverwest Stein Beer Amber Lager

This beer pours amber/copper in color and is cloudy.  The aroma is shortbread malt and grassy bright hops.  The taste is biscuit, a little fruit, some tea and a bitter hop finish.

The Lakefront Brewery is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Stagecoach Amber Ale

This is from the Mantorville Brewing Company of Mantorville, Minnesota and Black River Falls, Wisconsin.  "Born in Bluff Country"

The beer pours amber/copper in color and is cloudy,  There is a 3/4 inch head of foamy head that is long lasting.  The aroma is malty, bready and slightly fruity.  The taste is fruity, plum-like, with a malty bready-biscuity quality.  There is a dry, bitter finish.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Weihenstephaner Korbinian Doppelbock

Weihenstephaner Brewery is in Freising, Germany and is the world's oldest brewery.

This 7.4% ABV beer pours dark brown, essentially opaque, with a slight translucence around the edges that shows some dark ruby red.  There is a half inch of thick light brown foam.  The aroma is strong caramel, some raisin/prune, and a slight hint of tobacco.  The taste is somewhat sweet, but not cloying, with dark roasted malt predominating, from caramel to a light coffee finish.

Svyturys Baltijos Dark Red

This beer is from the Svyturys-Utenos Alus Brewery in Klaipeda, Lithuania.

This 5.8% ABV beer pours a dark amber, copper, brown, and orange and slightly cloudy.  The aroma is predominantly malty, with caramel, pipe tobacco, dark cherry, and a bit of a zesty hop note.  The taste is somewhat sweet and follows the aroma to a certain extent.  The flavor has less of the tobacco note and more of a caramel pastry bready sweetness. 

Shiner 102 Double Wheat

Shiner beers are from the Spoetzel Brewery in Shiner, Texas.  They have been releasing a series of annual beers both before, on and after their 100th anniversary.  This is number 102 in that line.  "There's nothing finer than a Shiner."

This 6.2% ABV beer pours a deep, dark golden in color with half an inch of pure white foam.  The aroma is intense, fresh, malty in a french bread type of way, with a zesty, clean and grassy hop note.  The aroma really makes me look forward to giving it a taste.  The taste is nicely sweet, with the bread noted in the aroma now being more the crust than the white inside, and the finish brings on the hops as noted in the aroma with just enough bitterness to balance the sweetness.  If you see "double wheat" and are looking for some kind of weiss or wit beer, you will be sadly disappointed.  If you want an aromatic and flavorful "lager" type beer that balances sweetness, malt, and hops with a refreshing clean finish, then you will really like this beer, as did I.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Uerige Doppelsticke

From Dusseldorf, Germany.

This 8.5% ABV beer pours dark brown and cloudy.  The aroma is of raisins and old, woody sherry.  The taste follows the aroma.  Some people love beers like this, you know who you are.  Unfortunately, they are not to my taste.  I much prefer Uerige Alt.

Left Hand Brewing Company Stranger American Pale Ale

The Left Hand Brewing Company is in Longmont, Colorado. This 5.0% ABV pale ale uses Centennial, Cascade and Willamette hops.

This beer pours a glowing orangish-golden in color and slightly cloudy.  There is a small head of white foam that leaves thick but spotty lacing.  The aroma is light, crisp, fresh and clean, fruity and aromatic.  The taste is dry, bitter, on a solid biscuity malt base with light fruit jam.  This beer is quite bitter, but refreshing, a nice summer ale.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Avery Hog Heaven Barleywine-Style Ale

The Avery Brewing Company is in Boulder, Colorado. Their dry-hopped barleywine has 9.2% ABV and 104 IBU's.

The beer pours a deep copper and amber in color. There is a relatively short head of light tan foam. The aroma is deep, fruity, sweet, but with tang, candied oranges, citrus rinds, overripe tangy tropical fruits, melons, caramel, with some grassiness. The taste follows the aromas, big, tangy, sweet, fruity. There is some pine that comes in as well. The finish is astringently dry, like grapefruit peel, with a large bitterness battling the sweetness of fruit and caramel. The beer drinks smooth and tangy. This is a really excellent American barleywine.

I see I liked this in 2011, but not nearly as much as I do now: The beer pours dark amber/copper in color, translucent but not transparent.  The aroma is hoppy, sweet, roasted malt, burnt caramel, and rye (this does not contain rye, but it has that spicy, bready rye aroma).  The taste pretty well follows the aroma, although the taste is less hoppy and more rye bread, not nearly as sweet as many high alcohol barley wines, this has a nice dry, bitter finish.

New Belgium Brewing Company Abbey Belgian Style Ale

This is a 7.0% ABV Belgian-style dubbel ale from New Belgium Brewing out of Fort Collins, Colorado. 

The beer pours medium to dark brown, translucent.  The aroma is very yeast forward, with a strong banana component, sweet, almost like the circus peanut candy.  The taste is also very yeasty, with strong banana, a bit sweet, but also a roasted malt taste.  Anyone who likes the banana yeast flavor will love this beer.  Unfortunately, it is not a flavor I like.  However, there is enough roasted malt on the back to make it just drinkable for me.

I am liking this much better in 2017:  The beer pours a very dark brown and ruby. There is a relatively short head of light tan. The aroma is malty, caramle, dark fruits and plums, with an herbal yeastiness that is almost smokey. The taste follows the aromas, lots of malt, some well roasted, sweet notes of caramel, along with fruit and some yeast tones. There is sweetness, but there is also some dryness on the finish, along with a moderate bitterness. The beer drinks smooth and soft.

Odell Brewing Company Levity Amber Ale

Odell is in Fort Collins, Colorado.

This 5.1% ABV beer pours a pure amber, light copper in color with a half inch of foamy head that leaves lacing down the glass.  The aroma is clean and tangy, part sweet and part tart at the same time with a slightly fruity/floral and malty backgroun.  The taste is slightly sweet, floral, yet tart at the same time and with a crisp, bitter finish.  This is a very drinkable and very enjoyable beer.  Odell is one of those solid, almost never miss across many styles type of brewery, like Summit and Sierra Nevada.

Empyrean Brewing Company Chaco Canyon Honey Gold; Aries Marzen Oktoberfest

The Empyrean Brewing Company is in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Chaco Canyon Honey Gold - This 4.8% ABV beer pours dark honey golden and somewhat cloudy with a white foamy head that leaves lacing down the glass.  The aroma is slightly sweet and floral with a strong base of grain.  The taste is slightly sweet folowed immediately by a bitter, crisp and dry finish that leaves a pleasant aftertaste of grain.

Aries Marzen Oktoberfest - This 5.3% ABV beer pours a dark copper, brown and orange in color with a short head of light brown foam.  The aroma is toasted and roasted malt, nutty.  The taste is a very nutty and toasted maltiness, just a hint of caramel sweetness.  Oh, this is delicious!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Odell Brewing Company Runoff Red IPA (formerly Red Ale)

This is a spring seasonal from the Odell Brewing Company of Fort Collins, Colorado. It was formerly just their "Red Ale" and you can see that below. The new name is inspired by spring snow melt, resulting in "run off."

The beer pours a deep copper and red in color. There is a short head off light tan foam. The aroma is piney, tangy, spicy and malty, with a caramel note. The taste is roasted malt, a tinge of smokiness, sparring with a piney and tangy hoppiness. The result is a beautiful draw of clashing flavors. It is medium bodied with a refreshing carbonation, and moderately bitter on the finish. Solidly done, like every Odell beer.

2011:  The beer is 6.5% ABV and pours a very dark, copper and amber in color with light ruby tints. It has a half inch of dense head, off-white in color. It leaves some light lacing on the glass as the beer is consumed. The aroma is hop forward at first, pine and light tropical fruit, followed by a wave of caramel maltiness, with tobacco and tea. The taste follows the aroma and has a long, lingering aftertaste that stays true to the original flavor. It drinks easy and light, but with strong flavor. This is a very enjoyable beer, as is every Odell offering; they are a strong brewer.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Twisted Pine Brewing Company - Hoppy Boy IPA; American Amber Ale; Billy's Chilies

The Twisted Pine Brewing Company is in Boulder, Colorado.

Hoppy Boy IPA - This beer pours a dark copper in color with very little head or apparent carbonation.  The aroma is fruity, piney, slightly spicy.  The taste is sweet fruit over a malt backbone, with a hint of pine followed by a bitter finish.  Interesting and drinkable, but not as hop forward as I prefer in an American IPA.

American Amber Ale - This beer pours a shiny but dark amber to light brown in color, dark enough to just remain clear.  The aroma is slightly sweet and tart at the same time with caramel in the background and just a hint of hazelnut.  The taste is clean, malty, caramel without being overtly sweet, and a bitter finish.  This is a very nice amber ale.

Billy's Chilies - This beer is part of their Timberline Series and it is made with Anaheim, Fresno, Serrano, Jalapeno and Habanero chilies.  The beer pours a hazy yellow-golden in color and has nearly no head.  The aroma is spicy, chilies, chilies and chilies.  The taste is lots of fresh chilies over a fairly non-descript lager.  It has a nice slow burn spice to it.  It is interesting to drink one, but it seems the best use for this would be in cooking, adding to chili, beer batter, cooking brats, or any other recipe where beer is used and spice would be nice.

Aldaris Zelta Premium

Aldaris is from Aldaris, Latvia.

This 5.2% ABV beer pours golden in color with a nice foamy head.  The aroma is of a clean barn, lots of hay, some dry corn, a touch of lager "funk" and a bit of grass.  The taste is slightly sweet, and follows the aroma although it is a bit lighter.  It has a good flavorful aftertaste.  A refreshing and very drinkable lager.

Chameleon Brewing Company

Chameleon is from Glendale Wisconsin.

Hop On Top Aroma Hop Ale - This beer pours honey golden with just a hint of copper.  The aroma is resinous, slight grapefruit peel, slight pine, slight soapiness.  The taste is just plain strange.  I can't even place it.  Alien, yet familiar.  Perhaps a bit like a liquefied clove cigarette.  This is not good.

Ryediculous IPA - This beer pours dark copper to light brown in color, cloudy, with absolutely no head, and little carbonation.  There is a large amount of sediment in the bottle.  The aroma is pretty light, slightly fruity, and leather.  The taste is light fruity followed by massive, mouth-puckering bitterness with that slightly spicy rye effect in the background.  I'm not feeling this one either. 

Fire Light Beer - This 4.2% ABV beer pours light honey golden in color.  The aroma is somewhat malty, wet grain, and fresh, bitter grass.  It drinks fairly light with a slightly sweet graininess and a slight hop bitterness, with a watery aftertaste.
The web site says this is a new venture by a Sprecher from Sprecher Brewing Company where they are making highly drinkable beers.  The ones I have tried are terrible (although the Fire Light is a decent light beer).

Weyerbacher - Harvest Ale; AutumnFest Ale; Winter Ale; Fireside Ale; Merry Monks' Belgian Style Golden Ale

The Weyerbacher Brewing Company is in Easton, Pennsylvania.

Harvest Ale - This beer is brewed with fresh hops from their own local hops farm.  The 6.2% ABV beer pours dark copper/amber with a large head.  The aroma is fruity and malty.  I assume it is a fall release and I just got it.  I wonder if this is very hop forward when fresh.  The taste is light, fruity, malty, like a biscuit with plum jelly. 

Another bottle acquired in late fall of 2011, let's give this another try:  The color of the beer is the same, the head is smaller, and off-white in color.  The aroma is mild, as much malt as hops.  Not a hop forward beer, which is what I would expect from a fresh hop ale.  The taste is similar, but notably bitter.  Decent beer in and of itself, but it is an utter failure as fresh hop ale.

AutumnFest Ale - This pours a dull light brown and amber in color.  There is essentially no head.  The aroma is malty, wet grain, light sweet potato.  The taste is malty, light caramel, fruity, zesty and bright on the finish.  This is very tasty, and with the same flavor, but just a little more body, it would be excellent.

Winter Ale - This beer pours very dark brown to black in color.  There is a tall quarter-inch of light brown head.  The aroma is dark roasted malt, sweet, but also a tart note.  The taste is nutty and dark roasted malt, sweet, but not too sweet, with a fruity tart note as well.  It is a bit hard to describe this, but it is very good.

Fireside Ale -  This 7.5% ABV beer pours a very dark brown, seemingly hazy if held to the light.  There is a small ad of creamy light brown.  The aroma is smokey, malty, somewhat caramel sweet, somewhat tart.  The taste is deep rich caramel malt, a bit of plum fruit, and a peaty smokiness.  An interesting beer.  I generally don't like smokey beers, but this has just the right light touch.

Merry Monks' Belgian Style Golden Ale - This 9.3% ABV beer pours a very hazy dark golden orange in color with a short head of white foam.  The aroma is very sweet, malty, redolent of alcohol, with a yeasty and citrusy tart note in the back.  The taste is very sweet, malty, a touch of fruit.  It shows every bit of its high alcohol in its taste.

Sixteen - This 10.5% ABV beer is described as a dark braggot ale brewed with honey.  (According to the Oxford Dictionary, braggot is honey and ale fermented together).  The beer pours black in color with a short head of light brown head.  The aroma is sweet, definite honey note, along with lightly burnt caramel.  The taste follows the aroma, honey, caramel, molasses.  This is one sweet, sweet, beer.