Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Great River Hop A Potamus Double Dark Rye Pale Ale

Great River beers are brewed and canned by Old Capitol Brew Works and Public House (doing business as Great River Brewery) in Davenport, Iowa.  They have a really nice line-up of beers.

www.greatriverbrewery.com

This beer is 9.0% ABV and 99 IBU's, and it pours a very dark brown in color.  If held to the light it is translucent, but not transparent, with ruby tints.  There is nearly an inch of thick and creamy head, off-white to very light brown in color.  The aroma is malty, dense rye bread, some caramel, strong iced tea with lemon, orange marmalade and red plum jam.  The taste follows the aromas and finishes quite bitter, yet it is surprisingly drinkable for its massive flavors and high alcohol.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Schlafly Export India Pale Ale

Schlafly beers are brewed by The Saint Louis Brewery of St. Louis, Missouri.  This is a special release beer for them.

www.schlafly.com

This 7.2% ABV beer is an English-style IPA and it pours orange and dark golden to copper with a half-inch of thick, foamy head, off-white in color.  The aroma is aromatically yeasty, both fruits and esters, and with floral and light fruitiness from the hops, over a detectable caramel malt base.  The taste is light toasted caramel malt, with a zesty fruitiness.  It drinks crisp and moderately bitter.  The taste is lighter and more lively than the aroma indicates.  Nice.


Millstream Brewing Co. - Hop2 Double IPA

The Millstream Brewing Company is in Amana, Iowa, part of the Amana Colonies.  They have been brewing since 1985.

www.millstreambrewing.com

The beer pours dark copper with brown, deep ruby and garnet.  There is a massive, tall head of thick and creamy foam that is very light brown in color.  The aroma is deep caramel malt and thick, very ripe fruits.  The taste is both deeply malty (roasted, toasted, nutty, caramel) and deeply fruity (jam, orange marmalade, very ripe melons).  There is a yeasty tang on the finish.  The mouthfeel is quite light compared to the rich flavors.  This is a good and interesting beer.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Rogue Double Dead Guy Ale

Rogue Ales are brewed and bottled in Newport, Oregon.

www.rogue.com

This 9.0% ABV beer pours a dark orange and amber in color.  There is a half-inch of light brown foamy head. The aroma is malty and fruity, a lot of orange peel and orange, slightly sweet with a bit of fruity bitterness.  The taste is extremely and surprisingly fruity, orange, some melon, a honey-floral sweetness, with a finish that is still bitter and dry in a grapefruit way.  This is a very interesting and tasty beer.








Clown Shoes Lubrication American Black Ale

Clown Shoes beers are brewed by the Mercury Brewing Company of Ipswich, Massachusetts.

www.clownshoesbeer.com

The bottle says it is ale brewed with natural flavors, the natural flavor apparently being orange peel.  This 6.0% ABV beer pours jet black in color, with a massive, overflowing head of billowing, thick, tall, sea foam-like, brown foam.  The aroma is dark roasted malt, dark chocolate covering fruit, mostly orange.  The taste is deep dark roasted malt, coffee, dark cocoa, and orange peel, with a very bitter and dry finish.





Baltika 6 - Porter

The Baltika Breweries are in St. Petersburg, Russia (the home of the great Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky).

This beer pours a very dark brown, essentially black, with some dark ruby and garnet when held to the light.  There is a half-inch of cappuccino brown head.  The aroma is mildly dark roasted malt, sweet, yet tangy.  The taste is dark roasted malt, slightly nutty, a touch of chocolate, a bit sweet, and with some tanginess and bitterness on the end.  It is fairly well carbonated for a porter.  This is a nice and drinkable mass-produced porter.






Yarpivo Extra Lager

Yarpivo beers are a product of the Baltika Breweries of St. Petersburg, Russia.

This is a 7.2% ABV "extra" lager, common in Eastern European countries, their version of malt liquor, I suppose.  The beer pours a yellow golden in color with a half inch of thick and foamy white head.  The aroma is grain, some straw, grassy, lightly floral and herbal, with an almost light root beer note.  The taste follows the aromas directly and finishes with a slight herbal bitterness.  There is a tinge of sweetness, but for its high alcohol this drinks easier and lighter than many of the "extra" lagers.



Martens Pilsener

The Brewery  Martens is in Bocholt, Belgium.

This 4.8% ABV beer pours yellow golden, highly carbonated, with a half inch of thick, foamy and creamy head.  The aroma is fairly light, grain, straw from a barn, with a grassy note.  The taste is quite light, some grain, very light straw, a bit metallic, and mildly bitter.  The head adds a nice creaminess to the mouthfeel.  This makes Stella Artois look like a Russian Imperial Stout, it is quite light for a Belgian beer, even a lager.





New Belgium Shift Pale Lager

The New Belgium Brewing Company is in Fort Collins, Colorado.  This 5.0% ABV beer is based one that was previously in-house only, that workers could drink at the end of their shift.

This beer is a lightly hopped lager that pours a dark golden, almost approaching copper or orange. There is a short, thick and foamy white head.  The aroma is lightly hoppy, aromatic flowers, a bit of tangerine and citrus, fresh tall grass, and some fruity yeast.  The taste is smooth golden grain, bread dough, citrus and flowers, tea with lemon, with a slightly bitter and grassy finish.  It has a nice crisp carbonation, but also a smooth and creamy feel in the mouth as well.  This is absolutely delicious, what a session beer!  It is hard to do it justice with words, get out and try this one.




Thursday, April 19, 2012

Genesee Ice

The Genesee Brewing Company is from Rochester, New York.  It was founded in 1878 and has always been on of America's largest regional breweries.  High Falls Brewery purchased Genesee in 1990. In addition to the Genesee beers, the GBC also does a lot of contract brewing. This is their 5.5% ABV ice beer (relatively low for an ice).

The beer pours a very dark golden in color. There is a half inch of white head, not long lasting. The aroma is sweet and toasted malt. It actually smells better than their Cream Ale. The taste follows the aromas, sweet, but toasted. The taste from the can and the glass are similar. While it has sweetness, the finish is just on the dry side. The bitterness is very low. There is a light smoothness, followed by intense carbonation. This is not bad for what it is, category wise.


Back in 2012, pretty consistent to that first try, but the can has changed: The beer pours a dark honey golden in color.  This is darker than I would have expected.  There is a near half-inch of white and thickly foamy head.  The head leaves sedimentary layers of lacing down the glass.  The aroma is malty and slightly sweet, a bit of herbal grassiness.  The taste is malty grain, very light caramel, less sweet than the aroma, with a bit of tart bitterness on the finish.  The mouthfeel is lightly, yet adequately carbonated, with a creamy, smooth finish.  For a mass produced ice adjunct lager, this is pretty darn good.  I would drink it again given the opportunity.




Baltika 5 Golden Lager

The Baltika Breweries are based in St. Petersburg, Russia.

This 5.3% ABV beer pours yellow golden in color, with a tall quarter-inch of pure white foamy head.  The leaves light to medium lacing on the glass.  The aroma is golden grains, some straw, and an herbal grassiness.  The taste follows the aroma, strong on the grain, light on the straw and less herbal notes than the aroma.  It is well carbonated, but also drinks slightly creamy.  The aftertaste is reminiscent of the flavor, and pleasant.  This is a solid "medium" lager, not great, but not bad, lacking in some areas, but better than many mass-produced beers.





Angry Cedar Brewing Co. Flash Flood Pale Ale

The Angry Cedar Brewing Co. is in Waverly, Iowa.  It takes its name from the June 2008 flooding of the Cedar River that devastated parts of many eastern Iowa towns.

www.angrycedar.com

This 5.0% ABV beer pours orange-copper in color with a quarter inch of off-white head, foamy, slightly soapy in appearance.  The aroma is malty, roasted and toasted, but an off-putting sour smell, like uncleaned tap lines. The taste is malty with a very bitter and dry finish.  Unfortunately, the off note in the aroma, an unclean sourness, is also quite present in the taste and ruins this beer.  This beer has potential, but it is a drain pour for this bottle, undrinkable.


Corona Light - Corona - Corona Familiar

As another Cinco de Mayo approaches, it seemed like a good time to get in a review of Corona Beers.  They are brewed and bottled by the Cerveceria Modelo of Mexico.

I also wanted to use this tasting as test to see if a mystery could be solved.  As you know, Corona comes in a familiar clear bottle.  Recently in my area, brown quart bottles of Corona Familiar became available.  I had never seen Corona in a brown bottle.  A search on the internet revealed a debate, with some saying Familiar is just regular Corona with the Spanish "familiar" indicating a "family" size.  Others insisted that the Familiar is in fact a higher alcohol and distinctly different tasting Corona.

I thought the tasting might help resolve this.  Clear bottles let in full light and are notorious for creating sun-damaged flavor and "skunked" beers.  Brown bottles let in much less light, which generally protects the flavor more.  Of course, cans let in no light.  So, I will try the Corona in a clear bottle, a can, and the brown bottle.  If the beers are the same, the can, having been the most protected, should taste the best.  The flavor distinctions, if any, might help clarify if the Familiar is regular Corona in a brown bottle, or something different.  What is your opinion?

Corona Light -
     Clear bottle:  The beer pours a light and pale yellow golden in color.  There is quite a bit of carbonation and a tall half-inch of pure white foamy head.  The aroma is light, corn, cooked corn, apple, with a very light flowery note.  The taste is even lighter than the aroma, hard to pick out many distinct flavors, just a very light lager beer.  While the flavor is incredibly light, it is not off-putting in any way.  The carbonation is noticeable, but not stinging.  However, the overall effect is fairly watery, with the slightest hint of corn-like creaminess.

     Can:  The beer pours the same ghostly pale yellow as from the bottle, however, there is almost no head and the carbonation appears much more subdued in the glass.  The aroma is similar, but less of an apple note.  The flavor and mouthfeel are essentially identical, however, although the carbonation is less visible, it is more apparent on the tongue.  The bottle was obviously not skunked and the container made little difference here.

Corona -
     Clear bottle:  The beer pours a pure golden yellow in color with a quarter inch of pure white head.  It is well-carbonated, with a swirl rising upwards in the glass.  The aroma is grainy, corn, a bit funky/skunky although not in an off-putting way, with a grassy and tart edge.  The taste is light grain, a little sweeter than the aroma would indicate, with a straw-funk note and a light grassy bitterness on the finish.  Pretty ordinary as adjunct lagers go.

     Can:  The beer pours a slightly lighter yellow golden than in the bottle.  Like with the Light, there is a smaller head and less visible carbonation when poured from the can. The aroma is lighter than from the bottle, the funky/skunky note is gone.  Both a sweetness and the grassy tart edge are more apparent.  The taste is lighter too, and its sweet and tart notes don't blend as well.  I love German-style lagers, the ones with the strong notes of straw and funk.  So, I actually preferred the bottle here.

     Brown bottle (Familiar):  The beer pours a light yellow golden in color, a little lighter than the clear bottle, a little darker than from the can.  There is a shorter head than the clear bottle, more head than the can.  The visible carbonation is also somewhere in the middle.  The aroma is very similar to that of the can.  Wow, the taste again, guess what, falls right in between that of the clear bottle and the can.  The same tastes are there, grain, some sweet, tart, grassy, very light bitter, and just a touch of funkiness.  There was no funk in the can, a decent amount in the clear bottle.

Having tasted all three right next to each other, I would say that Familiar is regular Corona and not its own beer.  The variations are interesting, but small enough that they would appear to be attributable to the differing effects of the container on the beer, the clear letting in lots of light and "skunking", the can letting in nothing and being quite bland, and the brown bottle letting in some light and being somewhere in between.  The can was actually the worst of the three, as it was the most bland and light in every way.  The Familiar splits the difference nicely.



Saturday, April 14, 2012

Clown Shoes Hoppy Feet Black IPA

Clown Shoes beers are from the Mercury Brewing Company of Ipswich, Massachusetts.

http://www.clownshoesbeer.com/

This 7.0% ABV and 80 IBU beer pours the deepest, darkest brown, appearing black unless held to the light, where it shows tints of deep ruby and garnet.  There is a half-inch of brown head, thick, creamy and foamy.  The aroma is an interesting juxtaposition.  There is a floral, herbal, aromatic, citrusy hops sitting next to a deep, dark roasted maltiness, separate, yet in perfect harmony.  The aroma has the hops just ahead, the taste puts the deep, rich, dark, coffee and dark chocolate malt first, followed by the floral, citrusy hops.  It creates hints of a bittersweet dark chocolate and fruit dessert.  The finish is bitter and quite dry.  This is a quite good black IPA.

The Duck-Rabbit Brown Ale

The Duck-Rabbit Brewery is in Farmville, North Carolina.

http://www.duckrabbitbrewery.com/

This 5.6% ABV beer pours a deep brown with ruby and garnet.  There is a short half-inch of brown head, somewhat creamy.  The aroma is deep roasted malt, dark toasted, almost coffee, with a nice zesty, aromatic hoppiness on top.  The taste follows the aromas and this is nearly as dark roasted as many porters.  There is an element of dark chocolate and raspberry torte.  It is like drinking a gourmet bittersweet dessert cake.  The finish is nicely crisp and dry, with a zesty hoppiness that adds just the right bitterness to finish clean, without getting too sour.  This is a well-constructed gem of a brown ale.

Stoudts Brewing Company Oktoberfest

Stoudts Brewing Company is in Adamstown, Pennsylvania.

www.stoudtsbeer.com

This 5.0% ABV beer pours a dark orange, amber, copper in color.  There is a three-quarter inch head of off-white to very light brown head that is thick, foamy and creamy and leaves layers of sticky lacing down the glass.  The aroma is malty, with a spicy, herbal, aromatic bitterness.  The taste is sweetly malty, caramel, toasted, with just enough bitterness to finish smooth and dry.  Not as flavorful as some Oktoberfests, but a very pleasant easy drinker.

Genesee 12 Horse Ale

The Genesee Brewing Company is in Rochester, New York.  They have been brewing since 1878.

www.geneseebeer.com

I am a sucker for the stubby bottles, love 'em.  The beer pours a dark honey golden, nearing a hint of copper or orange.  There is a quarter-inch head of white foam.  The aroma is grain, honey sweet, herbal/floral.  The taste is sweet grain and herbal.  There is almost a hint of root beer.  There is a pleasant aftertaste.  The mouthfeel is light, but noticeable carbonation, along with a smooth, creamy element.  This is a very interesting, pleasant, but not great in any way.

Appalachian Brewing Company Mountain Lager

The Appalachian Brewing Company is in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

www.abcbrew.com

This 4.5% ABV beer pours a pale,light golden in color.  There is a short and rapidly dissipating head of white foam.  The aroma is pretty light, some golden grain and a moderate amount of herbal hop bitterness.  The taste is also quite light, some golden grain, a touch of honey sweetness, followed by a moderate bitter hop finish.  It is crisply carbonated, but not overly so.


If this was self-described as a "light" beer, I would give it good marks, but the brewery describes it as brewed in the Dortmunder export style.  As to that type, it is disappointingly light in flavor.

Straub Light

The Straub Brewery is in St. Mary's, Pennsylvania.  According to the book Great American Beer, Straub has been brewing since 1831, however the bottle says since 1872. 

www.straubbeer.com

This 3.2% ABV beer pours a pale yellow golden, with effervescent carbonation.  There is a half-inch of pure white head.  The aroma is fresh and dry golden grain in a dusty galvanized metal bucket.  The taste is very light grain, with a touch of grassy bitterness.  There is a crisp sting from the carbonation, but some creaminess from the head.  For a light American adjunct lager, this is really quite good, one of the best in its category.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Clown Shoes Eagle Claw Fist Imperial Amber Ale

Clown Shoes beers are brewed by the Mercury Brewing Company of Ipswich, Massachusetts.

www.clownshoesbeer.com

This 8.0% ABV beer is brewed with Columbus, Centennial and Citra hops and comes in at over 100 IBU's.  This should be one very hop forward amber ale.

The beer pours a dark orange and brown in color, almost getting tints of garnet.  There is a half-inch of thick, creamy and foamy head that is light brown in color.  The aroma is of dark roasted and toasted malt, with a thick layer of unctuous fruitiness.  The taste is roasted, toasted malt, a bit of nuttiness, lots of crusty bread, a bit of a dark, almost coffee note, much less fruit than the aroma, and a very bitter finish.  This is mouth puckeringly bitter.

Sixpoint Brewery Resin

The Sixpoint Brewery is in Brooklyn, New York.  "Beer is Culture."

www.sixpoint.com

This 9.1% ABV dry-hopped beer is 103 IBU's and sounds like a double or imperial IPA.  The beer pours a deep and dark amber and orange in color.  There is a short head of off-white to very light brown foam.  The aroma is very piney, and (imagine that) resiny.  There is also a full, round and over ripe fruitiness.  The taste is a very deep and toasted malt, piney hops, and an intensely bitter, herbal, almost burning, finish.

It is hard to believe that this is 9.1% ABV, it drinks quite smooth for its high alcohol, intense flavor and high IBU's.

Terrapin Beer Co. Hopsecutioner IPa

The Terrapin Beer Company is in Athens, Georgia. 

www.terrapinbeer.com

This 7.3% ABV beer pours a gleaming copper in color.  There is a short head of off-white foam.  The aroma is hoppy, a good amount of pine, over ripe tropical fruits and melons, and some citrus rind.  The taste follows the aroma, on a solid bed of rich, almost sweet, malt.  While the beer drinks rich, it is surprisingly light in the mouth for its ABV and intense flavors.  It finishes smooth, but quite bitter.

Appalachian Brewing Co. - Hoppy Trails IPA

The Appalachian Brewing Company is in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. 

www.abcbrew.com

This 6.2% ABV beer pours slightly cloudy and dark in orange in color, with a glowing quality.  There is a short head of off-white foam.  The aroma is ripe tropical fruit, some pine, with some orange citrus.  The taste is lighter than the flavor, crusty bread malt, fruit, with a subtly intense bitterness on the finish.

Yards Brewing Company Poor Richard's Tavern Spruce

The Yards Brewing Company is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  This beer is part of their Ales of the Revolution series where they brew beers using recipes of the Founding Fathers.  In this case, the beer is based on an original recipe of Ben Franklin's.  It is brewed with molasses and spruce tips and sprigs.  Spruce was an old substitute for hops.

This 5.0% ABV beer pours a deep and dark reddish-copper in color.  There is a short head of off-white foam.  The aroma, not surprisingly, has a good amount of pine.  The juxtaposition of the molasses and the spruce makes a sweet-tart note.  It is a bit like the old Bottle Caps candy.

The taste is sweet, tart and pine, pine, pine.  This is like drinking a pine sap cocktail (with Bottle Caps candy thrown in).  For its deep color and intense flavors, it drinks surprisingly light.  It is well carbonated.  It is refreshing, but definitely unique and a bit odd.

Wachusett Brewing Company Country Pale Ale

The Wachusett Brewing Company has been operating since 1994 in Westminster, Massachusetts.

www.wachusettbrew.com

This 5.1% ABV beer pours a slightly hazy deep orange and copper in color.  There is a short head of white to off-white foam.  The aroma is fruity, citrus and ripe melon, zesty, along with maltiness and a bit of caramel.  The taste is richly malty, but with a nice fruit; rich, floury biscuits baked with a nice brown top, slathered in orange marmalade.  The mouthfeel has noticeable carbonation,but is also nicely smooth and round.  There is a pleasing aftertaste reminiscent of the flavors.  This is a good and easy drinker.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wachusett Brewing Company Larry Imperial IPA

The Wachusett Brewing Company has been operating since 1994 in Westminster, Massachusetts.

www.wachusettbrew.com

This 7.5% ABV beer is made in conjunction with the Publick House (a beer bar in the brewery's area).  The beer pours an amber, orange, copper in color with a tall quarter-inch head of off-white foam.  The aroma is rich and creamy fruits.  The taste is richly hoppy and malty, with more hop than malt.  Creamy, round fruits on a solid malt base, slightly sweet and dense like a scone, with a finish of fruity tartness and light grassy bitterness.  This drinks incredibly smooth, creamy and non-bitter for an 85 IBU beer.  There is some lingering bitterness in the aftertaste.

Wachusett Brewing Company Green Monsta IPA

The Wachusett Brewing Company has been operating since 1994 in Westminster, Massachusetts.


www.wachusettbrew.com
 
This beer pours a dark amber, orange in color, slightly cloudy.  There is an inch of off-white thick, creamy and foamy head.  The aroma is floral, herbal, grassy and crusty bread.  The taste is richly fruity, creamy tropical fruits and melons, along with floral, more so than citrusy.  All of the fruit is on a discernible, but not overbearing crusty bread maltiness.  This is really delicious.  The beer is 6.0% ABV and 55 IBU's.  It is made with Cascade, Amarillo and Centennial hops.
 
As the beer is from Massachusetts, I am guessing the name comes from the big green outfield wall at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox.
 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Founders Dirty Bastard Scotch Style Ale

The Founders Brewing Company is in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

www.foundersbrewing.com

This 8.5% ABV beer pours medium brown with ruby and garnet.  There is a short head of light brown foam.  The aroma is malty and peaty, a touch of smoke, a touch of sweet, it is like smelling an emptied glass that had held single malt scotch.  The taste is deeply, richly, insanely malty, a bit sweet, but enough bitterness on the finish to balance out.  A deep, rich malt bomb. 

Sprecher Pipers Scotch-Style Ale

The Sprecher Brewing Company is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was founded in 1985 by a former brewing supervisor for Pabst Brewing.


www.sprecherbrewery.com
This 8.3% ABV beer is part of Sprecher's Premium Reserve line-up.  The beer pours a dark amber, and medium-dark orange brown in color.  There is a short, creamy head that is off-white to light brown in color.  The aroma is very smokey, peat, and peat-smoked barley.  The taste is malty, peaty, smokey, iodine brine.  If you like single malt scotch, then this is the island scotch of scotch ales, very peat smoked, intense, and not for everyone.
 

And speaking of Scottish pipers, here is something for your viewing and listening pleasure:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSH0eRKq1lE

Sprecher Mai Bock

The Sprecher Brewing Company is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was founded in 1985 by a former brewing supervisor for Pabst Brewing.


www.sprecherbrewery.com
 
This 6.0% ABV beer pours a copper, amber and orange in color, well carbonated.  There is an inch of thick, creamy, foamy head that is off-white in color.  The aroma is malty, sweet potatoes, a touch of caramel.  The taste follows the aroma, sweet and very malty, with a bitter finish.  If you like German-style malt bombs, this one is for you, but well-balanced in the finish.
 

Kaiserdom Pilsener

This 4.8% ABV pils is from the Kaiserdom Brewery in Bamberg, Germany.

http://www.kaiserdom.de/

The beer pours a pale yellow golden with a cyclone of carbonation in the glass.  There is a half-inch of thick and foamy white head that leaves moderate lacing down the glass.  The aroma is grain, straw, and that "funk" note found in German beers.  The taste follows the aroma, the finish is bitter, but there is a displeasing medicinal note.  The mouthfeel is rather light and watery.  Overall, a pretty poor German pilsener.

Stiegl Goldbrau Premium Lager

Stiegl beers are brewed in Salzburg, Austria.

This 4.9% ABV beer pours a pure golden yellow with an inch of thick, foamy, creamy white head.  The aroma is grain, straw, lager "funk", with some floral and grassy aromatic bitterness.  The taste follows the aromas directly.  Its mouthfeel is a little thin and watery, although the head adds a nice creaminess.  A decent, but not great, Euro-lager.

Preminger Lager

Preminger is a 5.0% ABV lager from the Bihac Brewery of Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

www.preminger.ba (not in English)

The beer pours a dark yellow golden with a whirlwind of carbonation.  There is a massive, thick, billowing head of pure white foam.  The aroma is grainy, bitter, flowers and grass, a bit of straw.  The taste is rich golden grain, a touch of honey sweetness, well balanced by a grassy bitterness.  There is a pleasant aftertaste of clean straw.  This is a very drinkable, although not exceptional, Euro lager.  The mouthfeel has both a carbonated crispness and a creaminess from the large head.

Beer Lao Lager

L.B.C., the Lao Brewery Company is, not surprisingly, in Laos.

http://www.beer-lao.com/

This 4.9% ABV beer pours a pale yellow golden in color.  There is a tall head of pure white foam that leaves a medium amount of lacing down the glass.  The aroma is light golden grain and grassy.  The taste is grain, aromatic grassiness, and a quite bitter finish.  There is a slight sweetness before the bitterness finishes dry.  The mouthfeel is crisply carbonated, but with a bit of creaminess from the head.  This is a pretty standard outside of Europe take on a Euro lager, not great in way, but I do like the bitterness and the combination of carbonation and creamy on the mouthfeel.  It would go great with a nice spicy Lao dish.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Dundee Porter

The Dundee Brewing Company of Rochester, New York is part of the Genesee family.

This 6.5% ABV beer pours a very dark brown, looking black, with very dark ruby and garnet when held to the light. There is a very short and thin head of light brown foam. The aroma is roasted malt, a light touch of coffee grounds, and a fruity tart note. The taste is dark roasted malt, the slightest bit of coffee and dark cocoa, with a light and tart finish. There is a nice lingering aftertaste of roasted light coffee-like malt.
 

Dundee Nut Brown Ale

The Dundee Brewing Company of Rochester, New York is part of the Genesee family.

www.dundeebeer.com

This is a 5.3% ABV brown ale with natural hazelnut flavors added.  According to the label "CONTAINS ALCOHOL".  No kidding?  It pours a medium-dark brown with tints of ruby.  There is a tall quarter-inch of creamy and foamy off-white head.  The aroma is nutty, not nearly as hazelnut as I had feared, roasted and toasty malt.  There is a good balancing bitterness on the finish.  This is a good, but not great, brown ale.

George Killian's Irish Red

This "Irish" beers was a Coors product, now part of the huge Unibev Molson-Coors conglomerate.

The beer pours a very dark amber, reddish-brown in color.  There is a half-inch of creamy and foamy head, off-white to very light brown in color.  The aroma is malty, toasted, a bit nutty.  The taste follows the aroma, a roasted, toasted, nutty maltiness.  The flavor is good, I just wish there was more of it.

Sprecher Special Amber Vienna Style Lager

The Sprecher Brewing Company is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was founded in 1985 by a former brewing supervisor for Pabst Brewing.

http://www.sprecherbrewery.com/

This 5.0% ABV beer pours orange and amber in color, seemingly clear with the appearance of haziness.  There is a short head of off-white foam.  The aroma is malty, caramel sweet, a bit of sweet potato.  The taste is richly malty, caramel, some roasted notes, a touch of sweet potato, but a good dose of bitterness on the finish to prevent it being overly sweet.  A good amber lager.



Three Floyds Brewing Company Zombie Dust Pale Ale

The Three Floyds Brewing Company is in Munster, Indiana.  Their beers are very sought after.

This 6.4% ABV beer pours a slightly hazy golden orange in color.  There is nearly an inch of thick, creamy, foamy head that is off-white to very light brown in color.  The aroma is hop forward, of cantaloupe, apricot jam and orange marmalade.  While this is described as a pale ale, its aroma is as intense as most IPA's and even many DIPA's and its alcohol is in the IPA range.  The taste is big, rich jammy fruits.  There is over-ripe melon, a slight citrus tartness, and it is perfectly bitter.  This beer drinks "light" for its big flavor.  This is the most flavorful pale ale I have ever had, really delicious.


The label is so dark, it was hard to get a decent picture.

Half Acre Beer Company Daisy Cutter Pale Ale

The Half Acre Beer Company is in Chicago, Illinois. Its non-draft beers are generally canned, although there are some special releases in 22-ounce bottles. I believe they are only currently distributed in the greater Chicago area. They just opened a new tap room (on November 2, 2012).

This 5.2% ABV beer pours a dark golden, copper and orange in color. There is a half-inch of creamy and foamy head that is off-white in color. The aroma is hop forward, pine, floral, citrus peels, and tropical fruit. The taste follows the aromas, but also has a note that is of earthy, woody, dank weed. There is also strong sun tea with lemon. It is all in balance, and sitting on top of a solid malt base of dark, almost rye-like bread, toasted. The finish is bitter, dry and floral. This is a very interesting and flavorful pale ale. Excellent!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Odell Brewing Company Footprint Region Ale

The Odell Brewing Company is in Fort Collins, Colorado and is one of the most consistent and best brewers out there.

This 9.5% ABV beer is made with ingredients from the ten key states that make up the distribution "footprint" of Odell beers.  It includes:
Hops and Barley - Colorado
Prickly Pear - Arizona
Barley and Hops - Idaho
Wheat - Kansas
Wild Rice - Minnesota
Oak Barrels - Missouri
Corn - Nebraska
Green Chilies - New Mexico
Barley and Honey - South Dakota
Wheat - Wyoming

I can only imagine what the flavors are like with that list of ingredients.  But, it gets even more interesting when you look at the blend: 40% ale aged in oak barrels, 40% ale with natural flavors added, 10% ale aged in wine barrels, 5% ale brewed with honey and 5% ale brewed with wild rice.  So, let's try this thing.

The beer pours dark golden and orange in color, and highly carbonated.  There is a very tall, thick and foamy head that is white to off-white in color.  The aroma is honey, floral, fruity, creamy, spicy like the New Mexico green chilies, melon, wine and a bit of jasmine tea.  The taste is a bit more subdued than the aroma, but all the same flavors are there, mixed in an exquisite balance.  The beer drinks creamy, yet carbonated, sweet, yet bitter, hot and spicy, yet delicately fruity and floral, all on a nice hearty grain base.  Another winner from Odell, I think "awesome" is probably the best word for it!