Friday, August 11, 2017

Bell's Porter

This 5.6% ABV porter is from the Bell's Brewery of Comstock, Michigan. 


The beer pours a very dark brown, almost black, in appearance. There is over an inch of thick, foaming head, very light tan. The aroma is dark roasted malt, chocolate, light char and light dark raisins. The taste is dark roasted malt, creamy, chocolate, and char. There is sweetness, but the finish is mostly dry. There is a moderate bitterness. The beer drinks easy, with very soft carbonation.  


Ommegang Rosetta

This 5.6% ABV ale aged on cherries is from the Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, New York. Ommegang is part of the Duvel family, and is essentially a Belgian brewery plopped down in New York State. The bottle says this one is actually brewed at Liefmans in Belgium.

The beer pours dark brown and ruby in color. There is a half-inch of light tan head. The aroma is tart cherries, sweet cherries, roasted malt, and a bit of leather. The taste is rich, sweet, malty, full of tart and sweet cherries, with some woody, earthy, leather notes. The finish is dry with very light bitterness. The beer drinks smooth, with some soft, fine, carbonation. This is really delicious.  


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Spaten Optimator

This 7.6% ABV doppelbock is from the Spaten brewery of Munich, Germany. 

The beer pours a very dark brown with hints of ruby. There is a short lived light tan head. The aroma is sweet, dark roasted malt, light char and star anise, almost a root beer note. The taste is sweet, dark roasted malt, well toasted pastry, darkened caramel. Although sweet, the finish is mostly dry, with a light bitterness. The beer drinks with a tingling carbonation, yet smooth.  


Boulder Bump 'n' Rind

This is a 5.6% ABV kolsch-style ale brewed with watermelon. It is from the Boulder Beer Company of Boulder, Colorado. 


The beer pours a very light champagne golden. There is a half-inch of thin white head. The aroma is mild, very light watermelon over light toasted grain golden ale. The taste provides a much bigger bump of watermelon flavor, over a solid base of golden grain kolsch. The finish is dry and moderately bitter. The beer drinks soft, yet crisp.  


Surly Inherent Weiss

The Surly Brewing Company originated in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, and now also has a destination brewery in Minneapolis. This is a 9.0% ABV dry-hopped Imperial Hefeweizen. 


The beer pours a hazy deep golden and straw colored. There is a tall head of foamy white, that soon becomes ragged. The aroma is a blast of lemon, sweet, tangy and zesty, with lighter toasted wheat, cloves, and banana. The taste follows the aromas, blending, giving an overall impression of a semi-sweet lemon cookie. The finish is mostly dry with light, lemon peel bitterness. The beer drinks smooth, with a carbonation that is soft, yet intense at the same time.  


Friday, August 4, 2017

Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest 2017 - Brauhaus Miltenberger

This 6.1% ABV festbier is Sierra Nevada Brewing's 2017 take on the Oktoberfest style, brewed this year in collaboration with Germany's Brauhaus Miltenberger (also called Faust). 

The beer pours a crystal clear light amber in color. There is an inch of white head. The aroma is malty, toasted grain and caramel, with a light fruit and flower note. The taste follows the aromas, very pleasant caramel, with toasted grain, and a dry finish. There is a moderate grassy bitterness. The beer drinks smooth, yet crisp. This is a very nice Oktoberfest beer.  

Alaskan Amber Ale

This 5.3% amber ale is from the Alaskan Brewing Company of Juneau, Alaska.

The beer pours a deep amber and copper in color. There is a half-inch of light tan head. The aroma is caramel, toffee, and a bit of dark fruit or berry. The taste follows the aromas, nice sweet malt. The finish is as dry as it is sweet and lightly bitter. The beer drinks smooth, with soft to moderate carbonation. This is a nice, solid amber ale.  


Friday, July 28, 2017

August Schell Harmony of Spheres

This 7.0% ABV is from the August Schell Brewing Company of New Ulm, Minnesota.  Schell's was established in 1860 and I believe they are the second oldest family owned brewery in the United States, behind Yuengeling. This beer is part of their Noble Star Collection of Berliner weisse style beers that they make in their original 1930's cypress tanks.

 The beer pours a glistening golden in color, just a shade darker than your average champagne. There is a half-inch of white head, not long lasting, very carbonated. The aroma is tart, funky, leather and flowers. The taste follows the aromas tart, but also with much leather and horse blanket, along with flowers. The finish is crisp and dry. The beer drinks smooth and crisp.  


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Toppling Goliath Fire, Skulls & Money IPA

The Toppling Goliath Brewing Company is in Decorah, Iowa. They do great things with beer. This is a 7.0% ABV India Pale Ale. 

The beer pours a cloudy golden and orange. There is a tall head of thick, foamy white. The aroma is a massive blast of citrus and tropical, guava, passion fruit. The taste follows the aromas, big, juicy, ripe, citrus, lime, tangerine, grapefruit, pomelo, along with tropical guava, passion fruit, and mango skin. The finish is dry and fairly bitter. The beer drinks smooth and soft, with light, yet tingling, carbonation. This is exquisite.  


Orkney Brewery Dark Island

The Orkney Brewery is in Quoyloo, Stromness, Orkney, Scotland.  The Orkney Islands are in the far north of Scotland. This is a 4.6% ABV dark traditional Scottish ale. 

The beer pours an extremely dark brown and dark ruby, nearly black. There is over an inch of tan, foamy head. The aroma is dark roasted, dark chocolate, sweetness, light char, light black licorice. The taste is rich and follows the aromas, with many dark roasted notes. While there is sweetness, the finish in drinking is dry, with a light to moderate bitterness. The beer drinks very smooth and soft, with light carbonation. This is a tasty and enjoyable beer.  


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Hebridean Brewing Berserker Export Pale Ale

This 7.4% ABV beer is from the Hebridean Brewing company of the Outer Hebrides islands in Scotland, UK. It is based on a 19th century recipe.

The beer pours a dark amber and copper, with just a touch of haze. There is a short and not long-lasting head of very light tan. The aroma is somewhat light, malty, toasted and lightly roasted, caramel, dark fruits, plums, berries, a bit sweet. The taste follows the aromas, but adds in a tart note. There is sweet, and tart, but with a dry finish. There is light bitterness. The beer drinks mostly smooth, with a very light carbonation.   

Small Town Brewery Not Your Father's Mountain Ale

This is a 5.0% ABV citrus brew. It is from the Small Town Brewery of LaCrosse, Wisconsin. They make alco-pops, and you can tell this one is their alcoholic Mountain Dew.


The drink pours a neon greenish-yellow. It is as much Hi-C Ecto Cooler as Mountain Dew. The aroma is sweet, citrus, a bit more Squirt and Mellow Yellow than Dew, with light industrial alcohol. The taste follows the aromas directly. It is very sweet, but somehow the finish is thirst inducing dry. This is way too sweet for me. This needs: one bottle of this, one or two shots of vodka or gin, half of a diet Mt. Dew, all mixed over ice, with a squeeze of fresh lime. Then maybe it would be better.  




Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Alaskan Icy Bay IPA

This 6.2% ABV India Pale Ale  is from the Alaskan Brewing Company of Juneau, Alaska.

The beer pours a deep golden in color. It is well carbonated, and there is a tall, foaming head of white. The aroma is toasted malt, light fruit, bubble gum, and very light pine. The taste follows the aromas, with a quite bitter finish. The beer drinks crisp, refreshing. It is nicely carbonated, but also smooth.


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Alaskan Cran-Spruce Ale

This 5.8% ABV ale is from the Alaskan Brewing Company of Juneau, Alaska. It is made with cranberries and spruce tips.

The beer pours a light brown, salmon pink in color. There is a quick settling white head. The aroma is light tart and fruity cranberry, toasted wheat, and very mild piney spruce. The taste follows the aromas, but kicks everything up a couple of notches. The finish is dry, with a moderate bitterness. The beer drinks smooth, but with an intense carbonation.




Toppling Goliath Hopsmack!

The Toppling Goliath Brewing Company is in Decorah, Iowa. They do great things with beer. This is a 8.0% ABV and 100 IBU double India Pale Ale. 


The beer pours cloudy and turbid, pale orange. There is a tall, foaming, white head. The aroma is musky, tropical, mango, mango skin, guava, passion fruit, pineapple, overripe fruits at a tropical market, a touch earty and dank. The taste follows the aromas, an absolute explosion of flavors, adding in some citrus, with a moderately bitter, somewhat piney finish. The aftertaste adds in grapefruit pith and peel. The beer drinks smooth and soft. This is a marvel!


Modelo Chelada Tamarindo Picante

Modelo Especial has been brewed since 1925 by the Cerveceria Modelo in Mexico City, Mexico. This is a variation on their canned version of a Mexican tomato beer, or chelada, which mixes beer, tomato juice, lime, and salt. This variation adds in tamarind and chipotle chiles. 

The beer pours the color of tomato juice, carbonated, with an inch of head that fizzes away quickly. The aroma is tart and fruity, with spiced tomato juice beneath. The taste follows the aromas, and hits all the notes of the ingredient list, tasting of tamarind, lime, tomato, hot peppers and salt. The beer does not come through the other flavors, but you can tell a light lager is the base. This is refreshing, Modelo makes good canned cheladas, and this one adds in the tart fruitiness of tamarind, along with some nice heat.  


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across the World 2017: Campout Porter

This is from the 2017 Beer Camp Across the World pack from Sierra Nevada brewing. This year they joined with brewers not just all over the United States, as in past years, but from around the world as well. This 7.7% ABV porter brewed with smoked malt, vanilla, and honey, was brewed in collaboration with Garage Project of Wellington, New Zealand.

The beer pours a very dark brown, with tints of light ruby. There is a half-inch of so of light tan foam. The aroma is sweet, the honey and vanilla, combined with the dark roasted malt and char, create a fruity effect, like berries, particularly raspberries. The taste follows the aromas, but the dark roasted char is in much more effect in the taste. The smokiness is enough to take the sweetness of the beer and bring it to a very dry finish, with moderate bitterness. The beer drinks quite smooth, with very soft carbonation. Many smoked malt beers are too smokey, this one is perfect.  


Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across the World 2017: Raspberry Sundae

This is from the 2017 Beer Camp Across the World pack from Sierra Nevada brewing. This year they joined with brewers not just all over the United States, as in past years, but from around the world as well. This 8.0% ABV ale brewed with lactose, vanilla, cocoa, and raspberry was brewed in collaboration with the The Bruery of Orange County, California. 

The beer pours a dark amber and copper to medium-light brown. There is a relatively short head of off-white to very light tan foam. The aroma is sweet and fruity, raspberry, vanilla, caramel, and very light cocoa. It smells like the old Brach's raspberry caramel roll. The taste follows the aromas. This is the liquid beer version of the Brach's raspberry Milk Maid Royal caramels (I looked the name up)! The beer drinks easy and smooth with moderate carbonation. This is a good dessert beer, where the beer is the dessert!


Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across the World 2017: Dunkle Weisse

This is from the 2017 Beer Camp Across the World pack from Sierra Nevada brewing. This year they joined with brewers not just all over the United States, as in past years, but from around the world as well. This 5.7% ABV dunkel weizen, or dark wheat beer, was brewed in collaboration with the Ayinger brewery of Germany.

The beer pours a hazy medium brown. There is an inch of light tan head. The aroma is roasted malt, caramel, yeast esters, banana and clove. The taste follows the aromas, sweet, but with a certain fruity tartness as well. The taste is rich, pastry like. Despite the sweetness the finish is mostly dry, lightly bitter. The beer drinks smooth, with fine and soft carbonation. This is a fine example of the style.  


Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across the World 2017: Dry-Hopped Barleywine Style Ale

This is from the 2017 Beer Camp Across the World pack from Sierra Nevada brewing. This year they joined with brewers not just all over the United States, as in past years, but from around the world as well. This 9.4% ABV barleywine was brewed in collaboration with the Avery Brewing Company of Colorado. They blended their respective barleywines, Bigfoot and Hog Heaven.

The beer pours a gleaming dark copper and amber. There is a half-inch of off-white head. The aroma is blueberries, toffee, caramel, raspberry and vanilla. The taste follows the aromas, much rich malt, berries, with an astringent, oaky, blast of bitterness on the finish. The beer drinks smooth, warm, with moderate carbonation. The bitterness has an astringent, chemical quality that is just too much. Maybe some aging would do this good.  


Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across the World 2017: Ginger Lager

This is from the 2017 Beer Camp Across the World pack from Sierra Nevada brewing. This year they joined with brewers not just all over the United States, as in past years, but from around the world as well. This 6.2% ABV lager was brewed with ginger and cayenne, then fermented on oak. It was made in collaboration with the Surly Brewing Company of Minnesota. 

The beer pours a very dark honey golden in color. There is a tall, thick head of white foam. The aroma is full of ginger, with vanilla, and a touch of spice. The taste is gingery and hot, with a touch of oaky vanilla. There is a moderate woody bitterness on the finish.


Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across the World 2017: Dry-Hopped Berliner-Style Weisse

This is from the 2017 Beer Camp Across the World pack from Sierra Nevada brewing. This year they joined with brewers not just all over the United States, as in past years, but from around the world as well. This 4.2% tart style beer is dry hopped, and was brewed in collaboration with Saint Arnold Brewing of Texas. 

The beer pours a dark golden in color. There is a half inch of white head. The aroma is tart, lemon, floral, with toasted grain. The taste follows the aromas, and ups the tartness to extreme. The finish is dry with light floral bitterness. The beer drinks crisp and tart.  


Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across the World 2017: Atlantic Style Vintage Ale

This is from the 2017 Beer Camp Across the World pack from Sierra Nevada brewing. This year they joined with brewers not just all over the United States, as in past years, but from around the world as well. This 8.5% ABV ale is brewed with plums. It was made in collaboration with the Fuller's Brewery in London, UK. 

The beer pours a lightly hazy copper and bronze. There is a half-inch of light tan head. The aroma is malty, caramel, with plum fruit and tang. The taste follows the aromas, both malty and fruity. The beer has sweetness, but the finish is quite dry, with a moderate bitterness. The beer drinks quite smooth, with very soft carbonation. This is a nice sipper, wish it came with two so you could age one.  


Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across the World 2017: Thai-Style Iced Tea

This is from the 2017 Beer Camp Across the World pack from Sierra Nevada brewing. This year they joined with brewers not just all over the United States, as in past years, but from around the world as well. This 7.2% ABV ale brewed with lactose, orange peel, black tea, tamarind, and star anise was brewed in conjunction with Mikkeller Brewery of Denmark. 

The beer pours a bright copper in color. There is a short head of white to just off-white head. The aroma is herbal, the star anise definitely coming through, with a bit of tea and fruit. The taste is mostly star anise in tea, with fruit on the finish. There is sweetness, but the finish is mostly dry, with a light bitterness. The beer drinks fairly smooth. This is an interesting drink, an adventurous try, but I would not want to drink it again.  


Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across the World 2017: White IPA with Yuzu

This is from the 2017 Beer Camp Across the World pack from Sierra Nevada brewing. This year they joined with brewers not just all over the United States, as in past years, but from around the world as well. This 7.0% ABV white IPA was brewed with coriander, nutmeg, and the Yuzu fruit, in conjunction with the Kiuchi brewery of Japan. 

The beer pours a hazed golden, with swirls of intense carbonation. There is a white, billowing foamy head. The aroma is floral, herbal, citrus. The taste follows the aromas directly, very floral, herbal, and the citrus in the taste is fairly tart. The beer drinks smooth and soft, but still tingling with carbonation. The finish is dry and quite bitter. It is a little more floral than I like, but a real thirst quenching refresher.