Friday, May 26, 2017

Ommegang Three Philosophers

This quadruple ale 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. I have had this before, but they recently came out with a Cellared Set three pack that covers three vintages. This is a blend of 98% quadruple ale and 2% kriek cherry ale. By the way, Ommegang has great customer service; I had an issue with a bottle and they took care of it wonderfully.

2016 - This 9.7% ABV beer pours dark brown and dark orange. There is a short head of light tan foam, a bit fizzy, not long lasting. The aroma is dark cherries, some sweet, some tart, caramel, a touch of wood, and a touch of wine. The taste is deep and rich, loads of caramel, dark caramel, toffee, wood, with the cherry fruit on the end, and that note of red wine. The finish is dry, moderately bitter, with a woody astringency. The beer has a medium full body, with tight bottle-conditioned bubbles. This is nice, but the older ones definitely lose some bitterness with age. 

2013 - This 9.7% ABV beer pours medium brown with dark gem-like amber. There is almost no head. The aroma is sweet malt, caramel and toffee, with a very roasted note, dark fruits, tangy, woody. The taste follows the aromas, very rich and malty, lots of caramel and toffee, with some fruit, like a dark caramel with raspberry filling. The finish is semi-sweet, semi-dry, with light bitterness. The beer drinks smooth, soft, and rich. 

2012 - This 9.7% ABV beer pours a dark brown, a bit cloudy. There is a short and short-lived tan head. The aroma is dark fruits, dried fruits, sherry, dark caramel. The taste follows the aromas, dark fruits, sweet malts, lots of sherry notes as it is a bit oxidized. The beer drinks smooth, rich, yet carbonated well with fine, tingling bubbles. This is nice, but my least favorite vintage so far.

2011 -The is 9.8% ABV beer pours a dark brown with tints of red. There is a short and not long-lasting head of tan. The aroma is rich, caramel, toffee, dark fruits, cherry, old damp wood, and sherry. The taste follows the aromas, rich and malty, dark fruits, some oxidation, but pleasant and congruous with the beer. The beer is sweet, and finishes that way, but tempered slighlty by a woodiness that gives light bitterness and astringency. The beer drinks very smooth, with light carbonation. As the beer opens up, the cherries come through on the finish. This is very delicious. 

I also had the 2010 back in 2011: This 9.8% ABV Belgian-style quadrupel blended ale is 98% ale and 2% ale with cherries added.  The beer pours ruby brown, and barely translucent.  There is an inch of thick foamy  light brown head.  The aroma is sweet, nearly burnt caramel, molasses, cherry, yeasty and a bit of warm alcohol.  The taste is sweet, almost burnt, a bit of port wine, toasted french bread, caramel, some cherry.  It finishes surprisingly dry for its sweet taste.

Rockdale Light

This 4.2% ABV light lager is Walmart's store brand beer. It is brewed in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, I am assuming by City Brewing under contract. There is also a "Classic" version. 

The beer pours a solid golden in color. There is nearly an inch of white head, that fizzes down fairly quickly. The aroma is tangy, metallic, cooked vegetables, along with some “old beer,” like smelling a mostly empty can of cheap beer the next morning. The taste is like cooking canned vegetables and then fermenting them in a used gym sock, then watering that down until it became fairly mild. There is not bitterness, no discernible hops at all. The beer drinks with a crisp, stinging, strong carbonation. I have had beers that are more offensive, is that a redeeming quality?

Sunday, May 14, 2017

New Belgium Whizbang Hoppy Blonde Ale

This 5.7% ABV beer from New Belgium Brewing of Fort Collins, Colorado features Mosaic hops.  

The beer pours deep honey golden. There is a half-inch of white head. The aroma is musky, citrus, mango skin. The taste follows the aromas, bursting with big, earthy, tropical flavors. The finish is dry with a moderate bitterness. The beer drinks with a medium body and moderate carbonation. Man, this really tastes good.  

Guinness Irish Wheat

From the famous Guinness Brewery, established in 1759 at St. Jame's Gate, Dublin, Ireland, comes this beer from their Brewer's Project, which has more varied recipes. It is 5.3% ABV and made with 100% Irish wheat.

The beer pours a hazed golden in color. There is an inch of pure white head, which dwindles down to a short soft layer of white. The aroma is citrus and light toasted wheat, with a light floral/banana yeast ester note. The taste follows the aromas, floral/banana, toasted wheat, and citrus all again. The beer drinks soft, smooth, with a mild to moderate floral bitterness on the finish. If you like wheat beers this is quite nice.  

Summit Pilsener

This 4.5% ABV pilsener style beer is from the Summit Brewing Company of St. Paul, Minnesota. 

The beer pours a dark golden with nearly an inch of white head that is not particularly long-lasting. The aroma is grains, French bread, bread dough, with a touch of hay and honey. The taste follows the aromas, hitting the same notes, great flavor here. The beer drinks easy, smooth, with a perfect level of carbonation, neither too strong nor too weak. This beer, along with their Keller pils and their summer ale, are like a perfect summer beer drinking trifecta.

Central Waters Y2K Barleywine

This barleywine is from the Central Waters Brewing Company of Amherst, Wisconsin. They age it for two years before release.

The beer pours a very deep amber and brown/orange, gem-like dark citrine. There is half an inch of tan head. The aroma is rich, buttery, caramel and toffee, along with dark fruits and candied orange peel. The taste follows the aromas, there is a deep roasted note holding down the end, it is sweet, but ending very dry and bitter, with an oak like astringency. The beer drinks smooth with a soft background carbonation.  

Rockdale Classic

This 5.0% ABV lager is Walmart's store brand beer. It is brewed in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, I am assuming by City Brewing under contract. There is also a light version. Is it just me, or is the can trying to be Coors?

The beer pours a deep golden in color. There is about an inch of white had that quickly fizzes down. The beer is well carbonated. The aroma is cooked cereal grains, with light cooked vegetable and wet cardboard. The taste follows the aromas, is mostly cooked cereal grains, with just a bit of the off-note vegetable and cardboard. It is about a draw between sweet and dry, the winner alternates back and forth. There is no bitterness, not much hops in this beer. It drinks with a pleasantly stinging carbonation. For its price point, this is fairly benign, meaning, not terrible.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Breckenridge Stranahan's Well Built

This 8.8% ABV Burton style ale aged in Stranahan's whiskey barrels is from the Breckenridge Brewery of Denver, Colorado. Burton ale is an English style, a rich, dark, strong amber ale. 

The beer pours a hazy medium-dark brown. There is a short head of tan foam. The aroma is toffee, dark caramel, roasted, oak, vanilla, whiskey, cherry. The taste follows the aromas note for note. There is sweetness, but it comes to a distinctly dry finish, but with light to moderate bitterness. The beer drinks smooth, with medium carbonation. This is nicely done, flavorful and enjoyable.