Saturday, April 10, 2010
I picked up a bottle of Southampton Biere de Garde while in South Carolina. I had read about biere de garde beers, which is a farmhouse ale, but I had not had one to date. The beer pours a copper color with an extremely foamy white head that encompasses more than half the glass. The aroma is full of raisins and fig. The taste is sweet and malty with a lot of raisin and fig and a light clean finish. There is a slight alcohol bite at the very end of the finish. I thought that the taste diminishes and might be a little watery on the finish, but not too bad.. The alcohol content is 7.2% ABV. For my first experience with a biere de garde, I really enjoyed it and will continue to try this style of beer. It was very light and refreshing, but very flavorful.
Friday, April 9, 2010
I stopped in to Troegs to pick up some bottles of Flying Mouflan, as I heard that it was available in the tasting room prior to when the website said it would be shipped. From its humble beginnings of being Scratch #4 to full production, this beer has been in demand from all Troeg-heads. The beer pours a dark brown color with a lofty bubbly tan head. The aroma consists of floral hops and light raisin. The taste is sweet and malty with fig and raisins with a little bit of chocolate undertone. The finish is a great amount of hops that is not overpowering and a light citrus taste, which is quite pleasant. The alcohol content is 9.3% ABV. This is a thoroughly enjoyable beer with a variety of levels. It has something in it for every beer fan: from chocolate, to hops, to lemon, to fig and raisins. Troegs made the proper move in bringing this out of the Scratch series and into regular rotation. Also impressive is the shirt based off of this beer, which I have also purchased.
On my last visit to Philadelphia, I search for, and found, a bottle of Flying Fish Exit 16 Wild Rice Double IPA. The beer has a straw color with a lofty and bubbly white head. The aroma is full of hops and lemony. The taste is crisp and fresh (probably due to the fact it was just released) and has a lot of citrus, including lemon and grapefruit, with a good pepper bite on the finish. The alcohol content is 8.2% ABV. I thought that the Exit 16 was an excellent IPA, as it was very tasty. These hops are not overwhelming, but very complimentary to the rest of the beer.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
I picked up a bottle of Brauerei Ayinger Weizen-bock. Ayinger is better known for Celebrator, which I absolutely love. This beer has a yellow-gold color with a lofty bubbly white head. The aroma consists of wheat with light lemon accent. The taste is is sweet and malty with a light lemon accent in the flavor, but mostly yeast dominates the tongue. The alcohol content is 7.1% ABV. I thought this was very smooth drinking and sweet, but also very enjoyable.
I picked up a bottle of Allagash Dubbel Reserve on my visit to South Carolina. The beer has a dark brown color with a lofty foamy white head. The aroma is sweet with raisins and dark fruit. I thought that the beer drinks pretty light, which was surprising and most dubbels are a little heavier. The taste consists of raisins and dark fruits with a light dry hop finish. The alcohol sticks around on the back of the throat. The alcohol content is 7.0% ABV. This was a slightly different dubbel than I am used to, but was surprisingly good despite not being as heavy as other dubbels.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
I picked up a bottle of New Holland Black Tulip Trippel Ale in Greenville, South Carolina on my last visit due to my favorable experiences with New Holland. The beer pours a golden-orange color with a lofty, bubbly white head. The aroma is filled with bananas and yeast. The taste is sweet with candisugar and almost too smooth. It was lightly creamy, with majority banana flavor. The finish is lightly dry with an alcohol and hop bite. The aftertaste is similar to rock candy. The alcohol content is 9.0% ABV. This was an excellent trippel, especially with how smooth it drinks. I especially enjoyed this on a very warm spring day.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
My friend Matt and I noticed one remaining bottle (enclosed in a tin, of course) of the Nogne-o and Det Kompromisslose Bryggeri [no website] collaboration Dark Horizon, 2nd Edition, at TJ's in Paoli, so we picked up the bottle and split it. The beer has a dark black color with a bubbly tan head. The aroma consists of chocolate and alcohol with light hints of bourbon as well. The taste is mostly chocolate and oaky, and it really hits on the alcohol. However, the alcohol does not bitter the beer, as it is very smooth and tasty. The alcohol content is 17.5% ABV. This was a phenomenal beer, and one of my favorite Russian Imperial Stouts that I have had. The oak and chocolate really played together nicely, and the bourbon actually rounded the bite of this high-alcohol content beer.
Another beer I had at TJ's in Paoli while waiting for Pliny the Younger to be tapped was Russian River Supplication. The beer has an amber color with a thin filmy head that sticks to the glass. It smells of fruit and sourness. The taste is bubbly on the tongue with a heavy dose of sour fruits, mostly strawberry, apple, and grape. The alcohol content is 7.0% ABV. I was really surprised by this wild ale, as it was delicious with a great dry finish. Most sour beers that I have tried have made me pucker too much or were too sweet to really enjoy, but this one hit all the right notes.
Monday, April 5, 2010
TJ's in Paoli had the Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout on draft at the Pliny the Younger tasting, so I decided to give it a try. The beer has a black color with a foamy tan head. The aroma consists of oak and chocolate. The taste is nutty and chocolate, but very smooth and good. I was really impressed with the oak accents that were incorporated in this beer. The alcohol content is 9.5% ABV. The balance between oak and chocolate in this beer was amazing, and the oak really helped bring out the toasted malts. The alcohol provided a nice warming effect without being too bitey.
At TJ's in Paoil, they had Spring House Planet Bean Coffee Stout on daft for the Pliny the Younger event. I ordered a glass as a bit of a pick-me-up in the mid-afternoon. The beer pours a black color with a filmy tan head. The aroma is full of coffee; it is a very strong fresh brewed coffee smell. The beer, as expected, tastes like coffee with a light chocolate accent. The beer also has a light cream finish. There us little beer taste but plenty coffee. The alcohol content is 7.0% ABV. I thought that the Planet Bean Coffee Stout was very good, and if you love the taste of coffee and cream, you will love the flavors in this beer.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Seeing as it is one of the most anticipated beers in this country, I had to get to TJ's in Paoli to give Russian River Pliny the Younger. The beer is golden colored with a foamy white head. The aroma consists of lemon and grapefruit with some pine accents. The taste is full of citrus flavors, mostly grapefruit and lemon, with a nice is pepper and pine hop finish. The alcohol content is 11.0% ABV. I was surprised as to how drinkable this could be to the non-beer geek. While it may go somewhat unappreciated, a beer this complex could actually help convert people to the craft world. The entire time I was drinking the beer, I was asking myself if Pliny the Younger was worthy of the #1 ranking, and I could not find an argument against it.
I went to TJ's in Paoli, PA for the Russian River Pliny the Younger event. However, while waiting for the beer to be tapped, I decided to give the Russian River Pliny the Elder a try. The beer has a golden color with a thin filmy head. The beer smells of orange, lemon, and grapefruit. The taste is powerful and citrusy with a good pepper and pine finish. The taste is mostly comprised of bitter grapefruit, which was thoroughly enjoyable. The alcohol content is 8.0% ABV. This beer was excellent and was one of the better beers that I have ever had. The citrus balances nicely with the hops and finishes really smooth.