Saturday, April 17, 2010
While in Philadelphia, I picked up a bottle of Cricket Hill Cricket's Nocturne. The beer has a dark amber color with a thin bubbly white head. The aroma consists of chocolate and malt. The taste is malty and smooth with a light chocolate hint and a faint oak flavor. I though that the beer was very delicious and smooth with a light carbonated bite on the back of the mouth and a very faint hint of hops. The alcohol content is not posted on the website, but I would assume it to be around 6.0% ABV. I really enjoyed the Cricket's Nocturne, and likened it to a cross-breed of Yuengling Lager and Smithwicks, both of which I really enjoy.
I picked up a bottle of Thomas Creek Deep Water Dopplebock Lager when is Greenville, SC, as the beer is brewed there. The beer has a dark brown color with a foamy white head. The aroma consists of fig and dark fruits. The taste is malty and sweet with a heavy dose of fig and raisins and other dark fruits. It has a light, slightly watery finish that is also a bit dry. The alcohol content is 6.25% ABV. I didn't think that this beer was terrible, but not an overly impressive dopplebock. I would be willing to try other beers from Thomas Creek is I was in the neighborhood, but I would not go out of my way to get some, based on this beer.
Friday, April 16, 2010
While at Appalachian Brewing Company for the Imperial Pilsner, I noticed that they had the Susquehanna Stout with Espresso added on tap. The beer has is black with a bubbly tan head. It smells heavily of coffee and light chocolate. The taste is bitter coffee with a good chocolate undertone and a pretty smooth milky finish. I thought this was similar to Espresso Stout. The alcohol content was not posted but I would assume it to be the same as the Susquehanna Stout at 4.6% ABV. I thought this beer was very good tasting and will make me happy in times that they do not have the Espresso Stout on draft.
I stopped into Appalachian Brewing Company to try their small batch release of Peregrine Pilsner that was made as an Imperial Pilsner. The beer has a straw yellow color with a bubbly white head. The aroma is malty and caramel. The taste has bitter earthy hops on the front with a light citrus zest and a malty finish. The alcohol content is 7.84% ABV. I thought that the taste of the Imperial Pilsner was really good, but it is a little dry. Another beer was required after this one to quench my thirst.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
I swung into the Troegs tasting room to grab a case of Scratch 28 Troggen Roggen and decided to also have a pint while I was there. The Troggen Roggen is a German ale brewed with a portion of rye malt and a weizenbier yeast strain, largely based on the Dreamweaver Wheat beer that Troegs offers. The beer has an unfiltered earthy orange color with a bubbly and foamy white head. The aroma is wheat and light citrus. The taste is citrus and nicely wheat with light caramel accents and a nice rye undertone. There are also hints of banana and clove in the beer. It has a good light hop finish. The alcohol content is 6.1% ABV. When I read the description, I was not “wowed” by this beer, but tasting it provided the “wow” factor. It was really a complex beer with many levels, and I liked how the caramel did not appear in the beer until it warmed up a bit.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I like to check out local breweries when I travel, and I saw RJ Rockers in the South Carolina beer store, so I picked up their Bell Ringer. The beer has a golden color with a bubbly white head. There is a very faint wheat and malt aroma. The taste is lightly malty with lemon and some butterscotch in the background. There is a good hop accent on the back of the mouth that is comprised of a good pine flavor. The alcohol content is 8.5% ABV. This was a very good beer and I was pleasantly surprised with my first RJ Rockers experience.
Seeing as I cannot get New Belgium in Pennsylvania, I jump at the chance to pick some up when I see it, as in the case when I was in South Carolina and saw the 2-Degree Below Ale. The beer pours a copper color with a bubbly white head. The aroma is sweet with a light citrus pinch on the nostrils. The taste is malty and citrusy, mostly orange with some lemon and white grapes added in there. While drinking, I thought it had somewhat of a mimosa flavor to it. The beer then finished with a little bit of a oak undertone and dry hops, which dried out my mouth a great deal. The alcohol content is 6.6% ABV. I liked the 2-Degree Below Ale, but not as my favorite New Belgium brew. I really liked the flavors, but the dryness was not what I was expecting.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Another SweetWater beer I picked up, and read a lot about on BeerNews, was the Dank Tank BSP Quad Ale. The beer pours a dark brown color with a foamy beige head. The aroma is sweet and malty with hints of fig and raisins. The taste is sweet and very smooth with good accents of raisins and fig. I picked up a bit of birch as well, and there is a light hop undertone. On the finish, there is a little bit of chocolate and a slight bit of of burnt toast. The alcohol content 11% ABV. This was an excellent quad and was full of flavors. The raisin and fig was expected, but the chocolate and burnt toast was a nice surprise. I highly recommend trying this beer if you can get your hands on it.
In South Carolina, I picked up a bottle of Bevik Petrus Aged Pale. The beer pours a yellow gold color with a bubbly white head. The aroma consists of sour white grapes and sour green apples. The taste is really sour and bitter, reminiscent of lemon juice, and also tastes of sour apples and grapes. There is a light malt undertone that sweetens the beer just enough. The alcohol content is 7.3% ABV. While being a slightly sour beer, the Aged Pale was mostly enjoyable. The lemon juice aspect may have been a little bit much, but the beer provided a pleasurable experience.
Monday, April 12, 2010
I attended a Samuel Adams beer pairing dinner at Brew 22 in Harrisburg. This was my second beer pairing dinner, so I had a good idea what to expect and how the night would go.
The first beer served was Sam Adams Imperial White with Orange Juice (called a Sam-mossa). Immediately, I picked up an orange juice aroma with the beer and noticed that there were orange pieces floating in the beer. I thought it was a pretty good mix at first, but the orange juice sort of kills the finish. Note, I have had the Imperial White before, and I really enjoyed it. The beer was paired with egg benedict over crab cake and muffin. I thought it paired extremely well with the crab and citrus working together. The combo left a sweet taste on the side of the mouth.
The second beer served was Sam Adams Black Lager. The beer pours a dark brown with a light tan head. The taste consists of toasted malts and chocolate, which also matched the aroma. The beer was paired with pit beef. I thought the smoked BBQ really played well with the toasted malts and the sweet buttered break brought out the chocolate flavors even more.
The third course served Sam Adams Boston Lager and paired it with calamari. The beer has an amber color with a nice balance between the hops and malts. In the pairing with the Boston Lager, the bitey cocktail sauce mellowed with the hops. However, I thought that this course didn't pair without the cocktail sauce, but using the cocktail sauce provided an excellent pairing.
The fourth course poured Sam Adams Cherry Wheat with Pork Wellington. The beer has a reddish amber color with lots of cherry flavor and a light finish. In the pairing with the pork wellington, the cherry and pork worked will together, especially when I got to the cherries in the pork. The cherry in the beer provided a light accent to flavors in the pork and made this an enjoyable dish.
The final course pair Sam Adams Coastal Wheat with crème brulee. The beer pours a pale yellow and has a light wheat aroma. The light orange flavor played with the citrus in crème brulee well and made a very enjoyable dessert. The conversation at the table focused on how disappointing the crème brulee was on its own, however I thought the pairing covered up an shortcomings.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
In South Carolina, I picked up a bottle of Terrapin Side Project Volume 9- The Dark Side. This beer is a Belgian Style Imperial Stout and I really looked forward to trying it. The beer pours a black color with a frothy tan head. The aroma is chocolaty with pine hops providing a nice accent. The taste is burnt malts with bitter dry chocolate. There are a lot of burnt flavors in this beer, including a little bit of smoke. There is a lemon accent under the chocolate that sours the beer somewhat, but in a good way, and a dry bitter finish. The alcohol content is 8.5% ABV. While it was not the smoothest drinking beer, there were plenty of flavors and levels to this beer. The smokiness and burnt flavors really dried out the tongue, but the chocolate and lemon really brought it back to be enjoyable.
While in South Carolina, I made sure to pick up some SweetWater beers. The first I tried was the India Pale Ale. The beer has a golden color with a bubbly white head. The aroma consists of lemon and citrus hops with a nice dose of pine. The taste is lemony and orangey with a light grapefruit undertone. It also has a nice dry pine hop finish. I that that there was also a little bit of sweetness, like sugar on grapefruit. The alcohol content is 6.7% ABV. This was a really decent IPA, not overly hoppy and nicely done with a great sweet citrus flavor.