Saturday, July 3, 2010
Another beer that Al's of Hampden was running a $2 special on while celebrating the addition of a beer engine was Victory Storm King. The beer pours a black color with a foamy tan head that's very solid. The aroma is chocolate and cream. The taste is oak and sweet chocolate with a bitter chocolate finish. There is also a a bit of cream mixed in there due to the beer engine and light hop bite. The alcohol content is 9.1% ABV. I was very impressed with the Storm King, especially on cask. The creaminess added by the cask worked really well with the chocolate and I think that the cask brought out the oak flavors even more in the beer.
Friday, July 2, 2010
I stopped into Al's of Hampden to get Victory Hop Wallop on cask . Al's was running a special for $2 pints of cask beers to celebrate adding a beer engine to their capabilities. The beer pours a golden color with a frothy white head. The aroma is lemon and wheat. The taste is creamy and lemon with a good pepper taste. There is a piney bite on the back of the throat in the finish. The alcohol content is 8.5% ABV. The Hop Wallop was excellent and I think pouring it on the hand pump helped added a creamy flavor to the beer, which balances really well with the lemon and pepper.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
I attended Harrisburg Brewers Fest 2010, hosted by Troegs and for the benefit of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. It was an extremely hot day, but cold beers definitely helped the situation. Below are my tasting notes and pictures of the beers to accompany. Keep in mind that with smaller samples and an expedited schedule, my tasting notes a bit more brief than normal. If I get the chance to review these beers again, I will expand on them.
Bullfrog Fran-tastique Saison- The beer pours a cloudy yellow color. The aroma consists of wheat and lemon. The taste follows the aroma with lemon and wheat and nice slight hop bite. The alcohol content is 7.5% ABV. I thought overall that this was a very good saison that was clean and refreshing
Duck-Rabbit Marzen- The beer pours a nice amber color. The aroma is very malty with a slight sour hint. The taste is smooth and malty with great sour hops finishing off the flavor. The alcohol content is not available online.
Smuttynose Barleywine- The beer pours a golden amber color with a bubbly white head. The aroma is malty with a light citrus zest. The taste is malty and bitey (great hops included) with caramel and some orange and spice accents. The alcohol content is 10.0% ABV. This was a great barleywine and I would like to get an entire bottle of it rather than just a taste.
21st Amendment Brew Free or Die IPA- The beer pours a clear yellow color with a bubbly white head. There is a lemon aroma that is pretty faint. The taste is mostly lemon with some light pepper accents. The alcohol content is 7.0% ABV. I thought that this was a tame IPA, making it great to an IPA newbie, but still pretty good and easy drinking.
Market Cross Pub Red Ale- This beer was the winner of the home brew contest that Market Cross held previous to Brewer's Fest and it was available on hand pump. The beer pours an orange amber color with a bubbly white head. There is a nice malty aroma. The taste is malty, smooth, and creamy. There is no alcohol content available online. I thought that the Red Ale was delicious and one of my favorites, if not my favorite, beer of the day.
Erie Presque Isle Pilsner- The beer pours a yellow color with a bubbly white head. There is minimal aroma. The taste is sweet and wheat and overall light bodied. The alcohol content is 4.2% ABV. I thought that this pilsner was pretty decent but not mind blowing. I would definitely order this beer again for its easy drinking on a hot day.
Swashbuckler Mocha Stout- The beer pours a dark black color with a tan bubbly head. The aroma is coffee and chocolate with a bit of cream. The taste is coffee and cream with some good chocolate taste holding together the backbone. There is no alcohol content available online. This beer was excellent and smooth and made my list of great beers for the day. I would make this my second favorite beer of the day behind the Red Ale of Market Cross.
Otto's Pilsner- The beer pours a clear yellow color with a thick bubbly head. The aroma is filled with sour malts. The taste is malty and crisp with a good helping of sour hops. The alcohol content is 5.1% ABV. This pilsner was very refreshing and again is a great choice for a hot summer day.
Weyerbacher Double Simcoe- The beer pours a reddish amber color with a bubbly foamy white head. The aroma is filled with grapefruit, just the way I like my IPAs. The taste is really well balanced with caramel and grapefruit and a sweet sugary finish. The alcohol content is 9%. The Double Simcoe was an extremely delicious beer and I plan on tracking this beer down for home consumption.
Flying Dog Woody Crick White- The beer pours a yellow color and cloudy with a bubbly white head. The aroma is filled with wheat and light hints of lemon. The taste is lemon and wheat. The alcohol content is 4.8% ABV. I thought that this witbier was really good but might have been slightly over-carbonated. However, this is less intrusive on a hot day as the beer is very refreshing.
New Holland El Mole Ocho- The beer pours a dark amber color. There is a chocolate and sour hop aroma. The taste is filled with chili and coffee, but in a great balance. The alcohol content is 8.0% ABV. I was very surprised as to how good this beer was. It was my first experience with a spiced beer and I really enjoyed it.
Thirsty Dog Siberian Night- The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan bubbly head. The aroma consists of coffee, chocolate, and oak. The taste is the same as the aroma, mostly with the coffee and the chocolate. The oak provides a nice finishing touch. The alcohol content is 9.5% ABV. Overall, this beer is very delicious and I enjoyed the oak accents.
Marzoni's Avalanche IPA- The beer pours a dark amber color which was very surprising with a bubbly head. The aroma is filled with grapefruit. The taste consists of toasted malts and grapefruit. The alcohol content is 6.9% ABV. Overall, a decent IPA, as it contained a great bit of grapefruit flavors and the toasted malts gave an interesting but pleasing balance.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Another I beer I ordered at Al's of Hampden (for dessert!) was the North Coast Brother Thelonious. The beer pours a dark brown color with a thin bubbly head. The aroma consists of dark fruit, fig, and yeast. The taste is malty with heavy caramel, toffee, fig and some cherry accents. The alcohol content is 9.4% ABV. Overall, I would say that this beer was very delicious. It wasn't overly complex, but all the right flavors were there, making this the perfect dessert beer.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
I stopped into Al's of Hampden for lunch prior to Harrisburg Brewer's Fest and with my pizza I ordered a glass of Port Brewing Wipe Out IPA. The beer pours a cloudy golden color with a bubbly white head. The aroma consists of lemon and caramel. The taste is mostly lemon and pepper with a fairly bitter bite. However, the beer has a surprising and noteworthy caramel balance. The alcohol content is 7% ABV. This was a very solid IPA and was extremely well balanced. The beer didn't leave your tongue bitter, as it only lingered it for a short time. The bitterness was replaced with a sweet caramel taste which was very satisfying.
Monday, June 28, 2010
I was able to request a couple of bottles of the Stone/Dogfish Head/Victory collaboration (brewed at Stone Brewery) Saison du Buff. It was a bit hard to track down, but from what I heard, it was well worth the search. The beer pours an orange-yellow color with lofty bubbly white head. The aroma consists of orange and lemon with a strong kick of flowers, thyme, and parsley. The taste consists of a smooth and lightly buttery taste yet crisp with orange and lemon flavors and a nice spice bit consisting of thyme, parsley, sage, and rosemary. The finish is a little peppery and dries the mouth a little bit. The alcohol content is 6.8% ABV. This beer is not your conventional saison, but it sets the bar high for any other saisons created. The amount of spices thrown into this brew really make this multidimensional and an overly flavorful experience.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
I ordered a glass of Southampton IPA from McGrath's in Harrisburg. The beer pours an amber color with a foamy white head. The aroma consists of lemony and citrus with a hint of grapefruit. The taste is very malty with caramel all over the tongue. There is a light grapefruit and lemon bite on the sides of the mouth. The beer is a little bitter on the finish. The alcohol content is 6.5% ABV. I thought that this IPA was really good. I enjoy the IPAs that have grapefruit flavors, and this one was very well done, nicely balanced, and had a great malt sweetness.