Saturday, September 25, 2010
On draft at TJ's in Paoli was the Left Hand/Terrapin collaboration Oxymoron, so I ordered a glass. The beer pours an orange-amber color with a foamy white head. The aroma consists of lemon, pine, and citrus. The taste is full and round with lots of lemon and pine. Most pleasing in this beer is the caramel base that has some orange flavors hidden away. There is a little dry finish with a hoppy and bitter after taste. The alcohol content is 7.2% ABV. I really enjoyed the Oxymoron and its balance of pine and citrus without sacrificing a great caramel base.
I ordered a glass of Great Lakes Oktoberfest from TJ's in Paoli. The beer pours a caramel color with a thin bubbly white head. The aroma is sweet and malty with caramel coming to the front of the nose and pronouncing itself. The taste is smooth, sweet, and malty with lots of caramel. There is a delicate sour hop balance on the finish. The alcohol content is 6.5% ABV. This offering from Great Lakes is one of the best Oktoberfest beers that I have had, and I would highly recommend picking up a six-pack or ordering a draft if you get the opportunity.
Friday, September 24, 2010
I ordered a bottle of Brasserie Caracole Nostradamus from Cafe Bruges in Carlisle. The beer pours a reddish brown color with a bubbly off-white head. The aroma consists of chocolate and sour cherry. The taste is malty and caramel with chocolate and sour cherry showing up in the finish, leaving a sweet after taste in the mouth. The alcohol content is 9.0% ABV. This beer left me feeling like I had eaten a chocolate covered cherry, with the sour cherry yeast accenting the chocolate flavors nicely.
At Cafe Bruges in Carlisle, I ordered a Brewery Lefebvre Hopus Bitter Belgian Ale. The beer pours a vibrant gold color with a lofty white head. The aroma consists of sour cherry, Belgian yeast, and wheat. The taste is lively and bubbly on the tongue with good flavors of banana, lemon, and sour cherry. There is a dry finish that is warming on the back of the throat. The alcohol content is 8.3% ABV. I enjoyed the wild yeast strain that gave the beer a slightly sour profile with the sour cherry, a taste that was balanced well with the sweet banana front end taste.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I picked up a case of Shipyard Pumpkinhead for a cookout at my buddy Jeff's place in New Jersey. The beer pours a yellow color with a bubbly white head. The aroma consists of a good helping of pumpkin and some nutmeg, cinnamon, and gingersnap. The taste is mostly pumpkin, with some gingersnap, cinnamon, and nutmeg rounding out the flavor. The spices are not overwhelming in this beer, nor do they dry out the mouth. The alcohol content is 4.5% ABV. I do like this beer, and I know it gets a bad rap, but it isn't very overwhelming with spices which can be a nice alternative. It does rank up there with my favorites even though Beer Advocate does not agree with that. While it does not top my favorite pumpkin beer Southern Tier Pumpking, I do like to go to this beer to introduce people to pumpkin beers. It went over very well at the cookout, and the guests seemed intrigued about pumpkin beers and may try others due to this beer.
I picked up a bottle of Smuttynose Farmhouse Ale, part of the Big Beer Series, from Al's of Hampden. The beer pours a golden yellow color with a lively, lofty, and foamy white head. Be careful when pouring this beer, as it will leap out of the glass quickly. The aroma consists of banana, yeast, lemon, orange, tangerine, spices, and grass. The taste is smooth and bubbly with good banana, yeast, lemon, and orange flavors on the front end. The taste transitions into a lightly spicy finish with a dry, grassy after taste. The alcohol content is 9.3% ABV. The spices are big in this beer, just like the alcohol content. However, the alcohol does not make its presence known like the spices do, and the spices are well balanced with the sweet fruity taste of banana, lemon, and orange. This is a solid saison, and I highly recommend it.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
I picked up a bottle of Full Pint Brewing Company Chinookie from Al's of Hampden as part of a mixed six-pack. The beer pours an orange-amber color with a frothy off-white colored head. The aroma consists of caramel, grapefruit, and pine. The taste is is sweet and caramel at first with a citrus accent including grapefruit, lemon, and orange. The finish consists of a drier pine hop bite with a bit of sour grapefruit. The alcohol content is not available online, but I would guess it to be around 6.0% ABV. This was a completely solid IPA. Hops were excellently balanced in this beer with the caramel and citrus flavors. I was very impressed with my first experience from Full Pint Brewing Company, and I look forward to trying more beers from Full Pint.
I was given a bottle of Founders Nemesis 2010 from my coworker Jack (thanks Jack!). The beer pours a black color with a frothy tan head with some good lacing. The aroma consists of chocolate, raisin, oak, and hints of coffee. The taste is sweet and very smooth with a good helping of chocolate and coffee. There is a good undertone of raisin and other dark fruits. The finish is extremely smooth and creamy and the after taste is lightly bitter with dry chocolate. The alcohol content is 12.0% ABV. How is this beer 12.0% ABV? It was one of the smoothest drinking beers with a high alcohol content I have ever had. The chocolate and raisin flavors made it very enjoyable, but beware of the buzz that comes with this beer that hides the alcohol content well.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
My friend DJ from Sons of Ben picked me up a bottle of Dogfish Head Bitches Brew from a distributor in New Jersey. This beer was made in celebration of 40th Anniversary of Miles Davis' Bitches Brew album release. The beer pours a black color with a frothy and lofty tan head. The aroma consists of chocolate and honey with light hints of espresso and cream. The taste strong and powerful with a big chocolate hit, molasses, and a strong alcohol and gesho finish. The after taste lingers with a nice sweetness from the honey. The alcohol content is 9.0% ABV. I really enjoyed the spicy finish the pricks the back of the throat. The spice really balances the chocolate and honey sweetness, and makes for a lively brew.
I picked up a bottle of Rock Art Extreme Pumpkin Imperial Spruce Stout from Al's of Hampden. The beer pours a black color with a frothy tan head.The aroma is chocolate and coffee with hints of pumpkin, spruce, and pine hops. The taste is deep and chocolaty and a good helping of coffee. The beer then transitions into a light pumpkin flavor with a very dry spruce finish. The alcohol content is 8.0% ABV. The pumpkin flavors really came out as the beer warmed, and this was a welcoming alternative to your typical pumpkin beer. Being an Imperial Stout with pumpkin accents and sans the large helpings of spices made this not your run-of-the-mill fall pumpkin beer. Go out there and grab a bottle while you can!
Monday, September 20, 2010
I stopped into The Brew Works in Bethlehem on my way to New Jersey for some food and drinks. I ordered a glass of the Zomerbier with my food. The beer pours an orange-amber color with a thin filmy white head. The aroma consists of orange, coriander, candisugar, and yeast. The taste is citrus and very big on orange with some good biscuit flavors. Hints of coriander, yeast, and peppery hops round out the flavors. The alcohol content is 5.0% ABV. The Zomerbier was refreshing and delicious, perfect for a warm summer day.
A new brewery has opened recently in West Chester called Boxcar Brewing Company, and I was able to order a glass of the Original Ale while out on the town in West Chester. The beer pours a pale yellow color with almost no head. The aroma is faint but has some wheat, lemon and light hops. The taste is smooth and sweet with sour hops and sweet malts. The is a background of citrus with lemon and grapefruit. The alcohol content is 5.0% ABV. I thought the Original Ale had a very good balance and was a solid performer for the first beer from a new brewery. If I can tell anything from Boxcar's infancy, it's that they have a great potential and will make some more great beers in the future.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Another beer I ordered at Teresa's Next Door Cafe was the Port Brewing Shark Attack Double Red Ale. The beer pours a caramel color with a foamy white head. The aroma consists of grapefruit and sugar and is very sweet on the nostrils. The taste is sweet and sugary with grapefruit and a nice helping of caramel. There are orange and tangerine undertones and a dry and warming finish. The alcohol content is 9.0% ABV. Wow, what an amazing beer that I really enjoyed. I believe this was my first exposure to a double red ale, and I was thoroughly impressed.
While at Teresa's Next Door Cafe, I ordered a glass of the Port Brewing Company 4th Anniversary Double IPA. The beer pours a golden color with a foamy and lacy cream head. The aroma is full of citrus with lemon and grapefruit and some light pine accents. The taste has a good caramel base with grapefruit and lemon. There is a pepper and pine hop finish that bites hard on the back of the mouth. The after taste is dry and and very bitter, which is not recommended for someone who does not like a lot of hops. The alcohol content is 10.0% ABV. While I really enjoyed drinking this beer with dinner, the very bitter after taste that accompanies this beer would make it difficult to drink several in one sitting. One was plenty for me, but I enjoyed the citrus and pine flavorings.