Saturday, January 15, 2011
My girlfriend and I were so impressed with Ellicottville Brewing Company (try the spicy peanut soup!) that we stopped in again on the way home from Niagara Falls. I ordered a Hey Guy Rye for my lunch-time beer. The beer pours a copper color with a frothy white head. The aroma consists of caramel, rye, fresh pine and lemon hops. The taste is smooth and sweet at first with caramel before the beer bites a little and dries out on the finish. The rye kicks in at this point and is a welcomed balancing ingredient. The alcohol content is 8.5% ABV. The hey Guy Rye is a great sweet beer with a wonderful hop balance.
One of the other beers I tried at Ellicottville Brewing Company on the way to Niagara Falls was the Pantious Droppus (great name). The beer pours a red amber color with a thin foamy off-white head. The aroma consists of sweet malts, orange, and light pine hops. The taste is rounded and smooth with lots of malts up front and a good amount of caramel mixed in. The finish dries out with pine hops and an orange accent. The alcohol content is 10.6% ABV. The Pantious Droppus was really a delicious imperial pale ale with plenty of sweet and smooth flavors but dries out the mouth in the end.
Friday, January 14, 2011
Another of the beers I tried at the Ellicottville Brewing Company was the Fifteen, their fifteenth anniversary beer. The beer pours an amber color with a frothy off-white head. The aroma consists of caramel, malts, pear, and oak. The taste is malty with pear and banana, some oak accents on the finish, and the after taste leaves vanilla on the tongue. The alcohol content is 8.4% ABV. The entire time I was drinking the beer, I was thinking what a smooth and flavorful beer the Fifteen was. Lots of sweet tastes balanced with wood makes for a very enjoyable brew.
On the way Niagara Falls, I stopped in to Ellicottville Brewing Company in Ellicottville, NY and ordered a glass of the Chocolate Cherry Bomb. The beer pours a black color with a milkshake-like mocha colored head. The aroma consists of sweet dark chocolate and smells very similar to a cordial cherry. The taste is smooth and sweet with dark chocolate up front before the cherry flavor settles in. It is very light bodied but has lots of flavor including some toasted malts that dry out the mouth a little on the finish. The alcohol content is 8.2% ABV. This beer was so good that the girlfriend wanted to stop in to the brewery on the way home to have another one of the Chocolate Cherry Bombs. I highly recommend trying this if you get a chance.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
I picked up a bottle of Cigar City Or from Brass Rail in Campbelltown. The beer pours a dark black color with a frothy brown head and as with the Either, it fills a tulip glass perfectly. The aroma consists of more fresh pine hops than were noticeable in the Either with an undertone of chocolate and molasses. The taste is smooth and chocolaty with a wonderful hop balance that is much more prevalent than the Either. Molasses, honey, and oak filter their way through to the tongue. The finish brings out the cedar wood that the beer is aged on and livens up the beer. The finish is drying and has a lemon and pine flavor. The alcohol content is 11.2% ABV. Out of the Either and the Or, I would prefer the Or because of it excellent hop presence and good chocolate and molasses balance.
I picked up a bottle of Cigar City Either from Brass Rail in Campbelltown. The beer pours an extremely black color with a frothy brown head that fills a tulip glass perfectly. The aroma consists of chocolate, toasted malts, cascadian fresh hops, molasses, and coffee. The taste is bold and has lots of dark chocolate up front but the molasses hits the hardest on the tongue. There are also flavors of coffee, honey, toasted malts, cedar, and a rounding caramel accent. The finish brings in some drying hops that add a spice and some pine flavors. The after taste is dry but brings out a little raspberry accent on the tongue with more dark chocolate. The alcohol content is 11.2% ABV. This beer has such a large presence on the tongue that attack with molasses and dark chocolate. The flavors linger in the mouth, which makes this a beer that keeps giving even after you finish drinking it.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
For my Christmas gift, my girlfriend got me a beer of the month club subscription. The first beer I received from the club was the Snowshoe Brewing Company Thompson Pale Ale. The beer pours a copper color with a light frothy white head. The aroma consists of caramel and sweet malts with a fresh hop accent. The taste is smooth and sweet at first with caramel before a dry and slightly bitter lemon hop accent hits the mouth. The after taste leaves a sweet malty film on the tongue. The alcohol content is 5.5% ABV. As far as pale ales go, the Thompson Pale Ale is a solid performer and has a nice balance of sweet and bitter.
I received a bottle of Furthermore Oscura in my birthday mixed six-pack from my girlfriend. The beer pours an amber color with a foamy off-white head. The aroma consists of fresh coffee grounds with a slight vanilla and coffee background. The taste is malty with a huge helping of fresh coffee that tastes like it came straight from the coffee shop. Underneath lies some hints of vanilla and cream, providing a nice balance to the coffee flavor. The finish is slightly dry with a little bite to it. The alcohol content is 5.3% ABV. I really enjoyed the Oscura and thought it was very similar to the Victory Village. It has a very bold coffee flavor with a great vanilla and cream balance.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
I picked up a bottle of Stone-Ballast Point-Kelsey McNair collaboration Sand Diego County Session Ale from HoneyGo Wines outside of Baltimore. The beer pours a golden color with a frothy white head. The aroma consists of sweet orange citrus with lemon, tangerine, and fresh earthy hops. The taste is bitter with hops built on top of a light caramel flavor. There are lots of pine, lemon, and orange flavored hops that come through on this beer. The alcohol content is 4.2% ABV. This beer is very bitter but also very enjoyable with plenty of citrus zest right in your face. And since it is sessionable, drinking several of these in one sitting is not an issue.
I picked up a bottle of Rust Belt Brewing Old Man Hopper's India Pale Ale from Bocktown in Pittsburgh. The beer pours a gorgeous orange-amber color with a frothy white head. The aroma consists of lemon and pine with a wheat undertone and faint hints of caramel. The taste is wonderfully sweet at first with a caramel base before a bitter hop bite kicks in that makes the sides of the mouth pucker. The lemon and pine faintly hit the tongue and aren't overpowering, but announce their presence well. The alcohol content is 6.0% ABV. I thought the Old Man Hopper's India Pale Ale was an excellent addition to the IPA community and could be enjoyed by all, not just hop heads. This could be a beer that helps transition people to IPAs rather than scare them away.
Monday, January 10, 2011
My coworker Greg brought me a bottle of Blue Point Brewing Toxic Sludge Black IPA when he was home in Long Island. All of the proceeds from the sale of this beer benefit Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research's "Spreading Our Wings" campaign and their efforts to build a Wildlife Response Annex. The beer pours a black color with a lofty and frothy beige head. The aroma consists of lemon, pine, orange, toasted malts, and caramel. The taste is dry and with pine and lemon flavors. There is a base of toasted malts with some caramel and grassy notes. The alcohol content is 7.0% ABV. I really enjoyed the dryness, lemon, and pine flavors built on top of a toasted malt flavor. The black IPA is becoming one of my favorite styles of beers, and this beer certainly is a solid black IPA.
As part of my birthday six-pack, I grabbed a bottle of Furthermore Make Weight. The beer is described as an ecumenical mash-up, being that it is a combination of English-, American-, and Belgian-style pale ales. The beer pours a dark amber color with a lofty and frothy white head. The aroma consists of sweet Belgian yeast with a background of pale malts and some raisins, grape, and fig mixed in there. The taste is smooth and sweet with Belgian yeast at first with Belgian spices also kicking in to bite the tongue. There is an earthy taste that settles on the tongue with raisin, fig, and toffee accents. The alcohol content is 8.5% ABV. I really enjoyed the bready mouth feel and slight spiciness that came with this mixture of pale ales. Heed the warning that this is not your typical pale ale, and combining the English, American, and Belgian pale ales has made a wonderful combination.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
At Al's of Hampden, I ordered a glass of Lancaster Brewing Boss Hog, a Double IPA. The beer pours a copper color with a thin filmy white head. The aroma consists of grapefruit, lemon, and sugar. The taste is caramel and bitey grapefruit. There is a light lemon finish with an orange accent and hints of rye. The alcohol content is 10.10% ABV. I find that most of the Lancaster beers have the light rye undertone, so this beer was most discernible as Lancaster's. I thought the beer was surprisingly good, as I don't overly enjoy most of Lancaster's line-up. If you have the chance to try the Boss Hog, give it a shot.
Another of the Central Waters beers I tried at Al's of Hampden was the Satin Solstice Imperial Stout. The beer pours a black color with a frothy tan head. The aroma consists of dark chocolate, licorice, coffee, and toasted malts. The taste is bitey with dark chocolate with plenty of toasted malts and a creamy profile. There is a nice alcohol bite and a dry finish. The alcohol content is 7.5% ABV. The Satin Solstice has a great chocolate profile. Overall, the beer is smooth yet bitey and extremely enjoyable.