Saturday, February 19, 2011
I picked up a bottle of Dogfish Head Chateau Jiahu from Al’s of Hampden. The beer pours a golden color with a frothy white head. The aroma consists of lemon, grass, pepper, honey, and grape juice. The taste is sweet with a good helping of honey before grape, pepper, and lemon kick in on the finish. The after taste is floral and lightly dry with a lingering taste of alcohol. The alcohol content is 10.0% ABV. I really enjoyed how this beer started out sweet and transitioned into a peppery spice and finally finishing with some alcohol flavor.
While at the Bethlehem Brew Works, I grabbed a growler of Stop Hop and Roll, their double IPA. The beer pours a red-amber color with a frothy white head. The aroma consists of grapefruit, sugar, tangerine, and orange. The taste is smooth but bitter with plenty of grapefruit hops taking over the tongue. There is a faint caramel base, but less so than in other double IPAs. Some pine, tangerine, and orange peek through on the finish. The alcohol content is 9.0% ABV. While I really enjoyed the hop content of this beer, I felt that the caramel base may be lacking a bit. Still, it was a delicious hop-infused beer and was quite drinkable.
Friday, February 18, 2011
I ordered a bottle of Deschutes Black Butte Porter from Beer on the Wall. The beer pours a dark brown color with a frothy beige head. The aroma consists of roasted malts with caramel and nuts. The taste is smooth yet roasted with a wonderful malt and nut flavor. The finish has hints of coffee in it. The alcohol content is 5.2% ABV. The Black Butte Porter is a really smooth drinking porter with a wonderful compliment of toasted malts and coffee flavors.
I stopped in to Al’s of Hampden when I received word that Al tapped the Stillwater Artisanal Ales-Mikkeller collaboration Two Gypsies Our Side. The beer pours an orange-amber color with a bubbly off-white head. The aroma consists of lemongrass, wheat, and a pleasant dose of earthy hops. The taste is lemony with pepper hops, an earthy base, grass. There is a sharp hop bite on the finish filled with pepper and spices with a floral after taste. The alcohol content is 7.5% ABV. I really enjoyed this saison, and it had a much larger hop profile than most saisons. Furthermore, the earthiness really added a unique touch to such a delicate beer style.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
I ordered a glass of Stoudt’s Smooth Hoperator at Duke’s Riverside in Wormleysburg, PA. This is the first time that I’ve seen Stoudt’s at the bar, and it seems they are trying to infuse a little more craft beer into the restaurant, and I approve. The beer pours an amber-caramel color with a frothy off white head. The aroma consists of a good amount of caramel with large helpings of pine, lemon, grapefruit, and tangerine. The taste is smooth and fresh with a sweet caramel base. Then the bitter and citrusy hop bite kicks in giving off flavors of orange, grapefruit, and lemon. The finish is lightly drying and pine flavored. The alcohol content is 7.0% ABV. Despite being a liquid, this beer is mouthwatering while drinking it. The citrus content is quite pleasant and not overly bitter.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
I picked up a bottle of Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence at Al’s of Hampden, and I have really looked forward to trying this beer. The beer pours a black color with a lofty and frothy tan head that leaves a nice lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of lots of sweet Belgian chocolate with toasted malts, caramel, and coffee. The taste is is dry and chocolaty but rather smooth as the beer goes down. There are hints of coffee and cream in this beer with a finish of vanilla and toasted malts. The alcohol content is 7.0% ABV. This beer has it all: toasted malts, lots of chocolate, vanilla, and coffee. I highly recommend trying this beer if you like any of those flavors, and it is quite smooth drinking.
I picked up a case of Ellicottville Winter Witte while at the brewery on my way to Niagara Falls. The beer pours pour a light gold color with a frothy white head. The aroma consists of sweet malts with fresh hops and a light lemon accent. The taste is smooth and malty with a faint hop undertone and a sour malt and light spiced finish. The alcohol content is 5.8% ABV. While this beer doesn’t pack the punch of most winter beers, it has a nice spice balance and is very refreshing.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
I stopped in to Troegs to pick up a case of Troegs Scratch 41- Cacaobunga Chocolate Stout Redux. The beer pours a black color with a frothy tan head. The aroma exudes dark and sweet chocolate with toasted malts and vanilla. The taste is bold with dark dry chocolate and plenty of toasted malts. The finish sweetens a bit with some vanilla and the after taste has a nice helping of fresh hops that have a pine flavoring. The alcohol content is 6.6% ABV. The dark chocolate and toasted malt flavors are well balanced with vanilla and fresh hops, a perfect beer for Valentine’s Day.
I ordered a glass of Voodoo Gran Met at Al’s of Hampden, having had this beer only at a beer fest previously. The beer pours a golden color with a thin filmy white head. The aroma is sweet with lemon, butter, and fresh hops. The taste is light and malty with slightly sour malts on side of the mouth. There is a light butter and hop finish. The alcohol content is 10.5% ABV. The most surprising aspect of this beer is that there is no evidence of alcohol in the taste, especially given the high alcohol content. The Gran Met has a smooth profile and is an excellent beer to drink.
Monday, February 14, 2011
I ordered a glass of Stillwater Artisanal Ales Existent from Al’s of Hampden. The beer pours a surprising dark amber color with a thin tan head. Please note, this is a surprising color because the beer is defined as an American Farmhouse Ale, which is usually golden in color. The aroma is sweet with chocolate malts and a toasty smell. The taste is big on toasted malts with a bold roasted flavor. There is a light lemon and fresh hop accent and a bit of oak on the finish. The alcohol content is 7.4% ABV. I really had to remove myself from expecting a lighter farmhouse ale to enjoy this beer, as it was not what I expected when I ordered it, and I ordered based on what I wanted at that moment. However, this is an intriguing and delicious beer once I settled on it.
I took a trip to JoBoy’s BrewPub in Manheim for dinner with friends, and was excited to see that Hopblack was on the menu, a Black IPA. The beer pours a black color with a finger-width foamy off-white head. The aroma consists of pine and citrus hops with coffee, chocolate and molasses. There is a bit of a toasted malt backbone in the aroma as well. The taste is smooth and large with a roasty and smoky flavor, chocolate and a solid coffee base. There is a pine hop bite that is subtle on the finish. The alcohol content is 5.6% ABV. The Hopblack was a wonderful beer with great smoke flavor induced, all without overpowering the chocolate and malt base of the beer. And most importantly, there is a nice helping of pine hops.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
At Al’s of Hampden, I ordered a glass of Hill Farmstead Edward Pale Ale. The beer pours a cloudy golden-orange color with a frothy white head. The aroma consists of grapefruit with sugar and lemon. The taste is bitter with grapefruit and has a dry pine finish. The alcohol content is 5.2% ABV. I really enjoyed the bitter citrus flavor balanced nicely with the dry pine finish. This may be a bit intense of a pale ale for some, leaning a bit towards an IPA, but it is a refreshing and extremely delicious beer.