Saturday, April 2, 2011
I received a bottle of Karl Strauss 21st Anniversary Ale Brewed with Zinfandel Grape Juice from Hoptopia in a beer trade. The beer pours a reddish amber color with a thin bubbly off-white colored head. The aroma consists of Belgian yeast, candisugar, caramel, toasted toffee, and a hint of grape. The taste has a lot of biscuit-like properties with plenty of Belgian-yeast, pepper, candisugar, and caramel. The finish brings out a bubbly grape juice flavor with a dry and slightly tart after taste. The alcohol content is 10.2% ABV. While this was a solid Belgian-style beer on its own, the addition of the zinfandel grape juice to the beer really balanced out the sweetness by adding a sharp carbonation bite and a tarty finish.
Friday, April 1, 2011
I picked up a bottle of Left Coast Torrey Pines India Pale Ale at Brass Rail in Campbelltown, PA. The beer pours a golden color with a frothy white head that has an incredible amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma consist of pine hops, lemon, tangerine, and a hint of grapefruit and lime. The taste is smoky and bitter right off the bat with toasted caramel malts, pine hops, lemon, pineapple, and oak. The finish brings out a lot of wood flavor and some of smoke, which was quite surprising but very enjoyable. The alcohol content is 6.9% ABV. I enjoyed the slightly smoked flavor of this beer that was attached to the caramel and toffee, all balanced with the citrus flavors.
I stopped in to Discount Wines and Liquors in Boonton, NJ to pick up a bottle of Flying Fish Exit 9 Hoppy Scarlet Ale (disclaimer: I am not a fan of Rutgers). The beer pours a red-amber color with a lofty frothy head that laces heavily on the glass. The aroma consists of fresh pine and lemon hops, caramel, and spruce. The taste is smooth and sweet with lots of caramel and toffee with a wonderful bitter hop bite that adds lemon, pine, orange, and tangerine flavors to the beer. The alcohol content is 9.0% ABV. The balance struck in this beer with citrus bitterness and the smooth sweet caramel and toffee flavors is remarkable, and combines for an easy drinking, yet overly flavorful brew.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
I picked up a bottle of Speakeasy Prohibition Ale from Brass Rail in Campbelltown, PA. The beer pours a a dark red/amber color with a foamy white head that laces to the glass. The aroma consists of fresh pine and lemon hops on top of a sweet caramel and toffee base. The taste is big and hoppy right on the front end of the beer with lots of pine and lemon before it sweetens up with caramel and toffee. The sweet malts come through on the finish. There was a slight disappointment in the after taste as I thought it was a little watered down, but this did not ruin the entire beer. the alcohol content is 6.1% ABV. Overall, the Prohibition ale was a very enjoyable beer that was balanced well between bitter and sweet. The only disappointment comes in the after taste, but this is a forgiving area, as I replaced my disappointment with another sip of sugary/bitter goodness.
My buddy Matt picked up a four-pack of 21st Amendment Monk’s Blood, and I gladly accepted a can to try. The beer pours a cloudy dark amber color with a frothy off-white head. The aroma consists of radish, raisin, sweet malts, and fig. The taste is big, bold, and sweet with malts, raisin, radish, earthy hops, and carrot. The finish has a slight dry alcohol bite and the after taste lingers with a bit of raisin. The alcohol content is 8.3% ABV. Monk’s Blood is a wonderful Belgian Strong Dark Ale with a wide variety of earthy flavors, Belgian accents, and pinch of alcohol.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
I stopped in to Appalachian Brewing Company to try the Koning De Quad, the only beer I had not tried in the three-part Belgian series. The beer pours a dark brown color with a frothy tan head that lingers for a while. The aroma consists of bubblegum, raisin, fig, Belgian yeast, and orange. The taste is sweet with lots Belgian yeast, malts, raisin, and fig. The finish brings out some orange citrus and a bit of an earthy spice. The alcohol content is 11.41% ABV. I was actually quite impressed with this Quad and thought it was solid; my only complaint would be that the finish is a little faint-hearted, but it doesn’t not interfere with the enjoyability of the beer.
When I was at Braushaus Schmitz in Philadelphia, I noticed that they were offering a vertical of Brauerei Schloss Eggenberg Samiclaus Bier 2009 and 2010. Both beers pour a dark amber color with the 2009 having no head and the 2010 had a thin filmy white head. The aroma of the 2009 has much more pronounced raisin and plum when compared to the 2010. The 2009 is sweeter and smoother and the 2010 maintained more of the raisin flavor. Both beers had a biting finish, but the 2010 was more warming in the throat. The alcohol content is 14.0% ABV. I would have to say that I think I liked the 2010 version better, and it felt a little more balanced and had a wonderful warming finish to it.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
I ordered a glass of Schneider Aventinus Eisbock at Brauhaus Schmitz while in Philadelphia. The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head. The aroma consists of sweet malts, raisin, alcohol, fig, dark fruit, and orange. The taste is sweet with plenty of malts, plum, fig, raisin, and an orange twist on the finish. The after taste has a bit of an alcohol bite, but nowhere near what was expected. The alcohol content is 12.0% ABV. This Eisbock was amazingly smooth for the alcohol content, and had a wonderful array of dark fruits, such as plum and raisin, balanced nicely with an orange citrus blast.
I ordered a glass of De Proef Draeckenier from Al’s of Hampden. The beer pours a yellow gold color with a think filmy white head. The aroma consists of Belgian yeast, banana nut bread, and lemon squares. The taste is smooth and yeasty with a lemon and meringue flavor, similar to a lemon square. There is a pepper bite on the side of the mouth in the finish and the after taste is light and wheaty. The alcohol content is 7.5% ABV. This is a very different tripel than I am used to drinking. It is not quite as sweet and Belgian-y, but is somewhat refreshing with a good lemon flavor.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Guest Review by: Janine Turner
My boyfriend's sister acquired a case of New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale from NC. I had this before as an Xmas present (which I enjoyed drinking while lounging in my new Snuggie), but never thought of reviewing it since its something I don't typically do. So when we were graced with a case (that rhymed), I decide to give it a try. This beer pours a light copper color with a thin white frosty head. It smells of caramel and a hint of citrus. The front is bubbly and citrus-sweet on the tongue. The beer finishes strong with caramel taste, and the after taste is tangy and bitter with hint of sweetness from the caramel. Amber ales, in general, are my favorite style of beer and this one is definitely one of my favorites.
J9 beer ratings: A
I stopped in to Al’s of Hampden to try a glass of Thirsty Dog Siberian Night, a Russian Imperial Stout. The beer pours a deep black color with almost no head; the only head is a filmy white one. The aroma consists of dark chocolate, toasted malts, and vanilla. The taste is big on toasted malts that dry the dies of the mouth with a dark chocolate bite, also somewhat dry. The finish brings out a little bit of the vanilla and sweetens the experience. The alcohol content is 9.7% ABV. This is a wonderful Russian Imperial Stout that has a good amount of chocolate and toasted malts, all sweetened a bit with a touch of vanilla.
My buddy Matt bought a bottle of Leelanau Whaleback White, brewed at Jolly Pumpkin, from Al’s of Hampden, and brought it over to my house to share. The beer pours a golden color with a thin filmy white head. Following the pour, it is noticeable that this beer is very aromatic and smells of vinegar, sour lemon, orange peel, and wheat. The taste is sweet with wheat at first before sour lemon, orange, and vinegar kicks in. The alcohol content is 5.2% ABV. It is evident that since this beer was brewed at Jolly Pumpkin, there is the trademark Jolly Pumpkin sourness about it, providing a great sour accent to a white beer.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
I received bottle 40 of 650 of Southampton Imperial Russian Stout in a bottle trade with Lee from Hoptopia. The beer pours a black color with a bubbly tan head when poured that actually turns to a foamy head as it settles. The aroma consists of dark chocolate, toasted malts, and vanilla. The taste is creamy and with chocolate, raisin, toasted malts, vanilla, and oak. The finish is smooth but dries a little bit with toasted malts. The after taste is warming with alcohol. The alcohol content is 10.5% ABV. This Imperial Russian Stouts has to be one of the smoothest and creamiest imperial stouts that I have ever had, and one of the most enjoyable ones as well.
I picked up a bottle of Long Trail Brewmaster's Series Centennial Red from Discount Wines and Liquors in Boonton, New Jersey. The beer pours a dark cherry red with a frothy off-white head. The aroma consists of fresh pine hops and caramel malts. The taste is smooth and sweet with caramel at first with a wonderful toasted caramel malt base. The finish is a little dry with toffee and lemon. The alcohol content is 7.9% ABV. I really enjoyed the toasted caramel aspect of this beer, as it wasn’t just your typical red ale. The amount of hops also adds a great bitterness element to it.