Saturday, May 14, 2011
I stopped in to Iron Hill in Lancaster for some bottles of their sours, but did not have luck in getting all of them. However, one of the sours was on tap, the Oak Aged Cherry Quad. The beer pours a dark brown color with a thin filmy tan head. The aroma consists of vinegar, sour cherries, and raisin. The taste is sour and puckering with lots of sour cherry, some sugar, vinegar, raisin, and chocolate hints. The finish is dry with oak and leaves a lingering vinegar taste. The alcohol content is not available online, but I would estimate it to be approximately 10.0% ABV. The sour induction to a quad provided a wonderfully craft beer. The quad style is thick enough to add extra flavors and mouth feel to the beer, and doesn’t let the vinegar flavor get carried away on the palate.
My buddy Matt brought over a bottle of Sierra Nevada Estate Homegrown Ale that he picked up at Wegman’s. The beer pours a a golden color with a frothy white head that leaves minimal lacing on the glass. The aroma is full of caramel with fresh lemon and pine hops. The taste is smooth and sweet with plenty of caramel. There is a wonderful fresh pine and lemon hop accents that also brings out some tangerine and grapefruit. The alcohol content is 6.7% ABV. I completely enjoyed the caramel sweetness in this beer balanced nicely with the citrus and pine hops. All in all, the freshness made this beer, and it was evident.
Friday, May 13, 2011
While at Trinity Brewing Company, I picked up a bottle of Emma’s Coffin Pumpkin Saison to ship home to myself. The beer pours a dark brown color (surprisingly) with orange hues and a foamy tan head that leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of wheat, lemon, pumpkin, brown sugar, and grass. The taste is smooth and sweet with lots of brown sugar and pumpkin on the front end. It is a very spicy beer with coriander and it plays well with the grassy notes in the beer. The alcohol content is 9.5% ABV. A pumpkin saison is quite an interesting idea to begin with, but adding brown sugar made for the perfect concoction. The spicy notes are also quite enjoyable, balancing nicely with the fruity flavors or lemon and pumpkin.
I grabbed a bottle of Bison Brewing Organic IPA Single Hop Series- Willamette in California and shipped it home to myself to review. Bison beers come highly recommended by The Beer Wench, so I took her word for it and gave the beer a try. The beer pours an orange-tinted amber color with a frothy white head that laces nicely on the glass. The aroma consists of tangerine, lemon, orange, pine, and lots of caramel. The taste profile is big on caramel with nice citrus accents, consisting of tangerine, orange, lemon, and pineapple. The finish is a little dry and bitter with pine, wood, and grass accents. The alcohol content is 6.0% ABV. The freshness is apparent in this beer, and the citrus accents are aplenty. I really enjoyed the wide array of citrus flavors, all built upon a sweet yet solid caramel base.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
While at Trinity Brewing Company in Colorado Springs, Colorado, I took home a bottle of their collaboration with Black Fox called Double Rainbow to ship to myself in Pennsylvania. The beer pours a reddish-caramel-amber color with a thin filmy bubble white head. The aroma consists of Belgian yeast, rosemary, pepper, orange, tangerine, and a hint of pumpkin. The taste is large and extremely flavorful. It is relatively easy to pick up the pumpkin, rosemary, violets, and roses. Hidden underneath those bold flavors is eggplant, honey, parsley, and pepper. The finish dries out due to some saffron, and actually brings out the Belgian base used for the saison. The alcohol content is 14.0% ABV. There is so much going on in this beer that it is a true workout for your tongue. The floral flavors are the best accents in it, but there is always enough sweetness to balance it out nicely. It has to be said: “It is so intense!”
I picked up a bottle of New Belgium Lips of Faith Transatlantique Kriek from a bottle shop in Denver, Colorado and shipped it home to review. The beer pours a cherry red color with a thin and bubbly off-white colored head. The aroma consists of like a cherry pastry, nice tart cherries, some sweet sugar, and light hints of vinegar. The taste is sour and puckering with plenty of cherry up front and a healthy dose of vinegar. Some sugar, glaze, and yeast come out on the finish of the beer, sweetening up the mouth a bit. The after taste is very dry and leaves plenty of tartness. The alcohol content is 8.0% ABV. The Transatlantique Kriek was one of the more amazing Krieks that I have had, and I was most pleased with the aroma, as it reminded me of a cherry pastry.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
I received a bottle of Black Diamond Free Style Belgian Style Blonde as part of my beer of the month club from Beer on the Wall. The beer pours a golden color with a bubbly white head that dissipates rather quickly. The aroma consists of Belgian yeast, spice, pepper, and banana. The taste is very light and fruity with some banana and pepper. The finish brings out some Belgian yeast and a few spices. The after taste leaves some weeds and grass on the tongue. The alcohol content is 5.2% ABV. I would describe this beer as a little watered down and not entirely full of flavor. Strangely enough, I liked the after taste the most as part of this beer.
On my way out of Denver, I stopped in to Dry Dock Brewing to claim the West Coast Bar Hop badge from Untappd. The beer I ordered was the Belgian IPA, a recipe that came from the winner of a home brew competition. The beer pours a golden color with a bubbly white head. The aroma consists of banana, pepper, Belgian yeast and Belgian spices. The taste is smooth but biting, surprisingly a little sour with lemon, and lots of pepper and spices. There are some bitter grassy hops. The alcohol content is 6.7% ABV. At first, I was not really impressed with but it grew on me. I thought that the bitterness took away from the enjoyment of the beer, but as it warmed, some of the sweetness reclaimed its place in the beer and provided enough balance to make this an enjoyable beer.
Monday, May 9, 2011
I picked up a bottle of New Belgium Lips of Faith Sahti while in Denver, and popped it open to share with my friend Jason. The beer pours an amber color with a frothy white head. The aroma consists of grassy hops, hay, lemon, and caramel. The taste is smooth and fresh with grassy hops, orange, juniper, and a slight bitey finish with pepper. The mouth feel is light and bubbly but does expand a little bit with plenty of bubbles on the tongue. The alcohol content is 7.2% ABV. The Sahti was a great dynamic beer that taste fresh from the earth and was also quite refreshing.
My most anticipated destination in Denver was the new Alehouse at Amato's, run by Breckenridge Brewing. One of the beers I ordered there was the Breckenridge 72 Imperial Chocolate Cream Stout. The beer pours a black color with a thin tan head. The aroma consists of chocolate, toasted malts, and vanilla. The taste is smooth with lots of chocolate and vanilla, and a few underlyings of cream. The finish brings out toasted malts and oak. The alcohol content is 7.2% ABV. Overall, this was a smooth and delicious beer with a velvety mouth feel, which was very pleasant. I also highly recommend going to the new Alehouse the time you are in Denver.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
I ordered a glass of Great Divide Colette Farmhouse Ale at the Alehouse at Amato's, run by Breckenridge Brewing. The beer pours an unfiltered gold color with a light foamy white head. The aroma consists of pepper, lemon, and wheat. The taste is foamy in the mouth but rounded with lemon, cream, wheat, and a dry pepper finish. The alcohol content is 7.3% ABV. While this was a delicious and refreshing beer, I would find it difficult to drink more than one of these due to the large mouth feel that accompanies it.
Falling Rock Tap House in Denver offered the Eel River Earth Thirst Double IPA as part of the Earth Day celebration. Luckily, there was some of it left when I visited a few days later. The beer pours an amber color with a foamy white head. The aroma consists of grapefruit and orange, both of which were freshly peeled. The taste has lots of caramel, bitter grapefruit, tangerine, and a light orange finish. The alcohol content is 8.2% ABV. While this beer wasn't overly complex, it was decent and the most redeeming quality of it was how fresh tasting it was, due to its organic nature and its recent brewing date.