Saturday, September 10, 2011
Surly Five from France 44 after so many people encouraged me to do so, including Lee from Hoptopia. The beer pours a black color with a bubbly tan head that dissipates rapidly a la champagne. The aroma consists of cherry, vinegar, barnyard funk, yeast, and sweet malts. The taste is sour and slightly puckering with plenty of vinegar and sour cherry tartness on the front end. A nice barnyard funk comes in to play before some red wine and grape flavor makes it through, really drying out the mouth. The after taste leaves some vinegar and plenty of oak flavoring in the mouth. The alcohol content is 8.2% ABV. This was a wonderfully crafted beer and the wine and oak really help dry out the mouth. I was left completely satisfied with this beer, as it is a top notch sour beer from Surly.
Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron from a bottle shop in Delaware. The beer pours a dark brown color with a frothy tan head. The aroma consists of smoke, palo santo wood, chargrill, and some chocolate. The taste is dry and smoky with plenty of charred palo santo wood making the most of the profile. There is some chocolate, vanilla, caramel, and toasted malts adding accents as well. There is a nice alcohol burn on the back of the mouth as well. The alcohol content is 12.0% ABV. This is a big beer with plenty of alcohol burn, but the palo santo wood gives it all of its character with somewhat of a charred flavor.
Friday, September 9, 2011
Stone-Troegs-Jason Fields & Kevin Sheppard collaboration Cherry Chocolate Stout from Westy’s in Camp Hill. The beer pours a motor-oil black color with a frothy tan head that dissipates rather rapidly and doesn’t leave any lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of strong dark chocolate nibs with a touch of vanilla sweetness, toasted malts, a nice cherry pie-like accent. The taste is wonderfully silky smooth chocolate with a slight bitterness as it is of the dark chocolate type. A cherry sweetness with a hint of tartness comes into play next with some vanilla accents. The finish brings out some toasted malts and dry, earthy hops. The alcohol content is 7.3% ABV. The smoothness of the beer was impeccable with a wonderful cherry and vanilla sweetness. Those flavors played very well together, and balanced out the dark and bitter chocolate.
Coast Brewing Blackbeerd Imperial Stout as part of a beer trade with SCBeerGuy. The beer pours a black color with a frothy tan head that leaves a light lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of dark chocolate, vanilla, oak, toasted malts, and a bit of cream. The taste is silky smooth with big toasted malt profile. The sweetness comes from dark milk chocolate and there are hints of earthy hops with a pine flavor. On the finish, vanilla comes out with a dry oak and toasted malt flavor. The alcohol content is 9.3% ABV. The silky smooth mouth feel of this beer accompanied with the chocolate and high profile toasted malts makes for a great drinking beer.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Jester King Wytchmaker Rye India Pale Ale. The beer pours a copper color with an extremely active and lofty off-white colored head. The aroma has lots of lemon and rye in it with some orange, caramel, pepper, and tea. The taste is big on lemon that is accompanied by a hefty helping of rye, some orange, and tangerine. There is a subtle yet great caramel base that sweetens the palate. A peppery dry finish round out the experience. The alcohol content is 6.8% ABV. The mix of spice and citrus in this beer is wonderful without overdoing the rye aspect. It isn’t too spicy, but it definitely shies away from being too sweet.
Port Brewing Santa’s Little Helper Bourbon Barrel Aged to share. The beer pours a black color with red hues and a bubbly tan head. The aroma consists of light chocolate, sweet candied cherry, vanilla, bourbon, and oak. The taste is smooth and chocolaty with thick and creamy mouth feel, but not as heavy as other Imperial Stouts. Some bourbon warmth comes through and it has a dry finish with oak. More bourbon and toasted malts comes out in the after taste and leaves behind a vanilla sweetness. The alcohol content is 12% ABV. I was quite impressed with the ease of drinking of this beer despite it alcohol content and being aged in bourbon barrels. It was lighter and creamier on the tongue than most imperial stouts, which made this glass disappear faster than I would have liked.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Coast Brewing Boy King Imperial India Pale Ale from SCBeerGuy in a beer trade. The beer pours a golden color with a lofty and frothy white head that leaves a small amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of sticky hop resins, lots of grapefruit, tangerine, pine, and a hint of caramel. The taste is very bitter and hoppy with a large grapefruit presence, tangerine, orange, and lemon. There is some pepper and pine finish, and the after taste leaves a bitter oil on the back of the mouth. The alcohol content is 9.5% ABV. The aroma leads me to think of Russian River Pliny the Elder, but the taste isn’t quite as smooth and much more bitter. I thoroughly enjoyed it and believe it is very much worth the hype that surrounds the beer.
Wild Heaven Ode to Mercy Imperial Brown Ale. The beer pours a dark brown color with a frothy tan head that leaves a nice lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of chocolate, toasted malts, peanuts, and vanilla. The taste is very roasty and has plenty of toasted malts right up front before a nice chocolate sweetness comes out to provide the backbone of the beer. There are hints of mocha and vanilla on the finish, and the after taste leaves some peanut flavoring behind. The alcohol content is 8.2% ABV. While this beer starts of bitter and dry with plenty of roasted flavors, it sweetens on the finish with milk chocolate and vanilla, providing a wonderful flavor profile. This may have shot to the top of my list of favorite brown ales.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin from Al’s of Hampden. Now, I have previously reviewed this beer, but I noticed that I mentioned that I liked it better than Pumpkinhead. Not believing my rookie beer reviewing self, I decided to give this beer another shot. The beer pours an orange-tinted amber color with a thin filmy off-white colored head. The aroma consists strongly of pumpkin, nutmeg, vanilla, and cinnamon. The taste is large on pumpkin with lots of other spices including graham cracker, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The finish is dry like eating a bit of cinnamon with a hint of vanilla sweetness. The alcohol content is 9.0% ABV. Clearly this is Shipyard’s best pumpkin offering, and to date, my second favorite pumpkin beer behind Pumking.
Red Brick Pale Ale. The beer pours a golden color with a frothy white head that leaves some nice lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of sweet pale malts, fresh pine and lemon hops, and grass. The taste is light on the tongue with a caramel malt backbone. The main focus, however, is the fresh and bitter hop profile, bringing along flavors of pine, lemon, and grass. The alcohol content is 5.5% ABV. This was a nicely bitter pale ale with a great hops profile and a faint caramel backbone that allows the hops to shine.
Monday, September 5, 2011
A couple places I went in Buffalo had the Flying Bison Aviator Red on tap, and I decided to try it at our hotel bar. The beer pours a dark brown color with red hues and a frothy tan head. The aroma consists of sweet caramel, toasted malts, earthy hops, and a hint of chocolate. The taste is malty with some smokiness to it, caramel, and toasted malts. The beer drinks rather smooth but has a dry finish. The alcohol content is 5.25% ABV. The Aviator Red is a decent beer with nice roasty malts and caramel. I appreciated the slight smokiness as well in this beer, as it made it more dynamic.
While Anchor Bar is the landmark in Buffalo for creating Buffalo Wings, Duff’s is the one who perfected them. My group of friends and I stopped in to Duff’s for wings between a wedding and the reception, and I noticed that they had their own microbrew called Duff’s Microbrew. It is contract brewed by Custom BrewCrafters. The beer pours a golden-amber color with a filmy white head. The aroma consists of fresh pine and lemon hops and caramel. The taste is bitter and dry with a nice and easygoing lemon flavor and a caramel base. The finish has some dry and bitter pine. The alcohol content is 4.5% ABV. This beer, with its generous hop offering, goes very well with Duff’s wings and helps bring out the spiciness.
Sunday, September 4, 2011
My fiancee tried to order one beer on the menu at Blue Monk in Buffalo, but the waitress said that it had been kicked. But what was in its place? It was the Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA, and I excitedly ordered a glass. The beer pours a black color with a frothy tan head that leaves lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of lemon, grapefruit, pine, chocolate, coffee, and caramel. The taste is smooth and chocolaty with mocha, coffee, molasses, and lots pine, grapefruit, and lemon hops. It really should be stated that this beer has a big hop profile and is not for the faint of hop-hearted. Cocoa nibs come out in the finish, bringing the tongue back to the chocolaty goodness. The alcohol content is 10.8% ABV. I thought Stone provide a wonderful black ale without being too chocolaty, as they made this beer about the hops in their typical arrogant way, and I love it.
I picked up a growler of Ellicottville EVL Amber Ale while at the brewery and took it with me to my hotel in Buffalo to open with some friends. The beer pours an amber color with a frothy off-white colored head. The aroma consists of caramel, grapefruit, pine, and lemon. The taste is lightly dry but has lots of grapefruit, lemon, and a good caramel base. There is a nice pine finish that leaves mouth dry. The alcohol content is 5.2% ABV. I would say that the EVL Amber Ale is a solid amber that has a great variety of hop flavors. It is rather easy drinking but is bitter enough to be enjoyed by those that love hops.