Saturday, December 31, 2011
Mikkeller Monk’s Brew to share with my friend Jack and me. The beer pours a dark amber color with an extremely lofty and frothy beige colored head that leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of malts, caramel, raisin, fig, and burnt sugar. The taste is smooth and malty for a quick second before it becomes somewhat of a booze bomb. There are hints of caramel, raisin, and fig that peek through before the warming alcohol finish. The alcohol content is 10.0% ABV. The alcohol doesn’t show up in the nose, but man does it take over the mouth, but in quite an enjoyable way. There is somewhat of a sweetness to this beer, but make no mistake at the alcohol content.
Spring House Two Front Teeth Holiday Ale while at the Spring House Taproom in Lancaster. The beer pours an orange-tinted golden color with a think bubbly white head. The aroma consists of coriander, orange peel, wheat, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The taste is biscuity with vanilla, orange peel, cinnamon, and coriander. The finish is warming and reminds me of a Christmas sugar cookie. The alcohol content is 9.75% ABV. The beer tastes somewhat different than it smell,s but it is quite an enjoyable holiday ale. It takes you on a different journey of flavors than most spiced beer, and I thank Spring House for that.
Friday, December 30, 2011
Hoppin’ Frog B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher Oatmeal Imperial Stout Batch #100 from the brewery. The beer pours a black color with a frothy brown head that lingers for a while. The aroma consists of bitter and burnt malts, chocolate, oak, and vanilla. The taste is more dry than sweet dark chocolate, toasted and slightly burnt malts, and hints of coffee. Some vanilla brings out a sweetness before oak dries out the mouth and mocha can take over. The alcohol content is 9.4% ABV. Although I didn’t do a side-by-side with the original beer, I believe this was a little more bitter and had much more of a roasted flavor about it. That being said, it was still wonderful and had great chocolate and coffee flavors.
New Holland Envious Vintage 2010 from Discount Wine and Liquors in Booton, NJ. The beer pours a purple-ish amber color with a bubbly off-white colored head. The aroma consists of caramel, pear, malts, and raspberries. The taste is malty up front with some raspberry juice. The finish brings out some pear flavors, with plenty of caramel lingering behind. The after taste has the oak accents that the bottle advertises. The alcohol content is 7.5% ABV. This beer didn’t do it for me. The fruit flavors were too sweet and not balanced at all. The one redeeming factor was the oak accent, but it wasn’t enough.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Iron Hill in Lancaster, and I ordered a glass of Rudolph’s Revenge. The beer pours a golden color with a foamy off-white colored head. The aroma consists of banana, grass, and has some hints of grapefruit. The taste is big on banana and very sweet at first. Some grassy dryness surfaces before the finish brings out hints of grapefruit and is nice and bitter. The alcohol content is 8.6% ABV. I like that Iron Hill created a spiced beer that is different from the traditional Christmas beers. More so, it has a great dry finish that balances the sweet banana flavor really well.
Pizza Boy Brewing TB9 (Test Batch #9) Pale, a Belgian Pale Ale. The beer pours a golden color with a light frothy white colored head. The aroma consists of light tangerine and grapefruit with some banana and pepper as well. The taste is bitter with pepper on the front end before it smooths out with banana. Bitter grapefruit and tangerine hops pop out on the finish and dry the beer out nicely. The alcohol content is 5.9% ABV. For a Belgian Pale Ale, this was quite delicious and definitely on the bitter side, which made it pretty enjoyable for me.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
21st Amendment-Ninkasi collaboration called Allies Win the War! I opened this can just before the news of Kim-Jong Il dying was hitting Twitter (coincidence?). The beer pours a dark amber color with a frothy beige head that leaves plenty of lacing on the glass as it recedes. The aroma consists of caramel, sweet malts, dates, and raisin. It reminded me of opening a container of dates when I was younger. The taste is sweet and smooth while having a nice bitterness to it. The front end brings caramel, dates, and malts before a pine and spruce hop accent kicks in and dries out the tongue. The after taste leaves bits of pepper on the tongue. The alcohol content is 8.5% ABV. This was great beer that started out with a nice sweetness, but complete brought out a bitter side with hops and dried out the mouth. I loved every second of it, and would love to pick up a few more cans.
Hoppin’ Frog Frosted Frog’s Christmas Barrel Aged Christmas Ale from the brewery. I previously had the non-barrel aged beer, and was excited to try this one. The beer pours a dark amber color with a thin filmy off-white colored head. The aroma consists of cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel, allspice, vanilla, and bourbon. The taste is spicy and has plenty of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice on the front end. However, in comparison to the non-barrel aged version of this beer, the bourbon and vanilla sweetens and rounds out the flavor in the finish. The alcohol content is 8.6% ABV. While I didn’t hate the non-barrel aged version, this version was infinitely better, as the bourbon barrel aging smoothed out the spiciness, especially in the finish. The alcohol warmth added a true touch of Christmas, exactly what was missing from the beer before.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Brasserie de Jandrain-Jandrenouille V Cense from Discount Wine and Liquors in Boonton, NJ. The beer pours a dark amber color with a frothy beige colored head that receded at first rapidly but a thin part of it lingered for a while and left a bit of lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of caramel, pepper, banana, raisin, and plantains. The taste has a bit of burnt toffee and caramel on the front end with a dry grassy backbone. There is some raisin and banana flavor that comes out and it has a very dry finish with a hint of alcohol. The alcohol content is 7.5% ABV. I liked how dark and caramel-heavy this farmhouse ale was, all while retaining the dry grassy and peppery flavors in the finish. While it is sweet on the front end, it definitely dries out in the end. For those expecting a light-bodied farmhouse ale, you will not get what you are expecting, but it is a delicious beer.
New Glarus Fat Squirrel Ale from HopHeadRed in a beer trade. The beer pours a dark amber color with a frothy beige colored head that leaves some lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of caramel, toasted malts, cream, and nuts. The taste is smooth and sweet with a bit of caramel on the front end before some toasted malts and nutty flavors kicked in on the tongue. There is a creamy finish with a dry, roasty after taste. The alcohol content is 5.8% ABV. I like the smoothness of this beer with its roasty flavors. There is just enough sweetness to get the tongue going before it dries out the mouth in a nice manner.
Monday, December 26, 2011
Firestone Walker XV 15th Anniversary Ale, and he shipped it to me to try. For their 15th Anniversary, Firestone Walker blended a beer to the following proportions:
18% Helldorado (11.7% ABV) Blonde Barley Wine
17% Sticky Monkey (12.5% ABV) English Barley Wine
17% Bravo (13.5% ABV) Imperial Brown Ale
13% Double Double Barrel Ale (11.5% ABV) Double Strength English Pale Ale
11% Good Foot (14.3 ABV) American Barley Wine
10% Velvet Merkin (8.6% ABV) Traditional Oatmeal Stout
9% Parabola (13% ABV) Russian Imperial Oatmeal Stout
The beer pours a dark brown color with a frothy tan head that leaves no lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of raisin, fig, chocolate, caramel, malts, vanilla, oak, and bourbon. The taste is powerful and action-packed with chocolate, vanilla, caramel, cookie dough, fig, and raisin. It swiftly transitions into a bit of an alcohol burn with bourbon flavors before a dry oak finish that has hints of butterscotch and vanilla. The alcohol content is 12.5% ABV. The blend of this beer was rather excellent and rather intense. The bourbon really kicks out despite all of the other chocolate and dark fruit flavors, but I enjoyed it very much.
Captain Lawrence Drew’s Brew. The beer pours a golden color with a frothy white head that leaves some lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of tangerine, grapefruit, bitter citrus, orange, and lemon. The taste is light bodied and very focused on bitter citrus hops. There is plenty of grapefruit, tangerine, orange, and lemon in there, but there is a pinch of sugar that balances it out. The finish has a hint of caramel before pepper and pine take over the side of the mouth and pinch the back of the throat. The alcohol content is 8.0% ABV. This was quite a wonderful beer with plenty of bitter flavors, but just enough sweetness to make it easily drinkable.
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Shmaltz He’brew Jewbelation 15 from Discount Wine and Liquors in Boonton, NJ. Having reviewed the previous beers in this series, I was excited to try this one, although I was hesitant that they placed this large beer in a 22-ounce bottle. The beer pours a dark brown color, almost black, with a frothy beige head that leaves lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of raisin,caramel, malts, plum, fig, date, and vanilla. The taste is very sweet on the tongue and very malty, the flavors of raisin, fig, plum, and date coming to the forefront. A big glob of molasses takes over the mouth with vanilla and caramel. The finish brings out an alcohol warmth, but its not too intense. The alcohol content, is of course, 15%, matching the anniversary. If my recollection is correct, this was the smoothest drinking of the series and had a nice creamy mouth feel, all packed with great dark fruit flavors.