Saturday, January 7, 2012
Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout (2011) at Wooden Keg Liquors in Hagerstown, MD and he decided to share it with us. The beer pours thick and viscous with a black color and no head at all, although some bubbles do surface. The aroma consists of deep chocolate, lots of vanilla, bourbon, oak, and molasses. The taste is big on chocolate with a big alcohol burn that has a nice bourbon flavor to it. The burn lingers for a while, but then some vanilla sweetens out the flavor. Oak and molasses peek through on the finish and round out the beer. The alcohol content is 14.5% ABV.This beer really is the epitome of bourbon barrel aged beers. It has a wonderful bourbon taste with the vanilla and oak that come along with it, but the chocolate body with it really stands up to the bully-ish characteristics of the bourbon.
Ommegang Adoration and decided to share it with us one night. The beer pours a dark amber color with a foamy off-white colored head. The aroma consists of raisin, banana, cinnamon, coriander, orange peel, and cardamom. The taste is spicy and boozy with a light alcohol burn. Raisin and sweet banana flavors do surface, but the coriander, cardamom, and orange peel flavors bitter out the mouth feel. The alcohol content is 10.0% ABV. I liked the flavors in the beer, with their bitter spiciness, but I feel this beer could greatly benefit from another year or two of maturing.
Friday, January 6, 2012
Troegs Scratch 55- Double IPA from the new brewery. The beer pours a dark amber color with a frothy off-white colored head. The aroma consists of grapefruit, tangerine, orange, sugar, pine, and hop resins. The taste brings bitter grapefruit and tangerine to the foreground with orange, pine, and spruce flavors as well. There are hints of caramel and sugar that peek out in the finish. The finish is peppery and has plenty of evergreen. The alcohol content is 8.6% ABV. I would say the hop profile is similar to that of Nugget Nectar, and this beer is quite delicious. There are some many bitter hop flavors with great piny accents to keep the hop-head's tongue occupied.
Captain Lawrence Cuvee de Castleton from my buddy Tim in a beer trade. The beer pours a faintly orange-tinted amber color with a thin bubbly clear head that does not last very long. The aroma consists of vinegar, lemon, barnyard funk, horse blanket, grass, and hay. The taste is puckering and sour with plenty on vinegar on the front end accompanied with lots of bitter lemon flavors. As with the aroma, there is horse blanket, hay, and grass in there as well. The finish has an oak dryness with a grape flavor. The alcohol content is 8.0% ABV. This beer is the epitome of sour beers and is perfect for the cuvee style. I loved the wild taste and flavors, reminding me of a stroll through the Amish farmlands of Central Pennsylvania.
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Mikkeller Hoppy Lovin’ Christmas. The beer pours a golden color with an extremely lofty and frothy white head that leaves some lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of orange, lemon, coriander, pine, grapefruit, and tangerine. The taste is intense and hoppy with tangerine, grapefruit, and lemon citrus flavors attacking the tongue. There is a hint of caramel on the backbone with a ginger spice accent and the finish has plenty of pine flavors. The alcohol content is 7.8%. The pine needle additions to a Double IPA really took the bitterness to another level and allowed the pine flavors to really shine.
Pizza Boy Brewing Hefe. The beer pours a pale yellow color with a frothy white head. The aroma consists of lemon, coriander, orange peel, and grass. The taste is dry and grassy with a light bodied mouth feel. Lemon and coriander provide a refreshing flavor and orange peel comes out in the finish with peppery spice accents. The alcohol content is 5% ABV. I’d say that Al has nailed the hefeweizen category with this beer, as it is equally refreshing and tasty. The citrus flavors really attack the palate, but are balanced very well with the pepper and grass hops.
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Otter Creek Alpine Black IPA. The beer pours a black color with a thin filmy beige colored head. The aroma consists of pine, chocolate, lemon, and spruce. The taste starts out with a heavy dose of spruce before chocolate and toasted malts come in to play. The finish is dry with lots of lemon citrus flavors trying to smooth out the toasted malt flavors. The alcohol content is 6.0% ABV. I’d say this was an enjoyable Black IPA with a healthy offering of evergreen flavoring, which makes the beer piny and bitter.
New Holland Beerhive Tripel with some friends and me. The beer pours a dark honey color with a bubbly off-white colored head. The aroma consists of honey, caramel, ginger, banana, and has a nice earthiness to it. The taste is sweet and built upon a solid honey and caramel flavor with a subtle banana flavor that has a ginger kick. Due to the honey, there is a smooth finish with earthy tones to it. The alcohol content is 8.47% ABV. This beer was quite delicious, especially for the price point, and provides a sweeter approach to a tripel. I really liked the honey additions and what it provided, but the ginger spice was what balanced everything and brought the beer together.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
North Coast Grand Cru to share with some friends and me. The beer pours a golden color with a foamy white head. The aroma consists of banana, biscuit, pepper, agave, and pear. The taste is sweet and strong with banana and agave on the front end. There is a big alcohol burn that really has a bite before a spice of pepper comes out on the finish. The alcohol content is 12.9% ABV. I’d say this beer had some really great flavors to it, but the alcohol presence can get in the way of really picking up the agave. However, I would be sure to drink this again.
Monday, January 2, 2012
Deschutes The Abyss (2011) from Doug Hanson and brought it over to my buddy Matt’s house to share with friends. The beer pours a viscous black color with a frothy beige head that leaves some lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of dark chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, and oak. The taste is thick and chocolaty, which is very rich and dark tasting, with toasted malts, plenty of molasses and a hint of licorice. There is a dry oak background with a vanilla finish. The alcohol content is 11.0% ABV. The Abyss was so exceptionally smooth drinking with a wonderful dark chocolate flavor. It’s mouth feel was very thick and creamy, and the vanilla sweetened everything out nicely on the finish.
Schlafly Reserve Barleywine Style Ale, vintage 2009, from Discount Wine and Liquors in Boonton, NJ. The beer pours very viscous and is a red-tinted amber color with a frothy off-white colored head. The aroma consists of caramel, raisins, figs, dates, malts, alcohol, and pepper. The taste is smooth and candy-like with caramel, raisin, fig, and date flavors taking over the front end with a great sweetness. The finish brings out an oak dryness with hints of pepper and pine. The alcohol content is 10.2% ABV. This was one of the best barleywines that I have ever had, and it has a smoothness like none other. The oak dryness on the finish was fantastic and really made this beer pop.
Sunday, January 1, 2012
8 Wired Brewing iStout from Discount Wine and Liquors in Boonton, NJ for my birthday. The beer pours a black color with a frothy brown head that leaves specs of lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of chocolate, smoke, coffee, vanilla, and molasses. The taste is bold and chocolaty with lots of dark chocolates. There is a background of slightly toasted malts with a vanilla and caramel sweetness. A hoppy finish with some citrus tones kicks in as well, which is great tasting. The alcohol content is 10.0% ABV. The iStout was a remarkable beer, with great dark chocolaty and coffee flavors, with a nice hint of sweetness and a bit of hoppy bitterness. If you can check out this New Zealand beer, I recommend it.
Otter Creek Twentieth Anniversary Ale with my buddy Matt. The beer pours a cranberry-tinted amber color with a frothy off-white colored head. The aroma consists of caramel, apple, raisin, molasses, fig, and dates. The taste is lightly dry and bitter with an alcohol and toasted toffee front end. There is a plenty of caramel, fig, date, and raisin that makes the backbone of this beer giving it a big sweetness. To balance the sweetness, the finish brings out some spruce and pepper. The alcohol content is 12.0% ABV. I enjoyed this strong ale and all of its boozy goodness with plenty of sweetness coming out as well. Dark fruits really add another dimension, and the hops bring it all down to earth.