Saturday, April 7, 2012
Goose Island Bramble Rye Bourbon County Stout on my recent visit there. The beer pours a black color with a frothy tan head. The aroma consists of heavenly chocolate, raspberry, vanilla, bourbon, and blackberry. The taste is slightly fruity on a solid chocolate base. Raspberry and blackberry provide a bit of a sweetness combined with lots of vanilla before the bourbon comes out to dry out the mouth. A hint of toasted malts is left behind on the tongue to play with the fruit. The alcohol content is 12.7% ABV. This, simply put, was an amazing beer filled with so many varying flavors. The fruit accents added another dimension to the typical Bourbon County Stout, and I really was thankful for the opportunity to try it.
Captain Lawrence brewery was the Brown Ale. The beer pours a brown color with a frothy off-white colored head with some lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of chocolate, toasted malts, vanilla, caramel, and brown sugar. The taste is smooth and lightly dry with brown sugar, caramel, and chocolate malt flavors. It finishes with a toast flavor and light grassy hops. The aftertaste leaves behind vanilla, yet is pretty dry. The alcohol content is 4.8% ABV. This is a solid performer in the brown ale category and has a nice roasty flavor with great chocolate accents.
Friday, April 6, 2012
Captain Lawrence Ginger Man Ale in the tasting room at the brewery. This beer was brewed for The Ginger Man in New York City as the house beer, a bar that I enjoyed when I visited in the past. The beer pours an amber color with a thin bubbly white head. The aroma consists of ginger, white pepper, and caramel. The taste is slightly dry with pepper and ginger on the front end. Grass comes out as well on the finish with a slight caramel sweetness. The alcohol content is 5.75% ABV. I would compare this beer to a saison with a heavier body. More specifically, it seemed to taste like Saison du Buff with ginger added.
Captain Lawrence Fresh Chester Pale Ale from the brewery when I went with him on a visit to New York. The beer pours an amber color with a frothy off-white colored head that lingers for a short time and leaves a bit of lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of fresh grapefruit, tangerine, lemon, passion fruit, and grass. The taste is light bodied with a nice caramel backbone before plenty of fresh tasting hops hammer the tongue. They leave behind a bitterness consisting of lemon, grapefruit, and tangerine. The alcohol content is 5.6% ABV. This is a wonderful pale ale and an excellent example of the style. If you can get your hands on a bottle or growler of this beer, do not pass on the opportunity.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Boulder Obovoid Oak-Aged Oatmeal Stout from Geo’s in Latrobe, PA. The beer pours a dark brown color with a frothy beige head. The aroma consists of chocolate, toasted malts, and caramel. The taste is smooth and sweet at the same time with coffee, chocolate, and lots of caramel. Hints of vanilla come out to complement the dry toasty finish that allows some oak notes to peek through. The alcohol content is 8.0% ABV. The smoothness of this beer cannot be underestimated, and the oak accents provide a wonderful accent on the finish.
Full Pint Rye Rebellion. The beer pours a black color with a brown filmy head. The aroma consists of chocolate, vanilla, rye, and toasted malts. The taste is bold and dry with lots of dark chocolate, hints of vanilla, and a rye spiciness that peeks through on the finish. Caramel, coffee, and toasted malts also present, and the aftertaste has a bourbon dryness. The alcohol content is 11.0% ABV. This was an excellent beer from this young Western PA brewer, and I was really impressed with it. The bourbon was present but nicely subdued in the background with a wonderful compliment of chocolate and vanilla flavors.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
FiftyFifty Brewing Eclipse varieties from the 2011 release. Four of them were acquired from Al’s of Hampden, but the Elijah Craig 18-Year Barrel was sold out before my fiancee was able to pick up the bottle for me. Therefore, I sought some help and my buddy Mark secured one from Capone’s for me. Three friends and I went in on the cost of these beers ($25-$30 a piece) and we held a tasting on a Saturday.
Elijah Craig 12 year Barrel = Purple
The beer pours a black color with a lofty brown head with plenty of lacing. The aroma consists of whisky, light peet, chocolate, vanilla, and toasted malts. The taste is smooth with a nice alcohol burn with bourbon, toasted malts with vanilla on the finish, and has a lingering light smoke flavor which is wonderful.
Elijah Craig 18 year Barrel = White
The beer pours a black color with a lofty brown head with plenty of lacing. The aroma is much bolder with bourbon flavor than the 12-Year Barrel. It has a candy-like sweetness with lots of vanilla and allows the honey to shine. There is a smooth and sweet taste with honey, less of an alcohol burn, and creamier mouth feel. Vanilla, toasted malts, and oak shine through on the finish, and the after taste blankets the tongue in chocolate.
Four Roses Single Barrel = Red
The beer pours a black color with a lofty brown head with plenty of lacing. The aroma is mostly chocolate and vanilla with a light honey sweetness in the background. It should also be noted that the nose does warm with alcohol. The taste is light chocolate at first before the tongue is punched with bourbon. Vanilla and honey play well together while the oak comes out in the finish
toasted malts are left behind. This had a much toastier flavor than the others.
Rittenhouse Rye Barrel = Green
The beer pours a black color with a lofty brown head with plenty of lacing. The aroma is spicy with whiskey flavor and is warming with hints of chocolate and vanilla in the background. The taste is dry, much more so than the others, and can be attributed mostly to whiskey. This beer brings out more of the dry cocoa nibs on the finish, as I thought that the rye and chocolate paired very well together.
Brewmaster’s Grand Cru Blend = Copper
The beer pours a black color with a lofty brown head with plenty of lacing, but it had the least amount of head and dissipated the quickest with no lacing. The aroma is very sweet with lots of honey, vanilla, and chocolate on the front end that fades in a little bit of bourbon. The taste is lightly dry but is quickly sweetened up. Plenty of chocolate, vanilla, and honey provide the base of flavors for the beer, and the alcohol flavor mostly comes out in the finish rather than in the middle of the beer like the others.
The alcohol content of all of the beers is 9.5% ABV. Of all of the beers, the 18-Year Elijah Craig and the Rittenhouse Rye were my favorites, and Four Roses was the least favorite. These opinions were the consensus of the group as well, with only one person switching the 18-Year and Rye in the top two. As for the least favorite, there were good flavors in the Four Roses, just not comparatively to the others. If this beer was imbibed on its own and not next to the other four, it probably would have been received well, but since it’s different than the others, it just didn’t seem to stack up against them.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Elysian Apocalypse Rapture Heather Ale. The beer pours a golden color with a bubbly white head. The aroma is bready and has lemon, pepper, and caramel mixed in as well. The taste is round and smooth with a bready mouth feel. Lemon, pepper, and caramel come out on the finish. This beer is lightly carbonated on the tongue, and the alcohol does show through the flavors. The alcohol content is 7.0% ABV. I can’t say this beer was very memorable, so was it worth the price paid. All of the flavors work well together, but they just don’t dazzle the tongue.
Sunday, April 1, 2012
Brouwerij Alken-Maes Phoenix Grimbergen Abbey Dubbel. The beer pours a dark brown color with a frothy beige head. The aroma is sweet and malty with cherry, raisin, and fig. The taste is also sweet and malty with hints of cherry surrounded by fig, raisin, and date. It has a lightly carbonated body that foams up a bit. The alcohol content is 6.5% ABV. This beer falls somewhat on the sweet side, and I wasn’t completely sold on the mouth feel. While it is a nice beer, it’s not one that would get ordered over any of the Trappist dubbels.