January 26th, 2009 beckel
Today I have a brew that I have heard referenced a number of times but never had the opportunity to enjoy, in fact it is only the second beer from North Coast Brewing I have ventured to try. But while surfing the shelves of Henn Lake looking for something I hadn’t tried before it called out to me and I couldn’t help but give it a chance. I wasn’t the biggest fan of their Acme Pale Ale [review] because it had more pale malt and citrus flavors than I prefer but I’ve heard good things about many of their other ales and I must say Old Rasputin meets the grade. Pours a completely opaque dark black color producing a solid four fingers of creamy dark brown head that takes many minutes to evaporate leaving a nice ring of lacing around the glass. Aroma is intense, sweet and malty with some caramelized notes and a hint of alcohol similar to that of red wine or perhaps a fine scotch. This is one serious stout. Nice dark malty flavors are what this beer is all about but it has so much more. Beneath the roasted flavors are many nice pitted fruit flavors, cherry and plum stick out most to me. Body is a bit heavy as is the mouthfeel but it is still smooth and drinkable. Though this ale is a solid 9% ABV you will be hard pressed to notice aside from the aroma because of how well the sweet malt disguises it. Those who enjoy a good strong stout will certainly enjoy this brew. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
January 26th, 2009 beckel
The legal system may be full of fail but at least I have good beer. Today we have a very well reputed ale from Moylan’s Brewery hailing proudly from Novato, California. I was a bit concerned I had missed my opportunity to sample this ale when I walked into The Four Firkins and saw none in the fridge but Alvey was wise to limit the purchases to one per person so he had been storing the bottles in the back and I was lucky enough to get his very last one. The bottle says this ale is a tribute to hops worthy of a king, and from the aroma I get just from opening this bottle leads me to believe they’re telling the truth. As a winner of many awards in the past few years and recommendations from others I am sure this will be a delightful treat and a wonderful way to make a bummer day more festive and enjoyable. Aside from their California pride the bottle also encourages us to recycle and drink safely,Â probably a good warning for a bottle that also states it is triple hoppy and 9.2% ABV. This ale pours a vibrant orangish red color that is largely transparent and produces about three fingers of fluffy white head that remains for many minutes. Aroma is lovely, the hops produce an immense array of fruity and floral scents, from strawberry to melon to orange with only a little bit of bitterness coming through. Wowza. I am rarely surprised by the multitude of hop flavors in an ale and I am happy to say this ale has surprised me pleasantly. This is one heck of a hoppy ale and does it’s name proper, if one were to freeze this ale on a stick I’m not sure how many licks most people could get through. Initially I get many different hoppy bitter flavors, as those calm down you start to notice the citrus and floral flavors reminding me largely of orange and apricot as well as a bit of malty sweetness. The flavor is then wrapped up with some more bitter hop flavors just in case you forgot you were drinking a hop bomb.Â The body of this beer isÂ medium and the mouthfeel is quite smooth. The 9.2% ABV of this beer is well hidden behind the multitude of hop layers though a bit more noticeable as this ale warms. If you are a fan of serious hops it would be in your best interest to at least sample this beer if you have the opportunity. Certainly not for the faint of heart nor for those who do not enjoy bitter flavors. This ale is probably best in moderation but would be wonderful with a nice spicy Asian dish or something similar as it complimented the slightly spicy andouille sausage I got from Kramarczuk’s very nicely. The more you drink this ale and allow it to warm up the more the sweeter fruity and floral flavors stick out it is certainly an intriguing ale that I plan to drink more of when the opportunity arises. Give it a shot and ride your bike.