March 13th, 2009 beckel
Today I have an ale that I was lucky to find because I didn’t search for it until months after its release. Shmaltz the brewers of He’Brew “The Chosen Beer” out of Saratoga Springs, New York decided there was no better occasion than their 12th year of production to make one simply insane brew. Crafted with 12 varieties of hop, 12 varieties of malt and and an impressive 12% ABV. Boy golly I can’t wait to see what this ale has in store for me but if you want to see more iterations of the number 12 feel free to check out their website. I had the opportunity to sample a few “Freak Beers” from Shmaltz at the Autumn Brew Review but thanks to many samples prior I don’t recall much about them other than they tasted fine so lets get onto the important part. This ale pours a dark color that looks black until you bring it to light where you can see some ruby hues but just around the edges of the glass. The brew is incredibly opaque and produces about two fingers of creamy light brown head that lasts for a few minutes and leaves a bit of lacing around the glass and on the surface of the beer.Â Aroma includes some dark pitted fruits, mostly date, raisin and a bit of cherry with some alcohol on the nose, but not very much considering the 12% ABV. Sweet malt comes across most in the aroma though there is certainly more going on it is difficult to separate the scents with the amount of pitted fruits I am getting. Well done. Upon my first sip of this brew it is amazingly more balanced than I feared particularly after watching the guys over at Beer Tap TV review it, though they certainly do it justice. Flavor is of strong sweet dates, slightly sour cherries and a decent amount of hoppy bitterness near the finish though you are left with a sweet flavor in your mouth. There are so many flavors in this brew it is wonderful, yet it doesn’t seem confused because of the amazing malt backbone. Mouthfeel is smooth and a bit creamy and the body is medium but relatively light for a beer with so much in it. The 12% ABV is undoubtedly there but only slightly noticeable in the taste. This is simply a marvelous ale though it is more malty than my staple brews I plan to return to a secret location and grab whatever stock they may have left (cross your fingers). Though of course if anyone here would like to sample some let me know, I’m always happy to share good brew. Those who enjoy big beers and dark pitted fruit flavors will most likely appreciate sampling this ale just be aware your not getting into something average. A great beer for connoisseurs who can handle their alcohol and enjoy expanding their palate. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
March 13th, 2009 beckel
First I’d like to give some love to a new Minnesota web site that has been entertaining me for the past few weeks that I first learned about thanks to The Four Firkins newsletter last month. The Heavy Table is based in the Twin Cities and is dedicated to informing us about happenings in the food and drink world of the Upper Midwest with an emphasis on quality and locavore. Keep up the good work.
Though I don’t drink their beer too often I’ve always assumed that the folks from Boulder Beer Company had good hearts with their creatively named brews such as Hazed and Infused and now The Full Pint further reaffirms this with news that they have become the first group in Boulder to adopt a city bike path and take responsibility of its maintenance. Props to Boulder Beer for understanding the importance of cycling infrastructure and its proper care, I hope to see others follow in their foot steps, or tire treads.
For those of you who haven’t already read a dozen posts on the subject, Beer Wars is coming! April 16th will be the live showing which is quite a unique approach. Not only will we get to see what is sure to be a solid movie about the craft we love so much but for the reasonable ticket price of only $15 you will also be treated to a live HD discussion with Ben Stein and many members of the craft beer industry who were interviewed for this film and hear their take on the video they have just watched for the first time (just like you).Â Check out their website to purchase a ticket.
Though I usually leave it to others to post new beer news I can’t pass this one up The Beer Spot writes to tell us about Oak Aged Unearthly from Southern Tier (which ever so conveniently is currently in my fridge – and quite delicious I must add) but even more so an ale called Iniquity a Imperial Black IPA (also referred to as an India Brown Ale) a very rarely brewed style that I have only had the opportunity to sample one of. Which happens to be the lovely Dogfish Head’s India Brown Ale which you will eventually see a review of as I still have two bottles waiting to be consumed. So who’s stocking Iniquity first? Because I want some!
Then we have a very interesting graph that Chris over at Beer Activist links us to showing us how much water is used to produce various beverages we consume. I’m glad to see I’m doing my part by continuing to drink beer instead of coffee 😉
Back to some more Minnesota news MNBeer posts to let us know our own Summit Brewing will be releasing a new year round brew shortly called Horizon Red Ale that is supposed to be a nicely hopped Red Ale. I am excited to give this brew a chance and hope that they exceed my expectations with a nice hoppy but well balanced brew.
Last but definitely not least is this awesome picture provided by Stuff About Minneapolis. I can almost taste it’s Premium quality.