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Amager Bryghus Hr. Frederiksen

April 24th, 2009 beckel

Today I have another beer from the Danish duo over at Amager Bryghus that I am ever so excited to try. After enjoying their Batch One Barleywine so much I thought the only logical thing to do would be to buy more of their beer. So a month or so ago I picked up a bottle of their Hr. Frederiksen an Imperial Stout named after a gentleman who was apparently a major influence and helping hand in the creation of their brewery. They suggest that this is a boisterous but charming ale and I’m inclined to agree simply based on the aroma that greeted me when I opened the bottle. The beer pours a dark mat black color that allows some red hues through when brought to light but is still completely opaque. Head is massive, chocolate brown in color and an easy three plus fingers tall that very slowly bubbles away one small bubble at a time. Leaving a solid millimeter of head on the surface of the beer even 10 minutes later and a bit of lacing around the glass. It is absolutely gorgeous how the head cascades when tilting my glass. The aroma of this beer is delightful. Strong scents of coffee, chocolate and roasted malt are most dominate. Then there is an interesting somewhat sweet fermented fruit like flavor from the grain that I suppose is a bit like blueberry. Initially I noticed a bit of alcohol on the nose, but the more I smell it the less it comes out. Holy crap. Upon drinking this beer is is immensely less sweet than it was on the nose. First I get heavy coffee flavors and dark roasted malt with a good deal of roasty bitterness. As I continue to sip this brew the sweet malt flavors are noticeable near the middle and continue through to the finish though they have a lot of bitterness to combat in the end. The fruit like note I detected in the nose is present with the sweet malt flavors but it is hard to label. The body of this beer is quite thick but not too heavy and the mouthfeel is quite smooth and clean. Though you will eventually notice that this beer is 10.5% ABV it won’t be due to the flavor. Coffee is definitely one of the major flavor profiles in this beer and I can honestly say as someone who doesn’t drink coffee this beer is fucking delicious. Often when a beer has a lot of coffee flavor it is a bit of a turn off for me but this brew is so well balanced I don’t have a thing to complain about. When I initially asked Sean of The Four Firkins about this beer the coffee aspect was my biggest hesitation, I’m ever so glad he persisted. This is one solid Imperial Stout that will likely be enjoyed by anyone who is into quality stouts and can handle the initial shock of coffee and bitterness that may come with the first few sips. The balance of dark bitterness and sweet flavors is simply delicious and I can’t wait to sample more of their beers. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
Amager Bryghus Hr. Frederiksen Imperial Stout

New Holland Pilgrim’s Dole

April 24th, 2009 beckel

This is the first review aside from reviews off the tap that I have written after drinking a beer instead of during. The reason for this is it was ridiculously nice in Minnesota yesterday so I had to enjoy my brew from the comfort of a lawn chair with pen and paper in hand. I know, hard life I live. It’s not quite as nice today but its over 70 so I’ve haven’t a thing to complain about maybe more backyard reviews are in the future. The beer on hand was New Holland Brewing’s Pilgrim’s Dole an interestingly styled Wheat Wine which was produced with 50%  malted wheat. I bought this beer many weeks ago at The Four Firkins and the weather seemed perfect for a wheat beer but as usual I wanted one that packed a punch and at 10% ABV this was a solid choice. I am a big fan of Barleywines and was very excited to try my first Wheatwine. The beer pours a lovely rich red color that is very translucent and almost certainly filtered. Head was about two fingers and light creme in color. The aroma of this beer was intensely sweet with a strong creamy brown sugar base complimented by a little bit of roasted grains as well as a hint of bitterness and alcohol. The flavor of this beer is incredibly sweet with some strong sherry notes. Wheat flavors are detectable and there is no question that plenty was used in this brew, but it doesn’t produce the same flavors one would typically associate with most Weizens. Though the sweetness is almost too much, this beer has many of the same sweet characteristics I notice in our very own Surly Brewing’s Darkness. Additionally the mouthfeel is similarly smooth and creamy though a bit less thick as the body is more medium. Even with a 10% ABV this beer manages to mask the alcohol pretty well with the sweetness, though the hints of sherry will likely remind you that your drinking alcohol.  This was one interesting brew that I think would have been better with some more contrasting flavors. It would also be interesting to see how the flavors evolve after cellaring for a few years. Not a beer I would buy again, though I did enjoy trying it. If you are really into sweet malts and red wine or sherry flavors this might just be the beer for you. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
New Holland Pilgrim's Dole