April 11th, 2009 beckel
Today I have another beer that my kind roommate brought to me, a Pale Ale from Two Brothers Brewing Company. The Bitter End pours an rich translucent amber hue that appears red with less direct light but changes to an orange hue when brought to light. Head is about two fingers and very white in color lasting a few minutes and leaving a small amount of lacing on the glass. Smells of rich somewhat sweet malts with hints of date or cherry and just a little bit of bitterness. Beer Advocate suggests that this beer is an English Bitter and after taking my first sip I am inclined to agree. Tastes strongly of malted barley and an interesting pitted fruit flavor wrapped up by some floral flavors and a nice bitter finish from the hops. The mouthfeel is this beer is relatively smooth if you don’t mind a bit of bitterness and the body is reasonably light. With a 5.2% ABV I would say this is a quality session beer and though it is not quite my style of choice it is a tasty brew that I could easily drink many of, particularly out on the grill as the flavors of this beer would go delightfully with some smoked ribs. If you like the profiles of English Bitters but want a more American approach this is a grand choice. Further if you are a fan of Pale Ales but looking for some more unique malt flavors and a bit more bitterness you won’t be disappointed. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
April 10th, 2009 beckel
Though I have consumed a number of pints of this beer I am only now getting to my very own bottle of Southern Tier’s ever so delicious Oak Aging experiment with Unearthly. This beer pours a very attractive orangish amber hue that is quite translucent producing just over two fingers of pure white head that lasts for a few minutes leaving a good amount of lacing. Aroma is deliciously full of hops, strong smells of apricot, grapefruit and orange as well as some nice bitterness that is slightly subdued by the scent of oak and the other citrus and floral flavors. Along with the hops there is some serious malty sweetness but it is easy to forget about that with all of the other aromas. Flavor is quite intense as you can expect if you have ever sampled their regular Unearthly [review]. As soon as you sip this beer you can tell that the oak aging had a very large influence on this brew as oak is the first flavor I get. Followed by some serious citrus and herbal hop flavors and a bit of bitterness. It then transitions into sweet maltiness wrapping up with a further dose of bitterness. Some of the flavors in this beer are almost bread like though not in the traditional yeasty way and a bit more sweet like a pound cake. Two things strike me about this beer, first that Chinook is one interesting hop variety that creates almost smokey flavors in this brew and further and perhaps more importantly this beer does a wonderful job showing what barrel aging can do to a beer. The somewhat overly alcoholic notes that I noticed when originally drinking Unearthly are completely subdued in this brew though it still rocks the same hardcore 11% ABV additionally some of the intense bitterness is toned down. Mouthfeel is smooth and the body is reasonably light for the style. This tasty brew encompasses myriad of hop flavors and probably isn’t for those who aren’t fond of those flavors but will unquestionably be appreciated by people who enjoy serious hops and unique beers. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
April 5th, 2009 beckel
With so many beers in my fridge to choose from I figured it was about time I consumed my bottle of Raspberry Tart from the humble folk of New Glarus Brewing. This bottle was picked up when I was in WI for a lovely bike race and I’m sure the memories of that icy lake will make the brew even more enjoyable, particularly as our lakes are currently working on melting. This beer pours a very dark color that almost appears black until you bring it to light where you can tell it really is a barely translucent dark raspberry color creating just over a finger of bright pink head that lasts for a few minutes. Aroma is full of raspberry, so much you may be inclined to think they use a syrup though their bottle assures us otherwise a bit of grain can be detected in the nose but it is overpowered by the fruit. The flavors of this beer are very similar to many other Framboise and largely just tastes of raspberry though It seems quite a bit less sweet than some which I appreciate. In addition to some nice tart raspberry flavors the medium body of this brew creates a really smooth and refreshing mouthfeel.Â With a 4% ABV this should be an approachable brew for anyone. Though I probably couldn’t drink a ton of this beer the sweet and sour contrasts keep my tastebuds currious and enjoying the brew. A good desert beer or for those of you into fruit beers. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
April 1st, 2009 beckel
Today I have a rather exciting beer that unfortunately is probably quite hard to find any longer. I bought my four pack a few weeks ago from The Four Firkins and a recent review from dirtyspeed of Friday Night Beer inspired me to finally get around to writing my own. As you should know by now I am a fan of big beers and I particularly like the idea behind this one. The fine folk of Dark Horse Brewing wanted to make a big IPA and figured what better to do than double the recipe of their well received Crooked Tree IPA minus the water of course. This beer pours a very attractive deep ruby red color that is quite translucent and obviously filtered. Head was only about a half a finger and quite white in color. The aroma of this beer is full of fruit like malt aromas as well as plenty of floral hops. Just a little hint of dates and a nice fermented cherry scent are complimented by an array of subtle floral hops and very little bitterness though you can certainly tell it is one alcoholic brew. Flavor is quite interesting, initially I get mostly fermented fruit flavors, primarily a sweet cherry that transitions into some floral flavors and a moderate amount of bitterness. Though there are a number of contrasting flavors in this beer it is unable to hide its intense 13.6% ABV but considering how strong it is it was a valiant effort. This beer is more malty than most Imperial IPAs out there but it is certainly an interesting creation. Probably not the best beer for many people but if you are adventurous you will be happy to have imbibed. A darn tasty beer if you don’t mind some extra alcohol. Give it a shot and ride your bike.