October 8th, 2010 beckel
Today I have the 5th and most recent ale from Rogue Brewing’s Chatoe Series of BYO certified beers. Creek Ale as you may guess is their interpretation of a Belgian Kriek, which are brewed or blended with Cherries. This bottle has been brewed with Wheat, First Growth Dare & Risk Malts, First Growth Revolution Hops, Montmorency Cherries, Pacman & Belgian Yeasts.
Pours a very dark reddish brown hue. One finger of off white head is produced and fades within a minute. Smells strongly of dark pitted fruit esters from the malt, mostly plum and a bit of cherry, earthy yeast esters and some malty sweetness. In the flavor you finally get more of the cherry esters as well as some notable plum and gentle grape, clean wheat and barley esters, some malty sweetness and gentle tartness from the cherries. As the brew warms the caramel character of the malt starts to shine through and compliments the variety of fruity esters very nicely.Â Body is medium and the mouthfeel is very clean for the style leaving your palate quite refreshed. Coming in at 6% ABV this ale is an easy drinker.Â An enjoyable brew with a variety of pitted fruit esters Â but not a lot else. If you enjoy simple, fruity, dark Belgian Style Ales this might just be the beer for you. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
August 10th, 2010 beckel
Today Â I have a very exciting beer from the historic Belgian brewer of Lambic Ales Cantillon. When I saw the post from The Four Firkins that they had gotten in some special Cantillon brews I rode over there as fast as I could, particularly because it was two days after the information was posted. Upon arriving I was pleased to see that they still had both of the brews I was looking for; Iris and RosÃ© de Gambrinus. The RosÃ© that I have before me was bottled on 13/?/20??, as the label is a bit worn off I will try and determine it’s exact bottling date in the future. Brewed with a boat load of raspberries this traditional sour Lambic is sure to be an excitingÂ experience.
Pours a fantastic bright deep red hueÂ reminiscentÂ of the raspberries fermented with this ale. Head is about 3 fingers and a very clean light pink color. Smells ofÂ intenselyÂ of semi-sweet raspberries, wonderfully sour earthy esters and dry red wine characteristics. Taste is somewhat overwhelmingly sour at first. With notes of sweet and sour raspberries, cherries, soft vinegar, a variety of earthy esters as well as many citrus & acidic esters all at play. Some might relate the flavors of this ale to bacteria or bile, but as you continue to consume it the flavors are really quite nice andÂ complimentary. Mouthfeel is very dry and puckering and the body relatively light. While clocking in at an average 5% ABV this ale is anything but, with the intense sour esters waking you up and warming almost more than high alcohols would. By no means do I have a vocabulary vast enough to do the variety of flavors present in this Lambic justice, but put simply it is quite amazing. If you are not accustomed to sour beers this will not be an easy introduction. It is so sour I can feel it’s acidic heat in the top of my throat and the bottom of my stomach. The mix of sour esters from the lovely wild yeast and the contrasting raspberries makes for a delightful beverage. While very scarce and expensive coming in at about $20 a bottle this brew isÂ definitelyÂ worth sampling for those interested in proper Lambic Ales. As should be obvious by itsÂ notoriety and rarity. If you are lucky enough to find a bottle of anything from Cantillon you should do yourself a favor and bring it home to share with as many people as you can. Give it a shot and ride you bike.