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Eel River Triple Exultation

April 22nd, 2009 beckel

Today I have infront of me my first brew from Eel River Brewing Company out of Scotia, California. Apparently they were the first brewery to become USDA Certified Organic and I am very curious to see what their brews have to offer, particularly as their tag line is a very agreeable “Be Natural, Drink Naked”. I have had a few organic beers now but upon seeing this beer on the shelves of The Four Firkins I was inclined to pick it up because of its high ABV. Though there is no reason organic breweries can’t make big beers this is the first one I have noticed and am ever so excited to try it. This is an Old Ale with an insane IBU of close to 100 that has won over a dozen medals in the past 5 years so lets see what it has to offer. This beer pours a rather dark raisin color that brightens in light but is still very opaque. Head is off white and a solid three fingers that fade after a number of minutes leaving a little bit of lacing around the glass. The aroma of this beer is delightfully rich. Strong scents of dark pitted fruits such as date and raisin accent the sweet malt profile which is complimented by a bit of bitterness and some noticeable alcohol. The flavor of this beer is quite interesting. Sweet smooth malt hits the tongue first but quickly transitions into a roasted malt flavors that are equally smooth. The dark pitted fruit flavor accents are present throughout and the bittering hops create a nice compliment for the somewhat roasted finish. Though alcohol is noticeable in the flavor of this brew I feel it is reasonably subtle for a 9.7% ABV beverage. The mouthfeel of this beer is a bit sticky but at the same time it is incredibly smooth and goes down very easy, additionally the body isn’t particularly heavy. This is a solid American inspired Old Ale and will likely be enjoyed particularly by those who appreciate a flavorful smooth malty beer that still has enough hop to contrast but not burn your palate with bitterness. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
Eel River Triple Exultation

Great Divide Hibernation Ale

October 1st, 2008 beckel

While at the store the other day I was torn between which Great Divide Ale I wanted to purchase. After much contemplation I determined I should pick up the one I hadn’t tried before, Hibernation Ale an English Style Old Ale. This lovely beer is touted as their winter beer and appears to have been a success since 1995. This dry hopped ale is brewed in July and cellared until late October to allow it to properly mature and ferment, with that said I am assuming I have a batch from last year and plan to cellar as much as I can manage to not drink to see how delightfully it matures further. Winning multiple awards from 1997 to 2007 and likely beyond I’m sure this brew will prove to  be a delight. Pours with a few inches of light tan head that evaporates quite slowly. Appearance is a dark red that looks a bit like a ruby under light but is still only partially transparent. Wonderful malt aromas hit the nose immediately, nicely roasted and not overly sweet, slight alcohol is present but over all a very smooth scent. This is definitely a Winter Ale, roasted malts hit the tongue first followed by a hop like bitterness that is underwhelming but very nicely complimentary. The mouthfeel of this beer is medium but aside from its slight thickness it is quite drinkable if you don’t mind strong beers. With a 8.1% ABV this Ale will keep you warm but does not taste particularly alcoholic because of the wonderful roasted malt and hop balance. As you continue to drink you will notice the sweet malt flavors that accompany this beer making it a wonderful choice for any cold night, in my opinion a good beer for any night. I am very pleased to have been able to enjoy another lovely Great Divide brew, anyone who likes gently roasted malts and flavorful nicely balanced beers will likely appreciate this one. Otherwise anyone who doesn’t mind good ale and wants to keep warm will also be satisfied. Give it a shot and ride your bike.

Great divide Hibernation Ale