March 9th, 2009 beckel
So I’ve been far too busy recently, but what are you going to do, tiz the way of life sometimes. Last Tuesday I had a very enjoyable ride over to our local Brewpub, Town Hall for their Lion Brewing & Moylan’s Brewing tapping. Though I am a fan of the flavorful simplicity offered by Lions Imperial Stout and curious what they have to offer in their Imperial Lager I didn’t end up consuming either as I was distracted with the Barleywine wisely named Twisted Reality from Town Hall that had just been tapped on Monday. The ale pours a nice date like color with some nice red hues and is incredibly opaque allowing almost no light through. Aroma had a decent amount of citrus initially but it was immediately nullified by the caramely sweet malt characteristics and a solid dose of bitterness. Flavor is of delicious pitted fruits that are complimented with rich smooth malts and a good dose of bittering hops to round it off. Enjoyable floral and citrus notes are present but very subtle due to the massive bittering, I detect mostly orange. Head is a creamy tan color but not much was present as it was a bar pour into a modest sized sniffer. Body is quite light for a Barleywine and the mouthfeel is smooth making this solid 9.9% ABV brew very drinkable. I was quite pleased with the brew and would encourage anyone else who likes big beers to try it. The balance of flavors was done very well and I am a big fan of the wonderful hoppy bitterness present. After my first Barleywine I couldn’t help but try some Moylan’s Double Kilt Lifter as I have never had the opportunity to try the double strength stuff and thought the original Kilt Lifter was decent. The aroma was quite sweet with some malt coming through but largely sugar and a cherry like scent as well as other pitted fruits and a hint of sherry. Color is very deep but bright red and slightly translucent. Flavor is sweet and relatively fruity, almost a bit tart. Body is amazingly light and this brew goes down pretty smoothly. Alcohol is a bit more noticeable than some ale’s because of the sweetness but not particularly intense considering its 11% ABV. I did not realize this until now but apparently it was a special for their 1000th batch brewed. Similar to what Town Hall just did with their Imperial IPA, though unfortunately I missed that. The Double Kilt Lifter was a bit too much on the sweet side for me, but you have to get those sugars to ferment from somewhere. Not a bad beer I could just do with a bit more bittering to balance. I ended up finishing the evening with a few more Barleywines and another, this time full pint size glass of Moylan’s Double Kilt lifter when the distributor arrived with a few of their brewery glasses for us to take home. I also ended up with a good amount of Lion Brewing schwag including a small or medium womens shirt….so if anyone has a gal that likes Lion Brewing let me know, though I’m tempted to wear it just for good measure. Hooray for good beer, good conversations, and a safe ride home. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
Town Hall Twisted Reality Barleywine
Moylan’s Double Kilt Lifter & Sweet Potato Fries
January 8th, 2009 beckel
Though I tend to be partial to the American Craft Beer scene today we have an ale from Meantime Brewing located in the land of Greenwich, England. Though I know very little about this company seeing the elegant bottle on the shelves of The Four Firkins was enough to convince me to sample their wares as I tend to be of the opinion that anything that is stocked there is most likely worth your time to enjoy. After reading some of the website it seems the folk at Meantime have no goal greater than to create quality artisan brews for people to enjoy and I have nothing but a tip of the hat to that and a greater desire to drink their brews. Scotch Ales always intrigue me, in fact I just picked up some more Scotty Karate on the way home, so it will be very nice to see an English and presumably more traditional approach to the style. My first pour easily produced a good four fingers of a nice light chocolate color head, with all but a few millimeters fading in a couple minutes leaving some lacing around the glass. Though it wasn’t a particularly heavy pour we will have to see what the next glass yields as large bottles can create some interesting pours if one is not careful. When I first popped the cork I got a whiff of what smelt like wine and was a bit surprised but upon smelling it in the glass you get all kinds of nice aromas of plum, grape and other dark fruits as well as some rich maltiness some of which are likely lightly roasted. The color is quite dark and opaque with some reds and browns coming through when brought to light. The flavor of this ale is very interesting, figs, raisins and other dark fruits are dominate flowing into a nice smooth malt flavor that is a bit sweet but compliments the other flavors very nicely. Interestingly enough the second pour produces almost as much head as the first, very nice. Though not surprising because of the noticeable carbonation in the mouthfeel as well as a bit of stickiness. The body is medium but this beer goes down quite easily and the 8% ABV of this beer though not completely hidden is very nicely disguised by this flavorful ale. If you are a fan of pitted fruit tasting Belgian Ales you will enjoy this beer as that is what it reminds me of most. Though not at all what I expected, a nice ale that only inspires me further to see what else Meantime has to offer. Particularly their IPA and their original offering, Union. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
December 1st, 2008 beckel
I didn’t allow myself too much opportunity to sample the various Dark Horse offerings when I went to their release party at Stub & Herbs so when I saw Scotty Karate, their Scotch Ale, on the shelves I couldn’t help but grab a 6-pack. Apparently this brew is named after a local one man band who sings “punk country songs” from Marshall, MI where Dark Horse is brewed. The label of this beer is also very cool, it states that it was done by James Mestamaker from Austin, TX who is apparently the first guest artist for this brew so it will be neat to see what they choose next batch, good shit. I don’t know much about Dark Horse but they look like they know how to have a good time and I am excited to try more of their big beers when the opportunity arises, particularly their Double IPA and Barley Wine, hopefully these will make it to the stores soon. This ale pours a mat black color with slight red hues present particularly when brought to light. Head is less than half an inch and light tan in color, dissipating quite rapidly. Aroma is of roasted malts, caramel apples and a bit like fresh bread lightly spiced with cinnamon, very nice. After drinking the first bottle of this brew I had a new found respect for Dark Horse, their Sapient Trip Ale was good, but this ale is marvelous. Flavor is somewhat sweet, smooth and slightly creamy though still crisp. Cherry flavors are subtle and sweet but this ale is also a bit smoky, then nicely bitter with a hint of alcohol that is quickly nullified by the nice malt flavors rounding off this beer. Though this beer packs a 9.75% ABV all of the nice but subtle flavors of this ale do a very good job hiding it. The mouthfeel is a bit creamy but the body is relatively light. Though this ale is mostly a sipper it is quite easy to drink if you are used to strong brew, I wish I had another. Definitely a good choice any evening you would like to enjoy a good drink. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
November 30th, 2008 beckel
Moylan’s Brewery from Novato, California crafts a number of award winning big beers that I have wanted to sample for some time. I had the opportunity to taste a few at the Autumn Brew Review but by that time of the day my ability to properly critique beers had diminished to say the least. Good times, but next year I will need to write a lot more down, or perhaps bring a audio recording device. After venturing to Surly Brewing yesterday for some growler action, we were both happy and sad to see them sell out of growlers by 12:30. At the time we got in line (~12:20) they were left with only bender, and a very limited amount at that (they appeared to be selling only 2 per person). After waiting in line for a bit a friend was lucky enough to get the last growler which we shared and then being a Saturday, hopped back on our bikes and proceeded to get proper reserves at Broadway Liquor Outlet en route home. I picked up some Surly Furious and Cynic Ale, as well as a bottle of Avery & Boulder Brewing’s Collaboration Not Litigation Ale and the ale we are here to talk about Moylan’s Kilt Lifter Scotch Style Ale. Though this ale has a large visible warning on the side stating “Live Ale! – Keep Refrigerated” I found this brew sitting on a shelf at room temperature. As this store has only recently started stocking much craft beer I can pretty safely assume it was only on the shelf for a short period of time, hopefully it hasn’t had the opportunity impact the taste too much. This beer pours a light brown color somewhat like a date with some nice red colors coming through when brought to light. Produces a bit over an inch of light tan head that settles within a couple of minutes. Aroma is marvelous, dates, raisins, and maybe plums are most dominate rounded off with some malt and a bit of alcohol. The flavor is similar to the aroma but the malt is much more prevalent. Smooth malt flavors are accented by fermented pitted fruit flavors that create a very balanced ale. Body is relatively light and the mouthfeel is very smooth making this a very easy to drink strong brew. Thought this ale is 8% ABV you will likely not notice until you drink your fair share of it because the lightly caramelized malts and robust but balanced dark fruit flavors completely overpower any alcohol flavor that could be present. This is a wonderfully delicious ale, if you enjoy a balanced malty brew with fruit hints this will be a wonderful accompaniment for your next meal. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
Our bikes at Surly Brewing Company
The last drops of Surly Bender