September 21st, 2010 beckel
Now we have an even more exciting brew from Dogfish Head their Red & White. A Witbier brewed with coriander, orange peel and Pinot Noir juice with 11% aged in Pinot Noir barrels and the rest aged on oak barrel staves. At 10% ABV this one is sure to be a sipper.
Pours an attractive amber hue that is quite translucent with little specks of sediment floating about. About three fingers of crisp white head are produced and fades within a few minutes leaving a very small amount of lacing and about a millimeter of residual bubbles. Smells assertively of Pinot Noir grapes, cherry, oak, enjoyable sweetness, modest bitterness, a variety of other fruit & citrus esters, particularly orange, light alcohol and something that reminds me somewhat of bubblegum. Flavor is very interesting and complex. A great variety of fruit esters, particularly dark pitted fruits, fermented grapes and oranges, molasses, gentle alcohol and herbal esters. Body is surprisingly light and the mouthfeel is quite carbonated and slightly slick. As it is allowed to warm the coriander is easily identified on the nose and more clear in the flavor even though I barely noticed it when colder. Additionally more furit esters also come out including plum, pomegranate and even blueberry. Considering it’s massive flavor profile it is no realÂ surpriseÂ that the alcohol is not overtly obvious but is none the less impressive. Over all a quite delicious and impressive brew that most will enjoy and would also work as an in between beer for wineÂ connoisseurs. Absolutely worth sampling if you have the chance and a good example of what joys experimentation can leave us with. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
July 14th, 2009 beckel
I can’t believe I forgot to post about this one but I suppose with all of the tastings at The Four Firkins that week including the visit by La Trappe”s own Father Isaac and the subsequent visits to Grumpy’s NE later that evening and then The Muddy Pig on their 7th Anniversary the next day. For those that don’t know La Trappe is the monastery located in the Netherlands that produces the Koningshoeven line of Trappist beers, and the only brewery in the country to bare the Trappist name. Though I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to sample and thoroughly enjoy a bit of Koningshoeven’s 125th Anniversary beer Isadâ€™or at The Firkins, named for their first brewer who though a monk avidly enjoyed technology and learning how to work anything he could find; their Witte was only to be available later that night at Grumpy’s NE. Unfortunately I arived to late to sample any at Grympy’s but was informed there would be another keg the next day at The Muddy Pig. Luckily The Muddy Pig had plenty when I arrived and as an added bonus everything was 1/2 off due to the celebration. The Witte pours a pale yellow hue that is very translucent. Head was about a finger and pure white from the tap, though I’m sure you will be get a lot more from the bottle when they come around next year. Aroma is full of wheat with light fruit and herbal notes coming from the yeast which I found quite appealing. Flavor is very nice. Notes of banana, clove and other herbal flavors are rounded off by a nice wheat grain sweetness. Though this is obviously a Witbier it isn’t overly grainy but instead very nicely balanced and clean. With a 5.5% ABV this is one Trappist brew you can enjoy all evening long. Body is quite light and the mouthfeel is a bit carbonated but not over the top. This is one very nice brew that exemplifies the quality of the brews made by Koningshoeven over the past 125 years. Unfortunately this beer and Isid’or won’t be available until next year but when they come around I would suggest them highly. Even if wheat beers aren’t quite your thing this one might make you open your mind. Give it a shot and ride your bike.
September 25th, 2008 beckel
Jolly Pumpkin’s beers have stared down at me from the shelves for some time tempting me to pick them up, it hasn’t helped that anyone I talk to about the company says that they make lovely brews. Brewed in Dexter, Michigan Jolly Pumpkin appears to put a great deal of care into their beer which we all can appreciate. Calabaza Blanca is a barrel aged, bottle conditioned Belgian inspired White Ale coming in at 4.7% ABV. This beer produces a couple inches of very white fluffy head that settles slowly, depending on how heavily handed you pour. Color is a wonderful light yellow with peach hints and very cloudy yet light and bright in color. Aroma is intense and complex, I detect an interesting orange scent as well as numerous spices and a sour alcohol smell. This is a sour beer. Not exactly what I was expecting, but interesting. After the initial shock of the sour flavors I notice some nice light malty flavors that one would expect in a White Belgian Ale and this surprisingly does a rather good job balancing out the flavors. As I continue to drink this beer I like it more and more. In addition to the malt, the tart flavor of this beer is complimented nicely by some light spices that help the finish of this beer stay smooth and almost crisp. The mouthfeel of this beer is rather light though the sweet and sour flavors make this beer a bit less drinkable. This beer would go wonderfully with a sweet desert or even a tart cherry pie. I doubt many will pick up this beer regularly but if you want to try a sour beer this is a tasty and not particularly intense example to start with this is a grand choice. Anyone who enjoys unique beers, particularly Belgians will likely appreciate this beer. Give it a shot and ride your bike.