Tuesday, April 19, 2011

DC's Wheat Wine (Homebrew)

Wheat wine? Is this even a type of ale or lager? Dan says he "brewed" it so it must be a beer of some sort. This is the fourth installment of my fellow coworker Dan's creations: first a Spiced Cider, then came the Chocolate Coconut Cream Stout (Batch 1), ESB with London Ale Yeast? and now on to the Wheat Wine. Thanks for sharing it with the finance nerd, I greatly appreciate it and I'll try not to give you such an awful rating. If I am sick tomorrow, the blame is so going on the wheaty wheat you secretly put into the fermenter.

Appearance: Pours a solid finger of head that quickly dissipates after a minute to a scatter of foaming islands atop. Color is a robust golden orange with hues of brown that is moderately clear, but can be rather murky if the pour includes some of the sediment from the bottom of the bottle.

Smell: First thing that comes to my nose is alcohol aromas, as if it is a spiced vodka. Is this a 40% abv ale? Then fall spice aromas of pumpkin, apple, cardamom come to mind. Reminds me of some of the fall seasonals such as Dogfish Punkin, Southern Tier Pumpking or Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale.

Taste: Alcohol content still comes to my mind right away like the smell did. Almost sweet perfumy candy notes with a blend of caramel apple on the secondary front. Brings me to an outdoors setting in my mind....

Mouthfeel: Goes down surprisingly smooth, almost watery with no carbon bite. However, it still feels big due to the alcohol content and the dry sugary aftertaste that lingers on in your mouth. Need a palette cleanser ASAP lol.

Drinkability: This is my first "wheat wine" ever so I have nothing to compare it to. For me, I would classify this as a blend between a fall pumpkin seasonal and a spiced cider, aka Thanksgiving Ale. As much as I dislike the afterbite, the beer grows on me as it warms up towards room temperature. What spices or abnormal ingredients did you add to this because it is kind of turning me on in a weird way? What kind of hops did you use? I could probably only have 24oz in a given night. 7.5/10 for me now(Subject to change once I have another wheat wine to compare it too).

Beers of Thailand & Philippines

I went on a recent adventure with my family recently to Thailand and Philippines that was an absolute blast! Besides all of the fun filled family gatherings, delicious foods and new cultural experiences, there was the B-E-E-R. Of course, I always pay attention to the beer. I am not trying to be a snob about craft beer, but I just share this chemical romance with it, preferably the obese hoppy ones.

The beer was not up to American craft beer standards in my opinion, but I was just glad it was readily available. Water is not safe to drink, most mixed drinks have ice in them, so that leaves you with beer, wine or liquor straight up. Thai/Philip beer was comparable to the macro types here in the states such as Coors Light, Heineken & PBR. Even the price was comparable, which I thought would be lower in Asia given the lower cost of living. The only difference in price was the currency: bahts in Thailand and pesos in Philippines.

My favorite beer during my vacation was the San Miguel Cerveza Negra from the Philippines. It is classifed as a Dark Lager on the label but I beg to differ. The roasted dark and nutty malts reminded me of a deep luscious porter with lots of body that had the drinkability of a light beer. I was drinking it straight out of the bottle, so my rating may be slightly even higher than a 8/10. My opinion may be slightly biased since this was the only non light beer I had during my trip, but I say that my review is not skewed at all.

This is a quite a random review, but I just felt like writing it and posting some pictures. Bottom line: give all ales and lagers a try, no matter where you are in the world or if you soley just drink one style. You'll be enlightened at what your sensory taste buds say.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bolero Snort Oak Aged Longhop

Recently I met up with my friend Bob at the Copper Mine Pub in North Arlington, NJ, which I highly recommend by the way, and started discussing craft beer. It turns out that Bob is an aspiring craft brewer and founder of Bolero Snort Brewery established last year in Bergen County. He was kind enough to give me a few beers to sample, so I figured I would review them and see how they turned out.

Appearance: Crisp clear dark amber color with a ton of head, plenty of carbonation rising from the bottom, very good lacing and long lasting with the head.

Smell: The smell definitely lives up to its oak aged name as a very oaky scent greets the nose. There is also a great fruity scent that smells like some kind of berry/pineapple/grapefruit mix, definitely a contrast to the sweet oak scent before.

Taste: Wow, huge fruit flavor at the front and finishes with the oak smoothness. It has a little bit too much fruit for my liking, but I can guarantee you that you haven't had a beer that tasted like this before.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a little thin, a little watery, perfectly carbonated, no alcoholic aftertaste which is a huge plus.

Drinkability: This is definitely a delicious session beer that I wouldn't mind having a few more of tonight. At 6.6% abv, I don't have to worry about suddenly getting hit by the alcohol content. In fact, if it didn't say 6.6% on the bottle, I wouldn't have guessed it. One thing I like about the beers from Bolero Snort is that they are not afraid to take risks and make different beers that you won't find anywhere else. I give the Oak Aged Longhop a solid 7.5/10, and it might have been higher if I was more of a fan of the fruit involved.

Glass type: DFH bullet glass
Serving type: Bottle, 12 oz.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Homemade Chocolate Coconut Cream Stout

I have been slacking on the blog for a while now, but finally I have the motivation to write. Giving my IPA craze a rest and going to try this Chocolate Coconut Cream Stout. A fellow coworker of mine, Dan the man, was kind enough to share this homemade creation of his with me. Let us see what this top chef can do!

Appearance: Pours a free flowing brownish green tone with two fingers of head, that slowly dissipates to one. Looks dark and stormy as I can not see through my tulip glass, but it has a thin viscosity that makes it inviting.

Smell: As I bring my nose to this stout for the first time, I smell milk chocolate as if it was Yoo-Hoo. Not overpowering at all but it paints an impression in your head after numerous swirls and sniffs. Chocolate smelling malts present but not getting any hop aroma. Where is the coconut?

Taste: Not too much flavor but that may be due to the nature of this light and session-able style. Coconut flavors stand out alot more during tastes, especially as the beer warms up towards room temperature. Starting to taste like a mild Mounds candy bar :)

Mouthfeel: Light, almost watery but not due to its stout like presence. Carbonation settles well, not biting at all.

Drinkability: Very impressive Danielson! It is a session beer and can definitely drink more than one. Although it is not my style, I am very impressed with the overall rating being that it is a homeade beer as I have not had that many that interest me. I give it a 7.5/10 for now...need to taste another one or two to hone in on certain characteristics. Great imagination and use of the coconut as I have never seen that before in the craft beer industry! Thanks again!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Dogfish Head Miles Davis' Bitches Brew

I know I'm over a week late, but in honor of Sam Calagione's new show Brewmasters on the Discovery Channel, I wanted to review the beer featured in it's first episode, Miles Davis' Bitches Brew. I have only watched the premiere, but it is a good show and I recommend it for beer lovers and even non-beer enthusiasts who are interested in seeing what goes into brewing fine craft beers. Congrats, Sam, and hopefully you get that record deal with Sony.

The episode goes into detail what Sam was looking for in this beer, a fusion of imperial stout and African tej, an Ethiopian honey wine. Usually when I review a beer, I try not to read too much into a label or what I've read on a website about it so that way I don't have preconceived notions on what to expect. Since I've already watched the episode, that's going to be near impossible, so I'll try to pick out the ingredients I saw in the show in what I drink.

Appearance: Pours a dark viscous black with brown lacey head of about a finger. It looks superb and really inviting.

Smell: Roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee really dominate the scent. I could also be picking up some sweetness from the honey, but this is why I don't like prior knowledge because I don't know if the smell is from suggestion or I'm really smelling it. On the other hand, I wish I knew what gesho smells like so I could try to pick it out.

Taste: Very interesting, tamer than what you would think from an ale where 3/4 of the blend is imperial stout and from the strong malt scents. There is still some roasted malts in there, but the honey and earthy hop flavors (I'm guessing the earthy hop flavors is the gesho) are more present on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Between medium and full bodied, smooth, perfectly carbonated, and surprisingly a little thin, but I guess that is the tej cutting into the stout. The bitterness on the finish cuts out any alcohol on the aftertaste.

Drinkability: One of the reasons I love Dogfish Head and Sam Calagione is the willingness to take risks, be creative, and do unusual things. A blend of imperial stout and tej, essentially a honey wine, sounds so out of whack, but they pulled it off. It's so different and strange that it's impossible to classify it and compare it to anything I've had. Not only that, but it's incredibly easy to drink at 9% abv, which could get me into trouble. I highly recommend this beer and the show Brewmasters which airs Sundays at 10p.m. on the Discovery Channel. If you've had this brew too, let me know what you think of it, I'm interested to see other people's takes on it. 9/10

Glass type: Duvel tulip glass
Serving type: Bottle, 25.4 oz.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Witches' Brew Golden Ale

Let me be the last to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! I hope it was filled with plenty of pumpkin pies and pumpkin ales. We should all be thankful that we live in a time where we have so much variety in our choices of great beer...oh yea, and thankful for family, friends, loved ones, yadda yadda. Anyway, I heard good things about this Belgian beauty and want to give it a try.

Appearance: After popping the cork (I love uncorking beers, don't know why) it pours a clear crisp golden and orange color with plenty of suds rising to the top to form massive amounts of fluffy head thanks to the bottle conditioning (but does not stick around for long).

Smell: Smacked in the nose with citrus hops, orange, some spices, and almost a champagne style smell. There are some other fruits in there, maybe banana, and a bready yeast smell as well. Delightful.

Taste: Some great flavors in this one, bananas, oranges, lemons, and spices. Pineapples also come to mind as it warms up a bit as the spices also come more into play. There is the slightest bit of sweet candy malt in the background, but just enough to let the hops do their thing.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, smooth, thin, a little watery for what I would expect from most tripels, sufficiently carbonated, a gentle warming alcoholic aftertaste, not as biting or harsh as you might expect.

Drinkability: This might be the easiest drinking tripel I've ever had. Everything about this beer is so pleasant that going through a 750mL bottle is no problem, though you might feel it later at 9.3% abv. The Belgian brewery this beer comes from is Brouwerij Van Steenberge. Obviously this is the first brew from them I've had, so if anyone has recommendations of their other beers, let me know. I highly recommend picking this one up if you see it, even if you're not a Belgian fan. 9/10

Glass type: Duvel tulip glass
Serving type: Bottle, 750 mL

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Port Brewing Anniversary Ale

Time for another (quick) Port Brewing review...HUZZAH!

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden amber color with a couple inches of head. Trails of carbonation rising to the top.

Smell: Strong floral hop scents with some fruit, oranges, lemon zest, and others. Almost no malt to speak of.

Taste: Huge fruit hop flavor, grapefruit maybe, with hints of spice and fruit zest. The bottle was right, a true hop monster, especially as the brew warms up.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and a little oily coating on the palate from the hop oils, well carbonated, an alcoholic and hop bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability: The smell and taste are fantastic, but the alcoholic aftertaste makes more than one bomber a little hard to pull off. It's probably better that way since the abv is 10%. Definitely a beer that belongs towards the end of a night of drinking. This beer definitely grew on me as it got warmer...or as the alcohol got to my head. 9/10

Glass type: Dogfish Head bullet/pint glass
Serving type: Bottle, 22 oz.