Sunday, April 27, 2008

He'Brew Jewbelation Eleven

This bomber bottle of beer from Shmaltz Brewing Company has been sitting in my fridge for quite some time.

Appearance: I was expecting somewhat of a Belgian golden color, but out came thick dark brown/black motor-oilish viscosity (I was kind of scared).

Smell: Chocolate, coffee malts. Can definitely smell the alcohol at 11%

Taste: I noticed some caramel candy taste as it went down my mouth. The bitterness of hops came out from hiding as well.

Mouthfeel: Thick and somewhat creamy. Alcoholic and coffee-esque aftertaste.

Drinkability. This 11th anniversary Kosher certified brew with 11 malts and 11 hops was surprisingly good. I could only have one in a night but would definitely drink this again. There was a very long, somewhat random/funny story in very small print on the label.

Port Brewing Wipe Out IPA

Thanks to my pops for this one...

Appearance: Orange-yellowish copper tone with 3 full fingers of head in my tulip glass

Smell: GOOD MORNING to the 78 IBUs waking up my stuffy nose. The 5+ varieties of hops produce an ever so inviting fragrance.

Taste: First thing that came to my mind was that it didn't hit my taste buds like it did to my nose. Kind of dry aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation tickles your tongue as it goes down smooth like water.

Drinkability: Very easy to consume, but you need beer nuts or pretzels with the dryness present. I hope allergy season isn't ruining my beer senses. Would definitely drink this again.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Three Floyds Dreadnaught Imperial I.P.A.

DREADNAUGHT BABYYYYYY!!! FINALLY, I have the holy grail of Imperial IPAs. Thank you Godfather for bringing this all the way from Indiana.

Appearance: A fog of golden peach brownish hops. Don't even try to see through it.

Smell: Citrusy pinapple tropical golden hop aroma. Reminds me of heaven.

Taste: You think the hops will just purely overpower the rest of the beer, but that is not the case. Amazing balanced perfect beer with the citrusy hawaiin hops making you smile.

Mouthfeel: Good bodie and kind of thick/creamy like a stout almost. Not too much carbonation.

Drinkability: Once of the best, no questions asked. 9.5% abv and could definitley drink more than one if my body allowed

Southern Tier Imperial Hoppe Extra Pale Ale

Bought this at State Line Liquors in Elkton, MD.

Appearance: Pale mellow yellow; like a bright lemony orange. Poured about 3/4 finger of head

Smell: Strong scent of sweet malts and leafy hops attack my nostrils

Taste: Its like a pale ale on steroids. Hard to determine the specific tastes, but I would say its the same as the smell.

Mouthfeel: Smooth yet the flavors of this beer last in your mouth for at least a minute.

Drinkability: Just one is good for me as it didn't quite arouse my beer senses. It is 10% abv and I don't even know....scary!

Bear Republic Racer 5 India Pale Ale

Appearance: You can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel through this yellow copperish hue.

Smell: West coast hops that smells like a beauty. Sweet malt touch in the nose with herbal piney hops.

Taste: Hops are definitely sitting in the drivers seat but balances out smoothly as it goes down your throat. What a marvelous taste that doesn't go away.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth like a babies' butt (damn I hate reviewing beers; I just like drinking them) with the perfect amount of carbonation. Keep it coming down my throat.

Drinkability: Want to taste this off the tap. Overall great example of what an IPA should be. Definitely would drink it again and again and again. 7% abv

Sly Fox Route 113 India Pale Ale

Special thanks to the brother for buying this one from Ramsey Liquors - Ramsey, NJ. Served in my Gulden Draak snifter.

Appearance: Golden brick like the ones shining in the bank. 1 finger of head (fyi, i hate measuring the heads in finger, wtf, lets change that)

Smell: Ahhhh, the hops hit my nose and awaken my senses. Who needs coffee in the morning when you can take a big whiff of hops!

Taste: Well balanced and smooth hop finish for an IPA

Mouthfeel: Goes down quite smooth but not as "wake my ass up" as the smell.

Drinkability: Not the greatest, but definitely above average compared to other IPAs. 7% abv

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Dogfish Head Shelter Pale Ale

Bought a 6pack of this at Whole Foods in Greenwich, CT last Thursday. Quite a surprisingly decent selection despit the baller prices. Here we go for the review:

Appearance: Golden yellow brown that reminded me of autumn. Barely any head (1/4 finger) but it may be due to the wide open glass I poured it into Carbonation does not go away however.

Smell: Refreshing barley scent with a malt dominance over the hops

Mouthfeel: Carbonation kicks it up a gear and is just mellow and relaxing as I whine down after a long day at the office.

Taste: The ingredients to this pale are very well balanced and seem extremely fresh. I noticed a slight hop aftertaste, which as you know my palette just loves.

Drinkability: Great beer that stands out for its freshness I felt. Would definitely drink it again in the summer when you just want to chill and not get too drunk

Monday, April 14, 2008

Bell's Best Brown Ale

All Hail Michael Harkness once more, for he was most generous in providing me with another beer to sample: Bell's Best Brown Ale. I'm enjoying this one tonight with a fine bowl of Beef and Barley soup. Ya see, as a recent college graduate living on my own, much of my food & beer pairings consist of what Chefs Campbell and Progresso have made available to me.

Appearance: Umm, brown? Hazy and hard to see through. Perfect match to my soup, which is also quite brown (I promise this will be a review of the beer, not the soup). The beer poured a nice 2 or 3 finger head which settled to a thin covering that remained until the end. Pretty serious lacing as well.

Smell: Roasted malts are prevalent here, with a little hop bitterness at the edges.

Taste: The taste was the same deal. Very smooth malt flavor, with a nice bitter hop kick that sticks to the back of your throat.

Mouthfeel: Moderately carbonated, felt a little smoother and thicker than the Brian Boru from yesterday.

Drinkability: This was very drinkable. Smooth and toasty, felt light enough to have a few in a row. We're back above the ABV "midpoint" again at 6.6% We're under the "midpoint" at 5.8% so enjoy this on a nice fall day or any time you've got some Progresso Beef Barley soup.

--Edit: Fixed the ABV

Three Floyds Brian Boru Old Irish Red Ale

I was donated this beer by the venerable Michael Harkness. All Hail Michael Harkness!

Appearance: RED. I'm a sucker for the deep dark apple-red hue of a good red ale, and this is as good as I've seen. Can't wait to try it. Not much head to it, but damn thats some fine colorin'. Also, as presented in a 22 oz. bomber bottle, it had about the coolest label/cap I've seen in a while. I wish FFF stuff was available where I live so I could collect 'em all!

Smell & Taste: I drank this yesterday, so my memories of it are beginning to fade. I'm gonna do taste and smell together. Whatevah, its my blog. There's a nice little hop spark to this, and its not very heavy to drink. Its interesting. Not as full and hearty as the Red Rocket Ale I reviewed earlier, but I liked it. As Jimmy put it, it's refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation added to the refreshing character of this beer. Crisp. Goes down easy.

Drinkability: I'd say this beer's very drinkable, as a red ale should be. "Only" 5.9% so its not gonna kick you in the face too quickly (could this be the first "Less than 6% ABV" beer reviewed? Oh my, we need new livers).

Overall I recommend it if you can get it. I can't wait to try some more Three Floyd's beverages.

--Edit: This is apparently not the first "less than 6% ABV" beer reviewed, just the first one I've reviewed. Guess I'll still be needin' that liver then.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Stone Imperial Russian Stout

Appearance: Dark and thick, about a finger of head present, you can't see through it if you wanted to. As dark as it is, I am still drawn to it and am looking forward to drinking it.

Smell: Chocolate and roasted malts are in the forefront of its smell, but not too overpowering, as there is still the slight presence of floral and pine hops. Great balance.

Taste: I was expecting a really strong thick taste without subtlety, but I was wrong. The chocolatey, roasted, toasty malts greet your mouth as pleasantly as possible and follows through all the way to the back of the pallet. Hops aren't as present, but that's expected in a stout, making it perfect for this style.

Mouthfeel: Very little carbonation, alive while on your tongue. This beer allows the different parts of your mouth have unique experiences as various regions tingle from the bite of a stout while others enjoy its great flavor.

Drinkability: Like most stouts, you can't really drink it all night. However, once you make your way towards the end of your night, you might have to indulge in multiple glasses. Be careful, the 10.8% abv will sneak up on you without you noticing if you have one too many. Definitely would buy/drink again in a heartbeat.

Serving type: Bottle
Glass type: Duvel Snifter

Duvel Belgian Golden Ale

Appearance: Has a great golden yellow color (the picture flash distorts the actual look, trust me that it's more yellow) that's slightly cloudy but extremely inviting. Tons of carbonation with what can be described as a fluffy head. Served from bottle into the traditional Duvel glass produces almost FOUR fingers of head (!!!) Even after letting it settle for a few minutes, the beer continues to release carbonation from the bottom towards the head.

Smell: Like the appearance, very inviting and extremely tempting to drink. Citrus hops are the first thing that hits your nose, with maybe a touch of floral hops as well. The malts are pretty well hidden in the smell, so maybe they will become more prevalent in the taste.

Taste: WOW. Talk about a range of tastes in just one sip. Like I wondered, the slightly sweet oatmeal malts present themselves in the taste, leaving the hops for the aftertaste. Great blend of all the ingredients, giving each one its highlight during the sip.

Mouthfeel: Despite the massive amounts of head, the Golden Ale is not overly carbonated. Nothing overpowering about the beer while its making its way across your pallet. Very smooth and light, but not watery. Perfect for a Belgian ale.

Drinkability: You better believe that I highly recommend this brew. It's on the pricey side as I paid $13 for a 4-pack, but consider it money well spent. At 8.5% abv, the alcohol you think you would taste is hidden nicely. A warning that since you don't taste that extra kick, don't drink too many, or you will hit the floor. Can't wait to taste others from the Duvel Moortgat Brewery.

Serving type: Bottle
Glass type: Duvel Snifter

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Happy Birthday Alex!!!

I came home today and told myself that I need to drink a beer in honor of Mr. V. After I had one beer, I felt like another and a lot more. Once beer hits my lips, I feel like drinking NONSTOP! Is it just me, or do you guys feel the same way, regardless of beer, wine, liquor, etc. I hope that doesn't mean I am alcoholic.

Anyways, cheers V and sorry for not rating these beers. It is a lot of work to rate beers. I don't' know how the judges go about doing so at the GABF when they rate 100+ different brews.

Wishing we all had a place together...

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

North Coast Brewing Co. Old Rasputin

Appearance: Deep Dark Brown beer, light brown head that stuck around.

Smell: Toasty and malty, as stout-ey as it gets.

Taste: Big roasted malt, coffee-like flavor. Similar aftertaste to Storm King. It hits your tongue a little different than Storm King does though. Hard to describe the difference, but its like totally there. You still reading this review?

Mouthfeel: Good balance. Nice carbonation, but still smooth and thick, yet it doesn't approach the motor-oil feel of some brews.

Drinkability: Overall this is a delicious concoction. Great for warming you up in the winter. If you like stouts, do yourself a favor.