Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ithaca Cascazilla Red Ale

Let's give this another go. Time for round 2 of getting back in the review game. We picked up the Casca Zilla at the same Wegmans in Syracuse as the Abbey Ale. (Pic is coming when I get home, blah blah...)

Appearance: Dark amber with two fingers of head, this one just screamed "drink me!"

Smell: The aroma immediately was floral and a little spicy. The hops are at the forefront with a little nut malt in the background. An interesting but great mix I feel for a red ale.

Taste: The nuts and spices make a great combination as the beer makes its way down your throat. The 6.5% abv is definitely noticeable and provides a great kick, almost comparable to an IPA.

Mouthfeel: Heavy, but not thick. Not overly carbonated, but still tickles the mouth with the alcohol feel.

Drinkability: The 6.5%abv is perfect for this red ale, strong enough of a kick, but light enough to drink more than a few in one sitting. This was my beer of choice from my few days in the Thousand Islands. I am a big fan of red ales and that doesn't change with this one. My review probably doesn't do it justice, but I will try to leave comments later to clarify.

Serving type: Bottle
Glass type: Pint glass

Ommegang Abbey Ale

Wow, it has been a hell of a long time since I have posted a review. Hope I still have some sort of ability to review beers. On the way up to the Thousand Islands in NY, the girlfriend and I stopped at a Wegmans in Syracuse and came across this beauty. I have never had it before, and don't really know if it's any good, but I have wanted to try more Belgians, so here goes nothing. (Pic will be added once I head home)

Appearance: Dark orange/brown glow, about a finger of head, very bubbly, very inviting. The head holds for quite a while, keeping the smell and flavor trapped in the beer.

Smell: Sweet malts kiss the nostrils with a slight hint of caramel. Maybe its just my hiatus from beer reviewing, but the hops seem very faint and a little dank. I need to get back to practicing distinguishing the hops and malts. Or maybe its exactly what Ommegang was going for...lets go with this theory.

Taste: The malt smell translated well into the taste, with the sweetness being the first noticeable aspect. The hidden characteristics of an oaky/caramel flavor become prevalent on the aftertaste. Very little hops if at all, which makes me think my smell assessment was correct. This is a great balance of malts and hops for this style though, as I feel any stronger acidity from the hops would ruin the flavor.

Mouthfeel: An interesting sensation as the beer floats around. It is simultaneously light, heavy, chewy, and thin. It is perfectly carbonated as there is a slight tickle on the roof of your mouth, but not that blast back up the throat and nose.

Drinkability: I decided to do the first four sections before dinner and then decide on drinkability while having the rest of the beer with a pasta and salad dinner. Surprisingly, this 8.5% abv beverage went pretty well with food and can be drank a few in a night, but I personally would save it for night time. I don't feel its a refreshing afternoon bbq brew like I was somewhat expecting, but still a very good beer all around. The label boasts fruity aroma, yet I just didn't see it. Give it a try, maybe I missed it. I would still drink this again and recommend it. (Girlfriend's analysis: "Good." That's riveting stuff right there.)

Serving type: Bottle
Glass type: Pint glass (I know, I should have used a snifter or my Duvel glass, but I gotta deal with being a snot's throw from Canada and five hours from home.)