Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving at Alex's

A lil' pre-turkey round of beers with the family.

From left, Sierra Nevada Harvest 2008, Rock Art 2008 Holiday Bock, Stone Vertical Epic 2008, Rock Art Vermonster, Rogue Hazlenut Brown Ale, and North Coast Old Rasputin.

The standout for me was the Stone Vertical Epic. Really interesting garden taste to it. Basil or Mint. I'd buy again definitely, and am looking forward to picking one up to age.

Hope your holiday was enjoyable, Cheers.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

We wish all of our family, friends & fellow beer drinkers a wonderful Thanksgiving! Sneak in a beer with that turkey.

-Hopheads in Training

Some beers my family and I have consumed sometime this November

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Stone Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale

Alright, we know we have been slacking for a couple of months now, but we are going to try to ramp up the action as we approach the holiday season. There has also been some discussion about beginning our experimentation with homebrewing, so be on the lookout for those updates after the holidays. Enjoy the new color scheme, relax, and on to the reviews.

I was able to pick up this wonderful brew at my local beer store. It's very hit and miss what I find there, like I was able to pick up this and 4 24oz. bottles of Sierra Nevada Wet Hop Harvest (2008).

Appearance: A dark red/brown lively color with about a finger of creamy laced head, very clear, alive, and inviting

Smell: I do have a bit of a cold, but I would say toasty, smokey malts are in the forefront, with the tiniest bit of hops in the background. I wish I could be more specific with the hops, but the cold isn't helping.

Taste: A deep but lively/moving taste of toasty, even oakey, malts, and finishes with a hint of spicy hops on the aftertaste, a good clean taste that lets both the malts and hops play their part, and the American oak wood chips this ale is aged with make their presence noticed (and welcomed!) while tasting

Mouthfeel: Carbonated, but not overly so, travels nicely over the tongue and down the throat, making you want to drink more, smooth, and surprisingly light and heavy at the same time, a very unique experience indeed

Drinkability: This heavy hitter is shockingly easy to drink at 7.2% abv. You definitely wouldn't start your night with it, but it won't knock you out for the count either. The tagline "You're not worthy" is appropriate for this great brew. I've had the non-oaked Arrogant Bastard, and I feel the oak wood chips do add that something extra to distinguish itself among other heavy ales. I look forward to drinking this again, and though I normally avoid putting a number on the beers I review, I figure I might as well conform to my cohorts and give this a 8.5/10.

Serving type: Bottle
Glass type: Sam Adams Glass

Rogue White Crane Bitter Ale

I picked up this tiny 12 oz bottle at State Line Liquors in Elkton, MD. According to the label, this brew made its way all the way from Monbetsu Hokkaido, Japan to Rogue country at Newport, Oregon. But then it says brewed and bottled by Oregon Brewing, so I am confused. Oh well, let me just review the damn thing!

Appearance: I poured it carefully and I still got a solid three fat fingers of head. The color reminds of Thanksgiving with blends of yellow/orange/red at different angles of light. Very clear and alive and looks like a light style beer.

Smell: Dusty malts and staley yeast aromas. Can not distinguish any hops, which surprises me for a bitter ale.

Taste: Alot sweeter compared to what the smell told me. Not as sugary dense as a soda pop, but it must be the sweet raisin malts coming through. Starting to remind me of an ESB.

Mouthfeel: Thin and definitely over carbonated. That bitterness of hops finally tingles my palete.

Drinkability: I would give this beer another try perhaps if it was free. I think I paid $8.49 for it, which is a ripoff. Went down with ease like a college student competing in Teen Jeopardy. Good to try something new, but I will give it a 6/10 hopheads.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Max's Taphouse

Max's Taphouse is located in Fells Point section of Baltimore, MD. I went about a month ago and had 3 quality beers:
  1. Pint glass of Avery Ale to The Chief
  2. Pint glass of Troegs Nugget Nectar
  3. Pimp goblet of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Ale
There is plenty of space with and upstairs and downstairs bar area. The two bartenders manning the massive bar downstairs were absolutely stellar in serving their customers with excellence. I even ordered some Jolly Rancher Shots (don't laugh) for the crowd I was with and they had no problem. Not too sure of how often they rotate the taps, but I am sure it done on a proper schedule. Would definitely go back again in a heartbeat and sample some of their food. My only complaint from this trip is that is was getting quite crowded and that I had to chug my Bigfoot at the end because we had to leave (Stevie helped me so she gets mad props). 9.5/10 hoppy hops ratings.