Saturday, January 24, 2009

Avery Presidential Pale Ale

Ale to the Chief! I picked this brew up months ago, then decided to keep it to drink on inauguration day. Well, since I put it in my cabinet, it was out of sight, out of mind, and of course I forgot to drink it upon the fateful day. Well, I figure the first Saturday night of the new presidency is as good a night as any to break it out, rather than wait another 4 years.

Appearance: Hazy amber in color, finger or two of head in a Sam Adams glass, and sticky lacing on the glass as I drank it.

Smell: Suprisingly caramel-ey. I figured as a "Presidential Pale Ale" the emphasis would be on the "Pale" part, but I think they're going for "Presidential" as a more democratic version of "imperial." This guy is very much a DIPA at heart.

Taste: A lot like Avery's delicious Hog Heaven but with a "paler" aftertaste. The caramel malts smooth out the Cascade hops.

Mouthfeel: Oily hop resins stick to the tongue. Mmm.

Drinkability: 8.75% ABV, not for the faint of heart, but who are we kidding, its par for this blog's course. Its real tasty, but stay out of trouble and stick to one per night.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Stone Smoked Porter

This will be the last of the night for us.

Appearance: A typical porter that's dark black, thick, and lacy head. Again, our bottle must have had the shakes because we got abnormal amounts of head (I think it was Jimmy's crazy snow driving on the way home from the Beverage Barn, but I digress).

Smell: This is bizarre; we both smell apple. I don't know if this is on purpose with some weird combination, but geez, no distinguishing characteristics between hops and malts (WHAT A CATCH BY MARK CLAYTON!). We want to smell smokey or coffee malts, but we don't know if that's just the power of suggestion.

Taste: Dry sweet malts, kind of bland, no hops. Pretty simple taste.

Mouthfeel: Lighter than the appearance would suggest, lightly carbonated, licorice aftertaste, but as much as we want to have a smokey aftertaste, its just not there.

Drinkability: Easy to go down, especially compared to a stout or other porters we've had. The alcohol content doesn't make you put down the beer at 5.9%, but there really isn't much else to explore after the first one. We averaged out a 6.5/10, its a good beer but compared to other porters it doesn't hold its own.

Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA

We think this is our first Weyerbacher review and we have pretty high hopes for it.

Appearance: A very cloudy, deep red almost brown color that pours a quarter finger of head with little retention. Looks dead as the bubbles slowly rise to the top hinting away from the possibilities of carbonation.

Smell: A good mix of the dank and resiny hops with sweet and sugary malts ("like candy" -Jimmy). A really good balance of smell and just a good combination in general. Nothing is too overpowering.

Taste: For a double IPA you expect for the hops to be in the forefront, but the sweet malts take center stage. After a couple sips you can pick out the hops, but not like you would expect. Very sweet almost like a barleywine. Jimmy has had this on a different occasion and said it wasn't as sweet and that you could notice the hops better. This used to be his favorite east coast DIPA, but this might change his mind.

Mouthfeel: Not carbonated well. The aftertaste is quite interesting: the sweet malts melt away which leaves that desired hop lacing sensation that tickles the tongue. Thick enough for this DIPA.

Drinkability: We could probably have one more, but the sweetness is just too much for repetitive drinking in a night. The 9% abv gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling after one, so there's not really a need to have more in a night. Our suspicions are that this six pack might have been on the shelves a little too long because Jimmy and King Adubahbi have had much better experiences with this one. However, just basing on this tasting, we have to give it a 7/10. We might revisit this in the future.

Founders Dry Hopped Pale Ale

Jimmy and I are doing some NFL playoff football beer reviews. Picked these up from the local store, nothing too special.

Appearance: Pours with a golden color, but the head was out of control. Someone must have shaken the bottles or something because we had to measure our head in fists. Bubbly, alive, and definitely keeps its sudsy head.

Smell: We had two different smells from two different bottles: Jimmy had a musty smell that overpowered any distinction between hops and malts, while I had some piney hops that grabbed you right away, dominating away any scent of malts.

Taste: A lot more mellow than the piney hops leads you to believe. Jimmy put it well saying the hops made you almost expect an IPA, but the mellowness of the pale ale really showed while tasting. A hint of sweet malts that weren't present in the smell come alive.

Mouthfeel: Pretty smooth, not biting, no carbonation attack which kind of allows the taste to shine, a slight bitter tang aftertaste, a little thin but not really watery.

Drinkability: The mildness allows you to drink a lot of it, but we feel like you would get bored after a while. Kind of bland in the sense that there's nothing left to explore after the first couple sips. Jimmy: "It's like you want to press Next on your iPod." At 5.2% abv you won't have to take a nap afterwards, but it will leave you looking for more. We both agreed without looking at each others answers of 6.5/10, decent beer, but probably won't go out of our way for it.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Broken beer glass

As the magical Homer Simpson says, "DOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!" I was washing my beer glass the other day and it slipped out of my hand. It then fell approximately 6 inches do its death into the kitchen sink as the stem broke off from the tulip. Sad indeed as it was my favorite beer glass.

Luckily, my brother gave me 2 magnificent new beer glasses for Christmas. I don't know how to categorize them, but I would say one is a Pilsner style while the other is a cross between a tulip and a pint.

Need to invest in a goblet and another tulip next. Perhaps even a DAS BOOT Beerfest style, if the hopheads would approve.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA (2003)

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring except two giganormous humans (Yea, that so doesn't rhyme). We just got back from Christmas Eve church and my dad busted out this rare bomber bottle (1 pint 9.6 ounces) with a cork in it of 2003 Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA (The Imperial India Pale Ale). This bottle literally did not see any light while aging in the cellar from when I graduated high school in 2003 and hated beer till present day Xmas eve 2008.

Note: I did not review this because it was still a week after my deviated septum surgery and my nose was not functioning properly as well as looking like a cross between Rudolph the red-nose reindeer and Pinocchio. So I apologize in advance for my lame review.

This was only the second time ever that I had 120 minute. My first was on tap at some random bar in Washington D.C. that I went to with fellow hopheads Alex & Mike. The taste was rich and not as super sweet as I remembered. It took 2 hours to finish and savor this beauty, which comes in at a whopping 18% abv I think. Reminded me of sipping on a fine port wine and appreciating the delicacy of this god-like nectar.

Addition (1/5/09): Review from King Adubahbi who helped slay this beast: "characteristics of a Belgian tripel, complex, HUGE. The original residual sugars have dried out nicely."