Friday, February 20, 2009

Avery "The Kaiser" Imperial Oktoberfest Lager

I am so fired up for the beer fest tomorrow, so why not pass the time with another review. I picked this one up at State Line as well and I know I've had it before, but again I don't remember specifics. On to the review.

Appearance: Clear, crisp orange color with about a finger of head that lasts for a little while, plenty of carbonation rising to the top.

Smell: Spicey hops and a sweet caramel malt essence, it's kind of an interesting mix because if the color orange had a smell, to me this would be it.

Taste: The sweetness is the first thing you noticed and is what gives its dominant flavor and aftertaste, the spiciness comes in like a topping on a burger, adds that little something but isn't the highlight.

Mouthfeel: A good thickness, not too watery or too heavy, perfectly carbonated, it's like the bubbles do a little dance on your tongue before receding down the throat.

Drinkability: I really enjoyed this beer, I haven't had many of this style, but between the sweet flavors and the light texture, its almost comparable to a Belgian. Decently complex flavor, and at 10% abv its relatively easy to drink, although the alcohol does make some presence in the smell and aftertaste. I would only recommend a bomber of this in one night, but definitely worth stocking up on. I'm gonna give it an 8.5/10, but I could be swayed to a 9 by the end of the bomber.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Moylan's Moylander Double IPA

In honor of the Extreme Beer Fest, I'll review a couple of bombers I picked up from State Line Liquors in Elkton, MD. The one for tonight is a DIPA I am pretty sure I have had before with Jimmy at some point, but I don't remember anything about it, so it's essentially a fresh review.

Appearance: Golden orange color nice and clear, about half a finger of thin head that doesn't stick around for long, plenty of bubbles rising to the top.

Smell: Light floral and citrus hops with a hint of sweet malts, but surprisingly the smell doesn't overpower, slightly complex.

Taste: This has a two stage taste; floral and piney hops in spurts at the beginning then finishes with a sweet caramel flavor, with a little spiciness in the aftertaste, also has some bite and bitterness to it, good complex full taste.

Mouthfeel: Well carbonated for the style, almost a little too much, combo of sweetness and bitterness brings an interesting feel on its way down.

Drinkability: This beer is a textbook example of a double IPA, pretty standard stuff, nothing too special, but why mess with a good thing? A bomber bottle will definitely put a hurting on you at 8.5%, and its not one of those beers that hides its kick too well, so you might not feel like having more than one bomber of it anyway. Still, I give this very good DIPA a respectable 8/10.

Glass type: Sam Adams glass
Serving type: Bottle

Beer No Longer Recession-Proof

Over at my favorite political blog, Nate Silver (of PECOTA and election predicting fame) brings us the startling news that even beer is being affected by the recession. The long held belief beer is a recession-proof good seems to faulter during the last quarter of 2008, and by a significant amount. There are a few theories, one of which Nate says is the rise of the micro and craft brews, which could be true since they are more costly, higher in alcohol content, and thus a person would buy less beer comparatively to say Bud, Miller, or Coors. He also gives a few more explanations, but I don't want to just repeat what he's saying, give it a read.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Extreme Beer Festival

The Hopheads are hitting the road up to Boston once again, this time for the Extreme Beer Festival presented by BeerAdvocate and Dogfish Head. The festival is on February 20th and 21st with the first night deemed Night of the Barrels and two regular session on Saturday. We would have loved to make it up for both days, but even the closest of us is almost 4 hours away. This will also be the first event where all 4 hopheads will be together, should be a hell of a time. Definitely not going to promise a full report because we saw how well that worked last time, but we might take a few pictures and give a little update. If you will be in the area this weekend and wanna grab a drink or three, or have any advice on eats and watering holes, let us know.

Beer Tax Hike in Oregon

I was surfing the web on this lovely President's Day and came across the following article:

Just wanted to start up a discussion and get your feedback on what you think.

My opinion is that I hate taxes, especially when they start to interfere with the craft beer industry. Oregon may rank only 49th in the malt beverage taxation rate, but that is what makes it such a sweet state to brew some ales. Such wondrous names as Rogue and Hair of the Dog come from Oregon, and I am sure plenty of fabulous others are their that I have never heard of over here in the East Coast. The economy may be in a bad state, but cut some of the state governments spending instead. I would find it hard to believe that drinking craft beer costs the state money in health care, law enforcement and substance abuse problems. Hey government, pick on somebody your own size and stay away from the brewers!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner

It is Sunday and football season is over. That does not mean that you have to stop drinking beers on Sunday! This lager is another Christmas present from my big brother. I have had it over a year ago, was uber impressed and looking forward to it again as my first drink of the evening (8.1% abv woot woot). Fellow hophead flying nugget nectar Alex has had this recently too and gave it some applause. Lets see how I make out...

Appearance: 1/2 finger of head with constant carbonation stemming from the bottom of my pilsner glass. Appears light in nature and cherry wood color with shades of green, but upon closer inspection it seems cloudy from the hops.

Smell: The label says "An Intense Hop Experience" but that is not what my big nostriled nose smells. A blend of caramelesque malts with some exotic floral hops from the lands of Hogwarts forest.

Taste: Sweet tasting like a cararmel, as the smell was. Notice alot more hopiness in my palete as it savors the hop resins. Noticing some citrus on top of the floral hops.

Mouthfeel: Pure enjoyable bitterness just raping your entire mouth after you drink it. However at the same time the sweet caramel malts somehow hide the bitterness I am in heaven. They do an amazing job of hiding the massive amount of hops used. (According to, they use a killer 12 pounds of Hallertau hops per barrel, while their Boston Lager only uses 1 pound of barrel).

Drinkability: Very well balanced and built beer. Jim Koch goes to Germany to hand pick these hops and it definitely shows. Would easily drink this again and this was a pleasant change from the typical IPAs that I have. 9/10.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Lagunitas Pale Ale

It is Saturday night and I need a beer! My brother bought this one for me for Christmas at Oak Tree Discount Wines & Spirits at South Plainfield, NJ.

Appearance: Pours a clear mellow yellow at a 3/4 finger of head. Not too much carbonation.

Smell: Piney hops hit my nasal passageway first, followed by musty malts with a tinge of chamomile.

Taste: The musty malts taste more toasty now and prevail over the hops which are holding up the rear in a sneaky manner.

Mouthfeel: It may feel light and smooth in the palette, but this beer comes packed with a well balanced flavor. Bitter aftertaste that you get with an IPA or ESB.

Drinkability: Goes down smooth at 6.4% abv. I could definitely have another, make that at least 3 to get the evening going. For a Pale Ale, I give it 7/10 hop nuggets.