Thursday, September 24, 2009

Southern Tier Pumking Imperial Pumpkin Ale

From fellow hophead Ryan:

"Don't know if Jimmy told you, but the Southern Tier Pumking Imperial Pumpkin ale is legit. In my past dealings with pumpkin ales, I found them to be a nice spicy treat, but with no "real" pumpkin flavor. Not this one. It's brewed with pumpkin puree (HORRAY!), caramel malts, and two varieties of hops. And it comes as advertised. The aroma is like Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie, and the taste is a nice (and authentic) pumpkin flavor mixed with cinnamon spice and caramel sweetness (great balance). Also, at 9% there was absolutely NO alcoholic tinge to it, which I found very surprising. Usually, with spiced beers like this, when they get up past 7% they start to have a smell and taste of alcohol. Also, in my tasting (didn't happen for jimmy), as it warmed, the caramel flavor kicked into high gear, and actually overshadowed the pumpkin flavor and spice a bit too much for my liking, giving it an overly sweet taste (which knocked it down a few marks, as I am not a fan of too much sweet). I'd give it a 8.85/10 and definitely want to have another go at it."

Saturday, September 12, 2009

NYC Beer Week is upon us...

...and we couldn't be more pumped! After Ryan's experience with Philly Beer Week (where we will venture to hopefully next year), Jimmy, Alex, and I were inspired to check out NYC's version. Unfortunately, we couldn't make it into the city for more than one day, so we are going on an all day marathon beer week extravaganza, beginning around noon time and ending whenever we get thrown out. Pile on top of that that it's the opening Sunday for the NFL, along with it finally supposed to stop raining here in the tri-state area, and we've got ourselves a nice little day planned.

So follow us on Twitter (@hopheads) for up to the minute news, reviews, ramblings, and drunken pearls of wisdom, as I'm sure they will be flowing as much as the casks and taps allow us.

For beer week information, visit the official NYC Beer Week website here.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sierra Nevada Porter

Sierra Nevada is one of the original and classic microbreweries in the USA, so it is safe to say that whatever they make is going to be damn good. After Mike's review of Sierra's Kellerweis and Alex's acknowledgment of the ~20 different Sierra Nevada ales (I did not know over half of them!) on tap at Blind Tiger, NYC about a month ago, I decided on trying a new Sierra Nevada myself. Luckily for me, I did not have to buy this beer one but simply "borrow" it from my father's beer sanctuary.
Appearance: Two fingers of head as a result from a careful pour that appeared watery. However, as it sits in the glass awaiting its fate, it seems quite [midnight/unpermeable]-ish. The head dissipates to a fragile layer after 4 minutes of chillin'.

Smell: Very refreshing that gives you the "ahhhhh!" factor. Caramel and chocolate malts stand out like a stout, but not as bold. Not recognizing the Goldings & Willamette hops used in this creation, but the aroma is pleasantly warming as if you were waking up to a fresh roast of coffee or even a good night desert brownie.

Taste: Goes down smooth and tastes like fancy dark chocolate with extra cacao. Well balanced with a sweet caramel malt finish.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation bite is almost too tingling. Chocolate after bite melts in your mouth and you can actually sense mild hop bitterness on your tongue after awhile (this beer has 40 IBUs Sierra Nevada Porter.

Drinkability: This American Porter beat my expectations and hit the spot as fall is kicking in with 50-60 degree weather already. I am a IPA (make that DOUBLE IPA) drinker year round, but this hit the spot to take a break from the hop slaughter on my body. Coming in at just 5.6% abv, I would have another with no question. Excellent creation! 9/10.