Sunday, March 29, 2009

Friday night: Legend Golden Ale and Victory Old Horizontal

Beer: Golden Ale
Brewer: Legend
Style: Pale Ale
Tasting notes: On draft @ Joe's Inns. A tiche sweet, w/ a funny finish. I wondered if the line was clean. Not much hop.

Rating: Poor. (This may be too harsh; but, I did not want any more.)

Beer: Old Horizontal
Brewer: Victory
Style: American Barleywine
Tasting notes: (5) 4.25 year-old bottle. Ditto. (4) 3.75 years before best before date, 1.25 or 2.25 years old. Caramel malt, some dark fruits, a sour/bitter hop bite at end. (Too) easy drinking - Old Aleish. (3) A fresh one I think. Much tamer. Some sweet malt and then some bitter hops. Hot alchohol. Needs more kick. (2) About 1.25 years old. Wonderful sweet malt up front - English barleywine style. Then a deep, bitter, slightly sour bite at end that lingers. All this with an alcohol blast. (1) A bottle dated about 9 months ago. Lots of malt and bitter hops. Finish has a sour and "hot" (alcohol?) taste. I think it will improve with age wonderfully.
Top 100: 29 December 2005. (Not 10 March 2007 or 03 April 2009.)
Rating: Recommended with qualifications

Delirium Nocturnum

Beer: Delirium Nocturnum

Brewer: Brouwerij Huyghe

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Tasting notes: A bottle @ Mekong w/ L.A. Smooth and tasty. Nice caramel malt with apple butter and hints of spicy hops.

Rating: Recommended without qualifications

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Top 100 = Best Beers on the Planet

The label, "Best Beers on the Planet", refers to beers ranked in the top 100 beers on the planet by reviewers at I downloaded the list on 29 December 2005 and 10 March 2007 and check the current list when I review a beer I know to be highly ranked. The lists for 29 December 2005 and 10 March 2007 follow. I have tasted the beers followed by "Y" and have the beer followed by "C" in my cellar.

29 December 2005

1. Trappist Westvleteren 12 (Yellow Cap) (Y)
2. Stone Imperial Russian Stout (Y)
3. St. Bernardus Abt 12 (Y)
4. Dark Lord Imperial Stout
5. Trappistes Rochefort 10 (Y)
6. Storm King Stout (Y)
7. Trappist Westvleteren 8 (Blue Cap)
8. Founders Breakfast Stout (Y)
9. Dreadnaught IPA (Y)
10. Masala Mama India Pale Ale
11. Abbaye Des Rocs Grand Cru [Brasserie Des Rocs Grand Cru] (Y)
12. AleSmith Speedway Stout (Y)
13. Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock
14. Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock (Y)
15. Double Bastard Ale (Y)
16. YuleSmith
17. Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout (Y)
18. Shakespeare Stout (Y)
19. Trappistes Rochefort 8 (Y)
20. Duvel (Y)
21. Kuhnhenn Raspberry Eisbock
22. Chocolate Stout (Y)
23. Old Ruffian Barley Wine (Y)
24. J.W. Lees Vintage Harvest Ale (Y)
25. Aventinus (Y)
26. Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier (Y)
27. Stone Ruination IPA (Y)
28. Two Hearted Ale (Y)
29. Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter
30. Imperial Stout
31. Hop Rod Rye (Y)
32. AleSmith IPA (Y)
33. La Fin Du Monde (Y)
34. Bell's Expedition Stout (Y)
35. Stone IPA (India Pale Ale) (Y)
36. Cadillac Mtn. Stout
37. Perkuno's Hammer Imperial Porter (Y)
38. Pliny The Elder
39. Pliny The Younger
40. Wisconsin Belgian Red
41. Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout (Y)
42. La Folie Wood Aged Beer
43. Andechser Doppelbock Dunkel
44. Supplication
45. Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout (Y)
46. Southampton Grand Cru (Y)
47. Big Bear Black Stout (Y)
48. Alpha King Pale Ale (Y)
49. Péché Mortel (Imperial Stout Au Cafe)
50. Hercules Double IPA (Y)
51. Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune]
52. Yeti Imperial Stout (Y)
53. Arrogant Bastard Ale (Y)
54. Hennepin (Farmhouse Saison) (Y)
55. Alpha Klaus Xmas Porter
56. 90 Minute IPA (Y)
57. Bell's Batch 7000
58. Fuller's London Porter (Y)
59. St. Bernardus Tripel (Y)
60. Alaskan Smoked Porter
61. Trois Pistoles (Y)
62. Gumballhead (Y)
63. Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout (Y)
64. Westmalle Trappist Tripel (Y)
65. HopDevil Ale (Y)
66. Brasserie Des Rocs Triple Impériale (Y)
67. Sinebrychoff Porter (Y)
68. Ramstein Winter Wheat
69. Fantôme Saison (Y)
70. Thirsty Dog Siberian Night Imperial Stout (Y)
71. Chimay Grande Réserve (Blue / Blauw) (Y)
72. I2PA - Imperial India Pale Ale
73. Thomas Hooker Imperial Porter
74. Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout (Y)
75. Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale (Oaked Bastard) (Y)
76. Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale (Y)
77. Maudite (Y)
78. Titan IPA (Y)
79. Tripel Karmeliet
80. Okocim Porter
81. Old Horizontal (Y)
82. Celebration Ale (Y)
83. Allagash Tripel Reserve (Y)
84. Racer 5 India Pale Ale (Y)
85. Gouden Carolus Carolus D'Or - Cuvée Van De Keizer
86. Great Lakes Blackout Stout
87. Weihenstephaner Korbinian (Y)
88. Fuller's Vintage Ale (C)
89. Insanity
90. World Wide Stout (C)
91. Obsidian Stout
92. Temptation (Y)
93. La Terrible
94. Smuttynose "Finest Kind" IPA (Y)
95. Cantillon Saint Lamvinus
96. St. Bernardus Prior 8 (C)
97. Thumbsucker
98. Traquair House Ale (Y)
99. Founders Red's Rye
100. Harvest Ale (Y)

10 March 2007

1. Trappist Westvleteren 12 (Y)
2. Dark Lord Imperial Stout
3. Trappist Westvleteren 8
4. Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout
5. Pliny The Younger
6. Stone Imperial Russian Stout (Y)
7. Trappistes Rochefort 10 (Y)
8. Dreadnaught IPA (Y)
9. AleSmith Speedway Stout (Y)
10. Masala Mama India Pale Ale
11. Founders Breakfast Stout (Y)
12. Kuhnhenn Raspberry Eisbock
13. Pliny The Elder
14. Péché Mortel (Imperial Stout Au Cafe)
15. St. Bernardus Abt 12 (Y)
16. Andechser Doppelbock Dunkel
17. The Abyss
18. Supplication
19. YuleSmith
20. Live Oak HefeWeizen
21. Storm King Stout (Y)
22. Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock
23. La Folie Wood Aged Beer
24. Wisconsin Belgian Red
25. Cantillon Saint Lamvinus
26. Bourbon County Stout (Y)
27. Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock (Y)
28. Darkness
29. Beatification
30. Cadillac Mtn. Stout
31. Bell's HopSlam (Y)
32. AleSmith IPA (Y)
33. Double Bastard Ale (Y)
34. Temptation (Y)
35. St. Bernardus Abt 12 (60th Anniversary "Special Edition")
36. Old Ruffian Barley Wine (Y)
37. Bell's Batch 7000
38. Bell's Expedition Stout (Y)
39. Tröegs Nugget Nectar (Y)
40. Brasserie Des Rocs Triple Impériale (Y)
41. Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier (Y)
42. Trappistes Rochefort 8 (Y)
43. J.W. Lees Vintage Harvest Ale (Y)
44. Imperial IPA
45. Drie Fonteinen Oude Gueuze (Y)
46. Southampton Grand Cru (Y)
47. Thumbsucker
48. Shakespeare Stout (Y)
49. Chocolate Stout (Y)
50. Two Hearted Ale (Y)
51. Kuhnhenn Fourth Dementia
52. Stone 10th Anniversary IPA
53. Kriek De Ranke
54. Reality Czeck
55. Hop Rod Rye (Y)
56. Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter
57. Imperial Stout
58. Girardin Gueuze 1882 Black Label (unfiltered) (Y)
59. Kate The Great Russian Imperial Stout
60. Avec Les Bons Voeux (Y)
61. Yeti Imperial Stout (Y)
62. Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout (Y)
63. Aventinus (Y)
64. Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout (Y)
65. Thomas Hooker Imperial Porter
66. Pure Hoppiness
67. Duvel (Y)
68. La Fin Du Monde (Y)
69. Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune]
70. Stone Ruination IPA (Y)
71. Thirsty Dog Siberian Night Imperial Stout (Y)
72. Furious
73. Alpha King Pale Ale (Y)
74. Fantôme Saison D’Erezée - Été (Y)
75. Alpha Klaus Xmas Porter
76. Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel (Y)
77. Hercules Double IPA (Y)
78. Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout (Y)
79. Stone IPA (India Pale Ale) (Y)
80. Jadwiga
81. Gouden Carolus Carolus D'Or - Cuvée Van De Keizer
82. Great Lakes Blackout Stout
83. Raspberry Tart
84. Allagash Interlude (Y)
85. Unearthly Imperial IPA (Y)
86. Fantôme Saison (Y)
87. Imperial Russian Stout
88. Obsidian Stout
89. Alaskan Smoked Porter
90. Southampton Saison (Y)
91. Fuller's London Porter (Y)
92. Okocim Porter
93. 90 Minute IPA (Y)
94. Guinness Special Export Stout (John Martin - Belgium)
95. Sinebrychoff Porter (Y)
96. Frank Double IPA
97. Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale (Y)
98. St. Bernardus Tripel (Y)
99. Allagash Odyssey
100. St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout

Friday night lights: Prima Pils, Loose Cannon, and Bigfoot.

Beer: Prima Pils
Brewer: Victory
Style: Pilsner
Tasting notes: (4) A bottle @ Tastebuds. A good pilsner: clean, crisp, and refreshing with a mild hoppiness. (3) Downgraded. May be age of bottle or that it followed a Weiphestephanhaurer Hefe. (2) The best Pils? (1) Clean, crisp and refreshing with a nice hoppiness and bitter aftertaste. A nice summer beer.
Comments: The highest rated German Pilsner on
Recommended with qualifications. I am not generally a big fan of lagers.

Beer: Heavy Seas Loose Cannon
Brewer: Clipper City
Style: Double IPA

Tasting notes: A nice, balanced DIPA. Previous review.
Comments: BeerAdvocate now classifies the beer as an IPA. I think DIPA is more appropriate because of the nice malty sweetness that forms the backbone.
Recommended without reservation

Beer: Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale
Brewer: Sierra Nevada
American Barleywine
Tasting notes: A fresh beer bottle in 2009. Delicious and (too?) smooth.
Previous review.
Top 100: 29 December 2005. (Not 10 March 2007 or 30 January 2009.)
Top 10ish

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Deux saisons: Hennepin and Bons Voeux

Beer: Hennepin
Brewer: Ommegang
Style: Saison
Tasting notes: (13) Another fine bottle. Light citrus, spice, and a tiche of sour funk. (12) Another fine bottle. (12) A bottle from Jose. Very nice and refreshing. Citric spice and a little funk. (11) Not as great as I remembered. A complex blend of flavors and spice and hop that did not blend well. (10) Orange rind and funk. (9) Another wonderful bottle. (8) Very nice. (7) A bottle @ Barnetts. (6) A bottle at Mekong. Spicy, light, dry, and funky. Very nice. (5) Light, fruity, delicious, and refreshing. (4) My recollection is that the last few bottles have varied. Some seem more spiced and sour and less funky. (3) Wonderful. (2) Light, fruity, delicious, and refreshing. (1) Funky. A great complement to a good meal.
Comments: A great value and a beer that accompanies a wide variety of food.
Dates on which reviewers at rated it as one of the top 100 beers on the planet: 29 December 2005 (not 10 March 2007 or 8 March 2009).

Beer: Avec Les Bons Voeux
Brewer: Dupont
Tasting notes: (2) Complex mix of light aromatic flavors. I kept saying, "What is that flavor?" A bit more tart and funk than Hennepin. No spices detected. Very light given the ABV. (1) Great w Christmas turkey. Complex. Winey. Sour ending.
Comments: Saison Dupont is a classic beer. Bons Voeux is the winter seasonal.
Dates on which reviewers at rated it as one of the top 100 beers on the planet: 10 March 2007 (not 29 December 2005 or 8 March 2009).
Highly recommended

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Pilsner Urquell

Beer: Pilsner Urguell
Style: Pilsner
Tasting notes: (4) Slightly dry, and lightly hopped. (3) Bottle tasted "old". (2) A slightly dry, slightly hopped, pleasant quencher. (1) On tap in Denver. Nice with food.
Comments: Pilsner Urguell means Royal Pilsner. It is a classic Pilsner and is brewed in the town of Pizen in the Czech Republic. The brewer is Plzensky Prazdroj and is part of the SAB Miller family.

Old Dominion Millennium

Beer: Millennium
Brewer: : Old Dominion
Tasting notes: (10) A two-year-old bottle. Lemony w/ hop bite when cold. An old ale as it warms? Easy drinking and pleasant but lacks punch and complexity. Downgraded from recommended w/out reservation. (9) A 1.5 -year old bottle. Malty with hint of pollen in the background. Finish is deep and sour. (8) An interesting mix of flavors: honey, sherry, floral hops, petals, pollen, bitter hops, and alcohol. (7) Sweet malt w/ a hint of VA honey. Less hops than an IPA. Easy drinking and pleasant. (6) A year-old bottle. Easy drinking w/ relatively subdued flavor, sort of a cross between an Old Ale and a Pale Ale on steroids. Little nose, Some musty, spicy hops, a hint of honey (and clover?). (5) Sweet and pleasant. (4) Dryer than I remembered with more of a bitter deep hop bite. Tastes like an Old Ale. (3) A one-year old bottle with cheesecake. Ages well. Malty with traces of VA honey and with a small bite at end. (2) Malty caramel with touches of honey and sherry. Alcohol and sherry begin to dominate as the beer warms. Not as big as SNBFBW. Would be great with or as dessert. (1) Too cold at first. First sip was like drinking liquid sugar. Very nice as it warms.
Comment: I think that the Old Dominion ceased production of Millenium after Anheuser-Busch acquired 49-51% of the company. The brewer's web site does not list the beer. I bought two six-packs shortly after the acquisition because I feared that AB would adversely affect the quality of the beers offered by the brewer.

Unibroue La Fin du Monde

Beer: La Fin du Monde
Brewer: Unibroue
Style: Tripel
Tasting notes: (2) Cloves, yeasty wheat, banana, white grapes, and alcohol breath. (1) Cloves, alcohol, and apples. Previous review.
Dates on which reviewers at rated it as one of the top 100 beers on the planet: 29 December 2005, 10 March 2007, and 1 January 2009.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bell's Expedition Stout, Chimay Tripel, and Tröegs Nugget Nectar

Beer: Expedition Stout
Brewer: Bells
Style: Imperial Stout
Tasting notes: A bottle from 1.5 years ago. Massive bittersweet chocolate and coffee w/ alcohol, and hops in background. Upgraded from recommended w/ qualifications.
Previous review.
Dates on which reviewers at rated the beer as one of the top 100 beers on the planet: 29 December 2005 and 10 March 2007. (Not on 30 January 2009.)
Rating: Recommended without reservation

Beer: Tripel
Brewer: Chimay
Style: Tripel
Tasting notes: (4) Orange zest and hop bite. More assertive and not a fruity as I remember. Downgraded rating from highly rated to without reservation. (3) Draft @ Belga Café. Wonderful. Funky, light, flavorful, cleansing, hoppy sour bite @ end. Upgraded rating from no reservation to highly rated. (2) A bottle @ Can Can. Very nice, I remember the draft as being fruitier and funkier. (1) A glass @ Daniel's rehearsal dinner. Wonderful, light, funky, w/ hoppy sour bite at end.
Comments: Chimay is one of six Trappists brewers in the world.
Rating: Recommended without reservation

Beer: Nugget Nectar
Brewer: Tröegs
Style: Red Ale
Tasting notes: (3) Ditto, A tiche too much pine and perfume. Downgraded rating. (2) Flavorful, hoppy, red ale w/ just a tiche of perfume. Upgraded rating from good to with reservation. (1) Better. No perfume.
Previous review.
Dates on which reviewers at Beeradvocate rated it as one of the top 100 beers on the planet: 29 December 2005, 10 March 1007, and 30 January 2009.
Comments: This is a well crafted beer whose flavor profile misses my mark.
Rating: Good