Saturday, December 26, 2009

Peche Mortel

Brewer: Brasserie Dieu du Ciel

Style: Imperial Stout

Tasting notes: (0912) Sweet coffee w/ a dash of vanilla. Easy drinking.

Comments: Brewed w/ coffee. Peche Mortel = mortal sin.

Top 100: 29 December 2005, 10 March 2007, and 26 December 2009.

Rating: 5 glasses

Pride and Joy

Brewer: Three Floyds

Style: Pale Ale

Tasting notes: See previous review.

Rating: 5 glasses

Friday, December 25, 2009

Calva Reserva

Brewer: Smisje

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Tasting notes: (0912) Baked apples and very easy drinking. Purchased after tasting @ Mekong a few days earlier.

Rating: 4 glasses


Brewer: Three Floyds

Style: American Pale Wheat

Tasting notes: (0912) A hopped up American wheat ale. Citrus and lemon and a hint of banana. I think that the beer needs more body to carry the hops. Downgraded from 4 glasses. (0707) Interesting, light yet flavorful. A dark wit? May rate 5/8. (0606) Red wheat and lemony hops. Fuller than a Hefe. No cloves or bananas.

Top 100: 29 December 2005. Not 10 March 2007.

Rating: 3 glasses

N'Ice Chouffe

Brewer: d'Achouffe

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Tasting notes: (0912) A year-old bottle. First sips were wonderful - complex, malty, and slightly sweet and malty. As I drank, the spices emerged. They were neither bad nor my cup of tea.

Rating: 3 glasses

Winter Solstice

Brewer: Anderson Valley

Style: Winter Warmer

Tasting notes: (0912) A brown ale w/ spices? Upgraded from 1 glass. (0912) A big malt bomb w/ spices. Well crafted but missed my mark.

Rating: 2 glasses

Rose de Gambrinus

Brewer: Cantillon

Style: Fruit lambic

Tasting notes: (0912) An interesting brew. A little too sweet and fruity, not enough tart. May rate 4 glasses.

Comment: Great artwork on the label.

Rating: 3 glasses


Brewer: Orval

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Tasting notes: (1103) A 1 yr. 10 mn. old bottle. Refreshing and good - mild ginger, a hint of pineapple, and brett. A solid 6. (1005) Complex, refreshing, and Brett. (1002) A 1 yr 3 mn old bottle. Oak and brett. Thought about downgrade to 5 glasses. (0911) A bottle @ Can Can, bottled 7 mns. ago. Ditto as previous review. Went great w/ cheese plate.

Comments: This brewery is one of only only seven that may carry the name “Trappist”.

Previous ratings: 7 glasses

Rating: 6 glasses

Aventinus Wheat Doppelbock

Brewer: Schneider

Style: Weizenbock

Tasting notes: (0911) A bottle @ Can Can. Cloves and bananas. Nice, but seemed thinner than I remembered. Downgraded from 7 glasses, especially when followed by Orval. Previous review.

Top 100: 29 December 2005, 10 March 2007, and 14 October 2009.

Rating: 6 glasses

Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Brewer: North Coast

Style: Imperial Stout

Tasting notes: (1103) Ditto. (0911) Pleasant dark chocolate, a hint of coffee and hops. Flavorful, complex, and easy drinking. Previous review.

Top 100: 29 December 2005, 10 March 2007, and 04 April 2009.

Rating: 5 glasses

The Gift (WinterBock Lager)

Brewer: Starr Hill

Style: Maibock

Tasting notes: (0910) A well made bock, some toasty malt w/ a tiche of sweet, spices, and hops. Simply another malty brew (bocks ad Scottish ales) that does not fit my taste buds. May rate one glass.

Rating: 0 glasses

Expedition Stout

Brewer: Bells

Style: Imperial Stout

Tasting notes: (1101) A 3-yr 5-mn old bottle. Last bottle in my cellar. Big and almost mellow. I think fresh is better. (1009) A 1 yr 10 mn old bottle. Massive. Cocoa w/ a touch of charcoal and alcohol. Downgraded to 4 glasses from 5. I appreciate the craft in the beer but, in the end, don't enjoy it as much as beers rated 5 glasses. (1006) A 2 yr. 5.5 mn. old bottle. Deep, dark chocolate. Upgraded from 4 glasses. (1003) A 3 yr. 5 mn. old bottle. Sweet, burnt, dark chocolate. I kept wondering if I really liked it. Upgraded from 3 glasses. (1002) A 6.2 old bottle. Massive dark chocolate. May rate 4 glasses. I'll continue to age other bottles in the cellar. (1001) A 2.4 bottle. Big and massive with some soy. Went well w/ chilli but at end I was glad to see the bottle empty and did not like what I was tasting. Downgraded from 5 glasses. I think I will try an older bottle in the cellar and then decide what to do w/ the rest. (0911) A 2.2 bottle. Massive. Chocolate and charcoal and hops. Aging nicely. Upgraded from 4 glasses.
Previous review.

Top 100: 29 December 2005 and 10 March 2007. (Not on 30 January 2009 or 9 August 2009.)

Previous ratings: 6, 7, 4, 5, 4, 3, 4, 5, 3, 4, 5, 4.

Rating: 4 glasses

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Brewer: Oskar Blues

Style: Imperial Stout

Tasting notes: (1102) A fresh bottle shiiped from the brewer. A great example of th style. Viscous, dark, chocolate and cofffee flavors, a battle between sweekt, bitter, and astringent, w/ hops lurking in background. Thoufht about a downgrade to 5 glasses. MAY be better w/ age. (0911) A 1.5-yr. old can. Delightful. Viscous pour. Dark chocolate w/ a perfect amount of bitterness. No sourness. Upgraded from 5 glasses. Previous review.

Top 100: 15 December 2009 and 03 May 2009 but neither 29 December 2005 nor 10 March 2007.

Rating: 6 glasses

Baltic Thunder

Brewer: Victory

Style: Baltic Porter

Tasting notes: (0911) A bottle purchased one year ago. Lager flavor w/ figs and prunes and a tiche of smoke. Very nice on a cool Fall afternoon tailgate party w/ smoke ribs and chili. Previous review.

Rating: 5 glasses

Grand Reserve (Blue)

Brewer: Chimay

Style: Quadruple

Tasting notes: (1106) A bottle w/ about 6-8 months on it. A delight.(1101) Complex and difficult to describe. Not sweet as I was expecting. Musty apples, a dash of cinnamon, and a light hop bite. Complexity may merit 6 glasses. (0911) A bottle in NYC. Brown sugar, apple butter, and light hops. (0701) A delight. Brown sugar, spiced slightly sour oranges, and light hops. Winelike. Upgraded from 2/8. (????) Had a 12 oz. bottle. Looked for something else after the bottle was empty.May be worth another try.

Top 100: 29 December 2005. (Not March 2007 or 15 December 2009.)

Previous ratings: 2, then 5 glasses

Rating: 6 glasses


Brewer: Cantillon

Style: Gueuze

Tasting notes: (0911) A bottle at SD21 in NYC. Nice and tart and complex. A tiche milder than I remembered. Girardin rules. Click here for a previous review.

Rating: 7 glasses

Anniversary Ale - Sixteen

Brewer: Avery

Style: Saison

Tasting notes: (0910) A nice, easy drinking Saison. A tiche sweet and more amber color. Some funk. May rate a 5.

Rating: 4 glasses

Abbey Ale

Brewer: Ommegang

Style: Dubbel

Tasting notes: (1105) Fruity, spicy, complex and interesting but not my cup of tea. Downgraded from 5. May be better w/ age or on draft. (1103) A 12 oz. bottle recently purchased from TWB. Fruity, yeasty, clove, cinnamon?, burgundy?. Downgraded from 6 glasses and thought about 4. (1012) On draft @ CAH. Fruity, yeasty, a tiche of clove, and a dose of hops. Very nice. (1005) A bottle @ Belga Cafe. Good but not as great as I remembered. Downgraded from 7 glasses. (0910) A 1-year old bottle. Deliciously complex: malt and dry and a tiche of sour and bitter and burgundy wine and yeasty. Upgraded from 6. Ages wonderfully. Click here for a previous review.

Previous ratings: 4, 6, 7, 6 and 5 glasses

Rating: 5 glasses

Dale's Pale Ale

Brewer: Oskar Blues Style: Pale Ale Tasting notes: (1103) A 6-pack from Best Value. A bit musty. Thought about a downgrade to 3 glasses. (1004) On Draft @ Water Grill. Hoppy with a little funny sour taste. I wondered if the line was clean. (0910) On draft @ Joe's Inn. A nice, hoppy, pale ale. It blurs the line between pale ale and IPA. Thought about upgrading to 5 glasses. (0806) 3rd of the 6. Downgraded from 5. Tastes "tinny". (0806) 2 from a 6er. Some piney hops. Good but not great. Downgraded to 5 and thought about a 4. (0805) A can from CK. Very pleasant. A little tiche of sweet malt, a nice dose of hops. Very drinkable. May rate a 5 based on taste but gave it a 6 for the style and drinkability. Would be a wonderful session beer. Rating: 4 glasses

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mekong Beer Night

Here is a picture of me enjoying a special beer at Mekong Restaurant in December 2009.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Beer Alley

Here is a picture of one of my daughters and a male friend in front of the Beer Alley at the home store for Whole Foods.