Tuesday, September 7, 2010

120 Minute IPA

Brewer: Dogfish Head

Style: Double IPA

Tasting notes: (1009) A 1-yr 10-mn. old bottle. Ditto as
previous review, but smoother. Ages wonderfully.

Rating: 7 glasses

Two Hearted Ale

Brewer: Bell's

Style: IPA

Tasting notes: (1008) Well constructed but a floral perfumey flavor missed my spot. May rate 3 glasses. (0810) Ditto as before. (0702) Did not hit my spot. Very floral hops. Cloves or chives.

Top 100: 29 December 2005, 10 March 2007, and 07 September 2010.

Rating: 2 glasses

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Oktoberfest Beer

Brewer: Brooklyn

Style: Oktoberfest

Tasting notes: (1008) Made for drinking. Thinking about 6 glasses. (1008) A definite 5. (1008) Buttered toast. May rate 4 glasses but left the rating @ 5 because it is my favorite example of the style and something I want to buy each year. (0809) Toasty with hops to balance. Flavorful and easy drinking. I should get another 6-pack next year. Torn between a 4 and a 5 rating.

Rating: 5 glasses

Saison

Brewer: Fantôme

Style: Saison

Tasting notes: (1008) Quaffable and complex. A little apple up front w/ interesting sour/dry aftertaste. Though about 5 glasses. (0808) Dry apple cider w/ a musty bite @ end. Different, interesting and complex.

Top 100: 29 December 2005, 10 March 2007, and 14 August 2010.

Rating: 4 glasses

Harvest Ale

Brewer: J. W. Lees

Style: English Barleywine

Tasting notes: (1008) A 12-yr old bottle brewed in 1998. Sticky sweet burnt caramel, molasses, leather, apple butter, and prunes. Big, bold, complex, and smotth. Upgraded from 6 glasses. I though about the taste for days. (0808) A 1998 vintage. Massive taste and viscous consistency. Cream brulee, bananas foster, sugared prunes, raisins, a tiche of leather and slight alcohol burn. Upgraded from 4 glasses. (0612) A bottle dated 2000. Complex. Big malty taste up front, esp. when cold, fading to a sour hop bite. Good with peach flan. Sipped for 2+ hours. A better version of Third Coast Old Ale?

Top 100: 29 December 2005, 10 March 2007, and 14 August 2010.

Comments: Previous ratings were 4 and then 6.

Rating: 7 glasses

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Oude Geuze

Brewer: Drie Fonteine

Style: Gueze

Tasting notes: (1008) A 2 yr 7 mn old bottle. Tartness is muted by oak. Hints of apple and grapefruit. Complex and quaffable. (0803) Not as tart as Girardin. More apple and smokey oak. Complex and quaffable. Upgraded from 4. (0712) Grapefruit cider. Vineous and refreshing.

Top 100: 10 March 2007 but not 29 December 2005 or 14 August 2010.

Rating: 6 glasses

Big D.I.P.A.

Brewer: Blue Mountain

Style: Double IPA

Tasting notes: (1008) On draft @ Southwinds. A great hop delivery vehicle. May rate 6 glasses.

Rating: 5 glasses

Kriek

Brewer: Oud Beersel

Style: Fruit Lambic

Tasting notes: (1008) NOT Oude Kriek. Lacks tartness and tastes of artificial sweetner.

Rating: 1 glass

Salvator

Brewer: Paulaner

Style: Doppelbock

Tasting notes: (1103) Good but lacked the sweetness and dark fruits. Downgraded from 5 glasses after drinking Old Rasputin. (1007) A delightful bottle from Jon S., sweet malty caramel with dark fruits. It is what I remembered from years ago @ Avalon.

Previous ratings: 5 glasses

Rating: 4 glasses

Old #38 Stout

Brewer: North Coast

Style: Irish Stout

Tasting notes: (1007) A bottle @ Acacia. A great example of the style - dry and crisp with chocolate and smoke undertones. May rate 4 glasses.

Rating: 3 glasses

90 Minute IPA

Brewer: Dogfish Head

Style: Double IPA

Tasting notes: (1007) On drart @ Joe's Inn. Citrous and pine and malt and complex and balanced. Upgraded from 5 glasses. (0711) A glass @ CAH. Very nice. Good hops balanced by sweet malt. Still thinking about a rating of 6. (0609) One bottle. A great beer. Complex and balanced. At first I noticed smooth citrous hops with nice malt backbone. It had a lemon flavor at the end of a taste. As it warmed, the malts came forward and it remined me of an English Barleywine. May rate a 6/8. I wonder if it "aged" sitting in my refrig for a while.

Top 100: 29 December 2005, 10 March 2007, and 14 August 2010.

Rating: 6 glasses

Keller Pils

Brewer: Tuppers

Style: Pilsner

Tasting notes: (1007) A tasty pils w/ a nice, rough, grassy hoppiness. May rate 4 glasses but I keep wanting to buy it again. A tiche pricey, however.

Comment: Brewed by contract by St. George

Rating: 5 glasses

Summer Ale

Brewer: St. George

Style: Pale Ale

Tasting notes: (1006) English style pale ale.

Rating: 2 glasses

Ruination

Brewer: Stone

Style: Double IPA

Tasting notes: (1006) Ditto altough the grapefruit was not as promounced as I remember. 0706: Moved to 4 in new rating. (0602) Floral, hoppy nose. Plenty of hops taste but milder than I expected (or advertized on the bottle). Strong grapefruit aftertaste. Would be fun to share with a hop head, although my recollection is that Bear Republic Racer X would be a better choice.

Top 100: 29 December 2005, 10 March 2007, and 14 August 2010.

Rating: 4 glasses

Whiskey-Barrel Aged Gonzo

Brewer: Flying Dog

Style: Baltic Porter

Tasting notes: (1006) On tap @ Mekong. Bigger and bolder than Gonzo.

Rating: 4 glasses

Gonzo

Brewer: Flying Dog

Style: Baltic Porter

Tasting notes: (1006) On tap @ Mekong. Big and bold.

Rating: 3 glasses

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Ommegang Rare Vos

Brewer: Ommegang

Style: Belgian Dark Ale

Tasting notes: (1008) On draft @ Southwinds. Eh? Not as bold as I remembered. Downgraded from 5 glasses. (Click
here for a previous review.

Rating: 4 glasses

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ale

Brewer: Sierra Nevada

Style: Pale Ale

Tasting notes: (1006) Nice hoppy pale ale. Upgraded from 3 and may rate 5. (0805) A English version of an APA? Nice. Lacks bite of the regular harvest ale.

Rating: 4 glasses

Scarlet Lady

Brewer: Stoudts

Style: ESB

Tasting notes: (1006) Roasty malts with a sour tinniness at end. May rate 2 glasses.

Rating: 3 glasses

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Blue Ribbon

Brewer: Pabst

Style: Macro Lager

Tasting notes: (1006) A bottle for $1 @ Mosiac. A little corn sweetness, smooth and drinkable. Good deal for $1. Better than Bud.

Rating: 2 glasses

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunray Wheat Ale

Brewer: Terrapin

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Tasting notes: (1006) 4th bottle. Liking it less. Downgraded from 3 glasses. (1005) Decent and easy drinking hefe. Lacks complexity and punch. A good substitute for a pilsner. May rate 2 glasses.

Rating: 2 glasses

Boston Lager

Brewer: Samuel Adams

Style: Vienna Lager

Tasting notes: (1012) A few bottles @ parties. Upgraded from 2 glasses. (0701) Decent

Previous rating: 2 glasses

Rating: 3 glasses

Kentucky Breakfast Stout

Brewer: Founders

Style: Imperial Stout

Tasting notes: (1012) 2nd of the 4-pack. Big sweet bourbony malt w/ touch of vanilla. Not my cup of tea and disjointed. Downgraded from 4 glasses. (1006) 1st of a 4-pack. Release was delayed in VA for label approval. A ton going on. An odd effervesent tanginess up front, chocolate, coffee, and sweet vanilla w/ a hint of bourbon. Almost quaffable. I can see why it is rated so high but am not sure if this is my cup of tea or if everything comes together well. I was also put off by the odd tanginess - it reminded me of the sensation generated by eating fruit that has started to "turn" from a salad bar. It may also need time to "stew". I'll try another bottle in the winter.

Top 100: 01 March 2007 and 13 June 2010. (But not 29 December 2005. I don't think it existed then.)

Previous ratings: 4 glasses

Rating: 3 glasses

Vinyl

Brewer: Magic Hat

Style: Red Lager

Tasting notes: (1006) A bottle @ ML's. Pleasant and easy drinking with accent on malt.

Rating: 3 glasses

Raging Bitch

Brewer: Flying Dog

Style: Belgian IPA

Tasting notes: (1006) A bottle @ ML's. Nice, hopped-up Belgian Pale Ale. May rate 4 glasses but I liked it better than Founder KBS.

Rating: 5 glasses

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Golden Cap

Brewer: New Holland

Style: Saison

Tasting notes: (1005) Sweet, spicy, and effervesent.

Rating: 4 glasses

Undercover Investigator Shut-Down Ale

Brewer: Lagunitas

Style: Strong Ale

Tasting notes: (1005) A bottle @ Avalon.Sweet malt dominates with loads of hops in the background. Lagunitas calls is an Imperial Mild. I thought is was close to a good English Barleywine.

Rating: 5 glasses

Saison Rue

Brewer: Bruery

Style: Saison

Tasting notes: (1005) A bottle @ Acacia. A saison with a kick of rye and a hint of brett. May rate 5 glasses.

Rating: 4 glasses

Framboise

Brewer: Lindemans

Style: Fruit Lambic

Tasting notes: (1005) A perfect pairing w/ Mother's Day brunch. Raspberry Sweet Tart. Good w/ dessert. Upgraded from 2 glasses. (0706) Moved to 2 in new rating. Sweet and fruity but still beer. A little is nice but a good portion of 750 ml was too much. I was glad, not sad, to see the empty.

Rating: 4 glasses

Premium Pils

Brewer: Bitburger

Style: Pilsner

Tasting notes: (1005): A minikeg. Eh? Unoffensive. Following a Paulener Weiss may have hurt the rating. May rate 2 glasses.

Rating: 1 glass

Arrogant Bastard

Brewer: Stone

Style: Strong Ale

Tasting notes: (1005) On draft @ Joe's Inn. Still rough but much more mellow than I remember. Sort of like drinking cracked barley. Upgraded from 2. 0706: Moved to 2 in new rating. 602: Loads of flavor. Sort of a Barleywine with a rough taste with more hops and a bitter end taste. I much prefer SNBFBW.

Top 100: 29 December 2005. (Neither March 2007, 2009 or June 09, 2010.)

Rating: 4 glasses

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Maerfant Damse

Brewer: Steenberge

Style: Tripel

Tasting notes: (1004) On draft @ Mekong. Candy sugar, apples, and a spciy finish with a tiche of hops. Pleasant, a tiche sweet, and easy drinking.

Comment: An called it "Naked Draak", I think I have the correct brew but may have the wrong name.

Rating: 5 glasses

Gulden Draak

Brewer: Steenberge

Style: Strong Belgian Dark Ale

Tasting notes: (1102) A yeasty, spicy, dubbel w/ a clove kick. Downgraded from 6 glasses. (1008) A bottle @ Joe's Inn. A clove fizzy? Thought about a downgrade. (1004) On draft @ Mekong. Yummy, complex, flavorful, and easy drinking.. Tiches of candy sugar, malt, yeast, caramel, and spicy hops. I think it tastes like a Dubbel. The brewery calls it a dark tripel. I call it good.

Previous ratings: 6 glasses

Rating: 5 glasses

Stockyard Oatmeal Stout

Brewer: Goose Island

Style: Oatmeal Stout

Tasting notes: (1005) A tiche bland. Downgraded from 4 glasses. (1004) A nice stout with pleasant light smokey chocolate touches. Great value @ $5.99/6 pack. (0904) Pleasant stout and a great value. (0711) Needs more kick. @ $5 it may be worth another try. (0701) Last of a 6 pack. Chocolate and coffee smell. (0612) Pleasant and a good value. Charcoal and sweet malt. Needs a bit more kick and a little thin.

Comments: This is a contract brew for Trader Joe's by Goose Island. I don't know if the recipe is the same as the Goose Island Oatmeal Stout.

Rating: 3 glasses

Pure Brewed Lager

Brewer: Samuel Smith

Style: Lager

Tasting notes: (1004) A bottle @ Edo Squids. Grainy.

Rating: 2 glasses

Red's Rye PA

Brewer: Founders

Style: Rye Beer

Tasting notes: (1005) Ditto w/ some sweetness @ first. (1005) Very nice. Hoppy red ale w/ a tiche of rye. Might rate 5 glasses. (1004) Nice hoppy, rye bite.

Rating: 4 glasses

Witbier

Brewer: St. Bernardus

Style: Witbier

Tasting notes: (1004) On draft @ Mekong. Ditto. (0703) The perfect wit - light, refreshing, yeasty, fruity, and extremely quaffable.

Rating: 6 glasses


Hop-It

Brewer: Urthel

Style: Belgian IPA

Tasting notes: (1004) A bottle ordered by mistake @ Water Grill. A hopped-up Belgian Pale Ale.

Rating: 4 glasses

Monday, May 24, 2010

Saison

Brewer: Dupont

Style: Saison

Tasting notes: (1105) Complex w/ a slight perfume sourness. Dry and refreshing. Upgraded from 5 glasses. (1004) Complex and funky. Fruity @ first and dry @ end. Upgraded to 5. (0709) Complex and funky. I did not like the sour taste at end but the flavor became more appealing as I sipped. Very refreshing. Upgraded from a 1. (0606) A funky saison. I did not like the bitter, sour, ??, aftertaste.


Previous ratings: 1, 4, and 5 glasses

Rating: 6 glasses

Sparkling Ale

Brewer: Bells

Style: Tripel

Tasting notes: (1003) On draft @ Mekong. OK. A tiche of sweet.

Rating: 3 glasses

Batch 9000

Brewer: Bells

Style: Strong Ale

Tasting notes: (1003) On draft @ Mekong. An massive, over-the-top, and sticky sweet mixture of chocolate, molasses, and hops.

Rating: 4 glasses

Oarsman

Brewer: Bells

Style: Berliner Weissbier

Tasting notes: (1304) A bottle @ Avalon. Ditto as before. An easy-gonig sour. Solid 4. (1003) On draft @ Mekong. Light, lemony, and flavorful. May rate 3 glasses.

Rating: 4 glasses

Robust Porter

Brewer: Smuttynose

Style: Porter

Tasting notes: 1005) Last of the 6. Upgraded from 4 to 5 glasses after following it with Stockyard Oatmeal Stout. (1003) Flavorful, easy drinking, and nice smokey bite at finish. A dry Irish stout? May rate 5 glasses.

Rating: 5 glasses

Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout

Brewer: Great Divide

Style: Imperial Stout

Tasting notes: (1003) On draft @ Mekong. Complex mix of roasty malt and chocolate with undertone of oak. Upgraded from 5 glasses. (0707) Sweet malt up front w/ hint of vanilla, alcohol burn, and burnt bite at end. (Too) easy drinking.

Top 100: 29 December 2005, 10 March 2007, 25 November 2008, and 24 May 2009.

Rating: 6 glasses

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Saisonnière

Brewer: Urthel

Style: Saison

Tasting notes: (1008) On tap @ Mekong. Nice, easy drinking w/ an interesting dry funky finish. May rate 5 glasses.

Rating: 4 glasses

Friday, April 2, 2010

1882 Black Label Gueuze

Brewer: Girardin

Style: Gueuze

Tasting notes: (1308) A recent bottle led to a downgrade from 7 glasses. It is really good but not as tart as I wanted or remembered. (1002) A bottle purchased 4 mn ago. See previous review. Cantillon may be better??

Top 100: 10 March 2007 and 8 February 2009. (Not on 29 December 2005.)

Rating: 6 glasses.

Elwood Thompson Fresh Farmhouse Ale









Brewer: Blue and Gray

Style: Saison

Tasting notes: (1003) An odd collection of fruit, funk and sour flavors. OK w/ food.

Rating: 2 glasses.

Noble Pils

Brewer: Samuel Adams

Style: Pilsner

Tasting notes: (1003) Pleasant. I wanted more hops.

Rating: 3 glasses.

Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout




Brewer: Bluegrass

Style: Imperial Stout

Tasting notes: (1008) On draft @ Joe's Inn. Too much bourbon and vanilla. Overbearing. Downgraded from 4 glasses and then from 3 a few days later. (1003) On draft @ Joe's Inn. Ditto. (0608) A pint at CAH. A good stout with vanilla with a touch of bourbon. The bourbon grows as the beer warms. Very (too?) smooth, not a sipper and the alcohol was totally hidden. I wanted more bite and body.

Rating: 2 glasses.

IPA

Brewer: Lagunitas

Style: IPA

Tasting notes: (1003) Cask ale @ Mekong. Crisp, clean, and hoppy. Rates at least a 5. Let's split the difference and go 3 to 4. (0805) Downgraded to 3. (0709) A bottle @ Mekong. Sweet malt, spicy hops. Pleasant and good w food.

Rating: 4 glasses.

Brown Sugga' (cask)

Brewer: Lagunitas

Style: Strong Ale

Tasting notes: (1003) Cask @ Mekong. Very nice, muted, balanced, and complex.

Rating: 5 glasses.

Cappuccino Stout

Brewer: Lagunitas

Style: Stout

Tasting notes: (1003) Cask ale @ Mekong. Very nice stout, with nice dose of coffee. Rates at least 5. Let's split the difference and go 3 to 4. (0810) A bottle in Harrisonburg. Coffee! A little one dimensional and a tiche thin.

Rating: 4 glasses.

Friday, March 5, 2010

10

Brewer: Trappistes Rochefort

Style: Quadruple

Tasting notes: (1002) A 1 mn 4 mn old bottle. Complex and quaffable. Luxuriant mouthfeel. Wonderfully balanced.

Top 100: 29 December 2005, 10 March 2007, and 5 March 2009.
Rating: 7 glasses.

Old Viscosity

Brewer: Port

Style: Strong Ale

Tasting notes: (1003) A bottle purchased 1 yr and 11 mn ago. Baltic Porter and muted Arrogant Bastard. Downgraded from 5 glasses. (0806) A bottle purchased 2 mn ago. A mixture of Baltic Porter and Arrogant Bastard. Lots of coffee, especially when cold, w/ a hoppy finish. Better when cold - was thinking about 6 glasses. A sipper as it warms. A charcoal bite emerges as it warms. Alcohol blast throughout. Bourbon is present but subdued.

Rating: 4 glasses.

Urquell

Brewer: Pilsner

Style: Pilsner

Tasting notes: (1002) A bottle @ Avalon. Wet and cold.

Rating: 2 glasses, downgraded from 3. Click here for previous review.

Porter

Brewer: Founders

Style: Porter

Tasting notes: (1002) A bottle @ Avalon. Stoutlike: dark and rich.


Rating: 5 glasses

Siberian Night

Brewer: Thirsty Dog

Style: Imperial Stout

Tasting notes: (1003) A 1 yr. 11. mn old bottle. Bittersweet chocolate w/ a hint of soy. May be better fresh. (1002) A 1 yr 10 mn old bottle. A disappointment. A tiche of soy, some sour, some bitter chocolate. Downgraded from 7 glasses. This serving would rate at most 4 glasses but I dropped the rating to 5 based on previous tastings. Click here for previous review.

Top 100: 29 December 2005 and 10 March 2007. (Not 10 April 2009.)

Rating: 5 glasses

Prima Pils

Brewer: Victory

Style: Pilsner

Tasting notes: (1104) Upgraded from 4 glasses. Maybe I am becoming a lager fan again. (1103) 1st of a 6er. Nice, crisp, hoppy refreshment. May rate 5 glasses. (1002) On draft @ Joe's Inn. Nice hoppy pils. Went great w/ sailor sandwich. The serving merits 5 glasses but I left the overall rating unchanged. Fresh is good. Click here for previous review.

Previous ratings: 4, 3, 4 glasses

Rating: 4 glasses

Hottenroth Berliner Weisse


Brewer: Bruery

Style: Berliner Weissbier

Tasting notes: (1001) Lemon-lime tartness and refreshment.

Rating: 3 glasses

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Solid Rotation

I am thinking keeping a small stock of three beers on hand. The three beers are: Sierra Nevada Stout, Starr Hill The Love, and Smuttynose Finest Kind IPA. Each of these is reasonably priced and a good example of the style. The diversity of styles and flavors would let me find something to match almost any occasion or food.

I would plan to supplement my standards with some occasional treats and seasonal releases. Some highlights would include: Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier, Founders Imperial Stout, Bigfoot, Hibernation Ale, and a variety of Belgian ales, sours, and gueze.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Love

Brewer: Starr Hill

Style: Hefeweizen

Tasting notes: (1008) Very nice - slight banana and clove. May rate 5 glasses. (1005) Last of 2 6's. Good but downgraded from 5 glasses. (1002) On draft @ Joes's Inn. Would be 6 glasses if not for Weihenstephaner. (1001) Lemony fruit, a tiche of cloves and a touch of banana. Refreshing. May be overrated at 5 glasses but fond memories from my first tasting and drinkability push it up from 4.

Comment: The Love was the hit at a beer festival I attended a few summers ago.

Rating: 4 glasses.

Imperial Stout

Brewer: Founders

Style: Imperial Stout

Tasting notes: (1308) A number of bottles over the last couple of years. The beer is wonderful but I am downgrading from 7 glasses. Maybe my taste for big imperial stouts is diminishing. (1102) A fresh bottle ($3/bottle). Very nice. Smoke, chocolate, and hops w/ alcohol breath, (1001) A 1-yr. old bottle.
Wow! A little chocolate milkshake, a little chocolate syrup, some charcoal, a hint of bourbon, a wonderful mouthfeel and hoppy, smokey, charcoal bite. Wonderfully balanced and the alcohol is totally hidden.

Rating: 6 glasses.

Golden Ale

Brewer: Legend

Style: IPA (?)

Tasting notes: (1010) On draft @ Joe's Inn. A bit of pale malts followed by some harsh hops. Not sure if the glass was worth the happy hour price. (0903) On draft @ Joe's Inns. A tiche sweet, w/ a funny finish. I wondered if the line was clean. Not much hop. May rate a 2.

Comment: The Legend web site does not list Golden Ale. It lists Golden IPA and Pale Ale. A poll on the web site lists Golden Ale and Pale Ale - I guessed Golden Ale = Golden IPA.

Rating: 1 glass.

Aventinus Weizen Eisbock

Brewer: Schneider

Style: Eisbock

Tasting notes: (1001) Complex. Aventinus on steroids? Baked apples w/ cloves and nutneg followed occassionally by an alcohol blast? Upgraded from 5 glasses for being a great example of the style. (0811) Sweet apple cider w/ a touch of clove and nutmeg. More than sippable. Downgraded from 6 glasses. (0604) Sweet prunes and alcohol. A class of 1.

Comment: Eisbock formed by freezing the beer and removing some of the water, thereby concentratinng the flavors and alcohol. I read once that it was discovered when beer was shipped via railcars and drinkers noticed differences in the winter.

Rating: 6 glasses.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Baltic Porter

Brewer: Smuttynose

Style: Baltic Porter

Tasting notes: (1001) Figs and prunes and slightly smokey bite. (0803) Sweet chocolate, coffee, figs, prunes, and alcohol blast.

Comment: This bottle had aged some. I think just under two years.

Rating: 6 glasses