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

Shakespeare Stout

Brewer: Rogue

Style: Stout

Tasting notes: (1001) Ditto. as previous review. Nice smokey bite at end.

Comments: Downgraded from 6 glasses; it doesn't seem as "full" or "thick" as I remember it.

Top 100: 29 December 2005 and 10 March 2007. (Not on 3 August 2009.)

Rating: 5 glasses.

Bigfoot Barleywine-Style Ale

Brewer: Sierra Nevada

Style: Barleywine

Tasting notes: (1103) A fresh, 2011, bottle. Malty and long bitter finish. Hops were strong but not overpowering. The sensation of biting into a grapefruit with lots of pith emerged as I drank the beer. (1101) A 2010 bottles about 1 year ago. Yummy caramel and honey and subdued bitterness and long bitter aftertaste. (1101) A 2006 bottle cellared almost 5 years. Marvelous sweet barley malt followed by pungent yet restrained piney hop bite. A tiche of chocolate in the malt? Is the chocolate sherry? Best beer ever? (1003) My favorite beer? (1003) A fresh 2010 bottle. What's for dessert? (1001) A fresh 2010 bottle. Smoother than I remember w/ a bite that grows. Fantastic. (1001) A 2006 bottle cellared for almost 4 years. Marvelous sweet barley malt followed by pungent yet restrained piney hop bite. A tiche of chocolate in the malt? Previous Review.

Comment: The beer is getting better and better with age.

Top 100: 29 December 2005 but not 10 March 2007 or 26 September 2009.

Rating: 7 glasses

Ichtegem's Grand Cru

Brewer: Strubbe

Style: Flanders Oud Bruin

Tasting notes: (1001) Pleasant blend of sweet and tart apples and vinegar. Very easy drinking and quenching. May rate 5 glasses.

Rating: 6 glasses - 4 glasses

Saison - Brett

Brewer: Boulevard

Style: Saison

Tasting notes: (1308) Nice with a touch of bret. A glass on draft @ Mekong. Downgraded from 6 glasses. (1101) Mellowed over the year. A wonderful quaffable saison w/ a touch of pineapple. May rate 5 glasses. (1001) Ginger ale and pineapple. Sweet up front and w/ slight citrus bite at end. Quaffable.

Top 100: 9 January 2010. Not available 29 December 2005 or 10 March 2007.

Rating: 5 glasses

World Wide Stout

Brewer: Dogfish Head

Style: Imperial Stout

Tasting notes: (0912) Prunes cooked in soy sauce. Interesting in a freak-show kind of way.

Top 100: 29 December 2005 but not 10 March 2007.

Rating: 1 glass

Friday, January 8, 2010

Monster Ale

Brewer: Brooklyn
Style: English Barley Wine
Tasting notes: (0912) A draft @ Mekong. Big sweet dark malt. Upgraded from 4 glasses. (0710) A 2006 bottle. A little caramel, a little chocolate(?), a little sherry, and a little too hot. Might age well.
Rating: 5 glasses


Brewer: Weyerbacher

Style: American Barley Wine

Tasting notes: (0912) What a differnce a year made. Sweet apples, a dash of sherry, and some rye. English barleywineish up front with a slight sourish hop bite at end. Probably a 4 for this bottle. The rating is a weighted average. (0811) Malt, tart apples, lemon flavor, with husky hop bite. Didn't fit.

Rating: 3 glasses


Brewer: Weihenstephaner
Style: Berliner Weissbier
Tasting notes: (0912) Green apples. Refreshing and easy drinking. Reminds me of a fruity, slightly tart, Belgian Pale Ale. May rate 5 glasses.
Comment: A contract brew for Dr. Fritz Briem . Dr. Briem has a passion for reviving forgotten sytles. He is also the driving force behind 13th Century Gruit.
Rating: 4 glasses

Vintage Ale

Brewer: Fullers

Style: Old Ale

Tasting notes: (0912) A 5-yr old bottle dated 2004. A luscious and subdued blend of spice, malt, and lactic acid. May rate 7 glasses.

Top 100: 29 December 2005 but not 10 March 2007.

Rating: 6 glasses

2009 Vintage Ale

Brewer: Trader Joe's
Style: Strong Belgian Dark Ale
Tasting notes: (1101) Eh? Too much licorice. Downgraded from 4. (1101) Nice beer. Good value. (0912) Interesting, complex and smooth. Some clove, some chocolate, and (??) nutmeg, cinnamon, hazelnut, and licorice. May rate 5 glasses. A terrific value @ $4.99.
Comment: A contract brew w/ Unibrue.
Previous rating: 4 glasses.
Rating: 3 glasses

Black Chocolate Stout

Brewer: Brooklyn

Style: Imperial Stout

Tasting notes: (1101) A year-old 2009-10 bottle. Chocolate malt w/ a flash of charcoal. Very nice. (1008) A 2006-07 bottle, 4.5 yr. old. Chocolate nose. Almost soy but not, Bitter/sour end. Dry port? (1004) A 3-yr-old bottle from 2006-07. First sip was bittersweet chocolate and charcoal dust. Sippable and quaffable. Upgraded from 4 glasses. (1001) A fresh bottle from 09-10. Dark chocolate syrup. Downgraded from 5 glasses. (0912) A 3-yr. old bottle from 06-07. A delightful, deep, dark, stout. Some port peeking out? Upgraded from 4 glasses.
Previous review.

Top 100: 29 December 2005 but not 10 March 2007 or 26 September 2009.

Comments: This beer seems to vary slightly by year and improves w/ age.

Previous ratings: 5, 6, 4, 3, then 4 glasses.

Rating: 5 glasses