Saturday, December 19, 2009
At D's Six Pax and Dogz in Pittsburgh I ordered a glass of Shmaltz He'brew Jewbilation Bar Mitzvah. This is the thirteenth anniversary of this beer and the ingredients include 13 hops and 13 malts. The beer has a deep black color with a tan thick head. There is a small hop hint in the malt aroma. The taste consists of burnt hops with a nice hop balance. I can pick up some honey flavor with chocolate and toffee. It should also not be a surprise that the thirteen theme is continued with an alcohol content that is 13% ABV. I thought that this was an excellent beer and was not too dry. The alcohol is not too overpowering despite being so high, but it does find a way to warm you up during the colder months.
Friday, December 18, 2009
I want to give a huge shout out to Brass Rail Deli in Campbelltown, PA. The sent several of their employees to Troegs to pick up Splinter bottles on relase day, and by luck I happened to be shopping there and pick up their last bottle of Red (Although you could say they were the reason I did not get a bottle, but I am only happy that I got a bottle of Red). The Red is Mad Elf that was aged for six weeks in bourbon barrels and then bottle aged for eight months.
The beer pours much darker and thicker than Mad Elf. The color is changed from vibrant red to a brown color with light red hues. As with Mad Elf, there is minimal head. The aroma consists of the cherries from Mad Elf but with bourbon accents. I thought that the taste is rounded out a little more than Mad Elf and lacks the front end alcohol bite. The wood and bourbon lead the charge in the mouth. The chocolate and cherries are still there, but I cannot find the honey anymore. The finish is where the alcohol bite is located, and it kicks a little harder with bourbon flavoring. The alcohol content is 11.0% ABV, just like mad elf. I thought that this a very excellent alteration to an already good Mad Elf. I can pick up new flavors as well, with coconut being one of them and the wood barrels really coming to front end of the experience. The finish is very dry and the bourbon latches on to your tongue. Just like the Gold, I really wish that the Red was more readily available, as I would like to buy a few more bottles.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
I stopped in to the Troegs brewery on December 16 to pick up bottles of the newly released Splinter series, but I was only fortunate enough to be able to purchase the Gold. The Gold originally saw daylight as Scratch #3-2007, but has been aged in oak wine barrels dosed with brettanomyces. I don't recall having Scratch #3 in the past, but I am a fan of tripels and I have heard good things about the original beer.
Moving on to the two-year aged tripel that was re-birthed as Gold, the beer has a yellow gold color with a foamy and carbonated head. The head floats lofty in the chalice glass, and it makes you let the beer warm up a bit before drinking it so the head recedes, which is for the betterment of the flavors in the beer. The smell is full of banana and white grapes aromas. The taste is very sweet and banana filled and there is an underlying grape hint, which gives the beer a whole new dimension. The beer finishes slightly dry and all throughout the experience, it has a decent kick of alcohol. The alcohol content is 12% ABV. I thought that the beer had a nice bubbly feel in the mouth. This beer definitely took on some characteristics of the wine barrels that it was aged in. I have heard some people complain about the carbonation level in the beer, but I thought the extra carbonation made the beer take on properties of a wine while maintaining its enjoyment as a beer. Overall, I thought the beer was excellent and I only wish I could buy more, even with the $22.99 price tag.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Another beer that my roommate picked up for me for my birthday was the Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V. (coolest brewer website ever!) Kasteel Triple. The beer has a golden color with a very lofty head that filled the glass. It smells of banana and grapes. The taste is full of flavor composed mostly of a banana taste on the front end tasted like a sweet apple juice on the finish. The alcohol content is 11.0% ABV. I thought that this beer really packed a flavor punch, in addition to an alcohol punch. The 11% will catch up with you, but not as much the apple flavor. Check this beer out if you have a chance.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
My roommate bought me a bottle of Brasserie d'Achouffe Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel for my birthday. The beer has a golden color with a very lofty and creamy head. The head along the sides of the glass actually sinks before the center head does, creating a plateau of head. The yeast flakes are floating and circulating within the beer, and the carbonation plays volleyball with them. The smell is full of banana and yeast. The taste is very smooth with a nice alcohol bite all the way through the experience. It has banana flavors with pepper and other spice accents from the hops. The alcohol content is 9.0% ABV. This beer was very excellent and was quite an experience. Between the circulating yeast flakes, the lofty and structurally sound head, and the diversity of flavors, the is clearly a well crafted and much appreciated beer. It is smooth yet hoppy, but not at all dry on the tongue.
Monday, December 14, 2009
My roommate picked up a case of Weyerbacher Fourteen and gave me a bottle to try. The beer has a golden color with a light head. Looking into the glass, you can notice the yeast flakes floating. The smell is sweet with a wheat aroma and lemony accent with a slight spice hint. The taste is sweet with an alcohol bite and slight banana accent. The alcohol content is 11.8% ABV. I thought that this beer was excellent and would be even better with age. The label suggests that you cellar the beer, and I can only imagine that it gets much better with the amount of yeast in the bottle.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
While at Appalachian Brewing Company, I noticed that they had the Water Gap Wheat on cask. This version also took on the name Wet Hopped Palermo. The beer has a lofty head and a pale yellow color. There is a light lemon aroma. It has creamy taste in the head, and it turns light and sweet when you reach the beer. There is a slight lemon accent later in the experience. The alcohol content of the Water Gap Wheat 4.5% ABV. This was a very enjoyable version of the Water Gap Wheat, and I liked it better than the normal draft.