Saturday, January 1, 2011
I ordered a glass of Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Brewer's Choice Grand Cru while at Bocktown in Pittsburgh. The beer pours an amber color with a filmy white head. The aroma is sweet and malty with caramel, pineapple, and grapefruit. The taste is sweet with caramel and toffee before a dry lemon and grapefruit flavor kicks in. Hints of pineapple linger on the tongue. The after taste is dry and warming, which was perfect for a cold winter night. The alcohol content is 9.2% ABV. Of the four 30th Anniversary beers, the Brewer's Choice shot right to the top of the list with its well balanced citrus and caramel flavors. And even with the sweetness, the beer dries out on the finish and warms up your throat.
While at Buffalo Blues for my birthday, I ordered a glass of Rogue Yellow Snow IPA. The beer pours a golden color with a frothy white head. The aroma consists of lemon with a good caramel base and a light pine accent. The taste is loaded with lemon and pine with a good caramel backbone. The beer has a dry floral finish as well that dries out the mouth. The alcohol content is 6.2% ABV. I really enjoyed this IPA, as it balanced citrus and pine hops nicely, all sitting atop a caramel backbone.
Friday, December 31, 2010
I ordered a glass of Rogue Santa's Private Reserve while out for my birthday in Pittsburgh at Buffalo Blues. The beer pours an amber color with a filmy white head that is barely present. The aroma consists of caramel and sweet malts. The taste is sweet at first before toasted malts kick in and dry out the mouth. Helping the dryness as well is that cinnamon comes out to play as well. The alcohol content is 6.0% ABV. All of the flavors in this beer come together is a nice spiciness that is balanced well with sweet malts.
On my birthday weekend in Pittsburgh, I ordered a glass of Philadelphia Brewing Winter Wunder at Buffalo Blues. The beer pours a dark amber color that is almost brown with a foamy tan head. The aroma consists of toasted malts with chocolate accents. The taste is chocolate with toasted malts and a good pine hop accent. The 6.5% ABV. The Winter Wunder is a delicious brew that has a good balance of toasted malts and chocolate without sacrificing the hops in the beer.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
While at Bocktown in Pittsburgh, I ordered a glass of Penn Brewing Company Brewer's Choice Rye P.A. The beer pours a dark amber color with a frothy white head. There is a malty aroma with caramel and rye dominating the nose. The taste is big on caramel with a wonderful rye accent and a good dry pine hop bite on the finish. The after taste left in the mouth is dry but quite pleasant. The alcohol content isn't available online, but I would estimate it around 7.0% ABV. I really enjoyed the caramel and rye interaction on my tongue, as they are complete opposites yet compliment each other quite well. Overall, this is a very drinkable beer with great flavors.
While out for my birthday in Pittsburgh at Buffalo Blues, I ordered a glass of Anderson Valley Hop Ottin IPA. The beer pours a red amber color with a filmy white head. The aroma is sweet with light hints of caramel. The taste is big on caramel and toffee but the finish is lightly watery and leads way to a slight hop bitterness in the aftertaste. The alcohol content is 7.0% ABV. While I noticed that the beer received mostly positive reviews on Beer Advocate, I thought that the Hop Ottin IPA was very disappointing. Overall, there was not enough oomph in the finish or enough hops to balance out the caramel sweetness that comes on the front end of the beer.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
I was given a bottle of East End Coffee Porter (known as Eye Opener Coffee Porter, but don't get Scott from East End started on that one) for my birthday from my friend Brad. The beer pours a deep black color with a frothy mocha color head. The aroma consists of rich dark chocolate with hints of fresh coffee roasting in the nostrils and some molasses. The taste is smooth and immediately hits with the rich chocolate that was in the aroma before dark roasted malts kick in mixed with a wonderful helping of coffee. The finish on the beer is dry and some molasses kicks in with a mocha and cream flavor. The after taste has a sweet sugary coffee flavor and the toasted malts linger on the tongue. The alcohol content is 6.8% ABV. The Coffee Porter has a delicate and perfect balance between coffee and chocolate, especially the rich dark chocolate. On a long winter's night, this beer is a perfect chocolaty treat that will satisfy your sweet tooth.
I picked up a bottle of Stone Lukcy 13asartd (read: Stone Lucky Bastard) from Al's of Hampden and was really excited to try it. This beer is a blend of Arrogant Bastard Ale, Double Bastard Ale, and Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale for the 13th Anniversary of the Arrogant Bastard. The beer pours a read amber color with and frothy white head. The aroma consists of sweet malts with caramel, oak, cherry, flowers, and light hints of lemon and grapefruit. The taste is big and explosive with a big bag of floral hops that provide a nice helping of lemon and grapefruit. Following the hop bomb, a nice smooth caramel flavor comes out on the tongue that is also candy-like. The finish brings out some oak flavors with a hint of of orange and orange. The alcohol content is 8.5% ABV. The Lukcy 13asartd is an amazing beer that has so much going on for both hop heads and with a wonderful sweet background. The citrus accents are very pleasant and really provide a nice balance to this beer that even has the oak accents peek through.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
I stopped in to Al's of Hampden to pick up a growler of Shmaltz Brewing He'brew Rejewvenator 2010 (Year of the Gape). The beer pours a purplish red color with a bubbly off-white head. The aroma consists of sweet malts, grapes, and floral hops. The taste is sweet and malty, grape juice accents, some Belgian yeast, candisugar, and a slightly sour finish. The mouth feel is big and bready and the after taste lingers in the mouth with an earthy and floral bite. The alcohol content is 8.2% ABV. The addition of the grape juice definitely makes this beer lean to the sweet side, but not in a bad way. There is a lot going on, so a second glass is recommended to full gather all of the flavors.
My coworker Greg was home in Long Island and decided to pick up a growler to bring home of Greenport Harbor Anti-Freeze, a winter warmer. The beer pours a brown color with red hues and a thin a bubbly tan head. The aroma consists of toasted malts with some nutmeg hidden in there. The taste is mostly toasted malts with cinnamon and nutmeg accents. The Anti-Freeze has a dry but warming finish and a light dry chocolate flavor peeks through in the after taste. The alcohol content is not available online, but I would estimate it to be around 7.0% ABV. Greenport has only been around for about one year, and they have provided a solid winter warmer that does not over do any of the spices placed in the beer, which is very commendable.
Monday, December 27, 2010
I stopped in to Al's of Hampden to pick up a growler of Avery DuganA Double IPA. The beer pours a golden amber color with a lofty foamy white head. The aroma consists of sweet and sugary grapefruit and a great pine accent. The taste is smooth and creamy with a wonderful grapefruit flavor that taste like sugar has been placed on top of it. The pine flavor comes on the finish and balances out the sweetness delicately. The alcohol content is 8.5% ABV. The sweet grapefruit balance with the alcohol content and pine hop bitterness in this beer was up there with best of the double IPAs that I have every had.
Another beer I ordered at TJ's 7th Anniversary Party was Two Brothers Heavy Handed IPA. The beer pours an orange amber color with a filmy white head. The aroma consists of grapefruit and sugar, similar to cutting a fresh one on a Saturday morning and dousing it with sugar. The taste has plenty of grapefruit as hinted in the aroma with some pine and lemon hop accents. The caramel base to the beer was extremely pleasant and was balanced with a light bite. The alcohol content is 6.7% ABV. Two Brothers has provided a wonderful IPA that smells and taste like fresh grapefruit, a very enjoyable experience for me.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
I felt lucky that TJ's, for their 7th Anniversary Party, was able to acquire some Troegs Scratch 38- India Pale Ale, the second in a series of four IPAs testing for the new Perpetual IPA release. The beer pours a golden color with a lofty and foamy white head. The aroma is grassy with plenty of fresh grapefruit hops. The taste is smooth and creamy with a light caramel flavor. There is a good lemon and pine accent on the finish, providing a wonderful balance to the caramel that doesn't bite the tongue too hard. The alcohol content is 7.0% ABV. I feel like with this second IPA, Troegs is inching closer to a wonderful IPA release. I think by the fourth, they will have provided one of the premier IPAs available, but that is a very bold statement.
One of the highlight beers at TJ's 7th Anniversary Party was a beer brewed for them by Sly Fox called 7th Anniversary Ale, a British Pale Ale. The beer pours a golden color with a foamy white head. The aroma is lightly hoppy with some wheat mixed in there, but is not very powerful. The taste has a lot of pale ale malts that are lightly toasted and a good, fresh, bitter hop bite. The alcohol content is 5.4% ABV. Overall, the 7th Anniversary Ale was very delicious and refreshing, and at 5.4% is was the most sessionable beer on the menu.