Saturday, January 8, 2011
I stopped into Al's of Hampden to try the lineup of Central Waters that just arrived. One of the beers that I tried was the Glacial Trail IPA. The beer pours a golden color with a foamy white head. The aroma consists of grapefruit and sugar with tangerine. The taste is smooth with caramel, lemon, grapefruit, and sweet sugary finish. The beer dries in the aftertaste with the bitterness of the hops. The alcohol content is 5.5% ABV. The Glacial Trail IPA is an excellent IPA with a wonderful balance of grapefruit and lemon with a wonderful caramel base.
I stopped into Appalachian Brewing Company to sample the Highland Amber Ale, a winner of ABC's home brew contest. The beer pours an amber color with a foamy white head. The aroma consists of sweet caramel and fresh hops which enliven the nostrils. The taste is smooth and sweet with caramel, a great pine hop bite, and a smooth but bitey finish. The alcohol content is not posted online, but I would estimate it to be around 6.0% ABV. The Highland Amber Ale was a decent amber ale and was enjoyable. However, don't make the trip to ABC explicitly for this beer, just make sure you order it when your are there next.
Friday, January 7, 2011
I was given a bottle of Brouwery Het Anker Gouden Carolus Noel for my birthday that was part of a mixed six-pack from Bocktown in Pittsburgh. The beer pours a dark brown color with a frothy white head. The aroma consists of raisin, alcohol, fig, dark fruits, and Belgian yeast. The taste is sweet with a good Belgian yeast base that is bready. There are fig, raisin, and some dark fruits. The alcohol content is 10.0% ABV. The great bready flavor in this beer is excellent and is balanced with a wonderful sweet balance of dark fruits.
I picked up a bottle of Moylan's White Christmas Spiced Winter Lager. The beer pours a golden color with a frothy white head. The aroma consists of malts, coriander, orange, and cinnamon. The taste is smooth and malts with a dry spiced accent with cinnamon, coriander, and pepper. The finish is sweet with malts and leave an impression of orange. The alcohol content is 6.0% ABV. I found it interesting that the bottle indicates that the beer has mace in it, but having never been sprayed in the face with it (yet!), I am not familiar with the flavor, so I cannot confirm its presence. Otherwise, this a great spiced beer with plenty of flavors on top of a very solid lager.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
I was lucky to grab a bottle of East End Brewing Homewood Reserve 2010 from Al's of Hampden, as Al brought back some bottles from Pittsburgh. The beer pours a deep black color with a bubbly brown head. The aroma consists of chocolate and toasted malts with some molasses and caramel. The taste is light bodied and with a solid chocolate base before a sour cherry twist comes out to play. The finish dries out with toasted malts and dark chocolate and the after taste lets the chocolate linger with a coffee accent. The alcohol content is not available online but I would estimate it to be around 9.0% ABV. There is a great amount of flavors in this beer, but I was slightly surprised at the lack of a body. The beer is more like liquid chocolate than a beer, but the sour twist really makes this beer enjoyable.
I picked up a bottle of Bell's Batch 10,000 from Al's of Hampden and also as a birthday gift from my buddy Adam. The beer pours a dark brown color with a frothy tan head. The aroma consists of caramel, chocolate, and fresh lemon and pine hops. The taste is bitter with lemon and pine hops at first before some sweet chocolate, toasted malts, and caramel sink in. The finish is bitter and dry. The after taste leaves some citrus on the tongue, specifically orange. The alcohol content is 9.2% ABV. The transition of flavors within the Batch 10,000 is absolutely wonderful between chocolate and citrus. The beer does not let the tongue rest, and it is quite a great experience.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
I had my buddy Matt pick me up a bottle of Iron Hill Winter Wheat Wine Oh! From Iron Hill in West Chester. The beer pours a reddish amber color with a frothy off-white head that laces to the glass. The aroma consists of raisins, figs, grapes, caramel, and molasses. The taste is sweet and powerful with lots of raisins and figs on the front end. The beer has some more sweetness with caramel, molasses, and lots of honey, and on the finish there is a light spicy and citrusy hop bitterness. The citrus flavors I get are orange, tangerine, and lemon. The alcohol content is 10.0% ABV. Overall, the Winter Wheat Wine Oh! was a delicious beer. I definitely recommend letting this beer warm up, as if it is drank too cold, it errs on the sweet side and isn't quite as enjoyable.
One of the beers I most anticipated at Al's of Hampden when I went for work “team building” was the Terrapin Wake N Bake on cask. The beer pours a black color with a frothy brown head. The aroma is full of fresh coffer with cream and chocolate. The taste is smooth with lots of coffee, chocolate, toasted malts, and a light alcohol bite. There is a cream finish and mouth feel, most likely due to the beer being served on cask. The alcohol content is 8.1% ABV. I felt that the cask enlivens the Wake N Bake and really accentuates the coffee and cream side of the beer. Everyone from work at my table that ordered this beer thoroughly enjoyed it and I recommend your try it, as you will not be disappointed.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
I ordered a glass of Terrapin Big Daddy Vladdy Russian Imperial Stout from Al's of Hampden while there for my work “team building.” The beer pours a black color with a filmy tan head. The aroma consists of chocolate with alcohol. The taste is smooth and large with toasted malts, chocolate, smoke, and a hint of toffee on finish. The alcohol content is 10.3% ABV. The Big Daddy Vladdy was a solid performed in the Russian Imperial Stout category and definitely announced its alcohol content. The sweet chocolate flavor mixing with the smoke flavor provided a wonderful blend of flavors across the tongues.
I went to Al's of Hampden for a work “team building” and one of the beers that I ordered was the Brouwery Het Anker Cuvee van de Keizer. The beer pours a brown color with no head. The aroma consists of sweet raisin with cinnamon and alcohol. The taste is sweet with raisins, a good helping of cinnamon, some sugar, candisugar, fig, and bread. There is a light sour profile which balances everything nicely and provides a wondering kick in the tongue. The alcohol content is 11% ABV. This beer had a wonderful spice variation that keeps the tongue active through the tasting. I would add this to the must try list if you see it on a tap list.
Monday, January 3, 2011
My girlfriend bought me a bottle of Great Divide Rumble Oak Aged India Pale Ale as part of a mixed six-pack for my birthday. The beer pours a copper color with a frothy white head. The aroma consists of lemon, orange, tangerine, caramel, and oak. The taste is sweet and smooth with lots of caramel up front before transitioning into a dry and biting pine and lemon hop flavor. The finish brings out more citrus with orange and tangerine, before drying up in the after taste due to the oak. The alcohol content is 7.1% ABV. I really enjoyed the great hop presence in this beer that was well balanced with the sweet caramel backbone, all drying out on a bed of oak for the tongue to enjoy.
In a beer trade, I acquired a bottle of Captain Lawrence Smoke From the Oak (Porter Aged in Wine Barrels) from Lee at Hoptopia. When opening the beer, the cap really pops off of the bottle due to the carbonation. The beer pours a dark black color with a lofty and frothy off-white head. The aroma consists of chocolate with a sweet wine smell, cherries, and toasted malts. The taste has a big wine profile with a dry red wine flavor with dark chocolate undertones. The finish brings out some toasted malts and a sweet cherry flavor. As the beer warmed up, some smoke definitely come out. The alcohol content is 6.4% ABV. I really enjoyed the sweet cherry and dry red wine flavors as they balanced with the dark chocolate and provided a candy-like experience.
Sunday, January 2, 2011
I picked up a bottle of AleSmith YuleSmith Holiday Ale (Winter) from Brass Rail in Campbelltown. Since I had previously had the Summer version of this beer, I could not pass up the winter version. The beer pours a reddish amber color with a foamy white head. The aroma consists of a sweet Belgian yeast with pine, lemon, and grapefruit. The taste is sweet with candisugar and Belgian yeast before the hops kick in, and boy do they! There is a nice punch of lemon, pine, and grapefruit that leaves a nice drying imprint on the tongue. The after taste comes back with an orange sweetness that is very candy-like. The alcohol content is 8.5% ABV. The winter version of the YuleSmith Holiday Ale plays wonderful tricks on the tongue between candy sweetness and hop bitterness; a great holiday treat!
My girlfriend brought me a bottle of her coworker Jay's Homebrew that was a Honey Amber Wheat. The beer pours a golden amber color with a tall frothy white head that has some good lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of lemon and wheat with fresh grassy hops and a hint of honey. The taste is light bodied and has a light caramel base with fresh grassy hops that dry the tongue. The finish continues to dry the mouth in the manner that honey does. The alcohol content is not available but I would guess it to be around 6.0% ABV. While this beer is light bodied and not too intense, it is quite refreshing while providing a nice earthy hop accent.