Saturday, February 5, 2011
As part of a beer tasting event at a friend’s house, I sampled a glass of Cantillon Blabær Lambic. The beer pours a purple color, which is an astounding sight, with a thin filmy white head. The aroma consists of sour blueberry and cherry. The taste is sweet and sour at the same time. The blueberry makes up the sweet part at first before a tart and vinegar-like flavors kicks in on the tongue. The finish gives out a nice pucker that makes you squint, but is very enjoyable. The alcohol content is 5.0% ABV. The Cantillon Blabær Lambic is by far the best lambic that I have had, even though my scope of tasting in lambics is not very vast. The wonderful mix of sweet and sour, as well as an awe-inspiring appearance, made for a great experience drinking this beer.
During a beer sharing party at a friend’s house, I tried some of a bottle of Cantillon Crianza Helena. The beer pours a golden color with a thin filmy white head. The aroma consists of lemon, wheat, and alcohol. The taste is light and bubbly, which is very heavy on the brettanomyces, with hints of lemon, wheat grass. The best part of the beer is the sour cherry finish. The alcohol content is 5.0% ABV. This beer was very lively in the mouth with its carbonation and brett characteristics, and was quite enjoyable.
Friday, February 4, 2011
I picked up a bottle of Victory Dark Intrigue at Theresa’s Next Door Bar for half-price as party of their inventory clearance. The beer pours a dark brown color with a very frothy tan head. The aroma consists of lots of bourbon, oak, chocolate, and a hint of vanilla. The taste is bold and prominent with lots of bourbon that dries out mouth significantly. After the bourbon comes some chocolaty smoothness and toasted malts. The finish is dry and toasty, but also warming. The after taste leaves some chocolate nibs on the tongue and is quite pleasant. The alcohol content is 9.1% ABV. I really thought the bourbon aging brought the Storm King alive and added much needed complexity. The dry bourbon flavors work well with the chocolate and toasted malt flavors, and the hint of vanilla rounds out the experience.
I acquired a bottle of 2006 vintage Avery The Beast at Teresa’s Next Door Bar clearance sale. The beer pours a dark amber color with a lofty and frothy off-white head. The aroma is very prominent and consists of raisin, fig, alcohol, yeast, and candisugar. The taste is big and sweet with lots of raisin, sweet malts, fig, and dark fruits. The alcohol really kicks into high gear on the finish, and the after taste leaves a linger malty sweetness. The back of the mouth is warmed up by the alcohol content, which is 14.6% ABV. Once I got past the first sip of the beer, which I thought to be overpoweringly sweet, I really enjoyed The Beast and thought that time has done it very well. The alcohol has taken a backseat to the malty sweetness and fig flavors, which is quite surprising considering the 14.6% ABV.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
My friend Mike brought over a growler of East End Brewing Blackstrap Stout for the AFC Championship game. The beer pours a black color with a frothy tan head. The aroma consists of lots of dark chocolate, heavy on the molasses, coffee, espresso, and vanilla. The taste is dry and biting with plenty of dark chocolate on the tongue. The finish is drying with coffee, espresso, and molasses. The after taste is dry and has some toasted malt flavors. The alcohol content is 6.2% ABV. I really loved the dry and roasted flavors in this beer, which kept it from being too sweet on the palate. Also, the wonderfully rich chocolate and espresso flavors balanced out the dryness.
While out for dinner at the Brewhouse Grille in Camp Hill, I ordered a glass of Terrapin Moo-Hoo Milk Chocolate Stout. The beer pours a dark brown with a thin filmy tan head. The aroma consists of milk chocolate, toasted malts, and espresso. The taste is big on the milk chocolate with plenty of toasted malts, some vanilla, and a dry dark chocolate finish. The alcohol content is 6.0% ABV. Overall, this beer is smooth and delicious and I think Terrapin achieved their goal in making me think of Yoo-hoo, the milk chocolate kids drink.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
I ordered a glass of Coronado Islander IPA from Al’s of Hampden. The beer pours a golden color with a lofty and frothy white head. The aroma consists of grapefruit, sugar, pine, and tangerine. The taste is bitter with lot of grapefruit up front before some sugar kicks in. Pine and tangerine come out to play on the finish which makes for a rather bittersweet taste. A very noticeable pepper bite attacks the back of the throat in the after taste. The alcohol content is 7% ABV. While I really enjoyed the pepper bite in the after taste, this may not be for everyone out there. The Islander IPA really knows how to take your palate on a wild ride from bitter citrus to sweet sugar and finally to a biting pepper.
While at Al’s of Hampden, I ordered a glass of Oskar Blues Winter Fidy, a beer that I was not aware existed. The beer pours a black color with a frothy tan head. The aroma consists of juniper, cardamom, chocolate, and a healthy helping of alcohol. The taste is smooth and chocolaty with good juniper and cardamom accents. The floral side of this beer is amazing and alcohol is well hidden, but it really provides an experience like no other beer. Some coffee flavor peeks through on the finish. The alcohol content is 10.5% ABV. The balance of flowers and chocolate worked better than I could have ever imagined and I really want to have another glass of this beer.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Al’s of Hampden recently tapped Dupont Avec Les Bons Veoux, and I happily ordered a glass of it. The beer pours an orange gold color that is opaque with a thin filmy white head. The aroma consists of orange and lemon with wheat and grass; a very earthy profile. The taste is dry but is very lemony with orange. The is a nice earthy hops balance to the citrus flavors and a light bite of hops and carbonation on the finish. The alcohol content is 9.5% ABV. This beer went perfectly with the bacon cheeseburger sub that I ordered and is very light on the palate. I may have had this beer in the winter, but it would be most enjoyed on a porch during a summertime sunset.
I ordered a glass of Jolly Pumpkin Maracaibo Especial from Teresa’s Next Door Bar in Wayne, PA. The beer pours a brown amber color with a thin bubbly white head. The aroma consists of raisin, sweet malts, and has a light sour accent that is typical of all Jolly Pumpkin beers that I have had. The taste is sour with cherry, malts, orange peel, and candisugar and the beer has a dry finish. The alcohol content is 7.5% ABV. I would put this beer in the not too sour category but sour enough to take your tongue on a wild ride. There is no face puckering involved with this beer, but it manages to use all parts of your tongue during tasting.
Monday, January 31, 2011
I ordered a glass of Russian River Blind Pig from Teresa’s Next Door Bar in Wayne, PA. I previous has a sample of this beer at Great American Beer Fest, but never have given it a review. The beer pours an amber color with a frothy white head. The aroma consists of grapefruit and tangerine with light pine accents. The taste is smooth and citrusy with plenty of grapefruit and pine flavors. There is a dry finish that is accompanied with pine and spruce. The alcohol content is 6.1% ABV. The Blind Pig was a great drinking beer and contained the perfect balance of hops and citrus flavors. Sometimes IPAs can be too intense or to weak, but this beer is spot on and provides a wonderful hop kick.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
While at Teresa’s Next Door Bar in Wayne, PA, I ordered a glass of Manayunk California Dreamin’ on firkin. The beer pours an amber color with a frothy white head. The aroma consists of grapefruit, sugar, pine, and tangerine. The taste is smooth and creamy with lots of grapefruit. The finish has a good sugar accent and the after taste consists of pine and is lightly dry. The alcohol content is 8.0% ABV. This Imperial IPA is up there in my book with the best of the West Coast IPAs. Manayunk was able to reign in that West Coast flavor and brew it right outside of Philadelphia.
I picked up a bottle of Ommegang Ommegeddon from Al's of Hampden. The bottle indicates the beer is Batch Number 1, June 2007. The beer pours an orange color with a frothy white head and lots of yeast flakes floating in the beer. The aroma consists of Belgian yeast, candisugar, banana, and pepper. The taste is smooth yet bitey with yeast, candisugar, pepper, banana, and a carbonated mouth feel. The alcohol content is 8.0% ABV. The Brett in the beer really enlivened the mouth feel and has a wonderful accompaniment of flavors, with banana, candisugar, and pepper.