Saturday, February 12, 2011
I picked up a bottle of Arcadia Ales Jaw-Jacker from Bocktown in Pittsburgh. The beer pours an orange-amber color with an extremely lofty and frothy off-white head. The aroma consists of cinnamon, pumpkin, allspice, and nutmeg. The taste is smooth and sweet at first with a large pumpkin flavor before drying out with cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. The alcohol content is 6.0% ABV. I really enjoyed the smoothness of this pumpkin beer that has a wonderful spiced balance.
In my beer of the month club selection was a bottle of Joseph James Craft American Lager. The beer pours a pale straw color with a frothy white head. The aroma consists of caramel, malts, and light lemon. The taste is malty with a lemony bite, but not a great deal of complexity. The alcohol content is 5.2% ABV. For being a craft lager, this was rather pedestrian in flavor. While it is light years ahead of the “big boys” in corporate America, it doesn’t quite cut it when compared to other craft beers.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Another Joseph James beer that came with my beer of the month club subscription was the Weize Guy Light Hefeweizen. The beer pours a yellow color with a foamy white head that is not lofty, typical of Hefeweizens, and rather disappointing. The aroma consists of lemon, wheat, orange, and yeast. The taste is light and lemony with not too much body to it. There is a slight sourness to the beer and a bit of wheat on the finish. The after taste is grassy and earthy. The alcohol content is 3.5% ABV. This beer was rather disappointing for a Hefeweizen. While it was light and refreshing, the lack of flavor would keep me away from getting this beer in the future.
As part of my beer of the month club, I received a bottle of Joseph James Tahoe Blue Nevada Pale Ale. First things first, this beer literally exploded out of the bottle when I opened it, and I have never has a beer pour out so much, even highly volatile bottle conditioned beers. The beer pours a golden orange color with a frothy white head. The aroma consists of caramel, lemon, and resiny and fresh pine hops. The taste starts off bitter with grapefruit, lemon, and pine hops, disappears for a moment in the carbonation, and comes back with some toasted caramel and pine bitterness. The alcohol content is 6.0% ABV. This was a decent pale ale, minus exploding out of the bottle and the fact that carbonation took the flavor away for a moment. Otherwise, there was a good amount of flavor packed in to this beer.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
I acquired a bottle of Jolly Pumpkin Noel de Calabaza from Teresa’s Next Door bar as part of their clearance sale. The bottle is labeled Blend 2, 2009. The beer pours a reddish-brown color with an extremely lofty and foamy off-white colored head. The aroma consists of malty with sour apple and cherry notes, oak, and bits of vanilla. The taste has toasted malts with a bubbly mouth feel just before the sourness kicks in on the tongue. There are flavors of grape, plum, and cherry and some oak lingers on the after taste. The alcohol content is 9.0% ABV. The beer has held up over age and has a wonderful sour fruit profile, yet has an excellent malty backbone.
At Al’s of Hampden, I ordered a glass of White Birch Indulgence. The beer pours a black color with a thin tan head. The aroma consists of chocolate and coffee. The taste is chocolate with some underlying cherry. As if coincidental or by purpose, I also picked up a bit of birch flavor, similar to that in birch beer, and a slight alcohol bite on the finish. The alcohol content is 8.5% ABV. I thought the Indulgence was a really dark strong ale and most appropriately fits into the imperial stout category. However, it was a decent beer with a surprising birch flavor.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
I ordered a glass of Weyerbacher Old Heathen Imperial Stout at Al’s of Hampden. The beer pours a black color with a frothy tan head. The aroma is big on chocolate with some coffee and toasted malts mixed in as well. The taste is silky smooth with toasted malts, chocolate, and coffee. The alcohol content is 8.0% ABV. The Old Heathen had an impressive smoothness for the amount of toasted malt flavor that came with the beer. The sweetness kept the impacts of the alcohol from being detectable on the tongue, so be careful as to how many of these you drink.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
I was ordered a glass of Thomas Hooker Hop Meadow IPA after parking the car, and I did not turn it down. The beer pours an amber color with a frothy white head. The aroma consists of lemon and pine with a nice caramel backbone. The taste is resiny and sticky with caramel and lemon. The pine hops kick in on finish and dry the mouth out a bit, but leaves a wonderful residue in the mouth. The alcohol content is 6.5% ABV. The mouth presence of this beer was most surprising with a sticky and resiny profile that lingers in the mouth long after finishing the beer. I highly recommend trying this beer if possible.
At Al’s of Hampden, Al tapped McAuslan St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout and suggested we try it. He was experimenting using the Guinness tap cap, and was anxious to see how it was. The beer pours a black color with a creamy tan head, similar is looks to a Guinness. The aroma consists of chocolate and malts, but is very faint. The taste is chocolate and toasted malts with a very pronounced burnt flavor. The beer has a milky smoothness that is creamy with some coffee accents. The alcohol content is 5.0% ABV. I thought this Oatmeal Stout was delicious and different, as it has a large burnt flavor, but still quite sweet and smooth.
Monday, February 7, 2011
At my friend’s house during a tasting party, I tried a glass of New Belgium Twisted Spoke 15th Anniversary. The beer pours a reddish color with yeast flakes and a bubbly wheat head. The aroma is sour with accents of brettanomyces and yeast. The taste is bubbly on the tongue with a sour cherry and apple flavor. Surprisingly, the beer has a smooth and sweet finish, but a bitey vinegar after taste. The alcohol content is 7.0% ABV. The Twisted Spoke had a good balance our sour fruits and bubbly mouth feel that tickled the tongue and a wonderfully smooth finish.
Sunday, February 6, 2011
I tried a glass of Lost Abbey Duck Duck Gooze at a beer sharing party at my friend’s house. The beer pours a golden color with a bubbly white head. The aroma consists of lemon, yeast, peach, apple, candisugar, and wheat. The taste has a puckering effect but is excellent, consisting of lemon, wheat, and a sweet white grape bite on the finish. Lingering in the mouth is an oak after taste which dried out the mouth. The alcohol content is 7.0% ABV. I was impressed with this Lost Abbey beer, as I am with most of their releases. The pucker effect was not exactly what I expected and was pretty intense, but the Duck Duck Gooze was an excellent beer.