Saturday, March 12, 2011
I picked up a bottle of New Holland Charkoota Rye Smoked Doppelbock Lager from Latimer Deli in Philadelphia, PA. The beer pours a dark amber color with a thin tan head. The aroma consists of a great smoke aroma with a nice malty base with some caramel. The taste is bold and smoky with plenty of toasted malts. The base of this beer has a wonderful caramel flavor. The finish sweetens before the after taste brings back the dry smoky flavor. The alcohol content is 8.17% ABV. This smoked doppelbock was wonderful and had an excellent smoked flavor, all built on a sweet and enjoyable caramel flavor.
On my way home from the Central Pennsylvania bottle share event, I stopped in to JoBoy's BrewPub to pick up take-out food, and decided to try the Barleywine while waiting on the food. The beer pours a dark amber color with a frothy off-white head. The aroma consists of raisin, malts, caramel, and alcohol. The taste is smooth but bites on the sides of the mouth. Caramel and raisin flavors are prevalent with a light pine and lemon hop bite. The is a nice warming alcohol burn on the finish. The alcohol content is 9.0% ABV. JoBoys created quite a delicious barleywine that balances biting hops and sweet raisin and caramel flavors, a feat that is paramount for all barleywines.
Friday, March 11, 2011
I ordered a glass of Founders Pale Ale from McGrath’s in downtown Harrisburg. The beer pours a golden color with a thin filmy white head. The aroma consists of apricot, tangerine, and orange. The taste is lightly caramel with a good fruit accent that contains bits of apricot, tangerine, lemon, and orange. The alcohol content is 5.4% ABV. This Pale Ale was a deliciously different pale ale that strayed from the conventional pale ale, and ventured into a cornucopia of fruity flavors built on a caramel platform; a must try for beer lovers.
At McGrath’s in downtown Harrisburg, I ordered a glass of Lost Coast Indica India Pale Ale. The beer pours a copper color with a frothy white head. The aroma is big on lemon and grapefruit with some pine mixed in there as well. Hints of tangerine and caramel also come out at the end of the smell. The taste is bitter and lemony with a pine hop accent. The Indica is built on a good caramel base and has a wonderful finish consisting of tangerine and grapefruit without the sugar. The alcohol content is 6.5% ABV. Indica India Pale Ale is an excellent hoppy beer and provides plenty of citrus refreshment on the tongue, all with a slight bitterness that doesn’t overly dry the tongue.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
I picked up a bottle of Rogue 21 Ale from Latimer Deli in Philadelphia, PA. The beer pours a dark amber color with a lofty and frothy off-white colored head. That aroma consists of pine, lemon, caramel, and alcohol. The taste is malty with a little bit of cardboard flavor, caramel, pine, lemon, orange, molasses, and earth. The finish is dry and taste of toasted toffee and just a hint of licorice. The after taste leaves a bit of a metal flavor in it, probably due to the metal growler bottle that the beer comes in, but it subsided with the second glass. The alcohol content is 7.79% ABV. Despite being a “Strong ale”, I thought this beer was relatively mild, especially with it’s hop content. No flavor was overbearing and well balanced with the others.
I ordered a glass of Breckenridge Avalanche from McGrath’s in downtown Harrisburg. The beer pours a copper color with a frothy off-white head. The is faint but aroma consists of caramel, malts, and lemon. The taste is bitter at first with lemon and pine hops. A sweet caramel kick cones into play but is a little watered down. The finish is dry and toasted but what lingers is a watery after taste. The alcohol content is 5.41% ABV. This beer, at best, could be described as decent and nowhere near the memorable category. Well, it could be memorable in that I thought it was terrible and tasted extremely watered down. I am a big Breckenridge fan, but steer clear of this offering from them.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
I ordered a glass of Widmer Pitch Black IPA while out to dinner at The Brewhouse Grille in Camp Hill (apologies for the picture: it is of Pitch Black at GABF, but I apparently didn't take a photo when I drank it with dinner). The beer pours a dark brown color with a thin filmy off-white head. The aroma consists of toasted malts and lots of caramel. The taste is big and toasty with a nice caramel base, some coffee, and a light bit of chocolate. The lemon and pine hops come into play on the finish. This beer’s mouth feel is light and bubbly on the tongue. The alcohol content is 6.5% ABV. I really enjoyed the coffee and chocolate flavors that came out in this beer as it warmed up, and it was balanced really well with lemon and pine hop flavors.
While at The Brewhouse Grille in Camp Hill for dinner, I ordered a glass of The Bruery Mischief. The beer pours a golden color with a thin filmy white head. The aroma consists of banana, pepper, and Belgian yeast. The taste is sweet and smooth with banana, apple, and yeast. There is a peppery bite on the finish and the grassy and earthy hops hit on the after taste. The alcohol content is 8.5% ABV. Mischief has a wonderful blend of sweet and spicy flavors from banana and yeast to pepper, which balances very well on the tongue.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
I picked up a six-pack of Victory Headwaters Pale Ale from Al’s of Hampden. The beer pours a golden color with a frothy white head that laces to the glass. The aroma consists of lemon, grapefruit, grass, earthy hops, and a caramel base. The taste is smooth but a little bitter with grapefruit and pine hops. The finish has some lemon citrus accent with an earthy hop balance and a little bit of grass. The after taste, pleasantly enough, leaves some caramel flavors behind with sour grapefruit. The alcohol content is 5.1% ABV. The Headwaters Pale Ale is a wonderful pale ale with a great citrus compliment built upon a caramel base, all with an earthiness that ties it all together.
Another bottle our table tried at the Pliny the Younger event at Monk’s Cafe in Philadelphia was the Cantillon Lou Pepe Framboise, 2005 vintage. The beer pours a red amber color with a thin filmy white head. The aroma consists of sour cherry and apple with background hints of vinegar. The taste is puckering with sour cherry and apple before the vinegar taste kicks in and sharply. Some lemon and raspberry poke through a little bit with some earthy hops. The alcohol content is 5.0% ABV. The vinegar may have begun to take over this beer a little too much due to age, but the backbone was still present and it was a very drinkable beer. I enjoyed how much of the earthy hops remained in this beer and were paired very well with the tart fruit flavors.
Monday, March 7, 2011
I ordered a bottle of Nebraska Apricot Poivre Saison for our table at the Pliny the Younger Event at Monk’s Cafe in Philadelphia. The beer pours an orange color with a frothy white head. The aroma consists of apricot, Belgian yeast, and a sharp pepper bite (not enough to make you sneeze though). The taste is bubbly but smooth with grassy hops the focus early on in the tasting. As the beer warmed, a lot more of the apricot came out to play on the tongue. The beer has a dry earthy finish and a peppery after taste. The Chardonnay flavor from the barrels lingers after finishing the beer and is sweet and quite pleasant. The alcohol content is 6.5% ABV. While I was slightly disappointed in the Apricot Poivre Saison at first due to the lack of apricot flavor, letting the beer warm up revealed its true self and showed me that it was the beer I was expecting it to be.
Thanks to a wonderful donation by Al’s of Hampden to Alex’s Lemonade Stand at the Pliny the Younger event at Monk’s Cafe in Philadelphia, our table (including Al) was provided the last bottle of Lost Abbey Isabelle Proximus. The beer pours a golden yellow color with no head at all, possibly due to the aging of the beer. The aroma consists of vinegar, grass, sour apple, raspberry and yeast. The raspberry in the aroma became more prevalent as the beer warmed. The taste is funky and sour with some sour apple, raspberry, orange, lemon, and a sweetening vanilla finish from the barrels. The alcohol content is 7.0% ABV. The Isabelle Proximus was an amazing beer with a great funky flavor. I enjoyed have the earthy grass flavors danced with the sour fruits on the tongue, and the raspberry flavor made me want more of this beer.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
While at Monk’s cafe for the Pliny the Younger event, I ordered a glass of Russian River Sanctification. The beer pours a yellow-gold color with a thin filmy white head. The aroma consists of sour apple with orange and a faint hint of Belgian yeast. The taste is puckering but amazing, consisting of sour apple, grape, Belgian yeast, earthy hops, banana, and a biscuit-like mouth feel. On the finish, some brett kicks in and is funky, yet quite enjoyable. The alcohol content is 6.47% ABV. The Sanctification is a well-done sour that isn’t overly off-putting with sourness and comes complete with a good fruit and yeast balance.