Saturday, June 4, 2011
As part of my beer of the month club from Beer on the Wall, I received a bottle of Deschutes Red Chair NWPA. The beer pours an orange-amber color with a frothy off-white colored head. The aroma consists of lemon, caramel, tangerine, and spruce. The taste is bitter and sweet at the same time with lemon, tangerine, orange, and pine all built upon a caramel backbone. The after taste is slightly sweet and dry. The alcohol content is 6.2% ABV. This was a wonderful pale ale and was definitely a departure from mainstream pale ales. It didn’t venture into being overly hoppy or malts, but just completely different tasting.
As part of the Best of Beer Camp sampler pack I picked up from Sierra Nevada, I tried the Juniper Black Ale. The beer pours a black color with a lofty, creamy, foamy, and tan colored head that resembles a stout more than an ale. The aroma consists of chocolate, juniper, coffee, and pine. The taste is dry and piny at first with lots of hops and a lemon bitterness before some chocolate, coffee, and toasted malts arrive on the palate. The after taste leave coffee and dry juniper leaves at the back of the throat. The alcohol content is 8.0% ABV. The dryness of this beer was immaculate and it was accompanied with plenty of flavors, include dry and bitter chocolate.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
I picked up a bottle of Cascade Kriek Ale at Al’s of Hampden based on Al’s recommendation (he’s a good salesman!). The beer pours a reddish brown color with a bubbly off-white colored head that dissipates rapidly. The aroma consists of sweet yet slightly sour cherry, sugar, vinegar. and Belgian yeast. The taste is very puckering right up front with plenty of vinegar drying out the tongue. The sour cherry with some sweet sugar accent comes out in the finish. The after taste leaves some malts behind but the vinegar lingers. The alcohol content is 7.1% ABV. I will say that Al gave an excellent recommendation and this was quite a wonderful kriek. There is plenty of sour punch with this beer, so beware if you are new to sours.
Another beer I tried at a recent visit to Al’s of Hampden was Bear Republic Pete’s Brown Tribute Ale. The beer pours a brown color with a thin foamy tan head. The aroma consists of toasted malts and caramel. The taste is dry and has a lot of toasted malts right up front and a caramel backbone. As expected, there is also a dry finish. The alcohol content is 6.3% ABV. This was a really solid and smooth brown ale with a great toasty flavor. I feel that brown ales get overlooked too often, and this beer gives me a great reason to order a brown ale.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
At Al’s of Hampden, I ordered a glass of Weyerbacher Heresy. The beer pours a black color with a thin tan head. The aroma consists of chocolate, toasted malts, caramel, alcohol, bourbon, and oak. The taste is smooth and silky with lots of chocolate on the tongue. Toasted malts, light bourbon warmth, and a bourbon bite on come out to play on the finish. There is a smooth vanilla and caramel after taste. The alcohol content is 8% ABV. The Heresey was a smooth and excellent beer that did not have a punishing alcohol bite from the bourbon barrels, but a nice bourbon accent.
I stopped in to Al’s of Hampden and ordered a glass of The Brew Works Hop Explosion on cask with Citra and Chinook hops. The beer pours a golden color with orange hues and a foamy white head. The aroma is filled with fresh grapefruit, tangerine, orange, and lemon. The taste is dry and bitter grapefruit at first before tangerine and orange bring out a sweetness. The finish is dry and piny. The alcohol content is 5.5% ABV. This was a wonderfully fresh and citrusy beer that was also notably sessionable. If you get a chance to try this beer, go ahead and do it, as it is perfectly bitter and sweet.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
My buddy Matt picked up a bottle of Jolly Pumpkin Baudelaire Series iO Saison from Al’s of Hampden and brought it over to share. The beer pours an amber color with reddish hues, which was surprising for a saison, with a lofty foamy white head that laces to the glass. The aroma consists of sour cherry, wheat, lemon, and grassy hops. The taste is light on the tongue with lots of wheat and lemon before a slight sour cherry twist comes in to play. The alcohol content is 6.8% ABV. I am a big fan of saisons, but the slight sour twist to this beer takes it to a new level with an excellent sour cherry accent.
I picked up a four-pack of Terrapin Monk’s Revenge from Al’s of Hampden. The beer pours a vibrant orange-amber color with a frothy white head. The aroma consists of Belgian yeast, lemon, pepper, and wheat. The taste is smooth and bubbly with lots of Belgian yeast. There is a nice lemon, banana and wheat accent with a peppery and spicy finish. The alcohol content is 9.6% ABV. The nice spiciness built on top of a sweetness of a Belgian yeast and banana. The balance is impeccable and very well done, and I can not wait to see how this beer ages.
Monday, May 30, 2011
My buddy Greg picked me up a growler of Ithaca Dark Humor from the brewery in New York. The beer pours a black color with a frothy tan head that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of burnt chocolate, toasted malts, cream, grass, and vanilla. The taste is light on the tongue with some bubble before a silky smooth chocolate flavor takes over. Toasted malts, vanilla, oak, and cream kick in on the sides of the mouth. The after taste leaves some sweet vanilla behind on the tongue and a light sour twist. The alcohol content is 7.0% ABV. The taste of this beer really dialed in to being similar to a dilly bar, especially with the milky smooth chocolate flavor and light cream accents.
A growler my buddy Greg picked up while at Ithaca was the Rough Draft. The beer pours a golden-orange color with a bubbly white head. The aroma consists of lemon, wheat, and green apple. The taste is smooth and dry with a lot of wheat, green apple, and hints of lemon. The finish is dry and has a slight sour twist. The alcohol content is not available online, but I would guess it to be about 5.5% ABV. I liked how refreshing and clean this beer was with light apple accents for the perfect amount of sweetness to go with the dry wheat finish.