Saturday, June 11, 2011
My buddy Greg brought me a bottle of Ithaca Ground Break from the brewery for me to review. The beer pours a golden color with a lofty and frothy white colored head. The aroma consists of sweet Belgian yeast, lemon, pepper, and grassy hops. The taste is dry at first before a sharp bite of pepper kicks in and invigorates the back of the mouth. This action is built upon Belgian yeast with a lemon citrus that has a great pepper accent. The finish brings out a spicy, grassy hop flavor that dries out the mouth a little bit. The alcohol content is 6.0% ABV. This was a well done Belgian that provided a nice citrus base and a spicy and peppery finish that leaves you wanting more.
My buddy Cheezer brought over a bottle of East End Gratitude to share with my friends. This bottle was the Green Wax top, circa 2008. The beer pours a caramel color with a thin filmy tan head. The aroma is strong and consists of raisin, caramel, pine hops, maple, and strong hints of alcohol. The taste is smooth like caramel ice cream topping with a strong raisin spice, maple, and fig. The finish has an alcohol pinch to it with and a dry hoppy after taste. Even after the after taste, the caramel lingers on the tongue. The alcohol content is 11.4% ABV. The Gratitude stands as a benchmark for the barleywine category, and I enjoy every version of it. I think my favorite that I’ve had was the 2005 (not reviewed), but I will take any one of the bottles that I can get my hands on.
Friday, June 10, 2011
Another growler I picked up at Bullfrog Brewery and returned home with was the Dip Sticke Altbier. The beer pours an amber color with a thin filmy white head. The aroma is sweet with malts, cherry, and yeast. The taste is smooth and malty, sweet, a nice cherry accent, and a slightly dry finish with some bitter hops. The caramel backbone of this beer plays well with hints of chocolate and mocha. The alcohol content is 6.0% ABV. Overall, this was a delicious beer that was sweet, yet not too sweet, and I believe is a forerunner for best of the category.
While at the River House Brew Pub, I ordered a glass of Nitro Blaster IPA. As you may guess from the name, it is served on nitro to provide a creamy mouth feel. The beer pours a golden color with a lofty and frothy white head. The aroma consists lemon, caramel, and pine. The taste is creamy on the tongue with lemon, grapefruit, and pine. The finish is really dry and lemony but has a nice creamy accent, similar to meringue. The alcohol content is 7.6% ABV. This was an exemplary creamy IPA that gives all of the bitterness and citrusy flavors, but finds a way to mix in a great mouth feel that makes the experience more enjoyable.
Thursday, June 9, 2011
I picked up a growler and tried a glass of the Alpha Deuce IPA while at River House Brew Pub. The beer pours a perfect amber color with a bubbly off white head. The aroma consists of fresh pine and lemon hops with lots of caramel. The taste is bitter and dry with plenty of grapefruit, tangerine, and lemon citrus flavors on the front end. There is a dry and piny finish that gives way to an after taste that leaves caramel behind on the tongue. The alcohol content is 7.5% ABV. If you are in the mood for some bitter hops that leave a hop oil behind on the tongue, this is your beer. It provides the perfect blend of bitter citrus flavors and just gives you enough caramel sweetness on the after taste to make you drink more rather than scare you away.
I picked up a growler of Bullfrog Milky Joe to bring home with me after visiting the brewery. The beer pours a dark brown color with a frothy white head. The aroma consists of toasted malts and cream. The taste is smooth and milky with some toasted malts that shine through in the finish and really dry the tongue. The after taste has some mocha hints and is quite smooth. The alcohol content is 4.5% ABV. I thought this was an excellent smooth brown ale and the addition of lactose made for a sweeter drinking beer that camouflaged the bitter toasted malts fairly well.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
While at Bullfrog Brewery in Williamsport, I ordered a glass of the Mcloud, a hefehafer. The beer pours a cloudy yellowish color with a thin filmy head. The aroma consists of wheat even though there is no wheat added, sour lemon, and grass. The taste is oat and lemon grass and is reminiscent of wheat. It is a sweet overall beer but has a dry finish. The alcohol content is not available online, but I would estimate it to be approximately 5.0% ABV. This was a quite delicious and somewhat different beer, especially for me, as I have not had this style previously. Instead of adding wheat, oat is substituted in the recipe, and made a refreshing and slightly sweet beverage.
Being that I visited Selin’s Grove Brewery in May, I had to order a glass of the Mai Bock. The beer pours an orange-amber with a thin bubbly white color. The aroma consists of sweet malts, lemon, and tangerine. The taste is sweet and smooth at first with a nice alcohol bite before a bitter lemon finish with some pepper accents kicks in to play. The alcohol content is 6.5% ABV. This was a surprisingly hoppy and dry Mai Bock, but also quite excellent. The caramel backbone is wonderful, which was expected, but the bitterness that is also present gave a new perspective on this style.
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
I recently went on a Route 15 brewery trek, and one of the stops was Selin’s Grove Brewery. While there, I ordered a glass of the Organic Bourbon Barrel Mud Puppy Brown Ale on hand pull. The beer pours a reddish-brown color with a bubbly tan head. The aroma consists of light bourbon, toasted malts, raisin, and sweet malts. The taste is sweet and malty and has a surprising slight cherry twist. The bourbon provides a nice light accent and is not overpowering. The finish dries the mouth a little bit, mostly due to the bourbon. The alcohol content is of the non-bourbon barrel aged beer is 4.9% ABV, so I would assume this beer to be similar. The Bourbon Barrel Mud Puppy Brown was a wonderfully accented beer that keeps the bourbon as an accent and does not allow it come to the forefront, which was most welcomed for this style of beer.
While at Selin’s Grove Brewing on a recent trip, I tried the Ambition. The beer pours a golden color with a bubbly white head. The aroma is sweet with Belgian yeast and some earthy grass and pepper hops. The taste is sweet and smooth with pepper and banana making up a large part of the flavor. There is a light grassy finish that dries the mouth. The alcohol content is 7.0% ABV. This was a wonderfully bitter and dry blonde ale, one that would make me consider going back to the brewery just to order another glass.
Monday, June 6, 2011
My buddy Matt brought over a bottle of Mikkeller Beer Hop Breakfast to share amongst some friends. The beer pours a black color with a frothy tan head. The aroma consists of pine and lemon hops, chocolate, molasses, and coffee. The mouth feel is thick and the taste is chocolaty at first with a molasses weight on the tongue. It dries out on the finish with lemon, pine, and spruce. There is a light coffee after taste with lots of dryness. The alcohol content is 7.5% ABV. The Beer Hop Breakfast was so thick and delicious, a perfect beer for the hop lover. It has lots of bitterness built upon thick, sweet, and syrupy body.
I picked up a bottle of Brouwerij Oud Beersel Framboise from Al’s of Hampden to share amongst some friends. The beer pours a red tinted amber color with a thin filmy white head. The aroma consists of raspberry, cherry, oak, vinegar, and yeast. The taste is sweet at first with a slight sour kick before a raspberry and cherry sweetness comes in to play. The a not-over-the-top vinegar flavors comes out in the finish. The alcohol content is 5.0% ABV. I thought this Framboise was excellent and smooth. It is slightly sour so it could be a good introductory beer to someone who has not had sours previously. Although it is mostly dry, it does have some great fruity notes that were enjoyed by all.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
I brought a growler of Bullfrog Pay Dirt, a smoked Belgian Ale, home from the brewery to review. The beer pours a caramel-amber color with a bubbly white colored head. The aroma consists of Belgian yeast, smoke, raisin, and cherry. The taste is smooth and sweet at first with banana, Belgian yeast, cherry, and pepper. Then, the smoke comes out in the finish, but is a light accent. The alcohol content is 6.5% ABV. I was a little apprehensive at first to this being a smoked beer and thought that it could ruin the sweetness of a Belgian ale, but everything was well balance and the smoke did not steal the spotlight from the yeast, it just providing a nice supporting cast.
While at Bullfrog Brewery, I picked up a growler of the Saison Nouveau to bring home and review. The beer pours a golden color with a frothy white head . The aroma consists of pepper, lemon, Belgian yeast, banana, and grassy hops. The taste is dry and light on the tongue with plenty of lemon, pepper, Belgian yeast, and banana. The finish brings out some grassy hops and a slight dirt funk that lingers for a while. The alcohol content is 6.5% ABV. This was a very interesting saison, and I really think the earthy funk on the finish stood out and separates this beer from all others. The citrus and pepper flavors were spot on as well.