Saturday, July 2, 2011
My buddy Tim brought a bottle of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout (2008 vintage) with him from New York and we popped it open to share amongst friends. The beer pours a black color with a filmy tan head. The aroma consists of chocolate, vanilla, and lots and lots of bourbon. The taste is smooth and velvety with both milk and dark chocolates. There is a big bourbon accent that warms the throat and a smooth vanilla finish. The after taste is dry and stings with alcohol. The alcohol content is 13.0% ABV. I get what all the hype surrounding this beer is about; it is a wonderful beer that despite the alcohol content and biting bourbon flavors, it remains to be so silky smooth.
Friday, July 1, 2011
Another Iron Hill beer that my friends and I decided to share was the Oak Aged Saison de Sorachi. The beer pours a golden color with a thin bubbly white head. The aroma consists of lemon, sour funk, wheat, and oak. The taste is dry and smooth with lots of lemon and grass hops right up front. The wheat base shows after the hops subside and then has a wonderful oak finish. There is a nice Belgian yeast flavor in the after taste. The alcohol content is 7.3% ABV. The dry oaky flavors added a nice complexity to this beer by playing with the wheat and lemon flavors.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
A bunch of friends came over, and we decided to open a bottle of Iron Hill Ron Burgundy to share. The beer pours a red-tinted amber color with a bubbly reddish-white colored head. The aroma consists of sour blackberry, vinegar, funkiness, and yeast. The taste is bitter and tart up front with vinegar before a sour cherry and blackberry flavor attacks the tongue. The alcohol content is 11.0% ABV. The Ron Burgundy had a great sour accent co-mingled with a peppery accent as well. It was wonderfully crafted, and I had no idea it was 11.0% ABV while drinking it. So beware: it may have you adding questions marks to your sentences?
My buddy Tim came to visit from New York, and he brought a growler of Captain Lawrence St. Vincent’s Dubbel with him. The beer pours a dark amber color with a thin filmy off-white head. The aroma is sweet with raisin, malts, and caramel. The taste is smooth and rounded with lots of malts present and raisins galore. There is slight spicy accent with some cinnamon all built upon a caramel base. The finish brings out a grassy hop accent. The alcohol content is 8.0% ABV. This was a wonderfully accented beer with the spices, and had a solid foundation of caramel, malts, and raisin.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
I stopped in to Al’s of Hampden to try the Mikkeller Koppi IPA, and boy was I not disappointed. The beer pours a vibrant orange-amber color with a bubbly white head. The aroma consists of strong lemon and pine hops, orange, and plenty of hop oils. The taste is bitter with lots of lemon and pine up front. Caramel sweetens up as the base comes forward and orange, grapefruit, tangerine, and hop oil come out from behind the bitterness. The finish presents the twist: dry coffee flavor. The alcohol content is 6.9% ABV. The Koppi IPA had a wonderful light accent of coffee added to such a bitter beer to it worked really well and was one of the more enjoyable coffee-infused beers that I have had.
While on a bar tour of Harrisburg, I ordered a glass of Samuel Adams Wee Heavy at McGrath’s. The beer pours a black color with a thin filmy off-white head. The aroma consists of malts, raisin, caramel, and oak. The taste is sweet, malty, and bold with lots of raisin and caramel. There is an alcohol bite mixed in with some oak on the finish. The alcohol content is 10.0% ABV. I thought this was an excellent Wee Heavy, but was somewhat sweet. Just beware of the alcohol content when drinking the beer.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
I had my buddy Jeff pick me up a bottle of Rodenbach Grand Cru so that I could try this highly recommended beer. The beer pours a a reddish dark-amber color with a thin bubbly white colored head. The aroma consists of sour cherry with a sweet malty base and hints of raisins. The taste is tart and sour with vinegar right up front with lots of cherry flavor. There is a wonderful base of sweet malts with raisin, chocolate, and light grassy hops. The alcohol content is 6.0% ABV. While this beer is sour and tart, it is a sweet sour and tart flavor that is overly enjoyable. I fell in love with this beer as soon as I drank it, and I’m glad I have another bottle.
Samuel Adams Oak Aged Porter was on tap at Al’s of Hampden, so I decided to order a glass to try. The beer pours a dark brown color with a bubbly off-white colored head. The aroma consists of chocolate, toasted malts, and oak. The taste is smooth and dry, mostly consisting of chocolate and toasted malt flavors. There are hints of caramel, vanilla, and oak that come out in the finish of the beer. The alcohol content is 7% ABV. This was a decent beer that benefited greatly from oak accents, or otherwise it may not have been as memorable.
Monday, June 27, 2011
I ordered a glass of Cigar City Cubano Espresso from Al’s of Hampden, having enjoyed every other beer I’ve had from Cigar City. The beer pours an orange-tinted brown color with a thin bubbly head. The aroma consists of toasted malts, coffee beans, vanilla, and caramel. The taste is bold with lots of coffee up front built on top of a toasted malt base. The mouth feel is light and bubbly and there are hints of chocolate, oak, and vanilla on the tongue. There is a bubbly and dry finish. The alcohol content is 5.5% ABV. This was a most excellent beer that was smooth and flavorful. The coffee flavors were not too intense, and were mixed very well with the malts, vanilla, and caramel.
My girlfriend picked me up a bottle of Hantverksbryggeriet Baronen Barley Wine Ale from Al’s of Hampden. The beer pours a golden color with a frothy white head that leaves lacing on the glass. I was surprised at the color of the beer, as it was much lighter than most barleywines. The aroma consists of sweet banana, pepper, Belgian yeast, orange, grass, and lemon peel. The taste is smooth and sweet at first with lots of yeast, orange, tangerine, and orange up front before the spiciness kicks in, hitting the tongue with pepper, Belgian spices, oregano, and pine. The finish is slightly dry and warms the back of the mouth. The alcohol content is 11.5% ABV. This beer was quite different from the American style barleywines, as it was mush sweet and spicier, and not quite as hoppy. However, it was thoroughly enjoyable, especially if you like Belgian tripels.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
I ordered a glass of Brew Works Blueberry Belch at Al’s of Hampden, mostly because my sister recommended it. The beer pours an amber color with a bubbly white head. The aroma consists of wheat and lots of blueberry. The taste is blueberry up front, and lots of it, with a bubbly mouth feel. The flavor dies a little bit on the finish and is slightly watery, but most fruity beers follow that path. There is some wheat flavor in the after taste. The alcohol content is 5% ABV. I would say this beer has a great start and a decent finish, but all in all a tasty and refreshing drink.
After pouring out sampler glasses in the past of Dogfish Head Festina Peche, I decided to give it another show since my palate has changed to like sour beers. The beer pours a pale golden color with a bubbly white head. The aroma consists of wheat, peach, and orange. The taste is tart and puckering at first with some peach coming out on the front end. This isn’t a sour taste with vinegar but just plain sour. There is a wheat and slightly watery finish. The alcohol content is 4.5% ABV. I would say that the Festina Peche was better than I used to think and I would drink it again, but I’m not sure I would go on a mission to seek it out. There are other sour beers that I like better, but this was still somewhat refreshing.