Saturday, July 23, 2011
My buddy Matt ordered a bottle of Midnight Sun Monk’s Mistress when I ordered from Northwest Liquid Gold, and he decided to share the bottle with me. The beer pours a black color, which was much darker than expected, with a lofty and frothy tan head. The aroma consists of sweet malts, raisin, yeast, and chocolate. The taste is chocolaty with toasted malts, vanilla, and a sweet Beligan yeast on the finish. There is an with an alcohol tinge that comes across the tongue. The alcohol content is 11.5% ABV. I would rate this as a very decent beer, a “spot on” Belgian beer brewed in Alaska.
Friday, July 22, 2011
My buddy Matt brought over a growler of North Coast Le Merle that he picked up at Al’s of Hampden. The beer pours a golden color with a lofty and frothy white head. The aroma consists of lemon, grass, wheat, yeast, and biscuits. The taste is lemony with a pronounced wheat base. There is a light pepper accent that comes out in the finish. The alcohol content is 7.9% ABV. I would say that no flavor stands alone in this beer and overall it is a wonderful blend of flavors and refreshing. While drinking it, I think of how simple it is, but that is exactly how I would like my saison to be, and this one is spot on.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
I ordered a bottle of Firestone Walker Parabola from Northwest Liquid Gold, and I anxiously awaited it to arrive from the FedEx delivery person. The beer pours a thick black color with a thin bubbly tan head. The aroma consists of licorice, tobacco, chocolate, oak, bourbon, and vanilla, all coming together to be reminiscent of cookie dough. The mouth feel is smooth like silk with milk chocolate, vanilla, tobacco, and toasted malts coming out on the front end. The finish warms with a sweet bourbon and also drives out with oak flavors. The after taste sweetens again with licorice and leaves a chocolate chip cookie flavor that lingers for a while. The alcohol content is 13.0% ABV. The Parabola was smooth, wonderful, and full of flavors, worthy of its massive hype each year. The beer itself has enough brawn to stand up against the bourbon flavors, rather than the bourbon overtaking the beer, which was much appreciated. It is also difficult to discern that it is a 13% beer, so beware or the alcohol may sneak up on you.
My buddy Matt brought over a bottle of the Sly Fox-De Proef Brouwerij collaboration Broederlijke Liefde (Brotherly Love), the beer brewed for Philly Beer Week. The beer pours an orange-tinted golden color with a lofty and frothy white head. The aroma consists of pepper, lemon, orange, yeast, funk, and vinegar. The taste is smooth and sweet with lemon, yeast, orange, yeast, biscuit flavors on the front end. The finish bring out a slight sour tinge and dry peppery flavors with an earthy hop accent coming alive in the after taste. The alcohol content is 8.0% ABV, very high for a saison. This was a wonderful saison with great earthy and citrus notes, all while packing a nice alcohol punch. As far as collaboration beers, this is one of the better that have been made.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
I took a Saturday lunch trip to The Brew Works in Allentown, and one of the beers I ordered was Knuckleball, a Belgian blonde. The beer pours a golden color with a bubbly white head. The aroma is sweet with Belgian malts, grass, pepper, lemon, caramel, and sour hops finishing out the nose. The taste is sweet and biscuty with lots of sweet malts, caramel, and a cracker taste. The after taste leaves a grassy and slightly sour malt flavor lingering on the tongue. The alcohol content is 4.2% ABV. The Kncukleball was a very good beer but maybe slightly on the sweet side. I won’t say that is a detriment to this beer because the sour and grassy hops bring the flavor back to the dry and bitter side, making it very enjoyable in warm weather.
I ordered a glass of Flying Dog Woody Creek from Al’s of Hampden. The beer pours a pale yellow color that is unfiltered with a thin filmy white head. The aroma consists of lemon, cream, wheat, pepper, and orange. The taste is smooth and lemony, has an orange accent, and a solid wheat base. There is a dry peppery finish with grassy hops mixed in as well. The alcohol content is 4.8% ABV. Overall, the Woody Creek is refreshing and well done, a perfect beer for drinking on the patio of your favorite beer joint.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
While at Al’s of Hampden, I ordered a glass of Cains Best Bitter. The beer pours a caramel color with a lofty creamy head that is solid and lingers well after the pour is complete. The aroma is malty with a solid caramel base and a slightly bitter hop accent. The taste is creamy and smooth with lots of sweet malts on the front end. There is a slight bitter finish with nice hop accent that leaves the mouth dry. The alcohol content is not posted online, but I would guess it to be around 4.5% ABV. I cannot say that I am well versed in English bitters, but this beer was top notched and had an excellent flavor. I will attempt to order more bitters in the future, especially if it is brewed by Cains.
I ordered a glass of Southern Tier Hop Sun while out to dinner at The Brewhouse in Camp Hill (yet another failed photo opportunity). The beer pours a golden color with a thin bubbly white head. The aroma is faint but has lemon, wheat, and pine hops. The taste is sweet and light with a good helping of lemon citrus and wheat flavors. The finish has malts sweeten the tongue with a peppery accent and the after taste has a light pine hop dryness. The alcohol content is 5.1% ABV. This was citrus filled beer that was plenty refreshing for the warmer months of the year, and was especially thirst quenching with a plate of food in front of me. This is a great beer to have with the lighter fare typically ordered in summer.
Monday, July 18, 2011
I ordered a bottle of Deschutes Black Butte XXIII from Northwest Liquid Gold. Upon opening the bottle, I enjoyed the encouraging words under the car that read “bravely done.” The beer pours a dark black color with a frothy tan head that barely recedes and lingers for a while. The aroma consists of dark chocolate, sweet bourbon, cherry, orange, toasted malts, vanilla, and caramel. The taste is smooth and biting with a sharp bourbon pinch right on the front end of the experience. After the bourbon subsides a little, chocolate, caramel, toasted malts, and vanilla peek through and sweeten the tongue. The finish brings out some orange and pepper before the bourbon returns and warms the throat. The alcohol content is 10.8% ABV. A word that describes this beer is “wow.” The smoothness of the beer, despite its alcohol content and bourbon accents, is impeccable and even brings a slight citrus accent to sweeten thing up. My response to their “bravely done” comment is “nicely done.”
I ordered a bottle of Alaskan Imperial IPA, part of the Pilot Series, from Northwest Liquid Gold. The beer pours a caramel color with a lofty and frothy head that leaves a nice lacing behind on the glass. The aroma consists of sticky hop oils, grapefruit, tangerine, caramel, biscuits, pine, and lemon. The taste is sweet at first with a solid caramel backbone before lots of bitter hops attack the tongue. The citrus profile is prevalent here, with tangerine, apricot, orange, grapefruit, and lemon. The finish has some pine, pepper, and spruce dry out the tongue. The after taste leave some biscuit notes on the tongue as well as an oily residue. The alcohol content is 8.5% ABV. I was impressed with the variety of citrus notes in this beer, and the solid caramel backbone that everything is built upon. The oily after taste is reminiscent of Pliny the Elder, but not quite as pronounced or prolonged. If you get a chance to try this beer, I recommend doing so.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
My buddy Matt brought over a bottle of Lost Abbey Inferno to share with me and a couple of friends. I apparently neglected to snap a photo of the beer, and I apologize. The beer pours a golden color with a lively and lofty white head that leaves lots of lacing on the glass. The aroma is grassy, lemon, and wheat with slight hints of orange and pepper. The mouth feel is light and bubbly on the tongue and the taste has lots of lemon and pepper on the front end. Lemon and orange sweeten the finish and there is a wheat and spicy after taste. The alcohol content is 8.5% ABV. The Inferno had a wonderful blend of citrus and spice, making it refreshing yet complex. This beer is perfect for summer when you needs a thirst quenching beer that has plenty of flavor to entertain your tongue.
I stopped in to Al’s of Hampden to meet up with NoVA_Beer, and I ordered a glass of Port Brewing 5th Anniversary on cask. The beer pours a golden color with a frothy white head. The aroma consists of pine, lemon, tangerine, and grapefruit. The taste is bitter at first with a citrus explosion of tangerine, orange, grapefruit, and lemon that follows. The finish brings out a caramel sweetness and the after taste is peppery and dry. The alcohol content is 10.0% ABV. The 5th Anniversary offering from Port was an excellent West Coast imperial IPA and I will definitely order this beer again if I see it on draft. There was so much citrus flavor contained in one glass that it was almost a delicacy, but it was also plenty bitter to balance thing out on the tongue.