Saturday, December 3, 2011
Maine Beer Company Mean Old Tom from Al’s of Hampden. This is a stout aged on natural vanilla beans. The beer pours a black color with a frothy tan head head that leaves some lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of chocolate, vanilla, toasted malts, molasses, and a nice helping of coffee. The taste is smooth and chocolaty that has a silky mouth feel. There is a solid toasted malt background before a sweet vanilla flavor pops out of the beer. The is an oaky finish that leaves some coffee flavors linger. The alcohol content is 6.5% ABV. I really enjoyed the amount of vanilla that took over this beer, all built on top of a silky smooth chocolate and toasted malt base. It drinks really easy, and is quite tasty, which could be seen as a detriment as to how light-bodied this beer is.
Cigar City Tocobaga Red Ale over to share. The beer pours a a reddish amber color with a frothy off-white colored head. The aroma consists of caramel, pepper, pine, and oak. The taste is biting and bitter with pine and lemon hops biting on the front end. A solid caramel base sweetens out the beer before a bitter pepper finish. The alcohol content is 7.2% ABV. This was a decent red ale with some good bitterness, but I feel that it may have been lacking something. I can’t place my finger on what it needed, and I would need to drink this beer again to determine what it is.
Friday, December 2, 2011
Evil Twin Brewing (no website?!) 9th Symphony at Al’s of Hampden, and this was my first exposure to this brewery. The beer pours a golden color with a lofty and foamy white head that lingers for an extremely long time and leaves some lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of pepper, oak, Belgian yeast, oak, wine, and earthy tones. The mouth feel is bubbly and very carbonated on the tongue. The taste is dry and yeasty with candisugar, oak, wine, pepper and dirty and earthy tones on the finish. The alcohol content is 9.0% ABV. I think this beer would have fallen on the sweeter side of things in its orphan state, but maturing it in wine barrels really added a dry oakiness to it with some wine accents as well. It actually falls on the dry side now, but it was quite delicious.
Sierra Nevada-Abbey of New Clairvaux collaboration Ovila Quad at Al’s Pub in Enola while watching my buddy Nathan perform live. The beer pours a dark brown color with a thin filmy off-white colored head. The aroma consists of raisins, caramel, pepper, fig, and grass. The taste is smooth and sweet with lots of malts, chocolate, raisin, fig, and red grapes. There is a yeasty finish with toasted malts, coffee, cherry coming out as well. The after taste is dry and smoky. The alcohol content is 10.4% ABV. Of the three Ovila series beer, this one was my favorite, as it was a delicious beer but extremely complex. IT actually is one of the better Quads that I have tried.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Le Trou Du Diable La Buteuse (Brassin Special) from his cellar to share when I was over for dinner. The beer pours a caramel color with a frothy white head. The aroma consists of yeast, candisugar, toffee, and caramel. The taste is smooth and sweet with lots of yeast and candisugar flavors on the front end. There is some raisin accents and a light alcohol burn and warmth accompanied by oak on the finish. The after taste leaves some apple brandy flavors that linger. The alcohol content is 10.0% ABV. This was a rather delicious beer that was very yeast-centric. It had a nice sweetness to it, but the balancing of the apple brandy and oak kept it from being too sweet.
Hoppin’ Frog Frosted Frog Christmas Ale from Al’s of Hampden and brought it over to my buddy’s Adam’s place to share with friends. The beer pours a red-tinted amber color with a thin bubbly off-white colored head. The aroma is big on cinnamon and ginger with hints of nutmeg and pepper. The taste is dry with cinnamon, nutmeg, and a hint of sugar. A solid caramel base announces itself before a before a ginger spice kicks in and bitters the palate. The alcohol content is 8.6% ABV. I thought this was a rather good spiced beer that was very dry. For those that don’t like spice-heavy beer, this may not be for you, but I loved how it tasted very similar to gingerbread cookies.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Samuel Smith Yorkshire Stingo over to my house to share. The beer pours a caramel color with a thin filmy off-white colored head. The aroma consists of oak, caramel, raisin, pepper, and fig. The taste is sweet and smooth with a bit of a carbonation bite to it. The sweetness contains some raisin, fig, and caramel. There is a dry oaky finish that is really complimentary of the entire beer. The alcohol content is 8.0% ABV. This beer was greatly helped by the oak accents, as otherwise I would have thought it to be too sweet. However, it was nicely balanced and very well done that left a great flavor in the mouth.
Brouwerij Girardin Gueuze Girardin 1882 (Black Label) to share one night. The beer pours a golden color with a thin filmy white head. The aroma consists of hay, barnyard funk, horse blanket, lemon, vinegar, and grass. The taste is big on vinegar on the front end before a musty funk sets in. There is plenty of lemon, horse blanket, grass, and barnyard funk in this beer. A hint of pepper lingers on the finish. The alcohol content is 5.0% ABV. This was a solid gueuze with a nice sour flavor, but the funk is what stole the show. It really left a wonderful flavor in the mouth, and I would love to try it again.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Alaskan Smoked Porter to share with me, and I gladly obliged. The beer pours a dark brown color with a bubbly tan head that leaves a faint amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of chocolate, roasted malts charcoal, smoke, and a hint of vanilla. The taste is smooth and chocolaty at first with a good helping of toasted malts. And then the smoke settles in. This is a well smoked beer without over smoking the tongue. It lingers on top of the tongue and tastes like a charcoal barbecue. The after taste has a hint of oak and vanilla. The alcohol content is 6.5% ABV. I absolutely loved this beer with its wonderful balance of sweetness and smokiness. It is not overly smoked, but what smoke is in it, lingers and reminds you of a summer barbecue.
Maine Beer Company Peeper Ale from Al’s of Hampden, as they just began distributing in Pennsylvania. The beer pours a pale copper color with a lofty and frothy white colored head that laves a fair amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of a heavy dose of pine and spruce while lemon, pepper, and caramel hang around in the background. The taste is bitter yet smooth and sweet at the same time, a very complimenting balance. There is a good amount of pine and spruce flavor that comes out at first, but it sits atop a bed of smooth and sweet caramel and lemon. The finish bring out a pepper pinch, and the after taste leaves an earthiness behind. The alcohol content is 5.5% ABV. I was stunned at the balance of this beer and as to how smooth it could be while really adding a bitter hop punch. It delivers all of the things I love in a beer, and I highly recommend this beer.
Monday, November 28, 2011
Victory Otto Ale from Wegman’s in Mechanicsburg while I was grocery shopping. The beer pours a reddish-amber color with a frothy beige colored head that leaves some lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of toasted malts, smoke, wood, campfire, and caramel. The taste is dry and smoky, but not overly so, with a solid caramel based. There are hints of the wood used to smoke this beer with, as well as a bit of pepper. The alcohol content is 8.1% ABV. This was a well done smoked beer, as the smoke does not take over the flavor nor does it completely dry out the mouth. Rather, it provides a nice accents to a sweet caramel base.
Jailhouse Brewing-O’Dempsey’s collaboration Community Service, a wee heavy, from Atlanta. The beer pours a dark amber color with a bubbly beige colored head that doesn’t linger very long. The aroma consists of caramel, toffee, light toasted malts, and a bit of hidden smoke. The taste is smooth and very sweet with plenty of caramel and toffee on the front end. A bit of toasted malt flavor comes out before a spicy black pepper and grassy hop finish hits the back of the mouth and warms the throat a little bit with some alcohol. The alcohol content is 9.0% ABV. This was a rather good wee heavy, although it did err on the sweet side of the palate. However, the hops combined with the alcohol to spice up the finish.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Jolly Pumpkin Lupolo de Hielo, a beer that benefits Pints for Prostates. The beer pours an orange-tinted gold color with a bubbly white head. The aroma consists of lemon, grass, hay, horse blanket, wheat, and fresh cracked pepper. The taste is lightly sour with sweet lemon on top while vinegar lingers in the background. The finish has some a great horse blanket flavor with hay, grass, and pepper. The alcohol content is 6.0% ABV. The balance in this beer was remarkable with a touch of sweetness, tart lemon and vinegar flavor, and a dry finish that leaves you wanting more.
Blue Point Wet Hops Ale. The beer pours a caramel color with a frothy off-white colored head. The aroma consists of grapefruit, sugar, caramel, and lemon. The taste is fresh with ruby red grapefruit, a solid caramel base, lemon accents, and a peppery dry finish. The alcohol content is not available online, but I would estimate it to be about 6.0% ABV. This was a solid fresh hop beer that is grapefruit centric. It won’t blow you away like some fresh hop beers like Founders, but it was a good performer.