Saturday, January 21, 2012
Cisco Brewers Indie Pale Ale from D’s Six Pax and Dogz while in Pittsburgh. The beer pours a copper color with a foamy white colored head that leaves some lacing behind on the glass. The aroma consists of grapefruit, tangerine, passion fruit, caramel, lemon, and pine. The taste is dry and bitter with roasted caramel coming up front before the citrus burst of grapefruit, tangerine, orange, and lemon. There are also hints of passion fruit before the finish brings out pepper and spruce. The alcohol content is 7.58% ABV. I like the citrus aspect of this beer, but I felt that the toasted malt flavors slightly got in the way of it being refreshing and excellently hopped. Don’t get me wrong: I liked the beer, but I wouldn’t put it up there with the best IPAs.
Stoudt’s Revel Red Hoppy Ale from D’s Six Pax and Dogz in Pittsburgh. The beer pours a red-tinted amber color with a lofty and frothy cream colored head that leaves some lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of caramel, lemon, pine, and has some hints of grass, grapefruit, and passion fruit. The taste is smooth and sweet at first with caramel and toasted toffee on the front end. A sharp hop bite kicks in and gives off some lemon, pine, and pepper flavors. The finish is dry and leaves some toasted malt and grassy flavors behind. The alcohol content is 6.5% ABV. The hops in this beer really take over the flavor profile, as there is only limited exposure to the sweet caramel and toffee flavors. They aren’t overly intense, but provide a decent balance to the sweetness.
Friday, January 20, 2012
Maine Beer Company Zoe from Al's of Hampden. The beer pours a dark amber color with a lofty and frothy beige color that leaves lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of toasted malts, caramel, toffee, pine, lemon, and pepper. The taste is bitter and hoppy with plenty of pine, lemon, and pepper on the front end. The beer then smooths out a bit with caramel, toffee, and toasted malts. The finish has some linger lemon flavor and pepper that hangs onto the back of the mouth. The alcohol content is 7.2% ABV. This was a rather delicious amber beer with plenty of hop content, making me salivate the entire time drinking it.
Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck St. Louis Gueuze Fond Tradition from D’s Six Pax and Dogz. The beer pours a golden color with a bubbly white head that has a nice fizzling sound. The aroma consists of vinegar, hay, barnyard fun, candi sugar, and lemon. The taste is funky with a bite of vinegar on the front end. Hay, grass, and barnyard funk kick in on the finish, and the after taste leaves some pepper and earthy flavors behind. The alcohol content is 5.0% ABV. For the price, this is a wonderful gueuze with great funky flavors and a nice sour kick.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
New Glarus Thumbprint Chocolate Abbey from RealStormKing in a beer trade. The beer pours a dark brown color with a frothy beige colored head that leaves some slight lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of chocolate, raisin, fig, and caramel. The taste is smooth and chocolaty, similar to hot chocolate, with a solid base of chocolate, fig, caramel, and toasted malts. The finish is rather bubbly, and the after taste leaves some earthy and grassy hops linger behind in the mouth. The alcohol content is not available online, but I wold estimate it to be about 8.0% ABV. The chocolate additions to this Belgian dubbel was overly enjoyable. It provided a great dry and chocolaty accent to the sweet flavors of raisin and fig.
Furthermore Knot Stock from D’s Six Pax and Dogz in Pittsburgh. The beer pours an amber color with a frothy off-white colored head. The aroma consists of caramel, lemon, and pepper. The taste is big on pepper, as expected, with some caramel, hints of grass, and a currant flavor. The alcohol content is 5.5% ABV. The flavor of this beer was very biting, but not as much as expected. While I wouldn’t rank it as one of my favorite beers, it certainly was original and gave a much more peppery accent than solely from hop flavors.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Southern Tier Oak Aged Pumking, and I have to thank Fat Head’s in Pittsburgh for arranging to tap it when I was in town. The beer pours an orange-amber color with a thin filmy white head. The aroma, as with the non-aged version, consists of pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, pie, and has some hints of oak. The taste is also right down the alley of Pumking, but the oak dulls some of sweetness. It is still easy to pick up the pumpkin pie sweetness, but some of the nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon flavor pull a little more forward. Finally, the oak dries out the finish, eliminating the sweet film that is left on the side of the mouth. The alcohol content is 8.6% ABV. The Oak Aged Pumking is mellower version of a great beer, in my opinion. For those that know me and/or read this blog know that I love Pumking, but I liked this version even better, as the oak gives it a more mature flavor and mouth feel.
Nebraska Little Betty. The beer pours a black color with a thin filmy tan head. The aroma consists of chocolate, caramel, roasted malts, coffee, leather, and molasses. The taste is smooth before a dry coffee flavor settles in with dark chocolate, roasted malts, and molasses. The finish is a bit dry, mostly due to the coffee, with a hint of vanilla sweetness. The alcohol content is 9.5% ABV. The Little Better had a really good flavor, especially with coffee accents, and had a nice earthy hop flavor. The after taste that linger combined coffee, chocolate, and earthy hops, an excellent combination to hang on to for a while.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Flying Dog Oak Aged Gonzo at Fat Head’s. The beer pours a black color with a bubbly tan head. The aroma consists of chocolate, vanilla, toasted malts, milk, and oak. The taste is biting at first with bourbon but as it warms, it becomes a sweeter bourbon flavor. There are vanilla accents aplenty in this beer while the chocolate moves to the background with toasted malts and molasses. The alcohol content is 9.5% ABV. There was lots of bourbon in this beer, but I thought it blended very well with the intense chocolate and toasted malt profile of Gonzo. The touch of vanilla was perfect for this beer, and it played really well with the caramel flavors.
Penn Brewery B2 Black IPA from Bites and Brews in Pittsburgh. According to Bites and Brews' Facebook page, this beer will be the house beer at all B2 locations. The beer pours a dark brown color with a foamy off-white colored head. The aroma consists of caramel, toasted malts, lemon, cream, and pine. The taste is dry and roasty with lemon and pine. There are hints of caramel and chocolate in the background, but this beer really focuses on the toasted flavor. The alcohol content 6.0% ABV. If you are looking for a Black IPA that is more porter-like with roasted malt flavors, this is your type of beer. I typically have been shying towards the hoppier Black IPAs, so this wasn’t my favorite in the style, but it still was fairly easy to drink and had plenty of delicious flavors.
Monday, January 16, 2012
Terrapin Oak Aged Big Hoppy Monster at Mad Mex in Shadyside. The beer pours a dark amber color with a bubbly white head. The aroma consists of caramel, oak, pine, and lemon. The taste is smooth and sweet with lots of caramel on the front end. Hints of pine and lemon peek through before a big oak finish. The alcohol content is 8.5% ABV. I would say that the oak aging does the beer well and provides a nice dry to the finish. From what I recall, the beer had somewhat of a subdued hop flavor than the non-aged version, but I think it was a fair trade-off.
Shmaltz He’brew Origin Pomegranate Ale. The beer pours a reddish-amber color with a lofty and frothy off-white colored head that leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of caramel malts, pomegranate juice, and grassy hops. There’s something about this beer, I think the yeast strain, that reminds me of the Jewbelation series, despite this being an imperial amber ale. The taste is dry and very malts. This beer is very toasted malt forward with caramel accents. A dry finish comes out with some pomegranate juice. There are also hints of chocolate lingering in the background and the hops shine on the finish by bringing out grass and pepper flavors. The alcohol content is 8.0% ABV. This was quite a delicious amber ale with plenty of toasted malts and caramel flavor. The pomegranate flavor provided a nice accent to all of these flavors and had a great hop profile as well.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Brasserie Fantome Fantome de Noel from a friend Mark that he picked up at Capone’s. The beer pours a dark golden-amber color with a frothy off-white colored head that leaves a bit of lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of fig, raisin, lemon, hint of vinegar, and hay. The taste is lightly toasted malts with a hint of chocolate. Some raisin and fig does come out, but dissipates rather rapidly to a slightly sour flavor of vinegar, hay, and barnyard funk. The alcohol content is 10.0% ABV. The hint of chocolate in the background of the beer was great as it played well with the slight sourness. The slight hay dryness and lemon accents also were overly enjoyable, making this a multi-dimensional beer.
Philadelphia Brewing Shackamaximum Imperial Stout from my friend Mark. The beer pours a black color with a frothy beige-colored head that leaves specs of lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of chocolate, plenty of toasted malts, hints of smoke, and vanilla. The taste is dry and has plenty of dark Belgian-like chocolates, toasted malts, vanilla, and caramel. The finish has an oakiness to it that is nice and dry. The alcohol content is 10.0% ABV. This was a rather tasty Imperial Stout with a great roasted flavor and a light vanilla flavor, all built upon a great dark chocolate base.