Saturday, February 18, 2012
Flying Dog Kujo Imperial Coffee Stout from Al’s of Hampden. The beer pours a black color with with a frothy tan head that barely leaves any lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of toasted malts, chocolate, coffee, and a touch of vanilla. The taste is dry with a large coffee profile on the front end. Hints of chocolate and toasted malts make a presence, with caramel and vanilla coming out on the finish. The alcohol content is 8.9% ABV. I’d say this is a well put together coffee stout with a large, fresh coffee profile, but the chocolate provides a solid base to build upon.
Ballast Point Victory at Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter from Al’s of Hampden. The beer pours a black color with a frothy tan head that leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of coffee, espresso, caramel, vanilla, dark chocolate, and toasted malts. The taste is full of dark and bitter chocolate with lots of toasted malts. Once the bold chocolate flavor subsides a bit, coffee takes over the mouth with a touch of vanilla sweetness. The finish is dry and roasted that lingers for a while with a bitterness and a bit of carbonation bite on the back of the throat. The alcohol content is 10.0% ABV. The dark chocolate bitterness and the coffee bitterness really played nicely together, bound by the vanilla sweetness. It definitely ranks up there with the better coffee infused beers.
Friday, February 17, 2012
Troegs Scratch 57- Weizenbock from the brewery. The beer pours a red-tinted amber color with a frothy beige head that leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of raspberry, chocolate, caramel, and malts. The taste is big of dry bitter chocolate with a great sweet raspberry accent that provides some tartness. A peppery spice kick in with some carbonation bite. More chocolate comes out in the finish with toasted malts, a touch of caramel, and vanilla sweetness. The alcohol content is 7.9% ABV. I like how dark and bitter chocolate played really well with bitter raspberry flavors, but the toasted malt background with a touch of vanilla really made the beer.
Troegs announced the return of the discontinued Rugged Trail Nut Brown Ale. I think brown ales are underutilized and often not appreciated, but I loved a good brown ale. The beer pours a dark brown color with a frothy tan head. The aroma consists of toasted malt and caramel, simple yet wonderful. The taste places roasted malts on the front end with a great toast flavor. A caramel undertone provides a solid backbone and there is a nice bite on sides of mouth. The alcohol content is 4.4% ABV. Again, I was excited to see this beer return, and I look forward to drinking it again and again, as Troegs continues to produce it.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Dogfish Head Noble Rot. The beer pours a pale golden color with a bubbly white head. The aroma consists of sweet grape, lemon, grass, and pepper. The taste is sweet with a slight grape sourness. Pepper and grass have a strong presence, and wheat provides a good base with lemon accents. A nice bubbly and carbonated mouth feel greets the tongue on the finish. The alcohol content is 8.3% ABV. This combination of wine and beer makes for a rather tasty and pleasant experience. I think it would prove to be a great beer to give to wine connoisseurs to get them to convert to craft beer.
Left Hand Fade to Black, Volume 3- Pepper Porter at Al’s of Hampden. The beer pours a black color with a bubbly tan head. The aroma consists heavily of chili peppers, chocolate, and toasted malts. The taste is smooth and dry with a bubbly mouth feel. There is good chocolate base, but the focus is a balanced pepper spice. There are also hints of toasted malts and caramel lingering in the background. The alcohol content is 6.8% ABV. I really enjoyed this version of Fade to Black, although probably not as much as last year’s version. It was a wonderfully put together porter with chili accents, and everything fell in to place nicely.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Straub Groundhog Brew. The beer pours an amber color with a lofty and frothy cream-colored head that leaves some speckles of lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of caramel, grassy hops, and has a light sour malt hint. The taste is refreshing and very clean with a light caramel taste. Grassy hops take over a lightly bitter the mouth. The alcohol content is not posted online, but I would assume it to be about 4.5% ABV. While the reviews on Beer Advocate indicate poor, I believe it was from a previous run of this beer. This version was an extremely easy drinking beer with a good flavor, and just enough hops to provide balance.
Shipyard Applehead from Al’s of Hampden as part of a mixed six-pack. The beer pours a golden color with a bubbly white head that lingers for a little while. The aroma consists of wheat, apple, cinnamon, caramel, and a hint of lemon. The taste is much better than the aroma is very reminiscent of apple pie with apples, caramel, cinnamon, and nutmeg flavors. There is a slight crust flavor as well as some lemon with a dry, grassy finish. The alcohol content is 4.5% ABV. This beer was much better than I expected, and it had a great apple pie flavor.It wasn’t quite like apple juice, which was also a good thing, keeping away from being too sweet.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Les Trois Mousquetaires Porter Baltique as part of the Michael Jackson Rare Beer of the Month Club. The beer pours a black color with a lofty and frothy tan head that leaves lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of toasted malts, molasses, chocolate, vanilla, caramel, and grassy hops. The taste is bold and very chocolaty with a mixture of milk and dark chocolate. Plenty of toasted malts with a hint of smoke come out to play before being smoothed out by caramel and vanilla. The after taste leaves some grassy hops behind. The alcohol content is 10.0% ABV. I was entirely impressed this beer and the amount of flavor packed into a glass. Some much chocolate was present on the tongue, but toasted malts took the starring role, all tied together with caramel, molasses, and vanilla flavors.
Monday, February 13, 2012
Iron Hill Octagon, a quad. The beer pours a dark amber color with a frothy beige head. The aroma consists of alcohol, raisin, oak, and caramel. The taste is sweet with raisin, fig, date, and caramel. The finish brings out vanilla and even more caramel. The alcohol content is 15.0% ABV. I was quite impressed with the Belgian Quad, as it was well put together, and the alcohol content was well hidden. The good, sweet flavors made their presence known, but this was not a sweet-bomb.
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Stewart’s Stumblin’ Monk. The beer pours a clear golden color with a filmy white head. The aroma was very off-putting and consisted mostly of ammonia with some grass, but it was hard to detect anything over the chemical smell. The taste is sweet with banana, yeast, and pepper. A dry earthy finish comes out at the end. The alcohol content is 9.2% ABV. It all began with the smell, but this was not really that good of a beer. I didn’t take too kindly to the ammonia smell, and the flavors just felt thrown together, rather than blending nicely.