Saturday, June 16, 2012
Cellar Rats Brewery Black Rat Imperial Stout from Cleveland Food and Brews in a beer trade. The beer pours a black color with an extremely lofty and frothy tan colored head that leaps out of the glass and leaves a bit of a lacing as it subsides. The aroma consists of toasted malts, milk, chocolate, and vanilla. The taste is bitter at first with dark chocolate with toasted malts before a large caramel and milk sweetness take over the mouth. The finish is also pretty sweet with a bit of a vanilla flavor. The alcohol content is 9.2% ABV. This wasn’t a bad imperial stout, but I would say it is a little too sweet for my liking. It could have been balanced a little better with toasted malts and a few bittering hops.
Troegs tasting room was Scratch 68- Zwickel Licker, Lew Bryson’s Scratch beer. The beer pours a golden color with a frothy white head. The aroma is faint but consists of light toffee with hints of grass and earth. The taste is light and tasty with toffee and hints of caramel creating a backbone for dry grass, earth, hay, and light lemon accents. The alcohol content is 5.4% ABV, which surprises me because Lew is very pro-session beer. This Scratch was the better of the two in the Scratch Beer competition with Lew and Jack Curtain in my book, and I definitely ordered another glass of it.
Friday, June 15, 2012
Troegs recently tapped their Philly Beer Week 2012 collaboration Brotherly Suds #3, so I stopped in to give it a taste. The beer is a Vienna Lager and was brewed with brewers from Iron Hill, Sly Fox, Stoudt’s, Yards, and Victory. The beer pours an amber color with a frothy white head that leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of caramel, lemon, and grass. The taste is smooth and sweet with caramel before a delicately balanced bitterness comes into play. Lemon, grass, and pepper all come out and dry the finish, leaving a light residual film on the tongue. The alcohol content is 5.2% ABV. This was a well done beer that had a nice balance of flavors, with none overpowering the others. It was refreshing and easy to drink, which is perfect for the summertime.
I stopped in to the Troegs tasting room to try Jack Curtain’s Scratch Series beer, Scratch 66- Biere De Grouch. The beer pours an amber color with a thin filmy white head. The aroma consists of caramel, toffee, and tea. The taste is spicy and dry with lots of tea flavor on the front end. Caramel, toffee, grassy hops, and pepper all come together for a dry finish. The alcohol content is 6.8% ABV. As this beer warms, it gets sweeter and slightly less enjoyable as it made me more thirsty. I had to get a bottle of water to accompany this beer, so I would say it falls short in staying power, as the sweet body overwhelmed the pepper in the long run.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Great Lakes Barrel Aged Blackout Stout. The beer pours a black color with a bubbly tan head. The aroma consists of bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, toasted malts, and alcohol. The taste is bold and chocolaty with lots of bourbon and vanilla. Some cherry flavor peeks through and the beer finishes with alcohol, oak, and toasted malts, yielding a dry mouth feel. The alcohol content is 9.5% ABV. This was one of the better barrel aged beers that I have ever tried, and I would say drinking it is heavenly. It is very boozy, but the base beer is strong enough to withstand the extra punch.
Shorts Brew Huma Lupa Licious IPA in a beer trade with Cleveland Food and Brews. The beer pours a golden color with a frothy and lofty white head that leaves specs of lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of tangerine, orange, lemon, pine, funk, and caramel. The taste is bitter and dank with lots of funky citrus including tangerine, passion fruit, pineapple, orange, and lemon. There is a hint of caramel in the background, and the finish brings out a hop oil, pepper, and spruce. The alcohol content is 6.9% ABV. This was a fantastic dank IPA with a great passion fruit flavor that was accompanied with other citrus flavors. The whole profile was more than enjoyable, and I would definitely drink another one.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Brew Kettle Old 21 Imperial IPA from Cleveland Food and Brews in a beer trade. This was my first exposure to Brew Kettle, so I was excited to check out a new brewery. The beer pours a golden color with a frothy off-white colored head. The aroma consists of caramel, lemon, tangerine, and orange. The taste is a little bitter but has a big caramel base with lemon, orange, and tangerine citrus flavors. A pepper finish blends all of the flavors together nicely. The alcohol content is 9.5% ABV. I’d say this beer is very clean and pretty well done, with all of the flavors blending adequately and balancing each other.
Uinta Birthday Suit 19th Anniversary Sour Cherry Ale while in Deep Creek Lake, MD. The beer pours a red-amber color with a frothy white head. The aroma consists of cherry, malt, caramel, and pie crust. The taste is tart and filled with cherry. A light vinegar pucker hits the tongue before resuscitating the tongue with a hint of sugar. The beer has a bubbly mouth feel and an overall good flavor. The alcohol content is 5.7% ABV. I thought that the beer had a light body and it was a little too watery, but the flavor profile made up for it a bit. It was the best representation of an American Wild Ale, but did have nice flavors and could be used to introduce somebody to sour ales.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Ballast Point Tongue Buckler to share on a brew day. I previously tasted this beer on cask and dry-hopped at Al’s of Hampden, but this was a great opportunity to try the beer as intended. The beer pours a red-amber color with a frothy eggshell colored head. The aroma consists of caramel, lemon, and tangerine. The taste is bitter and dry with a caramel and toasted malt base. Bitter tangerine, orange, and grapefruit provide a citrus freshness and the finish has pepper, pine, and hop oils. The alcohol content is 10.0% ABV. I enjoyed this beer very much on the second go-around, as it had a great hop focus with a solid backbone that can carry the taste the entire way throughout the experience.
Rock Art Belvidere Big IPA on a day in which I was brewing. The beer pours an amber color with floating yeast flakes and a bubbly white colored head. The aroma is fresh smelling with lemon, light caramel, grass, and orange. The taste is dry and bitter with plenty of citrus flavors including orange, tangerine, and lemon. Pine, spruce, and pepper spice up the finish, but keep the beer refreshing and light on the tongue. The alcohol content is 8.0% ABV. This was a rather delicious and fresh tasting beer. My buddy picked it up in-state, so I assume that it was fresh on the shelves and we drank it only days later. The citrus and spices in this beer were prominent but well-balanced against a nice caramel base.
Monday, June 11, 2012
Thornbridge-Odell collaboration Pond Hopper, a Double Extra Pale Ale. The beer pours a golden color with a lofty and frothy white colored head with a light lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of grass, lemon, funk, caramel, bitter hops, spruce, and pepper. The taste is smooth and bitter at the same time with a wonderful blend of caramel and lemon that are intertwined so delicately. There is some bitter pine and pepper flavors that go along with a hint of sweetness, and the finish brings out a light alcohol bite that tingles the lips. The mouth feel of this beer is light and bubbly and the bubbles tickle the tongue. The alcohol content is 8.9% ABV. I can barely express how overly satisfied I was with this beer and its wonderful blend of flavors. The sweetness was prominent, but absolutely balanced with bitterness and alcohol dryness.
I ordered a glass of Arcadia Ales Imperial Stout while at Al’s of Hampden. The beer pours a black color with a bubbly tan head. The aroma consists of chocolate, milk, toasted malts, and caramel. The taste has dark chocolate, coffee, caramel, and vanilla with hints of toasted malts on the finish. The remaining mouth feel has a light dryness and a faint cherry taste. The alcohol content is 9.0% ABV. This was a solid imperial stout with all of the right flavors that were balanced pretty well.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Shmaltz He’brew Hop Manna IPA at Al’s of Hampden. The beer pours an amber color with a thin filmy white head. The aroma is sweet with caramel and lots of toffee, but no balancing bitterness on the nose. The taste is also sweet, piling caramel and plenty of toffee on the tongue. There is a light hint of grass and lemon, but nowhere near enough to balance the malts in this beer. The alcohol content is 6.8% ABV. I would say this is not that great of an IPA. I asked Al if this beer was fresh, and indicated it was so I’m not sure if it was a bad keg or just a bad beer, but I absolutely would not order this beer again.
Pizza Boy Brewing NEON. This beer is interesting as it was made as half hefeweizen and half double IPA. The beer pours a cloudy golden color with a frothy white head. The aroma consists of pepper, lemon, wheat, earth, and pine. The taste is dry and bitter with lemon and pine on the front end. Grassy hops and peppery spices come out on the finish. The alcohol content is 5.3% ABV. This beer was quite different from the normal, as it was a really hoppy wheat beer. Most wheat beers are light and un-punishing, but this beer really rammed home the hops.