Saturday, December 15, 2012
Catawba Valley Cleopatra. The beer pours a dark amber color with a frothy beige colored head. The aroma consists of caramel, fig, and Belgian yeast and spices. The taste is smooth with Belgian spice and a good fig accent. Caramel, grass, pepper, and a nice earthiness round out the flavors. The alcohol content is 9.0% ABV. Cleopatra was smooth with great spice and a wonderful fig accent, making for an enjoyable drinking experience.
Pizgah Valdez. The beer pours a black color with a thin filmy tan head. The aroma is strong and consists of fresh coffee and roasted malts. While simple and not multidimensional, the aroma was wonderful. The taste is straight coffee with a solid chocolate backbone, a hint of vanilla, and toasted malts. A light caramel splash is left behind on the tongue a spot of coffee that recurs. The alcohol content is 6.8% ABV. I was more than impressed at this wonderful coffee-infused imperial stout and the freshness of the coffee flavors absolutely made the beer.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Catawba Valley Firewater IPA at Barley Taproom and Pizzeria. The beer pours a golden color with a frothy off-white head. The aroma consists of lemon, tangerine, orange, and pine. The taste is bitter and biting with a healthy dose of of hops. The hops yield flavors of pine, lemon, and orange. There is a dry finish with grass and butterscotch that lingers behind. The alcohol content is 5.2% ABV. Overall, I thought this beer was a little unbalanced and mostly just bitter and dry without capitalizing on the full impact of the hops. It fell short of being great, but was decent enough of a beer to still enjoy.
Jackie O’s Cellar Cuvee 5. The beer pours a black color with a thin bubbly tan colored head. The aroma consists of chocolate, raisin, fig, caramel, toasted malts, maple syrup, and oak. The taste is smooth and sweet with lots of maple syrup on the front end. A dark chocolate bitterness balances with some fig and raisin. Oak dryness and a bourbon sweetness accompanied by dry brandy comes out in the finish. The alcohol content is 9.0% ABV. I thought the mixing of an amber ale and an oatmeal stout after aging in barrels provided an amazing blend and complex liquid on my palate that kept me on my toes throughout the experience.
Monday, December 10, 2012
The Bruery Smoking Wood. The beer pours a black color with a frothy tan colored head that leaves lacing on the glass. The aroma consists of smoke, rye, oak, chocolate, and coffee. The taste is bold and robust with a wonderful rye and whiskey flavor all built upon a solid chocolate and caramel backbone. Hints of coffee and smoke peek through with a dry pepper spice on finish with oak accents. The alcohol content is 10% ABV. The backbone holds up to the whiskey flavor and I was surprised as to how much smoke was on the nose but not on the palate. Overall, this is a wonderful with the perfect amount of all flavors.
Crooked Stave Bourbon Barrel Sentience Wild Quadrupel with my Cellar Reserve membership. The beer pours a dark brown color with almost no head. There are a few off-white colored bubbles, but that is about it. The aroma consists of bourbon, cherry, raisin, fig, and oak. The taste is lightly sour and puckering on the front end with some cherry and raspberry flavors. A sweet vanilla and bourbon flavor kicks in strongly with dry bourbon finish. Some fig and raisin peeks through, and then an oak after taste lingers for a while. The alcohol content is 11.5% ABV. The bourbon barrel aging of this beer is phenomenal and adds a touch of sweetness and plenty of dryness to an already tart and sour beer. It all comes together so well because the beer has such a strong backbone.
Sunday, December 9, 2012
Pizza Boy Brewing Simcoe SamuRYE. The beer pours a dark amber color with a bubbly off-white colored head. The aroma consists of sweet grapefruit, tangerine, orange, lemon, passion fruit, and rye. The taste is dry with grapefruit, tangerine, orange, and passion fruit. A bite of rye comes out with other hints of green pepper. The alcohol content is 6.0% ABV. I was a little bit surprised by the pepper flavors that came with this beer, but I think the rye and citrus flavors were able to balance everything and play well together.
Pizza Boy Brewing Punk’in Disorderly on a recent visit. The beer pours an amber color with a thin bubbly white head. The aroma consists of pumpkin, caramel, and nutmeg. The taste is smooth and sweet with pumpkin, lots of caramel, and pilsner malt. There is a light dry hop finish with pepper and hints of nutmeg and allspice. Overall I noticed very little cinnamon which kept the beer from drying out the mouth. The alcohol content is 6.0% ABV. I liked the lack of cinnamon spice in this beer, as I thought it allowed the other spices and pumpkin to shine, and even a slight hop accent.