Archive for the ‘Beer Reviews’ Category

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Beer Review: Adelscott Biere Aromatisee Au Malt A Whisky

January 18, 2010

This, it turns out, is my 100th post. I decided to post a review from tasting notes I took on my trip to France last year. As best I can tell, Adelscott Bière Aromatisèe Au Malt À Whisky is a beer aged in whisky barrels, though I can’t be sure of that at all.

I bought the beers I tried in France with absolutely no frame of reference at all, so I had no idea if I was buying something akin to our Budweiser or something of quality.  I tended to lean towards beers that said “brune” (brown) somewhere in the name, or this one, because it sounded like it was aged in whisky barrels. I’ve had very enjoyable experiences with beers aged in whiskey or bourbon barrels, so I gave it a shot. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Beer Review: Brooklyn Brewery’s Brooklyn Lager

January 16, 2010

I’ve only recently experienced Brooklyn Brewery‘s beers firsthand, though I’ve heard nothing but good things about them for some time.  I first tried this Brooklyn Lager after trying their Brooklyn Brown Ale, but just recently found the tasting notes, so I thought I’d post it.

About The Brewer
Brooklyn Brewery was started in 1997 by, oddly enough, a former Associated Press Middle East correspondent (Steve Hindy) and a banker (Tom Potter).  The brewery is involved in many different charitable causes and even takes advantage of wind power. In 2003, Brooklyn Brewery became the first New York City company to switch to 100% wind-generated electricity. Incidentally, Linus Hall of Yazoo Brewing here in Nashville, interned with Brooklyn Brewery.

About The Beer
This beer is an American Amber Lager, brewed with American Two-Row Malts and Hallertauer Mittelfrueh, Vanguard and Cascade hops.

According to the bottle:

Amber gold, with a malty body and a floral hop character, Brooklyn Lager is a revival of Brooklyn’s pre-Prohibition all malt lagers.

The Pour
This pours to a nice, thick two-finger pillowy head that consists of a very light tan color and tiny bubbles. The beer is a great, clear amber color. The head settles a good bit quite quickly.

The Nose
What is that? This smells of malt and hops but something else is in there, hiding. I can slowly coax out good floral hoppy notes and hints of yeast, with very intriguing butterscotch or caramel notes reluctantly being drawn out of the glass.

The Taste
This beer lays down the standard lager foundation, but modifies it with a slightly sweet maltiness and slightly bitter hoppiness vying for attention on the palate.  The yeast almost gives it a breadiness as well. Medium bodied, this beer is very smooth and eminently drinkable. With repeated samplings, the slight hints of butterscotch or caramel found in the nose make teasing appearances on the palate. As it warms, a slightly spicy sourness develops on the finish.

Overall
If you’ve read some of my other reviews, you know I’m not a fan of lagers. I usually find them lacking in character and depth, and without a unique personality. This is a definite exception. I find this one intriguing and tasty. The hidden depths of flavors give you plenty to explore.

Recommended: Definitely.  This is a really good beer….as a lager, it is exceptional!

Price: $8.39/6-pack at Midtown Wine and Spirits

ABV: 5.2%

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Beer Review: Biere Du Boucanier

January 14, 2010

photo courtesy beeradvocate.com

Good evening, and welcome to tonight’s episode of “Pirate Beers and the men who love them”! This beer came in a mixed variety pack of beers I bid on and won at a silent auction late last summer/early fall. They’ve been hanging out (aging? :D) in my closet for some time and I was finally able to try some of them recently.

This one was Biere Du Boucanier, a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. I wasn’t sure what to expect, really, especially from looking at the bottle. I didn’t expect much, really. The bottle made me feel like I was about to enjoy a bottle of whole milk, not beer.

But then I tried it…

The Pour
This pours to a nice deep, dark ruby brown color. It has a nice thick, pillowy beige head. Looks promising…

The Nose
This smells of chocolate and roasted malt with hints of caramel. It smells very sweet but it also has a dryness on the edge of the nose. There are also hints of oak and dark, tart fruit.

The Taste
The malty sweetness of this brew is offset by a subtle sourness that really grows on you the more you experience it. Tastes a little like good tart cherries barely coated in chocolate. This is a very smooth, medium bodied brew. The mouthfeel is slightly oily but with a crispness on the edge of the tongue. There are slight hints of the higher alcohol content on the finish, which almost gives it a whiskey hint. This warms the palate nicely.

Overall
This seems far more complex than I was expecting, with a lot to enjoy and experience with each swallow. The sourness of tart cherries keep it from being overly sweet. After drinking this beer, I found myself craving more beers that show this sourness to their character. I enjoyed it a great deal.

Recommended: Absolutely! I can still, days later, taste the sourness of this beer, and I want more!

Price: Unknown (part of an auction package)

ABV: 9%

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Beer Review: Buckbean Brewing’s Very Noddy Lager

January 6, 2010

Good evening beer fans…I finished the Fall 2009 semester a couple of weeks ago now but have just now finally been able to update my poor blog. Hope you enjoy. Tonight’s beer review comes to you from the kind folks at Buckbean Brewing Company, who sent me reviewing samples of this Imperial Schwarzbier.  I’ve previously reviewed their Original Orange Blossom Ale, Black Noddy Lager and Tule Duck Red Ale, so you know I’m a fan of their beer.

Here’s what they say:

Brewed specially for owner Doug Booth’s 40th birthday, this Imperial Schwarzbier has twice the malt and hops of our Black Noddy Lager, creating a deep black color, rich, nutty malt flavors and a smooth hop bite. A symphony of balanced intensity!

Here’s what I say…

The Pour
This beer pours from the can into a pint glass extremely thick. Pours to a two finger thick head that’s a light coffee with cream color. The beer looks like a very dark ruby brown around the edges of the glass. Other than the edges, it looks like motor oil.

The Nose
This has a great smoky, malty nose with coffee and caramel notes. There are also slightly noticeable floral hop notes hiding in there as well. As it warms, faint hints of raisin are also detected.

The Taste
This comes across far hoppier than the nose lets on. There are powdery and dry qualities to this full bodied beer. Coffee seems to be the most pronounced flavor I noticed. There is a slight caramel sweetness hiding there beneath the dry flowery hoppiness. It’s more effervescent than I think I was expecting, but the finish is quite dry and leaves your palate ready for another go at this beer. The fact that it’s 10.5% ABV is easily missed when first drinking this beer, as the higher ABV is hidden well. You do notice it after finishing the entire can though!

Overall
I really didn’t know what I thought about this beer at first. My preference is for beers ranging from well balanced to the malty side of things, so the pronounced hoppiness gave me pause at first. But this is an interesting beer, definitely worth trying out. I don’t know that it is as balanced as it could be.

Recommended: I’d encourage fans of hoppier brews to give this a shot and savor it slowly, letting it warm considerably to fully experience it.

Price: Unknown (reviewing sample)

ABV: 10.5%

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Beer Review: Dogfish Head Red and White

August 24, 2009

Doing these beer reviews has made me really appreciate beers that show a lot of complexity and beers made with unique ingredients or with unique flavor profiles. Given that fact, and my love of all things Dogfish Head, I was really anxious to give their Red & White a try. Here is what Dogfish Head has to say about it:

A big, belgian-style Wit brewed with coriander and orange peel and fermented with Pinot Noir juice. After fermentation a fraction of the batch is aged in Oregon Pinot Noir barrels, and another fraction is aged on oak staves. The beer is blended together before packaging.

The Pour
This pours with a very light tan, pillowy and fluffy three finger head. Decent lacing is left on the glass. The beer is orange with coppery undertones and looks quite cloudy. It looks very solid and full bodied at first glance.

The Nose
There is definitely a citrus presence in the nose, tart and lemony but with some spice (the coriander, among other things) notes as well. There is also an underlying sweetness in the nose, something of brown sugar or maple sweetness.

The Taste
This is full bodied and extremely complex! It opens with a good deep fruity red wine profile, I suppose from the pinot noir, followed by a sweetness that melts into tart citrus notes, such as lemon and grapefruit. The higher alcohol content of this brew is noticeable on the finish. This beer has a very creamy, slightly syrupy mouthfeel. Spice notes and citrus come out more as the beer warms. The beer becomes very slightly crisp at the very very end of the finish.

Overall
Overall, I was very pleased with this brew. I found its complexity to be very interesting, keeping you experiencing different flavors with each sip and as it warmed. Fermenting it with the pinot noir juice really adds character and interest to the witbier base. It really takes what probably would have been a tasty, tart witbier and really makes it a beer worthy of taking to a dinner party instead of a traditional bottle of wine.

Recommended: I very highly recommend this for the beer snob out there, or at the very least the adventurous and experienced beer drinker. There are many layers of flavor to be appreciated here, but you should probably have been exposed to a good variety of beer styles and breweries before giving this a shot.

Price: $13.99 / 1 pint, 9.6 fl. oz. bottle

ABV: 10.0%

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Beer Review: Yazoo Hefeweizen

August 11, 2009

You know, when I attended the Craft Beers and Craft Foods event at the Southern Food & Wine Festival, I mentioned to Yazoo owner Linus Hall that I had reviewed Yazoo’s Hefeweizen on my blog. It was only later that I realized I must have lost my tasting notes along the way and had never actually posted a review. So I promptly picked up a couple singles of the brew at Midtown Wine and Spirits in downtown Nashville and worked on rectifying the situation.

The Pour
This pours in a pint glass to a deep, golden straw color with a brilliantly white 1-finger head, consisting of very small, loosely packed bubbles. The head dissipates pretty quickly, leaving pretty slight lacing, if any. The beer is quite hazy from being unfiltered. Be sure to swirl the last fourth of the beer around in the bottle and quickly pour it into your glass to get all the yeasty goodness!

The Nose
This has a good wheaty presence but with great banana in the nose as well. There is a bit of spiciness to it as well. The yeast adds a good quality to the nose, kind of a good doughy, bready note.

The Taste
This is a great Hefeweizen. Medium bodied, it’s yeasty, wheaty and thick feeling, but with enough carbonation to crisp it up and make it finish clean.  The active carbonation also helps the beer finish fairly clean. The wheat is of course the star, and it is quite tasty. Sometimes you can really pick up the yeast in the back of the throat, which is good. It’s great to taste the ingredients that way, as if by drinking the beer you are deconstructing it on your palate. As the beer warms, the banana flavor comes out more, and the spice hints noticed in the nose come out as cloves.

Overall
I’ve still not had a large number of wheat beers, but of the ones I’ve had so far, this is probably one of my favorites. Crisper than some wheat beers, it is very interesting the way the flavors of banana and wheat share the spotlight, while spice notes and good yeasty flavors appear around the edges from time to time. Overall, this is a good solid Hefeweizen, but with flavor profiles and body that make it more interesting and enjoyable. Incidentally, German tourists visiting the brewery made very favorable comparisons between this beer and good German Hefeweizens.

Recommended: Yes, it’s a very well crafted Hefeweizen that’s not just a wheat beer. Plus you just can’t go wrong with Yazoo

Price: $1.59 / 12 oz bottle (bought singly)

ABV: 5.0%

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Beer Review: Buckbean’s Brewing’s Tule Duck Red Ale

July 29, 2009

As promised, my package from Buckbean Brewing Company did arrive, and boy was I happy to see it. I’ve been looking forward to this for 2 months! Along with the Original Orange Blossom Ale I have been eagerly awaiting, I received a tall can of Tule Duck Red Ale. Here’s what their Web site had to say about this beer:

This deep red, robust ale combines a silky smooth, rich body with a fruity, caramel malt flavor and a soft, herbal dry hopped finish. A full flavored, classic beer that pairs well with hearty foods of all types.

Sounds great, right? Well, I’ll be the judge of that!   ;-D

The Pour
This looked almost thick coming out of the can. It poured to a one finger head, which is a light brown color, somewhat like the color of brown rice lightened up a notch. The head was somewhat short-lived, and the lacing was of a decent amount. The beer itself is a reddish-tinged lightly chocolatey color and is quite opaque.

The Nose
There is a definite maltiness present, that gives the nose a caramel and roasted malt intro with woody hints. It smells very tasty, and clean and crisp but with a good (not overly cloying) sweetness.

The Taste
Something of a sweet coffee taste is what I noticed right up front. Roasty coffee and woody flavors linger a while on the finish in the back of the throat. As the beer warms and multiple swallows are taken, mineral notes and a pleasant mustiness make their presence known. Halfway through the can, and also as it warms, a little bit of floral hop flavor is also detected. This beer seems a tad shy of full bodied. It’s crisp but it does soften on the finish as the Buckbean Web site mentions.

Overall
I actually haven’t had a lot of red ales in my day. In actuality, the only red beer I can even think of that I’ve ever tried is Killian’s Irish Red, and that was so long ago I don’t even really remember what that was like. But this beer was not what I was expecting. But overall, I think this is a very good beer. It’s a good, malty brew with enough hoppiness to dry and crisp it up and avoid being nothing but malt. The depth of flavor comes through as you drink the beer, which is always a good thing. I liked this beer very much!

Recommended: Yes, if you can get this, it is worth every penny of whatever you have to pay for it. Buckbean Brewing Company comes across to me as a brewery that knows what it’s doing and does it their own unique way.

Price: Unknown (sample sent for reviewing)

ABV: Unknown, but from drinking it, I would have to say it is 6% or higher. Could be the fact that I drank it on an empty stomach, though.