RSS

Welcome

Greetings fellow Brewophiles,

This is a simple beer blog dedicated to the better side of beer; that side being anything with character, quality, nuance or just a catchy bottle label. I have been enjoying beer since 2008 and have been an avid beer lover for more than half of that time. I recently decided (with some encouragement) to share my beer-drinking experience with the online world. My goal is to guide those who love beer to some interesting finds and to aid those who are just venturing into the world of hops, malts and yeasts to the better side, the exciting side, of beer drinking. So come and explore the constantly expanding world of beer and brewing!

Remember, if the glass is full, drink up!

C. K.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Tags:

Ommegang’s Game of Thrones: Take the Black Stout

Beer Take the Black Stout
Brewery
Ommegang
Location
Cooperstown, Ny
Type/Style
Belgian Stout
ABV
7%

Take the Black

We just had out first snow of the season this year, and while it may have melted within a few hours, it put me in the mind of the changing seasons. My friend, Nigel, had given me this brew about a month ago, so I decided to embrace the simple fact that Winter is Coming. Time to Take the Black.

To The Eye: Thick and black, no real other way to describe it. Pours somewhat syrupy, with next to no visible carbonation. Leaves roughly one finger of a coffee-and-cream colored head with a long retention.

To The Nose: Very rich dark malts smell, mixed up with a little bit of dark fruit and the wild Belgian yeast smell that is not unusual with Ommegang brews. Slight spiced elements, probably due to the anise seed (and maybe licorice?)

On The Lips: Dominant flavor is the robust roasted, verging on burnt malts. A little bitter chocolate in there as well. This fades to the more delicate anise and wild yeast flavors, but still maintains a dark profile.

On The Tongue: Smooth drinking, with a brisk carbonation up front, which quickly dies down to next to nothing. Pretty solidly in the medium bodied category. A good mouth-coating remains after a few sips. You get a nice chest warmth on the way down, but not as strong as some 7% beers I’ve had.

While the burnt and roasted flavors are a bit heavy-handed, even for a stout, there are the lighter elements of the added spices and Belgian yeast to mix things up. I hoped this would be a big more complex, but I still enjoyed it. Dark and bitter with some strength, it’s not the powerhouse you find in a lot of American brewing these days. And for that, I do enjoy it.

C.K.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 13, 2013 in Beer Review

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Maine Beer Company’s Lunch

Beer Lunch
Brewery
Maine Beer Company
Location
Portland, Me
Type/Style
American IPA
ABV
7%

Lunch

To The Eye: Dark gold leaning towards amber, with lots of visible carbonation and life. Pure white head. The carbonation settled down fairly quickly. Slightly opaque.

To The Nose: Strong resin and pine hops, bright and strong. Very full and well balanced bouquet, with hints of tropical fruits and a sweetness cutting in and out.

On The Lips: Easy drinking up front, with little to no bitterness at first. Very bright with a pine-like quality. A harsh bitterness comes in for the middle, but not overpowering (for my hop-heavy tastes). Finishes with a grapefruit/tropic mix of bitter and sweet. Very delicious!

On The Tongue: Light to medium bodied, very easy drinking. Balanced amount of carbonation, hint of stickiness left over. Bright and fun.

After enjoying Maine Beer Co’s Peeper Ale, I was excited to try their take on the more aggressive IPA. This is a great example of the American take on the style with a strong hop presence without it being heavy handed. Incredibly well balanced on all fronts, a huge hit in my opinion. These guys know their stuff.

C.K.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 5, 2013 in Beer Review

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Elysian Peste Chocolate Chili Ale

Beer Peste Chocolate Chili Ale
Brewery
Elysian
Location
Seattle, Wa
Type/Style
Spiced Ale
ABV
7.5%

Peste

To The Eye: Dark black with brown around the edges.

To The Nose: Strong chocolate smell with a spicy cinnamon like hint. Mostly smells like a rich, chocolatey/coffee dark stout.

On The Lips: Here’s where things pick up. Sweet at first, to a swift bitter chocolate bite. This is quickly overwhelmed by the heat from the chili (and lighter cinnamon) spices. The main player here is the chili spices; they are aggressive and hit with a force that sticks around for a while. Once your mouth adjusts a bit, you can taste the chocolate bitterness more throughout, but the real focus here is the spice.

On The Tongue: Very little carbonation, feels almost a little watery as a result. There’s a tingling from the heat instead, and has a very slight stickiness to it. Mostly, you feel the heat from the chili, again playing the big role here.

Opinion: Aside from the weaker body, I loved this beer. Very spicy, very rich, and a boozeyness you can feel as you sip. This one took me a while to enjoy. My only real critique is that the balance between the spice and the richness of the chocolatey flavors weighed in a bit heavy on the spice side. This beer was originally put out as part of Elysian’s Beers of the Apocalypse, and may not be easy to find anymore. Grab a bottle if you see it, and crack it on a cold night this winter when you have time to sit and sip.

C.K.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 1, 2013 in Beer Review

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Abita Vanilla Double Dog

Beer Vanilla Double Dog
Brewery
Abita
Location
Abita Springs, La
Type/Style
American Strong Ale
ABV
7%

Vanilla Double Dog

To The Eye: Deep rich brown with a beige head.

To The Nose: Bready dark tones, hints of vanilla. Almost Bock like, with a rich and earthy yeast smell.

On The Lips: Rich and sweet, light vanilla sweetness backed up by a strong maltiness. Slightly bitter, but very understated in the finish, more in the line of coffee/dark chocolate bitterness versus hop flavor. Oaky taste maybe? Caramel sweetness present throughout.

On The Tongue: Silky smooth, with very little carbonation. Only a slight residual stickiness.

A special brew from the folks at Abita, the Vanilla Double Dog is a celebration of their 25th anniversary, inspired by their delicious Turbodog brown ale. My lovely girlfriend picked up this limited release as a treat for me. I thouroughly enjoyed it as a rich toffee-like flavors when paired with some nice cheeses. It’s retired now, and thus will be pretty difficult to find, but be sure to check out it’s cousin Turbodog for a similar if simpler flavor.

C.K.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 10, 2013 in Beer Review

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Ommegang Rare Vos

Beer Rare Vos
Brewery
Ommegang
Location
Cooperstown, Ny
Type/Style
Belgian Amber
ABV
6.5%

Rare VosTo The Eye: Orange to amber, lots of visible carbonation. Cream colored head, leaning towards straw, which quickly dissipated.

To The Nose: Spices, tart Belgian yeast, some hints of citrus as well.

On The Lips: Warm spice hits you up front. This very quickly turns to the wild yeasty flavor found in Belgian beers. Next come a lot of lemony-citrus notes, like other crisp fruits (maybe a little apple?). Spice follows softly at the end, balancing out the profile.

On The Tongue: Lots of bright carbonation, and some warmth from the spice (and a little boozey alcohol feeling.) Left my tongue feeling slightly fuzzy and sticky. A “ticklish” beer.

Opinion: Incredibley well-balanced, very easy drinking, Rare Vos is often touted as a great American example of the Belgian style. As I’ve said before, I tend to not enjoy Belgian ales as much as other styles, but I enjoy this one in spite of myself. Great complexity while still being approachable.

C.K.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 28, 2013 in Beer Review

 

Tags: , , , ,

Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale

Beer Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale
Brewery
Rogue Ales
Location
Newport, Or
Type/Style
Smoked
ABV
5.6%

Bacon Maple Ale

Day 3 of American Craft Beer Week!

A little preamble: Despite growing up in Seattle, I actually rarely made it down to Portland, OR. One of the first times I did, I was probably 19 or 20. A friend took us to this funky little doughnut shop that evidently had quite a following. They were open all night, and were a perfect stop in the early morning hours after a night out. I was captivated by the creations they had there, including Captain Crunch donuts, some covered in M+Ms and one shaped like… well a man’s genitalia. But none interested me more than the Bacon Maple Bar. Simple, and delicious, I remember returning to school out east that fall and telling everyone about the best doughnut in the world. Years later, when one of my favorite breweries teamed up with Voodoo (yes, this is a collaboration brew) to create an oddball beer, I knew I’d need to try it.

To The Eye: Orange/amber in color with a 1/2 inch of creamy head atop.

To The Nose: Smells like breakfast and a diner. Smokey bacon and sweet maple strongly.

On The Lips: A salty and smoked start, which quickly gives to the powerful maple sweetness. It’s actually a fairly simple beer, which delivers what it promises. It tastes like that last bite of bacon you’ve used to soak up all the leftover maple syrup on your plate.

On The Tongue: Medium bodied with a slightly sticky finish, but not as syrupy as other sweet beers. Smooth drink, with very light carbonation.

Okay… this is a unique beer. To be honest, it’s really a novelty, and I’m glad to have tried it. I split the 1 pnt 9.4 oz bottle with my girlfriend (who was lovely enough to find this specialty for me) and we both had had enough by the end. It’s a powerful and delicious beer for the first few sips, but all its complexity eventually is overpowered by the two primary flavors: smoke and maple. It’s exactly what it is. If you’re curious and can still find one, go for it. You won’t regret it, but it’s not a repeat drinker in my opinion. The novelty is its strong point.

C.K.

Ps. Rouge and Voodoo have come up with another collaboration since this guy, a Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Banana ale (in homage to Elvis’s favorite sandwich). I may look into trying that one… eventually.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 17, 2013 in Beer Review

 

Tags: , , ,

Introducting: The Smoked Beer

Introducing: The Smoked Beer

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS5sr83QwYL8z5_wGSe1PIZfourdIGlnwr3uEGa-7D8wP7p1N6V

An unusual and exciting style, Smoked Beers have been around for some time, originating as Rauchbiers (literally meaning smoke beer in German). Generally darker beers, it is still possible to find rauchbiers in the states, though other smoked beers have moved away from the traditional style. As while rauchbiers use green malts that are smoked to add flavor, other smoked beers use peat smoked malt for a more powerful smokey sensation.

Scotch Ales are another style that utilizes the same peat smoked malts, as well as darker beers including porters and stouts. The powerful smokey flavor is most commonly found in darker beers which are already heavy and whose other flavors are bold enough to stand up to the easily-overpowering smoked profile. This is not to say however that there are not lighter smoked beers out there as well, such as lagers or even Weissbocks.

In general, the real only unifying aspect of this style is obvious: the use of smoked malts to impart that lovely camp fire taste. If that sensation appeals to you, I recommend trying one of these off a tap list. They’re a nice and unique style that can be very delicious, no matter what time of year.

C.K.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 17, 2013 in Style Introduction

 

Tags: , , , , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.