Wednesday, November 22, 2006
An exquisite Scottish inspired Belgian brew that is malt driven and has been aged in oak bourbon barrels. VERY VERY limited. Big and velvety it has suggestions of dark fruit, banana, with big caramel and just a hint of smoke.
Allagash Curieux 750ml
This bourbon barrel aged triple is quite a beer. The color is golden with a bit of haze. The head (and beer) is more effervescent than anything else. The aromas are of bourbon, wood, vanilla, and tropical fruit. The aromas carry over into the flavors with ripe fruit, vanilla, and a spicy alcohol hit and a light hop bitter finish.
Allagash Interlude 2006 750ml
This Saison style beer was aged in French Red Wine barrels and it shows. Orange in color with a tint of brown. The head pours large and the smell is that slightly funky farmhouse beer aroma you should expect. The flavor is lightly oaky tart with a ting of wine and a light earthiness. At 9% it is a little strong for a Saison but so much the better. I hope we see more of this, it is rather unique and tasty.
Allagash 11th Anniversary 750ml
This one pours a deep amber / red color with a tall head. The aromas are spicy, woody, with a touch of earthiness and citrus. The flavors are deep malt, raisins/prune, with a subtle peppery
Allagash Four 750ml
This quadruple is big and tasty. It pour a mahogany color and has a big sticky head. Spicy in the nose with hints of clove, pepper, and bread. The flavor is toasty with plum and apricot fruitiness. It finishes dry with a hit of coriander. Nice and warming at 10% this Belgian style ale will not disappoint. Check out their other Belgian offerings.
Lurgashall "Christmas Mead"
This is a great semi-sweet mead that has a deep mellow honey character with a light crisp finish. It can be enjoyed chilled but is intended to be mulled. It is to be heated (hot but not boiling) with the spices that are included. The aroma that comes from this will fill the house and fill you with Christmas cheer.
Whoa Mamma!!! This is everything a Belgian grand cru should be, that is strong - 10%, sweet, and a massive fruity ester. Tasting of figs, dark cherries and candied fruit. If you are a Belgo-phile like me you absolutely must get this one.
Gouden Carolus Noel 750 ml
Man oh man, massive fruity aroma and flavor. Plenty of alcohol, and a touch of sweetness. If this doesn't scream Belgium I don't know what does.
Moylan's "White Christmas"
This spiced up Belgian Wit style pours a deep golden orange. The head and flavor suggest little or no wheat but that is ok because it has enough flavors going on that you wont miss it. The aroma is mostly of coriander with a little mace and malt. The flavor starts with a light pale malt flavor and then moves into the spice mix. The coriander an orange start of and then moves to the mace with just a hint of cinnamon. A great spiced brew that works well together and the spices are not over done.
Wychwood "Bah Humbug"
This winter warmer pours a chestnut brown / orange color. It has a decent head that laces nicely. The aroma is of caramel and roasty along with some dark fruit. The flavors are fruity with plum and apple. The malt is sweet with roasted malts and caramel. The beer works its way toward dry with a bitter hop and tart fruity finish.
Avery "The Beast"
Whoa Mama!!! This baby is one big tasty Belgian Style Grand Cru. At 14.6% this definitely qualifies as a sippin' beer. It pours a dark burgundy/ruby red with dense tan head. The aroma is malty sweet with spicy, citrusy, fruity tones. The taste is honeyish with dark plum, date and raisin flavors. It tastes great now and will only improve over many years of aging.
Sorry about the bad picture, it is a really cool black on black label that I just could not get to come out right.
This beer pours an amber brown color with an ample tight head. Its taste and aroma are cake/bready in malt and a plum/pear in fruitiness. Big malt and big fruity esters is what one expects out of a Grand Cru and the Val-Dieu delivers. Not as heavy in body than some grand cru but all the flavor.
Val-Dieu Winter 750ml
This dark brown brew pours with a thin head. The aroma is malty with dark fruits, candy sugar and a hint of chocolate. The flavor is of grapes and figs lightly spicy with a solid malt base. Medium body verging to the start of syrup. Excellent Belgian Winter beer.
J.W. Lees Harvest Ale 2005
No matter if you want to call this and English Old Ale or a Barley Wine, ether way this thing ROCKS!!! This baby is alllllllllll malt. Deep amber gold in color with a very dense but small head. The flavor is intense caramel and sweet malt with a gentle dark fruity flavor. Full body with a luxurious mouth feel and a warming 11.5% alcohol. For all of you Thomas Hardy fans out there, this one will give him a run for his money and will age well for years to come.
Bison Gingerbread Ale
A beautifully done spiced brown ale. It pours a deep chestnut brown. The head is of a descent size and lasts fairly long but does finally settle into a thin topping. The three spices are ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon. The ginger and nutmeg come through on the aroma but all three are well represented in the flavor. The malt has a touch of caramel and dark roasted malts to it and there is a bit of a bready character as well. All in all, a fine spiced ale.
Harviestoun Old Engine Oil
Harviestoun “Old Engine Oil”:
Old Engine Oil is a black brew with a smooth rummy aroma, a coffee-ish palate, and a hint of the darkest chocolate. It is made from pale malt, roasted barley and malted oats. Old Engine Oil is well-hopped with, Worchester Fuggles and East Kent Golgings. If you like the darker beers this one will not disappoint.
Monday, November 20, 2006
What to get your BOSS for Christmas.
Boss Beer Sampler Pack
What do you get you boss for Christmas??? Well BOSS beer of course. These strong tasty brews will relax even the most uptight of bosses. These three cover a range of darkness; from golden (Boss Beer) to brown (Boss Bock) and black (Boss Black). Four each of these three strong malty brews will put anyone in line for a promotion.
Boss Beer from Poland
This is someplace between a standard bock and a double bock beer. Cloudy, dark brown in color, this beer pours with a thin head. The aroma is sweet with tones of molasses, toast and caramel. The flavor is very malty with nut, caramel, cocoa, and toasted marshmallows. Its character is smooth with a medium body. It is on the sweeter side of the style but have a complexity and unique character.
Boss Black Porter 500ml
Now this is my kind of beer. This Polish Baltic porter style beer is BIG, malty and tasty. It pours dark brown to black; it has a shiny tan head and sweet malty aroma. The flavor is roasty, coffee, and a hint of molasses. The 9.4% is not uncommon for this style of beer. I was a real big fan of the Zywiec porter and since I can no longer get it this one is a perfectly comparable substitute.
Boss Beer 500ml
This is one of the best large lagers (higher in alcohol) I ever had. At 8% it packs a respectable punch without tasting like it. It pours straw golden with a good head that settles into a thin layer. The flavor is malty without being too sweet. Its floral hop character provides great aroma and flavor with a light bitterness. The alcohol does have a slight spicy tone to it but only accentuates the flavor. I don’t drink a lot of lagers but I find myself going back to Boss.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Santa's Butt and Lumps of Coal
Ridgeway Brewing from England does some great beers for the holidays. This is round one and expect more in a week or so.
Ridgeway Santa's Butt 500ml
First off the title is a double-entendre in that the 126 gallon cask he is sitting on is referred to as a butt. This “Winter Porter” is deep brown in color. The aroma is lightly fruity with a nice roasty hit. The flavor is light coffee and caramel with a fruity hop flavor and an ever so slight hop bitterness at the finish. The perfect holiday gift.
Ridgeway Lump of Coal Stout 500ml
Looking forward to a depressing holiday? Here is liquid consolation. This 8% bittersweet chocolate stout is the best you could hope for in these dark times. Actually, come to think of it, considering how bad you’ve been, this little coal-black gem is more than you deserve for Christmas this year.
The handiwork of vastly talented (but altogether too cheery) master brewer Peter Scholey, Lump of Coal is the perfect stocking stuffer for the beer lover or manic depressive in your family.
De Struise Pannepot
Pannepot is a wonderfully spiced, 10% dark Belgian brew that is everything I expect out of an exceptional Belgian and more. Dark brown in color this beer pours with a massive meringue like head. Sweet fruity aromas that come across fig, pear with spicy notes of cinnamon and a whiff of licorice. The flavor is malty with a touch of sweetness; fig is a major flavor with brown sugar, and hints of chocolate and clove. Great creamy mouth feel and the 10% does not get in the way. A+
Sint Pieters Zinnebir XMas
This beautiful Belgian pours a cloudy brown with a tint of red. The head is large, tight, and persistent. The aroma is malty with apple and plum fruitiness with a touch of nut. The flavor is caramel without being too sweet, herbal hops, along with a woody nutty flavor as well. No cady surgar or spices in this one. It's just a great honest brew that needs no help.
The Return Of Dogfish Head!!!!!
Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA 12oz
I’ve been waiting for this one to come back for some time. This 20% IPA had hops added to it continually for 120 minutes then it was dry hopped every single day for a month. What does this do to a beer? It makes it the biggest hop monster on the planet. The aroma is big flowery, grassy grapefruit hop extravaganza with a bit of sweet fruitiness to boot. The flavor is like chewing on a sweet juicy hop cone. Sweet malt with grape like fruitiness along with a grassy hop flavor and a spicy alcohol hit. When it comes to excess no one does it like Dogfish Head.
Dogfish Head Olde School 12 oz
This 15% Barley Wine pours deep amber / copper in color. The head is thin but tight. The aroma is of caramel and toffee with a whiff of sweet fruit. The thick body goes down ultra smooth and kind of coats on the way down. The flavor is of dark fruit, apricot and sweet malty goodness. The alcohol is spicy and does make itself known there at the end but at 15% I suppose that can not be helped.
Dogfish Head Raison d'Extra 12 oz
An amped-up version of the Dogfish Head Raison D'Etre, this beer is brewed with a crazy amount of brown suguar, raisins and malt.
ABV 21% 20 IBU
Dogfish Head World Wide Stout 12 oz
At 18% makes this the strongest dark beer in the world. A very heavy, thick, sweet stout that has a very big roasty flavor and a hop presence that is not shy. This beer has tons of flavor but needs to be served cold. At cooler temperatures it is easy to enjoy all of the sweet roasty goodness, when it warms up a bit the 18% starts to get in the way of this very enjoyable beer. Just make sure and sit down first then open this beer.
Hair of the Dog "Doggie Claws" 2006
As usual, another fine vintage of Doggie Claws. This year’s clocks in at 10.5%. The hop character is very big, with Simcoe hops the flavor is very herbal with citrus notes. Caramel in the malt with a big showing from the wildflower honey he added. Right now (11-15-06) the hops are very bright and the honey is sweet. It tastes great now and has BIG cellaring potential.
Everyone must realize that this is a bottle condition beer that has just been released. That means the carbonation (as of 11/06) is still a bit low but will increase quickly over time. This year’s Doggie Claws (like last years) is MASSIVELY dry hopped prior to bottling. Do not be surprised if there are hop lupulins (yellow resin sacks) at the bottom. Also, being bottle conditioned the bottle does have yeast at the bottom. All this means is that you do need to let it settle out and pour carefully so as to leave all of that stuff in the bottle. As it ages I would assume that the hops will with mellow and the honey will dry out a bit like it did last year.
I.C. Light Jerome Bettis
I.C. Light Jerome Bettis 12oz
Light lager style from Iron City Brewing. This lager comes in a collectors aluminum bottle with Jerome Bettis of the Pittsburgh Steelers on the back. Sales of this beer benefits "The Bus Stops Here" foundation.
Monday, November 06, 2006
Stone Oaked Bastard 12oz
As if Arrogant Bastard wasn’t tasty enough, they had to go and add oak into the mix. Powerful flowery, grassy hops with a touch of oak for the aroma. The flavor is hop bitter with a bit of malty caramel along with vanilla wood tones makes this beer one flavorful Bastard that should age well for years to come.
Shiner Bock 24oz
This is a lager that is a little darker in color and has a grassy hop aroma. It is VERY smooth and malty in flavor with just a touch of hop at the end and clean lager finish. This is one of those beers that you could drink a few of without getting weighed down. If you are a fan of Fat Tire or Alaskan Amber I highly suggest you give this one a try.
Fox Barrel Cider
This is an excellent English style cider made out in California. It pours a straw yellow color and has a light effervescence. The aroma is of clean cider with a whiff of earthy yeast. For those of you who know real cider know that the ones that have that perfumey apple smell have been “enhanced”. No added flavors (artificial or otherwise) to this baby. Medium light body with a little fresh apple juice added to reach a semi-dry apple flavor. Ultra refreshing with a respectable 6%. The best 6-pack cider I’ve ever had.
Fox Barrel Back Currant Cider 12oz:
Another fine cider from Fox Barrel. The color is a dark pink and the aroma is slightly acidic with the smell of currants. A medium light body and a flavor that is a touch sweeter than their straight apple cider. I’m sure they do this because the currents add more bit more bite to the cider and the sweetness helps pull together the currant and apple components. An excellent flavored cider that is both subtle and tasty.
Fox Barrel Pear Cider 12oz:
The aroma on this cider (apple with pear added) is heavenly without being overpowering. The aroma and flavor is of lightly sweet pear and tart apple. The color is pale yellow and the body is medium light and effervescent. The acidity seems a little bit lower on the pear compared to the “Hard Cider” and the “Black Currant Cider”. This gives it a smoother texture and accentuates the pear.
Fox Barrel Sampler :
Four bottles of each of the three Fox Barrel flavors of cider. Apple, Pear, and Black Currant. An easy way to sample them all.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Stone Double Bastard + New Beers + Back In Stock
If you have yet to try the Double Bastard, think Arrogant Bastard only more malt, more hops and more alcohol. Everything you love in a beer and more. Malty rich and caramely, this seasonal brew is not to be missed.
Hambleton Toleration 500ml:
This gluten free beer pours a tawny brown color with a thin head. The cascade, liberty, and challenger hops give is a ctirusy, fruity character with a pronounced bitterness. The dark (non-malt) sugars used provide the fermentables with a depth and richness. A good alternative for those who are gluten intolerant.
If you are looking for other gluten free beers please check out Bard's Beer
Fish Tale Winter Fish 12oz:
Very pale and full bodied with a rich flavor imparted by Pale and Honey malt and assertively friendly hop character. The hop profile is 100% Yakima Chinook hops for bittering, flavor and aroma. One of the hoppiest winter seasonals you’ll find.
Beer of the Month IPA For 6 Months :
This gift pack provides the recipient with two different IPA 6 packs every month for 6 Months. This pack is $18.00 each month plus shipping and handling.
*** Back In Stock ***
Jolly Pumpkin Oro de Calabaza 750ml:
Billed as a Bier de Garde style beer it pours a deep gold with a dense head and plenty streaming bubble. The body is voluminous and fluffy in feel. The aroma is fruity and gingery spicy. The flavor is pale malt sweet with a creamy fruitiness, clove / pepper spice and flowery hop note. It seems to be a little more like a triple than a bier de garde but an excellent beer none the less.
Jolly Pumpkin La Roja 750ml:
All of the Jolly pumpkin beers are barrel aged this one seems to show more of the wood tones. Spicy, woody, and cherry in aroma. The flavor is a bit sweet in the malt with a dark raisin / cherry fruitiness, hefty clove spice, and dry finish. Their website bills this as a Bier de Garde as well but I would place it more in the Belgian Dark / Belgian Amber category.