Tonight’s selection is a real treat. I picked this up in New York and aged it for a while. Let’s see if this warms me up tonight.

harvestcalvados2009

ABV: 11.5%

Style: English Barleywine

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Harvest Ale is a limited edition vintage barley wine, made once and once only from the first hops of the year and the very finest British malt. The beer quickly gained a cult following of ale enthusiasts who recognised its quality and relish in the different flavours each vintage brings and the evolution that comes with ageing over time. In the past 29 years, the beer has grown in popularity and in some bars around the world it has gained legendary status, with older vintages being highly sought after and changing hands for up to $60 per bottle.”

Random: I’ve never had Calvados. I’m curious to see what it tastes like.

This beer poured with absolutely no head on top of a dark and cloudy deep mahogany body. Since the beer was so dark, I couldn’t see any carbonation. The nose reminded me more of a sherry or a brandy than a beer. It had a lot of sweetness along with dark fruit, specifically raisins. There was a significant alcohol note that I picked up too. As it warmed, there was also oak and vanilla. On first sip, I picked up a lot of sweetness with raisins and dates that was quickly followed with alcohol. The oak and vanilla came next with some blackstrap molasses and dark brown sugar. The body was sticky and thick with no carbonation. The finish lasted forever and was sweet with vanilla and molasses. I don’t recall how much I paid for this beer since I’ve aged it for awhile, but this was really a treat, no matter what the price. This is a beer for a cold night by a fire and I think it would even pair well with a cigar. If I see any more of these, I’ll be aging them for a good amount of time.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

The site I worked at in Ohio was about 20 minutes outside of Columbus. It was difficult to find any bars that had local craft beer, but what was interesting was that the ABV law had just changed in Ohio, so even the chain restaurants were trying to get super high ABV beers on tap. They also sell beer in gas stations, which is weird to someone in Jersey. This beer is a super low ABV beer that Val picked up for me last time she went to DC.

citranova

ABV: 4.5%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Light refreshing session ale loaded with Citra hops.”

Random: We’re watching an episode of “House Hunters” where the owners have a mini pig and they want the pig to have their own space. I have no words.

The beer poured with a one finger, pure white head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was clear and golden-yellow in color with moderate carbonation. There was a small crown left on top of the body too. The nose had some grain, a lot of grass and orange peel. There was also some sweetness on the nose. The taste was more grainy and sweet than I expected, even for a session IPA. It had a toasty and caramel malt note and then went into grass. It wasn’t very citrusy. I’m thinking that perhaps I had an older can. It had a medium body, thicker than I was used to for a session beer and it had plenty of carbonation to go with it. The finish was almost instant with caramel malt. A can of this was $1.83, which broke down to $.15. Despite this beer being reasonably priced, I needed some more hops on the palate.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Goses are one of the more popular beer styles lately and after getting over the shock of what they tasted like when I tried my first one, I’ve really been getting into them. From living in Jersey for so long, I also have a certain affinity for cranberries.

cranberrygose

ABV: 5.2%

Style: Gose

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Coming to our year-round lineup in May, this fruit-filled take on the German-style Gose takes you from bog to barrel in one sip. Brewed with cranberries from the Bluewater Farms in Massachusetts, coriander and a splash of salt. The result is a refreshingly tart and effervescent cranberry concoction built to fuel your warm weather-inspired wanderlust.”

Random: I’ve been impressed with Long Trail’s increase in offerings lately. I hope it keeps up.

The beer poured with a one finger, white head. It dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy, bright pink color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of brine and salt up front. There was a hint of cranberry, almost like a room spray. It didn’t have enough on the nose. The taste started with a lot of salt and then went into a tart, lemon note. There was a slight cranberry note, but I wish it had more. It also had a muted wheat note as well. It had a very thin body with just enough carbonation. The finish was lengthy with salt and lemon juice tartness. I got this bottle for $2.00, which broke down to $.17 per ounce. I was very excited to give this beer a shot, but it was just lacking cranberry flavor. I won’t be revisiting this one.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

One of the things that I had in Ohio which I enjoyed was peppered white gravy. I used to not be a big fan of it, but since I found it at restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I started to get used to it. That type of gravy reminds me of the south, much like a mint julep, which this beer is based on.

mintjulepale

ABV: 6%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “If you’re not drinking this during the decadence and depravity that is the Triple Crown, you’re doing it wrong.”

Random: I think that breweries are starting to jump on the bandwagon of making beers based on cocktails. So far, I’m enjoying the trend.

The brew poured with a one finger, pure white head that dissipated instantly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was clear and straw yellow. There was a decent amount of carbonation visible through the body. The nose had a lot of mint leaves up front with a floral note right after that reminded me of honeysuckle. Based on the nose, I thought that I was really going to enjoy this beer, but the taste was like the noise on steroids. It started with intense spearmint extract and grain after. A toasted oak characteristic came after, but the mint muted any other flavors that were in there. It had a body that was very light to the point of being watery with high carbonation. The finish was lengthy and I couldn’t get rid of the peppermint taste. I picked the bottle up for $2.08, which broke down to $.17 per ounce. I just wasn’t a fan of this beer, perhaps because I’ve never had the cocktail before, so I lack a frame of reference?

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

One of the worst things about traveling so much is that I tend to work more since I don’t have anyone to come home to. As a result, I’m quite a bit backlogged. One of the other things that I’m not a big fan of is eating at chain restaurants all the time. I kept trying to find a place in Ohio with decent Italian food and I couldn’t find anything in the suburb I was in. Now that I’m home, I’ve got all the Italian food I want.

resurrection

ABV: 7%

Style: Dubbel

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The seven percent solution. A delightfully full-bodied yet easy to drink abbey brown ale that has become our flagship brand, thanks to Baltimore’s loyalty.”

Random: I also miss having a washer and dryer when I travel. I love doing laundry.

The beer poured with a two finger, cream-colored head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy, mahogany color. I didn’t see much carbonation in it. The nose was sweet with dates and prunes and other dark fruit. It also had some brown sugar sweetness. The taste was equally sweet and malty. I picked up raisins, dates, and caramel sweetness complemented by Belgian candi sugar. There was some alcohol to this beer and it drank like more than the 7% ABV. The body was thick and almost syrupy with moderate carbonation. It had a lengthy and sweet finish. This was a solid beer that would make for a great sipper in the winter. But, the price of the beer was $2.75, which is $.23 an ounce, which is on the pricier side. If you haven’t tried it and you like Dubbels, you won’t go wrong with this one.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

I’ve been basically living out of hotels for the past couple of weeks and I will say that people in Ohio are much nicer than people out here. When I first got out there, I thought it was weird that random people would talk to me, but I got used to it after awhile. Let’s get to tonight’s beer.

tripel7

ABV: 9%

Style: Tripel

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Very smooth & delicate, finishes dry with a hint of tartness.”

Random: This beer uses Bullion and CZ Saaz hops.

The beer poured with a thick, one finger, slightly off white head. It took a long time to dissipate and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a bright orange color and very cloudy with little visible carbonation. The nose had some golden fruit and then a strong booze note. What was odd was there was an off-putting plastic note. Peach came through too. The taste started with some peach and peach skin, then went into golden raisins. The next thing that came through was a weird tin note with a lot of booze, almost like they threw a shot of vodka in there. Orange flesh was there, but there wasn’t any spice or yeast. The body was way too thin with light carbonation. It had a quick finish with booze and oranges. I don’t remember how much I paid for the beer, but I wouldn’t drink this for free. It was completely unbalanced and had some weird flavors that didn’t fit the style.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Conceptually, I like the Beer Camp packs. I like the idea of breweries collaborating and making one-off beers, but sometimes they’re hit or miss. This is one of the ones that I thought was more of a miss.

pat-rye-ot

ABV: 5.6%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Pat-Rye-Ot is an ‘old-meets-new’ take on a pale ale by brewers all located in the original 13 colonies. It features rye and apples, which were among the first ingredients used by American brewers in the colonies, alongside bold American hops—hallmarks of our modern craft beer ‘revolution.'”

Random: “Pitch” is quickly becoming my new favorite show. Fox is putting out some great shows, like this one and “Empire.”

This beer poured with a one finger, slightly off-white colored head that dissipated slowly. It left some lacing on the glass. The body was really cloudy and bright yellow. It also had a lot of floaties and moderate carbonation. The nose had a bright lemon and apple note. There was a honey sweetness as well. The taste had a lot more grain to it than the nose. It had the same lemon note as the nose with grains of paradise. It didn’t have a huge amount of sweetness. Rye came through and was incredibly strong with mineral water. The body was thicker than expected with moderate carbonation. The finish was lengthy and grainy. A bottle of this was $2, which came to $.17 per ounce. I liked the beer, but the rye was a bit too strong.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0