Spaten Optimator

On Friday night, I went out to Brick House Tavern and Tap. It’s a chain restaurant that’s billed as a mancave. It has a bunch of flat screen televisions, decent food and a pretty good beer list (and the girls are dressed in daisy dukes and low-cut shirts). Not a bad place to go. If you’re in or around Piscataway, I’d recommend it. I got to try two beers (other review will be in next post), Spaten Optimator and Sly Fox Chester County Bitter. Once I ordered this, the waitress sat down with us and asked what it was. She said I was the second one today to order it, and so I spent a few minutes explaining that I try to order a new beer wherever I go. In turn, she was telling us how they keep going through Abita Purple Haze like crazy. They finally got it on tap that morning and expected it to kick by the next day (my girlfriend was happy as Purple Haze on tap is one of her favorites).

ABV: 7.2%

Style: Doppelbock

Trivia: Spaten means “spade” in German. The logo of Spaten is a malt shovel.

Random: I always find the history of the bottles so interesting. I didn’t even notice the shovel until I really started looking at the pictures today. There’s so much history, especially in German beers.

Billed as the classic German dark beer, I received the beer in a green bottle, which always seems to remind me of beers that my Dad drank in the 80s. But, anyways, the beer poured a beautiful brown, almost mahogany color. The head was a good two fingers, off-white in color. The beer had some caramel notes on the scent as well as malt. Other people have said some hints of metal came through, but I didn’t get any of that. On first taste, I got a lot of malt and hints of toffee. My girlfriend, who tried it as well, got the flavor of molasses. The mouthfeel was nice and not overly thick with moderate carbonation. I also got a bit of bitterness on the aftertaste. All in all, it was pleasant to drink, but I couldn’t drink more than two, due to the higher ABV.  If you’ve never had it, definitely try it. But, not an everyday beer for me.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Allagash White

ABV: 5.20%

Style: Witbier

Trivia: Until 1900, about 75% of beer produced in Belgium was witbier.

Random: Allagash is brewed in Portland…every time I think of Portland, I think of the Family Guy episode where Joe gets new friends and replaced Cleveland with Portland.

This is Allagash’s interpretation of a Belgian wheat beer, probably one of my favorite styles of beer, especially in the summer. Poured nicely with a little head (less than one finger). The picture was taken about 1 minute after pouring. Appearance is cloudy, but pleasant yellow. It looks like what I’d expect from a wheat beer. I got a lot of lemon and coriander when I first smelled it. On first sip, you definitely get the coriander. It’s not overwhelming, but it’s not overly simple either. It’s a nicely balanced beer. I’m also getting a little bit of clove, and the more that I drink it and the citrus flavors definitely come out. It’s got a nice carbonation to it and I could see easily putting away a bunch of these while sitting on a patio on a summer night. It’s mild enough to be a nice introductory witbier for someone whose afraid of straying away from Blue Moon. I’d be interested to try it on draft and see if there’s a significant difference. Definitely will be having this again.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0