River Horse Oatmeal Milk Stout

Well, I’ve royally fallen off the wagon. I’ve been staying away from beer lately and substituting for vodka. But, no more! I’m back to tasting. I also don’t get Fox down here, so no Phillies game. This does not make me happy, at all. So, I’m drowning my sorrows in a milk stout from River Horse.

ABV: 6.7%

Style: Milk/Sweet Stout

Trivia: According to wikipedia, “Milk stout (also called sweet stout or cream stout) is a stout containing lactose, a sugar derived from milk. Because lactose is unfermentable by beer yeast, it adds sweetness, body, and calories to the finished beer. Milk stout was claimed to be nutritious, and was given to nursing mothers, along with other stouts, such as Guinness. The classic surviving example of milk stout is Mackeson Stout, for which the original brewers claimed that ‘each pint contains the energising carbohydrates of 10 ounces of pure dairy milk.’ In the period just after the Second World War when rationing was in place, the British government required brewers to remove the word ‘milk’ from labels and adverts, and any imagery associated with milk.”

Random: I hate that when I don’t watch the Phils, they win.

This beer poured with a one finger tan colored head. The body itself is a dark brown, almost black with no visible carbonation. On the nose, there is definitely some coffee, and out of nowhere, raisins. This has a sweeter smell than a typical breakfast stout. On the taste, a little more carbonation than I expected, but definitely tastes like burnt coffee. That is the overwhelming flavor by far. This doesn’t have any real sweetness, which I was kind of expecting. It’s not bad, you just have to get used to the fact that this is not a sweet beer. The finish is pretty quick, quicker than expected. I would have this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Terrapin Pumpkinfest

This was a brew that I had been saving for awhile. One of my favorite breweries and my favorite beer style? I was all over it. This is also a pumpkin lager, so it is considered a Marzen/Oktoberfest style. Plus, it’s got an adorable turtle on the label. Really, what more could you ask for?

ABV: 6.1%

Style: Marzen/Oktoberfest

Trivia: Originally a Side Project, this is now a Fall seasonal in six-packs.

Random: I can’t wait to get my hands on their new stout. The label has the turtle in a cow outfit. So adorable.

This brew poured with a one finger, pure white head. The body is a chestnut-brown with moderate carbonation, but doesn’t leave any lacing on the glass. On the nose, I get all the happy things I come to expect from a pumpkin beer, like pumpkin and spice. There’s also a slight hint of booze. On the taste, there was much less pumpkin and spice than the nose would indicate. The body was also very thin and under carbonated. The finish lingered for a bit. But, all in all, a big disappointment. I’ve come to really enjoy Terrapin beers and this was just not up to par. The nose gets your hopes up and then the taste just lets you down. I won’t be having this brew again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Weyerbacher Fireside Ale

Today was a decently productive afternoon. I went to class, moved my cat to his new palatial residence and did some homework. My cat was so cute. He kept going up and down the stairs because he’s never seen stairs before. So, I’m reviewing a bit early today. Today’s selection is Weyerbacher’s Fireside Ale. I’m a big fan of smoked beers, so I have high expectations for this one.

ABV: 7.5%

Style: Smoked Beer

Trivia: According to Weyerbacher, “This fantastic brew began its life as ‘Charlie,’ the third installment of the Brewer’s Select Series.  It is now part of our seasonal lineup and will be released in the month of January.  It is an intricate dark ale with a touch of smokiness.  The rich malt flavor, crisp bitterness and smoke reach perfect equilibrium in this brew.   At 7.5% abv, Fireside Ale will warm you up as the temperature drops.”

Random: Hmm…I got a six-pack of this beer in September, which means that it’s probably older. Hopefully due to the higher ABV, it didn’t kick. Although, the other ones that I had from the six-pack were less smoky than I would expect.

This beer poured with a one finger white head, no lacing left on the glass. The body itself is a cloudy brown color with no visible carbonation due to the cloudiness. On the nose, not much smoke. Only really a hint of smoke and some sweeter, maltier smells. On the taste, again, not much smoke. Well, for a smoked beer. I expected more smoke, but there’s really no other flavors. It almost reminds me of a really malty lager. I really don’t know what to think of this beer. The prevalent flavor is definitely smoke, but there’s not much else to it. There’s also not a hint of bitterness, which is odd for an ale. This is definitely not a balanced beer, because whatever flavors were supposed to be there are completely lost. The only positive is that the booze is pretty well hidden behind the smoke. The finish lingers with some smoke, but not much else. Not a fan of this brew at all. It’s almost smoky just for the sake of being smoky, without any other flavors involved. I wouldn’t have this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Appalachian Brewing Company Purist Pale Ale

This was my buddy’s brew of the night. He really enjoyed the Troegs Pale Ale, so he figured that this would be a comparable brew. He was not thrilled with it either. I almost think that they poured the wrong beer, although the color looked like a pale.

ABV: 5.1%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the ABC website, “ABC Gettysburg is proud to be a member of the Gettysburg community and so close to Civil War history. Located on Buford Avenue at the crest of Seminary Ridge right beside General Lee’s headquarters, we’re pleased to produce our trademark fine food and great beers just steps from a site so rich in local and national historical significance.”

Random: After having such a great pale ale at Troegs, I had decently high hopes for this brew. I was obviously wrong.

This brew poured with a one finger, pure white head, with no lacing left on the glass. There was significant visible carbonation on the brew. The body is a golden color and clear. The nose is muted. I can get citrus, but I almost have to stick my nose in the brew. This is not a good sign. When I taste the brew, I get some limited bitterness and a lot of malt. I’m confused. Really, really, confused. I thought this was a pale ale? I was apparently wrong. This tastes almost like a lager. The finish was quick. But, all in all, if I was home, this would be a drain pour. Instead, I just left half of it. Not a good brew.

Untappd Rating: 1.0/5.0

Appalachian Brewing Company Hoppy Trails IPA

For the next stop of the night, my buddy and I went to a brewpub for dinner. The experience was not what I thought it would be AT ALL. The bar was insanely hot, to the point that I was uncomfortable. The food was alright, but the beer was ugh. Just not a great experience.

ABV: 6%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: At 50000 square feet, ABC is one of the three largest brewpubs in the country.

Random: The server said that this was the better of the two IPAs on draft. If this was the better one, I wonder what the worse one tasted like.

This brew poured with a one finger head that left some lacing on the glass. The body is an orange-yellow with medium carbonation. On the nose, there are mild hops and grapefruit, which I would expect. On the taste, there were some hops and pine to it, but definitely not what I would want or expect from an IPA (after looking, I found that it was 45 IBUs, pretty low for the IPAs I’m used to). There’s really just not much to this beer. It was also a bit thin. The finish is quick and unremarkable. I just was not a fan of this brew. It needed to be a bit hoppier. This was just a mediocre beer. I wouldn’t seek this out again.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Troegs Java Head Stout

I went to the brewery with a friend who is relatively new to beer. As soon as his saw this beer, he said he wasn’t going to like this. He said that he didn’t like Guinness and said that he wouldn’t like this. I told him to give it a chance before he passed judgment. Needless to say, he went home with a six-pack.

ABV: 7.5%

Style: Oatmeal Stout

Trivia: According to the Troegs website, “JavaHead’s recipe is based on of our original oatmeal stout. After the boil, the hot wort passes through our hopback vessel on its way to fermentation. Packed full of whole leaf hops and a bed of ground coffee beans, the hopback vessel is similar to using a huge French press, intensifying the coffee nose and releasing subtle hints of coffee flavor. The result is a lush oatmeal mouthfeel balanced with cocoa, roast and subtle coffee flavors.”

Random: I seriously love coffee stouts. It’s like the best of both worlds.

This beer poured with an off white head with a dark brown body. There is not a lot of light getting through this bad boy. There is obviously no visible carbonation due to the color. On the nose, there’s a lot of coffee. No surprise there. But, it’s not overwhelming. On the taste, there is some mild, but pleasant carbonation. There’s also some coffee and a hint of chocolate, but the coffee definitely overwhelms the flavor. I also just read that this was an oatmeal stout, and I got none of the oatmeal. Had I not had Great Divide’s Yeti or Founders Breakfast Stout, I think I would have liked this beer a lot more. The finish lingers and is almost obnoxious. This was a decent beer. I would try it again, but it’s nothing really outstanding.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Troegs Dead Reckoning Porter

This is the fall offering from Troegs. I haven’t had a porter in forever. I probably haven’t had one since last year. I tend to really like porters. I can’t remember one that stands out, but they always remind me of a little brother of a stout.

ABV: 5.4%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: This brew is unfiltered…interesting.

Random: I’m always surprised at how low the ABVs are on porters. I know that I shouldn’t be, because color doesn’t dictate booze, but I can’t help it.

This poured a one finger white head with a dark brown body. There is no visible carbonation on the body due to the color. On the nose, there are definitely hints of coffee and toasted malts. The coffee comes out on the taste. I also get a hint of smoke. The body of this brew is perfect, it’s not too heavy, but not too light. It’s also sessionable at 5.4% ABV. The finish on the brew is also relatively quick. I would definitely have this again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Troegs Troegenator Double Bock

This was the next beer in the sampling. It was also a darker selection. I think that this brew has one of the coolest labels I’ve seen. The figure on the label reminds me of Zeus. I was looking at buying this shirt too, but the pale ale won out.

ABV: 8.2%

Style: Doppelbock

Trivia: According to the Troegs website, “During periods of fasting without solid foods, the Monastic brewers relied on the double bock; a stronger, richer beer to fulfill their basic nutritional needs. Known to them as ‘liquid bread,’ a double bock has a strong malt aroma and chewy rich body. Traditionally these brewers ended the name of their double bock with the suffix ‘ator,’ ex. Celabrator, Illuminator, Subliminator… In the spirit of the tradition we give you the Troegenator to provide warmth and richness through the early spring months. A double bock of epic proportions, beware, the Troegenator is deceiving smooth and delicious.”

Random: This is a beer that I’ve heard a lot about, but never got around to trying.

This poured with a one finger white head. The body is a caramel brown color and clear. There isn’t any visible carbonation. On the nose, there were lots of caramel, malts and even a hint of toffee. This seems like it’s going to have some complexity to it. On the taste, I get a lot of nuttiness and caramel malts. Also, some toffee as evident in the nose. The finish is quick and nutty. I just took a look at the ABV, and the booze did not make an appearance at all. Wow, this hides it really well. I’m impressed. This would make a great fall beer, as the nuttiness of it reminds me of the fall months. I would definitely have this again. I was surprised I liked this as much as I did.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Troegs Scratch #34

I’m going to skip reviews on the samples of Scratch #33 and #35, since I brought a six-pack of each home (as well as a bomber of the GABF Gold Medal Winner, Flying Mouflan). So, I can do full reviews of those. Since I didn’t buy a six-pack of this, you can probably already guess how this review is going to go. It was also difficult to find info on this beer at all.

ABV: 7%

Style: Dubbel

Trivia: I literally could not find any information on this brew at all, even on Troegs’s website. It looks like they went from Scratch 33 to 35. So, the only trivia I could find is that this beer is bottle conditioned.

Random: I couldn’t tell what this beer after I tasted it. I had to go up and ask. Not usually a good sign.

This poured with a barely there white head with a yellow, clear body. There was no visible carbonation on the body. On the nose, I got some golden fruit (which should have been a clue it was a Belgian dubbel, but I guess I’m not that smart). The fruit was definitely apricots though. There was also a hint of booze on the nose. The nose was much of the same. There was some booze evident and apricots, dates, maybe even a hint of apple. The finish lingers with some booze and not a lot of fruit. This isn’t bad, but it’s not great either. I wouldn’t search this out.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Troegs Hopback Amber Ale

For those of you who read this, you know that I’m not the biggest fan on ambers. They’re okay, but I find them a little bit plain. There’s not much to them. So, this was a selection that I wasn’t thrilled about. But, I figured I’d give it a shot.

ABV: 6%

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Trivia: According to the Troegs website, “Tröegs Brewery’s Flagship beer, HopBack Amber Ale derives its name from a vessel in the brewhouse called a hopback. As the ‘wort’ is being transferred from the brewhouse to fermentation it passes through the hopback vessel. Packed full of fresh whole flower hops, the wort slowly circulates through this vessel extracting the essence of the aromatic hops. This vessel adds more time and more hop character that creates a fresh, spicy taste and rich caramel note that defines this signature ale.”

Random: This tasting area was awesome. $9 for 9 samples. Can’t beat that.

This poured with a one finger white head with a decent amount of lacing left on the glass. The body is a clear, warm, brown color. There isn’t a lot of visible carbonation. On the nose, I get some hops but also a hint of caramel malt. The taste was definitely maltier than the nose with a decent amount of hops. I think it could have been a little better balanced, but was still pretty boring. The carbonation was perfect for the brew. The finish lingered and is hoppier than expected. This was an okay brew, nothing that I would seek out again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0