Troegs Pale Ale

This was the second beer of the tasting. I’ve had this beer before, when I really didn’t know a lot about beer. I remember enjoying the grapefruit flavor. So, I was definitely excited to try this again, now that I have a few other pale ales to compare it to.

ABV: 5.4%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the Troegs website, “Tröegs Pale Ale pairs nicely with Mediterranean foods, starches and anything with fresh herbs. The floral hop character also blends with cheesy dishes like pizza, pasta and dips.”

Random: I liked the brew so much that I bought the shirt at the brewery (it also helps that the shirt is pretty cool).

This poured with a one-finger white head that left mild lacing on the glass. The body is a straw yellow color with mild carbonation visible. On the nose, there is definitely grapefruit. Ahh, this is the brew that I remember. On the taste, I get the same grapefruit in the nose. The taste is almost floral. The mild carbonation complements the taste. This is a damn tasty brew. The finish also lingers with grapefruit being the dominant flavor. This is a great everyday beer and blows Yards’s Pale Ale out of the water. Definitely try this brew.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Troegs Dream Weaver Wheat

This was the first of many samplings (9 total) at Troegs Brewery in Harrisburg, PA. I got a chance to stop there and pick up Scratch #35 and have a few samples. This will be the first of the reviews from Troegs. Again, I only took a picture of the sampling tray, not each individual brew. I suck, I know. So, stock photos for these reviews. I also got featured on the Brew Club, so go check that out too. It’s a great site!

ABV: 4.8%

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Trivia: According to the Troegs website, “Long toasty days, cool breezy nights and a splash of magic provide the inspiration for the Troegs brothers’ dreamiest  creation—Dreamweaver Wheat. Combining four wheat types with Munich and Pils malts, noble Saaz hops, and a yeast strain that imparts a spicy, peppery, clove taste with a slight hint of bananas, Dreamweaver Wheat is an unfiltered blast of spicy, mouthwatering joy.”

Random: I’m a huge fan of wheat beers and I’ve never had this brew before. Hmm…odd.

This poured with a one finger pure-white head. The body is a cloudy yellow color and cloudy. There is no visible carbonation due to the cloudiness. Also, no lacing left on the glass. On the nose, lots of banana and a hint of citrus. Very inviting nose. On the first sip, the banana follows the nose. The brew also has medium carbonation which dances on the tongue. There are also some hints of spice, like clove, but nothing overwhelming. The finish is quick and unremarkable. This would be an easy Summer sipper. I would definitely pick up a 6 pack of this for next summer.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Samuel Adams Black Lager

Today was decently productive. I started packing for my road trip tomorrow, although I still have some packing to do. I’m totally stoked because I’m hitting Troegs Brewery on the way AND they just released their Wet Hop Ale. So, it should be on tap by the time I get there tomorrow. Expect some tasting notes and pictures on Monday or Tuesday. So, I’ll probably be offline for most of the weekend, but it should be a fun beer drinking weekend. I also managed to find a brewpub a mile from where I’m staying too. Totally excited.

ABV: 4.9%

Style: Schwarzbier

Trivia: According to wikipedia, “The roots of the Schwarzbier lie in Thuringia and Saxony; the oldest known Schwarzbier is Braunschweiger Mumme (‘Brunswick Mum’) brewed since the Middle Ages (the first documented mention is from 1390) in Braunschweig. The earliest documented mention in Thuringia is of Köstritzer from 1543, a popular Schwarzbier still produced today. Present-day Eastern Germany has many unique varieties of this style from regional breweries. It is often served with dark, chunky breads with cream cheese. It also pairs well with marinated meats like brisket and is an excellent companion to German Sauerbraten.”

Random: I haven’t had German food in forever. I think I need to fix that and have a good German beer.

This poured with a three finger tan head with significant lacing. The head is super fluffy. The body is a dark brown (almost black, no surprise there). Again, no visible carbonation due the color. On the nose, lots of toasty malts. I think they used chocolate malts because when I went to brew my own beer, I took a sniff of them and this smells exactly like that. On the taste, it’s a lot of chocolate hints with some caramel. The finish lingers like crazy with malty goodness. There is also decent carbonation on the taste. The only complaint is that it’s not a really well-balanced beer. The Avery 17 was a better balanced beer. But, I would have this again if someone handed it to me.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Samuel Adams Irish Red

Yesterday was a normal day. Another rainy day in New Jersey. Nothing all that interesting to report, but just one of those days you want to come home and relax with a beer. This is another leftover from the Sam Adams variety pack. When I started drinking, Irish reds were my style of choice (think domestic, so nothing great). I don’t know why, probably because I’m partially Irish, or I thought they looked cool. This is the first “craft” Irish red that I’ve had (in quotes because of the current dilemma over whether Sam is still craft). I also got some brand new beer glasses (Rogue Dead Guy Pints and Rogue XS Goblets), so it’s been a good brew day.

ABV: 5.5%

Style: Irish Red Ale

Trivia: According to wikipedia, “Irish red ale, red ale, or Irish ale gains its slightly reddish color from the use of a small amount of roasted barley.The term red ale or red beer is used by brewers in countries other than Ireland; however, the name Irish Red is typically used when roasted material is used. In America the name can describe a darker amber ale, and some breweries may produce a ‘red’ beer that is a lager with caramel colouring.”

Random: I never had an Irish red when I was in Ireland.

This brew poured with a one finger white head. The body itself is a cloudy brownish-red. On the nose, some notes of caramel, although it’s not really a fragrant brew. There was a hint of hops in the nose as well, but you really have to search for them. There was no visible carbonation in the brew due to the cloudiness. On the taste, the first thing I got was the moderate carbonation. The hops make more of an appearance on taste. There is also a slight bitterness from the hops. There is also a hint of caramel and possibly toffee. This was a pretty good beer. Not one of the styles that I would seek out, but an easy drinker. The finish is quick and malty. I would have this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Best Brews September 2010

September was an interesting month, to say the least. I started the moving process, which is a pain, but where I am now is nice. I also fell a little off the beer wagon due to school. But, September was not a great month, in terms of beer drinking. I had a lot of mediocre brews. So, here’s the top 5 and hoping October’s a better month!

1. Flying Dog Raging Bitch

A yummy Belgian IPA. Get this anniversary brew while you can.

2. Ballast Point Sculpin IPA

A wonderfully well-balanced IPA. One of the best I’ve ever had.

3. Lagunitas IPA

A great selection for the hop head. This is my new go-to brew.

4. Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale

The perfect blend of pumpkin and spice. A wonderful fall beer, especially on draft.

5. Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale

This has a little less spice than the Weyerbacher, but still tastes like fall.

Honorable Mention: Mikkeler Beer Geek Breakfast

Samuel Adams Dunkelweizen

So, I’ve decided that I have to drink all of the beer that I have before moving on. This means I’m going to have a few leftovers from the Sam Adams Fall variety pack. I’m also going away for the weekend and plan to hit a brewery and a brewpub (I obviously have my priorities straight). So, I will probably have a decent amount of reviews when I return, and hopefully some pictures. The brew of the night, the dunkelweizen, is a style that I really haven’t explored. I’ve had one or two before and liked them, although one that I had was considered one of the best of its style.

ABV: 5.1%

Style: Dunkelweizen

Trivia: According to the Sam Adams website, “Samuel Adams Dunkelweizen is brewed with authentic Bavarian wheat beer yeast, which imparts a wide spectrum of flavors and aromas from spicy clove and nutmeg to tropical fruit and banana. This traditional yeast is rarely used by American brewers so the flavors it creates are often unfamiliar, even to craft beer drinkers.  The yeast character is complemented by the taste of the malted wheat that adds a cereal note.The result is a beer that, although quite complex and flavorful, is medium in body, with a crisp finish.”

Random: I think I like dunkelweizens overall, but I still think of them as a summer beer. I just need something more substantial in the colder weather. And yes, after I poured the beer, I realized I had a weizen glass. It was a long day at work.

This beer poured with a two finger pure white head, that dissipated within a few minutes and left no lacing. The body itself is cloudy, due to being unfiltered, and is a brown color. On the nose, there is definitely banana and lemon. This style always throws me off because although I know it should resemble a hefeweizen, the dark color makes me think of other things. There is also a hint of spice on the nose, but very muted. The first sip, I get hit with significant carbonation, which I couldn’t see due to the color. The flavor has a lot of banana and not a lot of spice. The Weihenstephaner Dunkel that I had was much more flavorful. The carbonation that comes through is almost a little too much. But, it’s not bad by any means. It goes down easy and would be a good beer to use as an introduction to the style, and then follow up with the more flavorful ones. This brew is also easily sessionable, but there are better offerings out there.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Hoppin’ Frog B.O.R.I.S. the Crusher

I had a bomber of this while I was watching the Eagles lose. So annoying. They looked like absolutely crap without Vick. Kolb the franchise quarterback? I think not. They should have drafted a quarterback, made Vick a starter and gotten rid of Kolb, but that’s just my opinion. This brew allowed the loss to be a little more palatable, although it still stung. This is also the first Hoppin’ Frog beer that I’ve had. I’ve heard a lot of great things about the beer.

ABV: 9.4%

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Trivia: This brew won gold at the 2008 GABF in the Imperial Stout category. If it’s good enough for the boys in Colorado, I guess it’s good enough for me.

Random: The same year, another one of my favorite stouts took bronze: Great Divide Yeti.

This beer made for a pretty pour. It poured with a two finger tan head that dissipated quickly. It surprised me that there was no real lacing on the glass. The body itself is dark brown, almost black. There is no light getting through this bad boy. On the nose, there is a lot of coffee, hints of vanilla and some chocolate. This smells good. It almost reminds me of Founder’s Breakfast Stout. The nose invites you to come in and savor this brew. On the taste, you get everything that was on the nose. It actually tastes a lot like Yeti too. There’s definite coffee notes and hints of oatmeal. Some chocolate and vanilla notes come through as well. This is a well-balanced beer. The mild carbonation and flavors make this a smooth, almost silky beer going down. The booze is completely hidden. This is definitely a dangerous brew. The finish lingers with hints of coffee. I would definitely have this again.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

I have majorly fallen off the beer review wagon. I’ve been sick, so I didn’t want to waste good beer when I wouldn’t be able to appreciate it. I’m also in the middle of moving and don’t have internet where I am now. So, I’m relegated to updating the blog while I’m at school. I hope that this is a temporary issue, but for now, I’m still tasting, but doing massive updates at once. This is also why I’m going back and doing pictures after I post the reviews. So, bear with me for a bit and hopefully by November, I’ll be back in the swing of things. Now that I’ve bored you with all this, onto the beer.

ABV: 7%

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Trivia: According to the Dogfish Head website, “Punkin Ale is named after a locally-famous and seriously off-centered event here in southern Delaware – Punkin Chunkin (check out some of these Discovery Channel videos of Punkin Chunkin, you gotta see it to believe it!). In fact, Punkin Ale made it’s debut as it claimed First Prize in the 1994 Punkin Chunkin Recipe Conest – yes, that was a full 6 months before we even opened our doors for business. Punkin Chunkin has grown in size and scale with pumpkins now being hurled more than 4,000 feet through the air! If you come down to see if for yourself – come by and visit us.”

Random: So, they hurl pumpkins in Delaware…interesting. I guess when you don’t have much to do, you find something.

This poured with a two finger, white, fluffy head. The body itself is a cloudy orange-brown color. No visible carbonation due to the color. On the nose, it’s all those wonderful fall smells you hope for with a pumpkin beer: cinnamon, clove and hints of pumpkin. I’m all about pumpkin, so this is right in my wheelhouse. On the taste, there is a lot of hearty pumpkin which is sweet on the end. The fall spice is a little more subtle in the taste and lets the pumpkin flavor take the front seat. It reminds me of a less sweet pumpkin pie. The finish is quick, but the booze is easily hidden. This is easily one of the best pumpkin beer offerings around. Grab one while you can!

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0