Heavy Seas Letter of Marque 2010 (Rye Porter)

Today was a long day. This week seriously needs to end. Work has just been absolutely crazy. I guess it’s good that I’m only taking two classes this semester because I don’t think I’d be able to handle anymore than two. At least it’s Opening Day for baseball. The Phils don’t play today, but the Yankees did win. Although they’re not my team, I always root for them because of my father and my sister. I’m watching the Giants-Dodgers game. I can’t believe how much I’ve missed baseball and beer goes so well with watching a game. Tonight’s selection is a bottle that is courtesy of my father. Let’s see how it is…

ABV: 7.8%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to beernews.org, “This spring, Heavy Seas Beer Co. will debut Letter of Marque, a Hop Rye Porter, as part of its Mutiny Fleet series that launched last year. The beer will appear in 22 oz. bottles and on draft. Here is the write-up from the brewery: ‘Winners from our 2009 Letter of Marque Homebrew Competition will work along side our brewers to create this one time special release. Letter of Marque will feature a different beer every year selected from our national homebrew competition. Historically, a Letter of Marque was a document that made a Pyrate a legitimate professional. Hence, our Letter of Marque makes a home brewer a legitimate professional as well!’ This year’s recipe is from Frank Butt and Neil Heinlein. ABV is 7.8%.”

Random: I think I’m rooting for the Giants in this game, primarily because I like Buster Posey and Matt Cain.

Holy head Batman! This took a good three pours to be able to take a picture. The head was a good three fingers and tan and very fluffy. The body was a definite dark brown with little visible carbonation. On the nose, this definitely doesn’t smell like a typical porter. It had a huge roasty quality to it with roasted malts and coffee and rye. It followed up with a definite hint of hops. This was definitely enticing. The taste was very similar to what was in the nose. I got some smoke, toasted malts, rye and hoppy goodness. For me, it’s very similar to a black IPA, not that I’m complaining. For all of the flavors going on, they really worked together. The moderate carbonation was pleasant and the brew finished with a hint of rye. I really got into it the more I sipped it. I’d definitely have it again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Full Sail IPA

I got my stitches out today but unfortunately it didn’t heal right, so I’m stuck with a splint on my finger for a week. I’m so over this. This makes typing really fun, let me tell you. Other than that, I think I finally got the facebook working, so if you want to add me, please click here.

ABV: 6%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the Full Sail website, “The British colonists who once visited India invented India Pale Ale. But we seriously doubt they ever enjoyed one after a day of fullblown kiteboarding. What a shame. Generously hopped to 60 IBU’s in the classic style, our IPA is a real thirst quencher. It has a full, malty body and there’s even a hint of fresh citrus to it. Perfect after your favorite water sport. Even if that happens to be the grueling drag-the-poolside-lounge-chair-into-the-sun event.”

Random: The bottlecap says “torque off.” Interesting. The brew is also listed as having today as the “best buy” date, so it’s probably a good thing that I’m drinking this one tonight.

The brew poured a clear golden-yellow color with lots of active carbonation. The body was topped with a one finger pure white head that dissipated quickly and left very limited lacing on the glass. The nose was a bit muted with notes of citrus and grass. The taste is very light hops and grapefruit and a hint of sweet pine. I’m thinking that the flavor is a little more mild since I’m approaching the end of this brew’s life (given the best buy date). This is much lighter than I expected from an IPA and it was definitely on the thin side. The finish was more piney than grapefruit. This was a decent brew, but didn’t floor me. I’d definitely be willing to try this brew again when it was fresher and see if there was any difference.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Lindemans Cassis

I’m seriously counting down the days until Saturday. Saturday, as I’ve probably mentioned is the opening night for the Phillies and I have tickets. I assume that Lee will be pitching and I’m going with all Yankees fans (not that I want to pour salt in the wound or anything). I had to pick up the beers for the tailgate today and I ended up going with Abita Purple Haze (for my sister, since I’ve gotten her hooked on this we haven’t had Coors Light in the house), Lagunitas IPA (one of my favorite IPAs) and Victory Prima Pils. I was aiming for lower alcohol beers that would go down easy. I also have a guy coming with me that isn’t into beer, so I figured Prima Pils would be a good choice. So, onto my beer of the night.

ABV: 4%

Style: Lambic – Fruit

Trivia: According to wikipedia, “Cassis is a commune situated east of Marseille in the department of Bouches-du-Rhône in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in southern France. It is a popular tourist destination, famous for its cliffs (falaises) and the sheltered inlets called calanques. The wines of Cassis are white and rosé, and not to be confused with crème de cassis, a specialty of Burgundy which takes its name from blackcurrants (cassis), not the commune.”

Random: The Lindemans labels are pretty cool. They’re kinda old school.

The beer poured a beautiful dark reddish-purple into my Ommegang glass topped with a pink one finger head that dissipated quickly. The nose of the brew is definitely fruit with a hint of tartness. There is also a mild hint of yeast to it. The taste is definitely fruit up front, mostly black currents and then the tartness comes out and makes my mouth pucker a little bit. It’s definitely very sweet, but less cloying than the peach variety I had. I think because this one is a little more tart. The brew is pretty well carbonated and the finish is a bit on the tart side. This is definitely a lighter brew and as my sister said, this is almost like the mixed drink of beers (probably because the fruitiness reminds her of a mixed drink). With that being said, this one is my favorite of the 3 Lindemans beers I’ve had. I would have this one again, although not anytime soon.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Avery DuganA IPA

For some reason today really dragged for me. I think I was still exhausted from the weekend. I was literally watching the clock until I could get out of work. On a positive note, I get my stitches out on Wednesday. They’re at the point where they are seriously annoying. I also get to ask the doc when I can go back to the gym (since it’s right on the joint, I’ve been really worried about reopening the laceration). So what did I have to get myself into a better mood? A double IPA from a great brewery. Yep, that’s right.

ABV: 8.5%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the Avery website, “Lupulin Rapture Incarnate! As fervent  devotees of hops, we found ourselves on a quest to create a transcendental IPA capable of quenching our voracious lupulin desires. Our mantra became ‘unity of bitterness, hop flavor and aroma.’ Enlightened, duganA IPA was born: A brutally bitter, dank, piney and resinous ale designed for those seeking a divine hop experience.”

Random: I seriously can’t believe that Bonds is denying doing steroids. Like everyone doesn’t know already…

This beer poured a perfect hazy orange color into my Flying Fish tulip glass with a two finger pure white head. The head left crazy lacing on the glass. From just appearances alone, this looks like a beer I’m going to fall in love with. On the nose, I got definite citrus, specifically grapefruit with a hint of booze and spice. On the taste, the first thing I think is how freaking good this is. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a great DIPA and this really hits the spot. The taste had definite notes of grapefruit and pineapple with the booze really well hidden. The malt came through at the end with some caramel sweetness that is complemented by the high carbonation. The finish is all citrus and amazing. It wasn’t as sticky as I expected. A really smooth West Coast IPA. I would have this again in a second. This is exactly what I needed tonight.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0

Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel Peche Mortel

Today was a shockingly relaxing day. We had people working on the house for the entire weekend, so we were up early and then managed to get nice headaches due to all of the banging. Today, I watched a bunch of episodes of Dexter – Season 2. Then, I decided to grill and made some kick ass barbecue chicken. I also managed to find a way to improve Corona, which involved putting a chile-lime rim on the glass. It gave it a little bit of heat, which actually paired well with the chicken. Now, I’m watching the season finale of Dexter and I decided to crack open a nice Imperial stout.

ABV: 9.5%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: The name of the beer is French for “mortal sin.”

Random: For some reason, I really tend to scream at the tv when baseball is on. I seriously can’t wait for regular season baseball.

The brew poured a dark brown, almost black color with a hint of a tan head on top that left limited lacing on my snifter. The nose had definite notes of booze, chocolate and espresso. Definitely my type of stout. The taste is definitely a bitter mixture of coffee primarily and followed up with chocolate notes. There was also some dark and roasted malts. The booze that was apparent on the nose is pretty well hidden in the taste. This is really a great sipping beer. The espresso flavors really came out as the beer warmed and the chocolate just worked in concert with it. The finish was all coffee on this bad boy. I definitely couldn’t have a lot of these brews, but this one is awesome. Let this one warm for fifteen minutes before drinking and just appreciate all the bold flavors of this imperial stout.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0

21st Amendment Monk’s Blood

I wish that I could say I got a lot done today, but I didn’t. We have people working on the house, so I was up at 8:30 and spent the rest of the day running around. Since I can finally sit for a few minutes, I cracked open a can of Monk’s Blood which is a left-over from a six-pack I picked up awhile ago.

ABV: 8.3%

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Trivia: According to the 21st Amendment website, “21st Amendment founders Nico Freccia and Shaun O’Sullivan traveled to Belgium to develop the recipe for this special beer, visiting small, traditional breweries in the hop fields of west Flanders, not far from the famous Trappist abbey of Westvletren. Monk’s Blood is designed to pair beautifully with rich winter stews, creamy cheeses, unctuous desserts or just by itself, in a Belgian tulip glass, with a good book by the fire.”

Random: The more I watch golf, the more bored I get. My Dad was over doing some home repairs and golf has been on all day.

The brew poured a slightly reddish-brown color and was a bit cloudy. The head was pure white and one finger. It dissipated after a few minutes and left some lacing on the glass. The nose presented with some booze, raisins and dark fruit and a hint of Belgian yeast. The taste is definitely dark fruit coupled with moderate carbonation and a hint of fig. The alcohol is pretty well hidden in the taste. A bit of spice also came out, specifically cinnamon. The body is a little lighter than expected, but very pleasant. This is definitely an easy Belgian style brew to drink and if not for the alcohol I would. The finish lingers a bit and for me, that’s where I got a bit of heat from the booze. This is a brew that does not disappoint. I would definitely have this again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Full Sail Bump In The Night (Brewmaster Reserve 2011)

It’s almost Friday. I seriously can’t wait. I have to plan the tailgate tomorrow with Joe (I thought I was going to plan it today but never got to it). Saturday, I’m going to an auction with my family and Sunday is reserved for lots and lots of homework. I’m really excited to almost be done. Tonight’s brew is one that I never heard of, although I’ve tried a Full Sail brew before. Let’s see how a “Cascadian Dark Ale” fairs tonight.

ABV: 6.5%

Style: American Black Ale

Trivia: According to the Full Sail website, “The days are getting shorter and the temps are falling, but there is plenty of reason to rejoice this month. The holiday season is in full swing, the mountains are covered in snow, and Full Sail Brewing Company will release Bump in the Night, the first and newest beer in their 2011 Brewmaster Reserve line up. Bump in the Night is brewed in the Cascadian Dark Ale (CDA) style and is the perfect companion for long winter nights. The array of dark malts present a full bodied beer with notes of cocoa and slight roast. It has a big floral citrus hop flavor and bitterness, reminiscent of an IPA. Bump in the Night will be available in specialty beer stores and pubs on draught and in 22oz bottles Mid December to March. ABV 6.5%, IBU 65.”

Random: I finally hooked up my facebook page for the blog..so search Beerproof on facebook and like me…please?

The brew poured a dark brown, almost black color with a one finger off-white head. The head dissipated pretty quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The nose had some hints of roasted malt that followed up with definite grapefruit notes, although the nose is general is pretty subtle. The taste is definite grapefruit and then transitions right into coffee notes and a hint of smoke with roasted malts which linger into the finish. The carbonation is pretty mild, but it works for the brew. The malt starts to overtake the hops with almost every sip, but it’s not a bad brew. It’s definitely an interesting brew that I enjoyed, but not one that I would rush out to get.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Flying Dog Snake Dog IPA

I was pretty productive today. I came home from work and did the chores I had to, cleaned out my stitches and then sat down to watch another episode of Dexter. I really love Netflix instant. Other than that, I really have to get in gear and start planning the menu for the tailgate next Saturday. I tried out a few recipes and found a few I really like. That’s pretty much the plan for this weekend.

ABV: 7.1%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the Flying Dog website, “More cunning than a snake in the bush… Snake Dog India Pale Ale is a Colorado-style IPA, power hopped with specialty hops from the Pacific Northwest. This is the brewery’s hop monster, and the citrus fruit aroma will hypnotize the senses of the most hardcore craft beer drinkers.”

Random: Today had some really crazy weather. I woke up and it was snowing and now it is hailing. What’s up with Mother Nature? I was really enjoying the warmer weather. I’m so done with snow.

This brew was a leftover from a six-pack that I had purchased to drink while I grilled. The brew poured with a one finger pure white head that dissipated slowly. It left slight lacing on the glass. The body of the brew is a clear amber color with moderate carbonation. The nose was more mild than I expected with a hint of citrus and grass and a bit of a floral scent. The taste presented with definite hop character and some piney hops and a hint of caramel malt at the end. The body was a bit on the thin side. This was a bit boring for an IPA. The finish was bitter and had a bit of alcohol. This was only an alright brew for me. After having some of Flying Dog’s other offerings, it was definitely a disappointment.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Lindemans Framboise

I opened a bomber of this last night primarily because I knew it would be right up my sister’s alley. I think I’ve had this brew before, but it’s been years (I’m thinking about 5, when I didn’t even like beer…but that’s a story for another day). I’ll be honest, this wasn’t a brew I was looking forward to. The more beers that I try, the more I steer away from fruit beers (although they were my go-to beers for awhile). I tend to go more towards hops…and lots of them. Luckily, my sister finished half the bottle for me.

ABV: 2.5%

Style: Lambic – Fruit

Trivia: According to wikipedia, “Framboise (from the French for raspberry) or Frambozenbier (Dutch) is a Belgian lambic beer that is fermented using raspberries. It is one of many modern fruitbeer types that have been inspired by the more traditional kriek beer, made using sour cherries. Framboise is usually served in a small glass that resembles a champagne glass, only shorter (could also be a goblet). Most framboise beers are quite sweet, though the Cantillon brewery produces a tart version called Rosé de Gambrinus that is based on the traditional kriek style. The Liefmans brewery uses Oud bruin beer instead of lambic to make its high quality framboise beer, resulting in a very different taste. Recently, Framboise has become popular outside of Belgium, and can now be found in pubs and supermarkets all over the world.”

Random: I used to have certain affinity for raspberry flavored beers. One of my favorite beers (before really getting into craft beer) was Abita Purple Haze.

This beer poured a beautiful purple color with a minimal head and no lacing on the glass. The nose was all raspberries with a hint of something else. Maybe it was a slight hint of sour? But, the dominant scent was all fruit. The taste has a lot of carbonation with lots of raspberry flavor up front with some definite tartness on the end of the brew. The tartness actually got a bit intense and lingered to the finish. For me, there really wasn’t much else to this beer. It was sweet raspberry up front then all tart. This beer was very light and would pair well with a dessert. Although it didn’t have much complexity, I did enjoy it, but it reminded me more of a wine cooler or a very watery fruit wine. This is definitely not a brew that you can have every night. I couldn’t have more than one glass and enjoy it. It would probably mix well with a stout though.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

BrewDog Hardcore IPA

Today was my first day back to class after Spring Break. I’ll be honest, I really didn’t miss class. Then, I was off to work and found out that my buddies at Cranbury Buy Rite got their shipment of Founders KBS (see shameless picture below).

Needless to say, I had to stop by after work and pick up a bottle. I can’t wait to try it. I think I’m going to save this one for my first beer after graduation. Anyways, onto the beer.

ABV: 9.2%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the BrewDog website, “This little bottle has a grandiloquent story to tell. 2,204 malted Maris Otter grains gave all they had to offer the world to provide the robustly delicate toffee malt canvas for the ensuing epic. 6 Hop Cones willingly sacrificed themselves in fiery cauldron that is our brew kettle to ensure your mouth is left feeling punished and puckering for more. 9,900,000,000 yeast cells frantically fermented their little hearts out as the sugars were magically turned into alcohol in the dark depths of our fermentation tanks. This explicit ale has more hops and bitterness that any other beer brewed in the UK. This is an extreme beer rollercoaster for freaks, gypsies and international chess superstars.”

Random: I’ve found that not having a usable thumb really limits one’s beer shopping.

I poured this beer into my Flying Fish tulip glass (gotta represent Jersey) and I remember that it’s been awhile since I’ve had a nice hoppy brew. I tend to get cravings for hoppy brews and hopefully this will do it for me. The brew itself poured a cloudy chestnut-brown topped with a one finger off white head that dissipated quickly, leaving no sign of its existence on the glass. The nose presented with some piney notes, followed by grapefruit and a floral scent. There were also some hints of booze and a buttery caramel malt. There was also some carbonation visible. On the taste, it was much more balanced than I expected. The caramel malt transitioned into piney hops with some resin and grapefruit. For me, the malt really dominated more than expected and the booze also made a quick appearance. The finish was pretty long with significant bitterness. Despite the high booze, it was pretty well hidden. I could easily down a few of these without a problem, but it’s definitely best to stop at one. The brew was also a bit lighter than expected, although not problematic. I definitely enjoyed this. It was a solid DIPA, but not the best one I’ve ever tasted.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0