Archive for April, 2011

This was another selection from my father’s basement. He said that he picked this one because the bottle looked “cool.” I have to agree. I’ve always wanted to try a beer from this brewery because the bottles were so unique looking.

ABV: 6.5%

Style: Milk/Sweet Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our Beers are all ‘real ales’ and are brewed using the finest ingredients – local East Anglian malts and British hops. Our water is drawn from our own deep source within the chalk layer way below St. Peter’s Hall and is ideal for brewing. We brew ‘traditional’ beers – bitters, mild etc. – as well as some more unusual beers such as honey porter and fruit beer. Even these, however, are not really ‘exotic’ at all as it was common practice up to the Nineteenth Century to add fruits and honey to beers to create special seasonal brews.”

Random: I’m not usually the biggest fan of milk stouts. I much prefer regular stouts or imperial stouts.

This brew poured a dark brown, almost black with an off white head that topped the body. The nose had some toasty malts with a hint of chocolate and licorice. The taste was again, chocolate, with a hint of cream and carbonation. There was no mistaking that this brew was a milk stout. The licorice that was apparent in the nose lingered until the finish. This was pretty light for a stout. I would have it again, but it definitely was not my favorite stout ever.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

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My father stocked his house with craft beer for me so that I didn’t have to drink his “swill” when I came over (i.e. Corona Light). This was a selection that I had on Easter last week. I also apologize for the blurry picture. I took it very quickly with my iPhone, so it’s not up to the normal quality when I use my camera.

ABV: 5.4%

Style: Hefeweizen

Trivia: According to wikipedia, “G. Schneider & Sohn is a Bavarian brewery company founded in 1872 by Georg Schneider I and his son of the same name, after they acquired the Weisses Brauhaus in Munich, the oldest wheat beer brewery in the city. In 1927 the owners, who to this day are descendants of Georg Schneider I, expanded their brewing operations into Kelheim and Straubing. After the breweries in Munich were destroyed in 1944 by bombing, the entire production was relocated to Kelheim.”

Random: I’ve really been neglecting this style of beer lately. It’s probably because I tend to consider it a beer for the spring or summer.

As I opened the brew, it proceeded to explode all over the counter. I was already off to a good start. When I finally got to pouring it, I realized that my parents didn’t have beer glasses. The closest thing I found was some sort of odd coffee glass. Anyways, I finally poured it and saw that it had a slightly cloudy orange body with lots of active carbonation. The head was one finger and pure white. On the nose, I got exactly what I’ve come to expect from a hefe: banana, clove and citrus. The taste was much of the same, except with overwhelming carbonation up front. The banana came out next with some mild spice, lemon and yeast following up. The finish was longer than I expected. This was a solid hefeweizen that I would definitely have again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

So, yet again, I’ve totally fallen off the beer reviewing wagon. I’m blaming half of this on the flu. The other half I’m totally blaming on teaching someone about beer. But, I couldn’t walk past this beer in the beer fridge any longer. An oak aged stout? Sounds like a great idea to end the night.

ABV: 8%

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to wikipedia, “Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma. It is distinct from apostasy, which is the formal denunciation of one’s religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is irreverence toward religion. The founder or leader of a heretical movement is called a heresiarch, while individuals who espouse heresy or commit heresy, are known as heretics. Heresiology is the study of heresy. The word heresy is usually used within a Christian, Jewish, or Islamic context, and implies something slightly different in each. In certain historical Christian and Jewish cultures, heresy was punishable by law. In modern times, the word heresy is typically used in jest and without religious context.”

Random: Why is it that the Phils game isn’t on but MLB Network keeps showing the Indians and Royals…? Not that I don’t like the Indians, but come on…

The brew poured with a healthy two finger tan head that dissipated and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown with no visible carbonation due to the color. This looks like a serious stout. On the nose, I get some vanilla, roasted malts, chocolate and a mild hint of oak. Yeah, this is definitely in my wheelhouse. The taste has definite hints of oak and chocolate. I also got some lactose and a bit of vanilla with some heat on the end from the booze. The carbonation was really mild on this brew. The finish was all vanilla to me and lasted awhile. This is a decent beer, but not the best stout I’ve ever had. It pales in comparison to something like Great Divide Yeti. But, I’d have this again if Yeti was unavailable. This is worth a shot.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Being sick has set me behind in the beer tasting. This was a brew I got a growler of and did a tasting of a few nights ago. I first tried them at the Philly Craft Beer Fest with Joey and I thought their stuff was pretty good. I also love me a good hop bomb, so a growler of this did not seem like it would be a problem.

ABV: 11.5%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This ‘triple’ India pale ale is utterly smooth with a powerfully hoppy presence and pleasing 11.5 percent content of alcohol by volume. Its Chinook and Amarillo hops are at once earthy and floral, and its full malt body provides a sweet, sticky finish that isn’t so cloying that you wouldn’t take a second sip. That next gulp soothes the palate with a softness you wouldn’t expect from any IPA. You might even find honey and fruit notes that are sweet as melon. While Hop’solutely is fairly well regarded on the blogs and at beer-rating websites, it can’t match the publicity surrounding that other ‘triple’ IPA, Russian River Pliny the Younger. The California-made ale [is] frequently voted the world’s greatest beer…Is Hop’solutely as good as Pliny the Younger? In a word, yes.””

Random: Yeah…about that whole as good as Pliny thing…I haven’t had the Younger yet, but pales in comparison to the Elder…

This brew poured with a one finger, pure white head that left significant lacing on the glass. The body was a clear orange color with moderate carbonation. On the nose, I got some definite pine with a strong caramel malt backbone. The taste had some mild bitterness with a big malt aftertaste. Umm, I thought this was a double IPA…? Where is the hop bomb I expected? The alcohol was decently hidden but this brew needed more hops. The carbonation was also a little too subtle for the brew. It wasn’t a bad beer, but I could easily find a better DIPA out there. It was just a little too malty for me. I wouldn’t rush back to have this one.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

I love the Spring. I really love the Spring living down in Monmouth County. I’m currently doing my first review while sitting in an Adirondack chair while watching the sunset. Life is pretty darn good right now. The only thing (well, one of the few), that would make it better is if I had a television out here so that I could watch the Phils. Anyways, onto the review.

ABV: 5%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Sane or senseless? Harmless or harmful? Sometimes it takes awhile to get to know a stranger. Initial impressions are not always reality, so you must delve deeper. Beyond the initial floral hop aromas, malt sweetness is revealed, yet with a spicy undertone that exposes a very rye sense of humor. Take your time to get to know the Stranger. It’s strangely satisfying.”

Random: This beer was brewed using clean energy. Nice!

The brew poured with a one finger white head that dissipated really quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The brew itself was a clear, golden-yellow with moderate carbonation. Actually, a lot less than I expected. On the nose, I got a hint of citrus and pine, but it was more sweet and malty on the nose than I expected. The taste was definitely a lot of malt. Well, not like a malt bomb, but more than expected. I got a bit of caramel and grain which followed up with notes of citrus, grass and floral hops. This beer is definitely an easy session beer and I could put a few away. The finish was quick with a hint of bready malt. This wasn’t my favorite pale ale ever, but it was different than all the other ones that I’ve had. It also had one of the more funny names I’ve seen for a beer. Left Hand…Stranger…no? I guess I have the mind of a twelve-year-old…

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Since I was slacking off last night and didn’t review anything, I guess I’ll do two reviews tonight. I’m seriously loving my outdoor tasting spot. I am so happy that it’s almost Friday, although Saturday is going to suck. I also took Monday off as an insurance day in case I can’t bang out my paper in a day. Anyways, the Phils are winning thanks to a Carlos Ruiz HR and a throwing error. And the Yanks are losing to Baltimore. I think I can hear Joe cursing out Phil Hughes from here…

ABV: 5.5%

Style: Witbier

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This traditional Witbier (Wheat beer) has been developed in cooperation with Master Brewer Pierre Celis, the Godfather of Hoegaarden and Celis White. This beer as well has a second fermentation in the bottle, giving this beer its specific taste (5.5% alcohol content).”

Random: I kinda love the drunken Monk label thing.

The brew pours a cloudy light yellow with a three finger fluffy egg white head. It dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the sides of my Dead Guy pint glass. I think that this was actually my first witbier of the season. The nose was everything I expect of a witbier, lots of citrus, some yeast, clove and I think I even got a hint of banana. On the first sip, I think that this a damn good witbier. It was filled with bright citrus notes (especially lemon) and mild spice with some yeastiness and moderate carbonation. The brew finished with a bit of the citrus that was present throughout. This was all I could ask for from a brew of this style. It was a crisp, bright beer that would go really well on a 70 degree day while I was relaxing outside. I would definitely have this brew again as it was one of the best examples of the style that I’ve had. This is definitely NOTHING like a Blue Moon.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

It’s pouring rain here and I’m just waiting for the power to go out. Every time there is a thunder storm here, the power cuts out because we have above ground lines here. Since it’s Spring, I’m going to crack open this barleywine before the weather gets too warm. What I probably should have done with this brew was buy two and age one…

ABV: 12%

Style: American Barleywine

Trivia: According to the Stone blog, “But we’ve been making Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine since 1998 and Stone Imperial Russian Stout since 2000, and if you subtract those numbers from 2010, you arrive at a long time to be making the same beers. So being the dynamic young go-getters that we are, we felt like mixing things up a bit. Starting in 2011, we’re kicking-off a program we’ve dubbed ‘Odd Beers for Odd Years.’ Translation: in odd numbered years (2011, 2013, 2015, etc…) we’ll be releasing new variations on Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine and Stone Imperial Russian Stout in place of the classic version. A radical redirection for two reliably wonderful beers, we know, but we think you’ll be pleased with the results. Hell, we are. The first Odd Beer for Odd Years release will be rocking your collective world in the form of Stone Old Guardian Belgo Barley Wine, which hits shelves in February.”

Random: Funny enough, after Stone released this, people threw a fit and now Stone is still going to release the Belgos in odd years, but also release the classic versions every year like they usually do.

The brew poured a reddish brown color that was pretty cloudy. I could see some carbonation making an appearance at the top of the glass. The head was pretty small on this one, only about a half a finger of pure white graced the glass. The Belgian yeast dominates the nose with clove taking a backseat. I also got a bit of fruit and caramel malt. On the first sip, I’m surprised that the booze doesn’t take over the taste. The Belgian yeast and spice is really apparent on the taste as well and some dark fruits and caramel malts really come through. I really was surprised as how smooth this was for a barleywine, although the brew definitely got hot at the end from all the booze. The fingers lingers with a bit of hops and the heat from the booze. I’ve never had the regular version of this beer, but I’d love to do a comparison.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0