Triumph Framboise

My second beer of the night. This is also beer number 364 for the year. This is from the growler that my sister picked up at Triumph last week. I tasted hers at the restaurant and I was pretty impressed. I wasn’t aware of how high alcohol it was though. Anyways, I figure that this will really hit the spot while I watch Food Network. My sister and I are now obsessed with the Food Network. I’m also going to be making pulled pork this weekend (using the new smoker) and I’m very excited. So, onto the brew…

ABV: 8.6%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: Here are some interesting facts about raspberries, “The medical benefits of raspberries include: They do not have any fat, saturated fat, sodium or cholesterol, they are high in fiber, vitamin C, potassium and folate, they can help lower high blood pressure and raspberries have an anti-inflammatory property that may help to reduce inflammation of the joints.”

Random: I love watching any sort of competition food show. I love watching how people cook under pressure.

The brew poured with almost no head, except for a hint of white on top of the cloudy reddish body. Due to the color, there was no visible carbonation. This looked like a liquid raspberry. The nose was just some tart raspberries. I didn’t get much else. The taste was a lot of raspberries, but mostly tart at the start and then with a hint of sweetness. I think that some of the carbonation dissipated from the age of the growler. I remember this being much more fresh and carbonated and I definitely enjoyed it more when I first had it. The brew was also a touch thicker than one would expect from a fruit beer. The booze was very hidden and the finish was all raspberry. I definitely enjoyed the beer when I first had it, although the flavor has definitely decreased in satisfaction since sitting in the fridge. I would definitely get this again and kill it while it was fresh. If you find yourself at Triumph, grab one of these.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale

This week seriously needs to end. I haven’t been this busy at work in awhile, nor have I been this exhausted. I actually slept for eight hours last night and somehow, I’m still tired. Don’t get me wrong, my week goes much quicker when I’m busy, but I can’t wait until the weekend. I think I may be hitting up some bars in Philly with my sister. So, this beer is one that I had to pick up when I went to Massachusetts. One of the other types of alcohol that I really enjoy is the whole family of scotch/bourbon/Irish whiskey. A beer with the word bourbon in the name is definitely coming home with me.

ABV: 8.19%

Style: American Strong Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Award winning Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale is a unique sipping beer with the distinctive nose of a well-crafted bourbon.  Our Kentucky Ale is aged for up to 6 weeks in freshly decanted bourbon barrels from some of Kentucky’s finest distilleries. Subtle yet familiar flavors of vanilla and oak are imparted to this special ale as it rests in the charred barrels.  Pleasantly smooth and robust, Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale may also be served as an aperitif or after dinner drink.”

Random: I’ve been listening to this 90s Pandora station all day and I kinda love it. I may or may not be dancing around to Whitney Houston’s, “How Will I Know,” just saying…

Yep, I broke out the snifter for this bad boy. I was highly considering it, but once I saw that even the brewery recommended using one, how could I not? The beer poured with very little head. A very small amount remained and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear light orange-brown with moderate active carbonation. After letting the brew warm up for a few minutes (which by the way, was torture), I stuck my nose in the glass. I got some vanilla, bourbon, oak, brown sugar and a bit of booze. Once I get to have my first sip of the beer, there is no mistaking that this is a bourbon aged beer. I got the bourbon, a bit of wood and a hint of smoke and vanilla at the end. When I see a bourbon aged beer, I would expect a thicker beer, but this was a thin beer with low to moderate carbonation. It started to have more caramel notes to it as it warmed and the vanilla really came out and lasted through the finish. I was surprised at how hidden the booze was. When I first started drinking the brew, I wasn’t sure if I was the biggest fan of it. But, as it warmed, it really was a solid brew that I thoroughly enjoyed. I would definitely have this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Wild Onion Paddy Pale Ale

I was exhausted today, for no real reason. Work was really busy too, so at least the day went by quickly. I headed off to the gym after work and had a pretty good workout. I think that I pulled my hamstring, so I had to take it easy on cardio, but otherwise a solid workout. I came home figuring that there would be no power since we had crazy storms, but I was lucky to find out that we had plenty of power. Onto tonight’s brew, yet another selection from the Massachusetts stash.

ABV: 5.6%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This American-style pale ale is our flagship brand and celebrates the blending of intense hop character and crisp, malty mouthful. 5.4% ABV.”

Random: I love that the Phillies game is blacked out on ESPN because it thinks that I’m in a Philly market and don’t get the game because I don’t get all the Philly channels. Seriously?

This poured with a one finger white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a dark, hazy orange color with moderate visible carbonation on it. The nose had lots of fresh grapefruit on it. This smelled yummy. The taste…not so wonderful. I was expecting a bit of fresh grapefruit to jump out at me, and it just didn’t. The citrus was pretty muted and it transitioned quickly into an almost metallic taste (and I doubt it was because this came out of a can). There was also a bit of biscuit to it. The body was really thin and the carbonation was a bit flat. I don’t know if this was an old beer that was past its prime or what, but this really was not a great beer. The finish was a bit on the bitter side and unfortunately lingered for awhile. I wouldn’t have this beer again. Or, if I did, I’d check the freshness date (if the can had one).

Untappd Rating: 1.0/5.0

High & Mighty XPA (Extra Pale Ale)

After having a beer that was slightly disappointing, I think I can justify cracking open another one. I also just finished watching an episode of “Best Thing I Ever Ate.” It is easily my favorite show on tv. I love watching people who obviously love food talk about it and show where to go for these things. Again, I wish that was my life. So, now that I’ve been sufficiently distracted, this is another beer from the road trip. I never heard of them before, so I figured I should grab one of their pale ales.

ABV: 5%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “XPA (Xtra Pale Ale) is an American classic. This hoppy, golden session ale is exceedingly drinkable but is packed with flavor. Old world English malts are paired with new American hop varieties, resulting in easy- to-drink yet complex brew, ideal for evenings out at the pub or when entertaining at home. This ale has it all- loads of hops to satisfy the most serious hophead, but enough malt to achieve a perfect balance.”

Random: I really like Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, but I can’t stand the host. Anyone could do that show. Like me…especially if it involved beer. Moving on…

This brew poured a slightly hazy orange color with a lot of visible carbonation. The other interesting thing about this brew was that it had visible sediment in it. This bad boy was topped off with a finger of pure white head that dissipated and left some lacing on my imperial pint glass. The nose had hints of citrus, grass and little bit of flowers. The taste had much of the same notes in the nose. I got a bit of hops, albeit they didn’t take over the flavor. Citrus came out with some grass that ends with a hint of caramel malt. The brew was on the thinner side and the carbonation was definitely active, which worked really well for this beer. I could see throwing a few of these back on a hot summer day. The finish was a little bit bitter, but quick. I wouldn’t have pegged this brew as a pale ale though. I saw a few people call this English style and I could easily see that as the bitterness isn’t intense and is backed up by malt. This was an easy to drink beer, but I couldn’t see seeking this out. But, it’s still worth a shot.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Sherwood Forest Maiden’s Blueberry Ale

Today was a busy day. It was like I literally didn’t stop until I walked out the door. I hit up the gym after work to blow off some steam and then I came home and had some leftover eggplant. I decided to break out a fruit beer tonight. When I started the blog, fruit beers were my favorite. Now, I tend to pass them over, but I picked this one up in Massachusetts, so time to crack it open.

ABV: 5.46%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Today, the enchanting tradition of friendship and celebration lives on right here in Merry Ole New England, where our legendary brewers have captured the pleasures of rich, old-fashioned pale ales in the finest tradition of Sherwood Forest and her legendary heroes. At Sherwood Forest Brewers, we carry on Robin Hood’s tradition of honor, friendship and giving and instill it in every bottle of our fine Archer’s Ale. This enchanting brew is a tribute to the age-old legend of Robin Hood, brewed in the traditional English style with all of the care, consistency and mastery that embodied the life of adventure lived by Robin Hood, his Lady Faire and their band of loving friends. Or if you’re longing for a lighter, hoppier beer, try our new Sheriff’s India Pale Ale.”

Random: I can’t believe the Yankees almost blew it tonight.

This brew poured with a half a finger of pure white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear straw yellow color with lots of active carbonation. The nose had lots of fresh blueberries on it and a hint of malt. Wow, the blueberries really overwhelmed. If this tasted anything like it smelled, I’d be happy. But, the nose was the best thing about the beer. On the first sip, I can’t find a lot of blueberry and not nearly as much as in the nose. It reminded me a little bit of a light macro that followed up with some blueberries. It actually had some notes of wheat, but the blueberry was way too mild, especially given the nose. I also got a hint of sweetness at the end that lasted until the finish. The brew itself was pretty thin with high carbonation, but it would have worked if there was more fruit to it. This was definitely a disappointment. I wouldn’t have this again.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Clown Shoes Tramp Stamp

I can’t believe it’s already Sunday. I feel like the weekend went by so quickly. Now, it’s almost back to another full week of work. But, before that, I have a few brews to kill. It’s almost a year since I started the blog and I’m right on track to hit 365 brews in a year. I’m also planning to do some data analysis to see what brews and what breweries I had the most of during the year (I’m going to take a wild guess that I had a lot of IPAs during the year and a lot from Victory, Troegs and DFH, but that’s just a guess). This is a bomber that I picked up in Massachusetts. I love Belgian IPAs and how could you not pick up a brew that’s called “tramp stamp?”

ABV: 7%

Style: Belgian IPA

Trivia: According to wikipedia, “A lower back tattoo is a body decoration, sometimes intended to emphasize sexual attractiveness. Such tattoos have become popular since the late 1990s. They are sometimes derided as suggestive of promiscuity and often referred to as ‘tramp stamps’ and other slang terms. The German term ‘Arschgeweih’ can be translated as ‘ass antlers’. Such tattoos are primarily seen on women, although a small but increasing number of men have them as well.”

Random: Yes, in fact, I do have a tramp stamp. I got it once I was 18 (and obviously, rebellious). It’s of a claddagh with a celtic knot on each side of it because of my Irish heritage.

I intentionally tried to pour this beer gently, but to no avail. It still poured with about three fingers of slightly off white head, which was nice and fluffy. It left some lacing on the glass and dissipated quicker than I imagined, given the amount of it. The body was a hazy golden orange color with moderate carbonation. The nose had a bunch of grapefruit notes with a hint of spice to it. It didn’t smell like what I expected, given that it was a Belgian IPA, although it still smelled inviting. The taste threw me a bit. I initially got a bit of citrus to it, then some mild spice and then very little sweetness that seems to come out towards the end. After it warmed, the sweetness really came out, although it wasn’t abrasive. It was very odd to me and not what I’m used to in a Belgian. It almost reminds me of Lindt’s orange chocolate. It’s sweet and citrusy and then bitter right after. The alcohol wasn’t really detectable and the carbonation was mild. All in all, very smooth beer (not too thick and not too thin). But, not what I expected. I expected more of a balance with the beer, and I much prefer the other Belgian IPAs that I’ve had. With that being said, I enjoyed the beer, but it seems like they need to refine it a bit more. It was definitely worth a try.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Berkshire Brewing Company Coffeehouse Porter

This was the second beer of the night. Yet another brew that I got while I was in Massachusetts. I’ve always been into coffee stouts, but I don’t think that I’ve had a beer that was truly termed a “coffee porter.” I knew when I saw this in the brew store, I had to pick it up. It also called out to me when I was picking a brew for the night. So, what better than a Saturday night to crack it open? Again, sorry for the crappy photo. I don’t think that I’m holding my iPhone still enough when I take pictures and I’m too lazy to break out the big camera.

ABV: 6.2%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This rich, dark ale takes BBC’s popular Drayman’s Porter and adds Dean’s Beans organic coffee to the mix, creating an enticing blend of everyone’s favorite beginning and end of day beverages.  Robust and aromatic, Coffeehouse Porter is sure to please, no matter what time of day you choose to enjoy it. ”

Random: Despite the heat, this beer went down nice and smooth.

This brew poured with a two finger tan head that left crazy lacing on my pint glass. The body was black with no visible carbonation. Damn, this looks like a sexy beer. The nose had lots of roasted malts with coffee and a hint of chocolate. This smelled like dessert to me, so yummy. The taste was a lot of coffee, but it wasn’t overpowering. The body was a bit thin, but since it was a porter, this was to be expected and had moderate carbonation. There is no confusing this with a stout, which is a good thing, given how hot it was outside. The mild bitterness came out with a lot of roasted malts and finish with a bit of creaminess. The finish was highlighted with the expected notes of coffee. This was really nice. Any alcohol in the brew didn’t make an appearance and the finish lingered with coffee. I would definitely have this brew again, I just wish that I didn’t have to go to Massachusetts to get it.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0