Archive for September, 2011

Finally, the end to an insane week. Although my weekend is going to be a little busy, I’m so happy that it’s here. My cat is lying on the couch with his head on the pillow and his body under the blanket. He’s doing much better today, but he’s still a little loopy from the meds. I’ve found that it is not easy to give a cat meds, especially my cat. My sister and I are watching the Yankees game, which looks like it’s about to go into a rain delay. I love watching post season baseball. I can’t wait until tomorrow, because the Phils are playing. I’m really hoping they win. Anyways, this is a brew that I’ve had for awhile. I really enjoy a lot of Lagunitas brews, so I’m hoping that this is a good one.

ABV: 8.9%

Style: American Strong Ale

Trivia: According to beernews.org, “Also, it is not ‘Lucky 13 Alt’ but ‘Lucky 13.alt.’ Don’t let the label confuse you into thinking it is an Altbier; it is actually an obscure reference to alt.* newsgroups of the past. Maybe it should have been called alt.Lucky 13 in that case but that’s what it means.”

Random: Verlander didn’t look nearly as sharp as he has in previous starts. This could be a very good break for the Yankees.

This brew poured with a one finger, pure white head that left very little lacing on the glass. The body was a clear copper color with moderate visible carbonation. The nose had some caramel malt, grass and toffee to it. There was definitely a lot going on with this brew. The taste was a little bit harsher than the nose. I definitely got a bit of sweetness from the caramel malt, but also some hop bitterness and a bit of sweet fruit. The booze came out slightly at the finish with some warming at the back of the throat. The more that I sipped this beer, the more I got a hop bite from it. The body was moderate with moderate carbonation. I don’t know what I was expecting from this beer, but I’m not sure that it was this. With that being said, it was definitely a solid brew that I would have again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

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Miller Chill

Posted: September 29, 2011 in Light Lager, Miller Brewing Co, Reviews

This has officially been a crap week. After dealing with a family death, yesterday, my cat gets sick and he has never, ever, been sick. For those of you who don’t personally know me, my cat (who has made some guest appearances on the blog) is my boy. I got him as a stray and since I was afraid of cats at the time (one of my exes wanted him). I trained him like a dog. He has the best personality of any cat that I’ve ever met. He’s the type of cat that will sit there and meow like a dog and beg for scraps. I put him on a leash and he hangs out while I barbecue. So, I came home yesterday after a rough day at work and I went to clean his box, like I do every day. Then, I noticed that he wasn’t going to the bathroom like he should be, so I started thinking that he had a UTI. In male cats, this is incredibly dangerous and if left untreated, could be fatal. So, I spent last night in the animal ER with him (and my girlfriend). He ended up getting admitted and I had them run every test possible. Well, I got a call this afternoon that he’s doing much better and he can come home tonight, albeit with some meds and slight changes to his diet and that it was crystals in his bladder, nothing like stones or a tumor. Luckily, this is fixed by the diet change. So, after this ordeal, a beer is definitely necessary. This was the next beer in the fridge…no high hopes for this one.

ABV: 4.1%

Style: Light Lager

Trivia: According to wikipedia, “Miller Chill – A chelada-style 4.1% abv pale lager brewed with lime and salt. Introduced successfully in 2007, sales dropped in 2008 after the launch of the rival Bud Light Lime. In response, MillerCoors revamped their recipe from a ‘chelada’ style brew to a light beer with lime, created new packaging which included switching from a green to a clear bottle, and launched a new advertising campaign centered around the slogan ‘How a Light Beer with a Taste of Lime Should Taste.'”

Random: I used to drink this beer constantly when I was about 22 or 23. This was obviously before I had gotten introduced to craft beer.

This would be one of those beers that you have to drink out of the bottle, so no comments on the head. The body of the brew was a clear straw yellow with some visible carbonation. The nose presented only with lime…lots of lime. Although, unlike other lime beers, it didn’t smell like artificial lime. On the taste, it was completely different. It was incredibly carbonated with lots of artificial lime and not much else. The finish was quick with some lime. This is what I would call a simple, one-dimensional brew. This is pretty bad. I really don’t know how I drank it when I was younger. For a lime macro, it wasn’t horrible. But, I wouldn’t have this again.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Back to work, back to the grind. I keep counting down the days until vacation. I seriously cannot wait. But, anyways, this was one of the brews that I brought home from Delaware, but didn’t try in the brewpub. I’ve already had a few glasses of this, but now it’s time for a formal review on this.

ABV: 5%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This is our original brew (we began it all making this very beer on the original teeny, tiny brewery at our Rehoboth Beach brewpub back in 1995) and our most approachable beer. Shelter Pale Ale is brewed with a premium barley and northwestern Willamette & Columbus hops. The beer has a fine malt backbone and a slightly nutty flavor. Shelter Pale Ale is a versatile, quaffable beer. We named this beer ‘Shelter Pale Ale’ because we liked the concept of a shelter as being a place you come home to. It made sense for this beer, our original beer. Shelter Pale Ale is brewed all year long, but it is distributed exclusively in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States.”

Random: I love the growlers that I got from DFH. They’re really cool. I’m definitely keeping them.

This brew poured with a barely there white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear orange brown color with lots of active carbonation. The nose was very mild with a hint of caramel malt. The taste was mostly caramel malt. I really couldn’t find the bitterness until the end, and honestly, it was bit unpleasant. I wouldn’t have pegged this one as a pale ale. The body was thin and the carbonation was less than I initially would have guess. The finish was quick with a little bit of bitterness. Honestly, I wasn’t a fan of this brew at all. I wouldn’t have this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Ah, Triumph. It’s a place that I love to go, but I’ve never had a beer from there that I really consider “great.” I mean, they get the styles down, but they’re never anything more than middle of the road to me. They’re generally drinkable, but just not fantastic. I hit this place up with Aly on Saturday, saying she lives pretty close to Princeton. I saw the offerings for the night and none really floored me. So, I figured I’d go with the chocolate stout and see how it was.

(So, I totally thought that I took a picture of this beer. I think I trashed it instead of saving it. Imagine a picture here instead…)

ABV: 5.8%

Style: American Stout

Trivia: According to wikipedia.com, “Cocoa solids contain alkaloids such as theobromine and phenethylamine, which have physiological effects on the body. It has been linked to serotonin levels in the brain. Some research found that chocolate, eaten in moderation, can lower blood pressure.”

Random: I do love the fact that they have one cask offering every time on there.

This brew poured with a one finger, tan and fluffy head on a black body. There was no visible carbonation on the brew due to the color. The nose had a lot of coffee and roasted malts, not so much chocolate. But, it smelled inviting anyways. The taste…actually a total letdown. I really didn’t find much chocolate on the taste. There was coffee there, a lot of it, but it didn’t have a lot of bitterness. There was low carbonation on the taste (way too low, if you ask me) and the body was a touch too thin. There wasn’t a lot of flavor to this brew. The finish was quick and unremarkable. I wouldn’t have this again. One word: avoid.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Over the weekend, I hit up an Irish pub with my sister in Bordentown. They actually have a decent beer selection and the food is really, really good. After I took a look at the menu, I saw this offering and honestly, I had never heard of it before. So, I figured, why not give it a try?

ABV: 4.30%

Style: Irish Red Ale

Trivia: According to wikipedia.com, “Kilkenny is a nitrogenated Irish cream ale from the makers of Guinness, which originated in Kilkenny, Ireland. The brand is managed and produced by Diageo. It is available in draught and cans. It is brewed in Ireland and its heritage dates back to the 14th century. Kilkenny is similar to Smithwick’s Draught; however, has less hop finish and it has a nitrogenated cream head similar to Guinness. The ‘Kilkenny’ name was originally used during the 1980s and 1990s to market a stronger version of Smithwick’s for the European and Canadian market due to difficulty in pronunciation of the word ‘Smithwick’s’. It now refers to a similar yet distinct beer.”

Random: For some reason, I wasn’t surprised that this was brewed by Guinness. It’s probably because of the head.

The brew poured with a thick, one finger, white head on a clear, dark brown body. The head reminded me a lot of Guinness. But, unlike Guinness, there wasn’t much to the nose, perhaps a little bit of malt? On the first sip, the head (which I also managed to get on my nose, smooth, I know) tasted exactly like Guinness. The taste itself was light, yet creamy, with little carbonation on a thin body. There was a hint of bitterness that lasted until the finish. But, honestly, very little flavor on this brew for me. It was mediocre at best. I wouldn’t have this again.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Sixpoint Bengali Tiger

Posted: September 23, 2011 in American IPA, Reviews, Sixpoint

I am so glad today is over. I try to keep this blog positive, but I have to vent a little bit (if you’d like to skip the venting, please scroll down). I hate 2011. I cannot wait for this year to be over. This has been by far, one of the worst years I’ve ever had (with a few exceptions, although I can count them on one hand), at least family-wise. I’m lucky in the fact that for the most part, my family has been pretty healthy. Up until this year, I think the last time that I went to a funeral was in fifth grade. So, after a bad week at work, I found out another member of my family passed away. It’s like every time my phone rings after midnight or during work, something bad happens. I will be thrilled when this year is over. But, I did go to the gym and I benched 140 lbs. So, I’m having a brew before I get ready to see Aly when she gets out of work. And that, coupled with a decent brew will put me in a better mood.

ABV: 6.4%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to wikipedia, “The Bengal tiger, or Royal Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris), is a tiger subspecies native to India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan, and has been classified as endangered by IUCN as the population is estimated at fewer than 2,500 individuals with a decreasing trend. None of the Tiger Conservation Landscapes within the Bengal’s tiger range are large enough to support an effective population size of 250.”

Random: My theme song for this year has been Mat Kearney’s “Closer To Love.” Is it December yet? Seriously.

This brew poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, burnt orange color with moderate visible carbonation. The nose starts with a bit of pine and transitions into a caramel malt. This definitely seemed like it would be up my alley. On the first sip, I got some piney bitterness, but it quickly gets backed up by sweet malt and that took over until the bitterness came back in the finish. The body was perfect and the carbonation made this a really crisp IPA. The finish lasted awhile with the bitterness I mentioned before. I would definitely have this again. This could become one of my go-to IPAs and, even better, it’s out of a can! Get this and try as soon as possible.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Is it the weekend yet? It just hasn’t been a great week. I’m seriously looking forward to the weekend. I don’t really have any plans (well, there are a few beer festivals, but I may just chill at home), but I definitely will appreciate relaxing at home. So, tonight’s brew seems to at least fit the weather. I love pumpkin beers, but I tend to be pretty picky. Let’s see how this one fares tonight.

ABV: 9%

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Amber hued Imperial Pumpkin Ale brewed with real pumpkin and pale, Munich, and caramel malts. Ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and allspice are flawlessly combined with the subtle taste of pumpkin for the most deviously enticing Autumn brew.”

Random: I’m watching the Crossfit games again on ESPN. I seriously love watching things like that. It’s probably because I’m a bit of a gym rat.

This brew poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated relatively quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was an orange-brown, clear color with mild carbonation. The nose of this beer was absolutely delightful. It was filled with pumpkin and clove and nutmeg and everything that reminds me of fall…or pumpkin pie. The taste which is quite good, isn’t as good as the nose. The carbonation was moderate with an average thick body. It was coupled with flavors of pumpkin, a lot of clove and then a bit of an alcohol bite. This actually wore off a little bit as it warmed. The spice lasted through the long finish. This was definitely a decent pumpkin brew, but for me, it’s not one of my favorites. The alcohol bite really took away from the spice, which for me, should be dominant in the brew. It’s worth a shot, but there are better out there.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0