Fordham Helles Lager

It was ridiculously cold this morning. When I left my house at 0730 this morning, it was 27 degrees. I had to scrape my car and everything. Again, I say, it’s October. I have never seen kids trick-or-treating in the snow. I even read that some town cancelled Halloween. You can’t cancel Halloween! But, anyways, I spent the day at work and then went to the gym. I got legs out of the way for the week. I also started using these knee sleeves since I have bad knees. I ended up squatting 160 for 12 without a problem. Next week, I’m thinking 180. So, after kicking my ass at the gym, I think that I definitely deserve a beer.

ABV: 5.7%

Style: Maibock/Helles Bock

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Clean & refreshing, this Bavarian style lager uses four different German grains & three hop varieties to create an intricate flavor profile & a beautiful deep golden color. Helles is brewed in the style of Munich’s everyday drinking beer. Prost!”

Random: Why are the Chargers playing like crap? This definitely does not help my fantasy team.

This brew poured with a barely there head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear yellow with a crazy amount of active carbonation visible on the brew. The nose almost reminded me of apple cider. It definitely had an apple like sweetness that followed up with some bread. The taste was definitely more bread than anything. After I got through that, it even had a hint of butter. There really wasn’t the sweetness apparent in the taste that I found in the nose. The finish lingered with a bit of butter. The beer is medium thickness with a lot of carbonation to it, which worked for the style. But, I just wasn’t thrilled with this beer. I’ve had many better of the style. But, it didn’t stop me from finishing it…

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Samuel Adams Light

Another weekend done. I feel like the weekends go so quickly and the rest of the week just drags on and on. Today, my sister and I hit up a local sports bar to watch the Giants game. It always shocks me when a bar has such a great setup and good food and a really limited beer list. This place actually had stadium style seating so all of the seats in the dining room had a good view, but very few beers on tap. I mean, they had the macros, but craft beers were limited, at best. So, I went with this one, since I hadn’t reviewed it before.

ABV: 4%

Style: Light Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Sam Adams Light® is not just a lighter version of our Samuel Adams Boston Lager® but rather the culmination of over two years of tireless research and brewing trials that proved to be worth the wait. Brewed using only the finest two-row malt and Bavarian Noble hops it has a smooth, complex, roasted malt character that is superbly balanced with the subtle fruity notes of the Noble hops. Sam Adams Light has a crisp and smooth finish without any lingering bitterness, leaving you yearning for that next sip.”

Random: I always wondered why it took Sam Adams so long to put out a light beer. I would think that it would be something they had a high demand for.

This beer poured with a barely there head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, amber color with lots of active, visible carbonation. The nose had a bit of caramel malt with not much else going on. The taste was better than I expected. I got a light caramel sweetness with a hint of flowers. The body was thinner than I expected, almost watery, but the carbonation made it very crisp. The finish lingered with a bit of the sweetness. I didn’t think that it was the greatest beer that I’ve ever had, but it was definitely better than a macro. I’d have it again if there were limited options.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Evolution Lucky 7 Porter

I hate snow. Like, seriously hate snow. I’m a big fan of the cold, but snow, not so much. Unless I’m snowed in with hot chocolate, a nice fire and a good movie. But, I don’t have any of that tonight. So, I’m stuck doing a beer review. Rough life, I know. I also brewed a brown ale today (it’s going to be called October Blizzard Brown Ale). I think that I corrected a lot of the mistakes that I made when I brewed the Raspberry Wheat. I felt a lot more comfortable today with it. I think eventually, I’m going to switch to brewing in carboys (or better bottles), and not buckets. The bucket that I bought today was an absolute pain in the ass to close. To the point that I’m worried about opening it. I also used dry yeast with this one instead of liquid, so I’m interested to see the differences. I also cut down the time that it took to brew by a lot, primarily since I knew what I was doing. But, back to today’s brew. Another Delaware brew and a porter at that. This should pair well with the current weather.

ABV: 5.8%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: This brew is 24 IBUs.

Random: I’m watching a documentary tonight called “Guns, Germs and Steel,” which is actually one of my favorite books. It’s not quite as good as the book, but definitely enjoyable.

This brew poured with a one finger, tan head on top of an inky, black body with no visible carbonation due to color. The nose had lots of roasted malts, coffee and chocolate. It definitely smelled nice. The taste was a lot of the same. It started with roasted malts, then transitioned into coffee and chocolate with a hint of bitterness. The body was slightly thicker than I’m used to than a porter with a bit lower carbonation, but it actually worked for this beer. The finish was quicker than expected, but had a bit of coffee and bitterness. I would definitely have this one again. I didn’t have incredibly high expectations for this one, but it was really satisfying.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

16 Mile Amber Sun Ale

Okay, it’s snowing in October. What the hell, Mother Nature? This is absolutely ridiculous. I passed two really bad accidents today and the snow wasn’t even sticking. I’m also brewing another batch of beer today to get through this insanity. Someone suggested that I call it October Blizzard. It’s a brown ale, so I’m not sure that it will work, but we’ll see. This beer is another local one that I picked up in Delaware that I can’t get in New Jersey. Let’s see how this goes.

ABV: 6.1%

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “16 Mile Brewing Company is owned and operated by Chad Campbell and Brett McCrea, Delaware natives who understand that this area and its residents have a unique story to tell. 16 Mile salutes the rich history and heritage of Delaware. Look for familiar historical landmarks and Delaware culture on our bottles.”

Random: I’m almost done with Season 5 of Rescue Me…I’m sad that I’m not going to have it to watch anymore.

The brew poured with a one finger, off white head on top of a clear, chestnut body. It had lots of visible, active carbonation. The nose was a bit on the nutty side with a very minute hint of hops. The taste of the beer was not what I expected. It had a lot of carbonation with a thinner body. The taste had a bit of fruity sweetness to it with some nutty, caramel malts. It had a bit of a metallic flavor to it as well. The finish lingered for a bit with the sweetness that was apparent in the taste. For a person that doesn’t like ambers, this one was actually decent. Worth a try!

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Great Divide Belgian Style Yeti

The second beer of the night…it’s been that type of week. This is a beer that I had on my list to get once I got the press release that it was made. I have a serious love affair with most things Great Divide (I found one brew that I really didn’t enjoy) and especially, all things Yeti. I’ve already reviewed Great Divide Espresso Oak Aged Yeti, Regular Yeti, and Great Divide Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti. After this, I just have the regular oak aged version to review. If you’ve read any of those reviews, you know I love the stuff. I’ve brought it to multiple events with me and everyone who’s a beer fan loves Yeti. So, they take it and add Belgian yeast? Enter high expectations…

ABV: 9.5%

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Belgian Style Yeti is a delicious new blend of brewing traditions–all the malt-driven roastiness of our Yeti Imperial Stout with characteristic spice and fruit notes imparted by our special Belgian yeast strain. Belgian Style Yeti is a one-of-a-kind beer as mysterious as the mythical creature himself. Impossible? See for yourself; you’ll be a believer, too. 9.5% ABV”

Random: I only have a few more Great Divide beers to try before I have the entire lineup.

This brew poured with a two finger, tan head, that dissipated slowly and left significant lacing on the glass. The body was an inky black with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose had definitely Belgian yeast notes with some oak, booze and roasted malts. It didn’t smell like any of the other Yetis. The taste wasn’t like the other Yetis either. The Belgian yeast really came to the forefront with some roasted malt playing second fiddle. The finish was incredibly quick with a bit of oak. As it warmed, I got a lot of raisin to it as well. The flavors work really well together as it warmed, and the booze was pretty subtle. Honestly, it was not my favorite Yeti, but it was very satisfying. I would definitely have this bad boy again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Rogue Creamery 75th Anniversary Ale

What a week. You have no idea how happy I am that the weekend is here. Add to that, my girlfriend is coming over to cook dinner for me. Like, seriously? Could life get any better right now? As I mentioned before, we were friends before we started dating, but I had no idea that she could cook…and cook well, at that. I think we’re planning on having a quiet night at home and watching the World Series. I think this will probably mean a multiple review night. But, anyways, this is a beer that I bought for the bottle (not even kidding). I thought the bottle looked cool and I bought it. I also haven’t had a strong ale in awhile and I tend to like Rogue’s brews, so hopefully this is an enjoyable brew. After the week I’ve had, I need it.

ABV: 7.6%

Style: American Strong Ale

Trivia: According to brewpublic.com, “This beer commemorates the Rogue Creamery’s 75th Anniversary (1935-2010) and will be paired at SAVOR with Rogue Farms Freedom Cheddar cheese, a cow’s milk cheddar cheese hand-mixed with Freedom hops from the Chatoe Rogue Micro Hopyard in Oregon’s Wigrich Appellation. Whole hop leaves are de-stemmed by hand, steeped in hot water, mixed into the curds and eventually pressed into blocks.”

Random: I think I’m going to try to go to SAVOR next year. What’s better than beer and food?

This brew poured with a one finger, slightly off white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a deep, dark brown with moderate visible carbonation. The nose had a decent amount going on. I got a bit of sweetness with some maple, nuttiness, also a bit of coffee and caramel. Booze wasn’t really noticeable on the nose. The taste was a bit of a let down. It had a lot of malt and nuttiness and not a lot of sweetness that I usually get with a strong ale. The finish was quick and nutty. I wouldn’t have this again, but at least I have a nice bottle.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Mikkeller Black Hole Barrel Aged Tequila Edition

This is the second review of the night. It’s just been one of those days. It was so sad-looking in the fridge when I pulled this one out. I have never seen the beer fridge so empty. I have enough beers to get me through about a week and a half. But, this means that I get to go shopping soon. There are so many options…but I think I’m going to see what hits me when I go to the store. I’ve had this one sitting in the fridge for awhile and I haven’t had a stout in awhile either. Let’s see how this goes.

ABV: 13.1%

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to beernews.org, “Mikkeller will release another version of Barrel-Aged Black Hole in 2011, this time in tequila barrels. The beer is brewed coffee, vanilla and honey. It will be imported in 12.7 ml bottles.”

Random: I really hope that Texas wins the Series. I seriously hate St. Louis.

This brew poured with a finger and a half of tan head that dissipated slowly, but left no lacing on the glass. The body was a deep, inky black with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose was definitely interesting. I got tequila, malt, chocolate, coffee and a bit of oak. I also got a hint of booze as it warmed. The taste was also…interesting, to say the least. I definitely got the tequila, which I thought would be a little more subtle. It was almost to the point of being a bit abrasive. It was a bit on the floral side with a hint of roasted malts. The finished lingered with a hint of tequila. The body was thick with very low carbonation. The booze was pretty hidden despite the gigantic ABV. Although this was a very interesting beer due to the tequila, I wouldn’t rush back to have this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Stegmaier Pumpkin Ale

It’s almost the weekend! After a four-hour meeting today…I seriously cannot wait until the weekend. I don’t have any huge plans, but I am going to Buffalo Wild Wings on Saturday with some buddies. I think I have a slight addiction to the Asian Zing wings. I can’t wait. So, this brew is another selection from the Delaware stash. I actually bought a six-pack of this and was really impressed by it.

ABV: 5.5%

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Trivia: According to wikipedia.org, “Lion Brewery, Inc. started as the Luzerne County Brewing Company with the acquisition of land from Delaware and Hudson Company in 1905. The land was purchased for one dollar on the terms that the company would build a brewery capable of producing 100,000 barrels per year in just the first year and sell each barrel for no less than a dollar a piece. If the terms were not met, the land would return to the Delaware and Hudson Company. The Luzerne County Brewery survived the terms of sale and was able to remain strong through the Prohibition years, 1920-1933, by brewing cereal beer. Cereal beer is more commonly known as ‘near-beer,’ as it has an alcohol content of about 0.5%, which is about a tenth of most beers. Ted Smulowitz purchased the Luzerne County Brewery after Prohibition in 1933 and renamed it The Lion Brewing Company. The Smulowitz family privately owned and operated the brewery until 1993.”

Random: I really love Family Guy. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

This brew poured with a one finger white head that dissipated very quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear mahogany brown with a lot of visible carbonation on it. The nose was just divine. It was exactly what a pumpkin beer should be. It had lots of pumpkin, clove, nutmeg…but it wasn’t overwhelming. Onto the taste. With pumpkin beers especially, I find that I really enjoy the nose and the taste is a bit of letdown. Well, not with this beer. The brew was really well-balanced with pumpkin and the fall spices (clove and nutmeg) that really make a pumpkin beer enjoyable. But, it didn’t overdo it. The body of the beer isn’t syrupy at all with moderate carbonation, which made this even better. The booze was low with a quick finish that had a hint of spice. The worst part about this beer is that I can’t get it here. One of the best pumpkin beers I’ve had. If you can get your hands on it, definitely worth a try.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Evolution Lot No3 India Pale Ale

Why is the week not over? I had yesterday off for my firefighter physical and I ended up brewing my first batch of homebrew yesterday. It’s a raspberry wheat and hopefully I didn’t screw it up too badly (it started fermenting today…who knew that I would be so excited about bubbles in the airlock). But, we’ll see. I’m running a little low on beer. Well, for me that is. I always say that I’m going to get rid of all the review beer before I restock and I think this time, I’ll actually be able to. This is another selection from the Delaware stash.

ABV: 6.8%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “In April 2009, the brothers opened a boutique production brewery in Delaware, Evolution Craft Brewing Company. They were intrigued with the artistry in beer and decided that brewing their own beer would be a great new venture. EVO beer is available on draft and bottle throughout Maryland, Washington D.C. and Delaware.”

Random: I love Iron Chef. I can’t wait until the new season is on.

This brew poured with a half finger of pure white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear orange with moderate visible carbonation. The nose was all grapefruit without much else. It smelled really nice actually. The taste was even better than the nose. It started with the grapefruit that I mentioned early with a hint of sweet malt at the end. I also got some grass and some resiny hops. The body was a medium thickness with perfect carbonation. The finish was long with a bit of the pine resin. The worst thing about this beer? That it’s not distributed in New Jersey. This would easily be a go-to brew for me. If you can get your hands on this one, definitely try it. It’s a totally solid IPA that goes down easy and really satisfies.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Twin Lakes Greenville Pale Ale

Monday is over. The weekend was seriously too short. I really didn’t do anything fun (except for Friday). I pretty much just ran errands. I’m off from work tomorrow because I have to go for a physical for the fire department. So, it’s not even like I’m off for a fun reason. This brew is from the stash that I got in Rehoboth. I’ve never even heard of this brewery, so I have no idea what to expect. It’s not distributed to New Jersey and from what I’ve seen, distribution is pretty much limited to Delaware. Let’s see how this goes.

ABV: 5.5%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The brewery is going “green”. New solar enery panels were recently installed at the Twin Lakes American Farm Brewery in Greenville, DE. The 2-kilowatt system is just the start. Plans include making the entire brewery completely energy independent in the near future.”

Random: I seriously could care less about the World Series this year. The Phillies should have played better this year. At least I’m not a Mets fan…

This brew poured with a two-finger white, fluffy head that dissipated slowly and left significant lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy orange with lots of active carbonation. There wasn’t much of a nose on this. There a hint of citrus and hops, but really, nothing exciting. The taste was definitely a bit more intense than the nose. At first, I got some definite hops with some bitterness. There was really no citrus to it. Then, the brew transitions into this nasty metallic taste that lasts forever into the finish. There was no real sweetness to it, although there was a slight hint of flowers. I don’t know if this brew was past its prime or what, because a lot of people really enjoy this and they said that they got a lot of biscuit in it. There was absolutely no hint of biscuit in my can. I actually think it’s pretty horrible. I wouldn’t have this again.

Untappd Rating: 1.0/5.0