Archive for December, 2012

And this would be the last of my backlogged reviews. One good thing about that is that I can review some new brews during football. This is one I picked up because I had heard some great things about the brewery in general. I’m not exactly sure if they’re new to New Jersey, but I don’t remember seeing them a lot. Let’s try their DIPA offering.
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ABV: 8.1%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This remarkably balanced brew has a deep amber hue with a generous white head. Hopmouth showcases a rich, toasty flavor and sweet caramel notes as a result of the high-quality Maris Otter malt, imported from England. The hops are right up front in the aroma, reminiscent of citrus and pine, while the resin-like flavors linger well after the last sip.”

Random: The label is pretty cool. It almost reminds me of the “Mouth of Truth” in Italy.

This one poured with a finger and a half of off white head that dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a dark and cloudy burnt orange color. There was light carbonation visible throughout. The nose was very fragrant with grapefruit and lemon, followed by a health dose of malt. The booze was also hinted at on the nose. The taste was really nice with a definite grapefruit and pine presence. The malt came up almost immediately after to balance this out. It was really balanced and really enjoyable. Some lemon came up as well. I also got a touch of vanilla, which I can only assume was brought with the malt. The body was thick with light carbonation. The finish was length, teeming with citrus and pine. There was also a booze presence at the finish. This was a really good DIPA, not the best I’ve ever had, but definitely solid. Grab one if you see it.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

I completely forgot to mention that I was lucky enough to go to the Rolling Stones concert in Newark a couple of weeks back. I’m not a Stones fan, but my sister happens to be a huge one. She asked me to go and said that we had “decent” seats. What she didn’t tell me is that we were 5th row…from the stage. It was an absolutely amazing concert and I was very happy that I got the chance to see them. Anyways, back to the brew…

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ABV: 7.9%

Style: Winter Warmer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Like FDR’s Depression-era radio addresses, which were like a kick in the butt and a hug at the same time, our Fireside Chat is a subtle twist on the traditional seasonal brew. We begin with a rich, dark, English-style ale and then we improvise with spices until we know we have a beer worth sharing with the nation. Fireside Chat is our early winter seasonal brew available from October through December in six pack cans and on draft. Brewed like a classic, warming Strong Ale but with a subtle blend of hand-selected spices for just the right festive flair.”

Random: For some reason, the spacing on my blog entries is off. This really annoys me. I don’t know if it annoys me to the point that I’ll fix it yet…yep, I think I’ll just deal with it.

I swear I reviewed this before, but after some research, I couldn’t find anything. So, I picked up a single of this brew to review. This one poured with a finger of cream-colored head with limited lacing and a slight crown left after it dissipated slowly. The body was cloudy and dark mahogany with light carbonation visible. The nose was all holiday, all the time: dates, figs and cinnamon stood out. I felt like singing a Christmas carol while I sniffed it. The taste was just as great. Big, dark fruit came out with dates and figs and some dark cherries as well. The spice quickly followed the fruit (cinnamon and nutmeg stood out). The body was thick with low carbonation. The finish was long with spices. This was an incredibly enjoyable winter brew for me that I would definitely have again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

I had the original version of this about two years ago. When I had it (Terrapin Big Hoppy Monster), I really, really enjoyed it. I heard that they were going to be releasing an oak-aged version and I had to find it. I was hoping that it would knock the regular version out of the park. Let’s see how it fared.
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ABV: 9.1%

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The original Monster better than ever…. Oaked Big Hoppy Monster Imperial Red Ale pours a luscious garnet color. Expect this brew to lead with big American-style hop aroma, quickly complemented by a monstrous malt backbone rounded with rich oaky notes and hints of vanilla. A bit of alcohol warmth and a multitude of malty goodness, with just a snarl of hop bitterness, awaits at the finish. This enormous beer will go down smooth… but watch out; this Monster bites!”

Random: I still think that Terrapin has some of the best labels in beer.

This one poured with a half finger of off white head that dissipated quickly. It left no lacing on the glass, but left a slight crown on top of the body. The body was a cloudy, dark chestnut color with light carbonation visible. The nose had some burnt oak with vanilla and tobacco. The hop bitterness that was there was completely overwhelmed by the oak. The taste was an utter disappointment. Everything I liked about the original wasn’t here. There was a hint of hoppiness, but this was like chewing on an oak barrel. It was smoky with vanilla but not enough hoppiness. The body was on the thicker side with light carbonation. Booze was present at the end of the sip, but nothing like I would expect from a 9% brew. The finish was long and obviously oaked. Obviously, I wouldn’t rush to have this again. They really need to play with the balance of this and tone down the wood.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0 (Not quite sure why I rated this so high on Untappd).

Football Sunday. It’s unfortunately the last one of the regular season this year. The other thing that I do on football Sunday is update the blog. I have a three-day weekend due to the holiday which is greatly needed too. This is a beer that I had left over from a mixed six-pack.
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ABV: 4.7%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We’ve created an easy to drink crisp, hoppy ale that is truly pale in color without sacrificing the hop character you expect in an IPA. To make a delicious ‘sessionable’ beer, we selected citrusy centennial hops and an experimental variety from the Northwest U.S.. Look for this unique hop character balanced by the background nuttiness of Maris Otter malt. Not too filling, not overbearing-just laid back and drinkable!”

Random: I think Andy Reid is getting fired on Monday. I’m hoping we draft a decent quarterback this year too.

This brew poured with a one finger, pure white head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the pint glass. The body was a clear, dark yellow with moderate carbonation visible throughout. The nose was lemony with some light grapefruit present as well. A floral scent came through as well. The taste was overwhelmingly lemon, with no grapefruit presence to speak of. There wasn’t a lot of malt present either. I just got lemon. Rather boring actually. The body was thin with moderate carbonation. The finish was long and tart. This beer really didn’t do much for me. It needed less lemon and some other flavor to it. I wouldn’t have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

I picked up a bottle of this a few weeks back. I haven’t been drinking as many stouts as I usually do in the winter, so with Christmas getting near, I popped this bad boy open during football Sunday. I was curious to see how this would be given the InBev takeover…
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ABV: 15%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Brewed in honor of the 1000th batch at our original Clybourn brewpub. A liquid as dark and dense as a black hole with thick foam the color of a bourbon barrel. The nose is an intense mix of charred oak, chocolate, vanilla, caramel and smoke. One sip has more flavor than your average case of beer.”

Random: One of the cats, Dixie, is obsessed with my feet. I really don’t get it.

This brew poured with almost no head, so no lacing was left on the glass. The body was an inky dark brown color that you can’t see through. The nose was huge. I got lots of bourbon and vanilla. The bourbon overwhelmed everything else. The taste was seriously hot. I’ve never had a stout of this caliber be so hot. I got lots of bourbon with some tobacco, espresso and vanilla. Dark chocolate came through at the end. The flavor on this really developed as it warmed. It became way more balanced. This is a beer that could benefit from aging. I liked the flavor on this one, but it’s not my favorite stout. The body was thick with light carbonation. The finish was long and very hot.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

So, for Christmas I was lucky enough to get a lot of wonderful gifts. One of those exceptionally wonderful gifts is a kegerator. My sister bought it for me and when I opened it, I was totally excited. I think she’s pretty excited too since it has two taps, I’m going to have a fruit beer on for her. That would be my project for Sunday. Anyways, onto this brew that was left over from the Massachusetts stash.
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ABV: 5%

Style: Scottish Gruit/Ancient Herbed Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Produced for centuries, long before the use of hops, Gruit (pronounced “grew-it” or “groot”) was what beer was throughout the Middle Ages. Our contemporary interpretation of gruit is brewed with malted barley, wheat, and oats, and fermented with our Belgian yeast. It also incorporates the traditional brewing herbs sweet gale, yarrow, and wild rosemary, along with Labrador tea, licorice root and nettles, all organic and wildcrafted. This full-bodied, deep amber ale has a pleasant herbal tea-like aroma and flavor balanced by rich malt character, followed by a satisfying, dry finish and a hint of tartness. So whether you’re enjoying it with phriends or with phamily, we’re all sharin’ in the Weekapaug Gruit!”

Random: This bottle is from Batch 001. Pretty cool.

This brew poured with pretty much no head whatsoever. Shockingly, it didn’t leave any lacing either. The body was a clear, chestnut color with moderate carbonation. The nose was strong and very floral and herbal. I got a lot of lavender and rosemary. The taste was just like the nose with a lot of floral and herbal qualities. Lavender was the standout on this one. A touch of lemon coupled with a tartness at the end of the sip made this quite pleasant. The rosemary got lost in the flavor. I tend to not be a huge fan of the style, but this one is nice. The body is thin with medium carbonation. The finish was medium carbonation with some of the lemon tartness. I didn’t know what to expect from this one, but CBC definitely delivered. I would have this one again for sure.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Kate and I ended up having to reschedule our anniversary dinner because I was running late from work and she wasn’t feeling well. When we finally got to go out, the dinner wasn’t as great as we thought. After dinner, we headed to Molly Maguire’s in Rumson for a beer. I wasn’t actually aware that Duvel put this out, so I jumped at the chance to try it.
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ABV: 6.8%

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Created by the Moortgat family, bottled Duvel is one of Belgium’s favorite ales. The secret of its success lies in using only best-quality ingredients, and in the well-balanced, very specific, complex brewing and refermentation process that takes over 90 days. After brewing and first fermentation – which takes about 30 days –  the beer is tasted by the brewmaster and his staff. At this stage this beer is called “single-fermented.” Typical Duvel flavors and aromas are already emerging, but the beer is lower in alcohol and carbonation, and the taste is slightly lighter and crisper.”

Random: I prefer my pizza room temperature or cold.

This brew poured with a huge, three finger, egg white consistency head. The color was off white. The body was a slightly hazy, yellow color with light carbonation visible throughout. It left lots of lacing on the glass. The nose was lemon and pepper primarily. It was very nice, but more light than I was expecting. The taste was undercarbonated, but very lemony. I didn’t get much else. The lemon overwhelmed everything. After a few sips, I also got a hint of yeast. There was a touch of an herbal quality at the end. The body was light and the brew finished quickly. I was expecting to be floored by this beer, but it was only alright.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0