Widmer O’Ryely IPA

So, TGI Fridays has this whole new section on the menu of craft beer. I’ll save you the trip, most is either junk or it’s macro stuff thinly veiled as craft beer. This was one of the only decent selections on the menu, so I figured I’d give it a shot.

ABV: 6.4%

Style: American IPA


Random: All caps for the description Widmer? Why are you screaming?

This one poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the oversized pint glass. The body was a dark, clear amber color with high carbonation visible throughout. The nose was relatively mild. I got some citrus, yet no real rye. The taste had a bit more spice and some noticeable rye coupled with grapefruit citrus. But, neither came through enough and the beer just missed the mark for me. Some malt came through at the end, but it didn’t help my opinion of the beer. The body was on the thicker side and had heavy carbonation. The finish was long and spicy with rye. Given the other choices at the bar, this was okay. But, this is a great example of a beer that throws in rye just because it’s trendy right now. It’s worth a shot, but it won’t wow you.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Leipziger Gose

This was the second brew that I had at Maloney’s. I was driving, so I had to make sure that I had something that was low in booze and I hadn’t quaffed a beer of this style lately. Plus, the last one that I had didn’t say that it was brewed with salt, whereas this one did, so it piqued my interest.

ABV: 4.6%

Style: Gose

Trivia: According to wikipedia.com, “Gose is a top-fermented beer style of Leipzig, Germany, brewed with at least 50% of the grain bill being malted wheat. Dominant flavours in Gose include a lemon tartness, a herbal characteristic, and a strong saltiness (the result of either local water sources or added salt). Gose beers typically do not have prominent hop bitterness, flavours, or aroma. The beers typically have a moderate alcohol content of 4 to 5% ABV. Because of the use of coriander and salt, Gose does not comply with the Reinheitsgebot. It is allowed an exemption on the grounds of being a regional specialty. It acquires its characteristic sourness through inoculation with lactic acid bacteria after the boil. Gose belongs to the same family of sour wheat beers which were once brewed across Northern Germany and the Low Countries.”

Random: I really don’t like the orange Marlins uniforms.

This one poured with a finger of thick, white head that dissipated slowly with some lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy, dark orange color with moderate visible carbonation. The nose was really herbaceous. I got thyme, coriander, rosemary and some salt. The taste was a bit different than the nose. It was very dry with mild coriander, some citrus, lemon rind and salt thrown in for good measure. The body was on the lighter side with heavy carbonation. The finish was quick. The salt was really pronounced on this one. This was a delicate, light beer with a lot of flavor. I would definitely have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold

Great Lakes is finally in North Jersey! I was definitely excited to hear that news. I ended up going to Maloney’s one day after work and I didn’t know that it happened to be the release event for Great Lakes. It was also a keep the glass night, so I came home with the glass you see in the picture. So, without further ado…

ABV: 5.8%

Style: Dortmunder/Export Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “When we first started brewing Dortmunder Gold in 1988, he was a born crowd- pleaser. Not long after that, he became a judge- pleaser, collecting gold medals at multiple national beer festivals. But you’ll never hear our Dortmunder Gold brag. Much like his hometown of Cleveland, Dortmunder Gold has old-school working-class style with a new-school artisan pedigree. Perfectly comfortable attending your tailgate party and your work friend’s art show, you could say he’s a ‘well- balanced’ guy.”

Random: I really hope the Phils start looking better offensively. So far, they look pretty crappy.

I’ve been waiting to try this beer for awhile. It poured with a one finger white head that was decently thick and took awhile to dissipate. There was some lacing left on the glass as well. The body was a clear, straw yellow color with heavy carbonation visible throughout. The nose was clean with some straw and grass. The taste was pretty clean with grain and a grassy note at the end. There was a touch of hay too. The finish was quite long for the style with some grain. The body was light to medium with heavy carbonation.This was a simple beer but very well done. It was a very easy drinker that I would definitely have this again. Go grab one!

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Samuel Adams Double Agent IPL

I’ve seen this beer around a couple of times. I think it’s interesting that Sam is really trying to get into all aspects of an IPA, especially one that is a lager. It’s definitely a unique take on the style and one that I’m really excited to see the flavors of.

ABV: 5%

Style: American Pale Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Full of the bold grapefruit & piney character of an American IPA, this brew also reveals its smooth lager side creating a balanced, flavorful brew.”

Random: So, I have “Criminal Minds” on the television while I update. This episode features James Van Der Beek (yes, of Dawson’s Creek fame) as one of the bad guys. I was wondering what he was up to after “Varsity Blues.”

This brew poured with a two finger, thick white head that dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body is a clear, golden-yellow with high carbonation. The nose was very citrusy with lemon and grapefruit. So far, it was really nice. The taste started like a straight-out IPA with lemon and grapefruit. Then, some honey and caramel malt came through. If you gave this to me and didn’t tell me it was a lager, I wouldn’t be able to pick it out. The body is medium thickness with high carbonation. The finish is quick with citrus. This was much better than I expected. I would definitely have this again. If it came in sixers, I’d even consider buying one.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Stone 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale

This was the last one from the mini vertical tasting. I really did like this whole idea conceptually. I’m hoping they find another thing to do along these lines, since they can’t do this one any more. Given how creative Stone is, I think that we’ll be seeing something very soon from them.

ABV: 9%

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, this beer should taste like: “Intense cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice with banana esters dominate up front. Hints of citrus arrive mid-palate, while molasses notes persevere in the finish along with a very nice dark-roasted malt dryness.”

Random: I don’t like camels. I have no interest in riding them, seeing them, anything. I’m just not a camel person.

This one poured with a half a finger of tan head that dissipated quickly with some lacing left of the glass. The body was almost black in color with no visible carbonation to it. The nose was sweet with lots of spice to it and some Belgian yeast. The taste was really nice. It was like a Belgian with heavier than normal spice. Nutmeg and allspice were the standouts. I didn’t get a lot of the citrus nor did I get banana. There was a touch of roasted malts at the end. This almost reminded me of a stout. The body was heavy with decent carbonation. The finish was really long with spice. The booze was pretty well hidden on this one. I really enjoyed this one. If you can still find a bottle of this one on the shelves, it’s definitely worth a taste.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Stone 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale

This was the second beer that I tried in the abridged vertical tasting. I hadn’t tried any of the beers before this, despite the fact I found it on tap a few places when the new years had come out. This one was supposed to have chili peppers in it, so I was quite excited for this one.

ABV: 10%

Style: Chile Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, this beer should taste like the following: “Chile peppers, cinnamon, malt sweetness, caramel, fruit”

Random: Why would they put a baseball game on today at 11 AM and then have nothing until 7 tonight? That sucks on my day off.

This brew poured with a two finger white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, reddish-brown color with light carbonation. The nose was mild but had some hot peppers and honey. The taste was all hot peppers up front in taste, but not a lot of heat came through. It could have come through a little more. There was some nutmeg and cinnamon that came along for the ride as well. The spice was short-lived though. The body was decent thickness with moderate carbonation. The finish was quick and anything with cinnamon. Given how much I enjoyed the previous one, this just didn’t do anything for me. I was surprised, especially given how much I like beers with hot peppers. If you can get a taste of it, try it, but don’t keep your expectations too high.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale

So, I started writing this one up on 1/11/11, after I had purchased this brew. I did manage to age this one and do a partial vertical tasting last week. This was the first one that I opened.

ABV: 9.5%

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Trivia: According to BeerAdvocate, ‘”Fermented with the legendary Ardennes strain of Belgian yeast, 10.10.10 is a Belgian Strong Pale Ale brewed with pale malt and triticale (a cross of wheat and rye), hopped with German Perle hops, and steeped with chamomile during the whirlpool stage. In secondary fermentation, we added a juice blend of Muscat, Gewurztraminer, and Sauvignon Blanc grape varieties.”

Random: I’ve been attempting to age this one. I’m trying very hard to be patient, since I wanted to try it with the 2011 and 2012 releases and at least do a partial vertical tasting.

This one poured with half a finger of white head that dissipated quickly with no lacing left on the glass. The body was a clear, dark orange color with mellow carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of white wine grapes and booze. The taste was a magnification of the nose. I got lots of different white wine grapes with a touch of spice as well. There was still a decent amount of booze present, even despite the aging. The body was medium thickness and moderate carbonation. The finish was dry and short with white wine. This was a really good beer and wine hybrid. The different grapes really worked well for this one. Since this is a one-off, I guess I can’t have it again, but I definitely would if it was available.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

St. Bernardus Pater 6

So, I found out yesterday that one of the guys that I used to work with passed away. He had pancreatic cancer and was diagnosed less than a year ago. It’s really sad and I’ve been thinking about it a lot. He was only in his early 40s. Anyways, now that I’m done depressing you, onto the beer.


ABV: 6.7%

Style: Dubbel

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “St. Bernardus Pater 6 is a traditional abbey style dubbel, chestnut in color, very fruity with notes of melon and very fresh banana, finishing with slight bitterness. Delightfully easy to drink. (6.7% ABV) One of the original recipes from the days of license-brewing for the Trappist monks of Westvleteren.”

Random: It finally feels like Spring now. It’s quite exciting. I’m done with the cold weather. I’m hoping that it doesn’t turn cold again this week.

This one poured with a full finger of borderline brown colored head. It dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy dark brown color with heavy carbonation visible throughout. The nose had some alcohol and raisins primarily. It was very nice. The taste was very bready with raisins, dates and nuts. There was some lemon bitterness present as well. I also got some vanilla. The finish was clean with cashew nuts and quite swift. This was an outstanding, dangerously drinkable dubbel. Yet again, another great beer from the drunken monk. If you see this one, grab a bottle or two of it, you definitely won’t be disappointed.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Atlantic New Guy IPA

Another random beer that I picked up for no particular reason. I’m still really out of sorts with my favorite beer store still not being organized. So, I’ve been going there and just grabbing random stuff. I’m hoping that they get their act together soon.

ABV: 6%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “With the recent explosion of over-the-top hopped IPAs, we wanted to return to an India Pale Ale that was well-hopped, but still balanced and smooth. Our brewers wanted to name it after one of our hardworking staffers, so we decided to name it after Dave—the new guy. This beer is made with one hundred percent Columbus hops and only one malt, yielding a nice earthy tone and spicy flavors. Columbus hops have a citrusy profile, which is more subtle than that found in most IPAs.”

Random: I could definitely use a backrub. I’ve been doing a lot more cardio and running, so it would be really nice right about now.

This pour had one of the largest heads that I’ve ever seen. I had to spoon it out three times because it wouldn’t dissipate. I finally got it down to three fingers and it was pure white and meringue-like. It dissipated at a snail’s pace and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a very dark yellow color with huge amounts of visible carbonation. The nose had big grapefruit and honey sweetness. So far, I wasn’t into this one. The taste was even worse. There was lots of grapefruit, but then a really sour off taste right after that finished with metal. This was just really off. The body was medium thickness with way too much carbonation. The finish was also gross and way too long. I drainpoured this one after three sips. I couldn’t even have another sip to review this one. Avoid it!

Untappd Rating: 0.5/5.0

Woodchuck Farmhouse Select Hard Cider Original ’91

Yet another selection that I picked up at my sister’s wine store. I’ve never seen a Woodchuck offering that was corked and caged, so I figured I’d give this one a go. I didn’t even know when I bought it that it used Belgian beer yeast.

ABV: 6.9%

Style: Cider

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The attention to detail coupled with fresh Vermont apples and premium Belgian beer yeast give Original ’91 a unique local flavor with a natural cloudiness and pleasing feel on the palate in every expertly crafted small batch.”

Random: I’ve gotten pretty used to being off on Mondays. When I first started the new job, I figured that it would take awhile and I would miss being off on Saturdays. The good news is that I really enjoy having the house to myself on Mondays.

This one poured with no head and no lacing. The body was a light yellow color with visible detritus in the body. It left very little lacing on the glass. There was very little carbonation visible as well. The nose was very light. I got some crisp apple and not much else. The taste was crisp apple and honey sweetness. I didn’t get any Belgian yeast on it, though. This was a pretty simple cider, but it worked for  me. The body was light with moderate carbonation. The finish was quick and sweet. I would definitely have this one again. It was actually the first bomber that I’ve opened that my sister asked for a glass of.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0