Archive for September, 2013

It’s my favorite time of year…Fall. Fall has some of my favorite things. Football is back, which means that I am glued to my television every Sunday. The Giants look like absolute crap and now I can go back to drinking pumpkin beer. I saw this one on the shelf and wanted to give this selection from the Brewmaster Series a shot.

IMG_1770

ABV: 8%

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Long Trail Imperial Pumpkin Ale is the first offering in Long Trail’s new Brush and Barrel Series. This limited release seasonal treat is small batch brewed with pumpkins, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves, with increased malts and a touch of bitterness for the perfect balance.”

Random: A song came onto my Pandora that I remember came out during my Senior year in high school. Way to make me feel old Pandora, way to make me feel old.

This brew poured with a two finger white head that dissipated slowly and left very little lacing on the pint glass. The body is a very cloudy dark mahogany color with some carbonation visible throughout. The nose was straight out fall to me. I got pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar. There was a bit of pie crust thrown in as well. I wish every pumpkin beer smelled this good. The taste started with some pumpkin, then I got notes of ginger and the usual selection of fall spices with allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg. The balance between gourd and spice on this beer really worked and nothing was overly abrasive. The body is on the thicker side and there is a touch of booze warming at the end. The carbonation on the brew was generous. It had a long finish with spice and pie crust. This is one of the better pumpkin beers that I’ve had. If you see it on the shelf, go grab a bomber. You won’t be disappointed.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

I haven’t done a beer run in forever. I’ve really been trying to drink down the 5 beers that are still in my beer fridge that I haven’t reviewed. But, since there was football on, I had to grab some beer for my sister. Since I had an extra hand, I saw that this gem had just come in and I knew it was coming home with me. Despite the price point ($19.99 for the bomber), I’ve never seen a bad review on it, plus I needed a dose of brett. Let’s see how it fared.

IMG_1761

ABV: 5.6%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We brewed a stout (no, not Black Tuesday, this one is only 5% abv if you can believe it), but we then decided to throw it into oak barrels…and added our special blend of souring bacterias and yeasts. The result is a perfectly tart yet awesomely dark and roasty sour stout. Not a style you see too often – and in our opinion, not a style you see often enough.”

Random: I’m having a craving for a good burger. I haven’t had one in forever.

This brew poured with a three finger tan head that dissipated very slowly. It left decent lacing behind on the glass. The body was an inky almost black color with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose had big notes of brett with warm oak and some cocoa. The first sip was really tart with huge notes of brett. As it opened, some roastiness came through at the end of the sip with coffee and cocoa. The flavor profile was really nice and well-done. The body was on the thinner side with heavy carbonation. The finish was long with brett. This beer was just divine really and I easily finished the bomber. If you see it, definitely grab one. It’s a really shining star of The Bruery lineup.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0

So, the past two weeks have been like Murphy’s Law for me. I’ve had plans a few nights and every night that I have plans, I end up sitting at work because the drivers have been running super late. It’s almost like the universe knows, because a few weeks prior, I was getting out super early because everyone was finishing really quickly. I just can’t win.
IMG_1755

ABV: 10.5%

Style: English Barleywine

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Millennium is brewed in the barley wine style to commemorate our 1000th batch of beer. Its generous hopping & bottle conditioning allow this beer to be cellared and enjoyed for many years.”

Random: I lost my lip gloss last night. I just bought it a week ago and now I can’t find it. Things like that annoy me.

This brew poured with a two finger white head. It dissipated rather quickly with some lacing left on the glass. The body was a dark, clear orange color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose had notes of oak, booze, honey, golden raisins and some fruity esters. The taste started with sweetness and was buttery. Notes of toffee and caramel with brandy and heavy booze came out as well. The body was medium thickness for the style with low carbonation. The booze on this one made itself known and burned on the back of the throat. The finish was long with smoke and brandy. Despite the alcohol being a touch more apparent than I would have liked, this is a barleywine and it was one that had some really good flavors and would warm you up on a cold night. I think I’m going to try to grab a few more and throw them in the cellar for a few years and see if that tames some of the booze edge on it.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

So, I’m almost through being backlogged. I’ve really slowed down on the reviewing lately. I still have a few brews chilling in the beer fridge that I have to get through, but I just haven’t been drinking as much. One of the lovely benefits of this is the fact that I lost a bunch of weight. I’m hoping to review a little more in the fall, despite End of Quarter starting next week. Anyways, here’s the other brew that I tried at Surf Taco.
IMG_1700

ABV: 10%

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A stronger version of our Lost and Found Abbey Ale brewed to a more contemplative alcohol content. Massive in every stretch of the brewing way possible this is the sort of beer that will remind a beer drinker who considers themselves a saint that even saints stray as sinners from time to time. Not for the faint of heart, this beer weighs in at a heavenly 10% ABV and is available in 750 ml bottles and on draft at select locations.”

Random: I’m so thrilled that the weather is finally getting cooler. I really do not like the heat and this means that I can bust out all my sweaters and fleeces.

This brew poured with a quarter of an inch of slightly off white head. It left no lacing on the glass, but the crown hung around for a long time. The body was black with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose had notes of licorice, raisin, and cocoa powder. The nose was really pungent as well. The taste had a touch of sourness at first. After I got used to it, cocoa, dark chocolate and a touch of what I could only describe as lactose came out. It had a mild sweetness to it on the back end. The booze was almost undetectable in this one. The was very thick and had low carbonation. The finish was had some baker’s chocolate and was lengthy. I liked this brew, but it could have used a bit more spice from the Belgian yeast. I would still have it again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

This month marked a very big birthday for me. I turned 29 for the second time. I’m very sensitive about my birthday, so I didn’t do anything huge for it. I took myself to lunch and then ended up at my parents’ house for dinner. I found this gem on tap at Surf Taco on my birthday and I had to get it. I am a sucker for IPAs…
IMG_1699

ABV: 8.4%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to wikipedia.com, “Goose Island is the only island on the Chicago River in Illinois. It is an artificial island, formed by the North Branch of the Chicago River on the west and the North Branch Canal on the east. It covers 160 acres (0.65 km2), and is about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) long and 0.5 miles (0.80 km) across at its widest point.”

Random: At work we have the radio on and the amount of Rihanna songs that come on is insanity. It’s to the point that I’d really like to break the radio or just change it to ESPN radio all the time.

This beer poured with a one finger, slightly off white head that dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a slightly cloudy orange color with minimal carbonation visible. The nose was very grassy and piney and reminded me of a certain DIPA from Sierra Nevada. Despite the piney characteristic of it, it still maintained some grapefruit brightness. The taste was almost exactly the same as the nose. It had lots of piney hops with some grass, but also had some lemon zest that made an appearance. Some pine sap was there as well. The alcohol was really well-integrated on this one. The body was big and my only complaint is that the beer could have used a touch more carbonation. It had a long finish with piney hops. I would definitely have this again, although at $9 a glass at Surf Taco, it was a bit pricey.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

What a day. I was exhausted at work today, which is especially not good on a Tuesday since it’s technically my first day back after the weekend. I finally got a second wind around 4 this afternoon, which was desperately needed. Tomorrow is going to be a rough one too. I already have 5 conference calls scheduled. Anyways, I had this brew a few weeks ago. Let’s see how it went.
IMG_1698

ABV: 4.9%

Style: German Pilsener

Trivia: According to halftimebeverage.com, “Chiara is a lager beer of a straw yellow color, clearly inspired by Czech-German Pils beer. It’s produced with the best raw ingredients, giving it a good bitter content and a marked sent of hop. This alcohol, body, and aroma is blended perfectly, giving life to a clean and dry taste”

Random: The Steelers looked like crap last night. I thought they’d at least be playing better than this.

I popped this one open and the first thing that happened was it exploded all over me. Not a good start. It poured with a three finger head that was pure white and dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a slightly cloudy amber color with very light carbonation visible throughout. It didn’t look like the typical pilsener. The nose was very grassy with hints of metal and skunk. The taste was reminiscent of licking a penny. It was incredibly metallic. After the first sip, some grass came through, but the metallic note just dominated. The body was heavier than normal for the style with generous carbonation. The finish was long and metallic. This beer just didn’t do much for me. I wouldn’t rush back to have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

I’m finally home from work. For the past two days, it’s been insanely busy and we’ve been getting done really late. I was on 8 different conference calls today and barely spent any time at my desk. It’s not necessarily a bad thing because it makes the day go much faster, but at one point I thought my ear was bleeding from being on the phone so much. Here’s a review from a week or two ago that is one of the more popular hybrid IPA styles now.

IMG_1689

ABV: 6%

Style: Belgian IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Remaining at the forefront of experimentation, the brewers at Blue Point have produced a white beer/IPA hybrid that is well on its way to creating a new style for the beer description books. Our White IPA is an unfiltered European-style white ale with a fresh American IPA finish. Brewed with malted and unmalted wheat and just the right amount of west coast hops, it’s fermented with German yeast to give it a perfectly balanced character with less bitterness than traditional IPAs.”

Random: How about them Eagles? The first game was so much better than I ever expected. I hope the season goes the same way.

This beer poured with a two finger, white head that was very slow to dissipated with decent lacing left on the pint glass. The body was a cloudy, dark straw yellow color with heavy carbonation visible throughout. The nose was not what I expected. I didn’t get any sort of IPA characteristic to it. There were notes of orange, lemon and coriander. It was definitely more towards the “white” side of white IPA. The taste was also more towards the “white” side of white IPA. I got lots of citrus with Mandarin oranges and lemon peel. The IPA characteristic came out at the end with a touch of bitterness and grapefruit, but given the other flavors, it was relatively muted. The spice was present, but did not make a huge appearance. The body was medium thickness and had high carbonation present. The finish was long with citrus. This beer highlights every issue I have with hybrid IPAs. It wasn’t a true hybrid and went way too far to the witbier side. I wouldn’t have this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0