Archive for November, 2013

This was the second beer that I had at City Tap House. My sister initially ordered it as we waited for our “Pulled Pork” over fried eggs, which was absolutely amazing. Given the additions of lacto and brett, I figured that it would a bit too much for her, and indeed, it was. I finished the rest of it for her, being the good sister I am.
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ABV: 5.1%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to Phillytapfinder.com, “Aged in white oak barrels with brett, pedi, and lacto.”

Random: I’m watching the second to last episode of the season of “Brew Dogs.” I hate to say it, but I really do enjoy this show. I wish there would be more beer shows on television. I really enjoy them. Maybe, someone should hire me!

This brew poured with a half a finger of tan head. It dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy, dark brown color with no carbonation visible due to the cloudiness. The nose had lots of lacto and brett with some sour cherries. So far, so good. The taste was just as good. It was very similar to the nose, except that it had the addition of oak. It also had some spice as well. The lacto and the brett came at the end of the sip and was really well-integrated. The body was medium thickness with heavy carbonation. The finish was quick with a lot of brett. I really enjoyed this beer, especially given how the wild yeast was integrated. I would definitely have this one again .

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Last month, my sister and I ventured into University City in Philly to watch an Eagles game and sample some good food. This was the first brew that I had while in Philly at City Tap House (which was amazing, by the way).
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ABV: 7.9%

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Lior is sometimes called ‘the spice whisperer’ or the ‘the spice wizard,’ but he prefers to be thought of as a chef (he spent years cooking with renowned chef Daniel Boulud) or even a spice therapist. When our brewmaster encountered Lior’s transporting, impressionistic spice blends, he knew that a kindred spirit had to be blending them. Once the two of them met, they started dreaming up beers by the dozens. For now we bring you Cuvée La Boîte, a Belgian-inspired beer in the ‘Grand Cru’ style, subtly infused with Lior’s unique blend of Mishmish N.33 (lemon, saffron, crystalized honey), fresh kaffir lime leaves, and rare Espe- lette peppers from the French Pyrénées. In his book The Art of Blending, Lior compares making a spice blend to organizing a party. He asks ‘whom do you invite?’ Well, we invite you, of course!”

Random: My girlfriend has no interest in football. This confuses me.

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 slightly cloudy orange color with high carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of fruity notes, specifically with golden raisins and Mandarin oranges. After the first sniff, some Belgian yeast and lemongrass came through as well. The taste was light and fruity up front. I got lots of bright citrus which transitioned into Belgian yeast and nutmeg and a touch of lemongrass with kaffir lime. The golden raisins made an appearance as well. The body was medium thickness with high carbonation as well. The finish was long and fruity. This was a really delicate beer, but multi faceted and well executed. I would have this again, and again, and again.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

At the end of our trip into Philly, my girlfriend saw a doughnut place that she wanted to go into. We walked past the place and said we’d come back. A few storefronts down was The Foodery and I looked at all sorts of beer that I wanted to bring home. We decided to move the car and have doughnuts and then bring a few brews home that I couldn’t get in Jersey. One of them, was this one. When I got to the cashier, this one rang up for about $20. She thought they rang this one up wrong, and I had to tell her that I spend way too much on my beer budget. Anyways, here we go.

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ABV: 11.6%

Style: American Strong Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Deschutes Brewery and Hair of The Dog Brewing Company join forces to weave The Dissident and The Stoic and Fred and Adam into an artistic collage of cask-aging alchemy. Damn, beer is fun.”

Random: It’s freaking cold outside! I just went to take the other half’s garbage out and I am not a fan of it being this cold.

This brew poured with a one finger white head that dissipated slowly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a very cloudy dark brown with light visible carbonation. The nose had a lot of smoke and bourbon that was coupled with a lot of hot booze. Some vanilla came through as well. The taste had a lot going on. The first thing that hit me was that it was incredibly booze and really could have used some age to even out. The next thing was some wood, oak and smoke. Some vanilla and caramel came through as well, but this was a really wood dominant brew. The booze evened out a bit as well as it opened. The body was medium thickness with moderate carbonation. The finish was long and booze. Despite how much was going on, I really enjoyed this brew, but I think it could have benefited from some age.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

After we finished at Monk’s, we walked around Philly and went into a bunch of stores and looked around. We passed Tria and decided to stop in for a brew and some small plates before driving back to New Jersey. This was a beer that I know that I can’t in Jersey and that I had never heard of, so it sounded like a winner to me. The picture is difficult to see due to how dark it was in the restaurant.

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ABV: 7%

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Trivia: According to beeradvocate.com, “Morning Wood is an oak-aged coffee ale developed and brewed by the Local Option Bierwerker. Fresh American oak used during the aging process and Dark Matter’s El Salvador San Jose pulp-natural coffee aromatically drive the beer; while remaining subtle components of the beers’ complete flavor profile. The amber colored, medium-bodied, and extraordinarily well-balanced ale was first unveiled at the Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beers in November 2011. Morning Wood’s taste is delicate and should be appreciated by beer drinkers of all palates.”

Random: I’ve been watching the show, “Super Fun Night” and it’s just awful. I’ve been told that it is going to get better, but it’s not.

This brew poured with a one finger, white head that was really slow to dissipate. The body was a slightly cloudy orange color with high carbonation visible throughout. The nose had some smoke and coffee to it without much else. The taste started with some bitterness and then went into coffee, chocolate and spice. I expected a bit more hoppiness, but the coffee and smoke definitely dominated the flavor profile. This was definitely not your typical amber. The body was medium thickness with high carbonation present. The finish was long with a lot of coffee. If I were to be served this beer and told it was an amber, I wouldn’t believe it. The flavors that came through were not typical of the style and made this beer really interesting. I would definitely have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

This was the second beer that I had at Monk’s. There was an event the Sunday before we went, and this was one of the leftovers from the beer event. I hadn’t heard of this one, but anything from Allagash should be awesome, so I had to order it.
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ABV: 8.1%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to beeradvocate.com, “Collaboration with Monk’s Cafe (Philly), Falling Rock (Denver), Toronado (San Francisco), and Brouwer’s (Seattle). Brewed in 2010 and aged in various oak barrels, then blended in April, 2013 from the following barrels: 198 – wine barrel used for Interlude, 241 – wine barrel used twice for sour ales, 362, 363 – bourbon barrels that once held Odyssey & Black Stout, 561 – new, uncharred oak, 770, 775 – bourbon barrels used for Curieux, 771, 772 – bourbon barrels used for Curieux (different lineages), 773 – 1st use wine barrel, 776 – bourbon barrel, topped off with pediococcus-spiked stout, 777 – bourbon barrel.”

Random: The Eagles won again this week. They’re almost forcing me to have faith in them again.

This brew poured with no significant head, but a slight tan crown that hung around for the entire session. The body was a cloudy dark brown, almost black color with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose had sour notes with cherry, chocolate and a bit of smoke from the barrel aging. The taste had some notes of pleasant tartness with chocolate coming up next. It also had notes of leather and then a bit of heat from the booze and some cinnamon. The taste profile had a lot of dimensions to it. The body was thick with generous carbonation. The finish was long and spicy. This was an interesting beer that had a lot going on, but it really worked for me. If you can still find this one, it is definitely worth a shot.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

A few Mondays ago, I ended up in Philly with the other half. We met up with her friend for brunch and then walked around the city. We made a stop at Monk’s, which I hadn’t been to in forever. They had this beauty on tap that had been on my list since I started the blog. Let’s see if this is worth the hype.
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ABV: 6.1%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, this beer is described as, “Full-bodied, very hoppy, citrus, pine, fruity notes with nice dry, bitter finish!”

Random: I had the mussels at Monk’s again and they were wonderful. The other half had the duck sandwich which was pretty good as well. The food and the beer there is absolutely amazing. It is definitely one of my favorite places in the city.

This brew poured with a two finger pure white head that dissipated very slowly. It left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, golden light orange color with relatively low carbonation. The nose had a lot tropical fruit notes and grapefruit with no malt whatsoever. So far, this definitely smelled like the type of IPAs that I really enjoy. The taste was hoppy with pine resin and then the tropical fruits came through, specifically pineapple. There was a bit of malt at the end of the sip as well, that really balanced it out. The body was big for the style with moderate carbonation. The finish was long with lots of pine and hops. I loved everything about this beer. If you’re a hophead, seek this one out.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

I love lazy Mondays. So far, the most strenuous thing that I’ve done so far today is to take out the garbage and do some dishes. I am not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow. I figured since I’ll be on the couch for a bit, I may as well get through some of this back log. I picked this one up about a month ago. Let’s see how it fared.
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ABV: 8%

Style: American Strong Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Celebrating its second decade of brewing, Shmaltz Brewing presents ORIGIN: Pomegranate Ale. A renewal of their original HE’BREW covenant, brewed once again after 10 years with the juice of over 10,000 luscious Pomegranates. ORIGIN is a complex, rich and balanced Imperial Amber Ale with a truly unique character. The only Pomegranate Strong Ale in the country, and the latest addition to HE’BREW Beer’s permanent year-round lineup!”

Random: I haven’t had a pomegranate beer in awhile.

This brew poured with a two finger white head that was very slow to dissipate. The body was a clear orange color with high carbonation visible. The nose was not what I was expecting. I got a lot of hops, spice and then booze with pomegranate. The taste really did not have a lot of fruit at all on it. It was quite hopped with heavy caramel malt and then honey and citrus right after. The body was medium to heavy with high carbonation. The finish was long and quite bitter. For a beer that was 8% ABV beer, the alcohol was really apparent and hot. Although this was an interesting use for a fruit adjunct, it just didn’t work for me. I wouldn’t rush back to have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0