Archive for May, 2014

This was a brew that I hadn’t heard was released by Brooklyn and the other half picked up for me in New York. It’s probably one that I should have aged, but I was pretty excited to try it. Let’s see how this one went.

IMG_2362

ABV: 10%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “There was a time when all beers were aged in wood, and yeasts ran wild and cavorted together. Modern brewing is wonderful, of course, but sometimes a little cavorting is a fine thing. Sometimes it gives you a chance to reveal your funky side. We have to admit it – we’ve been cavorting for years…and sorta holding out on you. We didn’t want to do that, but the fact is that up until now we only had enough room to make this beer for ourselves and some close friends – we didn’t have enough beer to put it out on shelves. We actually make a lot of beers like this – we call them the ‘Ghost Bottles,’ and we’ve enjoyed pouring them for you at tastings and dinners. Now we’re very pleased to finally give one of our ‘ghosts’ the opportunity to materialize in your hands. Brooklyn Wild Streak starts off as a Belgian-inspired golden ale. After fermentation and a brief conditioning, we then age the beer for several months in second-use bourbon barrels, giving it a soft, round character infused with nicely balanced oak flavors. Finally we bottle the beer flat and re-ferment it with blend of priming sugar, Champagne yeast and the wild yeast strain Brettanomyces. As the two yeasts do their cavorting, the beer gains its natural carbonation. The ‘Brett’ takes many months to do its thing during bottle aging, but once it does, Wild Streak is enlivened by a wonderfully complex earthy funk. This beer is almost one year old when released, but it will age beautifully for many more. It’s particularly great with washed rind cheeses, game meats, steaks, and a few more things we probably shouldn’t mention here. You’ll figure it out for yourself, and that’s half the fun. So go ahead – unwind that cage, pop that cork, and reveal your Wild Streak. You know you want to.”

Random: I really am enjoying my new Teku glass. I can’t believe it took me so long to get one.

This brew poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body is a hazy, burnt orange color with moderate carbonation visible in my Teku glass. The nose was really complex. Up front, I got mostly bourbon barrel with vanilla and oak. There was some brett as well with Belgian yeast and golden raisins as well. The taste made it even more apparent that this was barrel aged. There was significant notes of oak with vanilla and bourbon. Right after, I got big notes of golden raisin and apricot. Some honey and black pepper were also apparent with bready malt. The body was thick with moderate carbonation. It had a long, warm finish with oak and bourbon. Also of note was that the alcohol was really hidden. My biggest qualm with this brew was that the brett really did not make an appearance and I wouldn’t call this an American Wild Ale. Despite that, I thought it was a good beer, but not worth the price tag.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

When my other half called me from the beer store in New York and said that she saw this beer, I told her to buy it. One of the things that surprised me was that I had never heard of it. After doing a little bit of research, I realized that it as new. One of the things that made this attractive was the name of the beer. Since I work in transportation, I have been to many a safety meeting. One thing that they all seem to have in common is how incredibly dry and boring they are. The last one that I went to for the job I currently have featured an awful cartoon on safe truck operations. So, I totally get the label graphic. Way too well, in fact. So, let’s see if the beer was more interesting than a “safety meeting.”

IMG_2361

ABV: 8.5%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: This beer was released on April 20th on draft and in bottles shortly thereafter.

Random: I really do find the label hilarious.

This brew poured with a very thick, two finger tan head that dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the IPA glass.The body was a hazy, deep orange color with relatively high carbonation. The nose was filled with tropical fruit, pine sap and very high amounts of hops with some booze. The taste started with big citrusy hops and tropical fruit, specifically papaya. It then had a big sweet notes with caramel and bready notes. It had a slight bit of alcohol burn to it. The body was medium thickness and quite dry. The finish was quick with pine sap. This was only alright. I expected a bit more.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Have you ever had a week from hell? That’s basically this week for me. We’ve been short at work for the past week, so I’ve been picking up the slack. I’ve been going in around 6 or 7 AM and not getting home until late. When I finally get home, I’m absolutely beat, so no posting. I think I’ve tried to put this one up at least three times. Anyways, enough complaining. This was a brew that the other half brought me back from New York. Let’s see how it was.

IMG_2360

ABV: 5.2%

Style: Witbier

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Lava Lake is a hidden little gem off of Highway 131 on the drive to Steamboat Springs from Vail. This idyllic swimming hole is the first place Doobie, the chocolate brewery labrador, learned how to swim. This Ale is our take on a classic Belgian Wit Beer. To make this beer unique, we add un-malted wheat, rolled oats, two varieties of classic European hops, chamomile, curacao orange peel, coriander, grains of paradise, and a rare yeast strain from the Old Country. This is a beer that can be enjoyed year-round, whether on the slopes on a beautiful bluebird day, or lazily fly fishing in Lava Lake.”

Random: I am really not into all of the ads on YouTube. It’s quite annoying.

This brew poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated slowly and left no lacing on the glass. I was surprised at how little head that there was on the beer. The body was a very hazy dark yellow with moderate carbonation visible. The scent had notes of clove and lemon lime soda. The taste had a bit of tartness to it with some yeast and a lot of lemon. The tartness took something away from the beer and it just tasted like a poorly executed wit. The body was on thick side with high carbonation. It had a quick finish with tart lemon peel. I wouldn’t rush back to have this one again, it just didn’t do anything for me.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

The other half and I ended up at Craft Bar after our less than stellar meal. We got a snack and some dessert, which was much better than the other restaurant we went to. Last time the other half and I went to Craft Bar, she tried this beer. I had a sip and remembered really liking it, so I jumped at the chance to review it. Let’s see how it went.

IMG_2359

ABV: 5%

Style: Witbier

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This beer, inspired by the flavors of Southeast Asian cuisine, is a twist on the classic Belgian witbier style. Instead of the traditional coriander and orange peel spicing regimen, we add fresh lemongrass, ginger root, and a dash of Sorachi Ace hops. The result is a wonderfully refreshing ale with notes of lemon candy, citrus fruit, and a slight spiciness from the ginger. Best served at 45˚F in a tulip or wine glass.”

Random: This is definitely my favorite season for this style.

This brew poured with a huge, white head that dissipated slowly. It left lots of lacing on the glass. This body was a slightly cloudy, yellow color with moderate carbonation. The nose was really fragrant with lemongrass and Sorachi ace hops along with honey and Belgian yeast. There was some very light lemon notes as well. The taste had lemongrass and stronger lemon citrus, although it didn’t overwhelm. The usual suspects were present as well with Belgian yeast and some coriander with a bit of clove at the end. Ginger was present as well. It had a medium body with high carbonation. It had a quick citrus finish with some spice and yeast. I really enjoyed this beer. I would love to try it again, especially paired with Asian food. If you’re in New York and see this beer, definitely give it a try.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

I decided to have another beer at the restaurant in NYC. This was from a brewery that I can honestly say that I had absolutely no familiarity with, which given how long I’ve been writing and following a beer blog, is very, very odd. I came to find out that this is a New York brewery (no surprise there) out of Syracuse. They also have a really good-looking menu at their brewpub. I guess if I ever manage to get up to Syracuse, I have to make a stop there. Anyways, let’s see if I enjoyed this one.

IMG_2358

ABV: 5.6%

Style: Witbier

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Belgian style Wit Ale brewed with wheat malt, lemon peel, ginger, and lavender and fermented with a traditional Belgian yeast strain.”

Random: The meow is lounged out on the couch on the remote. Silly cat, you definitely don’t control the remote in this house.

This beer poured with a one finger, pure white head that was slow to dissipate. It left some lacing on the nonic glass. The body was a cloudy, light orange color with moderate carbonation. The nose had serious citrus notes with additions of banana and sage. The sage really threw me for a loop. The taste was very medicinal with sage and a touch of mint. Significant citrus was present as well with a touch of sweetness. After a few sips, I got another weird flavor: lavender. It had a medium thick body, more than the style really needed and moderate carbonation that could have been dialed up. The finish was rather long with lots of the medicinal and herbal notes that were apparent in the taste. This was definitely an interesting beer, but not one that is worth searching out.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

The other half and I grabbed some dinner in the city. We decided to try a new place that had what we thought was a good menu. It wasn’t. Dinner was expensive and awful. We ordered a duck pizza, which I knew would be incredibly rich, but falsely assumed would have something to cut all of that richness. I haven’t ever been to a place that I’ve had to ask for balsamic vinegar and lemons to add acid to a dish. This was one of the only brews at the restaurant that I hadn’t reviewed. It’s yet another brewery that doesn’t distribute to New Jersey. Let’s see how it was.

IMG_2357

ABV: 7%

Style: Rye Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Dry, but with a creamy touch of Thai Palm Sugar and the spicy tang of Rye, all balanced by loads of the wackiest new Hops we could lay our hands on. Yep, it’s an Original. And that’s no Sin.”

Random: I definitely haven’t had enough rye beers, especially given how much I enjoy them.

This beer poured with a two finger, tan, exceptionally thick head. It dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, dark chestnut color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose was seriously hoppy. There was some rye but really grassy hop notes. On the sip, I got a lot of rye but it was still really, really hoppy. There was some grass as well. It had a thick body with very high carbonation, almost too much. The finish was quick with spicy rye. This beer was pretty good. I really liked how rye forward this brew was and how hoppy at the same time. I would have this brew again, hopefully with some food that was better than the overpriced meal that this paired with.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Happy Tuesday everyone! Tuesdays are my first day of the work week, so usually they’re a little rough. Today wasn’t as bad as normal since I got out at a reasonable time, but as soon as I left, I got a million emails that I had to answer from home. The lawyer is still at work, so at least it’s not taking time away from her. Anyways, this was the other brew that I had at Blind Tiger. Let’s see how it went.

IMG_2356

ABV: 11.5%

Style: American Barleywine

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A barleywine ale aged for a full year on used bourbon barrels, this beer has flavors of dark fruit and wood, winner of the Gold Medal at the 2008 Great American Beer Festival.”

Random: As I started typing the intro, I managed to get another work call. Today is just not my day.

This brew poured with a half a finger of tan head that dissipated slowly and left a little bit of lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy, dark mahogany color with light carbonation visible. On first sniff, the nose was really big. I got all bourbon initially and then some big time molasses and brown sugar sweetness. There was some vanilla presence as well. The taste was insanely smooth, holy crap. I got lots of vanilla, brown sugar, oak, and a touch of smoke at the end. There was warm booze as well, but nothing abrasive. There was some toffee and molasses sweetness too. It had a thick, chewy body with moderate carbonation. There was a long, vanilla finish. This beer was really, really good. Although I’m not a huge fan of drinking barleywines when the weather warms up, this one was amazing. It’s not distributed in Jersey, so if you’re in New York and see it, definitely give it a try.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0