Archive for September, 2014

This is the last post of the backlog. Next week starts the true end of quarter, so I think my backlog will manage to increase even more. This was another beer that I picked up during my trip to Delaware. Let’s see how it went.

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ABV: 8%

Style: Berliner Weisse

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Yuzu is a strange fruit- citrusy and bold. Those three words: strange, citrus and bold are the perfect beginnings for a great beer. So, our brewers paired yuzu with the sourness of a Berlinerweiss to create this beerlicious Yuzu Berlinerweiss. Brewed with pale malt and wheat this Berlinerwiess was acidified with Lactobacillus for a light, dry mouthfeel and tart refreshment. Hazy and straw-colored, the yuzu fruit brings a tropical charm to a traditional beer.”

Random: I am not looking forward to six actual work days a week. My level of tired is going to be beyond ridiculous.

This beer poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy, intense yellow color with generous carbonation visible despite the cloudiness. The nose was tart lemon with some sweetness that reminded me of honey and golden raisins. The taste was not all that tart given the style. It had a bit of lemon rind and then white wine grapes and golden raisins with bready yeast. The body was on the thick side with some booze warming and generous carbonation. The finish was long with the dry, white wine grapes. This beer was definitely interesting and not nearly as tart as I expected for the style. With that being said, I’m glad I tried it, but won’t be having it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

When I first started getting into beer, I was really into Bell’s stuff. Part of the mystique of Bell’s beers is that they aren’t available in New Jersey. I’ve found that their core lineup seems to be hit or miss, but some of their rare beers are absolutely ridiculously good. Let’s see which side this beer fell on.

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ABV: 5.2%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Brewed with barley from our farm in central Michigan, Midwestern Pale Ale stands apart from the model of completely hop-dominated pale ales, offering a noticeable degree of malt body to counter the hop bitterness. A blend of floral & herbal hop notes provide the aromatic & flavor highlights, alongside the distinctive contribution of our house ale yeast. A crisp bitterness finishes the experience without being harsh.”

Random: During my conference call, my cat decided to climb all over my phone. Cute, right?

This brew poured with a half a finger of thin white head that dissipated quickly. It left almost no lacing on the pint glass. The body was a hazy, dark yellow with lots of visible detritus and light carbonation. The nose was really malt dominant. There was a lot of bread and spent grains with a musty smell. So far, not so good. The taste was equally malt dominant. The same bready notes with some toast. At the end of the sip, there was some hop residue and light bitterness with grass. The taste made it obvious that this beer was a bit past its prime. The body was on the medium side with moderate things. It had a long finish with bready malt. This beer was a total miss for me. Given that I think it was old, I would try it again, but not anytime soon.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

On my Monday off, I’ve spent the last 2 plus hours on conference calls. This isn’t the way I wanted to spend my day off, but hopefully I’ll be done soon. Let’s see how this beer was that I picked up from Half Time awhile back.

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ABV: 6%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We love a Belgian-style Saison but with this blissful version, we’ve added our own Wild interpretation with a dash of funky Brettanomyces yeast plus roasted apricots and a hush-hush blend of spices. This is the sort of beer where study and contemplation is essential, or if you’re hungry, why not try it with chicken jalfrezi or lamb tangine? Rich roasted stone fruit is added to the end of the boil, not the fermentation, giving a big round fruit character but not too much sweetness. This makes for an extraordinary beer with an array of aromas followed by a spicy, tart and peppery palate, creating a long lingering finish.”

Random: I love apricots and apricot nectar. It’s one of my favorite flavors in beer.

This brew poured with a two finger, cream-colored head that dissipated slowly and left very little lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy, dark brown with moderate carbonation visible. The nose was quite spicy with a lot of yeast and tartness. The taste was really herbal up front with spruce and earthy spice. Apricots were muted and it also had bready notes. The body was thick for the style with moderate carbonation. It had a long finish with herbs and spruce. This beer was definitely interesting. I don’t know if I would revisit it because the flavors were pretty disjointed. I guess if you want a different type of saison, it’s worth a go.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

If you follow this blog, you know that I love chili peppers in beer. One of the other things that I really enjoy are brownies. I think the combination of chili peppers and chocolate is brilliant. One of my favorite ice creams uses this combination. When I heard that Terrapin was putting this type of beer out as a Side Project, I had to grab a bomber.

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ABV: 8.6%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Like a piñata bursting at the seams, Guano Loco ‘Ancho Brownie Ale’ explodes with flavor from a myriad of directions. Chocolaty sweetness melds brilliantly with spicy heat to make this beer a fiesta in your glass…Ole’”

Random: Now I’m having a craving for ice cream.

This brew poured with a half a finger of tan head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. It had a slight crown left on top. The body was a clear, dark brown color with high carbonation. The nose had spice from the chili pepper with roasted malts and coffee. The taste had roasted malts and deep, rich chocolate. On the end of the sip, the heat from the chili pepper hits in the back of the throat. There was some paprika to it as well. The booze was well hidden. It had a medium body with high carbonation. The finish was long with the heat that was at the end of the sip. The bomber was $8.59, which breaks down to $.39 an ounce which is pretty expensive for what it was, but I’m glad that I tried it. If you like chili beers, give this one a shot. It won’t be the best that you’d had, but definitely solid.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

One thing that I love about Stillwater brews is that they always bring something unique to the table. This one caught my eye due to the addition of honeysuckle. Given the style, I thought it was going to a really good fit for that ingredient. Let’s see if it was as good as I hoped for.

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ABV: 6.4%

Style: Biere de Garde

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “It’s my pleasure to present a collaboration with The Brewer’s Art. A Baltimore institution that helped to pioneer the Belgian beer movement in the States. Brewed with a combination of Spelt & Rye, accented with a blend of Heather, Honeysuckle, and Hyssop. The result is a rustic farmhouse ale displaying earthy tones & floral characteristics while maintaining intricate balance.”

Random: I like the label on this one too. It’s very cool.

This brew poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. It had a hazy, dark orange color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of yeast and honeysuckle sweetness, apples and honey. It also had some floral notes. The taste was really bright. It had some sweetness from the honey and honeysuckle, apples and light spice with peppercorns. It also had generous yeast and lemon zest. The body was on the thicker side of the style with generous carbonation. The finish was quick with herbal notes and lavender. This brew was $3.49 for the single bottle, which breaks down to $.29 an ounce, which is a bit on the pricier side, but worth it. I would definitely have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Welcome to the season of pumpkin everything. The other half picked this one up and I didn’t know what to expect from a pumpkin shandy. Let’s pop this one open and see what it’s all about.

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ABV: 4.4%

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Driven by an obsessive love of high jinks, the Jack-O Traveler spent his days cooking up mischief for everyone who crossed his path. One of his favorite pranks involved tricking unsuspecting bar patrons into buying him beers and then skipping out just when it was his turn to buy a round. So clever was Jack, he even scammed the devil himself into granting him a reprieve from hell. Unfortunately for our Traveler, when his shenanigans finally caught up with him and he died, the man upstairs wanted nothing to do with Jack either. It’s said that after Jack was barred from heaven, the devil gave him a burning coal, which he promptly put into a carved pumpkin to light his way. Legend has it that he wanders the earth to this day, searching for innocent bystanders to hoodwink into buying him his favorite beer, a pumpkin Shandy. Representing the darker side of Shandy, Jack-O Traveler is an alluring beer illuminated by the tastes of fall. He strikes the perfect balance between bright refreshment and seasonal spice. Jack is an American craft wheat beer brewed with fresh pumpkin, for a delicious, dark hued, Shandy-inspired beer.”

Random: My fantasy team tore up the field this week. Now, my record is 2-2.

This beer poured with less than half a finger of white head that dissipated instantly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy, dark brown color with light carbonation. The nose had pumpkin, nutmeg and cinnamon mixed with wet horse. This did not smell good. The taste had cinnamon and nutmeg along with tart lemon peel. This flavors did not mix well. The body was on the thick side with low carbonation, which also didn’t help this beer. It had a really quick finish, which was good because I thought this beer was awful. Even for the economical price of $1.99, I wouldn’t buy this beer again. Ugh.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Mystic Saison

Posted: September 29, 2014 in Mystic Brewery, Reviews, Saison/Farmhouse Ale

My team freaking lost yesterday. I knew it was going to come at some point, but they really should have won that game. Anyways, I was really excited about trying this beer not available in Jersey. Let’s see how it went.

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ABV: 7%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Mystic Saison is our take on the old Belgian farmhouse ale. Saisons were traditionally brewed for refreshment during the summer months. Light in color, effervescent with a billowy, well-retained head — it is very dry and strongly aromatic with light pepper and pear overtones. Heavier in alcohol at 7% abv, it finishes clean and bright, with a very light bitterness. Saison is far more a tradition than a style. Made with wine yeast by French speaking people in the ‘grain belt’ of Europe, saison was brewed in winter to slake thirsts of farm workers in summer. We found that in many ways saison goes far beyond white wines that were in the minds of the old Wallonians. It can be as dry and crisp but far more variable. In Belgium, every farm house had its own saison, influenced by their very own farm and the grains available to them. For Mystic Saison we worked towards the essence of saison. The Name. Mystic Saison was our first beer and named to reflect the straightforward approach to a ‘whole field’ saison.”

Random: At least I knew to leave Sproles on my fantasy bench this week.

This brew poured with a thick, three finger white head that dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy, dark orange color with no visible carbonation due to the cloudiness. The nose had lemon rind, white wine grapes and yeast. The taste was light and dry. There was a lot of yeast with bread and crackers. White grapes were present as well. There was a slight hint of clove spice. The body was on the thin side with moderate carbonation. It had a long finish with yeast. This was a really good beer and one that I would definitely have again. Even for $12.99 a bomber, I think it was worth it.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0