Epic Lil’ Brainless Raspberries

We finally have a mattress for the guest room. We set the bed up earlier in the week with the nightstands, so the room is finally coming together. The cat is busy testing the new mattress, so I’m told. Anyways, let’s get to this beer which the other half picked out last week.

lil

ABV: 5.2%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Lil’ Brainless Raspberries is an easy drinking canned version of our big, bold 22 oz. bottle of Brainless Raspberries, crafted especially for those who seek bright, fresh, and real raspberry flavors in a convenient size. We brew exclusively with natural raspberry puree, which gives this beer its unique pink color as well as hints of raspberry bubble-gum, sweet fruit jam, and a pleasant dryness that makes this beer perfect for easy going affairs, indoors or out.”

Random: I could go for an English muffin with jam right now.

This beer poured with a half a finger of what looked like cream-colored head, but since it dissipated instantly, I couldn’t guarantee that was the actual color. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, deep pink color with no visible carbonation. The nose had notes of raspberry extract and bubble gum. It smelled like a raspberry candy to me, which is funny because the website makes such a big deal of how they don’t use extract and that was exactly what I was picking up. The taste was peculiar. It started with the expected raspberry extract and went into this misplaced tart note. Lots of bubble gum came through as well. The body was thin and watery with very little carbonation that desperately needed to be dialed up. The other half kept saying that it didn’t taste pink (which to the rest of us means, doesn’t have enough notes of fruit). The finish was quick with raspberry. This beer was $2 for the can, which broke down to $.17 per ounce. At that price or not, this beer was a disappointment that I will not be having again.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Goose Island Pere Jacques (2010)

It’s finally Saturday. I’m hoping to leave at a decent time since I have a million chores to get done. I don’t think I’ll be able to mow the lawn tomorrow since it is supposed to rain. Anyways, vintage beer time.

pj

ABV: 8.7%

Style: Dubbel

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Brewed with loads of malt and Belgian yeast, Pere Jacques is a wonderfully fruity, malty ale. Pere Jacques’ complex flavors stand shoulder to shoulder with the Belgian Dubbels enjoyed in the world’s finest beer bars. At the dining table, it’s the perfect alternative to a glass of vintage port.”

Random: This bottle was brewed in March of 2010.

A few weeks ago, I moved the beers that I have been aging to the new house. Since this one has been aging for over five years and on the bottle it says to enjoy within five, I figured that it should be opened sooner rather than later. The beer poured with absolutely no head and as such, there was no lacing left on the glass. The body was a cloudy, dark brown with lots of sediment floating in the body and no carbonation visible either. The nose started with a vinegar note, which definitely worried me. Raisin, prune and brown sugar were present as well, which gave me some hope. Luckily, the taste was better than the nose. There were some sweet notes of molasses, but quickly went into fruit notes of raisin and prune. There was also a brown sugar quality to it with a touch of alcohol astringency. After a few sips, some bready notes came through at the end. The body was on the thicker side with little to no carbonation present. The finish was lengthy with some booze warming and candi sugar sweetness. This wasn’t a bad beer by any means, but I think it aged just a bit too long.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Blue Mountain Long Winter’s Nap

This was a beer that the other half picked out when we went to Cranbury Buy Rite after it reopened. This was another one that was purchased because it had a cute bottle. Let’s see if that translates to a good beer.

nap

ABV: 10%

Style: Maibock/Helles Bock

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “One of the biggest beers we’ve ever brewed at Blue Mountain coming in at 10% alcohol by volume, and it’s also one of the lightest-colored! Brewed solely with Pilsner and Vienna malts, we used the same amount of barley it would take to make 2,000 gallons and packed it into just 1,000 gallons worth of the smoothest, fullest-bodied, strongest winter brew you’ve ever had. This lager defies most standard beer categorization (Germans would put it in the Doppelbock category) but we’re calling it a blonde Tripelbock. The name says it all…it won’t take many of these and a long winter’s nap will be all you’re capable of doing.”

Random: I could go for a nap right now. I’m exhausted.

When I went to pop the cork, it was insanely difficult to get out. After about 10 minutes of fussing with it, I finally popped it and noticed that this beer was best by July of 2014. There wasn’t any indication of when it was brewed, but I hoped that the high ABV kept this beer in good drinking condition. It poured with a three finger, pure white head that dissipated slowly. It left some lacing on the glass. The body was a clear yellow-orange color with light carbonation visible and lots of sediment floating around. The nose was really sweet with honey and biscuit. The taste had notes of biscuit as well with light fruit (specifically apple and pear). The booze was way too apparent on this beer and however many years it was sitting on the shelf did not mellow it. Light, spicy hops came through too. I almost think that they changed this beer a bit in recent years because most people have enjoyed it and said that the booze was hidden. The body was medium thickness with light carbonation. It had a long sticky finish with honey and booze. This bottle was $12, which broke down to $.55 per ounce. No matter what the price was, I just couldn’t get into this beer.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Coronado Sock Knocker

After doing some chores last night, I cracked this open. I have a plethora of bombers because my parents brought me a case back of different ones from Massachusetts. So, let’s crack this open.

sock

ABV: 8.5%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to beerpulse.com, “Coronado Brewing Company’s bold and fruity Sock Knocker Imperial IPA launches this May as part of the company’s Brewer’s Series. This seasonal series features beer produced in partnership with fellow brewers, and in Sock Knocker’s case, small-batch brews. Sock Knocker pours golden orange, with a hoppy, citrus flavor that lingers well into the finish. Amarillo, Centennial, Columbus and Simcoe hops unite to create an immensely floral, botanical nose and a veritable explosion of citrus and pine on the palate. With an even more obscene hop overload than Coronado’s infamous Idiot IPA, Sock Knocker is an India Pale Ale truly deserving of its imperial crown.”

Random: I’m really getting into beer podcasts. Some of them are actually really good.

This beer poured with a huge, four finger, ecru colored head. It dissipated slowly and left lots of spiderweb lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, light orange color with plentiful carbonation visible. The nose had lots of resinous, citrusy hops with floral notes as well. Caramel malt came through as well. The taste started with pine and then flowers. Caramel malt and bread came through on the back of the tongue. After a few sips, the hops came through as a bit spicy. The body was very thin for the style and had high carbonation. The finish was long and piney and very dry. This bomber was $8.99, which broke down to $.41 per ounce. For that price, it’s a decent double IPA that I would have again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Flying Dog Earl Grey Black Wheat (Brewhouse Rarities)

I love tea. It’s one of the things that we always have in the house (at least in the iced version). Whenever I see a beer that uses tea, I’m all over it. When the other half made a surprise beer run for me, she got this one for me and I was super stoked to try it.

eg

ABV: 6.3%

Style: Dunkelweizen

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Give this bad boy a whirl with a traditional English cream tea (scones, whipped cream and jam). Afternoon delight indeed.”

Random: I could definitely go for a scone right now.

This beer poured with a one and a half finger, light brown head. It dissipated slowly, but left no lacing on the glass. A crown was left on top of the body. The body itself was dark brown in color with no light getting through. As a result, there was no carbonation visible. The nose had a roasted quality to it with some chocolate and brown sugar. There was also a lemon zest note that came out after a few sniffs. I didn’t pick up much in regards to wheat or tea. The taste also started with the same roasted quality that was in the notes and then (finally) some black tea came out. A chocolate note was there too and then light wheat at the end. The citrus I picked up in the nose wasn’t in the taste at all. It had a medium thick body with light carbonation. The finish was quick with black tea. This beer was $2.00 for the bottle, which came to $.17 per ounce, which is the normal price for Flying Dog singles. This was a beer that I was really excited to drink, but just didn’t deliver.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Mikkeller George

In preparation for guests this weekend, the other half and I worked on taking the painting tape down in the guest bedroom. There are still a few places left to touch up, but at least I can put the bed frame and nightstands together tonight. The only thing I don’t think I’ll be able to do before Monday is mow the lawn since we’re getting thunderstorms all weekend. Now that you’ve heard about my scheduled chores for the night, let’s talk about Mikkeller George.

george

ABV: 12.12%

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Ever been punched in the face by a beer? Our pal George offers anyone willing to try, a thick and oily fist right to the nose.”

Random: This was brewed in Lervik, Norway.

This beer poured with less than a finger of tan head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing. What immediately struck me about the beer was the body. The base color was black, but it was obvious that there was a bunch of yeast at the bottom that created this tan cascade. I’m not sure if I should have left this in the bottle or not. Either way, I couldn’t see any carbonation due to the color. The nose had notes of heavy cocoa and roasted malts with booze. There was dark chocolate as well. The taste was incredibly oily and had burnt malts with booze. Then, I picked up very, intensely bitter dark chocolate that was slightly unpleasant. At the end, I got espresso as well. The flavors on this were not balanced at all. It had a thick, syrupy body with moderate carbonation and hot booze. The bitter roasted malts lasted forever on the tongue. I’m usually one for a big beer with big flavors, but this one missed the mark for me. It doesn’t help that a twelve-ounce bottle of this was $9.39, which was $.78 per ounce. Given all of those factors, I would pass on this one.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Weyerbacher Tarte Nouveau

This is a new beer that I was very interested in trying. A local sour beer? Sounds good to me. Let’s see how it was.

weyer

ABV: 3.9%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Tarte Nouveau, 3.9% ABV, is kettle-soured with lactobacillus. This tart beer pours pale yellow with a large, dense, white head. Tarte is a refreshing brew with a dry finish that’s perfect for picnics, enjoying next to the pool, post leaf raking celebrations or snowball fight victory dances. Honestly, it’s pretty much perfect for every situation. Originally, Tarte Nouveau debuted in March of 2013 as our Brewers’ Select offering, Zulu. Zulu was an experiment in making a new Weyerbacher sour that we could run through draft systems and our packing equipment without risking any sort of contamination by the funky souring bacteria.”

Random: I’m listening to Pearl Jam at work and mildly enjoying it. The other half would find this amusing because when we started dating, I hated Pearl Jam.

This brew poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated quickly. No lacing was left on the glass. The body was a clear yellow color with high carbonation. The nose was very mild for the style with light tartness, flowers and lemon. The taste was equally mild, especially for a sour. It had light, citrus tartness (specifically lemon) and a touch of funk. A perfume-like floral note was present as well. The body was watery with high carbonation. It had a quick finish with lemon and funk. For $2 a bottle, this broke down to $.17 an ounce. If you’re just starting to get into sour beers, this would be a good one to try. Otherwise, it’s not going to knock your socks off, but would make for a good Summer session brew.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Kane Hop Lab – Imperial Red

This was the second beer I had in South Jersey. For some reason, The Farm and the Fisherman always has Kane beers on tap. Not that I’m complaining since their stuff is always solid.

kane

ABV: 9.2%

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “From our homebrew days, through to our earliest commercial batches and beyond we’ve had a certain affinity for hops. Our only 2 year round beers are an IPA and an Imperial IPA, and when a beer’s flavor is meant to be hop driven, we use them prodigiously throughout the brew process, up to many pounds of hops per barrel for some of our favorite recipes. Our Hop Lab series will allow us to continue to experiment – with new hops, new ways to use old favorites, or in different beer styles – on a commercial, albeit limited scale. This is not a ‘single hop’ series showcasing individual varietals, but rather a loosely defined outlet for our continuing experiments with our favorite ingredient.”

Random: I’ve never been a fan of this style. I don’t think it will ever be a favorite of mine.

This beer poured with a one finger, thick and creamy head. It dissipated slowly with lots of lacing left behind on the tulip glass. The body was a hazy, dark red color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose was very hoppy with nuttiness as well. I didn’t pick up much else. The taste was really rich and nutty. It was also very piney with grass as well. The alcohol on this did come through at the end of the sip, and was almost too aggressive for me. The body was overly thick with high carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with nuts and pine and grass from the hops. This was a good beer, but was just too thick for me to call it great. There are better examples of the style out there, but I’m glad I got to try this one-time release from Kane.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Brooklyn I Wanna RyeIT

The other half and I had a very productive holiday weekend. We stopped for a snack after buying a mattress for the guest room. I never purchased a mattress before and lying on a bunch in the showroom was not any bit of fun. After about 20 minutes, we decided on one and were out of there. Anyways, I had this in South Jersey when we finished up there.

rye

ABV: 7.5%

Style: Rye Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “In the ‘old days’ (days you may recall from movies like ‘High Noon’ and ‘True Grit’), when people drank whiskey, it was almost always rye whiskey. And in the ‘old country’ (which you may remember from countries like ‘Estonia’ and ‘Germany’), when people ate bread, it was often rye bread. So what’s so great about rye? Look at it this way: rye is the bad-boy cousin to those two better-known grains, barley and wheat. There’s nothing delicate about it; it’s tough and it grows where it wants, when it wants. Rye is fun, but it has an edge to it, like a gruff antihero riding into town. It’s got complex, spicy, nutty flavors, and that makes it exciting, but it sometimes gets a little out of hand, especially when it hangs out with equally edgy American hops. Don’t get us wrong, rye can be silky smooth and seductive when it wants to be, making it pretty irresistible at times. Brooklyn I Wanna RyeIT takes that wayward grain on a little joy ride through spicy flavors, a little smack of caramel, an explosive pop of hops and a sharp dry finish. And when your pint is finished, we think you’ll pick yourself up, dust off your jacket, smile and ask us for another one. You’d better ask quick, though – rye doesn’t like to be kept waiting.”

Random: I was really not into buying a mattress, at all. It was not nearly as bad as I thought.

This beer poured with a one finger, tan head that was very thick and dissipated slowly. It left some lacing on the tulip glass. The body was a hazy red color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of rye and then bitter hops. The rye gave it a lot of spice. The taste also had a lot of spice from the rye. It also had pronounced nuttiness. It was mildly bitter, which allowed the rye to take center stage. It had a very thick body with lots of carbonation. It had a long finish with rye. I really enjoyed this one and would have it again if I was in the mood for a rye-centric beer.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Otter Creek Over Easy

I hope that everyone had a nice Memorial Day. I had the day off, but it was like a normal weekend for me since I am off on Sundays and Mondays. It’s taken awhile, but I’m used to the schedule. I tend to get a lot done on Mondays. Anyways, I reviewed a few beers over the weekend, this being one, which is billed as a session beer and they’re all the rage now. Let’s see how it was.

oe

ABV: 4.6%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Straight from our stash to your glass, we’ve created a chronically crushable ale that turns over easy without exhausting the palate. A brand new addition to Otter Creek’s year-round lineup, Over Easy will be available in our Mixed Bag summer variety pack and on draught in mid-March. Look for it in six-packs, 12-packs and cases this April.”

Random: Summer is definitely the season for session beers.

This beer poured with a finger of white head that dissipated quickly and left slight lacing on the glass. The body was a lemon color with light carbonation visible. The nose was very floral with mango. The taste had notes of mango and papaya. There was also a lot of floral hop notes with lemon juice. It had very little malt to it. The body was on the thinner side and the carbonation was too light. The finish was quick with lemon juice. This was $1.75 a bottle, which was $.15 per ounce. Despite the affordable price, the carbonation needed to be dialed up and the flavor was just missing something. I wouldn’t rush back to have this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0