Archive for December, 2015

Anytime I see a beer that uses chile peppers, I’m interested. It’s also nice to see more and more breweries using them. I tried growing some this year with mixed results. The ones that I grew were insanely spicy and I had to use them in very small doses. They had the heat of Thai Bird chilis. Next year, I think I will get some that are on the milder side.

tommyknockergreenchile

ABV: 5.3%

Style: Chile Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A blend of hot and mild Anaheim chiles infused in a refreshing light lager. A pleasant spicy bite makes for a delicious palate pleaser.”

Random: This comes in at 27 IBUs.

This beer poured with less than a finger of white head that dissipated instantly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was lightly hazy and a straw yellow color. There was light carbonation visible. The nose was very vegetal. There was green peppers and cilantro with oregano. The taste did not offer any sort of chile pepper heat. It had green bell peppers and a general green vegetal flavor. I really wish there was some heat to this beer given what was advertised. I kept sipping it and I got a touch of hot pepper, but again, it offered almost not heat. The body was on the thinner side with light carbonation. The finish was quick with green bell peppers. A single of this set me back $2.50 ($.21 per ounce). This beer was a huge disappointment. It offered no heat and no other flavors other than bell peppers. This is a beer to avoid.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

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It’s really interesting to see how breweries are using Brett now. This one was entirely fermented with it, and I don’t think I’ve ever had a 100% Brett fermented beer. Let’s see how it was.

hundo

ABV: 7%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Hundo is a blonde beer fermented in barrels entirely with Brettanomyces. Classic fruity, mildly funky Brett characteristics are present with a soft, doughy maltiness in the finish.”

Random: I wish I lived closer to the brewery so I could get more of this.

The beer poured with a thin, three finger head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, straw yellow with high carbonation visible. The nose was really unique. It had some golden fruit characteristics up front. I specifically pulled out golden raisins and apricot. It then went into a spice note with some coriander. I also pulled out a scent that reminded me of white wine. Honey was at the end of the nose with a marked sweet smell. The taste was also like that of a full-bodied white wine. The oak and vanilla notes were a nice addition to the taste. Golden raisins came through as well. Since this said that it was fermented with Brett, I fully expected the usual horse blanket that comes with Brett, but this just dried the beer out, which was really nice. The body was light with moderate carbonation. It had a lengthy, dry finish with white grapes, oak and vanilla. This was $12.99 for the bottle, which came to $.77 per ounce. Despite the higher than average price tag, this beer was absolutely outstanding. I didn’t expect this beer to have so many layers of flavor and I would have this again in a second. If only it was distributed to New Jersey.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0

It’s almost the new year. This means that end of quarter is almost here. Supposedly, it’s going to be the busiest end of quarter that we’ve ever seen, which will mean lots of early mornings and late nights. Their volume keeps going up because they are coming out with new brands. I guess we’ll see. Tonight’s selection is a beer that isn’t available in Jersey and I know absolutely nothing about.

atwater

ABV: 7.5%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “HopApeel is a frontal assault on the American IPA style that features not only the classic American Cascade and Chinook hops, but two of the new ‘Super Cascade’ varieties in both the kettle and in the dry hop.”

Random: I really like the Ego set of lawn tools. I have the leaf blower, weed whacker and lawn mower.

This beer poured with a one finger, pure white head. It dissipated very quickly and left very little lacing on the glass. It did leave a crown on top of the cloudy, dark amber body. There was moderate carbonation visible. The nose was not what I expected. It smelled like old wood, orange furniture cleaner and nutty, sweet malt. The taste started with the same orange furniture cleaner note that was off-putting. Malt quickly came after, imparting a lot of sweetness and nuttiness. The alcohol was hidden. The body had some thickness to it and it had light carbonation. The finish was lengthy with the same orange cleaner note that I wasn’t a fan of. A single can was $2.25, which came to $.14 per ounce. This beer was a miss for me. The flavors weren’t to my taste and it had too much malt.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

This beer is another one that I picked up from Maine. It was one of the nicest breweries that we visited on our trip. I’m all about a well-done pale ale, so let’s see how it was.

mainelypaleale

ABV: 5%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to seacoastonline.com, “How does a Sweet Solstice ale sound? It’s a ‘holiday blonde’ with spices ‘and a little honey — a nice light holiday beer.’ If that doesn’t appeal, there’s also a Whoopie Pie Stout aged with cocoa nibs and vanilla beans, or Crystal Persuasion, an IPA (imperial pale ale) made with crystal hops. Those who want a hearty brew might like Box the Compass, which has 9.9 percent alcohol by volume. These are the clever and enticing names of the first brews to be produced by the SoMe Brewing Co., the first microbrewery in southern York County.”

Random: Yes, I used my SoMe glass for the review. That’s how I roll.

The beer poured with a three finger, white head that dissipated at a moderate pace and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy, light yellow with lots of carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of pine and grass. Malt was present, but didn’t provide a lot of sweetness, and instead provided cracker. The taste had significant grass and pine needles. What surprised me was the amount of malt that I picked up from the beer. It had a lot of cereal grains, but again, not a lot of sweetness. The body was light with high carbonation. It had a quick finish with grass. The bomber was $7.99 in Maine, which $.36 per ounce. This was a very drinkable pale ale and went down easily. It didn’t pull any punches, but it’s not my favorite of the style. With that being said, I would still have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

We’re watching a show called “Flipping Virgins” and they just showed a house that has a pink kitchen and a pink master bedroom. Why would anyone paint their rooms that color? Anyways, let’s talk about this beer from Maine Beer Company.

anotherone

ABV: 7%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Sometimes when we’re brainstorming, another cold one helps the ideas flow. Like the time we said, ‘Hey, let’s take this awesome hop blend and switch up the malts.’ That insight explains the goodness that is Another One, the lighter side of Weez (both beers use a nearly identical kettle and dry hopping schedule). An intensely hoppy American IPA with a clean malt palate, it leaves little but hoppy resins on the tongue; a dry, crisp finish; and a sense that anything’s possible.”

Random: The simplicity of Maine Beer Company’s labels make them stand out on shelves.

This beer poured with a three finger, pure white head. It dissipated at a moderate pace and left generous lacing on the IPA glass. The body was a light, lemon-yellow color which was very cloudy. As a result, I couldn’t see any carbonation. The nose was fragrant with light citrus that was quickly overtaken by grass and tropical fruits (specifically mango). After a few sniffs, tangerine was also a major scent. The taste had even more tropical fruit notes. Mango and papaya came through with tangerine. It then went into a really authentic peach note. Grass and fresh pine were the next notes on the flavor profile. The alcohol was insanely hidden. It had a thick body with high carbonation. The finish was lengthy with the remnants of the fresh pine. This was $6.49 for the bottle, which broke down to $.41 per ounce, which is a bit pricey, but definitely worth it. This beer was ridiculously good and one that should be at the top of anyone’s list to seek out.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0

Sonoma Cider The Pitchfork

Posted: December 26, 2015 in Cider, Reviews, Sonoma Cider

It’s definitely been interesting having the kittens. Since Val isn’t up yet, I’m catching up on some DVRed tv shows and Simcoe (the larger of the two kittens), has decided to try to knock down the treat box. As I walked up, all three of the cats were trying to get it open. They got the flap open, but no treats out. Speaking of a treat, this is a cider that Val picked out that she let me sample.

sonomapitchfork

ABV: 6%

Style: Cider

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Pears weren’t much on our radar when we first built the cidery, because we were all about apples. The challenge was to capture the creaminess of pears while steering clear of its cloying sweetness. The solution is The Pitchfork. It’s still crisp, refreshing hard apple cider, but with a distinctly pear accent and a creamy mouth feel that maintains cider integrity while adding a whole new dimension. Hard to describe, harder still to resist.”

Random: This cidery had a really informative website, which is always appreciative.

The cider poured with a quarter of a finger of white head that dissipated instantly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, golden-yellow with light carbonation. The nose had apples and pear notes with mild cinnamon. The taste was dry with apples and green pears. It didn’t have a lot of sweetness, which I enjoyed. The spice was lighter on the taste than the nose. The body was light with high carbonation. It had a quick finish with ripe apples and pears. This was $3.00 for the bottle, which came to $.25 per ounce. I enjoyed this cider. It was very straightforward and had nice pear notes, my only dig on it was that the flavor profile was simplistic.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Merry Christmas! Hopefully everyone is having a good time with family and friends and enjoying the holiday. For tonight’s review, I have a pale ale from New Hampshire.

stonefaceapa

ABV: 5.6%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Currently, our IPA, India Red Rye Ale and Pale Ale are available on draft and in bottles. You can find our beers in better beer stores and beer centric bars and restaurants. Right now, we are only distributing our beer in NH. You can also find our beers at the brewery in bottles and growlers. We live free to make [and drink] what we want. We love to make beers we like to drink — we hope you enjoy them too.”

Random: I will be watching “Muppet Christmas Carol” at some point today. I do it every year.

This brew poured with a huge head, three fingers of white foam, in fact. It dissipated at a moderate pace and left lots of lacing. The body was a cloudy, lemon yellow color with lots of floaties visible and high carbonation. The nose was heavy on the citrus with grapefruit and orange. It had a decent amount of bready malt behind it as well. The taste was bright and crisp with lots of grapefruit and grapefruit rind. It had some breadiness from the malt, but it didn’t provide a lot of sweetness. It had pleasant, but not overwhelming bitterness. The body was thicker than expected with high carbonation. It had a long finish with grapefruit zest. The 16 ounce bottle of this was $5.49 ($.34 per ounce). This was a very drinkable, and flavorful pale that would appeal more to the hophead than the novice drinker.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0