Vault Breakfast Stout

I’ve never actually had a stout with breakfast, but I feel like I need to try it for “research” purposes.

ABV: 7.3%

Style: Oatmeal Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “BREAKFAST STOUT NITRO CAN™ RELEASE. More Nitro Cans coming your way on Sunday, Feb 21! This release marks the biggest ever Nitro Can run we’ve done thus far from our humble little brewery. We have 135 cases to make available to the public beginning at noon this Sunday, which means we can permit up to a one case limit per person. 4-Packs will cost $15 each. About the beer…This year’s Breakfast Stout clocks in at a cool 7.3% ABV and was packaged in 12oz cans. The recipe consists of malted oats, Vermont maple syrup, Colombian coffee beans, vanilla, and lots of specialty malt. The coffee aromas erupt from the glass but the flavors tell a more complicated story with notes of milk chocolate, vanilla, caramelized sugar, and roasted malt with a silky smooth mouthfeel. Join us on Sunday to pick up your case and cheers to breakfast-in-a-can”

Random: I need to bring some oatmeal to work. I never eat breakfast.

The brew poured with a thick, one finger, cream-colored head. It took awhile to go away and left limited lacing on the glass. The body was dark brown with moderate carbonation. The nose was filled with smoke, coffee, roasted malts and oatmeal. It had a bitter note as well. The taste was overwhelmingly ashy. It had smoke and espresso. I was missing chocolate and oatmeal on this. The flavors were so heavy that I feel like it was misnamed as a breakfast stout. The body was on the medium side with moderate carbonation, which needed to be dialed up. The finish took way too long and was like licking an ashtray. The can was $3.75, direct from the brewery, which came to $.31 per ounce. I wasn’t a big fan of this one. There are many other, better examples of the style.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

The Bruery Or Xata

Awhile back, I had a business trip in California and Val joined me for a long weekend. We made our way to The Bruery and took a tour. This was one of the beers that we drank during the tour and Val loved it. Since it was on tap at Brickwall, Val got a glass.

ABV: 7.2%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Horchata is a traditional, sweet, milky drink originating in Spain and Latin America that has become quite popular in Southern California, particularly with Mexican cuisine. Our homage to the traditionally non-alcoholic drink is a blonde ale brewed with a heavy dosing of rice, cinnamon and fresh vanilla beans along with lactose for a little extra creamy character. These ingredients meld together to create a taste and experience that hints at horchata, but it’s much more than that. The flavor is hard to describe, but for those who know it, you know you love it.”

Random: I’ve never had a real horchata. That needs to be rectified.

The beer poured with less than a quarter of a finger of white head. It dissipated almost instantly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a straw yellow color with a tinge of cloudiness and moderate carbonation. The nose was filled with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and grain. It was incredibly inviting. The taste was even better than the nose. The cinnamon and nutmeg notes were prevalent, along with rice and milk sugar. Vanilla came through as the beer warmed. The alcohol was well-hidden. It had a moderately thick body with just enough carbonation. The finish was lengthy with cinnamon and nutmeg. I thought this beer was outstanding. This is one of the best horchata inspired beers I’ve ever had.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Three 3’s Wheateze

As I’ve mentioned, Val and I have terrible experiences with restaurants. Either we get seated right by the bathroom, the service is terrible or we get lots of onions on things (Val hates onions and we request everything to be onion-free). We went to a new restaurant in Burlington and as expected, had a terrible time. We ended up at Brickwall Tavern after going there because we couldn’t eat anything at the original restaurant. This was the beer I had on tap.

ABV: 7.1%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: The brewery only has a Facebook page and is located in Hammonton, New Jersey.

Random: Until Val and I started dating, I didn’t realize how many dishes utilize onions as garnish.

The beer poured with half a finger of white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was very hazy with no carbonation visible and bright yellow-orange in color. The nose had a lot of wheat and lemon flesh to it with honey sweetness and grains of paradise as well. The taste had a marked bitterness to it, which manifested mostly as citrus pith. The wheat characteristic came through as well with a touch of bubblegum. It had a body that was thicker than I would have liked with lots of carbonation, which mitigated the thickness. The finish was lengthy with citrus and wheat. I enjoyed this beer a lot and it was a great introduction to the brewery. I would gladly have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Vault Rye Pale Ale

Our two younger cats are getting to be a lot more snuggly. All three now greet me at the door when I come home. It makes it a bit harder to get through the door. All three just tried to climb on the computer, so I had to bribe them with treats to get them to let me post this.

ABV: 5.7%

Style: Rye Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “For this batch, we decided to go a different direction from the Coffee Stouts. We wanted to see what a nitro would do to a Rye Pale Ale. The spicy character of the rye balances the smoothness of the nitrogen and the vigorous pouring releases all those great hop aromas from the whole flower Simcoe we used in the dry-hop. It’s unique and unlike anything you’ve ever tasted. As with the prior releases, we will be opening our doors at noon on Sunday (28th). There will be a 1 case limit per person”

Random: I need to keep better track of how much I pay for beers that I get from breweries.

The beer poured with a full finger of pure white head. It dissipated at a moderate pace, leaving a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was somewhat cloudy and mahogany in color with moderate carbonation. The nose was filled with citrus notes and flower notes and rye. It had a brown bread note as well. The taste started with the same rye and brown bread note. It transitioned into flowers, but didn’t have much citrus on the taste. It had an overly thin body with moderate carbonation. The finish was quick with rye. This beer was a bit one note to me, and I wouldn’t rush to have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Pedal Hard Ginger Beer

I really need a new computer. I think mine is at least 10 years old, but since it’s still working, I don’t want to get another one. Macs pretty much last forever, much like the flavor of this beer.

ABV: 5.3%

Style: Herbed/Spiced Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Root Sellers Pedal Hard Ginger Beer is an alcoholic ginger beer brewed with pure cane sugar, ginger root and molasses. Ginger Beer is a traditional beverage first brewed in Europe more than 400 years ago. Our ginger beer is a quaffable beverage with a crisp, clean, and refreshing flavor with a mellow ginger flavor. Pedal Hard Ginger Beer is brewed without grain and it is gluten free.”

Random: I used to drink a ginger tea that was really good by Tazo. I have to get some more to put in my desk.

The beer poured with absolutely no head on top of a yellow, almost green-tinged body. There was a lot of carbonation visible. The nose was filled with freshly cut ginger root. It was insanely strong and I couldn’t pick up anything else. The taste had even more strong notes of ginger, to the point that it cleared out my nasal passages. I kept sipping to try to find other flavors, but only found a touch of malt. The body was on the medium side with a lot of carbonation. It had a lengthy ginger finish with nothing else. This beer came in pounder cans and was $2.50 a can. That broke down to $.16 per ounce. I wanted to like this beer, but it was so one note that I had little interest in it. It would make a decent beer cocktail though.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Kane Christian Patrick

Val and I are working on booking our honeymoon. We’re trying to decide between the Big Island and Maui on Hawaii. Both are great options. We’re definitely going to visit some breweries either way.

ABV: 10.9%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The main principle of our brewing philosophy at Kane Brewing Company is a relentless focus on beer quality and improvement. This focus is not limited to the brew house, but to the entire process from our grain to your glass. In New Jersey we are fortunate enough to have the right to self-distribute our beers within state borders. Early on we made a conscious decision that this was the road we were going to pursue and a key to maintaining beer quality. Self-distribution allows us to keep a close eye on our inventory and track how our kegs and bottles move to and at our various accounts. Because of this we’re able to keep our hop forward beers super fresh and allow our bigger beers to properly age. This also provides another opportunity for us to work directly with our accounts to provide them the best possible service and support.”

Random: I can’t wait to have poke in Hawaii.

The beer poured with a three finger, tan head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was dark black in color with light, visible carbonation. The nose was filled with smoke, black licorice, anise, cocoa, roasted malts and a touch of vanilla. The taste was also smoky with a generous amount of roasted malts and dark chocolate. It had a weird beef jerky quality to it that I wasn’t okay with, but it went away pretty quickly. It had a surprisingly light body with moderate carbonation. The finish was lengthy with smoke and licorice. I don’t remember how much I paid for the bomber since I picked it up at the brewery. I thought this beer was good, but not as outstanding as I’m used to from Kane stouts.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Left Hand Bittersweet

So, we just came back from Savor (again, remember I post months in advance). I enjoyed it a lot, but I thought the food was only alright. I did like that they had a lot of goses and pilsners on tap, because I prefer lighter ABV beers at an event like that. I’m glad we got to go. Anyways, beer time.

ABV: 8.9%

Style: Milk/Sweet Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “SUPER SMOOTH COMBO OF COFFEE AND OUR CREAMY IMPERIAL SWEET STOUT. OUR BIG, AGGRESSIVE Bittersweet stout is made smooth and even creamier with the help of tiny nitrogen bubbles that are released when you poured hard. The coffee’s dark cherry flavors and spicy undertones weave into the rich, imperial milk stout like a chocolate-covered espresso bean melting on your tongue. Bitter then sweet. Sweet then bitter. It’s Bittersweet.”

Random: We got beer to take home too, which was great, except they didn’t give out bags.

The beer poured with a half a finger of tan head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. It also had a small crown that was left behind as well. The body was a dark brown, almost black color with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose was filled with black coffee, roasted malts and a touch of lactose. The taste started with a significant amount of lactose sweetness and cream. It had a lot of sweetness as well. It had some coffee as well. The taste reminded me of a really sweet coffee. It had some ash and smoke, but the taste was just overwhelmed by the sweetness. The body was smooth, but on the lighter side, despite the ABV. The alcohol was hidden and there was light carbonation. It had an almost instant, sweet finish. A bottle of this was $3.25, which broke down to $.27 per ounce. The beer was just too sweet for me, although I think it benefitted from being on nitro.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0