Ecusson Cidre Rose

Val and I spent the last 24 hours in New York. We stayed at the High Line Hotel, which is really cute. It’s in a great area of the city and we went out for tapas with my family last night. I had a vodka drink that got served in a grapefruit, which was amazing. They also had a rose sangria, which we didn’t try, but reminded me of this cider.

ABV: 3%

Style: Cider

Trivia: According to the cidery website, “In 2007, La Maison Écusson created the first pink cider recipe from Red Délice apple, a red-fleshed apple, to sign a quality product with a pink color. Beyond its color that charms the eye, our Rosé seduced by its alliance quite refreshing roundness and liveliness. It is an acidulous cider, intense, almost biting although it is fruity and refined by its aromas.”

Random: The entire website was in French, so I had to translate it.

The cider poured with a one finger, pure white head. It dissipated quickly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was very cloudy and bright orange. There was almost champagne-like carbonation visible. The nose started with ripe apples along with a touch of peach and some caramel sweetness. The taste started with a touch of tartness, but quickly went into some ripe apple sweetness. There was also some strawberry juice as well. The body was incredibly light with lots of carbonation. The finish was almost instantaneous with some ripe apples and strawberries. I picked this up a long time ago for Val, so I have no clue how much we paid for this, but this cider was a flat miss for me. I wish it had more fruit and depth and a touch of white grapes. I won’t be getting this again.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Tilted Shed January Barbecue Smoked Cider

One of my favorite parts of Summer is smoking meat, so I was exceptionally excited to try this cider.

ABV: 8%

Style: Cider

Trivia: According to the cidery website, “At its core, Tilted Shed Ciderworks is a hobby gone wild. The trouble started in 2007. We were living on a small farm in Northern New Mexico, trying our hand at organic market farming while freelancing and raising our baby. On our land was an old, gnarled, neglected apple orchard. Being a bit of a mad scientist with a fermentation habit, Scott decided that our bumper crop of Jonathans, Goldens, and Red Delicious would make good drink. So, with our infant son in one arm, Ellen lobbed apples into the hopper of our barrel press, while Scott cranked and pressed. Scott then put up the juice in the barn for a long, slow fermentation. A few months later, we were amazed with the results. Inspired, we began tasting regional ciders made from European and American cider apples. An obsession began.”

Random: It looks like they renamed this cider “Smoked Cider.”

The cider poured with a barely there white head. It dissipated by the time I went to take the picture. The body was a medium orange and clear, with some carbonation visible. The nose was all smoke up front. If I had to guess, I would say hickory. It quickly followed up with an apple juice sweetness and some bubble gum. The flavor was sweet up front. It had notes of apple skins and apple juice along with some pear flesh. The smoke came through next, but was not as prevalent as in the nose. The alcohol provided a significant burn as well. The finish was sweet and lengthy with apple juice and wood smoke. The bottle was $11.75, which came to $.70 per ounce. I really enjoyed the smoke in this cider, although I wish there was more in the flavor.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Trader Joe’s Sour Framboise By Petrus

Tonight’s selection is another beer that Val picked up from Trader Joe’s.

ABV: 7.3%

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Petrus is all but an average beer. Petrus is a real sour, with roots that date from ages ago, brewed in Belgium according to the finest brewing tradition. Despite its age, it is young at heart! It is the sour beer reference. Though not for sour people, but for people who don’t care about trends and hypes. People who trust their senses, rely on their own good taste and are eager to explore new boundaries. Petrus is a slow, unpredictable and wild beer that takes lots of patience. No wonder it is a beer for people who understand the urge to slow down. This beer, aged for 2 years in oak foeders, should be enjoyed sip by sip. Indeed, a real sour… takes time. Petrus is intriguing, enigmatic and therefore impossible to copy. Only the master brewer fully grasps the complex brewing processes. He rules the mysterious microbiology in the oak foeders. That truly is science with a touch of magic. So why not accept that mystery, cherish the secret and embrace the experiment? Do you dare to take that experiment to the next level? Simply savoring Petrus is already quite a rewarding experience, but do you dare to start your own blending experiment with the Petrus sour beers? How sour do you want your Petrus blend? Try and taste until you reach your personal level of sour beer perfection.”

Random: I always find it interesting who Trader Joe’s partners with.

The beer poured with a large, three finger, pink head. It dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was clear and bright pink. There was a lot of carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of funk and sourness to it. Quickly, raspberries came through next. The taste had a lot of white vinegar. It quickly went into some funk and then raspberries with a touch of vanilla. The body was on the lighter side with lots of carbonation. The finish was lengthy with funk and raspberry. This beer was a gift from Val, so I have no idea how much it was, but I enjoyed it a lot. I would definitely have it again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Revolution Amarillo-Hero

Tonight’s selection is another one from a mixed pack that I picked up. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 7.2%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Amarillo-Hero showcases the hop’s intense citrus and floral notes. A simple, delicate malt bill allows the fruit basket of aromas to take center stage while a touch of Cascade and Citra layered in amplify this Hero’s juicy characteristics. Clean bitterness rounds this beer out resulting in a crisp, refreshing IPA.”

Random: This beer came in at 70 IBUs.

This beer poured with a three finger head that was pure white in color. It dissipated quickly, but left some lacing on the glass. The body was clear and bright orange. There was a lot of carbonation visible. The nose was a lot of orange peel and orange flesh along with some strong floral notes. I specifically picked up lavender. The taste was more of the same. It had some orange flesh and clementine skin. There was also some biscuit malt. Wildflower honey came through next with a touch of lavender. At the end of the sip, I picked up some herbal notes, specifically basil and cilantro. The body was on the lighter side with lots of carbonation. The alcohol made a quick appearance as well. The finish was lengthy with some pine and wildflower honey. A can of this was $2.50, which came to $.21 per ounce. I enjoyed this beer, but it wasn’t my favorite. I would have it again if it was handed to me.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Port City Trader Joe’s Belgian Style Pale Ale

Today’s beer is one specifically brewed for Trader Joe’s. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 5.3%

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “To continue our celebration of DC Beer week we will be tapping a firkin of our latest collaboration with Trader Joe’s. To celebrate Trader Joe’s fiftieth anniversary, we’ve brewed something special – a delicate, straw blonde Belgian Pale Ale. Notes of pear and black pepper serve as prelude to soft, biscuity malts and a refined, balancing hop presence. The tasting room exclusive firkin is dry hopped with Eureka hops – imparting aromas of tangerine, grapefruit rind and citrus. Borinquen Lunch box Food Truck will be serving authentic home-cooked Puerto Rican cuisine and Shane Gamble will be providing the tunes in the beer garden.”

Random: I love the food from Trader Joe’s, I just hate how crowded it is.

The beer poured with a large, three finger, cream-colored head. It took forever to dissipate and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was slightly cloudy and a dusky orange. There was moderate carbonation visible as well. The nose was muted with some old grass along with coriander and wheat. The taste was very crisp. It started with some lemon and orange citrus and quickly went into the same coriander and wheat that was apparent in the nose. Some bubblegum and yeast came through next. The body was on the light side with a lot of carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with bubblegum. Val picked this one up for me during a Trader Joe’s trip, so I’m not sure how much it was, but there was nothing special about this beer. I wouldn’t rush to have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Revolution Crystal-Hero

I think that Revolution has some really killer labels, especially their whole “Hero” series. It’s very reminiscent of comic books, which I loved when I was a teenager. I think I still have them at my parents’ house. Anyways, beer time.

ABV: 7.2%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A crisp and refreshing IPA exploding with fresh floral hop character, named for a somewhat forgotten yet amazing hop variety named Crystal. A unique hopping program gives this beer a massive, clean bitterness and fresh hop aroma bursting with hints of citrus and fresh fruit.”

Random: This beer came in at 75 IBUs.

This beer poured with a huge, four finger, cream-colored head. It took a long time to dissipate and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was slightly hazy and bright orange-colored. There was a moderate amount of carbonation visible. The nose started with a lot of bright navel oranges. It quickly went into some light floral notes as well. Grapefruit pith and some herbal notes came through, specifically cilantro. The taste started with the same citrus notes, specifically orange segments and grapefruit pith. It quickly went into biscuit malt and then pine oil. After that, I picked up some pepper and then cilantro as well. The body was on the thicker side with a lot of carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with pine and cilantro. I don’t recall how much I paid for this, especially since I picked this up in a mixed twelve pack, but this was a solid beer.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

New Jersey Beer Company Pit Boss

Val nicely recorded the new Jersey Shore show for me. It is one of my guilty pleasures because it’s so ridiculous.

ABV: 8.5%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “NJ Beer Co. took a bold step into a new era last Friday, Oct. 14th, with the limited release of our Pit Boss Double India Pale Ale in 16oz 4-pack cans! This is a major step for us as we introduce exciting new styles into the New Jersey craft beer marketplace, and the reception has been very enthusiastic among both our most loyal supporters and casual fans alike.”

Random: I still haven’t visited this brewery yet. I have to get up there.

The brew poured with a four finger, ecru colored head. The body was slightly cloudy and bright yellow. There was moderate carbonation visible. The nose had some citrusy notes up front, specifically grapefruit. There was also a lot of biscuit malt as well. The taste had a significant alcohol bite up front. It had some mineral water along with grapefruit flesh. There was a significant amount of malt as well. Lemon pledge and pine needles came through next. The body was thick and chewy with a lot of carbonation. The finish was lengthy and sticky with pine needles and biscuit malt. I picked this beer up for $3.75, which broke down to $.23 per ounce. I thought this beer was alright, but there are so many offerings that are outstanding in this style that I won’t be having this one again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

AleSmith Mount Crushmore

I gave this beer a try while we were at Memphis Taproom, waiting for our takeout order. They have a Korean fried chicken sandwich that is absolutely amazing. If you’re ever in the area, definitely give it a shot.

ABV: 4.8%

Style: Cream Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Founded in 1995, AleSmith Brewing Company is a San Diego based artisanal craft brewery that specializes in handcrafted ales inspired by the European classics. Deeply rooted in the amateur and craft brewing communities, AleSmith ales have continued to garner both national and international awards. In 2015, AleSmith celebrated its 20th year in production by opening a new state-of-the-art brewery in Miramar at 9990 AleSmith Court (formerly Empire Street). ‘AleSmith 2.0’ features an entirely new tasting room and brew system with the capability to pump out more than 100,000 barrels/year only two blocks west of the original location. Please come visit us and taste the legendary craftsmanship for yourself.”

Random: The coconut club at Memphis Taproom is also amazing and one of my favorite sandwiches.

The beer poured with a huge three finger, pure white head. The head dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was slightly cloudy and bright yellow. There was a lot of carbonation visible. The nose was overly mild. It had some grass and citrus with white bread. The taste started with some grainy sweetness. It transitioned into grapefruit and hops. There was some caramel as well. The body was very light with lots of carbonation. It had a quick finish with grainy sweetness. This beer was alright, but nothing earth shattering.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Founders Frootwood

This beer was one that I tried to seek out in bottles, but failed to find. At least I got it on draft.

ABV: 8%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We took a crisp, light-bodied cherry ale and hid it away in oak barrels that have held both bourbon and maple syrup. After a lengthy stint, it emerged a changed beer, blanketed in notes of warm vanilla and earthy sweetness. The wood proves itself the star of this beer, adding depth and taming the tart cherry while the maple imposes a velvety texture that lingers for not a moment too long.”

Random: This was released in 2017.

The beer poured with barely any head. What was there was minimal and white with a pink tinge. The body was clear, but pink in color with light carbonation. The nose was filled with both sweet and tart cherries. It also had a note of cherry cough syrup. It quickly transitioned into vanilla and toasted oak and bourbon. The taste was all about the cherries. It had a nice mix of both sweet and tart cherries and the cough syrup scent that was apparent in the nose wasn’t there. The bourbon note came through, along with leather and tobacco, but the fruit took center stage. The maple note wasn’t overly apparent, but added a touch of sweetness at the end. The alcohol provided a slight burn as well. The body was medium thickness with light carbonation. It had a sticky and lengthy finish with bourbon and cherry. I was concerned that this beer was going to be overly sweet, but I was pleasantly surprised that it was nicely balanced. Another well done beer from Founders.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Victory Home Grown New American Lager

This was the second beer that I had at City Tap House. I was trying to have lower ABV beers since it was early in the day and I was curious about how this (relatively) new lager from Victory would be.

ABV: 4.8%

Style: American Pale Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Gotta give the people what they want, right? A lot of you have been searching for your next go-to beer. Something hoppy, but still drinkable and refreshing. Search no further! Six varieties of American whole flower hops pack bold and juicy flavors into this crisp, drinkable lager. Meet Victory Home Grown. Your NEW American Lager.”

Random: One of the prettiest bars that I’ve ever been to is in the original Victory brewery.

The beer poured with less than half a finger of pure white head. The body was mostly clear except for some chill haze and straw yellow in color. There was a lot of carbonation visible. The nose was relatively mild with some toasted grain and also had an odd chemical characteristic. The taste luckily did not have the same chemical characteristic, although it had plenty of toasted grain. It was quickly followed up by a touch of Noble hops, but the grain was dominant in this beer. The body was light with lots of carbonation. It had a quick finish with the Noble hops. I liked this beer, but it didn’t wow me. I could see this beer as a good addition to a barbecue for people who are used to drinking Bud Light who may want to branch out to craft beer.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0