Definitive Contee

Happy Leap Day! Tonight’s selection is a beer that we brought home from Maine.

ABV: 4.6%

Style: Kolsch

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Definitive Brewing was formed in 2017 when we came across lightning in a (beer) bottle. After months of planning, we were introduced to our now Director of Brewing Operations, and found an ideal location, all in a single week. Our investment group is made up of friends and family all with ties to Lake Cobbosseecontee in Manchester, ME. After 6 months of tireless efforts to transform an old scaffolding company into a production brewery and tasting room, we opened May 19, 2018 on the legendary Industrial Way. At Definitive Brewing we strive to provide a memorable tasting room experience for all of our customers. This is culminated by our wide variety of beers, including our Kolsch (Contee), Session Ales, IPAs, Stouts and Sours! Thank you for your continued support, and we hope to see you soon!”

Random: The only information about this beer on the website is that it is a Kolsch.

The beer poured with a half a finger of pure white head. It dissipated quickly, but left some lacing on the glass. The body was a clear straw-yellow color with lots of carbonation visible. The nose started with some cracker malt and had a touch of grass and some green grapes. The taste was crisp. It had the same cracker malt that was apparent in the nose with a decent amount of grass. I didn’t pick up the green grape note. The body was light with lots of carbonation. It had a quick finish with malt. The beer was alright, but not a standout for me.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Graft Book Of Nomad: Island Of The Lost

It’s been a long time since I had a cider. They’re still all the rage and I was excited to see one with pineapple and coconut. I tend to be attracted to anything tropical flavored.

ABV: 6.9%

Style: Cider

Trivia: According to the cidery website, “After having no choice to eject from their aircraft, Nomad and Dog find themselves tangled in a mess of parachute cords caught on a tree.They are approached by The Divine: a ragtag group of past survivors who control he island. Alongside them is a chained creature…appearing to be half man and half lizard. An offer is made to the duo:challenge this ‘Lisko’ in the Pit of Trials or be sacrificed themselves. With little time to ponder, Nomad reluctantly chooses to battle…”

Random: Graft’s label art is so unique. I really like it.

The cider poured with no head whatsoever. The body was a hazy greenish-yellow color with a decent amount of carbonation visible. The nose was filled with pineapple and coconut. There was a tart smell as well that reminded me of white vinegar. The taste was a bit more balanced. There was a slight tartness with green apples at first, but it quickly transitioned into pineapple segments and coconut water too. The alcohol was muted and the body was on the lighter side, which went very well with the flavor. It had plenty of carbonation to make the cider crisp. It had a shockingly lengthy finish with pineapple and coconut. I really enjoyed this cider and would definitely have it again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

The Bruery Rice & Beans

I finished a really good book a few days ago about stories about the East German underbelly. It was about 250 pages and I finished it in a night. It’s called Stasiland and I highly recommend it.

ABV: 7%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the mybeerbuzz.blogspot.com website, “Here’s another new can coming from The Bruery in Placentia, CA. This is Rice & Beans and it will be a blonde ale brewed with rice, lactose, cinnamon, vanilla and Terra Mia coffee beans. The beer will roll in at 7.2%-ABV and you’re looking at the 16oz can.”

Random: I’ve been drinking a lot more espresso at home lately. I’m favoring the Intelligensia espresso.

The beer poured with a one finger, pure white head. It was rather thick and dissipated quickly. It didn’t leave much lacing on the glass. The body was clear and golden-yellow with moderate carbonation visible. The nose was filled with fresh cinnamon. There was some light coffee as well with a touch of vanilla, but cinnamon dominated. The flavor had a bit more balance, but not much. It was still filled with cinnamon, but had some lactose, along with the same light coffee note. I didn’t pick up a lot of rice either. The alcohol note was a bit strong for my taste, but the body was medium thickness. There was moderate carbonation. The finish went away within a few seconds and had the same cinnamon. This wasn’t my favorite take on a horchata and I wouldn’t rush back to have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Allagash River Trip

Although Allagash is one of the more established American craft breweries, they’re constantly putting out new beers to keep things fresh. Let’s see how one of their newer offerings is.

ABV: 4.8%

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A companion to backyards, backwoods, and balconies alike. River Trip is a low-ABV, Belgian-style table beer with hop-forward grapefruit and stone fruit notes. It’s brewed with local grains and spiced with coriander for an extra hint of citrus. Dry hopping with Comet and Azacca contributes to the mix of melon and grapefruit notes in the beer’s aroma. Good for any adventure.”

Random: I like that Allagash is putting more beers into cans. It lends itself well to camping and hiking.

The beer poured with a two finger, pure white head. It was quite thick. It took forever to dissipate, but only left moderate lacing on the glass. The body was cloudy and lemon-yellow in color. There were some floaties as well. The nose was fragrant and started with a floral note and quickly went into Belgian yeast. There was some white peppercorns and grapefruit as well. I didn’t pick up a huge amount of spice. The taste was more citrusy than the nose. I picked up lemon and grapefruit, both flesh and peel. There was some spice with white peppercorn and coriander. There was a slightly yeast note as well. The body was light with a lot of carbonation. It had a quick finish with citrusy. I thought this was an easy drinking beer that lends well to hot weather.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

The Bruery Apfelsap

It was almost 60 degrees today, which is unseasonably hot for this time of year. I miss the cold. I really don’t like warm weather. Maybe we’ll have one more cold snap.

ABV: 15.6%

Style: Wheatwine

Trivia: According to wikipedia.com, “An apple is a sweet, edible fruit produced by an apple tree (Malus domestica). Apple trees are cultivated worldwide and are the most widely grown species in the genus Malus. The tree originated in Central Asia, where its wild ancestor, Malus sieversii, is still found today. Apples have been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe and were brought to North America by European colonists. Apples have religious and mythological significance in many cultures, including Norse, Greek and European Christian tradition. Apple trees are large if grown from seed. Generally, apple cultivars are propagated by grafting onto rootstocks, which control the size of the resulting tree. There are more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples, resulting in a range of desired characteristics. Different cultivars are bred for various tastes and use, including cooking, eating raw and cider production. Trees and fruit are prone to a number of fungal, bacterial and pest problems, which can be controlled by a number of organic and non-organic means. In 2010, the fruit’s genome was sequenced as part of research on disease control and selective breeding in apple production. Worldwide production of apples in 2017 was 83.1 million tonnes, with China accounting for half of the total.”

Random: Val and I are going to Germany later this year and I’m very excited.

The beer poured with a two finger, thick, slightly off-white head. It dissipate slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was clear and mahogany with some carbonation visible. The nose had some apples and apple brandy with some brown sugar. There was an alcohol scent as well. The taste had a big note of apple brandy and apple juice. There was a caramel note with brown sugar and a touch of cinnamon as well. The alcohol note was a bit too strong for me and the body was on the thicker side with light carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with apple brandy. This wasn’t my favorite beer from The Bruery, but I’m glad I tried it.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

The Bruery White Chocolate With Cherries

Tonight’s beer is definitely another sipper from The Bruery. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 14.2%

Style: Wheatwine

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “If you closed your eyes in our barrel house, you might think our brewers have become chocolatiers. They dipped cherries into this limited edition of our bourbon barrel-aged wheatwine-style ale. Already rich and creamy with white chocolate flavors thanks to fresh vanilla beans, cacao nibs and extensive oak-aging, this treat for the senses has been enhanced with the addition of tart, sweet, juicy cherries.”

Random: I’ve never been a huge fan of white chocolate. It’s a bit too sweet for me.

The beer poured with a thick, two finger, cream-colored head. It dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was slight cloudy and dark brown in color. The nose was not as strong as I expected, although it definitely smelled like white chocolate and had a lot of sweetness. I did not get a lot of cherry, but there was vanilla as well. The taste was much stronger with lots of white chocolate and candied cherries. There was a sweet toffee note with vanilla as well. It had some oak and a hint of bourbon. There was a big alcohol note as well, but it wasn’t as overwhelming as the ABV would imply. The body was on the thicker side with moderate carbonation. It had a sticky, lengthy finish with white chocolate. This was another standout beer from The Bruery that I would certainly have again.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0

The Bruery Chocolate Rain

Tonight’s beer is one that tends to get a lot of hype. Let’s see if it’s deserving of all of the hype.

ABV: 19.6%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “If you aren’t already familiar with Chocolate Rain, it’s time to get to know her, because she’s about to become your best friend. Originally created as a single cask conditioned version of our Black Tuesday imperial stout for one of our release parties several years ago, Chocolate Rain has now taken on a life of her own. The base beer is a select few bourbon barrels of our imperial stout that can range anywhere from 16-21% in alcohol. Once those barrels are chosen, we spend an entire day slicing fresh vanilla beans to add to those barrels along with cacao nibs that are sourced by San Francisco based TCHO chocolatier. After a few months soaking up those rich, dessert-like flavors, the barrels are blended to taste and the result is one of the most decadent beers that we make. Rich in chocolate, vanilla, oak and bourbon, it truly puts the ‘imperial’ in imperial stout.”

Random: I’m not sure quite why we need to gender the stout in the description, but hey, whatever.

The beer poured with less than a finger of light brown head that dissipated quickly, with no lacing on the glass. There was a slight crown left on top of the dark brown, almost black body. The nose was strong with roasted malts, prunes, dark chocolate and lots of bourbon and oak. The taste was even bigger. It started with oak and bourbon and quickly went into dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla and smoke. It had a slight sweetness as well. The beer was hot, but didn’t indicate almost 20% ABV. There was moderate carbonation to it and it was super thick. The finish was lengthy with bourbon and roasted malts. I thought this beer was outstanding and glad I got to try it.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0

Cigar City Space Pope

This has been a really odd Winter, weather-wise. We’ve had basically no snow and the temperature has varied from 60 degrees to freezing cold. I just want it to be Spring already.

ABV: 7.2%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Is the Space Pope reptilian? That question remains to be answered but in the meantime we have his eponymous IPA to consider. Brewed with an astronomical amount of Mosaic, Citra, Hallertauer Blanc and (what else?) Galaxy hops that lend notes of passionfruit and melon to the clean flavors of base malt and a touch of crystal malt for depth of character. When your ecclesiastical jurisdiction encompasses the entire universe, only Cigar City Brewing’s Space Pope IPA will do!”

Random: After doing some research for this post, I found out that “space pope” is a reference to the tv show “Futurama.” I’ve seen a few episodes of the show, but never really got into it.

The beer poured with a large, three finger, pure white head. It dissipated at a moderate pace and left some lacing on the glass. The body of the beer was cloudy and bright orange. I couldn’t see any carbonation. The nose had some mango and papaya and then quickly went into some bready malt. The taste started with some tropical fruit, specifically the same mango and papaya and then went into a sweetness from the malt. The tropical fruit notes weren’t as crisp as I’m used to in most IPAs these days. The body was on the heavier side and carbonation was a bit light. It had a quick finish with the malt sweetness. This beer was fine, just not one that I would grab for again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Allagash Starling Wit

It’s been awhile since I had a witbier and Allagash certainly makes some outstanding ones, so let’s get started.

ABV: 8%

Style: Witbier

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Take flight with notes of ginger, citrus, and spice. This Belgian-style wheat beer is brewed with coriander, Curaçao orange peel, and Maine-grown ginger. Its flavor is full of tropical esters from our house yeast, while a generous grain bill lifts its ABV a bit higher than your average wheat beer.”

Random: We happened to be at the brewery for the can release of this, so I tried it at the brewery and then took a four-pack home.

The beer poured with a pillowy, three finger, white head. It took a long time to dissipate and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was cloudy and the color of lemon juice. There was some carbonation visible. The nose was fragrant and started with some lemon peel and flesh along with coriander and the expected Belgian yeast. I didn’t pick up the ginger in the nose, but it was the first flavor that I picked up in the taste. The flavor also had a generous dose of citrus with orange and lemon peels and had some warm spice at the end of the sip. There was a slight alcohol bite to the beer, but nothing overwhelming. The body was on the heavier side of the style, but had enough carbonation to cut through it. The finish had orange peel and ginger. I thought this was an outstanding beer and would certainly have it again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

The Bruery LXXV

Tonight’s selection comes to us from sunny California. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 8.2%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The Bruery is a boutique craft brewery located in Orange County, CA specializing in barrel aged and experimental ales. Founded as a small, friend & family run business in 2008, The Bruery takes its unique moniker from founder Patrick Rue’s family surname. Patrick picked up homebrewing as a hobby, later to become an obsession, as a distraction to the banality of law school. Soon he was winning numerous awards for his beers and driving his wife, Rachel, mad with the messes that he would leave on the kitchen stove. Upon finishing school, he took it upon himself to draw up a business plan rather than study for the California Bar exam – a risky endeavor that shows through still today in the creative, genre-tilting beers that The Bruery prides itself on. The Bruery is founded on the excitement that Patrick felt in those first years of homebrewing and we continue to strive for that same passion in every aspect of our business today. We never stop challenging ourselves to develop distinctive & imaginative beers, constantly pursuing improvement in all that we do. We brew dozens of original beers each year with our list of ingredients and inspirations growing perpetually. Our collection of oak barrels has also become a primary element of our brewery. Nearly half of our beer is aged in wine or spirit barrels bringing forth flavors reminiscent of the Belgian countryside or classic American distillers. We greatly value our customers as well as our employees at The Bruery and want to give them all an impassioned way to spend their time while sharing a beer worth talking about.”

Random: The local cat shelter is having a sale on cats since it is kitten season. I wish I could save them all, but we have enough cats.

The beer poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated instantly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy, bright yellow with no visible carbonation. The nose had some bright notes of white grape along with some apple juice. There was a touch of funk to this. The taste was bright with a floral note and white grape juice. There was a slight apple note that came through with some citrus. The alcohol did come through and was a little too strong for my liking. The body was medium thickness with a lot of carbonation. It had a quick finish with the floral note. This wasn’t my favorite beer, but I had no problem getting it down.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0