Elevator Bleeding Buckeye Red Ale

This beer was one of the only local or craft offerings at a chain in Ohio called Roosters. It’s a local sports bar that is famous for their wings and the beer selection was the typical macro offerings that you would expect at a chain restaurant. The food there was good, if you’re in the mood for wings, and incredibly cheap. I got a dinner that filled me up for about $10. It’s difficult to find that here in Jersey.

bleedingbuckeye

ABV: 5.7%

Style: Extra Special/Strong Bitter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Head Brewer Vic is an Ohio State alum, and brewed this red ale for you to enjoy while tail-gating, watching the game with friends, or celebrating a victory. You’ll find BBR has a toasty, caramel taste, goes down smooth and has a lingering clean, finish.”

Random: The barstool at Roosters are incredibly uncomfortable.

This beer poured with a one finger, thick, off white head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, mahogany color with little visible carbonation. The nose was very nutty with a lot of toffee as well. It also had a mineral water note. The taste was filled with brown bread that had almonds in it. It had a slight brown sugar note along with mineral water and toffee. Caramel malt was plentiful as well. The body was thick with moderate carbonation. It had a quick and sweet finish. This beer was slightly too heavy for me to be a tailgating beer and the flavor was too sweet for me. I wouldn’t rush back to this beer again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Gritty McDuff’s Halloween Ale

For the first time in recent memory, I got out of work after 9 hours. Even though I had to do some work from home, it was definitely worth getting out early. Anyways, back to the fall beers…

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ABV: 6%

Style: Extra Special/Strong Bitter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Every fall marks the return of our legendary Extra Special Bitter for the season, Halloween Ale – the beer so good, it’s scary! From its humble beginnings in 1990 as a small-batch seasonal in our Portland Brew Pub, Halloween Ale has grown to be one of the year’s most anticipated beer releases. This robust brew has a deep amber color, a bold, malty palate and a well-rounded hop finish. The perfect beer for a crisp autumn day! Halloween Ale is available in ominous six-packs, and on draft at frightening establishments all over the terrifying state of Maine. Be afraid, be very afraid…of running out!”

Random: I’m not a big fan of the label of this brew.

This beer poured with a thick, two finger, cream-colored head that dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. the body was a clear, dark mahogany color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose had caramel malt and some gourd notes as well. The taste had caramel malt and a touch of mineral to it as well. Gourd came through as well. Toffee and tea came through as well. The body was on the thicker side with moderate carbonation. The finish was long with caramel malt and gourd. At $1.59 a bottle, this isn’t very expensive, but was a bit on the boring side. It’s nothing that I would search out for the fall.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Left Hand Sawtooth Ale Nitro

I finally finished season one of “Carnivale.” I still think that I’m going to watch season two in case it gets better, but I wasn’t a huge fan. I’ve now switched to “Big Love.” I watched season one and enjoyed it, so hopefully season two is as good. Anyways, I had this one yesterday and was excited to try one of the nitro offerings from Left Hand.

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ABV: 5.3%

Style: Extra Special/Strong Bitter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “On the first night of the 2011 Great American Beer Festival, Left Hand changed craft beer history forever with the introduction of Milk Stout Nitro in a bottle. Left Hand is both the first American and the first craft brewery to master the science of bottling a Nitrogen beer without a widget. Two years later, we expanded the bottled Nitro series with Sawtooth Nitro and Wake Up Dead Nitro. To our fortunate & delight, the beers have met overwhelming excitement and reception, as fans can now enjoy the draft experience of a Nitro beer from home!”

Random: This series is slightly more upbeat than “Carnivale,” and by slightly, I mean really.

This brew poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated slowly and left very little lacing on the pint glass. The body was a slightly cloudy burnt copper color with heavy carbonation visible throughout. The nose was mild with some caramel malt, vanilla and toffee. The taste was on the lighter side with caramel malts, nuttiness and some biscuit. There was a touch of hops at the end of the sip, but they were generally mild. The body was smooth and medium thickness with high carbonation. The finish was quick with caramel malt. The nitro version was very drinkable with decent flavor. I definitely enjoyed this one better than the regular version and would have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Gritty McDuff’s Christmas Ale

Well, it’s almost Christmas. I happen to love Christmas, especially now that I don’t have to work it. Let me tell you, after 10 years of being in EMS, it’s so nice to be out. The one thing that happens around Christmas is my anniversary. I’ve already been proactive and gotten a reservation at one of the best restaurants in New Jersey. So, that’s where I’ll be tomorrow. For tonight? Updating the blog while the wife makes me a snack downstairs. I don’t blame you for being jealous.

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ABV: 6.2%

Style: Extra Special/Strong Bitter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “If it looks like Ed just got merrier, you’re right. Every November heralds the return of our holiday seasonal, Christmas Ale – available on draft and in six-packs. Our Christmas Ale is a robust E.S.B. (Extra Special Bitter) full of holiday cheer. Christmas Ale has a lovely, dark red/amber color and a rich, full-bodied, malty taste with a slightly roasted undertone. We brew our Christmas Ale to an original gravity of 1064 (about 6.2% alcohol by volume) using only the finest English Pale and Crystal Malts, with a touch of Roasted Barley as well. A blend of Clusters, Styrian Goldings, Saaz and Yakima Goldings leaf hops round out this hearty brew. Gritty’s Christmas Ale has no additives, fruits or spices. It’s just a good honest ale, perfect for the season. And to top it all off, it’s already gift-wrapped! Happy Holidays!”

Random: I still have to shop for Santa gifts for the child. Quite different from last year.

This one poured with a half a finger white head that dissipated slowly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy brown color with light carbonation visible. The nose was a typical brown ale with caramel malt and nutty notes as well. The taste was a definite brown ale base with some cinnamon thrown in for good measure. Honestly, the taste was relatively boring. It was nutty and malty, not much else. The body was medium thickness with medium carbonation. The finish was quick, yet nutty. This was only an alright brew. I wouldn’t rush back to have this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Stoudt’s Scarlet Lady ESB

Katie picked up a six-pack of this one awhile ago. It’s been on my list to try, but I just hadn’t gotten to it. I’ve really started to enjoy ESBs, although I tend to find that the American ones are just lacking a little from their British counterparts. Hopefully this one changes my mind about it.

ABV: 5%

Style: Extra Special/Strong Bitter (ESB)

Trivia: According to wikipedia.com, “The Scarlet Lady is a 1928 American silent drama film, written by Bess Meredyth and directed by Alan Crosland.”

Random: I really don’t understand why people don’t stay in their houses or evacuate when told to. I was out in the storm last year and it was miserable. This one is worse. Why wouldn’t you just follow directions? I seriously detest stupid people.

This brew poured with a thick, one finger, cream-colored head that dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the pint glass. The body was a clear, mahogany color with lots of carbonation visible throughout. The nose was sweet and nutty malt with a touch of mineral as well. The taste was mineral up front, then some nutty malt with a hint of chestnut. It also had a little bit of bitterness at the end. My first complaint? The flavor was too subtle and could easily be dialed up. My second complaint? The body was way too thin and the carbonation was way too heavy for the thin body. The finish was long with a lot of mineral qualities. This was an alright brew, but nothing to write home about.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Left Hand Sawtooth Ale

As usual, I’m backed up on reviews. So, I figured while I was watching football this weekend, I could update the blog. Unfortunately, I don’t get the Philly game, so I’m relegated to watching the Eagles on gamecast and the Giants on TV. This was a beer that I picked up on a whim. I’ve seen it around, but I can honestly say that I didn’t even know what style this one was. So, onto the brew.

ABV: 5.3%

Style: Extra Special/Strong Bitter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “It’s all you’ll ever need. Sessionable. Unpretentious. Our original flagship. Proof that a beer can be both complex and balanced. Malty chewiness slowly transitioning over to herbal, earthy hops with a dry finish. Brewed to be enjoyed with friends and to stimulate serendipity.”

Random: So, basically my house has the whole division covered. My sister is a Giants fan, I’m an Eagles fan and Kate is a Cowboys fan. Football season is going to be fun.

This brew poured with a half a finger of cream-colored head that dissipated quickly and left a hint of lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy, burnt orange color with low visible carbonation throughout. The nose presented with some hops and caramel malt. Honestly, I got more hops than I expected. The taste was a lot of malt up front with some bitterness on the end. I got a bit of a mineral quality as well with a hint of smoke. The body was on the heavier side with moderate carbonation. The finish was quick with some bitterness. This brew was alright, but there are many better examples of the style. One thing that I did find interesting was that a brewery would make an ESB their flagship brew.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Duchy Originals Organic English Ale

As usual, I’m totally backed up on reviews. A lot of things have changed, especially with having a kid and the first day of school. I have 11 reviews left to write up, so here’s the first one.

ABV: 5%

Style: Extra Special/Strong Bitter

Trivia: From what I could find out, this is a beer from a collection of organic and sustainable products in England.

Random: This one is actually brewed by Wychwood and of course, Kate bought it for me. This furthers my theory that Kate only buys me British beer. Maybe she wants me to start talking with an accent?

This one poured with a half a finger of cream colored head that dissipated almost instantly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy caramel color with light visible carbonation throughout. The nose was definitely caramel malt dominant with a weird mineral quality coming through as well. The taste wasn’t what I expected at all. The caramel malt was still apparent, but I got some fruit as well like apples and raisins. Yes, raisins in an ESB. The mineral quality was present in the taste as well with some barley thrown in for good measure. The bitterness on this one was generally mild and overshadowed by the malt. I kept getting this weird bite to it as well that I couldn’t put my finger on. It was almost like a booze bite, but given the ABV, I know it wasn’t that. The beer was a medium thickness with moderate carbonation. The finish was quick and malty. This beer was just a little too odd for me. There are many better representations of the style. I wouldn’t have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Anderson Valley Boont ESB

Two hours before I have to leave for the hour-long drive to the airport. I’m happy that my sister will be coming home. The house is really quiet when it’s just me and the cat. But, Katie and Liz were over a lot during the week which was really nice. I went to lunch with Katie and Liz and Katie’s parents today for Mother’s Day. Liz was really cute. At one point, she was pretending to be a baby and looking at me and saying “mama.” Then, she wanted me to carry her out of the restaurant. I definitely didn’t think this would be how 2012 would go for me. So, onto the brew.

ABV: 6.8%

Style: Extra Special/Strong Bitter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We like to think Anderson Valley is an extra special place, so we created Boont ESB (or Extra Special Beer). Bigger than your typical ESB, this ale is an innovative take on the style. A four-time gold medal winner, Boont ESB is deep gold in color, with a spicy hop aroma. Like all of Anderson Valley’s beers, Boont ESB is wonderfully balanced—here a big, malty foundation is finished with a refreshingly bitter bite. Try it alone or with heavily spiced meals, like Mexican, Indian or Thai. As with all of our products, Boont ESB is never sterile filtered nor heat pasteurized.”

Random: Liz also asked me to play Barbies today. I am not a Barbie person…this is seriously Katie’s job.

The head poured a finger full of pure white head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy orange color with light carbonation. The brew looked a little more like a wheat beer to me than an ESB. The nose had a bit of malt and some orange notes as well. This definitely didn’t smell like a typical ESB to me. The taste had some bitter and grassy hops followed up with some biscuit and malty sweetness. The nose wasn’t my favorite of the style, but the taste was pretty good. The body was on the thicker side with low carbonation. The finish was relatively quick. This wasn’t the best ESB that I’ve ever had, but I’d have it again. Worth a shot.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Oxfordshire Marshmellow

Another day over. Work wasn’t that bad, which was nice for a change. There really wasn’t anything interesting to report. I spend a bit of my day discussing with my comrades at work how we would escape my office in the case of zombie apocalypse. We decided that we would barricade the door and climb to the room. This would not work in the case of the rare wall-climbing zombie. So, onto one of the last of the British beers in the fridge.

ABV: 4.7%

Style: Extra Special/Strong Bitter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The signature beer of the Oxfordshire Ales range. For a fuller flavour, Marshmellow is a classic real ale with contemporary, easy drinking qualities. Deep amber in colour Marshmellow is generously fruity, malty and quenches the thirst with a lingering bitterness.”

Random: I have never seen a zombie movie.

This brew poured with a half a finger of off white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body as a very hazy chestnut-brown with low carbonation. The nose had a bit of caramel and malt notes with this other odd smell that I’m not a huge fan of. On the taste, the malt was definitely the primary flavor with the caramel that was apparent in the nose. It was followed up with some mineral notes and a bit of hop bitterness at the end. The body of the brew is too watery with moderate carbonation. The brew finished with the mineral notes, but was relatively quick. After having a few different ESBs lately, this one was definitely the bottom of the barrel. I wouldn’t have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Wychwood Hobgoblin

Today was a pretty good day. I came home from work and I cooked dinner for Katie and her daughter. I made lemon chicken, brussels sprouts and rice. The chicken came out really well (saying that I completely made the dish and the sauce off the cuff, I’m pretty thrilled), as did the brussels sprouts. The rice was good, but I mean, rice is rice. They left a little while ago, so I threw on the tv and the MLB network has Spring Training baseball on. I’ve seriously been in withdrawal. The withdrawal is so bad that I’m really excited to watch the Giants and the Brewers, two teams that I really could care less about. So, here’s another British beer for me to enjoy while I watch.

ABV: 5.2%

Style: Extra Special/Strong Bitter

Trivia: According to wikipedia.com, “Wychwood Brewery is an English brewery founded by Paddy Glenny in 1983, and located in the town of Witney, Oxfordshire in the United Kingdom. It is owned by Refresh UK, a subsidiary of Marstons plc. The company’s flagship brand is Hobgoblin, a 5.2% abv ale, described by Wychwood as a ‘Ruby ale’.”

Random: Matt Cain is pitching for the Giants. I had him in fantasy baseball a year ago and he really put up some nice numbers for me.

This brew poured with a finger of off white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, mahogany color with a decent amount of active carbonation on it. The nose was towards the sweet side with a hint of fruit. On the taste, the first thing that hit me was the huge amount of nuttiness that came with this brew, along with the incredibly thin body and very low carbonation. I was surprised that the sweetness that was apparent in the nose just wasn’t there on the taste. But, that was the only thing I got, perhaps with a little bit of bitterness as well. The finish was pretty quick. I know that this gets great reviews, but it just didn’t do it for me. I wouldn’t have it again.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0