Vault Trial And Error #149 – Wassail

Since Vault is 15 minutes from my house, we end up there quite often. It’s been really crowded lately, but they have a new app where you can get in line before you get there. If you plan on going, I highly suggest it. This beer is one that is only brewed once as a pilot batch, as they do every Tuesday.

vaultwassail

ABV: 4.8%

Style: Dunkelweizen

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Come into Vault any Tuesday and you’ll find a new beer on tap as part of our experimental Trial & Error Series! The idea here is that we make a small amount (5-15 gal) of a special beer designed to test one or more specific ingredients. We typically do these types of experiments in the brewery, but once a week, we give you the chance to peek behind the curtain and give us your insight into the beer related decisions we make here every day. We’ll be experimenting with new styles, hops, yeast strains, adjuncts, etc. Try a glass for only $3 and fill out the attached card to let us know what you think.”

Random: Pardon the candle in the picture, but there wasn’t any way to ascertain the color without it.

The beer poured with less than a finger of pure white head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body appeared to be a very cloudy, brownish red color with no visible carbonation, but as mentioned every time that I go there, the lighting isn’t great. The nose had the expected holiday spices with brown sugar, cinnamon and ginger. It also had some banana and wheat. The taste had a lot of apple skins and juice, then I picked up some brown sugar, molasses, wheat and a maraschino cherry character. The spice was muted in the taste, but I still picked up cinnamon. It had a thick body with low carbonation. The finish was a moderate length and sweet from all of the fruit. I enjoyed the beer, but I could see it becoming cloying if I had more than one.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

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Vault 5-Cs IPA

I really like Vault in Yardley, Pennsylvania. It’s about 9 minutes from my house and they have some really nice beer. Their food is really good as well, although their menu is pretty limited. The only complaint that I have is service is hit or miss. This time, we had a really snarky server, so it was more towards miss. Let’s see how this IPA was.

5c

ABV: 6.4%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Brewed with five ‘c’ hops: cascade, centennial, citra, chinook and columbus. This beer has a huge citrus punch with a pleasant bitterness. Notes of tangerine, grapefruit, orange-creamsicle, guava, and tropical fruit.”

Random: One of my kittens is named Citra. The other one is Simcoe.

This was the other beer that I had at Vault. As was the case with the last beer, I had it as part of their $5 tankard fill special, so there won’t be a lot of comments on the color of the beer or the head. From what I could see, it had a half a finger of slightly off white head. It left limited lacing on the inside of the tankard. The nose was pungent with grapefruit and immediately went into strong, tropical fruit. I picked up pineapple, mango and passion fruit. There was citrus there too. The taste was just as complex. I picked up a lot of grapefruit flesh with oranges and then back to the tropical fruit notes. Mango and passion fruit were stronger than the pineapple on the taste. It was moderately bitter without being overwhelming. It had a thick body with high carbonation. The finish was lengthy with tropical fruit. This was a really enjoyable IPA, but in a field so saturated with them, it’s not the best I’ve ever had.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Vault Kolsch

Kolsch isn’t a style that I tend to gravitate towards. But, for some reason, I was really in the mood for one and Vault had theirs on tap. Let’s see how it was.

kolsch

ABV: 4.5%

Style: Kolsch

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our German ‘lagered’ ale. Clean and crisp with notes of white grape, fresh grain, white cracker, and a hint of tree fruit.”

Random: It’s been almost a year since I reviewed a kolsch.

Vault had an Oktoberfest event where you could buy a glass (or in this case, a tankard) for $10 and you got $5 fills for the rest of the day. I really liked the tankard, so I got one. As a result, there will not be a lot of commentary on the color or head of the beer. From what I could see from the top of the mug, it appeared to have a thick, white head that was about two fingers. It dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing. The nose was very clean with grass, grapes and saltine crackers. The taste was light and clean. It had the same grass, but also some white grape juice, cracker and a hint of sweetness at the end. It had a thinner body with high carbonation. It had a quick and clean finish with cracker. This was a really light beer, but had a lot of good flavor. It was really crushable and went well with the wurst platter that I got to eat. I would definitely have this again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Vault Sweet Potato Ale

I always like seeing different takes on Fall beers. This one uses sweet potatoes, which I absolutely love to eat. I had this one on draft, but from what I understand, it’s also available in cans. Let’s see how it was.

vaultsweet

ABV: 5%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Cinnamon aroma and flavor are predominant with nutmeg in the background. The sweet potatoes impart rich, caramelized sugar sweetness. Smooth and creamy like sweet potato pie.”

Random: Every year, the number of pumpkin beers that I have dwindles because I hate buying them in August and when Fall finally comes, they’re all sold out.

This beer had a thick, one finger, white head that took forever to dissipate, which wasn’t surprising since this beer was on nitro. It left lots of lacing on the glass as well. The body was an almost-clear orange color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose was filled with Fall spices. Specifically, I picked up cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. The taste was almost exactly the same as the nose. It had a lot of spice. The cinnamon and nutmeg stood out, but there was allspice as well. Then, vanilla came through with sweet potato and ended with honey sweetness. It had a thin, smooth body with light carbonation. The finish was sweet with cinnamon. I loved this beer. I had tried it once before in a sampler, but having a whole glass was so much more enjoyable. This is a nice alternative to all of the pumpkin beers that are out there. If you’re at Vault, make sure you try this one.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Vault Trial And Error #136 – Carolina Reaper Porter

One Tuesday, Val and I went to Vault for dinner. I had no idea that they had an experimental series every Tuesday that was so nicely priced ($3 a glass!). I think I’ll be making many more trips to Vault on Tuesdays.

reaper

ABV: 5%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Come into Vault any Tuesday and you’ll find a new beer on tap as part of our experimental Trial & Error Series! The idea here is that we make a small amount (5-15 gal) of a special beer designed to test one or more specific ingredients. We typically do these types of experiments in the brewery, but once a week, we give you the chance to peek behind the curtain and give us your insight into the beer related decisions we make here every day. We’ll be experimenting with new styles, hops, yeast strains, adjuncts, etc. Try a glass for only $3 and fill out the attached card to let us know what you think.”

Random: After some research, I found out that this is now the hottest pepper in the world and was originally bred in South Carolina. I guess that’s why they only used one in the keg.

This beer poured with less than half a finger of light brown head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown color with no visible carbonation. The nose had roasted malts, cocoa and dark chocolate. It didn’t have any hint that a chili pepper was in there. The taste started with roasted malts, cocoa, and a touch of smoke. Right at the end of the sip, the chili pepper came out and hit me in the back of the throat. At first, it was intense spice that was unexpected, especially since I had never heard of a reaper pepper. But, after it warmed, the spice became really pleasant and the flavors mixed well together. It had a thick body with moderate carbonation. The finish was lengthy with spice from the chili pepper and smoke. I really enjoyed this beer and I would love to see it at Vault again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Vault Sumatra Coffee Stout

This was the last beer that we had at Vault. Since we had the New Jersey Craft Beer card, we got a free order of smores. Although they were messy, I would recommend the peanut butter and dark chocolate ones. This was the beer that I got to pair with it.

IMG_2997

ABV: 5%

Style: American Stout

Trivia: According to wikipedia.com, “Coffees from Sumatra are known for smooth, sweet body that is balanced and intense. Depending on the region, or blend of regions, the flavors of the land and processing can be very pronounced. Notes of cocoa, tobacco, smoke, earth and cedar wood can show well in the cup. Occasionally, Sumatran coffees can show greater acidity, which balances the body. This acidity takes on tropical fruit notes and sometimes an impression of grapefruit or lime.”

Random: I have to go back to work tomorrow. I’m almost looking forward to it since I worked so much from home.

I ordered this beer because I wanted a beer to pair with dessert and this was their offering on nitro. It poured with a three finger, thick tan head that dissipated very slowly. It left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was dark brown in color, but I could not see any carbonation due to the dark color. The nose was all coffee, like sticking your nose in a coffee pot. There was some smoke as well. The taste was filled with roasted malts and strong drip coffee. There wasn’t any chocolate, but just intense dark coffee. Smoke came through at the end. It had a very thin body with moderate carbonation. It had a long finish with coffee. This beer was only alright and I wouldn’t have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Vault Dunkelweizen

There were only a few beers on their list that I thought the other half had a shot of liking. This happened to be one of them. After a few sips, she didn’t really like it. But, she let me take a few sips of it for review purposes. Let’s see how it was.

IMG_2996

ABV: 4.6%

Style: Dunkelweizen

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Vault Brewing Company is like no brewery or brewpub you’ve ever experienced. We are located in the quaint town of Yardley in Bucks County, Pennsylvania but provide an atmosphere more akin to the speakeasies of Philadelphia. We do not consider ourselves a bar, a pub, or even a traditional brewery. Our goal is to re-envision the concept of a brewpub and create an experience that is truly unique.”

Random: The other half ordered the pork belly bahn mi that she wasn’t a huge fan of.

This beer poured with a thick, one finger tan head that was slow to dissipate. It left some lacing on the weizen glass. The body was a cloudy, dark brown color. I couldn’t see any carbonation in the beer since the brewery was so dark. I assume there was some there. The nose was very…different for the style. I picked up dark fruit and cherries and light banana. The taste was equally peculiar. There was an odd tartness at first, then raisin. Yeast came through, but I got almost no banana and no spice. It had an overly thin body with light carbonation. The finish was long with dark fruit. This wasn’t an enjoyable beer for me at all and I wouldn’t have it again.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0