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Monthly Archives: September 2011
Now this is how a Scotch Ale should look, smell, and taste!
Hoppin’ Frog Outta Kilter Wee Heavy Scotch Red Ale (could that be a longer name?) pours an alluring mahogany and the nose is straight up boozy.
That is rather pronounced in the flavor, as well, and there is no attempt to mask the 8.2% ABV. Sweet malt, caramel, vanilla, and whiskey come through. Not much hops character at all, just like this style should be.
I really like what Hoppin’ Frog has done here. Big flavors, true to the style, a very high quality beer. I have had four beers from Hoppin’ Frog, and all have been very good to great.
Fantastic news for Midwest beer fans, Great Lakes Brewing Company has announced they will be tapping the exquisite Christmas Ale in October! They’ll even start selling growlers and 6 packs starting October 31st.
There is no beer I look more forward to than Christmas Ale. It’s one you need to stock up on when/if you can find it.
The first thing that strikes me about New Holland Ichabod Pumpkin Ale is, well, pumpkin. It’s the most pumpkin-forward beer I’ve had this season. A clingy white head floats on top of a gorgeous copper body.
While the aroma is nearly all pumpkin, there are some pumpkin pie spices in the flavor with cinnamon and nutmeg. Smooth and refreshing, the flavors are more subdued than most other pumpkin beers, but it’s very tasty.
Quite earthy with a medium to light body.
Killer label, too.
I’d say it’s good, but doesn’t quite come up to Pumking.
Another beer that is impossible to pass up based on name alone, Intercourse Brewing’s Blue Ball Porter. While they’ll have you believe the brewing is in Intercourse, PA, it looks like it’s actually in Wilkes-Barre. But the fun they have with the name makes that a forgivable act of deception.
Blue Ball Porter starts like you want a porter to. Thick, dark, and a big dark head. More toffee and chocolate in the nose rather than roast, bit of alcohol, too. The first sip sets this porter apart and gives you the reason for the clever name; blueberries. Lots of blueberries at first. It’s a little watery for a porter, but a bold finish with lots of roast, even some char.
Just a tad over 5% ABV, so it’s not going to destroy you, either.
Not my favorite porter, but I’m kind of liking it. Props for doing something different!
There is a single reason I am trying Kronenbourg 1664. Motorhead. Here’s the commercial Kronenbourg had Motorhead do with a slowed down, acoustic version of Ace of Spades, one of the greatest metal songs.
The beer itself starts off like you would expect from a French lager. Pale gold color, fluffy white head, just a hint of skunk familiar with green-bottled European lagers that you get here. The taste, however, is a bit surprising. There’s still that light sweet grain, but there’s some honey and a little bit of spice, too. Just a touch of clove, maybe. The mouth feel is fuller than similar beers. Really good lacing, too. I’m surprised I like this as much as I do. This would work well after mowing the lawn on a hot July day. Worth a try if you want something light, refreshing, and with at least a modicum more character than anything with “light” in the name.
P.S. Here is the full version of the slowed down Ace of Spades. Give me the original every time.
How could I resist a beer called Monk’s Blood? This offering from 21st Amendment is also canned. More on that later.
Not red like you might imagine, but more of the brown of a Monk’s Robe, keeping with the Abbey style. While the nose is nothing but sour, it would be nearly impossible to pick out all the subtleties. Cinnamon, vanilla, wood, caramel sweetness, clove spice, sweet malt. There is some sourness at first and at the very finish, but not as much as the smell would have you expect. A ton going on with this one, and at 8.3% ABV, by the time you figure it all out, you won’t be able to figure anything!
The can throws me, though. I took the first couple of drinks in the can and it just didn’t feel right! Too much of the metal taste, as well.
Give it a try and hold on!
Dark Horse Brewing’s Reserve Special Black Ale. It is indeed black with a creamy dark tan head. Lots of roast and toffee in the nose. Kind of smells like a Heath Bar. Wrapped in bacon.
Big, bold flavors in the first sip. Dark, bitter chocolate, smoked meat, roasted coffee. Late hop bite, too.
I really dig on this one! 7.5% ABV doesn’t hurt, either. As they mention on the site, it’s not quite a porter, not quite a stout, but golly is it good!
An English classic, Samuel Smith’s has been brewing since the 1750s, and the Taddy Porter is certainly one of their standouts.
Pitch black color with mahogany edges, the aroma is full of dark fruits and chocolate. Smooth and creamy, the same characteristics follow to the flavor. It’s got a bit more kick than most porters, but it really works. The finish is chalky and woody, and a bit of the well water used comes through. There is a roasted brown sugar flavor in there, too.
Definitely in the top tier of porters
A beer called Hairy Eyeball would have to be brown, wouldn’t it?
With a big head, this brew from Lagunitas is a deep brown with copper edges. The nose is very malty with dark fruit and some hot alcohol.
Big and malty like a Trappist quad, there are a ton of complex flavors going on here. Sweet malt, dark fruit, butterscotch, and a dry finish that presents some hop character.
Very smooth and creamy, this is an outstanding beer, and the best I’ve had from Lagunitas.
Hazed as in unfiltered and infused as in dry hopped, Boulder Beer Hazed and Infused is a curious brew. Tons of hops, little alcohol.
The cloudy copper and frothy head are inviting, and floral and citrus hops let you know very early it’s an IPA. The caramel malt is a nice touch so that there is some substance other than hops.
Surprisingly smooth and drinkable for the style and the amount of hop kick. Outstanding lacing. Extremely dry finish.
Overall, I think it’s fine. There’s nothing here that makes me want this instead of any other IPA.