Archive for the 'Weyerbacher' category
I’m a pretty big fan of hybrid style beers. I mean, there’s a plethora of beer styles out there, and they’re different enough that it’s hard for them to become stale. However, it’s always fun to see hybrid styles out there, and in this case to see a different region’s take on a particular style. This particular beer is a Belgian take on a pale ale which is (I know people are going to disagree with this) a style that America has made mainstream. Belgian takes on any beer usually turn out interesting, and Weyerbacher generally makes great beers, so I’m psyched.
This beer pours a deep golden with some rosy tints to it. It’s quite clear, looking very lovely sitting under the light. The head here is dense and white, but generally very thin. In the nose, there is a ton of yeast here. Yeast, candi sugar, light malt – generally a good smelling beer, but nearly on par with a Belgian tripel style ale. In the mouth, this certainly is a Belgian. The yeast is predominant, tasting sweet and lively on the tongue. In addition, there is a light and lightly-sweet malt flavor, very little (but noticeable) hop, and some alcohol-y sweetness. And, let’s not forget some decent spice and fruit notes laying around in the back. Frankly, this is just barely a pale ale to me. It tastes more like a hybrid pale/tripel ale. That being said, I liked it. It’s tasty and refreshing, though it is a wee bit syrupy for a summer brew – but, hey, that just means the flavor sticks with you. In my opinion, Weyerbacher has nailed it again – tasty, tasty beer…
I just finished reading about Dan Weirback’s new hop growing venture today in the newest Beer Advocate magazine. Seems he and his wife have decided to circumvent the hop shortage and just grow their own. Sounds like it may be rather lucrative, well depending on their harvest. I pitched this idea to Ben and he seems to think we could make close to $200 if were able to use the 0.7 acres he owns. I’m pumped about being a hundredeir so look for our new sevenpack hop line on shelves soon…
I believe I may have bitten off more than I can chew this evening. My job requires me to get up quite early and I didn’t realize this beer weighs in at 13.6% abv until after I opened it, but alas, it’s open so looks like I’m gonna have to drink it. It is a “Belgian inspired Imperial Stout” and thus has all of the characterisics associated with this genre. It pours pitch black with a fluffy caramel-colored head. This beer comes with a very delicious smell. Mild, dark chocolate and roasted nuts take center stage and there are soft, coffee undertones. Nothing surprising to this point. But then there’s the taste…The taste is much sweeter than I’m used to. There is a pronounced fruitiness to the flavor, a combination of cherry and purple grapes. Their bitter sweetness wraps around the chocolate and roasted malt flavors and creates a complex taste that engulfs the tongue. The apparent alcohol content rises in the mouth and then travels through the nasal cavity and out the nose. The size of this beer creates a large mouthfeel that lasts until the next sip. I look forward to every Weyerbacher beer I drink. They don’t always blow me away but they have yet to disappoint (only exception was the Triple IPA). Despite its size this beer is surprisingly drinkable and as per the usual very tasty. I’ll probably take the advice of the label and buy at least one more to cellar in the hopes that it gets even better with age.
Apparently we here at SevenPack have “dunkel” on the brain. Ben is posting on the unique French Broad dunkel and here I am drinking a Weyerbacher “double” version. This beer has a lot to live up to ’cause I haven’t had a bad beer from this brewery. This bottle doesn’t have the same cartoonish label art as its counterparts. Instead it dons a hand with sledgehammer graphic and is quite tame. Let’s hope for my sake the beer’s taste doesn’t share the same characteristic.
This beer pours a deep hazy plummish color. The caramel head thins and forms a ring that clings to the glass. It should be noted that my beer is the same color as the one Ben is drinking. I have no idea how he described his beer so if his review is completely different than mine please disregard the last sentence. The aroma is of sweet licorice, with hints of orange and citrusy characteristics. It is quite a peculiar smell, one that doesn’t sound like it would fit well together, but in fact it is delightful. The flavor fills the mouth from the incisors to the premolars and then disappears. I’m not kidding, I feel a coating of flavor on the first part of the mouth and then a clean, crisp, light taste on the last 1/3. I can’t pin down a single sensation that attacks the tastebuds because it seems as if they change with each sip. Sometimes I experience banana, other times cherry, then orange, then lemon and spice. This is a very complex, full-bodied beer and yet it finishes very cleanly. I think this is a good representation of a dunkel with added “stuff” which in my book makes it a great “double dunkel.” It is truly a Slam Dunkel of a beer.
Frankly, Matt’s usually the big proponent of Weyerbacher here at SevenPack. Don’t get me wrong, I think these folks make good brews! However, it seems like Matt’s a little more prone to reach for these bottles than I am. So, perhaps it’s a little odd for me to be the first to get to the Muse. But, there are good reasons: 1) I’ve been really into farmhouse ales the last several months, so I’m anxious to try another Belgian take on one of these, and 2) It’s got an awesome billy goat wearing a jester hat on the front, and that’s hard to beat.
The Muse pours a surprisingly clear dark golden. Typically, a saison ale will be filtered, but I’ve found there is often some debris to be found. On the contrary, the Muse is as clear as can be and is quite effervescent with nearly no head. The aroma of this is slightly sour, but lacking in the citric bite that often appears in a saison aroma. Rather, the aroma is smooth and actually a little sweet, but still displays the trademark sourness that we’ve come to expect from this variety. At first taste, this beer displays a light sweetness on the tip of the tongue. However, this sweetness is quickly overtaken by a sharp sourness. This sourness builds to a peak at the middle of the mouth, and then drops off again towards the back of the mouth. Through the mouth, we consistently miss out on the citrus bite of most farmhouse ales. That is, until the very back of the mouth. Just as the beer is about to diminish down the back of the throat, we get a light dose of lemon. However, it’s more of a lemon zest, and less of a citrus bite. However, it does give us a nice fresh finishing note for the beer, and this light lemony flavor sticks around for quite a while. Basically, this beer has what it takes to be a saison ale, and it’d be hard to confuse it for anything else. However, it is much smoother than the average saison. It trades out the citrusy bite that is typical in these beers, and rather hides the lemon presence until the last moment. While this smoothness makes for what is, arguably, a generally more pleasant beer, the lack of bite might make this a bit less refreshing than other takes on the variety, which is a diversion from the original purpose of a saison ale. Regardless, it’s a win for Weyerbacher, and a tasty brew.
Matt - September 16, 2007
On the eve of my birthday I have been coaxed into drinking many beverages and hence I am compelled to review a few, well at least one. I had the Bell’s 8000 ale, but I didn’t write any notes at dinner so I don’t feel confident that I could accurately comment on the taste so I better stick with the brew that is currently in front of me. Lunz picked this one out and given that it is a Weyerbacher product I expect that I will find it quite delightful. So, without further a due here is what I think about the Imperial Pumpkin Ale.
It pours a deep amber, almost ruby color. It has a pronounced head that slowly dissipates, leaving a tiny ring at the meniscus of the liquid. The smell is heavy with pumpkin and cinnamon and nutmeg. This beer is like pumpkin pie without the bready pie crust. It reminds me of the Shipyard Pumpkin Ale. The cinnamon is the most noticeable flavor of this brew and much like the Shipyard I think it is very delicious. The spiciness burns a hair as it flows down the throat, but it is a good burn. The alcohol content is relatively nonexistent which makes this beer even more enjoyable. This is a specialty beer with a specific flavor and for that reason I guess I would classify it as a “flavored” or “fruit beer”, even though the latter is a tremendous stretch. It certainly has a taste specific only to pumpkin ales and one that is only found at this time of the year. This is an excellent fall beer and one of the best pumpkin ales I’ve ever had. I haven’t even gotten to the imperial part of it. It weighs in at a hefty 8.0% so enjoy with care. This has been another terrific beer from the Weyerbacher family.
The folks at Weyerbacher certainly have made quite a name for themselves in their small time in the North Carolina market. Well, at least amongst the Sevenpack drinkers, that is. This abbey style quadruple had tempted my fancy on several occasions, but I finally found the perfect time to try it out. I’m honestly not too sure of the difference(s) – except for the aging in an oak barrel – between this and the Blasphemy. I haven’t sampled the Blasphemy yet, so I can’t really compare the two on those levels.
The Quad pours a beautiful deep copper, almost caramel color. The head was plentiful, initially, but dissipated quickly. The beer comes in at a robust 11.8 abv – I expected the flavor to be much more sweet, and for the alcohol to be very present in each sip. The alcohol flavor was much less than I expected, and I think this is a good thing. The beer is not overwhelming, but allows for a smooth drinkability that, I think, is uncommon for quadruples. The beer is medium-bodied, and the mouthfeel reflects this. The taste is smooth and sweet throughout, with a nice bite at the end of it. The flavors of banana, candies, and fruit are present throughout the tasting. I think the bite is more reflective of the alcohol content than anything else – it’s not overwhelming by any means, but you can certainly tell it means business. Emily remarks that it has the complexity of a decent port without the heavy sweetness.
All in all, this is a very good variation of the quadruple. I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a good, all-around version of a little heavier Abbey style ale. I continue to be impressed by Weyerbacher’s exceptional brews – everyone I have had has been interesting and all-around pleasant. On a random side note, I would say that this label/marketing is much better than their other varietals, and perhaps that is why it caught my eye earlier than others.
It seems I stirred up a bit of controversy with my review of the Left Hand Oak-aged Imperial Stout so I’ll return to one of the styles I know a little more about. Seeing as how I have been on a Weyerbacher kick lately I’ll try my hand at describing my experience of their new oak-aged quadruple. They took their stunning interpretation of this classic belgian style and let it marinate for a while in some wodden barrels. Here this brew was left to mellow out and age to perfection. To tinker with an age-old style might be balsphemous, but the theory behind it lends the potential for it to be divine.
It sits a beautiful, murky, copper color in my Grottenbier chalice. The thin white head rests gently on the top of the beer and already I know I’m in for a treat. There is a nutty richness that is intertwined with citrus and hops that creates a mouth-watering aroma. I’m sensing a bit of mango, grapefruit; even some lemon and banana. This might lead one to believe that it is going to make your mouth pucker but such is not the case. The anise and raisin flavors race to the back of the mouth and the spice warms the body to the core. There seems to be a hint of liquorice and vanilla that rear its head just before the taste dissipates which gives this beer its body. A common theme emerging from my oak-aged experiences is that I am also tasting dark cherries. The 11.8% abv is noticable but is quite mellow given its size. This is a complex, well-balanced brew. As the aftertaste evolves it moves from the back to the front of the tongue and caramel becomes that dominating flavor. This beer is absolutely delicious and quite impressive for an American quadruple-style ale. It is enjoyable on all accounts and I urge you to give it a try.
The Weyerbacher varietals always seem to fly under the radar when I am in search of some new brews at our local beer stores. Every once and a while I’ll grab a bottle and think to myself, “Yeah, that might be good, I’ll give it a try.” But I never go in search for this brand. In the past I’ve had some very pleasurable experiences with Weyerbachers, sans the Eleven Triple, so I think it is time I give ‘em a little more notice. As if its genre, oak aged-barleywine, isn’t enough the Insanity has a very daunting label and unlike some of its brethren is quite eye-catching. It appeals to my aggressive subconscious and screams, “Drink this beer then tear a telephone book in half!” My hope is the bottle’s content is as bold the appearance.
The color is a hazy copper with sediment scattered about and creamy off-white head that expands at the end of the pour. The smell is pungent with alcohol, cherry and cinnamon. The taste is less sweet than the aroma and not nearly as crisp. The smell seems to bite the back of the nasal cavity while the taste seems to coat and cling to the tongue. The flavor grows in the mouth and the beer’s maltiness takes center stage. It is thick with bitter-sweet banana and vanilla characteristics. There is a mild hop presence that burns the back of the throat but the earthy undertones are no match for the malt. This is a complex beer, weighing in at 11%, and its size is very apparent. What impresses me the most about this beer is despite its alcohol content it isn’t abrasive nor does it have an overpowering alcoholic taste. In short it’s a well-balanced and delightful brew. Weyerbacher has impressed me yet again and thus I am adding them to my list of favorite breweries. My recommendation…Give this beer a shot, it’s worth every penny.
I’m not a huge fan of the darker beers because they tend to sit heavy in my stomach but at the same time some of them are unbelievably delicious so I have to give them a try; in moderation of course. The Heresy is an oak aged Imperial Stout that pours with a dark caramel head. It looks like used motor oil and is quite intimidating in the glass. It has a sweet alcoholic smell despite it’s modest abv. It is obviously a high gravity at 8%, but when compared to others with a significantly higher abv I didn’t think its alcoholic aroma would be so strong. The taste is a bit milder than the smell which is a welcome surprise. The roasted nut/chocolate backbone mixes well with the floral accents creating a well balanced brew. There is also a hint of vanilla and it has some whiskey-like qualities. The alcohol content does present itself toward the back of the mouth and rises into the nose but it is not so pronounced that it is offensive. I suggest drinking it between 64-68 degrees. I basically “cellared” this beer instead of putting it in the refrigerator and based on past experiences with other imperial stouts that were “chilled” I think I was able to enjoy more flavors at higher temperatures. This beer is very smooth and despite its “size” is quite refreshing. Plus it has a cool lightning bolt on the label, so it’s “announc[ing] its presence with authority.” I changed that quote a little but major kudos to anyone that knows where it came from. Overall I enjoyed the Heresy very much and highly recommend it.
As I pulled this out of my beer fridge I said, “Alright f-er, don’t let me down!” Ben asked me what I said and I replied, “If this doesn’t kick me in the nuts, nothing will.” And then he said, “If it doesn’t, I will.” I graciously declined his offer…After tasting it I wish he would have.
This is an unfiltered beer. Ben says it looks like the wet trub that is left sitting in the bottom of our carboy after we’ve transfer the liquid to our keg. The head is thick, white and frothy and clings to the side of the glass. The smell is very hoppy and makes me think this is going to be a very big beer. Before I continue I must note that I LOVE hoppy beers. But this is a lesson in being careful what you ask for. When I asked to be “kicked in the nuts” I wanted a beer that was big and strong but tastefully done. Instead I have stumbled across a beer that accosts the tastebuds and nasal cavity. Saying this is abrasive is an understatement. To be quite honest I don’t even know what this tastes like. There is a sweet malty backbone which is quickly snapped in half by a big hoppy monster that defecates on its corpse. Its is so piney/grassy/earthy that is is unenjoyable. The folks at Weyerbacher could learn a lot from Dogfish Head. The 120 Minute is proof that you can make a ridiculously bold beer and still do it with class. Weyerbacher decided to take a gang of hookers and substitute them for the Rockettes. Unless you are a masochist or a SERIOUS beer lover that must try every beer (like Ben and myself) do not bother.
This is a belgian-style witbier from the Weyerbacher Brewery in Easton, PA. This beer has a pale golden hue with very little head. It has the traditional metallic smell and aftertaste which is complemented by the crisp citrus flavor. The taste fills the mouth and is absolutely delightful. I am really enjoying this beer and will definitely buy it again.
Weyerbacher has just recently made its way down into North Cakalackly, this being the second variety sampled on this site. The “Hops Infusion” touted by Weyerbacher are apparent upon first sniff, but the maltiness of the brew is the first thing one notices when sipped. The sip evolves into a super-hopped, fruity taste, and rounds out nicely with a hint of bitterness. Overall its a different taste, one that I believe would grow on you as you sip.
This is another decent beer in the vein of American interpretations of the Belgian Tripel such as Victory Golden Monkey and the North Coast Pranqster. This is another great beer – it must be hard to make this wrong. It has a darkish golden hue, smells sweet and boozy, and tastes syrupy sweet with a mild taste of the alcohol. Overall, a bit stronger than the Pranqster and about on point with the Golden Monkey. I would consider this a great version of the American-Belgian Tripel, but probably not QUITE as great as the Pranqster.