Archive for the 'Red Ale' category
We’re way behind on our BMOC reviews. To be quite honest we’re way behind all of our reviews. Earlier in the year Ben had anticipated reaching 1000 posts around June/July. At this rate we’ll get there somewhere in 2013. That being said I’ll take one step closer to our goal and begin with this irish style red ale, again from BMOC. Turns out this is their Spring seasonal brewed just in time for St Patty’s day. It should be noted that on the Harpoon website this is listed as the Celtic Ale, not the Hibernian. Not that it matters, but it’s something I want to point out since I’ve labeled it as such.
It pours a clean copper with little head retention. The aroma is subtly sweet. I’m really having to inhale forcefully to sustain this smell but it can be done with effort. It (the smell) certainly has a more “pronounced” maltiness as compared to the hop characteristic which shows up at the very end of the breath. The taste isn’t amazing but it is well balanced and clean. It’s less “bready” than the sweet smell would suggest, instead it has more of a roasted flavor. This morphs into a slight bitterness that is then enhanced by some floral undertones. The aftertaste is composed of residual earthiness with a semi-thick mouthfeel. I like the body of this beer, it’s round enough to give the beer some personality but thin enough to make it very drinkable.
Hey guys. I know we don’t usually review brew pubs in these parts, but I went to an exceptionally good one tonight, and it’s my blog, so I figured I could break the rules a bit. So, I’m in Detroit this week for a bit of work-related hassle. I’m bound to foot travel for the week, and it just so happens that the Detroit Beer Company is just a few blocks down the road. Now, usually, brewpubs like this tend to have maybe one or two beers that are up to snuff and mildly impressive. The rest are generally passable, but lackluster when compared to the more refined or adventurous brews of larger American craft brewers. Detroit Beer Company, however, seems to have bucked the tradition. First of all, it’s a great atmosphere – this is an older building in downtown Detroit that is narrow and deep and has obviously been around for a few decades. Besides the requisite giant copper fermenters behind the bar, there is a myriad of flat screen TVs on which to meet all your sporting needs (Comerica Stadium is about a block away). They also have a tasty and fairly adventurous food menu. Now, the beers. I sampled three of what they had to offer. I started with a seasonal wheat offering they had on tap that I felt to be exceptional by brewpub standards. It was light and sweet with a medium citrus punch and little of the metallic aftertaste that often plagues smaller batches of this variety. It was extremely refreshing and, to be honest, I wanted to drink another. However, by this point, a rabid Tigers fan had sat down beside me – he happened to be a member of the ‘mug club’ – and informed me that the Detroit Dwarf is ‘the s***’. So, obviously, I needed to try the Dwarf. This brew amounted to a malty red ale with an extra dose of hop to give it a rather pronounced floral note. This brew could be compared to the Oskar Blues Gordon, albeit a bit weaker. However, at 6.8% abv, it’s still nothing to sneeze at. Finally, I finished off with their house IPA which, for a standard IPA, is pretty ballsy. It rings in at 6.4% abv, is cloudy and aromatic, and tastes very bitter and exceptionally fresh and floral – frankly, one of the better brewpub IPAs I’ve ever tasted. In closing, this place was a great place to stumble upon. My buddy convinced me that I might as well buy a $5 ticket to the Tigers game tomorrow night, he convinced me to try the Dwarf (I would’ve anyway), and I had some great Spaetzl and beer. Be sure to stop by here if ever in the bowels of the Motor City.
This beer was released a couple of months ago and once again I was at it’s introduction party. Unfortunately, either my schedule had been hectic or I was in the mood for a different styling of beer, this beer purchased at the party had languished in my beer fridge, yearning to be opened. On July Fourth however, the stars aligned and I finally sat down to drink and review this brew.
Poured into a pint glass the beer is a clear, stark amber with a white head made of lots of small bubbles. The carbonation of the beer is a constant stream of bubbles coursing through the body of the beverage. This carbonation released the beer’s aroma of bread to my awaiting nose. With some slight warming the notes of bread became more pronounced but so did the beer’s aromas of grain and rye, which were hidden originally.
In the mouth the beer had a light to medium mouthfeel with a caramel sweetness which grew to encompass the whole entire mouth. Though this sounds overwhelming it was not. It was a light sweetness through out and was well balanced with the taste of bread. The rye comes in at the end of the taste with a light spice ending. This spice lent the end of the beer a dry finish, which I found very refreshing.
I am not a big red ale drinker (I’m not able to think of the last red ale I had) so with my depth in the red ale field lacking, I’m unsure how this beer stacks up to others. That said however, I did enjoy this beer. I found it quite refreshing and easy to drink. The intermingling tastes are present, but subdued, which I find to be the case in many of Harpoon’s offerings. This beer actually comes close to being a pretty good session beer, but the 6.5 ABV pushes the beer out of that designation, in my opinion. A nice 100 barrel series.