Archive for the 'Oskar Blues' category
I hope for your sake that you have distribution in your area for Oskar Blues’ phenomenal canned beers. Their Dale’s Pale Ale and Old Chub really set the bar for what canned beer can be. The only problem is that both of these beers are pretty strong (Don’t even get me started on the Gordon or Ten Fidy)! So, assuming you want to take some canned beers to your BBQ or the beach, then you gotta take it pretty slow with this stuff. So, I’m glad to see the Yella finally showing up in cans over here. I tasted this stuff during a trip to Longmont, CO and found it enjoyable. It is crisp, refreshing, and much lower in alcohol, thus making it the prime canned beer for my upcoming summer season.
The Yella pours a crystal clear medium yellow (yella) color with a fairly course white head that flares up and then dissipates into a thin coating, but leaves substantial spiderwebbing down the sides of the glass. In the nose, this stuff smells super rich for a pilsner. It is sharp & grainy, but has some very rich, sweet tones that you won’t normally find in a pilsner. In the mouth, this stuff is very unique in the land of Pilsners, as well. The first thing you notice is a sharp light sweetness on the tip of the tongue, coupled with that typical pilsner grainy flavor that you’re accustomed to. However, as the beer progresses down the tongue, a blast of rich sweetness comes into play. There are big hints of caramel and butter here, making this almost desert-like for a few seconds. As the beer heads on down the throat, the hop plays a slightly larger role, leaving an aftertaste that is equal parts bitter and sweet, but sticks around for quite some time. Also, the mouthfeel here is pretty large – coating the tongue and mouth with tasty goodness. I won’t lie to you, this is NOT as refreshing as most pilsners. But, it is a much better beer in terms of flavor and aspirations. This may not see a lot of play with me as a beach beer, but you better believe I’ll be drinking this at my next grilling session. In fact, I inaugurated my bocce season with a six-pack of these and a patch of grass, and that worked out just perfectly…
I can’t lie to you, folks. This stop marked the third brewery in a single afternoon, so things perhaps were a bit hazier. However, I was fortunate that Oskar Blues is both an excellent brewery and a decent little restaurant. So, to cap off the big day of the Colorado Beer Tour, I settled down to a nice meal in the shadow of the Flatiron mountains here at the Oskar Blues brewpub.
As you may know, Oskar Blues is a bit famous for being one of the first breweries to can some excellent brews. I won’t go into the benefits of canning – that’s for someone else – but suffice it to say that it’s a great way to store and ship beers, PLUS you can take them on most beaches. So I, for one, am super happy that Oskar Blues is helping to bring this trend into vogue.
I began my descent into Oskar Blues by jumping on a one-way road going the wrong direction (I swear it was the GPS and not the beer). At any rate, the parking lot was fortunately an immediate right turn off this road, so after a couple of oncoming honks, I turned into the lot and set my parking break.
The feel of Oskar Blues is decidedly ‘bluesy’, with a sort of bayou blues feel that wouldn’t be out of place in Louisiana. The atmosphere is colorful, full of weird trinkets and blues paraphernalia, and is generally staffed by young girls that are too young to drink their beer. That being said, my waitress knew a decent amount about the brews for a 19-year old. Whatever this circumstance reflects is up for debate.
Since there isn’t a concrete ‘tasting’ possibility here at Oskar Blues, the waitress was kind enough to bring me a small taster of each beer that I had never tasted, while I enjoyed a couple of pints of my faves. Here’s what I had:
Yella Pils: This is a traditional Pilsner, put on the menu to please those patrons less-inclined to the typical big OB beers. It’s really pretty decent. Light, with that pilsner hop taste. Light and refreshing, but with some buttery hints.
Leroy Brown Ale: A fairly big brown ale – like a Newcastle in some respects, but a bit less malty with just a tad more hop profile. Not really a standout, but pretty tasty.
Smoke on the Water Winter Ale: Another winter ale – seems like everyone is doing these right now. Wonder why? Anyway, a bit spicy with rich dark malt and some smoky campfire undertones. Again, pretty good, but not blowing me away.
Wet-hopped Dale’s Pale Ale: This is the last and most expensive beer I tried here. It’s just the typical Dale’s Pale Ale, but given a wet-hopping treatment. This was a big one – the normal Dale’s is pretty big, and this one was just a bit bigger, with a delicious sticky floral nose. $7/pint is a lot at the brewery, but certainly worth it for the taste.
So, the beers were pretty good, but I definitely feel that they’re currently canning the best of their offerings. It seems like they are catering down to more typical restaurant clientele with their pilsner and brown ale options, which is no big surprise. On top of the decent beer offerings, the food here is also quite good, with an impressive menu of typical mountain fare and cajun inspired food.
This one was, honestly, a BIT of a letdown when it comes to beer. I love the canned stuff from these guys, due to it’s sheer flavor and size. At the actual brewery, flavors are generally on a smaller scale. However, if you happen to be around Lyons, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better restaurant that also serves decent beer brewed in-house. And, to add to the experience, Lyons is a lovely little town surrounded by jaw-dropping views of the mountains at sunset, and that’s hard to put a price on.
Ten Fidy is one of the beers I wanted to review for Beer Can Week, because if there is a craft brewer who does canned beer right, it would be Oskar Blues. Unfortunately the Beer Can Week and Ten Fidy timing did not work out but I was able to procure the beer this past Monday. Now I hold lofty expectations for Oskar Blues products (Dale’s Pale Ale is definitely in my top five of “go to beers”) so lets see how Ten Fidy stacks up.
First, the opening of the can is eerily silent. Typically a carbonated canned beverage has a sound of “pffsst” when opened, but not the Ten Fidy. The only sound is the crack of the aluminum pull-tab and nothing more. The pour of the beer is best described as “oil like”, with its dark black color and thick viscosity. Due to the lack of carbonation release when opening the beer, I poured the beer hard into a snifter glass, which helped create a nice big three fingers of small bubbled, rocky mocha colored head.
In the nose the beer had a good hit of dark chocolate with a slight roastiness to it. I also smelled slight hints of dark fruit mixed in with some alcohol undertones. The first thing I noticed about this beer, as it hit my tongue, was its smoothness. Smooth and quite robust for the mouth feel. The taste is a continuation of the aroma with a very nice chocolate mid-section, and a finish of bitter and roasted chocolate. Though the beer did not leave a heavy caramel colored coating on the glass, as some other imperial stouts, it left some excellent stickage, which created a modern piece of art as the beer was consumed.
This is not just a great canned beer, it is a great beer period.
For those of you who don’t know, Oskar Blues is notorious for the fact that they serve all of their beer in cans. This may not seems strange to those of you who generally drink Anheuser-Busch products. However, for those of you who are into the finer beers in life, this seems a bit strange. But, think about it, what is the best way to keep a beer airtight and away from light that can spoil the beer? That’s right folks, it’s a can. Plus, cans are great at barbeques and allowed on most beaches. Good thinking, Oskar Blues.
This beer, as far as I know, isn’t available in North Carolina. I managed to pick it up during a recent trip to Seattle. I am a ginormous fan of Oskar Blues beers, insomuch as I can find them, so I made a point to grab this up as soon as I spotted it. And, I expected a very big beer, judging from the $4.30/can pricetag, the 8.7% abv, and the description “Big, Red, Sticky”. Gordon doesn’t dissapoint.
The first thing you notice about this beer is its delectable aroma. The hops jump out in all their floral glory. There is a bit of malt here, but the hops just jump out of the can and attack the nose (in a goodway). The pour of this is a dark red, as expected from the description. It is slightly cloudy, but overall fairly clear. In the mouth, this beer is very hop-forward. Again, you can detect a bit of malt here, giving the beer just a slight sweetbread flavor. However, the hops are the big story and exist from the front of the mouth all the way to the aftertaste. These are apparently American hops – probably from the northwest – as is evident from the great floral characteristics and less-metallic bitterness. It makes for a big, fresh-tasting beer that I would rank up there with some of the best hoppy ambers out there. This could even pass for an IPA in a pinch. All-in-all, this is a great beer, and one I’d love to drink over and over were it not for the big pricetag.
Another CANNED BEER. It’s quite a gimmick these folks at Oskar Blues Brewery have, but it seems to work. After all, you can’t take glass onto a lot of beaches, and there is a certain charm to drinking out of a can when you’re tailgating or BBQ’ing in the backyard. These folks seem to understand that, and they give you a damn fine beer to do it with. The pour of the Old Chub is motor-oil dark with a fairly transient caramel head. The aroma smells strongly of dark chocolate and caramel. In the mouth, this beer is extremely flavorful. The flavor is sweet and malty and seems to be in the vein of the Scottish ‘wee-heavy’ style. There are tons of caramel and dark malts in this beer. Light hints of coffee mingle with sweet dark chocolate that is especially prevalent at the back of the mouth. A great beer, and fairly strong at 8% abv. I can’t say whether this is better or worse than the Dale’s Pale Ale, because they are both so different. But, I can say without reserve that both Dale’s Pale and Old Chub are the best canned beers I’ve ever had the pleasure to enjoy. Too bad that neither of these beers are priced like can beer. At about $8 per 6-pack, they can put a dent in the wallet. But, in my opinion, it’s money well spent.
It’s a CANNED BEER. Previously, I thought that a Tecate was probably the highest quality canned brew that you could find. But, the Oskar Blues Brewery out of Lyons, Colorado has certainly proven me wrong. I have heard the buzz about these canned beers for some time, but they only just arrived in the old North state. This beer pours a very dark amber, and is really darker than I ever expect from a pale ale. The aroma is heavy and meaty – again, a little more intense than a normal pale ale. Perhaps similar to a Sierra Nevada, only with bigger balls. Then, there’s the taste – this is a really, really good beer. Upon entering the mouth, the flavor literally overtakes the palate. It is pale and bitter at the front, but simultaneously malty and sweet at the back corners of the mouth. There is a full mouthfeel with not-too-much carbonation. Down the throat, the flavor continues to develop and wash over the tastebuds for a very invigorating drink. I would say this is one of the better and more robust pale ales that I have had the pleasure of drinking, and certainly the best beer I have ever tasted from a can.