Archive for the 'English Ale' category
Gotta love Beer of the Month Club time! Honestly, we found ourselves a bit underwhelmed by this shipment, perhaps just due to the fact that only one of the beers this month could be considered ‘dark’. While this may be a little strange for a Christmas shipment, I don’t suppose we should complain – it’s still a diverse package, and we’ve gotten our fair share of dark brews the past few months. At any rate, the first from the pack is this Sand Creek brew that was reviewed previously. So, you’ll find us being lazy on this one – see the original review below…
OK I’ve got to review this because it has been sitting my beer fridge since August and I am never terribly motivated to drink it. I bought this in Wisconsin because we don’t get Sand Creek brews here in NC, but for no other reason than that. Thus this will most likely be a short review.
It has a dusky brown color and very little head. It smells nuty and bready. Actually it smells pretty good. This beer follows the Allagash Fluxus which was extremely complex and spicy and I am liking the deep mellowness of this brew right now. The malty taste is sweet with a smokey undertone. It’s as if someone roasted peanuts then sprinkled them with a touch of brown sugar. Not overly sweet; just the right amount of deliciousness. The smokiness hangs around to create an aftertaste that is light but noticeable. I am actually very surprised that I am enjoying this as much as I am and sad that I haven’t reached for it earlier. It’s a flavorful, drinkable brew that is gentle on the palate. I will certainly buy more next time I am in the great state of Wisconsin.
Third up this month from the folks at the Beer of the Month Club is an ale from Lake Placid craft brewery. While I have heard of this brewery, I’ve never come before one of their beers before, so I’m rather excited to try it. Frankly, I don’t even know the reputation of these guys, but they seem like a fun operation. They named this beer after a dog, and the label art involves a lawn chair sitting in front of a lovely mountain scene – seems like my kinda brew.
The Ubu pours what is, I think, an exceptionally lovely hue. It’s a dark brown that is only mildly translucent and shows hints of ruby where the light hits it. There is, at first, a lighty caramel head, but that slowly disappears, leaving nothing at all. The aroma of this ale is complex and rich. There is a ton of caramel here with some hints of nut and dark malt – quite decadent, indeed. In the mouth, this is surely the gem of this month’s shipment. The beer starts light and flitting on the tip of the tongue with just the lightest candy sweetness. This continues down the tongue, making the beer seem deceptively crisp and light. However, towards the back of the tongue, a pronounced richness rears its head – the flavor is rich with caramel, some horehound bitterness, and a lot of nut. These rich flavors stick around and last well into several seconds through the aftertaste. The mouthfeel during this entire endeavor is fairly uniform and light throughout the mouth. Frankly, this beer surprises me. It has lots of character and a unique trip through the mouth. I would highly recommend this to most any beer drinker – there’s lots to like here.
TASTY! This is a delightful beer. It has an exceedingly high abv of 11.x%. Along with this we get a strong raisin-y scent that translates into a similar taste. Flavors of raisin and date, strong sweetness, and a syrupy alcohol delight. I love it, although I won’t be able to afford very often at about $5 per 8.5 ounces
This is blatant mis-representation. This is certainly not an English ale. Rather, this is a dark ale with substantial hints of anise with a bit of dark fruit. There is a very slight, but cheap, sweetness. This tastes hurried and not entirely pleasant to me. I wouldn’t likely drink this again
If it hadn’t been for Matt’s profound realization that this tastes like saltines, I could’ve maybe written a decent review. After hearing that, though, it’s hard to be any more precise. Basically, it has a full mouthfeel with a slight bitterness, a malty richness, and that damn saltine aftertaste down the throat. Pretty good, really
This oak-aged English ale is packaged in a very intimidating fashion: black bottle, red foil wrapped around the cap and what appears to be a dark angel wielding a sword on the label. That, coupled with the fact that the Samael’s is part of Avery’s “Demons of Ale Series”, suggests this is a big scary beer. I guess I should also note the abv at 14.5% which all but confirms these allegations. It pours with a deep ruby hue and a frothy white head that sticks of the side of the glass. The nostrils are privy to the sweet smells of caramel and the high alcohol content. Initially there is a spiciness that attacks the tongue and rise in to the nasal cavity. Then the taste mellows out in the back of the throat and coats it with a rich combination of vanilla and caramel. This is an unbelievably complex ale and one that I am having a great time drinking. The only beer to date hat has tricked my palate more than the Samael’s is the Flying Dog Wild Dog Weizenbock. I highly recommend this brew but caution that it is not for the faint of heart or someone that hastingly finishes their beers. It is best enjoyed slowly to experience all that this beer has to offer. And, at $7.99 per 12oz bottle this isn’t one that you pound because it would be a complete waste of money.
The good news is that this beer tastes a lot better than it smells. The smell on the initial pour can slap you in the face. It is a sour, unpleasant smell – much like the trub (or fermentation residue) from a batch of homebrew. This makes sense, as this beer is bottle fermented. The color, on the other hand, is beautiful. It is a bright ruby/amber color that is a pleasure to look at. The taste is rather nice. It is a rich English bitter with a slight carbonation burn and a lasting bitterness that hits at the back of the mouth and sticks through to the aftertaste. For any fan of “real” English ales, this will be a treat. It isn’t sweet or terribly unique. But, it is a solid and consistent traditional English Ale.
This beer took me by surprise. In a day where a lot of beers are moving to more unique or exotic flavors and styles, and half of the American beers are going “Imperial” to hype up the trademark varietal flavor, this beer stands apart from the pack by being so darn “typical”. Don’t get me wrong, this beer tastes of a very high quality – but, instead of tasting like anise or blueberry or coriander, it just tastes like beer. More specifically, it tastes like a great English Ale. The color is a dark amber and the aroma is of pungent Golding hops. The beer enters the mouth with a pronounced hop flavor mingled with a more subdued malt sweetness. The mouthfeel is full and warm, and the beer maintains the bitterness through the mouth and down the throat, leaving you with a lasting hoppy bite. This is an absolutely great beer in the very traditional sense, and that’s an accomplishment that you don’t see too often these days.