Archive for March, 2006
Flying Dog generally seems to make a tasty brew, so I figured the “Golden Ale” wouldn’t be a bad purchase, especially on a warm spring day. It says best enjoyed “after you’ve cheated death on your mountain bike and need extreme liquid refreshment,” but it sufficed on a sunny Thursday afternoon as well. I wasn’t terribly excited upon first sip, but this may have resulted from my own expectations of a hoppier beer. I should have realized that, like the name says, it is a golden ale, which from my experience with American brews, typically indicates it is slightly more tasteful than a pilsner. This brew has a smooth, malty flavor, with a slight hint of caramel. It’s really not a bad ale at all, especially as a summer session beverage. Ringing in at 5.1% ABV, it won’t flog your molly too bad.
OK, so I can’t find a lot of info on the Green Valley Brewing Co. but from what I can tell it is a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch, which explains so much…Its selling point is that it’s an organic beer, but as Bin has already pointed out in a previous post, most brews are. So, now we turn to the thing that truly defines a beer, the taste. It pretty much sucks because there are no outstanding characteristics, but given that it is a product of a major domestic brewing company I am really not surprised. I guess I have officially assumed the role of a total beer-snob but I don’t care. I cannot appreciate the taste of the Wild Hop in any way shape or form, especially since it claims to be a “barley malt for a rich, flavorful taste.” I WISH YOU WEREN’T A LIAR! And I wish you hadn’t cost $7.49. Do not waste your time, even if it is to see how bad it is. Just buy a Bud Light and be done with it.
Left Hand usually makes a good beer so I had high hopes for the Goosinator. It is my understanding that the ingredients of this particular brew change every year so this review cannot be universally applied to all Goosinators. The 2005 is an amber colored ale that, when poured, appears crisp and thirst-quinching. It smells hoppy and slightly fruity but tastes malty with hints of coffee and carmel. The problem with this beer is that the flavor dissipates before it reaches the back of the throat and thus leaves the drinker feeling disappointed and a little cheated. I wouldn’t say this beer is terrible but, for the price, it isn’t worth the money spent. That being said I’ll give the 2006 a chance before I totally write this beer off, hopefully it will be better…
[Ed. Note - I can't find a picture of the Goosinator, damnit!]
First things first – Rogue always makes good beers. I have never been displeased with a Rogue offering that I chose to drink (although the Chipotle Ale was a little weird). That being said, this beer doesn’t especially stand out to me. I assume that this is an attempt at an Imperial Pilsner and, when put beside other similar products (like Sam Adams’ Imperial Pilsner), it doesn’t quite stack up. The color is a nice yellow-amber, and the aroma fairly hoppy. The flavor is pleasing, but not as pronounced as I would expect from an ‘uber’ beer. Perhaps it is just my lackluster emotion for the Sterling hops that are used in this Pilsner, but I doubt I would buy this again if shopping for an Imperial Pilsner. However, I would still consider this a rather good beer, and a nice divergence from more typical medium-bodied hoppy ales.
Well, I think we’ve established that La Binchoise doesn’t make great beer. After Matty’s experience with the soapy La Binchoise Reserve, I didn’t expect much. But, I like to give every brewery an honest chance. Well, not next time. The Binchoise Brune is nothing to write home about, unless you’re writing to a loved one to worn them not to waste their money. Even though I don’t approve of this beer, I’ll still go to the trouble of describing it. It pours a non-viscous dark brown, and the aroma is weak except for the heavy esther sweetness, which makes me think that the fermentation isn’t as controlled as it should be. The taste starts fairly non-descript, with little of the dark chocolate or coffee that I might expect. Rather, it traverses the palate without much fanfare and finishes in the back of the mouth with a sweet and tangy shock. There is just a hint of dark chocolate, but the predominant taste is of the esther sweetness, which is a less refined flavor than I want out of an expensive brown. Overall, I would consider this a sweet and amateurish beer. Actually, this reminds me of a beer that I recently brewed. Keep in mind that I’ve only been brewing for about 6 months, I’m not very good at it, I regularly ferment at above-recommended temperatures, and my beer costs a fraction of this to make. I don’t expect I’ll try any more La Binchoise beers.
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.
If you aren’t familiar with this delicious drink, please crawl out from under whatever rock you have been living under and experience heaven. If poured correctly, the amalgam of beverages results in a chocolate milk flavor. For those that are wondering, this is Franky Knuckles’ favorite drink. Abv=damn I’m drunk and for goodness sake if anyone suggests taking a Car Bomb to the face please accept their invitation. It is a crowd pleaser and inhibition decreaser. Rock on Ireland – I’m typically not huge fan of random violence, but in this instance I say lock and load and destroy anything in your path. And ladies beware – this drink will rock your dirt star raw. High-yoooooooo!
“You’re too smooth for your own good.” – How many times have we all heard that one? And recently I met a beer to which I can say those very words. I wanted this “American-style Amber Ale” to knock me over the head with hoppy delight–and, indeed, it was love at first sniff, as I savored the floral hop aroma that wafted through my nostrils. But the relationship, while not severed after an initial taste, certainly tamed to tepidness. While my girlfriend calls it disgustingly bitter, I find it not bold enough in its flavorings (spoiled perhaps by the folks at Dogfish Head), with almost no aftertaste to speak of one way or another. A fine beer if you’re seeking the smooth, and a great aroma to taunt your nasal passage–but not the taste bud bursting, roast the roof of your mouth flavor that I was seeking.
I’m reviewing this beer because Daddy Horton left three of them in the beer fridge and after smelling it I know why. I’m not being funny, this beer literally smells like dead skunk. In case anyone was wondering, this isn’t a good start. This particular St. Pauli brew is plum colored and plum nasty. The initial taste is actually kinda good and you start to think, “Oh wow, not ba….holy crap what did I just put in my mouth?” Instantly after hitting your tongue the flavor dissipates to nothingness, aka water. Then all of a sudden it is as if someone shoved 500 pennies in your mouth. If taste was equivalent to beauty St. Pauli Girl is a Sea Donkey turned Swamp Moose. DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT taste this beer unless you hate yourself. abv=4.8% more disappointing news
The one, the only – Jon, Jon the Phenomenon – introduced me to the Eye of the Hawk. This brew pours smooth with little head. It is copper-colored and boasts a fruity/metallic smell. The flavor mimics the smell; however, it seems to me that this beer lacks a certain bite that would elevate it from “not too bad” to “Damn, this is good!” Perhaps a bit more carbonation would do the trick. I could go on and on about this beer but I won’t because, quite frankly, it doesn’t deserve my time. The only thing I will say is you have to watch this beer because if you aren’t careful it will multiply. I bought a 6-pack and no matter how many bottles I drank, until tonight, I always had at least two in the beer fridge. Normally this would make me happy, but I since I’m not a huge fan of this beer I would’ve just assumed this beer disappear. Take that for what you will. Oh, for those who care abv=8%. Moving on…
This abbey tripel is exceptionally cloudy and has a brownish-orange hue. The aroma is typical – spicy and floral and altogether pleasing. The taste of this triple is quite nice, but a bit too tart for my taste. It contains the fruity tones and intense spiciness of a good tripel, but it also has an interesting tartness towards the back of the mouth that takes you by surprise. Not bad, and a taste that many might prefer due to the complexity that it lends to the beer. However, I prefer a more consistent sweetness in my triples, so I wouldn’t rank this terribly high for the variety.
This beer chimes in with a medium brown hue, and a striking aroma that is difficult to place – I really can’t place it. It’s similar to some Scottish ales – slightly sweet, maybe even a bit nutty – but very pungent regardless. The flavor is mediocre, in my esteem. It’s a little musty, but lends a sharp flavor with a bit of fruit, and tastes a bit alcohol-y. It’s a flavor that is difficult to describe, but if you’ve drank a few Scottish Ales, you’ll know what I mean. Overall, not my favorite of the genre, and probably not one that I’ll buy again. If you really want to taste something tasty from the folks at Isle Of Skye Brewery, try the “Dark Island” Ale. Mmm
It is interesting that North Coast, a well respected brewer noted for their premium beers, has this very low-priced stout offering ($4.50/6-pack), especially in light of their highly-ranked Old Rasputin Imperial Stout. While obviously a lower quality than the Old Rasputin stout, this is still an excellent value. The stout is a bit harsh and a bit weak when compared to the strong yet smooth Old Rasputin. It has some flavor of coffee in the back of the throat and a bit of chocolate on the way through the mouth. But, there still is the lingering alcohol harshness. Not a favorite stout, but not bad.
This is a very good tripel in the vein of a light, summery variety. The color is a dark yellow and smells of alcohol and citrus. The flavor is crisp and citrusy with a nice dose of sweetness. Through the mouth and down the throat it maintains a nice carbonation burn, and the sweetness seems to traverse the palate to the back of the mouth where it lingers long after it has gone. But, don’t be fooled by the crisp lightness of the beer! It chimes in at 11% abv, and is capable of doing some damage.