Sunday, November 7, 2010

If flavor were visible this would be "gourdgeous!"

Brewery: Williamsbug Alewerks
Location: Billy's Burg, VA
Name: Pumpkin Ale
Type: Pumpkin Ale
ABV: 8.0%
Let me start off by not being apologetic about the title of this post. I try, I honestly do. And this time I think I really delivered a winner! With that being said, I present to you another palatable potable from our friends at Williamsburg Alewerks. For the record, I'm not on the payroll. This beer pours out in a torrent of dark honey hues accented nicely with a rich auburn color. A thin head that barely breaks the surface of the beer is present and does little in way of lacing the glass. The spices that come from the bouquet are awesome. As any decent lover of pumpkin pie will tell you there has to be cinnamon and nutmeg. Pumpkin Ale has got that. Also, an olfactory ace up the sleeve, bananas! The taste is as smooth as the smell. The higher alcohol content makes for a smooth and clean mouthfeel. What I like about this beer is that it's a 1:1 taste:flavor beer. You smell that? You taste it. There's a slight alcohol component to the taste but it is not distracting at all. Though not quite imperial it is borderline regal. I enjoyed mine with a steak and I suggest you do the same. This glass of liquid pumpkin pie is too good to go without trying and if you missed it this year then I suggest you prepare for it next year!
Find it. Buy it. Drink it. Love it.

Sleepy Hollow called...

Brewery: New Holland Brewing Co.
Location: Holland, MI
Name: Ichabod
Type: Pumpkin Ale
ABV: 5.2%
This was the first pumpkin ale I had this year. Kind of a big deal because it was one that I had never enjoyed before. It's also nice because I've had it out of a keg as well as out of a's always fun to compare notes. In any case, out of the bottle Ichabod is a nice dark amber color. I wanted so badly for this beer to have absolutely no head considering its namesake and all, yet Ichabod brought a nice 1 inch thick head made of clean white foam. Ichabod eventually lost its head. YES! Pun! The bouquet is, in a word, mouthwatering. You get a nose full of pumpkin pie spices including, but not limited to, cinnamon and nutmeg. If you pay close enough attention you can almost pick out a graham pie crust smell. Without surprise the scents turn to tastes that match up. Actual pumpkin flavor takes a bit of a backseat to the more powerful flavors of slightly sweet cinnamon and nutmeg. The cinnamon is the star of the show here. It cuts through the sweetness and plays nicely with a wonderful aftertaste of malt and nutmeg. Not a whole lot going on in the carbonation department which makes for an incredibly easy drinking, full flavored ale. Though not the best in its class, definitely enjoyable!
Better off the tap but good enough out of the bottle.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Lost at sea.

Brewery: Clipper City Brewing Co.
Location: Baltimore, MD
Name:  Heavy Seas Prosit!
Type: Imperial Octoberfest Lager
ABV: 9.0%
I was very much looking forward to my first Heavy Seas "Bomber," what they call their 22oz. bottles, of the season. I had specifically held off on this one due impart to the magic "i" word on the label. Tie that in with the fact that Clipper City makes some pretty good brews and I felt that what I had was a recipe for fried gold. Prosit fires its carbonated canons in the form of a mildly orange brew that produces a massive amount of head. Don't look away though, because you'll miss the fall from grace that the head takes. Malt in the nose jumbled up with faint hops. Notes of some caramel and bread come through. Prosit doesn't hide its alcohol that well, however. I got a harsh booze was almost unapologetic. Initial taste was pretty good. Nice malt taste that coated the mouth nicely. The malt gives way to what I thought was a pretty harsh alcohol taste. This isn't my first rodeo, I've had beers with a higher ABV that this so I'm not claiming inexperience on my part. This was just a harsh taste that I couldn't really get past. It definitely warmed you up on the way down and the plentiful carbonation played nicely on the tongue. Honestly, I couldn't finish this. The alcohol was just too abrasive for me. I gave it a fair chance though!
Buy it for the beer, drink it for the grain alcohol.

Heroes get remembered but Legends never die.

Brewery: Legend Brewing Co.
Location: Richmond, VA
Name: Oktoberfest
Type: Amber Lager
ABV: 5.4%
If I had to summarize this beer in one word it would be "clean." This is a straight up, tastes good in your mouth kind of beer. Pleasing all the way around from the pour to the finish, not a cross word I can say about it. At the same time, it doesn't blow my tongue through my skull, but it's good! Oktoberfest spills out from the bottle into the glass as a rich and vibrant deep amber color. The head swells up noticeably and is cream colored. As it dissipates you will not see any lacing on the glass. I don't know why but I always enjoy it when there's significant lacing on my glass. I like to see the "rest rings." The nose is what you would expect out of a classic fest beer: Malt. You may also pick some bread-like notes tied up with some yeasty tang in the bouquet as well. The taste is a symphony of malt, toffee, some roasted caramel and the slightest hint of earth. The aftertaste was mildly sour, I noticed. Overall, this is a great example of a crisp fest lager. It's 22oz. packaging makes it great for sharing too! Unless you're like me and see it as an opportunity for a twofer.
Not bad, not great. Would definitely enjoy again.