Thursday, January 27, 2011

Something pink not sponsored by Susan G. Komen.

Brewery: Bell's Brewery Inc.
Location: Comstock, MI
Name: Hell Hath No Fury
Type: Strong Ale
ABV: 7.5%
As if the label weren't a clear indicator of something to be enjoyed, this beer caught me off guard. I wasn't too sure what to expect. To be honest, I bought this beer because of the don't see too many pink labels in the beer world. At least I haven't run across too many of them. Though I must say, I feel like the woman depicted should be holding a frying pan or a rolling pin or something like that...not saying that she would have come from the kitchen...I'm just saying that those tools could be instruments of pain if wielded properly...honest. I thought HHNF was going to pour out as liquid sunshine but much to my surprise I got dark chocolate instead! A thin tan head stopped by to say hello and then peaced out and spent the rest of its life clinging to the sides of the edge of the brew. No lacing occurred. Lazy foam. The bouquet came equipped with a thick dose of roasted malt, raisins, dark caramel, black coffee, and a smidge of brown sugar. There's a fair bit of carbonation that I found to be delightful. The taste was nice and layered. You get the roasted malt up front (duh.) joined by dark brown sugar and a slight clove flavor. Robust sugars reminded me of Belgian strong ales. HHNF is nice and a woman. I read this line to Tessa and she gave me a funny look. I hold my stance. Also! If you look at the bottom of your glass you may notice some sediment hanging out. Hooray for pulp! Actually, it's barely noticeable so don't be a punk. Embrace the pink label and embrace the fury of a beer scorned!
Make your own damn sandwich!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

One if by can, two if by keg.

Brewery: 21st Amendment Brewery
Location: Cold Spring, MN
Name: Back in Black
Type: Black IPA
ABV: 6.8%
So here's a little story I got to tell about a black IPA you know so well. It started way back in history with a can, a pint glass, and me, Mike P! (If you don't get the reference let me know). The title of this post is an homage to the packaging of this beer. Yes, it comes in a can; no, you shouldn't scoff. Also, it has Paul Revere on it with his lantern held high.When you first see this beer in a glass you would swear it looks like pure black coffee, you'd swear it because that's exactly what it looks like. The cool thing about it is when you hold the glass up to the light you get a deep red-purple color. The head is khaki colored and was fairly massive. Lacing happened and I won't deny it. The nose is pretty delightful. Citrusy hops mixed with a modestly roasted malt bouquet whet the appetite. A plentiful dose of carbonation delivers hoppy goodness and roasty malt flavors to your taste receptors. There's a bit of a sour taste towards the middle. More roasted malt flavor and bitter coffee punctuate the flavor profile. I like to think of Back in Black as an entry level BIPA...not that there's anything wrong with that but I feel like there are more intense and flavorful BIPAs out there. Like bashah.
Three if by subterranean means.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite color?

Brewery: Troegs (There's an umlaut over the "o" but my feeble mind can't comprehend how to make one magically appear.)
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Name: The Mad Elf
Type: Strong Ale
ABV: 11%
I realize that elf season is past us but this beer is worth talking about well into the cold months. I admit, I was skeptical at first with Mr. Elf. The high ABV had me enticed but the label noted that this ale was brewed with honey and cherries. I've had cherry beers before (Sam Adam's Cherry Wheat) which sort of tasted like a cross between cough syrup and cherry flavored liquid ass. My mood upon opening this beer was one of trepidation. Mr. Elf materialized in a current of dark amber with hues of ruby passing through it. There was absolutely no head to speak of, not even a thin foam layer across the surface of the beer. The nose was plentiful. Honey, cherries, and alcohol all shone through. Accompanying notes included banana and aromatic spices. It reminded me of a Belgian Triple which, in my opinion, is a good thing to be reminded of. The mouthfeel was borderline syrupy with a "barely there" trace of carbonation. Taste was plentiful with cloves, spices, and alcohol (hmm...shocking, really) all up front on your palate. The cherries come through on the back end as a nice compliment, not at all like the flavor I was so anxiously dreading. A somewhat bitter aftertaste is present but it's the nice warming sensation that the alcohol brings that really makes the finish of this ale enjoyable. My only complaint is that my lips felt fairly sticky after drinking this beer. As far as I'm concerned The Mad Elf is someone I could find myself hanging out with on a regular basis during the Christmas season.
A better Elf than Orlando Bloom.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

On the horizon!

I've got a slew of brews to taste and rate and I figured I'd put it in your hands as to which should be next! Novel, ain't it? So please, think long and hard about your choice and take a second to post it in the comments section and I will post in the order in which I get the suggestions. Your nominees are...

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
Victory Yakima Glory
Sierra Nevada Hoptimum
Rogue Dead Guy Ale
Troegs The Mad Elf
Williamsburg Alewerks Coffee Stout
Gunniess Foreign Export Stout
Bell's 25th Anniversary Ale
Bell's Hell Hath No Fury Ale
New Holland Charkoota Rye
He'Brew Rejewventaor
Great Divide Rumble
Chimay Red, Blue, or White
21st Amendment Back in Black
Osker Blues Gubna
Osker Blues Old Chub

There are more to list, but I can't recall what they are off the top of my head. Yes! This list was generated entirely by memory! Let's have it folks...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Not at all related to that lame mutant, Jubilee.

Brewery: Avery Brewing Co.
Location: Boulder, CO
Name: Old Jubilation Ale
Type: Winter Warmer
ABV: 8.3%
Hey, have you ever had a liquid celebration? Think about that before you answer as I am presently wondering about my word choice for that question. Ok, all set. Yes! Yes I have had a liquid celebration! Thanks in part to Avery's winter warmer, Old Jubilation Ale. Old Jubie (as the beer will be referred to as henceforth) presents itself in a color that reminds me of rich liquefied mahogany-tinted leather. There's a little bit of a head but nothing to write a blog about, however, there's a thin film that hangs around with abundant lacing. Old Jubie smells like a competent winter warmer, success! In the bouquet you have requisite winter spices paired with a somewhat nutty smell. Sour dark fruit blends nicely with the sweet smell of alcohol and rounds nicely with malt and toffee. This beer is delicious. Yep, I said it. To me the flavor was fairly complex. You have a nice amount of rich malt jumbled up with hazelnut as wisps of spice, toffee, and bittersweet chocolate linger on the back end. The beer does as advertised, it warms with its modest alcohol amount. Old Jubie is carbonated wonderfully while not taking away from the body of the beer. Avery might be on to something here. Warm up on a chilly winter day with Old Jubilation and have a liquid celebration!
Jubilation is more fun to say than celebration.

Iceburg right ahead!

Brewery: Clipper City Brewing Co.
Location: Baltimore, MD
Name: Winter Storm
Type: "Category 5" Ale...if you're curious, it's actually an Imperial ESB
ABV: 7.5%
Because of the name of this Clipper City offering I drank this during the Great Eastern Seaboard Blizzard of 2010 (my name due to its intense accuracy) as sort of an offering to Jack Frost himself. He supplied me with enough snow to prevent me from going to work and I was indebted to him. Winter Storm pours out a ruddy, ruby tinted brown liquid supplied with a massively rocky peaked head made of off-white foam. This storm had some legs as it gripped to the side of my glass leaving a supple amount of lacing as I drank. The nose is full of citrus hops, sour fruit, and some toffee. I was excited to see how the bouquet would translate to taste so without much hesitation I dove in. There wasn't a whole lot of crabonation going on, it seemed undercarbonated actually. First blush you get a malt flavor that hangs out if only for a moment so that a hint of caramel comes through. The back end of Winter Storm was kind of harsh in my opinion. There's a bitterness (as it's style would imply) that tops off hints of metal and earth. Had it not been for the massive head after the pour I would have thought this might have been slightly skunked. Again, I'm mildly disappointed by another Clipper City seasonal brew. So much so that it makes me weary of the 2 bombers I have in my fridge.
Peg legs may freeze before roads.