Saturday, April 9, 2011

Mind your kilt!

Brewery: Oskar Blues Brewery
Location: Longmont, CO
Name: Old Chub (I heard you snicker.)
Type: Scotch Ale
ABV: 8.0%
In the beginning, I was a true beer snob. Ok, not the beginning beginning, but the beer snobbery beginning. I shunned beers in a can and assumed them to be inferior. I was wrong. The first time I had Old Chub was at an awesome restaurant in Olde Town Portsmouth named Comfort (no longer there, but operating in Richmond) and I was smitten. Now, I put it to the test of a more mature, more discernible pallet. Right out of the gate you can imagine this beer is going to taste good. It has a nice mahogany color. Think coffee without the cream. The bouquet is ruthless in its layering! A surplus of sweet malt tangos passionately with dark fruits. Caramel swoops in for a brief "Hi" only to be cast aside by a faint, yet lingering, booze-y smell. The taste is as good as the smell. Caramel is more prominent but it knows when to bow out to the rich, dark fruit flavor. Malt is ever present and what a presence it is! It's as if "malt" could be an adjective for the mouthfeel. Smooth and velvety with the right amount of carbonation; the kind that you feel initially and then peaces the hell out so you can taste how great this beer is. The aftertaste is a pretty rad combination of bready, caramelly, kinda tarty, booze cocktail. Honestly, this beer is good. So good that it will knock the "I don't drink beer from a can" shit out of your system.
Why yes we Can!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hey! That's my name, too!

Brewery: Mad River Brewing Co.
Location: Blue Lake, CA
Name: John Barleycorn
Style: Barleywine Style Ale
ABV: 9.0%
The name John Barleycorn makes me think of a man who some would consider a beer visionary. Someone who created a new type of brew that melted peoples' minds. John Barleycorn is either that man or the figure in the middle of the label... A terrified bundle of stalks about to be cut down by some long haired hippies. We're also looking past the fact that John Barleycorn is being WRAPPED UP BY A SNAKE! I like to think that John Barleycorn is the latter and he was murdered so that we, purveyors of fine beverages, may enjoy a beer that carries his namesake. Ol' J.B. (that's what he likes to be called) is a visually striking beer. It pleases the eyes with a hazy, deep amber color with is held up nicely with tints of ruby. The head is big and frothy sporting a lovely shade of egg shell. The bouquet you ask? In my notes I have written down "Holy nose candy, Batman!" Six feet away from the bottle (pre-pour!) and I picked up on malt notes that have ample sweetness, the aromas of dark fruits, and a vibrant amount of soul pleasing booze. The mouthfeel is that of mild carbonation most would associate with a barleywine. The flavor profile is pretty awesome. Right away you get malt and sour dark fruits. After the first tasting you then get a wave of caramel and toffee. Finishing up the taste tour is a bready aftertaste with no lingering hints of sourness or tartness. I wouldn't suggest drinking barleywines now as we're heading into the spring time but I realize it has been almost a month since my last entry. Thank you for not burning me at the stake. Except for maybe Fischer, he got a little impatient. Regardless, once barleywine season rolls back around I suggest you get to be friends with John Barleycorn.
Eat it, Johnny Appleseed!