Thursday, April 30, 2009

Beer Review #30 - Full Sail LTD Series Recipe 1

Hi All,

Wow today was a tough one. This is the first of 4 days by myself with a 3 month old. To top that she has a cold and can't breath well. After 4 attempts and 2 hours I finally got her to sleep. I need a beer. I just reached into the beer fridge saw a few of the same beers and had one. Well lets get on with it.

Appearance - The LTD pours a very nice copper color with a quickly dissipating head. There is some lacing on the side of the glass that remains.

Aroma - The aroma of the LTD is that of caramel malt and light hops. I also get a little Dyacital in the nose.

Taste - The taste of the LTD mimics that aroma. I get a lot of caramel with some hop bitterness. This is a nicely balanced beer that leads towards the malty side.

Mouthfeel - The LTD has a heavy mouthfeel. Its almost a little syrupy.

Drinkability - I feel the LDT is drinkable but its a little too think for my liking.

Well it wasn't special but it sure was needed!!

See you next time!!

Matt C.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Going All-Grain

Hi All,

I have decided to start all grain homebrewing. I want to take total control of the brewing process from malted grain to drinkable beer. I have already started to build my mash tun but I am building inept so this should be interesting. I am going to a homebrew shop in LA on Saturday that sells the parts in a package designed to fit a cooler so I may just buy that rather then struggle to make something that may not work.

Wish me luck,

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Beer Review #24 - Pike IPA

Hi All,

Today I am reviewing the Pike IPA from the Seattle Brewing Company. I picked this up at the Bevmo in Anaheim a few months back. I wish Bakersfield had a BevMo. So sad!! Well on the the post. Also this is the 24th post that I some how missed but this is actually the 29th beer review so far this year.

Appearance - The Pike IPA pours a nice golden. The head doesn't last but it does leave a nice lacing on the side of the glass.

Aroma - The hop aroma is very citrusy. I get hints of orange, grapefruit and even a little lime.

Taste - The taste is not what I was expecting. With a very powerful aroma I was expecting a big hop blast. There is good bitterness but the flavor is rather muted. It's good but could use a little more flavor hops.

Mouthfeel - The Pike IPA has a nice light body and carbonation helps to send the bitterness and the flavor around the mouth.

Drinkability - This is a good drinkable IPA. Its not a hop bomb but its still good. I think this would be a good beer to start people on the hops. At 6.5% ABV on glass hits the spot but a 22oz would still work.

Next time will be the big 30. Maybe I will try something special we'll see!!

See you next time!!

Matt C.

Friday, April 24, 2009

April Fermentation Friday - Alcohol in Brewing

Hi All,

First off I would like to thanks Northern Table for hosting this months Fermentation Friday. The topic this month is nothing but alcohol and how you use it in brewing. This months topic is going to be short and sweet as I have never used alcohol in brewing and until I read the topic I didn't know others has either and I do a lot of reading on brewing. I probably would have skipped this month due to no content but I did promise as a new years resolution to participate in every Fermentation Friday this year.

The only time I have ever used alcohol in brewing is I used vodka to sanitize and fill the airlock my first few brews because I read somewhere that it was one extra level of protection that you could do to prevent contamination. I am still pretty conscious of sanitation but i have laxed a little and just use water now. You know why waste good booze in an airlock.

Thanks again to the folks at Northern Table for hosting this month. I am REALLY interested in seeing everyones posts this month. I am always looking for new things to play with and experiment with in brewing.

See you all next month!!

Matt C.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Beer Review #15 - Sierra Nevada Torpedo

Hi all,

I just realized that I some how missed 2 posts . Either that or I labeled them differently. So I am going to write post #15 now. It will be out of order but who cares just deal! :-)

Appearance - The Torpedo pours a nice dark golden with a hint of amber with a nice head that dissipates slowly and leaves a nice lacing.

Aroma - The hop aroma is music to my nose. I get a lot of pine, citrus, and herbal notes.

Taste - The taste is just what an IPA should be nicely balanced but with nice hop bitterness and flavor. The citrus is the predominate hop flavor in the Torpedo.

Mouthfeel - The Torpedo's has a medium body with good carbonation that helps carry the flavor throughout the pallate.

Drinkability - This is a very good beer if you like hops but also like balance. This is another great beer in Sierra Nevada's line of great beer.

See you next time!!

Matt C.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Beer Review #29 - Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter

Hi All,

Three reviews in one weekend this may be a record. You can thank Twitter Taste Live for this review. The whole evening was Flying Dog Beers and I happened to have the Gonzo in the beer fridge. Not a bad deal huh!

Appearance - The appearance of the Gonzo pours a really dark brown almost black with a light brown foamy head.

Aroma - This aroma of the Gonzo is amazing. There are hints of coffee, caramel, chocolate, and a light hop aroma.

Taste - The taste of the Gonzo mirrors the aroma. The coffee, caramel, chocolate, and a light hops blend together to make this a very well made porter.

Mouthfeel - The Gonzo has a medium body and light carbonation. There is also a slight alcohol warmth.

Drinkability - The Gonzo is a great Porter. It is everything a good porter should be.

You all know that I am not a big Porter guy but this was probably my favorite to date. If you get a chance to try it I highly recommend you do. Actually I highly recommend that you try all the Canis Major line from Flying Dog. They know how to make good beer.

See you next time!!

Matt C.

Beer Review #28 - Cerveza Cucapa Chupaca Bras Pale Ale

Hi all,

Here is post 2 of the weekend I still have plans for at least one more. I wrote a few posts back about a new wine bar that also sells beer called Embibe. Well this afternoon I took the wife to sample some wines while I had a beer. When picking a beer i found something I had never heard of before a Mexican Pale Ale. I didn't know what to expect well here it goes.

Appearance - The cerveza pours a nice golden with hints of red. There is a nice head that dissipates quickly.

Aroma - The aroma my wife (does like beer) says smells like beer. I think it has a nice citrusy and grassy hop profile.

Taste - The taste is very good. I was not expecting much from this beer but it is a very good pale ale. It has great hop bitterness and citrus and pine notes.

Mouthfeel - The beer has a really nice mouthfeel. I think this is due to a good amount of carbonation and hop bitterness.

Drinkability - This is a very good beer. I know that brewing location doesn't matter but I would never have thought this was from Mexico. This has the drinkability of a nice Northwestern IPA.

This beer just goes to show you why I try to drink as many beers as possible. You never know what you are going to get until you pop it open and drink it. So keep trying and enjoying both beer and life!!

Beer Review #27 - New Belgium Frambozen Raspberry Brown

Hi All,

Wow looks like I am behind again on my goal to review 104 (2 beers a week) beers. I should be on 32 right now but as you can see I am only on 27. I can probably get up to 29 this weekend but we will see there is a lot of time left this year to make it happen.

Appearance - The appearance of the Frambozen is a beautiful dark red almost burgundy. There is a nice head that lasts and leaves a nice lacing on the side of the glass.

Aroma - The aroma of the Frambozen is very raspberry forward. With a good sniff you can get the nutty/toasty malt aroma normally associated with a brown ale.

Taste - The Frambozen tastes a lot like a blend of a lambic and a brown ale. There is a nice sour raspberry flavor mixed with the brown ale characteristics of light toast and chocolate.

Mouthfeel - This beer has a decent mouthfeel. Its always hard for me to describe mouthfeel. The sourness of the raspberry coats the the mouth but its not a syrupy as a Lambic. The brown ale thins the mouthfeel.

Drinkability - This beer is very drinkable but I think there maybe a little too much raspberry. I think the beer may have been better served being a brown ale with hints of raspberry rather then a raspberry beer with brown ale characteristics.

I listened to a basic brewing radio podcast a while back where one of the brewers at New Belgium discussed the style of their beers. Well in their case the lack there of and I think that is great. Most of their beers have distinct belgian characteristics but its there own and that is the key in great craft brews.

See you next time!!

Matt C.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Beer Review #26 - Lengthwise Goat Nut

Hi All,

As many of you know I am a new father so any time my wife and I get a chance to go out we try and take it. So last night (Friday the 10th) one of my friends from the hash (running club) is about to go off to Afghanistan for a year so we had a little going away for him at the local brewpub Lengthwise. The Goat Nut isn't a beer its a 50/50 blend of their Triple Hop Red and Harvest Wheat. I haven't had too many blended at the tap beer so lets see how it works.

Appearance - The appearance of the Goat Nut is basically what you think it would be based on the blend. It is a hazy amber color with a nice head. The haze is from the unfiltered Wheat and the amber from the Triple Hop

Aroma - The aroma is rather interesting. It has a light banana smell from the wheat and some nice malt and hop flavors from the Triple Hop Red. I am assuming there is some centennial and cascade hops based on the citrus and pine notes.

Taste - I think the taste of blend works well together. The banana and clove of the wheat work well with hops and malts of the red. If you didn't know it was a blend you would probably think it was designed this way.

Mouthfeel - I really enjoyed the mouth feel of this beer. It had the chewiness of a wheat beer but the crispness of a red ale.

Drinkability - I think it is a very drinkable beer. If you are just going to have one beer this would be it. Its like you don't have to chose you get 2 beers for the price of one.

I really like to try their blends. They have other blends I may review in the future a blond which is a mix of the Golden Ale and the Triple Hop Red and a Snakebite which is a mix of the Kern County Porter and a Pear Cider.

See you next time!!

Matt C.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Beer Review # 25 - Pete's Wicked Ale Rally Cap Ale

Hi All,

Today I am going to review Pete's Wicked Ale Rally Cap Ale. I have had a few of the Pete brand beers and most have been ok but nothing exceptional. Lets see how this one is.

Appearance - The Pete's Rally Cap pours a golden yellow with a slight chill haze. There wasn't much of a head but what is there seems to last.

Aroma - The Pete's Rally Cap has the nice soft aroma of a pale ale but with a good bit lemon.

Taste - The Pete's Rally Cap has a good pale ale taste in terms of bitterness and hop flavor but the lemon is kind of over powering and fake tasting.

Mouthfeel - The Pete's Rally Cap has a nice light mouthfeel. It is very crisp in the palate.

Drinkability - The Pete's Rally Cap is drinkable if you like fake lemon flavor. This would be a good summer time beer.

Like most of the Pete's products I feel this was made for the masses. It would be a good stepping stone into the true high quality microbrews. Its not my favorite but its way better the the great American macro beer.

See you next time!!

Matt C.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Beer Review #23 - Anderson Valley 20th Anniversery Imperial IPA

Hi All,

   Today I am going to review the 20th Anniversary Imperial IPA.  Anderson Valley makes one of my favorite IPA's so I am expecting alot from this beer.

Appearance - This IIPA pours a beautiful golden orange with a long lasting lacing head.  Gosh its pretty!!

Aroma - This IIPA has a lot going in the nose.  There is citrus, pine, grass, and some malty sweetness.  I can smell this is going to be tasty. 

Taste - This IIPA has a lot of flavor.  With all the aroma and all the hops I was expecting a true hop bomb but this is a very well balanced beer.  There is great bitterness and a good blend of flavors from the different hops added.

Mouthfeel - I love hop bitterness in beer and this IIPA has a great bitterness that lasts in your mouth.  This isn't the bitter beerface bitterness this is the smooth lots of early hop bitterness.

Drinkability - This IIPA is very drinkable and at 8.7% ABV you can have more then 1 (probably no more then 2) and still feel good.  And with the great balance in flavors beer drinkers who don't like the really hoppy beers would probably enjoy this.

I really enjoy when a great brewery releases a special beer and it meets and many time exceeds there normal brews.  Anderson Valley did it with this on. 

See you next time!!

Matt C.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Beer Review #22 - 2008 Alaskan Smoked Porter

Hi All,

I hope you enjoy my review of the 2008 Alaskan Smoked Porter. This review is in conjunction with my post for The Session #26 Smoke'em if you Got'em. I had planned on drinking the 2007 release but after a long week at work and 10 week old at home I got permission from the wife to have a happy hour. So me and my buddy went to this new wine bar (they sell beer and spirits also) and had a beer and a cigar. I chose the the Alaskan Smoked Porter to get credit for the session requirement.

Appearance - This porter pours a beautiful brown with a small almost almond color head. The head didn't last very long but it left a nice lacing on side of the glass. This was a very nice looking beer.

Aroma - The smoked porter had a lot of subtle aromas. I got some smoke (of course) that wasn't over powering and was actually very pleasant. There were also hints of coffee, chocolate, and roasted malts.

Taste - Many times when you taste a beer it ends up not tasting like it smells. In this case the taste mirrored the aroma. You could taste the light smokiness and hints of coffee chocolate and roasted malts. This beer was very complex and everything worked together well.

Mouthfeel - This smoked porter has a good mouthfeel. It wasn't too heavy and it wasn't to light. There was very nice coating of the mouth with each drink allowing all the subtle flavors to hit the right area of the pallate.

Drinkability - This beer is rather drinkable for a smoked beer. As I stated in my session post I am not very knowledgeable in the smoked beer style but most smoked beers I have tried the smoke has been very overpowering. This beer was different. There was a nice hint of smoke in a well made porter so everything worked well together.

See you next time!!

Matt C.

The Session #26 - Smoke'em if you got 'em

Hi All,

Welcome to my post for this months the session. Thanks to Lew @ Seen Through a Glass for hosting this month. I have to admit that I am not all that knowledgeable about smoked beers but I have had the Alaskan Smoked Porter the that last few years so that is what I am going to write about and that is what I am going to review. After work I went out with a buddy and had the 2008 release and let me tell you it is really nice. You will have to read my review here (Saturday sometime) to read a more in depth look into the Alaskan Smoked Porter. I am going to try and keep this strictly about my opinion of smoked beers.

Smoked beers what to say about them. Well first of all most of the smoked beer I have seen available and have tried have been stouts and porters. This is not my favorite style of beer as I am more of a hop head. I am starting to expand my horizons in this area but taste buds change slowly. I bet you are asking where am I going with this. Well let me tell you adding smoke to a beer you are trying to get in to doesn't always help. For some beers like the Alaskan Smoked Porter the really light smokiness really compliments the porter. In many of the other smoked beers I have tried the smoke was way overpowering and added a different type of bitterness that wasn't pleasing to my pallet.

Second I am really not sure why you would want to smoke a beer. I understand that smoke is a flavoring in many things like BBQ, whiskey, and cigars (sorry couldn't think of anything else) but why beer. I am all for creativity but smoke. There are very few things that smoke is good for and in my opinion most of the time beer isn't one of them. I think, if done improperly, it hides the taste of all the other ingredients that make beer beer.

Like I stated before I don't have a lot of experience with this "ingredient" but that's what I think. I will keep trying them as I see them and maybe one of them will change my overall opinion of the style. I will never say stop smoking so like Lew said Smoke'em if you Got'em.

Thanks again for hosting Lew this was a fun topic and its always good to bust open the Alaskan Smoked Porter.