Sunday, May 31, 2009

Beer Review # 37 - Ommegang Abbey Ale

Hi All,

Welcome to my 3rd of 4 reviews of the Brewery Ommegang variety pack my mom got me a few months ago. Abbey Ale is a Belgian Style Dubbel. This has been one of styles I have had a lot of lately so lets see how this goes.

Pour - The Abbey Ale pours a beautiful dark amber with a nice off white head. The head leaves a nice lacing on the side of the glass.

Aroma - The Abbey Ale has a nice malty scent with hints of cloves and spice. I also get a little licorice in the nose.

Taste - The Abbey Ale has a nice malty and spicy flavor. The taste also mimics the aroma. I get hits of plum, cinnimon, licorice, and caramel.

Mouthfeel - The Abbey Ale has a nice full mouthfeel with great carbonation. There is very good coating of the month.

Drinkabilty - The Abbey Ale is very drinkable. At 8.5%abv you can have 2 glasses and just chill away.

I am still not sure about the Belgian Dubble. I prefer trippels and saisons but I will continue to try them. I also like that it comes from my home state of NY. I haven't been back there in a few years but I am really glad they are making some good beers. Maybe someday they will get out to CA.

See you next time,
Matt C.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

May Fermentation Friday - Brewday Joy & Stress

Hi All,

Welcome to this months fermentation friday hosted by Ted at Ted's Homebrew Journal. This month topic has 2 parts. The first part is Joy or your favorite part of home brewing and the second is stress or least favorite part of home brewing. I like the topic and unlike normal I can pretty easily answer this.

What is my favorite part of the brew day? I would have to say adding the hops. I love how the smell permeates the whole house. My wife on the other hand doesn't agree but oh well you can't win them all. Every addition adds more aroma to fill the kitchen. I can't think of anything that brings me more joy (except of course drinking that beer a few week later.)

Now on to part 2! What is my least favorite part of the brew day? This one is even easier then the favorite part. It brings me sorrow to have to clean up. I wish I could just leave everything spread throughout the kitchen and go take a nap. This is even more a pain on bottling day but that's a topic for a different day. You have to scrub the brew pot, clean up any boil overs, and put everything away. I am lazy. I don't want to have to clean. I need an associate brewer. Should a brewmaster clean his own equipment. I think not ;-) but this isn't going to change anytime soon. Oh well what are you going to do.

Thanks again to Ted for hosting this months fermentation Friday and thanks to Adam at Beer Bits 2 for starting this fun and educational monthly event!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Beer Review #36 - Buffalo Bill's Blueberry Oatmeal Stout

Hi All,

How is every doing this Memorial Day? I wanted a beer so I went in to the beer fridge reached in and this is what came out. Lets hope it's good! This may be a rather interesting beer.

Pour - The BB Blueberry Stout pours a dark brown with hints or amber and purple (This may be psychological based on the name.) There is was little to no head with no lacing on the glass.

Aroma - The BB Blueberry Stout has a distinct blueberry aroma. I don't get much else.

Taste - The BB Blueberry Stout has hints of blueberry and all the other notes usually associated with a stout. There are hints of roasted coffee, chocolate, and light hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel - The BB Blueberry Stout has a medium body and light carbonation.

Drinkabilty - The BB Blueberry Stout is very drinkable. I think the blueberry works very well in this light stout.

I wasn't expecting much out of this beer and I was expecting even less after the really strong blueberry aroma but it turned out to be really nice. I have said it before and I will say it again don't be afraid to pick a beer based on a name it may be good or it maybe bad but it will be an adventure.

See you next time,

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Beer Review #35 - Grand Canyon Brewing Company Sunset Amber

Hi All,

For this review I am going to be tasting the beer from a Growler from the Grand Canyon Brewing Company. My friends Vicki and Sue were nice enough to bring it back from a 3 week long road trip/camping trip.

Pour - The GC Amber pours a nice copper color with a good head that lasts a while. There is also some good lacing on the side of the glass.

Aroma - The GC Amber has a nice hint of caramel and some sweetness. I do get a little bit of grassyness from the hops also.

Taste - The GC Amber tastes very different then what I was expecting. I do get some caramel but I also get some smoke in the back of the mouth. There is also a slightly bitter aftertaste. Its very interesting.

Mouthfeel - The GC Amber has a medium body and good carbonation. The beer leaves a nice coating of flavors through out the mouth.

Drinkabilty - The GC Amber is drinkable but after a while the smoke really comes through and makes me thirsty. I have never had this experience before with a beer.

I am really glad my friends thought of me when they were on the road. Remberber a majority of the populated US has a brewery within 25 miles of there home. So if you are on the road swing by for a pint and maybe dinner. You probably won't be dissapointed!!

Matt C.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Beer review #34 - Sam Adams Imperial White

Hi All,

I have been reviewing a lot of Sam Adams lately. I don't get a lot of the Sam specialty stuff in Bakersfield so when I hit the Bevmo in SoCal (Valencia) and see it I give it a try.

Pour - The white pours a hazy orange. There wasn't much of a head and what was there dissipated quickly.

Aroma - The white has a nice orange scent with a hint of yeastiness.

Taste - The white has has a very distinctive orange taste with a hit of coriander. If there was more yeast in taste I would think this was a hefeweizen.

Mouthfeel - The white has a nice light mouthfeel with good carbonation.

Drinkabilty - The white is very drinkable which could be a problem at 10.3%. This beer goes down so smoothly that more then one would hit you like a ton of bricks. It is rather difficult to make a high ABV beer that is this refreshing.

I actually wasn't expecting much out of this beer but I was rather impressed. I think I will have to try some other of this series if the opportunity arises.

Matt C.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Beer Review #33 - Sam Adams Longshot Traditional Bock

Hi All,

Wow another 2 day'er! I decided to have one more tonight and why not review it since I am behind. Well off to the the review!!

Pour - The bock beer pours a nice brown with a hint of amber. There was a really nice head but it dissipated quickly There was a nice lacing left on the glass.

Aroma - The bock doesn't have a lot of aroma but I do get a very small hint of chocolate and bitter coffee.

Taste - The bock has a nice caramel taste with a lot of malty sweetness from the specialty malts.

Mouthfeel - The bock has a light to medium mouthfeel with good carbonation.

Drinkabilty - The bock is very drinkable. It is a nice dark lager that is crisp and refreshing yet has the characteristics of a big malty beer.

This is the second of the Sam Adams Longshot winners beers that I have tried a full sample of and its been my favorite so far. None have been bad but they just seem muted to me. I find it hard to believe that a winning homebrew would be muted. I wonder if Sam's tweaked the recipe a little to save a few bucks.

Matt C.

Beer Review #32 - A Homebrewed Midwest Porter

Hi all,

Its been a while since my last review as I have been a little busy. I have 2 more in my phone almost ready to go but needs some editing. I also decided to try something different. I have decided to review a homebrew I got from a beer swap. Here is my review for Wayne's Midwest Porter. Sorry you won't have a chance to find this one unless you are lucky enough to know Wayne.

Pour - The MW porter pours a nice brown with very little head.

Aroma - In the MW porter I get nice hints of chocolate, coffee and malty sweetness.

Taste - The MW porters taste is spot on and matches the aroma well. I also like the nice bitterness from the hops.

Mouthfeel - The MW porter has a really nice mouthfeel. Its very light and you can taste the carbonation even if you can't see it. There is enough body to cover the mouth.

Drinkability - The MW porter is very drinkable. This porter would be warming in the winter yet refreshing in the summer. Wayne did a really nice job on this beer.

The only comment I have is it is a little low on carbonation in my opinion. With my limited experience with porters there is usually a good almost almond color head. Wayne said he tries to to carb to style so I am not sure if this is just specific to this bottle or if this is normally how a porter should be carb'ed. Overall I really enjoyed the flavor and aromas and can't wait to try the other ones.


Friday, May 8, 2009

Las Vegas Beer Bar

Hi All,

I am in Vegas for a friends bachelor party and he wanted to go to this place called the Burger Bar in the Mandalay Bay Mall. I love a good burger so I was happy to go but when I got there I didn't realize it was going to be a really good beer bar also. The had beers from Dogfish Head (including 90 min on draft), Deschutes, Chimay, Pyramid, ect. You are able to make your own samplers. I started with a pint of the DFH Indian Brown Ale and then had a 5 sampler of:

Burger Bar Amber Lager - House beer figured I would try it
Lost Coast Tangerine Ale
Deschutes Hop Henge Experimental
Speak Easy Big Daddy IPA
DFH 90 min

I read a lot of beer sites and I have never seen the one listed. If you are ever in Vegas and what a good burger and great beers check out the Burger Bar.

Matt C.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Beer Review # 31 - Mendocino Winter Seasonal Imperial IPA

Hi All,

Day 2 with the baby has gone very well. I picked her up, gave her a bath, set up her room for bed time, then fed her. She fell asleep almost instantly. Today beer is a relaxing end of the week beer. Yesterdays was the my baby is driving me crazy beer. I much prefer this type of beer. On to the review.

Appearance - The MBC IIPA pours a slightly hazy golden color. The head doesn't last but there is some lacing on the side of the glass.

Aroma - The MBC IIPA's aroma isn't is full of hops and malt. The hops are citrusy, piney, and floral. The malt sweetness nicely balances the hops.

Taste - This is always my favorite part of the review experience. The MBC IIPA doesn't taste like I was expecting. There is a lot of hop bitterness but not a lot of hop flavor. They must have used a lot of bittering hops to balance the malt backback bone and a lot of aroma hops to give it its great aroma. Its very good but maybe a little more flavor hops next season.

Mouthfeel - The MBC IIPA is a really full bodied beer. There is good carbonation that helps carry the bitterness to all parts of the month.

Drinkability - The MBC IIPA is very drinkable at 7.5% ABV. I really enjoy the bitterness of the beer but I think it can be even better if there were more flavor hops added.

I love going to a store with a good beer selection and going through the seasonals. Many breweries bring out some of there best stuff during specific seasons. So if you like a brewery's normal selection see if they have seasonals you probably won't be disappointed.

See you next time,
Matt C.

The Session #27 - Beer Cocktails

Hi All,

Welcome to my post for this months Session Beer Cocktails. This month is hosted by the folks over at Beer at Joe's. This months topis is rather interesting. I never really thought to write much about beer cocktails but I have had a few. Actually I had a few over the last couple of weeks.

The first one I will discuss is the snakebite. The snakebite which is a mix of Lenghtwise porter and hard cider. I think I have heard of it being made with a stout also. I don't know what it is about it but i think people either love it or hate it. I personally like it. I think the crispness of cider and the roast and coffee flavor of the porter work really well together. The cider thins out the porter giving it a good mouthfeel. I think it just works!

The other beer cocktail I had recently was also from the local brewpub lengthwise. Its name is the goat nut. You can see my review of the goat nut here! It is a blend of their Triple Hop Amber and their Harvest Wheat. I am not going to talk much about it you can read my post if you are interested in knowing what i think about it. I am just going to question if this is actually a cocktail.

According to dictionary. com a cocktail is "any of various short mixed drinks, consisting typically of gin, whiskey, rum, vodka, or brandy, with different admixtures, as vermouth, fruit juices, or flavorings, usually chilled and frequently sweetened." This definition leads me to believe that beer blends and even the snakebite isn't really a cocktail at all. I think there may need to be some hard liquor. So i guess that means that the last beer cocktail I had was an Irish car bomb last summer. For those of you that don't know an Irish car bomb is a half pint of Guiness and a shot of 1/2 Baileys and 1/2 Jameson. Now let me tell you that is good stuff!! I think the Irish know know how to go both straight up or cocktail it.

Whether you think that beer blended at the tap, a beer with a shot of booze, or any other mix of beer and alcohol is a cocktail all you need to know is that they have the potential to be very nice indeed. I will admit I am mostly a straight up beer guy but I also like the adventure of trying new things. So I say give it a try!!

Thanks again to the folks at Beer at Joe's for hosting this month. I am looking forward to some good reads.

See you all next month,

Matt C.