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Posts Tagged ‘Halloween’

Witches' Brew by Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Happy Halloween everyone!  When I was a kid, this used to be my 2nd favorite holiday behind Christmas.  I remember that I couldn’t wait until I got home from school or when it was officially time to trick or treat on a weekend.  I would be out as long as I could possibly stand it, dressed in my costume, with typically a pillow case as my container to hold all that yummy candy.  My neighborhood used to be packed with kids trick or treating.  Fast forward to Halloween today, I am lucky if we get 20 kids at my house trick or treating.  To me, that is a shame.  I really am glad I grew up when I did (I was born in 1968 to give you a point of reference).  It seemed like such a better time to be a kid.

So on this night when the Boogeyman is said to to stalking, the most famous of all…Michael Myers from my favorite horror movie of all time…Halloween (not Rob Zombies version BTW…Carpenter FTW!!!), and ghouls and witches are on the prowl, let me introduce beer #337, Witches’ Brew by Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. from Belgium.  Their version of a Tripel has an ABV of 9.3%.

I took this outside to my front porch for the pour in front of some lit up jack-o’-lanterns.  It isn’t my best photo but I think I did OK in the tough conditions (wait…I hear a knock a the door…yeah baby…trick or treaters…a football player and a priceness!!!).  Witches’ Brew poured a hazy golden color with quite the nice foamy white head.  That head stuck around quite some time.  The nose was very nice…apples and pears and maybe a some white grapes (oh my!) provided a nice fruity aroma coupled with a Belgian yeasty thing and spices like cloves and white pepper…I was digging it.  Add in a bit of bread and you have what I smelled.  There was quite a bit going here in the taste, it was a bit sweet up front with the fruitiness of the apples and grapes coming through loud and clear mixing with the malty breadiness really well.  I got some honey about mid-drink and then the spiciness comes through towards the back end of the beer.  9.4% ABV…where the hell did they hide it?  Even as it warmed up, the alcohol was really hidden well.  It had a medium body and some decent carbonation.  It was pretty smooth and almost creamy.  I drank the whole 750 ml bottle (the size of a typical wine bottle) and I could have had (wait…another knock on the door..a ninja, someone from Star Trek and Yoda) another bottle of this easily.

I though this was quite good and very delicious…excellent!  Quite the Witches’ Brew…perfect for a Halloween night such as this…even know snow is on the ground.  Now it is time to watch John Carpenter/Debra Hills Halloween and Halloween 2 and hopefully give out lots of candy.  Hey Mr. Zombie…watch these and learn how to truly do horror…it ain’t all about gore.  Have a wonderful Halloween everyone!  Oh yeah…give Dr. Sam Loomis a call if you see Michael  Myers…then again…if you see him…you are in big trouble!!!  Queue that famous creepy Halloween theme song….

Rating: A

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Raison D'etre by Dogfish Head

October…on the verge of Halloween…snow.  Wait…what?  Snow?  Yep…take a look at the photo above.  That is not a left over photo from the winter time.  Did I ever tell you how much I hate the white stuff and the cold?  Give me the sun and the heat…give me summer all year long.  Anyone want to move to Arizona with me?

Beer #335…wow…only 30 more to go…is Raison D’etre by Dogfish Head.  Brewed in Milton, Delaware, this Belgian Strong Dark Ale has an ABV of 8%.  What about the name?  Well, Raison D’etre is a French phrase meaning “reason for existence.”

Appearance – Dark amber with a nice tan head.

Nose – My first thought was molasses and cola.  There was a faint aroma of alcohol also.

Taste – Brown sugar, molasses and dark fruits, mostly raisins.  A bit of burnt caramel and some spices.  It gets bready tasting near the back end.  Even know it is heavier on the nose, the alcohol is hidden nicely.

Mouthfeel – Fairly low in carbonation, medium bodied.  It was quite smooth.

Overall – Not bad but not great either.  Not one of my favorites from Dogfish.

As I sit here typing this, I’m looking out my window.  I really can’t believe it is October with the snow coming down.  Feels so damn gloomy and depressing.  Until tomorrow…

Rating: C

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Saranac Vanilla Stout by Matt Brewing Company

Crazy weather…snow is on the way and where I am, we could have 4 to 6 inches of the white stuff.  I can’t remember a time when we have had any snow before Halloween.  Here is to hoping the weather people are actually wrong about this, like they usually are.  Yesterday I had a package on my doorstep, it was the 2nd installment of my birthday gift, the Beer Of The Month Club.  Yesterdays beer was part of that so I will continue with the gift.

Beer #334 is Saranac Vanilla Stout by Matt Brewing Company from Utica, New York.  Interesting to note is Matt Brewing Company is the 2nd oldest family owned brewery in the US, brewing beers since 1853.  Tonight’s beer, an American Stout, has an ABV of 4.8%.

Appearance – Black as night with just a ring of a light brown head.

Nose – Smelled like cream soda with a hint of coffee.

Taste – Some roasted malt flavors of chocolate and coffee being just a tad bit sweet.  The vanilla added to this reminded me of cream soda…in a way…mostly towards the back end of this and into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel – The body was south of medium and north of light.  There was more of a carbonation sting that I was expecting.  Low alcohol content make these go down awfully easy.

Overall – This wasn’t all that bad…just nothing here made me say “wow”.  I wish it was a little more heavier in the body and a bit smoother.  I have two more of these from the Beer Of The Month Club (I get 4 different beers and 3 of each) that just may be good for tonight’s Battlefield 3 playing session…not that I support drinking while gaming…but it does seem to make me play better.

Rating: C

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