Archive for February, 2011

Dominion Oak Barrel Stout by Old Dominion Brewing Company

Another day, another stout.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.  Stouts are one of the most, at least from the people I know, misinterpreted beers around.  Thick, heavy, motor oil-like, etc. are some of the common words used to describe them but that is, at least in my experience, very far from the truth.

Tonights beer, beer #92, is an American Stout.  What separates an American Stout from the Irish or English version you ask?  It is an American Stout because it is brewed in America you silly sausage.  To be honest, I’m not quite sure what separates them but from a little research (Google search) it seems they use American Hops and Malts, add coffee or chocolate to the brewing process and have a hoppier, higher alcohol content.  I’m no expert, so take that for what it is worth but that sounds good to me.

This stout had an ABV of 5.2% and is brewed by Old Dominion Brewing Company from Delaware.  A nice dark brown, almost black liquid was staring back at me as I pondered what exactly an American Stout is.  The typical tan head, two fingers in width, graced this but got smaller by the minute.  I let it warm up to room temperature as I find most beers tend to really open up taste wise and nose wise if they are not super ice cold.  There were some nice aromas of chocolate and vanilla which both carried over to the taste.  The vanilla was a bit stronger in the taste but not overpowering.  I was reminded of cream soda in the taste and the smell.  It finished off sort of like coffee after it gets cold.  It was a bit more carbonated than I was expecting and had an overall medium body to it.  It wasn’t the smoothest stout I have ever had but still was an easy drinking beer for me.

I thought this was a pretty nice stout, certainly better than what I had yesterday.  I wouldn’t turn this down if offered another.  Give it a try if stouts are your thing.  Just don’t believe in all the misconceptions about them as they are more than likely not correct.

Rating: B

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Oatmeal Stout by Blue Point Brewing Company

Off to New Brunswick we went to try a new place for lunch.  The George Street Ale House just opened its doors in January.  They have a nice selection of craft beer on tap and even more in bottles.  I figured why not have a nice pint and a burger to end the first quarter of my quest to drink 365.

Beer #91 is Oatmeal Stout by Blue Point Brewing Company.  This beer is an Oatmeal Stout with an ABV of 4.5% that is brewed on Long Island in the great state of New York, the Empire State.

The waitress delivered the beer to me in a Blue Point pint glass.  The stout was dark, almost black but not quite.  The head was small and tan and it left some nice residue on the glass as I drank it.  I took a whiff, the nose was very muted.  I could pick out some roasted malts and a bit of chocolate but that was about it.  I took a swig and was disappointed.  It had a very light coffee taste with just a bit of sweet roasted malts and not much of anything else.  I didn’t pick up the oatmeal or any of the chocolate I got in the nose.  The mouthfeel was light and watery with very little in the way of carbonation.  It was easy to drink but I wasn’t hankering for another.

This was an average Oatmeal Stout at best.  Breakfast Stout by Founders is a much, much better beer of this style.  This was a disappointing way to finish off the first quarter of my 365.  The food on the other hand was very good.

Rating: C

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Hopslam by Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Quick note, if you get the chance, check out the movie 127 Hours.  I saw it last night and thought it was fantastic.  The story is truly inspirational.

Beer #90 is Hopslam by Bell’s Brewery, Inc.   From Michigan by the way of fellow blogger Scot, http://blog.twobeerdudes.com, comes this American Double/Imperial IPA.  The ABV of this DIPA clocks in at 10%.

The color was a slightly hazy copper with a nice two finger width foamy white head.  That head left some excellent lacing in my pint glass.  The aromas I got from opening the bottle made me smile.  There was some nice grapefruit, pine, a bit of lemon, & floral aromas along with something sweet.  After reading the label, I think the sweetness comes from the honey.  The bitter hops kick in first in the taste followed by the grapefruit/lemon flavors with a nice bitter hoppy bite at the end.  There was a slightly sweet taste going on in here also.  It had a nice medium body with some nice carbonation that sort of coated the tongue.   The 10% ABV was hidden really well but it will bite you if you enjoy this too quickly.

Delicious…this was right up my alley.  DIPA FTW.  Good stuff from Bell’s…enjoy it if you can get a hold of it.

Rating: A

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Serum by DuClaw Brewing Company

Beer #89 comes to me from Maryland.  Serum by DuClaw Brewing Company is an American Double/Imperial IPA.  This is one of my favorite styles of beer.  The ABV of this one is 9%.  DuClaw has a nice brewpub in Bel Air, MD with excellent food.  I had the pleasure of visiting that location a few months ago.

A reddish amber color with a small white head stared back at me from the pint glass.  There were a bunch of bubbles trying to escape only to get trapped in the head.  The nose was kind of faint but was typical for a double IPA (pine, citrus) but heavier on the caramel malty sweetness.  That malty sweetness hits you up front followed by the grapefruit/pine hop flavors and finishes slightly bitter with a bit of booze.  The bitterness that lingered on in the aftertaste is quite pleasant, at least for me.  This smooth brew was slightly heavy bordering on syrupy and not overly carbonated.  A very nice beer to drink but the 9% ABV started to make itself known towards the end of the bomber.

I had this on tap when I visited DuClaw and it is pretty much how I remembered it.  I enjoyed this and would get this again preferably with DuClaws fried green tomatoes and buffalo chicken tenders, the hotter the better.

Rating: B+

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World Wide Stout by Dogfish Head

Tonights beer was what I had ready for yesterday…will it surpass Stella?  I really don’t see how it couldn’t.

Beer #88 is World Wide Stout by Dogfish Head.  Get this, this American Double/Imperial Stout has an ABV of 18%.  You read that correctly…18%.  Going to be a fun time in the old home tonight!

This stuff was pitch black, even when held up to the light.  There was the tiniest of tan heads and a tan ring of foam that lasted the whole drink.  The scent of alcohol was very strong with this one young grasshopper.  Boozy, malty, a bit of chocolate, and more booze make up the aroma in this brew and the alcohol scent got stronger as it warmed up.  And warmed up it became because it was a super slow sipping drink for me.  I got a bit of chocolate and lots of sweetness in the taste but that alcohol kept rearing its ugly head.  There was a warming alcohol finish to it and a slight chocolate aftertaste that lingered.  Mouthfeel was not as heavy or syrupy as I was expecting from the appearance but it had a ton of carbonation bordering on fizzy.  I had to take my time with this, mostly because of the super high, here it is again, alcohol content.

I wasn’t a big fan of this.  The alcohol was too overpowering for me so much so that on an empty stomach, I was feeling the effects of the ABV fairly quickly.  So far it is the worst Dogfish Head beer I have had.  It seems to get rated very high…I don’t know…maybe it was just me or I wasn’t in the mood for this but I think if I was offered another I would pass.  I do know if you drink this too fast, you will pass…out that is.

Rating: C

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Stella Artois by Stella Artois

On of my favorite local restaurants, O’Connors, closed in late August.  It was really nice because we could walk to it and it had good food.  For a few weeks there has been a sign out in front of it advertising the Stage House Tavern coming soon.  Well, it looks like tonight it was finally open.  I told the wife to stop cooking, take off the apron, and doll herself up, we are going out.  Off to the Stage House Tavern we went.

The draft selection was not good (Bud, Miller, Guinness, etc.) but they had something I haven’t had before, Stella Artois.  So I ordered one up to go with my sea scallop dinner.

Beer #87 is Stella Artois by Stella Artois.  Stella is brewed in Belgium.  It is brewed in the style of a Euro Pale Lager with an ABV of 5%

To the table it came in a standard pint glass (shame I didn’t have my Stella glass I got from Cavie, http://cavalierbeer.wordpress.com/ ) looking pale and yellow and very clear.  There was a small white head atop this beer.  I lifted the glass to my nose and didn’t get much of anything.  There was a very, and I mean very faint aroma of grass and grains and a slight skunky smell.  Not good I thought to myself as I raised the glass to take a sip.  The taste was very bland with a slight bread or grain flavor.  The mouthfeel was very light with not all that much carbonation.  As far as drinkability goes, it was as easy to drink this as it is to drink water.

This is a very blah beer.  There was not much to it, no complexity and very bland tasting.  That being said, it wasn’t the worst beer I have ever had it just doesn’t compare to 77 (not going to count the beers in the Peasant Fare rating pool) of the other beers I have had.  I wouldn’t recommend this, there are just so many other good beers out there to drink and enjoy.  On a better note, dinner and dessert were absolutely delicious.  Looks like the Stage House Tavern just might be able to fill the shoes of the old O’Connors.

Rating: D

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Lindemans Cassis by Brouwerij Lindemans

Beer #86 is Lindemans Cassis by Brouwerij Lindemans.  This is my first Fruit Lambic so I am looking forward to this.  A Lambic is a unique style of beer only brewed in the Pajottenland region of Belgium that is spontaneously fermented, this particular version is brewed with fruit.  The ABV of this Lambic is 4%.

It poured into the tulip glass a very dark purple with a light purple or pink head.  The appearance strongly reminded me of grape juice.  It had a concord grape like aroma, probably the black currants (never tasted or smelled them before) along with an earthy aroma.  It tasted to me like carbonated grape juice, nice and tart and a bit sour too.  It was a tad bit thick with very fine carbonation.   This was a refreshing beer very easy to drink.

This was another my wife really enjoyed.  I thought it was quite good too.  If you like grape juice, the dark variety, I don’t see how you couldn’t enjoy this.  Looks like I can add another style of beer to my likes list, Lambics for the win!

Rating: B+

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San Diego County Session Ale by Stone Brewing Company

Wow…who would have guessed it…more snow.  Luckily it was only a dusting and not a foot or you would have heard me yelling from NJ.  Think spring!

Beer #85 is San Diego County Session Ale by Stone Brewing Company.  Brewed in the style of an American Pale Ale, this collaboration beer between Stone Brewing Company, Ballast Point Brewing Company, & Kelsey McNair has an ABV of 4.2%.

This brew poured a hazy dark orange color with a minimal white head that got smaller with every sip.  The nose was very pleasant, heavy on the grapefruit hoppy aroma and something I think may have been honey?  The taste fell a bit short for me, there was a blast of pine grapefruit like flavors up front with an odd soapy bitter taste bringing up the rear.  There was a decent bitter aftertaste that I kind of enjoyed but that soapy taste didn’t sit well with me.  It was a medium bodied brew with some decent carbonation.  It was fairly easy to drink with the low ABV although I think it may be a bit too bitter (not for me of course) for most to be a session beer.

This could have been better but something about the odd soapy taste really bugged me.  Oh well, they can’t all be a Kingly brew but here’s hoping that tomorrows will be more suited for a King as opposed to a Jester.

Rating: C

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Wisconsin Belgian Red by New Glarus Brewing Company

Beer #83 is Wisconsin Belgian Red by New Glarus Brewing Company.  This beer is brewed in the style of a Fruit/Vegetable Beer with an ABV of 4%.

It mentions on the bottle to pour into a brandy snifter or a champagne flute which I have neither of so into the tulip glass it went.  A pretty ruby red with a minimal off-white head stared back at me from the glass.  The nose was cherries, cherries, and more cherries.  It tasted exactly like it smelled, huge cherry flavor up front with a bit of nice malts (biscuit like) in the middle finishing off mouth-puckering sour.  It was smooth, tart, crisp, and very well carbonated.  Both my wife and I found this very refreshing.  I also found it a nice change of pace from what I usually drink.  I could drink this all night long if I had more bottles of it, hint…hint.

Excellent beer from New Glarus.  I found this to be really nice for an after dinner dessert drink.  My wife thought this was delicious and wanted to share the bottle, which I did grudgingly.  She thought it would go great over a piece of lemon cake.  I would have to agree.  If you can get this, and like fruit beers and cherries, I don’t think you can go wrong with this brew.

Cheers Scot!  My wife and I would like to thank you for this beer!  Good stuff indeed!

Rating: A

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Indie Pale Ale by Cisco Brewers Inc.

A few years ago I had the pleasure of visiting Cape Cod.  On my journey up there I found a couple of good local craft brewers.  They were Cape Cod Beer (a vacation in every pint…I consumed a few of their growlers of IPA…good stuff!) and Cisco Brewers Inc. on the island of Nantucket.  I didn’t get a chance to visit Cisco Brewers but I brought home  two bombers of their beer.  My next beer is one of them…not one from two years ago you silly sausages but one I picked up more recently in of all places, Maryland.

Beer #83 is Indie Pale Ale by Cisco Brewers Inc.  This is an American IPA with an ABV of 7.58%.

A very nice clear amber color with a frothy white head greeted me in my pint glass.  The nose was pine and peach with a nice undertone of sweet malts. Down the throat it went with a nice bitter bite of peach & fruity flavors followed by a hint of the malts near the end of the sip.  It was a medium bodied brew that was well carbonated and quite refreshing to drink.  The bitterness tended to linger in the throat but if you know me, you know I enjoy that.  I thought for 7.58% ABV, the alcohol was hidden nicely.  This really became a very nice beer the more it warmed up as the flavors became more pronounced.

I liked this and would get it again, preferably in an outdoor bar on Nantucket on a nice warm summer day.  Won’t you join me for a pint or three?

Rating: B+

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