Archive for March, 2011

Full Circle by New Holland Brewing Company

Play ball!!!  The Yankees domination of the MLB started today with a victory!  One little victory (Rush reference there…) in which I hope springboards them into 95 or so wins.  Lets go Yankees!!!!

Beer #123 is Full Circle by New Holland Brewing Company from Michigan.  This is a Kolsch…I have no idea what a Kolsch actually is so to the web I went for an answer.  A Kolsch is a traditional German beer first brewed in Cologne, Germany.  This particular beer has an ABV of 4.9%.

Full Circle poured a gold color with a little white head.  The nose was very light, there was almost no smell whatsoever until I agitated the brew then I got a bit of grass and maybe some wheat.  The taste was a bit bready…and that was about it.  It finished very dry and flat, almost if there was no carbonation.  The mouthfeel was that of a light bodied brew with very little in the way of carbonation.  It was a very mild and easy drinking beer.

This really reminded me of a Pilsner but without the crispness.  It was OK, nothing to write home about.  Oddly enough, my wife liked it better than I did but she prefers lighter style beers…me…not so much.

Rating: C

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Beach Haus by East Coast Beer Company

Another milestone tonight.  After this evenings beer, the 365 will be one third complete.  That also means I am just 60 beers shy of the halfway point.  Not too shabby.  One thing I would like to try to accomplish from here on out is to have a beer from every state in the US.  I have already covered 22 states, 28 in the next 243 beers seems possible.  I wonder if every state has something brewed in it…time for some research.

On to beer #122 which is Beach Haus by East Coast Beer Company.  Brewed right here in the great old Garden State, New Jersey, this American Pale Lager (I think of these as Pilsners) has an ABV of…I have no idea.  It is not printed on the label and it is not on their website.  Odd.

Into my pilsner glass this went and it had a golden yellow color with no head. There were quite a lot of bubbles rising to the top, it looked really cool.  The nose was light with some grains, cereal, and a bit of grass.  It tasted very grain like with maybe a touch of lemon peel near the finish.  It was a very crisp and fairly bitter beer.  It had a very light body and a ton of carbonation.  It would be pretty easy to drink a few of these if it was ones desire, it wasn’t mine though.

There was nothing wrong with this beer other than it being just a ho-hum brew. Here hoping the next 243 are a bit better than this.

Rating: C

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Flower Power IPA by Ithaca Beer Company

Beer #121 is Flower Power IPA by Ithaca Beer Company from the Empire State, New York.  As you may have guessed, this is an American IPA with an ABV of 7.5%.

What a nice pour this was, a nice frothy white head (awesome lacing also) topped this honey colored brew.  As soon as I popped the top from the bottle, I knew I had a winner…the aroma from the bottle alone made my mouth water.  The nose was excellent, lots of grapefruit, pineapple, pine, and a bit of bready malts.  It tasted as good as it smelled with grapefruit & pine the biggest flavors.  There was a nice sort of sweet malt thing going in here also but not as pronounced in the flavors as the hops.  It finished on the bitter side and that bitterness lasted long after the sip was swallowed.  The mouthfeel was nice, a medium bodied brew with some lively carbonation.  It was high for me on the drinkability scale, but I prefer hoppy, bitter brews.

This was a fine example of an American IPA.  I have said it before and I will say again, I think American IPA’s are my favorite style of beer…yum!

Rating: A

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Belzebuth by Brasserie Grain d' Orge

Vive la France!  I guess that is a hint as to where tonights brew is from…France.

Beer #120 is Belzebuth by Brasserie Grain d’ Orge from France.  They brew Belzebuth in the style of a Belgian Strong Pale Ale and strong it is with an ABV of 13%.  Interesting thing is Belzebuth, among other things (evil things that is), is a long haired spider monkey from South America.

I pulled out a pilsner glass, I know it isn’t the proper glass, but I like the way my Lenox pilsner glasses look.  And I look damn cool drinking from them…weather it is beer or water.  So into it went this brew which was a dark orange or amber color.  It had a small white head.  The nose was sweet, fruits and malts, like a peach or apricot (fruit cocktail in a can is another way to describe the nose).  It smelled thick and syrupy and very boozy.  I took a sip and the sweet fruitiness from the nose is there along with the alcohol.  That alcohol packs quite a punch.  The mouthfeel is on the heavy side and is indeed syrupy.  It coats the tongue and mouth very well.  Tis a sipper for sure.  Even know it was only an 8.4 oz bottle, the alcohol was having its way with me and I was feeling quite jolly halfway through.

I kind of liked this, not as an everyday session type beer but more of a late night, once in a blue moon, kick back and relax sipping drink.  I’m not a drinker of hard liquor (scotch, whiskey, etc.) but I could see myself drinking this as someone would drink them.  I guess you could say it would make a good nightcap.

Rating: B

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Cadillac Mountain Stout by Bar Harbor Brewing Comapny

Today was a nice lazy Sunday.  I spent it reading a book about an eagle…and enjoying my daily brew.  The title of the book is An Eagle Named Freedom.  It is a good story about a man whose life is changed by a rescued eagle.  If you are into reading and enjoy feel good stories…give it a go.

Beer #119 is Cadillac Mountain Stout by Bar Harbor Brewing Company. From Maine comes this American Stout. This beer has an ABV of 6.7%.  Of note, the mountain this beer is named after, Cadillac Mountain (Acadia National Park), is the highest point within 25 miles of the east coast of the United States.  It towers to a lofty 1528 ft.  OK, maybe not so lofty compared to the mountains out west but pretty impressive nevertheless for being on the coast.  I suggest if you have never been there, and are in the great state of Maine, take a detour to Acadia National Park and hike to the top of Cadillac Mountain.  Unless you are a sissy, then you can drive a car to the top.  Either way, the views are magnificent.

I pulled out a pint glass I haven’t used in quite some time…a glass from Macs Grill in Auburn, Maine.  I figured it would be a good glass to pour todays beer into being both are from the state of Maine.  Cadillac Mountain Stout poured a lovely black with a nice tan head that left some awesome lacing.  The nose was really nice, it consisted of dark roasted malts and dark chocolate.  The taste really nice too, roasted flavors up front followed by those nice chocolate flavors.  There was a nice coffee/chocolate aftertaste that I absolutely love.  It had a nice medium body, was quite creamy, and was low on carbonation.  This was very drinkable but I took my sweet old time with this enjoying every last drop.

Another Kingly brew and a fine stout indeed.

Rating: A

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Ass Kisser Double IPA by Rahr & Sons Brewing Company

I’m sitting here with beer #118 watching A Mighty Wind.  If you have never seen it, and like Spinal Tap…it is a must see.  It cracks me up every time I see it.

Beer #118 is Ass Kisser Double IPA by Rahr & Sons Brewing Company.  Rahr & Sons hails from Fort Worth, Texas.  This is another first for me…my first beer from Texas.  It is kind of cool to have a beer from Texas since I was born in that great state in a little old town named San Antonio.  This is an American Double IPA/Imperial IPA and has an ABV of 9%.

What better glass to use for a beer from Texas than my Dallas Cowboys pint glass?  It poured a hazy dark amber with a small head.  I took a smell and was a bit confused.  On the label it says it is a Double IPA so I was expecting some heavy pine and citrus type aromas but that is not what I got.  I got a ton of sweet caramel malts and they dominated the nose.  There was a bit of citrus or pine to be honest but it was buried way down in there.  At times it reminded me of how a Barleywine smells, and you know how much I love Barleywines.  I took a generous sip and those sweet malts greeted me first and then I got a bit of  pine like hop flavors near the end of the that sip.  This truly tasted exactly like it smelled.  It finished slightly bitter.  The mouthfeel was a bit on the heavier side and sort of sticky or syrupy.  The carbonation was on the low side.  For me, drinakability was just OK.  Just like with Barleywines, the sweetness of all of those malts at times is almost too much for me to take.  Plus the alcohol makes it self known fairly quickly.

I think this beer was confused…I really didn’t get a Double IPA out of this.  That being said…it wasn’t horrible but for me it was just an average beer.

Rating: C

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The Big Smoke by 8 Wired Brewing Company

When I think of New Zealand, I think of the great locations they used to film the Lord Of The Rings movies.  I also think of Flight Of The Conchords, a very funny show that used to be on HBO.  The main characters, Bret and Jemaine are from New Zealand.  So when I saw my local beer store had a brew from New Zealand, I knew I just had to try it.  I knew it was business time (Flight Of The Conchords reference)!

Beer #117 is that beer and it is named The Big Smoke.  It is brewed by 8 Wired Brewing Company hailing from New Zealand in the style of a Smoked Beer.  The ABV of this is 6.2%.

Black was the color, nonexistent was the head.  The nose consisted of chocolate malts with a hint of smoke.  I have to be honest, on smell alone my mouth was watering.  The taste was strong roasted coffee and dark bitter chocolate with a really nice smokiness going on.  The smokiness followed through in the aftertaste along with a nice chocolate flavor.  It had a body that wasn’t light or medium but somewhere in between.  It was nice and smooth with some moderate carbonation.  Super drinkable to me, I could enjoy this all night long.  I wish I had another bomber or three on hand.

It seems like it has been a long time since I have had a Kingly brew but I’m happy to say this beer was one indeed.  This was a fantastic beer and a great way to finish off the week.  The only thing that held it back slightly for me was that I wish it had a heavier smoky presence.  Still, you can’t go wrong with this porter… it was absolutely delicious and a beer I think  Bret and Jemaine of the Conchords would be proud of.  Murray would also approve.

Rating: A

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Double White Ale by Southampton Publick House

I would like to apologize to Old Man Winter.  I must have offended him the other day when I told him to kiss my ass.  Since then, we have had below average temperatures and even snow for the last two days.  Spring is starting out not so nice.  One good thing about today is the New York Yankees will begin their domination of the American League and the MLB in just one week.  Lets go Yankees!

Beer #116 is Double White Ale by Southampton Publick House from New York.  A Witbier with an ABV of 6.6% would be my beer of choice for this evening.

Into a tulip glass it went and it looked really nice, a hazy golden orange color.  It had very little head to speak of.  Man oh man did this smell like banana with some orange and a yeasty spiciness.  There was also something here I haven’t smelled before in a beer…bubble gum…Bazooka that is.  The citrus comes through in the taste foremost mixed with some spice.  The aftertaste was more of that banana.  The mouthfeel was nice and smooth and almost creamy with a medium body and some light carbonation. Very drinkable…I wanted another after I finished the one I had.

This is a nice Witbier that I liked.  Witbiers remind me of sunshine & warm weather and that made me smile on this day were it barely broke 40 degrees.

Rating: B

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Pikeland Pils by Sly Fox Brewing Company

Beer #115 comes from Royersford, PA in the from of  German Pilsner.  That beer is Pikeland Pils by Sly Fox Brewing Company and has an ABV of  4.9%.

Into my Lenox pilsner glass went this hazy golden brew.  This was another beer with a huge fluffy white head, it did dissipate fairly quickly but it left in its wake some nice lacing on the glass.  The nose was very subdued and consisted of a bit of lemon, floral hops, a little bit-o-honey, and some grass.  The taste followed the nose (actually more lemon than anything else) and finished off on the bitter side.  It was very crisp, had a medium body, and some very fine carbonation.  It was real easy to drink and was kind of refreshing.

This was a middle of the road beer for me.  Not horrible and nothing to write home about.  A King, such as myself, deserves better.

Rating: C

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Vergina by Macedonian Thrace Brewery

Beer #114 is Vergina by Macedonian Thrace Brewery.  Interesting name for this Euro Pale Lager from Greece with an ABV of 5%.

Look at that beautiful gold color and that huge foamy white head.  Looks good…no?  I took a smell and got hay and a skunky smell.  That skunky smell got stronger as it warmed up.  It smells like a lager unfortunately and lagers aren’t my favorite style of beer.  It had a slightly sweet taste along with a flavor I couldn’t place.  It was really light and thin in the body.  It was nice and crisp with some heavy carbonation going on.  Easy to drink but the skunky smell wasn’t all that appealing to me.

The best part of this beer was the fact it was from Greece and it was my first Greek beer.  On to beer #115.

Rating: D

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