Archive for September, 2011

Brooklyn Oktoberfest by Brooklyn Brewery

Yeah baby!!!  Playoff baseball tonight with my Yankees going up against the best pitcher in the MLB, Jutin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers.  I have been lucky to be able to get to see the Yankees in so many playoff series since 1996 and I have enjoyed everyone one of them…win or lose.  It is a bit sad though to know that this is probably the last time I will get a chance to see Jorge Posada suit up as a Yankee.  I’m glad Posada will be getting some playing time this series with all the righties Detroit will be throwing against the Yanks.  Go get ’em Jorge!!!

Time to drink some beer!  Beer #305, another in my Oktoberfest fest, is Brooklyn Oktoberfest by Brooklyn Brewery.  Brewed in Utica, New York, this Marzen or Oktoberfest had an ABV of 5.5%.

I poured this in my River Horse glass and than I slapped myself, I have some nice Yankee glasses given to be by a friend a few years ago.  The color of this brew was a nice clear amber.  The head was off-white and small.  The nose was light, I’m getting the impression that an Oktoberfest or Marzen has that characteristic.  It was slightly stronger in the smell than yesterdays beer with the same caramel malts, toasted bread, and grass.  It had a similar taste profile also with a slightly sweet caramel flavor and toasted bread but where this was different was the the grassy flavor from the hops was more prominent.  It had a honey nutty like taste (the best way I could describe it) near the end that lasted into the aftertaste.  The body was medium and the carbonation was on the moderate side with just a slight stinging quality.  This was quite drinkable…I finished it a bit too fast.

I enjoyed this Oktoberfest much more than Sly Fox’s version.  I’m not quite sure I dig the style…I may have to have a few more to make that  determination.  Ah well…time to get ready for some baseball…lets go Yanks!!!!

Rating: B

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Oktoberfest Lager by Sly Fox Brewing Company

I stopped by the beer store for a fill up and saw a bunch of Oktoberfest/Marzen beers…so I picked a few up.  Looks like for I will be heavy into that style for the next bunch of days.

First up is beer #305, Oktoberfest Lager by Sly Fox Brewing Company.  Brewed in Royersford, Pennsylvania this Oktoberfest has an ABV of 5.8%.  It is also canned…cool!

Into another Pennsylvania brewers glass, Victory, this went with a nice clear amber color.  The head was small and off-white.  The nose was light with caramel malts and and toast.  I picked up a bit of grass in the smell.  This was a tad bit sweet and had the same flavors as I picked up on in the nose…toasted bread, caramel and even a a slight grain flavor…kind of like Cheerios.  It left an odd aftertaste I couldn’t identify…maybe a result of the can?  Although it didn’t taste metallic to me.  It was pretty light in the body and had a lower amounts of carbonation.  It was very easy to drink.

This was OK…nothing to write home about.  One thing I have noticed about some of the beers I have had from a can is that they are so much better then one would think.  These ain’t your Silver Bullets and such…

Rating: C

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Pumpkin Imperial Spruce Stout by Rock Art Brewery

Tonight is the last night of the MLB regular season and the Yankees (in the playoffs…again) are doing their best to eliminate those pesky Tampa Bay Devil Rays….oh…sorry…can’t say Devil now a days.  I wish there was a way the Yanks could also eliminate the Red Sox.  I just have this feeling the Red Sox are going get things going again.  Maybe we will see a Yanks/Red Sox ALCS?

Anyways…on to beer #304, Pumpkin Imperial Spruce Stout by Rock Art Brewery brewed in Morrisville, Vermont.  This is brewed in the style of an American Double or Imperial Stout with an ABV of 8%.  Of note here is that this is brewed with pumpkin and spruce tips just like in colonial times for flavor and bittering.  I love the little saying on the label…”This ain’t for no mama’s boy or daddy’s girl”.

It poured black as night with a one finger width tan head.  It had a vegetable like aroma (must be the pumpkin) along with the typical Stout smells of chocolate and coffee.  It started off with a pine like flavor from the hops and then got into some roasted, almost burnt coffee flavors from those lovely malts.  There was an herbal quality to the flavor also.  It had a decent bitter bite near the end of it.  I didn’t get anything in the taste resembling pumpkin.  It was lighter in the body that I was expecting being somewhere between medium and light.  The carbonation was fairly low and the alcohol was hidden very well.

For me, this was pretty average.  I was expecting the pumpkin to make a bigger splash here taste wise and it just didn’t.  It showed in the nose though.  I still love Rock Arts use of Kokopelli though.

Rating: C

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Stone Smoked Porter by Stone Brewing Company

I’m not into this tonight (blogging…not beer), just a word of warning.

Beer #303 is Smoked Stone Porter by Stone Brewing Company from Escondido, California.  This American Porter has an ABV of 5.9%.

It was black and had a very nice tan head.  Nose was kind of light with chocolate, coffee, & roasted caramel malts.  Taste was better than the nose, slightly sweet and a bit of a bitter dark chocolate flavor.  It had a decent roasted coffee flavor and was a bit smoky near the back end.  It had a medium body with just a bit too much carbonation.

This was a decent American Porter but not even close, IMHO, to Robust Porter by Smuttynose or Red Brick Porter by Red Brick.

Rating: C

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Festbier by Victory Brewing Company

Football night tonight…old cracked ribs and punctured lung Romo will hopefully be leading the Cowboys to victory against the Redskins.  Go Boys!

Beer #302 is Festbier by Victory Brewing Company from Downingtown, Pennsylvania.  This Marzen or Oktoberfest has an ABV of 5.6%.

It had quite the nice brownish amber color with just a very small tan head.  The aroma was kind of light with some hints of roasted malts and caramel.  Throw in a little bread and a nuttiness and you have the nose.  It tasted liked it smelled with roasted malty flavor, a caramel flavor that wasn’t all that sweet, and bread.  Near the finish, I got…bear with me…a flavor that reminded me of pretzels.  That was quite interesting.  It had a medium body, a nice amount of carbonation, was a bit crisp and at the same time…smooth.

This was a very solid Oktoberfest that is worthy of drinking this time of the year.  Prost!

Rating: B

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Bavarian Styled Doppel Weizen by Lagunitas Brewing Company

Short and sweet today…I have one of those family gatherings and have no idea when I will be back home tonight.

Beer #301 is Bavarian Styled Doppel Weizen by Lagunitas Brewing Company brewed in Petaluma, California.  This Weizenbock has an ABV of 9%.

It had a lovely color to it, a pale orange and was quite cloudy.  Just a tiny white head sat atop it.  The nose was light with cloves, wheat, and Bazooka bubblegum.  That bubblegum flavor was up front in the taste. The wheat mixed nicely with the spiciness of the cloves. The alcohol was apparent here in the taste also…not overwhelming but it was noticeable.  This was fairly bitter and had a nice spicy aftertaste along with banana.  The body was somewhere between medium and heavy with almost a sticky, syrupy consistency.  Not overly carbonated…it was just right for this brew.  The alcohol makes itself even more known as it warms up.

This was a solid Weizenbock, not the best I have ever had but good and most definitely an above average beer.  Off to the relatives now…

Rating: B

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Aphrodite by Brewery Ommegang

Today marks the last big milestone, my 300th beer.  It is hard to believe I have made it this far.  Even know there are 65 more beers I have to drink, a bit over two months, it feels like the home stretch.  As much as I have enjoyed doing this and getting the chance to try beers I would have never probably given a second glance, I can’t wait until it is over.  At times it seems like it has overtaken my life.  It can be a pain pouring, taking a photo, tasting, & blogging when away from home weather on vacation or just a family gathering or just after a long day at work.  With that said…let me introduce beer #300…Aphrodite by Brewery Ommegang.

Brewery Ommegang brews this Fruit Beer in Cooperstown, New York.  The ABV comes in at 8.9%.  Aphrodite as you may know is the Greek Goddess of Love and Lust.

The Goddess of Love (Lust) poured a ruby red with a large pink head.  The lacing left behind was quite nice.  Raspberries…no doubt about it on the nose.  A bit of pear and watermelon were also there.  The watermelon was interesting in that it is not an aroma I have really picked up on in other beers other than a specific watermelon beer.  Yeast and bread crust round out the nose.  I took a sip and man did I pucker up, this was quite tart.  The raspberries greeted me first in the taste along with blackberries.  This was quite the berry-licious beer!  About mid mouthful, it got a bit sweet with grapes and some black cherry flavors.  Near the end it got tart and a bit sour with a hoppy grass like flavor.  It had a solid medium body with a bunch of very fine carbonation.  The alcohol was hidden nicely here.  This was quite refreshing to drink.

I was digging this, I’m a fan of Fruit Beers and raspberries so this was right up my alley.  One thing I didn’t like about it was the price.  At $15.99 for the 750 ml bottle (same size as a typical wine bottle)…it was the most expensive beer I have had.  My wife thought this was one of the best beers she has ever had.  I wouldn’t go that far…but it was quite good.

Rating: B+

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Weihenstephaner Vitus by Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan

After a one and a half hour commute, I was looking forward to beer #299, Weihenstephaner Vitus by Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan.  It almost didn’t happen.  As I opened the bottle, it was like someone shook the bottle up, the beer came rushing out like lava forcefully ejected from a volcano and on to my floor.  I quickly picked up the bottle and was able to save about 3/4 of a tulip glass worth.  Can this night get any better?  I sure hope so.

Weihenstephaner Vitus is brewed in the style of a Weizenbock by the the worlds oldest brewery, Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan, from Germany.  The ABV is 7.7%

What I was able to save was a beautiful cloudy golden amber color.  The fluffy white head was massive.  Excellent nose this one had, cloves and banana along with a nice toasted malty bread and pepper aroma.  There was even a touch of hops in the form of a citrus aroma.  The taste didn’t disappoint, the hops came through with an orange like flavor.  It had a nice spice taste with black pepper and cloves.  It was nice and malty with a bit of caramel and bread…think toast.  I didn’t get the banana I picked up on the nose in the taste though.  Near the back end was a nice smoky burnt flavor.  The body was medium, it was nicely carbonated, and it was quite smooth and creamy.  This was highly drinkable.

This was a fantastic beer.  It had such a nice flavor with everything working together, I guess you could say in harmony and nothing being overpowering.  I have had three beers from Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan and each has been world class.  Do yourself a favor and try them if you see them.  I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Rating: A+

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Brainless On Peaches Belgian Style Ale by Epic Brewing Company

Beer #298 is Brainless On Peaches Belgian Style Ale by Epic Brewing Company.  This beer is from Salt Lake City, Utah and is brewed in the style of a Fruit Beer with an ABV of 10.5%.  According to the label, this is a limited release and I am holding one of 1800 bottles of this.  This bottle is release #4 and was brewed on January 15th, 2010.  Looks like this beer has been doing a bit of aging.

It poured a hazy gold with a bit of orange color to it.  The head was huge and off-white and fluffy.  It left some nice lacing in the glass.  It was very fragrant with peaches, honey, yeast, and grapes…very much like wine.  It reminded me of wine with the taste of grapes and peaches.  It was slightly sweet.  Those familiar Belgian yeast flavors were also here along with a bit of wheat near the end.  This was highly carbonated with a medium body bordering on being a bit syrupy.  The high ABV was hidden quite nicely.

I love peaches and I liked this quite a lot.  This beer is a year and nine months old and according to Epic’s website, it should age really well.  I may just get another bottle of this if I can still find it and cellar it for another year or so.  Peach lovers…try this one on for size.

Rating: B+

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MacFoochie's Scottish Ale by Atlantic Brewing Company

I spent the better part of the day dreaming of a tubeless wheel setup and how to convert my bike into a 1×10 drivetrain.  I hate to say it, but I got bit by the mountain biking bug hard this time.  I just want to ride but mother nature is again not playing along, more rain for the next few day makes me unhappy.  I will just have to cruise the Passion forums over at http://forums.mtbr.com/ for my fix the next few days.  Time for a beer.

Beer #297 is MacFoochie’s Scottish Ale by Atlantic Brewing Company from Bar Harbor, Maine.  This is a new style for me, a Scottish Ale.  The ABV is 7.8%.

This poured a very dark brown with a nice tan head.  The nose was faint, sweet caramel malts, bread, nuts, and a roasted goodness.  It tasted liked it smelled with the caramel malts mixed with a roasted, almost burnt flavor.  Add a bit of sweetness and dark fruit goodness of raisins and you have a fairly decent tasting brew.  The Body was much lighter than I expected, it was more towards the light side than the medium side.  The carbonation was very low and that made this nice and smooth and creamy.

This was OK…nothing special…I guess you could say a fairly average beer.  Not that that is a bad thing, it just didn’t “wow” me.  My mind is preoccupied anyways by fast flowy singletrack anyways.  Wonder if I can get a quickie in?  Ride that is.  That still doesn’t sound right.

Rating: C

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