Posts Tagged ‘Jester Juice’

Belgian Freeze by River Horse Brewing Company

Wow…my next to last beer on this journey.  Not really sure what to say next so lets get to the beer itself.

Beer #364 is Belgian Freeze by River Horse Brewing Company from Lambertville, New Jersey.  This Belgian Dark Ale has an ABV of 8%.

It poured a cloudy dark amber, it reminded me a lot of iced tea.  The head was an off-white about one finger width in size.  The nose was pretty light with cloves, a Belgian yeasty thing, banana and a bit of caramel.  It had the flavors of bananas, some brown sugar, was a bit nutty, bready and decently bitter.  It had a spiced (ginger snap like?) aftertaste.  The body was medium, it was very well carbonated and the alcohol was hidden nicely.

All in all it was an OK brew.  I didn’t hate it nor did I think it was outstanding.  I think I will let the Jesters in my court have this.  There are far better brews I would rather drink…time to break open a Left Hand Fade To Black…yum!!!

An now I’m a bit sad…just knowing tomorrow is the last day of this long journey. I am also glad in a way it is coming to an end.  I can finally have my evenings after work back to do whatever I choose.  Oh well…until tomorrow…

And then there was 1…

Rating: C

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Olde School by Dogfish Head

Wow…as the end is near on this journey to drink 365 beers, I can’t believe tonight’s beer, #354, will be my 18th I have had from Dogfish Head.  Olde School is that 18th beer and it is a American Barleywine with a hefty ABV of 15%.  I have said it numerous times before, Dogfish tends to do nothing on the subtle side.

I broke out a glass I haven’t used in a while, my Stella Artois glass from a fellow blogger for the pour.  It had a slightly hazy amber color with hints of ruby red to it.  The head was the smallest of off-white rings.  I smelled booze, brown sugar, and raisins.  Man…was this sweet and very boozy in the taste.  There was the familiar flavor of caramel malts and a woodsy earthy thing going on in here.  Add in a dark cherry flavor very reminiscent of cherry flavored NyQuil and there you have it.  It had quite the warming effect from the high ABV.  It was quite thick and syrupy with the carbonation on the low side.  For me and I imagine anyone who drinks this, it was a sipping brew.

For me, this was just OK.  I’m not a big fan of Barelywines in general (although I have found some that I do enjoy) and this did nothing to change my feeling on them.  It really wasn’t what I was looking for in a beer this evening but it is what came up in the rotation.  Speaking of which, I am out of beer and need to make my final beer run for this 365.

And then there were 11 (these go to 11)…

Rating: C

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Autumn Ale by Breckenridge Brewery

When I visited Breckenridge, Colorado a few years ago, I lived on Breckenridge Breweries offerings the entire week I was there.  They had a brewpub right in town that we frequented often.  I seem to remember those beers actually being quite good (and very fresh) but all of their offerings I have had so far have not lived up to my memories.  I must admit, I was in my infancy when it came to craft beer back then and I was looking for something similar to my Holy Grail of beers at the time, Fat Tire.  Lets see if tonight’s beer will live up to those memories or will it fall to the wayside of many an empty bottle I have in my basement of sub-par beer.

Beer #346 is Autumn Ale by Breckenridge Brewery.  Breckenridge Brewery brews their version of an American Brown Ale in the Mile High city of Denver with an ABV of 6.7%

Appearance – Dark brown with no head whatsoever.

Nose – Pretty faint but I did get some roasted malts…a bit like coffee.

Taste – Coffee was the most recognizable flavor here.  It had a smoky & nutty quality to it also.  It was really all about the malts here…hops be damned.  It had a chocolate finish and aftertaste to it.  In a weird way it reminded me of Indian Corn, a take on Candy Corn but with chocolate…I know, weird.

Mouthfeel – Lighter than it looked in the body with low amounts of carbonation.  It was creamy and very smooth.

Overall – Pretty average…there are much better beers in this style.

And then there were 19…

Rating: C

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Manly Men Beer Club presents El Hefe by Atlantic Brewing Company

My journey takes me to the great state of Maine, Bar Harbor to be exact, to find tonight’s  brew.  Beer #339 is Manly Men Beer Club presents El Hefe by Atlantic Brewing Company (actually brewed by Salisbury Cove Associates, Inc…a part of Atlantic???) which happens to be a Wheatwine, another new style for me.  Similar in style to a Barleywine, a Wheatwine has a heavier presence of wheat malt.  The ABV is pretty heavy too coming in at 9%.  My wife is going to love me tonight after I finish the bomber, or 22 ounces of this beer.

El Hefe poured a clear amber…it kind of looked like honey.  Where was the head for it was nowhere to be found.  It smelled like a very subdued Barleywine…nothing but a malty kind of sweet smell here.  Caramel, raisins, crust from freshly baked bread…those were the primary aromas.  The slightly sweet caramel of the malts started off the taste.  The nice flavor of bread then takes over for the rest of the drink.  I got a bitter chocolate flavor in the aftertaste…not sure where that came from.  The alcohol was noticeable…more so as this warmed up as it did because for me it was a sipper.  It was a bit syrupy and sticky but not really heavy in the body.  The carbonation was quite low.  It was a really smooth drinking beer.

I don’t know…for a beer that was supposed to be heavy in wheat, I didn’t get that in the taste or the nose.  The dark fruitiness of the raisins also disappeared in the taste.   It wasn’t as heavy or sickeningly sweet as some Barleywines I have had…and that for me is a plus.  I’m a bit torn here…I kind of liked it but wasn’t bowled over by it.  Ehh…let my court Jesters have this…

Rating: C

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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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Saranac Bohemian Pilsener by Matt Brewing Company

I need to make this fairly quick as I really need a Battlefield 3 fix.  Fantastic game…if you game…go and get it and look for me online, kingbobyjr.  Be warned…you will get smoked…just not by me.  I will leave that to the 14 year olds who have nothing better to do than play games all day long.

Beer #333 is Saranac Bohemian Pilsener by Matt Brewing Company.  This Czech Pilsener, a new style of beer for me, with an ABV of 4.8% is brewed in Utica, New York.

Appearance – A really nice clear gold with frothy, creamy thin white head.  There was close to one million bubbles putting on a glorious show as they were trying to escape the Pilsner (Pilsener…looks like it can be spelled both ways) glass.  Excellent lacing.

Nose – Very mild nose with some grains, hay and grass.

Taste – A bit of a cracker flavor…not Saltines but more like a Ritz minus the buttery thing.  A bit of a lemon rind flavor and bitterness.  A bit spicy with black pepper.

Mouthfeel – Light bodied, crisp, high carbonation…this would probably be quite refreshing on a hot summer day which have gone the way of the DoDo bird…until next summer that is.

Overall – I have to be honest…I wasn’t expecting much being I’m not a huge fan of Pilsners in general.  This was a very drinkable beer though being a King and all, I would still give this to the Jester…and so I shall.

Rating: C

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Verboten by Weyerbacher Brewing Company

Ding…ding…ding…I hit the 600 mile mark on my bike today.  I’m pretty happy with that since 90% of that is on dirt whether it is singletrack or rail-trail.  I am shooting for 700 miles which should be reachable but I really don’t like riding in the cold so I guess that will be up to what Mother Nature provides.  The most I have done in one year is 980…I don’t think that will be attainable.  Maybe next year I will shoot for 1000 miles.  On to the beer.

Beer #332 is Verboten by Weyerbacher Brewing Company, a Belgian Pale Ale brewed in Easton. Pennsylvania with an ABV of 5.9%.

Appearance – A cloudy amber with a super thin off-white head.

Nose – Pretty light smelling with cloves and bananas.

Taste – Spicy and hoppy with bit of pepper, some cloves, and an orange rind flavor.  Nice bitter bite.  Finished on the dry side.

Mouthfeel – Midway between medium and light with an ample amount of stinging carbonation.

Overall – Decent brew but I wouldn’t go out of my way for it.  Just another beer in the long line of 365.

Rating: C

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Harvest by Long Trail Brewing Company

You should never look a gift horse in the mouth or turn a free lunch down.  That being said…lets drink…

Beer #327 is Harvest by Long Trail Brewing Company.  This American Brown Ale with an ABV of 4.6% is brewed in Vermont.

Appearance – The color of brown, nice and clear, with a small cream colored head.

Nose – Very malty…caramel and a toasted bready aroma.  There was also a very slight maple aroma buried in there too.

Taste – Caramel and toast make up the majority of the flavors.  There was kind of an earthy nutty thing here also.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied with mild carbonation.

Overall – An average American Brown Ale with the added bonus of maple syrup even know that didn’t translate to the taste.

Rating: C

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Reserve Ale American Brown Ale by Cricket Hill Brewing Company

On to beer #315, Reserve Ale American Brown Ale by Cricket Hill Brewing Company.  Their version of an American Brown Ale, brewed in Fairfield, New Jersey, has an ABV of 5.7%.

I poured this outside on this beautiful autumn day.  The color was a clear brown with just a hint of red to it.  The cream colored head was huge and started to overflow the glass.  It left some of the best lacing of any beer I have had.  The nose was a bit light with caramel, a nutty aroma, and some grassy hop scents.  It had a slightly sweet caramel malt taste with a bit of pine from the hops.  There was a bit of a nutty almost earthy flavor also.  To be honest, the flavor was a bit ho-hum.  The body was just south of medium with average carbonation.  It was fairly smooth and almost creamy.

This was better than yesterdays Cricket Hill Reserve series but not by much.  Oh well…enough of sitting in front of the PC…time to get outside an enjoy the day!

Rating: C

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