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Posts Tagged ‘mountain biking’

Polestar Pilsner by Left Hand Brewing Company

Wow…after today’s beer I will be in the home stretch with just 20 beers to go.  So let us crest that hill and begin that long, fun (hopefully), and fast downhill section (mountain biking reference) towards the finish line.

Beer #345 is Polestar Pilsner by Left Hand Brewing Company brewed in Colorado in the town of Longmont.  Their version of a German Pilsner has an ABV of 5.5%.

This beer had a slightly cloudy golden color to it with just a small white head.  There was some really nice bubble action going in here also…it is kind of cool to stare at.  I took a whiff, the nose was very bready and grassy.  Mix in a bit of citrus…lemon I believe…and there you have it.  It was a bit sweeter than I expected in the taste department.  Malts are upfront with a very grain like and bread like flavor.  Towards the back end was where I found the lemony goodness, much bigger here than in any other German Pilsner I have had.  It had a bit of bitterness and was quite crisp.  The body was smack dab in the middle of light and medium and it had average amounts of carbonation.  This was actually quite smooth and super easy to drink.

This reminded me of summertime…it was quite refreshing and quite good.  I liked it quite a bit…can I say quite anymore?  Oh yeah…Happy Election Day everyone!!!  Get out there and vote…it is your duty as an American citizen (if you are an American citizen that is…if not ignore this) and your right.

Rating: B+

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UFO by Harpoon Brewery

Sunday…in October.  Football, mountain biking, beer drinking…is there anything else?  Funny thing happened to me as I was drinking today’s beer.  I was outside lubing and cleaning my bike when I went to take another sip of beer.  I looked into my glass and there was a bee.  Apparently  he was thirsty.  I had only had half of the beer at that point and the rest, with the bee, went flying onto the lawn.  So what was the beer the bee decided to share with me?

Beer #329 is UFO by Harpoon Brewery from Massachusetts.  Brewed in a little town you may have heard of, Boston, this American Pale Wheat Ale (at least that is how BeerAdvocate classifies it even know it says Hefeweizen on it) has an ABV of 5.1%

Appearance – Cloudy pale yellow or gold with a decent white head.

Nose – Kind of faint smelling with a bit of citrus and maybe a bit of that wheat smell.

Taste – A bit of banana with a lemon citrus flavor and that was about it…pretty simplistic.

Mouthfeel – The body rested between light and medium.  There was quite a bit of tight, prickly carbonation.  It had kind of a crispness to it.

Overall – Bleh…nothing to see here…move along.  I hope the bee enjoyed this more than I did.

Rating: D

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Burton Baton by Dogfish Head

I took my wife on a 10 mile rail-trail ride on the old mountain bikes to the Columbia Trail in High Bridge, New Jersey.  The Columbia trail stretches for about 16 miles and uses the an old rail line that was running freight trains from 1876 until 1976.  The South Branch of the Raritan River parallels the trail for most of its length.  It was a beautiful ride winding our way up to Califon, New Jersey and the old train station there.  There is really something quite nice about the forest in the autumn in the North East…even in good old New Jersey…no it is not all smokestacks and strip malls…contrary to popular opinion.  The leaves crunching under our tires, the smell of the woods in general…beautiful.  We both worked up quite an appetite, so pizza it was.  Brick oven, Pizza & Pasta in Manville, Chef’s Special (love the garlic)…doesn’t get any better.  And my beer on tap for this evening?

How about another brew from Dogfish Head from Delaware.  Beer #328 is Burton Baton which happens to be an American Double IPA or an Imperial IPA.  Heavy on the ABV, 10%, that seems par for the course with Dogfish.  Interesting to note is that this is a blend of an American IPA and an English-style Old Ale.

Appearance – A clear amber with a one finger-width off-white head that left some really nice lacing.

Nose – Caramel malts and citrus…grapefruit mostly.  It had a sweet aroma to it.  A bit bready…like crust on Wonder bread of all things.  I ate that stuff like it was going out of style when I was a kid.

Taste – Starts with a bitter bite then mellows into sweet caramel malts.  Pine and grapefruit then take over.  The oak this is aged with shows through with a nice vanilla flavor that is pretty recognizable.  The alcohol is hidden really well and doesn’t really start to show itself until the beer warms up.

Mouthfeel – Medium body starting to tip the scales towards heavy.  Not overly carbonated.  It was a bit harsh feeling.

Overall – This is another really good beer from Dogfish Head and a nice representation of an American DIPA.  I know, I seem to say that quite often…but they do brew some really, really good beers.  I enjoyed this once quite a bit at a slower pace of course because of the ABV.  A really nice beer to end a really nice day.  Till we meet, or I blog again…

Rating: B+

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India Style Rye Ale by Summit Brewing Company

I hopped on the trail after work for an 8 mile quick ride, that is just about all I can get with the daylight being so short this time of the year.  This is one of the nicest times of the year to ride with the cooler temps and that raw feeling of late autumn still a few weeks away.

I popped open beer #323 after said ride, India Style Rye Ale by Summit Brewing Company, and I was truly surprised that this far into it I have come upon a style of beer I have yet to have.  Summit, from St. Paul, Minnesota, brews this in the style of a Rye Beer.  Rye Beer is just that, beer brewed with rye, the grain that is.

Appearance – Dark brown color with a tiny off-white head.

Nose – Smelled like rye bread…crust and all.  There was also a bit of pine and caramel.

Taste – Well…it did taste a bit like rye bread, there was no mistaking that.  The hops are pretty noticeable with a pine like flavor.  It was very earthy tasting and even had a bit of a nuttiness to it.  The rye bread flavor also lasts on into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, with an ample amount of prickly carbonation.  It had a decent bitter bite to it also.

Overall – For my first Rye Beer, I thought this was pretty good.

Rating: B

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Mokah by Southern Tier Brewing Company

I’m a biking fool lately…thoroughly addicted I am to the trail, my bike (Salsa El Maricahi), the sounds of nature, and the solitude.  Oh yeah…the speed one can get going down inclines is quite thrilling also.  I happened on a hawk or possibly an owl in my riding today that had an unfortunate victim (rabbit?) in its talons as it flew skyward.  Another 16 miles at my favorite place to ride, Six Mile Run Reservoir, made me a happy camper.

Beer #316 is Mokah by Southern Tier Brewing Company.  I have been looking forward to this American Double Stout or Imperial Stout brewed in Lakewood, New York for quite some time.  The ABV clocks in at a heavy 11.2%.

Mokah poured black with a very thin brown head.  The nose was fantastic…chocolate and coffee and cocoa.  It smelled like hot chocolate or more like a mocha coffee drink…yum!  It tasted exactly like it smelled with the coffee and the chocolate mixing together very nicely.  There was a bit of vanilla mingling in with some nice roasted malty flavors.  It reminded me of how I like my mocha coffee drinks, not overly sweet with a nice bitter cocoa/chocolate flavor.  It had an excellent aftertaste of cocoa powder…damn good.  It had a heavier body but not really thick.  It was quite smooth and creamy with lower amount of carbonation.  I thought the alcohol was hidden fairly well for such a high ABV brew.

I loved this…it was quite delicious!  Coffee and chocolate lovers should seek this out.  This is by far my favorite Southern Tier brew I have had so far!

Rating: A+

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Reserve Ale BBA Porter by Cricket Hill Brewing Company

You know…it has been almost 5 days since I hinted that Ms. sex-pot Scarlett Johansson should give me a ringie ding ding.  I have yet to hear from you…I’m not really sure why.  I am a King after all, I have the #1 blog all across the land (well maybe not), and I am drop dead gorgeous.  Just ask anyone…

Anyways…what a beautiful October day it was and there is more of the same for tomorrow, Monday, and Tuesday.  If you didn’t get out today and you live in NJ, NY, PA, etc…shame on you.  Over to New Hope we ventured for a ride on the canal then I had my wife drop me off at Six Mile Run Reservoir and I rode some sweet singletrack there and to top it off…I pedaled my ass home on the roads(boo).  All in all…another 21 miles today and with the 20 I did yesterday…my ass is sore.  So what better thing to do then sit at my PC and blog about another beer.  I think I need a pillow on this chair…and maybe for my loving wife to spread some A&D ointment all over my buttocks…

Beer #314  is Reserve Ale BBA Porter by Cricket Hill Brewing Company from Fairfield, New Jersey.  They brew this American Porter with an ABV of 6.7%.  The BBA in the name stands for bourbon barrel aged and the Reserve means that these are special beers Cricket Hill brews.  They only brew 4 Reserve Ales a year.  I have another lined up for tomorrow, an American Brown Ale.

This beer poured a dark brown, it could have been black.  The head was light brown and quite large and very fizzy.  The nose was very woodsy with loads of vanilla.  Did I mention this was aged in bourbon barrels?  Well it was and it smelled like bourbon/scotch/whiskey.   Take your pick for they all kind of smell similar to me but then again…I’m not a connoisseur of those types of alcohol.  It tasted exactly like it smelled with the inclusion of a bit of chocolate.  It had a very slight burnt ending to it.  It was a bit thin body wise for my liking for an American Porter and was quite harsh mouthfeel wise with a nice amount of stinging carbonation.  Even know it smelled quite like the alcohol bomb…that was not really the case.

For me…this didn’t work as an American Porter.  I just didn’t dig this at all.   It was more like a bourbon flavored beer.  I like a coffee flavor in my porters but this had none of it and it was just a bit too thin.  Lets hope tomorrows from Cricket Hill is better.

Oh yeah…I am really contemplating doing another mountain bike ride tomorrow at Nockamixon in Pennsylvania.  They are having their grand opening of their newly cut trails.  Free food, free drink, and awesome riding.  I’m there…I just hope my derriere can take it…

Rating: D

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Autobahn IPA by Sixpoint

After my 20 miles of smiles mountain bike ride at White Clay Creek & Middle Run in Newark, Delaware…I was quite thirsty.  I figured I would reward myself with a half-growler (32 oz) of fresh beer form Joe Canals in Lawrenceville, NJ.

I pulled out a pint glass, placed on the rear of my car with my trusty steed in view…and poured.  Autobahn poured a nice cloudy orange amber with a one finger width white head.  The nose was quite piney with an odd perfume like scent.  It kind of smelled like soap.  Puzzled with the nose, I took a sip.  Pine was the big thing here in the flavor.  There was also some citrus…white grapefruit to be exact.  Thankfully the perfume scent didn’t show up in the taste.  It had a decent amount of breadiness…toast flavor.  Everything flavor wise really tailed off at the end which was also a bit odd.  It had a decent amount of bitterness.  The mouthfeel was that of a medium bodied brew with lower amounts of carbonation.  It was kind of smooth.

Overall this was just an average American IPA.  The half growler provided me with 3 glasses of beer…not too shabby for $9.99.  On the other hand, White Clay & Middle Run were fantastic…unless you like technical rocky trails.  There was a ton of speed and flow here which is right up my alley when it comes to mountain biking.  If you dig fast and flowy trails…and you mountain bike…give it a look.

Rating: C

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