Friday, March 26, 2010

Saranac Brown Ale

Alrighty then, with my laptop all better now and my fridge working for 10 days straight, I bring you fine people

Saranac Brown Ale by Matt Brewing Co

Brown Ales are probably my favorite style, they provide a nice balance between malts and hops but each having their own say in how the final taste comes out.

The pour is a nice, brown with a hint of red color and thick head that settles to a thin cap that leaves plenty of lacing. The hops take most of the scent but mix very well with the malt, definitely how a beer should smell. Lets you know you’ll be enjoying a full complement of flavors without knocking you over. First sip gives you a sweetness one would expect that slowly gives way to the hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is lighter than I expected but that just makes it easier to consume. This may be a bad thing if you only have one in the fridge like me. The only down side may be the slight, and I mean slight, astringent after taste this beer leaves behind. So it gets 1.8 thumbs up instead of 2, but who’s keeping score.

Usually I finish writing and posting the review way before I finish the beer, but this one is already ¾ of the way gone. Still have to edit the photo and post, hmmm. Long week + good beer = empty glass, life’s rough ain’t it. So go ahead and join me in this toast to life fellow beer friend and have a pint on me, you can even send me the bill, I’ll pay for it, I promise. I wouldn’t kid about something like this. Cheers!


Friday, March 19, 2010

Allagash White

OK, what is it with me and electronics? First my 'beer fridge' died week before last then yesterday my hard drive in my laptop bit the dust, WTH! So to pass my misory I enjoyed a plate of wings at Wild Wing Cafe and had a 'Black and Tan' followed by a nice surprise, a 'black and blue' (Guinness and Blue Moon).

I normally don't like Blue Moon as I find it too sweet, but mixed with Guinness it makes for a very smooth, creamy beer with just a hint of citrus sweetness. So it gets two thumbs up from the ole fourboysbrewpub himself.

Well, today I figured I would continue the Belgain wit theme with :

Allagash White by Allagash Brewing Co.

First, I normally say no to beers with twist of caps but I had heard good things about this beer so why not right? Well, there was no twisting this cap, I had to use a bottle opener. Good sign or bad sign? We shall see. Plus, any beer with pouring directions on the bottle has to be worth trying cause at least they think enough of their beer to tell you the proper way to pour to ensure the most satisfaction.

The head is decent but didn't stick around too long. The color is a cloudy orange, imagine 1 part sweet tea and 2 parts orange juice, just how an unfiltered wheat should be. The scent is a good bit of orange peel and spice mixed in, definitely a beer for the spring time. You can taste the orange but it's not overpowering with sweetness. The spices balance things out very nicely. Oh why didn't I buy a six pack? This will be a nice beer to unwind with after a long spring day in the yard. It might even replace the Margarita for the daily beach drink, who knows.

So life ain't so bad, even if I have to occasionally kick start the beer fridge and rebuild my laptop come Monday cause there is always good beer to be had right?


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St Patrick's day surprise - McSorley's Irish Black Lager

Bonus Review Alert! Bonus Review Alert!

Ok, so I normally do my reviews on Friday, the first two were on Saturday but the norm has become for me to do it on Friday. But I thought today would be a great day to post a special review, it being St Patrick’s Day and all, I would go a get an Irish beer and give it a review. Well, when I did some research on some Irsih beers, I became disappointed, you see, St. Patrick wasn’t Irish, had no ties to beer and Patrick wasn’t even his real name. Well now I had to find out the real deal, why the Irish celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (more so than the rest of the world), what was his real name and why March 17th. Maybe I missed this in grade school or sleep through it in high school, either way that was a long time ago, so I venture on.

So, you can check out the real story here or here or even here. Just think, If I were writing reviews in the 80’s or 90’s I would have to go to the library or at least find the encyclopedia to find out all this cool information, but not in this age of the internet. Hey, will my kids even know what a library is? Anyway, this isn’t a history blog; oh no it is a blog about beer so here we go with:

McSorley’s Irish Black Lager (Product of the USA), St Patrick wasn’t Irish so why should this beer be?

It pours black just as advertised but with little to no head which is odd for any Irish style beer but maybe my glass was dirty. Not dirty as in yuck, don’t drink out of it, but just not beer clean. Dish detergents, especially dish washer detergents can ruin a beer head. So maybe this one snuck in the dish washer when I wasn’t looking. The sniff gives me a familiar scent but one I can’t quit determine, I then pick up a little bit of roasted malts, and maybe a slight hint of liquorice. The initial taste and mouth feel are a very strange sensation for a beer, almost cola like just before the liquorice hits you at the very end. I’m not that familiar with a Black Lagers so I also picked up the Sam Adams Black Lager and will compare the two. Unlike must black/dark beers this isn’t landing heavy on the ol’ stomach, which is nice, although I don’t think I could drink more than one or two per sitting.

This beer works for me as a nice mid-week surprise review. Thanks St. Paddy even if you didn’t have any big historic connection to beer. Cheers everyone!


UPDATE: OK, so a few readers are saying I left them not knowing my opinion of the beer. Let's just say I will not go out of my way to get it. If it is all someone has to offer me, fine, I'll drink it. If they have anything else I'll probably opt for the other. Sorry McSorley, this was just kind of a flat, non-interesting beer.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale!

What’s up PUNK!

That’s right, I said it, whatcha gonna do about it. Nah, just kidding, that’s this week’s brew.

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

I know it may seem a little out of season to be doing a pumpkin infused ale but I’m one that loves when a brewer gets creative and adds all sorts of stuff to their beer. I guess that’s the brewer in me coming out. So, I had to pick this up when I saw it the other day when I was making me a mixer six pack. Also had to squeeze it in before it got to warm to be drinking this type of beer.

Now, I was a little disappointed in the lack of head it produced as I poured it and that may be due to the age, not real sure if it is out of date or not. The color though was a beautiful rich orange-brown that let you know you were going to be drinking beer full of flavor. The all important first scent gives you a small amount of nutmeg followed ever so slightly with pumpkin. The first taste gives a bit of the allspice followed by the pumpkin. Now, I can usually pick up on cinnamon any time it is used in anything but even though the label says it’s in there I don’t get it. This beer does an excellent job of hiding the high alcohol content (7%) with all the flavors mixed in. The only way you know it is high in alcohol is the warming sensation you get as it makes its way to your belly.

I will definitely look for this again this fall so I can enjoy it sitting by the fire pit in the back yard or the camp site. If you’re like me and not scared of a lot of spices and additives in your beer, give this one a shot. If you’re a hophead this may not be beer for you as there isn’t a real noticeable amount in here. Either way this is a good beer but that is what you would expect from Dogfish Head. I have another one of their beers that I will be reviewing in the near future, India Brown Ale. This is probably my favorite Dogfish Head beer; I’ll leave the details for later. So long PUNK! See ya next week beer friend.

P.S. If you can’t wait till next week, check out a blog I found this week, 365 days… 365 beers. That’s actually what I wanted to do with this blog but the thought of a different beer everyday for a year scared me, writing about it actually, the drinking would have been no problem.


Friday, March 5, 2010

Ellie's Brown Ale

OK, so this was a sad week for me, while I was out of town, my love died. No, not my wife or kids, my “BEER FRIDGE”, sorry Tricie, but you know how it is. I’m still not sure there isn’t a conspiracy going on in the house but we will see who has the last laugh. Also, no one, not one single person even attempted to guess last week’s bonus. So, am I to gather A.) No one reads my ramblings or B.) I’m a bigger beer geek than the rest of you? OK, so here it is. The movie “Friday” is all about getting high, or weed, marijuana. An IPA is loaded to the hills with hops and ….. hops are a distant cousin to marijuana. Ok, you can say it; I’m a geek in more ways than one.

Now on to the real reason we all have stopped by:

Ellie’s Brown Ale by Avery Brewing Co. out of Boulder, ColoRADo. (Is me or have people all of a sudden started to emphasize the RAD in Colorado)?

Why is it that Colorado has so many craft breweries? Makes me think I ought to move there but then I would miss my UGA football, can’t have that now can we.

This beer pours a nice deep brown almost black with a thin cream colored head that doesn’t even stay around long enough for the first taste, although it does leave some nice lacing on the glass. The smell is a mixture of hops and burnt oats, burnt being good and not like grandma’s toast. Kind of reminds you of the neighbor who is always burning his leaves at the end of fall. All seems right in the world every time I get that smell.

The first taste hits you with a slight bitterness followed by a hint of sweetness then more bitterness. My guess is the initial bitterness/sweetness mixture is from the malts and the second stage of bitterness being from the hops making a very interesting mixture that is very easy to drink. I swear I am going to review a bad beer, the law of averages says I have to right; I just have not found it yet. And trust me, they exist, I have had them before, just not since I started this project.

The picture on the label is of a chocolate lab, which I think is fitting, who doesn’t love a chocolate lab. I think most moderate to serious beer lovers will like this too, nothing that will jump out at ya but complex enough to remind you this ain’t a St. Louis brew, if you know what I mean bud.

I know you don’t drink, I know this, but I’m gonna give you a good beer. Cause it’s Friday, you been working a looong week, and you ain’t got shit to do! So relax and enjoy my beer friend.