Posts Tagged With: 2 Pint Glasses

Long Trail Unfiltered Pumpkin Ale

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Beer: Pumpkin Ale
Brewery: Long Trail
Locale: Bridgewaters Corner, VT
Style: Pumpkin Ale
ABV: 5.5%

OVERALL RATING:

BEERUSEBEERUSE

Sight: Hazy, deep amber body with a frothy white head.

Smell: This is pretty much exactly what I would expect from a Pumpkin  Ale–a mediocre malt aroma with some pumpkin pie spices. Of the pumpkin ales I have sampled this seasons, this seems the most promising based purely on scent.

Flavor: Well, this is MEH: Part 2! The aroma is far better than the taste. Once again, this tastes like a macro lager with all of the hop bitter and none of the hop flavor. I get nearly ZERO pumpkin taste and just a hint of bitter cinnamon. As I keep drinking, it’s beginning to taste like a wet armpit, courtesy of my wild imagination.

Feel: Thin body with high high carbonation. Also, you can really feel the heat of the alcohol, which is odd given its relatively low ABV.

Concluding Remark:  Oh, the Pumpkin Ale. I just have no love for you at this point. Sure, I relied on my bodega to provide me with this style’s test samples, but 3 out of 3 ended up being Le Suck de Complet? NON PLUS POUR MOI, MADAME!

And to end this review on a rhyme-y note:

If you’re looking for decent pumpkin ale, instead eat pumpkin pie.

If you’re desiring decent Long Trail, Double Bag you must try.

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Categories: Pumpkin | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Mendocino Pumpkin Ale

Beer: Pumpkin Ale
Brewery: Mendocino
Locale: Ukiah, CA
Style: Pumpkin Ale
ABV: 5.o%

OVERALL RATING:

BEERUSEBEERUSE

Sight: Clear, dark mahogany body with no head. This is much darker than your run-of-the-mill pumpkin ale.

Smell: Ahh…Mendocino’s pumpkin smells like Cinnabon, Cinnamon Crunch Toast and Cinnamon Sugar Toast. Well, hey, like cinnamon. There’s a hint of yam/pumpkin in there as well, and it smells like it’s going to be cloyingly sweet…

Flavor: …but it’s not. There’s an unexpected bitterness in here, which is likely from the cocoa nibs that it’s brewed with. The bitterness is so prominent that this reminds me of what a coffee/espresso soda would taste like if I ever tried one. You know, the Manhattan Special? That drink you see in bodegas but never actually buy because why when beer?* Regardless, there is very little pumpkin flavor and instead, it tastes like a lightly sweetened coffee soda.

Feel: Thin body with medium carbonation.

Concluding Remark: Mendocino of California’s pumpkin ale reminds me of why I usually don’t drink pumpkin ales: the flavor is whack and I am not enjoying this beer one bit, despite this moment being the highlight of my long day. It tastes like a Yeungling/mocha flavored non-dairy creamer hybrid. MEH! I’m giving this to my roommate.

 

*If you would like to learn more about the Manhattan Special, please read this adequate NYT article on the subject. It is eons more fascinating that this beer.

Manhattan Special: Made in Brooklyn

Categories: Pumpkin | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Abita Christmas Ale

Beer: Christmas Ale
Brewery: Abita Brewing Company
Style: Brown Ale
ABV: 5.5%

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Serving Style: Draft
Drinking Establishment: Spuyten Duyvil
Primary Consumer: Kerensa

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OVERALL RATING:

Sight: Clear deep garnet body with a dense white head.

Smell: It has an extreme Christmasy spruce scent–and not in that artificial car air freshener way. It smells like walking through a Christmas tree lot.

Flavor: While there is a slight trace of pine, there’s little else in here that screams HOLIDAY CELEBRATION IN MY BEER. It kind of just tastes like a poorly executed IPA.

Feel: Thin body with high carbonation.

Concluding Remark:  All I’m going to say about this is that I did not feel festive after drinking Abita’s Christmas Ale. False advertising. Next.

Categories: Brown Ale, Holiday | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Stegmaier Pumpkin Ale

Beer: Stegmaier Pumpkin Ale
Brewery: Lion Brewery
Style: Pumpkin Ale
ABV: 5.5%

Serving Style: Bottle
Drinking Establishment: Chez Wood
Primary Consumer: Kerensa

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OVERALL RATING:


Sight: Clear copper body with no head.

Smell: It smells like putting your face into a cold pumpkin pie. If ever there was to be a beer that smelled exactly like the most generic LIBBY’S® Famous Pumpkin pie, this is it. It smells just like pumpkin spiced with clove, nutmeg, and allspice. There’s even a waft of pie crust in here, too.

Flavor: Sadly, it doesn’t taste as ‘I WANT PIE RIGHT NOW’ as it smells. Instead, it tastes like clove-flavored water. As it sits, it starts to develop an almost unpleasant sour, rotting pumpkin flavor.

Feel: Quite watery with moderate carbonation.

Concluding Remark:  Stegmaier’s Pumpkin Ale is fine as a quick fix for your pumpkin craving. You’ll get a little of the ubiquitous spice, and there’s a pumpkin on the label. However, the more you let it sit (and it will sit because you won’t be compelled to drink it immediately), the more it tastes like a bar of bland soap (like, clean linens or crisp air). At least some of the spices mask the soapiness, but you won’t be completely satisfied and might go off looking for pie instead.

Categories: Pumpkin | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Arcadia Jaw-Jacker

Beer: Jaw-Jacker
Brewery: Arcadia Ales
Style: “Pumpkin” Ale (Spiced Ale)
ABV: 6.0%

Serving Style: Bottle
Drinking Establishment: Chez Wood
Primary Consumer: Kerensa

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OVERALL RATING:

Sight: Dark golden body with a thick fluffy head.

Smell: Everything in here is faint: faint malt/pie crust scent, faint hops, faint cloves and nutmeg. Meh.

Flavor: There’s an initial jarring sharpness that masks all flavor.  As it subsides, it begins to taste like a bland cookie with an underlying tart lemon flavor. Actually, it tastes like a bland cookie consumed alongside a bland IPA (worst night ever). The lingering flavor is seltzer and wheat.

Feel: Thin with robust carbonation. It’s also quite buttery and leaves an oily residue on the top of my mouth, like a greasy doughnut would.
Concluding Remark:  Arcadia bills this as an “amber-wheat” beer (new to me) AND as a “pumpkin spice” beer. While they claim that the spices included are “in the exact proportion of the brewer’s Grandmother’s pumpkin pie recipe,” Arcadia must have consumed one too many ales, as THEY FORGOT TO ADD PUMPKIN. What would Grandmother Arcadia say?? This Jaw-Jacker serves as an example that just adding pumpkin pie spices does not a Pumpkin Ale make. Pumpkin aside, Arcadia’s Jaw-Jacker is all over the flavor spectrum but somehow ends up in the realm of bland.
Categories: Pumpkin | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Blue Point Oktoberfest

Beer: Oktoberfest Beer
Brewery: Bluepoint Brewing Company
Style: Oktoberfest/Märzen
ABV: 5.5%

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Serving Style: Bottle
Drinking Establishment: Chez Wood
Primary Consumer: Kerensa

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OVERALL RATING:

Sight: Slightly hazy, golden body. No head.

Smell: There’s an overpowering sweetness, like a dulce de leche aroma. Also a bit of fresh raisins, maple syrup, sweet pumpernickel, and apple juice.

Flavor: Cloyingly sweet, as it smells. Notes of syrupy caramel, french toast, and overripe apples. There’s a trace of a hop spice at the end, but not big enough to balance the sweetness.

Feel: Medium thin with modest carbonation.  A little hot from the alcohol. Slippery.

Concluding Remark: Overall, Blue Point’s go at an Oktoberfest is lacking the oomph of an American Oktoberfest and the authentic malt flavors of a German. It’s not offensive or anything (it’s a rather decent lager), but nothing I need to drink again. Especially during THIS season.

Categories: Oktoberfest | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Otter Creek Oktoberfest

Beer: Oktoberfest
Brewery: Otter Creek
Style: Amber Ale
ABV: 4.8%

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Serving Style: Bottle
Drinking Establishment: Chez Wood
Primary Consumer: Kerensa

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OVERALL RATING:


Sight: Dull amber body…though a fellow reviewer was more poetic and said it reminded him of an autumn leaf. Zero head.

Smell: Quite fruity–smells like tangerine and green apple with a hint of biscuit.

Flavor: Overall, it’s rather cloyingly sweet with a bit of bitter hops and cloves at the end. A nice malt flavor exists somewhere in these other flavors.

Feel: Thin with prickly carbonation.

Concluding Remark: Okay, it should be noted that this is not an Oktoberfest lager, but rather an “Oktoberfest” ALE.  WHY, Otter Creek, WHY? Don’t you know that Oktoberfests are LAGERs?! Oh well. Anyways. Otter Creek’s Oktoberfest is initially a bizarre combination of fall spices, hops, and malts. After a few sips, subtle notes of caramel and bread malts emerge from the other flavors.  It’s a little too sweet, soapy, and muddled, in general. While certainly not a bad beer, and maybe one of the better Otter Creek beers I’ve had, I’ll save my stein for another festbier in the future.

Categories: Oktoberfest | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Warsteiner Oktoberfest

Beer: Oktoberfest
Brewery: Warsteiner Brauerei
Style: Oktoberfest/Marzen
ABV: 5.9%

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Serving Style: Bottle
Drinking Establishment: Chez Wood
Primary Consumer: Kerensa

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OVERALL RATING:


Sight: Clear light golden body with a nondescript head.

Smell: Nearly lacking any aroma, there’s a quiet metallic and water scent if you really look (smell?) for it.

Flavor: The initial taste is a chemical, charcoal note. After getting past that, there’s a faint bread and cardboard taste from the Munich malts. However, it ends quiet bitter–and I have a feeling that wasn’t the intention.

Feel: Standard for the style, it has a medium-thin body with moderate carbonation. It has a hot note from the higher ABV (6%).

Concluding Remark: While I was looking forward to heading back to a German beer after a series of American Oktoberfest ripoffs, that sentiment was lost after tasting Warsteiner’s Oktoberfest. It’s void of the robust malt flavors that its other German counterparts offer. Instead, I’m left with a rather mediocre and uninteresting lager. However, at 6% ABV, a few of these will turn you into a Bierleichen. If that’s what you’re going for, it’s not a terrible means towards that end. As a rule of thumb, though, stick with the Original 6 Oktoberfestbiers when choosing a German Oktoberfestbier. This is not one of them.

Categories: Oktoberfest | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beercation 2012: Bali Edition

Where in the world was TYIB?

The first destination of the summer was Bali, perhaps one of the most romanticized islands in the world. Known for its beaches, Hindu temples, and epicurean delights, Bali is as much a surfer’s dream as it is a spiritual center. Annnnd where there is tropical weather, tourist sites, and spicy food, I’ve learned, there is a generic pilsner-style lager lurking nearby to cool down the body, mind, and mouth. Bali was no exception. The Balinese cold one? “International Quality” BINTANG. Oh, and no, your eyes aren’t deceiving you: this label looks exceedingly similar to that of “International Quality” Heineken. Oh, how the remnants of Dutch colonialism linger!

Beer: Bintang
Brewery: Multi Bintang Indonesia
Style: American “Adjunct Lager” (haha not even a real Pilsner–nice try, Bali)
ABV: 4.7%

Serving Style: Bottle
Glassware: Pilsner glass
Drinking Establishment: some cafe on Monkey Jungle Road
Primary Consumer: Kerensa
Secondary Consumers: Traveler-in-crime Lauren

OVERALL RATING:



Sight: Clear, pale yellow body with a thin white head.

Smell: Not completely unpleasant, but reeks of corn and mediocrity.

Flavor: It tastes like carbonation. Yes, it also feels like carbonation, but because of its dearth of flavor, the predominant taste is…carbonation. There are faint traces of hops, but that could’ve been from the last IPA I had back in the States.

Feel: See above.

Concluding Remarks:  Well, I didn’t come across any articles on the booming craft beer scene in Indonesia, so I wasn’t expecting a wide variety of Balinese beers upon arrival. However, Bintang appeared to be the only beer available, at least in the center of Bali (Ubud) where we stayed. (If you are interested in reading about the beers I missed in Bali, check out this guy’s survey.) As I concluded all that I can about Bintang in the above remarks, I will leave you with a bit of information that might save your ass in trivia night:

Bintang facilities were constructed under Dutch Colonial rule in 1929. After Indonesian independence in 1949, the facility was called “Heineken’s Indonesian Brewery Company.” The Indonesian government wasn’t having any of this association with the Dutch, and took control over the brewery in 1957. However, the powerful forces of Heineken reigned supreme, and they reclaimed brewing authority in 1967. It was in 1981 that the brewery finally received a Dutch-free identity: Multi Bintang Indonesia. While it certainly has a nice exotic ring to it, a pale lager is still a pale lager.

TYIB, exploring world history, one beer at a time.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Harvest Moon Belgian Witbier

Beer:  Belgian Witbier
Brewery: Harvest Moon Brewery
Style: Witbier
ABV: 5.0%

 Serving Style: Draft
Glassware: Pint glass
Drinking Establishment: Harvest Moon Brewery, New Brunswick, NJ
Primary Consumers: Ally & Kerensa

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OVERALL RATING:

Sight: Cloudy, deep golden/orangey yellow.  Small creamy white head that settles to some froth on top.

Smell: Spices and chicory; also, kinda like a Band-Aid.

Flavor: Bland, especially in light of the overpowering aroma.  Vaguely citrusy, like orange rind.

Feel: Thin but creamy, with low carbonation.

Concluding Remarks: This Witbier was a letdown.  The aroma seemed to promise a powerful, complex flavor, but it barely tasted like a watery orange peel.  It did taste better once we squeezed in the orange garnish, but not enough for our tastes.  Although we love to support local business, really, you might as well get yourself a Blue Moon.

Categories: Witbier | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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