Posts Tagged With: 4 Pint Glasses

Reissdorf Kölsch

Beer: Kölsch
Brewery:
Brauerei Heinrich Reissdorf
Style: Kölsch
ABV: 4.8%

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

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OVERALL RATING:

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Sight: Crystal clear golden body with a bright white head that disappears after a minute, which is typical of a Kölsch.

Smell: The initial aroma is bright and sweet, with hints of fresh apples and metal from the special yeast with which the traditional Kölsch is brewed. There’s also a fresh baked bread smell.

Flavor: The prominent flavors are mineral-y water, those thin pretzel sticks, and a slight hop bite. There is a lingering sweetness, which tastes a little like salted caramel.

Feel: Thin, watery body with high carbonation. This has the mouthfeel of the perfect summer bier, i.e. you could drink this for hours on end instead of water and walk around in a sunstroke haze and soak up the beautiful memories of the sun. Summer cannot get here fast enough, clearly. What I’m getting at is, is that this is exceptionally easy to drink.

Concluding Remark:  As the label states, the Reissdorf Kölsch is “THE CLASSIC KOLSCH.” Well, it might not be “THE” Kölsch, but it is certainly A Kölsch, as this beer is brewed in Cologne and abides by the Kölsch Konvention. A typical Kölsch, it’s bright, lightly malted, and has just a slight fruit flavor. While not particularly complex, there are a few layers of flavor here that make Reissdorf one superiorly drinkable beer. Don’t go trying a Kölsch thinking you’re in for an innovative micro beer; no, this is one of the most popular in Cologne (i.e., it appeals to thousands of people and can’t be that delicious). However, the Reissdorf Kölsch is an exceptional example of the Cologne ale. Man, the Cologne volk were hella smart for  resisting conversion to the lager cult.

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

St. Bernadus Christmas Ale

Beer: Christmas Ale
Brewery:
 Brouwerij St. Bernadus
Style: Belgian Quadrupel
ABV: 10.0%

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

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OVERALL RATING:

Sight: Opaque, dark brown body with a seriously massive beige head that looks like meringue. There are huge bubbles trapped inside this dense head, and I swear, the head twinkles with sparkles.

Smell: It smells slightly ester and apple-y. There’s also an underlying metallic note.

Flavor: This is one malty Belgian. We have some of the usual Belgian flavors–raisins, molasses, figs–spiked with a melange of holiday spices

Feel: Medium, creamy body with awesome carbonation.

Concluding Remark: St. Bernadus offers a Christmas Ale that is malty, sweet, and just a little bit spicy. This is one of those beers that stick to your ribs, and to your lips. St. Bernadus takes their near perfect Quadrupel, and adds some some additional ingredients (mint?). As the beer sits, more and more different delectable dessert flavors come forth. All in one sip, I get some sticky toffee pudding, stewed fruits, tres leches cake, banana bread, licorice candy, and molasses cookies. While it is the holiday season, and sharing is an appropriate gesture this time of year, I recommend sneaking off with this for 20 minutes mid-holiday party. Even for the most un-spirited, you’ll come back with a little pep/drunken stupor in your step.

Categories: Belgian, Holiday | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Sixpoint Brownstone

Beer: Brownstone
Brewery: Sixpoint
Style: Brown Ale
ABV: 6.0%

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

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OVERALL RATING:

Sight: Hazy amber body with a dense beige head.

Smell: Hmm…something seems out of place. Are those hops? While there are about a thousand different smells emerging from my glass, spruce and caramel are the dominant aromas.

Flavor: Hmm…something seems out of place. Are those hops? As with the smell, there are a number of flavors swimming around in this glass. Unsurprisingly, hops take the helm of this flavor battle, with a exceedingly delicious herbal character. Other flavors (aka the losers) include Team Sweet Biscuit and Team Salty Caramel.

Feel: This is one of those beers where the mouthfeel is so fantastic (read: appropriately carbonated) that you could drink a million regardless of its flavor. Luckily, the flavor also rules. So make that two million, please.

Concluding Remark: Sixpoint’s Brownstone is not as classic as its name would have you believe. (Brownstones? Vernacular architecture? New York? Anyone?) Instead, it is of the Indian Brown Ale variety with its immense hops content. I’m not shocked that Sixpoint’s Brown Ale favors the hops: they are known for producing big, hoppy ales. Brownstone is no exception. Perhaps I’m just over the sweet maltiness of the last month, but Brownstone is hitting the right spot right now. As I try to be as unbiased as possible (i.e., not let my own personal beer preference trump a stylistically accurate beer), I will say that as an Indian Brown Ale, Sixpoint’s Brownstone is a success. As a straightforward Brown Ale, it’s overly hopped. But if I’ve learned anything from a month of Brown Ales, it’s that it rarely pays to be straightforward. And by “pays” I of course mean that the straightforward Brown Ales were mostly pretty boring.

To end our month of Brown Ales, I transcribed the poem from the back of the Brownstone can:

“…and coming out of the brownstone house to the gray sidewalk, the watered street, one side of the buildings rises with the sun like a glistening field of wheat.”

– Letter to N.Y. (for Louise Craine), Elizabeth Bishop

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

Big Muddy Monster

Beer: Big Muddy Monster
Brewery: Big Muddy Brewery
Style: Brown Ale
ABV: 6.5%

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

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OVERALL RATING:

Sight: Dark, muddy waters here. Tiny head that recedes quickly.

Smell: Is this a Brown Ale? Initial waft is pine, mint, grapefruit, and rubbing alcohol if you sniff at it long enough.

Flavor: The name “Monster” is definitely apropos.  It tastes like all the flavors of a Brown Ale and all the flavors of an IPA. Isn’t there that term…what is it…”flavor country”? Well, I’m going to use that term and make a billboard that says, “Welcome to flavor country, population MONSTER.” But anyways. Flavors. Honestly, I’m having a difficult time discerning individual tastes in this big muddy mess. It tastes like being dropkicked by a ton of roasted malts and then punched in the mouth by a variety of hops. Clearly, those are this Monster’s fight tactics.

Feel: Thinnish body with high carbonation. And it just feels DENSE.

Concluding Remark: This is my first time trying anything from Big Muddy Brewing outta Murphysboro, Illinois, and what a way to start. This Monster Brown Ale is an intense Brown Ale-IPA hybrid, as stated in the “flavor” section of this programming. Perhaps it isn’t the most delicious beer of all time, but powerful as hell. Just as a Monster should be. While the flavors are a little MUDDIED (groan, pun), you’ll keep trying to figure out what you are drinking until it’s gone and all you’re left with is a faint memory of what once was.

Kind of like a yeti spotting.

So, on that note. Naturally, I was wondering if the Big Muddy Monster was some legendary Illinois cryptoid, because that’s just who I am. And guess what?!?! IT IS! Could this beer get any better?

Apparently, some hairy brown globby monster was spotted causing a ruckus in Murphysboro in 1973. In response to what this monster was, an eyewitness said, “I don’t know, but I saw this substance and smelled the smell.” Cryptozoologists definitively agreed that this was big foot. (OMG IT REALLY DOES EXIST.) This is an artist’s rendering:

Artist’s Rendering

What I’m saying is that this is one scary beer for beer style classicists. But for those adventurous types, go put on your drinking and cryptoid-hunting gear, and fetch yourself a Big Muddy Monster!

Categories: Brown Ale | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Avery Ellie’s Brown Ale

Beer: Ellie’s Brown Ale
Brewery: Avery Brewing Co.
Style: Brown Ale
ABV: 5.5%

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

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OVERALL RATING:


Sight: Near black, opaque body with a ruby tinge. It looks exactly like cola. One inch tan head settles to a thin layer of bubbles and leaves a thick lacing.

Smell: Sweet roasted malts dominate all. Other food-like aromas include sweet condensed milk, mocha, and burnt marshmallows. So…in other words, this smells like a gooey cake.

Flavor: The sweetness carries over to the flavor. It tastes like a carbonated mocha espresso milkshake. With a side of gooey chocolate walnut cake.

Feel: Thin-medium body with moderate carbonation.

Concluding Remark: This is no Northern Brown Ale: Avery’s Ellie’s Brown Ale is darker, sweeter, and more flavorful than its drier–dare I say boring–Northern brother. Other than in name, there is little resemblance between Ellie and our other favorite canine, Smuttynose’s Old Brown Dog. Unlike Old Brown Dog, this dog doesn’t bite. Ellie is balanced and delivers an impossibly sweet and delicious beer that doesn’t cross into “ick, this tastes like drinking a pint of sugar” territory. Although it’s available year-round (score!), it’s a perfect beer for winter.

 

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Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale

Beer: Old Brown Dog Ale
Brewery: Smuttynose Brewing Company
Style: Brown Ale
ABV: 6.7%

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

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OVERALL RATING:


Sight: Cloudy dark ruby body with a tiny tan head.

Smell: Welcome to Maltville, population this beer. These malts are of the roasted variety: prominent aromas of toast, grains, and a hint of mocha.

Flavor: The initial flavor is generic bitterness. The bitterness is not from the hops, instead from the charred malts. There’s not a ton of other flavors in this. Maybe a bit of chalky bitter chocolate, but that’s about it.

Feel: Thin with moderate carbonation and a creamy mouthfeel.

Concluding Remark: Well, this is my first official foray into the world of “Brown Ales.” While I’ve been a casual observer since 2006, I hadn’t a clue what I was getting myself into this month. And now I know why. I can’t say that I enjoy Brown Ales. And I’m not going to blame the adorable chocolate lab on Smuttynose’s label because, well, Smuttynose is a damn fine brewery and their dog is even finer. I can think about 35 beers off the top of my head that I would rather be drinking right now. I know, I know, I’m coming out of Pumpkin Ale month; any other style would taste like rotten milk after drinking 20 pumpkin ales. So, I know, I need to judge Old Brown Dog Ale on its merits not by my major miss-age of gourds in my beer.

So, Old Brown Dog Ale. It’s solid. It reminds me of a number of British ales I encountered on a trot over to London this summer (except with carbonation). It’s dry, malty, and delivers a relatively decent flavor. I foolishly did not check the ABV before finishing it, so half way in I unexpectedly started to feel a little warm…not something I usually feel until three or four beers in. Why? Oh, because this Brown Dog delivers 6.7% ABV. So, okay, I have a little more respect for this canine now. I understand why some of my friends buy this on occasion. And okay, as it sits it develops a slightly fruity flavor that makes it just a little bit more interesting. We’ll give it a 4 Pint Glass rating because I have a feeling this might be as good as it gets.

The internet tells me that Old Brown Dog is a quintessential “American Brown Ale,” differing from its English counterparts by its fuller body and robust hops. If that’s the case, I can say I’m not particularly looking forward to doing an Enlglish Brown Ale run next week. But I look forward to being surprised.

Categories: Brown Ale | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale

Beer: Imperial Pumpkin Ale
Brewery: Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Style: Pumpkin Ale (Imperial)
ABV: 8.0%

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

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OVERALL RATING:


Sight: Slightly cloudy, dark orange body with no head.

Smell: Strong brandy smell, with notes of raisin, caramel, and a hint of clove.

Flavor: There’s an initial sharpness from the high ABV and hops. As it sits, it begins to taste like fresh pumpkin flesh. The sweet spices take a back seat, although there’s a bite from the fresh cinnamon. There’ a bit of sweetness from the malts at the very end.

Feel: Thin body with low carbonation.

Concluding Remark: Weyerbacher’s Imperial Pumpkin Ale is the quintessential imperial. There’s a strong, tangy pumpkin flavor, with an equally strong alcohol note. Unlike other pumpkin beers, the fresh pumpkin flavor is showcased instead of masked by a flurry of pumpkin pie spices. You really can’t go wrong with a 4-pack of this stuff.

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

Chatoe Rogue First Growth Pumpkin Patch Ale

Beer: First Growth Pumpkin Patch Ale
Brewery: Rogue Ales
Style: Pumpkin Ale
ABV: 5.6%

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

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OVERALL RATING:


Sight: Dark cherry wood body with a huge dense head.

Smell: It smells like the perfect Pumpkin Ale: the aromas are roasted squash, caramel, dark malts, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Flavor: As it smells, the predominant flavors are roasted squash, pumpkin seeds, charred malts, and cinnamon. It kind of tastes exactly like roasted pumpkin seeds.

Feel: Thin with moderate carbonation. There’s a bit of an oily residue.

Concluding Remark: Chatoe Rogue, a series of beers that are made with fresh crops from the Rogue Ales Farm, puts out a fine Pumpkin Ale. The Pumpkin Patch Ale features locally grown pumpkins, which are then roasted and tossed into the kettle. With help from a little ginger, vanilla, and the regular slew of pumpkin pie spices, Rogue’s Pumpkin Ale is one of the freshest Pumpkin Ales I’ve tasted this season. It’s perfectly balanced, with a strong squash flavor that is lacking in many pumpkin beers that claim to be brewed with fresh pumpkin. It’s a little pricey for a non-imperial (~$9), but if you ignore the price tag, I can assure you that you won’t be disappointed.

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

River Horse Hipp-o-Lantern Imperial Pumpkin

Beer: Hipp-o-Lantern
Brewery: River Horse
Style: Pumpkin Ale (Imperial Pumpkin)
ABV: 8.1%

Serving Style: Bottle
Drinking Establishment: Halloween 2012
Primary Consumer: Kerensa

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OVERALL RATING:


Sight: Slightly hazy, deep ruby body with a billowy tan head.

Smell: It has a boozy smell with hints of clove, nutmeg, and fresh pumpkin.

Flavor: Initial hop bite that is somewhat balanced by caramel-y roasted malts, some pumpkin pie spices, and earthy pumpkin.

Feel: Medium body with medium carbonation.

Concluding Remark: River Horse’s Hipp-o-Lantern is deceptively alcoholic–despite the boozy aroma, you don’t feel the 8%. It’s a fine Imperial Pumpkin Ale; the spicing and balance are spot on and you can taste the actual pumpkin. I wouldn’t call it exciting by any means, but if you’re in the market for a solid pumpkin, don’t hesitate to give the Hipp-o-Lantern a try.

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

St-Ambroise Citrouille

Beer: St-Ambroise Citrouille (The Great Pumpkin Ale)
Brewery: McAuslan Brewing
Style: Pumpkin Ale
ABV: 5.0%

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

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OVERALL RATING:


Sight: Clear, deep mahogany body with tons of carbonation bubbles that make the glass look like it’s frosted. There was a tan head that disappeared nearly instantly.

Smell: This smells exactly how I want every Pumpkin Ale to smell. Yes, it has pumpkin pie spices in the nose, but it’s the freshly roasted pumpkin aroma that defines the smell. A little molasses and brandy note, as well.

Flavor: SUPREME! This tastes like my mother’s pumpkin pie + a really decent amber ale. There are subtle cinnamon and nutmeg flavors sprinkled over a sweet, biscuity/crusty flavor. And then the best part: the REAL pumpkin taste! It tastes like a gen-u-ine pumpkin, and thankfully, that flavor lingers long after your last sip.

Feel: Thin body, perfectly carbonated.

Concluding Remark: Quebec’s McAuslan had set a high bar for itself by naming its brew, “The Great Pumpkin Ale.” Luckily for them (and us!), its moniker is 100% accurate.  This is The Great(est) Pumpkin Ale–or should I say Citrouille Ale–I have had this season. It doesn’t taste like a caricature of a pumpkin pie, or like a generic pumpkin pie, or like a spice cabinet. Instead, the flavors are both subtle and distinct, and actually taste like the ingredients, as opposed to tasting like artificial flavors. Incroyable, McAuslan et votre Ale de Citrouille!

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

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