Posts Tagged With: 5 Pint Glasses

Brasserie Dubuisson Scaldis Noel

Beer: Scaldis Noel
 Brasserie Dubuisson
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
ABV: 12.0%


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



Sight: Deep amber body with a garnet tinge and a frothy, bubbly beige head that leaves an intricate lacing on the glass.

Smell: This beer smells like the deliriously overwhelming comfort one feels when walking into a bakery filled with freshly baked cakes, breads, pastries…yeah. The prominent aromas are caramelized sugar, heavy cream, and caramel.

Flavor: Like the smell, it tastes like biting into a fresh pastry oozing with some sort of sweet pudding goodness. The lingering flavor is brown sugar. There isn’t any of that overripe, raisin fruitiness that is typical of Belgian Strong Ales.

Feel: Medium, buttery body with awesome carbonation. There’s nearly no heat from the alcohol.

Concluding Remark: Brought to us from Brasserie Dubuisson of Belgium, Scaldis Noel is hands down the best holiday ale I have had the pleasure of consuming while listening to Gene Autry Christmas songs. It doesn’t employ any of those insta-holiday ale shortcuts that nearly all other seasonal beers do, such as adding a pine flavor with juniper berries or a mulled wine taste with cloves and allspice. Instead, Scaldis Noel is a sublimely balanced beer that tastes like dessert without that annoying cloyingly sweetness that plagues many supremely alcoholic brews. In the spirit of the season, I shared this with my household and all parties agree that this beer is so insanely delicious that we would all rate it a “5” even if it was only 5% ABV. The fact that it’s nearly triple that makes this one of the best beers of the year and/or EVER.

Categories: Belgian, Holiday | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Samuel Smith Nut Brown Ale

Beer: Nut Brown Ale
Brewery: Samuel Smith Old Brewery
Style: Brown Ale
ABV: 5.0%

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



Sight: Clear, dark copper body with a dense beige head.

Smell: Toasted malts, caramel, and walnuts with a slightly metallic tang.

Flavor: While the smell was pretty straightforward, the complexity of this beer is astounding. It’s both bitter and sweet, with prominent flavors of pumpernickel bread, toffee, walnuts, hazelnut, and bitter hops.

Feel: Thin body with high carbonation. There’s a little heat from the alcohol.

Concluding Remark: As we venture into our first encounter with a proper English Brown Ale (the Northern variety, to be specific), all I can say is that I am pleasantly surprised. As you may recall from our little history on the Brown Ale, Northern Ales are characteristically dry and malty. You may also remember that many Northern Brown Ales are also referred to as “Nut Brown Ales”–a name given for color of the beer, not for a related olfactory or gustatory sensation. Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale is the classic Northern Brown Ale. It oozes malty goodness, but manages not to become dull or cloyingly sweet, as many exceedingly malty beers tend to be. You could easily knock many, many of these back in one evening. Way to go, Sam. I do believe that this Nut Brown has made me a Brown Ale convert.

While we don’t give out many 5 pint ratings, this is truly the best of the style. Thus, 5.

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

Epic Brewing/DC Brau Fermentation Without Representation Imperial Pumpkin Porter

Beer: Fermentation Without Representation
Brewery: Epic Brewing and DC Brau
Style: Pumpkin Ale (Imperial Pumpkin Porter)
ABV: 7.7%

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



Sight: Deep, almost black body with tinge of orange at the edge. Thick, creamy tan head with a sticky lacing that coats the glass.

Smell: This smells like candy. Or more specifically, candy pumpkin ice cream float milkshake goodness. The milky sweetness and roasted malt note of the Porter base comes through, with just a slight nutmeg and pumpkin aroma.

Flavor: This also tastes like candy. It’s rich, creamy, earthy, spicy, and oh I don’t know, CANDY. There are also notes of fresh pumpkin, bitter chocolate, and fresh vanilla extract.

Feel: Thin-ish, creamy body with minimal carbonation.

Concluding Remark: Calling Epic Brewing’s Imperial Pumpkin Porter decadent would be an understatement. Yes. This is not only a Pumpkin Porter (RARE! AMAZING!) but a IMPERIAL Pumpkin Porter (RAREST! AMAZINGEST!) A beer of this caliber beer could not be produced by the hands of one brewery alone–no, Fermentation without Representation is a collaboration between Epic Brewery and DC Brau. I’ve had a soft spot for DC Brau since my days in DC, but now it’s serious. This is without a doubt one of the best Pumpkin Ales I’ve had. While I wouldn’t QUITE call this an Imperial at 7.7%–Imperials should be over 8%–it’s Imperial in that it belongs to the craft beer royal court, if there was ever such a thing.

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

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

Beer: Punkin Ale
Brewery: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Style: Pumpkin Ale
ABV: 7.0%

Serving Style: Draft
Drinking Establishment: World of Beer, Savannah, GA
Primary Consumer: Ally



Sight: Clear orange/amber coloration with little-to-no head when served, but a ring of creaminess lingered around the rim of the glass.

Smell: Spiced–cinnamon and cloves, particularly.  The malts come across as a slight burnt note (this might be from the brown sugar that’s in the mix as well), and there’s a bit of yeastiness in there, too.

Flavor: Like a sweet brown ale with the perfect balance of pumpkin and spice thrown in.  It’s autumn in a pint glass.

Feel: A solid mouthfeel, with medium-to-high carbonation.

Concluding Remark: Named after a ridiculous Delaware festival called Punkin Chunkin, Dogfish Head’s seasonal pumpkin offering is, too, ridiculous–ridiculously AWESOME.  Seriously, this is a classic in the pumpkin beer line-up, in that it’s exactly what you’d expect from a pumpkin beer: malty goodness, a bit of sweetness from the brown sugar, spices, and, of course, pumpkin.  All of these flavors in balance make for a pretty substantial drink, perfect for chilly fall nights–but it’s not so bold as to taste like the 7.0% ABV it contains.  Dare I say it’s fun to drink?  I do.  I dare.  It is one of the best amalgamations of beer & delicious pie to cross my palate.  There’s a reason why it’s usually sold out everywhere by Thanksgiving–so if you find a store that has it, stock up; or better yet, find a bar that serves it on tap, and settle in for a fine autumn evening.

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

GUEST POST: Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock

Beer: Celebrator
Brewery: Brauerei Aying
Style: Doppelbock
ABV: 6.7%

Serving Style: Bottle
Glassware: Tulip glass
Drinking Establishment: Stuff Yer Face, New Brunswick, NJ
Primary Consumer: Jon
Guest Reviewer Qualifications: He knows the difference between a boli and a beer.



Sight: Deep mahogany color with a thick beige head.

Scent: A malty aroma of brown sugar, like that of caramel or molasses.  Also, some dark fruits.


Feel: Smooth, with a light mouthfeel.

Concluding remarksThis malty Bock gives you a gift even before you open the bottle–it comes with a little charm dangling from the neck.  Lesser beers would use this charm as a distraction from the actual brew, but instead this draws you in.  You get the idea that this beer will be a little special–like getting the Cracker Jack prize before you open the box.  Well, once opened, it doesn’t disappoint.  The mahogany coloring of the beer provokes you with thoughts of a dark velvet taste.  Tasting reveals a sweet, but not heavy, deliciousness that leaves a wonderful lacing after finishing.  You’ll want another.


THANK YOU, JON!  You were lucky enough to review the only Bock that got a 5 Pint Glass rating.  We’re all very jealous–but mostly because none of the beers we tried this month came with a little plastic goat charm.

We are always looking for interested and interesting beer consumers to review a brew we might not have seen or had time to review in the month. Let us know if you’d like to contribute something, in exchange for internet fame, a line on your resume, an unpaid internship, a free ride, a huge tax rebate, a happy ending, and everything else everyone else has promised you in life. Sounds like a sweet deal to me.  Email us at!

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

AleSmith Speedway Stout

Beer:  Speedway Stout
Brewery: AleSmith Brewing Company
Style: American Double/Imperial Stout
ABV: 12.0%

Serving Style: Bottle
Glassware: Wine glass
Drinking Establishment: NJ
Primary Consumer: Kerensa



Sight: Pitch, impenetrable black. 1/2-inch frothy, soapy, dark mocha head that quickly recedes to a centimeter head filled with bubbles small and large. Very thick lacing.

Scent: Smells like diving into a barrel of fresh coffee beans. It also smells like the beginning of fall, between the scent of fresh chipped wood and fallen wet leaves. Turns into a heavy cream scent at the end, like a big mocha cream drink.

Flavor:  Coffee, coffee, coffee. Very fresh coffee. Surprisingly little bitterness. Subtle sweet milk chocolate taste. And, um, I cannot taste the high ABV tag (a whopping 12%).

Feel:  Medium, creamy mouthfeel with low-to-medium carbonation.

Concluding remarks: This is perfect. This San Diego monster has had notoriously nonexistent distribution in this region.  (A friend used to occasionally bring me some from–New Hampshire? But it wasn’t available in NY? What the what?) Either way, suffice it to say, I was completely floored when I saw the Speedway Stout and the Horny Devil at my local Whole Foods (97th & Columbus, if you want to find a bottle). This was the most expensive beer I picked up this month (@ $14); but quickly felt justified, as I saw bottles of it being sold for $25-30 at local bars.

AleSmith’s Speedway Stout is brewed with “pound and pounds” of coffee beans from local coffee company Ryan’s Bros., and its caffeine content helps mitigate the sleepy I’ve-had-too-much-beer state that a 12% beer would normally put one in. What else can I say other than this is the best Stout I have had all month–it’s complex, balanced, sweet, bitter, caffeinated, alcoholic, has great mouthfeel…all in all, perfect!

Oh, and if you can find the barrel-aged Speedway Stout (best of luck to you), it was apparently rated the world’s best beer by Seems like it would be pretty good.

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

Rogue Double Chocolate Stout

Beer:  Double Chocolate Stout
Brewery: Rogue Brewery
Style: Imperial Stout
ABV: 8.0%

Serving Style: Draft
Glassware: 10 oz. snifter
Drinking Establishment: The Iron Monkey, Jersey City
Primary Consumer: Ally



Sight: Opaque, pitch black.  Thin tan head that quickly recedes to a ring of creaminess around the edge of the glass, with some lacing.

Scent: Milk chocolate, with a slight note of alcohol.  Kind of like walking into the chocolate factory in Hershey, PA.

Flavor:  Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate.  There is a slight roastiness, with perhaps a mild hop aftertaste–or more like the bitterness of semi-sweet chocolate.

Feel:  Smooth, medium body.  Low carbonation.

Oh my god.  If chocolate milk and beer had a love-child, this would be it.  The Rogue Double Chocolate Stout evolved from Rogue’s first rendition, the Chocolate Stout, and is flavored with imported Dutch bittersweet chocolate.  It won a gold medal at the 2010 World Beer Championships, and it was well earned.  The sweet aroma compliments the flavor well, but the mild bitterness prevents it from being too sweet.  The result?  The perfect beer for someone like me, with a sweet tooth the size of Russia.

Concluding remarks: A delectable, well-balanced brew that makes a great beer-instead-of-dessert kind of drink.

Categories: Stout | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

St. Bernardus Abt 12

Beer:  St. Bernardus Abt 12 Abbey Ale
Brewery: Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Style: Quadrupel
ABV: 10.0%

Serving Style: Bottle
Glassware: Wine glass
Drinking Establishment: Kerensa’s kitchen
Primary Consumer: Kerensa



Sight: Dark garnet, near black body with a beige one-inch head that quickly wanes to a near nonexistent head that leaves a trace of lacing on the edge.

Scent: Rich roasted malts and overtones of tart cherries and plums.

Flavor: I know heaven isn’t technically a flavor. But. Wow. The flavor profile is that of heaven. The complexity is balanced with heaven. The first note is heaven, and the back is heaven. Heaven! (Okay, fine–molasses, caramel, raisins, and plums….from heaven.)

Feel: Medium, smooth mouthfeel with lively carbonation. And heaven.

The booze note in this is shockingly nonexistent for 10.0% (translation: drinking one of these beers is the equivalent of drinking 3 Amstel Lights or 2 Boston Lagers). I can’t explain it, but this is my perfect beer. Well, I’ll try to explain it. It tastes like all of the good beers I have ever had in my life in one beer. Not in the card game Kings kind of way (i.e. pouring a little bit of everyone’s drink into one glass, ahem, plastic cup, and making one unfortunate soul drink the warm elixir at the end of the game). Like, in the, this is the perfectly crafted beer kind of way…in the I never thought I could find everything I am looking for in one beer kind of way. With an ABV tag of 10%. I know I need to thank this guy:


Concluding remarks: St. Bernardus has been brewing perfection since 1946. They describe the Abt 12 as “the absolute top quality in the hierarchy of the St. Bernardus beers…the showpiece of the brewery.” I have no idea what malts St. Bernardus uses, but I want to swim in a pond, nay, ocean of them. For eternity. I could go on about the nuances, but I have to reiterate, this is one of the best beers I have had in my life. PLEASE TAKE MY WORD FOR IT AND GO GET ONE RIGHT NOW. OR TOMORROW. If you don’t put this in your Top 10, I will reimburse you for your purchase. Seriously, you can track me down and get your cash. OR you can track me down and give me the BIGGEST HIGH FIVE EVER because this will likely be one of the best beers you ever have. And, if not of all beers, then ABSOLUTELY the best Quadrupel on the face of this earth. Well, BeerAdvocate rates it number 3, after Westvletern 12 (which is nearly impossible to try outside of Belgium) and the Rochefort 10.

Categories: Belgian | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ommegang Seduction

Beer:  Seduction
Brewery: Brewery Ommegang
Style: Belgian-Style Porter
ABV: 7.2%

Serving Style: Draft
Glassware: Beer snifter
Drinking Establishment: The Old Bay, New Brunswick, NJ
Primary Consumer: Ally
Consumption Companion(s): the George St. Co-op crew



Sight: Dark, with a moderately thick head of beige-colored creaminess.

Scent: Sweet, with a subtle roasted-coffee and chocolate aroma.

Flavor: This is a liquified chocolate-covered cherry.

Feel: Smooth; creamy but light.

Normally kinda gross. But in beer form? Amazing!

We end the month with the perfect transition into February’s exploration of Belgians: a Belgian-style Porter brewed up by Cooperstown’s Brewery Ommegang, with the help of Liefmans, makers of fine Belgian lambics (or in this case, a Cuvee-Brut cherry champagne).  Throw in a little Callebut chocolate, and you have a masterpiece: the fruitiness of a Belgian and the sweet-sour cherry of the champagne melded with the chocolate-coffee sexiness–er, depth of a Porter.  I don’t think I can do as much justice in a description as The Old Bay does on its beer menu:  “There’s only one game we play here at The Old Bay…a game starting with the look in your eyes, a lingering pheromonic intoxicating scent, and finishes with the taste of your lips.  That game…seduction.  Seduction is welcoming and warm-hearted, gently hopped and harbors no bitterness, leaving only a lingering glow.”

Or, as noted in our Very Official Beer Notes:  “Ommegang?  Oh my god!”

Very Official Beer Notes.

Concluding remarks: Ending the month with a chocolate-cherry bang.  This a limited edition brew, but if you can get your hands on it, get your hands on it.

(Thanks, Ben.)


Yes, we did indeed just hint at what style is to come in February.  Check back soon as we commence our celebration of St. Valentine’s with a beer we love to love: The Belgian.

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

Founders Porter

Beer: Porter, “Dark, Rich & Sexy”
Brewery: Founders
Style: American Porter
ABV: 6.5%

Serving Style: Draft
Glassware: Pint glass
Drinking Establishment: Blind Tiger, West Village
Primary Consumer: Kerensa
Consumption Companion: A Park Slope resident



*EDITOR’S NOTE: This was five or six beers into the night, as a caveat.

Sight: Luxuriously dark, rich, black velvety body with a warm dark brown head.

Scent: Smells of coffee and hazelnuts.

Flavor: Full-bodied, complex flavor. Coffee and caramel on the forefront, roasted malts throughout. Chocolate at the end.

Feel: Smooth and full with a balanced amount of carbonation.

A quintessential example of the American Porter, Founder’s offering has quiet a complex flavor profile, rife with the three Cs (coffee, caramel and chocolate). The sweetness of the added coffee and chocolate is balanced with the right amount of hop bitterness. This is by far one of the most, if not the most, enjoyable American Porter I’ve had.

Concluding remarks: Get this beer ASAP. It will keep you warm throughout the winter…perfect for those long walks back to the subway in the middle of January (on those nights that aren’t 60°F). It is an excellent example of how American brewers have really made this style their own. I wouldn’t recommend drinking it with dinner, but it would make an excellent companion to a dessert. Or, even just as a dessert in its own right. Serve it just slightly colder than room temperature, maybe at 50°F or so. Prost!

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

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