Posts Tagged With: Brooklyn Brewery

TYIB Beer Tasting Extravaganza #1

To commemorate our one year of beer anniversary, TYIB held its very first–and very not last–beer tasting at Bar Great Harry. In order to delve into a discussion on the the stylistic nuances of beer, we reviewed two beers of three different styles. In a fight to the death type of situation, the reviewers pitted beer against beer, searching for the ultimate champion of the style.

that's right.

that’s right.

For this tasting, we explored the Black IPA, the Russian Imperial Stout, and the IPA. And the hangover (for some). The contenders were…

Yakima Glory, Victory Brewing Co.
There Will Be Black, Brooklyn Brewery
Titan IPA, Great Divide Brewing Co.
Hoppagedon, Napa Smith Brewery
Old Rasputin, North Coast Brewing Co.
Imperial Russian Stout, Stone Brewing Co.

cheers, all!

cheers, all!

The following reviews reflect the group’s opinions of each beer.

The Black IPAs

For our exploration of the Black IPA–a maltier sibling of the IPA–we reviewed Victory’s Yakima Glory and Brooklyn Brewery’s There Will Be Black, part of their Brewmaster’s series. Yakima Glory is named as such for the hops grown in the Yakima Valley in Pennsylvania.

 VS 

Yakima Glory, Victory Brewing Co., 8.7% ABV

yakima

Sight: Dark brown, burnt amber body.

Smell: Sweet chocolate and caramel aromas are quickly balanced by a hoppy citrusy smell.

Taste: Like its smell, there is an initial sweet, malty flavor that is almost immediately overpowered by a hop attack. The last note is a piney, earthy flavor.

Overall: For the most part, the reviewers took a liking to Yakima Glory. One reviewer said it was “good for a cold winter night,” while another called it “fierce.” Fellow beer enthusiast Amanda noted that it while it fell short of what she would expect of a Black IPA, it was redeemably well-balanced.

 beeruse-copy (average score= 3.375)

There Will Be Black, Brooklyn Brewery, 7.5%

therewill

Sight: Deep purple-y black body. Much darker than the Yakima.

Smell: The dominant aromas are chocolate, coffee, cherry, and dirt.

Taste: Some reviewers commented that There Will Be Black has a considerably weaker flavor than the Yakima Glory. One reviewer said it tasted like cold carbonated coffee. Other flavors include cherry, bark, and maple. We all agreed that it tasted like a Decello milk chocolate covered cherry…you know, the cheap kind.

Overall: While Yakima Glory’s take on a Black IPA was that of balance, Brooklyn Brewery focused on infusing as much rich, malty flavors into their Black IPA as possible. While not a fan favorite, reviewers were intrigued by the fruity, smokey flavors of There Will Be Black.

 (average score= 3)

THE VERDICT

After much discussion, the group named Victory’s Yakima Glory the clear winner of this round. However, we did agree that Brooklyn’s There Will Be Black is a better example of the Black IPA. For an everyday drinking beer, we recommend picking up a six-pack of the deliciously balanced (and alcoholic) Yakima. If you’re looking to further your understanding of the Black IPA, give Brooklyn’s a try.

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The IPAS

For our exploration of the IPA, we selected the only two IPAs on tap: Napa Smith’s Hopageddon (a double IPA) and Great Divide’s Titan Indian Pale Ale.

   VS 

Titan IPA, Great Divide, 7.1% ABV

titan

Sight: Clear chestnut/amber/golden body.

Smell: Some of the more creative descriptions of the evening were written about the smell of this beer. These include “grandma’s hard candy that falls out of your mouth” and “pizza dough cough drops.”

Taste: Again, there were some interesting adjectives associated with the flavor of this beer. Most agreed that it tastes like flavors found in a bar and a barn: there is a bit of a liquor, apple schnapps flavor with a grassy, hay taste.  One reviewer described the flavor like that of a starchy potato chip.

Overall: Titan is a complex, multi-faceted beer that reviewer Amanda called the “sexually ambiguous store clerk”  as well as a “golden mystery.” This IPA has an unusual fruity starch flavor that is certainly worth trying once. And probably only once.

beeruse-copy (average score= 3.66)

Hopageddon, Napa Smith, 9.2%

hoppa

Sight: Cloudy dark golden body that looks like apple cider.

Smell: It smells like a breakfast of apple juice, cinnamon toast, and a fruity cereal.

Taste: Like it smells, this beer tastes like eating an overripe apple. There’s an lingering sweetness that balances the intense flowery hop flavor. Someone said it tasted like a cider with some hops.

Overall: For a double IPA dubbed Hopageddon, the group agreed that it was a dud. None of us were blown away by any sort of hops explosion that could usher in a new world. Napa Smith has here an odd double IPA that’s quite creamy for its style. Most reviewers appreciated the uniqueness of the beer, while others were simply confused and didn’t enjoy it (well, maybe just its high ABV).

beeruse-copy (average score= 3.5)

THE VERDICT

Both of the IPAs we reviewed were IPAs found off of the beaten path. Great Divide’s Titan is unique for an IPA and Napa Smith’s is the least hoppy and most fruity Double IPA of all time. While reviewers thought both were interesting enough, Titan IPA ends up living up to its name and comes out with the highest score in battle.

—-

The Russian Imperial Stouts

For our exploration of the Russian Imperial Stout–a historic style emerging in the 18th century–we reviewed two of the best: North Coast’s iconic Old Rasputin and Stone’s Imperial Russian Stout.

  VS  

Old Rasputin, North Coast Brewing, 9.0% ABV

rasp

Sight: Dark brown body with a small, creamy head that leaves a thick lacing as it travels down the glass.

Smell: Strong aromas of coffee, dark chocolate, and malts.

Taste: Reviewer Erica said it tastes like an espresso milkshake. Others described it as a german chocolate cake and a creamy chocolately dessert.

Overall: Surprisingly fluffy and airy, Old Rasputin was described as, pardon our French, “creamy as fuck.” Reviewer Amanda called it a “smooth journey through seduction” and that it was a “lovable” beer. Yeah, Rasputin, you creamy mystic you.

 (average score= 4)

Russian Imperial Stout, Stone Brewing, 10.5% ABV

stone

Sight: It looks like oil, with a pitch black body and no head.

Smell: Reviewer Suzy said that it smelled like “a shot I would be uncomfortable taking.” That shot must be Jameson, because others described the smell as such. There is also a woody and chocolately aroma.

Taste: We agreed that Stone’s Stout tastes a helluva lot better than it smells. The dominant flavors are fresh coffee, mocha, and dark chocolate, with a faint cherry note.

Overall: By this point in the night, there was more yelling of adjectives and less taking of notes However, we did manage to get our hands on one reviewer’s notes that summed up this beer by saying that it was “powerful, complex, and commands respect.” Thanks, Amanda, for your expert documentation skills!

 (average score= 4.08)

THE VERDICT

This final face off was the most hotly debated of the night (hello, the scores were 4 and 4.08). For readers at home, Amanda came up with this analogy on the fly: Old Rasputin is the lovely wife, with its creaminess, soothing quality, and warmth, and Stone’s Imperial is the gorgeous mistress, with it’s silky, dark, and intoxicating nature  (literally…at 10%, this was the most alcoholic of the evening). So, what do you want? The lovely wife or the gorgeous mistress? Either way, you win. These two are are both spectacular Russian Imperials–debatably the best of the style. The end of the night was a bit hazy after drinking all of these high ABV ales, but if I correctly recall, Old Rasputin, our lovely wife, was the overall winner for its exceptional creaminess.

beer makes us smile. the end.

beer makes us smile. the end.

Concluding Remarks: So, beer is awesome. After a night of smelling, moderate-to-heavy drinking, and discussing these beers, I think all participants walked away with a renewed love of all things malts and hops. We would like to thank everyone who came out and made this event possible, as well as Bar Great Harry for pouring us a gazillion beers. Stay tuned for more tastings and events in the future!

Categories: India Pale Ale, Stout | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Brooklyn East India Pale Ale

Beer: East India Pale Ale
Brewery: Brooklyn Brewery
Style: IPA
ABV: 6.9%

Serving Style: Draft
Glassware: Pint glass
Drinking Establishment: The Lamp Post, Jersey City, NJ
Primary Consumer: Ally
Secondary Consumer: Laura, Ally’s sister

——–

OVERALL RATING:



Sight: Clear golden/orangey amber, with little-to-no head, just a tiny ring of bubbles on the edge of the glass.

Smell: Mild, clean citrus and floral notes.

Flavor: Mild hops–not bitter at all–with a fruity combination of apricots and grapefruit.

Feel: Medium mouthfeel, almost syrupy, with moderate carbonation.

Concluding Remark: Everything about this beer is very mild.  No overt aroma, very light flavors–overall, it’s more in the style of a British IPA than an American one.  However, if you’re okay with that, it’s a tasty and enjoyable enough brew.  Brooklyn makes it using four different hops–East Kent Golding (which are English), Willamette (an American hybrid of the English Fuggles), Northdown (English), and Centennial (American)–but if you’re looking for an extreme American hop experience, this isn’t it.

Categories: India Pale Ale | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Brooklyn Sorachi Ace

Beer: Sorachi Ace
Brewery: Brooklyn
Style: Saison
ABV: 7.6%

 Serving Style: Bottle
Glassware: Imperial glass
Drinking Establishment: Chez Wood
Primary Consumer: Kerensa

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OVERALL RATING:



Sight:  Hazy honey body with a bright white sticky head.

Smell:  Bright aroma…lemon, grass, biscuity malt.

Flavor:  Sorachi Ace hop is a particular beast, lending a clean, grassy flavor. Notes of citrus and cloves as well.

Feel:  Medium body with crisp carbonation.

Concluding Remark:  To say that Brooklyn Brewery’s Sorachi Ace is aces is an understatement. It is not only perfectly balanced, but the complexity and dynamism of this Saison is surreal. It’s at once bitter and sweet, smooth and sour. Sorachi Ace, a Japanese hop, is noted for its lemony, clean flavor. While it is the presence of the Sorachi that does define this brew, there is still a spicy, herbal taste as well. Brooklyn’s Saison is really extraordinary–one of their best, for sure.

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

Brooklyn Pilsner

Beer: Brooklyn Pilsner
Brewery: Brooklyn Brewery
Style: German-style Pilsner
ABV: 5.1%

 Serving Style: Bottle
Glassware: Pilsner glass
Drinking Establishment: The Fant Mansion
Primary Consumer: Ally

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OVERALL RATING:



Sight: Clear golden yellow, with 1 1/2 finger off-white head that quickly settles to a thin layer of bubbles.

Smell: Yeasty, sweet, and citrusy.

Flavor: Earthy, almost smoky, taste with a bitterness that lingers in the back of the throat.  Some mild sweetness.

Feel: Light mouthfeel and carbonation.

Concluding Remark: Brooklyn’s take on the Pilsner is no frills.  Although the aroma implies a sweet beer, the taste is more bitter and savory.  It’s nothing flashy, but it’s light and enjoyable.  It’d be a good beer to pair with a meal that you don’t want to be overpowered by your alcohol.

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

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

Beer:  Black Chocolate Stout
Brewery: Brooklyn Brewery
Style: Imperial Stout
ABV: 10.00%

Serving Style: Draft
Glassware: Wine glass
Drinking Establishment: Spuyten Duyvil, Brooklyn, NYC
Primary Consumer(s): Ally & Kerensa

——–

OVERALL RATING:

Sight: Opaque, near black in color; or, more appropriately, dark chocolate.  1 1/2-inch dense but frothy head, mocha in color.

Scent: Like a dark chocolate-covered cherry!

Flavor:  Bittersweet initially, but the bitterness melts away as it rests.  The chocolate is definitely more of a semi-sweet or Baker’s chocolate.  There are also notes of coffee, even chicory.

Feel:  Creamy and thick.  Low-to-moderate carbonation, with a tickle at the end.

Concluding remarksThe Black Chocolate Stout, one of Brooklyn Brewery’s winter seasonals, is dubbed “famous” and “award-winning” by the brewery…and we can see why.  This tasty beer gets an award of 4-and-a-half Pint Glasses from us; although, if it tasted as good as it smelled, it’d probably earn a full 5.

It should be noted, also, that we went back for seconds. And that’s saying a lot, considering we were at a beer bar with a number of rare Belgians on tap that night.

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

Brooklyn Dry Irish Stout

Beer:  Dry Irish Stout
Brewery: Brooklyn Brewery
Style: Imperial Stout
ABV: 4.2%

Serving Style: Draft
Glassware: Pint glass
Drinking Establishment: Lucky 7’s, Jersey City
Primary Consumer: Ally
Consumption Companion: a friend who is aptly named Patrick

——–

OVERALL RATING:

Sight: Opaque, pitch black.  By the time it was served, there was about a 1/2-inch head that quickly receded.  (Brooklyn Brewery says it should be served with “two fingers” of foam.)

Scent: Hardly any aroma.  Perhaps some malts, but we’re reaching for anything here.

Flavor:  On the bland side.  Again, maybe a little bit of maltiness, and perhaps some hops, but if any flavor is pronounced, it’s that of seltzer.

Feel:  It lives up to its name–very dry mouthfeel.  Crisp, moderate-to-high carbonation.

It’s St. Patrick’s Day!  Therefore, an Irish Stout review is in order.  Unfortunately, the one that was consumed last night (the time was after midnight, so it was technically St. Patrick’s Day) wasn’t anything too exciting.  Brooklyn’s take on the Dry Irish Stout is what my drinking partner Patrick referred to as “the ghost of a Stout”–it looked like a Stout, had the atmosphere of a Stout, but really, it lacked what a Stout should bring to the table, i.e. FLAVOR.  It was drinkable, but Brooklyn claims it should have “an espresso-like bite” with notes of coffee and chocolate, and our experience uncovered the advertised dryness–and that was about it.

Concluding remarks: We were not not enjoying it, but it’s not what we’re looking for in a Stout.

Don’t worry, though; the night was not wasted.  We did car bombs, too.  Slainte!

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

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