Posts Tagged With: New Jersey

Harvest Moon Maibock Lager

Beer:  Maibock Lager
Brewery: Harvest Moon Brewery
Style: Maibock
ABV: 7.0%

 Serving Style: Draft
Glassware: Pint glass
Drinking Establishment: Harvest Moon Brewery, New Brunswick, NJ
Primary Consumer: Kerensa
Seconary Consumer(s): Kerensa’s family

——–

OVERALL RATING:

(although the rest of the family wanted to rate it a 4.5)

Sight: Deep, rich amber body with no head. Bright white rim of bubbles surrounds the glass.

Smell: Warm sweet malt scent with a very, very little trace of Noble hops.

Flavor: Oddly enough, it tastes like Fruity Pebbles–sweet from the malts and grains. Dad is impressed with the “nice continuing flavor.” Overall, it’s very balanced, with a slight hop bitterness at end, like a good Maibock should be.

Feel: Thin, but not watery, with moderate carbonation.

Concluding Remarks: Although not quite as good as its German counterpart, I’ll be damned if Harvest Moon’s Maibock doesn’t give the German brewers a run for their money. Brewed with Pilsner, Vienna, and Munich malts, the sweet Vienna malt is most dominant (characterized by a rich, caramel flavor).  While this Maibock would have been more “authentic” tasting if the Munich malts took the spotlight, it’s still pretty great. If you’re in the Central New Jersey area, make a trip to Harvest Moon and try this guy out while it’s still in season!

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

Paulaner Salvator


Beer:  Salvator Double Bock
Brewery: Paulaner Brauerei
Style:
Doppelbock
ABV: 7.9%

 Serving Style: Draft
Glassware: Stein
Drinking Establishment: Austro-Hungarian Pilsner Haus, Hoboken, NJ
Primary Consumer: Kerensa
Secondary Consumer(s): Suzy

——–

OVERALL RATING:

Sight: Dark, cloudy amber body with a fluffy beige head that quickly recedes to a one-centimeter brim.

Scent: Noticeable alcohol, estery note. Traces of licorice, overripe fruit, spice, and pine. It kind of smells like a combination of a sweet Portuguese bun and the (Black) Forest?

Flavor: It tastes like sweet bread and those caramel square candies. There is a spicy aftertaste.

Feel: Creamy body with moderate carbonation.

Concluding Remarks: Paulaner’s Salvator was the first Doppelbock, according to legend. While I have had few Doppelbocks this month that have been better than this…there have been some. But, Paulaner’s original was a fantastic foundation from which to improve upon. It’s pretty much the equivalent of beer candy. Quite enjoyable, but I would recommend drinking alongside a savory, salty treat in order to balance the Doppelbock’s sweetness.

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Ramstein Doppelbock

Beer:  Doppelbock
Brewery: High Point Brewing Company
Style: Doppelbock
ABV: 9.5%

 Serving Style: Draft
Glassware: Tulip glass
Drinking Establishment: The Old Bay, New Brunswick, NJ
Primary Consumer: Ally

——–

OVERALL RATING:

Sight: Dark and opaque, with a thick, creamy tan head that recedes but leaves some lacing.

Scent: No overtly discernible scent.  Maybe that of apple cider–but very mild.

Flavor: Very dynamic–apple cider and caramel are the most noted, but there is a slight spice (clove, particularly) in there as well.

Feel:  On the thick side, with moderate carbonation.

Concluding remarks: High Point is a New Jersey-based brewery, but its founder, Greg Zaccardi, actually worked as a brewer in southern Germany–so he knows what he’s doing when it comes to German beers.  In fact, he uses a special brewer’s yeast that is used exclusively by only a small brewery in Bavaria–and by High Point.  Thus, their Ramstein Doppelbock (the strongest High Point beer) is pretty darn authentic.  It’s complex–sweet, but spicy, kind of like the beer version of mulled wine–perfect for a winter night, or a cold, rainy April day.

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Harvest Moon Paddy’s Irish Stout

Beer:  Paddy’s Irish Stout
Brewery: Harvest Moon Brewery
Style: Irish Stout
ABV: 4.5%

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

——–

OVERALL RATING:

Sight: Dark cola color, with 1 finger beige head that settles to a thin layer of tiny bubbles with a nice ring of head.  Nice lacing, too.

Scent: A pleasant roasted coffee aroma.

Flavor:  Roasted coffee, with a hint of bittersweet chocolate.  A ginger-like aftertaste that is a bit bitter, a bit sour.

Feel:  Thick, creamy mouthfeel with moderate-to-high carbonation

Concluding remarks: For denizens of New Brunswick, NJ, Harvest Moon is a great spot for good food, live-band karaoke, and–whoa!–craft beer.  Yep, as soon as you walk in, you see the kettles and fermentation vessels they use to brew their own beer.  So, you can’t get it much fresher than this.  Their Irish Stout, made from pale ale malts and roasted barley (100 lbs. of flaked barley, to be exact), is a highly enjoyable brew.  Classic Stout flavors of coffee and chocolate, that only taste better as the beer rests and mellows.  Support local small businesses, all you New Brunswickians–check out Paddy’s Irish Stout on your next George St. beer crawl.

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Kane Port Omna American Stout

Beer:  Port Omna American Stout
Brewery: Kane Brewing Company
Style: American Extra Stout (a Dry Irish and Foreign Extra hybrid)
ABV: 6.00%

Serving Style: Draft
Glassware: Pint glass
Drinking Establishment: The Old Bay, New Brunswick, NJ
Primary Consumer: Ally

——–

OVERALL RATING:

Sight: Opaque, near black/dark cola in color, with some amber edging.  1-inch thick, creamy, mocha head.  Nice lacing of tiny, fizzy bubbles.

Scent: Coffee and chocolate; sweet malts; and dried fruit, perhaps figs or apricots.

Flavor:  There is a bitter hoppiness alongside notes of sweet coffee and chocolate, even some slight vanilla; but it is the bitterness that lingers in the aftertaste.

Feel:  Crisp, but smooth.  Moderate carbonation.  A bit of a dry finish.

Concluding remarksKane is one of New Jersey’s newest breweries, hailing from Ocean Township.  With their Port Omna Stout, they’ve created their own style: the American Extra Stout, a hybrid of a Dry Irish Stout and a Foreign Extra Stout.  The result?  A solid, well-balanced brew–bitter but sweet, slightly roasty but with a bit of fruit notes.

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Flying Fish Exit 4 American Trippel

Beer:  Exit 4 American Trippel
Brewery: Flying Fish
Style: Tripel
ABV: 9.5%

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

——–

OVERALL RATING:

Sight: Crisp golden/orange body filled with tiny rising carbonation bubbles. Very thin white head that ebbs instantly. A trace of lacing is left on the glass.

Scent: It smells like stumbling upon a grove of oranges and tulips. Pleasantly citrusy and floral, with a bit of bitter hops at the end.

Flavor: If I was doing a blind taste test, I would (mistakenly) identify this as an IPA, initially. As I get further into it, I do get a bit of the Tripel phenols-passing-as-bananas flavor, as well as the ubiquitous Belgian Abbey yeast funk. There’s a lingering tropical fruit-n-grass flavor at the end.

Feel: Thin-to-medium, and dry, mouthfeel. Appropriate carbonation.

At the end of the day, there’s a Belgian Tripel in here; it’s just hidden under a pile of hops.

Concluding remarks: For those that are not well acquainted with New Jersey’s vast and wonderful state highway system, the beer’s moniker refers to Exit 4 off of the New Jersey Turnpike. Flying Fish began the “Exit Series” a number of years ago with the goal of brewing “a series of beers as diverse as the great state of New Jersey” (hell yeah!). With the input and participation of local residents, Flying Fish has been working on developing new styles that reflect the many histories associated with each exit (there are 18 in total). Some are obvious; for example, the Exit 9 (the exit for Rutgers University) is a Hoppy Scarlet Ale (Rutgers’ mascot is the Scarlet Knights). Exit 4 is not. So…a little research!

Exit 4 is…Mount Laurel Township.  (Hey planning, history, and law nerds! This is THE Mount Laurel, you know, from the Mount Laurel doctrine that advanced affordable housing efforts through zoning.) More relevant, the Flying Fish brewery is in close proximity to Mount Laurel.  And since Flying Fish claims that they were one of the first U.S. craft brewers to brew Belgian-style beers, they decided that Exit 4 should represent their brewing history. Thus, the Exit 4 is a Belgian Tripel, doused with a(n) (un)healthy dose of American hops (Simcoe and Amarillo, to name a few).

I understand why they would want to call this a Tripel, if only for nostalgic purposes. However, I keep getting sweet, spicy IPA. Potayto, pototahto, right? Yes, I mostly agree. But here at The Year in Beer, we’re (attempting) to dissect, analyze, and evaluate style. So, I gotta be a jerk about it.

All in all, though, this a pretty complex and delicious beast. I absolutely recommend this and challenge you to go explore New Jersey, one Exit at a time.

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River Horse Tripel Horse

Beer:  Tripel Horse
Brewery: River Horse Brewing Co.
Style: Tripel
ABV: 10.0%

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

——–

OVERALL RATING:

Sight: Cloudy, light honey color. Two-inch bright white, fluffy head that leaves thick lacing on glass, and fades quickly.

Scent: Bananas, bananas, bananas. And bubblegum. And yeasty esters (why, hello, alcohol).

Flavor: BOOZE. Geez, I know this is 10% and all, but taking my first swig of this reminds me of my first shot of vodka at the young age of…ahem, 21. After I get passed that, I taste the banana phenols and a little bit of the advertised spice: cloves and coriander. It’s actually quite difficult to taste anything but the stinging alcohol note. It tastes sort of like a Band-Aid as I finish it (for those who know me, I like a good Penicillin, so this taste does not bother me, but rather, is just part of the drinking experience!).

Feel: Almost perfect body (hot damn).

Concluding remarks: Listen, for $1.99, a bottle of this is a pretty righteous deal. The flavor profile is nothing to write home about, but this is surprisingly DRINKABLE (ugh) considering the high alcohol content. There are some decent flavors in here, but they are hard to access with this alcohol frontin’ every sip of the way. I’ll echo what I said about the Boaks Two Blind Monks: this is a fine beer. And it is always good to support local businesses (River Horse hails from Lambertsville, NJ). However, River Horse’s Tripel Horse drowns in the river (groan). I like the old-timey type on the label, though.

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

Boaks Two Blind Monks

Beer:  Two Blind Monks
Brewery: Boaks Beverage
Style: Dubbel
ABV: 7.0%

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

——–

OVERALL RATING:

Sight: Muddy dark amber body with a thin beige head.

Scent: Deep, rich malts manifest into a butterscotch smell. Slight sweet cherry at the end.

Flavor: With all of the butterscotch and cherry aromas, I was hoping for a sweetness in this beer. However, the malt taste is overpowering. Finishes with a faint taste of fig and raisin.

Feel: Surprisingly thin body, but nice carbonation.

Concluding remarks: I’ve had the Two Blind Monks before, and enjoyed it. So I was looking forward to reacquainting myself with these two blind monks from New Jersey (Boaks Beverage is located in Pompton Lakes, NJ). However, the reunion wasn’t with the Two Awesome Blind Monks I once knew, but instead, Two Blind Monks Who Blindly Forgot to Add the Flava. People change over time, I understand. Maybe this bottle was old? Maybe my tastes have matured and are more discerning? Be it as it may, this beer is fine. I hate using the word “drinkable,” but it is drinkable. If you see it at your local beer store, support a local small business and pick it up.

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

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