Tuesday, 31 October 2006

Review: Aventinus

Aventinus from Private Weissbierbrauerei G. Schneider & Sohn GmbH
Rating: A-

Split a bottle of this one with my dad last night.

Appearance: Nice head, tawny in color with purple highlights. Little in the way of lacing, however.

Smell: Smells like a maltier, darker hefeweizen. Bubblegum aromas in particular stood out, along with caramel malt and a bit of tanginess.

Taste: Lots of weizen-like phenolics, but enough malt character to keep them in check. Hops balance, but don't play much of a flavor role themselves. Alcohol is obviously higher than average.

Mouthfeel: Body is rather thick, along with the bubble gum flavors makes it seem a bit medicinal.

Drinkability: Good, but not exceptional.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 10-31-2006 19:57:52

Thursday, 26 October 2006

Review: Struis

Struis from Brouwerij 't IJ
Rating: B+

Appearance: From the uninformative label, I had no idea what this was when I poured it, and I hadn't yet checked it out on BA. Turns out to be brown/red in color with a big head and ridiculous amounts of lacing - more like sheets - clinging to the glass. Nice looking.

Smell: Aroma is of spice and dark fruits, but with a tangy, sour undertone. Reminds me a bit of a kriek lambic.

Taste: Some Belgian yeast spice, dark fruit and red grape flavors, but again with a bit of sourness as well. I really had no idea what style this was before checking on BA, other than obviously being Belgian. I'm actually curious whether my bottle might have been contaminated, since none of the other reviews mention any sourness, but it wasn't bad, so hey I'll review anyway. Whoa, this is 9% ABV??? Would not have guessed from the flavor.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability: Medium body, somewhat slick on the tongue. Drinkability is mediocre, though. Not something I'll pick up.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 10-26-2006 03:39:02

Wednesday, 25 October 2006

Review: Pendle Witches Brew

Pendle Witches Brew from Moorhouse's Brewery (Burnley) Ltd
Rating: B

Appearance: Nice presentation - witch on the bottle reminds me of a homebrew label I made. Pours lighter than expected in the glass, amber with a medium head that leaves good lacing.

Smell: Aroma really draws you in to figure it out. Good amount of hop presence, with some caramel/butterscotch as well.

Taste: Good! Hoppier than I was expecting. Bready, with some caramel as well. Goldings in the finish?

Mouthfeel: A bit of diacetyl slickness, which is to be expected for the style. Good carbonation. Medium body.

Drinkability: I'd buy this - good beer, good drinkability. Diacetyl is present, but not distracting. Well-hopped, no complaints.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 10-24-2006 23:51:56

Review: Newcastle Brown Ale

Newcastle Brown Ale from Newcastle Breweries Ltd.
Rating: B-

Appearance: Brown, almost red in color when held up to a bright light. Nice head, some lacing.

Smell: When cold, smells strangely like a pilsner - maybe it's the hops used? When it warms, sweet molasses & caramel notes come to the forefront.

Taste: Molasses definitely the dominant flavor. Very light hop presence. Rather sweet. Alcohol comes through more than it should for the abv, but nothing objectionable.

Mouthfeel: On the thinner side of medium, carbonation good.

Drinkability: An accessible beer, especially for those with a sweet tooth, but unremarkable.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 10-24-2006 23:44:17

Thursday, 19 October 2006

Review: Delirium Tremens

Delirium Tremens from Brouwerij Huyghe
Rating: B+

Appearance: Pale gold in color, big head (though not as big as Duvel). Some nice lace (but again, not as nice as Duvel). I appreciated that it was served in the appropriate glass, pink elephants and all, at Stubbie in Gainesville.

Smell: Belgian yeast and spice are the dominant aromas, with fruit and alcohol playing backup.

Taste: Flavor profile is very similar to the aroma: Belgian phenolics, spice, with some malt sweetness, fruit, and alcohol warming.

Mouthfeel: Medium-body, well-carbonated.

Drinkability: Good.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 10-19-2006 19:08:30

Monday, 16 October 2006

Review: Catch Her In The Rye

Catch Her In The Rye from Olde Auburn Ale House
Rating: B

Garnet in appearance, small head with little retention. Aroma is fairly subdued, I was expecting more rye character. Instead I get a good bit of malt, with a touch of rye "sharpness," if that's the way to describe it. Taste is surprising, considering I was told by waitress it was "kind of like an IPA." I was expecting something like a He'brew's Lenny Bruce Double RyePA, but this is more like a brown ale with rye added. It's still good, just not what I was expecting. Well-balanced with a good amount of E.K. Goldings, but certainly not at IPA levels. Mouthfeel and drinkability are good.

Serving type: on-tap

Reviewed on: 10-15-2006 23:05:29

Sunday, 15 October 2006

Review: Wildman Steve's Hemp Ale

Wildman Steve's Hemp Ale from Olde Auburn Ale House
Rating: B-

Brown in color with a somewhat purple tint. Good, lasting head. Smells more or less like you expect a brown ale too, but earthier. Taste is malty, with enough hops to balance and an herbal finish that I'd imagine can be attributed to the hemp. I was getting some citrusy hops notes, but I was told they use E.K. Goldings. Not bad. Mouthfeel is fine. Above average drinkability. The novelty makes it worth ordering, otherwise probably a pass.

Serving type: on-tap

Reviewed on: 10-15-2006 22:58:15

Thursday, 12 October 2006

Review: Alba Scots Pine Ale

Alba Scots Pine Ale from Heather Ale Ltd. / The Brewery Craigmill
Rating: B

Served as recommended, at room temperature in a goblet.

Appearance: Pours an attractive orangey-amber-garnet with a smaller than average head.

Smell: Surprisingly caramel-y, but reminiscent of the others in the set. Not as piney as I was expecting, at all. There is a bit of tingle in the nose that I can't place, and a hint of red apple.

Taste: This is the last one in the set - I'd been setting it aside because I didn't have the highest of expectations. A little pine, but not as much as I was expecting - some caramel and red apple. Drying effect from the pine needles. A cooling effect in the mouth vaguely like menthol, but then some alcohol warming as you swallow.

Mouthfeel: creamy, rather than crisp, perhaps partly attributable to serving at room temperature. Carbonation rather on the low side.

Drinkability: Probably won't be buying this one again. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't what I look for in a beer.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 10-12-2006 02:40:36

Tuesday, 10 October 2006

Review: India Pale Ale (IPA)

India Pale Ale (IPA) from Avery Brewing Company
Rating: B+

Appearance: Nice label, with an old map on it. Pours a pale orange, perhaps a little bit lighter than expected. Head retentino is good, lacing is very good.

Smell: Citrusy hop aroma prevails, nice smelling, but not much else going on.

Taste: I wouldn't have been surprised to see this one labeled as an APA. The malt base has backbone. Hops are dominant, but not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability: No complaints about mouthfeel, drinkability is high.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 10-10-2006 02:10:35

Review: Grolsch Premium Lager

Grolsch Premium Lager from Grolsche Bierbrouwerij N.V.
Rating: C+

Since this is one of my dad's preferred beers, it's shocking it has taken me so long to review it. I'm reviewing this out of the capped bottle, not the flip-top.

Appearance: Very clear, golden in color. Good head, but lacing isn't notable.

Smell: Smells like an import lager, grainy with a hint of German hops.

Taste: Crisp and bitter, I don't think it's skunked. Bitterness continues through to the aftertaste. Not much of a malt presence at all.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability: Not watery, but light. Good carbonation. As for drinkability, better than BMC and better than Heineken, but not great.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 10-10-2006 02:06:45

Review: Paulaner Oktoberfest-Märzen

Paulaner Oktoberfest-Märzen from Paulaner Salvator Thomasbraeu AG
Rating: B+

Appearance: Pours on the darker side of amber, good head. Head retention and lacing are just "okay"

Smell: Aroma is predominantly malty and toasty. The hop characteristics that come through are distinctly German.

Taste: Toasty, malty, distinctive German hop flavor. Well-balanced and smooth, tastes better than I remember. Could be a bit stronger in the flavor department, though.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, carbonation might be a bit on the low side.

Drinkability: Highly drinkable, very smooth.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 10-09-2006 23:56:16

Saturday, 7 October 2006

Review: St. Bernardus Tripel

St. Bernardus Tripel from Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Rating: A-

This is quite a beer!

Appearance: Looks a bit like pineapple juice in the glass, not very clear and a kind of off-yellow color Good head, some lace.

Smell: Belgian smelling, good bit of phenols going on. Some alcohol present in the nose.

Taste: Very nice! Apricot, spice, and Belgian yeastiness. Delicious.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, melts in your mouth.

Drinkability: I could drink this all night, if I could afford it.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 10-07-2006 13:34:06

Review: Colt 45 Malt Liquor

Colt 45 Malt Liquor from Pabst Brewing Company / G. Heileman Brewing Co.
Rating: C-

Drove to Georgia yesterday with some friends to buy a bunch of these, since 40's aren't sold in Florida. Am I ashamed? No, it's a football weekend.

It seems absurd to review this in the normal format though: Appearance was piss yellow, no lacing, poor retention. Smells like corn. Tastes like bitter, alcoholic corn. That said, it goes down easily enough, especially when cold. Wouldn't want to attempt the feat when it's just cool. Mouthfeel a little slick, but carbonation is good. As far as malt liquor goes, it gets a lot worse than this one here. Taking style into account, it's not bad. Overall, yes it is.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 10-07-2006 13:29:45

Review: Salvator Doppel Bock

Salvator Doppel Bock from Paulaner Salvator Thomasbraeu AG
Rating: A-

Appearance: Possibly the reddest-looking beer I've had. Good head with good retention and lacing. Very nice.

Smell: This is probably the weak point, if there is one. Lager yeast and not a lot of hops, so the aroma is fairly subdued. Some caramel malts, but not much.

Taste: Good bit of caramel presence. Biscuity finish that accompanies some alcohol warming. I like it. None of the smokiness of Celebrator, but I'm surprised to see they're so far apart in terms of ratings. This one is just as good, if different.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, with good carbonation.

Drinkability: This was a very good beer, I was pleased. Underrated.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 10-07-2006 13:23:44

Thursday, 5 October 2006

Review: Total Eclipse Black Ale

Total Eclipse Black Ale from Hoppy Brewing Co.
Rating: B

I'm over-amused by the "Hoppy Brewing Co.'s" name, here.

Appearance: Dark ruby in color, not quite opaque and fairly clear. Good bit of head that leaves nice lace.

Smell: Big roasted malt aroma. Roast, roast and more roast. Some coffee notes, too, but bordering on "burnt" Not a whole lot of complexity here.

Taste: Taste is along the same lines. Lots of coffee flavor notes, roasty, chocolate seems like it's trying to get out there but not quite managing it. Not a whole lot in the way of hop flavor. What's there isn't bad, but a little lacking in depth.

Mouthfeel: Lighter and more highly carbonated than I would have anticipated from the appearance or the taste.

Drinkability: Not bad, but not great either. Glad I split the bomber.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 10-05-2006 01:33:04

Review: YuleSmith

YuleSmith from AleSmith Brewing Company
Rating: A-

Appearance: A good bit of sediment floating around, but that's probably because I was trying to get every bit out of the bottle. Reddish orange in color, good two finger head that leaves exceptional lacing. Nice looking IPA!

Smell: Aroma is definitely on the sweeter side, definitely a double IPA. As far as hops go, citrus fruit aromas, but surprisingly malt sweetness seems to be in the foreground as far as aroma goes.

Taste: Big caramel taste, with lots of hops bitterness backing it up. Juicy citrus hops flavors, with a good bit of alcohol warming present as well. I think I prefer DFH 90, on the whole....

Mouthfeel: A little on the syrupy side of things, as I tend to find most DIPA's, but good. Carbonation worked well enough.

Drinkability: An excellent beer, but perhaps a tiny bit overrated. Maybe I should have waited until winter to try this holiday ale =) Thanks to intriqken for giving me the opportunity to try this one! I had really been looking forward to it!

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 10-05-2006 01:24:32

Wednesday, 4 October 2006

Review: Big Eye IPA

Big Eye IPA from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Rating: A-

Appearance: Bright orange, pours very clear. Big rocky head with good retention that leaves a ridiculous amount of lace. Just how you expect an IPA to look.

Smell: Huge aroma I can smell from a couple of feet away. Sweet citrusy hop smells, like tangerine, apricot and pineapple. As it warms malts become more present.

Taste: Tart but fairly lifeless at first, but then a wave of bitterness washes over your mouth. Caramel sweetness. Taste is decidedly more grapefruit-y than the aroma. Slight toastiness to the finish. Finish is dry. Interesting and unique taste.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability: Carbonation is just on the low side of medium. As for drinkability, each component was decent, but the whole falls short, somehow.
Thanks to intriqken for shipping this one my way.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 10-04-2006 03:28:23

Monday, 2 October 2006

Review: Mortality Stout

Mortality Stout from ReaperAle
Rating: B+

Absolutely opaque, not a hint of light shines through. Dark head, two fingers, exceptional head and leaves exceptional lacing.

Smell: Good bit of chocolate, cafe mocha perhaps. I think there's a hint of hops in there too, but in the background. As it warms, roasty/burnt aromas come out a bit.

Taste: Lots and lots of chocolate character. Some dark fruit becomes apparent once the glass has warmed up a bit. The alcohol is well-hidden. Aftertaste seems a little watery, actually, without more of a hop presence to give it bite.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation seemed a little high at first, but halfway through the bomber was just perfect. A little thinner than I might have expected from the color of the head.

Drinkability: Good. Thanks to intriqken for the opportunity to try this one!

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 10-01-2006 23:09:55

Review: Mocha Porter

Mocha Porter from Rogue Ales Brewery / Brewer's on the Bay
Rating: B+

Appearance: Very dark, but not quite opaque. Some ruby highlights are visible when held up to the light. Head is meager, but leaves some lace.

Smell: More hop character than typical for the style. Coffee as expected. Probably poured a little colder than I should have.

Taste: Roasty coffee and bitter chocolate flavors. Slightly burnt aftertaste. A little bit more on the burnt/bitter side than I prefer.

Mouthfeel: On the thicker side,carbonation seems a little high.

Drinkability: Good, not great.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 10-01-2006 23:00:04