Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Review: Sagres Cerveja Preta (Dark)

Sagres Cerveja Preta (Dark) from Sociedade Central de Cervejas
Rating: B-

Purchased at Taste in Kowloon Tong.
Pours black, but not quite opaque. Reasonably sized head, some lace. Smell is predominantly of roast. Wasn't sure what to expect - definitely not a doppelbock, a schwarzbier maybe? Roast at the front of the palate, but little else to back it up. Finishes dry. Reminiscent of Xingu - must be a Portugese speaking thing. Mouthfeel lighter than expected from a beer this color, carbonation fine. Drinkability is reasonable - goes down easy, but not much to commend itself flavor-wise.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 06-27-2007 05:45:05

Review: Saigon Export

Saigon Export from Saigon Beer Company
Rating: C-

Purchased at Taste in Kowloon Tong. My first Vietnamese beer, to my knowledge.

Yellow in color, clear, with a small head and no retention or lacing. Adjuncty aroma. Brown bottle, so no skunking. Taste is surprisingly sweet, definitely a tropical lager. Adjuncts are evident, mouthfeel is thicker than expected. Refreshing, I suppose, but more a soda that happens to contain alcohol than a beer.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 06-27-2007 05:41:11

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Review: Mackeson Stout

Mackeson Stout from Whitbread PLC
Rating: B

Purchased at Taste in Festival Walk, Kowloon Tong.
Jet black in appearance, fair-sized tan head. Some lacing. Aroma is predominantly of roast. Some coffee and a sour edge as well. Roast at the beginning of the palate, some coffee, slight sourness. Very distinct kahlua aftertaste. Medium body, carbonation fine. On the sweeter side, but finishes dry. Fairly drinkable, glad it's available here in HK.

Serving type: can

Reviewed on: 06-26-2007 14:14:06

Review: Budweiser Budvar

Budweiser Budvar from Brewery Budweiser Budvar / B.B.N.P.
Rating: B-

Purchased at Taste in Kowloon Tong.

Appearance: Yellow in color, clear. Sizeable head, but little lace.

Smell: Smells like what it is, lagery, with grassy slightly skunky hop aromas. Flavor is of the same model, with some graininess thrown in. Mouthfeel is light, carbonation good. For all the controversy surrounding this beer, I was expecting something a little better. Not even a great czech pilsner.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 06-26-2007 14:09:43

Monday, 25 June 2007

Review: Guinness Foreign Extra Stout

Guinness Foreign Extra Stout from Guinness Ltd.
Rating: B+

Purchased at Taste in Kowloon Tong.

Appearance is, as to be expected, jet black and opaque. Surprisingly dark tan head, decent-sized and leaves a good amount of lace. Aroma is of sweet molasses, with an underlying sharpness.

Lots of molasses in the flavor, with a coca cola aftertaste. Roast and chocolate are supporting. Much thicker mouthfeel than Guinness Draught (did a side-by-side: unfortunately, the regular extra stout was not available). On the sweeter side, but finishes dry, which helps drinkability. Carbonation is good. Drinkability is limited by the molasses, which I think would get cloying by beer #2.

Serving type: can

Reviewed on: 06-25-2007 02:34:12

Review: Olde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) Ale

Olde Suffolk English (Strong Suffolk Vintage) Ale from Greene King / Morland Brewery
Rating: B+

Purchased at Taste in Hong Kong. Slightly different labeling.

One of the better written descriptions of aroma/flavor on the bottle that I've seen.

Very nice ruby/garnet color, smallish head, no lacing to speak of. Nose is of fruitcake, spice and caramel. Flavor can be described with burnt toffee, slight oak finish, and some raisin. Mouthfeel is slick, light-medium body. Carbonation on the light side but expected in the style. Drinkability is decent, might be the best beer I can readily purchase in HK so I'd better get used to it.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 06-25-2007 02:26:53

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Review: Pemi Pale Ale

Pemi Pale Ale from Woodstock Inn, Station & Brewery
Rating: B

Thanks to barleywinebrewer for sending this one my way in the Little Guy BIF.

Appearance: Honey colored, smallish head, with little retention but good lacing (interesting combination, there...)

Smell: Sweet smelling, with honey and floral hops. A bit reminiscent of a bitter.

Taste: Sweet and floral, resolves to a solid hop bitterness. Finishes dry. I'm curious what hop variety was used here. Slight butteriness.

Mouthfeel: Fairly light body, good carbonation.

Drinkability: This is an APA, not an IPA - or if it's an IPA, it's English - especially with those earthy/floral hops. Pretty tasty and drinkable though.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 06-12-2007 21:02:35

Review: Cadillac Mtn. Stout

Cadillac Mtn. Stout from Bar Harbor Brewing Company
Rating: B+

Thanks to barleywinebrewer for sending this one my way in the Little Guy BIF.

Appearance: Very, very dark and opaque. Good head and retention, some lacing.

Smell: Surprisingly light aroma - I was expecting more depth. What's here is lots of roast/burnt malt, and some bitter dark chocolate. Breathing deeply reveals a boozy, alcohol aroma as well.

Taste: First few sips are disappointing. Lighter and less complex than I was expecting in a top 50 beer. Emphasis is on the roast. Not nearly as chocolatey as the label description makes it sound.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full, smooth, good carbonation.

Drinkability: Quite drinkable - goes down easy. That said, unremarkable and overrated.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 06-12-2007 15:36:12

Review: Icehouse

Icehouse from Miller Brewing Co. / SABMiller
Rating: D+

Sampled at (where else?) the Miller Ale House in Coral Springs. Might as well review it. One of those nights that $1 pints seemed like a good idea.
Appearance is wholly lacking in any kind of head - so obviously no retention or lacing. Very clear, but an unattractive yellow color.
Smell is light, lagery. Grain, sweet, and a hint of alcohol - this is an "ice" beer after all.
Taste is next to nonexistent. Slight malt, no hops flavor - just a little bitterness - and a faint touch of fruit.
Mouthfeel is light. Looked flat, but carbonation was actually fine.
Drinkability makes me wonder why I'm a beer-drinker tonight - and why I'm at this place again.

Serving type: on-tap

Reviewed on: 06-12-2007 14:26:59

Review: Allagash Hugh Malone

Allagash Hugh Malone from Allagash Brewing Company
Rating: B+

Thanks to barleywinebrewer for sending this one my way. Nice label - if you're unsure of who Hugh Malone was, check - short version, an Irish Republican hop picker, then Portland brewer who was known for using lots of hops in his beers. Some googling reveals that the chemical formula on the label is that of cortisol, a stress hormone.

Appearance: Darker than I was expecting, in color - orange/amber, slightly hazy. Good head, retention and lacing.

Smell: Big Belgian yeast aroma, an Allagash trademark I suppose, with plenty of spicy hops underneath. I was unsure that this beer was properly categorized, but after taking one whiff - it is. Grapefruity notes.

Taste: Much like the aroma. Definitely a Belgian ale first, and a hoppy beer second. The problem with Belgian IPAs seems to be letting *both* the yeast and the hops shine, flavor-wise. Research reveals Warrior was used - so probably an early addition, all bitterness, no flavor. That said, it works. Little Simcoe grapefruityness comes through.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, carbonation is fine. Alcohol not distracting.

Drinkability: Very good. Paired well with the seafood shishkabobs I was having.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 06-12-2007 14:21:02

Monday, 11 June 2007

Review: Horn Dog Barley Wine Style Ale

Horn Dog Barley Wine Style Ale from Flying Dog Brewery
Rating: A-

Appearance: Brownish purple in color, attractive. Smallish head. Little retention due to the high alcohol.

Smell: Aroma is sweet, crisp, with dark fruit and underlying hops.

Taste: Solid enough bitterness to balance the sweetness of the malts. Caramel, berry, figs, and alcohol are all part of the flavor mix. Finish/aftertaste are reminiscent of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium-full body. Carbonation a little light, but makes sense for the style.

Drinkability: Good, but alcohol is high and becomes increasingly "hot" as the beer warms.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 06-11-2007 19:53:11

Review: Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout

Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout from Great Divide Brewing Company
Rating: A

Split a bottle of this with BA roller.

Appearance: Black as the night - maybe darker. Biiig dark-tan head. Good retention despite the high alcohol, and good lacing.

Smell: Somewhat boozy. Dark chocolate, some hint of vanilla.

Taste: Lots of dark, bitter chocolate. Roast and coffee follow up in the background. Vanilla shows up at the finish. Not nearly as bitter as I recall the original Yeti, I suppose the result of the aging.

Mouthfeel: So thick and creamy. Could be a meal. Carbonation is fine (actually, a little high, had to wait for the head to go down to take my first sip, but that gave plenty of opportunity to enjoy the aroma)

Drinkability: Smoother and more drinkable than the regular Yeti, but perhaps not as intense an experience.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 06-11-2007 19:03:27

Review: Gordon

Gordon from Oskar Blues Grill & Brewery
Rating: A-

Only my second craft beer from a can (following Dale's Pale, also from Oskar Blues)

Appearance: Very red in color, attractive, little bit of orange tinting. Good head, retention, and lacing.

Smell: Sweet-smelling, with fresh hops underlying.

Taste: Sweeter than I was expecting, but not unbalanced - plenty of hops to go around here. Alcohol is understated.

Mouthfeel: Full body but not syrupy. Good carbonation.

Drinkability: A solid DIPA, although sweeter than I generally prefer. And you have to love the idea of a DIPA from a can.

Serving type: can

Reviewed on: 06-11-2007 18:58:26

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Review: Headwall Alt

Headwall Alt from Tuckerman Brewing Co.
Rating: B+

Thanks to barleywinebrewer for sending this in the Little Guy BIF.

Appearance: Very rich, garnet color. Clear. Good sized head. Falls, but leaves a fine layer at the surface. Plenty of lacing.

Smell: Aroma is very mild, but that's to be expected in the style I suppose.

Taste: Malt, toast, hint of roastyness. Bitterness balances, but doesn't stand out. Some ale fruitiness remains, but finishes on a dry grainy note.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, good carbonation. Smooth & creamy.

Drinkability: I like this one, quite drinkable. Alcohol unlisted, but likely low enough to be drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 06-09-2007 21:55:31

Review: Black Duke Dark

Black Duke Dark from Brewzzi Italian American Bistro & Microbrewery
Rating: C+

Sampled at the Boca Raton location, after an Amber/Pale Ale that I neglected to get the name of. Brown/garnet in color, clear. Miniscule head, little retention, no lacing (could be blamed on the pour). Very light aroma, some malt. Flavor was likewise light: malt, maybe a bit of chocolate. Body was light, carbonation was fine. Drinkability wasn't bad - goes down easy, just lighter than preferred.

Serving type: on-tap

Reviewed on: 06-09-2007 21:47:25

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Review: Hoppin' Mad Trout Ale

Hoppin' Mad Trout Ale from Trout River Brewing Company
Rating: C

Thanks to barleywinebrewer for shipping this my way in the Little Guy BIF. Rather fruity label.

Appearance: More golden/yellow than the orange/amber I was expecting. Smallish head, exhibiting little retention. Hazy.

Smell: Strong berry-like fruit/yeast aroma. Slight herbal hoppy note.

Taste: That same berry flavor dominates. Bitterness shows up in the finish, but that's the only hint that this is a pale ale. Hop character is all very subdued. Unimpressive, on the whole.

Mouthfeel: Light mouthfeel, good carbonation.

Drinkability: Low. A bit disappointed in this one.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 06-07-2007 19:54:39

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Review: Black Dog Ale

Black Dog Ale from Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.
Rating: B-

Surprised there are so few reviews. Glad I can contribute towards actually getting a rating. Confused by the label: originating in Montana, but the brewery listing is in California, and my bottle says it was brewed in Frederick, MD. What the...?

Appearance: Rough pour coaxed a decent two finger head, that exhibited good retention and lacing. Color is a little light of garnet, brown tints.

Smell: Biscuit and a sharp, vaguely sour malt aroma predominate. Hints of caramel and hops.

Taste: Mediocre. Bitterness is astringent, not flavorful. Biscuit-heavy malt profile. Some caramel, then a grainy astringent finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body. Good carbonation.

Drinkability: Definitely fits the style - malt dominates the flavor, same biscuit-heaviness that's so prominent in Fat Tire. That said, pick up Fat Tire or Nugget Nectar instead.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 06-06-2007 03:08:18

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Review: Gonzo Imperial Porter

Gonzo Imperial Porter from Flying Dog Brewery
Rating: A-

Had this one at Stubbie in Gainesville. Liked it so much I might pick up the oak aged version, currently at Ward's.

Appearance: Very dark brown/black, opaque, good head retention, some lacing.

Smell: Lots of chocolate, hints of espresso. Appealing.

Taste: Again, lots of bitter, dark chocolate. A little spice, coffee too.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body, good carbonation.

Drinkability: High! This one's a winner.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 06-05-2007 03:53:25

Review: Palone

Palone from Browar Okocim S.A. (Carlsberg)
Rating: B-

Drawn to this one by the label, an affinity for the porter, and the $1.99 price tag.

Appearance: Garnet tinted brown in color, good head, decent retention, no lacing.

Smell: Clearly a lager - light, malty aroma.

Taste: Bockish, slight toast and smoke. Not bad.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, carbonation a little light.

Drinkability: I drank it slow, but it was decent.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 06-05-2007 03:43:14

Saturday, 2 June 2007

Review: Atwater Salvation IPA

Atwater Salvation IPA from Atwater Block Brewery
Rating: B

Appearance: orange/copper in color, as one would expect from the style. decent head and retention.

Smell: Citrusy hops dominate the aroma. Clear this is a hoppy beer.

Taste: A lot like the nose - citrusy hops dominate. Malt levels seem decent for an AIPA, but what this lacks is complexity. Very straightforward, this beer.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body, carbonation is fine.

Drinkability: Drinkable, but not exemplary of the style.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 06-01-2007 23:02:27

Friday, 1 June 2007

Review: Tilburg's Dutch Brown Ale

Tilburg's Dutch Brown Ale from Bierbrouwerij De Koningshoeven B.V.
Rating: B-

Reviewed by two Gators in a row, it would seem.

Appearance: Garnet in color, very clear, smallish head with little retention. Bizarre label.

Smell: Aroma is on the lighter side, sweet malts predominant - caramel, some nuttiness.

Taste: Enough sharpness of carbonation and hops bitterness to balance the sweetness of all these dark malts. Caramel, dark fruits (cherry?). A hint of nuttiness shows up in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation seems sharp on the tongue, but strangely didn't produce a huge head and there's not a consistent stream of bubbles. Medium body.

Drinkability: From a Dutch brewery, I was expecting something more along the lines of a British brown ale than a Belgian dark ale. Not what I was expecting, but not bad.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 06-01-2007 22:51:11