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Magic Hat: Vinyl

I’m back! Perhaps temporarily, but I just finished writing a paper and have some time before the dog needs dinner and a walk. Grad school takes up a lot of my time–but only 10 months to go! (Oh yes, I’m counting.) Unfortunately, while I’ve been doing plenty of paper-writing and paper-reading, what I haven’t been doing is drinking a lot of beer. The one I’m writing about today I drank back in May. This is why I keep a notebook. Tonight’s beer of choice is Vinyl by Magic Hat Brewing Company in Burlington, Vermont.

Style: American Amber/Red Lager. This is a catch-all sort of category. You’ve got slightly fuller lagers than the American Light lagers (which includes Miller Lite and Bud Light, among others.) These beers have low bitterness and are a bit maltier than their light sisters.

Overall Impression: This is Magic Hat’s spring seasonal brew and it shows. It’s perfect for those warm spring days (especially this past year where it was about 70 on St. Patrick’s Day.)

Appearance: Gorgeous amber color which unfortunately does not come through in the photograph. I’m working on getting one of those staging thingys. The tan head disappeared quickly after pouring. The beer itself is pretty clear.

Aroma: Mostly roasted malts; and you can definitely pick up some caramel notes too.

Taste: Malt and hops. This is almost too bitter for a spring seasonal but then again I’m not the biggest fan of very bitter beers. However, the balance between malty flavors and bitter flavors is even.

Mouthfeel: Well, this is definitely a lager–you can feel all the carbonation! It is somewhat thin but that’s okay for a spring beer. This would be a decent session brew.

Try this if you like: Old Scratch Amber Lager, Wisconsin Amber, Point Classic Amber, Leinenkugel’s Classic Amber

3 stars

Leinenkugel’s: Big Eddy Wee Heavy Scotch Ale

So, I learned something new today. “Big Eddy” by Leinenkugel’s actually refers to two different beers: a Wee Heavy Scotch Ale, and a Russian Imperial Stout. Well, this review is on the Scotch Ale. Hopefully next winter I can locate the Russian Imperial Stout and give you faithful viewers a look-see at that.

sorry about my reflection in the glass

Style: Wee Heavy/Scotch Ale. The wort of these beers goes through a long boiling process, which carmelizes the wort, which gives this ale it’s deep brown/copper color.  These ales are sweeter and fuller-bodied than Scottish Ales, and have a more pronounced malt flavor.

Overall Impression: Yum! Honestly, this was a great beer for a cold and rainy night (even if it is May.) Light enough to drink right before bed but dark enough to be satisfying.

Appearance: Dark coppery brown color with minimal head. That may be because this beer was served at a little cooler than ideal temperature, though, so I won’t focus much on that.

Aroma: Chocolate, toffee, and caramel. My favorite things. This is the kind of beer that when you smell, you can’t wait to drink it.

Taste: Roasted malt flavor with caramel and chocolate notes. Big Eddy Wee Heavy pretty much tastes exactly how it smells. No surprises here.

Mouthfeel: Smooth but not too thick. It’s a little too alcoholic (9.5%!) to be a session beer but it is light enough that it won’t put you to sleep right away.

Try this if you like: Founders Dirty Bastard, Sam Adam’s Scotch Ale, Dark Horse Scotty Karate (I hesitate to say this last one because this is by far the best Scotch Ale I’ve ever had, and you might be disappointed if you compare the two.)

4 pints

Sam Adam’s: Mighty Oak Ale

Part of the Samuel Adam’s Spring sampler pack, the Mighty Oak Ale was new this year. As I’ve said before, I view Sam Adam’s as a sort of craft brew-macro-brew hybrid, so you’ll never see a review of Boston Lager on here. But I do like some of their more interesting, crafty brews. See: Black and Brew and Infinium. This one was pretty good.


Style: American Amber/Red Ale. This, like many “American” beer styles, is a catch-all for ales that aren’t dark. It usually focuses on the malt flavors but can also be quite hoppy. This category also includes those faux-Octoberfest beers that are actually ales (not lagers.)

Overall Impression: Pretty decent beer. Would be a good session ale. This should appeal to fans of beer and novices alike. I’d tailgate with this. It gets a lower rating than taste alone would suggest, mostly because it’s just not that interesting.

Appearance: Reddish brown color, fairly clear. Not much head to speak of.

Aroma: Mostly malt notes in the aroma.

Taste: Somewhat sweet with a mild hop background. The oak notes really came through on the second (and subsequent) tastes.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and light.

Try this if you like: Fat Tire Amber Ale, Bell’s Amber Ale, Cascazilla

The Beer Snobette: On Facebook!

So, I have a Facebook page. And maybe you do too (in fact, you probably do…) You should like my Facebook page! Then you’ll get notifications of updates and I’ll show up in your newsfeed. Beer in your newsfeed. The only way this could be better is if there were ACTUAL beer in your newsfeed. I’ll work on making that happen. So anyway–click the link below and become a fan of my page!

http://www.facebook.com/beersnobette

Sam Adams Black and Brew

Yes, I know. It’s been awhile. Which is why this will be published as soon as I finish writing it, and not a minute later. 🙂

Anywho, tonight (this morning? It’s 12:38 am as I write this…) we are reviewing a coffee stout from Samuel Adams: Black and Brew. I don’t really consider Sam Adams to be a “craft” brewery; since they are one of the largest “microbreweries” around. That said, I do like to taste their craft-style concoctions such as this one. I’ve also looked at a few of their other microbrew styles. On to the review.

Style: American Stout.According to BeerAdvocate, “Coffee Stout” is not a style–it happens to fall under American Stout. Broad category if you ask me. Most of these are easy session stouts, with coffee or chocolate added for extra flavor. You may occasionally find one aged in bourbon or whiskey barrels (such as Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout.)

Overall Impression: *thinking to self* “Robin, I can’t wait to drink this!” And I was right to be excited. It’s quite a good example of a coffee stout.  Honestly, the only reason this gets a 4-star rating is because it’s a very typical coffee stout. Great beer, but nothing amazing going on.

Appearance: Deep, thick black with a creamy head.

Aroma: It really smells like the grocery aisle where you can buy coffee beans in bulk. If you like that aisle, try this beer.

Taste: Deep, rich (but not too rich) coffee/malt taste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth but not very creamy with slight carbonation.

Try this if you like: New Glarus Coffee Stout, Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout, Lakefront Brewery’s Fuel Cafe, Dogfish Head World Wide Stout, Old Dominion Oak Barrel Stout,

4 stars

New Glarus Brewing Company: Two Women

I love New Glarus Brewing Company. It’s a small craft brewery in a small town in Wisconsin, but its beers pack an amazing punch. If you are ever in Wisconsin, stop by and pick up a variety pack. You won’t be disappointed. Spotted Cow is a staple of my every day beer collection, and today I’m reviewing my new favorite: Two Women.

Two Women celebrates the long, proud history of women in brewing. You can read all about it at the link above. This beer is actually the result of a collaboration between New Glarus and Weyermann Malting.

sorry this isn't in focus. I had a better picture but can't find it.

Style: Two Women is billed as a “country lager”, but BeerAdvocate classifies it as a German Pilsener. This style is fairly light in color, with generous hop flavor. Typically brewed using Noble hops. Usually comes with a herbal or floral aroma and flavor. New Glarus recommends drinking this with trout, pork chops, or steak. (And since this is a Wisconsin brewery, they also recommend Gruyere, Provolone, and Colby cheeses.)

Overall Impression: Why wasn’t this made sooner? It’s fantastic. Light enough to be a session beer, but with so much flavor that you want to savor it.

Appearance: Caramel brown color, decent head retention (though you can’t tell that from the picture.)

Aroma: A hint of cider with some other fruity flavors, and a yeast-scented background.

Taste: Smooth. Fruity with not much bitterness (unlike most Pilsener’s.) The hops come through more as you finish each sip, giving some nice, bright crispness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth. Medium-bodied, goes down easily. Like drinking water. Smooth. Did I mention smooth?

Try this if you like: If you’re looking for more Pilsener’s: Prima Pils or Troegs Sunshine Pils.  If you’re looking to try more of what New Glarus has to offer, I recommend Spotted Cow, Totally Naked (an all-natural beer), Moon Man (an APA), or Cabin Fever (a honey bock.)

5 Stars