Posts tagged ‘domestic’

Lancaster Brewing Company: Milk Stout

Hi everyone. I know you missed me. I’ve missed you! I’m almost done with my first quarter of grad school, and I thought now that I’ve finished my homework for the weekend I’d write a few posts.

Tonight’s beer is from the Lancaster Brewing Company in (you guessed it) Lancaster, PA. About six weeks ago (which was, admittedly, a bit earlier for a stout) I tried their lovely Milk Stout.

Will you just look at the head and color on that? Beautiful.


Style: Milk/Sweet Stout. Characterized by being much less bitter than traditional stouts, but still thick and creamy. Definitely not a session beer.

Overall Impression:This was a great beer. It was an excellent balance of sweet and roasted flavor, with a creamy, full body, but not too thick. I’m glad I didn’t wait any longer to try this–go pick some up. Now.

Appearance: Beautiful dark brown color, lovely head retention.

Smell: Espresso and malt aroma. Perfect for a stout. The sweetness doesn’t really come through until you taste the beer.

Taste: Roasted espresso, decent bitterness, but with that overlying sweetness one expects from a milk stout.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy

Try this if you like: Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, Left Hand Milk Stout, Dark Horse Too Cream Stout,

4 stars

http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/743/3960

Advertisements

End of Summer: Otter Creek Brewing-Otter Summer

Even though it’s probably going to be about 90 degrees today, I’m doing my last summer beer review until probably next April or May. So here we go, with Otter Creek Brewing‘s Otter Summer.

Otter Creek Brewing is a Vermont-based brewery (apparently I really like Vermont beer) and by the beer selection on the website, it appears to be pretty small. There are 3 year-round brews and 3-seasonal brews (a Summer, Oktoberfest, and Winter.) I’d like to get my hands on the Oktoberfest, but for now, let’s talk about the Summer!

Style: American Wheat Characterized by a light golden color, high carbonation, and moderate bitterness. Not very fruity.

Overall Impression: All bite and no bark. Since this is a summer beer, I was expecting a little bit of fruitiness. It would have been a great balance to the otherwise hoppy flavor. Then again, it is pretty true to the style Otter Creek claims they are going for.

Appearance: Light golden in color, with easily visible carbonation bubbles. Little to no head retention.

Aroma: Mild hoppy scent, not much else to smell here.

Taste: Mostly hops. Not overly bitter, but there isn’t much else to taste here.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and clean.

Try this if you like: Sam Adam’s Summer Ale, Bell’s Oberon.

Brooklyn Brewery: Summer Ale

Yes, yes, I know. It’s August, and that means the Oktoberfest brews are coming out…and here I am reviewing a summer ale. Well, it was 80 degrees in Chicago today so I feel justified. Plus…this beer was really good. But you all have to wait till next April to get it. 😛

Tonight’s selection comes from the Brooklyn Brewery in Brooklyn, NY. This summer ale is available from April through July, and I definitely recommend picking one up when you can.



Style: English Pale Ale. I’m not convinced EPA is the best descriptor of the style of this beer, because it is not as bitter as one might imagine, but it works. These are characterized by good clarity, good head retention, and gold to reddish color.

Overall Impression: First thought: “Wow! This is really good!” And that impression continued throughout. It’s a great summer beer: refreshing and would be good in a session.

Appearance: Clear golden color, good head retention. The above picture was taken about 5 minutes after I poured it.

Smell: Very nice fruity/hoppy/spicy/malty aroma. Characteristic of EPAs.

Taste: Quite good! It is crisp but not overly bitter, and has a slight lemony taste. You can also taste the malt, and it is really quite excellent.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with an almost creamy texture.

Try this if you like: Boddington’s Pub Ale, Samuel Adam’s Summer Ale

4 stars

 

 

Middle Ages Brewing Company: Swallow Wit

Of course, I finally get around to reviewing a Syracuse beer after I’ve left ‘Cuse. (In my defense, I had tonight’s selection from a keg at my going-away party…and then bought a bottle so I could review it properly.)

I’m also going to try a slightly new format for the blog. I want to stay accessible to those who don’t know much about beer and who want to branch out, but also to fall more in line with traditional beer reviews. I’ll be following Beer Advocate’s reviewer guidelines. You’ll have to let me know if you like the new format.

Tonight’s selection is Swallow Wit, a typical Belgian Witbier, from the Middle Ages Brewing Company in Syracuse, NY.


Style: Belgian Witbier. These beers are pale and cloudy (which means they are unfiltered,) and generally spiced with coriander or orange peel. I’ve reviewed quite a few of these style beers (this might just be my favorite style, actually) and they are very popular in America. And–American breweries tend to be very true to style with these beers.

Overall Impression: This beer is great. It’s fairly mild and with a low alcohol content, so it would make a great session beer. It would probably be good with hot or spicy foods (like my favorite bar food, buffalo wings.)

Appearance: As you can see from the photo, Swallow Wit is a cloudy, gold beer. Good head when poured, but doesn’t retain. Mildly carbonated.

Smell: You can tell this is a Witbier even without looking at it. It has that spicy/fruity aroma which is so typical amongst these beers.

Taste: Excellent. It has a mild initial bitterness which fades as you sip. It tastes exactly like it should: a wheat beer with orange and coriander.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and light. Doesn’t linger on your tongue (no aftertaste.)

Try this if you like: Blue Moon, Indian River Light, Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat, Great White, Partly Sunny

5 Stars

Long Trail Brewing Company: Blackbeary Wheat

And I’m back! Got internet on Friday, took off to Wisconsin for a friend’s wedding for the weekend, and now writing a beer review!

Today’s selection is from Vermont’s Long Trail Brewing Company. Blackbeary (yes, that’s spelled correctly) Wheat is an American wheat beer with a hint of blackberry flavor.

As you can see, it’s pale gold in color, and is basically clear. It has a mild blackberry aroma, and a slightly stronger blackberry taste. It’s not very bitter at all–mostly tastes like you squeezed blackberry juice into a typical American wheat beer.

Blackbeary Wheat, because it is light and not bitter, is a great thirst-quenching session beer. It went quite well with the baked salmon I was eating along with it, but I wouldn’t eat it with anything that had a very strong flavor. I bet it’s good with tilapia.

While this was a decent beer, it wasn’t particularly interesting or memorable, so it only gets a 3-pint rating.

Try this if you like: American wheat beers, Ithaca’s Apricot Wheat, or Southern Tier’s Raspberry Wheat.

Magic Hat: Wacko

My last “build-your-own-sixpack” adventure to Wegman’s ended with a good selection of summer seasonals, and here’s the first.

“Wacko”, by Magic Hat Brewing Company, is a very interesting beer. For starters, check out this beautiful red color!

Okay, so it looks a little less red here, but let me tell you, when I poured it, I was not expecting it to be the reddish gold hue that I got. The second interesting thing about Wacko is the taste. It is a fruit-hop duet almost in perfect balance. But I could not identify the fruit. Examination of the bottle revealed beet juice as an ingredient, so maybe that’s where the fruit taste came from.

Wacko finishes clean, with a crisp taste, and virtually no aftertaste. It was definitely a refreshing thirst-quencher, and isn’t that all you really want out of a summer beer?

Try this if you like: fruity summer beers, i.e. Ithaca’s Apricot Wheat, Leinenkugel’s Berry Weiss, Naked Dove’s Berry Naked, or Dogfish Head’s Festina Peche

4 stars

Dogfish Head: Festina Pêche

Dogfish Head is probably one of America’s best craft breweries–not necessarily because everything they brew is fantastic, but because they are willing to try new and exciting things. Sometimes they succeed in incredible ways. Bitches Brew, anyone? Unfortunately, sometimes they also fall short, like tonight’s selection.

Festina Peche did just about everything a BerlinerWeisse beer is supposed to do–I just didn’t like it. Too much peach and not enough of anything else.

And the bottle was so pretty too...

Festina Peche is a mildly cloudy, golden yellow beer brewed with peach extract in the BerlinerWeisse style, which basically means an intensely sour light beer. Traditionally these beers are served with raspberry syrup to combat the tartness, but the extremely strong peach flavor more than eliminates the need for extra sweetness.

The aroma is VERY peachy–it was a little overpowering. The taste of peach was also a little overpowering. According to Dogfish Head, the beer is “delicately hopped”, which evidently means you won’t taste any bitterness whatsoever. I really could have gone for just a hint of hops. Something to combat the peach.

Did I mention peach? That’s really the only word you need to describe this beer. Ignoring the intense flavor, which by the end was making me a little nauseous, Festina Peche did have some good points. It’s incredibly smooth–almost silky, in fact. It is also highly carbonated, but low in %ABV (only 4.5), so it’s a good summer refresher.

I really, really didn’t like the taste of this one, but based on what I know about the style, it does what it is supposed to do–so I’ll give it a higher rating than I really want to.

Try this if you like: Bell’s Oarsman, New Belgium Lips of Faith