Posts tagged ‘five pints’

New Glarus: Raspberry Tart

If I had to drink only one brewery’s beers for the rest of my life, hands down I would pick New Glarus. I’ve probably said this before, actually. Well it still holds true with this Raspberry Tart. This beer was a Christmas gift from my brother and sister-in-law and it’s just been ageing in our pantry ever since. (By the way, I cannot decide which spelling of “ageing” I like better…or is it “aging”? Gah!)

This Raspberry Tart may just be The Fruit Beer. It’s that good.

apologies for the poor quality

Google a better image of this beer. You’ll be able to see just how beautifully red it is. It’s like shining like through a ruby. Also, this is meant to be served in a champagne flute but apparently I don’t have any of those….

Style: New Glarus claims this is a framboise, which basically means a Belgian lambic beer that’s brewed with raspberries. BeerAdvocate gives it the highly generic term “Fruit/Vegetable Beer.” I’ll go with New Glarus because it sounds fancier. Basically, in these beers the fruitiness dominates over the malt and hops. The boyfriend wasn’t even sure it was beer. But believe me, it is.

Overall Impression: RASPBERRIES!!! You know that meme “Clean ALL the things!!!”? Well this is “use ALL the raspberries!!!” But it’s good. It is damn good. I really, really hope you like raspberries though. If you do not enjoy fruity alcoholic drinks, stay away and leave some for the rest of us.

Appearance: Ruby-red and clear. You can see the carbonation. It resembles a sparkling wine, actually.

Aroma: RASPBERRIES!!

Taste: RASPBERRIES!! There is a slight hint of bitterness in the aftertaste (barely.)

Mouthfeel: Like sparkling wine. Goes down smooth though if you can handle all the fruit. I probably could have drank the entire bottle myself.

Try this if you like: Naked Dove’s Berry Naked, Wisconsin Belgian Red, Blackbeary Wheat, just about any true fruit beer. Shandies do not count.

5 Stars

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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

 

Dogfish Head: World Wide Stout

Mmm….is there anything Dogfish Head can’t do? Probably not. This World Wide Stout is absolutely fantastic–a perfect winter warming beer.



Style: American Double/Imperial Stout. Inspired by Russian Imperial Stouts, but bigger and better! More sweetness, more hops, and more alcohol!

Overall Impression: Mmmmmmm…..this is fantastic. It went really well with the spicy food I was eating at the time–almost quenched it in a way. This beer is what stouts aspire to be.

Appearance: Black with great head retention (the picture was taken after it sat for awhile.)

Smell: This beer had a very strong roasted aroma.

Taste: Lovely roasted malt flavor with a kick of barley. There isn’t much bitterness but there is enough to cut back on the malt and give it some bite.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. Each sip made me want more.

Try this if you like: Founder’s Kentucky Breakfast Stout, Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, Southern Tier’s Creme Brulee

5 Stars

Guinness: Foreign Extra Stout

I know what you’re thinking. Guinness, Robin, really? But hear me out: in 2010 Guinness announced that they were going to start exporting Foreign Extra Stout to the U.S. And I got my hands on some of it.

Brewed by St. James Gate in Dublin, Ireland; Guinness is probably one of the most recognizable beer brands. But to be perfectly honest, the standard Extra Stout is really not that good. This one’s different. Guys, this tastes NOTHING like the usual Guinness draught you buy by the four-pack to make Irish Car Bombs with. This is not the Guinness that squeaky girls drink to prove they like “dark” beer. In other words, this ain’t yo momma’s Guinness.

What all Guinness should taste like

StyleForeign/Export Stout. What this means is one of these beers is brewed like a normal stout except with an exorbitant amount of hops to keep it fresh for the overseas journey.

Overall Impression: Mmmmm….THIS is what Guinness should be. Regular old Guinness, you could probably drink buckets of. This stuff, this beer has some body to it! Drink it slow and savor it.

Appearance: Lovely black-dark brown color, beautiful head retention.

Smell: Roasted coffee/espresso

Taste: The bitterness doesn’t really come out until the second sip. At first you get roasted coffee with a hint of cocoa (as one would expect for a stout) , but then the hops hit you hard. And you like it.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and fairly creamy. Textbook stout.

Try this if you like: First of all, if you really, really like Guinness Extra Stout, don’t bother with this. But if you recognize ES’s shortcomings, here are some other beers to look for: Fade to Black Volume 1 by Left Hand Brewing Company, Black Hole XXX Stout, Goose Island’s Honest Stout

5 Stars

Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen

Since it’s the end of summer, that means it’s time for that wondrous beer season known as “Oktoberfest.” Or at least that’s when every brewery in the world comes out with their fall beer which is usually named “Oktoberfest” or sometimes “Octoberfest.” There’s even Hoptober.

Today’s selection, from what I hope will be a long, long train of fall beers, is a traditional Bavarian lager (which I found at Trader Joe’s, of all places.) It comes from the Ayinger Brewery, in Aying, Germany (just southeast of Munich, the home of Oktoberfest.) And also, because the bottle caps were so neat, this beer gets TWO pictures!

Isn’t that a neat bottle cap? Anyway, on to the review.

Style: Marzen/Oktoberfest. These beers are typically full bodied, and have a toasty/roasted taste. They will also have a higher alcohol content than your typical lager. These beers are usually copper to dark golden brown in color, with mild bitterness from the hops.

Overall Impression: A. maz. ing. I absolutely loved this definitive Oktoberfest lager. There may be more trips to Trader Joe’s in the future just to get it. If you can find this, GET IT!

Appearance: Coppery color, great head retention.

Smell: Mild hop notes with also hints of malt.

Taste: The hops float in and around the malt taste–so you don’t have much of a bite, more like a nice background bitterness. Excellent balance with the grains of the malt. Lingering sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. Thicker than you might expect if you’re not used to German lagers.

Try this if you like: Spaten Oktoberfestbier Ur-Marzen, Hofbrau Oktoberfest Bier. Definitely try if you’ve never had a real German Oktoberfest lager!

5 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

Naked Dove Brewing Company: Berry Naked

Imagine my surprise to discover this excellent beer was from a tiny town not far from Syracuse: Canandaigua–where one of my coworkers just happens to be from. Naked Dove is a tiny, fairly new brewery (less than a year old!) And tonight’s selection is only their fourth beer.

Well, congratulations, Naked Dove, Berry Naked is awesome!

Ignore the Saranac glass. I was at a bar, what do you want?

Berry Naked is a black raspberry ale with a gorgeous reddish-purple color. It had a strong aroma of raspberries and a slightly less strong flavor of raspberries. The black raspberry flavor was a great choice–I’ve had raspberry beers before that just didn’t quite cut it (Southern Tier’s comes to mind.) This ale was a nice balance of fruit flavor and bitterness–smooth, crisp, and very tasty.

This ale is a tasty example of what fruit beer can be if done correctly.

Try this if you like: Great Divide’s Wild Raspberry Ale, Dark Horse’s Raspberry Ale

5 Stars