Posts tagged ‘five pints’

Leinenkugel’s: Summer Shandy

I have been (not so) patiently waiting for this beer to hit shelves in New York since it last left shelves. Shandy season is my favorite time of year….and there’s good reason for it. I. Love. Summer Shandy. In fact, I love it so much that I am willing to pay the exorbitant six-pack prices here in New York. And…on to the review!

So…what is shandy? Shandy is the term for beer mixed with lemonade. If you took Leinie’s Honey Weiss and mixed it with lemonade, you’d get Summer Shandy. Leinie’s calls it “the perfect summer refresher” and I completely agree. After a hot day of laying on the beach or sitting out on the balcony reading, all I want is one of these.

Summer Shandy is light, crisp, and very citrusy. You can tell it’s brewed with lemonade just by smelling it. It has a lovely golden color and pours fairly clear with a decent head. I could drink this beer for days. Literally, ’cause it’s only 4.2% ABV. It is not bitter at all, so for those of you who don’t like the taste of hops, this is a good one for you.

I don’t have any “try this if you like these” suggestions because I’ve never had a shandy from any other brewery. If you know of one, I’d love to try it. (Side note: mixing Berry Weiss with lemonade makes it a hundred times better.)

Now, maybe this beer technically isn’t worth five stars, but this is MY blog and this is one of MY favorite beers, so take that, arbitrary rating system.

5 Stars


Dark Horse Brewery: Scotty Karate

Yes, we’ve turned away from New York beers and on to Michigan beers. Today’s selection is from the Dark Horse Brewery in Marshall, MI: Scotty Karate, an excellent Scotch ale.

This beer was so good I almost forgot to take a picture until it was nearly gone. My friend Paul claimed this to be the second-best Scotch ale he’s ever had. I don’t remember what he said was the first. But anyway…Scotty Karate is a traditional Scottish ale. It’s got a caramel aroma and a caramel/smoky/malty taste. It has a mildly rich mouthfeel. The taste will linger on your tongue. Scotty Karate was also mildly effervescent–a nice counter to the richness of the beer.

Try this if you like: Bell’s Christmas Ale, Duke of Winship, Twisted Kilt Scottish ale

5 Stars

Bell’s Brewery: Batch 9000

The best part about being a beer snob is when you have friends who are too.  Thanks to Jenn and Paul, I got to try two excellent selections. The first is from Bell’s Brewery: an American strong ale called Batch 9000.

That lovely dark color and good head is just the first indication that this is going to be a good beer. Served in a goblet, the aroma of molasses nicely sits just above the head in the glass. On first taste, you’ll be surprised that it doesn’t taste as heavy as it looks. It’s not a beer you’d want to have four of in a row, but a bottle won’t make you feel tired. The flavor is molasses and a hint of chocolate, with a fruitier sweetness, probably from the raisins and plums used in the brewing. The bottle also claims that there is licorice flavor, but I didn’t taste any. (Which was fine. I hate licorice.)

All in all, this was an excellent beer. Unfortunately it’s limited release and not available anymore…but maybe you can find a friend who’s got some they are willing to share.

Try this if you like: Bell’s 25th Anniversary Beer, Sam Adam’s Utopias, Great Lakes Nosferatu.

5 Stars

Heartland Brewery Part 2

The next edition of the Heartland Brewery macro-review will cover the Harvest Wheat and Red Rooster Ale.

So this is the Harvest Wheat. It had a citrusy aroma and an overly wheaty taste. Once I squeezed the lemon in, the wheat taste became overpowered by lemon. As you can see, it’s cloudy, so it is an unfiltered wheat beer. You don’t taste much for hops…mostly wheat. Did I mention wheat? All in all, this was not my favorite, but it wasn’t too bad.

Try this if you like: Hefeweizens



Next up is the Red Rooster Ale. Now…I’m a little biased because I absolutely love reds, and this was no exception.

I haven’t had a really good red ale in awhile. The Red Rooster cured that. It had a malty, caramely aroma and the same sort of taste. It was smoother than any other red I’ve had (probably because it was an ale and not a lager) and it was refreshingly hoppy. While I couldn’t drink this for hours, it’s definitely a beer to sip and enjoy.

Try this if you like: Sam Adam’s Irish Red, Leinenkugel’s Red, Sierra Nevada

5 Stars

Heartland Brewery Part 1

While in NYC over the past two days I went to an awesome brewpub called Heartland Brewery. The worst part about this place is that you can only get its beer here. I had a 7-beer sampler, which offers their 6 regular brews plus one of their seasonals. Not bad for $15. I’ll review the seven beers over the next couple of posts, and we’ll start with a 2-for-1!

First up, Indian River Light.

This was an excellent summer beer, reminiscent of Blue Moon, but MUCH better. It’s also not cloudy like Blue Moon. The aroma is nearly all orange with hints of coriander. The taste is the same: LOTS of orange, bits of spice, and a clean, finish. This is a great summer beer–I could drink this for hours.

Try this if you like: Blue Moon

5 Stars

Next up, Cornhusker Lager. This was a very generic lager, made with corn hops like many of the American macrobrews. The website even claims that it’s similar to Bud. No wonder I didn’t like it.

There was really no aroma to speak of. On first taste I thought “yup, this is an American lager.” It was quite bubbly (a very tingly mouthfeel,) with a mild malty taste. This definitely had more taste than your typical Bud or Miller (a plus for it), but other than that it wasn’t anything special. I’m glad I only had to drink 5 ounces of it.

Try this if you like: Bud, Miller, Heineken, Amstel

Heavy Seas: Siren Noire


Imagine the thickest, creamiest, most chocolatey hot chocolate you can. Now imagine it cold, and add hops and alcohol. If that sounds great, then you will love today’s review.

Siren Noire is an Imperial Chocolate Stout by the Heavy Seas Brewery in Baltimore, MD. I like pirates and (as you saw with the Hobgoblin review) fantasy creatures, so this beer is a definite win.

Siren NoireJust look at the gorgeous head and beautiful color on that! The first thing you notice is the aroma of the beer: pure, dark, chocolate. Once you taste it, then the chocolate hits you even more, and there’s a little hint of coffee as well. The after taste is reminiscent of root beer, which even with all the chocolate isn’t as weird as it might sound. It’s actually quite good.

Though this is an Imperial stout, it’s not as heavy as the typical beer in this category, which could be good or bad. Personally, I liked it even in spite of that.

Good luck finding this great beer though–it’s part of the Mutiny Fleet which had an extremely limited release. If you see it at your local bar, though, definitely give it a try!

Try this if you like: Young’s Double Chocolate Stout

5 Stars

New Glarus Brewing Company: Spotted Cow

Today I’m reviewing one of my favorite beers from one of my favorite breweries. The worst thing about this beer? It’s only available in Wisconsin. While in college in Minnesota we’d occasionally make runs to the border to get New Glarus beer, among other things (196 proof Everclear, to name one.)

New Glarus Brewing Company (in New Glarus, WI), is a family run brewery in small-town southern Wisconsin. I have never tried a beer from them that I didn’t like. I don’t know if New Glarus considers Spotted Cow to be their flagship brew, but it’s definitely the most popular.

Spotted Cow is a cask-conditioned light farmhouse ale which goes with just about anything. New Glarus lists 22 different foods which go well with Spotted Cow.  The yeast is left in the bottle which gives the beer a naturally cloudy color, and enhances all the great flavors. It’s a little fruity, not very hoppy, and very easy to drink.

New Glarus Spotted Cow

If you have the good luck to live in or near Wisconsin, pick one up and TRY it. Spotted Cow is perfect for any time of year and any beer drinker. It’s full of flavor, but not bitter or heavy. I could drink this all night, if not for the fact that I live in New York right now and the only way of getting Spotted Cow is for my wonderful parents to bring it to me.

I’ve yet to find a beer that tastes like Spotted Cow. If I had to pick something, I’d say that it’s a combination of a cream ale and a saison.

Try this if you like: Goose Island Sofie, Lift Bridge Farmgirl Saison.

5 Stars