Posts tagged ‘four pints’

Goose Island: Matilda

While Goose Island‘s regular rotating beers are pretty darn good, their special ones are absolutely spectacular. They are well worth the price if you can find them, and this Matilda is no exception. I actually first had this about 6 months ago or so on a trip to Peoria for the annual meeting of ASCLS-IL. A classmate of mine works at the original Goose Island brew pub and gave me a bottle of this to take home. Six months later I finally drank it.

and check out my fancy new staging thingy!

 

Style: Belgian Strong Ale. Similar to a Belgian Pale Ale but with a much higher alcohol content. A highly complex ale with a huge, billowy head. (I can attest to this—there was some spillage…) Fruit and hops flavors balance each other nicely.

Overall Impression: This is really, really good. Somewhat surprisingly, it went well with my spicy Thai peanut pasta. I would recommend sharing the bottle as the alcohol content (7%) is a tad high for a session brew.

Appearance: Beautiful coppery amber color with excellent head that receded into lots of lacing on the glass.

Aroma: Fruit aroma–it tastes more complex then it smells.

Taste: Fruity, tarty, with spicy yeast flavors as well. You taste something new almost every time you take a sip.

Mouthfeel: Light with good carbonation. Smooth as well. Goes down easily.

Try this if you like: Brooklyn Local 1, Dogfish Head’s Faithfull Ale (and any number of Belgian beers but those may take some effort to find)

4 pints

Advertisements

New Glarus: Black Top

No, it’s not New Glarus Fest (although that would be AWESOME)…it’s just that it happens to be the majority of beer currently in my apartment. Black Top is a new brew from New Glarus Brewing Company. It’s a Black IPA, which intrigued me so much I had to pick up a bottle. (Side note: build-your-own sixpack at stores with huge selections is fantastic.) The staff over at New Glarus recommend you drink this with steak, Mexican food, or creme brulee. Quite the mixture there. And because this is a Wisconsin company, they also recommend this beer with Brie or Gouda cheese. I’m pretty sure I had it with a chicken patty….

Style: American Black Ale (Black IPA). ABAs, also called Black IPAs or Cascadian Dark Ales, range from dark brown to black in color. They have the hoppiness and citrus flavor of a traditional IPA but, unlike traditional IPAs, also have malty and roasted notes.

Overall Impression: Hello, hops. This has the initial taste of an IPA but it settles into those malty flavors I mentioned above. On the second taste I even got a hint of chocolate–what a nice surprise! This would be a great springtime beer because it is still quite light and has those citrus and hop flavors, but would also be good for early fall.

Appearance: Black with some brownish hints. Think dark coffee. Clear but so dark you can’t really see through it. Good head although the retention was not excellent.

Aroma: Hop hoppity hop hop hop.

Taste: Initially you get hops and citrus much like your standard IPA. As the taste hangs around though, the roasted and malt notes come through. Does NOT leave you with a bitter aftertaste–another pleasant development from this beer.

Mouthfeel: Difficult to describe. It had good carbonation and lingered long enough on my taste buds so that I could sense the complex flavors of this beer.

Try this if you like: War Horse American Black Lager, New Belgium Snow Day Winter Ale, Surly Damien

4 pints

 

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

Brooklyn Brewery: Local #2

I’ve had this beer for a while and finally cracked it open about a month ago. I’m so glad I did, because this was fantastic!

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Higher in alcohol than your standard Belgian Dark Ale. Usually fruity with a mild dark malt flavor. Light on the hops and somewhat spicy.

Overall Impression: Wow! Given what I thought of the Raison d’Etre I reviewed previously, I wasn’t expecting to like this beer. But I did!

Appearance: Burgundy brown color, clear.

Smell: Fruity and slightly malty aroma.

Taste: Mildly spicy, just a bit fruity, and not too bitter. The hops help balance the fruit and spices.

Mouthfeel: Smooth but just a bit tingly.

Try this if you like: Dogfish Head Raison d’Etre, Chimay Grand Reserve (Blue)Tröegs Mad Elf, Hell Hath No Fury Ale

4 stars

Dogfish Head: Raison D’Etre

Dogfish Head makes some great stuff–I’ve had a quite a few wonderful beers from that brewery. Drinking one right now as a matter of fact–watch for a review of World Wide Stout coming soon! Now, while I may have only reviewed one Dogfish Head beer previously, I really do love this brewery.

I will, however, be completely honest with you. I took one drink of this beer and hated it. So in the interest of non-bias, today’s review is brought to you by Eric, aka the boyfriend.

This one is called Raison D’Etre, and in a bit of a play on words, the primary fruit used in brewing this is: raisins! Dogfish Head bills it as the answer to “what beer should I drink with a wood-grilled steak?”

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale. A dark beer with a fairly high alcohol content. Quite fruity, and usually pretty light on the hops.

Overall Impression: Pretty decent beer. Definitely NOT a session ale, mostly due to the high alcohol content.

Appearance: Cloudy reddish-caramel color. Decent head but not great retention.

Smell: Has a fruity and mildly hoppy aroma. Kind of smells like a brown ale.

Taste: Fruity with slight hop notes. Medium body.

Mouthfeel: Smooth. The taste of the beer hangs around on your tongue for a while.

Try this if you likeTröegs Mad ElfHell Hath No Fury Ale

4 stars

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

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