Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Guten Abend! We're here at Herr Cheezener's hauB with some German lagers tonight. Joe, Colin, Woodpond, Brent and I are currently here, while Belfry is joining us later. Trink mit mir, ja?
We're breaking tradition by starting with a non-host beer tonight. Belfry put in a special, selfish request to have us wait for him before we try Brent's beer. So, I bring to the table Spaten Optimator Doppelbock. One of the few dops we haven't had, this one comes in at 7.8%. It pours a standard thinnish dark brown color. Not too carbonated- smells caramellly. Small amounts of hops, but the caramel dominates. One can't really taste the booze too much. It tastes fairly thin and flat, but an easy drinker. Solid.
Next up, we're going back to Brent. He brings us a taped 'n' swing-capped beer straight from der Mutterlande. This one is Brauhaus Schillerbad Helles, which is a light German lager. 4.9%, it is. It pours a cloudy copper color. It's nearly odorless and has very little carbonation. There's a bit of barnyard (and according to Woodpond, mothballs) present. It's pretty mild up front, but comes back with some interesting malt and hop tastes.
Woodpond, bring us your beer! He has Paulaner Original Munich Lager. It pours a very transparent golden color. Smells like a lager tastes like a lager.
Colin brings us the first domestic offering- Surly Hell. 5.1% ABV on this one. Definitely a bolder flavor than the German versions. There are some hops present, but it's mostly more malty.
Joe brings us Kostritzer, which is a schwarzbier. Or black beer for the non Germanophile. A thin lager mouthfeel and tastes much like a lager. Sweet, present malts ovewhelm your tongue-holes. There are some ambient hops as well.
Belf brings us Southern Tier Krampus Imperial Pilsner. This Pils comes in at 9%, which is very un-pilslike. It pours like a standard pils, but it smells much sweeter, which is undoubtedly due to the booze involved in this one. It pretty much tastes sweet as well. The booze is prevalent. Pretty good though.
BONUS BEER #1 of HOPEFULLY 2!
Brent brings us Conflux #2, which is a collaboration between Boulevard and Deschutes, which are two solid breweries. It's billed as a Belgian IPA at 7.3%, but they brewed it with wheat beer, which may create some pale wheat ale flavors. Let's get it onnnn. It smells spicy and Belgiany. Black pepper, wheat, orange, and an aquarium of sea monkeys. I think this one is served a bit cold because the booze is fairly prevalent. It's quite crisp and strongly flavored, but fairly refreshing. This seems to be a repeat buy at merely $7 a bottle.
Lastly, Brent brings us another bonus beer. This one is out of Salt Lake City- Epic 825 State Stout. This one is a 6% oatmeal stout. It's a nice, roasty stout. Not imperial- thinner on the mouth and less hot booze. Definitely a complex enough stout to be much different than a Guinness, but not too much where you can't drink more than 1.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Top o' the eve to ya, gubna. We're at Lord Turnbull's house for Bri'ish night. There will be English Pales and IPAs aplenty! Fancy a pint? We're joined tonight by Tom J, Lampe, Tom B, and Colin.
The first taste is Brooklyn East India Pale Ale which comes in at 6.8%. It pours a more transparent, darker color than the standard American IPA. Small amounts of citrus coupled with plenty of malt make for a pretty tasty beer.
Off to da nixt. Lampe brings Meantime English IPA from the ole Firkins. This one comes in at 7.75%, by crikey. Not too odiferous, yet maintains a color a bit more orangey than the last. This is quite boozy and a little hoppy.
Bass makes Bass, that's what we just found out. Bass claims to be the world's first pale ale. This one comes in at 5%. It certainly tastes more "mass-produced" than the previous ones. However, not too bad. It's kind of syrupy and tastes a little faker, or corny, or something. On to da next
Colin's first offering is Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale which is another 5%er. This one is pretty hoppy compared to the previous. There isn't a whole lot of beer talk going on. Let's just rate then.
Turnbull just said he has a "high octane bonii which will put hair on your knees." I assume that means he has a tasty bonus treat. I' tha' 'Arry Po'er??? Anyways, Tom J brings Ridgeway IPA, straight from the UK, OK? This here beer smells skunky. Not quite in the Corona way, but it's from the hops, ME'FINKS!
Tom J brings his second quaff, which is St. Peter IPA. This hear is also from the land of our ex-imperial overlords. Holy To-ledo, this one smells more on the Belgian side.
Our first off-topic beer is Town Hall LSD. We each get a big pintful. Abundant lavender is involved with this beer. It's classified as a fruit/vegetable beer, but the veggie part of the food pyramid is scarcely represented in this one. Now the peanut gallery is involved in arguing over which Grateful Dead CD is going into the CD boombox. Colin has over-ridden the rest by playing his Phil Collins album on his Ipod at an audible volume. Mayhem; not since the Guy Fox incident has there been such unrest. Wait, riots in London as we speak, bloody 'ell.
IS THAT 'ARRY BONUS BEEEEEEER! Turnbull graces us with not only a Grateful Dead DVD, but he's bringing us Odell Myrcenary, which is a delicious Double IPA. Tons of grapefruit and pineappley hops dominate the flavors. The 9.3% ABV can only be detected at the back of the throat. Hippies are banging on drums with their bare hands on the telly; whether its in celebration of this beer or the psychotropic chemicals partying in their bones, it doesn't matter.
Tom B brings to us a tasty Chicago treat- Three Floyds Gumballhead. It's classified as an American Wheat Ale but it's one heckuva wheat beer regardless of the style. Slightly hoppy, and the cat smoking on the label sure doesn't hurt the score. This beer commenced a reminiscing of days past, when Turnbull had this beer in college at Cyclone Liquors. More Grateful Dead talk, yada yada yada, let's get on wif zee ratings.
Lastly, Tom B brings us his second bonus beer- another treat from the greater Chicago area. This one is from Hoppin Frog and it boasts itself as a Triple IPA. It rings in at 10% and smells like syrup hotdish. Here goes nothin'. Yikes, this is hoppy. Definitely a concentrate of sorts. Reminds me of DFH 90 Minute. ZZZZing!!!
Good Beer, Good Cheer, Juan Pierre
Monday, August 1, 2011
We're over at Lampe's house for his first meeting since his return from Europe. The style is Belgian IPAs, but we expanded the category to include Belgian Pale Ales as well.
First, Lampe brings to us Troubadour Magma. This Belgian IPA comes in at 9% and I don't believe I've seen this one before. This one pours a dark, solid orange color with a heavy sea monkey presence. There is definite candi sugar present, but it's balanced nicely by the hops. Lampe brought this all the way from the land of Belgium. Let's rate
Turnbull's up next. Gouden Caroulus Hopsinjoor sounds like an Indian curry dish, but it's not! Actually, Belfry and Turnbull both brought the same one, but some clever sleuth (Trevor Plouffe?) discovered that one is labeled a blond, one an amber. However, every other bit of information is the same on the bottle, and BA lists it as one, so it is henceforth known as the same beer. Either way, we're going to swap half way through.
Mike brings to us Leffe Blond, which is a widely distributed Belgian Pale Ale that rolls in at 6.6%. It's pretty transparent and golden in color, it is. The candi sugars are far more prevalent than the hops. Pretty easy drinking, though. That's just O-K.
Tom B brings Ommegang BPA, which is aptly named considering our rating system, yuk yuk. It's yet another Belgian Pale Ale which is 6.2% ABV. It pours a semi-transparent orange/golden color. It smells of a tripel a bit.
Tom B brings his redemption beer, which is to style. Unibroue Don de Dieu rolls in at 9% as a strong pale ale. Quite tasty- orange peels, a little hop fizz.
Colin supplies Houblon Chouffe IPA Tripel, which is a Belgian IPA that comes in at 9%. It's strange that all the Belgian IPAs are 8 or 9 percent, but American IPAs rarely top 7. Huh. So, this beer tastes more like an American IPA. It's one of the hoppier beers we've had tonight.
Mike brings super-sweet redemption beer named Stone Belgo Anise Imperial Russian Stout, which is 10.5%. This style of IRS is new this year to Stone's lineup. It smells like a flaming Sambuca. Way too much Anus in the Anise.
Lastly, and bestly, Mike outdoes himself yet again. He brings the last Russian River wild ale- probably the lats mainstream one we haven't had. This one comes in at a colossal 10%- for a wild ale. Quite spectacular, it is agreed. Yes, Khaleesi, it is known.
TRIPLE BUCK BONUS BEER!!! Lampe brings us Boulevard Smokestack Series Imperial Stout which rides towards us on the 11 Donkeys of ABV! Very tasty.