Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Beer of the Week: Great Divide Oak Aged IPA

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

About the beer: Great Divide Brewing Co. has to be one of my favorite breweries. Based out of Denver, CO, it’s rare to find a beer that’s bad from them (only once have I really disliked one of their brews). Today we’re doing the little dance with their Rumble Oak Aged India Pale Ale. They claim the beer is a, “gently aged on French and American oak resulting in a wonderful balance of bitterness, caramel sweetness, vanilla, and undertones of pine and citrus.”

In a nutshell: All I can say is, it’s not bad.

Review: When you first take a sniff, you definitely get some really nice, hoppy smells that are balanced out by the woody undertone brought in by oak barrels. In my ever so humble opinion, I don’t think the smell really matches what you’d expect in taste. You definitely get the barrel flavor in there, but it almost overtakes the hops, to the point of not being able to taste them much at all. I know that barrel aging a beer like an IPA helps round out the flavor and mellow out the beer as a whole, but I feel like this isn’t the best attempt at producing a fantastic result. It doesn’t taste as great as some of their other beers (my favorite being the Titan IPA), but it’s way better than their Double Wit. I don’t get much of the vanilla, pine or citrus from the taste, though the caramel and bitterness come in just fine. And as I sit in my 80 degree apartment drinking this, I realize it’s not the most refreshing option to beat the summer heat. This would probably be really great in the fall time.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Beer of the Week: Brewdog Dogma

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

About this beer: Scotland’s Brewdog is one of the most intimidating craft beer companies around. They make the world’s strongest beer, The End of History. (41% ABV) They aren’t just known for making crazy high ABV beers alone, they also have an incredibly wide range of non-coma inducing goodness. For this beer review I choose to step away from the relative safety of trying their highly regarded IPA (Punk IPA) and chose to drink something a bit more eclectic. Having never tasted one of Brewdog’s brews before I decided to go with Dogma, which is a strong ale made with honey, kola nut, poppy seed, and guarana.

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Beer of the Week: Pretty Things Jack D’Or

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

About The Beer: The Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project have taken the east coast by storm, and they don’t seem to be letting up any time soon. Helmed by husband and wife team, Dann Paquette and Martha Holley-Paquette, Pretty Things has gained attention in part because of their status in the growing “gypsy brewing” movement, and in larger part because of their phenomenally creative beers. However, the genius behind Pretty Things lies not only in the beers they produce, but in their whimsical-yet-frank approach to the beer industry. Their labels are adorned with vested Rabbits and mustachioed Barleycorns, they’re steeped in lore and fun and poetry. According to their site:

These beers are for fun, not for display! Our beers are not precious jewels, they are happy peasants! Their motto is ‘Good Time Artisanal Beers’: hold them to it!

Pretty Things’ flagship beer, Jack D’Or – “Jack of Gold”, a character who embodies “the soul of beer” -  has become a Boston staple. And for good reason. Labeled a “Saison Americain” this brew blends classic saison elements with a healthy dose of hops and a splash of champagne yeast to make a sublimely unique and very “pretty” beer.

In a nutshell: A perfect beer for the summer, but Pretty Things’ Jack D’Or gets a gold star from us at any time of year.

Review: This beer pours as gold and tastes as playfully delicious as the name and the label would lead you to believe. There’s a bitter edge to Jack D’Or, but that bitterness is elegantly balanced by a host of other sensations. There’s an edge of sweetness, a smack of pepper, a tart bite, and a champagne dryness. All these flavors mix and play – you can almost imagine them dancing around in your mouth, each moving to the center, then back to the periphery, blending seamlessly with one another as they cross and flow. As it warms up to room temperature (porch temperature, backyard temperature, or just bar temperature) the flavor mellows, and some of that bitter quality dissipates, giving more room to the sweeter tones. This beer is delicate, imaginative, and well worth the time of any true lover of beer.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Beer of The Week: Anchor Small Beer

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

About: Session ales are attracting an increasing amount of attention lately in craft beer circles. For years it was the big and bold beers that caught the eye of craft beer enthusiasts, brews that were intense in both their flavor and alcohol content. While everyone still loves those bold beers as much as they always have, beer lovers and brewers alike are beginning to investigate what possibilities there are at the opposite end of the spectrum.

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Beer of the Week: Sam Adams Utopias

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Overview: Sam Adams Utopias might be one of the most hyped products in the craft beer industry. Released on odd years since 2001 as a follow up to Sam Adams Millennium, this beer holds the title of one of the strongest naturally brewed beer in the world, coming in at about 27% ABV. This beer uses yeasts typical for champagne and wine, maple syrup, and for this year’s batch, the brew was aged in a variety of sherry and port casks. The bottle is handcrafted out of ceramic and individually numbered. You also get a redeem code for a free (plus shipping and handling) handmade glassware especially made for this beer. Only 53 barrels were used for this year’s batch, and many stores are already out of their supply, even though there was no major announcement when it became available. Did I mention that it’ll cost you $150, or often more?

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Beer of the Week: Dieu du Ciel Rosée d’hibiscus

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

About the beer:

Regular readers will know that I take a special interest in the tradition of using flowers, spices, and unusual ingredients in beer. Before the Reinheitsgebot and other regional regulations on beer production, this practice was fairly common. Brewers used a wide variety of ingredients as flavoring, bittering, and even fermentable agents – some that we might find unusual, even distasteful today.

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Beer of the Week: The Notch Session Ale

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Notch American Session Ale 6 Pack

About the beer:

Craft beer is all about options. With the rise in popularity of higher alcohol craft beers some are turning their interests towards other options in the form of an up and coming category in the craft beer community – session beer. Awareness over the session style of brewing has risen over the last two years with many American breweries creating some tremendous crafted ales, all of which carrying significantly lower ABVs than the stereotypical craft ale.

The term “session” finds it’s origins in the UK and refers to the allowable drinking periods that were imposed on production workers during World War I. The licensed sessions were 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 7 to 11 p.m. Workers would find a beer that they could adequately quench their thirst with during these restrictive “sessions” that were imposed by the government without getting legally drunk.

With this groundswell of awareness and rich history to live up to, enter Notch Session Ale, an independently brewed ale which is the brain child of Notch brewer and founder Chris Lohring. In collaboration with his friends at Ipswich Ale Brewery of Ipswich, MA, Chris is brewing low-gravity American style session beers that pack immense amounts of robustness and flavor without heavy alcohol content.

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Beer of The Week: White Birch Brewing Tripel

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

About The BeerWhite Birch Brewing based out of Hooksett, NH is a small batch brewery concentrating on small batch beer. Their tripel is easily one of my favorites in the market. Tripels are a curious beer, high abv (White Birch’s clocks in at around 9.5%) without a huge alcohol bite it lends to aging nicely as well.

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Beer of The Week: Harpoon Island Creek Oyster Stout

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

About the Beer: Oyster stouts are a very rare style of beer, but they’re more than worth your while if you can get your hands on one. The dark, grainy texture of stouts are a perfect pairing with oysters and other shellfish so it was only natural to bring the two together in a beer. The Harpoon Brewery in Boston uses real oysters from nearby Island Creek oyster bar for their take on the style.

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Beer of the Week: Fade To Black Volume 2 – Smoked Baltic Porter

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Fade to black vol 2 2

About the beer:

Left Hand Brewing Company is located in Longmont, Colorado. The name Left Hand was chosen in honor of Chief Niwot, Niwot being the Araphoe word for “left hand.” The Araphoe tribe often wintered in the local area.  Fade to Black Volume 2 – Smoked Baltic Porter is a collaboration beer done with Nørrebro Bryghus in Denmark. The beer is categorized as Baltic Porter. If you are unfamiliar with the style, take a minute and check out our beer profile for Baltic Porters.

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