Friday, June 26, 2015

Manhattan Style Rye Ale

Ummm. Manhattan Style Rye Ale aged in Leopold Bros Rye Whiskey Barrels? Yeah, sure thing! This is Upslope Brewing's Lee Hill Series Vol. 4: Manhattan Style Rye Ale, fourth in a series dedicated to promoting small-batch experiments from their original brewery. This brew happens to come in a Giant Bomber 19.2 oz can. Simple gray and maroon label with tons of info, see pics below. 10.4% alcohol. 35 IBU, Canned 5/21/15.

Basically, Upslope was going for a cool beer that emulated the Manhattan Cocktail. They created a beer with caramel rye malt then aged it in rye whiskey barrels to create this beer. Could it be like a beer cocktail (which I've heard little about lately) without actually doing the mixing post canning?

Ok. The aroma is pretty generic malty with a touch of alcohol on it. Caramel sweet flavors come first with a whiskey alcohol kick following. The rye is very noticeable, spicy (and enjoyable). This beer has tons of flavors, some big, some nuanced. Caramel and cola are the predominant flavors while cherries and molasses and vanilla poke in and out.

Well balanced. Definitely cocktail-like in its booziness and whiskey characteristics. Those do persist especially after drinking the (almost) half-40. I liked it. Was not obnoxious whiskey ruining my beer, and those barrel nuances did add to an otherwise tasty brew. Check it out and share the big can!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Weihenstephan Hefe Weissbier

BeerAdvocate reviewers rate this beer 98. So it must be good, right? Of course I'm talking about Weihenstephan Hefe Weissbier, a Bavarian-style wheat beer brewed by "The World's Oldest Brewery," founded in 1040 AD (which BTW is the same year my mother-in-law was born).

The brewery has a campaign here to get this beer recognized. They sent me a T-Shirt with the "Y-EN-STEFFAN" pronunciation on it along with a tall glass and bottle opener that spoke beer with me! 5.4% alcohol. 16.9 oz bottle. Simple label includes all the stats and a small brewery logo/shield.

The aroma is not that strong, though it is pleasant, malty. The flavors are very pronounced, however! Excellent malty, wheaty twang from the start to the finish. Fruity with tons of banana and some more nuanced orange flavors. More banana and then some spicy cloves start to creep in and make an impression.

Bottom line... Great beer! Terrific flavors with lots of intricacies. Well balanced between sweet and citrus/spice. Even my wife loved it, took the bottle and ran! I'd probably give it a 97 though! Check it out!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Soulless Scarlet Sour Ale

Never had a beer from Rivertown Brewing from Lockland, Ohio. Until today. Their Soulless Scarlet Sour Ale is a Flanders Style beer. So an uncommon style from a brewery new to my South Florida market.

Fruity, malty, musty aroma. Malty flavors with subtle tart berry way in the background. Caramel, flat Coke. Thin and fairly flat. Very generic flavors and bland are probably the best descriptors. Not "Sour" under any definition. Not blech but I didn't finish it and am very disappointed.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Innsmouth Olde Ale: Lovecraft Series Chapter 1

Narragansett started a new series named after the "Father of Modern Horror" H.P. Lovecraft. Chapter 1 celebrates the story of Innsmouth Olde Ale and its brewing origins. You can read the story about both below. The purple pounder can has some spooky art done by Jason Eckhardt. It appears to be a sign in front of the Innsmouth Tavern on a gloomy and stormy night. 7% alcohol.

Malty, raisiny aroma. Malty flavors to start too, mostly sweet raisins and brown sugar. Also a bit herbal. A bitter nip comes toward the end though never overcoming the initial sweetness. A little thin; low carbonation. Was OK though I wasn't a huge fan. Looking forward to Chapter 2 though.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Nooner Pilsner

Today I decided to check out Sierra Nevada's German-style pilsner, Nooner Pilsner. SN is one of my favorite breweries so I had no problem blindly grabbing a sixer instead of a single bottle (though PKGD 12/09/14 should have caught my eye as a little dated for a beer bragging of "bright and zesty whole-cone hop flavor"). 5.2% alcohol.

Grainy, cracker, lemony aroma. Grainy sweet start is immediately attacked by a lemony, spicy, floral bite. Nice flavors linger long after each sip. Quite refreshing. Wife chimed in, "this is good."

Monday, June 8, 2015

Paulaner Weissbier-Radler (Non-Alcoholic) and Hefe-Weizen

Mix non-alcoholic wheat beer with lemon juice, lime juice and orange juice and what do you get? Paulaner Weissbier-Radler! This comes in a 331 mL bottle.

Grainy aroma. Similar sweet grain start with a nice lemony and fruity juicy balance. Sweet and tart play nicely with each other. Very pleasant easy drinker.

Follow that up with a 16.9 oz bottle of big brother Paulaner Hefe-Weizen. Bigger bottle and 5.5% alcohol. The label on this bottle has a quaint outdoor German mountain scene with people drinking pints in a beer garden.

The wheat is very noticeable in the aroma. And the flavors begin with a wheaty zing. A bitter edge follows and lasts to the finish. Lightly spicy. Faint fruit. The flavors are subtle but nice. Creamy texture.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Send Help

Today I'm checking out Send Help, an American Blonde Ale brewed by 4 Hands Brewing in St. Louis, Missouri. The beer and can art were done in collaboration with Send Help Skateboards, and the can features the "Foam & Bones" design from one of the skateboards. You can also see a half pipe and a skater in the air doing a trick above it. This is a beer brewed with Pacific Northwest Hops. 4.5% alcohol.

Very fruity and hoppy aroma. The flavors are less fruity and show off much more zesty citrus and hoppy floral character. Lemony, grainy. Bitterness builds as you drink on. A bit one-dimensional. Nevertheless, Send Help has nice flavor and is an extremely refreshing beer!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Big Red Tugboat Coffee Infused IPA

Chicago area Tugboat Coffee recently partnered with RAM Brewery to create their Big Red Tugboat Coffee Infused IPA for Chicago Craft Beer Week. Coffee IPA? Yep! Usually, coffee-flavored beers are porters and stouts, so this unique brew could be a new idea worth of notice!

The artwork on the label is pretty fun. You really need to look 3 or 4 or 5 times to figure it all out. There is a red tugboat named Collaboration riding a stormy sea made of coffee beans and hop cones. The Tugboat name + RAM Brewery logo explain the collaboration. The cap is sealed with wax. 65 IBU. 6.2% alcohol.

Big coffee aroma with tropical tangerine scents behind it, interesting. Um, interesting flavors too. Two totally competing entities: rich and quality coffee plus lemony grapefruity astringency. Honestly, I drink like 3 cups of crappy coffee every morning but do enjoy a quality cup now and then. And IPA is my style of choice. I had high hopes but see this as a marriage that will end in divorce after the couple sobers up.

So clearly not something I enjoyed, but you gotta hand it to these guys for originality (and I hear they are trying to do some other creative new ideas too). Can't wait to try those out!