Saturday, September 11, 2010

Friday Night Beers, Redux

I had two beers tonight.  One really really good one and one, well, wasn't so good.

The first beer was Dogfish Head's Festina Peche.
Dogfish Head bills this beer as a Neo-Berliner Weiss and while I don't know what the Neo part really adds, this is definitely a Berliner Weiss.  You can see it poured an orange - yellow color with very minimal head.  It smells of mild apple juice and other sour flavors.  The smell is very similar to the Flanders Red Ales I've been writing about.  The first taste follows the smell of apple juice but is quickly overtaken by the sour notes of the beer.  The taste continues to be mildly sour but has a very clean aftertaste.  The sour doesn't overwhelm your palate or make you pucker or anything, but it's very much the point of the beer.  As for the peach notes that are supposedly in it, I didn't really notice them very much.  It may be that the peach flavor is just so mild you don't notice it, but who knows.  All in all, though, this beer was really excellent.  I've been wanting to try it for a long time because of the style and I'm glad I finally got a chance.  While it is a bit sour, I feel like I could drink quite a few of these in one night without much of a problem.

However, the second beer I had last night wasn't quite so exciting as the Dogfish Head.  It was Ithaca's Apricot Wheat.
It poured a dark orange color with minimal head as well.  (Yes I'm too lazy to use a different style of glass for this even though I'm probably supposed to.)  The smell is all apricots, all the time.  Just totally fills your nose with it.  Following the smell, the taste is also completely of apricot flavor.  I say flavor because it tastes more like apricot syrup than actual apricots.  That leads to my biggest problem with the beer.  It basically tastes like a wheat beer that had a ton of apricot extract dumped into it.  It was thick, cloying, and way, way overly sweet.  While it did mellow out a little as it warmed up, this is definitely not something I'd suggest ordering at a bar.  Yes, some of my friends now have 3 bottles of it, but, well, at least it's only 3 bottles.  It's not undrinkable and maybe some people would like it, but I did not enjoy it very much.

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