Thursday, December 30, 2010


To prepare our livers for our six brewery tour over New Years, Jo and I decided to head to Capone's for some lunch and drinks.  We haven't been there in a while and missed their delicious wings.  I also got a tasty cheese steak hoagie.

Once again, I started with a sampler of four great beers.

Clockwise from the bottom right I ordered: Founders Backwoods Bastard, a Scotch Ale, Terrapin Side Project Big Daddy Vlady, a Russian Imperial Stout, Spring House Planet Bean, an Imperial Stout, and St. Bernardus Christmas, a Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

Initially I found the Backwoods Bastard to smell like caramel, but Jo ruined it for me when she pointed out it sort of smelled like coconut and then I couldn't smell anything else.  Taste followed in that it sort of could have been caramel but just ended up as coconut.  Comparisons to a dryer Malibu were made and that's not particularly a great comparison.  It wasn't bad but less of what caused the coconut would have made it better.

Next was the Terrapin.  Some roast in the nose with a flavor that followed.  I got a little vanilla and sort of a charcoal finish.  Luckily the charcoal disappeared after a few sips and it turned out pretty good.

Following that was the Spring House Planet Bean, a coffee stout.  Definitely my favorite of the bunch and Jo agreed.  In fact, here's a direct quote from her, "Like you walked into a French espresso shop."  Neither of us were really sure what that meant but I think you get the point.  Big aroma of really good coffee.  Initial sips were tasty.  I don't know what kind of coffee he uses, but it brews very clean.  No harsh bitterness or off coffee notes like some other coffee stouts.  Just another great beer from Spring House.  Looking forward to the brew pub opening in Lancaster some time soon.

Finished with the St. Bernardus Christmas.  Nose is almost pure Belgian with some slight spiced notes.  Pretty sweet with some sugar, caramel and toffee.  The Belgian flavors are definitely the main focus of the beer though.  If you like Belgians, you'll like this one.

After that I got a glass of Philadelphia Brewing Company Shackamaximum, another Imperial Stout.
Had some sweetness along with alcohol in the nose.  Very smooth roasted flavor with some coffee and chocolate notes.  No alcohol presence that I could find.  Great balance between the roast and the sweetness.  Pretty clean finish.  Great offering from PBC.

Friday is our breweries tour and I'm really excited.  Can't wait to check out Bullfrog, Bavarian Barbarian and all the rest.

edit: Forgot to mention, I also got to meet Matt Capone, the owner.  Incredibly nice guy.


  1. You haven't been in a while? Seems like you were just there a few weeks ago (see: Hope you guys have a fun New Year's tour! We had a great dinner in Boston tonight - no beer but good cocktails. Moe's yesterday was pretty great in Lee too- among other things, I got a Narrangansett. Since 1890, you know. Also, interesting use of the double 'r' - no?

  2. Quite a detective. =) Sucks that you're stuck in Boston, but hopefully you find something fun to do tonight.