Monday, October 31, 2011

Voodoo Big Black Voodoo Daddy

I bought this a while ago and decided it was time to open it up. Big Black Voodoo Daddy is an imperial stout coming in at about 12.5%.
Smelled of molasses, chocolate, roast and coffee with a slight hint of dark fruit. Just a huge, complex aroma, pretty crazy. Starts with a lot of coffee and roast but absolutely no bitterness. Some chocolate and a nice mild roast in the finish. While the molasses and dark fruit from the nose didn't follow through in the flavors, the actual beer was still really good and incredibly smooth. I figured the ABV was high, but I couldn't believe it was 12.5%. Even Jo thought it tasted good. Definitely be on the lookout for this if you like stouts though it's a seasonal so you may not find it for a while.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Spaten Optimator

Spaten Optimator is a doppelbock from a famous brewery in Germany.
We stopped by this random German deli in DC and it had three Spaten beers on tap: Oktoberfest, Helles, and Optimator. Since I'm a sucker for doppelbocks, I knew I had to order the Optimator.

Inviting sweet caramel nose. Makes you want to dive right in. Thick body. Started with a caramel sweetness and ended with a caramel sweetness. With the thick body and the maltiness backing it, sort of reminded me of delicious loaf of bread soaked in caramel sauce. Yum. Really great aftertaste too. Just a great, well made doppelbock.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Regional Food & Drink in DC

We were in DC for a wedding and the rehearsal dinner was held at a place called Regional Food & Drink. Since we were in a side room for the event, I didn't see much of the place but it seemed nice enough. During the rehearsal part of it I mostly drank Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald, a porter, which is great so that was cool. After the dinner a bunch of us switched to the main part of the restaurant and got a table in the back. I didn't know what to expect as far as the draft list but it was actually quite god with lots of variety and decent enough prices. I decided to start with the Dogfish Head 120 Minute, an 18% monster IPA, since I wasn't sure if I'd find it on draft anywhere else.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Weyerbacher Romeo

This week at the Kite & Key I ordered a Weyerbacher Romeo, a Belgian Red (although the style may be made up by Weyerbacher), from their Brewer's Select series.
Sweet banana Belgian nose. Started with a slightly bitter spiciness followed by bready caramel malt and bananas. The finish was a little bitter with more banana. Honestly not sure what I felt about this. The banana flavor was just so strong that I felt it overpowered the rest of the beer. I looked at some other reviews and they didn't mention it was as strong as I thought though so maybe I'm just sensitive to it. Who knows. Not bad, but I'm way more excited for the next Brewer's Select Sierra as I love milk stouts.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Heavy Seas Great Pumpkin

My wife and I went to brunch a little while ago at the Belgian Cafe and I thought a pumpkin beer would make a good start.
Sweet, fruity nose with a little cinnamon in it. Definitely on the more heavily spiced side of the pumpkin spectrum. Reminded me quite a bit of apple pie because of the sweetness and fruit in it. The flavor actually had more clove than cinnamon to my taste but it's mostly all the same in the end. I thought it was pretty similar to the Harpoon UFO pumpkin I had the other week although that was a bit more spiced than even this one.

This wasn't bad if you're looking for a more heavily spiced pumpkin though I wouldn't go out of my way for it. Be interested in trying the bourbon barrel aged version considering it seems like the beer would hold up but maybe next year since it's probably gone now.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Chris Dengler Lemongrass something or other

After stopping by to deliver something, a friend of mine gave me two bottles of his homebrew. They were variations of his lemongrass beer, brewed with different yeasts and hops. The first one I opened was hopped with Sorachi Ace but I don't know the type of yeast used.
Smelled like fresh ginger, almost tea like. Incredibly clean flavor with hints of ginger. As it was well balanced and understated, the ginger worked really well. I believe he might have added some actual ginger along with the lemongrass and with the Sorachi Ace flavor everything worked well. Really delicious. Definitely looking forward to trying the gold cap soon and seeing the differences.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Troegs Tap Takeover at the Khyber

While I wasn't actually planning on attending the Troegs night at the Khyber, my wife and decided we needed a night out and, well, happy coincidences. The Khyber had about 16-20 different Troegs beers, some from the regular lineup and a bunch from the scratch series.

It was pretty crowded when we first go there, but lucky for us some people got up from the bar a few minutes later and we got seats. To start with I ordered a glass of Scratch 46, named Naked Elf, because it's the base of their popular Mad Elf beer. I've been interested in trying it since I first heard about it. While Mad Elf is a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, this is more considered a Belgian Strong Pale Ale although it wasn't pale at all.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Troegs Java Head on cask at the Kite & Key

I stopped in at the Kite & Key for my usual Tuesday visit and was happy to see that Troegs Java Head was finally on their handpump.
Nice mild coffee nose. Lighter body because of the handpump but very smooth. The first thing I noticed was how well the coffee's harshness was blunted by being on cask. Similar to what happens to hops in IPAs really. Slightly bitter in the finish but it faded quickly. The Java Head was generally good and now I want to try it on a regular draft system just to see the differences.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

De Dolle Stille Nacht

I decided to open up something slightly more interesting this past Saturday so I grabbed my bottle of 2010 De Dolle Stille Nacht. This bottle is actually from Belgium directly which is why it has a little bow sticker around the neck. The beer itself is exactly the same as the US version though so I guess they just want you to feel special if you get it from the source. Stille Nacht is a Belgian Strong Pale Ale.
Sweet nose, reminiscent of honey. Flavors follow with a large honey like sweetness being the major component. Very smooth. Sort of a hint of bitterness throughout, just enough to keep the sweetness from being cloying. It doesn't last more than a few moments each time you notice it though. As I drank more, the sweetness faded a bit and a little bit of spiciness from something appeared possibly from the yeast. This was really quite tasty and very smooth. I don't even really like the style a lot but this is too good to pass up.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Great Divide Hoss

That's it for pumpkin week for now. I still have a few more but I needed a change of pace for a few days. To start, I opened a bottle of Great Divide Hoss.
Hoss is a lager brewed with some rye. Sweet bready nose, basically what you'd expect from a good lager. Very clean. Has a nice bready malt flavor with some slight rye spiciness in the finish. The maltiness was really pleasant and the rye added a nice second dimension to the lager. Really clean, well made lager and very enjoyable.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Elysian Night Owl

While it's Monday now, I drank this one Friday night so I'm counting it as continuing pumpkin week. This time it was Elysian Night Owl, a pumpkin brewed with pumpkin seeds along with pumpkin and then fermented spices.
Bready malt nose with a hint of clove and cinnamon. Pretty sweet, almost fruity. Interesting dry pumpkin flavor, possibly a result of the seeds, with very understated spicing. Some malty sweetness comes through similar to the nose. Decent and pretty easy drinking pumpkin as a result of the reasonably tasty base beer. I do wish Elysian distributed their other two pumpkin beers here though since they are both supposed to be quite good and one is a stout. Ah well.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Harpoon UFO Pumpkin Ale

Up next in my week of pumpkins was the Harpoon UFO Pumpkin Ale. UFO stands for Unfiltered Offering if you're curious.
Sharp spiciness on this one. Clove, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg all appear in the nose. Jo thought it smelled like pumpkin bread as it had a certain baked bread quality to it. Taste followed with just a ton of spices and very little beer flavor. Just crazy. Definitely the spiciest pumpkin I've had so far. Cinnamon is the major flavor and I got some nutmeg and allspice along with it. I'll say that while it was too much cinnamon and spice for me, it will definitely appeal to people looking for pie in a glass. So pick it up if you like that style pumpkin ale.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale

Continuing my week of pumpkin, I opened a bottle of Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale last night.
Nose was clove and cinnamon like usual but a hint of grapefruit hops follow. Intriguing in a pumpkin ale, very different. Flavor started with some mild grapefruit then some spice followed. The finish was slightly bitter but in a pleasant way. I wasn't expecting much from this but it was really quite good and definitely a different pumpkin than most. You don't find many where the hops are actually present so it's a nice change of pace.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Southampton Pumpkin Ale

I finally missed a week of visiting the Kite & Key after like two months, but I had a good excuse in that I was in Dallas. For my return, I decided to continue my week of pumpkins and ordered the Southampton Pumpkin Ale.
Smelled sweet with some hints of clove and cinnamon. Taste basically followed with a lot of sweetness followed by the same clove and cinnamon. Not particularly special or different as it tasted like every other spiced pumpkin ale on the market. Ah well.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cisco Pumple Drumkin

While I've already had a few pumpkin beers because of the Pumpkinfest at the Institute, the Cisco Pumple Drumkin was the first I've had at home.
Definitely the oddest named pumpkin beers. Smelled of clove and cinnamon, but not overpowering. Nice. Tasted pretty different than some others which was also nice. The major flavor in this was actually pumpkin with clove and cinnamon coming up behind it. I realize it sounds weird to be surprised a pumpkin beer tasted like pumpkin, but a lot of them end up just tasting like spices. Really enjoyed this one.

Monday, October 10, 2011

House Beers at Farmer's Cabinet

Jo had some stuff to do this past Sunday, so I decided to head to the Farmer's Cabinet for lunch and to try some of Terry Hawbaker's new beers. I've mentioned him before, but if you don't remember Terry used to brew at the Bullfrog in Williamsport and moved to Philly to brew for the restaurant. While they had planned to create a brewery in the restaurant itself, it turned out to be impractical for a number of reasons and so the owners bought a brewery down in Virginia instead. Of course, the one they bought turned out to be a disaster, but Terry put a lot of work into cleaning it up and it's finally starting to produce results. Delicious results.

I started with a glass of the Roggen-Son, a saison brewed with rye.

Light rye nose, more sweet than spicy. Started with some rye spiciness, then a nice sweetness, and finished dry with a little bitterness. I really enjoyed the mix of sweetness and rye spice and thought this was pretty great.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Meddlesome Moth

I'm in Dallas, Texas right now for work and had one day off to do what I wanted. Of course, I unsurprisingly looked for an awesome beer bar to go hang at for a couple hours. Luckily there is a bar named The Meddlesome Moth about a mile and a half from the hotel which was an easy enough walk. I'd read really good things about it on BeerAdvocate and boy did it live up to its reputation.

The first beer I ordered was the (512) Pecan Porter. The brewery is actually named (512) Brewing Co. which is the area code for Austin where it's located. I don't know why, but I think it's funny that there are parenthesis in the name.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pumpkinfest at The Institute

Last year, Jo and I attended the pumpkinfest at the Devil's Den which while fun mostly ended up with me trying two and then heading out since the list wasn't super interesting. While I never expected attending a pumpkinfest to be a yearly event, guess we've made it so after this past Saturday. This year we went to The Institute which had a very extensive list of pumpkin beers and a full pumpkin menu. The list numbered around 24 beers but the bar only has 16 taps so it meant that to try everything I wanted to on the list I had to be lucky. And, for the most part, I actually was although I did miss out on a couple. Gives me something to look forward to next year!