Friday, September 28, 2012

Deschutes Jubel 2010

I've had this bottle for a few years at this point. Luckily this is one of those Deschutes beers with a "Best After" date so it was built to last. Yes, that's after, not before. It was originally a surprise gift from my sister in law living in San Francisco. I think I asked her to bring me a bottle of Abyss or something and since she's great, she also brought a whole bunch of other stuff.

Unfortunately the bottle didn't have a description on it, but apparently it was aged in Pinot Noir barrels for nearly a year according to the BeerAdvocate entry. That's sort of a rumor without a description on the bottle though.
Awesome nose, very impressive. Caramel, vanilla, plums, kind of port like. Knowing now that it was apparently aged in Pinot barrels, that last point actually makes some sense. Very thick body, limited carbonation as you can see in the picture. Basically a mix of chocolate and caramel with plum and some other dark fruits. Sweet and strong but never astringent or sharp. Just super smooth. Pretty awesome and very complex. Even at over 10% abv, I believe, no hint of alcohol. So glad I had this as it was delicious.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Couple Beers at Tired Hands

I may start a lot of posts lamenting how long it has been since I visited somewhere, but it's always true! This time it had been nearly a month since I last visited Tired Hands. But, whatever, I'll just have to do better moving forward instead of complaining now. When I arrived the first level bar was actually completely full so I went upstairs for the first time. Man, I had forgotten how nice it was upstairs. Just a huge space, decent number of tables, and another beautiful bar. Not quite as big as the one downstairs but still a decent size.

The first beer I ordered was OoeyGooey, a wine barrel fermented saison made with five different grains.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bear Republic Tartare at Kite & Key

This past Sunday was the first Savage Sixtel Sunday at Kite & Key since Beer Week in June, but I was still a bit drunk from the Smoke 'Em beer fest at Yards so I didn't make it. However, everything was still pouring yesterday when I stopped in for my normal Monday visit! Huzzah! Specifically, I couldn't wait to try the Bear Republic Tartare, a berliner weiss I've heard a lot of great things about.
Fantastic nose. Definitely a wheat base but a delicious base, lemony and tart. At first, decently sour with a lot of lemon acidity. However, I got used to the sourness pretty quickly and it developed in complexity with the lemon, the wheat, and the tartness blending incredibly well. This totally lived up to my expectations and it is definitely a top two or three berliner weiss. Just awesome.

I also got to meet a guy who works at Akkurat in Sweden. Lots of really interesting information about how they serve beer, importing US craft stuff, and prices. We can complain about beer prices all we want, but man stuff is expensive in Sweden.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Ommegang at Devil's Den

Last week I was given the chance to try a new Ommegang beer at Devil's Den. Pretty neat to get invited to press stuff since I don't really consider myself press (for good reasons, I'd say) but I do get emails sometimes so why not? For this event Devil's Den was doing some new appetizers, some made with Ommegang beers and others just being fancy along with serving the new beer, Scythe & Sickle, a Harvest Ale.

When I got there, the person in charge of the event had a few of us sit at one of the tables. Got to catch up with Steve Hawk and Mat Falco which was nice. A waitress came by and brought us a sampler of the Ommegang beers that were on draft for the night.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Wing & Beer at Capone's

It's been a long time since Jo and I visited Capone's and with 25 cent wings and an early Eagles football game, we knew Sunday would be a good time. After a bunch of terrible traffic on 76 (surprise suprise), we arrived and grabbed seats at the bar. A few people were already there, but there was still plenty of space even just a few minutes before the game. After looking through the draft list, I decided to just get some full glasses instead of my usual flight. I went with the new Neshaminy Creek Leon S'Mores Imperial Stout to start things off.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Weyerbacher Decadence

Every year, Weyerbacher puts out an anniversary beer. At this point they are up to 17 so with Decadence being number 10 it means it was about 7 years old when I finally drank it last week. My friend actually did most of the aging and gave it to me like two years ago.
Port like nose, caramel with some fruity cherry in it. Some oxidation, though, with hints of cardboard. No, that's not a great flavor on its own but it blends well enough to keep it from overpowering everything else. First sip had some more oxidation, light spices like clove and such, and then a sharp alcohol bite finishing things off. Surprising that the alcohol was as strong as it was but I guess it just never settled down. After seven years, it wasn't 100% anymore that's for sure. Still drinkable and decent, but it was definitely past its prime. Oh well, you win some and you lose some when you age stuff this long. Most beers really aren't made for it anyway.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Stone 16th Anniversary

Stopped by Kite & Key yesterday and went with the Stone 16th Anniversary, a Double IPA made with lemon verbena, some rye, and a mix of different hops. If you want more info, just go here to Stone's website and read all about it.
Citrus nose, pretty bright and fresh. Some caramel, pine, citrus, and an herbal spice character that must be the lemon verbena. It was sweeter than I usually expect from a Stone IPA but the finish was still full of a lingering bitterness. Decent enough and worth ordering to check it out once. The herbal quality was certainly interesting.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Bruery Cuir

I've had this bottle for a while (that's a common theme for me) but don't actually remember when I bought it. Eh, no matter. Cuir is a part of The Bruery anniversary series and each beer is french for that year's theme. Year one being Papier, year two Coton, year three Cuir, etc. Cuir is an Old Ale at heart, but is brewed by something called the Solera style. This means The Bruery ages previous years of the beer and then blends portions of them together along with the fresh to add complexity and different flavors. Some of the fresh beer, about 25%, is also aged in bourbon barrels and blended.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Two Brothers / Brasserie Castelain Diversey & Lillie

It had been three weeks since I'd last been to the Kite & Key but I finally made it back this past Monday. Between Labor Day weekend and just being busy, I just haven't had the time until now. This week I wavered between drinking Alesmith Speedway Stout again because it's awesome or something new. Of course, I went with something new because I'm a sucker for new beers. So, I ordered the collaboration beer between Two Brothers and Brewery Castelain, a french brewery, named Diversey & Lille. This is a Biere de Garde.
Very fruity and sweet malty nose. Some bready notes too. Body followed with more fruit sweetness, kind of a berry flavor, a little bready malt, and then more fruitiness in the finish. Solid beer though nothing super surprising. Totally worth giving a try if you find it on draft or if the bottles aren't too expensive.

Also, as an aside, I had another glass of Goose Island's Bourbon County Brand Stout last night at St. Stephen's Green. It is so good. So good. Should be on draft around Philly for a bit too it seems like. Check PhillyTapFinder for updates.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Firestone Walker Wookey Jack

Now that my Labor Day beers are finally behind me, I can move on to some I've had since then. To start, I drank a Firestone Walker Wookey Jack this past Sunday while watching football. (So happy football is back even if listening to people talk about their fantasy teams is just about the most boring thing ever. It's worth it.) I was given this after buying a whole bunch of other beer from a local store. Lucky me and really nice store! Wookey Jack is a black IPA made with rye.
Grapefruit nose, hints of some rye spice. Tons of super fruity grapefruit at first, followed by some light roast and finished with more grapefruit and a decent amount of bitterness. Very dry and bitter aftertaste as well though that lets up when you get more used to it. Most of the bitterness was from the hops for sure but there is definitely some influence from the rye and roast.

Pretty great black IPA or American Black Ale, whatever you want to call the style. If you're looking to try it yourself, it's on draft around Philly right now and there are probably bottles still available too. Give it a try, it was tasty.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Captain Lawrence Nor'Easter

The last bottle we opened over Labor Day was Captain Lawrence Nor'Easter, a bourbon barrel Winter Warmer brewed with Elderberries. I'm not sure how old this bottle is but I want to say my friend picked it up early last year.
Started normal with a bourbon vanilla nose, no heat either. Basically what you'd expect from a bourbon barrel beer. However, things change kind of dramatically upon the first sip. Lightly vanilla, some sour cream notes without being gross, and tart berry fruitiness. I'm not sure this was how it was supposed to taste but it wasn't metallic or gross, just sour, so it wasn't infected or anything. As I drank more, the bourbon returned as the sour faded a little bit which was nice. Overall, though, it was mainly sour cream vanilla with a fruity tartness.

Since it was brewed with elderberries I imagine that's how the sourness and tart berry flavors appeared. Pretty different and still quite tasty though. Definitely would drink again.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Deschutes Black Butte XXIII

Another beer we opened over Labor Day was Deschutes Black Butte XXIII. The base of this is an imperial version of their delicious Black Butte porter with 25% aged in bourbon barrels and some aged with a variety of ingredients. Each year they change that list meaning it tastes differently if you have it year to year or at least I imagine it does as this is the first time I've had it.
Great nose. Just a pleasant bourbon flavor that's not too strong or too hot. Thick body too. So far, so good! Get a little orange flavor in the background, some roast, and a great bourbon vanilla finish. Just really delicious throughout. Glad I have another bottle!

Forgot to mention this is actually last year's version. The newest one, XXIV, came out a month or so ago I think.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Mad Fox Orange Whip

Over Labor Day, one of my friends brought down a growler from the Mad Fox brewpub in Falls Church, VA. Orange Whip is an IPA made with purely citra hops, as far as I know. This is actually the second time I've had it as another friend brought a growler to my house a couple weeks ago. I was excited to get another chance to drink it since I really liked it.
Kind of a dank nose. Lots of orange citrus with an interesting earthy component that mixes really well. Very light body though and kind of thin. Not really a detriment, but I don't feel it benefits from it either. Grapefruit was the major flavor in the body, followed by some vanilla notes for whatever reason, and then a pretty clean finish.

Delicious both times I've had it though I worry about the longevity of flavors considering the thin body and small malt presence. This didn't seem like something built to last but it's a brewpub, draft only beer, so it can totally get away with it. Fairly popular too as far as I know which means the kegs get finished quickly. So, really, Mad Fox has nothing much to worry about as far as Orange Whip other than making more!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Lost Abbey & New Belgium Brett Beer

We opened this the same night as the Lime-A-Rita so at least we knew it would be better than it's competition even before opening the bottle. This was a collaboration between Lost Abbey and New Belgium and given the bottle design, came out of New Belgium specifically. Brett Beer seems to be a pale ale base that was fully fermented with brettanomyces yeast in order to best showcase how that yeast strain affects a beer.
Dry earthy nose with some pineapple fruitiness in it. Following was a fruity body with pineapple and some bread notes along with faint spiciness. A little bitterness and a little earthiness finished things up. This was quite decent and the pineapple was real nice and clear. It was a great example of the kind of  flavors brett can impart. Usually those flavors are overpowered by lactic or acetic acid especially in American Wild Ales so it's nice to get a clean version of them.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Because it was in the Refrigerator

Jo and I went to the Outer Banks over Labor Day and stayed at our friend's beach house with a few others. Of course, this meant there were a few beers in the refrigerator left over from when some of her family had been staying there earlier in the week. This included a can of Bud Light Lime-A-Rita.
Honestly, I hesitate to even call this monstrosity beer. I mean, look at the color of that thing. And it was even brighter in person! On top of that, it smelled a little like a lime margarita but even faker than those terrible mixes. A little like a kamikaze shot smells if you've ever had it. Kind of tasted like how I think Mike's Hard Lemonade might taste. Just super fake lime, super sugary, and pretty gross. And, seriously, 24oz? Why does the can need to be that big? Not something I'll try again even as a joke. Just not worth it.

As a side note, a friend of ours got pretty drunk off it. We weren't quite sure how but it was probably a mix of the 8% ABV along with the massive amounts of sugar in it. Made a nice joke the rest of the weekend.