Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Epic Brewing Brainless on Peaches

The other beer I opened Saturday night was Epic Brewing Company Brainless on Peaches, a tripel aged on peaches or brewed with peaches. Something with peaches at least. I'm actually not sure. Here's the website entry actually so yeah it was aged in oak on peaches and I've successfully argued with myself in the first paragraph.
Mostly smelled slightly peppery with a hint of the peaches. Taste basically followed with the spicy notes from the base tripel being the major point but with a bit more noticeable fruitiness. I will say that the base tripel didn't feel as dry as I like them but because of the fruit sweetness, I didn't actually mind it in this. I have a version aged on cherries which I look forward to trying. Curious if the tartness from the cherries will make it feel drier and come through a bit more than the peaches did. We'll see I guess.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fegley's Brew Works Bourbon Barrel Insidious Stout

Jo and I visited her home town recently and I brought some beers with me to drink Saturday night. One of those was Fegley's Brew Works Bouron Barrel Insidious, their imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels. I wanted to try this last year and wasn't successful so I was psyched to see it not only available again, but available in 12oz bottles.
Sweet bourbon and vanilla nose, no sign of any heat. Thick body. Started with some bourbon notes, some dark fruit and finished slightly roasty and bitter. As I drank more and my palate got used to it, the vanilla flavors grew and the bitterness and dark fruit flavors disappeared. Very solid bourbon stout and really enjoyable.

As a side note, it's awesome that they went from using 22oz bottles to using 12oz bottles. Generally breweries either move the opposite way or keep things the same since the profit margin is better for 22oz bombers since you can price them higher but Fegley's didn't and that's great. Besides being cheaper, it's so much easier to drink one 12oz bottle by myself too.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Nodding Head Phunkabration

Considering this event was a little over two weeks ago, I've been a bit remiss in writing about it. Oh well. February's Second Saturday event at Nodding Head was titled Phunkabration. Nodding Head put five of their funky beers that they've been aging on draft for us to try. Most of them were sixtels though one was smaller. I recently joked it was in a twelvetel (probably not a joke I should repeat as I'm not sure it's funny but here we are) though the smaller keg does have a real name, I just don't happen to know it. This time my wife was able to go with me which was nice as well.

When we arrived there were groups of people spread around the restaurant area and the bar was mostly full though it got much more crowded after 30 minutes. We did manage to find one seat and settled in to begin the event. Because the Phruit Phunk was listed as limited, I ordered a glass of it.. Any time something is limited at an event like this, it's a good idea to always start with it or else you'll miss out.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Lost Abbey Serpent Stout

I stopped in at Kite & Key for my usual Tuesday visit and noticed they had Serpent Stout on draft. I'd actually heard good things about this one so I figured I had to try it.
Roast, coffee, and chocolate nose. Very clean and quite nice. The body was quite thick for a normal stout, almost chewy. Flavors followed the nose with lots of chocolate then some coffee and finally a little bitterness which kept it from being too sweet though I probably wouldn't have minded either way. A really well put together stout and quite delicious.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Trip to Perch Pub

I recently met up with my friend Eric at Perch Pub. Part of the reason I wanted to go to Perch was because I'd finally get to try Cafe Royale from Williamsburg Alewerks. The other part being that their half price happy hour is a really good deal. When we got there around 5:30, the bar was pretty busy but after our first drink two seats opened up in front of us. Pretty convenient. The rest of the place wasn't too crowded, though, so if you're looking for a table instead of chilling at the bar, it's a good choice for happy hour.

I of course started with the Williamsburg Alewerks Cafe Royale, their Coffeehouse stout aged in bourbon barrels.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Troegs Splinter Blue

Jo and I recently went to Modo Mio for dinner and since it's a BYOB we brought some beer with us to drink during dinner. No wine for us though it's no real surprise considering it's me. Since it was Valentine's Day I decided that it was a great time to drink my last bottle of Troegs Splinter Blue.
Lets start with the description from the bottle tag.
Splinter Blue combines three of our favorite things - DreamWeaver, tart cherries, and Brettanyomyces. To begin this process we fermented DreamWeaver wort with a Belgian/Lambic yeast blend. After a complete fermentation, we aged the beer in oak barrels with wild yeast and souring bacteria for one year, and then added eighty pounds of tart cherries for another six months of aging.
While that's relatively dramatic language, it totally lived up to it. Decent amount of tartness with a little bit of cherry in the nose. Not strong cherry but nice hints of it. Even after all this time (I bought it in September 2010), still really well carbonated. The body was almost effervescent and had a nice prickliness to it. A decent amount of tartness followed with a bit more cherry. Never became too sour and was really tasty. Just a really great sour and I hope Troegs can make something as good now that they have more room in their new brewery. Here's my post on the first bottle I drank of it over Christmas in 2010.

As a side note, the meal at Modo Mio was awesome. Probably the best food we've gotten at a restaurant in a long time. Just perfectly flavored, nicely sized portions, and unique offerings. Check it out if you get a chance.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sam Adams Holiday Porter

Today we have a Sam Adams Holiday Porter. This was another gift from Dan.
Interesting nose. Some roast with a slightly spicy bite backing it up. At first I thought it smelled a bit like molasses but after thinking about it for a bit I realized it was the hop profile blending with the porter base. The first sip showed this to be true with some mild roast being the main point and then some slight bitterness and vague spiciness coming from the hops. Continued that way through the whole glass without much change. Nothing super complex, but decent enough and I enjoyed it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Founders Double Trouble

I'm not sure how I haven't had Founders Double Trouble yet, but I haven't so today's the day.  Double Trouble is a double IPA weighing in at around 9.5%.
Heavy citrus nose with some bitter notes. Not super bright but still relatively pleasant smelling. Taste followed with more orange citrus and then some bitterness to finish it off. Not really any sweetness and pretty dry as a result. Now, I prefer an IPA to be a bit brighter with slightly less bitterness but this was still really quite good especially considering how well the 9.5% ABV was hidden.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Port City Tidings

This is another of the bottles my brother Dan gave me for Hanukkah. Tidings is a Belgian Strong Pale Ale which makes sense.
Smelled like a tripel actually. Sort of a yeasty, slightly peppery nose with some sweetness and clove. Initially sweet with some spice like the clove I got in the nose. Decent amount of sweetness in the finish and sort of reminiscent of Mad Elf though not as powerful, possibly because of the honey. Nice enough winter beer though maybe a little sweet but I liked it.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Weyerbacher Riserva 2011 Release

This past Friday, Weyerbacher released the 2011 version of their powerful raspberry sour, Riserva, along with unveiling their new logo. Yes, I know it's 2012 and I assume so do they but Riserva was bottled in 2011 so it's the 2011 version. It's how dates work in the beer world. Learn to deal with the confusion as it's how everyone does it. Moving past that, unlike some of the other more recent releases like Rapture and Idiot's Drool, there's actually quite a bit of Riserva so it gets distributed around the area. This meant less people showed up to the release so it was a more normal crowd.

When Jo and I arrived, there was a small crowd outside the building and quite a few people inside trying some of the samples of their normal lineup plus the new Riserva.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Chocolate Covered Stout Marshmallows

For the superbowl, Jo and I decided to make these chocolate covered stout marshmallows. While this is the actual recipe, I originally found it here on Pangaea Beer & Food when James posted about it. I figured it wouldn't be too complicated based on the recipe. Plus, how could homemade marshmallows covered in chocolate not be delicious?

So you start with two packets of unflavored gelatin, generally Knox as I don't know of any other brands. It gets mixed with some of the stout and vanilla and then you let it sit until it's ready. Looks sort of like this.
Doesn't look like much, but it'll become something delicious eventually.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Weyerbacher Double Simcoe: 2011 vs 2005

A while ago my buddy gave me three old bottles of Weyerbacher beer from 2005: A Decadence, an Insanity, and a Double Simcoe. Now, I was super excited about the first two as they were both super strong and would easily last through 6+ years of aging. However, an old Double Simcoe wasn't anywhere near as appealing since it is just an 8% double IPA and as I said yesterday, you shouldn't age those. But since I didn't do the aging, I held on to it until I could drink it next to a fresh one just to see what happens to it when it sits for a long time. For science really. Basically like what I did with the Hopslam yesterday just more ridiculous.

After pouring both, the main thing I noticed was they were pretty different in appearance and it was quite easy to tell them apart.
As you can see, the 2005 is the much darker brown one on the right.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Dogfish Head 120 Minute at Kite & Key

I've written about 120 Minute once before but never when I had it at the Kite & Key. I'm going to repeat myself just because and you can't stop me.
Surprisingly I got a bit of hoppiness in the nose, though very weak, and quickly overpowered by sweetness. Very thick body with a very sharp alcohol note up front, most likely a result of the 18% ABV. Luckily, the burn faded after a few sips and lead into some citrus notes and a syrupy sweetness. It never got too cloying but it came pretty close. I enjoy it though not everyone does as it's a reasonably dividing beer. However, not everyone needs to like everything and more people need to realize that.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Bell's Hopslam: 2011 vs 2012

Around last July, I visited DC and stopped in a random bottle shop near my friend's house and found an old bottle of Bell's Hopslam. Rather than drink it at 6 months old, I decided to hold on to it for another six months until I could get a fresh bottle for comparison. Well, the release finally happened and I got four bottles of fresh Hopslam and drank the first one side by side the old bottle.
On the left is the 2011 and the right is the 2012.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Troegs Scratch 55 Double IPA

I drank a few new beers over the weekend including Troegs Scratch 55, a double IPA. I was given two bottles of this when I picked up some Bells Hopslam from someone. After drinking one, I'm super glad he gave them to me as they were quite good.
Lovely nose, very clean. Grapefruit citrus with a nice bit of sugary sweetness. Lots of grapefruit followed, some sweetness from the malt and then a tiny hint of bitterness. It also had a mildly dry finish even with the sweetness. I really enjoyed this, honestly more than I expected. Just really drinkable and tasty.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Southern Tier Oak Aged Pumking

Jo and I stopped in at the newly remodeled Bridgids the other day to check it out. The bar area actually looks the same and we didn't go back into the dining area so, well, can't tell you what changed. Whoops, oh well. We both agreed that the food was quite good now so there's that. She got a Left Hand Milk Stout which was nice and roasty and I got a Southern Tier Oak Aged Pumking which unfortunately was just terrible.
Smelled like flour, marshmallow, coconut, and vanilla. Hugely powerful nose, just crazy strong. The first sip mostly followed the nose with coconut and vanilla being the major points. Not much changed through the whole glass either.

While I managed to drink the whole thing, I'm actually not sure how I manged it considering it made me gag slightly at times. I really thought it was absolutely vile basically tasting like a coconut threw up in a glass of vanilla and then sprinkled some flour on it to cover the mess. To be fair, though, I do know people that actually like this so I don't really think it's flawed or actually bad, I just think it's disgusting to me.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock

My brother gave me a few beers for Hanukkah but I've been remiss in actually drinking them and trying to make up for that now. I started with the bottle of Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock.
Light chocolate nose with a hint of fruit. Nice body on it, not too thin. Started with some chocolate, then some slight cherry notes, and finishing with a bit of cocoa. The chocolate flavors grew as I drank more and it was quite enjoyable throughout. I can see some people not liking the way the chocolate presented itself but I liked it.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Williamsburg AleWerks Coffeehouse Stout

I've written about the Williamsburg AleWerks Coffeehouse Stout out of the bottle before but never on draft. They will probably end up being pretty similar though I'd guess. The Coffeehouse Stout is a coffee milk stout.
Very clean coffee nose. It's strong but not overpowering or sharp. Very inviting. Taste followed with a nice coffee flavor and a bit of creaminess smoothing out all of the sharp edges. Incredibly easy to drink and just really good. I wanted to find a bottle of Cafe Royale which is this aged in bourbon barrels but never managed unfortunately. I bet it's really quite good considering how nice the base is.