Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Avery Maharaja

Stopped at the Kite & Key yesterday with Jo and ordered an Avery Maharaja, a double IPA.
Nice clean grapefruit and pineapple nose. The fruit starts, followed by a light bitterness, and finishing with some caramel sweetness. There was a a lingering dry bitterness to it, keeping the caramel from overpowering the hops and the whole thing from being too sweet. Considering it's over 10%, this was quite impressive in not being too alcoholic or tasting particularly strong. Definitely a good double IPA for me.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Cisco Brewers Imperial Stout

Opened a bottle of the Cisco Brewers Russian Imperial Stout with our friends this past Friday night. This is part of their slightly limited Island Reserve series.
The nose was roasty with some citrusy hops in the back. Body followed with the roast starting things off like a normal imperial stout but then huge citrus and bitterness finishing things off. This was really reminiscent of 21st Amendment Back in Black though slightly hoppier. Not quite as hoppy as Victory Storm King though. My friends enjoyed this but I'll admit I like my stouts with less hops. Just not a huge fan of the super hopped ones. If you like Storm King, though, you'd almost definitely like this one.

Friday, July 27, 2012

2010 Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron

This one has been sitting in my refrigerator for a while so why not open it on a random Thursday. This was a nearly two year old Palo Santo Marron from Dogfish Head.
Huge caramel nose with a little bit of smokiness in it. Really nice body, nice and thick. Caramel sweetness started things off with a nice fruity finish. More of the interesting woody smokiness throughout. Hid the 12% ABV really well though I'll be the first to admit I don't notice alcohol much anymore. Pretty terrific and delicious. Just a great complex beer that continues to get better every time I drink it.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Brewfest at the Philadelphia Zoo

This past Saturday was the annual brewfest at the Philadelphia Zoo. The first thing that was different from last year was most noticeably the temperature. Instead of being one of the hottest nights of the year, it was a reasonably cool night. And let me say it made a heck of a difference. I also wonder if that caused a lot more people to actually come as the beer lines this year were a bit longer compared to the past.

We arrived about 20 minutes before the event started and the lines to get in were already pretty long. Guess lots of people were excited! Here's the line just to get our tasting cups.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Central Waters Peruvian Morning

Central Waters isn't super well known but they are a very high quality brewery. They also do a bunch of barrel aging and are quite good at it especially in making a large enough quantity to satisfy their markets. Last night I drank a bottle of Peruvian Morning, a bourbon barrel coffee stout.
There has been reports of infection in some Peruvian Morning so I was a little worried but luckily this bottle was delicious. Soft bourbon coffee nose though a thin appearance. Started with some light coffee sourness, probably due to the age of the bottle, then followed by bourbon and a strong vanilla finish. The sour coffee flavor faded after a bit and left me with just vanilla, bourbon, and some chocolate from the base stout. The sourness wasn't a sign of infection as far as I know, just the coffee aging poorly in my opinion. Pretty good beer though the body could have used a little work.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tired Hands Visit

Took a visit to Tired Hands after work last week to try out some of their new beers. The nice thing about them going through a ridiculous amount of beer is that they'll always have something new for me to try! I had read about the sour wheat beer, Brothers, they had on draft and knew that would be the first I'd order.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Goose Island Summertime

I'd pretend going to the gym after my visit to Kite & Key means I'll automatically choose lower ABV beers, but I don't think anyone would believe me. However, I actually did that this week! I got a Goose Island Summertime, a kolsch, since I was hot and tired and figured something strong might knock me out.
Kind of a sweet and bready nose. Sweet and slightly fruity up front then a bready and malty finish. No bitterness or anything, just an enjoyable lightweight beer. Very nice considering I was still slightly hungover from the bottle share the day before!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bottle Share at 943 BYOB

This past Sunday, PhillyTapFinder and PhillyBeerScene held their inaugural bottle share at the byob of 943 in South Philly. They've been planning it for a while now and things finally came together for two plus hours of trying awesome beer. The idea of a bottle share is pretty self explanatory, but for those that don't know, everyone brings a bottle (or two or three) with them to the event, opens it when they feel like it, and then you pour samples of what you want.

When I arrived the table was already pretty full and people were inspecting it, planning their afternoon.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Foothills People's Porter

Brian, a friend of mine, gave me this along with a DuClaw beer in exchange for a bottle of Weyerbacher Rapture. He picked it up down in Charleston I believe.
Really nice roasty nose without going over into burnt territory. Clean roasted body followed without any noticeable bitterness. Continued that way through the glass along with a good level of carbonation. Just a delicious porter as long as you like the slightly burnt flavor going on in it. Glad Brian chose this one for me.

There was a great bottle share put on by PhillyTapFinder and PhillyBeerScene yesterday at 943, a byob. Look for a write up tomorrow hopefully. Considering I'm still kind of feeling the effects of it, I couldn't handle being that creative today. I expect there will probably be a bunch of posts on other blogs too so I'll link them if I see them.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Night of Lambics!

My wife wanted to open something fun this past Sunday and I've had these two lambics in the refrigerator for a while so I figured it was time. The first we opened was the Drie Fonteinen Oude Kriek. I bought this a while ago though not so long that I expected to see a 2007 date on the bottle. Five year old kriek? Sure, why not!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Middle Ages Druid Fluid

This was one my wife bought a while ago for me on a whim. She knew I liked barleywines so picked it up while grabbing some other stuff.
Unlike the Stone barleywine from the other day, this one wasn't quite as good unfortunately. Lightly citrusy caramel nose. Nice body but kind of eh flavor followed. Started with some burning alcohol and bitter hops and finished similarly. In the middle there were hints of caramel and some other flavors that if more pronounced would have gone a long way to help this one. It grew on me a bit as I drank more, but still never quite made it. Just too much burning alcohol and not enough of anything else. Oh well, they can't all be winners.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dieu du Ciel Peche Mortel

Took my first Monday visit to the Kite & Key and going to the gym after wasn't so bad so it'll do. Was happy to see Dieu du Ciel Peche Mortel, a coffee stout, on draft. Love this beer but never have it since bottles can be a bit expensive in Philly.
Nice smooth coffee nose, not acrid or bitter or sour at all. Really pleasant coffee flavor started things off, followed by hints of a creaminess and some vanilla. I think the latter two flavors were in my head as Peche Mortel is merely brewed with coffee but regardless it was quite tasty. If you're ever in Montreal, make sure you visit their brewpub. It's small yet awesome and totally worth a visit. So much great beer.

Monday, July 9, 2012

2009 Stone Old Guardian

I bought this one at Capone's at some point after he'd already been aging it for a couple years. I don't really remember how long he had it versus it sitting in my basement though, not that it really matters.
Big nose on it. Lots of caramel sweetness with nice old hop notes. I realize if you don't really know what old hops smell like that description doesn't do you much good, but it's the best I can do. They are kind of earthy and grassy. Thick body. Still quite bitter on the first sip. Underlying caramel and fruit with a bitter finish as well. Remarkable bitterness at 3 years though I'm not sure if bitterness really fades in aging. I guess if enough other flavors, like the sherry notes from oxidation, overcome it then it may go away, but I don't really know. Still, quite delicious regardless and held up well over 3 years.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Cantillon Vigneronne

Jo and I went to another BYOB the other day and brought a bottle of Cantillon Vigneronne (plus some wine since Jo is getting a little tired of me only bringing beer.) This was one of the bottles we brought back from our recent trip to Belgium. We bought it there because cantillon is way, way cheaper if you buy it in Belgium. Way cheaper.
I believe this is 2 year old lambic aged with muscat grapes. Smelled super funky. Lots of barnyard and notes of hay and various other funkiness. The body didn't actually follow, however. Lots of tartness instead with an almost orange juice flavor. A light bitterness appeared at times, felt like the base Cantillon lambic shining through actually. I didn't get much grape flavor in this compared to their St. Lamvinus, just sour and tart. Really reminded me of a more tarter geuze than anything else. Even without the strong grape flavors, I still felt this was pretty awesome and super complex. I've only ever been disappointed by the Cantillon Iris and I drank so much Cantillon that day that I may actually enjoy it if I tried it again. Hard to really say.

Speaking of Belgium, I'm going to try to put together a post for next week with some pictures and thoughts. Been slacking on that.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Bruery White Oak

Jo and I had dinner with some friends earlier in the week and I brought a bottle of The Bruery White Oak. I'd heard it was a sort of polarizing beer so I figured rather than drinking it by myself and hating it, I'd share it around and make my friends help me drink it. Okay that sounds hilariously selfish, like, I was bringing a beer I thought might be crappy and foisting it upon others, but I thought it had a chance to be good! I swear!
If you can't tell from the picture, it was super carbonated. Sort of smelled oaky with a spicy base that reminded me of a tripel though it's apparently a wheatwine. Light vanilla sweetness along with some bourbon came in the first sip with hints of alcohol in the finish. The flavors were okay and did grow into something interesting as I made my way through the glass, but the carbonation nearly ruined everything. For this style of beer, I just thought it was way too high and killed so much of flavor. Lower carbonation would let the vanilla and bourbon shine through so much more. Worth a try and not awful, but not super either.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Weyerbacher Sour Black + Beer Blondies

Last Friday Weyerbacher released their newest sour beer, Sour Black. It was a black ale aged in the same wine barrels that previously held Rapture. They were doing a similar release to the past few so Jo and I drove up to Easton to check it out. When we arrived, there were already quite a few people in the brewery and samples were being served by the always friendly Weyerbacher staff. The first thing we tried was the Sour Black and both Jo and I thought it was quite good. Next I tried the Whiskey, the newest Brewer's Select, which was also quite delicious.

After wandering around a bit, talking to Natalie, and offering Beer Blondies (see recipe below) to people we made our way to the front and picked up some Whiskey, Sour Black and some Blasphemy. I totally forgot to take pictures though so you'll just have to use your imagination about how things looked. I do love how Weyerbacher offers samples of what they are selling you though. I realize it's because they have enough beer to actually be able to do so, but it's nice to be able to try things before deciding on how much to buy.

I was really curious if a full bottle of Sour Black would be as good as the small sample we had so Jo suggested we open one while watching the Euro Cup finals on Sunday.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Second Visit to Tired Hands

Last weekend I took my second trip to Tired Hands in Ardmore. This time I did it on a Saturday so I could spend a bit more time there than when I visited on the Wednesday during beer week. Once again the trip from Philly on the R5 was super easy and it's maybe a five minute walk from the station. Super convenient for those of use that find getting to the suburbs a pain in the butt.

When I arrived I ordered a glass of Tabel, a 3.8% saison. Note that even though I insisted in saying the name like table, it's apparently pronounced ta-bell. So if you don't want Jean giving you funny looks, you can say it properly now.