Thursday, August 30, 2012

Troegs Perpetual IPA

This is the last of the three IPAs that I recently bought. Technically, Troegs likes to call it an Imperial Pale Ale instead of Double IPA, but it's really the same thing. It's hoppy and mildly strong so yeah.
Pineapple fruity nose that hints at some bitterness. Body is what you'd expect. Started with some of the same fruitiness then some bitterness appeared. In the finish, though, at least at first, is an interesting, almost bread-like quality. It's not the same pure bitter finish I get from other IPAs but is a nice change. Maybe that's why Troegs likes to try to pretend it's a slightly different style. As I drank more that actually mostly went away as the pineapple fruit flavor and bitterness grew.

As a side note, Perpetual IPA originally came out in 22oz bottles same as Hoptimum and then when it went year round, Troegs moved to 12oz bottles.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum

I want to say this is the third year of Hoptimum, but maybe it's the second, I'm not real sure. I do know it's the first year of it being in 12oz bottles instead of 22oz and as always I applaud the small bottle decision. Smaller bottles are just so much easier to drink by yourself especially when the beer is a 10% Double IPA.
Lemony citrus nose, nice smelling. A bit sharp up front then a mix of citrus, bitter, and a touch of burning alcohol. Those flavors all stick around through each sip. The finish had a light burning sweetness and some lingering alcohol. As I drank more, the 10% edge came and went but so did some orange citrus. At this point, I think my bottles may be almost 3 months old so maybe fresher the alcohol is a bit more hidden. Still, I liked it well enough to drink three bottles in a week so even slightly old I still thought it was good.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Yards Cape of Good Hope

This year's Cape of Good Hope has been out for a little over a month now and boy is it delicious. Last year, I stopped by the brewery for a growler and finished it all in one day, but this year I instead went the bottle route. Glad I did as I quite liked this Double IPA.
Pleasant tropical fruit nose, very clean and no bitterness to be found. Decent body, not too thick but not thin either. Things started off with more sweet tropical fruit, followed by some caramel in the middle, and then finished up slightly bitter. Never got too bitter because of the sweetness and the tropical fruit lasted throughout the whole glass. Just really tasty and I'm already looking forward to next year's version! Also, after reading last year's write-up, guess I liked this year's more. Could be my palate, could be a different recipe. Who knows.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Bruery at Perch Pub

Last week, Perch Pub offered two special sixtels from The Bruery and was cool enough to sell them both as part of their happy hour half-price deal. They turned out to be so popular during that hour that they both kicked before they even had a chance to sell them for a regular price. Pretty impressive for two big sour beers. The first one I ordered was Tart of Darkness, a sour stout.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Giant Beers over the Weekend

This past weekend, I had a bunch of friends over and knew it would be a great time to open some of my bigger beers. And when I say bigger, I mean both were over 18%. Seemed like good choices to split between the six of us rather than trying to drink the bottles by myself.

We started with The Bruery Black Tuesday, an 18.3% Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Founders Red's Rye at Kite & Key

Even with a slightly crazy weekend of drinking and eating, I wasn't going to miss my Monday stop at Kite & Key. I did, however, choose something a little lighter in the form of Founders Red's Rye. Only a little though since it is still 6.6%.
Citrus nose with just a hint of rye spiciness and some malty sweetness. The body was slightly bitter up front but mostly sweet malt and rye spiciness with the citrus hops taking a back seat. This is just a really solid beer, very smooth and tasty. An added benefit is it comes in the Founders variety case and it isn't too expensive.

Also got to chat with Jim for a bit which was fun. First time I've seen him in a while. Kite & Key has some great stuff lined up over the next few months and I cannot wait for more Savage Sixtel Sundays.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hoppin' Frog 2011 Barrel Aged Naked Evil

I've had this bottle for a while and decided to share it with some friends a week or so ago. Barrel Aged Naked Evil is a belgian barleywine aged in bourbon barrels. I thought it was supposed to be a one-time release but they ended up releasing another batch this year. Considering the price, there are probably some more bottles in Philly too if you want one.
Huge nose. Caramel, candy sugar, vanilla, and some coconut. Very thick body, not syrupy but close. Flavors of caramel, apple, coconut, and more vanilla followed. Considering it was close to 11%, it was really quite smooth. There was some light burn in the finish but that was it. Really quite good and very tasty. Had all the qualities I like in a bourbon barrel barleywine and tons of great flavor. It was good enough that I'd buy another bottle if it wasn't nearly $25 or higher in some cases around here. I would recommend it to others if they haven't had it yet though.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Soccer at Philadelphia Bar & Restaurant

Last week, I decided I wanted to watch the gold medal match for women's soccer in the Olympics. Sure it started in the middle of the day, but whatever, my job is cool with me leaving at 2:30. After putting out some feelers on twitter and asking PhillyTapFinder if he had any opinions, I settled on Philadelphia Bar & Restaurant. While they didn't have the sound available on the tvs, the beer list was strong and the food there is pretty good. Plus it's convenient to get to since it's just off the blue line.

I started with a beer I've wanted to try for a while, Stoudts Old Abominable, a barleywine.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Founders Frangelic Mountain Brown

The fourth release in Founders special release series (I can't remember the name at the moment) was Frangelic Mountain Brown, a hazelnut coffee brown ale. Unlike the previous two, this wasn't barrel aged or anything like that so some people weren't as excited about this one as them it seemed. I thought it sounded cool though and was happy to get a bottle.
Very big hazelnut nose with some coffee too. Decent body, not too thin considering it's a brown ale at its base. Nice and nutty with some coffee coming up in the back. Slight roast too but it's mostly covered by the strong hazelnut coffee flavor. Honestly, it tasted straight like a cup of hazelnut coffee and I thought it was pretty great.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Boulder Farmhouse Saison

Stopped at Kite & Key yesterday and ordered a Boulder Farmhouse Saison. Thought since it was a warm day, it would be more refreshing than some of the other options.
Nice nose, really fits the saison style. Lightly spicy, peppery, and with a bit of fruitiness. Flavors followed the same path with a slight bite of pepper, fruitiness coming in after, and then a bready finish. Pretty flavorful and enjoyable beer. Good beer to look for during the summer.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sharing Some Beers

I trekked out to the wilds of Collingswood, New Jersey last week to share some beers with a buddy. When another friend had to cancel after injuring himself playing basketball, we changed what we were going to open and instead decided to compare a normal version of one beer to the barrel aged version. We thought it would be interesting to see how much barrel aging can change a beer. Turns out quite a bit.

We started with the normal version of Flossmoor Station Hi-Fi Rye, a rye barleywine. Flossmoor Station is a small brewpub outside of Chicago for the curious.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Boulevard Rye on Rye

The other bottle I opened over the weekend was Boulevard Rye on Rye. This is also part of Smokestack Series and is a blend of 33% regular rye beer blended with 66% of it aged in Rye Whiskey barrels. I thought it sounded really awesome, but was unfortunately really disappointed by it.
Since you can't see the beer because of my awesome glass, there was some light, fluffy white head and it was brown in color. The nose was interesting, spicy whiskey character with a little bit of vanilla in back. However, the body didn't follow and was instead just sharply alcoholic and full of burning. Started with super hot alcohol, then there was a little bit of spicy, fruity character that almost made things okay, but then it finished with more burning. Really, it came down to mostly alcohol and bitterness and never progressed past that. It wasn't awful, just disappointing and kind of a hot mess. Oh well, can't win them all. I'll just have to stick to their Imperial Stout since that was pretty great.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster at Kite & Key

Stopped in at the Kite & Key on Monday like usual. This time, though, I had some trouble deciding on what to drink. It was either Maine Brewing Co. Peeper or the Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster. After trying a sample of each, I decided to go with the Great Lakes though it was also partially because I didn't feel like drinking a whole pint. I also got to see the end of the women's Olympic soccer match between the US and Canada. Man, what a finish.
Pretty sweet nose with a hint of citrusy hops. Thick body, even for a double IPA. Probably a result of the larger than average sweetness. Tasted like orange juice mixed with some sugary malt sweetness and finished with some really light bitterness. Definitely sweet for a double IPA though so if you're looking for a hop bomb, look elsewhere. Otherwise, it was pretty tasty.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Weyerbacher Whiskey Barrel Aged

This is the latest in Weyerbacher's Brewers' Select series. If you didn't know, they name each beer in the series after the military alphabet. Once getting to Whiskey, it only made sense to make a barrel aged beer. However, since you apparently can't name a beer after another alcohol according to the TTB, they added Barrel Aged to the name to avoid the issues. Makes the name a mouthful, but, whatever, laws. The beer itself start as a brown ale and spent about 2 months (I think) in whiskey barrels.
Light bourbon, some vanilla, and slight dark fruit in the back of the aroma. Body was thicker than I expected. The flavors began with a mix of bourbon and dark fruit with some vanilla in the finish. Basically the same as the nose. Got a little bit of graham cracker in the finish after a bit, mostly a result of the bourbon. The dark fruit came out a bit more as I got more used to the bourbon and drank more. Pretty good beer from Weyerbacher. Be interesting to see what is up next for X-Ray.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Karl Strauss 23rd Anniversary Old Ale

This was sent to me a little while by a friend in San Diego. He previously sent me the 22nd Anniversary beer which was a partially barrel aged imperial stout. The 23rd Anniversary built on that idea and was an Old Ale 100% aged in bourbon barrels instead of only partially.
Very clean nose, full of bourbon. Some vanilla and a little sweet fruit come in the back. Nice thick body. Started off a little hot with lots of bourbon flavor though the vanilla in the finish helped keep it from being overwhelming. A bit more alcohol in the finish too. I don't know if that makes me sound negative because I actually really enjoyed this. You do have to like the flavor of bourbon though as it's huge and ever present. Certainly makes me curious what they have up next for their 24th Anniversary and hope they continue getting better.

On a completely separate note, if you haven't bought tickets to the Yards Smoke 'Em if Yous Got 'Em beerfest, you're missing out. Last year was awesome and I imagine this year will be even better!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Doppelbocks at Brauhaus Schmitz

Jo and I went to Brauhaus Schmitz this past Saturday for some great German food and beer. It's been a long time since we'd been there and the last time I was kind of drunk already so I was excited to check it out again. When we arrived, there were some free seats at the front bar. If you haven't been recently, they have opened up a new back area that looks nice and spacious. This allowed them to make more room at the front bar by removing some tables, too, so there's a lot more standing room now. The bartender seemed really happy about that as it made getting to the front part of the restaurant way easier and removed a big roadblock to the servers.

The first beer I ordered was a Spaten Optimator, a doppelbock.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Boulevard Imperial Stout

The other bottle I opened with my friends last week was the Boulevard Imperial Stout. This is part of their Smokestack Series and is a blend of 50% imperial stout and 50% of the stout aged in whiskey barrels. Honestly, it's not exactly 50 / 50, but if you're curious you can buy it since the label has the exact amounts.
Sweet whiskey nose, really inviting. No alcohol, no heat, just graham cracker and vanilla. Yum. Flavor followed with tons of delicious whiskey yet still no heat and only light touches of the 11%. Light graham cracker, vanilla, whiskey and some roast from the stout finished things off. I thought it was really awesome and I was impressed that it had as much flavor from the barrel as it did considering it was a blend. I've had others where the barrel component wasn't very prevalent but Boulevard did a great job. Just delicious.