Archive for August, 2011

A Beer From Brewmasters

This beer comes an episode of Brewmasters, where DFH went down to New Zealand to Epic Brewing to brew a crazy beer that involved tamarillos and wood from the NZ version of the christmas tree. If you have not seen Brewmasters and are interested in beer, I highly recommend it. It is a huge advertisement for Dogfish Head brewery, but it’s an interesting show nonetheless.


The bottle says:

A collaboration, a Festive Brew and the world’s first tree tomato beer. A sorta-Porter fermented with New Zealand gown Tamarillos, which were then smoked using wood chips from the sacred Pohutakawa tree (also known as the NZ christmas tree)


Beer: Portamarillo

Brewery: Dogfish head/Epic Brewing

Style: American Porter

ABV: 7%

Location: Milton, DE/New Zealand

Appearance: Looks like your normal porter so far, with 2.5 fingers of head that disappears quickly. A little bit of reddish brown can be seen when the beer is put up to the light

Aroma: Smells like booze, campfire, and some spices

Taste: This beer tastes like salsa at first with some spice, sweetness, and tartness. Roasted malts follow soon afterwards.

Mouthfeel: Very thin for a porter, but smooth

Drinkability: I mainly drank this out of curiosity, and probably won’t get another one.

Beer Advocate Grade: B

My Grade: B

Upright Seasonal Time

It turns out that I forgot about this saison in my basement, which is too bad because I really wanted to try this one. So I did what any other beer geek would do and opened it on the spot.

Beer: Flora Rustica

Brewery: Upright Brewing

Style: Saison

ABV: 5.1%

Location: Portland, OR

Appearance: Cloudy orange, with 2 and a half fingers of beautiful head that dissipates rather quickly. leaves little bits of lace along the side of the glass

Aroma: Some funk, with lots of floral and herbal notes to back it up.

Taste: I like this beer! Some tartness, cinnamon, lemon, and fruity yeast. What a great beer for the summer season.

Mouthfeel: Extremely crisp and leaves the mouth feeling dry. I’m grateful to have a 750ml bottle!

Drinkability: With it’s low ABV, I could easily down two bottles of this if I was outside and it was hot. Game on.

Beer Advocate Grade: A

My Grade: A

A Controversial Beer

So I finally get around to my review of the Deschutes Stoic. The reserve beer that I tried at a release party a week or two ago. I was far too lazy to review at that time, and I would lack the picture format that I like to have (glass + bottle). I’ll talk about why it’s a controversial beer after my review.


Beer: The Stoic

Brewery: Deschutes Brewery

Style: Quadrupel

ABV: 11%

Location: Bend, OR

Appearance: A beautiful looking beer, orange/gold with some red highlights. Half a finger of head that goes away quickly, leaving a fine ring around the glass. Good lacing. This does not look like a quad.

Aroma: Clove, belgian yeast, oak, spice/pepper, and possibly bananas. Not the smell a quad usually has

Taste: While not as complex as any of the other Reserve beers from Deschutes, there is still a fair amount going on here. You have no idea that this beer is 11%, it really hides it that well. Warming, yeasty, with clove, pomegranate, oak, some spices, and a little bit of whiskey are the flavors that I detect. The dark fruit flavors typical of a quad are not present in this beer.

Mouthfeel: Beautifully carbonated, and suits the beer extremely well. For a cool summer night, there are few beers that I would rather have.

Drinkability: Delicious, and unlike the other Reserve beers, I wouldn’t feel too bad about drinking more than a bottle at a time because even though I’d be pretty buzzed, I feel like I would still be able to taste the flavor profile of this beer.l

Beer Advocate Grade: B

My Grade: A (side note: better out of the bottle than on tap, my on tap grade would be A-)


So, the controversy surrounding this beer. The main reason why the Beer Advocate grade for this beer is so low lies in the fact that this beer is categorized as a “quad”, when it is clearly more like a Belgian Strong Pale Ale. Therefore when the people reviewing this beer got something completely different than what they were expecting, they went apeshit and flunked the beer. If this beer was a stout and tasted like an IPA I could understand a little better, but when there really isn’t a set of rules regarding how belgian beers are categorized, I think that the beer snobs that populate Beer Advocate can just go fuck themselves. It’s a tasty beer, get over it. I’m positive that if this beer didn’t disclose what style it was, that it would get the grade that it deserves.

Ultimately, I hope all of the beer snobs don’t buy this beer so I can clean house when the beer stores put this thing on sale in order to reduce inventory. Your loss, my gain.

And for the beer snobs out there, go find the most obscure beer you can find and die in a hole. (Cantillon 110% wet sock aged geueze with herpes added sounds appropriate, and you’ll pay at least $50 for said bottle of snobbery)

My Opinion on Autumn Beers

Okay, while I think it’s cool for lots of breweries to release pumpkin beers for the fall, it’s no longer something that I’m super psyched about. Don’t get me wrong, beers such as Dogfishhead’s Punkin, Heavy Seas the Greater Pumpking, and let’s not forget, Southern Tier’s Pumpking are all ridiculously tasty beers that are perfect for the next few months, but fall means a whole lot more than just pumpkin beers. The other thing it means signifies a country-wide drinking binge as all beer geeks try to drink as much as possible while the beer is still fresh. The beers I’m speaking of are none other than the Fresh Hop Ales.

Fresh Hop Ales are beers that use “wet” hops, meaning that the hops have not been dried, turned into pellets, or preserved in any other manner. The fresher the hops, the more floral/citrus/fruit notes are emphasized without having to bring along the bitterness that usually accompanies beer with large quantities of hops. As a result, many breweries claim that the hops take a few days/a single day from being harvested to being used in the brewing process. However, as to my knowledge, no fresh hop beer matches the freshness used in Deschutes Hop Trip, a beer that uses hops so fresh that it has only been 6 hours from the time that they were harvested. The end product might possibly be my favorite IPA, and if not it surely is the beer I eagerly await.

Which brings me to my next topic, Hop Trip now has a brother…..behold!

Not to be outdone, Sierra Nevada and New Belgium are releasing their own fresh hop ales:


Get excited people.

Nice Weather

There isn’t a whole lot better than sitting outside at the Cascade Barrel House drinking some Sang Royal with some friends!

A Legendary Night at Deschutes!

Last night a bunch of friends and myself went to the Deschutes brewpub to throw a party for a friend that is moving to eastern Oregon today. While we were there I noticed that there were multiple bottles of “reserve” beers for sale at the front counter. The Reserve beers from Deschutes are their extra special beers, such as Black Buttte XXIII, the Abyss, and the Stoic. Normally, only one reserve beer is available to purchase if available at all. However, this time I saw BB XIII, the Stoic, and Jubel 2010 at the same time. I basically creamed myself on the spot. If you’re wondering what Jubel 2010 is, I’ll get around to it in a little bit.


Last night was one of my favorite pub nights since Deschutes released 3 year vertical of Abyss sampler racks for New Years, and the following two beers are why.

Beer: Jubel 2010

Brewery: Deschutes Brewery

Style: American Strong Ale (more like barleywine)

ABV: 10%

Location: Bend, OR

Appearance: Dark brown, with bits of red and gold highlights. Very little head to speak of, and left virtually no lacing along the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Oak, caramel, molasses, a touch of earthiness, and what might be hops.

Taste: This beer is serious. In no particular order I get caramel/molasses sweetness, barleywine-like hop profile, some dark fruits, a little bit of chocolate, and some nice oakiness

Mouthfeel: Heavy with low carbonation, but that’s a bit of a given with how this beer came about.

Drinkability: It was amazing, but I wish it was a little bit colder outside so I could really enjoy the warming feeling it gave

A delicious beer from Deschutes once again! I ended up buying 3 bottles to take home after I was all done drinking. Okay, so the story about how Jubel 2010 came about. A long time ago a guy broke into the brewpub in Bend, OR and tried to steal a keg in the dead of winter. He then realized that kegs are really god damn heavy and that it’s tough to maneuver them around outside when it’s icy out. So, tired, cold, and defeated, he left this keg outside. The next day a Deschutes employee found the keg and was slightly confused at why it was outside all night in subzero temperatures. Turns out that the keg was filled with Jubelale, a seasonal winter warmer, but half of the water in the keg had frozen. Curious, a few people tried it and came to realize that a random guy trying to steal their shit actually left behind a world class beer that would have never been discovered otherwise. Thus, Super Jubel was born. Jubel 2010 is a remake of this original “accident” but then stuck into pinot noir barrels to age for a while.

I was unable to get my hands on a bottle of it when it was released last year, but the brewery decided to release a few more bottles of it recently and I just lucked out. Amazing!

Beer Advocate grade: A-

My grade: A


I don’t really feel like doing a full writeup of this beer, but it’s name is Solace Rose and it is amazing. Here is a description of it:

Solace Rose – IBUs: 25          ABV:10.5%

This Flanders style sour brown has time on its side. Aged for 26 months, this blend of 4 Dissident Casks each with a different micro-organisim and a small amount of soured black weiss reveals the virtue of patience.

The Dissident is a heavyweight in the world of sour beers, and requires dark voodoo magic for people outside of Deschutes distribution range to get their hands on any. So the fact that this is available on tap and has even more funkiness than the base beer is a little on the insane side. In a good way.


My grade: A


So when my friends Dan and Dana visited last month, we went to Voodoo Donuts. When we got there we were given condoms, and were completely clueless as to why a donut shop would be handing out condoms.

Well, the answer is here. Look upon its greatness and rejoice!

Part 2 of Deschutes/Boulevard Collaboration!

So a while ago I reviewed Conflux No. 2, which was the Deschutes version of a collaboration beer with Boulevard Brewing. Today is the day where I finally open my bottle of Collaboration No. 2, Boulevards take on the hop/wheat marriage that the two breweries brought together.

Beer: Collaboration No. 2

Brewery: Boulevard Brewing/Deschutes Brewery

Style: Belgian IPA

ABV: 7.5%

Location: Kansas City, MI and Bend, OR

Appearance: Very pale, even more pale than a tripel like La Fin du Monde. Pours 3 fingers of head that becomes very porous after a few minutes. Bubbles continually stream from the bottom of the glass. This is going to be quite the carbonated beer…good thing I don’t have to chug it!

Aroma: Cloves, foral hop notes, belgian yeast, and bananas

Taste: I get yeastiness and cloves at first, which then yields to some citrus hop flavors, hop bitterness, and some spices. Quite delicious.

Mouthfeel: This beer drinks like a really, really carbonated saison. I can’t remember the last time I had a beer that was this carbonated. It gives the beer quite a bit initially.

Drinkability: Quite nice, I would love to have this side by side with Conflux No. 2, but that means I would have to go out and get more of each kind. Oh well, some things are meant to be hoarded I guess.

A great beer from Boulevard, and one of my first brews from them. Not quite as good as Conflux No.2 in my opinion, and it costs almost twice as much as well. Nevertheless, it’s a delicious brew well worth the cost and I am eager to try the rest of Boulevard’s lineup.

Beer Advocate grade: A-

My grade: A-

Drinking by Request!


So today I was talking with Dan Jan (he visited me in PDX last month), and asked him what style of beer I should review today. His reply was “stout”, so I was only too happy to listen to his request. This beer is a collaboration between Stone and Troegs, two of my favorite breweries, one of which was only a short drive away from my college. The beer came about at a brewing competition at stone, where the winning entry was going to be made into a stone beer. When Jason Fields and Kevin Shappard won with their cherry chocolate stout, stone decided to bring on Troegs to help them brew the new beer due to their extensive experience with cherries in beers like “Mad Elf”

Beer: Cherry Chocolate Stout

Brewery: Stone/Troegs

Style: Stout

ABV: 7.3%

Location: Escondido, CA and Harrisburg, PA

Appearance: Black, with a super dark 2 fingers of head that quickly dissipates to a small ring around the glass

Aroma: Sour cherries, roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, and something that reminds me of cough syrup

Taste: Kind of boozy this amount of alcohol. I think that they should have used sweeter cherries here, because the tartness of the beer makes it feel less like a sour and more like a stout that got infected along the way. Kind of reminds me of Deschutes the Abyss from 2009…which had some infection issues and exploding bottles. I do taste some coffee and chocolate, but all I can think of is “infected beer”

Mouthfeel: Infection?

Drinkability: Infection?

Beer Advocate grade: B

My grade: B-

New Beer Label!

Dear god I want this beer. I have no idea what kind of beer it is or when it’s coming out. All I know is that it should be good and that it would make an awesome addition to my beer label collection.