Archive for September, 2011

Beer before MFNW

 

As credit to my ignorance, MFNW (Music Fest North West) is a music festival where tons of bands play live music in bars and parks across portland, and I had no idea until a friend asked if I wanted to go to a bar to see some hipster band I’ve never heard of. Since the bar was really close to Cascade Barrel House, I proposed going to the barrel house first to see what new beer was on tap this week. I couldn’t have picked a better time to show up at the barrel house.

This beer isn’t even on Beer Advocate, so I’m just going to provide the description of the beer and the grade that I would give it in a normal review.

The new live barrel beer was called Nouveau Cerise. ABV-8.18%

This barrel of NW-style sour from the Blenders Reserve is a blend of dark reds that has been aged with 125 pounds of this year’s harvest of Bing cherries. Big, rich notes of rape dark cherry flesh greet you in the nose. Dark fruits and a slight cherry tartness on the palate give way to lingering dark fruit notes. Like an early release of a Beaujolais Nouveau red wine, this is a showcase for this year’s fresh cherries.

This beer might be the best sour I’ve had to date. It’s better than blackberry nightfall, sang royal, bourbonic plague, and anything I’ve had from the likes of Cantillon and Drie Fonteinen. I would love to see this beer bottled and distributed, but as far as I know, this is the only barrel in existence.

My Grade: A+

 

 

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Beer goes well with writing reviews

Last night while writing the reviews for the beers I had on Saturday I got bored. As a result I ask myself, “what should I do to alleviate this situation?” I look down and see my bottle opener and think, “good point bottle opener, I shall do exactly as you suggest”, and grab myself a beer.

Beer: Brew free! Or die IPA

Brewery: 21st Amendment

Style: IPA

ABV: 7%

Location: San Francisco, CA

Appearance: Copper colored with 3 full fingers of head. The beer looks a little reddish as well.

Aroma: Floral and citrus hops, with some pine thrown into the mix

Taste: Really good. Just get some

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, a little dry, but creamy as well

Drinkability: Six pack down the hatch. You won’t.

Beer Advocate Grade: B+

My Grade: B+

Beer Tasting Part 2

 

Now that I’m no longer tired of writing reviews, here are some more from the tasting!

Beer: Double Jack

Brewery: Firestone Walker

Style: Double IPA

ABV: 9.5%

Location: Paso Roble, CA

Appearance: Golden yellow, with not much head to speak of. This is more to the fact that I didn’t pour myself a whole beer though, because it’s quite carbonated

Aroma: Hoppy, grassy, with some pine. Smells a little like yeast as well

Taste: Lots of hops with some citrus sweetness to complement the malts

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, leaves the mouth kind of dry.

Drinkability: I really enjoyed this beer. It’s simple, but very well executed

Beer Advocate Grade: A-

My Grade: A-

Beer: 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA (aka really really long name IPA)

Brewery: Stone

Style: IBA

ABV: 10.8%

Location: Escondido, CA

Appearance: Thick, very dark, and pours a half finger of coffee colored head.

Aroma: Hops, chocolate, coffee, and something roasty

Taste: Hops, chocolate, a tiny bit of coffee, and more than a tiny bit of burnt flavor. This is a really robust beer

Mouthfeel: Super heavy, and kind of sticky in the mouth due to its high viscosity. Feels good though

Drinkability: Best IBA/CDA that I have ever had out of a bottle. Not as good as the Imperial Hop in the Dark IPA on tap at Deschutes, but certainly better than the normal Hop in the Dark, which was up till now my favorite bottled CDA.

Beer Advocate Grade: A-

My Grade: A+

Beer: Oude Gueuze

Brewery: Hanssens

Style: Gueuze

ABV: 6%

Location: Belgium

Appearance: Very pale, and doesn’t pour a head at all. It does look carbonated though

Aroma: Sour, funky, and maybe some lemon

Taste: Really, really tart lemon with some funkiness afterwards.

Mouthfeel: Very light, with some carbonation to keep you excited for the next sip

Drinkability: I could definitely drink this often, but not in large quantities. I like to preserve my tastebuds thank you very much

Beer Advocate Grade: A-

My Grade: A-

Beer: Oude Geuze

Brewery: Drie Fonteinen

Style: Gueuze

ABV: 6%

Location: Belgium

Appearance: a little darker than the hanssens gueuze, but much more carbonation and it actually pours a head!

Aroma: Smells like funk, sourness, and some grass

Taste: Not of tart as the last beer, but lots of tasty funk with some spices at the end

Mouthfeel: Still thin, but the carbonation is perfect for this beer

Drinkability: I would not only drink this often, but multiple bottles of it as well. It’s just that good

Beer Advocate Grade: A

My Grade: A

Beer Tasting Part 1

Saturday night was beer tasting night at my house. We had a total of 8 people, so sufficiently enough for us to cover a wide variety of beers without destroying our taste buds and/or leading to bodies littering floor of my basement. I did not take pictures of beers that we had that have already been reviewed, so the following reviews do not make up the entirety of the tasting.

Beer: Ephemere

Brewery: Unibroue

Style: Fruit Beer

ABV: 5.5%

Location: Quebec, Canada

Appearance: Extremely pale, lots of carbonation but does not generate very much head and leaves little lacing on the glass. This one’s not pretty

Aroma: Jumpin’ Jesus on a pogostick this beer smells like apples! There might be pear or something else in there, but it’s also entirely possible that it’s just the apples trying to sneak up on me when I’m least expecting it

Taste: Apples, light malts, and some yeast

Mouthfeel: Very thin, but smooth despite the carbonation

Drinkability: Tasty, but a 12oz bottle is all I would want before I would move on to a bigger beer.

Beer Advocate Grade: B

My Grade: B

I’ve had this beer before and posted about it, but now it’s time for a real review:

Beer: Blushing Monk

Brewery: Founders

Style: Belgian Pale Ale (<—I disagree, fruit beer territory)

ABV: 9.2%

Location: Grand Rapids, MI

Appearance: Deep red, almost red wine red. Half a finger of pink head, but it dissipates quickly with no head to speak of.

Aroma: Smells exactly like smashed up raspberries

Taste: Raspberries, raspberries, and more raspberries. Tastes exactly like raspberry gelato, but with alcohol. Win win situation

Mouthfeel: Thick, sticky, but goes down like it’s riding down a slide.

Drinkability: Really, really good. I would struggle finishing a 750ml bottle though. I would probably drink half of it, then reduce the other half to make an ice cream sauce.

Beer Advocate Grade: A-

My Grade: A

Beer: Raspberry Tart

Brewery: New Glarus

Style: Fruit Beer

ABV: 4%

Location: New Glarus, WI

Appearance: Not early as dark as blushing monk, but it’s still very obvious that it’s a raspberry beer

Aroma: Definitely more going on here than the founders beer. Not quite as much raspberry, but I get tartness, some funk as well

Taste: The taste matches the smell perfectly

Mouthfeel: On the light side, but crisp and refreshing. It was a great way to follow up after the heavy blushing monk

Drinkability: I would absolutely down a bomber of this in one sitting. No questions asked.

Beer Advocate Grade: A

My Grade: A

 

 

 

Getting Ready for Beer Tasting

Three of my best friends are moving away soon, two of them to Africa and the other to Singapore, so I decided to host one last beer tasting for them this weekend so they can get some tasty brews into their system before they go cold turkey on craft brews for a year or so.

I have yet to get everything I need for the tasting, but I went digging around for beers that I already have that would be well suited to this tasting. So minus cheese, crackers, and a few beers that I’ll pick up tomorrow the line will be (in no particular order)

Sours:

Drie Fonteinen Oude Geuze

Hanssens Oude Gueuze

 

Fruit Beer:

Founders Blushing Monk

 

CDA:

Stone 15th Anniversary Imperial Black IPA

 

IPA:

Firewalker Double Jack

Deschutes/Boulevard Conflux No. 2

 

Saison:

Upright Flora Rustica

 

Stout:

Goose Island Big John

Troegs/Stone Cherry Chocolate Stout

 

Belgian Pale:

Deschtues the Stoic

 

If any of you have suggestions I’m more than willing to hear you out and try to find those brews.

 

Russian River Night!

I had a long day at work today, so my daily beer consumption will increase by one beer today. I looked in the fridge and two Russian River beers were sitting next to each other. How convenient! Turns out that I haven’t even tried one of these beers! Huzzah!

Beer: Redemption

Brewery: Russian River

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

ABV: 5.15%

Location: Santa Rosa, CA

Appearance: Holy smokes this beer is cloudy! Half a finger of pale head that leaves glorious, glorious lacing. Beer itself is pale straw and there seems to be huge amounts of yeast floating around in this sucker.

Aroma: Lemon, pear, grapes, yeast, and maybe fresh cut grass

Taste: Lemony grass, yeastiness, and some spices.

Mouthfeel: Very light and crisp, but the carbonation of this beer is nuts. It feels like my mouth is dancing around, but it’s not overwhelming due to the fact that the bubbles are microscopic in scale. No beer comes to mind that has finer bubbles.

Drinkability: A beer geek could totally house a six pack of this stuff without much effort. That is if this beer came in six packs…

Beer Advocate Grade: A-

My Grade: A-

 

I’ve already reviewed the second beer, but here it is!