Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Shiner Bock, Spoetzl Brewing, Shiner Texas

I'm on a road trip right now - trying some exciting beers to blog about when I return. This is a post I had drafted to post...

Sometimes it's nice to keep it simple. It was a hot hot afternoon in Napa some years ago. My wife and I had our belly full of wine from a day's worth of tasting. A Texan at the Bed and Breakfast we were staying was leaving that day. He had a six pack of Shiner and wanted to leave it behind. Into my welcome arms did those bottles safely fall and that was my first experience of Shiner. After the wine and sitting out on the porch in the heat....

It pours a dark copper with a medium head.

The aroma is malt with a slight bitterness and a slight yeast.

It is light and crisp but with a nice malt body that has character. It isn't a delicate beer, but it is subtle.

The aftertaste is mild malt and the palate resets quickly.

This is a great bbq beer and I highly recommend it for the festivities coming up this summer season -


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Blue Dot Double IPA, Hair of the Dog Brewing Company, Portland Oregon

7%, 22oz bottle, Double IPA...I'm in!
Firstly, notice the glassware - it's from the Spring Beer and Wine Fest I attended last Friday here in Portland. I had some delicious beers here including two great ones from Walking Man Brewery and a white ale from Fort George which was excellent (plus I had a chance to talk with one of the brewers there - thanks for the hat!). More about these two brewery's when I continue to visit them throughout this blog...For now let's go back to our beer d'jour.

It pours an unfiltered straw color with a big foamy head.

The aroma is BIG BIG earthy and floral hop with a slight straw flavor. Yeast tones also permeate.

Big hop jumps up right away. The yeast tones develop in the full body. It starts nice and crisp, but turns creamy towards the finish. There is a slight citrus flavor and some honey tones, as well.

The aftertaste is straight up hop with a slight straw flavor, as well.

Okay, I know Double IPA's aren't necessarily the most dynamic beers, but they can be enjoyed for their robust character and I that's exactly why I like them!


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Belgian Style Tripel Ale, Stone Brewing Company (& Collaborators), Escondido California

The Belgian Tripel Ale raised to new heights with a collaboration between 3 breweries - Stone, Alesmith (San Diego) and Mikkeller (Denmark). At 9.5% it is available - for a limited time in the 12oz bottles. I picked mine up at Belmont Station a bit ago. Act now, because I'm sure it wont be around long...

It pours a bright amber with a thin head.

The aroma is white pepper, orange peel, citrus and yeast.

There is big yeast right up front. In the medium body, the citrus and white pepper build. It's a complex beer with a lot of tones that appear throughout the beer. Some are subtle like the coriander that drift around the palate - others are stronger like the citrus tones.

The aftertaste is just as complex as the body. Coriander and white pepper are evident with the yeast. It finishes bitter and viscous.

An excellent beer! Cheers!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Shiner 99, Shiner Beers, Shiner Texas

Our next beer hails from Texas...Shiner, Texas. I've had it on the list for a long time to blog, and finally it's time is here....

It pours a golden hue with a thin head.

The aroma is very very light, with slight hop.

It is crisp and easy to drink with tones of light earthy hop and honey.

The aftertaste is just a slight bitterness with a mild hop.

The beer is very very delicate, it would be great for a a bbq!


Claymore Scotch Ale, Great Divide Brewing Company, Denver Colorado

A recent and very consistent favorite of mine has been the Great Divide Brewing from Denver Colorado. Scotch style ales or "Wee Heavy" beers are absolutely delicious and I was excited to find this one at Belmont Station.
Let's give it a try...

It pours opaque with a caramel colored head.

The aroma is sweet malt with a nice smokiness.

It has a creamy full body, smoky malt with an alcohol sweetness. It starts light, but builds to a nice rounded maltiness.

The aftertaste is biscuity malt with a mild sweetness.

This is a delicious beer and at 7.7% holds up the wee heavy half of the bargain. It's a great beer with a lot of depth. I highly recommend seeking it out.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Imperial Red Ale, Rogue Ales, Newport Oregon

I sample this next beer at the Rogue brewhouse/restaurant in NW Portland. Part of their XS series, it is available in bottle and on tap.

It pours a deep hazy copper with a thin head.

The aroma is sweet mild malt with a mild hop.

The taste is medium/full body. Malt roastiness combines with the hop earthiness in the body. The bitterness builds in the finish. It is creamy and there isn't much sweetness. It is most pronounced in the finish with bold flavors and bitterness.

The aftertaste is all bitterness that lingers for awhile.

I'm not a huge fan of Reds, but put "Imperial" in front of any beer and I'm game - (Imperial PBR - why not?) I really enjoyed this red, bold and unafraid to announce it's character. I highly recommend it if it crosses your path!


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Fallen Friar, Bridgeport Brewing Company, Portland Oregon

Bringing it home with the Fallen Friar, one of Bridgeport's "Big Brews". It is a Belgian Style Tripel Ale with 35% aged in oak wine barrels. It is available in the 1 pint 6 fl. oz bottles all around (Portland at least) and a sturdy 8.2%.

It pours a thick but bright amber with a thin head.

The aroma is complex and offers up tones of white pepper, yeast, honey and coriander with slight orange peel.

The taste is crisp at first. White pepper and yeast greet the tongue. Hop and mild citrus build in the medium body. It finishes dry with honey and white pepper dominating the palate.

The aftertaste keeps the palate lively with white pepper lingering.

This is a great Tripel Ale and I highly recommend it both to new-comers and those of us established in the style. It is a great introduction into the style without being too intense on it's flavors while still offering up a complex bouquet for the experienced.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Hop Stoopid Ale, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Petaluma California

I am tempted to put our next tasting down simply as...
Hop Bitter Perfection,
but I will elaborate. Warning: this beer is only for those willing to brave the bitter of the bitter - with 102 IBU's and 7.7%!

It pours a copper color with a nice head.

The aroma is citrus/orange. Big hop floral and bitter tones jump all over.

It is bittery goodness. I lean toward the extreme of things and this fills that craving to define the boundary of what is reasonable. I love it. Hopped up with big earth and flowery tones with some citrus. Bitter...so bitter...

The bitterness let's go of your palate and a nice floral hop remains in the aftertaste.

I HIGHLY recommend it to those of us who love the big IPA's.