Monday, June 29, 2009

5 Barrel Pale Ale, Odell Brewing Company

One of the great beers I had the chance to try last month in Colorado was the 5 Barrel Pale Ale from Odell. I'm not sure what the extent of their distribution is, but if you come across it - it'd be worth the try...

It pours copper with a tight head.

The aroma is very subtle with slight flowery hop and slight citrus notes.

It starts very subtle, but after a few sips, the flowery hop develops and reveals a nice bitterness. The bitterness builds and lingers on the tongue revealing some subtle citrus flavor as well.

The aftertaste is bitter and very very dry.

with 5.2% and 36 IBUs, it's a great beer for dinner or for as a sessions beer.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Spring Reign, Ninkasi Brewing Company, Eugene Oregon

Well, I raved about the Ninkasi Double Red a bit ago, so now I will rave about there next beer in my sampling, the Spring Reign....Available in 22oz bombers around Oregon, it presents itself with 28 IBU's and 6%...

It pours a honey hue with a tight head.

The aroma is burnt sugar and caramel with a hop tang at the end.

It is roasty malt right up front, hop earthiness appears in the medium body. It is very refreshing with roasty notes at the end. The hop lifts the malt and keeps it from getting too heavy with the sugar notes.

THe aftertaste is bitter with lingering biscuity malt.

More malty than expected but still refreshing with the bold hop backbone. I highly recomend this spring refresher - even if it is already summer~


Monday, June 22, 2009

La Fleur Amere, Pelican Brewery, Pacific City Oregon

This weekend I had the fortune of coming across the 2009 Brewer's Summer Games at the beautiful Pelican Brewery. This was my first beer festival on the beach and it really is as good as it seems...One of the best beers I had was the La Fleur Amere (The Bitter Flower) brewed right there at the Pelican Brewery. It is a Belgium yeast based English IPA - Nice!

It pours copper with a tight head.

The aroma has a slight sourness but with nice flowery notes.

It is bitter and the yeast is right up front. Dry-hopped, it the bitterness develops in the body. It is balanced, but with some bold taste that has a lot of character.

The aftertaste is mildly tart, and dry with yeast.

I'd recommend trying this one, but it is hard to find! They had it at the brewery, but only available for take-away in a growler.

Other notable beers I enjoyed: Lompoc Bald Guy Ale, Vaporizer IPA from Double Mountain, Oatmeal Pale from Fort George and Silver City Whoop Pass Double IPA -


Monday, June 8, 2009

Believer Double Red Ale, Ninkasi Brewing Company, Eugene Oregon

Now, let me prep by saying I usually don't enjoy reds, but as mentioned before, put double in front of it and you've got me!

It pours deep and dark with a big tight head.

The aroma is sweet with caramel malt and mild vanilla. Hops are aplenty and there is a slight pine aroma as well.

It has a full smooth body. A slight sourness (that's meant in the best possible way) builds in the body, but it finishes creamy just as the hop bitterness builds. That vague pine is buried it deep, it took me a while to identify what it was I was tasting and that is the best way to describe it. For a double, the beer is fairly dynamic offering up sour, bitter, pine and ultimately sweet then bitter tones.

The aftertaste is bitter with bold malt character.

Quite a beer and I continue to be impressed by Ninkasi's line-up. So far I've enjoyed every beer I've had from them and look forward to continue trying their beers. Look for the double red in the 22oz bottles.

6.9% with 60 IBUs and I'm a believer!!!


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Extra Special Golden, Terminal Gravity Brewing, Enterprise Oregon

A new one for me. The ESG is described as an American Lager with a kick - Let's give it a try....

It pours a bright straw color with a medium head.

The aroma is all lager, lots of straw hopness with some mild citrus and orange peel.

It has a light/medium body, bigger than I was expecting. It is fairly creamy, as well. The crispness arrives at the end. Light hop and citrus builds in the body. Over all, very drinkable and indeed more dynamic than a "typical" American lager.

The aftertaste is clean, slightly "beery". It is a refresher and the palate resets fairly quickly.

A good hot afternoon beer. It does offer more kick and dynamic flavor than one would sometimes expect from a lager. Definitely one to try this summer. Available in 12oz bottles -


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Olde School Barleywine, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton Delaware

Don't let anyone tell you that there is a wrong time for Barleywine. Yes, they are good in the cool depths of winter, but they are also equally good on a late spring eve. A storm just passed through Portland and I think it's a good time to crack open a beer I've had on standby for about six or seven months now. Let's give the Olde School a try....
It pours a deep amber hue

The aroma is brown sugar and molasses.

It is a viscous beer - thick with sugars. The molasses and brown sugar jump up right away. A burnt caramel flavor kicks in with subtlety in the body (which is full, quite full). The finish curves away from being too sweet - the 15% becomes apparent and the beer finishes heavy with oak and bitterness (85 IBUs).

The aftertaste is a mix of molasses and oak, a little chewy - like a cigar or cognac, it settles nicely on the palate despite it's bold flavor.

HIGHLY recommended, especially after a little aging. Give it a try anytime, any season. Available a certain times of the year in the 12oz bottles -


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Oaked Arrogant Bastard, Stone Brewing Company, Escondido California

It's been a long while! A few trips have led me to Colorado, New Mexico, California, BC and Alaska...Where many great beers have been had! I will get back on the blogging wagon and post some of these soon! For now, it's good to be back in Portland, the land of beer. I will continue sampling some new beers as I post some of the delicious beers from my trips...

For now here's an old favorite of mine...At 7.2% and available year round in the 12oz bottles, there is never a bad time for a bastard...

It pours a deep copper with a thin head.

The aroma is big oak with vanilla sweetness. Roasty malt is evident as well.

It has a big full body although it starts mellow. The flavors develop quickly in the body, the roasty malt and oak combine giving it a lot of character. There isn't the sweetness that is evident in the aroma.

The aftertaste is bitterness and oak which lingers nicely.

A good experiment is to get a regular Bastard and an Oak Bastard, line 'em up and try 'em!