Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Lil’s From The Bottle

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Picture taken from Seven Brides Website

After defending Lil’s Pils from Seven Brides and recieving some negative comments I figured it was time I man up and retry it.

Appearance

Very cloudy with minimal head. Straw color. Deffinatly not a pilsner in appearance.

Aroma

Some banana and cloves. Lots of herbal and earthy smell. A little skunked, but not off putting.

Flavor

Lots of banana and some cloves. Dirty and muddled, makes it hard to peg any distinct malt flavors.

Overall

I think I once described this beer as not a pilsner. Tasting this I have no choice but to stand by that. I still enjoy this beer, but it’s not what it’s called. It’s a bit muddied and could use a more appropriate name.

OPA The Good and The Bad? Or Different Beers?

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

So I logged on tonight to do a quick review of OPA. I drank my original bottle last week, but didn’t take notes and felt it was worth buying another to get something detailed. However tonights bottle was an entirely different story. Either this bottle is so very bad, or this brewery is having trouble. So to be fair I did a from memory review of the first bottle, and a while I torture myself review of this second purchase. Both bottles were bought at the same store within a short time of each other, so I’m eliminating that as a factor. If you’ve had the OPA mutiple times, please tell me beer 2 is not it.

Bottle 1

Aroma

Some biscuity/bready aromas, hay

Appearance

Copper color, just the slightest haze. Decent head

Flavor

I remember lot’s of bready malts, some grassyness.Almost no bitterness. Slight citrus note if I remember right.

Overall

A good beer, and very drinkable. The phrase pale ale has little to no place in the name though. Neither enough hop flavors nor enough bitterness to tip the scales away from the malt flavors. Would buy it again.

Bottle 2

Aroma

buttery, caramel, leather

Appearance

Very dark amber color. Slightly opaque, no head, very little carbonation.

Flavor

I’m afraid to try it, but here goes. Sharp bite up front, but not from bitterness. Not sure how exactly to describe it. Sickly sweet, with little malt flavor. Fruity finish with a light lingering bitterness. Medium mouthfeel.

Overall

Get it away from me! Never going neer this beer with a 10 ft pole. Thought it’d be worth stocking again, but one bad bottle is enough. Still might stock their stout.

Cell Phone Tasting Notes

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

I finally found a use for that notes function on my cell phone. Turns out it works much better then writing beer reviews on bar napkins.

Recently I tried Ommegang Adoration. I was directed towards this beer by Jack. Apparently Nick Lopez, the new man behind Venti’s Bar, decided to stock this one off beer. Venti’s is charging $15 a bottle for it, so I kinda wish I had a friend with me to share the bottle, and the tab. I had Hooper rinse out the snifter that my Old Crustacean was poured in and used that for tasting. After trying it I can’t see why this Beer only has a B+ on Beeradvocate. So much for Jeff defending them. I know people have different tastes, but this beer should have preformed much better then it did.

Aroma

I always do aroma first so I can catch the scents stirred up from the pour, I always sniff the bottle opening too. Aroma is plum, very spicy. Smells very malty. Fairly complex blend of aromas. Some orange peel as well.

Appearance

Mahogany color. Large off white head, very effervescent. Needs to be poured slowly. Big bubbles. More of a pillowy head

Flavor

Orange peel hit first followed by dark fruits, spices, and some tartness. Definitely get a little funk. Possibly Brett? Wouldn’t surprise me. Maltier then I thought it would be. Definite dark malts. The spices might be a little much, but I like their strong presence.

Overall

Great beer. Complex with alot going on, but neither too much that it muddies it, or any flavor so strong it drowns the others. I know this goes contrary to my comment about the spices strong presence, but I think it compliments the beer rather then subjugate it. Out of all the Belgian Winter Ales I’ve tried this winter this one takes first.

Fire Mountain Steam Powered

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

I’d never heard of Fire Mountain Brewery until…. 11 hours and 40 min ago. Apparently Roth’s in North Salem now carries both their Steam Powered Stout and Oregon Pale Ale. Apparently these are also the only t2o beers they produce as I can’t find any info on others. Their bottles though say they make lagers. I poured their Steam Powered slightly warm. As it’s date night and I’m already making Rachel wait while I write this I’ll review OPA at a later date.

Aroma

Lots of roasted grain but no burnt/black patent aroma Nothing to distinct on aroma.

Appearance

Black with dark head. Definitely stoutish. Opaque

Flavor

Good lord that’s not what I was expecting. Strong hop bitterness followed by roasted grain flavors and a slightly sweet medium body. Was expecting a Guinness, instead I got something much more substantial and extremely palatable. It doesn’t stick to your mouth like other medium bodied stouts. Clean and good.

Overall

While not the best stout I’ve had it’s definitely one I would stock and serve. Good flavors, even if it’s a bit one dimensional. I’m hoping their OPA blows me away. Definitely not what I expected for a stout from a small unknown brewery. In fact I may have to visit Carlton someday. Sometimes a good, clean, well executed beer can be more impressive then something unique.

Bah Humbug!

Monday, January 18th, 2010

I know there’s alot of reviews lately. Especially for a guy who didn’t want his blog to be about reviews right? To be honest I’m having alot of work and family issues at the same time and finding a hard time balancing. This means ending the night with a new beer has become a high point in my life. Hence no research, and more reviews. Up now is Old Humbug from Southern Oregon Brewing.

Aroma

Nose consists of some coffee, dark malts, but still has a sweet smell. Sniffers down tonight so it’s hard to get subtle notes.

Appearance

Pours like a flat bottle of rootbeer. Looks about the same too. Rootbeer might be a little thicker and darker on the pour. Not looking up for a big winter beer. No head retention.

Taste

Wow, there’s alot more going on then I expected. Sweet toffee like flavor followed with lot’s of heat. Definite Caramel flavor,some licorice and molasses like flavors, but not distinctly either. A great spicy note that plays well with the heat. Coffee like bitterness on the finish. Sweetness holds out till the very end, but is subtle and not overpowering.

Overall

Not a bad beer, and for tonight it hit the spot. I’m sad this wasn’t one of the bottles opened at Saturdays tasting as it would have preformed well. I’d give it an A for no other particular reason then this beer ended up being just what I wanted tonight. not even the ’08 Old Rasputin or the W ’10 could satisfy my palate today. The complexity and variety of flavors combined with the heat just hit the spot. Really though this beer should score a little lower simply for appearance. I’d say it should be marked down for aroma as well, but my sniffer isn’t up to snuff. So reality is a B – B+ beer that is enjoyable. The heavens won’t open up and you won’t feel the hand of God when you drink it, but if you drink it at the right moment it’ll leave an impression.

My 2 Cents On W ’10

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

widmer

A big deal seems to be being made of Widmers ’10 Brewmaster Series release Pitch Black IPA. Personaly I’ve never been a fan of black IPA’s as I’ve always thought they were more poorly executed novelty then a distinct style. Anyway, here goes.

Aroma

Imagine that, lots of hops. Very floral with some herbal and pine notes. Not really getting much in the way of malt aromas.

Appearance

Looks black in the class but is a deep maroon color when held up to the light. Somewhat translucent for a beer that looks this black in the glass. Khaki head. I love the color of this beer when you pass light through it.

Taste

Lots of piney and herbal hops but not as overpowering as I expected. Widmer was fairly restrained with this one.distinct bitterness up front that shifts slowly to a charred grain flavor. Finishes with biscuity and grainy malt flavors.

Overall this wasn’t what I expected. I was thinking this beer would be a dark colored IPA that was a hop bomb like Widmer’s other Northwest IPA’s. This beer wasn’t. The hops and the biscuity malt flavors went well together. The charred malt flavors didn’t quite fit and felt out of place, but they didn’t hurt the beers drinkability at all. The IBU’s and ABV are restrained for a northwest IPA coming in at 62 IBU’s and 6.5% ABV. Even though I enjoyed this it’s not a beer I’d keep stocked. My personal rating would be a B. I don’t have alot of experience with this style though. This is only my third black IPA and all of them seemed to be blending beer flavors that just don’t harmonize. I will admit out of the three I’ve tried I liked this one the most which is why it got a B. Also this beer had alot of elements I liked. It was just the dis chord between the dark malts and the rest of the beer that ruined it for me.

’09 Bourbon County

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

Bourboncounty

I’ve been torn over whether to crack a bottle of ’09 now or wait till at least 2011. Based off the title you can guess if I waited. Luckily I have a couple more bottles stashed. Just keep in mind this beer is young.

Aroma

This thing smells like a bourbon barrel through and through. Tons of toffee aroma, bourbon, and charred wood. The aroma seems a bit sweet, which makes me dread the flavor.

Appearance

Pours a thick muddy black brown. Very thick, with a toffee colored head. Completely opaque.

Flavor

Boy that’s alot of bourbon. I love my whiskey, but bourbon isn’t my favorite style. Flavor is slightly charred. Fairly one dimensional. Very thick and malty with some roasted malt flavor. Sweet bourbon finish. Not as dry as I’d like, but it all blends together well.

Drinkability

As of today not really worth another purchase. As it ages though this beer tastes like it would improve greatly. The bourbon is possibly too much for some, but I like it. This is deffinatly a whiskey drinkers stout as it tastes pretty much like a boiler maker in a bottle. As a beer it’d be a B+, possibly an A in my book. As for stylistically?

A barrel aged beer should have both elements of wood flavors from the barrel and alcohol flavors from what was stored in it previously. These flavors though are there to support and harmonize with the base beer, not bowl it over. All incarnations of Bourbon County I’ve tried lack that subtle support of the base flavor. Instead the whiskey overpowers and over runs. Also Bourbon County is a bit hot in it’s younger form which is off style as well. Stylistically this would be a B beer.

My First Written Review

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

LongStrangeTripel

One thing I’ve been adamant about is that this blog won’t become another beer review blog. However the good Dr Wort (incidentally he has a review of this beer as well) has been waiting to critique an actual review from me. I figured it was about time, and with the closing of KCHopheads blog I figured a Boulevard review was in order. I chose Long Strange Tripel

Appearance

An  Orangish shade of yellow, held a 1/4″ head after initial pour. Very carbonated.

Aroma

Very fruity with a hint of citrus, subtle herbal aroma, and some strong yeast odors at play

Taste

A slightly bitter hit upfront followed by yeast. Some citrus and herbal flavors, especially near the back. Noticeable flavor similar to bitter orange peel. Neutral malt flavor. The malt definitely isn’t the star of this show. Alcohol isn’t very noticeablefor a 9% Belgian beer. My ability to detect the mouthfeel is a little off tonight I guess. Something I ate at work has coated the back of my throat making evertything feel strange going down.

Overall

Overall it’s not a bad Belgian. Belgian tripels aren’t generally my favorite, but I might consider buying it again. The yeast and herbal flavors are what really jump out at me and make this beer what it is. If you know what you like in a Belgian tripel then this probably won’t replace your favorite, but it’s much better then many American Balgians I’ve tried, meaning not overly sweet, heavy and bland. Neaded a little more funk and yeast to it with perhaps more upfront malt profile. Give it a try, just don’t expect to reach nirvana when you drink it.