Friday, June 7, 2013

This doesn't impress....

Okay, first of all, a shout-out to the Denver Chophouse and Brewery.  I was there last week, tried their "flight" of 9 beers.  The one that stood out the most was definitely their barrel-infused stout.  One of those things where they are all psyched to feature whiskey barrels to age their beer.  This time, it actually tasted like a whiskey barrel.  Is that great, having a wood taste to a dark beer?  In this case, it was, because it made me think they actually TRIED.

As opposed to what I just had a bottle of here, back home.  Ass Kisser Strawberry Wit.  It's a pretty good Belgian white.  But they claim there are strawberries in there, and I'm not tasting them.  And at $16 a six-pack, that's inexcusable.  Therefore, Grade = C-

Monday, September 24, 2012

Voodoo Doughnut plus Weed

So from the pepto-pink bottle to the Baron Samedi-looking character on the front.....Rogue's Voodoo Doughnut bacon maple ale has it all.  Except a good taste.

It's naturally done, and Rogue is nice enough to spell out the ingredients on the label.  About halfway down it says applewood-smoked bacon.  There's definitely some smokiness to it....but it's just gross.  And that's too bad, because the maple has an excellent flavor here.  You taste that up front, but then the bacon takes over.  I'm not sure what part of the bacon they're claiming.  Did they use the fat?  The drippings?  The actual meat, perhaps strained out later?  It does not taste like the kind of bacon I'd want accompanying my eggs, pancakes, or peanut butter sandwich.  It's almost chemical-tasting instead.

My grade:  D

The somewhat amusing name "Weed" describes an amber ale that did not seem to contain any marijuana whatsoever.  (I'm sure someone somewhere has tried the ol' "wait, those aren't hops we just added.....duuuudddde" at some point.  Would yeast even do anything with pot lumps in a brew vat?)  Anyway, this beer was solid, if not particularly distinguishable.  The "Try LEGAL Weed" expression on the bottle just seemed silly, though.

My grade:  B

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Finally, a worthy follow-up

So there's a local brewery, the Olde Burnside Brewing Co. in East Hartford.  Their flagship beer is a growler of Ten Penny Ale.  Really good stuff.

Problem is, everything else they make has sucked.  The Dirty Penny was gross, and they had some other kind with a citrus bent to it that also just wasn't delicious.

Now, they finally have something else to respect!

The beer is called Hop't Scot.  A scotch ale infused with extra hops, so you get a combination of beer styles.  Scotch ale is surprisingly not my favorite type, due to the smokiness.....but I can definitely tolerate it with the hop infusion.

This beer succeeds....I give it an A-.

Friday, September 7, 2012


Who puts the poon in Harpoon? Oh, I don't know. I *do* know that they make a reliable IPA. It doesn't so much stand out as "whoa, great!" as much as it's a steady B+ beer. That's probably why it's available quite often in local pubs around here in New England on tap. The malt balances the hop amount pretty well in this beer. Not sure that's what I want in my IPA - it's not like some other IPAs where the hops dominate. So that's probably why it's appealing as it is....The flavor is definitely there, it's just not standing out and calling attention to itself. --bri

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Saranac Variety Pack

Okay, it's a six pack with one beer each of six different styles. The problem, therefore, is I get one chance to analyze. On the other hand, I've had Saranac before, mostly a few years ago when I hung out with someone from upstate New York, kinda near Saranac's brewery.

Tonight's installment is the Adirondack Lager. It's got a somewhat typical Lager fizz -- almost like a ton of very little tiny bubbles, instead of what I'd call bigger bubbles in other beers. Tough to describe, but the bubbles in a lager often will envelop the tongue like a million little pinpricks.

The flavor's nothing special. Saranac, to an extent, is like a few microbreweries I know in that every beer sort of has the same underlying taste profile -- one of those things where you can say it TASTES like Saranac made it. Long Trail and Harpoon also have that quality to them, I'd say, to a degree. No matter which beer of theirs you have, you've kinda tasted it before....this one's slightly roasty, with more bitterness underneath it.

My grade: C

gettin' STOOPID

So, I love it when a brewery tries to tackle a beer with an abundance of hops. It doesn't always taste good (Hop Monster, I'm still talking to you....), but the effort is interesting.

A really good job is done by Lagunitas of California, in an ale they call Hop Stoopid. 102 International Bittering Units. Um, whatever that means, although I suppose I could do some more research there -- especially so that I don't risk thinking of the 102 as one might the points scored in a round of Whose Line Is It Anyway?

The beer is hoppy, but it's sweet. Not so much a malty sweetness, so that's interesting. A good test of the sweetness is after you have a mouthful, give it a swirl in the front lower section of your mouth. Different beers will give you different reactions, and this one's was excellent.

The alcohol level is 8%, so a 22-oz. bottle can do a number on ya easily enough.

My grade: B+

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Updating Red Hook

Okay, two more types of beer in that 12-pack.

First, we've got the Copper Ale. Blah. I've had another copper ale from Otter Creek in Vermont which is way better.

I understand the copper -- the beer is penny-colored. (Or "coloured" for any English/Canadian folks out there)
But it's not great at all. It's got a fake sweetness taste to it.

My grade: C-

Now the last of the 12-pack is a beer that I've gotten six-packs of by itself -- Long Hammer. This is the best Red Hook I've had. An IPA that is not too hoppy....It obviously isn't a beer you can chug five of in a row, being thicker and perhaps I'd say creamier than usual beer. But you want to. Yes it leans heavy on hops -- that's what IPAs do. But this is probably an instance of a "well-balanced" IPA -- I've had beers where the hops are just gross (Hop Monster, I'm talking to you!), and so it's good to have a beer that means to be hop-heavy, but doesn't piss you off about it.

My grade: A-