Sunday, February 22, 2009

Heavy Seas - Holy Sheet (Über Abbey Ale)

Holy sheet! It's been a while since we blogged. After a couple of concerts, we are back. It's been some time but we are ready to get our sheet together and write. With us today is our good friend Jason (who has helped produce wines at a local winery) to help us examine an abbey style ale in his second appearance in our blog. Holy Sheet is a 9% Belgian Abbey style ale by Heavy Seas (Clipper City Brewing) that is only produced in February. Holy sheet, our timing is good.

The first thing you notice from the brew is a sweet, fruity boquet. As Jason puts it, "It smells like Niagra grape jam." The dark burgundy red color hints a darker, stronger abbey ale than we are used to. The taste is almost true maple syrup-like with little to no hop flavor. When the brew finishes, you are hit with an slighty coffee taste then progresses to a foamy, light alcohol ending, slightly tart in flavor.

Holy Sheet is an abbey ale, with an American micro brew twist. Using something new on an old standard,... kind of like drinking Falco's 'Rock Me Amadeus.' The flavors don't quite unite harmoniously and it seems to be lacking for this style of beer. This is a brew that you'd have to be in the mood for.... and we were in the mood for love. Enter, Hopslam!

Oz Scale: 6.6
Mike Scale: 6.8
Jason Scale 6.6

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA

Sierra Nevada brews are more widely available than most that we drink. Still, nothing has completely struck out with us. Their Celebration Ale this year ranked surprisingly high on our blind winter beer tastings. So when we saw an American style IPA by them in the cooler at World Wines & Liquor in Mentor, we couldn't pass it up.

The first thing you notice from their Torpedo IPA is the rich amber color and a deliciously frothy head. Upon first taste of the 7.2% ABV brew you are reminded of the 70 IBUs but it is immediately overtaken by a floral and citrus arrangement. These hops don't quite wallop but at the finish, you are reminded of them as their taste lingers in your mouth.

There is nothing quite outstanding in this brew. It's got hops for a hophead, but not enough. Also, it's too hoppy for a beginner. This would be an intermediary brew for those not used to American IPA's. What won us over for this beer is the surprisingly high drinkabilty, much like Great Lake's Oktoberfest. If you want a sipping IPA, this isn't it. If you want to be floored by 4 PM on a Sunday like we will be, pick yourself up a 6-pack or two.

Oz Scale: 7.2
Mike Scale: 7.2

Monday, February 2, 2009

Three Floyds Brian Boru

Brian Boru. Yeah, I think I know that guy. I'm pretty sure he used to come to our shows. He was the guy from Ireland that is flying out to check out This Dust Was Once the Man at Peabody's in Cleveland February 12th and February 20th at the Cove. Well, after he conquers vikings in Ireland. Enough of that shameless self promoting, let's talk about the beer!

A strong smell deceives the smoothness and light body feel of this red ale. Quite shocking given the description and label on the bottle. Who knew warriors could be so soft? The finish gives a red ale familiarity but not before the complete lack of substance.

The flavor is unique given the circumstances and gives a new twist on a classic. The smell and color give you a false sense that you are in for something serious but in the end, this viking forgot to sharpen his axe. He died and so did our faith in Three Floyds. Well, this is strike one for them. We hope they live up to their reputation, it is just hard for us to get our hands on anything else from this brewery.

Oz Scale: 6.1
Mike Scale: 6.4