Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Grand Cru

Sierra Nevada has been around for 30 years. That's pretty cool. They are like pretty old and stuff. Okay, okay. Trying to watch Beavis and Butt-head and write a beer review is really hard. Huh huh huh, I just said hard. We've got to sit down and do this. Alright... episode is over so time to get productive. Grand Cru is Sierra Nevada's fourth and final beer in their 30th Anniversary series. The three previous brew have been collaborative beers with legendary brewers. However, Grand Cru is a collaborative beer of its own- a combination of three of their most esteemed ales. It is an unfiltered 9.2% ABV mixture of Pale Ale, Celebration Ale and Oak-aged Bigfoot.

Grand Cru pours a dark amber color with a thick laced tan head. The ale smells of citrusy hops with a dark malt overtones. When the beer hits the tongue you immediately taste the piney west coast hops right away. It is definitely full bodied and all three beers are tasted and make their presence known at the right time. The hops from the Pale ale kick in at the beginning and the fullness of the Bigfoot comes in during the middle as you are left with the Celebration Ale-like finish with a wood (huh huh huh, I said wood) flavor lingering at the end. The warmer the beer gets, the more complex flavors come out.

This beer is what an anniversary ale should be- a look at the past but making a step forward. It takes three of their classic and best brews and combines them into beautiful harmony. The alcohol presence is known on the tongue on the back end so when splitting a bomber, it starts getting to your head (huh huh huh, I said head.) This is a beer that would satisfy the great Cornholio and it is the TP for our bungholes.

Oz Scale: 8.9
Mike Scale: 8.8

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dogfish Head Namaste

Dogfish Head is one of our favorite breweries (see Sah'tea, World Wide Stout & 90 Minute.) The brewery is probably the most innovative in the industry as they constantly push the boundaries of what a beer can be. So when we saw a new brew on the shelf, we had to pick it up. Namaste is a Belgian-style white ale brewed with orange slices, lemongrass and coriander.

The unfiltered Namaste pours a cloudy light yellow color with a frothy white head. Hints of coriander and a sweet orange tint hit the nose. The beer attacks the tongue with some sweetness but nothing too overpowering given the style. Namaste is well balanced and light bodied with a slightly tart flavor at first. As the beer flows down your throat, you are reminded of a light lemongrass flavor.

Dogfish Head keeps up their consistency by producing another delicious brew. While we might not be the biggest on the style (Oz appreciates white ales more than Mike,) Namaste is well above average.

Oz Scale: 8.0
Mike Scale: 7.7

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Bell's The Oracle

Bell's Brewery is a hit or miss brewery. Hopslam and Hell Hath No Fury are ridiculously delicious but Third Coast Beer was one of the most disgusting things we've ever had. Their two most recent offerings, The Oarsman and 25th Anniversary Ale were both not up to par so we took a great interest in a release of their new double IPA, The Oracle.

The Oracle is a double IPA boasting a hefty 10% ABV. It has sweet citrus and pine smell to the nose. When the brew hits the tongue, the brew tastes of a sweet pine and light malt presence with sweet and bitter hops on the back end. It has a medium to heavy body that leaves a light tinge of alcohol on the tongue.

Bell's has proven that they know how to make a double IPA. The Oracle is an amazing example of an double American IPA. While there is nothing wrong with this IPA, it isn't quite Hopslam, though it is delicious. Bell's has created a slightly less equal brother. The Oracle is their an Eli Manning to their Hopslam, Peyton. Even if it isn't THE best beer, it'll help hold us over until January when they release their flagship brew.

Oz Scale: 8.8
Mike Scale: 9.0

Monday, September 6, 2010

Green Flash Imperial India Pale Ale

Green Flash, based out of Vista, CA, is a relatively new brewery to us. We have only had the opportunity to try their West Coast IPA and enjoyed it thoroughly. West coast style IPA's are a horse of a different color- a brutally bitter cousin to it's east coast counterpart. These are IPA's for IPA drinkers, something someone who usually swallows 60 Minute would spit back into their glass. We enjoy pretty much anything with the IPA name attached to it so naturally when Oz found Green Flash's Imperial IPA sitting on the shelf, he knew it had to be his.

IIPA is an amazingly bitter 101 IBU 9.4% ABV alcoholic beverage. It pours a nice light amber color and has a surprisingly sweet smell. When the happy juice hits the tongue you are left with bitter beer face. God, I love bitter beer face. This is nothing but hops and it isn't afraid to show you what it's got. This beer leaves your mouth dry begging for you to drink more of it's PineSol flavored brew.

This is a beer that is gladly merchandised in 22 oz bombers, a size best split with a good friend. A six pack or a four pack would leave you in some serious trouble as it is surprisingly drinkable for it's style and IBUs. This is a brutally bitter beer, not for the faint at heart, pregnant or nursing women or people unter the height of 60 inches. This is Slayer in a bottle- Jeff Hanneman shredding over some Kerry King licks while Dave Lombardo blasts over Tom Araya's shrieking wails.... but you know, with beer. Brutal.

Oz Scale: 8.0
Mike Scale: 8.0

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Quick Sips: August 2010

Here is our first entry of Quick Sips, a super condensed and brief synopsis of some beers that we've had in the last few weeks. This one will include thoughts from the last few months.

  • Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA tastes amazing fresh (less than 2 1/2 weeks old)
  • Weyerbacher Tiny is incredibly delicious (on our fourth bomber)
  • Dogfish Head SahTea isn't as good as last years (not enough cinnamon, clove and ginger spices)
  • Southern Tier 2XIPA is amazing (but make sure it is fresh.) Blows away most IPAs.
  • Bell's Hopslam wasn't as good as last years. Like most IPA's- Make sure it's fresh.
  • Great Lakes Holy Moses was a great choice for a spring beer. Glad to see it back.
  • Thirsty Dog has come out with three new crap beers (Barktoberfest, Whippet Wheat and Twisted Kilt) and one decent one (Cerberus)
  • Some batches of Founders Devil Dancer taste like a THC producing plant.
  • Heavy Seas Below Decks Cabernet Barrel Aged is probably the best fresh barleywine out there.
  • Goose Island Green Line Pale Ale (Pub Exclusive) is just plain gross.
  • Heavy Seas Smoke on the Water wasn't as generic as it's name. Worth the buy.
  • Lagunitas A Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale is a refreshing summer IPA.
  • Great Divide Brewing has some great beers out there (Colette, 16th Anniversary, Titan, Yeti.) We're excited to try more
  • Dark Horse has yet to come out with a beer I thought was above average (Crooked Tree, Sapient Trip, Scotty Karate)
  • Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster was great fresh but had a tinge too much alcohol flavor.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary - Charlie, Fred & Ken's Bock

Sierra Nevada is the second largest micro-brewery next to Boston Beer Co. (Samual Adams.) Both breweries are solid and are typically make beverages for session drinking. With the exception of Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot and Sam Adams Utopias, up until a year ago both breweries stayed out of the ever-growing-in-popularity "big" beer game. Sam Adams then came out with their Imperial line and Sierra Nevada has been coming out with some one-offs to compete in this ever expanding market.

Sierra Nevada's second 30th Anniversary beer is brewed with the of home-brew heroes, Charlie Papazian (author of "Joy of Brewing") and Fred Eckhardt (author of A Treatise of Lagers: How to Make Good Beers at Home) and Sierra Nevada founder Ken Grossman. Charlie, Fred & Ken's bock is an imperial helles bock with a surprising 8.3% ABV.

CFKB pour an amber color with a well carbonated white head and a smell much like a Diet 7-Up with a beer overtone. The taste is traditional for the style but with a light hop bitterness to it. This medium bodied brew is well balanced between malts and hops but it flows down easily given the helfy ABV.

Sierra Nevada proves once again that while they are one of the oldest ones out there, they can still come out with their own Chronic 2001 (Detox, please don't suck.) While they aren't entering a new territory with this beer, they are celebrating the style with something delicious and drinkable. After Ken & Fritz Ale and Life and Limb, we are anticipating any future Sierra Nevada collaboration. Sometimes those collaborations do not work so whatever you do, Sierra Nevada, please don't come out with a liquid version of Chris Cornell's Scream (or even Audioslave for that matter.) Stick to Bowie and Queen or Snoop and Dre. Ain't nothing but a beer thing, baby.

Oz Scale: 7.7
Mike Scale: 7.9

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Voodoo Brewing Co. Wynona's Big Brown Ale

Do we like beer? Yes. Do we love music? Yes. Do we like it when breweries reference bands that we enjoy? Oh yeah. Do we love hairy vaginas? Umm... doesn't everyone? Enter Wynona's Big Brown Ale- from Voodoo Brewing Co. in Meadville, PA. This brewery's distribution is so incredibly limited that you can not grab your hands around a bottle if you live in Ohio (a mere 20 minutes away) or outside Erie or Pittsburgh. When searching for a bomber in its home town, all Mike came up with was a case of it for 76 dollars. However, our previous experiences with the company (Pilzilla, Gran Met & Big Black Voodoo Daddy) have all been incredibly delicious so when we saw a beer referencing a tasty Primus song, we couldn't resist.

Wynona's Big Brown Ale is a very strong American brown ale weighing in at a boastful 7.3% ABV. It pours a dark brown with a hint ruby with a frothy white head. It smells of chocolate, nuts, malt and a strong alcohol smell. When the beer enters the consumption canal you do not even taste the alcohol. This beer is incredibly smooth and well balanced. It has everything you'd expect from a brown ale (a nutty taste hanging on the tongue) and even more (chocolate and carmel.) The nose throws the whole thing off but once it is out of the equation, you have one of the best examples of an American brown ale.

It is hard to find much wrong with this brew. Voodoo Brewing Co. has entered our innards by penetrating through our brown beards to our mouths and going deep down our throats to our stomachs. This is one brown beaver that we'd show off to all our friends. We hope this beaver never tries to leave us. This is the anti-pop and we thank Voodoo for all the bad Primus references.

Oz Scale: 8.7
Mike Scale: 8.6

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Williamsburg Alewerks Brewmaster's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Porter 2010

Not very often do we get to taste beers from small micro-breweries outside of our distribution region. Sure, we have access to some great ones (Voodoo) and some okay ones (Erie Brewing Co.) but it is always interesting to at least try the local flavors. While the local flavors might taste like dirt, fuck it, at least it isn't our options. So when Oz's dad traveled to Virginia and stumbled upon a brew from Williamsburg Aleworks from Williamsburg, Virginia, he found a brew that he hoped would sit proudly on his son's beer wall- Brewmaster's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Porter.

The 2010 BRBBP (the bottle is numbered 1966 of 2010) pours black with a light carmel head and smells of bourbon and malt. The taste is pure malt with a strong sence of oak and bourbon with an alcohol tinge left on the tongue. There are notes of chocolate and coffee but the flavors are overtaken by the bourbon and alcohol on the back end. The tinge is not completely unwelcomed but it makes this brew much more of a sipper than we'd like- and this is coming from big fans of sipping beers and alcohol in general.

There is much complexitiy hidden beneath this small town sipper but it is disappointing that they have to be extruded out beneath the quarry of alcohol. We aren't the ones to complain about too much booze in the brews but it just hinders any flavors from coming to the spot light. In previous blogs you will notice that many times we wished for more alcohol but sometimes a big beer is just too big. Now our mouths know how white women feel.

Oz Scale: 7.4
Mike Scale: 7.4

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Brooklyn Sorachi Ace

Brooklyn Brewery is a company with strange stardards. They can create some amazing brews (Local 1, Black Chocolate Stout) yet let a couple slip past them and continue to be sold on the market (East India Pale Ale, Pennant Ale.) The brewery is much like the city it is from- some amazing things and some things that we'd rather not see again (another Yankee pennant or George Steinbrenner) So when we noticed a new Brooklyn 750ml bottle on the shelf, we were intrigued.
Sorachi Ace is a 100% bottle refermented saison ale. It boasts a respectable 7.6% ABV and is brewed with the rare Sorachi Ace hop and a Belgian yeast strain an re-fermented with champgne yeast in the bottle. This sounds like it could be a home run.

Sorachi Ace pours cloudy and golden with a fizzy white head with sweet lemon-y smell. SA hits the tongue with sweetness, a tarty lemon zest and a crisp hop flavor with a bit of carbonation. The alcohol is the hidden treasure hid beneath the complex and completely refreshing flavors. This brew would pair nice with a light dish and cheeses and is perfect for a summer evening split with a good friend.

Brooklyn Brewery's Sorachi Ace delived what we hoped for. It acheives where many Jolly Pumpkin beers fail, tart and sweet but that flavor does not overpower the rest of the beer. This is what a saison should be, light and crisp but with enough alcohol to encourage the purchase of an expensive brew. While not quite a grandslam, this beer is a walk off home run.

Oz Scale: 8.5
Mike Scale: 8.4

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Weyerbacher Fifteen Smoked Imperial Stout

Weyerbacher does not pour large sums of money into their graphic design department. Their logo was probably made with Microsoft Paint by the owner's son during study hall. However, they seem to invest their money into something worthwhile- creating new beers. Weyerbacher's Fourteen is responsible for our deeper dive into the wheatwine style and their latest imperial stout, Tiny, was nothing short of amazing. For all these reasons amongst others made us anticipate the arrival of their next anniversary brew, Fifteen.

Weyerbacher's Fifteen pours jet black with a light carmel head. An earth-like tinge hits the nose as you go in for that initial whiff. Hints of nuts with chicory as the "smoked" flavor lets it's presence be known as it flows over the taste buds. This beer is well bodied and coats the tongue with a silky yet earthy taste as it lingers until the next sip. We let this beer warm up to near room temperature and it's body went from a Baconator with a Frosty to just a Wendy's Double.

Weyerbacher knows how to celebrate their birthday. Twelve, Fourteen and Fifteen (Thirteen wasn't sold in Ohio) are all fine examples of what an anniversary beer should be. This is something a stout fan should pick up since this is a perfect example of an imperial smoked stout. At 10.8% ABV, this will get you where you should be for a birthday- intoxicated.

Oz Scale: 8.6
Mike Scale: 8.6

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Great Divide Expresso Oak Aged Yeti

Colorado's Great Divide is working their to our hearts. The saying goes "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach" and they are doing a good job at it. We have had some delectable beverages in the recent months and given an opportunity to try a variation at their most popular beer, Yeti, we took couldn't leave the 9.5% ABV Expresso Oak Aged Yeti on the shelf any longer.

EOAY pours jet black and thick with a foamy carmel head. Roasted malts, chocolate and hint of coffee overtake the nose as you smell. First impressions become reality as it tastes almost exactly as it smells yet it is exceptionally smooth given the ABV. As the brew leaves the tongue you are left with chocolate dancing on the tongue with a tinge of alcohol to remind you that you are drinking a brew, not a dessert. As the beer warms in it's glass, the taste shifts and the oak becomes noticable on the back end of the flavor.

This is an incredibly solid brew from a company that we are becoming more familiar with. However, there is nothing unique to this brew and the word "expresso" should be removed from the label. While there are differences to this and the other Yeti brews (which are all delicious- by the way) there is nothing that sets this one apart from its siblings. Kind of like one of the Osmonds that isn't Donny or Marie.
Oz Scale: 7.9
Mike Scale: 8.0

Monday, June 14, 2010

Southern Tier Farmer's Tan Imerial Pale Lager

Farmer's Tan- check. It is the season where pasty human beings get their first prolonged exposure to the sun to leave some unsightly color lines on your body. Southern Tier celebrates such an event with their new summer seasonal bomber, Farmer's Tan. Farmer's Tan is an imperial pale lager weighing in at an impressive 9% ABV. In theory, it is a perfect summer beer for the lazy- crisp and light yet higher in alcohol- best suited for an evening hanging out on the porch.

Farmer's Tan pours a slightly more carmel color than a typical pale lager yet has a floral pale ale smell. This medium bodied beer is well balanced with little alcohol taste left on the tongue. It is not a beer that typical lager drinkers would enjoy- in other words, it doesn't taste like urine. There is a bit of sweetness that lies in this brew that eventually leaves the tongue to give a more traditional lager aftertaste.

This beer lived up to the promise of a lazy summer night. Southern Tier took a traditional style and grew it into something of their own. While many breweries try to lighten their load with a more traditional pilsner or wheat ale for the season, ST took a great summer style beer and made something that could pass the piss test.

Oz Scale: 7.4
Mike Scale: 7.7

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Clipper City Heavy Seas Letter of Marque 2010 Rye Porter

Heavy Seas (Clipper City Brewery) has always been a solid brewery. Their beers have yet to let us down and none have ever been just mediocre (in fact, their Small Craft Warning is our favorite imperial pilsner.) Last year, Clipper City did a homebrew competition called Letter of the Marque where the winner got their brew mass produced for a one-time release. Boston Beer Company (Sam Adams) has been doing these competitions for years (Longshot Series) and usually the victors end up producing better beers than many of their in-house lagers and ales. So when we got our sights on a Heavy Seas version, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to consume their Letter of the Marque Rye Porter.

LoM pours a deep amber to an almost black color with a foamy cream head. I has a sweet and citrus smell reminiscent of an IPA. When the rye porter hits the pallet you are left with a unique taste. It has hops and spices of a RyePA but malt overtones of a porter. A medium to full body coats the mouth nicely and and leaves you with a west coast IPA bitterness which is shocking at first but welcomed after the initial sip.

This beer succeeds where Nightstalker by Goose Island failed. It balances rye, malt and hops to create something that is unique and highly drinkable. If we were given this beer without a name or style, we'd swear that it was a black IPA. However, this is our first experience with a rye porter and if given the chance to try others, we'd welcome a glass or two.

Oz Scale: 8.0

Mike Scale: 8.2

Sunday, April 11, 2010

New Belgium Ranger

New Belgium is the third largest microbrewer behind Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada. Unlike those "giant" micros, New Belgium does not have lower 48 distribution including Ohio. However, we have managed to try nine of their beers. Mike's sister-in-law's older brother works for New Belgium and Mike was able to walk away with some free cases at his brother's wedding. So when Oz was in Chicago a week ago, he noticed New Belgium's first non-Belgian style beer that they've ever produced, Ranger. New Belgium's Ranger is a 6.5% ABV American-style India Pale Ale

When poured, this beer smells of citrus, grapefruit and hops. When Ranger hits the pallete you are reminded of an American Pale Ale with a bit more bite than most APAs. It has a medium finish and the hops linger on the tongue like you'd expect from a good IPA. This beer has more of a bitter hop flavor than most regular IPA's and therefor we don't suggest this as a transitionary beer for a beginner into the style.

New Belgium's Ranger is what a pale ale should taste like. We might be a bit biased since we normally like a bit more bight when we drink an IPA as we are used to drinking their imperial counterparts in the 7.5-11% range. This brew is incredibly solid for what it is and if sitting on our the shelf of a local grocery, it'd battle our wallet with our local favorite, Commodore Perry by Great Lakes.

Oz Scale: 7.4
Mike Scale: 7.2

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Goose Island Night Stalker Imperial Stout

Based in Chicago, Illinois, Goose Island has always made a decent beer. Some are better than others, but we wouldn't call it one of our favorite breweries. Sure, Matilda, Bourbon County Stout & Pere Jacques were great but their year round brews are just a bit weak. When we got word that they had just released a "heavily-hopped imperial stout," our jinies tingled. A 11.7% ABV hoppy imperial stout was something we could not pass up.

Night Stalker pours black with a carmel head and has a strong citrus smell. This is by far the strangest tasting imperial stout we have ever tried. It has medium body with an alcohol burn as it leaves the mouth. When it hits the pallet- citrus, fruit, toffee and chocolate dance on the tongue. This beer has us just about stumped. At first we didn't even want to finish our glasses but the following sips got better so we let the beer warm up to get a better effect. There is a fruity sweetness to Night Stalker that some would welcome with open arms but we would call a nuisance.

The beer lets its alcohol presence be known unlike a good stalker. You have to give credit to Goose Island for creating an imperial stout that taste NOTHING like what is typically associated with that style. This brew is a true sipper meant best to be shared with a friend or two but you have to have the right palette for this one. Mike and Oz can both agree on its originality, the flavors just don't come together well and the alcohol ruins what was a good concept. We are going to file a restraining order.

Oz Scale: 6.0
Mike Scale: 5.8

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary - Fritz And Ken's Ale

Sierra Nevada has always been one of our choices for transitional beers. Their pale ale has helped many consumers into the world of craft brewing. Also, many of their beers stand up with the best (see our 12 Beers of Christmas.) Once any company hits 30 years, it's an great accomplishment so it's time to celebrate. To commemorate their achievement, they have collaborated with many pioneers of brewing to release four 30th anniversary ales. Having been a huge fan of their previous collaboration with Dogfish Head, Life & Limb, we couldn't resist picking up their first offering, Fritz and Ken's ale. Ken Grossman, owner of Sierra Nevada brewed this beer with the help of Fritz Maytag, owner of Anchor Brewing Company. Since this is all about working with others we have our friend and bass player Johnny V to help out with this review.

Fritz and Ken's Ale is an imperial stout weighing in at 9.2% ABV. It pours jet black with a nice carmel colored head. It smells of alcohol, roasted malts, cocoa and carmel. It has strong punch in the beginning and flows down extremely smooth. You are left with a serious alcohol warmth with nice malt and chocolate flavors lingering on the tonge. The body is a bit weak with as the alcohol finishes up the back end. It must be notated that this beer in best drank at around 50 degrees. We tried this as originally around 40-42 degrees but decided to let the beer warm up. As the beer became warm, more and more flavors awoke from behind this black beauty.

If this is any indication of what the other beers in this series will bring, then we will be sure to pick up the next three in the series. It would be great if Sierra Nevada released a year round "big" beer to introduce many others to the world of imperials. Their Torpedo is a step in the right direction and let's hope if they do decide to make a yearly four pack, they taste something like Fritz And Ken's Ale.

Oz Scale: 8.3
Mike Scale: 8.3
John Scale: 8.5

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Great Lakes Brewing Company The Wright Pils

Every so often, GLBC makes one of their brewpub exclusives available in bottle at their gift shop. The Wright Pils does not appear to be the wright choice. Great Lakes seems to make a great beer but they already have a Dortmunder, which is very similar in style to a pilsner. Also- what craft drinker really wants to spend the nine dollars on a pilsner? Not us but it's GLBC (we'll forgive them for Glockenspiel and Farmhouse) and we are faithful followers so here it goes:

The color and smell is typical of the style except for a light floral and sweet scent almost reminiscent of their Grassroots Ale. When the brew hits the tongue, you get a malt taste that is not so common in the style. The Wright Pils is well balanced but still has that pilsner fizziness that you'd expect. This medium bodied brew leaves you with a finish that thirsts you for more.

For a regular pilsner, you aren't going to find many beers better than this. It has all the characteristics of a great pilsner plus some malt happiness thrown in there for good measure. However, it is a pilsner- and pilsners are middle of the road and made for your average beer drinker. The craft spirit is alive in The Wright Pils so let's hope this keeps them on the wright track. How about Imperial Black and Wright Pilsner? Just a suggestion....

Oz Scale: 6.7
Mike Scale: 6.6

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Rogue Chatoe Rogue First Growth Dirtoir Black Lager

Rogue- a brewery of greatness and of letdown. The price tags on the bottles never seem to be worth what is inside. For bottle collectors like ourselves, Rogue would seem like the perfect brewery for us to have all their neat artwork against our wall. But who seriously wants to pay twelve dollars for a 22 oz bomber of an imperial ESB that weighs in at 7.2% ABV? Rogue, you seem to have gone astray, please let your decently priced Dirtoir Black Lager win us back.

RCRFGDBL (seriously?) pours jet black with a carmel head and smells like a chocolate stout or porter. It has a light to medium body that leaves your tongue much like a porter but with a slight chalky fuzziness. It hits your pallete like a sweet stout with no traces of alcohol. The finish is just okay- it's not missing too much but there could be more on the back end. We wish there was a little more warmth to the beer. Not all beers need to be imperial, this one just begs for a bit more bite.
We are impressed by how delicious this lager is. There is no idication, other than what is written on the bottle, that this is a lager. It is very comperable to a sweeter low alcohol stout and it would battle up there with the better of those styles. We are very pessimistic towards the word LAGER, but these guys found some strange ale yeast that fermented on the bottom for some reason. Wherever these guys found this magic yeast, let's hope they can utilize it in other bombers that costs less than 10-16 dollars.

Oz Scale: 7.3
Mike Scale: 7.4

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dogfish Head Fort

The worlds strongest fruit beer. It's a claim that only Dogfish Head can make with their 18% ABV brew, Fort. When brewed, they use over a ton of pureed raspberries in a Belgian-style base which is then fermented similar to the DFH's other 18% beers, 120 Minute IPA and World Wide Stout. Being a fan of Dogfish Head, alcohol and World Wide Stout (we have yet to get our hands on a 120,) Mike did not hesitate dropping the serious cash to get this single bottle. Once again, silly Ohio laws prevent such beverages from entering their borders, so he had to pick this one up in Pennsylvania.

Fort pours surprisingly smooth, and smells of fruit and spices- almost like a Riesling. Amber and slightly cloudy in color, the taste hits on the side of the tongue with a sweet and almost tart spiciness followed by some fruit flavors. The raspberries are in the latter half of flavor to hit the palette followed by an alcohol warmth. Being so high in alcohol, one would not believe that a brew like this could drink so smooth, but smooth it is. It's medium bodied and does not taste like it packs as much punch as it does.

Rating this beer is difficult. Do you rate by style? In that case, it would would be rated extremely high? Do you rate by taste? Originality? We are just going to rate how we normally do- how much we like it. The beer has some outstanding qualities and it's flaws are limited. It is NOT a session beer. Oz says: "It isn't a style that I would normally go for but the alcohol makes this yummy!" Dogfish Head keeps coming up with original beers and we will keep buying them. They could find a way to make ancient elephant excrement taste delicious or at least interesting.

Oz Scale: 8.7
Mike Scale: 8.5

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Erie Brewing Company Ol' Red Cease & Desist Wee Heavy Ale

Erie Brewing Company is the closest brewery to us that bottles and sells its own brew at other establishments other than its own. It's only 45 mile from the house of beer blog. It's sad that we live in such a small town that their is nothing closer to us that bottles but at least it's not Wyoming (for you Nick.)

We have tried Erie Brewing Company's beers before and have never been too impressed. Railbender Ale is okay and Misery Bay IPA is decent. There is nothing original nor anything special that makes you want to pick up another six pack of their brews.

At U-Pick-6 in Erie PA, Mike noticed a beer in their fridge that he had never seen before- Ol' Red. It looked interesting and carries a nice punch at 10.1% ABV. Could this beer save our perceptions of EBC?

Ever have first impressions that stuck? This beer is one of them. It has a good beginning with a nice malt taste, much unlike most red or wee ales. Everything goes down hill from there- it completely lacks in body. This beer is like "It" from the Addams Family. The alcohol does not seem to be too prevalent given the ABV but there doesn't seem to be any redeeming factors to it.

Erie Brewing Company- how you have let us down. Our three closest bottling brewers besides you, Great Lakes, Southern Tier & Thirsty Dog (sorry Buckeye Brewing, you don't quite have distribution to make the list) have put you to shame. They should Cease & Desist from creating beer. Keep with the brew pub for a while and let us know when you come up with something better. This beer should have been called Ol' Yeller instad of Ol' Red.

Oz Scale: 5.5
Mike Scale: 5.1

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Flying Dog Raging Bitch

With a beer named Raging Bitch, we could go on all day with bad puns and run-on jokes like in the past. However, we are going to do our best of keeping this one clean as possible.
Flying Dog has always presented us with some average to very good brews. Subpar performances include K-9 Cruiser, Dogtoberfest and Tire Bite. Their best selections include Double Dog & Gonzo Imperial Porter. Even if their beer sucks, you have at least some interesting Ralph Steadman artwork and a Hunter S. Thompson quote on the bottom to help you forget how awesomely mediocre that brew was.

Enter Raging Bitch: a feisty Belgian style IPA with a biting 8.3% ABV. If you are not familiar with the Belgian style IPA, then you will be soon. From Stone to Victory to New Belgium, it seems this style is gaining popularity. A Belgian style IPA is basically an IPA with a Belgian yeast strain. More or less, it's an IPA with a yeast infection.

The brew smells like a citrusy Belgian ale- the hops aren't too overpowering but it let's you know they are there. The color is a light amber reminiscent of most IPAs. When the Bitch hits the tongue, it tastes like what it promises- a Begian style IPA. However, this Bitch doesn't bite quite like we thought. The body is a little weak for the DIPA style. For being a 20th anniversary beer, maybe the Raging Bitch turned into that old dog that just puts it's head up when you walk in the door. It might growl, bark and it sure does look mean- but it just lays there thinking you aren't worth it's energy to get up.

I might have barked up the wrong tree on that run-on paragraph. It IS a good beer, it just doesn't taste like an 8.3% beer, it tastes like a session beer. Not that a session beer is bad, the Raging Bitch just didn't live up to expectations. It should have been called Angry Girlfriend Because You Forgot To Call On Time Belgian Style IPA.

Oz Scale: 6.9
Mike Scale: 6.9

*Editor's note: I failed on the bad puns and run-on jokes. I apologize.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Jolly Pumpkin La Roja

It's been one hot minute since we last posted, my friends. No, we weren't hiding under a bridge or road trippin' to the Dani California nor to the other side of Michigan. We just recorded some tunes and decided that we can't stop the blog. We have to take this to a higher ground. So we present to you, the first blog of the year- Jolly Pumpkin's La Roja.

La Roja is an amber farmhouse ale aged in oak barrels for two to ten months. It smells and looks like cider. This bomber won't get you bombed, weighing in at 7.2%, but it'll get you started. Upon entry of the beer receptacle, you will instantly recognize the Jolly Pumpkin yeast strain. Much like its brothers in brew- it is sweet, however, there is a spiciness to it with warm alcohol feel left on the tongue.

Considering all things Jolly Pumpkin, this is our second favorite next to Ordo de Calbaza. It's got instant recognition just like Anthony Keidis' voice and packs a nice punch just like his heroin habit,... well, maybe not that big of a punch. While very good, it IS incredibly Jolly Pumpkin like- more or less being in a parallel universe... of beer.
Oz Scale: 7.5
Mike Scale: 7.7