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