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Thread: Ymm, Beer

  1. #3401
    Quote Originally Posted by bluebear View Post
    Interesting article on this along with some potentially big news about next year..
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...3684_blog.html
    Our Special Ale-Anchor Brewing

    After 38 years of brewing, this is still one of the better winter brews. It's basically a porter with a dark brown color and slightly cloudy appearance with aromas of cocoa and "spices." Each year is a different "secret" recipe and the varieties of hops, malts and spices are never revealed and I rarely can discern what the special additive/s are. This year, I think it's a blend of allspice and nutmeg but that's just a guess. I sniffed the usual suspects from our spice rack at home and still can't pinpoint the smells and tastes. Thick foamy head with the flavor becoming even more enjoyable as the beer warms. This would be good with fruit or spiced cakes or by itself. I'd guess the IBU about 30 and the ABV is listed at 5.5%. A classic certainly worth a 6er to savor a couple, trade a couple and save a couple for next winter to compare with the 39th edition. I received two of these as traders and thank dpslaw and my drug rep buddy for the bottles.


    Both your posts inspired me to crack open one from my six pack a bit early.

    Pours a dense translucent brown with a thick, rich tan head that lingers.

    Smells like gingerbread, which makes me a bit apprehensive. Bison Brewing's Gingerbread organic beer is an atrocity whose commercial success I don't understand ( to be fair, their Chocolate Stout and Honey Basil beers are outstanding).

    Very bitter astringent up front, which dissipates quickly and finishes like a gingerbread man, all spice and sweet.
    Quite a worthy dessert beer.

    You could probably split a 12oz bottle between 2 people, not for alcohol reasons, but the flavours are strong and a little goes a long way. A good winter session sipper.

    I'm intrigued by Anchor's assertion in the article that they have taken spiced beer as far as it can go. I hope Anchor is more creative than another winter wet hop or double IPA entry.
    My first Our Special Ale was spiced with spruce, which led me to brew a spruce beer for the following Christmas.

    The label on the spruce extract said 1 tablespoon per gallon, and the total bottle was 5 teaspoons. Convenient, since most homebrewers brew in 5 gallon batches.
    Long story short, it was undrinkable- smelled and tasted like Pine Sol. I aged it for 3 years, opening another bottle every holiday season hoping it would mellow to no avail.
    I finally poured it all out after year three. If I ever dared try again, I think 1 tablespoon would have been plenty.
    Happy Holidays!

  2. #3402
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh
    Jackpot. Had a half price burger and a five for $5 (draft) beer sampler for dinner tonight. First up:

    Brown Angel-Clown Shoes Beers/Mercury Brewing Company

    Not your usual brown ale. In fact, on the label it is called a double brown ale. Not quite of the imperial variety but a bit hoppier and more robust. 40 IBU and 7% ABV to be exact. Modestly piney nose with a slightly cloudy medium to dark brown pour, this had nutty, caramel flavors with a hint of cocoa. Our waitress said a "double shot glass" sized sample and I think it was about 3 ounces. Just enough to quench my thirst a bit before sampling Unearthly and starting on my burger.

    beer_121376.jpg
    Not leaving until the game is over.

  3. #3403

    Southern Tier 2Xmas

    I've often said stylistically, Southern Tier's hallmark is an exaggeration of style.

    Well, I am getting ready to strap myself in for a wild ride with Southern Tier's holiday beer.

    Based on Swedish Glogg (really?), this beer is brewed with figs, orange peel, cardamom, cinnamon, clove and ginger root.

    Pours a deep reddish translucent brown.
    The nose is all chai tea (cardamom?).

    Front palate is very much chai tea, similar to Dogfish Head SahTea, but maybe a bit cleaner and smoother(by memory SahTea is a bit rough around the edges in a nice way).

    The finish is a bit odd. I am at a loss to describe it- my first thought was like licking a stone, my second thought was almost an absence of flavour. There is a sharp contrast of the full flavours of chai tea or "holiday in a glass" type spices that finishes very cleanly.

    I like the Anchor 2012 Our Special Ale better, but they are not really comparable- very different tastes.

    The orange and fig sweetness may come out a bit mid-palate, and I think any bitterness must be from the spices. This twice spiced ale may not be twice as nice, but it is a good beer in keeping with the Southern Tier way. I'd swear there is no way this is an 8% beer, the alcohol is well hidden- drinker beware!

    A really nice dessert beer, something that would go nicely with (over?) a pound cake, vanilla ice cream, or something fairly plain that allows the beer to shine.

    Worth seeking out. Like the Anchor Our Special Ale, you can drink 12oz or maybe split with a friend.

    Cheers!

  4. #3404
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh
    Sample #2:

    Unearthly (draft)-Southern Tier

    I'll "unc" this a bit here and re-post a review from 11/19/11 and just add that I thought the draft version was a bit smoother with a bit more citrus.

    Unearthly-Southern Tier

    They were correct on their label when they stated "most aggressive." This is one heavily hopped brew and I'd guess easily 100 IBU or more. However, the incredible malt backbone with caramel and toffee-like flavors achieves a nice balance to the herbal and piney aromas from the Chinook, Centennial. Cascade and Styrian Golding varieties used in the 3 tiered hopping/brewing process. ABV is high at 9.5%. I was a bit surprised to see red wheat listed as one of the grains but it makes sense now as the rich copper color is slightly tinged with red and orange and it is a bit cloudy to pour with a hint of citrus on the palate. Enjoy this in a snifter for your nightcap or with some curry or spicy Chinese food.
    Not leaving until the game is over.

  5. #3405
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh
    #3 for the evening:

    Delirium Noel (draft)-Brouwerij Huyghe

    Very complex beer. A Belgian strong ale. Think an imperial dubbel ale meaning a medium brown pour with sweet dark caramel aromas and tastes of dark brown sugar, cherries, rum and chocolate covered caramels. I'd guess IBU about 30 with the stated ABV of 10%. Far too smooth and dangerous drinking at that ABV level. Fortunately, this was also about a 3 ounce sample. I drank this a bit out of order as the next brew was a bit lower ABV. This was substituted for The Great Dismal Black IPA at my request when I was notified they had run out of that Norfolk, Virginia brew by the O'Connor Brewing Company. I was heart broken.

    beer_5998.jpg
    Not leaving until the game is over.

  6. #3406
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh
    #4 sample:

    Corsendonk Christmas Ale (draft)-Brouwerij Corsendonk


    Another luscious Belgian ale. This is their annual Christmas offering and is also of the dubbel variety with a bit more octane and a sprinkle of coriander, which is a bit unusual to add to a dark ale. I'd guess IBU about 30 and the ABV is a bit less potent at "only" 8.5%. There was a small, tan head on this 3 ounce sample and prominent tastes of dark dried fruits like raisins, dates and figs with a bit of chocolate and dark brown sugar, thinking there is Belgian candi sugar added in the brewing process. Little bitterness up front or in the end. A classic. I actually saved this for a dessert beer along with the final sample/review of the evening.

    beer_996.jpg
    Not leaving until the game is over.

  7. #3407
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh
    5th and final brew of the night:

    Mad Elf (draft)-Troegs Brewing

    Not to be confused with the Bad Elf series from England, this is an American strong ale that arrived as a clear, reddish-brown 3 ounce sample that smelled and tasted like a chocolate cherry flavored brandy. I'd guess IBU about 40 and the ABV is a whopping 11% and it does have an alcohol "burn." Its sweetness is enhanced by honey added in the brewing process giving it notes of medium brown sugar, too. You could have this as a beverage with dessert, poured over a plain or chocolate pound cake, or by itself. There will be a 12 ounce bottle appearing in certain family member's stockings hung by the chimney with care in about 3 weeks. Ho-ho-ho!

    beer_19994.jpg
    Not leaving until the game is over.

  8. #3408
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh
    The aforementioned 5 beer sampler was enjoyed at the Green Leafe Tavern in Williamsburg, Virginia. Forgot to give the proper credit. I'll usually drink "local" but it was nearly impossible to pass up these choices.
    Not leaving until the game is over.

  9. #3409
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh
    Snowdrift Vanilla Porter-Leinenkugel Brewing

    I am not a big Leinie fan but this was a surprisingly good trader from CameronBornAndBred at our last Brunchgate. This one really fooled me as the bottle smelled like gingerbread and I thought these folks had discovered a new technique of imparting a great smell onto an inert object but then I remembered that the sticky feeling to the bottle was a JuJu Ginger he had shattered in his cooler while traveling back from Virginia over the Thanksgiving holiday so I had to discount that in my initial impression of the actual bottled beverage.

    Now for the beer review. Poured a clear, dark brown with a small tan head. Nose is coffee and cocoa but the tastes are moderately strong vanilla with a bit of cocoa and oak. No booze and no barrel aging. Low bitterness with no discernible hop presence (not a bad thing), guessing IBU around 30 and the ABV is 6% on the bottle. This would be fine with any chocolate or caramel desserts or bread pudding or by itself. Breckenridge Vanilla Porter sets the standard in this category but I would sip another one of these easily if offered again.
    Not leaving until the game is over.

  10. #3410
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Bern, NC unless it's a home football game then I'm grilling on Devil's Alley
    Quote Originally Posted by devildeac View Post
    Snowdrift Vanilla Porter-Leinenkugel Brewing

    I am not a big Leinie fan but this was a surprisingly good trader from CameronBornAndBred at our last Brunchgate. This one really fooled me as the bottle smelled like gingerbread and I thought these folks had discovered a new technique of imparting a great smell onto an inert object but then I remembered that the sticky feeling to the bottle was a JuJu Ginger he had shattered in his cooler while traveling back from Virginia over the Thanksgiving holiday so I had to discount that in my initial impression of the actual bottled beverage.

    Now for the beer review. Poured a clear, dark brown with a small tan head. Nose is coffee and cocoa but the tastes are moderately strong vanilla with a bit of cocoa and oak. No booze and no barrel aging. Low bitterness with no discernible hop presence (not a bad thing), guessing IBU around 30 and the ABV is 6% on the bottle. This would be fine with any chocolate or caramel desserts or bread pudding or by itself. Breckenridge Vanilla Porter sets the standard in this category but I would sip another one of these easily if offered again.
    Agreed on the review. I hadn't seen this one before so I bought a sixer. I like Leine's for what they are, but I wouldn't usually include one in a trader..this is one that stood out well enough to make the selection. Bummer about that gingerbread brew...it wasn't a Ju Ju, it was a Bison Organic Gingerbread ale and it was mighty tasty. I bought 2..one to trade and one to drink. Instead, in the end, I bought one to drink and one to sacrifice to the "listen to your girlfriend" gods as she told me it looked like I was carrying to much stuff to the car.
    Mmmm, BBQ!

  11. #3411

    Random musings

    A trip to Colorado this week enabled me to re-acquaint myself with Gordon Biersch as well as try C&B Potts.

    Not real great notes (from memory) but Gordon Biersch is as remembered- their pilsner and marzen were excellent.

    C&B Potts had a great porter, and I tried a "sampler wheel"- their hefe and dunkelweizen were excellent, the blonde was good for the style. Their pale ale was pretty week, but their red ales were nice.

    I received a "beer advent" calendar while away so I opened quite a few days this morning.
    Including:
    Pere Noel
    Big Boss Harvest Time
    Mother Earth Old Neighborhood
    Shiner Cheer
    Olde Hickory Cold Mountain
    Ovila Dubbel
    Starr Hill Northern Lights IPA

    I won't catch up in one evening for sure but I am excited to try the "new to me" Pere Noel and Cold Mountain.

  12. #3412
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Richmond, Va
    Wish I would've known you would be passing thru town, dd, I would've tried to catch up with you. You probably passed within a mile of my store on the way to W'burg. Just finishing an American amber ale, should be ready about 5 days from now.

  13. #3413
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh
    Quote Originally Posted by duketaylor View Post
    Wish I would've known you would be passing thru town, dd, I would've tried to catch up with you. You probably passed within a mile of my store on the way to W'burg. Just finishing an American amber ale, should be ready about 5 days from now.
    Didn't even think about it, Chuck. My bad. Save a couple for me when you come down for a game later this month or next. Or, if you are on your way to Charlotte for the bowl, make a detour through Raleigh. Unfortunately, I am working 12/27-1/1 inclusive (well, I am off NY eve and NY day)and will not attend the bowl but am accepting samples.
    Not leaving until the game is over.

  14. #3414
    Quote Originally Posted by devildeac View Post
    Didn't even think about it, Chuck. My bad. Save a couple for me when you come down for a game later this month or next. Or, if you are on your way to Charlotte for the bowl, make a detour through Raleigh. Unfortunately, I am working 12/27-1/1 inclusive (well, I am off NY eve and NY day)and will not attend the bowl but am accepting samples.
    Well, that answers that question- I was wondering if we'd see you in Charlotte. Bummer.

  15. #3415
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh
    White (draft)-Allagash

    Classic representation of a typical/traditional Belgian wheat ale. Straw colored and cloudy from the wheat malt, this light ale's citrus notes are enhanced by the added coriander and Curacao orange peel. Hints of black pepper from Belgian yeast add just a bit to the hop bitterness which is rather mild, guessing 20 IBU. The ABV is 5% so I was able to enjoy the musical we saw last Wednesday night after pint night at Tyler's AND drive home afterward. Plus, I got to keep the cool Allagash tulip glass, which is probably worth $5 by itself.

    beer_3014.jpg
    Not leaving until the game is over.

  16. #3416
    So is anyone going to try to buy some of these tomorrow?
    http://121212xii.wordpress.com/2012/12/03/hello-world/
    Only 4 stores in MA and none are close enough to my work or home to try. I got to taste this a few years ago and it was really good but not sure it was that much better than a few other quads like Rochefort or St.. Bernardus. If someone wants to buy a box and send me a bottle or 6 though, I will gladly accept : )

  17. #3417
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh
    Quote Originally Posted by bluebear View Post
    So is anyone going to try to buy some of these tomorrow?
    http://121212xii.wordpress.com/2012/12/03/hello-world/
    Only 4 stores in MA and none are close enough to my work or home to try. I got to taste this a few years ago and it was really good but not sure it was that much better than a few other quads like Rochefort or St.. Bernardus. If someone wants to buy a box and send me a bottle or 6 though, I will gladly accept : )
    I saw another retailer was selling these via pre-order for about $84 but can't remember who/where it was. I will likely make a trip by the Total Wine near my office after clinic about noon and the one near my house on the way home. Not saying whether I'll find any but would spring for a 6er or two if you would have your funds deposited in my bank account in the Caymans. Works out to $14/bottle with two free glasses or $12 for each beer and $6 for each glass. Cheaper than a trip to the monastery. I had one about a decade ago delivered by an American Airlines pilot and thought it was outstanding. It appears to be for a good cause as they are restoring the abbey, IIRC. Wonder if I can make it a charitable contribution...
    Not leaving until the game is over.

  18. #3418
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh
    Fade to Black Volume 4-Left Hand Brewing

    They label it a Rocky Mountain Black Ale but I thought it more resembled a black IPA. The difference being the bitterness/hops, ABV and flavors. Poured a clean brown-black with a small tan head. Citrus nose (think burnt orange peel) with tastes of the same with a splash of bakers cocoa and chocolate caramel. IBU tip the scale at 64 with an ABV of 6.5%, right about in line with a standard IPA. This was a trader from CB&B and highly appreciated. I think I've had one other edition of Fade to Black a year or two ago. Good choice to serve with smoked winter meats, sausages or grilled pork/beef entrees.

    beer_155664.jpg
    Not leaving until the game is over.

  19. #3419
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh
    Stella Artois (can)-Stella Artois Brewery (d'oh!)

    I think fuse may have mentioned several months ago that Stella was available canned and neither of us had ever seen it but here it is. Grocery store beer! Sold in a 10 pack of 14.9 ounce cans for about $13-14, I picked up a 'fridge pack of it tonight and couldn't wait to try one and then share/trade a few over the holidays. Far, far superior to the skunky stuff sold in green 12 ounce bottles. Poured a light straw color with a modest head, the aromas are of fresh flowers and light brown sugar/caramel. Low bitterness with an estimated IBU of 10 and I'd guess the ABV to be about 4% so a very easy drinking beer. This would pair nicely with some soft, mild cheeses pre-dinner and chicken or light seafood entrees with pineapple or mango salsa. Reminds me of the contrast between bottled Pilsner Urquell (skunky!) and the draft version (world class). Worlds of difference.
    Not leaving until the game is over.

  20. #3420
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh
    Snow Day-New Belgium Brewing

    An interesting twist to a winter brew. Part wheat, part IPA, part winter warmer. Poured a light mahogany with a creamy mocha head. A dash of grapefruit zest, a pinch of cocoa, a splash of caramel and a dash of coffee. Brewed with midnight wheat and pale malts with three hops, there is a bit of a bite with the IBU at 55, a bit of sweetness with the ABV at 6.2% and a dry finish. I had this with a couple German chocolate cake cookies and found the combination very pleasant. Worth a single, draft or 6er for the season to trade or share.

    beer_156975.jpg

    Ho-Ho-Ho!
    Not leaving until the game is over.

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