Posts Tagged ‘beer tasting’

Blogged in accordance with the German Beer Purity Law of 1516

January 22, 2009

I gave the Warsteiner Premium Verum a spin.  I love it’s Dunkel brother (who I once spent a week at a hotel in Columbus writing Pit code with) so I had high hopes.  This pilsner didn’t dissappoint.  It’s easy drinking and another excellent choice for the “bred on Bud” man.  I’m still more a fan of the Dunkel, but partaking of both would be an enjoyable evening.  I just don’t know if I can find it easily around here.

I’m giving this a low to mid Darkside rating.

I think I’ve found the new tag line for this blog.

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A year removed from the beginning

January 21, 2009

Today is an anniversary of sorts.  It was a year ago that I started the Part-Time Developer series.  I believe it made it 6 in length before things started moving in a hurry for me.  I’m in the process of lining things up for some similiar home work.  Yes I’ve been hinting at it for a while now, but it is coming together.

The year since that post was pretty hectic but I came home with a smile on my face today.  Why?  I had a good productive day at work and it just put me in a good mood.  It’s so nice to have those days.

I had the Indiana Amber from Oaken Barrel Brewing Company the other night.  It was very tasty.  If you like Killian’s Red, which it seems like most beer drinkers do, I think this would be an excellent choice to start coming over to the darkside of craft brews.  This is one I’d love to find a 6-pack of for a proper review.  I’m giving it a mini rating of a strong Darkside of the Moon.

Mini-reviews: Founders Brews

January 18, 2009

Founder’s Dirty Bastard is a Scotch style ale.  In the glass it looked like murky dark water.  I didn’t give it the in depth light bulb test, I just held it up to the lamp.  It had a nice taste.  These Scotch ales usually fall into the I love or hate category, no in-betweens.  But this one falls right in the middle at the moment.  Worth a second look and a possible six pack in the future.  It’s a mini rating of a high On An Island.

Since we’re on the topic of Founders Brewery, I had their Pale Ale late summer last year.  I made a note of it but never gave it a proper review.  I’ll only give it a mini rating now since it’s been so long and I made no documentation other than the name.  I know I really enjoyed it and thought it represented what a nice pale ale should be.  It will be one to try again and give a full review.  It gets a mini-rating of mid Darkside of the Moon.

Mini review: Spaten Premium

January 12, 2009

I’m currently sipping on a Spaten Premium from Spaten.  Even before opening it (and confirmed upon), this reminds me of Grolsch and other lagers of that ilk.  Green bottle, a somewhat skunky smell, and a bity taste.  I was into Grolsch for a while, though that may have been because of the cool stoppered bottle.

This lager’s got a okay taste, very light.  But that little bit of skunky bite is still there.  I think I’d pass this one up.  I’m gonna have to give this a mini-rating of a low On An Island.  I wouldn’t seek this one out.

I am interested in trying the Spaten Optimator.  I’ve always enjoyed Dopple Bock’s.

Mini review: Santa's Butt Winter Porter

January 11, 2009

Santa’s Butt has a rear view of Santa looking over a list and holding a mug of brew while sitting on a beer barrel.  The label explains that “butt” refers to a very large barrel used to hold beer.  This beer was banned for a short time in Maine because they worried it would appeal to children.

As porters go, this one is pretty unremarkable.  I’m a big lover of porters and I’ve got no complaints with this one.  It went down easy last night as a reward for blowing the driveway out again.  But it was just your normal porter.

So I’d have to give it a mini-rating of On An Island.  It was good, no complaints, but I wouldn’t actively seek it out again.

Tasty choices: Help!

January 5, 2009

I received some liquid refreshments as a gift a month or so ago and finding my personal cache out of stock, it’s time to dig into these other goodies.  I have 7 different brews to sample and thus will be giving a mini review of each.  Without the standard 4-6 pack, these minis won’t be as in depth or hold as much weight as my other reviews, but they may lead me to seek out more to confirm my thoughts.

I thought I’d do a little reader outreach and let you decide the first three of which I should partake.  When I find a good evening to have one, the top vote getter at that time will be the one I try.  Then we’ll continue on with more voting for the final four.  So either post in the comments or send me an email the top three you’d want me to try.  I’ll use a statistically accurate model to weight the first through third choices and come out with the three I’ll try first.

Here’s the choices:

  1. Santa’s Butt Winter Porter (Ridgeway Brewing, Oxfordshire, UK)
  2. Indiana Amber (Oaken Barrel Brewing Co., Greenwood, IN)
  3. Mad Anthony India Pale Ale (Mad Anthony Brewing Company, Fort Wayne, IN)
  4. Spaten Premium (Spaten-Franziskaner-Brau, Munich)
  5. Third Coast Beer (Bell’s Brewery, Comstock, MI)
  6. Dirty Bastard Ale (Founders Brewing Company, Grand Rapids, MI)
  7. Warsteiner Premium Verum (Warsteiner Brauerei Haus, Germany)
Please help me out!

Woman: That's the answer

December 26, 2008

Bell’s Hell Hath No Fury… Ale

I think you know that beers that have entertaining labels bring me immense pleasure. Nothing like the brewery putting some thought into the label as much as the brew. This one has a small funny looking devil, replete with horns and pointy tail. He has a very tentative smile and worried eyes looking up at a lady, hands on hips, looking at him with an unhappy look on her face. Very fitting given the name of the beer.

The description from the back reads “A brew that gives you either sympathy for the devil or the courage to face him. Goes especially well with your favorite lost my girl/truck/dog/trailer song.” Not present on the bottle, but the six pack carrier shows is as an American Dubbel Dark Ale.

Pours out black as tar in the glass with a creamy brown head. No seeing any light through this. Initial reaction to this would make me think of a porter. Smells of roasted or burnt malts. It really makes you question the ale name.

First sip – WOW! It’s definitely not what you’d expect. Flavor explodes in your mouth. The liquid flows with a creamy thick smoothness across your tongue. It’s such a surprise that you just want to keep sipping it to allay your disbelief. That could be bad as the 7.5% alc. by volume gives it a kick that sneaks up on you. I can speak from experience that this is a heavy beer. Even having just one or two in an evening, you wake up knowing you drank something of quality.

Time for my ruling, start the drum roll please. Bell’s Brewery continues to amaze me. I’ve still not found one of their beers that I wouldn’t drink again. This isn’t a beer that you’d want to sit down and drink a whole six pack in one sitting. This is the sort that you sip by the fire or as you gaze out on the snow falling. As far as rating, this is a strong Animals. I’m going to give it my favorite song off that album, Dogs. This would be a great beer to sit and listen to all 17 minutes of Dogs and reflect on its meaning.

A hoot of an ale

November 23, 2008

It’s amazing how many of the different beers I’ve tried since moving north of the border are made right here in Michigan. It could be some preference of Flick’s to carry more local brews or maybe luck of the draw. I know I wouldn’t mind if they’d bring some Pennsylvania brews in also. I’ve had many a hoppy brew from there in the past.

Today’s selection is from Bell’s Brewery and is a seasonal that is just coming online. It’s their Best Brown Ale.

It’s got a soft brown color and not a lot of head with the pour. My sniffer isn’t working very well at the moment so I can’t comment on the smell. It’s got a nice malty taste. Smooth as silk as it glides over the tongue. It then finishes with some some sweetness at the back of the tongue. At times, I almost get a slight porter-type taste, which is a real treat for me. This is a wonderful introduction to the cold weather before moving on to the hearty porter and stouts that are great to sip by the fire.

Ah, which reminds me of the bottle which shows an owl sitting on a snow kissed fence post.

According to the FloydWing scale, this one makes a strong midrange Darkside of the Moon showing.

All Jacked Up

October 22, 2008

I had bought the Jaw-Jacker Ale from Arcadia Brewing Company back on the weekend when I missed the Octobeerfest.  I thought I’d have my own tastings of a variety of brews.  It didn’t work out that way and I had brews in the fridge for quite a while.  I bought it thinking it was a pumpkin ale.  Now I’m one that doesn’t get into the fruit and other girly crap some breweries throw in their brews, but after having an amazingly tasty Pumpkin Ale that tasted like Thanksgiving pumpkin pie at the 2007 Octobeerfest (which I discovered I never blogged about), and a tasty blueberry ale I had in South Haven, MI, I’m more up to try such things.  Turns out this wasn’t really a pumpkin ale.

Arcadia Brewing Company is out of Battle Creek, Michigan, so it continues my kick of Michigan breweries.

First off, I love the label.  It’s got a scarecrow with a pumpkin head.  The head is looking to the side with a big mouth full of shark type teeth.  A fogginess looks to be coming out of the mouth.  It describes itself as an ale with spices added (Cinnamon, Allspice, and Nutmeg).  Yeah, I didn’t read the label when I bought it.  Never got by the picture.

The beer has a brownish-red color when held up to light.  It has very little head on the pour, bubbling away quickly.  My handicapped snout found it to smell of nutmeg.  It has a wonderful spicy flavor that gives a nice little extra taste on both sides of the back of the tongue.

To me, this is a cheaper, local version of La Chouffe.  But I must say that it makes a very nice substitute for it and is made right here in the US, Michigan specifically.  One thing I did happen upon, after getting sidetracked after pouring a glass, is that it gets better as you let it get a little warmer.  This is a big plus in my book, as most of the mass produced dross becomes nearly undrinkable if not at fridge temp.

I’m ranking this in the middle area of Darkside of the Moon.  I will definitely buy this again if it’s still available and try other Arcadia beers.

Mississippi Mud, you know what I mean

October 6, 2008

Today’s beer review comes to us from Utica, New York and the Mississippi Brewing Company.  I don’t see the connection either.  This was a beer I picked up a few weeks back when I was going to have my own Oktobeerfest at home, but I just got around to trying it.

It is the Mississippi Mud Black & Tan.  This comes in a quart size mini jug that looks like it’s got a porcelain sleeve around it, though it’s just a covering over the jug.  The edges even look a little rusted or worn.  Pretty cool.  A+ just for the looks.

This bottled black & tan is a blend of a porter and a pilsner.  Unlike the kind you order when out at a restaurant, when it comes in a bottle there’s no separation of the beers.

After pouring it into my pint glass it looked quite dark.  However, upon holding it up to a light it turned out to be more of a brownish red color.  Drinking it gives a slight initial bit on the tip of your tongue but then a nice mellow finish as it washes over the back.  There’s pretty much no hoppiness in this and plenty of malt taste.

In my initial impressions, I didn’t think there was going to be anything special about this brew.  But it turned out to be a quite nice easy drinking beer.  It didn’t blow my socks off, but went down smooth and was enjoyable.  I picked it up for $2.99 for a quart.  Try to get two pints in a bar for that price.  So I think this will be a decent treat now and then.  It might be nice to pick up a few for when some buddies stop by.

Well, since Sixftunda didn’t get back to me on the ordering of songs on my album beer scale and I haven’t sat down to listen and rank them, I’ll just have to give it a strong, middle, or weak rating on the chosen album.  I’m going to rank this beer as a weak to middle Darkside of the Moon.  Subsequent drinkings could change this, but I’m comfortable with it there for now.

Once again, I broke my 4/6 pack standard for judging beers, but it’s hard with these special varieties.  I’ll gladly buy another to confirm my rating.  Hopefully Flick’s keeps carrying them.

I’ve got a few more beers in the fridge that I plan to review in the coming weeks.  One of them I picked up at the suggestion of one of our esteemed readers.  I also plan to pick up another suggestion in a week or so, making sure to give all their fair FloydWing rating.