Ayinger Brewery – Celebrator Doppelbock

Ayinger Brewery – Germany

Celebrator Doppelbock – 11.2 oz. – 6.7% ABV

http://en.ayinger-bier.de/?pid=263

Celebrator pours dark brown and mostly opaque. You can see a little light around the edges of the glass. The pour had a small head, but it faded quickly.

The aroma is supreme malty goodness. There is a little bit of chocolate, as well. Maybe a bit of coffee, too… Just a hint.

The flavor is all malt, with just a small hint of hops. There is barely any hoppy bitterness. It has those coffee and chocolate flavors that were present in the aroma. I also taste some smokiness in there. Alcohol is present in the flavor in a pleasant amount.

Having had this before, I was curious to taste how it would handle a few months in the cellar. It aged surprisingly well over the course of 6 months. The flavors did develop in a good way. It’s a bit more well-rounded now. And that’s with the understanding that it was pretty well-rounded when it was fresh!

The beer has a medium body mouth feel, which is a bit thinner than expected. There’s also a high amount of carbonation. It’s not too carbonated, but I expected less.

Overall, Celebrator is currently my favorite German Doppelbock. I also think the bottle is great. The label has a “Coat of Arms” feel to it, and there is a horse pendant hanging from the bottle. Very cool.

A is for Awesome! Highly Recommended!

Published in: on August 29, 2010 at 9:36 am  Leave a Comment  
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Lindeman’s Peche Lambic

Brouwerij Lindemans – Belgium – 12oz.

Peche Lambic

“Lindeman’s Peche is a Lambic made from local barley, unmalted wheat and wild yeast. After spontaneous fermentation, peaches are added creating a secondary fermentation and yielding a beer of exceptional flavor and complexity.”

First of all, we should establish the definition of a Lambic Beer:

A Lambic Beer is a wheat beer exclusive to the Pajottenland region of Belgium that uses wild airborne yeast instead of cultivated yeast. It also goes through two fermentation cycles. The wild yeast often results in a strong acidic character that tastes sour or tart. Other derived beers include Geuze (pronounced Gooz) and Kreik (rhymes with Creek).

I purchased it for the wife, but I figured I’d “put it through it’s paces”.

It is a honey colored Lambic with a ½ inch head and aggressive carbonation.

The aroma is a bit yeasty with a wonderful sour note. Very tart on the nose. There is a mild hint of peaches. It actually smells pretty good.

Unfortunately, the tartness is under-represented in the flavor. It’s very sweet – like 8 on a scale of 10. The peach flavor is right up front. It fades quickly to malty sweetness and finishes with a very mild alcoholic bite. It reminds me of a wine cooler – and the wife nods her head in agreement as she reads this over my shoulder.

It’s not bad, it’s just not great. It would be much better if they could cut the overpowering sweetness and bring out the tart and sour undertones. But I’m sure the sweetness is what they are going for.

It’s great for someone who doesn’t like any bitterness at all in their beer. Zero bitterness- totally sweet. No hop flavors at all.

According to the bottle, the ingredients are water, barley malt, hops, yeast and fresh peaches. At least the ingredient list equals beer. Well, what can you do…  At least it looks nice in the photo…

Final Score = C+

Published in: on August 20, 2010 at 8:08 pm  Comments (2)  

Port Brewing – Midnight Sessions Lager

Port Brewing Co. – San Marcos, CA

Midnight Sessions Lager– 5% ABV– 22oz.

Well, I purchased this to share with my wife because it’s a “lager”.

Unfortunately for her, it’s not a lager in the Yuengling Lager sense of the word.

As I poured it, I realized it was not at all what I expected. Though, “Midnight” should have given me a clue.This thing is Black- Black as night, black as coal. Black, with a nice milk chocolate colored head.

Strangely enough, I had a lot of trouble pouring it into the glass. There was so much carbonation, it foamed half way up the glass. After about 3 minutes, there was enough room to add another inch of beer, only to wait for the foam to settle. The head was as thick as whipped cream, not kidding! You could actually eat it was a spoon. (it’s very tasty that way)

The aroma is like chocolate ice cream and coffee… like Mocha. Better for a colder fall or winter night- which today was not.

The flavor is so malty with a bit of hops. There is some bitterness of the black coffee variety. Roasted malt flavors are the main focus here. The flavor is deep and bold. There are many versions of the caramel and burnt sugar adjectives that I could use to describe it. Also some flavors of baking bread and roasting grains.

The consistency is much thinner than I would have expected, especially since I had preconceived notions based on the thick, creamy head. There is good drinkability, but this brew is much more appropriate for colder days and nights.

Port Brewing does a great job again. Not at all what I originally expected, but a good surprise!

Final Score: A-.

Published in: on August 18, 2010 at 7:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bear Republic Brewing Co. – Racer 5 IPA

Bear Republic Brewing Co., Healdsburg, CA

Racer 5 India Pale Ale, 7% ABV, $1.99 for a 12oz bottle.

bearrepublic.com

“Keep cold, respect life, don’t D & D, real ale is alive, yeast is good, serve at 45-50 degrees F.”

Normally, I wouldn’t put an IPA in a Pilsner glass, but the glasses are new… I couldn’t resist.

The glass did its job and created a 2” foamy, off-white head on top of this copper hued IPA. There’s minimal carbonation, but there are a lot of particles floating around.

The smell is excellent- lots of hops along with pineapple and mango fruit notes. It doesn’t smell like it would be bitter, but we’ll see…

The flavor is mostly fruit notes, with a dry, bitter finish. There is also a bit of malt in the flavor, but just a bit. A true IPA. Alcohol is present in the flavor and it does seem to leave a bit of an aftertaste, in addition to some heat.

The mouth feel is great, with more body than a normal IPA. As a comparison, it’s definitely thicker than your average Lager.

The beer continues to develop with each sip. Different flavor notes arise as it warms up… nice! (Possibly some apricot?)

Racer 5 is a good IPA. I wish the alcohol was a bit more subtle; not necessarily less, just a bit more elusive.

Racer 5 gets a B+.

Published in: on August 9, 2010 at 8:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

Southern Tier Brewing Co. – 2XIPA

Southern Tier Brewing Co., Lakewood, NY

2XIPA- Double India Pale Ale, $1.99 for a 12 oz. bottle.

southerntierbrewing.com

“Brewed with 4 varieties of hops and 3 types of malt.”

A recent purchase right off the shelf, this was recommended by someone who simply heard it was good… Sometimes, that’s good enough for me!

First off, this had an excellent first impression. I poured it into my glass and it was gorgeous! Crystal clear and golden honey-colored with a moderate amount of carbonation. The off-white head was thick and foamy. It really looked good. It was so clear and golden; it reminded me of a different style of beer.

The aroma is strong in hops. Nice, fruity types with just a hint of pine. Great aroma.

It tastes very balanced, which can be uncommon for a double IPA because they usually have tons of hops that tip the balance of flavor. There are also some bready-malt flavors that are interspersed with the fruity and bitter hops. There is just a bit of alcohol bite.

Incidentally, it’s a bit mellower than other double IPAs I’ve had. They often have a stronger alcohol kick. All the extra ingredients used to make an IPA a “Double”, gives the yeast a lot more food to eat, resulting in more alcohol. The 2XIPA still has a good amount of alcohol. The bottle isn’t labeled, but I’d guess it’s around 7 to 7.5% ABV.

The mouth feel is average, similar to the feel of a Lager type of beer.

Overall, it’s a nice, inexpensive and easy to drink Double IPA that isn’t harsh.

Let’s give it a B+.

Published in: on August 5, 2010 at 9:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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