Early Warning on Upcoming Beer Event!!

Having recently posted information about a beer event the night before, I thought it prudent to give interested parties more notice:

Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010.  11am until whenever the kegs kick.

Blue Dog Tavern, Chalfont, PA

Will be attending an event with an impressive list of rare, or hard to find beers.  Some of these are “Required Tasting”.  It should make for a great day! 

As of today, the current line-up includes:

Founders Breakfast Stout – 2009

Founders Breakfast Stout – 2010

Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout

Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout (subject to timely regisration with the PLCB)

Founders Nemesis

Founders Devil Dancer

Russian River Temptation

Russian River Consecration- recently reviewed on this blog

Russian River Supplication- recently reviewed on this blog

Lost Abbey Bourbon-Barrel The Angel’s Share

Ballast Point Sculpin

Brooklyn Blast

Brooklyn Detonation

Lagunitas Fusion 3 Stout (10% abv)

Victory Village Coffee Brown Ale (5.1% abv)

Cantillon Rosé De Gambrinus -Lambic beer brewed with raspberries (5% abv

Published in: on September 19, 2010 at 7:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

Batemans XXXB Classic Premium Pale Ale

Batemans – England – 1pt., .9oz. – $5.49

 Triple XB – Classic Premium Pale Ale – XXXB – 5% ABV

 www.batemans.co.uk

 Described on the bottle as a copper-red biter with Maris Otter Pale and Crystal malts, combined with wheat malt.  English Goldings and American Liberty hops.  Peppery hop flavor, with ripe vine fruits and biscuity malt flavors.  Goes well with cheese and red meat.  Bottle notes that it’s vegan friendly.

 The pour is certainly a copper-red color just as the bottle describes.  There was a ½ inch head when poured that dissipated quickly to a thin lacy surface coating.

 The aroma is interesting… It’s more malty with a clear undertone of spices.  I’m not too familiar with the “peppery-ness” that is described on the bottle, but I think that is what I’m smelling.  There are also sugar related aromas, caramel in particular.

 Flavor resembles the aroma: mostly malty with a small touch of bterness from the hops.  The hop flavors are different than other pale malts I’ve had previously, as they are neither piney or fruity.  I would have to say that Batemans marketing department did a good job with the ale description on the bottle.  I hate not figuring this out for myself, but the flavor definitely has the peppery notes as described.  One thing I can decide is that this is an interesting and delicious English pale ale.  It is very dry resulting in a pretty refreshing glass of beer.

 High maltiness seems to make it a bit more full-bodied in texture.  Has a nice mouth feel because of that.  More appropriate on cooler evenings like tonight where it’s 60 degrees outside.  If it wasn’t $5.50 a pint, I could make this a sessionable beer to keep in the fridge all the time.

 There is an aftertaste, but it was actually more pleasant than not.  It lingers and encourages another sip.  Thick lacing traced down the inside of the glass as the level went down.

 Overall, a really nice surprise.  It’s not quite what I’m used to as far as pale ales, but I like this variation.  Those Brits can sure make beer.

 Final Score – A-

Published in: on September 19, 2010 at 7:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Write up of Russian River Brewing tasting from Friday Sept. 10, 2010

Today I’ll be posting my comments from Friday night’s Russian River Brewing tasting from The Blue Dog Pub (September 10, 2010).

With 4 great beers available, I didn’t think it very wise to have a full glass of each.  So the first review is a “One Sip” Review.  Not to be taken too seriously, of course…

Blind Pig IPA- In One Sip, I will describe the major qualities of this very good IPA.  Keep in mind, this is just so I make sure I taste everything, but still have the ability to get home legally.  Always an important consideration.

So, Blind Pig is a single IPA with lots of piney hop flavors.  There is a small malt flavor, as well, but the main focus here is the hops.  There are a ton of them!  The flavors are very fresh, and that freshness is one of the best qualities of this beer.  It leads to a bright, crisp flavor that is a huge asset.  It has a light golden color.  Mouth feel is medium to light bodied.  Really nice IPA. 

Quick Score for Blind Pig – A-

Second on the list of excellent beers tonight is a full glass of Pliny the Elder.  Rated by many beer websites and aficionados as one of the best beers in the World.  High praise, indeed.

Elder is a Double IPA and it made sense to drink one of these after the single IPA.  My glass arrived and I could smell the aroma emanating from the tulip glass filled to the brim with this luscious elixir.

The aroma is actually a bit more subtle than Blind Pig- a bit of a surprise.  The first sip revealed a really complex flavor that had a very good balance.  It was much harder to pick out every separate flavor, as the hops and malt were so well balanced.  Basically, it has tons of piney hops with a strong malty backbone.  The freshness here is amazing, too.  There are underlying flavors of grapefruit, both the sweet and bitter aspects.

This is a beer that is very high on the IBU scale (the IBU scale is a measurement of the level of bitterness in a beer – International Bitterness Unit).  Definitely for the Hop Heads of the world.

The mouth feel is particularly amazing.  It’s full bodied, and thicker than other IPAs that I’ve had.  There is a nice level of carbonation that combines with the thickness to give it a very silky feel.

Overall, Russian River Pliny the Elder is a delicious Double IPA.  I mean… Really Good! 

Is it a fantastic Double IPA?  Yes!  Is it my favorite Double IPA?  Nope, see previous review for Flying Fish Exit 16.  As far as being the best beer in the World, I would put it in my top 10.

It still gets an A+.  Good Stuff!

Next on the list is Supplication.  It happens to be the main reason I came out tonight.  I’ve enjoyed this beer in the past and wanted to write some things about it.

Supplication came served deliciously cold in a tulip glass.  This is one beer that I much prefer cold.  The color is reddish purple and is very reminiscent of a glass of wine.  Convenient, since it’s aged in wine barrels.  There is zero carbonation and just a thin coating of bubbles at the top of the glass.  It doesn’t have any head to speak of.

The aroma has lots of cherries, sourness and wine notes.  It definitely has a unique aroma for anyone who has never tried a sour type of beer.  They are in a class of their own.  The sourness usually comes from an addition of bacteria to the brewing process in addition to the yeast that is used.  Very interesting stuff.

The flavor is incredibly complex!  The first thing that you taste is a kick in the face with sourness.  Not bad, but very different from what people normally consider beer.  It’s like the taste of “Sweet Tarts” candy with Pinot Noir wine and berries.  It’s actually amazing that you can still call this beer.  There are lots of berry flavors including cherries, grapes and blackberries.  Think of taking a handful of sour cherries and eating it all at once.  You’re probably going to get tons of sour followed by sweet cherry juice.  There are also wine flavors involved.  I can taste the grapes from the wine barrels this was aged in.  I can also taste a little bit of the wood from the barrels.  It’s nice, and the wood flavor is there on purpose.

The mouth feel is on the thinner side with lots of carbonation.  There are lots of tannins.  It bites the back of the throat with astringency, making this beer very refreshing.  Similar to lemonade… sour, but refreshing.

One negative about Supplication is that I like it much better when it’s cold.  It gets some strange flavors as it got too warm that I didn’t like.  It just reminds me to savor it, but not too much.

Supplication is an amazing beer.  It’s very different and I would say it’s definitely a “Must Try”.  The first time I tasted it earlier this year, I compared it to the “Best Wine Cooler You Could Imagine” (If there is such a thing).  I believe the wine cooler analogy is still accurate for a beginner to understand what it tastes like.  It’s difficult to come by, but whenever it’s in the area, I’ll probably be around for a glass.

Russian River Supplication gets an A+!

Finally, on the list of things available tonight is Russian River Consecration!

Having had this on numerous occasions this year, this seems to be the first opportunity I’ve had to sit down and write what I think about it.  I would start by saying that Consecration is to Supplication, as Elder is to Blind Pig.  Similar, but more complex.  Kind of like Supplication’s older brother!  Since they are similar, I’ll probably compare it to Supplication quite a bit.

Again, this arrived in a tulip glass and was ice cold.  It’s reddish-brown in color and it doesn’t have any head either.  There must be something about sour beers having no head.  More research is needed, but that’s a post for another day.

The first thing I noticed is that the aroma is much more subtle than Supplication.  There is both sweet and sour, but much more elusive to the nose.  Maybe it was served a bit too cold, because cold suppresses aromas.  I could also smell a bit of red wine.

The flavor is darker and even more complex than Supplication.  It’s sour, but not as much as Supplication.  It’s smoother tasting with strong carbonation.  The tartness is present, but it’s very balanced and more full-bodied.  There are more malt flavors present, too.  Some of the same flavors are present including: berries, red wine, wine barrels, but this time there is that sweet malt backbone supporting the sourness.  The sweetness makes the sourness a little less “in your face”.  The benefits of the flavor balance are pretty impressive.  This seems more “mature”, more a “sum of the parts” instead of all the parts individually.

Russian River Consecration is also an amazing beer.  I’m going to go with a Solid “A”.

Overall, this was a great evening.  These really were some of the best beers I have yet to taste and I can’t wait to have each of them again.  Incidentally, Earlier this year, I had acquired a bottle of Consecration and Supplication for the beer cellar.  They both have lots of potential to improve with age- just like the wine whose barrels these were aged in.

I encourage everyone to seek out these beers.  The quality of each of these is amazing.  The freshness of each was one of the best points of each of them, a big benefit.  And tasting a Sour beer would be Worth the Price of Admission, if there is a price…  They weren’t charging admission last night.  It’s just a figure of speech.

Thanks for sticking with this very lengthy post!  See you soon.

Published in: on September 11, 2010 at 9:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Russian River Beer Tasting Event Tomorrow!

Despite the last minute posting, I thought it important to pass on information about an excellent event.

Tomorrow evening, beginning at 6:30pm, The Blue Dog Pub in Lansdale will be tapping numerous kegs from Russian River Brewing.

At the moment, they will have 4 key brews:

Pliny the Elder- a World-Renowned Double IPA.

Bling Pig – an excellent IPA.

Supplication – A fantastic brown ale aged in Pinot Noir barrels and flavored with sour cherries. One of the best sour beers available.

Consecration – An American Wild Ale. Fermented with wild yeast strains. One of the best Wild ales I have had.

These beers are all excellent. The opportunity to sample them at the same time is a great opportunity for anyone interested to taste some of the best around. Highly recommended for anyone able to make it out. I will surely be there with a tall glass of Supplication!

The location is on their website:
http://www.bluedog.cc/

Published in: on September 9, 2010 at 8:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

Elysian Brewing – Avatar Jasmine IPA

Elysian Brewing Co. – Seattle, WA

Avatar Jasmine IPA – 6.3% ABV – 22 oz. bottle – $6.99

“Ale brewed with jasmine flowers”.  Purchased 9/2/10, best by 11/21/10.

Saw this on the shelf at Super Food Town in Lansdale and was intrigued by the jasmine.  The temperature hit 96 degrees today and I hoped it would be refreshing.

The pour is a bright orange with no haze at all.  It’s very clear.  There was barely any head, and just a bit of visible carbonation.  It does have a nice appearance.

The aroma is sweet with a definite jasmine presence… cool!  There is also some fruitiness and lots of malt aromas.  The jasmine sits at the end of each breath, just in the background.

The flavor has more of a malt presence than hops.  Lots of caramel sugar variations in the flavor.  I was hoping for more hops since they are calling this an IPA.  Hops are a main flavor characteristic of IPAs.  There is a low enough bitterness so the wife likes it; definitely not representative of the IPA style.

The mouth feel is fine and there is a decent level of carbonation.  It is a refreshing beer, so I was satisfied with that aspect.

The jasmine in the flavor is definitely fun, but I think it’s more of a gimmick than an improvement.  I would recommend improving their IPA before trying to jazz it up with jasmine… Yes, I went there.

Final Score:  B-

Published in: on September 2, 2010 at 9:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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