Archive for February, 2009

38 – Troubadour Obscura

hdh38_troubador

When Bar Louie in Cranberry opened I avoided it like the plague. Figured it was like the other locations around town and was nothing more than an overpriced martini bar. One night I broke down and gave it a shot since I was parched. With that came the discovery of…

Troubadour Obscura
brewery:
Brouwerij De Musketiers – troubadourbieren.be
style:
Belgian Strong Dark Ale
abv:
8.5%
serving size:
10 oz draft
glass used:
goblet
price: $3.00 (Happy Hour price)

Overview
Troubadour Obscura is a dark red beer with 8,5 % alc. and refermentation in the bottle. Poured in the special glass, Troubadour has a nice creamy foam head and a malty character with a nice little roasty flavor. Troubadour Obscura has a mild bitterness, which is a bit stronger in the aftertaste and a mainly malty aroma. The smell of roasted, burned wood is completed by a light chocolate touch. Troubadour is produced with 4 different types of malt, hops, yeast and water.

What I think
Happy Hour is always the best time to try new beers and if you’re in Cranberry Township, Bar Louie is a must. My history shows that I haven’t had good experiences with Belgian Strong Dark Ale’s but honestly I couldn’t read the tap handle and figured wtf, why not.

The bartender pouring didn’t give the pour much head but thankfully the glass wasn’t frosted so I could see the nice dark amber body. The aroma was tempting with a mild mix of fruits and spices. The taste was interesting. The second glass I had was a bit stronger. There was more malt with chocolate tones to it and I was loving it. The body was about medium with very little carbonation and a 100% smooth finish. This that night Troubadour is all I drink there now.

Spoon’s rating: A

Comments

37 – Ground Hog Brew

hdh37_straubgroundhogbrew

I know that Groundhog Day was 16 days ago but the shipment of this traditional lager was delayed getting to my area. The first time I had this was in roughly 2001 and was hands down the worst beer I ever drank. 8 years later it’s time for a revisit.

Ground Hog Brew
brewery:
Straub Brewing – straubbeer.com
style:
Lite American Lager
abv:
3.16%
serving size:
12oz
glass used:
pint
price: $2.75

Overview
Distributed once a year in honor of Punxsutawney Phil, beloved groundhog of Pennsylvania, and Groundhog Day. Straub Brewery is a short 60 minute drive north east-ish of Punxy.

What I think
I admit, I went into this expecting the worse and came out pleasantly surprised. I say this because the last time I drank one of these it tasted like… OK grab a handful of old pennies.Not shiny ones but the pennies you find in your junk drawer and turning green. Now shove them in your mouth.  That is what the original Ground Hog Brew tasted like.

Truth is, this is Straub Light with a special label and honestly it’s not THAT bad. Straub gets a lot of slack around my area for being “your dad’s beer”. Light body, tasteless and fizzy. Kinda like Miller Lite and Bud but without the hookers in bikinis. Sometimes in life you need that. I actually enjoyed this beer knowing the style. Granted the head dissipated within 15 seconds and the aroma could be classified as stale beer but the taste had improved.

Everyone has a “go to” beer that takes them back to their roots. If a beer snob denies this, they’re lying. There’s always one and for me it’s Beast Ice. Locally it’s Iron City or IC Light. You need that beer as a reminder of where you came from. You could go out and buy a Straub Light but honestly,  this is for the novelty. I would like to get a collection of each year but would I ever drink them? Oh hell no. Try opening a can of any macro that’s been sitting for more than 120 days.  Bottle does look cool though 🙂

Spoon’s rating: C-

Comments (3)

36 – Rogue Yellow Snow

Rogue Yellow Snow

I was in Studio A (notice the official bottle opener) to visit sickpuppy when he busted out a bottle of this with a snicker. You’re going to find out why.

Rogue Yellow Snow
brewery:
Rogue Brewing – rogue.com
style:
India Pale Ale
abv:
6% (that’s loosely based on Plato being 15. Thanks sickpuppy & Phil)
serving size:
22oz
glass used:
Dogfish Head
price: $12.00

Overview
Pale golden in color with a hoppy fruity aroma. Big hop flavor up front complemented by medium body and hoppiness mid-pallet. Finishes with a characteristic lingering bitterness.

Yellow Snow IPA was originally introduced for the 2000 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Yellow Snow is Rogue’s tribute to winter sports everywhere—downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross country, ice hockey, ice fishing, snowmobiling, and even curling.

What I think
I was always boastful that there wasn’t a Rogue beer that I didn’t like. Recently I had the Juniper Pale Ale and loved it. When sickpuppy had give me this bottle to try and not hoard it for himself I knew something was up.

It poured like a typical IPA. Copper color to the body and a frothy head accented with a delicious aroma of hops. How could this possibly be bad? Yeah, take a drink sport and get ready for grapefruit overload and hops. Quite possibly one of the worst combination since I chugged the Chelada. My mouth puckered and started to punch me from the inside out to finish it. I couldn’t tell you the body feel on it because my palate was screaming unfair punishment. The torture ended with a hoppy finish.

Watch out where the Rogue goes, don’t you drink that yellow snow.

Spoon’s rating: D-

Comments (4)

35 – Southern Tier Imperial Gemini Blended Unfiltered Ale

hdh35_southerntiergeminiunfilt

This is a 50/50 blend of unfiltered Hoppe and Unearthly Imperial IPA. Grab on to something tight and hold on.

Southern Tier Imperial Gemini Blended Unfiltered Ale
brewery:
Southern Tier – southerntierbrewing.com
style:
Imperial Ale
abv:
10.5%
serving size:
22oz
glass used:
sniffer
price: $12.00

Overview
High in the winter sky, two parallel stick figures are visible & known as “the twins,” or the constellation Gemini. The astronauts of the 1960s flew as teams of two in a program named after the celestial pairing. At Southern Tier, we have our own fraternal twins, Hoppe & Unearthly. Blended together & placed in this vessel, the mission of our Gemini is to travel high & take passengers on a journey far into the heavens.

What I think
This was one of those moments where I went to the bomber cooler and said “oh! shiny label! BUY! BUY! BUY!” and I’m thankful I did. Since I do live in Pittsburgh and it is football season I will dub this the  Immaculate Consumption.

As soon as I popped off the cap I could detect the hops fighting to get into my glass. The pour was close to heaven as it finished with a heavenly body and an unblemished head. Aroma was all hops which means to me good times ahead. I was anticipating a firm body and fell in love with a malty flavor dressed in hoppy goodness. The finish was the taste I wish to have as I meet St. Peter at the pearly brewery gates. Friends, I reached beer nirvana.

The flavor, aroma and overall experience has made this a crowning point of my beer tasting career. I’m not kidding when I say, for the flavor profile I have, this is the best beer I have ever tasted and I hope the next one is just as good.

Spoon’s rating: A+

Comments (1)