Archive for September, 2009

60 – Erie Fallenbock

This is the end of the fall beers before we get into the pumpkins next week. I love this time of season because I’m finding out that I’m more of a malty fan than a hop bomb when the leaves start to change. Ironic since I’m not a fan of things that are sweet.

Erie Brewing Fallenbock
brewery:
Erie Brewing Company – www.eriebrewingco.com
style: Doppelbock
abv: 7.8%
serving size: 12oz
glass used: pint
price: $3.75

Overview
History states that the first Oktoberfest was on October 12, 1810: For the commemoration of the marriage between Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Keeping up with Erie Brewing’s German brewing influence, our brewer creates Fallenbock, a classic Oktoberfest lager that is a harmonious marriage of classic malts and hops that has a wonderful clean and crisp flavor to celebrate Autumn and Oktoberfest.

What I think
My favorite Doppelbock of all time has been Troegenator and I never thought that I would ever meet a beer that could make a run for the crown. That was until I had my first Erie Fallenbock. The pour was a dark amber with a light to moderate head. I was hoping for something a bit creamier but was pleased to see it stick around for a bit.

The aroma was sweet with a hint of chocolate. The taste was mouthful of malt but was balanced with light hops as to not make overpowering. The body was moderate and finished with a velvety smooth sweet chocolate. There isn’t much I would change on this beer except that I wish more was available.

Spoon’s rating: A-

Comments (4)

59 – Stone Vertical Epic 09-09-09

Things have been crazy this week with that little thing called G-20 which has basically the whole world watching Pittsburgh. Next week we’re back to our regularly scheduled blogging… n’at

Throwing you a curve ball here with the planned beverages since this came in special delivery from Ohio.

Stone Vertical Epic 09-09-09
brewery:
Stone Brewing Company – stonebrew.com
style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
abv: 8.6%
serving size: 22oz
glass used: snifter
price: $8

Overview
This is quite a complex and layered beer. Bold and smooth chocolate malt flavors combine with a Belgian yeast lending tropical fruit/banana flavors and hints of spiciness, all complemented by citrus notes from an addition of tangerine peel. Rich vanilla beans add a nice counter to the chocolate malt – actually enhancing the chocolatiness. The finish is smooth, with additional traces of vanilla and toasted characters from French Oak. The goal for this edition of the Stone Vertical Epic Ale series is to be reminiscent of artisanal chocolates accentuated with orange.

What I think
I’m always cautious about trying this series right away because I know that I’ll end up putting one bottle in my basement. Though that didn’t work well with a flooding basement so I have to start over.

First off the pour. Thick, dark and rich creamy head. Oh yeah, we’re already off to a good start. The nose was a bland chocolate, almost like a faded scratch-n-sniff sticker from grade school. The taste was extremely complex at first as I was trying to figure out what I tasting first. A little bit of chocolate, slight vanilla and a strong banana flavor. The body was medium and finished really smooth but I think this is still a young one and will benefit greatly from some time to mature downstairs.

My advice is buy 2 bottles. Drink one now, write down some notes and then drink the second one in a year… or you can wait for 12-12-12. Either way you’ll want to sit tight and i think this has the most potential of all the VE series I’ve had to date.

Spoon’s rating: B-

Imperial Stouts are generally known as Winter beers.  Because of their high alcohol content (in this case, 9.5% ABV), they tend to lay heavy on your tongue which some find less palatable in warmer seasons such as this.  But this beer doesn’t do that. It’s lush, yes — rich with malt and chocolate and slight hints of vanilla. With such a sweet overall balance of malt, it almost seems that the hops play a very minor role in the overall flavor of the beer. Even the roasted barley, one of the most integral ingredients of any Stout, doesn’t take over.  Ten Fidy almost seems like a beer that doesn’t take itself seriously, when it should. It couldn’t be less assuming. It is in a can, after all.Don’t judge this beer by its appearance in its package. Because once it’s in your glass, it’s a whole new ball game. Available coast to coast.  http://www.oskarblues.com/locations/

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58 – Erdinger Oktoberfest Weizen

This is the 2nd of a series since we’re in an interesting season for craft beer. Starting last week I will be reviewing a series of oktoberfest/harvest/bocks followed by 3 weeks of pumpkin beers. If you’ve drank with me before you know what I think of the pumpkin style.  Some were good while others still sucked the soul from my palate. Game ON!

Erdinger Oktoberfest Weizen
brewery:
Erdinger – http://www.erdinger.de/
style: Hefeweizen
abv: 5.6%
serving size: 12oz
glass used: pint
price: $3.25

Overview
Erdinger is brewed all-naturally, using traditional bottle-fermentation, never pasteurized.

What I think
I haven ever had an Oktoberfest Hefe before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve had both styles before but this was the first where they were mixed and it was quite the trip. First off it had a hazy body which is typical of many hefeweizens that I’ve tried but the amberish tint made me curious as to how these styles would blend. The head was very fluffy and hung around for a while so expect to get a white tipped nose when you tip it back. The aroma on it was a bit mixed. First I picked up a strong wheat followed by a touch of orange. The taste was somewhere between light and medium mouthfeel and once the malt settled in I could tell this was a winner. The finish was smooth but didn’t finish as crisp as I was expecting. Overall worth a try and ranks better than most oktoberfest beers I’ve had this season.

Spoon’s rating: B

Imperial Stouts are generally known as Winter beers.  Because of their high alcohol content (in this case, 9.5% ABV), they tend to lay heavy on your tongue which some find less palatable in warmer seasons such as this.  But this beer doesn’t do that. It’s lush, yes — rich with malt and chocolate and slight hints of vanilla. With such a sweet overall balance of malt, it almost seems that the hops play a very minor role in the overall flavor of the beer. Even the roasted barley, one of the most integral ingredients of any Stout, doesn’t take over.  Ten Fidy almost seems like a beer that doesn’t take itself seriously, when it should. It couldn’t be less assuming. It is in a can, after all.Don’t judge this beer by its appearance in its package. Because once it’s in your glass, it’s a whole new ball game. Available coast to coast.  http://www.oskarblues.com/locations/

Comments (2)

57 – Southern Tier Harvest Ale

This is the start of a series since we’re in an interesting season for craft beer. Starting this week will be a series of oktoberfest/harvest/bocks followed by 3 weeks of pumpkin beers. If you’ve drank with me before you know what I think of the pumpkin style.  Some were good while others still sucked the soul from my palate. Here we go!

Southern Tier Harvest Ale
brewery:
Southern Tier – southerntierbrewing.com
style: Extra Special Bitter (ESB)
abv: 5.7%
serving size: 12oz
glass used: pint
price: $3.25

Overview
Harvest Ale is our celebration of the changing weather and the sowing of hops and barley that will be used in our upcoming brews. We usher in the fall with a classic English style Extra Special Bitter of the highest order. Deep ruby in color with an even deeper hop flavor… in fact, we throw fresh English hops into every brewing vessel, then dry hop after fermentation to impart a zesty kick. This beer has real hop character that mingles with fresh malted barley for an experience that will make you wish it were fall year ‘round.

What I think
As soon as I poured this I knew I was in love (sorry Lushie). The aroma was straight up hops with a twist of citrus but the body appearance worried me as it was almost as clear as a cheap macro. Thankfully the flavor was anything but cheap. the body had a medium feel but was packed full of citrus, hops and extremely crisp. The finish was refreshing with a slight hop aftertaste.

This pushes the boundaries with alcohol level on if I would call it a session beer but wtf, why not.  I can see myself sitting on my back porch, mowing the lawn, working on my car or even driving a semi truck without breaks down a hill during rush hour. See, you really can do anything!

When you see this beer it better make it into your basket. This is a MUST buy!

Spoon’s rating: A

Imperial Stouts are generally known as Winter beers.  Because of their high alcohol content (in this case, 9.5% ABV), they tend to lay heavy on your tongue which some find less palatable in warmer seasons such as this.  But this beer doesn’t do that. It’s lush, yes — rich with malt and chocolate and slight hints of vanilla. With such a sweet overall balance of malt, it almost seems that the hops play a very minor role in the overall flavor of the beer. Even the roasted barley, one of the most integral ingredients of any Stout, doesn’t take over.  Ten Fidy almost seems like a beer that doesn’t take itself seriously, when it should. It couldn’t be less assuming. It is in a can, after all.Don’t judge this beer by its appearance in its package. Because once it’s in your glass, it’s a whole new ball game. Available coast to coast.  http://www.oskarblues.com/locations/

Comments

56 – Weyerbacher Fourteen

Free time these last few weeks has been rare and I felt the need for a treat so I stopped over at The Beer Store one day while driving through Moon TWP and picked up what I thought would be a celebration of deliciousness. Let’s see how that turned out…

Weyerbacher 14
brewery:
Weyerbacher- weyerbacher.com
style: Wheat Wine
abv: 11.8%
serving size: 12oz
glass used: snifter
price: $4.83

Overview
To honor 14 years of making craft beer we decided to brew a wheat wine. This unfiltered brew is made with over 50% wheat to give it a distinctly spicy character. Enjoy it now, or if you have the patience, give it some time in your cellar. When you are ready, expect to find notes of tart wheat and honey with crisp bitterness and carbonation. Recipe by Head Brewer Chris Wilson and Brewer Jeff Musselman.

What I think
Weyerbacher is a brewery I love and also insanely pissed off at the same time. They make some of my favorite beers (Merry Monks and Double Simcoe IPA) and yet have beers with so much potential that gets ruined in a grossly strong alcohol taste (Insanity and Blithering Idiot) that I run into a corner and cry. Fourteen falls into the second group.

Don’t tell me “that’s just the style and you dont appreciate it”. I’ve had wheatwines that have rocked. This one does not.

The appearance was promising. Head was solid for a minute and the body was a hazy shade of orange. Aroma leads me to believe it would be stong in wheat but the flavor turned into a mouthful of that banana flavored novacaine that the dentist would use when you were a kid becuase he thought fruit flavored drugs would make the pain more tollerable. Strong alcohol and spice with a splash of naners. Finish was rough and tasted like burning.

This is a sipper and after awhile your palate goes numb so you finish it because of the buzz potential.

Spoon’s rating: C-

Imperial Stouts are generally known as Winter beers.  Because of their high alcohol content (in this case, 9.5% ABV), they tend to lay heavy on your tongue which some find less palatable in warmer seasons such as this.  But this beer doesn’t do that. It’s lush, yes — rich with malt and chocolate and slight hints of vanilla. With such a sweet overall balance of malt, it almost seems that the hops play a very minor role in the overall flavor of the beer. Even the roasted barley, one of the most integral ingredients of any Stout, doesn’t take over.  Ten Fidy almost seems like a beer that doesn’t take itself seriously, when it should. It couldn’t be less assuming. It is in a can, after all.Don’t judge this beer by its appearance in its package. Because once it’s in your glass, it’s a whole new ball game. Available coast to coast.  http://www.oskarblues.com/locations/

Comments