Monday, August 30, 2010

Affligem Dubbel

Type: belgian ale
Origin: Opwijk, Belgium
Price: $6.99 per 750 mL

After having the Tripel a few months ago, it was about time I tried the Dubbel. Being kind of a novice beer drinker, it is hard to truly know what a Dubbel or Tripel is supposed to be like until you have ones from the same company. The best way to describe the Dubbel is that it is a subdued version of the Tripel. Less alcohol, less hops, less wheaty citrus flavors. It is still a damn fine, well balanced beer. This one did however start to show off some malted flavors that were overpowered in the Tripel.

Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA

Type: IPA
Origin: Cloverdale, CA
Price: $3.99 per 22 oz

I drank this one awhile ago and I don't really remember much about it. In my notes, someone commented that this "tastes like tits". It is a very floral beer, much like Sierra. For the price, everyone should definitely try this at least once. Although, they do use Comic Sans on the bottle, which could deter even the strongest among us.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Bison Brewing Organic Gingerbread Ale

Type: ale
Origin: Berkeley, CA
Price: ?

I have a bit of a beer backlog right now, but I had to skip ahead to this beer simply because this is the worst thing I have ever drank. I was watching a new Bourdain episode, and I needed something completely strange and interesting. This was the winter beer that I have put off to the end, and I now know why. At first, it looked like it might be interesting. The head looked like thick marshmallows and the smell was exactly like gingerbread cookies, which I really like. Then all of a sudden, it started smelling like rotting malted grain with hints of cinnamon. The first sip made me feel like I was at starbucks, but not in a good way. The specialty coffee flavor this was putting off was unbearable. My last comment was "This is fucking brutal". God damned hippies.

Abita Abbey Ale

Type: belgian, ale
Origin: Abita Springs, LA
Price: $4.49 per 22 oz

$4.50 for a 22 of Abbey style ale! Even though this isn't the best abbey style I have had, and is probably not in the top 5, it still packs a mean punch. It has a very strong wheat smell, but it has a very soft citrus taste. The flavors are all well balanced, and nothing is overpowering. There is even a little bitterness just for good measure. And it's a healthy 8%. Every time I go to BevMo, I only come back with >7% beers. The weak shit is just not cutting it for me anymore.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Left Coast Hop Juice Double IPA

Type: Double IPA
Origin: San Clemente, CA
Price: $4.59 per 22 oz

This beer is too fantastic. Unlike those pussy double IPAs, Left Coast made this a healthy 9.4%. And they also made it taste like pine sol. The bitterness is so overpowering that taste buds not meant to detect bitterness actually start changing your DNA to start detecting it. It has volatile alcohol notes, giving it a bum wine persona with a more refined palate. This had to have been created specifically for Bill Brasky:

Unibroue Raftman

Type: peat-smoked whiskey malt ale (this is what they say)
Origin: Chambly, Quebec, Canada
Price: $7.99 for variety 4 pack(12 oz)

Honestly, the only thing I can think about when I hear the name of this beer is this stupid video:

I didn't know anything about this beer going into it, and I wrote down that this tastes like scotch. Little did I know, they actually were going for that flavor. The smell is a very strong citrus wheat which does not match the taste at all. Not fantastic, but not abysmal.

Hoptopia Double IPA

type: double IPA
origin: San Jose, CA, USA
price: $4/22 oz

Brendan is right: 22oz is the new 12oz. Really, why should we be drinking anything is quantities below 20oz? This has a cool bottle label, great color and head, but just OK taste. I wasn't too excited about this beer actually, but at 8% drinking a few will definitely get you to the land of blast. I guess this is worth the $$ then.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Humboldt Brown

type: brown ale
origin: Paso Robles, Ca, USA
price: $9/6-pack

I'm having a dilemma: do I or do I not like this? "Brewed with hemp." OK, but it doesn't seem to matter because this just tastes like a brown ale and smells a bit like hay. It's certainly an upgrade over Newcastle, but it's just not that good. It seems under-carbonated and relatively flavorless. I can barely make out some aromas of roasted malts. I have nothing funny to say, so I'll just leave a link. Thumbs down for me, though given the choice between drinking this or diet Squirt, I choose this... maybe.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Unibroue Ephemere Apple

Type: belgian white ale, flavored beer
Origin: Chambly, Quebec, Canada
Price: $7.99 for variety 4 pack(12 oz)

My my, sweet apple pie. It says on the bottle that this is brewed with apples, coriander and curacao. Having cooked enough with coriander I can tell you they aren't fucking around. There is a very citrus spiciness that comes from it, and it makes this beer taste like cinnamon apple pie. And having drank enough blue curacao to make a pirate go blind, I can attest to its perfect integration here. It has a nice crispness like a cider, but the taste is pure wheat beer. Truly the best of both worlds

Unibroue Blanche de Chambly

Type: belgian white ale
Origin: Chambly, Quebec, Canada
Price: $7.99 for variety 4 pack(12 oz)

On the Unibroue website, they actually suggest drinking this beer out of a champagne flute. I am really disappointed I didn't read the website before drinking it because I fucking love champagne. It's always a celebration with me. I picked up the variety 4 pack at Trader Joe's, and I thought it was actually from Belgium. Canada has a fine brewing tradition, so I wasn't too disappointed to find out this was from America's Denmark. The Blanche de Chambly is one of the first beers that Unibroue started producing, and after consuming the rest of the beers, is probably the best. It has a nice unfiltered yellow color and employs bottle re-fermentation. Luckily I have had no bad luck with bottle conditioning like Andy. It smells like lemon wheat and is fairly sour in the front of the mouth. The mouthfeel is like a crisp Labatt Blue Lime: light.

North Coast Brother Thelonious Belgian Style Abbey Ale

Type: Belgian, strong ale
Origin: Fort Bragg, CA
Price: $7.99 per 750 mL

Being one of the cheaper belgian style ales at Whole Foods, I shouldn't be surprised by the lackluster nature of Brother Thelonious. In comparison to North Coast's other belgian style, The Pranqster, I really could not sense these were from the same brewery. The beer is not bad at all, just for the $7.99 price tag, I expected better. Tha Brotha has a blood red, almost blackish color with a light head. The aromas are a subdued wheat. It is rather volatile, and I can smell the alcohol coming off this (a nice 9.4% ABV). The flavor is very dry wheat with no citrus notes to be found. Another problem I have is this:

It is one thing to be PC and cute, but another to be retarded. 1500's Belgium didn't have any black monks. Belgium didn't have any Africans until they took over the Congo in the 1800s. Nice try assholes.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Singha Lager

type: lager
origin: Bangkok, Thailand
price: $8/ 6-pack

A nice "island style" lager. It's not as sweet as you usually find, like a Tiger, but good and malty. A pleasant post-My-Morning-Jacket-concert treat, even though its chilly outside and my ears are ringing from the stupid idiot behind me who kept shrieking "fuuuuuuck yeaaaaaaah!!!!" every three seconds.

Oh, and on a side note, here's a pic of me pretty much blacked-out drunk on my birthday. We started at a nearby sausage and ale house, had some golden goodness, then stumbled over to an "Irish" bar where my liver decided to quit. I should say thanks to my wonderful girlfriend for cleaning up copious amounts of puke.

Flying Horse Royal Lager Beer

Type: lager, pale lager
Origin: India
Price: $2.99 per 650 mL

Let's just say one should always check where things are made before purchasing. I thought this beer looked cute, and at $2.99 per 650 mL, who could complain. I'm not saying that all Indian beers are bad, but I have never had a good one. The color is a light piss yellow and it has a very soft head, which compared to the previous beer, was actually appreciated. There is a strange hint of almond that makes this a little unsettling. There is also almost no bitterness, which is something they could have definitely pumped up to make a better beer with crappy water (note San Diego beers). I think they should start outsourcing their beer making to a country with a better tradition.

Moosbacher Wheat Beer

Type: Wheat beer
Origin: Moosbach, Germany
Price: $3.21 per 0.5 L

Let me paint a picture. You are walking home after a nice evening out and step into a boutique beverage store. You head to the back to feast your eyes upon an old wooden refrigerator with a massive handle. You peer in and notice a german wheat beer with a badass flip top that you have never even heard of before. You check the price: Holy testicles batman, this is only $3.21 per half liter! Ok Robin, calm down. You carry the mythic beast back home where you immediately find a glass righteous enough for it. Upon pouring, you notice sweet citrus notes and then BLAM! The non-stop head fest begins. Instead of subsiding, the beer actually gains head over time. 10 minutes roll by, and you have only poured half a glass. 20 minutes, still waiting. 30 minutes, you are able to top off the beer. The taste of the head is very sour wheat citrus, similar to the Road to Helles. After an hour, you finally pour the rest of the beer in, and notice there is actually still yeast in the bottle, changing the color and opaqueness immediately.

And that's what it is like to drink a Moosbacher Wheat on a Tuesday night.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Alesmith Horny Devil

type: belgian strong ale
origin: San Diego, CA
price: $11/750 ml

Ahh my wonderful Alesmith. In terms of San Diego brewerys, these guys are quickly becoming my favorite. Stone is a little to brute-force for my liking, Ballast Point's best work you can't even buy, etc. Style and grace these smiths of ale have.

At this point in the night I'm getting pretty trashed but apparently we saved a pretty awesome one for last. Sambo was hiding this from us like it was a bottle of Krital or something. Ok, it's not that good, but it's certainly worth the money. My review reads: "Jesus tittie-fucking christ. Damn excellent." If I wasn't plastered I would tell you about the flavors, but since I was let's leave it at that. How's that for a non-snob review?

Rogue Dead Guy Ale

type: ale
origin: Newport, Oregon, USA
price: $6/22 oz

Look at that color. It looks like a red zinfandel from Boone's Farm or something. Here's my review, verbatim: "it's alright, but a little shitty. Actually, I think this kinda sucks."

Deschutes Hop in the Dark

type: dark ale
origin: Bend, Oregon, USA
price: $6/22 oz

This drink of the sausage party and I'm getting a little tanked. We're pacing though so I can still review. "Cascadian dark ale", as the bottle reads, must mean perfect balance. You can hardly notice the 70 IBU. It's pitch black with espresso-crema colored head. This is a mighty fine beer that's simply delicious.

New Belgium Ranger IPA

type: IPA
origin: Fort Collins, CO, USA
price: $3/22 oz

While I was drinking this I was pissed off: "this is not worth $6!" I was thinking. Then I looked at the receipt. Yep, $3 is about all this beer is worth, sadly. I'm chalking this up to regional differences in IPA craftsmanship. It smells absolutely wonderful, but the drinks fall completely flat. Just about the only reason I respect New Belgium anymore is they're employee owned. Don't pay more than $3, seriously.

Avery Anniversary Lager

type: black lager (malt liquor)
origin: Boulder, CO, USA
price: $8/22 oz

My buddy Chris (aka Mr. 100% in the shitty beer blind) had an ass kickin idea: go to the Sausage King, and then BevMo, and then consume sausage and beer. Yes, yes, yes. This was the first of the night. I've been noticing black lagers and black ales more and more (not St Pauli or und-Becks), but this was my first. "God bless Boulder" as Chris rightfully proposed. I knew these guys were awesome based solely on the ABV precision: 3 sig figs (8.69%). What mother fuckin badasses! This beverage almost crosses the line into barleywine territory, but is just balanced well enough to be surprisingly delicious.

Offshore Ale Co Hop Goddess

type: Belgian IPA
origin: Oak Bluffs (MV), MA
price: $5/pint

MV=Martha's Vineyard. Yep, me and the lady we're riding bikes across the island, but we stopped here before the 15 mile round-trip. This beer should be called "Hop Damn!" Very pronounced, floral, ass smashing IPA. I'm not so sure about the Belgian connection, besides maybe the yeast strain, but who cares - call it what you want. Anyways, I'd buy this again for sure since it helps stomach the retarded tourists and deck-shoe wearing snobbery just a few short blocks away. They do it correctly there, I recon.

Offshore Ale Company

Offshore Ale Co.
30 Kennebec Ave
Oak Bluffs (Martha's Vineyard), MA 02557

Quite a nice surprise visiting the land of elitist vacationers and the mega-wealthy. I'm pretty sure the economy is such that most of the working class of MV commute via ferry, so it seems odd that this bar feels so damn working class and awesome. Woodfired oven. Peanut shells littering the floor. Stainless steel tanks lining the vaulted ceilings. Pictures of Yale men (mostly rowers) lining the walls. Outstanding food and drank. I had the lobster roll and it doesn't get much better than that. My girl had a smoked salmon flatbread... pow pow!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Erdinger Hefe-Weisen Dark

Type: dark hefeweisen
Origin: Erding, Germany
Price: $3.29 per 16 oz

Dark hefeweisen? Sounds interesting, sign me up. Epic fail. One would expect a dark hefeweisen to have a nice wheaty citrus flavor with maybe some more malted notes, perhaps something complex and overpowering. Nope, not with this one. It is literally like water. And I'm not talking about the way people refer to American light macrobrews, where they just repeat the same shit some uppity birkenstock wearing douche said while talking about the value of their liberal arts degrees. No, this one actually is like water. The smell is a very subdued hefe. I wrote in my notes: not sweet, not bitter, entirely uninteresting.

Left Coast Asylum Belgian Style Tripel Ale

Type: Belgian Tripel Ale
Origin: San Clemente, CA
Price: $5.29 per 22 oz

This is how I feel about this beer. I actually wrote two pages on this magical beast so lets just do a simple recap:

-nice orange brown color
-beautiful soft head (that's what she said)
-could smell the sweetness when pouring
-really nice citrus/wheaty smell
-has a hint of good bitterness, probably from wild yeasts
-taste pops into the top of the mouth, can almost taste sweetness there
-makes my teeth tingle with awesomeness, or peridontis, probably due to 11%
-a real treat

Bridgeport Ebenezer Ale

Type: god damned seasonal ale
Origin: Portland, OR
Price: ?

Just as I was getting sick of these seasonal ales, Bridgeport had to actually put out a good one. God Damned Brewery! This beer looks like chocolate milk (+5). It has a nice sweet malted smell, that matches the taste profile fairly well except a nice dark chocolate bitterness comes through in the end. It has an incredibly significant mouth feel that will definitely help make the relatives a little more bearable.

Lost Abbey Road to Helles

Type: dortmunder/helles, pale lager
Origin: San Marcos, CA
Price: $4 per pint

This is a fairly new beer from Lost Abbey and I was able to get a pint at Wit's End a week ago. I actually didn't know this style of beer existed, but I am very glad I found it. It has a yellow ecto-coolerish color and a nice soft head. It has a very dry citrus flavor which almost takes on a sour bitter citrus like lemon. It is incredibly reminiscent of a hefeweisen mixed with a belgian white, a Blue-Hoe Moon-Gaarden if you will.

Mendocino Red Tail Ale

Type: Amber Ale
Origin: Ukiah, CA
Price: $3.29 per 22 oz

This is the flagship beer for Mendocino Brewing Company and I can definitely see why. Everything about it is complex enough to make the snobs feel special, but not too powerful to throw off the everyday beer drinker. The smell is of good citrus hops like a wheat beer (probably due to the bottle conditioning), but the taste is of bittersweet nuttiness, trending it closer to a brown ale. I have nothing snarky to say about it, except the bird on the bottle isn't manly enough. I think they should replace it with this: