Thursday, February 27, 2014

Stone Matt's Burning Rosids

Type: Imperial Smoked Saison
Origin: Escondido, California
Price: $6.99 per 22 oz
ABV: 10.5%
NSP: 9.8

So I bought this one based on the absurdity of the style: a smoked imperial saison. Cherrywood smoked at that. I can't really think of any imperial saisons off the top of my head (would probably be classified a belgian tripel), and definitely no smoked ones. The only types in this genre that are smoked are rauchbiers, so thats all I have to go off of. As a side note, this was brewed in memory of a Stone employee and there is a full overview on the back which you should take a look at. Also, the name is not random: the rosid family of plants include cherry trees, so burning rosids for the cherry smoke.

So onto the beer. The color is absolutely gorgeous, just a perfect dark gold. It completely lacks any head and the smell does not have any smokiness to it. I definitely view this as a positive since I was quite afraid of being overwhelmed by this. The smell is just a very nice pleasant belgian saison with a decent amount of banana popping through. The taste further confirms the smell, but a touch of the smoke comes through. The smoke is probably only about 10% of the flavor profile, but it reminds me slightly of a fruit flavored hookah (maybe apple?). Everything else is that banana/coriander/clove belgian tripel/saison profile. I would definitely try get this again since its well balanced and has a good NSP.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Evil Twin Imperial Doughnut Break

Type: Imperial Porter
Origin: Brooklyn, New York and Copenhagen, Denmark
Price: $17 per 22 oz
ABV: 11.5%
NSP: 4.4

I must say, ever since hearing about it this beer, I have wanted to try it. For this one, Evil Twin used 1000 glazed doughnuts as part of the wort, and the after pictures are reminiscent of a snuff film. The base is similar to Imperial Biscotti Break, which is a fantastic beer, and the gimmick in this one is so ridiculous, I couldn't pass up.

First impression: the pour is incredibly viscous, probably the thickest beer I have seen. Very close in consistency to Bourbon County or Surly Darkness. It definitely had me worried about the possibility of diabetus in a bottle, however the first sip took my worries away. It is sweet, don't get me wrong, but not super sickly sweet to where you wouldn't be able to finish the bottle. There is a really nice strong roast on the malt with a bit of coffee accent that cuts through the doughnut part of the beer. And as for the doughnut part, its very muted. Really the only thing that remains is a faint vanilla quality and a slight bit of the sugar glaze that probably went unfermented. I should note as it warms up, some more of the doughnut quality comes out, but not as much as you expect. It is definitely interesting, well balanced, and worth a try. Really the only downside here is the price (although its not the worst NSP I've seen around here).

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Maui Lahaina Town Brown

type: brown ale
origin: Maui, HI
price: $2.50/12oz
ABV: 5.1%
NSP: 7.2

Mostly everything we get from Maui is brewed with something else: fruit, coconut, whatever.  So, I was somewhat bummed to see this had no specialty addition.  Just a plain old brown ale?  Really?  I'll give it a shot because I have a lot of respect for Maui B.C. -- they make some excellent beer, and even made me reconsider my stance against porters.

Crisp malty flavors, but not overly "brown", meaning you get a nice level of bitterness, and some chocolate and nutty flavors.  Nothing outstanding, but pleasant.  As you'd perhaps expect with any brown ale, though, there's a lingering coating in your mouth that's not terribly endearing.  I don't think it's a flaw more than it is me hating on brown ales.

To me this tastes more like a very light chocolate stout, but it's pleasant enough that I could see enjoying it in paradise, even though I know nothing about the town of Lahaina.
Maui Lahaina Town Brown