446. Dogfish Head Punkin' Ale

446. Dogfish Head Punkin' Ale



The appearance of Pumpkin Ales and Oktoberfest beers signifies the begining of fall. I picked up a four-pack of Dogfish Head Punkin' Ale along with a bottle of Cantillon St. Lamvinus at Downtown Wine & Spirits tonight on my way home from lab. I served this chilled in my NERAX pint glass.

The bottle says:
A full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon & nutmeg.
Beer Stats:
Brewery: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Alcohol: 7.00 %
Serving: Bottle, 12 oz.
Style: Pumpkin Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a clear, orange-copper color with a creamy, fluffy, white head that thins to a persistent film, leaving patchy lace on the glass.

Smell (3.5): The pumpkin pie aromas are definitely present, but not overpowering. There's a toasty whiff of malts and alcohol and notes of pumpkin pie that become stronger as the beer warms: pumpkin, cinnamon and sugar.

Taste (4.0): There's a little bit of malt bready sweetness upfront. Savory pumpkin appears in the center and is followed by the sweet and spicy flavors of pumpkin pie: cinnamon and brown sugar. The finish is sweet with some lingering spiciness as well as a light graininess. The pumpkin pie flavors come out much more as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Medium-bodied and creamy with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability (3.5): Nice, but I wouldn't want more than one in a sitting.

Overall (3.85): Flavorful and pumpkin pie-ish without being a spice overload. A nicely done Pumpkin Ale.

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445. J.W. Lees Vintage Harvest Ale 2004

445. J.W. Lees Vintage Harvest Ale 2004



This was purchased several weeks ago at Downtown Wine & Spirits. I was debating whether to cellar this or not, but in the end I decided to drink it now and buy another bottle or two for cellaring if I enjoyed it. I let this warm to around 45º F before serving it in one of my New Belgium glasses.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: J.W. Lees & Co (Brewers) Ltd
Year: 2004
Alcohol: 11.50%
Serving: Bottle, 275 mL
Style: English Barley Wine, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a hazy ruby-brown, with a faint, wispy, beige head that forms a thin ring around the glass.

Smell (5.0): Very rich, malty and sweet. There are notes of burnt sugar, maple syrup, molasses, raisins, figs and a tart alcoholic aroma.

Taste (4.5): Multi-layered. Sweet all the way through. Upfront are notes of brown sugar and fruit. There's a little bit of tartness that makes me think cherries. The finish is sweet with some burnt sugar bitterness, notes of fig and a light alcoholic spice.

Mouthfeel (5.0): Low-carbonation, thick and full-bodied, with a thick syrupy feel, though not unpleasant.

Drinkability (4.5): Alcohol is very well-hidden, rich flavors make this a nice sipping beer.

Overall (4.55): Very good, malty and rich. I'll buy a couple more bottles to cellar for a few years.

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444. Smuttynose Big A IPA

444. Smuttynose Big A IPA



I picked this up at Downtown Wine & Spirits on Monday. The most recent DIPAs that I've had have been a little too sweet in my opinion. I'd heard Smuttynose Big A IPA was a "hop bomb" so I picked up a bottle before DW&S ran out for the year. I let this warm and served it in one of my New Belgium glasses.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Smuttynose Brewing Company
Year: 2006
Alcohol: 9.20%
Serving: Bottle, 22 oz.
Style: American Double IPA, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a lightly hazy orange-golden with a foamy white head that thins to a patchy layer leaving light lace on the glass.

Smell (4.5): Lightly sweet and fruity malts are noticeable, but secondary to a strong citric hop aroma. Very nice.

Taste (4.5): Malty upfront, which are lightly sweet and toasty. A big tart and citric hop bitterness appears in the center. The aftertaste is a lingering bitterness with a brief flash of citrus.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Medium-bodied, moderate carbonation, and a slick oiliness.

Drinkability (4.0): The hop bitterness is dominant and balanced by some malty sweetness, but isn't overpowered.

Overall (4.3): A good hoppy DIPA. The hops are dominant and aren't overpowered by malty sweetness like some that I've had.

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443. John Harvard's West Side Wheat

443. John Harvard's West Side Wheat

I had dinner at John Harvard's tonight. They had West Side Wheat on tap, which I hadn't had before, so I gave it a try. It was served in a standard pint glass. I had a photo from my camera phone, but it was pretty blurry so I won't post it.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: John Harvard's Brew House
Alcohol: ?
Serving: Draft, 16 oz.
Style: American Pale Wheat Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a very cloudy pale straw color. It's topped by a thin sudsy white head that clings to the side of the glass.

Smell (3.5): Light citrus, grain, and floral hops.

Taste (3.5): Bready, powdery yeast, with a light tartness in the center. The finish is grainy with a nice hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Light-bodied, tingly carbonation, with a lightly dry finish.

Drinkability (4.5): Light and refreshing with a pleasant hop bitterness.

Overall (3.75): American Pale Wheat Ales aren't one of my favorite styles, but this one was good with a nice hop bitterness in the finish.

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442. Southampton Grand Cru

442. Southampton Grand Cru



This was purchased at Downtown Wine & Spirits on Monday. I had this tonight after seeing Snakes on a Plane, which I highly recommend. I let it warm a bit and served it in one of my Duvel Tulips.

The bottle says "Ale Brewed With Spices (Dried Orange Peel, Ground Coriander Seed, Star Anise)". The spices and the alcohol make me think this is a Witbier/Belgian Strong Pale Ale hybrid.
We designate this special ale "Grand Cru" with utmost respect for Belgian brewing tradition. Southampton Grand Cru exhibits extraordinary complexity and strength of character. Enjoy now or cellar for years to come.
Beer Stats:
Brewery: Southampton Publick House
Alcohol: 9.50%
Serving: Bottle, 750 mL
Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (5.0): Pours a lightly hazy golden-orange. A thick, fluffy, off-white head fades to a persistent half-inch layer, leaving fluffy lace that coats the inside of the glass.

Smell (4.5): Grainy maltiness, yeast, orange, hints of other fruitiness, coriander, pepper and alcohol. There's a lot going on without seeming muddled.

Taste (5.0): Sweet bready malts upfront move into a tart citric sweetness in the center, followed by spicy pepper and alcohol with faint coriander. The peppery spice remains on the tongue creating an almost effervescent sensation while the alcohol warms the throat. Very nice, worth all of the praise on BA.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Medium-bodied, oily, with prickly carbonation.

Drinkability (3.5): Flavorful, but perhaps a little too spicy for some.

Overall (4.7): Wow, an excellent Belgian Ale with a nice strong spicy character that's balanced well by bready and fruity sweetness.

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441. Harpoon Bohemian Pilsner (100 Barrel Series #15)

441. Harpoon Bohemian Pilsner (100 Barrel Series #15)



I made my weekly stop by Downtown Wine & Spirits tonight. They had Harpoon's latest 100 Barrel offering, a Bohemian Pilsner, which sounded like it would hit the spot. Other purchases include Smuttynose Big A IPA, Southampton Grand Cru, and Allagash 11th Anniversary Ale. I served this chilled in my UFO Weizen glass (I desperately need a good Pilsner glass).

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Harpoon Brewery
Alcohol: 4.70%
Serving: Bottle, 22 oz.
Style: Czech Pilsener, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a crystal clear, straw golden with a fluffy white head that fades to a persistent, thin layer leaving nice lace.

Smell (3.5): Malty sweetness, perhaps hints of apple, crisp grain and a light hoppiness.

Taste (3.5): Malty sweetness upfront, husky grain in the center, followed by a nice hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Light-bodied, crisp and dry.

Drinkability (4.5): Refreshing and well-balanced, very easy to drink.

Overall (3.75): A very drinkable pilsner. It's good, but not overwhelming.

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440. Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout

440. Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout



I found Yeti Imperial Stout to be quite enjoyable, so when I saw this at Downtown Wine & Spirits I had to pick it up. I let this warm to around 50º F before serving it in one of my New Belgium glasses.

The bottle says:
Crack open Yeti Imperial Stout's sophisticated sibling - Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout. They may be from the same clan, but they have entirely different personalities. Oak aging gives a subtle vanilla character, rounding out Yeti's intense roastiness and huge hoppy nature. Who says you can't tame a Yeti? 75 IBUs.
Beer Stats:
Brewery: Great Divide Brewing Company
Alcohol: 9.50%
Serving: Bottle, 22 oz.
Style: Russian Imperial Stout, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (5.0): Pours an opaque black with ruby tints. It's topped by a thick, creamy, dark brown head that fades to a thin persistent layer leaving thick lace around the inside of the glass.

Smell (5.0): Predominant notes of fruit and chocolate. Notes of wood and vanilla move the more roasted and hoppy aromas of Yeti to the back.

Taste (4.5): Chocolate and coffee dominate upfront. Sweet notes of dark fruit appear in the center along with lingering, warming alcohol. The finish is heavy roasted coffee and hop bitterness that melds with the alcohol.

Mouthfeel (5.0): Moderate carbonation, creamy, and full-bodied.

Drinkability (4.0): Nicely balanced, but still a sipper.

Overall (4.7): Similar to Yeti. The aroma is the only category where I think it is improved, though there are definite differences in the flavors. The hops are mellowed as compared to the non-oaked version, for example.

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Blog Update

Just a quick note, the banner image on the blog is now randomized. The random image Java Script works in both Firefox and Safari, but not in IE. I don't really care about IE at all so I don't think that I'll take the time to try fix it.

I'm trying to find beer related photos that I've taken that would work well as 760 x 200 images. So far I have the picture of Brewery Ommegang that I took at Belgium Comes to Cooperstown, and a picture of hops on my desk that I picked up at the Extreme Beer Fest. There are a few images that I would like to add to the rotation, but I can't find a decent crop.

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439. Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA

439. Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA



This was purchased at Downtown Wine & Spirits a few months ago. I've been putting off trying it because of the high alcohol and high IBUs, but decided to give it a try tonight. I let this warm and served it in one of my Duvel tulips.

The bottle says:
What you have here is the holy grail for hopheads. This beer is continually hopped over a 120-minute boil and then dry-hopped every day for a month. Enjoy now or age for a decade or so.
Beer Stats:
Brewery: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Year: 2006
Alcohol: 20.00%
Serving: Bottle, 12 oz.
Style: American Double IPA, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a hazy copper with a thick, fluffy, creamy, off-white head that leaves thick lace. For such a high alcohol beer the thickness and retention are striking. The head thins to a persistent quarter-inch layer.

Smell (3.5): Sweet sugar and caramel dominate. The aroma of spicy alcohol is also very strong. There are notes of citric and resiny hops, but these are surprisingly low.

Taste (3.5): The initial flavors are very sweet. The sweetness is reminiscent of raw sugar. Towards the center the sweetness becomes fruitier before being met by a strong spicy alcohol flavor. The finish is resiny hops mixed with residual sweetness. Overall the bitterness, though noticeable and significant is overpowered by the malty sweetness.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Low carbonation, full-bodied and syrupy.

Drinkability (3.5): The alcohol is noticeable, but it definitely doesn't seem like a 20% abv beer.

Overall (3.65): Definitely tasty, but the hop bitterness is overpowered by the malty sweetness. I was hoping that the balance would tip towards hops rather than malts.

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438. Cantillon Lou Pepe Gueuze - 2000

438. Cantillon Lou Pepe Gueuze - 2000



As mentioned in my last post, I've been in the mood for sour beers. This was purchased at Downtown Wine & Spirits on Monday. I let this warm to around 40º F and served it in one of my New Belgium glasses.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brasserie Cantillon
Year: 2000
Alcohol: 5.00%
Serving: Bottle, 750 mL
Style: Gueuze, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (5.0): Pours a lovely, cloudy, apricot color with a one-inch, fizzy, white head that thins to a persistent film.

Smell (4.5): A sweet, fruity aroma mingles with an acidic tartness. Swirling brings out the characteristic Cantillon funk: earthy, funky, and wet-blanket aromas.

Taste (4.0): There's a sweet, light fruitiness upfront. It's predominantly a lemony, citric flavor. The taste quickly moves into an acidic tartness that melds with an earthy, yeasty funkiness. The sourness isn't as strong as I'd hoped, but this is still delicious.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Light-bodied with tingly carbonation and a very dry finish.

Drinkability (4.5): The sourness is relatively subdued in this beer, making it very easy to sip.

Overall (4.4): Very nice, I haven't had a bad Cantillon beer.

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437. Duchesse De Bourgogne

437. Duchesse De Bourgogne



Lately I've been in the mood for some sour beers, so last night I picked up a bottle of Duchesse De Bourgogne, a Flanders Red Ale, and a bottle of Cantillon Lou Pepe Gueuze at Downtown Wine & Spirits. I let this warm to around 45º F and served it in one of my New Belgium glasses.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brouwerij Verhaeghe
Alcohol: 6.20%
Serving: Bottle, 750 mL
Style: Flanders Red Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.5): Pours a clear ruby brown, with a thick, frothy, beige head that thins to a persistent layer and leaves massive lace on the glass.

Smell (4.5): Sweet with an acidic sour cherry aroma. A lightly funky aroma emerges upon swirling.

Taste (4.0): A sweet cherry fruitiness upfront is met by a strong acidic tartness that moves into a metallic twang in the finish and mingles with hints of earthiness.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Moderate, effervescent carbonation. Light-bodied and almost silky. The finish is moderately dry.

Drinkability (4.0): Tart, but the sweetness balances well.

Overall (4.25): An excellent Flanders Red. It's no La Folie, but it's very good nonetheless.

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212. Westmalle Trappist Tripel

212. Westmalle Trappist Tripel



I picked up a bottle of Westmalle Tripel a week or so ago at Downtown Wine and Spirits. I let this warm to around 45º F and served it in my Westvleteren Chalice.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brouwerij Westmalle
Alcohol: 9.50%
Serving: Bottle, 11.2 oz.
Style: Tripel, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.5): Pours a cloudy golden with a thick white head that thins to a persistent film.

Smell (4.0): Predominantly grainy and citric. There are also notes of banana (light), pineapple, peppery spice and alcohol.

Taste (5.0): Crisp grain and citrus upfront. The center is fruity with hints of banana. The finish is spicy with a light but persistent bitterness, and alcoholic warmth.

Mouthfeel (5.0): Smooth and creamy, low carbonation, medium-bodied.

Drinkability (5.0): Extremely tasty and drinkable.

Overall (4.7): An excellent tripel, perhaps one of the best that I've had.

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436. He'Brew Bittersweet Lenny's R.I.P.A



I picked this up at Downtown Wine & Spirits along with a bottle of He'Brew Genesis 10:10. I served it in one of my Duvel Tulip glasses at around 45º F.

This beer is a tribute to Lenny Bruce, and is apparently the first in a series called "The Tribute to Jewish Stars." The label says "Brewed with and obscene amount of malts and hops", as well as "Shocking flavors - far beyond contemporary community standards."

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Shmaltz Brewing Company
Alcohol: 10.00%
Serving: Bottle, 22 oz.
Style: American Double IPA, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.5): Pours a brilliantly clear ruby with a fluffy beige head that's fed by a steady stream of bubbles from the etched 'D' at the bottom of my tulip. The head thins to a persistent half-inch layer, leaving thick lace.

Smell (3.5): The aroma is fairly subdued, with caramel malts and a light hoppiness. The caramel aromas really emerge upon swirling, along with hints of fruitiness.

Taste (3.5): The taste is similar to the aroma, but much stronger. There are fruity and caramel malts upfront, followed by a very strong tart bitterness with an alcoholic spiciness.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Thick and full-bodied, with low carbonation.

Drinkability (3.5): The high hops and high alcohol make this

Overall (3.8): A pretty good DIPA, malty and hoppy with a nice balance towards hops.

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435. Dogfish Head Golden Shower

435. Dogfish Head Golden Shower



This was purchased at Downtown Wine and Spirits earlier this summer. I had this last night, lightly warmed in my UFO Weizen glass.

Apparently this beer was originally called Prescription Pils and was only distributed at beer fests and a few beer bars. When DFH wanted to bottle for wider distribution the TTB wouldn't approve the name, so they renamed it Golden Shower.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Alcohol: 9.00%
Serving: Bottle, 750 mL
Style: American Double Pilsner

Appearance (4.5): Pours a clear copper color. A thick off-white head tops the beer, it thins to a persistent quarter-inch layer leaving thick lace.

Smell (4.0): Light, sweet and toasty malts, with fruity and caramel notes. There's a leafy hop aroma but it isn't strong.

Taste (4.0): Sweet, caramel and toasty malts upfront. There's a significant hop bitterness in the finish. The balance is good.

Mouthfeel (3.5): Medium-bodied, moderate carbonation and a little sticky.

Drinkability (3.5): High-alcohol and strong hops hurt the drinkability a little.

Overall (4.0): A tasty pilsner with a nice strong hop presence.

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434. Harpoon Saison (100 Barrel Series #14)

434. Harpoon Saison (100 Barrel Series #14)



This was purchased at either Kappy's or Downtown Wine & Spirits a month or two ago. I wanted to try something lighter tonight. Given that the other 'new' beers in my fridge are Westvleteren 12, J.W. Lees Vintage Harvest Ale (2004), Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA, Stone 05.05.05 (I still haven't decided if I should have this now or cellar it, it's my only bottle) and Dogfish Head Golden Shower, this was my only option. I let this warm to around 40º and served it in my Duvel Tulip.

Beer Stats:
Brewer: Harpoon Brewery
Alcohol: 6.30%
Serving: Bottle, 22 oz.
Style: Saison, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a lightly hazy golden, clarity is good. A thick white head tops the beer and quickly fades to a patchy layer.

Smell (3.5): The nose is fairly light. Most noticable are a yeasty aroma, and a sweet orange aroma. Leafy hops emerge upon swirling.

Taste (3.5): Toasty malts, lemony tartness, followed by a fruity sweetness and a light, but lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel (3.5): Light-bodied, moderate carbonation. A tad watery, but not bad.

Drinkability (4.5): Refreshing and very easy to drink.

Overall (3.7): A pretty good Saison. It's not the best I've had but it's solid.

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433. Yeti Imperial Stout

433. Yeti Imperial Stout


The cap says "Great Minds Drink Alike".

I've heard good things about Great Divide's beers, but I've never tried one. Downtown Wine & Spirits has a pretty good selection of their beers, so I decided to pick one up. I let this warm to around 50º and served it in one of my New Belgium glasses.

The bottle says:
Yeti Imperial Stout is an onslaught of the senses. It starts with big, roasty malt flavor then gives way to rich caramel and toffee notes. Yeti Imperial Stout gets its bold hop character from an enormous quantity of hops. It weighs in at a hefty 75 IBUs.
Beer Stats:
Brewery: Great Divide Brewing Company
Alcohol: 9.50%
Serving: Bottle, 22 oz.
Style: Russian Imperial Stout, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (5.0): Pours an opaque black with slight ruby tints against the light. It's topped by a thick, dark, brown head that fades to a persistent layer that leaves heavy lace on the glass.

Smell (4.5): The aroma is predominantly roasted malt, coffee and chocolate. There are hints of fruit and hops.

Taste (4.5): The flavors are very rich. Dominant roasted malt flavors: chocolate and coffee. There are also sweet dark fruit flavors. The finish is roasted and hoppy bitterness, with a warming alcoholic spiciness.

Mouthfeel (5.0): Rich, full-bodied and creamy with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability (4.0): The alcohol is strong and evident, but is balanced well by the rich flavors.

Overall (4.6): Rich, bold and strong, but incredibly mellow and smooth in some respects. The flavors blend very well creating a nice balance.

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432. Dogfish Head Immort Ale

432. Dogfish Head Immort Ale



I picked up a bottle of Dogfish Head Immort Ale at Whole Foods a few weeks ago. The bottled on date is 4/5/06. I served this at around 50º F in one of my New Belgium glasses.

The bottle says:
Vast in character, luscious and complex, this smooth, full-bodied ale reveals interwoven notes of maple, vanilla & oak.
Beer Stats:
Brewery: Dogfish Head Craft Brewey
Alcohol: 11.00%
Serving: Bottle, 12 oz.
Style: American Strong Ale

Appearance (4.0): Pours a clear copper with a fluffy, beige head that thins to a persistent quarter-inch layer and leaves patchy lace.

Smell (3.5): The aroma is sweet malts under a dominant smoky oak and vanilla aroma.

Taste (4.0): Sweet notes of dark fruit, vanilla and oak. The finish is strong, spicy alcohol with low bitterness and a touch of smoke.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Moderate carbonation, full-bodied and creamy.

Drinkability (3.5): The flavors and alcohol are strong, this is a beer to sip.

Overall (3.9): This is a pretty good beer. The oak and smoke flavors and aromas are strong. This was a pretty fresh beer, so perhaps it could benefit from aging.

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Saveur: A Beer Called Lambic

While I'm blogging about beer articles I'll point out this one by Stephen Beaumont in Saveur about one of my new favorite styles, Lambics. He spends a good deal of time talking about Brasserie Cantillon, my favorite Lambic producer.
At Cantillon, as at all traditional lambic breweries, scant attention is paid to the rules of modern beer making. Whereas other beers are fermented with carefully controlled yeast strains, lambics owe their fermentation to a wild party of airborne microflora that includes more than 100 identified yeast strains and 50 kinds of bacteria. Since virtually everything in the brewery is thought to have the microbiotic potential to affect this spontaneous fermentation, there is a certain endearing grubbiness to Cantillon. The air inside the brewery makes for an olfactory adventure, perfumed as it is with a musky potpourri of damp wood, wet grain, and a heady mix of barnyard aromas known collectively and affectionately as "horse blanket".
The article is definitely worth a read, and has given me a craving for a nice sour Lambic. I may have to splurge for a bottle of St. Lamvinus tomorrow.

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I don't normally get the Sunday Times, but one was delivered to my house this morning for whatever reason. There's an interesting article by Evan Rail about beer travel in the Travel section.

Rail briefly talks about the idea of beer travel, and how many breweries are now building tasting rooms and even hotels to capitalize on this enthusiasm for beer.
Going to the source is an emerging pastime for beer lovers. The wine trails of Napa, Bordeaux and Piedmont need no introduction. The same, however, cannot be said for the beer trails of Bohemia and Moravia. And yet, in recent years, amateur beer hunters have begun carving their own paths through these ancient Czech kingdoms, tapping into the same passion for local hops and barley that drives oenophiles to cross the globe for zinfandel and nebbiolo.

[snip]

Around Europe, a handful of beer trails have already emerged, like the lambic breweries of the Senne Valley in Belgium, the seven Trappist monastery breweries of Belgium and the Netherlands, and the dozen or so Kölsch beer makers of Cologne.
He then goes on to describe his four-day beer trek around the Czech Republic. The article is fairly lengthy, but worth a read if you're interested.

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431. Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic Ale



I purchased this last night at Downtown Wine & Spirits. They had been out of it for several months, so when I noticed that they had some in stock I grabbed a bottle. This beer was warmed to around 40º F and served in my NERAX pint glass.

The bottle's description is:
Our Japanese Classic Ale is brewed following the original India Pale Ale brought to Japan in the 19th Century.

It is slowly matured in Japanese cedar casks which are commonly used in the brewing of traditional Japanese sake.
Beer Stats:
Brewery: Kiuchi Brewery
Alcohol: 7.00%
Serving: Bottle, 11.2 oz.
Style: English India Pale Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.5): Pours a cloudy amber with a thin, creamy, beige head that is fed by vigorous carbonation. Retention is excellent, the head absolutely does not shrink. Lacing is nice.

Smell (4.0): Fruity and bready malts, yeast, and a resiny hop aroma that becomes more prominent as the beer warms. The aroma is very English. There may be hints of cedar, but these are fleeting.

Taste (4.0): Lightly fruity with toasty malts, followed by a resiny and piney hop bitterness with a citric twang. The aftertaste is a lingering woodiness.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Very tingly carbonation, but smooth once the carbonation dies down. Medium-bodied with a dry finish.

Drinkability (4.5): Very easy to drink, with a nice hop bittereness.

Overall (4.15): A good interpretation of the English IPA style with an interesting woodiness.

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414. St. Bernardus Tripel

414. St. Bernardus Tripel

I purchased a bottle of St. Bernardus Tripel at Downtown Wine & Spirits lat last week, but didn't have it until Thursday. This was one of the beers that I tried at Belgium Comes to Cooperstown. I let it warm to around 45º F and served it in my Westvleteren chalice. There's no picture since I left my camera in lab after our camping trip.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV
Alcohol: 8.00%
Serving: Bottle, 12 oz.
Style: Tripel, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a cloudy golden with a foamy, creamy, white head that thins to a quarter-inch layer, that fades to a persistent film.

Smell (4.5): The nose is fruity with notes of banana, yeast and a spicy graininess.

Taste (4.5): Fruity banana upfront, with a nuttiness in the center. The finish is grainy and citric with spicy alcohol and a very light bitterness,

Mouthfeel (5.0): Moderate carbonation, creamy, light to medium-bodied.

Drinkability (4.0): The flavors are good but strong, as is the alcohol.

Overall (4.4): This is a delicious Tripel. The sweet fruitiness is moderated well by the alcoholic spice and light bitterness.

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51, 60. Two From Unibroue

I purchased a Unibroue mixed 12-pack at Kappy's a month or so ago. Tonight I had both Maudite and Trois Pistoles.

51. Maudite




Beer Stats:
Brewery: Unibroue
Alcohol: 8.00%
Serving: Bottle, 12 oz.
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.5): Pours a cloudy reddish-brown, with a fluffy beige head with good retention and patchy lace.

Smell (4.5): Yeasty, with an orange cream aroma. There's a tart cherry fruitiness, with hints of spice and alcohol.

Taste (4.0): Tart citric fruitiness; toasty, bready maltiness. The finish is yeast with light bitterness and a lingering fruitiness.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Tingly carbonation, light-bodied, with a creamy texture.

Drinkability (4.5): Flavorful and very easy to drink, with well concealed alcohol.

Overall (4.3): A nice, easy to drink Belgian Strong Dark. The spiciness is less prominent than other beers of the style.

60. Trois Pistoles



Beer Stats:
Brewery: Unibroue
Alcohol: 9.00%
Serving: Bottle, 12 oz.
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (5.0): Pours a deep black that is a cloudy, deep red against the light. A foamy beige head tops the beer, with good retention and patchy lace.

Smell (4.5): Yeasty, tart fruitiness, spicy alcohol and light roasted malts.

Taste (4.0): Tart fruit, spicy alcohol, subtle roasted malts with hints of caramel.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Tingly carbonation, light to medium-bodied, and smooth.

Drinkability (4.5): Flavorful, with evident but not overpowering alcohol.

Overall (4.4): My comments for this beer are similar to those for Maudite.



I've noticed that most of Unibroue's beers have a similar flavor profile, which isn't surprising since most are Belgian Strong Ales. A side by side tasting really highlighted the subtle differences in these two beers. Maudite was more yeasty and had a pronounced yeasty aroma and flavor, whereas Trois Pistoles is less yeasty with no evident citric characteristics.

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