606. Harvest Ale

606. Harvest Ale



I really felt like a beer after getting home from lab at 10:30 tonight. I played Excite Truck on Wii for about half an hour then I opened this one up. It came in the same mixed six-pack that Phin & Matts Extraordinary Ale came in. I let it warm to around 40º F and served it in my NERAX pint glass.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Southern Tier Brewing Company
Alcohol: 5.20%
Serving: Bottle, 12 oz.
Style: American Pale Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): This looks very similar to Phin and Matt's Extraordinary Ale. It pours a lightly hazy golden-copper that's perhaps a shade lighter. The off-white head is thick and frothy and fades to a sudsy layer leaving patches of lace on the side of the glass.

Smell (3.5): The aroma is much stronger than Phin and Matt's. There are light citrus and fruit aromas along with a sweet maltiness that hit the nose before the hop aroma that is resiny and grassy.

Taste (4.0): Sweet malts upfront that become toasty with a lingering residual sweetness that lasts through to the finish. A strong hop bitterness appears in the finish, it's citrusy and grassy with a little bit of resiny character. The aftertaste is a nice lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel (3.5): Light to medium-bodied with moderate carbonation and a slick oiliness.

Drinkability (4.0): Tasty, hoppy and well-balanced.

Overall (3.85): I was disappointed with Phin and Matt's Extraordinary Ale, but this is a good APA. It's nice and hoppy without too much sweetness.

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Lack of Posts

I've been busy with lab the last week, and I'll probably remain so for a while. Additionally, much of my free time at home has been occupied by the Nintendo Wii. I have a lot of beer in the fridge that I want to try, but haven't had the time to properly review yet. Reviews are coming, but they won't be as frequent for the next bit.

605. Phin & Matts Extraordinary Ale

605. Phin & Matts Extraordinary Ale



After wandering around Downtown Wine and Spirits in a state of indecisiveness for several minutes I decided to pick up a mixed six-pack from Southern Tier. I let this warm a bit and served it in my NERAX pint glass.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Southern Tier Brewing Company
Alcohol: 5.60%
Serving: Bottle, 12 oz.
Style: American Pale Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a lightly hazy golden-copper with a thick, sudsy off-white head that fades to a frothy film leaving patchy lace.

Smell (3.0): Light malts with some citrusy hop aromas. Not bad, but pretty average for the style.

Taste (3.0): Lightly sweet and toasty malts upfront. The center has notes of fruity citrus, which moves into a light hop bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel (3.0): Light-bodied, moderate carbonation, watery.

Drinkability (4.0): Easy to drink, it's light and probably pretty nice in warmer weather.

Overall (3.3): This is a so-so APA. There's nothing bad about it, but the flavors are just too subdued.

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604. Half Wit

604. Half Wit

I haven't updated since Monday because I've been busy working on talk that I gave Wednesday and on lab meeting, which I gave today.

Bennett was in town visiting a friend, so after I finished up in lab tonight we met up and headed to the Cambridge Brewing Company. We waited a half-hour for a table, but had a round to pass the time Bennett and I had the Cambridge River Porter, and Beth had a Regatta Golden.

We had another round with dinner. Bennett had a Big Man Ale and Beth and I each had a Half Wit. I had a burger with cheddar and fries with mayo. Bennett and Beth split a pizza and a burger. The beer was served cool in a flared pils glass.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Cambridge Brewing Company
Alcohol: 4.70%
Serving: Tap
Style: Witbier, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (3.5): Pours a very hazy straw color with wisps of bubbles but no head.

Smell (4.0): The aroma is dominated by very strong peppery coriander. There are also some tart citric aromas with ginger undertones. There's also a light yeasty and grainy aroma.

Taste (4.0): Grainy maltiness upfront, with a citric tartness in the center that becomes pleasingly strong The finish is a strong peppery coriander spiciness with a light touch of grain.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Light-bodied with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability (4.0): Tasty, light and refreshing.

Overall (3.9): A solid witbier, spiced very nicely.

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603. Harpoon English Style Old Ale (100 Barrel Series #17)

603. Harpoon English Style Old Ale (100 Barrel Series #17)



I purchased this at Downtown Wine & Spirits last week. I let it warm to 55º F, which happens to be the ambient temperature in our apartment since we're too cheap to turn on the heat. I served it in my NERAX pint glass.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Harpoon Brewery
Alcohol: 7.90%
Serving: Bottle, 22 oz.
Style: Old Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (3.5): Pours a clear copper with a fluffy, off-white head that fades to a sudsy layer leaving sheets of lace.

Smell (4.0): The aroma is rich and malty with caramel, toffee and buttery aromas. There's a nice vinous character as well as a hint of grain, but no evident alcohol.

Taste (4.0): The carbonation upfront weakens to reveal a rich, malty backbone with vinous, caramel and toffee notes. The finish is lightly bitter with an alcoholic spiciness that melds well with the remaining malty sweetness. The bitterness lingers and helps cut the malty sweetness.

Mouthfeel (3.5): Thick and full-bodied, with a moderate carbonation that helps to prevent it from feeling syrupy.

Drinkability (3.5): The beer is very rich, making it tough to have more than one.

Overall (3.8): This is the first Old Ale I've had since having Old Peculier back in college. It was a nice port-like quality that I enjoyed.

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Trip to Philadelphia

David, Dave and I are planning on taking a trip to Philly the first weekend in February. If any one has any recommendations for bars or brew pubs leave a comment.

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602. Stone 10th Anniversary IPA

602. Stone 10th Anniversary IPA



I bought three bombers of this at Downtown Wine and Spirits several months ago. I've been putting off trying it since it's 10% by volume, but I felt like an IPA tonight. I let this warm to around 50º F and served it in my New Belgium glass.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.
Year: 2006
Alcohol: 10.00%
Serving: Bottle, 22 oz.
Style: American Double IPA, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a hazy amber/copper with a thick, off-white head that fades to a sudsy layer leaving snaking trails of lace.

Smell (4.5): The aroma is a nice blend of malts, fruit and hops. There's a bit of toastiness, caramel, tropical fruit aromas, resiny hops and a spicy alcohol that's fairly strong.

Taste (4.5): Toasty malts are evident first, but are quickly eclipsed by sweet and fruity flavors in the center where there's also some tart citric character. The finish has a nice, firm, hop bitterness that's resiny, citric and a tad grassy. There's also an alcoholic spice that starts at the tip of the tongue and mellows before reemerging in the finish as a strong, spicy bite.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Full-bodied with moderate carbonation. A smooth, velvety character appears once the carbonation has died down.

Drinkability (4.0): Balanced, with a nice maltiness that moderates the intense hop bitterness.

Overall (4.35): An excellent DIPA. The balance is nice, without being cloyingly sweet, which is my main complaint with a lot of other beers of the style.

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601. Rogue Monk Madness

601. Rogue Monk Madness



I purchased this at Downtown Wine and Spirits last night along with a few other beers. This is a Belgian recipe fermented with Rogue's Pacman yeast, albeit more highly hopped. The result is a decidedly non-Belgian tasting beer. Stan Hieronymus talks about this over at Brew Like a Monk. Its taste is closer to an American Brown Ale, which it is classified as on Beer Advocate. I served this in one of my Ommegang chalices at around 45º F.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Rogue Ales Brewery
Alcohol: 7.40%
Serving: Bottle, 22 oz.
Style: American Brown Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (3.5): Pours a hazy, ruby-brown with a one-finger, beige head that fades to a film leaving sheets of lace. There are small particles floating around the beer that detract from its otherwise excellent appearance.

Smell (3.0): The smell is mostly hoppy, with some light malts.

Taste (3.5): Lightly sweet malts upfront, it's hard to discern any malt flavors. The finish is nutty with strong hop bitterness. It's well attenuated with little residual sweetness.

Mouthfeel (3.5): Medium-bodied, low carbonation with a husky dry finish.

Drinkability (3.5): Pretty easy to drink, though it could use a bit more maltiness.

Overall (3.4): An odd beer. It does really illustrate the difference that yeast strains can make.

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600. HopDevil Ale

600. HopDevil Ale

I purchased a six-pack of this last night at Libby's Liquors in Central Square. I had two bottles with dinner last night at a friend's apartment, and another bottle today at a birthday lunch for my boss.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Victory Brewing Company
Alcohol: 6.70%
Serving: Bottle, 12 oz.
Style: American IPA, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (5.0): Pours a beautiful, hazy reddish-copper with a thick, beige head that fades to a film leaving heavy but patchy lace on the inside of the glass. I really love the color.

Smell (4.0): Sweet malts with some tart fruitiness, a whiff of alcohol and some grassy, resiny and grapefruit hop aromas.

Taste (4.0): Toasty malts upfront that move into a fruity and sugary sweetness. The finish is a grassy and resiny hop bitterness with a lingering tartness.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Medium-bodied and oily with low carbonation.

Drinkability (3.5): This is really hop-forward making it a bit hard to drink.

Overall (4.15): This is an excellent American IPA.

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599. Brooklyn Winter Ale (2006)

599. Brooklyn Winter Ale (2006)



I picked up a six-pack of Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout in December, not noticing that one of the bottles had been replaced by a bottle of Brooklyn Winter Ale. I assumed that this was a bottle of the Brooklyn Winter Ale (aka Brooklyn Christmas Ale) that I had sampled at the Extreme Beer Fest in February of last year. However, recently I noticed an article on Beer Advocate about the new, completely overhauled Brooklyn Winter Ale. The new version is a Scottish Ale rather than a Winter Warmer. I let this warm to around 45º F and served it in my NERAX pint glass.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brooklyn Brewery
Year: 2006
Alcohol: 6.00%
Serving: Bottle, 12 oz.
Style: Scottish Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a clear amber-brown with a thick, sudsy, beige head that fades to a persistent, thin layer leaving some patchy lace as the glass is drained.

Smell (3.5): Very malty with caramel and toasty aromas most evident. There's also a tart fruity aroma and a bit of a metallic hint.

Taste (4.0): Toasty malts are first evident followed by caramel sweetness. Some tart flavors appear in the center and linger through to the finish where it's met by a grassy hop bitterness and a faint alcoholic spiciness. Very Scottish.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Rich and full-bodied, smooth with low but prickly carbonation.

Drinkability (4.0): Flavorful and delicious.

Overall (3.95): I think this is a very nice malt-forward Scottish ale that manages to be well-balanced and not too sweet.

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598. Harpoon Frankenfest Lager (100 Barrel Series #16)

598. Harpoon Frankenfest Lager (100 Barrel Series #16)



I've finally gotten over a cold, and can smell again, so it's back to reviewing beers. I purchased this a month or so ago at Downtown Wine & Spirits. It's been sitting in my fridge since then. I let it warm to around 45º F and served it in my NERAX pint glass.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Harpoon Brewery
Alcohol: 6.90%
Serving: Bottle, 22 oz.
Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a clear amber with a thick, beige head that fades to a patchy film leaving no lace.

Smell (3.0): Pretty light overall, but it has caramel, fruitiness and a hint of hops.

Taste (3.5): Very malty upfront, with some toasty flavors and a nice caramel sweetness that lingers through to the finish where it's met with a leafy hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Medium to full bodied with low carbonation.

Drinkability (3.5): Tasty and flavorful, but fairly heavy.

Overall (3.55): Not a bad Oktoberfest. I've decided to calibrate my ratings to skew a bit lower. This is only the second beer to be rated under the 'new' system, so numerically it seems lower than it is based on the new system.

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597. Eichbaum Kellerbier Naturtrüb

597. Eichbaum Kellerbier Naturtrüb



Christian, my friend/labmate, went to Germany for a wedding in November and brought me back a bottle of Eichbaum Kellerbier. This comes in a brown 500 mL flip-top bottle. I served it in my NERAX pint glass at around 45º F.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Eichbaum Brauereien AG Käfertaler
Alcohol: 4.80%
Serving: Bottle, 500 mL
Style: Keller Bier

Appearance (4.5): Pours a hazy, brilliant golden with a two-finger, creamy, white head that thins to a film leaving patchy lace.

Smell (3.5): Caramel maltiness with a strong, pleasant fruitiness, notes of citrus and apricot. Hops are very low. The fruity aromas are great, but it could use some more hop aroma.

Taste (3.5): Fruitness is first evident followed by a bit of spiciness through the center to the finish, which has a bit of citric tartness and a moderate lingering hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel (3.5): Light-bodied, low carbonation, crisp, but a tad watery in the finish.

Drinkability (5.0): Very easy to drink and refreshing.

Overall (3.85): I liked the fruitiness a lot, but the hop bitterness could be a little higher.

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