658. The Softest Bullet Ever Shot

658. The Softest Bullet Ever Shot

Last weekend it was finally nice in the Boston area. On Sunday I decided to walk to Harvard Square for a beer after I finished up in lab. The route I took also happened to be the route of the Human Genome Trail, which consists of banners representing each chromosome hung on light posts along the route. The banners are scaled representations of chromosome banding patterns. It was a nice walk, and the genome trail is a cool exhibit to get people interested in science.

After stopping at Cardullo's for chocolate and tea, I went to John Harvard's and had a burger and two pints of the Flaming Lips themed The Softest Bullet Ever Shot, an English Bitter served on cask.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: John Harvard's Brew House
Alcohol: ?
Serving: Cask, Pint
Style: English Bitter. BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.5): Pours a nice, lightly-hazy, amber-copper. It's topped by a dense, thin, off-white head that fades to a thin layer leaving sheets of lace.

Smell (4.0): Lightly malty with a nice hop aroma. Toasty with notes of caramel, and fruit. The hop aromas are herbal and resiny. Swirling really brings out the caramel and fruity aromas.

Taste (4.0): Bready and toasty upfront with caramel and fruity sweet flavors appearing in the center. The finish is a nice mix of herbal, grassy and resiny hops that impart their flavors first before a mildly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Medium-bodied, low carbonation, smooth, a little sticky.

Drinkability (4.5): Mild, but enough flavor to keep you interested. Definitely a session beer.

Overall (4.15)

Labels: ,

Last Friday night (April 20th) Jadyn and I went to the Publick House for dinner and drinks. The wait was estimated to be an hour when we got there, but we were seated before we'd finished our first beers, an Aprihop for her and a Foret for myself.

We started with an order of Publick House fries as an appetizer. For dinner Jadyn had the Mac and Cheese and I had the Arrogant Bastard meatloaf. The food was good as usual, especially the mashed potatoes that came with my meatloaf. She had a St. Bernardus ABT 12 with dinner and I had an Old Rasputin Imperial Stout. The stout went well with the somewhat bitter Arrogant Bastard based sauce on the meatloaf.

After dinner we had a couple more drinks. I thought that fruit lambics would make a nice after dinner drink. I was hoping for a Cantillon, but they were all out. I ended up having the Boon Oude Geuze Mariage Parfait and Jadyn had a Lindeman's Framboise. Our last drinks were a La Fin Du Monde for Jadyn and a Brooklyn Antwerpen Ale, which I found to be a nice, highly drinkable Belgian Pale Ale.

I enjoyed all of the beers that I ordered, especially Old Rasputin and the Gueuze, and Jadyn particularly enjoyed the Aprihop and Framboise.

657. Brooklyn Antwerpen Ale

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brooklyn Brewery
Alcohol: 5.50%
Serving: Tap
Style: Belgian Pale Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a clear, copper color with a dense off white head that thins to a film, before disappearing.

Smell (4.0): Very fruity. There are notes of bananas and berries with toasty malts, light hops and a hint of spiciness.

Taste (3.5): Toasty malts upfront move into a sweet fruity center with notes of bananas and apples. The finish has a light residual sweetness with a mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel (3.5): Light-bodied, moderate carbonation.

Drinkability (5.0): Mild but flavorful. Definitely something I could have a few of.

Overall (3.85): I thought this was a spot on attempt at a Belgian Pale Ale. I'd definitely have it again.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

The Beer Stash

Win IMed me tonight with a request (also a request from David)... pictures of my beer stash. The top shelf is mostly new stuff I'm waiting to review, the bottom shelf is stuff in the "cellar." Pictures are below, click for larger.

The Stash

New Stuff

The "Cellar"

The Cellar:
  • 3 Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout (Winter 06-07), 12 oz.
  • 1 Brooklyn Monster Ale (2005), 12 oz.
  • 1 Cantillon St Lamvinus, 750 mL
  • 1 Lagunitas 12th Anniversary Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale, 22 oz.
  • 1 Smuttynose Wheat Wine Ale, 22 oz.
  • 1 St. Bernardus Abt 12 Special Edition, 750 mL
  • 1 Stone Vertical Epic Ale 06.06.06, 22 oz.
  • 2 Stone 10th Anniversary IPA, 22 oz.
  • 3 Unibroue 11, 750 mL
  • 2 Unibroue Edition 2004, 750 mL
  • 1 Unibroue 15, 750 mL
  • 4 Westvleteren 12, 11.2 oz.
New Stuff:
  • 1 Avery The Reverend, 22 oz.
  • 1 Port Brewing Co. Old Viscosity Ale, 22 oz.
  • 1 Lost Abbey Avant Garde Ale, 750 mL
  • 6 Rahr & Sons Bucking Bock, 12 oz.
  • 6 Rahr & Sons Winter Warmer, 12 oz.
  • 6 Rahr & Sons Ugly Pug, 12 oz.
  • 1 Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic, 12 oz.
  • 1 Smuttynose S'muttonator, 22 oz.
  • 1 Smuttynose Really Old Brown Dog Ale, 22 oz.
  • 1 St. Bernardus Abt 12 Special Edition, 750 mL
  • 1 Stone Ruination IPA, 22 oz.
  • 1 Stone Vertical Epic Ale 05.05.05, 22 oz.
  • 1 T'Smisje Kerst, 11.2 oz
  • 1 Unibroue 16, 750 mL
  • 1 Winterkoninkske, 11.2 oz.
Tasted but not Reviewed:
  • 1 Girardin Gueuze 1882 (Black Label), 375 mL
  • 2 Kuhnhenn Raspberry Eisbock (2004), 187 mL
  • 1 Stone Double Bastard Ale, 22 oz.
I know 55 bottles isn't a huge stash. I'd like to have more redundant bottles in the "cellar" but, space and cash are limiting factors.

656. Aprihop

656. Aprihop

They had a few loose Dogfish Head bottles at Downtown Wine & Spirits a few weeks ago. I really wanted a beer last night after a long day of TAing obligations. I let this warm a bit and served it in my NERAX pint glass.

Beer Stats:

Brewery: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Alcohol: 7.00%
Serving: Bottle, 12 oz.
Style: Fruit Beer, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a clear copper-amber with a fluffy, sudsy, off-white head that fades slowly leaving thick lace that clings to the glass.

Smell (3.5): Strong apricot aromas are predominant, along with lighter malts and hops.

Taste (3.5): Sweet apricot flavors dominate from start to finish where a moderate bitterness appears providing some balance.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Smooth and full-bodied with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability (3.5): Flavorful, but a little sweet.

Overall (3.65): This is a pretty decent fruit beer, it's a little sweet for my tastes, but it's nice enough.

Labels: ,

655. 60 Winks Ale

655. 60 Winks Ale

I had dinner with Jadyn at the apartment of one of her classmates. I had a Circus Boy and then had a bottle of 60 Winks. I drank this out of the bottle, and didn't take notes, but this is what I remember.

Beer Stats:

Brewery: Magic Hat Brewing Company
Alcohol: 5.80%
Serving: Bottle, 12 oz.
Style: German Pilsener, BJCP Style Guide

The aroma seemed pretty light (out of the bottle so I didn't really get a good sense) but there were grainy malt aromas as well as some light hop aromas. The flavors were grainy and hoppy. There's a light sweetness through the center followed by a grassy hop bitterness. I'll refrain from making a judgment, but I would have like a little more hoppiness.

Labels: ,

654. Allagash Interlude 2006

654. Allagash Interlude 2006

I purchased a bottle of 2006 Interlude at Downtown Wine & Spirits several months ago. It's been sitting in my fridge ever since. I finally got around to opening it tonight. It comes in a corked and caged 750 mL bottle with a simple beige label. There's a tag attached to the cork that says "bop belgian" on the front; the inside says:
Interlude - somewhere between the leap and the landing. It's a jazz solo, the riffing, the unexpected improvisation. Rooted in a Belgian theme, Interlude soars from a second fermentation with our own wild Brettanomyces yeast. Then takes five in French oak wine barrels that once cellared fine Merlots and Sirahs. And then a bottle conditioning. In all, an outrageous effort to make a bottle of beer. But then, if you prefer to swing with magnificent red wine notes and funky farmhouse flavors dancing in the undercurrents of a crisp, remarkable brew, then Interlude has that thing. C'est le goût, toujours!. It's the taste that is always an adventure.
I let this warm to the 40s and served it in one of my Duvel tulip glasses.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Allagash Brewing Company
Year: 2006
Alcohol: 9.50%
Serving: Bottle, 750 mL
Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale, BJCP Style Guide, American Wild Ale

Appearance (5.0): Pours a clear copper with a thick, creamy, off-white head that's fed by a massive quantity of bubbles. Retention is excellent, the head slowly fades to a persistent quarter-inch layer leaving lace that clings to the glass in thick patches. I can't think of a single thing wrong with the way this beer looks.

Smell (4.5): Initially the aromas are a mingling of fruit and Brettanomyces. I predominantly detect aromas of lemon and sour apple. There's also a nice earthy, grassy aroma. Swirling brings the earthiness to the fore along with, maybe, a hint of woodiness. I really love the Brett aromas in this one.

Taste (4.5): Lightly sweet upfront, before moving into a fruity, lemony sourness, which maintains its presence through to the finish. The center is dominated by sourness with some vinous characters making an appearance as well. The finish is funky and earthy with a nice grassy quality from the hops. The sourness and hops create a finish that is sour and mildly bitter. Both bitterness and sourness last well into the aftertaste where they're met by a spicy warming sensation. Pouring the yeast into the glass makes the finish a bit funkier.

Mouthfeel (3.5): Light-to-medium-bodied, with moderate carbonation, with a nice mildly dry finish. Honestly it feels a bit thin to me, perhaps a little more carbonation would help. Decanting the yeast helps.

Drinkability (4.0): Very flavorful with nice sour and funky flavors that aren't overpowering. The alcohol is very well hidden.

Overall (4.45): This seems like a stronger, fruitier and more sour Orval. I really, really like beers that use Brettanomyces, so take the ratings with a grain of salt. I wish I would have purchased another bottle to cellar.

Labels: ,

653. Samichlaus Bier

653. Samichlaus Bier

I've had a bottle of Samichlaus from the 2005 bottling sitting in my fridge for a few months. I haven't tried it yet because of a combination of its strength and my lack of free time, but last night I got a text message about it from David who was in Portland for a business trip. I let this warm and served it in my New Belgium glass.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brewery Castle Eggenberg
Year: 2005
Alcohol: 14.0%
Serving: Bottle, 11.2 oz.
Style: Doppelbock, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (3.5): Pours a crystal clear copper with a fizzy, beige head that fades to a persistent ring.

Smell (4.5): The aroma is deep, rich and malty. There are notes of caramel and fruit, especially raisins. There's also a strong alcoholic aroma that really becomes dominant upon swirling.

Taste (4.5): Sweet maltiness upfront, with caramel, raisins and vanilla. Strong alcohol brings a peppery spice to the finish, which lasts long into the aftertaste. There's also a very mild bitterness. I agree with David that this is very brandy-like.

Mouthfeel (5): Thick, creamy and full-bodied, smooth with just enough carbonation. Spicy warming alcohol remains through the finish and leaves a tingly sensation in the mouth and a nice warmth throughout.

Drinkability (4.0): The alcohol is definitely strong, but I find myself wishing that I had another bottle. Something to sip and savor, but surprisingly drinkable.

Overall (4.3): This was a great beer to finish the day with. It's been colder than normal, and it actually snowed today.

Labels: ,

652. Ipswich Original Ale

652. Ipswich Original Ale

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Mercury Brewing Company
Alcohol: 5.60%
Serving: Growler
Style: English Pale Ale, BJCP Style Guide

I had a pint of this out of a growler sized bottle last night at a birthday thing for Jadyn's roommate. I didn't take notes, and this is from memory, but I'll do my best.

It poured a clear amber with a sudsy beige head that sticks around. The aromas are malty and hoppy. The palate is the same, with lightly sweet bready and toasty malts upfront followed by a nice hoppy bitterness that lingers in the finish. I remember thinking the beer felt a bit thin. Overall a very drinkable beer, nicely balanced and flavorful.

Labels: ,