684. John Harvard's Bitter

684. John Harvard's Bitter

Jadyn and I stopped for a beer at John Harvard's on Monday night. I had their bitter on cask.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: John Harvard's Brew House
Alcohol: 4.70%
Serving: Cask
Style: English Bitter, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a hazy amber with a dense, creamy, beige head, which thins to a film leaving patchy lace.

Smell (4.5): Mostly citric and resiny hops with some mild bready malts.

Taste (4.0): Bready, toasty malts upfront that moves into a malty caramel sweetness with some fruity hints. The finish is a citric, grapefruit bitterness.

Mouthfeel (3.5): Light-bodied, low carbonation, smooth.

Drinkability (4.5): Flavorful, mild, very drinkable.

Overall (4.1)

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683. Rahr's Winter Warmer

683. Rahr's Winter Warmer

This is from another six-pack of Rahr & Sons beer that I got in a trade with Bryan. I know this is out of season, but it's been refrigerated and seems to have held up pretty well. I have a couple more winter beers that hopefully haven't gone bad. I'll be blogging about them soon should they be in good condition. I served this chilled in one of my NERAX pint glasses.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Rahr & Sons Brewing Company
Alcohol: 7.95%
Serving: Bottle, 12 oz.
Style: Winter Warmer, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.5): Pours a hazy, ruby-tinted brown with a thick, fluffy, beige head that fades to a thin film leaving sheets of lace on the side of the glass.

Smell (3.5): The smell is predominantly malty: toasty malts, raisins, and maybe a hint of holiday spices.

Taste (3.5): Toasty and bready malts upfront. Moves into rasiny dark fruit flavors in the center, which are maintained through to the finish where they're cut by a clean graininess and a faint bitterness. There's a nice alcoholic spice in the swallow.

Mouthfeel (3.0): Medium-bodied, light carbonation, but still fells a little bit thin.

Drinkability (3.5): Flavorful, but not overly strong.

Overall (3.65)

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682. Really Old Brown Dog Ale

682. Really Old Brown Dog Ale

I purchased a bomber of the latest release in the Smuttynose Big Beer Series, Really Old Brown Dog Ale, about two weeks ago at Downtown Wine & Spirits. I let this warm and served it in one of my New Belgium glasses.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Smuttynose Brewing Company
Year: 2007
Alcohol: 7.00%
Serving: Bottle, 22 oz.
Style: Old Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.5): Pours a clear ruby-brown with a fluffy, beige head that fades to a film leaving patchy lace.

Smell (3.5): Sweet malts, caramel and light fruit, some roasted aromas, as well as a light graininess.

Taste (3.0): Sweet and malty upfront: caramel, raw sugar, and dark fruit. The finish is roasted bitterness with a light spiciness.

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

Drinkability (3.5): A sipper.

Overall (3.5): This isn't an unpleasant beer to drink, but it doesn't quite fit the style.

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681. Brooklyn Local 1

681. Brooklyn Local 1

Jadyn and I went to Bukowski's in Back Bay for dinner and drinks after seeing Killer of Sheep at the MFA. We split a 750 mL bottle of Brooklyn Local 1 after eating. It was served in Brooklyn Champagne flute style glasses.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Brooklyn Brewery
Alcohol: 9.00%
Serving: Bottle, 750 mL
Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a hazy golden with a fluffy, white head that retains well leaving patchy lace.

Smell (3.5): Predominantly fruity, primarily bananas. There's also a bit of clove, pepper and grain.

Taste (4.0): Light fruity sweetness upfront that intensifies as banana flavors hit the palate. This is followed by a mildly peppery finish with a lingering mellow bitterness.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Light-bodied, high carbonation, creamy.

Drinkability (5.0): Though high in alcohol this comes off as very light and refreshing.

Overall (4.05): An excellent take on the style. Very drinkable and enjoyable.

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680. S'muttonator

680. S'muttonator

I purchased this at Downtown Wine & Spirits a while ago. I let it warm to around 50ยบ F and served it in my NERAX pint glass.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Smuttynose Brewing Company
Year: 2006
Alcohol: 8.50%
Serving: Bottle, 22 oz.
Style: Doppelbock, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a very lightly hazy ruby-brown with a thick beige head that thins to a film.

Smell (4.0): Rich and malty, caramel and dark fruit. Light peppery alcohol.

Taste (4.5): Sweet upfront with notes of caramel and dates. Moves into a peppery, spicy alcoholic finish with a firm, balancing bitterness.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Full-bodied, low-carbonation.

Drinkability (3.5): A flavorful sipper.

Overall (4.15)

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679. The Reverend

679. The Reverend

I bought a bomber of The Reverend close to a year ago when I was trying to put together Beer Advocate's Top Ten Quads. I eventually gave up, and ended up keeping this one in my fridge. Jadyn and I split this one the other night.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Avery Breweing Company
Alcohol: 10.00%
Serving: Bottle, 22 oz
Style: Quadrupel, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a lightly hazy, reddish amber with a fizzy, off-white head that fades to a patchy film with a continuous ring.

Smell (4.5): Very rich and malty. Mostly dark fruits: dates, raisins and a touch of cherry. Evident spicy alcohol.

Taste (4.0): Malty upfront: caramel, toffee, dates, and raisins. Light peppery alcoholic spice. The finish has a mild, but persistent bitterness and a lingering sweetness. The malts also have taken on a hint of the vinous aged character that I've noticed in aged beers that I've tried.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Full-bodied, low-carbonation, smooth and thick.

Drinkability (4.0): Very rich, high in alcohol. A pleasant beer to sip.

Overall (4.15)

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674-678. Mets Game, Spuyten Duyvil

I went to NYC to visit David last weekend. Friday night we saw the Mets play the Diamondbacks at Shea, and then went to Spuyten Duyvil afterwards for a couple rounds. Saturday we drove out to Megan's family's place on Shelter Island and then biked out 10 miles on the North Fork and hit up the tasting rooms of several wineries.

The beer at the baseball game was overpriced and of poor quality, but that didn't stop us from drinking. We had three beers each. The one new beer that I had was the abysmal Budweiser Select.

674. Budweiser Select

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Anheuser-Busch, Inc.
Alcohol: 4.30%
Serving: Aluminum Bottle, 12 oz.
Style: Light Lager, BJCP Style Guide

I consumed this beer right out of the can. This is a pretty standard light lager. The aroma is fairly light, mostly cooked grain. The taste is lightly malty and sweet. There's an unpleasant graininess as the beer warms. Dry huskiness and watery in the mouthfeel. Not pleasant to drink.

After the game we went to Spuyten Duyvil in Brooklyn, an excellent beer bar. I liked the bar a lot. The ceiling was pressed tin and the walls were decorated with educational charts circa 1950s. There were seats in the windows and a couch against one wall. The walls in the restrooms were covered with chalkboards and there was a bucket of chalk provided. The bar seemed popular with the Hipster crowd. The selection was really good. There were 6 beers on tap, none of which I'd had, and an impressive bottle list, including a Rare/Odd category. The food was reminiscent of the bar food we had at Boulevard in Belgium. There was a list of meats, cheeses and other items. We had a plate that included sweet dry sausage, Stilton, olives and bread. I firmly believe that all bars should offer this type of food. We had two rounds, but switched off halfway in each for a total of four new beers.

675. Ramstein Double Platinum

Beer Stats:
Brewery: High Point Brewing Company
Alcohol: 7.5%
Serving: Tap
Style: Weizenbock, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a hazy golden, very nice color. A half-finger white head fades to a ring.

Smell (3.5): Fruity bananas, with caramel, sugar, light spice and yeast.

Taste (4.0): Sweet banana fruitiness upfront as well as some caramel malts. It moves into a lightly spicy but still sweet finish. There's also a light grassy bitterness to balance things out.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Medium-bodied, moderate carbonation, smooth.

Drinkability (4.0): Pretty nice to drink, it's nicely malty but not overly sweet.

Overall (3.9)

676. Old Engine Oil

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Harviestoun Brewery Ltd.
Alcohol: 6.00%
Serving: Tap
Style: Old Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.5): Pours a dark brown/black with a thin, one-finger, beige head that fades to a ring leaving patchy lace.

Smell (4.5): Very strong malty aromas. Caramel, toffee, burnt sugar, dark fruit, with a roasty coffee aroma on swirling.

Taste (4.5): Sweet malts: dates and caramel. Lightly spicy with a light balancing coffee bitterness.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Medium to full-bodied, low carbonation, thick, silky.

Drinkability (4.0): Smooth and balanced, strong flavors, but enjoyable.

Overall (4.4)

677. Jaipur IPA

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Thornbridge Hall Country House Brewing Company
Alcohol: 5.90%
Serving: Cask
Style: English India Pale Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.5): Lightly hazy, straw golden. Pours with a thick, overflowing, fluffy, white head. Leaves sheets of lace.

Smell (4.5): Wonderfully citric, grapefruity hops, some grassy aromas as well. A little bit of toasty/sweet maltiness.

Taste (4.0): Toasty malts, briefly sweet fruit in the center, before moving into a dominant, but not overpowering citric hoppy bitterness. A classic English IPA.

Mouthfeel (3.5): Light-bodied, moderate to low carbonation, lightly oily.

Drinkability (5.0): Almost the definition of a session beer.

Overall (4.15)

678. Slacker Bock

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Sly Fox Brewing Company
Alcohol: 6.60%
Serving: Tap
Style: Bock, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (3.0): Pours a clear reddish-brown with a thin beige head that fades to a ring.

Smell (3.5): Light overall. Sweet malts, caramel.

Taste (3.0): Sweet malts. Fruity throughout. Too sweet with little to balance it. Not unpleasant, just way too sweet.

Mouthfeel (3.5): Medium-bodied, overly carbonated.

Drinkability (3.0): Way too sweet, needs something to balance.

Overall (3.15)

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673. Harpoon Peche (100 Barrel Series #19)

I purchased a bomber of this at Downtown Wine & Spirits. I had it the other night at home in one of my Duvel tulip glasses. This is listed as a fruit lambic on Beer Advocate, but it didn't seem like a lambic to me, so I'm listing it as a Fruit Beer.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Harpoon Brewery
Alcohol: ?
Serving: Bottle, 22 oz.
Style: Fruit Beer, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a cloudy golden with a thick, white head that leaves sheets of lace.

Smell (2.0): Strong peach aroma, with some grainy and peppery notes. There's an odd, unpleasant musty aroma that I also noticed.

Taste (3.0): There's a toasty maltiness upfront, followed by sweet peaches and a lightly peppery finish. There's a hint of the odd mustiness but not too bad. At heart this seems like an average fruit beer.

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

Drinkability (1.5): The mustiness in the aroma really hurts drinkability on this one. I couldn't finish the bottle.

Overall (2.85): I wasn't a fan of this beer. The odd musty character really hurts what could otherwise be an okay fruit beer.

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