757. Harpoon Weizenbock (100 Barrel Series #21)

757. Harpoon Weizenbock (100 Barrel Series #21)

I bought this at Liquor World in Porter Square on the 19th and split it that night with Jadyn.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Harpoon Brewery
Alcohol: 7.80%
Serving: Bottle 22 oz.
Style: Weizenbock, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (3.0): Pours a lightly-hazed amber. It's topped by a thick, foamy head that fades to nothing, leaving no lace.

Smell (4.0): Nice aromas of bananas and cloves, a bit of pepper, and a bit of maltiness that's hard to place.

Taste (3.0): Sweet, bready maltiness. Banana and clove esters. Spicy in the finish with very little bitterness. I wasn't a huge fan, the flavors were nice and all there, but it seemed a bit one-dimensional.

Mouthfeel (3.5): Medium-bodied, moderate to high carbonation.

Drinkability (3.5): Decent, but nothing that makes you want more.

Overall (3.3)

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756. John Harvard's Cambridge-on-Charles

756. John Harvard's Cambridge-on-Charles

I had two pints of this on January the 11th at John Harvard's. I'm not sure of the style but I'm guessing English Pale Mild Ale.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: John Harvard's Brew House
Alcohol: ?
Serving: Tap
Style: English Pale Mild Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Pours a hazy golden. Topped by a thin head that fades to a film leaving patches of lace. The aroma is resiny hops with a hint of citrus. Sweet, bready malts upfront. Moves through to a resiny hop bitterness in the finish with some citric and grassy notes. Vigorous carbonation carries the flavors across the palate.

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755. Smuttynose Robust Porter

755. Smuttynose Robust Porter

I bought a six-pack at Somerville Wine & Spirits a few nights ago.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Smuttynose Brewing Company
Alcohol: 5.70%
Serving: Bottle, 12 oz.
Style: American Porter, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a dark ruby-brown, almost opaque. Topped by a sudsy, fluffy, one-finger, brown head that thins to a film leaving patchy lace.

Smell (4.0): Rich and roasty. Chocolate is the predominant aroma with hints of coffee and a sweet fruitiness.

Taste (4.0): Slightly sweet upfront with some dark fruit elements. There's also chocolate, a bit of spiciness, and a coffee bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Medium to full-bodied, moderate carbonation. Smooth.

Drinkability (4.0): Tasty, balanced.

Overall (4.0)

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754. North Coast Old Stock Ale

754. North Coast Old Stock Ale

I had a bottle with dinner at Christopher's in Porter Square a few nights ago.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: North Coast Brewing Co.
Year: 2007
Alcohol: 13.25%
Serving: Bottle, 12 oz.
Style: Old Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (3.5): Pours a clear, deep amber. Topped by a thick, fluffy beige head that fades quickly to a thin film leaving patchy lace.

Smell (4.0): The nose is malty with some caramel, raisins and dark fruit. There's a bit of cherry tartness, a medicinal character, and bit of effervescent alcohol.

Taste (4.5): Sweet malts: caramel, raisin and dark fruit. There's a tart character that runs throughout. The finish is medicinal with a light bitterness and an alcoholic spice.

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

Drinkability (4.0): Very nice for such a strong and malty beer.

Overall (4.1): An interesting old ale, the malts don't overpower and there are nice medicinal, and spicy elements that provide balance.

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753. Brother David's Double

753. Brother David's Double

I went to California for a few days after submitting my paper. Jadyn and I went to Monterey with her sister, nephews and mom. I picked this up at Bottles N' Bins, and had it at the motel.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Alcohol: 9.00%
Serving: Bottle, 22 oz.
Style: Dubbel, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (3.5): Pours a lightly, hazy brown with a beige head that thins to a ring.

Smell (3.0): Light maltiness, candi sugar, dark fruit, alcoholic spice.

Taste (2.5): Sweet, caramel malts, candi sugar. Incredibly spicy alcohol in the finish with a light bitterness.

Mouthfeel (3.0): Medium-bodied, moderate carbonation.

Drinkability (2.0): Way too spicy.

Overall (2.8): I was not a fan, the flavors were average and the spiciness was overwhelming.

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752. Bannatyne's Scotch Ale

752. Bannatyne's Scotch Ale

I had this with dinner at the CBC sometime in late December.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Cambridge Brewing Company
Alcohol: 9.20%
Serving: Tap
Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.5): Pours a dark amber-brown with a dense, creamy beige head that leaves patchy lace.

Smell (4.5): Malty, caramel, dark fruit, raisins, maybe a hint of molasses, a hint of roastiness, and a hint of buttery diacetyl.

Taste (4.0): Dark fruit, caramel, molasses. The finish is a lingering fruity sweetness that's cut by an herbal, roasted bitterness, and an alcoholic spice.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Full bodied, thick, moderate carbonation.

Drinkability (4.0): Very malty and high in alcohol, but still drinkable.

Overall (4.25): An excellent beer. Deliciously malty.

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750-751. The Dancing Bear

Win had mentioned that one of his coworkers was also a bartender at a new beer bar/brewpub in Waco called The Dancing Bear Pub. This was exciting because Cricket's, Waco's other beer bar, focuses more on imports than on craft beer (though there are some good craft options). Waco is already "Chain Restaurant Hell" so it's nice to see something -anything- open that isn't a chain. That's not to say there aren't good non-chain restaurants in Waco , there are (Bangkok Royal has some of the best Thai food I've had anywhere), but the most popular restaurants seem to be chains, and the citizenry only seems to be clamoring for more chains. Enough bitching about Waco though.

The Dancing Bear opened recently, and as a consequence doesn't yet have the permits from the TABC for brewing. According to the menu there will be 5 beers: Dancing Bear Pale, an American Pale Ale; Black Bear Stout, an Irish Dry Stout; 12th Street Wheat, an American Pale Wheat Ale; Barron Estates IPA; and 76 Magnum IPA, a Double IPA. I was a little disappointed the brewery wasn't up and running yet, because I don't know when I'll be back to Waco. Unless something comes up between now and then it won't be until next Christmas.

The Dancing Bear is near the intersection of 12th St. and Speight Avenue near the Baylor campus. The outside isn't much, it's half of a small building with two retail spaces. The other half is a restaurant called "Food for Thought." I've never been, but you can order their food at the bar.

The inside is much nicer. There was a long bench along the left side of the bar with tables and chairs next to it. There were booths along the right side of the bar and taller tables and chairs on the right side at the rear. The walls were half wood-paneled with greenish-beige paint on the top half. The bar was lit by hanging lights, that were somewhat dim, but could have been dimmer. The walls were a little bare. They had some stuff up, but it definitely looked a bit sparse. There was an L-shaped bar with shelving against the wall displaying a variety of bottles. It was raining, but there was a large fenced in patio with tables and a space for a band (live jazz on Thursdays) out back.

The inside is nicer. The night I went it wasn't crowded, a few people at the bar and a few at a table. I think Win said that the other times he's been it's been busier, but this was the first day it was open after Christmas. Maybe it's sampling error, but it seemed to attract the Waco hipster crowd.

Click for a larger image:

There were about 18 taps and about 50 or 60 bottles available, with a lot of good, craft breweries represented like Real Ale, Great Divide, Avery, Left Hand, Sierra Nevada, Anchor, Victory, New Belgium, Chimay, Unibroue, Allagash, Bear Republic, Ommegang, Dogfish Head, Rogue and Stone.

I didn't have much interaction with the bartenders, but on previous trips Win was given samples to help him decide on what to order, so the service seems pretty good.

750. Sisyphus

I like to try Texas beers that I haven't had before when I'm back home so I started out the evening with a pint of Real Ale Sisyphus, a barleywine.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Real Ale Brewing Company
Alcohol: 11.20%
Serving: Tap
Style: American Barleywine, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.0): Pours a hazed amber-copper with a beige head that thins to a film leaving patches of lace.

Smell (3.5): Light overall, dark fruit, a nice caramel maltiness, and hints of alcohol.

Taste (3.5): Sweet caramel malts, vague notes of dark fruit. The finish has a bit of citrus character, with notes of earth and a moderate bitterness. The alcohol is well hidden.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Full-bodied, moderate carbonation, creamy.

Drinkability (3.5): Sweet, and a little strong. Could have used a little more hops.

Overall (3.65): I really liked the maltiness in this beer, but I thought it could have used a bit more hop bitterness.

751. Mothership Wit

New Belgium doesn't distribute to Massachusetts, so I always try to have any new offerings that I see.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: New Belgium Brewing
Alcohol: 4.80%
Serving: Tap
Style: Witbier, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.5): This beer might seem a bit pale for some, but this is exactly how I think a witbier hould look. Pours a pale, hazy straw-golden. The head thins to a film leaving wispy lace.

Smell (4.0): Banana, clove, coriander. A bit of grain as well.

Taste (3.5): Upfront graininess. Light sweet fruitiness, banana, clove, coriander, citrus, and powdery yeast.

Mouthfeel (3.5): Light-bodies and powdery.

Drinkability (4.5): Flavorful, but very drinkable.

Overall (3.9): I thought this was a good witbier. It could have used a bit more boldness in the flavor department, but it was still quite tasty.

294. Shade Grown Coffee Porter

Another great beer that I only get in when I'm in Texas.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Real Ale Brewing Company
Alcohol: 6.30%
Serving: Tap
Style: American Porter, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance (4.5): Pours black with amber tints at the edges. The beige head thins to a film leaving no lace.

Smell (4.0): The nose is predominantly coffee, with some chocolate.

Taste (4.5): Sweet chocolate and dark fruit flavors. The finish is a nice roasted, coffee bitterness with a bit of lingering fruitiness.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Medium-bodied, moderately high carbonation. Some graininess.

Drinkability (4.5): Very tasty.

Overall (4.35): One of my favorite coffee porters, it has a nice coffee flavors without beating you over the head with it.

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