1068-1070. Beer at the Tahoe Cabin

We spent most of our time in California at Jadyn's Family's cabin at Tahoe. While there we had the bottled beer that I'd purchased at Russian River, as well as a growler that we'd purchased at The Brewery at Lake Tahoe.

1068. Damnation

Jadyn and I shared this bottle with her sister on August 3rd.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Russian River Brewing Company
Alcohol: 7.75%
Serving: Bottle, 750 mL, Batch 048
Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance: 4.5 | Smell: 5.0 | Taste: 5.0| Mouthfeel: 4.5 | Drinkability: 5.0


Damnation pours a mildly cloudy, golden color. It's topped by a thick, white head that retains well, but eventually fades to a thin layer. The aroma is spot on for the style. There are notes of banana, peppery spice, and yeast above a grassy, grainy undercurrent. Swirling brings out more graininess, pepper, and some alcoholic spice.

There's an initial sweetness that's mild, but builds into a fruity esters in the center: bananas, hints of juicy, tropical fruit, and citrus. The finish has a bite from the peppery spiciness and the alcohol. There are lingering hints of yeast, and a mild, hop bitterness in the aftertaste. Damnation is medium-bodied, but the crisp carbonation, along with a dry finish make this beer seem a bit lighter-bodied.

This beer was excellent. It's probably one of the best examples of the style that I've had.

1069. The Brewery at Lake Tahoe's Witbier

We picked up a growler of The Brewery's Witbier on a trip into South Lake Tahoe on August 6th.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: The Brewery at Lake Tahoe
Alcohol: ?
Serving: Growler
Style: Witbier, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance: 2.5 | Smell: 3.5 | Taste: 3.0 | Mouthfeel: 3.5| Drinkability: 3.5

Overall: 3.1

This witbier pours a cloudy, peachy, golden-orange color. Topped by a thin, white head that fades to nothing. The aroma has notes of powdery yeast, and nice, fruity notes of peach and banana. There are also the classic aromas of orange-peel and peppery coriander.

There's a mild, grainy sweetness upfront, moving into a fruity sweetness in the center: banana, and orangey-citrus. The finish has a peppery, corriander spice. The right flavors are there, but they're very mild overall. This witbier is light-bodied with good carbonation, and a mild dryness.

This beer isn't bad, but it's fairly middle of the road. Again, everything is a bit too subdied.

1070. Pliny the Elder

I opened up this beer on August 7th.

Beer Stats:
Brewery: Russian River Brewing Company
Alcohol: 8.00%
Serving: Bottle, 500 mL
Style: American Double IPA, BJCP Style Guide

Appearance: 4.0 | Smell: 5.0 | Taste: 4.5 | Mouthfeel: 3.5 | Drinkability: 4.0

Overall: 4.35

Pliny the Elder is mildly hazy and copper in color. It's topped by a creamy, off-white head that retains well and leaves fluffy lace clinging to the glass. The aroma can be summed up in two words "intensly hoppy". The hops are herbal, piney and strongly resiny. Swirling the beer brings out even more resiny hops. There are fruity notes of apricots and oranges, malty sweetness, and toastiness that comes out on swirling. It's like sticking your nose into a bag of hops.

Overall this beer is pretty balanced. It's not overly sweet like a lot of other DIPAs. The intial malt impressions are toasty and bready with only a mild sweetness. Malts move towards a sweeter, caramel flavor in the center, but still not overly sweet. Hop flavors also make themselves known towards the center. There's a citric bite with a floral, orange blossom quality. Towards the finish there's a mild peppery bite with a good slighty herbal, strongly resiny hop bitterness in the finish that lingers long into the aftertaste. Pliny the Elder is medium-bodied, and has a prickly carbonation that cuts the sweetness somewhat. There's an oiliness towards the swallow that trails off leaving a final impression of thinness.

This DIPA is very balanced. The malts are present, but aren't cloyingly sweet like other examples of the style. The hops are present, but their main contribution is a nice finishing flavor and wonderful lingering bitterness.

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