Wednesday, February 27, 2008

lots of cars and a winey gargoyle

on sunday 02-24-2008 i went to the cleveland auto show at the i x center with my husband and some of his family. after a long day of quickly walking around and looking at lots of cars we decided that it was time to have snack and a couple drinks. based on what a saw on the exhibit floor for beer selection i wasn't very hopeful that they would have anything that i wanted. but after we went over to the food court and saw there were a couple full bars i looked closer and saw they had a cooler with small selection that i knew i would enjoy. the biggest surprise was that they had about six bottles of rodenbach.

at the auto show i had a guinness extra stout bottle, followed by a thirty dog balto bottle. after we got home i tried out the new stone 2008 old guardian barley wine.

guinness extra stout
the classic guinness sour flavor was slightly more pronounced, i am wondering if this is because it is the extra stout and doesn't have the nitrogen widget.

thirsty dog balto
had a nice sweetness from the malt that was some what honey like. there was also a subtle hint of hops that was well blended in with the malt.

stone 2008 old guardian barley wine
after enjoying the 2007 old guardian last year i knew that i had to try the 2008. i found that this one had four noticeable stages in the taste. first it started with strong hops, then the heavy malt started to shine through, after that the alcohol became noticeable, and then it finished with the malt coming back out as the predominate flavor. i am very interested to see how this one ages and to go back and try the one bottle of 2007 that i have left.

the joy of wood

on friday 02-22-2008 i went out and did some beer shopping to pick up a few requested bell's items for a friend in chicago and found that rozi's just got the dogfish head palo santo in stock. with out a second thought i pickup some up; the only pondering i had was if i should get one or two four packs, and of course i got two. Unfortunately it wasn't quite cool enough to have right away so i had to let it sit in the beer fridge for a couple hours.

When i was finally able to open it had a smell with some roast and some sweetness. the taste had a lot of very interesting flavors that i couldn't quite place and were very new for me. although the sweetness had a hint of brown sugar, there was also some other very interesting flavor that i couldn't label. i did notice a nice richness in the taste most likely from the wood aging. the body and texture were both very rich, creamy, heavy, and almost chewy. at first it kind of felt flat; but as it warmed i realized that it wasn't flatness i felt, but it was an amazing rich and creamy chewiness from this beer's crazy amount of malt that i was feeling.

i also had this beer the night after and got a lot of the same tastes and textures, such as the very heavy malt texture, as the night before. but this time i was able to place some of those "interesting" flavors from the previous night. this time i noticed much more wood and wood sap around the sweetness, and the alcohol started to come out a little more as well. i am really curious to see how this beer ages, and if i can hang on to some of it long enough to find out.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Melting a Beer Engine...

So over the past couple days I have tried quite a few different things. It has been a combination of going to Melt bar and Grilled, Buckeye Beer Engine, and a few things at home.

Melt Bar and Grilled
==Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale on draft
Both the smell and taste had a hint of nut. Some bitter and a roast that is blended in with a burnt molasses sweetness, and as it warms some metallic comes out in the bitter. Over all very good and enjoyable.
==Great Divide Herculies IPA on draft
I have had this before in the bottle and got much more malt that time than this time. I am not sure if it was from previous beers or my sour (kraut) dinner, but i got much more citrus and gravel hops. It also may be that this keg has aged more than the bottle that I previously had and lost some hops.

Buckeye Beer Engine
==Bell's Double Cream Stout on cask draft
Really sweet, along the lines of sweet cream. Hint of roast and slight sour. The beer engine did add a very nice smooth and creamy texture, and was quite enjoyable.
==Great Divide St. Bridgettes Porter
Not as sweet as the Double Cream but with some added nutty brown taste instead. Any chocolate that this one has comes out more as it warms.

==Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout
Mostly sweet with a hint of roast. There was some creaminess with a noticeable alcohol and silght off flavor that may have been from the hops or oak.
==Bell's Hopslam (a couple times)
Had this one before and this time is was quite a bit more malty and more subdued hops that before. Very easy to enjoy when building routers ;)
==Dogfish Head Golden Era
Very slight pilsner skunk in the bitter with some metallic. Malt was the major flavor with a nice smooth creaminess.
==Goose Island Imperial IPA
The smell had a strong citrus with some floral/gravel bitter. The taste had much more malt, a stong alcohol, and just a hint of bitter from the hops that I smelled.

And, coming soon; Dog Fish Head Palo Santo Marron ;)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

"Hoppin'" right in to a promise

Well I finally did it, I opened a bottle of the new Hoppin' Frog Silk Porter. In fact I tried it two different ways, more on that latter.

Pint of porter
The smell had a nice sweetness with something i could not quite place and almost a hint of sour milk, there was also an enjoyable slight roast. The taste and body was very smooth and creamy with that same sweetness, like the smell, that had a very subtle hint of soured cream. Again like any good porter it has a slight but noticeable roast, but it was not over whelming or predominate in the flavor, just blended very well with all the other flavors. It was a complete joy to drink, and like it's name was like drinking silk.

Remainder with Kauai Coffee Beans
As I was enjoying my pint of H'F Silk Porter I let the rest of the bottle soak some Kauai coffee beans in the fridge (about 50F in case you wanted to know). As you may have expected the smell was of very strong coffee/coffee beans; kauai has a dark, but not espresso, roast that is almost like cigar tabacco. The taste was of STRONG, jus how I have it almost every morning, black coffee; this flavor lasted for a long time and then turned into a nice dark chocolate. I was completely amazed by the fact that it wasn't nearly as bitter as I expceted. I was also shocked that this mix actualy tasted better than when I fresh grind and brew these beans into coffee; though with Fred's magic I shouldn't be. I did feel that this somehow allowed me to get a more natural flavor of the bean with much less bitter than I get when I make coffee with it.

As you may have noticed I am also a huge fan on coffe, especially strong black coffee and espresso.

Really all I can close with is a HUGE thanks to Fred from Hoppin' Frog for brewing such a wonderful beer, the idea of putting one of his beers on coffee beans, and all the other amazing beers that he makes.
digg story

hopping and slamming into chocolate

Since yesterday was my day off work I tried quite a few different beers, two of them were Bell's Hopslam and the Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. The third one needs a post of it's own, but i will give you a hint, "thanks Fred".

Bell's Hopslam
The smell is a noticeable strong citrus hops. The taste also has the strong citrus hops but there is a slight hint of "kitty litter" gravel earth in the hops. The strong hops is well balanced with a slight malt that comes from a very subtle hint of honey which is very easy to miss unless you are looking for it. Even though it is 10% the alcohol is very well hidden and over all is quite enjoyable.

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
Had this one back on January 30th and thoroughly enjoyed it. Unfortunately this time my pallet was completely killed by the spicy dinner that I had, but this beer's smooth dark chocolate taste with a hint of coffee roast works very well at smoothing out spicy flavors, and making them much more manageable. Also, last time I noticed that it had a slight hint of chalk, almost like a necco chocolate wafer (and I loved those as a kid).

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sharing my knowledge

On Sunday the 17th I went to the bier markt, had three wonderful beers, heard some amazing stores from total strangers, and gave two perfect suggestions on new beers for people to try.

The first suggestion was St. Bernardus Abt. 12 for a gentleman that wanted something "chewy", strong, and dark. I did warn him that it was Belgian and had that unique "Belgian" dark fruit flavor and is not the same "chewy" that some stouts have. It ended up being exactly what he was looking for, and worked out so well that he ordered a second (both of them draft).

The second was completely accidental; I ordered myself a Houblon Chouffe and the guy in the group of three that I joined loved the smell so much that he got himself one and it ended up being exactly that he was looking for. He previously had a Chimay triple and didn't care for the noticeable "Flemish" sour, but appreciated the subtle hint of sour that is blened very will with noticeable malt and strong hops in Houblon Chouffe.

I myself started with a draft Bell's Two Hearted Ale, went to a draft La Chouffe, and finished with a bottle of Houblon Chouffe. The Bell's was strong citrus hops, but mostly on the side of orange zest, ended up being quite refreshing and enjoyable once I placed the flavor. Both the La Chouffe and Houblon Chouffe were quite enjoyable; but I really took a liking to the strong hops of the Houblon Chouffe that are well balanced and very well blended with it's not quite subtle malt.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Two nights of dark

Over the last two nights I have had a growler of Great Lakes Brewing Woodtooth Porter and New Hollands Night Tripper Imperial Stout

GLBC Woodtooth Porter is a pub exclusive molasses porter, tasted like strongly sugared coffee. Unfortunately it was a little flat because I let the growler sit for two days before opening. Well worth having fresh on draft.

New Holland Night Tripper
Over the last couple days I have seen some really good review about this one and had to try it for myself. Has a smell of coffee roast with a hint of alcohol. The taste is of roasted coffee and dark chocolate, it does get some sweetness of molasses, and has a slight hint of hops in the bitter (more earthy and less citrus). There is also a noticeable alcohol that is carried up into the nose.

Also, expect to see my views on the new Hoppin' Frog Silk Porter. If I get creative I may let you know how it is with coffee beans soaking in it (thank you fred for that wonder full idea).

Friday, February 15, 2008

Ogre Fest Round Two

Last night I went to The Brew Kettle to enjoy another round of samples for Ogre Fest. Since it took me a while to decide on the samples I wanted, I got a pint of the Ring Neck Red Alert on firkin. The smell had a noticeable hop, and the taste was smooth, creamy, not as much hops as the smell but still there, and almost a hint of fruit.

For my samples I got;
==Kuhnhenn 4th Dementia
Dark, strong, smooth, heavy, some dark fruit (fig), almost a hint of peanut butter, and very creamy. Way too easy to drink considering it's strength and complexity. Slight bitter taste at the end that is almost cassis like.
==Kuhnhenn Tenacious Cassis
Very strong smell of cassis. The taste starts with a strong dark fruit (fig) with just a hint of cassis that slowly builds to the only lasting flavor while the other fig flavors fade away. I also noticed a hint of chocolate covered fruit towards the end.
==Bolder Killer Penguin Barley Wine
Very smooth and blended, slight hint of salt. Not nearly as much hops as I was expecting. Any hops flavor that I got was carried up into the nose by the alcohol at the end. Also not as sweet as I was expecting. You can taste that there is plenty of malt giving it a heavy syrup texture, but the malt doesn't seem to add much sweetness.
==Bell's Hop Slam
Tasted very warm. Hops gave a strong kitty litter gravel smell with the taste being about the same. Really need to try this one again on it's own.
==Weyebacher Double Simcoe
Tasted very warm. Same as the Bell's Hop Slam but with malt flavor, slightly heavier body, and a hint of "red" roast. Have had this one before and loved it, but it's been a long time and I need to try it again.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Great Lakes Brewing Co. Barley Wine Tapping

Last night I went to GLBC with my partner for dinner and to attend the GLBC Barley Wine tapping.

With dinner I had this years Black out stout;
Little hoppy, light sweetness, noticeable roast that lasts, some alcohol at the very end that is noticed in the back of the mouth

For the Barley Wine tapping they had both the GLBC and Rock Bottom's available; it was very interesting trying two different, and new for each brewer, Barley Wines;
GLBC - Strong citrus hop in the smell that isn't noticeable in the taste until after it gets to room temperature. The taste had a very interisting calamel cream sweetness that didn't make the body heavy or syrupy. Like the hops, the alcohol wasn't noticeable until after the beer came to room temperature. I did also notice some very suble similarities to GLBC's Rack House Ale mostly in how the sweetness starts.
RB - Very thick and syrup like in the body, but still very easy on the palet. Slight hint of roast and a start of dark caramel in the sweetness. There was a hint of port wine in the way the sweetness was presented after it started to warm. Short side note; this is from the same batch that I had at the Rock Bottom Winter Warmer Festival, but has a completely different flavor. Not sure if it was just my palet at the RBWWF or how the Barley Wine was served that caused such a drastic change in the flavor.