Thursday, April 26, 2012

Theakston Old Peculier

Brewery: T & R Theakston Ltd.
Location: Yorkshire, England
Style: Old Ale
Brewery Website
Rating: A+

Today we're finally reviewing a beer that I've been trying to track down since I started this blog, Theakston's Old Peculier. This is one of my all-time favorite beers, but it has been a bit harder to track down in my area as of late. Old Peculier pours up a deep ruby color with some chestnut-brown tones and a short, tan head. The nose detects rich maltiness with faint notes of caramel, sweetness and roasted malt. There is also a hint of hops with floral, herbal and spicy notes.

The palate first picks up roasted malt notes of dark pretzels. There is a fleeting malt syrup/molasses note that vanishes rather quickly. There is a touch of herbal hops here, but just enough to fill out the malt. A touch of mineral water is notable as well. A hint of juiciness in the middle rounds out the flavor nicely and keeps things from being too dry. The Old Peculier has a medium-heavy body. It is rich and full without being overly heavy. The mouthfeel also has a light fizz of carbonation and a touch of juiciness. The finish finds bready malt notes with spicy and herbal hops way in the background.

Theakston's Old Peculier is a true classic. This is an amazingly complex and flavorful beer, that is still fairly easy to drink. It is quite malt-forward, but with enough hops to balance things out. At 5.7% ABV, Old Peculier drinks like a scaled-down English barleywine. Which is a good thing, because it is really hard to stop at just one of these. If you're a beer lover and haven't had a chance to experience Old Peculier, then add this to your bucket list.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chatoe Rogue Good Chit Pilsner

Brewery: Rogue Ales
Location: Newport, OR
Style: Pilsner
Brewery Website
Rating: B+

Today's tasting is the Chatoe Rogue Good Chit Pilsner. This is a beer produced with Rogue's own locally grown malt and hops. The Good Chit Pilsner is lemon yellow in color with some straw gold highlights and pours up with a big, white foamy head. The nose finds doughy lager malt notes with some herbal hops aromas.

The overall impression on the palate is crisp malt with a resiny hops kick and some faint sweetness. Herbal hops notes remain after the initial maltiness settles down. Hops notes of spice and pine sit in the background as well. The malt has notes of pasta dough with a hint of malt syrup. The Good Chit Pilsner is medium-bodied and is rather heavy for a typical Pils. It is really bordering on Imperial Pils in style. The finish is crisp with spicy and herbal hops notes and some lingering malt syrup.

Rogue has done a nice job producing beer with their own homegrown ingredients. The Good Chit Pilsner is a flavorful pils with nice hops notes. It is a bit too sweet and heavy to be quaffable as a lawnmower beer, but it is still damn tasty and well worth seeking out.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lagunitas Censored Copper Ale

Brewery: Lagunitas Brewing Company
Location: Petaluma, CA
Style: Amber
Brewery Website
Rating: A

Up for review today is the Censored Copper Ale from Lagunitas. The Censored Copper Ale pours up a deep amber color with hints of ruby and quite a bit of fizzy bubbles. The head is clumpy, off-white foam. The nose detects some saltiness along with hints of caramel and some fruity/piny hops.

The palate finds crisp maltiness well-balanced with resinous piny hops. The malt notes are wheat toast along with some caramel. There is a hint of sweetness that fills out the flavor and mouthfeel nicely. The Censored Copper Ale has a rich, medium body with some crisp carbonation.the finish has lingering bitter hops highlighted by toast and caramel.

The Lagunitas Censored Copper Ale is a well balanced amber with a solid hop bite in balance with a nice maltiness. The crisp carbonation balances out a relatively full mouthfeel for an amber that makes this beer rich without being too heavy. This is a great beer for fans of hoppy ambers. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Aventinus Wheat Doppelbock

Brewery: Weisses Bräuhaus G. Schneider & Sohn GmbH
Location: Kelheim, Germany
Style: Doppelbock
Brewery Website
Rating: B

Today we are reviewing the Aventinus Wheat Doppelbock from Germany's Schneider brewery. The Aventinus pours up a hazy walnut brown with lots of bubbles rising in the glass. The head is a clumpy, light tan foam. The nose finds lots of yeasty ester notes with banana and green apple being predominant. There ate also aromas of malt syrup as well as some vinous notes.

The palate leads off with some dark rye bread notes. There is a dry champagne flavor as well. Plenty of yeasty notes are here, but the fruitiness is a bit more subdued on the palate than on the nose. There is a fleeting juicy wine note. Sweetness is pretty low by doppelbock standards. The Aventinus is medium-bodied and feels a bit light for a doppelbock. The finish sees the malt flavors ring out with supporting notes of yeast.

The Aventinus is a decent doppelbock but to my palate I don't see anything that stands out to any great extent. The yeast notes are nice, but I would definitely like to see some richer maltiness here.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Reissdorf Kölsch

Brewery: Brauerei Heinrich Reissdorf
Location: Köln, Germany
Style: Kölsch
Brewery Website
Rating: A

With spring at our doorstep, I generally start to reach for Pilsners as my go-to springtime beer. This year I am broadening my reach a bit and bringing some Kölsch to my springtime mix. Much like good craft and European pilsners, these light ales from Cologne serve as excellent reminders that not all crisp, light beers are intended to be bland and flavorless.

The Reissdorf Kolsch (umlaut rule in effect) pours up a clear golden-straw color with a big, foamy white head. The nose is easily tricked into thinking that this ale is a lager, as all the telltale pilsner notes are here. There is the classic German lager malt aroma, something I often relate to pasta dough, as well as a hint of floral and herbal hops.

On the palate there us a smooth, slight juiciness up front that moves quickly to dry, doughy malt notes. There are some mild herbal noble hops notes. There is a touch of yeasty fruit here as well. The Reissdorf Kolsch has a medium-light body. It is crisp and refreshing without being overcarbonated. The finish is fairly quick. Clean malt notes fade with some undertones of herbal hops.

To me, the Reissdorf Kolsch stands for everything that everything the typical American commercial lager should be. There is a fuller mouthfeel and much less aggressive carbonation than typical Bud/Miller/Coors fare, but this beer is still very crisp and refreshing with loads of flavor. The Reissdorf Kolsch is sold in a brown bottle, and has none of the skunky “off” flavors as many of its more widely available “Eurolager” brethren possess. If you have ever tasted a mass-market American lager and said “something’s missing”, well this beer has everything that is missing.

The Reissdorf Kolsch is a textbook example of the Kolsch style. It is very similar in flavor and color to a Pilsner. The main differences are that the hoppiness is much more restrained and the ale yeast used provides a touch of fruitiness. I recommend this beer highly to everyone, as there is something here for Bud/Miller/Coors fans, Heineken/Amstel fans and for the craft beer crowd as well.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Left Hand Brewing Company Black Jack Porter

Brewery: Left Hand Brewing Company
Location: Longmont, CO
Style: Porter
Brewery Website
Rating: B

Today’s tasting is the Black Jack Porter from Left Hand Brewing. The Black Jack Porter is a deep mahogany brown color (bordering on ebony). If takes a firm pour to get a modest-sized, fine-bubbled head that is a nut-brown color. The nose detects roasted notes, some caramel and faint chocolate aromas.

The palate finds roasted malt notes up front. The Black Jack Porter is quite dry. There is some moderate hops bitterness, but without much hops flavor to speak of. There is a bit of a mineral water note. Some bitterness from the roasted malt is here as well. I also detect something akin to grilled or roasted corn. There are also some highlights of brut champagne as well as some aged cheddar/gouda. The Black Jack Porter is medium-bodied with a touch of astringency and some fine, prickly carbonation. The finish has dry, toasted malt notes with some mineral and bitter notes (the latter similar to unsweetened chocolate).

The Black Jack Porter has some very nice complexity. I did find it to be a bit too dry for my tastes. I would also like to see a bit more hoppiness for balance. All-in-all, this is a decent porter. It is not particularly suited to my tastes, but it is still worth checking out if you are a fan of dry porters.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dogfish Head Olde School 2010 Vintage

Brewery: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Location: Milton, DE
Style: Barleywine
Brewery Website
Rating: A-

For today's tasting I reached into the cellar to have my first crack at Dogfish Head's 2010 release of their Olde School barleywine. The beer poured up a deep amber with gold highlights and a very short, off-white head. The nose at first reminded me a bit of a highland scotch whisky. There are sweet malt notes, some banana esters as well as some winy notes.

The palate finds rich maltiness. There are fruity notes along with a quick squirt of citrus acidity. Some apricot notes are here from the hops as well. The yeast lends notes of banana and circus peanut. Malt contributions include bagel and pretzel notes. The Olde School has a full body. There is still some nice carbonation left after over a year in the bottle. Alcohol is potent and warming, although quite smooth. The finish sees fruity notes, malt syrup and rich doughy malt notes continuing to ride out.

Dogfish Head has another great beer on their hands with the Olde School. This is a really nice barleywine. There are some nice yeast notes, just enough residual sugar without being cloying and a nice combination of juiciness and fruitiness that compliment each other well. There is also a nice scotch note on the nose that I love. the best thing is that this beer will continue to age well for at least 3-5 more years, if not longer. My only issue is how long to wait before i crack into the next one.