Monday, September 28, 2009

Different shades of red

Reds are not my favorite style. Too malty, I suppose. But I had a couple of very hoppy reds while on the west coast that I really enjoyed (Double Mountain I.R.A. or the pictured Hopworks Organic Rise Up Red come to mind.) So much so that I am toying with the idea of trying to brew a Red IPA. With that in mind, I have been seeking inspiration in reds more often that I normally would... without success. But the hunt will continue -- please comment if you have any suggestions.

And while the Red IPA may be a couple of batches away, an American Wheat is hot off the press with a Pumpkin Ale not too far behind! And then I am thinking of tackling the stout style again -- chocolate, cherry, and chipotle! Wow, that sounds good to me. Results to come...

Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale
Bottle -- Luke's
an american strong ale. very malty and alcoholic nose, which was only partly expected (84 IBU's and 7.2% abv...) sweetness takes on unpleasant licorice-like quality that i did not like.
Score: 4

Port Brewing Shark Attack Double Red Ale

22 oz -- Luke's
dark amber pour with aroma of a barleywine. sure enough, medicinal dark fruit charaterizes flavor more than hops. closer, but still not the red ipa i was hoping for.
Score: 6

Trout River Rainbow Red Ale
Bottle -- Country Store, Jamaica, VT
i had a hankering for something local on this camping trip to vermont, and it doesn't get any more local than trout river's amber ale. very cheesy label and the brewing wasn't a whole lot more professional. i believe it said bottle conditioned on it, but it was pretty yeasty. certain raw bitterness to it, but still smooth going down. too bland to seek out. keep searching, i suppose...
Score: 5

Sunday, September 27, 2009

India's Big Three

I love just about any kind of ethnic food, but Indian may be my favorite. And with a decent amount of spice, you need a couple of good clean beers to wash it all down. With that in mind, I thought we would put the Big Three Indian Beers head-to-head here. All three beers are owned by United Brewers, a large conglomerate out of Bangalore with over a dozen breweries.

Kingfisher Premium Lager
Bottle -- Punjab Cafe, Quincy
contract brewed in new york, kind of ironic. green bottle with bright label. off-putting initial flavor that i equated to licorice (while others on beeradvocate thought it was more of a metallic flavor...) eases to a more typical grainy/grassy beer though. can't say i enjoyed it.
Score: 2

Taj Mahal Premium Lager
22 oz -- Punjab Cafe
not exactly an appetizing pour with thin head and pale color. has that odd cooked vegetable smell / flavor found in some beers. mostly grainy with some crisp bitterness. washes down spice of indian food well enough, but not something to get excited about. i actually bumped this up a point from the taj i had while in india...
Score: 3

Leader of the pack:
Flying Horse Royal Lager
22 oz -- Punjab Cafe
rated this beer back in may, but here was the gist: "a lager from india. nice looking bottle actually, with date brewed and tasting notes on beer. taste is of light malts, grainy cereal or even corn." definitely my favorite of the big three indian beers.
Score: 5

Friday, September 18, 2009

Brewers that have eluded me... until now!

Butternuts Heinnieweisse Weissebier
Can -- Unknown
rumor has it that this new york brewer is as good or better than their can rival oskar blues. and i've got to say some of the styles they tackle are pretty impressive: kolsch, wild ale, saison, and this hef. not bad either, with tasty flavor of banana and clove. very drinkable. probably not the best hef i've ever had, but could work well for that summer camping trip.
Score: 6

Cape Cod IPA
Tap -- British Beer Company, Falmouth, MA
can't believe this is my first beer from cape cod's only microbrewery. color is a pretty solid red with big sudsy heads (they just switched taps -- nice!) floral hop aroma with robust, somewhat raw bitterness in taste. light bodied but powerful bitterness disqualifies it from being sessionable. not great.
Score: 6

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My Top 25 Beers

People are constantly asking me what my favorite beers is. Of course this is an impossible question. That said, I decided to take it on. I pulled the beers that had scored a 9 or 10 from my complete rankings (no small task since they number about 150...) and started whittling them down. What was left was the 25 best beers I have ever tried, in order. I recommend trying each before you die; all but a few are available on the east coast. No surprise, a lot of IPA's and stout's on the list, and all but three are domestic brews. Obviously, everyone's Top 25 is different, but please weigh in with any objections or ommissions.

Top 25 Beers
1. Russian River Pliny the Elder
2. Founders Breakfast Stout
3. Bar Harbor Cadillac Mountain Stout
4. Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA
5. Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale
6. Hopworks IPA
7. Allagash White
8. Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat NV Duvel
9. Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye
10. Alesmith IPA
11. Ommegang Hennepin
12. Deschutes Black Butte Porter
13. Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock
14. Chimay Premiere (Red)
15. Sixpoint Sweet Action
16. Russian River Blind Pig IPA
17. Smuttynose Robust Porter
18. Allagash Grand Cru
19. Oskar Blues Dale's Pale Ale
20. Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel Peche Mortel
21. Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron
22. North Coast Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
23. Founders Reds Rye
24. Stone India Pale Ale
25. Sebago Lake Trout Stout

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Fall Beer Calendar

I try to keep an eye out for interesting beer events on's calendar among other sites. Fall being the peak of the beer drinking season and all (if you ask me), I thought I would share a few of the most exciting happenings with all of you as well.

Upcomming Events

Saturday, Semptember 19
Drink New England Charity Pub Crawl @ People's Republic ($20)
Cambridge, MA
*Note: Pre-registration has ended... try contacting Devon if interested.

Saturday, September 19
Haverhill Beer Festival @ The Tap / Haverhill Brewery ($29)
Haverhill, MA

Tuesday, September 22
Ipswich Beer Dinner @ Cambridge Common Restaurant ($48)
Cambridge, MA

Saturday, October 3
Outdoor Cask Festival @ British Beer Company (No cover)
Walpole, MA

Sunday, October 4
Street Beer Festival @ RedBones BBQ (No cover)
Somerville, MA

Friday, October 9
Mayflower Beer Tasting @ Publick House Provisions (Free)
Brookline, MA

Tuesday, October 13
Port Brewing Beer Dinner @ Armsby Abbey ($?)
Worcester, MA

Friday & Saturday, October 16-17
Night of the Funk & Belgian Beer Festival @ ($45)
Boston, MA

Thursday, September 10, 2009


It has come to my attention that some blog followers are using outdated complete ratings. To compound the problem they then proceed to harass me for not having drank a beer that I have in fact rated. This is unacceptable, people. Time to print out this latest copy for your next trip to the bottle store.

Anyways, big jump up here from 707 to 872 beers rated. My Beer Trip / Honeymoon had a lot to do with that, I think...

Beer, Score (1-10)
21st Amendment IPA, 7

Abita Christmas Ale, 7
Abita Jockamo IPA, 4
Abita Purple Haze, 6
Abita Restoration Pale Ale, 2
Alameda Bavarian Hefe, 8
Alameda East Village Amber, 6
Alameda Klickitat Pale Ale, 7
Alameda Irvington Juniper Porter, 7
Alameda El Torero Organic IPA, 8
Alameda Black Bear XX Stout C02, 7
Alameda Black Bear XX Stout Nitro, 8
Alameda Wolf Imperial IPA, 7
Alameda Siskiyou Golden, 3
Alaskan Amber, 7
Alaskan Smoked Porter 2008, 9
Albany Pump Station Evans Extra Stout, 9
Alesmith IPA, 10
Alesmith Old Numbskull, 7
Alexander Keith's IPA, 2
Allagash Black, 7
Allagash Confluence Ale, 7
Allagash Curieux, 9
Allagash Dubbel Reserve, 8
Allagash Fluxus, 9
Allagash FOUR, 6
Allagash Grand Cru, 10
Allagash Interlude, 7
Allagash Tripel Reserve, 10
Allagash Victoria Ale, 9
Allagash White, 10
Amnesia Blonde Beech, 6
Amnesia Copacetic IPA, 9
Amnesia Desolation IPA, 7
Amnesia Double Dry Hopped Desolation, 8
Amnesia Dusty Trail Pale, 7
Amnesia Slow Train Porter, 7
Amnesia The ESB, 7
Anchor Christmas Ale, 4
Anchor Liberty Ale, 6
Anchor Old Foghorn Ale, 5
Anchor Porter, 8
Anchor Steam Beer, 5
Anderson Valley Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout, 9
Anderson Valley Boont Amber Ale, 9
Anderson Valley Hop Ottin' IPA, 9
Anderson Valley Summer Solstice Cerveza Crema, 6
Anderson Valley Winter Solstice, 8
Andrew's English Pale Ale, 6
Andrew's St. Nick Porter, 8
Arcadia IPA, 5
Arcadia Scotch Ale, 4
Asahi Super Dry, 3
Atlantic Bar Harbor Summer Ale, 4
Atlantic Brother Adam's Bragget Ale, 5
Atlantic Coal Porter, 5
Atwater Vanilla Java Porter, 7
Atwater Voodoovator, 6
Avery 14er ESB, 6
Avery Ale to the Chief , 9
Avery Anniversary Ale - Fifteen, 5
Avery Collaboration Not Litigation, 7
Avery Karma Ale, 5
Avery Out of Bounds Stout, 9
Avery The Czar, 5
Avery The Maharaja Imperial IPA, 9
Avery The Reverend, 9

Ballast Point Big Eye IPA, 8
Bar Harbor Acadia Pale Ale, 9
Bar Harbor Cadillac Mountain Stout, 10
Bar Harbor Harbor Lighthouse Ale, 8
Bar Harbor Thunder Hole Ale, 9
Bass Pale Ale, 6
Beamish Irish Stout, 5
Bear Republic Big Bear Black Stout, 10
Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye, 10
Bear Republic Racer 5 India Pale Ale, 8
Bear Republic Red Rocket Ale, 9
Beer Belly Ball and Chain IPA, 8
Beer Valley Pigskin Pale Ale, 6
Beer Works Back Bay IPA, 7
Beer Works Bay State ESB, 8
Beer Works Black Bat Stout, 5
Beer Works Bunker Hill Blueberry, 7
Beer Works North Shore Light, 3
Beer Works Pumpkinhead Ale, 5
Beer Works Saison Nouveau, 8
Beer Works Salem American Pale Ale, 8
Beer Works Smoked Porter, 6
Beer Works Splendid Splinter, 6
Beer Works Tell Tale Lager, 7
Beer Works Terrier Scottish Ale, 5
Beer Works The Grinch, 6
Beer Works Triple A Amber, 7
Beer Works Winter Works, 7
Beer Works Witch City Red, 5
Belfast Bay Lobster Ale, 4
Belfast Bay McGovern's Oatmeal Stout, 5
Belhaven Scottish Ale / Export / 80 Shilling, 7
Bell Lager, 2
Berkshire Cabin Fever Ale, 6
Berkshire Coffeehouse Porter, 9
Berkshire Draymens Porter, 8
Berkshire Imperial Stout, 9
Berkshire Lost Sailor India Pale Ale, 8
Berkshire River Ale, 5
Berkshire "Shabadoo" Black & Tan Ale, 8
Berkshire Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale, 4
Berkshire Traditional Pale Ale, 7
Berkshire Springs Stock Ale, 4
Big Horse Russian Redneck, 8
Bison Organic Chocolate Stout, 5
Black Bear Pail Ale, 5
Blue Hills Extra Pale Ale, 6
Blue Hills India Pale Ale, 8
Blue Moon Belgian White Ale, 5
Blue Moon Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale, 6
Blue Point Honey Moon Summer Ale, 6
Blue Point Rastafar Rye Ale, 7
Blue Point Toasted Lager, 3
Blue Point Winter Ale, 3
Boddington Pub Ale, 5
Boulder Beer Hazed and Infused, 7
Boulder Beer Mojo IPA, 8
Boulder Beer Pass Time Pale Ale, 3
Boulder Beer Planet Porter, 6
Boulder Sundance Amber Ale, 4
Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel Peche Mortel, 8
Bridgeport Black Strap Stout, 4
BridgePort Blue Heron Ale, 7
Bridgeport ESB, 6
Bridgeport Haymaker Extra Pale Ale, 7
Bridgeport Hop Czar, 6
BridgePort IPA, 6
Bridgeport Porter, 7
BridgePort Ropewalk Amber Ale, 6
Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, 10
Brooklyn Brown Ale, 8
Brooklyn Cuvee de Cardoz, 8
Brooklyn East India Pale Ale, 5
Brooklyn Lager, 7
Brooklyn Local 1, 10
Brooklyn Winter Ale, 6
Brooklynator Doppelbock, 5
Budweiser American Ale, 3
Budweiser Shock Top Belgian White, 3
Buzzards Bay Alt, 4
Buzzards Bay Black Lager, 5
Buzzards Bay Hefeweizen, 2
Buzzards Bay Pilsner, 6

Cambridge Amber, 8
Cambridge Arquebus, 3
Cambridge Benevolence, 4
Cambridge Big Man Ale, 9
Cambridge Bitchin' Bitter, 8
Cambridge Blunderbuss Barley Wine, 7
Cambridge CaCow! Chocolate Milk Stout, 10
Cambridge Charles River Porter, 8
Cambridge Espresso Stout, 9
Cambridge Half Wit Belgian Style Wheat, 7
Cambridge Hefe-weizen, 9
Cambridge Imperial Skibsol Danish Smoked Dark Lager Beer, 7
Cambridge Never Mind the Bollekes!, 5
Cambridge Regatta Golden, 7
Cambridge Spring IPA, 8
Cambridge Tall Tale Pale Ale, 7
Cambridge Tripel, 6
Cambridge Tripel Threat, 7
Cambridge You Enjoy My Stout, 7
Cape Ann Fishermans Brew, 8
Cape Ann Fisherman's Brew IPA, 7
Cape Ann Pumpkin Stout, 8
Captain Lawrence Captain's Reserve Imperial IPA, 10
Captain Lawrence Liquid Gold, 7
Carling Black Label, 3
Carlsberg Brown (Malawi), 4
Casco Bay Brown Ale, 4
Casco Bay Carrabassett Pale Ale, 5
Casco Bay Carrabassett Winter Ale, 4
Casco Bay Pale Ale, 7
Casco Bay Riptide Red Ale, 9
Casco Bay Summer Ale, 8
Castle Lager, 1
Castle Milk Stout, 6
Cerveja Super Bock, 2
Chelsea Checker Cab Blonde Ale, 8
Chelsea Hand Pumped Cask Ale, 6
Chibuku Shake Shake, 0
Chili Head Lager, 5
Chimay Premiere (Red), 10
Chimay Triple, 9
Cisco Captain Swain's Extra Stout, 7
Cisco Gray Lady Hefeweizen, 6
Cisco Moor Porter, 6
Cisco Whales Tale Pale Ale, 3
Clipper City Heavy Seas Loose Cannon Hop3, 8
Clipper City Heavy Seas Red Sky at Night, 7
Clipper City Heavy Seas Small Craft Warning, 9
Colt 45 Malt Liquor, 2
Concord Junction Porter, 10
Concord North Woods Ale, 7
Concord Rapscallion Creation, 4
Coniston Bluebird Bitter, 8
Cooperstown Back Yard IPA, 5
Cooperstown Benchwarmer, 8
Cooperstown Nine Man Ale, 4
Cooperstown Old Slugger, 3
Cooperstown Pride of Milford Special Ale, 7
Cooperstown Strike Out Stout, 5
Corona Extra, 3
Cottrell Old Yankee Ale, 8
Craigmill Fraoch Heather Ale, 9

Davidson Brother's Dacker Authentic Adirondack Ale, 8
Davidson Brother's IPA, 5
Delirium Tremens, 8
Deschutes Armory Extra Pale Ale, 6
Deschutes Bachelor ESB, 8
Deschutes Bachelor ESB (Cask conditioned), 9
Deschutes Big Mountain Bock, 5
Deschutes Black Butte Porter, 10
Deschutes Cascade Ale, 8
Deschutes Cinder Cone Red Ale, 9
Deschutes Green Lake Organic Ale, 9
Deschutes Inversion IPA, 9
Deschutes Mirror Mirror, 8
Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale, 10
Deschutes Miss Spelt, 7
Deschutes Obsidian Stout, 9
Deschutes Pilsner 005, 5
Deschutes Red Chair IPA, 10
Deschutes Streaking the Quad, 3
Deschutes Twilight Ale, 7
De Struise Black Albert, 9
Dick's Best Bitter, 6
Dixie Blackened Voodoo Lager, 5
Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, 9
Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA, 10
Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA, 5
Dogfish Head ApriHop, 9
Dogfish Head Black & Blue, 4
Dogfish Head Chateau Jiahu, 6
Dogfish Head Chicory Stout, 7
Dogfish Head Festina Peche, 4
Dogfish Head Fort, 8
Dogfish Head Immort Ale, 9
Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale, 8
Dogfish Head Midas Touch Golden Elixir, 8
Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron, 10
Dogfish Head Pangaea, 7
Dogfish Head Punkin' Ale, 9
Dogfish Head Raison D'Etre, 8
Dogfish Head Raison D'Extra, 5
Dogfish Head Red and White, 8
Dogfish Head Sah'tea, 9
Dogfish Head Theobroma, 9
Dogfish Head World Wide Stout, 6
Dos Equis XX Amber, 5
Double Mountain The I.R.A., 9
Dundee Original Honey Brown Lager, 5
Duvel, 10

Ebulum Elderberry Black Ale, 6
Eel River Certified Organic Porter, 6
Endurance Glacier Gold, 6
Eugene City Tracktown IPA, 7

Fish Tale Organic India Pale Ale, 6
Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter, 5
Flying Dog In-Heat Wheat, 2
Flying Dog Road Dog Scottish Porter, 7
Flying Horse Royal Lager, 5
Fort Collins Kidd Lager, 8
Fort Collins Major Tom's Pomegranate Wheat, 4
Fort Collins Rocky Mountain IPA, 7
Fort Collins Z Lager, 5
Fosters Lager, 2
Founders Breakfast Stout, 10
Founders Centennial IPA, 6
Founders Cerise, 6
Founders Curmudgeon, 9
Founders Devil Dancer Triple IPA, 6
Founders Dirty Bastard, 9
Founders Reds Rye, 9
Franziskaner Hefe-weisse, 4
Fresh Catch Amber Ale, 2
Full Sail Amber Ale (USA), 9
Full Sail Chris's Summer D-Lite: Red, 6
Full Sail Chris's Summer D-Lite: Green, 7
Full Sail Grandsun of Spot, 6
Full Sail IPA, 7
Full Sail Keelhauler Brewmasters Reserve 2009, 5
Full Sail LTD Series - Bottling 03, 5
Full Sail Pale Ale, 10
Full Sail Rip Curl, 8
Full Sail Session Lager, 9
Fuller's London Porter, 8

Gearys Autumn Ale, 9
Gearys Hampshire Special Ale, 9
Gearys London Porter, 9
Gearys Pale Ale, 9
Gearys Summer Ale, 8
Gearys Winter Ale, 6
George Killians Irish Red, 6
Goose Island Honker's Ale, 7
Grado Plato Chocarrubica, 1
Great Divide Denver Pale Ale, 7
Great Divide Hercules Double IPA, 9
Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout, 9
Great Divide St. Bridgets Porter (St. Brigids), 7
Green Flash Hop Head Red, 8
Green Flash West Coast IPA, 9
Gritty McDuffs 21 IPA, 5
Gritty McDuffs Best Bitter, 7
Gritty McDuffs Black Fly Stout, 6
Gritty McDuffs Christmas Ale, 8
Gritty McDuffs Halloween Ale, 9
Gritty McDuffs India Pale Ale, 9
Gritty McDuffs Lions Pride Brown Ale, 5
Gritty McDuffs Original Pub Style, 4
Gritty McDuffs Raspberry Wheat, 5
Gritty McDuffs Scottish Ale, 7
Gritty McDuff's Sebago Light Ale, 2
Gritty McDuffs Vacationland Summer Ale, 8
Guinness Draught, 4
Guinness Extra Stout (North America), 3

Haffenreffer Private Stock, 4
Hair of the Dog Blue Dot Double IPA, 8
Hair of the Dog Fred, 9
Hair of the Dog Ruth, 6
Hale's Ale Kolsch, 6
Hansa Pilsener, 3
Harpoon Ale, 5
Harpoon Brown, 6
Harpoon Celtic, 5
Harpoon Hibernian Ale, 5
Harpoon Imperial IPA (Leviathan Series), 3
Harpoon IPA, 6
Harpoon Leviathan Saison Royale, 9
Harpoon Old Rusty's Red Rye Ale, 7
Harpoon Smoked Porter, 6
Harpoon Summer Beer, 3
Harpoon UFO Hefeweizen, 7
Harpoon UFO White, 3
Harpoon Winter Warmer, 3
Heartland Big Belgian Blonde Ale, 6
Heartland Buffalo Bock, 5
Heartland Cornhusker Lager, 2
Heartland Farmer Jons Oatmeal Stout, 7
Heartland Harvest Wheat, 3
Heartland Indian River Light, 3
Heartland Indiana Pale Ale, 5
Heartland Red Rooster Ale, 5
Heater Allen Pils, 8
HeBrew Messiah Bold, 7
Heineken, 3
Henry Weinhards Blue Boar Pale Ale, 6
Henry Weinhards Private Reserve, 7
Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale, 7
Hoegaarden Original White Ale, 6
Hook and Ladder Golden Ale, 3
Hook Norton Hooky Gold, 7
Hoppin Frog BORIS The Crusher, 9
Hoppin Frog Mean Manalishi, 10
Hopworks Anniversary Cream Ale, 8
Hopworks Crosstown Pale Ale, 9
Hopworks Deluxe Organic Ale, 10
Hopworks HUB Lager, 8
Hopworks IPA, 10
Hopworks Rise Up Red, 9
Hopworks Secret Alt, 8
Hopworks Survival "Seven Grain" Stout, 9
Hopworks Terry Porter, 7
Hopworks Totally Raddler, 3
Hopworks Velvet ESB, 10

Ipswich Dark Ale, 9
Ipswich India Pale Ale, 7
Ipswich Oatmeal Stout, 10
Ipswich Original Ale, 8
Ipswich Summer Ale, 4
Ipswich Winter Ale, 3

Jacks Pumpkin Spice Ale, 6
Jolly Pumpkin Bam Biere, 6
Jolly Pumpkin La Roja, 8
Jolly Pumpkin Oro de Calabaza, 7
Josh’s Homebrews Bia Kahawa Afrika, 8
Josh's Homebrews Crimes Against Humanity Bitter, 7
Josh's Homebrews Hoppy Holidays! / Obama Beer!, 5
Josh's Homebrews It Must Be Wedding Saison, 8
Josh's Homebrews The-Waiting-Is-The-Hardest-Part Pale Ale, 5
Josh's Homebrews Promised Land Porter, 7
Josh's Homebrews You're So Vain... You Probably Think This Stout is About You!, 1

Kelso Nut Brown Lager, 7
Kennebec River Magic Hole IPA, 5
Kennebec River Summer Ale, 7
Kilimanjaro Premium Lager, 1
King Cobra Premium Malt Liquor, 1
Kronenbourg 1664, 7
Kuche Kuche, 1

Lagunitas A Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale, 8
Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout, 9
Lagunitas Censored, 5
Lagunitas Dogtown Pale Ale, 6
Lagunitas Pils, 8
Lagunitas Sirius Ale, 9
Lake Placid 46'er Pale Ale, 7
Lake Placid IPA (Frostbite Ale), 9
Lake Placid Ubu, 6
Lakefront Cream City Pale Ale, 7
Lakefront Fuel Cafe, 3
Laurelwood Bottled Blonde, 4
Laurelwood Free Range Red (Organic), 8
Laurelwood Hooligan, 6
Laurelwood Hop Monkey IPA, 7
Laurelwood Mother Lode Golden Ale, 5
Laurelwood Organic Tree Hugger Porter, 7
Laurelwood Space Stout, 6
Laurelwood Workhorse IPA, 10
Leffe Blonde, 4
Left Hand Black Jack Porter, 4
Left Hand Milk Stout, 9
Legacy Hedonism Ale, 7
Legacy Midnight Wit, 7
Legacy Nor'easter, 7
Leinenkugels Oktoberfest, 4
Leinenkugel Summer Shandy, 1
Leinenkugels Sunset Wheat, 3
Liberal Cup Alewife Ale, 8
Liberal Cup Backhouse Bitter, 7
Liberal Cup Bug Lager, 6
Liberal Cup Tarbox Cream Stout, 8
Lindeman's Framboise Lambic, 7
Loco Pilsner, 6
Lompoc Centennial IPA, 8
Lompoc C-Note Imperial Pale Ale, 7
Lompoc Condor Pale Ale, 4
Lompoc Fool’s Golden Ale, 4
Lompoc LSD (Lompoc Strong Draft), 7
Lompoc Proletariat Red, 4
Lompoc Sockeye Cream Stout, 6
Long Trail Ale, 7
Long Trail Belgian White, 4
Long Trail Blackbeary Wheat, 7
Long Trail Brewmaster Series Coffee Stout, 8
Long Trail Double Bag, 8
Long Trail Hefeweizen, 5
Long Trail Hibernator, 5
Long Trail Hit the Trail Ale, 6
Long Trail India Pale Ale, 5
Lost Abbey Lost & Found Abbey Ale, 7
Lost Abbey Carnevale, 5
Lucky Labrador Dog Day IPA, 8
Lucky Labrador Hawthornes Best Bitter, 7

Mackeson XXX Stout, 7
Mad River Steelhead Extra Pale Ale, 7
Magic Hat #9, 7
Magic Hat Fat Angel, 6
Magic Hat Hi.P.A., 7
Magic Hat Hocus Pocus, 6
Magic Hat Irish Red Ale, 7
Magic Hat Jinx, 6
Magic Hat Roxy Rolles, 8
Magic Hat Single Chair Ale, 7
Magic Hat Y33, 3
Marshall Wharf Tug Pale Ale, 3
Mash Tun Alberta Pale Ale, 2
Mayflower IPA, 4
Mayflower Pale Ale, 7
Mayflower Porter, 7
Mayflower Summer Rye, 9
Mayflower Thanksgiving Ale, 3
McMenamins Concordia Pale Ale, 5
McMenamins Hammerhead Ale, 5
McMenamins India Pale Ale, 5
McMenamins Nebraska Bitter, 7
McMenamins Ruby, 2
McMenamins Terminator Stout, 8
McNeill's Extra Special Bitter, 6
Meantime IPA, 8
Mendocino Black Hawk Stout, 4
Mendocino Blue Heron Pale Ale, 3
Mendocino Red Tail Ale, 5
Mendocino Saratoga Lager, 8
Michelob Pale Ale, 3
Mickey's, 1
Middle Ages Beast Bitter, 7
Middle Ages Kilt Tilter, 4
Middle Ages Wailing Wench, 8
Moat Mountain Hoffman Weiss, 8
Modelo Especial, 3
Molson XXX, 2
Montana Brewing Whitetail Wheat, 8
Mosi Lager, 1
Moylan's Hopsickle Imperial IPA, 6
Murphy’s Irish Stout, 5

Narragansett Cranberry, 2
Nashoba Valley Bolt 117 Lager, 4
Nashoba Valley Heron Ale, 5
Nashoba Valley Oaktoberfest, 4
Nashoba Valley Wattaquadoc Wheat, 6
Negra Modelo, 6
New Belgium Fat Tire, 8
New Century MoonShot Beer, 1
Newcastle Brown Ale, 7
Newport Storm Chocolate Porter, 6
Newport Storm Gloria, 6
Newport Storm Henry, 6
Newport Storm Hurricane Amber Ale, 4
Newport Storm's Irish Red, 3
Newport Storm Regenschauer Oktoberfest, 6
Newport Storm Rhode Island Blueberry, 7
Ndovu, 1
Nile Special Lager, 1
Ninkasi Total Domination IPA, 7
Ninkasi Tricerahops Double IPA, 10
North Coast ACME California IPA, 8
North Coast Blue Star, 8
North Coast Le Merle, 5
North Coast Old No. 38 Stout, 8
North Coast Old Plowshare Stout, 8
North Coast Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, 10
North Coast Old Stock Ale, 9
North Coast Pranqster, 7
North Coast Red Seal, 9
Northampton Black Cat Stout, 6
Northampton Maggies Wee Heavy, 8
Northampton Old Brown Dog, 6
Northampton Pale Ale, 8
Northampton Redheaded Stepchild, 6
Northampton Steamer, 7

Oak Pond Dooryard Ale, 5
Oak Pond Nut Brown Ale, 8
Oak Pond Oktoberfest, 6
Oak Pond Pale Ale, 4
Oak Pond Pilsner, 6
Oak Pond Somerset Lager, 7
Oak Pond White Fox Ale, 7
Offshore India Pale Ale, 7
Olde Burnside Dirty Penny, 9
Olde Burnside Ten Penny Ale, 6
Olde English 800, 1
Ommegang, 8
Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence Stout, 9
Ommegang Hennepin, 9
Ommegang Rare Vos, 7
Ommegang Three Philosophers, 8
Opa-Opa IPA, 6
Opa-Opa Steakhouse Red Rock, 7
Orlio Organic Black Lager, 5
Orlio Organic Common Ale, 6
Oskar Blues Dale's Pale Ale, 10
Oskar Blues Mama's Little Yella Pils, 6
Oskar Blues Old Chub, 9
Oskar Blues Ten FIDY, 8
Otter Creek Copper Ale, 4
Otter Creek Otter San, 3
Otter Creek Pale Ale, 5
Otter Creek Raspberry Brown Winter Ale, 3
Otter Creek Stovepipe Porter, 5
Otter Creek White Sail, 4
Owen O'Leary's Black & Tan, 4
Owen O'Leary's Dave's Blueberry Ale, 4
Owen O'Leary's Golden Eagle Ale, 5
Owen O'Leary's I.P.A., 4
Owen O'Leary's Irish Sunsetter Red, 6
Owen O'Leary's Summertime Wheat, 3
Oxford Hefeweizen, 4

Pabst Blue Ribbon, 4
Pacifico, 3
Paper City Batch 108, 8
Paper City Blonde Hop Monster, 8
Paper City One Eared Monkey, 2
Paper City PC Blue, 2
Paper City Riley's Mother's Milk Stout, 9
Peak Organic Espresso Amber Ale, 8
Peak Organic IPA, 7
Peak Organic Nut Brown Ale, 3
Pearl Street Canal Street Stout, 9
Pearl Street Lake Effect Pale Ale, 7
Pearl Street Trainwreck, 4
Pennichuck Bagpipers Scottish Ale, 5
Pennichuck Black Lager, 8
Pennichuck Engine No. 5 Firehouse Red Ale, 6
Pennichuck Halligan RyePA, 7
Penobscot Bay Whig Street Blonde Ale, 8
Petes Wicked Strawberry Blonde, 5
Picaroon's Best Bitter, 6
Picaroon's Man's Best Friend, 4
Port Brewing High Tide Fresh Hop IPA, 7
Port Brewing Wipeout IPA, 8
Portsmouth ALTernator, 9
Portsmouth Bottle Rocket IPA, 8
Portsmouth Dirty Blonde Ale, 7
Portsmouth Oatmeal Stout, 8
Portsmouth Smoky Dunkelweizen, 5
Pretty Things Baby Tree, 8
Pretty Things Jack D'or, 9
Primus, 1

RedBones Chester Street Amber, 7
Redhook Blonde Ale, 4
Redhook CopperHook Spring Ale, 4
Redhook Double Black Stout (with Coffee), 9
Redhook ESB, 7
Redhook Long Hammer IPA, 3
Redhook Sunrye, 5
Ringwood Old Thumper (USA), 6
Riverhorse Tripel Horse, 6
Rock Art Magnumus Ete Tomahawkus ESB^2, 8
Rock Art Vermonster, 8
Rock Bottom American Dream IPA, 7
Rock Bottom Improper Hopper IPA, 5
Rock Bottom Lumpy Dog Light Lager, 1
Rock Bottom Mad Cow Milk Stout, 6
Rock Bottom Munich Gold, 4
Rock Bottom North Star Amber Ale, 2
Rock Bottom Off-Kilter Scotch Ale, 5
Rock Bottom Pumpkin Ale, 6
Rodenbach Classic, 8
Rogue American Amber, 6
Rogue Brutal Bitter, 5
Rogue Captain Sig's Deadliest Ale, 6
Rogue Chipotle Ale, 2
Rogue Chocolate Stout, 8
Rogue Dead Guy Ale, 9
Rogue Mocha Porter, 7
Rogue Morimoto Soba, 7
Rogue Santa's Private Reserve Ale, 9
Rogue Shakespeare Stout, 7
Roots Burghead Heather Ale, 6
Roots EXXXcalibur Imperial Stout, 9
Roots Island Red, 7
Roots Pale Ale, 7
Roots Pond Turtle Pale Ale, 8
Roots Woody Organic IPA, 8
Russian River Blind Pig IPA, 9
Russian River Pliny the Elder, 10

Safari Lager, 2
Sagres, 6
Samuel Adams Black Lager, 9
Samuel Adams Blackberry Wit, 3
Samuel Adams Boston Ale, 7
Samuel Adams Boston Lager, 9
Samuel Adams Brick Red, 5
Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat, 4
Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock, 3
Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic, 1
Samuel Adams Cream Stout, 8
Samuel Adams Double Bock, 8
Samuel Adams Dunkel Weiss, 7
Samuel Adams Hefeweizen, 5
Samuel Adams Holiday Porter, 8
Samuel Adams Honey Porter, 2
Samuel Adams Imperial Pilsner, 6
Samuel Adams Imperial Stout, 2
Samuel Adams Irish Red Ale, 6
Samuel Adams Light, 5
Samuel Adams LongShot Grape Pale Ale, 3
Samuel Adams LongShot Weizenbock, 9
Samuel Adams Octoberfest, 8
Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Ale, 5
Samuel Adams Pale Ale, 4
Samuel Adams Scotch Ale, 7
Samuel Adams Summer Ale, 7
Samuel Adams Triple Bock, 1
Samuel Adams White Ale, 4
Samuel Adams Winter Lager, 6
Samuel Smiths Imperial Stout, 5
Samuel Smiths Oatmeal Stout, 10
Samuel Smiths Old Brewery Pale Ale, 4
Samuel Smiths Taddy Porter, 8
San Miguel Dark Lager, 4
Sapporo Premium Draft, 3
Saranac Adirondack Amber, 4
Saranac Black and Tan, 5
Saranac IPA, 4
Saranac Pale Ale, 5
Saranac Pumpkin Ale, 4
Sea Dog Blue Paw Wild Blueberry Wheat Ale, 3
Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter, 3
Sebago Fryes Leap IPA, 7
Sebago Full Throttle Double IPA, 9
Sebago Hefeweizen, 3
Sebago Lake Trout Stout, 9
Sebago Runabout Red Ale, 5
Sebago Slick Nick Winter Ale, 5
Serengeti Premium Lager, 1
Sheepscot Valley Bold Coast Pemaquid Ale, 6
Sheepscot Valley Boothbay Special Bitter, 2
Sherwood Forest Archers Ale, 5
Sherwood Forest Sheriffs IPA, 8
Shipyard Light, 3
Shipyard Brewer's Choice Special Ale 2008 (Brown Ale), 7
Shipyard Brewer's Choice Special Ale 2009 (Royal IPA), 8
Shipyard Blue Fin Stout, 7
Shipyard Brown Ale, 3
Shipyard Chamberlain Pale Ale, 6
Shipyard Export Ale, 9
Shipyard Longfellow Winter Ale, 8
Shipyard Prelude Ale, 9
Shipyard Pugsley's Signature Series Barley Wine Style Ale, 7
Shipyard Pugsley's Signature Series Imperial Porter, 8
Shipyard Pugsley's Signature Series XXXX IPA, 8
Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale, 8
Shipyard Summer Ale, 3
Shipyard Tremont Ale, 8
Shipyard Tremont IPA, 4
Sierra Nevada 12th Release Harvest, 6
Sierra Nevada Anniversary Ale, 7
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, 9
Sierra Nevada Brown Ale, 8
Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, 8
Sierra Nevada Early Spring Beer, 7
Sierra Nevada India Pale Ale, 8
Sierra Nevada Kellerweiss Hefeweizen, 7
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, 8
Sierra Nevada Porter, 9
Sierra Nevada Stout, 8
Sierra Nevada Summerfest, 7
Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA, 8
Singha, 4
Sixpoint Brownstone Ale, 7
Sixpoint Righteous Ale, 8
Sixpoint Sweet Action, 10
Smithwicks Ale, 4
Smuttynose Big A IPA, 10
Smuttynose IPA, 3
Smuttynose Old Brown Dog, 6
Smuttynose Portsmouth Lager, 6
Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale, 6
Smuttynose Robust Porter, 10
Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale, 9
Smuttynose Summer Weizen Ale, 6
Smuttynose Wheat Wine Ale, 6
Smuttynose Winter Ale, 7
Snapperfish IPA, 4
Southampton Double White Ale, 9
Southampton ESB, 10
Southampton IPA, 7
Southern Tier Back Burner, 7
Southern Tier Big Red, 7
Southern Tier Harvest Ale, 7
Southern Tier IPA, 8
Southern Tier Jahva, 6
Southern Tier Phin & Matts Extraordinary Ale, 6
Southern Tier Porter, 8
Southern Tier Raspberry Porter, 5
Southern Tier Raspberry Wheat Beer, 3
Spanish Peaks Black Dog Ale, 5
Spanish Peaks Crystal Weiss, 4
Speakeasy Prohibition Ale, 9
Sprecher Black Bavarian, 8
St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout, 9
St. Ides High Gravity Malt Liquor, 3
St. John Brewers Virgin Islands Pale Ale, 2
St. Pauli Girl Lager, 3
St. Pauli Girl Special Dark, 3
Steel Reserve 211, 5
Stone 12th Anniversary Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, 8
Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale, 9
Stone India Pale Ale, 9
Stone Oaked Arrogant Bastard, 9
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2008, 7
Stone Pale Ale, 9
Stone Ruination IPA, 8
Stone Russian Imperial Stout, 5
Stone Vertical Epic 08-08-08, 6
Stone Coast 840 IPA, 8
Stone Coast Knuckleball Bock, 6
Stone Coast Sunsplash Golden Ale, 2
Stoudts American Pale Ale, 9
Stoudts Double IPA, 8
Stoudts Fat Dog, 8
Stoudts Gold Lager, 8
Stoudts Scarlet Lady ESB, 6
Sunday River Black Bear Porter, 6

Taj Mahal, 2
Tecate, 1
Terminal Gravity IPA, 7
The Bruery Orchard White, 7
The Bruery Saison Rue, 9
The Tap American Pale Ale, 7
The Tap Ascension, 8
The Tap Bock, 7
The Tap Chocolate Porter, 8
The Tap Dopplebock, 4
The Tap Haverale Cream Ale, 6
The Tap Hewitt Brown, 6
The Tap Irish Stout, 7
The Tap Leatherlips IPA, 9
The Tap Nut Brown, 7
The Tap Whittier White, 7
Thirsty Dog Old Leghumper, 6
Thirsty Dog Siberian Night, 10
Thomas Hooker Blonde Ale, 7
Thomas Hooker Hop Meadow IPA, 9
Thomas Hooker Liberator Doppelbock, 10
Tiger Beer, 2
Tommyknocker Alpine Glacier Lager, 3
Trade Route Ginger Pale Ale, 4
Trinity Belgian Gold, 6
Trinity Brown Ale, 6
Trinity Hefe Weizen, 5
Trinity Larkens Irish Stout, 7
Trinity Rhode Island IPA, 8
Trinity Russian Imperial Stout, 9
Trinity Special Kolsch, 8
Troegs Hopback Amber Ale, 8
Troegs Pale Ale, 6
Trumer Pils, 6
Tsingtao, 2
Tuckerman 6288 Stout, 7
Tuckerman Pale Ale, 8
Tusker Lager, 2
Two Brothers Heavy Handed IPA, 6
Two Brothers The Bitter End, 7

Uganda Breweries Pilsner Lager, 1
Uinta Angler's Pale Ale, 8
Uncle Jim's Homebrews Amber Ale, 4
Uncle Jim's Homebrews Cream Ale, 6
Uncle Jim's Homebrews Oatmeal Stout, 6
Uncle Jim's Homebrews Red, 8
Uncle Jim's Homebrews "SB", 6
Unibroue Chambly Noire, 5
Union Station Belgian Tripel, 4

Van Steenberge Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour Red Ale, 5
Victory 12, 4
Victory Bags Packed Porter, 7
Victory Baltic Thunder, 9
Victory Braumeister Harvest Pils, 6
Victory Festbier, 6
Victory Golden Monkey, 9
Victory HopDevil, 9
Victory Moonglow Weizenbock, 4
Victory Prima Pils, 8
Victory Storm King Imperial Stout, 10
Victory V Lager, 6
Victory Whirlwind Witbier, 4

Wachusett Blueberry, 5
Wachusett Green Monsta, 7
Wachusett IPA, 5
Wachusett Octoberfest Ale, 3
Wachusett Summer Breeze, 4
Wachusett Winter Ale, 7
Watch City 38 Schilling Scottish Ale, 6
Watch City Biking Bob's Bohemian Pilsner, 4
Watch City Bombed Blondeshelle Belgian Strong Ale, 5
Watch City Dubbel Belgian Ale, 6
Watch City Hops Explosion IPA, 9
Watch City Kingpin Imperial Stout, 7
Watch City Moody Street Stout, 7
Watch City Pie Eyed Pumpkin Ale, 6
Watch City Shillelagh Irish Red Ale, 5
Watch City Titan Brown Ale, 9
Watch City Totem Pale Ale, 8
Watch City Uber-Okto-Lager, 6
Watch City Wheat IPA, 7
Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot, 8
Weyerbacher Hops Infusion, 7
Weyerbacher Merry Monks' Ale, 7
Weyerbacher Winter Ale, 4
Widmer Brothers Drop Top Amber Ale, 8
Widmer Brothers Hefeweizen, 9
Widmer Brothers Snow Plow, 7
Widmer Brothers W06 NW Red Ale, 8
Windhoek Lager, 3
Wolaver's Farmhouse Ale, 8
Wolavers India Pale Ale, 7
Wolaver's Oatmeal Stout, 4
Woodstock Inn Pemi Pale Ale, 6
Woodstock Inn Pigs Ear Brown Ale, 5
Wynchwood Fiddler's Elbow, 5

Yards Philadelphia Pale Ale, 7
Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, 7
Young's Oatmeal Stout, 9
Yuengling Traditional Lager, 8

Z Street Mocha Java Stout, 8

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Beer & Cigars

As we knew he would, Mr. Cedrone stepped right up to the plate to answer our question about what beers go best with cigars. Thank you, sir.

Beer & Cigars

I was at Josh's place over the weekend when he mentioned that he wanted my take on what beers go well with cigars. I became very excited and smoked all of his cigarillos to warm up the pallet. (Don't worry, I purchased a replacement box for him). This put me in the right frame of mind to come up with a list of my favorites.

Pairing cigars with beer is a very subjective thing. Of course I mean this to a certain extent. If your opinion is that a cigar goes well with a bottle of Corona, then your opinion is wrong. However, I've heard convincing arguments out of two camps regarding smokes and beer.

1. Conflicting Flavors: Some people feel that the best way to fully excite the pallet is to pick a beer that actually fights against the flavors of the cigar. They find it enjoyable to go from a light citrus beer to a bold dark puff on a cigar, back to the light drink. I can see the appeal here for some people but to me, it's just too much going on at once.

2. Complimenting Flavors: This is the what I prefer as it simply makes more sense to me. The idea here is to pick flavors that work together. Light with light, dark with dark. It's a simple formula that ultimately leads to a greater enjoyment of both flavors.

Here are my favorite pairings. Below are 4 common types of cigars and my top 3 beer pairings with each type including a home brew of Josh's making the cut!

Light and Earthy
1. Allagash White
2. Delerium Tremens
3. Southern Tier Hop Sun

Buttery and Creamy
1. Oskar Blues Old Chub
2. Ale Smith Wee Heavy Scotch Ale
3. Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

Spicy and Peppery
1. Clipper City Heavy Seas Red Sky
2. Chimay Red
3. Josh's Homebrews It Must Be Wedding Saison

Bold Maduros
1. Stone Bitter Chocolate Oatmeal Stout
2. Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout
3. Founders Breakfast Stout

Of course this is all subject to change should I ever be able to get my hands on anything from these guys.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Some far flung beers

Let the flurry of posts continue! I've got to pack them in before putting up some long overdue complete rankings. Anyways, pretty interesting list here. Relatively widely available too.

Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel Peche Mortel
Bottle -- Lighthouse, Manchester
#17 beer on planet earth according to beer advocate. i have been especially curious about this beer since one liquor store managed to sell my dad on it, even though a small bottle sells for $6. he absolutely hated it. my guess was it wasn't all that terrible. sure enough, beautiful pour and rich coffee smell. taste is quite sharp, with burnt coffee and an acrid bitterness kind of duking it out from start to finish. very complex, interesting beer. no offense dad, but this is definitely a keeper.
Score: 8

Craigmill Fraoch Heather Ale
Bottle -- Luke's
a scottish gruit, with heather flowers taking the place of hops. aroma is of bread and fruit. heather tips do play on mouth like hops. very fruity, light, and drinkable. lovely balance. i will get this again.
Score: 9

Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale
Bottle -- Luke's
a belgian strong pale ale from japan. unusual appearance that you might find in a grapefruit juice. tart and spicy aroma. flavor is tart and yeasty, with an undefined something that i suppose could be cooked rice. well enough brewed.
Score: 7

Lindeman's Framboise Lambic
Bottle -- Luke's
i passed this around to my family after a lobster feed up in maine. like a digestief, or something. has the qualities of raspberry puree really. extremely sweet and tart, just like the fruit itself. carbonation is strong enough to make me think of a sparkling cider. i think you could pour this as a sauce on vanilla ice cream and it would be pretty good. yeah, i think i could find a use for this beer... the rest of my family wasn't so convinced.
Score: 7

Van Steenberge Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour Red Ale
Bottle -- Luke's, Rockland
my first flanders oud bruin. apparently this belgian brewer makes this beer specifically for a bar in philly. interesting. pours a reddish brown with sour smell of rhubarb. fascinating flavor that manages to give you cherries that are both sour and sweet at the same time. came on way too bold for my taste, but well worth the try.
Score: 5

The Best:

Chimay Premiere (Red)
Tap -- Victory Cigar Bar, Sudbury
i had this legendary beer for the first time at dan's favorite cigar bar. i've got to say, it paired absolutely perfectly with my cigar. (perhaps dan would be willing to talk a little more about what kind of beers work best with cigars -- whether it be a short post or in the comments section below...) as for the beer itself, beautiful hazy pour into chimay chalice. steady carbonation. spicy, phenolic nose. in addition, both malts and fruit build solid profile in middle of taste. smooth doesn't begin to describe. you could write a book about what is going on in this beer. one of those perfect beers.
Score: 10

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Some unusual styles...

...from an unusual brewer. Now it is no secret that I am a big fan of Dogfish Head beers, but I was especially excited for these three somewhat rare styles brewed up by the boys from Deleware. The big bottles were not cheap at $10+ but were worth every penny in my humble opinion. Check them out... maybe on a pay day.

Dogfish Head Festina Peche
Bottle -- Luke's, Rockland
only my second berliner weiss. pours bleached yellow color i have never seen before. sweet/sour nose. tartness of taste makes mouth pucker. this didn't cut it for me.
Score: 4

Dogfish Head Sah'tea
750 ml -- Luke's, Rockland
my first sahti, which is a finnish farmhouse ale. (of interest, the new yorker wrote a great article on sam calagione and the story of this beer. it is long but definitely worth reading.) deep golden color with huge chai aroma. thankfully chai plays a supporting role in flavor after ginger, citrus, and juniper berries. carbonation is a little lacking, but that is the only real drawback here. very drinkable. fantastically original.
Score: 9

Dogfish Head Theobroma
750 ml -- Luke's, Rockland
my first chile beer was from rogue and not good. i have higher hopes in this case. pours a bright golden-orange -- thought it might be darker with all that talk of cocoa powder. honey, berries, and even a hint of cocoa come through in aroma. wow, this is the most unusual and fascinating taste i have had in some time! sweet honey first, followed by heat of ancho chilies. banana and cocoa malt give the beer some depth. i love how the spiciness of the chilies came through but still fit in to beer. the heat builds and tingles on your tongue much like the hops in a double ipa might. i thought this was just tremendous.
Score: 9

Friday, September 4, 2009

A mess of summer drinking

To lump all these beers together as "summer beers" may be pushing it, but they were all beers I picked up as light, low alcohol, drinkable brews for a hot summer evening.

Anderson Valley Summer Solstice Cerveza Crema
Bottle -- Luke's
tastes exactly like a cream soda, with a bit of vanilla. creamy and smooth. a very unique beer. could see this being a big hit with some of my friends...
Score: 6

Founders Cerise
Bottle -- Luke's
a cherry fermented ale. ruby color. sour all around, which reminds me more of raspberries more than cherries. very unusual as well.
Score: 6

Goose Island Honker's Ale
Bottle -- Shoreline Beverage, Huntington, NY
this popular chicago brewer has been on my watch list for a few months now. malty, freshly hopped, light -- very pleasant to drink. missing butteriness of traditional bitter though if that is what you are looking for...
Score: 7

Harpoon UFO White
Bottle -- Sweeney's, Brockton
flavor is definitely orange, lots of spices with nutmeg emerging to the front. pretty flat. yuck.
Score: 3

Lakefront Cream City Pale Ale
Bottle -- Beer of the Month Club
lakefront's coffee flavored stout was such a disappointment that i have avoided returning to them until now. hard to go wrong with a pale ale though, and this is no exception. dry hopping delivers solid bitterness while still sessionable.
Score: 7

Mayflower Summer Rye
Growler -- Mayflower Brewing Co., Plymouth
one of my best discoveries of the summer, with thanks going to devon of smell is of spicy belgian yeast, citrus and lemon. all of these are present in flavor along with grainy rye. good flavor. extremely light and clean, with low alcohol -- a must for a quality summer brew. fantastic.
Score: 9

Oskar Blues Mama's Little Yella Pils
Can -- Gordon's, Waltham
pushed on me by dan in an effort to clean this undesirable beer out of his fridge. now it is no secret that i like oskar blues and have been appreciating lighter beers more lately, but this fell a little flat. smell of pilsner malt, add faint hay bitterness and you have the beer. that said, i would drink this again.
Score: 6

Sierra Nevada Kellerweiss Hefeweizen
Bottle -- Luke's
big clove taste overpowers yeast. that is all i can say about it since my wife proceeded to water it down with ice cubes... what a travesty. good hef though.
Score: 7

Spanish Peaks Crystal Weiss
Bottle -- Shovel Shop Spirits, Easton
strong wheat smell, with a side of apple juice. taste isn't my favorite: wheat is kind of skunky. pass.
Score: 4

Sprecher Black Bavarian
Bottle -- Shoreline Beverage, Huntington, NY
a schwarzbier from wisconsin... but it looks like it could be european with the crest they use on the label. at first i thought it was smoke on the nose, but really its more burnt than anything. roasted malt i expected, but quite a bit of sweet chocolate too. there was something else i couldn't put my finger on but the alstrom brothers correctly identified it as strong acidity from the malts. i haven't had a lot of dark lagers but this is one i could get into.
Score: 8

The Bruery Orchard White
750 ml -- Luke's
first time i have seen the bruery available in mass. produces a big billowy head into my oversized wine glass with an unusually pale color. smells of alcohol and white grapes to me, with just a little spice. i would say i am more struck by the dryness of the beer than the flavor. nice, but not cheap.
Score: 7

Trade Route Ginger Pale Ale
22 oz -- Superstar Discount Beverage, Huntington
this seattle brewery is only a couple of years old but i had heard a little bit about it while in oregon (it used to be known as laughing buddha brewery...) they are clearly playing for the "beer to drink with asian food" market. yes, it really is that competitive among craft brewers in the northwest! anyways, it wasn't very good. ginger comes on very strong, perhaps accompanied by a little lemon. not much else going on though. i suppose it would work to wash down sushi, but doesn't stand up on its own.
Score: 4

Wachusett IPA
Bottle -- Gordon's, Waltham
sweet, fruit nose. taste is a little weak, but grows on you. nice mouthfeel. goes down very easy.
Score: 5

Yards Philadelphia Pale Ale
Bottle -- Shoreline Beverage, Huntington, NY
very old looking label, to the point that i was concerned about freshness. no need to worry, the hops were fresh and springy. very smooth and drinkable. another reason to get down to philly...
Score: 7