Archive for June, 2011

Central Waters Brewing Company Brewhouse Coffee Stout (365 Day 211)

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Central Waters Brewhouse Coffee Stout

Revisiting American craft beers that I have already have reviewed makes for an easy night of reviewing. But it also brings about something that I didn’t expect: lack of retention of the experience of having the beer. Is old age already upon me? I don’t think so. Life is just so damn busy that a beer review I did some two years ago isn’t on the tip of my memory.

Brewhouse Coffee Stout by Central Waters Brewing Company fits the above description perfectly. I haven’t had this beer since September, 2009 and the bottle I had for beer 211 had sat in my cellar for a six months, so when I opened it and the amount of coffee was huge in the aroma, I was surprised and didn’t remember quite that big of a coffee profile.

After looking at my old review I did mention that the beer was a “coffee powerhouse”. So maybe it had a lot of coffee. Even after drinking most of the beer it didn’t bring back any memories. What I do know for having the beer is that it is a coffee powerhouse: huge aroma and flavor is coffee. There is some chocolate notes but most of it is consumed by the coffee. The high ABV (8.2%) is well hidden.

I really like this beer but I think I get more out of coffee beers that are more balanced but I wouldn’t pass up a pint of Brewhouse Coffee Stout. Enjoy!

Aroma: 9 (25%), Taste: 9 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 9 (35%), Overall: 9.0

Useless Fact: The area sold by France to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase was first offered to England, who refused it. The price paid by the United States for the land, some 100 million acres, averaged out to 4 cents an acre.

Yazoo Brewing Company Dos Perros (365 Day 210)

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Yazoo Dos Perros

American craft beer seems to be creating bigger and bigger beers per the beer geek wants and desires, it probably also helps that big beers can command big prices. What this means is that very few American breweries seem to concentrate or put much effort towards true session beers.

For some that may raise the question of what is a session beer. Rather simple but a beer that has below a certain level of alcohol, usually 4.5%, so that you can “session” it without having too much alcohol in your system. Also, flavors don’t approach the levels of an imperial but there should still be good, quality aroma and taste. These should not suffer in spite of the low alcohol level.

Dos Perros by Yazoo Brewing Company is a session American brown ale. Low abv of 3.5% puts it into the range of session. It still has a good taste for and ample aroma. Drinking this a bit above refrigeration temperature helps it come alive more (as most good American craft beers do). It is easy to drink and refreshingly light.

This was my third beer from Yazoo and I am very satisfied with each. I have one more of their beers left and look forward to it. Enjoy!

Aroma: 6 (25%), Taste: 7 (25%), Look: 8 (15%), Drinkability: 9 (35%), Overall: 7.6

Useless Fact: At the time of Titus in fourth-century Rome, the Circus Maximus held 380,000 spectators.

Cigar City Brewing Maduro Oatmeal Brown Ale (365 Day 209)

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Cigar City Maduro Oatmeal Brown Ale

An American brown ale is actually a refreshing beer that, if brewed correctly, should be a lighter beer in terms of body. Depending on the American craft brewer the beer might have ample hop additions too. So don’t let the darker color fool you into thinking this is a big, thick American craft beer that can’t refresh. Quite the contrary when brewed well. Based on the profile of the style I figured an American brown would be the perfect fit to the end of a long, warm day.

Maduro Oatmeal Brown Ale by Cigar City Brewing should fit the bill perfectly. Cigar City brews up some solid offerings and each time that I have another I am impressed by some how they express themselves via this art form.

A soon as I took the first sniff of Maduro I knew that something was amiss. There was a definite acidity to the beer that gave off a sour aroma. It was infected. There were still some base notes that I could make out but the acidity just kept getting in the way. I think the base beer is probably pretty darn good. The good news is that I will be visiting Cigar City Brewing soon. Hopefully I will have the chance to taste this beer fresh and change my review. Enjoy!

Aroma: 7 (25%), Taste: 6 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 6 (35%), Overall: 6.7

Useless Fact: The Black Plague destroyed half the population of Europe in the fourteenth century.

Maine Beer Company Mean Old Tom (365 Day 208)

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Maine Mean Old Tom

American craft beer on a Sunday evening is a relaxation beer for the end of the week and the beginning of the next. It comes around close to bed time while the feet are up: total relief.

Mean Old Tom by Maine Brewing Company seemed to be the perfect fit for the evening. Tom comes by way of a regular transaction partner, Matt, who is from Maine. He got me hooked on Maine Brewing Company well over a year ago after tasting my first Spring Peeper Ale. I believe that Spring Peeper is an outstanding example of an American pale ale when had fresh.

So with past history it only seems fitting that I would find solace in a bottle of Main Brewing beer. Mean Old Tom had a bit of soft side for the aroma, still roasted, chocolate, and coffee could all be sensed as shared from the malt. The taste has mentioned aromas but a bit stronger with come bitterness lasting into the finish. It is a bit thinner than a normal stout but I believe that only made the beer easier to drink.

I hope that Maine Brewing continue to release more of their beers in bottle as each has been well above average. Enjoy!

Aroma: 7 (25%), Taste: 9 (25%), Look: 10 (15%), Drinkability: 9 (35%), Overall: 8.7

Useless Fact: One 75 watt bulb gives more light than three 25 watt bulbs.

New Holland Brewing Company Oak Aged Mad Hatter India Pale Ale (365 Day 207)

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

New Holland Oak Aged Mad Hatter IPA

I originally purchased the four Mad Hatter beers from New Holland Brewing Company to share on a Thursday night with Rich, Chuck, and Steve. Unfortunately plans don’t always work out the way you plan. Thursday night beer night was cancelled last week because of prior engagements by most and next few weeks I am not going to be around. I am an old IPAaphobe: I don’t like old IPAs as the hops start to drop out.

Instead I started on the first with my wife: Oak Aged Mad Hatter India Pale Ale. The oak definitely comes out with this beer. The aroma and taste do not cheat. I don’t know how long the beer was aged on oak but the hop profile just happened to be very resinous, making me think that it had been there a while.

Oak Aged Mad Hatter was a good beginning to the set of four special releases. I look forward to the others. Enjoy!

Aroma: 7 (25%), Taste: 8 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 8 (35%), Overall: 7.9

Useless Fact: The Indian epic poem the Mahabhrata is eight times longer than the Lliad and the Odyssey combined.

Dark Horse Brewing Co. Perkulator Coffee Dopplebock (365 Day 206)

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

Dark Horse Perkulator Coffee Dopplebock

Friday night came quick this week which means it is time for a round of American craft beer; maybe more.

Perkulator Coffee Dopplebock by Dark Horse Brewing Co. turned out to be beer number 206. This is a retread as I have had it before. It brings back memories of my Granny when she would make coffee after dinner for the adults when I was about five. That strong black coffee and the sound of the percolator, such good times.

If you plan on having a Perkulator Coffee Dopplebock make sure that you can tolerate straight old fashioned coffee. It hits not only in the aroma but the taste as well. I had a hard time picking up much outside of the coffee and that was before I had more than a couple of sips. I really like the beer. Any food or drink that bring back thoughts of yesteryear, knocks it up a notch. Enjoy!

Aroma: 8 (25%), Taste: 7 (25%), Look: 8 (15%), Drinkability: 6 (35%), Overall: 7.1

Useless Fact: Potato chips were invented by a black chef in Louisiana in 1865.

Yazoo Brewing Company Pale Ale (365 Day 205)

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Yazoo Pale Ale

The usual Thursday night gathering for American craft beer didn’t happen last night. Although I really appreciate the company and sharing of the beers, I have had a long week at work and was just about out of energy. My suggestion, if at least three of us could get together was to have the New Holland Brewing Company line of Hatter American Imperial India pale ales. Alas, only Chuck could make it, so a relaxing evening was in store and well deserved.

The beer of the evening, Pale Ale by Yazoo Brewing Company, marked my second offering by the brewery. My first was their Hefeweizen about a week ago.

Pale Ale lives up to its name. Light caramel malts are accented by an assertive hop profile for the style. Floral, citrus, and spice aromas jut out from the pour immediately making for a nice bouquet. The taste brings sweetness up front followed by the hops the rest of the way. First citrus followed by spice that lingers for a bit. In spite of picking up these individual aromas and flavors they are both on the weak side. The makings are there just not enough of them. The pour is solid as is the drinkability. Enjoy!

Aroma: 6 (25%), Taste: 6 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 9 (35%), Overall: 7.5

Useless Fact: When prevented from gambling, compulsive gamblers often experience physical withdrawal symptoms resembling those undergone by heroin addicts. The reactions range from restlessness to shakiness, severe headaches, and diarrhea.

Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company Southern Pecan (365 Day 204)

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan

Late days in the office usually equate to an American craft beer that I have had in the past so that I don’t have to write up brand new notes. Obviously it bit more tedious than just cracking a beer and throwing it back. Beer number 204 just so happened to fall into that category: a late arrival and something familiar.

I had Southern Pecan by Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company back a few years ago when a neighbor brought some back from a trip to Mississippi, his home state. At the time, it still might be, the only brewery in the state of Mississippi.

Southern Pecan has a ton of nutty flavor and aroma. I don’t think my nose is good enough to distinguish if that profile is pecan but I will give the huge nutty presence. There is also a big dose of sweetness to the beer that was bit much for me. If the amount of sweetness was balanced a bit more I think this would be one easy drinking, solid beer. Enjoy!

Aroma: 6 (25%), Taste: 6 (25%), Look: 6 (15%), Drinkability: 6 (35%), Overall: 6.0

Useless Fact: Two-thirds of all people in the United States who choke to death are under four years of age, according to the National Safety Council.

The Lost Abbey Cuvee De Tomme (365 Day 203)

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Lost Abbey Cuvee De Tomme

Ahh, Tuesday Night Beer Club (TNBC) brings out some of the best American craft beers from a group friends in which we all share. Trying to save the complete round up for another blog entry when and if Shawn gets me the ratings 😉 But the evening had a theme of states that touch either the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean. There was a nice mix of breweries represented from both coasts.

The highlight of the evening for me was a bottle of 2009 Cuvee De Tomme from The Lost Abbey that was brought by Ed. I had heard good things of this beer but you never know if a beer will live up to the hype. Also, I was worried how sour the beer might be based on some of the other American wild ales that come out of The Lost Abbey.

All of my worries were quickly quieted after I took my first sip but only after taking the appropriate five wafts of the bouquet of the beer. The taste is complex as is the nose. Cherries abound while oak, bourbon, vanilla, and a multitude of other flavors hit the pallet at various times. Tart but not sour, which is perfect for my preference. This beer is probably the best American wild ale I have had. I was almost going to give it a 10 and, if I have it again and impressed in the same, that might happen. An eleven percent ABV is completely hidden making the beer dangerously easy to drink.

Don’t hog this beer to yourself, share it with your friends. If you don’t have any, I am sure you will find some quickly if you tell them you want to share your bottle of Cuvee De Tomme with them. Enjoy!

Aroma: 10 (25%), Taste: 9 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 10 (35%), Overall: 9.6

Useless Fact: In ancient Japan public contests were held to see who in a town could break wind loudest and longest. Winners were awarded many prizes and received great acclaim.

Hangar 24 Craft Brewery Alt (365 Day 202)

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Hangar 24 Alt

Some styles of beer seem to lend themselves perfectly to the summer. Their light and sometimes delicate natural allows them easily refresh, bringing on a sense of ease and relief from the humidity.

I used to drink beer based on the season: dark beer when colder and lighter beer when warmer. Now my opinion has change with a good beer of any style always being warranted. Beer season is any and all season. I had some big stouts over the weekend as well as a pilsner or three. It is all best on mood.

American craft beer 202 swung around towards Alt by Hangar 24 Craft Brewery. Their version of a German Altbier has enough nuances that are well balance to make for a pleasant and easy experience. Toasted and bread malts are expected while a roasted malt comes through and adds a subtle complexity to the finish. Enough hops are added to subdue the amount of sugary grains, making for a ridiculously smooth beer. Enjoy!

Aroma: 7, Taste: 9, Look: 9, Drinkability: 9, Overall: 8.5

Useless Fact: Before the Chinese takeover of Tibet in 1952, 25 percent of the males in the country were Buddhist monks.