Monday, April 29, 2013

Beer Reivew: Hi-Fi Rye (Batch 1)

Reviewing the Hi-Fi Rye (Batch 1) from Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery out of Flossmoor, Illinois. This is the base beer of the Batch 1 Barrel Aged Hi-Fi Rye.
Score: 60

Batch 1 bottle served in a plastic taster cup and enjoyed on 07/28/12. Review is from iPhone notes I jotted down at my birthday bottle share.

Appearance: Pours a much more “cloudy” caramel color than either of the barrel-aged vintages. A lot more ruby transparencies are apparent. Pours a thin bubble tan layer than settles to a ring around the glass. Below average lacing, average retention. 3.5/5

Smell: Fruity sweet caramel malt and not much else. Faint brown sugar notes. It’s shocking how one-dimensional this beer is considering how complex the barrel-aged version of this vintage was. 3/5

Taste: Sweet and malty caramel water with some faint fruitiness. That’s it. No rye flavor, no dark fruit, no hoppiness. This beer has totally fallen off. Not undrinkable, but so is 312 – why bother? 2/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, low carbonation. Sweet and malty. 2.5/5

Overall: I cannot attest for the beer fresh, but the original non-barrel aged vintage has completely fallen off. I recommend skipping this one.

Cost: $10 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Beer Review: Thundersnow

Reviewing the Thundersnow from Flossmoor Station Restaurant and Brewery out of Flossmoor, Illinois.

Score: 91

Tap pour served in a sampler glass and enjoyed on 04/07/13 as part of my three breweries in three states Sunday roadtrip with Ilana "B is for Bananas" Feldman. Review is from iPhone notes.

Appearance: Coffee color with two fingers of creamy khaki head atop. Solid lacing and retention. 4/5

Smell: Chocolate, roast, faint coffee grounds. Brown sugar and a touch of cherry-like fruitiness. 4/5

Taste: Lots of roast, dry bitter chocolate and slightly fruity malt. Not barrel aged, but I get a little of wood flavor too. Faint hops. Very dry and roasty, slightly ashy (in a good way) and "nutty" finish 4.25/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus bodied, low carbonation. Bitter with bittersweet qualities. 4/5

Overall: A solid bitter Russian imperial stout with good flavor balance. This beer is a prime candidate for bourbon barrel aging, as I feel the bourbon sweetness with provide a good contrast to the base. I guess I will find out when Flossmoor releases the barrel aged version of this the afternoon before Dark Lord Day.

Cost: Unknown cost.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Beer Review: The Gomez

Reviewing The Gomez from the Clybourn Brewpub of the Goose Island Beer Company in Chicago, Illinois. This dry hopped Russian imperial stout was brewerd in collaboration with Erwin Gomez, winner of the "Quest for the Imperial Goose" homebrew contest.

Score: 96

Tap pour served in a snifter glass and enjoyed on 04/20/13.

Appearance: Black bodied and served with a finger of tannish khaki head that slowly recedes to a ring around the glass. Unreal lacing and retention -- the head sticks to the glass like white on rice. Two minutes after my first sip, the lacing was still there as if I had just pulled the glass away from my lips. Check out the picture to the right for the proof. 5/5

Smell: Chocolate and tropical hops, both very well integrated. Some light roast and pine too. 4.5/5

Taste: Juicy, bitter and hoppy upfront with resinous pine, pineapple juice, orange and grapefruit flavors. Back half characterized by chocolate and a light roast in the finish. Although billed as a Russian imperial stout, this drinks more like an excellent black IPA or a hoppier Surly Darkness. Whatever the style, this one drinks excellently, like slightly roasted chocolate covered pineapple cubes. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Just shy of full bodied, spot on carbonation. Bitterness from chocolate and hops mix perfectly here. A bit juicy upfront, slightly dry in the finish. 4.5/5

Overall: So few beers integrate hops and chocolate this well. I believe that they dry hopped the snot out of this with Citra. This beer is a home run. Cheers and congrats to creator and winner of the homebrew competition!

Cost: $9 for a 10 oz pour.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Beer Review: Black Butte XX, XXII, XXIII and XXIV Vertical (2013)

Reviewing a vertical of Black Butte XX, Black Butte XXI, Black Butte XXIII and Black Butte XXIV from the Deschutes Brewery from Bend, Oregon to commemorate my 400th written review (per BeerAdvocate)! A major thanks and shout out to Edgar Chavez for making this vertical tasting possible. Each vintage of the Barrel Aged Black Butte release is a different formulation.

Black Butte XX is Deschutes' Black Butte porter brewed with chocolate beans and coffee added with 20% aged in bourbon barrel.

Black Butte XXI is similar recipe and strength to Black Butte XX, "enhanced by adding some Theo's Chocolate cocoa nibs from Seattle, dry-hopping it with 100 pounds of Bellatazza's locally roasted coffee, and then aging a portion of it in Stranahan's Colorado whiskey barrels."

Black Butte XXIII is Deschutes' Black Butte porter brewed with cocoa nibs, orange and natural flavors added, with 25% aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Black Butte XXIV is Deschutes' Black Butte porter brewed with dark chocolate nibs, Daglet dates and Mission figs, and partially aged in Bourbon Barrels.

You may notice that Black Butte XXII is missing from the vertical. The reason for this is that there were quality control issues with the batch. Only a very limited number of Black Butte XXII bottles are known to be floating around out there, and those who have had it from the bottle confirm that this is one of the few rare instances in beer where the container, unopened, is more valuable than its actual contents (which are "infected"). Additionally, the Black Butte XXIII is a re-brew of the same formula used for the Black Butte XXII.

Black Butte XIV Score: 90
Black Butte XXIII Score: 88
Black Butte XXI Score: 93
Black Butte XX Score: 90

2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012 vintage bottles served side-by-side and enjoyed on 02/10/13 with a few friends.

The appearance is strikingly similar on all vintages -- this brew is similar to a dark molasses in appearance/color. The XXIII pour is a little lighter, faintly orange-ish in color in comparison to the other three. Each vintage pours a thin layer of light mocha head that settles to a ring around the glass on all of them. Average lacing and retention using the worst glassware possible. 4/5

  • XIV: Fig, hops, chocolate and a little soy. More dark fruit forward than the other vintages, which is unsurprising. There is a little bit of a "red wine"-ish scent to this vintage. The XIV's nose kind of reminds me of the 2011 Darkness a little bit. There was something also vaguely "herbal" about the XIV nose. There's definitely a little maple present too. 4/5
  • XIII: Orange, cocoa, and, when cold, a faint pepper aroma. A little Darkness 2011-like soy sauce too. I get a little figgy dark fruit, but much less than the XIV. 3.75/5
  • XXI: Chocolate, faded coffee and a little roast. There's a touch of faded hops and some fig/prune (about the same amount detected in the XXIII nose) too. There is also a bit of smokey malt or peatiness that initially grows as the beer starts warming up, and then fades as the beer approaches room temperature. 4.25/5
  • XX: Fruity oxidation and chocolate. I get a faint smokey malt character in the nose that is similar to, but in lesser quantum than, the XXI vintage. 4/5
  • XIV: Dark fruit, less chocolate than the nose and a touch of soy too. There is a touch of spice on the back of the tongue and a little heat from alcohol. Additionally, there is a bit of port-like sweetness that reminds me a little of the Haymarket Acrimonious. 3.75/5
  • XIII: Chocolate and orange, faint hops and a little smooth dark fruit. Faint prickle of rye-like kick on the palate after the swallow. No alcohol heat. A touch of fruitiness towards the finish. 3.75/5
  • XXI: Smooth, slightly roasty coffee backbone with an overlay of chocolate and just a touch of positive (fruity) oxidation. Delicious! A little more acidic than the other vintages, but I think it works. There's definitely some straight up oak flavor too (which I totally dig). 4.25/5
  • XX: Fruity oxidation and chocolate. This vintage has the least amount of dark fruit presence. It is also the least complex vintage. Nonetheless, it drinks pleasantly. 4/5
Each of the vintages' mouthfeels are a little heavier than medium bodied, but far from full bodied (and not quite medium-full bodied either). Low carbonation as well. Each of the vintages has a real nice, drinkable balance (none is too sweet or acidic (well the XXI has a little acidity, but in a good way) or whatever). Oily slick feel on the tongue. Only the freshest vintage (XIV) has a little "alcohol heat" to it. 4/5

Overall: I feel like verticals are often "reserved" for rarer and bigger beers like Dark Lord and Bourbon County (Brand) Stout, or even barleywines dating back to the 90's (i.e., Bigfoot), but this was a really fun vertical to do. Nothing was really can't miss here, but nothing had "fallen off," and nothing here was undrinkable by any stretch of the imagination. My favorite vintage in the end was the XXI, but each vintage struck me in a unique way at different points in the vertical as it warmed up. Cold, the XX and XXIII were my favorite.

Cost: $12.99 for a 22 oz (bomber) bottle that can cost as much as $19.99.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

While You Were Sleeping Last Night, Baseball History Almost Happened

Those who went to bed last night at a reasonable hour, in addition to those that do not live in the Seattle or Detroit broadcast markets and who do not have an subscription, missed out on one of the most impressive pitching duals in modern memory. Felix Hernandez and Max Scherzer squared off in a game that lasted 4.5 hours, 14 innings and saw 415 pitches thrown in total by both sides.

What is most impressive about this game was not its length, however, but the quality of the pitching therein. This game came very close to breaking the major league strikeout record of 43 punchouts in a single game, a record established on July 9, 1971 in a game between the Angels and Athletics that lasted 20 innings. Only one other major league game has ever seen 40 strikeouts in it, and that was a 15 inning game between the Giants and Padres back on June 19, 2011.

By the end of the 13th inning, the Tigers and Mariners had collectively racked up 40 punch outs between them. No strikeouts were to be had in the 14th inning, as the Tigers promptly scored a run on a string of ball-in-play outs, while the Mariners went down quietly in the bottom half of the inning.

Of the game’s 40 strikeouts, 24 of those came from the starting pitchers, who posted the following impressive lines: 

As you can see, both starters of record pitched brilliantly; neither earned the win. I am pretty certain that the broadcasters mentioned that the most combined strikeouts by two starting pitchers in an outing was 27, dating back to a game that Randy Johnson started. I missed the date of that game, but if anyone knows it, please post it in the comments.
Although both pitchers had stellar outings, you have to tip your cap to Felix Hernandez. While Scherzer did what an excellent pitcher is expected to do, shutting down the Mariners’ paltry offense, Felix did what you want your ace to do – he shut down one of the most potent offenses in baseball. The Tigers’ team wOBA is .334 (sixth best in baseball), and it features a truly fearsome top of the batting order consisting of back-to-back MVP-caliber threats Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder bookended by Austin Jackson, Torii Hunter, Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta. The Mariners limited Cabrera and Fielder to a combined 1-for-12 night with a combined 7 strikeouts, critical given the scattered opportunities to drive in runs those two had throughout the game. Prince Fielder struck out 5 times in his 6 plate appearances last night. 

Keeping along the theme of strikeouts, here is another interesting note about last nights game. Every starting lineup hitter had at least one strikeout on the night with one exception – Victor Martinez, who carried Detroit’s offense on his back last night. Martinez almost hit two home runs in the game, both resulting in at-the-wall flyouts. Martinez also scored the Tigers’ first run after reaching on a hard hit infield ball that was ruled an error. Martinez later reached in the 14th inning, at which point he was pinch run for by Don Kelly, who subsequently scored the go-ahead run for the Tigers. 

Last night was a great game to watch, and it was an absolute nail biter to bet on. I doubt we will see another 40 strikeout game any time soon, yet this game will go likely go down in obscurity in the annals of baseball history (that is, until Chris Jaffe writes about its dayversary).

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cherry Adam From The Wood (2012)

Reviewing the Cherry Adam From The Wood from Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company out of Portland, Oregon. Cherry Adam is Hair Of The Dog's Adam old ale aged with black cherries in Bourbon and Sherry casks for 15 months.
Score: 96

Fall 2012 vintage bottle served in a Surly Darkness snifter and enjoyed on 02/08/13. A major thanks and shout out to Kevin Fujii for hooking me up with this long time want!

Appearance: Pours a very dark reddish brown color with a thin layer of tan head with a reddish hue that settles to a thin ring around the glass. Poor lacing and retention. The color on this beer is quite intriguing. 3.75/5

Smell: The cherry and sherry qualities really shine in the nose, as does a prune-like smell. There is also a much more subtle and "balanced" bourbon aroma present as well, imparting vanilla, molasses, cocoa/chocolate, oak and a little toffee and faint dark fruit too. If your nose approaches the glass as just the right angle, these bourbon-based complexities really shine. There is also an extremely faint "smoke" quality in the aroma -- in substantially lesser quantum than what was present in Adam or Adam From The Wood. The mixture of the bourbon, sherry, cherry and prune in the nose make for a wonderfully complex experience. You could smell this beer all day and be continuously dazzled by how dynamic the aroma can be based on temperature and where your nose is positioned relative to the glass. As it warms up, the bourbon characters become more prominent and there cherry gets a little more "medicinal" -- but akin to the aroma of Deschutes' The Dissident or New Glarus' Belgian Red, as opposed to New Glarus' Thumbprint Cherry Stout. Maybe medicinal is not the proper term, as it carries such a negative connotation, and the cherry aroma here really works. 4.5/5

Taste: Initially, the bourbon flavors shine more than anticipated in light of the nose. Molasses, vanilla, cherry and prune. There's some slightly tannic sweetness and alcoholic warmth on the palate in the finish. There is substantially more dark fruit on the palate than the nose led on as well. The beer is sweet on the tongue, but it does not finish sweet -- lending to drinkability. As it warms up, a "bourbon-infused cherry" flavor with a nice subtle vanilla backbone grows. Some toffee flavor is present too. The bourbon-based flavors (molasses, etc) and a little bit of dark fruit and sherry defines the finish. There is a nice red grapey sherry flavor throughout. I am not detecting any smokiness whatsoever. This beer is admittedly a little hot fresh, but it is still so darn tasty! The finish is pretty crisp, with only a faint, non-sweet pruney-cherry flavor lingering for more than a second or two after the swallow. I am frankly shocked by how balanced the beer finishes in light of it's sweet qualities. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with minimal carbonation. This one has a real nice viscosity. A little sweet on the palate, but the sweetness totally dissipates with the swallow. Slightly creamy, slightly sticky on the palate. 4.5/5

Overall: Hot fresh, but complex and delicious. Loaded with bold, boozy flavors here.  Can't wait to revisit this batch in a year!

Recommendation: Seek a couple of bottles of this out; it's awesome.

Cost: $12 for a 12 oz bottle.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Beer Review: Cocoa Nibs Eugene

Reviewing the Cocoa Nibs Coffee Eugene from Revolution Brewing Company out of Chicago, Illinois. This unannounced cask beer is their Eugene porter brewed with cocoa nibs.
Score: 90

Tap pour served in a 16 oz pint glass at the brewpub. Shared and enjoyed with Robbie Moy on 02/06/13.

Appearance: Deep brown, almost black, in color (made less apparent in my photography by the flash on my iPhone). Served with three fingers of frothy khaki color head that slowly recedes to a thick layer atop the glass. Below average lacing, average retention. 4/5

Smell: Smells a lot like Eugene with extra dark chocolate upfront. Fainter roastiness than the base too, at least based on memory. Caramel, faint vanilla and chocolate malt. 4/5

Taste: Lots of dark chocolate, some flavor barely bitter coffee flavor and hints of vanilla and caramel. Finishes with a dark chocolate finish. 4/5

Mouthfeel: A little fuller than thin bodied with low carbonation. Slightly dry. Silky mouthfeel. 3.5/5

Overall: Delicious, but lacks the body or full creaminess of Coffee Eugene. This was a nice find on cask, however. If you ever visit the brewpub, always make sure to ask about the cask!

Recommendation: Order a pint! It is superior to the original.

Cost: $7 for a 16 oz pint.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Beer Review: Clare's Thirsty Ale

Reviewing Clare's Thirsty Ale from Haymarket Pub & Brewery out of Chicago, Illinois. This beer is an imperial stout aged for 13 months in Templeton Rye Whiskey barrels on Raspberries. I previously had this beer at FOBAB, but finally got the chance to sit down at try it "at my leisure."
Score: 94

4 oz sample served in a taster glass and enjoyed at Haymarket's 2nd Anniversary Party on 01/12/12. Review is from iPhone notes.

Appearance: Pours a very traditional barrel aged stout look. Dark brown, maybe black in color with a foggy, film-thin layer of tan head when brought to the table. Decent lacing/retention. 4/5

Smell: Raspberries, fudge and very faint vanilla. Not detecting any bourbon/barrel at all in the nose. The nose is predominantly chocolate and raspberry. 4.5/5

Taste: Tastes like an (aged) Bramble Bourbon County Brand Stout clone! Fudge-infused raspberry jam/chocolate covered raspberries. Some vanilla/oak and a light roast. Hint of bourbon too. Very tasty! 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Like all of Haymarket's barrel aged stouts, this beer is not full-bodied (I'd say it is closer to medium bodied) with minimal carbonation. However, the beer is super creamy and a little jammy, and its bold enough in flavor to soak the palate in flavor despite possessing a thinner mouthfeel than its Bourbon County Brand Stout variant sister. For whatever reason, the mouthfeel here works and does not leave me wanting more viscosity (unlike their Angel's Envy Port Barrel Aged Acrimonious Imperial Stout). This stout is sweet, but not Lindley Park sweet. 4.25/5

Overall: Considering that Bramble has been retired, this periodically brewed beer is an excellent replacement for those who want to try an example of fruit in a stout done right.

Recommendation: Seek this beer out; it's one of Haymarket's best!

Pairings: Chocolate cake.

Cost: $2 for a 4 oz pour or $6 for a 12 oz pour.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Beer Review: Winter Woman Brown

Reviewing the Winter Woman Brown from Revolution Brewing Company out of Chicago, Illinois. This brew is the "imperial," extra hopped version of their Working Woman Brown.
Score: 91

Tap pour served in a 5 oz taster glass at the brewpub and enjoyed on 02/06/13.

Appearance: Pours a translucent, brownish crimson color with ruby transparencies. Served with only a ring around the glass of off-white head. 4/5

Smell: Chocolate, tropical citrus hops, and nuts. Faint caramel too. There is also something dessert like in the nose that I cannot put my finger on. 4.25/5

Taste: Cocoa, tropical citrus, brown sugar and nuts. Has an earthy hops and caramel/malt back bone. The hop bitterness shines in the finish and makes for an interesting lingering flavor with the cocoa. A light amount of alcohol warmth sits on the tongue (this one is 9.5% ABV). 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus bodied, medium-light carbonation. Well balanced, slightly bitter mouthfeel. Has a very mild "mouthwatering" effect on the palate. 4/5

Overall: Although I found that this drank more like an IPA with a brown ale twist than a traditional brown ale, I thoroughly enjoyed this brew. I frankly, for whatever reason, had low expectations going into this one and was pleasantly surprised by what Winter Woman Brown delivered. Revolution continues to pump out quality new beer regularly, and their lineup is surprisingly deep after three years of business. Keep up the great work guys!

Recommendation: Grab a pint of this next time you are at the pub!

Cost: $7 for a snifter, $3 for a 5 oz taster glass.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Beer Review: Hel & Verdoemenis 666

Reviewing the Hel & Verdoemenis 666 from Brouwerij De Molen out of Belgium. Batch 666 is Hel & Verdoemenis with added wood chips soaked in a 40 year old cognac.
Score: 93

Bottle is dated 11/14/2011. Served in a snifter glass and enjoyed on 02/05/13.

Appearance: Coffee colored body. Pours a thin layer of mocha head that settles to ring around the glass. Good lacing, average retention. 4/5

Smell: Milk chocolate, lots of roastiness, bakers chocolate, wood and a touch of menthol-y peppermint-like aroma. There is also something else in the aroma that is really intriguing that I cannot put my finger on -- maybe it's the cognac. Faint coffee and a hint of hops too. Perfect incorporation; deliciously inviting. 5/5

Taste: Tastes a lot like it smells plus some cherry, a little plum, and less chocolate than was present in the nose. Woody backbone with a mild amount of coffee in the finish. Faint hoppiness. What I suspect is the Cognac from the nose is more prominent too, but still not very bold. 4.25/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, minimal carbonation. Slightly sweet. Creamy mouthfeel. 4.25/5

Overall: One of the better Belgium-originating stouts I have had to date.

Recommendation: Seek a bottle of this stuff out. It is delicious! It has a mass appealing flavor profile too.

Cost: $11.99 for a 12 oz bottle.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Beer Review: Black Damnation III (Black Mes)

Reviewing the Black Damnation III (Black Mes) from De Struise Brouwers out of Belgium. This is Black Albert aged for two years in single malt Islay Scotch Whiskey barrels (1995 "The Distillers Edition" barrels) from the Caol Ila distillery out of Scotland.
Score: 92

Unknown vintage bottle from "Lot 4533300911." This beer is presently retired. Served in a snifter glass and enjoyed on 02/04/13. Major thanks to Adam (crosamich) for hooking me up with this major want!

Appearance: Pours a coffee color with a half finger layer of mocha colored head that settles to a thin covering that coats maybe half of the top of the beer. Below average lacing, average retention. Some spotty lacing remains behind after the beer runs back down into the glass. 4/5

Smell: At first, right out of the fridge, the aroma is heavy on burnt chocolate/licorice. As it warms up, however, the "burnt" characters mellow out. Bakers chocolate, burnt brown sugar, faint smoke, and a mild amount of cherry and dark fruit. Some wood towards the back of the aroma too. Some of the elements of the nose are appealing, but the components overall do not meld together smoothly. The nose is a bit rough around the edges. 3.75/5

Taste: The aroma initially put me off, but the taste is much better incorporated. There is more cherry flavor and chocolate and substantially less "burnt" qualities on the palate. The peatiness is still pretty faint, but still more pronounced. The smokiness does not add much flavor, so much as it adds a little prickling sensation on the throat after the swallow akin to peppers in a beer. The licorice is also pretty faint, and a mere accent in the finish. Some molasses too, primarily towards the finish. Hint of oak. More chocolate flavor prevails as the beer warms up. 4.25/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, minimal carbonation. Slightly sweet, but miles away from cloying. Has a very dry, almost chalky, finish that accenuates the viscosity of the brew. 4.5/5

Overall: I've been told by several people that this beer was a "Black Mess," but found that I enjoyed everything about this beer except maybe the nose (at least until it warmed up). The smokiness present in this beer is about as subtle as smoke can possibly be in a beer. Although I found this variation of Black Albert inferior to the original (as I did with all of the other variants of Black Albert that I have tried), I think that this was one of my favorite barrel treatments. The mouthfeel is very viscous thanks to a dry finish, and that is how I prefer my stouts. This may be the best beer I have ever had aged in Scotch barrels.

Recommendation: Seek a bottle of this out if you want to try a good example of a well-aged beer in Scotch barrels.

Cost: $12 for an 11.2 oz bottle.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Beer Review: Moat Water

Reviewing the Moat Water from Cigar City Brewing out of Tampa, Florida. Major thanks to Adam for hooking me up with this brew that I missed out on when it was released.
Score: 95

Fall 2012 vintage bottle served in a Surly Darkness snifter and enjoyed on 01/22/13.

Appearance: Inky black body with two-plus fingers of frothy khaki head that slowly settles to a thin layer. Unreal lacing and retention. 5/5

Smell: Vanilla coffee creamer, maple, coffee and waves of luscious milk chocolate. Some fudgey brownie and wood too. A little pound cake-like appears in the aroma as it warms up. The way these aromas interact is absolutely sublime. Each is bold and complementary, weaving a complex and appealing breakfast-like nose. The maple really shines as the underlying aroma backbone as this beer warms up. 4.75/5

Taste: Tastes a little more coffee forward and less maple heavy than it smells at room temperature, but otherwise this one smells just like it tastes but a little sweeter. There's a little "brown sugar oatmeal"-like flavor in the mix too. Just delicious! 4.25/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied, light carbonation. Super creamy mouthfeel. Slightly sweet and mildly dry on the finish. 4.5/5

Overall: Home run stout.

Recommendation: Seek a bottle of this out!

Pairings: Brown sugar oatmeal.

Cost: $20 for a 750 ml bottle.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Beer Review: Florida Cracker White Ale

Reviewing the Florida Cracker White Ale from Cigar City Brewing out of Tampa, Florida.
Score: 88

Canned on 11/20/12. Served in a stemmed tulip wine glass and enjoyed on 01/17/13. Review is from iPhone notes.

Appearance: Pours an unfiltered.cloudy dull golden wheat color with a couple fingers of white head that settles to a fluffy layer atop the glass. Excellent lacing and retention 4/5

Smell: Bready malt, cereal grain, coriander, oldish hops and a light amount of tropical citrus . A touch of clove and a little distinct lemon as well. 3.5/5

Taste: Spritzy, very lightly tart, lemon-lime and bready malt flavors dominate the taste with some fruity/floral character mixed in. Coriander is also present, but substantially more subtle on the palate than it was in the aroma. There is a juicy, non-descript tropical citrus flavor backbone. Finishes with grain and slightly "fruity" lemon. There is a subdued hoppiness upfront that quickly washes away. Very light, juicy and refreshing. The tropical citrus is much more pronounced on the palate, all for the better. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, medium carbonation. Super juicy mouthfeel with a slightly dry finish. 4/5

Overall: This is a really tasty witbier that I would drink again. This is one of the better beers in the style that I have had the pleasure to enjoy.

Recommendation: Seek a can of this out.

Pairings: A spinach and avocado omelet with mozzarella cheese.

Cost: $8.99 for a six pack of 12 oz cans.