Friday, March 27, 2015

Beer Review: Kiwi Herman

Reviewing Kiwi Herman, a "malt beverage" made with kiwi and strawberry and aged in wine barrels from Alpine Beer Company out of Alpine, California.

Score: 97

January 2015 vintage bottle served in a stemmed 18th Street glass and enjoyed on 03/25/15. Thank you Josh for helping me acquire this brew!

Appearance: Pours a clean, transparent, light honey color with a half finger of fuzzy heady that quickly and totally settles. No lacing or retention. Traditional "golden ale" appearance, more or less. 4/5

Smell: A big blast of freshly cut up strawberry and kiwi on the nose with a bit of lemon zest too. Lovely, bold fruit aroma. No plastic character present in the nose, something I often find to be the case in strawberry sours. 5/5

Taste: A spritzy blast of strawberry-kiwi hits upfront, followed by a tannic white wine flavor and a light oak presence. Rounds out with a little funk on the finish and a hint of a "tonic water" carbonated lime/mineral water flavor too. Really, really lovely. Fruity, complex, with just enough funk to supplement the experience without detracting from the fresh fruit. The funk has a lovely lasting finish as it warms and layers on the palate. A hint of sweet grain on the back half too. 4.75/5

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with a higher carbonation level that appropriately suits the flavor profile. Finish is a mildly dry, well-balanced. Very mild acidity. Good sourness. 4.75/5

Overall: Easily the best sour I have had from Alpine, and one of the best strawberry sours out there. This one blow Chez out of the water with a bold fruit profile that is neither too acidic or sour, nor too funky. It does not hurt either that I absolutely love strawberries and kiwis. Seek this one out with confidence. Prost!

Cost: $15 for a 500 ml bottle.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Beer Review: Veritas 014

Reviewing the Veritas 014, a wild ale with cherries from The Lost Abbey out of San Marcos, California.

Score: 35

Fall 2014 vintage bottle served in a snifter glass panoramically logo branded with all the "best" macro swill and enjoyed on 03/20/15.

Appearance: Reddish-brown/brownish-red in color, much darker than Veritas 013. Pours a half finger of tan head that settles to a thin coating. Good lacing, solid retention. Murky appearance. 3/5

Smell: Acidic, artificial cherry pie cherry aroma and oak. Has a little syrupy sweetness too. Lots of pedio poo-poo too. 2.5/5

Taste: Sharply acidic and sour cherry upfront, with medicinal cherry, young funk, and wood on the finish. Very "sour brown"/flandersy in character, but more acidic. Some lacto too. Some pedio poo-poo too. Lasting, unpleasant finish. 2/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-light bodied, higher carbonation than expected. Quite acidic and tart, with a very, very dry finish. 1.5/5

Overall: What an expensive stinker. Cannot believe this won a medal at FOBAB. Red Poppy is a thousand times better than this beer. We drain-poured most of the bottle, it was so unpleasant.

Cost: $45 for a 750 ml bottle.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Beer Review: Veritas 013

Reviewing the Veritas 013, a wild ale brewed with peaches and nectarines from The Lost Abbey out of San Marcos, California.

Score: 93

April 2014 vintage bottle served in a Surly Darkness snifter/tulip "chalice" and enjoyed on 03/20/15.

Appearance: *GUSHER ALERT* When the cork was 75% pulled out, it forced itself off the bottle and violently gushed a couple of inches into the air. We lost between 10% and 20% of the bottle near instantaneously, with the bottle making a hot mess all over the table. The color of the beer is a reddish-orange color with a dark core and fade to a yellowish hue atop the brew. Very murky/cloudy appearance. Pours a few fingers of head initially, which settles to a thin layer of off-white head. Good lacing and retention. 3/5

Smell: Soft peach aroma, sweet and sticky sugar notes (honey?), and wood. Very subtle, not as strong or complex as expected, but appealing. 4.25/5

Taste: Sweet peach juice flavor with a good, mild sour bite. Has a robust sweet undertone like a resinous, syrupy fruit flavor. Woody finish with notes of brown sugar on the back half. A little citrus fruit-like flavor on the finish too. Very mild acidity. Very subdued sour profile for a Lost Abbey wild ale; this is nice and refreshing. 4.25/5

Mouthfeel: Medium body, good carbonation (which is shocking given how it gushed). Mildly dry finish. Mild acidity, nice sweet and sour profile. 4.5/5

Overall: What the beer lacks in complexity it greatly supplements in refreshing drinkability and a well-crafted peach flavor. Hella overpriced, though.

Cost: $45 for a 750 ml bottle.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Beer Review: Wild Wild Brett Batch 60

Reviewing Wild Wild Brett Batch 60, a dry hopped sour ale from the Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project out of Denver, Colorado.

Score: 96

2013 vintage bottle served in a Kate the Great tulip/snifter and enjoyed on 03/01/15.

Appearance: Pours a clean, orange-copper color with nice glow when held up to light. A thin fizzy off-white layer of head from the pour quickly dissipates. 4/5

Smell: A strong, juicy odor of orange and tangerine citrus explodes from the glass. Notes of lemon, pineapple, a kiss of brett and a mild lacto character too. Really lovely, and reminisce of Dry Hopped L'Brett D'or. The nose is absolutely divine. 5/5

Taste: Like the nose, the taste is loaded with sour citrus flavors and a finish that is heavier on the brett/lacto than what was present in the nose. Notes of pineapple, oranges, peach, and apricot upfront. A little lasting funk on the finish. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, nice carbonation. Very dry finish. A bit sour, but mild on the acidity relative to its profile. 4.5/5

Overall: Now over a year old, the citrus/stone fruit aromatics/flavors of this beer really shine and the buttery diacetyl character that was pungently present fresh is totally gone. Drink 'em if you got 'em.

Cost: $10 for a 375 ml bottle.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Beer Review: Framboise Black

Reviewing Framboise Black, a blend of soured Belgian-style witbiers aged in French oak barrels with black cap raspberries from the Block 15 Brewery & Restaurant out of Corvallis, Oregon.

Score: 97

2014 vintage bottle served in a Revolution Brewing tulip/snifter and enjoyed on 03/01/15. Thank you Danny for sending me this brew!

Appearance: Pours a deep purple color, like grape juice, with a finger of pinkish purple head off the pour that totally settles. Swirling the brew tints the glass slightly purple nicely. The color on this brew is quite interesting. 5/5

Smell: Raspberry jelly and cloves, with a hint of black pepper. 4.75/5

Taste: Raspberry and grape jelly with a little coriander/clove on the finish. Surprisingly simplistic, but tasty as hell. Long lasting flavors. 4.75/5

Mouthfeel: Thin bodied, appropriately carbonated. Mild acidity, a little sweet, not too sour. 4.25/5

Overall: One of my favorite Block 15 brews -- it tastes like fruit jelly! It is a shame that a good portion of this batch was lost to a flood. Great job on this one Nick!

Cost: $15 for a 375 ml bottle.