Monday, February 29, 2016

Gulden Draak The Brewmasters Edition Review

Br. Van Steenberge
Ertvelde, Belgium

Aged in Whiskey Barrels
10.5% abv
750 ml bottle
Date bottled: 2/2014

Appearance: dense orange/amber body with a one and a half finger pour

Nose: nice light oak whiskey note; toasted candi sugar; stone fruit; golden raisin;
Flavor: pretty much follows the nose; stone fruits - white peach and a light apricot; white grape, golden raisin, pear, and gala apple in the mix; a creamy vanilla marshmallow swirls on the palate; light parmesan toasted cracker with a hint of white pepper on the back

Mouthfeel: sweet; malt focused; sweet candied fruits; light creamy feel; lingering sweetness - like me!

To the Point: for those who say, 'just buy the Gulden Draak' this has to be the G.D. 9000 aged in Whiskey Barrels.  I'll ask them at Global Beer. Gulden Draak is a dark brown color and 9000 is more golden-orange. This is a very nice barrel aged ale anyways. I have had this before and always enjoyed it.  

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Trignac XII 2013 Review

Castle Brewery
Br. Van Honsebrouck

Kasteel Tripel Aged in Cognac Casks
750 ml bottle
12% abv
$60 a bottle

Appearance: lightly cloudy; golden orange body with a thin head half finger bubbly head

Nose: light citrus reminding me of fresh squeezed orange; some white wine stone fruit; light oak; I'm not picking up any cognac notes; pleasing nose but, light overall; as it warms up a little alcohol note comes through and with the fruit notes, oak and a hint of vanilla I get the Cognac now

Flavors: this ale excels in this department; a basket of summer fruits that remind me of a fine Champagne; white grapes, fresh apple, pear, maybe a hint of peach; nice touch of lemon and orange peel; nice floral notes; touch of honey, a hint of vanilla and Belgian candy sugar; the Cognac aging is showing in the flavors; a dash of white pepper coming from the alcohol; a light twist of coriander

Mouthfeel: crisp and dry; sweet up front; fruity; dry grass feel on the finish; fine feel of carbonation; light spicy feel;  

To the Point: I have to admit the price scared me last year when I saw it at the Belgian Fest at Ashley's and at the store that I go to.  This year I said, 'I buy a bottle of wine for a 100 bucks and don't like it, I get over it, so why not a beer.'  But, I love this Ale!  Next time I see this bottle I am buy 6 bottles.  It is that good.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Devils Tale Review

Coronado Brewing & Devils Backbone Brewing
Coronado, California

India Pale Ale
7.5% abv
1pt 6oz bottle
$8.99 a bottle

Appearance: tangerine colored body with a one finger bone white head that leaves some lacing

Aroma: citrus biscuit mix on the nose; just enough hops on top of a firm malty tone

Flavors: muddled tropical notes; moderate grapefruit; old pineapple; splash of orange meat; grassy on the back; earthy biscuit swirls around; sweet grapefruit on the mid and some bitter grapefruit on the back and aftertaste;

Mouthfeel: medium body IPA; decent carbonation – medium; tangy hops mix nicely with some sweet malts; moderate bitterness on the back and aftertaste – some grapefruit with a twist of pine;

To the Point: decent IPA; this would be good with a standard burger; 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Flight of the Angry Beast Review

Clown Shoes
Ipswich, Massachusetts

10.75% abv
1pt 6oz bottle
$14.99 a bottle
Imperial stout and Barleywine ale aged in bourbon and scotch barrels

Appearance: black coffee body with just a rim shot of head; syrupy legs drip on the glass with each sip; a nice little ¼ inch dark tan head that dissipates to nothing in a split second when I poured my other glasses from this big bottle

Aroma: the barleywine nose is front and center with all the barrel aging notes intermingling; if you don’t like bourbon or scotch you won’t go for this aroma; if you do – like me – you will thoroughly enjoy the nose; you can play a guessing game with this aroma – “what do you detect?” – big rich dark malts dominate; slight smoky note; honey; vanilla;

Flavors: yes it is boozy; sweet notes from the barleywine shine; same for the bourbon and scotch; honey; vanilla; coconut; pink peppercorn; dark roasted grains; medium dark roast coffee; dark caramel; 90% dark chocolate like feel and dry bitterness; as the stout open up and warms up a hint of oak; this reminds me of Glenmorangie 18 year old Single Malt Scotch only with dark roasted malts in the mix;

Mouthfeel: a slight syrupy feel coats the palate; sweetness; rich malts dominate; dry bitterness on the back; low-no carbonation gives it a creamy feel followed by the syrupy feel; heavy body; a true sipper;

To the Point: Get your own glass – now – I mean NOW – this is really top notch stuff here

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Ommegang Winter Ale Review

Ommegang Brewery
Cooperstown, New York

Oatmeal Stout
5.3% abv
12 oz bottle
$12.99 a four pack

Take this beer out of the fridge and let it sit for 20 – 30 minutes to warm up.  When too cold the aromas and flavors are muted.

Appearance: black body with a nice big mocha brown head; nice spotty lacing on the glass.

Aroma: to me – typical of an oatmeal stout, soft with light roasted notes

Flavors: dark roasted grains; medium roast coffee; 70% dark chocolate like notes

Mouthfeel: medium, medium-full for a stout; soft on the palate;  low carbonation a very light tingle on the mid and late;  dark roasted notes build with each sip; pleasing and easy to drink, after taste slowly builds – not much on the first few sips and about halfway through the bottle the dark roasted grains linger a bit

To the Point: a nice oatmeal stout; I don’t know if I want to spend 13 bucks for a four pack for ‘nice;’ I like Founders Breakfast Stout better – had one last night and coffee and chocolate notes were big and bold

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Yacht Lager Review

Stillwater Artisanal
Stratford, Connecticut

Dry-hopped session lager
4.2% abv
4 pack

Appearance: clear golden yellow body with plenty of bubbles racing to the top; pure white head (easy 2 finger) and it has good retention and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass

Aroma: surprisingly aromatic; must be truly ‘dry-hopped’, nice hint hops on the nose, a little citrus twist, soda cracker,

Flavors and Mouthfeel: wow, a nice tasting lager; some typical lager notes like white bread and yeast BUT also some nice hoppy notes – lemon peel with a little floral tea in the mix; nice zippy mouthfeel coming from the carbonation – the carbonation does fall off by the time I am halfway thru the glass

To the Point: a very pleasing lager; I would buy this again

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Windjammer in Lexington Michigan

If you are ever driving through Lexington Michigan you need to go down to the marina and stop by The Windjammer Restaurant.

Located to the right of the circle turn around

You know you are in the right spot when you see the crows nest once you open the front door

The Old Salt will show you the hallway

The hallway looks like an ol'jammer

This hallway is worth the trip

This is my kind of place

Some people may say it is out dated; BUT it looks like a Windjammer - Since when did some Pirate say, "let's update the look of our ship today crew!"

I enjoyed a Dirty Blonde at the Jammer Bar; That's a beer not the bartender

The bartender was a brunette

A great view of the marina and Lake Huron

Thursday, March 19, 2015

New Belgium Portage Porter Review

New Belgium Brewing
Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

6% abv
$9.99 a six pack

Appearance: black body with a nice one finger tan head leaving some spotty lacing on the glass

Aroma: medium-light roasted coffee; light charred wood;

Flavors: medium roast coffee; toasted cocoa bean; I’ll stay with that charred wood; 65% like dark chocolate bitterness on the back; toasted and slightly burnt notes linger on the palate

Mouthfeel: medium-full body; very light fizzy feel from the carbonation; burnt and roasted notes on the palate; medium / medium-full bitterness mix with those roasted notes;

To the Point: this is a very good Porter; I really like the roasted and slightly burnt notes – they make for a nice hearty beverage; perfect for those cool nights of spring or cold winter nights that are finally gone – thank God!  I have enjoyed a couple of six packs of this Porter over the last few months.  I think this Porter will make a great beverage to use in my March Matching Tournament.  This is where I pair up a variety of different cigars with a beverage to see which one is the best match.  

Visit Cigar Postings for the March Matching 2015

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Alaskan Icy Bay IPA Review

Alaskan Brewing Company
Juneau, Alaska, USA
6.2% abv
65 IBU

Appearance: a misty golden hue with a one finger white head that leaves some sticky lacing on the glass.

Aroma: light floral citrus note

Flavors and Mouthfeel: nice touch of pink grapefruit; oily feel; fine carbonation gives it a nice crisp feel; floral note; touch of sweet grains to keep things in balance; pleasing bitterness on the palate that lingers;

To the Point: a pleasing IPA; easy to drink; nothing bold here but, it has a nice flavor; looking for a session IPA this could be the one

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Alaskan Freeride APA Review

Alaskan Brewing Company
Juneau, Alaska, USA

5.3% abv
40 IBU
American Pale Ale

Appearance: clear shiny amber body with very little head and not a trace of lace – Uhm, looks just like their Winter Ale.  I just put them side by side and I can’t tell the difference while riding a horse.  The Winter does have a light touch of copper

Aroma: very faint; light citrus note but I really had to do a bloodhound job to notice anything here

Flavors: light yet pleasing citrus notes; a touch of grapefruit with orange peel; firm malty presence in the mix;  

Mouthfeel: crisp; refreshing; a fine fizzy feel to the carbonation; simple on the flavor front; thin in body; watery edges; medium at best; not much of an aftertaste; easy to drink

To the Point: there seems to be a pattern here with the Alaskan brand; simple; thin; light on the aroma; made for the average beer drinker; these seem like they would be good to use to introduce somebody to a craft beer;

I have just tried three of their beers; the Amber, Winter Ale and this one.  Nothing special on any of them. I can see why a regular bar has been putting the Amber on tap – a Bud or Miller drinker can probably handle having one.  I’ll pass.  

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Alaskan Winter Ale Review

Alaskan Brewing Company
Juneau, Alaska, USA

6.4% abv
22 IBU
Ale brewed with spruce tips
Winter Seasonal

Appearance: clear shiny copper body with very little head and not a trace of lace

Aroma: malty amber ale; very faint; no spruce or pine

Flavors: sweet grains; faint spruce tip; soft hoppy note to keep the malts in check

Mouthfeel: sweet but not cloying; hops present but not noticeable; crisp up front; light-moderate carbonation; medium body at best; soft bitterness on the back; semi-dry finish; the sweet malts mingle with the hops for a nice aftertaste 

To the Point: a nice light olde ale; the spruce note could be a little more pronounced; pleasing sweet grains; easy to drink; easy to forget about – nothing special