Archive for July, 2008
Posted by dugpark on July 31, 2008
I think I have finally recovered. I was able to enjoy a brewski tonight and I didn’t feel any pains or gag reflexes, so we are good to go with the new stuff again. Sweet.
I did still want to take it easy, so I went with what I thought would be a relatively safe beer, Shiner Bohemian Black Lager. I was right. This mild dark lager was smooth, light of body, and simple on the finish, which was just fine by me. An interesting beer that grew on me as I continued to drink. First impression wasn’t great, but I stuck in there and ended up liking it. No head to be found, kind of a dark transparent color which is the trademark of the schwarzbier variety.
Overall, a good beer to get back in the swing of things but I probably wouldn’t buy it if I saw it again on the shelves at the local beer store.
JBB6 Rating: Middle of the Road
Posted in Schwarzbier, Shiner | Tagged: Beer, beer blog, beer store, black lager, bohemian, Middle of the Road, Shiner, Shiner Bock, Shiner Bohemian Black Lager, Spoetzl Brewery, Texas, TX | Leave a Comment »
Posted by dugpark on July 30, 2008
I really don’t like the Kasteelbier website. I get that they are trying to provide an experience, but really… it just simply takes too long to find what you are looking for. Ah well… Kasteel Donker (or Bruin) was the last beer of the night last Sunday… and consequently the last beer I have had since that fateful day. I think I have recovered by now and almost had a beer tonight, but I decided to forego any chance and wait for tomorrow.
I shared this beer with a neighbor that actually said it was one of the best beers he had ever tasted… pretty high compliments from anyone, I would say. I tend to agree that it was good, but I wouldn’t put it up that high… potentially due to the number of beers I have tasted and my relative scale.
This beer was extremely strong and now that I see it is 11% ABV, I know why having my 3rd big bottle did me in! A sweet, almost wine-like beer, it has the undertones of grapes or dates and but has a very smooth body and no wine aftertaste, by any means. The sweetness leaves a less complex finish… mainly a sugary/fruity one, but it lasts and doesn’t leave you dissapointed.
Overall a fine beer that actually makes up the base of Kasteel Rouge, which I think benefits from the sourness of the cherries.
JBB6 Rating: Will Buy Again
Posted in Brown, Castle Brewery | Tagged: Beer, beer blog, Bruin, Castle Brewery, Donker, Kasteel, Kasteel Donker, Kasteel Rouge, Kasteelbier, Kasteelbier Bruin, Will Buy Again, wine | 1 Comment »
Posted by simonpo on July 30, 2008
After the delight of the Schofferhoffer Weizen earlier in the evening, I took the bull by the horns, ignored my friends advice to save my soul for other pleasures, and rustled up a demi-litre of Weizen with added banana goodness.
What a diabolical mistake! Gone was the gently clouded honey-gold nectar of the first drink of the evening. Gone was the delicious aroma of wheat and yeast. Gone was the refreshing, invigorating flavour of one of Germany’s classics. Gone, everything I’d been enjoing so far about the evening… replaced with an overpowering faux-banana smell, a thick-looking sedimentary liquid, and a vile taste that made the drink undrinkable.
Sad to say, I couldn’t even finish the glass, and was forced to purify my pallate with a draft or two of fine Pils. In the case of of the remarkably delicious Weizen, less is most definitely more.
Avoid this banana abomination like the plague.
JBB6 Rating: Not Even For Free
Posted in Germany, Hefeweizen, Wheat | Tagged: Banana, Germany, Hefeweizen, Kruse Baimken biergarten, Munster, Not Even for Free, Schofferhofer, Weizen | Leave a Comment »
Posted by dugpark on July 29, 2008
The second of two Lost Abbey beers from Sunday afternoon, The Lost Abbey Judgement Day Ale lived up to my expectations and perhaps surpassed them. For the price, this is a fine, fine belgian dark (quad, I believe), and it will be back in the fridge for some future special occasion… or Judgement Day itself…
This beer is big. Big and heavy. Big, heavy, and delicious. I found myself thinking I was drinking a wine but knowing I was drinking a beer and liking the dichotomy. The raisins are definitely noticeable… maybe not taste wise, but they create a sweetness and viscosity that really makes this beer very drinkable for its high (10.5% ABV) alcohol content. A dark pour, a creamy head, a smooth body, and a complex finish make this an amazing beer to be enjoyed whever you really feel like actually experiencing your beer.
JBB6 Rating: For the Win
Nice dark pour with a beautifully frothy head.
Two fine ales from a very, very respectable brewery… my advice, though… don’t Judement Day and Inferno Ale in the same afternoon… between the two of them I have had my own level of inferno for 2 days now, if you know what I mean…
Posted in Ale, The Lost Abbey | Tagged: Ale, Beer, beer blog, dichotomy, Inferno Ale, Judgement Day, Judgement Day Ale, Raisins, Th Lost Abbey Inferno Ale, The Lost Abbey, The Lost Abey Judgement Day Ale | 3 Comments »
Posted by simonpo on July 29, 2008
Picture the scene – a warm, drowsy evening follows a scorching summer afternoon on the high plains of northern Germany. Five wandering souls stroll the tree-lined cobbled promenade that follows the path of the medieval city walls of the ancient town of Munster, capital of Westphalia and home to more students on bicycles than you can possibly imagine. Rounding a leafy bend they spy the object of their quest – beside the lake, across the highway – the bustling, laughing tables of the Kruse Baimken biergarten, haven for all who seek refreshment.
After a gentle meander through the town, an equally gentle perusal of the menu presents an obvious choice: a tall, cloudy glass of Schofferhofer weizen is what’s called for, a yeasty glass of goodness that radiates taste, charm and happiness in equal measure. Our fraulein takes our order, and with bated breath… I wait.
My expectations are not dissapointed. I’m not sure if it’s the beer alone, or the combination of location and the brew, but this wheat beer is light, refreshing and bursting full of flavour. The very definition of “zesty”, it brings to mind cloudless summer days and fields of wheat, of weary travellers taking their ease at the side of the road, of ancient German brewing wisdom passed down the ages to make this beer. Through a thick foam head I dive into the liquid gold whole-heartedly, enjoying the purity of the experience and the beer in equal measure. Come hither, biergarten maiden, and fetch me another.
JBB6 Rating: For The Win
Posted in Germany, Hefeweizen, Wheat | Tagged: For the Win, Germany, Hefeweizen, Kruse Baimken biergarten, Munster, Schofferhofer, wheat beer | 3 Comments »
Posted by simonpo on July 28, 2008
On the road once again, for the first time in a long time I’m hanging out in the beer-lover’s paradise… Germany. Ah, man – what a place! After trekking across the US, the Atlantic, the south of England, the plains of Nordrhein-Westfalen and the streets of Muenster, it was a relief to finally sit down for a moment and savour a cheeky drop of ale.
First up – a bottle (or two) of Diebels Premium Altbier from Brauerei Diebels, a style I don’t believe I’ve ever tried before, so thanks to the server who recommended it as a fine local ale. Historically brewed in the Dusseldorf region, this is a beer which has been brewed since olden times, the “old beer” name
“refers to the pre-lager brewing method of using a warm top-fermenting yeast like British pale ales. Over time the Alt yeast adjusted to lower temperatures, and the Alt brewers would store or lager the beer after fermentation, leading to a cleaner, crisper beer than is the norm for an ale.”
True, that – a deep copper and hazlenut colour in the glass with a light, thin head this beer is strong in the malt department and finishes with a tasty bitter ending. It definitely looks like an ale, but those looks are deceptive – Diebels has a lean and rangy character that isn’t exactly thin, but definitely doesn’t have the full, rotund body of a traditional ale. Refreshing, but with a hearty undertone that helped carry me from the first to the third bottle in the course of an hour with a plateful of steak to accompany it, this is a beer I’d go for again. If only there weren’t so many others to try while I’m here…
JBB6 Rating: Will Buy Again
Posted in Ale, Altbier, Germany | Tagged: ABV 4.9%, Altbier, Dusseldorf, Germany, Issum, Munster, Neidderhein, Will Buy Again | Leave a Comment »
Posted by dugpark on July 28, 2008
The Lost Abbey Inferno Ale
The name of this beer stands alone as the introduction to this post and while I start to write, I feel a sense of internal conflict. This is a wonderful beer… outstanding, IMO. Maybe even one for the Hall of Fame if I can talk Po into it… but this beer did bad things to me… it lived up to its back label and it sent me to a form of hell that took me a really long time to get out of… ~1:00pm today, in fact and I started this bottle at 3:00pm yesterday.
I happened upon this ale quite luckily… a good person over at Malt & Vine just happened to allow me the honor of having a single bottle from the single case that he was able to get. I am grateful to him for this… he has my gratitude, as always, for running a fine establishment and treating people good. Thanks Doug!
So… the beer. As shown, it pours a beautiful golden yellow orange color with a substantial head and a cloudy body. The smell is good… very belgian, you can smell the yeast. I swear I picked up some citrus and coriander in there, too, but that could just be me. The taste is near perfection. An outstanding belgian that you can just simply tell has had a ton of love and care. Not too strong, but the stength is there and is smoothed out by the finish… a very complex finish that simply begs you to experience it over and over.
I tell you… this was the first of about 4 last night and is probably my favorite. It did take me into the bowels of hell… the label freaked me out a bit, as well, but I am back now and definitely very fond of this beer.
On a side note, the artwork on the front is amazing. They don’t have anything on their site about this one yet, but their blog does have this to mention from Friday, May 9th:
‘Perhaps the coolest thing we accomplished last weekend was the release of Inferno Ale. I have been dying (not literally) to get this beer (and more importantly) the label done. This has to be one of the most detailed pieces of label art out there. It’s too bad that Seans painting skills get shrunk to such a small scale. It definitely will be one of the coolest shirts we have when it’s all said and done.”
JBB6 Rating: For the Win (Pending Hall of Fame)
Posted in Belgian Ale, The Lost Abbey | Tagged: Beer, beer blog, Belgian Ale, For the Win, Inferno Ale, Malt & Vine, The Lost Abbey, The Lost Abbey Inferno Ale | 2 Comments »
Posted by dugpark on July 26, 2008
Beer number two on tonights showdown is Leinenkugel’s Honey Weiss. See the post on the Sleeman Honey Brown Lager 77* for more info. Basically cut and paste from that post:
The pour: Sleeman is dark gold (dare I say honey) color with a minimal head and medium carbonation. Leinenkugal’s is light, like a pilsner, and fizzes very happily. Good sized head. Winner = Sleeman’s.
The Nose: Sleeman has a subtle smell. More like a brown ale smell. No honey to be found. Leinie’s is light and ever so slightly sweet. No honey but closer… Winner = Lienie’s.
The Taste: Sleeman is slightly tart, crisp and clean. Lienie’s is smooth, and tastes more like an American lager. Neither have even a hint of honey that I can tell… Winner = Sleeman.
The Finish: Sleeman is not complex at all. It just kind of goes away quickly leaving you with a bit of an empty spot in your mind… Lienie’s leaves me with a coors or budweiser finish. Not complex at all, either. Winner = Sleeman.
While Sleeman took this one, Leinie’s beer isn’t bad. I wouldn’t buy it again, but if it were at a bar or if I were in their home town I would drink it.
JBB6 Rating: Middle of the Road
Posted in Honey Ale, Leinenkugal Brewery | Tagged: Beer, beer blog, Honey, Honey Weiss, Leinenkugal Brewery, Leinenkugel's Honey Weiss, Leinie, Middle of the Road, showdown, Sleeman Honey Brown Lager 77, weiss | Leave a Comment »
Posted by dugpark on July 26, 2008
A good day yesterday. Got a lot done at work and it was Friday. Also made a stop by Malt & Vine before heading home and picked up some new stuff. Two 6 packs of two different honey beers… Sleeman Honey Brown Lager 77 & Leinenkugel’s Honey Weiss. Will blog that one in a minute…
Also had a veritable tent city in the back yard with 4 different families contributing themselves or their children to a bit of an impromptu camp out. A campfire and smores, beer and good company… what else could you ask for.
A good beer of course… and this one wasn’t bad. To make sure I have a good take on it, I have it right in front of me with a bottle of the Honey Weiss as well… taste showdown time.
The pour: Sleeman’s is dark gold (dare I say honey) color with a minimal head and medium carbonation. Leinenkugal’s is light, like a pilsner, and fizzes very happily. Good sized head. Winner = Sleeman’s.
The Nose: Sleeman’s has a subtle smell. More like a brown ale smell. No honey to be found. Leinie’s is light and ever so slightly sweet. No honey but closer… Winner = Lienie’s.
The Taste: Sleeman’s is slightly tart, crisp and clean. Lienie’s is smooth, and tastes more like an American lager. Neither have even a hint of honey that I can tell… Winner = Sleeman.
The Finish: Sleeman’s is not complex at all. It just kind of goes away quickly leaving you with a bit of an empty spot in your mind… Lienie’s leaves me with a coors or budweiser finish. Not complex at all, either. Winner = Sleeman.
There you have it… the winner = Sleeman by 3 to 1. But still… I don’t think it holds a candle to Cypress Honey Lager… Cypress at least has a honey taste to it.
JBB6 Rating: Middle of the Road
Posted in honey lager, Sleeman | Tagged: Beer, beer blog, camping, Honey, Honey Brown Lager 77, Leinenkugal's Honey Weiss, Malt & Vine, Middle of the Road, showdown, Sleeman, Sleeman Honey Brown Lager 77, smores, tent city | Leave a Comment »