JustBeer: A simple beer blog…

Beer info from normal dudes…

Posts Tagged ‘Amber’

New Belgium La Folie

Posted by dugpark on December 28, 2008

I have saved this posting for a very special day (today of course)… the day that marks our 1 year anniversary on this blog.  That is one year and over 400 beers… hard to believe it has only been a year, to be honest.  In that year, we have seen the ups and downs of the economy, a new president elect, and of course the goings on of the area and folks that are close to us.  Through it all, the beer blog has been a constant and I think something that I truly am proud of.  It takes effort to keep something like this going with family (3 amazing kids + beautiful wife), a demanding full time  job, a photography business, and going back to school… but at the end of it, it has been worth it.  I can’t speak for Po, but I know he is in a similar place and I hope he has enjoyed the ride, as well.

So, with that all being said, it is time to present one of my favorite beers of all time… New Belgium La Folie.

I was first introduced to this fine little number at the 2008 Seattle International Beerfest (SIB).  “The Belly” and I spent more than half our tickets on this fine little number that amazed and dazzled us.  It was a bit stronger there, it hadn’t mellowed out, but boy was it heaven on earth… and so, when our friend Doug at Malt & Vine let “The Belly” know that he had a few in the back that he would be willing to part with, we both parted with the $25/bottle and considered ourselves lucky.  I am especially lucky considering my very giving friend let us open one of his bottles. :)

If you haven’t had this beer or style, you are missing out.  Both are fine examples of how beer can be exotic, complex, and heavenly all at the same time.  Out of the bottle (vs. the keg), this beer is extremely well balanced in its amber glow and headiness… in a nutshell, it just simply has an outstanding fit and finish to it that you can’t help but close your eyes and savor as you first take a deep sniff and then tip it back.  The nose is clean and easy and the sour body is smooth and tight, not overwhelming or off and it is complex as any beer I have had.  For example, when you drink this beer cold, the sour hits you on the tip and front-middle of the tongue, making it tingle just a bit.  As the brew warms up, though, the sour hits you hard at the back of the throat, releasing a sour apple sensation that gives you the goose bumps.

All in all, this is beer finery at its greatest and I thank New Belgium for it.  Thanks to you for brewing something so special.  We appreciate it!

JBB6 Rating: For the Win (Pending Hall of Fame)


new-belgium-la-folie-tag new-belgium-la-folie-number

Posted in New Belgium, Sour Ale | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Bell’s Brewery Amber Ale

Posted by dugpark on October 11, 2008

The first of the brews from Bell’s that I worked out with Po on writing about.  He gets the stout and the wheat ale and I get the amber and the porter… pretty good deal, I say. :) 

So, raise a glass with me (hopefully full of this wonderful beer) and read on about Bell’s Brewery Amber Ale.

Dug’s Tasting Notes:

A gorgious golden-copper color poors out of this fancy bird decorated bottle, showing off high carbonation and a 1.5 inch head.  The nose is mildly hoppy and the first taste is mellow… mellow in a great way, though.  You can feel the hops on the edges of your tongue… flitting around, teasing you.  The finish is smooth and just as mellow as the body, leaving you with an ever so slight tang.  This is truly the embodiment of a good Amber Ale and may be at the top of the list in a lineup.  Mug shot below.

JBB6 Rating: For the Win (potential Hall of Fame)


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Oh Happy Day #3 – Bell’s Brewery

Posted by dugpark on October 7, 2008

What a week.  Our friend and coworker just happens to have a brother that lives and works in Chicago and he was so very very kind as to send us something special… actually a few special things:

  1. A couple of two-fours of Bell’s Brewery beer (porter, stout, amber, and summer wheat)
  2. Some BBQ Sauce (original and mustard q)
  3. Some Rub (name?)

This act of kindness and respect for the blog absolutely deserves a new Oh Happy Day post and some kudos/call outs. :)

First, thanks Jaret for the hook up.  You are a good man… no matter what folks say about you.

Second, thanks to Derek Rettell for individually bubble-wrapping each beer and throwing in the other sides.  You must really like your brother… but we won’t dwell on that one. :)  The Smoke Daddy website is outstanding, by the way.  Just checking it out makes me want to fly to Chicago and eat at one of your many eateries, D.O.C. Wine Bar included… :)

Third, thanks to Bell’s Brewery… not for sending us anything, but for making fantastic beer. I just now had my second one and am very, very happy.  Look for posts on the beer from Po and I in the very near future.

Previous Oh Happy Day posts:

Posted in Ale, Bell's Brewery | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Port Townsend Amber

Posted by dugpark on October 2, 2008

Port Townsend Brewing Company has a pretty good record on the blog.  A good mix of Will Buy Again and For the Win with a few Middle of the Roads thrown in for good measure.  While they don’t have the most creative labels in the industry, they make up for it in good, solid brews.

The Port Townsend Amber was no exception to this.  A nice amber color with medium head, this crisp and clean amber has all of the characteristics you would expect… a good mix of malt and hops, a medium body and a good finish that leave you all happy inside.  A good beer to drink year-round, this one won’t dissappoint.

Pretty simple, here, really. 

JBB6 Rating: Will Buy Again

Posted in Amber, Port Townsend Brewing Company | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Fish Tale Organic Amber Ale

Posted by dugpark on September 23, 2008

And so my quest began last night.  My quest to right a wrong and taste some beer along the way.  My quest to try all of the different organic ales from Fish Brewing Company’s Fish Tale line to see if I could get a good, solid, unbiased review out there that was actually about the right beer. :)  For more information, check out this post: Oh Happy Day #2 – Fish Tale Organic Ales.

First on the list: Fish Tale Organic Amber Ale.  I sat at the table, ready to watch the first episode of Heroes Season 3, and poured this bad boy into a propper beer mug.  Dark redish brown in color, this organic amber poured a small 1/2 inch head that gave way to a very, very mild nose.  This very, very mild nose led to a mild body with predominately malt flavors coming through and overpowering the hops, nearly erasing their flavor.  Simple finish with some smoothness that leaves mellow and relaxed.  At the end, though, in the land of great amber beers, this one left me wishing it had just a bit more oomph. 

JBB6 Rating: Middle of the Road

Posted in Amber, Fish Brewing Company, Fish Tale Ales | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Pyramid Broken Rake

Posted by dugpark on September 2, 2008

Pyramid Broken Rake… COME ON DOWN!!!  You’re the next contestant on the fall seasonal beer tour!  As noted on the Redhook Late Harvest Autumn Ale post, I love the seasonal ales.  We started the blog too late in the year to really have any fun with this genre last year, so we have to make up for it this year for sure.  So far we have a few good contestants (in rating order):

  1. Redhook Late Harvest Autumn Ale
  2. Deschutes Brewery Twilight Ale
  3. Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale

So the big question should be… where does Broken Rake come in… drumroll…

Not so hot. Hwah, hwah, hwahhhhhh… :(  Probably just after the Twilight Ale and just before the Harvest Moon.

At first sniff, you smell Pyramid Amber Ale.  At second sniff, you smell… Pyramid Amber Ale.  And so on and so forth.  At first sip, you taste Pyramid Amber Ale.  At second… ok… you get the point.  While this may have been a competetive move just to capture a piece of the seasonal market, I don’t think Pyramid put much into it, to be honest.  It smells, tastes, and finishes like Pyramid Amber Ale.  I don’t catch the addition of the Cascade hops or the sweet finish.  Just tastes middle of the road. 

If you think I am full of it, you could ask my neighbors, as well… everyone concurred that while they were able to finish this beer, it wasn’t something they would likely buy again.

JBB6 Rating: Middle of the Road

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Metolius Golden Stone Amber Ale

Posted by dugpark on August 16, 2008

Metolius Golden Stone Amber Ale is a fairly enigmatic brew.  Try finding a website and you will not be successful (but if you are, let us know, please).  Try following the links of the parent sites and you may get easily confused.  From what I can tell, Metolius is a brand of Pyramid and Portland Breweries.  They don’t really have any information on them, but you can piece it together from some of the other sites out on the web (good article in the Idaho Statesman).  My guess is they were bought at some point since the bottle actually says Colorado.

As far as the brews go, this one isn’t bad.  The amber was hoppy then sweet… a bit of a complexity to the body and finish that kind of kept me guessing a bit.  The hops were surprising for an amber and the sweetness almost turned me off but mellowed out just in time.  Good color, nose, and head.  Overall on the higher side of average.

JBB6 Rating: Middle of the Road

Posted in Amber, Metolius Brewing Company | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Scuttlebutt Amber Ale

Posted by dugpark on July 7, 2008

One of the last pre July 4th beers on the list to blog about.  Scuttlebutt Amber Ale hales from the Great Northwest… only about 15 miles from my home, actually.  I first encountered these folks at a small restaurant in Mukilteo and have sought them out ever since.  They do make fine brew…

This one was fine, as well, but to be honest, it received luke warm reception from the patrons at Shay Cul de Sac de Park… good color, good head, but that is just it… all good.  It wasn’t one of those Middle of the Road types that you don’t want to have but once in a very blue moon, but it might be one that requires the right setting to be truly enjoyed.  It doesn’t stand on its own very well.

JBB6 Rating: Middle of the Road

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Dick’s Mountain Amber Ale

Posted by dugpark on July 4, 2008

Had one hell of a pre July 4th weekend impromptu party last night.  Ended up trying 4 or 5 new beers and now have to catch up… so here goes with the short and sweet version of Dick’s Mountain Amber Ale.

Overall this was a very strong and very good amber ale.  Maybe one of the hoppiest ambers I have had in a while, this beer tasted like a darker, maltier IPA.  Very tasty with the sphaghetti we had last night.  Deep amber color with a good sized head and a very potent nose.  Very tasty indeed.

JBB6 Rating: Will Buy Again

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Bayern Amber Lager

Posted by dugpark on June 26, 2008

Bottle number 2 from my sampler 12 back happens to be Bayern Amber Lager (bottle 1 here). 

We really don’t taste nearly as many lagers on this blog as ales, so this one and the last Bayern come as a bit of a surprise… Actually, today’s other beer, the Sierra Nevada Summerfest was a lager, too… I am on a roll.  Anyhow, it comes as a bit of a surprise as I had stated a while back that all lagers had started to taste the same.  Not so, though, my friends… not so.  The last 3 brews have reminded me that lagers can have variety in taste and I especially like this one.  The same style as one of Po’s favorites on the blog (Paulaner Oktoberfest Märzen), Bayern Amber brings a very interesting mix of hops, lager, ale, and what I personally think is honey… into a wonderfully refreshing, crisp, clean, and easy to drink brew.

JBB6 Rating: For the Win


Posted in Bayern Brewing, Lager | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »


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