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Old 02-05-2007, 04:15 PM   #26
MaxxDaddy
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

Al, you're likely to have a very tough time acquiring Founders, as I don't believe they distribute to California. They're based in Michigan, so they may just have a limited distribution in the midwest. I hope I'm wrong though, as I have a similar problem being in New York. I've heard rumors that they distribute to Massachusetts. I have a bottle of the regular Breakfast Stout in my fridge, but I acquired that through a trade.

I'm actually going to be attending the BA Extreme Beer Fest this weekend in Boston, and they're supposed to have that available for sampling. Anyone else going?
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Old 02-05-2007, 04:17 PM   #27
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

Beer Advocate is a really good site, but their ratings are very biased towards high alcohol beers like the strong Belgians, the Russian Imperial, and barley-wine type beers. Those are all okay, but I'd like to see a wider spectrum/balance of ratings.

Young's Double Chocolate is good but I much prefer Young's Oatmeal - still thick and rich but not so sweet, and then Samuel Smith's Oatmeal is better than Young's Oatmeal.

BTW if you live in Austin, the "Draught House" is a great place for beers, all their house-made stuff is excellent but I love their Vanilla Porter.
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Old 02-05-2007, 04:24 PM   #28
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

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Beer Advocate is a really good site, but their ratings are very biased towards high alcohol beers like the strong Belgians, the Russian Imperial, and barley-wine type beers. Those are all okay, but I'd like to see a wider spectrum/balance of ratings.

Young's Double Chocolate is good but I much prefer Young's Oatmeal - still thick and rich but not so sweet, and then Samuel Smith's Oatmeal is better than Young's Oatmeal.

BTW if you live in Austin, the "Draught House" is a great place for beers, all their house-made stuff is excellent but I love their Vanilla Porter.
This is generally the case with beer rating websites. I won't pretend to understand, but I think it's due to the complexity of brewing such beers and those that may not be all that great would be viewed as "better" than beers in simpler styles. Whether or not this is a good way of rating is up for debate, but this is how it goes. For me personally, a lot of my favorites tend to be higher in alcohol, yet I'd like to think I'm rating based on the same set of characteristics for each beer, rather than typecasting each into a style category and giving a ceiling and floor for where my ratings should be based on the style.
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Old 02-05-2007, 04:35 PM   #29
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

Quote:
but their ratings are very biased towards high alcohol beers like the strong Belgians, the Russian Imperial, and barley-wine type beers.
that's b/c those tend to be the best
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Old 02-05-2007, 04:38 PM   #30
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

Quote:
Al, you're likely to have a very tough time acquiring Founders, as I don't believe they distribute to California. They're based in Michigan, so they may just have a limited distribution in the midwest. I hope I'm wrong though, as I have a similar problem being in New York. I've heard rumors that they distribute to Massachusetts. I have a bottle of the regular Breakfast Stout in my fridge, but I acquired that through a trade.
Maxx - you're right, I just called them. They really just distribute in the Midwest

-Al
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Old 02-05-2007, 05:03 PM   #31
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

my current favorite is the ommegang abbey ale. really nice dark ale, a little sweetness but not overpowering.
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Old 02-05-2007, 05:20 PM   #32
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

Cincy,

I guess to each his own on the Belgian whites. I just bought a bottle of the Allagash Tripel, though, so I'll have a review posted in the TLDR Beer Club about it soon enough.
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Old 02-05-2007, 05:32 PM   #33
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

Two beers brewed in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area that are very good are Summit Winter Ale



and James Page Iron Range Lager.

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Old 02-05-2007, 05:42 PM   #34
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

In regard to higher ratings for beers w/ high alcohol and expensive brew processes, well, I'm with KB4Z, they tend to be more flavorful beers. The reason they have more alcohol is not because the brewmaster dumped a bunch of vodka into the beers before shipping them off, but instead it's because they were made from more grain and brewed longer. It all adds up to more flavor. If you take a beer like an APA, though, it just can't be as rich. Now, there is art in balancing a light malt with just the right amount of hops, but this beer isn't going to be made with an exotic yeast strain or any unusual ingredients to give it any extra kick beyond it's relatively standard baseline of malt and hops. Even with some of the best APAs I've had (DFH, Flying Dog), I know they're good, but they don't get me excited as much as other varieties anymore. Maybe you'd prefer a rating system that rates APA qua APA so that the best APA on the planet gets a 5, but many people, including myself, choose to rate just based on how much of a pleasure it is to drink a given beer relative to beer in general.

There are some lower ABV beers that I've given high ratings too, myself. The Allagash Belgian White I mentioned earlier is one. I also loved the Ayinger Maerzen I tried last fall and the Wehenstephaner Hefeweizen I tried over the summer. All of those are < 6% ABV, but they add additional flavors to the baseline beer with either exotic yeast strains or ingredients beyond grain, hops, yeast, and water.

For many beer lovers, if you're going to make something exciting, you need to go beyond the ordinary. That's most often done with either kicking up the malt, and subsequently the alcohol, or by getting fancy. Often, brewers do both.
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Old 02-05-2007, 05:44 PM   #35
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

Re: Dogfish Head, I am a big fan of a lot of their beers, especially the 60- and 90-minute IPAs and their recently introduced Golden Shower pilsner. All 3 of these beers would likely qualify as "hop bombs," but they each have a unique character that sets them apart from other members of the genre. The 60-minute has an almost pine-tree-like flavor to it that is probably an acquired taste but I really enjoy. The 90-minute is basically perfect in every way. It is as complex as any wine I have tasted.

I've also recently become a fan of lambics - yeasty, often fruit-flavored Belgian beers. Lindemann has a good selection of them. I especially like the Framboise (raspberry) and Peche.
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Old 02-05-2007, 06:04 PM   #36
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

Quote:

Maybe you'd prefer a rating system that rates APA qua APA so that the best APA on the planet gets a 5, but many people, including myself, choose to rate just based on how much of a pleasure it is to drink a given beer relative to beer in general.

Yeah, that's what I was thinking, but well said MrWookie.
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Old 02-05-2007, 06:14 PM   #37
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

For people in Ontario I would recommend:

Creemore Springs
La Fin Du Monde
Patagonia

The first 2 are available at the Beer Store, and the last one is available at the Liquor Store. I used to be a one brand kinda guy, but have since been trying a lot of different beers, and these three really stand out. (I work at a beer store so I justify it as research )
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Old 02-05-2007, 06:14 PM   #38
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

I'm not much of a beer connoisseur yet, but Im trying to improve.

So far my favorite types of microbrew are red/amber ales. Can anyone suggest some favorites of this variety as well as some different styles of microbrews I might like based on this info? Sorry if this is too vague...?
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Old 02-05-2007, 06:36 PM   #39
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

Quote:
Re: Dogfish Head
I think their Raison D'etre is my favorite beer.

Golden,

There are a quite a few Unibroue brews reviewed in detail over in Wookie's Lounge thread. Their stuff is widely available, too.
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Old 02-05-2007, 06:41 PM   #40
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

colin: Dogfish Head Raison D'Etre is very awesome. So are their 60/90 Minute IPAs that someone else mentioned above. Easily one of my favorite breweries.

Soldier: There are a ton of good amber ales out there. Some of my favorites are Abita Amber (LA), Boont Amber Ale (CA), and good ol' Fat Tire (CO).
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Old 02-05-2007, 06:44 PM   #41
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

NL,

Where do you live? Here are a few beers I love that are worth trying and also have decent distribution:

Right up your alley:
Alaskan Amber
Brooklyn Brown
Ithaca Cascazilla
Rogue Dead Guy Ale
Stone Arrogant Bastard

Getting a little weirder, if you want to branch out:
Victory Moonglow
Dogfish Head Raison D'Etre
Dogfish Head 90 min IPA
Saratoga Lager
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Old 02-05-2007, 06:56 PM   #42
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

NL,

My favorite amber ale is without a doubt Anderson Valley's Boont Amber Ale.

edit: Claunch mentioned it to, but this seriously my favorite "standard" beer. i.e., this will usually be in my fridge.

Fat Tire used to fill that role, but I like Boont a bit better. I think it's hop flavor is a bit stronger and more complex. Fat Tire is solid, though.

New Belgium is actually a solid brewery to just try out a few different types of beer. They're usually solid, not great, and their often on sale at Safeway.
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Old 02-05-2007, 07:05 PM   #43
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

Wookie,

I live in San Diego, sorry I knew i shoulda clarified that.

Thanks for all the suggestions!

Thanks to claunchy and kidcolin as well. I love fat tire so it sounds like Boont Amber ale needs to be the first one i try out.
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Old 02-05-2007, 07:07 PM   #44
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

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Iggy, there are some excellent excellent American IPA's. try the one from Rogue, or the Dogfish 90 minute. 2 of the best beers in the world.
KBZ, these are obv great beers imo, but I'm not sure why you think someone who hated SNCA would like either of them at all.
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Old 02-05-2007, 07:16 PM   #45
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

My Beer weekend was pretty bad
Pretty much every week I'll get 2 or 3 beers from my local speciality beer shop, try and select a new one each time.
This week I picked 3 but only drank 2
Chimay White In fairness this was actualy pretty good. The problem was that I have hyped it up for so long becuase the 3 other beers I have tried from Chimay are pretty amazing. It poured well with a thin head and a well balanced yeasty aroma. There is a very slight taste of alcohol but it is balanced well with the mix of fruit and bitterness, I possibly expected to be slightly more robust but enjoyable all the same.

Hoegaarden Grand Cru- Poured cloudy and pale with slightly alcohol/citrus aromas. The Grand Cru didnt do anything special for me with its taste- a slightly spicy fizzy beer which went down very easily but is in no ways memorable
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Old 02-05-2007, 07:19 PM   #46
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

NL,

You probably can't get the Victory, Ithaca, or Saratoga beers, then, and the Alaskan and Brooklyn beers are iffy. Instead of the Victory, you could try out Avery's Thirteen, although I haven't tried it myself. It's the same style, and Skjoone loves it.

kc,

I'll have to look up the Boont amber. I've stared at it a few times, but it hadn't made it into my cart. It will now.
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Old 02-05-2007, 07:43 PM   #47
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

Wook,

Their oatmeal stout is also a great value. Not as good as Sam Smith's, but very solid. Anderson Valley is a very good brewery. It's only a couple hours north of SF, so I might take a visit up there when the weather warms up some.

All,

Some food/beer combos might be nice to hear about as well. This is an area I'm pretty lacking in. I'll start with a simple one.

Fish and chips - stouts (possibly my favorite meal)

And over Christmas my sister made some French Canadian pork-paste dish. You serve it cold, generally spread it on bread. I can't recall the name. Someone fill me in here? Anyway, a bowl of that, with some nice french bread, and a glass of Raison D'Etre.. magnifique!
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Old 02-05-2007, 07:51 PM   #48
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

Quote:
Greene King IPA brewed in my town Bury St Edmunds here in England has won many awards including bitter of the year last year (I believe). It has become very very popular in England in recent years for being both hoppy and aromatic in taste and smell. I highly recommend it if you can get hold if it in the USA
Does it travel well? Well kept Green king is awesome, used to work in a pub that sold the finest Abbots, huge volumes and a great celler-man were vital.

Courage Directors is wonderful when kept well, even the bottled stuff is good. Fullers are my local: London pride is fussy but suprisingly good at its best, ESB is outstanding.

The older I get the more I appreciate Youngs.

chez
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Old 02-05-2007, 08:01 PM   #49
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

Quote:
Quote:

Iggy, there are some excellent excellent American IPA's. try the one from Rogue, or the Dogfish 90 minute. 2 of the best beers in the world.
KBZ, these are obv great beers imo, but I'm not sure why you think someone who hated SNCA would like either of them at all.
huh, weird. for some reason I had thought hat SNCA was their "Winter/Christmas" ale, which commonly means things like Nutmeg, Cinnamon flavoring. Upon further review, it's an IPA! I must have had it mixed up w/ another beer.
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Old 02-05-2007, 08:24 PM   #50
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Re: The Beer connoisseur thread

It is their "Winter/Christmas" seasonal release, but it just so happens to be a hops bomb.
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