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Old 11-29-2006, 12:25 AM   #251
RunDownHouse
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Re: Weihenstephaner

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As for a review (well, a mini review at least) I had a bottle of Trader Joe's Vintage Ale 2006 this past weekend. Evidently they've had these the past few years but I don't shop there enough. Brewed by Unibroue.
Unibroue is brewing a beer labeled for Trader Joe's?
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Old 11-29-2006, 01:31 AM   #252
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Re: Weihenstephaner

anybody ever try FFF's Dark Lord? It would be cool to get my hands on some.

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Old 11-29-2006, 01:44 AM   #253
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Re: Weihenstephaner

Good luck, I believe there is less Dark Lord made than Westvleteren 12 (which I was lucky enough to have had once).

No clue how I would ever get Dark Lord. I think people camp out for it.
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Old 11-29-2006, 01:50 AM   #254
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Re: Weihenstephaner

Every year near the end of April, Three Floyd's has "Dark Lord Release Day." There's a limit on how much people can buy that day and then afterwards I think it can be purchased at the brewery. Despite how expensive I've heard it is, I would certainly go on a road trip for it with some good friends, or even just people who like good beer.
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Old 11-29-2006, 02:02 AM   #255
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Re: Weihenstephaner

Yea I'm thinking about going. The only problem is I'm the only one of my friends who doesn't drink busch/bud/miller. When they see the beer I drink they think I'm weird.
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Old 11-29-2006, 12:52 PM   #256
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Re: Weihenstephaner

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Unibroue is brewing a beer labeled for Trader Joe's?
Yep. Evidently they've done it for the past few years. I guess it's an end of the year release.

I don't know who brews their regular stuff (lager, hefeweizen, etc) but I'm pretty sure it's not Unibroue.
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Old 11-29-2006, 01:56 PM   #257
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Re: Weihenstephaner

Wow. So Unibroue is brewing a beer for Trader Joes that runs just $5 for a 750 mL 9% ABV beer? That's ridiculous. I'd probably go buy out their stock, and I wouldn't even have to try a sip before doing it. Too bad I don't have a Trader Joe's near me. Their 2-3 Buck Chuck might be a somewhat better buzz for your dollar, but there's no way that the cheap wine is as good for drinking as good beer.

P.S. Have you tried the Trois Pistoles? Is that the sort of thing this beer is?
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Old 11-29-2006, 04:35 PM   #258
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Re: Weihenstephaner

According to Ratebeer, the Vintage Ale is an abbey dubbel.

Trader Joe's Vintage Ale 2006

Though I can't say I've had anything in that style just yet, next time I'm in the city I'll have to hit up a Trader Joe's and buy some. Sounds like a sweet deal.
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Old 11-30-2006, 07:13 PM   #259
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Gulden Draak

I went to the grocery store yesterday to do some recycling. My brother and I had accumulated quite a few cans and ended up with $12. Fortunately, the local beer store is right by the grocery store, so of course, I had to use our newly acquired money. I came across some Gulden Draak in the store and decided to give it a try. It was pretty steep at $5 for an 11.2 oz. bottle, but I knew I had to buy one. Perhaps it would taste better in its true home...






As you can see, it poured a nice red/brown into the glass. I could hear the fizzing as soon as I uncapped it. It smelled of caramel and berries, appropriate for a dessert beer such as this. Had a nice sweet taste to it, but not too sweet. The mouthfeel was wonderful; so rich and creamy. As it warmed up I got more of a whiff and taste of the alcohol. Certainly to be expected in a brew that's 10.5% alcohol. Interestingly, the 4-pack box calls it a Belgian Dark Triple Ale and barley wine. Who needs semantics anyway? Though it probably wasn't quite worth the $5 I spent, it was pretty good and I'm glad I gave it a try. I give Gulden Draak a slight edge over Maudite because I think the flavor was much fuller and richer: 4.1 s
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Old 12-01-2006, 09:41 PM   #260
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Re: Gulden Draak

REVIEWW: GREAT DIVIDE BARLEY WINE

LOTS OF FLAVOR AND HOPS AND KIND OF BITTER, BUT LOTS OF FLAVOR AND ITS STRONG. I JUST DRANK TWO BIG BOTTLES AND THEY WERE GOOD. ACTUALLY I THINK I HAS A SPECIFICAL NAME, BUT I CAN"T REMBEMER WHAT IT IS. BUT THIS IS A GOOD BEER>
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Old 12-03-2006, 12:15 AM   #261
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Re: Alesmith Yulesmith

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TSC,

West Coaster here. Most the beers I review are available at BevMo. Not sure if that's just a california thing. Don't you live in Portland? C'mon hook us up man!
BevMo?

I think just about anything available in Cali, can be found up here. I will review some of the finer selections I partake in up here. I have easy access to Widmer, Rogues, Bridgeport, and Deschutes creations here. Not to mention many of the Seatown and Cali brews available as well.
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Old 12-03-2006, 12:19 AM   #262
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Re: Weihenstephaner

Absoludicrous,

Snowplow is a good beer. Very smooth drink and very filling. I have had the opportunity to try it fresh from the brewery, and from the store. Obviously the brewery is better. I do think its a solid beer, maybe slightly better than Winterhook, although Winterhook is stronger and less filling. Its also better than Jubeale. Its definitely a must try for stout lovers.

-TSC
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Old 12-07-2006, 02:09 PM   #263
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New Yule Brew Reviews

Well, I was out drinking last night, and my favorite bar had in a bunch of new beer. Consequently, a one beer night turned into a three beer night, and I have some reviews to share.

Up first was Sierra Nevada's 2006 Celebration Ale. This has been mentioned here and in OOT as a solid brew, so I was curious to try it and add my take. They only had it in bottles, though, so I got a bottle and a glass to pour it into. The beer pours very red with a moderate head. It's one of the reddest beers I've seen, actually. It smells of...hops? I wasn't really sure what I was getting myself into when I was trying this beer (the description on the bottle didn't reveal much), but I didn't expect a hoppy beer. Taking a sip, this beer seems to be in the category of red hop bombs along with Ithaca's Cascazilla and Victory's Hop Devil that I've reviewed in this thread. It's also similar to Custom Brewcrafter's (up next, actually) spring ale, so I guess that's why this beer seemed a little out of season for me. Regardless, I should still try to give it an objective review. The hops are solid and not overpowering, a little bit of the floral and citrus flavors I like, and they're backed up by a good red malt. This is definitely a cut above the Hop Devil, but I don't like it quite as much as the Cascazilla. I'm going to award it . Anyone know how much this costs in a grocery store, or how much alcohol it has?

My second beer of the night was Custom Brewcrafter's Christmas Ale. They're strictly a local brewery, so unless you live near me or plan on visiting me, you're probably not going to get to sample this one. I don't think they even bottle their wares, which is unfortunate, but I guess if epdaws happens to read this, he'll be able to order a pint of this with confidence. Anyway, this beer pours with a nice brown color and a fairly large head. It smells mostly of malt with just a hint of spice lingering in there, too, although it's a little hard to place. Taking a sip, though, makes it plainly obvious what this beer was going for: gingerbread. It's slightly sweet, and it tastes of ginger, cinnamon, and a little nutmeg. The flavor isn't hugely deep, but the reproduction of the gingerbread flavor is pretty striking. I forgot to check the ABV for this beer (this bar has the ABV of all their beers on tap on the beer list). I award this beer and a half . This is a solid offering for people who like the pumpkin ales, but are sad they're now out of season.

For my last beer, I tried Brooklyn's Chocolate Stout. This isn't a strictly seasonal beer per se, but I do associate stouts and porters with winter drinking. This beer I did get the ABV on. It weighs in at a hefty 8.7%. That's pretty surprising, especially for something they serve in a pint glass rather than a 5 oz goblet or something. It's bordering on an imperial stout. The beer pours almost black with a thick brown head. I actually just watched the head settle for a little bit, because it took a while for everything to rise to the top. It also was able to accumulate unusually large bubbles, so this beer is definitely sweet and strong. Taking a sip, this is a rich, sweet, thick beer. The flavors that come through most are a little caramel, a little coffee, a little chocolate, and alcohol. The alcohol comes through a little too much here. There is just a little bit of hop flavor in there, but not much. I actually wish they had hopped the beer just a little more. I'm going to award this beer . It's a solid stout, but it tastes too strongly of alcohol, especially for a beer that's not as extreme in its alcohol content as some. I'm not sure what this would cost in a store yet, but Brooklyn's offerings are usually quite inexpensive. Picking up a sixer of this would be a pretty good way to see if you would like imperial stouts without plunking down a ten spot for a single bottle of many others.

Finally, I've got a question for you guys. I was caught off guard by the SN Celebration, but is that typical for winter beer? My general impression of what beers fit when (or perhaps just what I feel like drinking in each season) is something like this:

Winter: Dark! Stouts, porters, and sometimes something like the Christmas ale above.
Spring: Hops! Red hop bombs, IPAs, American-style barleywines
Summer: Light! Hefeweizen, Belgian white and golden ales, Saisons, Pilsners
Fall: Brown! Brown ales, Maerzens, Pumpkin ales

Does this line up with your preferences/experience, or what do you tend to drink in the winter and spring months?

Edit: See below.

Last edited by MrWookie; 11-12-2008 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 12-07-2006, 02:51 PM   #264
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Re: New Yule Brew Reviews

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Sierra Nevada's 2006 Celebration Ale.
Not a fan, myself. I felt like I was drinking that dried-flower potpourri stuff. Pleasant enough to catch a whiff of at, say, my grandmother's house, but not what I'm looking for in a beer.

Quote:
Anyone know how much this costs in a grocery store?
I got a sixpack for 9 bucks at beer store in DC. Same price as a sixer of Magic Hat, to give you some small idea of the way they price things.

-McGee
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Old 12-07-2006, 05:07 PM   #265
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Re: Double Review

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My wife and I recently took a 4-day weekend to Belgium to drink beer (yeah, she's cool). Anyway, we stopped at the ’t Brugs Beertje in Brugge. It's a small beer bar with hundreds of great Belgian stuff. Here are 2 beers we had
I'm so jealous right now. Some day...

Any way, I decided to try Sam Adams Triple Bock since I found it for $4.99. The clerk kind of clued me in when he told me it tasted like fermented fish sauce. Whatever- I chalked him off as a Bud lover.




Anyway- it poured real thick, dark and heavy. The blue bottle it was in was stained by the beer- never seen that.
It thick, sweet, malty, and strong. That was followed by a kind of sour flavor, that reminded me of steak sauce. This beer is awful. I wanted to try it for years and was told it was supposed to age well. Do spend .01 on this beer. I give this beer one big NEGATIVE
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Old 12-07-2006, 10:02 PM   #266
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Re: Double Review

What has two thumbs and just spent way too much money on beer?



This guy!

I just got back from Beers of the World, and I went a little overboard. I picked up a bunch of stouts, and more porters than a Vegas hotel. I also picked up a bunch of winter ales to see just how different breweries interpret the variety. I'm going to be pretty busy in this thread over the next month or two.
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Old 12-07-2006, 11:13 PM   #267
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Re: Double Review

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Finally, I've got a question for you guys. I was caught off guard by the SN Celebration, but is that typical for winter beer? My general impression of what beers fit when (or perhaps just what I feel like drinking in each season) is something like this:

Winter: Dark! Stouts, porters, and sometimes something like the Christmas ale above.
Spring: Hops! Red hop bombs, IPAs, American-style barleywines
Summer: Light! Hefeweizen, Belgian white and golden ales, Saisons, Pilsners
Fall: Brown! Brown ales, Maerzens, Pumpkin ales

Does this line up with your preferences/experience, or what do you tend to drink in the winter and spring months?
part of its appeal is that it is a unique beer for the season. i also have no idea how you gave it a 2.5/5. i read your review at work (which actually says nothing negative about the beer ), so i planned on popping one open tonight to make sure i wasn't ******ed - and i'm not. this is a ~3.75 beer, minimum. i think the '05 was better but this is still great.
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Old 12-07-2006, 11:31 PM   #268
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Re: Double Review

I don't intend for 2.5 to be a negative score. It's more like an average score. That said, I could agree with a 3, but it's not higher than that in my mind. I had the SN as riding the border between 2.5 and 3, the CB as 3-3.5, and the Brooklyn as a solid 3.

Edit: Looking back through some of my past reviews, I think I was a little too hard on these relative to ratings I've given in the past. I'm going to kick the SN up to 3, the CB to 3.5, and leave the Brooklyn where it is. I still prefer Cascazilla to SN Celebration, though.
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Old 12-07-2006, 11:55 PM   #269
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Re: Double Review

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’t Brugs Beertje in Brugge. It's a small beer bar with hundreds of great Belgian stuff.
best bar I have ever been too
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Old 12-08-2006, 12:27 AM   #270
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Re: New Yule Brew Reviews

First up is Anchor's Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2006 ale. This is from San Francisco, so anyone on the west coast should be able to find this one. I paid $2.65 for a 12 oz bottle, but I have no idea of the ABV. I'm also going to be bringing back pictures!





While the pick came out pretty dark, the beer is quite red in color. The bottle pours with very little head, so I just ended up pouring the whole thing into my goblet at once. On my first sniff, I smelled cinnamon and ginger, but there was a little more that I couldn't place. I was expecting something like the CB ale from last night. Taking a sip, though, I got something completely different. The ale is somewhat sour, and the carbonation tastes very sharp in my mouth. The spice doesn't come through all that strongly. Instead, I taste something that's almost minty, and then that flavor I couldn't place. It took me a few sips, but I finally figured it out: cranberry. This beer must have been made with cranberries, and they're responsible for some of the redness, sourness, and the like. My initial reaction to the unexpected flavors was very positive, but now I'm not too anxious to finish the glass. It's starting to taste just a little too much like medicine. Yeah, this blend of flavors is just not working for me, but I'll say it's not bad enough to pour out. I'm going to award this beer what I think is the lowest score I've given a beer in this thread, a mere and a half . If you really, really love cranberries, you might give this beer a shot, but people who hate Sam Adams Cranberry Lambic (I thought it was decent last time I had it; I'll be doing a review of it later) should definitely steer clear of this one.

This is not adding to my overall impression of the Anchor Brewery. I was underwhelmed with their Liberty pale ale, and this beer just doesn't taste good. I have a bottle of their porter that I'll review later, though, so we'll see if that can save them.

Up next is Southern Tier's Old Man Winter Ale. I paid $1.85 for a single. This is a pretty inexpensive beer, but their Extraordinary Ale is really pretty good, especially for the price. Their distribution isn't all that great, though.





The beer pours much lighter than the Anchor. It's sort of a reddish gold, again without much head. The beer smells of hops, so I think I'm getting something like the SN Celebration, but a little lighter. Taking a sip, this beer resembles a pale ale with just a hair more hops and a darker malt. It doesn't really make me think of winter, but no matter. It's not quite as hoppy as the Extraordinary ale or espeically the SN Celebration. However, the kind of hops that Southern Tier uses in their beer I like quite a bit. They're not overly bitter, but they're nicely flavorful. THIS beer is definitely a and a half beer. If I'm in the mood for this sort of beer, though, I'm going to be buying their Extraordinary Ale instead, though. Same price, more hops.
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Old 12-08-2006, 11:43 AM   #271
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Re: New Yule Brew Reviews

In regards to Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, apparently in years past the ABV for it was miscalculated to be at 8.7%, which Wookie listed in his post. However, the BCS actually clocks in at a more robust 10.6%. Whether or not this changes your opinion of it is up to you. In my earlier review of it, I probably overrated a bit at 3.75 s. I'm gonna mark it down to 3.5 s.

Though I'm new to the whole drinking good beer thing, I generally agree with your seasonal assessment Wookie, though I've heard barleywines are more of a winter thing. Interestingly, Stone has a different take regarding imperial stouts, as it releases its Imperial Russian Stout in the spring.
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Old 12-08-2006, 12:58 PM   #272
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Re: New Yule Brew Reviews

I definitely believe 10.6%. It just tastes too strongly of alcohol to be under 9%. Have you tried other imperial stouts? There are better examples out there, which is part of my reason for the lower score. I imperial stouts, but this wasn't all that exceptional. I'm going to be including a review of North Coast's Old Rasputin and Great Divide's Yeti (I've already reviewed the oaked yeti, not the regular), beers I've already tried and loved. I'd give them a go.
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Old 12-08-2006, 02:31 PM   #273
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Re: New Yule Brew Reviews

Nope, I've only had the BCS as of now. I've got a few of them left and I'm hoping the alcohol will mellow out with age. Here's hoping. I'm also sitting on a bottle of this year's Stone IRS. I need to get my hands on some Old Rasputin; I passed it up the last time I saw it and I hear it's great.
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Old 12-08-2006, 08:07 PM   #274
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Re: New Yule Brew Reviews

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This is not adding to my overall impression of the Anchor Brewery.
I've only tried a few beers by them, but they've all been pretty crappy IMO.

As for your season/beer correlation, I agree wholeheartedly. But I make an exception for Celebration. It's easy to get and a delicious beer.

Tonight I'm going to go for some stouts, though.
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Old 12-08-2006, 08:38 PM   #275
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Re: New Yule Brew Reviews

Crap, I typed up a review, and then I lost it. Well, here we go again. I'm reviewing Brooklyn's Winter Ale, seeing if this solid, but generally inexpensive brewery can save the genre. I paid $1.85 for a bottle, but I don't know the ABV.





The beer pours very red with little head. Taking a sniff, it doesn't smell very strongly. I detect a little red malt, and there might be a little bit of the cranberry in there like the Anchor. Let's hope it doesn't suck so much. Taking a sip, this beer is much more mild than the Anchor, even hollow by comparison. It doesn't have as much of a medicine flavor or anything bad going for it, really. There's just not much there. A mild malt, no hops, maybe the idea of something special, but not a whole lot. I'm going to award this beer . I probably won't be buying it again, and it doesn't do much for my impression of winter ales so far, either.
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