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02-02-2007 , 10:20 PM
For my next review, I'm back to Ayinger, this time their Ur-Weisse. This is apparently a Dunkelweizen. I paid $3.65 for a half liter of 5.8% ABV beer.

The beer pours somewhat lighter than most dunkels, but it's still nice and heady.

I can smell the fruit and cloves as I'm pouring it. Apple, pear, and banana all come through in the smell. Sipping, I'd say this is the best dunkel I've had so far. Its fruity flavor comes through better than the Weihenstephaner or the Julius Echter. It's not as malty or sweet as the Aventinus, but it's a different kind of beer. This is a little lighter and a little fruitier. I'm going to give this beer a rating. This beer lives up to their Maertzen. I might prefer the Aventinus a little overall, but if I'm going for something a little less sweet and a little less alcoholic, this is a great option. I strongly encourage weizen lovers to check this one out.
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02-03-2007 , 12:18 AM
Hey y'all,

I picked up a few beers tonight. A Samuel Smith Imperial Stout, Unibroue's 15th Anniversary beer, and Mad River Brewing Co.'s John Barleycorn Barleywine.

Tonight's review is of the Barleywine. This is my very first Barleywine, so I don't have much to compare it against. I wanted to take pics but my batteries died. This is also from 30 minutes ago, but this beer got me sorta drunk so it's not the best.

I found a new store in town that sells singles, so I picked up the 12oz. for $2.19, so it's not cheap. It's organic, apparently. It packs a 9.5% ABV punch.

To be honest, I'm having a hard time reviewing it. Part of that might be due to the polish sausage, sauerkraut, and swiss sandwich I started eating along with it. The beer poured a dark amber with tones of red. It had a medium head, maybe about 1.5-2 fingers.

Upon sipping, it had a nice dry hop flavor, with a good balance of malt. Slightly after swallowing a bitter aftertaste came through, which I liked. As I progressed into the beer, I realized that the finish had a decent amount of alcohol flavor come through. Again, I like this.

I don't want to blow my wad on this beer, due to my inexperience with barleywines, but I'm intrigued. I give this beer a solid and a half . I might pick up a six pack of this stuff next time. I'll look through this thread for some other barleywines.

Also, suggestions on serving temps for the imperial stout, please.
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02-03-2007 , 05:14 AM

As an American residing in Eire, maybe you can help me with this one:

Recently I tried Rogue's Kell's Irish Style Lager

A very smooth pale beer with notes of fruit, yeast (!) og a bit of hops. If it wasn't called 'Lager' I've would have guessed it was top-fermented

But to my question: WTF is 'Irish Style Lager'????? I've been to Ireland twice and I have yet to meet a local Lager. Stouts and red ales are what the irish brew. How can an American brewery claim to brew a style that doesn't exist (anymore?)??
Not really sure. Harp is the best known Irish lager and it wouldn't be classified as an 'Irish Lager'. It's really just a pale lager in the same mold as Heineken.

There are only a handful of microbreweries here and to my knowledge the Porterhouse is the only one that brews lagers. They also brew the best stouts in Ireland.
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02-04-2007 , 01:02 AM
Tonights alcoholic endeavor involves Unibroue's 15. It came in a 750 ml corked and caged bottle that I paid $8.39 for. It packs a 10% ABV punch. I had to look up on Beer Advocate what style it was. It's classified as a Belgian Strong Pale Ale there.

Upon opening, the cork popped pretty aggressively, and a citrusy smell came through. I orignally though grapefruit, but it wasn't quite that.. more orangey. I don't own a chalice, so I poured it into my Party Poker pint glass . It pours a hazy orange, with an aggressive head. The head didn't last long, as the pictures suggest. It dissipated quickly, leaving little lace. To be honest, it's a bit like champaign. Very bubbly.

Upon tasting, again I was reminded of champaign! Interesting. Not exactly what I was expecting. Some of the citrus flavor comes through, again with hints of orange and apple even. Maybe even a little pear. The alcohol was evident, though not overwhelming or distracting. The aftertaste wasn't much of anything.. maybe a bit of malt flavor, accompanied by some wheat undertones. At first, I was rather underwhelmed with this beer. After drinking about half the glass, I started chomping into my second Polish sausage, sauerkraut, and swiss sandwich in 2 nights. I finished the first glass with my meal. Actually, I felt the beer's carbonation was a bit much and was filling me up prematurely.

I then poured the second pint. As the beer warmed up, I found myself enjoying it more and more. The fruit flavors came through a bit more, as well as the malt. The aftertaste got a bit more pronounced. Also, I was getting buzzed rather quickly! It tasted better balanced now, with specific stages in the taste. The fruity, bubbly taste came through in the beginning of the sip, followed by the malt, alcohol and hint of wheat flavors that came with the finish.

At the end of the bottle, some yeast came through in the pour, which I actually like. I finished it off, rather enjoying the whole experience, but I still think the beer drank a little heavier than I would've liked for its style. I feel a bit bloated .

I award this beer and half . I think it's pretty good, but it's not cheap, so I expected a bit more. If I found it on tap so I could order a single chalice, I'd gladly purchase it, but I won't be buying another 22 oz.'er. Still, I'm glad I gave it a shot, and I encourage you to, too.
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02-05-2007 , 02:28 PM
Well done kidcolin! I look forward to having the pleasure of trying this beer someday.
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02-05-2007 , 02:42 PM

I reviewed that beer earlier, and I gave it a paltry 2 hearts. I think I was a little hard on it, though. I had high expectations for an expensive, strong beer from a brewery that is easily one of the best brewers of Belgian-style beer in the New World, and I was pretty disappointed in getting a beer that was pretty "ordinary." Have you tried Unibroue's La Fin Du Monde? Another beer to try out if you like this one is Ommegang's Hennepin.
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02-05-2007 , 03:08 PM

This was my first Unibroue experience. I've been wanting to try them for a while (based on the reviews in this thread), but I just hadn't been in the mood for a "fancy" beer. So maybe that's why I wasn't as hard on it. I thought it was pretty good, but agree with you that it was sort of ordinary, and not worth the price.
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02-05-2007 , 05:46 PM
I also tried the 15 recently. I bought it and La Fin Du Monde at the same time. The only other Unibroue beer I've had before these two was Don De Dieu. Of the three, none of them stood out to me. I would give all of them 3 to 3.5 s.
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02-05-2007 , 10:38 PM
Tonight, I have more beer from Allagash. This is now the fourth beer from them I've reviewed. The first, the Musette, was an oak aged beer that was good, but pretty pricey and didn't blow me away like I'd been hoping. I adore their white, and I was underwhelmed by the dubbel. Tonight's beer is their Curieux, which means "curious," apparently. This is another oak aged beer. I believe it began it's life as a tripel before hitting the oak. This beer weighs in at a mighty 11% ABV. I paid $13.95 for a 750 mL bottle: also hefty, but I couldn't help myself.

The beer pours a nice cloudy gold with much less head than I was expecting. The head mostly dissipated not long into it.

The beer doesn't smell as strongly as I expected. It's fairly mild. I would expect more fruit and sweetness in the aroma, but it smells mostly of the malt with a little bit of wood. Tasting this beer, though, is a completely different story. It's not as sweet as, say, the La Fin Du Monde, but I was blown away by the depth of flavor. Malt, apple, pear, orange, peach, wood, mild hops, vanilla, and something a little herbal in the finish, all in about that order. It just keeps going, and it lingers for a good long while. It's not as fruity as the LFDM, but I don't think I want it to be. Dialing the fruity sweetness back just a hair made room for more. I'm going to award this beer the elusive . I am extremely impressed. I wouldn't give this beer to the casual drinker and expect them to be quite as impressed as I am. I'd give them something a little cheaper to start, to get them warmed up to the style. If you have a taste for good Belgian tripels, this beer should not be passed over. It is the best tripel I've had.

Should I be sad that I tried this bottle before the regular, unoaked tripel I have waiting to be reviewed? Maybe. Am I sad that I now feel compelled to spend too much money on the two oak aged beers from Allagash that I have not yet tried? Only a little. Depending on them, Allagash may even pass up Dogfish Head as my favorite US brewery (although I can't get 3 Floyds or AleSmith where I am, and they deserve nominations, too, so I hear).

Edit: I forgot to add that I would never guess that this was 11% beer. You could tell me it was 7% and I'd believe you. And then I'd have a third bottle, pass out cold, and then wake up in the morning hung over horribly, but still happy I was drinking this.
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02-05-2007 , 10:58 PM
Nice work Wookie. I am very impressed. Just out of curiosity, is that a Saints glass you have there or what kind is it?
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02-05-2007 , 11:32 PM
No, it's actually a goblet for some sort of Belgian beer I've never tried. I'll have to see if I can dig it up.
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02-06-2007 , 12:17 AM

further evidence that Maine is one of the best states there is. I've been wanting to try their offerings, but I keep coming up with reasons not to.

I'll try their white based on your support, but for the tripel, I'll take your advice and try some cheaper offerings, as I'm not well versed in the variety. Suggestions?
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02-06-2007 , 12:58 AM
Well, the Unibroue La Fin Du Monde is not exactly "cheap," but it's not as balla as this one is, either. If you love it and the Allagash White, spring for this one, and set aside an evening for intoxicated bliss. If not, there are still ways to spend $14 on other beer that will leave you in intoxicated bliss.
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02-06-2007 , 01:18 AM
Tonight I'll get back on the stout track, but this one won't be from Bell's. I'm very excited to try my first offering from the famed Three Floyds Brewery: Black Sun Stout.

According to Ratebeer, this is a dry stout, which is the in the same category as the most famous stout of them all: Guinness. Black Sun Stout is 5.25% ABV and cost $9 for a 22 oz. bottle. This one pours black like any other stout, but unlike Guinness, it retains the tan head that all other stouts have. There's a fair bit of lacing around the glass. The aroma is full of coffee, chocolate, and piney hops. Interestingly, ratebeer says that hops shouldn't be evident at all in this style. I guess that's why "It's not normal" is displayed across the label. The taste echoes the aroma, displaying bitter chocolate and coffee up front, and hop bitterness in the back. It finishes with a mix of coffee and hop bitterness. The hoppiness is much more restrained than in Yeti and the coffee bitterness is more restrained than in Middle Ages Dragonslayer. Despite it being against convention, I really like the use of extra hops here, though you may have to be in a certain mood to actually want that sort of hoppiness in your stout. Mouthfeel is pretty good, between watery and thick. To be honest, the beer isn't as complex as the label makes it out to be, saying that cherries and dark fruits should be in the flavor as well. Despite the relative lack of complexity, this was a very tasty brew. Definitely something I'd drink all night, if given the chance.
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02-06-2007 , 01:23 AM
3 Floyds and AleSmith I think are the two breweries I'm the most sad about not having access to. I'd love to be able to get Dechutes and New Belgium, too, but 3F and AS are monsters that I haven't had the privilege of sampling from.
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02-06-2007 , 01:28 AM
Yeah, I know what you mean Wookie. I actually purchased Black Sun Stout and Alpha Klaus Christmas Porter over in Philadelphia. For any East Coasters who want to get their hands on some good midwest brews, like Bell's or Three Floyds and are willing to pay a bit more than normal, given Pennsylvania liquor laws, get yourself over to the Philadelphia area and go to The Foodery, or even better, Capones Restaurant/Beer store over in Norristown. Now I just have to find some Alesmith...
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02-06-2007 , 02:46 AM
How about some suggestions for serving temps? With a lot of these fancy beers, I fear I chill them too much. Evidence of that was the 15, which I began to enjoy much more when it warmed up a few degrees. Are you guys just popping all of these in the fridge, and keeping them as cool as everything else?
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02-06-2007 , 03:12 AM
Generally Belgian beers are served warmer. I'm not sure of the temp, but my local beer shop has a fridge specially tuned for only their Belgians. When I buy one that's room temperature, I pop it in the fridge about 2 hours before I open it.

I drink barley wines, big imperial stouts, and big double IPAs like this as well.
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02-06-2007 , 03:21 AM

I used to be really anal about letting my beer warm up before pouring. I always took it out of the fridge a half-hour before I was going to drink it. Now I usually pour right out of the fridge, but if it's a beer I'm trying for the first time or reviewing I take my sweet time with it and let it warm as I'm drinking. It's actually pretty helpful as far as reviewing to sip the beer as it warms and see how the flavors change from fridge temp. to room temp. When I'm drinking more casually I'll normally take out two bottles at a time and let the second one warm up a bit while I'm drinking the first.

Edited to add: As far as tripels, if you're unfamiliar with the style you should try a traditional one first to get a feel for the style. I would start with the Westmalle Tripel, the Chimay White Label, or the Tripel Karmeliet (which I believe is the brew featured on Wookie's "Saints" glass).
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02-06-2007 , 10:39 AM
This is pretty interesting. I have always liked my beer cold, the colder the better actually. Next time I go down to the flying saucer where they serve lots of different kinds of beer I am going to take my time with it and let it warm up some and see if I like it better that way as some of you have mentioned here.

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02-06-2007 , 11:11 AM
I'm not especially consistent with my serving temps. Sometimes I just take it out of the fridge. Sometimes I let it warm up for 5-30 min. Usually, though, I'm drinking the beer at a slow enough pace that it warms up slightly to a better temp by the middle of the glass. Sometimes it makes a difference. Sometimes it doesn't.
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02-06-2007 , 09:48 PM
For my next review, I'm going back to Dogfish Head. I tried their Chicory Stout a while back, but I never reviewed it (I don't think, anyway). I liked it, and I wanted to give it another go and a formal review. I paid $9.99 for a sixer 0f 5.2% ABV beer.

The beer pours on the clearer side of stouts with minimal head.

It smells good. I smell coffee, vanilla, and wood. Its flavor is largely what I smell. The coffee and wood are good, and the vanilla is a somewhat unexpected bonus. It's a hair on the watery side, but I maybe have been drinking too many imperials. It's not as sugary as they are, so naturally it'll be thinner. I'm going to give this beer and a half . This is a solid stout offering with a good mix and balance of flavors. It's not quite as bold or thick as an imperial, but it's not really trying to be. It's not hopped all that strongly, so this might be a good pick for someone who likes darker beer but doesn't like hops. Otherwise, I might give a slight nod to the Rogue Shakespeare stout.
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02-07-2007 , 12:07 AM
I really need to pick up a digital camera for these.

Last night I tried 3 new beers and today 1. Unfortunately I can't remember the details of the Pyramid Hefeweizen I had last night other than I really liked it. It was my first hefeweizen so I don't really have anything to compare to anyway.

North Coast Old Rasputin Imperial Stout:

It smells sweet, with coffee hints, and even a bit of citrus. It poured black with a thick mocha colored head. It had a bitterness to it but not too bitter. I could detect a faint taste of coffee, stronger caramel and chocolate tastes, and as the beer warmed I got a hint of oranges. I only really like the occasional stout, but this was quite complex and tasty. 4 's for this one.

DH Raison D'Etre:

The smell was a fruitiness I had never smelled before. Can't remember how it poured, but it was smooth, malty and had a light raisin taste. An excellent beer. 4.25 's for it.

Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar:

Pours a dark brown with a thick tan head that doesn't linger too long. Smells sweet and nutty. It definitely has a nutty tone to the taste, the aftertaste in particular has a very nutty flavor to it. The taste seems to be balanced with a chocolate flavor. I could be mistaken but I think I detect a bit of smoke flavor as well. 4.25 's for this one.
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02-07-2007 , 12:09 AM
That's two good reviews of the Rogue Hazelnut. Between that and Sklansky's obvious endorsement, I'll have to give it a go.
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02-07-2007 , 03:38 AM
Tonight I had Anchor's Steam Beer. It pours a rich amber color with a white head. There was nothing remarkable about the smell, it smelled to me a lot like a pilsner or a lager like Yuengling. The beer has a smooth, malty, fruity taste to it. I can't discern the actual flavors except for possibly a light touch of banana. Worth checking out if you can pick up a bottle but not terribly exciting 3.25 's
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