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04-07-2007 , 12:31 AM
The ABV for that beer is 7% which seems to be about 2-3% more then single whites. I am not a huge fan of Belgian style beers some i like but most do not apple to me theres just something about that style not sure what they add that turns my taste buds off.
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04-09-2007 , 04:10 PM
Aw man, my trip report got the boot

Wookie...sorry no pics. Um...imagine me holding a soupcan upside down with tongs and molasses coming out, stirring it into a pot of water. Then pouring brown/black water out of the pot into a brown-tinted keg with a Mr. Beer logo on it. Then sprinkling a sugar packet full of malt-o-meal on top of it. Then wrapping the keg in a beach towel with an 80's design on it. That's about it. Promise to take pics of the finished product. By the way, I do dig your beer photos.

Also, I got the 500 Great Beers Guide by Michael Jackson for my friend...but I read it first. Interesting selection in there.

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04-09-2007 , 06:14 PM
I'm going to review my second can from the Oskar Blues brewery, this time Dale's Pale Ale. I paid $1.99 for a 12 oz can. I'm not sure of the ABV.

The first thing I noticed about this beer was that, in spite of sitting restfully in my fridge for more than a week, and with no rough handling before pouring, the beer exploded out of the can. I lost a portion onto the floor, and it was pretty uncontrollably foamy in my glass. It's a little darker than I expected.

As I was wiping the beer off my floor, though, I could notice that it smelled pretty good. It smelled malty and fairly sweet with a decent hop backing. The taste is pretty similar. I should note, though, that it tastes a little flat. I think I lost a good bit of the residual carbonation when I opened it. The other flavors are pretty good. The hops are flavorful without being too bitter, and they linger nicely. The malt, I'd say, is a little sweet for this variety. It almost reminds me of the malt of an imperial IPA. I picked this beer because I was in the mood for a lighter, drier beer. I would have cared for something either a little less sweet, or a little more strongly hopped. I'm going to give this beer . If it was a little less flat, it would have picked up an extra half heart. I guess you have to be especially gentle w/ this beer.
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04-09-2007 , 06:28 PM
There are a lot of thumbs in these reviews, which I approve of. I'm not sure I could select my favorite thumb, but they all look intriguing, and I wish I could add them to my collection.

Interesting reviews of beers, too. If I was ever going to read a thread about beers, this would be the one. Even without the thumbs.
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04-10-2007 , 07:09 PM

The first time I read your post, I was thinking your were talking about thumbnails, as in pictures. I didn't really understand your fascination w/ all the pics, but it seemed plausible. Now that I think I get you better, I don't think that my ol' hitchhiker's assistant should get the nod. The scar visible in most every one of my pics precludes it from perfection.


Couple reviews tonight. One is from last night that I didn't bother to do. No pics, since it was a crappy beer, and I don't bother w/ the crappy ones. I picked up a bottle of Saranac's Pomegranate Wheat for $1.65. I maybe should have been more scared of the gimmick, but I was curious, I almost certainly wouldn't be overpaying, and Saranac has been doing pretty well on the cheap. Instead, I got a fairly insipid American wheat beer with just a hint of fruit that I couldn't really distinguish as pomegranate. It wasn't bad, I suppose, but it wasn't great. .

Tonight's beer, though, was pretty good, and I'll include the pics. I'm reviewing Lagunitas's Maximus IPA. This ran me a modest $4.55, but my receipt lists a different Lagunitas beer. I'm not 100% sure if the price I paid was the price on the display. Anyway, it's a nice 7.5% ABV and 72ish IBUs.

The beer pours a pleasing golden brown with a light head.

The smell is surprisingly sweet -- caramel and peaches. I don't smell the hops as strongly as I was expecting. The flavor, though, is somewhat reversed. The hop flavor is strong, dry and bitter. The sweetness of the malt is noticeable at the first taste, but it soon fades behind the hops. This beer reminds me a lot of the Great Divide Hercules Imperial IPA. The hops aren't as complex as the DFH 90 or the Stone Ruination. They're mostly just bitter. I was, however, much too hard on the Hercules. I gave it just 2 hearts, and it deserves a rating more like this one. I'm going to give the Lagunitas Maximus and a half , and I should probably revise my rating of the Hercules to this, too. If $4.55 is indeed the right price, this is a pretty good buy for imperial IPAs, and it's a good choice for people who really want a bitter kick in their beer. I had a little of this beer with my dinner of spicy Mexican tonight, and bitter, hoppy beers are great pairs w/ spicy food.
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04-10-2007 , 11:44 PM
I have one more quick review. I picked up North Coast's Blue Star Hefeweizen on a whim. I wouldn't have bothered w/ an American hefeweizen usually, but I saw this one was bottle conditioned like the good Bavarian Hefes, and it's North Coast. so I thought there was hope. I paid $1.99. I was dead wrong about it being anything special. It was pretty dull and bland w/o much going for it. As American hefeweizens go, it's actually pretty good, but it has no real relation to the German ones. I'll give it a generous . Definitely pass on this one.
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04-11-2007 , 07:35 PM
I guess I didn't do quite as well this time picking beer. I got another canned beer to compare w/ Oskar Blues. This was the Snapperhead Farmhouse Ale IPA from Butternuts Beer & Ale. I'm glad I didn't try this first, or I would have lost all faith in canned beer. This IPA poured with virtually no head, and it hardly smelled or tasted of hops. The malt was mild, bordering on insipid. This was a step up from traditional canned beer, I suppose, but it wasn't much better. I'm giving it and a half . I paid $1.59 for a can, so at least I'm not out too much.
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04-11-2007 , 10:43 PM

No date stamps on those cans? Whenever I get a beer that I'd categorize as bland or washed-out, I always try to check how old it is.
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04-11-2007 , 11:01 PM
Nope. All I got is a "Copyright 2005" on the logo.
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04-12-2007 , 01:36 AM
I decided to do another review tonight. I picked up a bottle of the Allagash Odyssey, the last of their barrel-aged brews. So far, they've been great, with the Curieux being a real stand out. They're very expensive, though. I paid $13.95 for a 750 mL bottle of this beer. It packs a hefty 10.3% ABV, though, so this is practically a bottle of wine. By wine standards, assuming this beer is good, that's not really all that bad. Checking out their website, this apparently began its life as a dark wheat beer. Weizenbock? I'm not sure. It doesn't have a cousin in their line of regular beers the way the Cuireux and the Tripel are related.

The beer pours a nice dark brown. The head is pretty light on this beer.

It smells very malty and sweet. There's a little fruit in there, cherries, I think. The flavor is a little different. The wood from the barrel aging comes through without being overly dominant, and there's a little bit of smokiness I really enjoy. The sweetness of this beer is not overbearing. It's perhaps even on the drier side for beer this strong. The cherries come through a little bit, and the base malt is great. My complaints are that it doesn't linger longer and it could stand to be a little bolder. I'm going to award it . This is a great beer, but for this price, I'm not really sold. The Curieux is worth it, but the Musette and Odyssey didn't strike me as being quite as outstanding so as to command their high price.
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04-12-2007 , 07:38 PM
Tonight, it's time fore a beer I've been meaning to try for a while now. Not only has it been mentioned in here a few times, but it's also the official beer of David Sklansky.* That's right, it's the Rouge Haxelnut Brown Nectar:

I paid $5.69 for a 22 of this beer. It has 33 IBUs, but Rogue doesn't always declare their ABV. Oh well. It pours a nice medium brown. The head, though, bubbles quickly and soon dissipates. I think Coke has more head than this beer. It doesn't taste flat, at least.

The beer smells strongly of malt and nuts, and the flavor is similar. The nut flavor in this beer is quite rich and very tasty. There's not all that much to this beer, though, and I wish the flavor lingered a little better. I'm going to give this beer and a half .
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04-12-2007 , 10:29 PM
Checking out their website, this apparently began its life as a dark wheat beer. Weizenbock? I'm not sure.
dunkleweizen. My first dunkleweizen was a shock- the dark color didn't match the coriander and banana. (it was a good shock tho- I wish I could find another one, but I'm in beer wasteland

A question: how do you get fresh european beer? Everytime I pick up something exotic, it's old or skunky.
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04-12-2007 , 11:19 PM

Try to stick with Paulaner and Weihenstephaner (my pick) for German beers aand avoid breweries like St. Pauli Girl, Spaten, Lowenbrau, and (I think) Franziskaner. The former use brown bottles, the latter green, and the green bottles let in the UV that skunks beer.

I don't think I've ever gotten a bad Belgian beer.

It also helps if you know your local store and can gauge their turnover.
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04-13-2007 , 12:50 AM
I did a Franziskaner review in here. It came in a brown bottle. It wasn't skunked, but it wasn't my favorite. Weihenstephaner is the cream of the crop for weizens, I've found.
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04-13-2007 , 01:34 PM
Imagine my delight yesterday, when I stopped in Bud's liquors and saw a "new" brew from Flying Dog: their "Double Dog" pale ale. My digital camera is from the mid-late 90's and finally broke down, so no actual pics.

Its billed as a doubling of their regular pale, and from the website, its close but not exact, with some small differences in the malt bill and hops. Its listed at 10.5% ABV and 85 IBUs. Out of the bottle it pours just a shade darker than the regular pale. I was surprised because I honestly expected this big of a beer to be darker, particularly because I know Flying Dog likes to add a bit of chocolate malt in their regular pale for color, and they've supposedly doubled that here. The first aroma is also a pleasant surprise: the hop profile smells the same on first whiff, but there's an added maltiness that isn't there with the Classic. Taking a taste, the hops really go front to back in this beer. Upfront, they're a bit more subdued than when they hit the back of the throat after a swallow; at the end of the drink, the bitterness swirls with the alcohol to create a strong finish. I wouldn't call it clean or crisp, though, its a bit much. In the middle you get the malt sweetness from the aroma following up to the taste. If I had to characterize the overall balance, I'd put this beer smack between Stone's IPA and their Ruination IPA. Its just as big - bigger? - than the Ruination, but the hops aren't as aggressive, while the malt, from what I remember, seems more present. I've only made it a few sips in, so it'll be interesting to see if this beer gets more or less drinkable as the glass empties.
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04-14-2007 , 02:24 AM
I am attempting 50 bud lights in 24 hours at 170 IBS, I know not premium beer but what do you guys think?
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04-14-2007 , 06:48 AM
I am attempting 50 bud lights in 24 hours at 170 IBS, I know not premium beer but what do you guys think?
I think that it's pretty damn stupid!
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04-16-2007 , 09:26 PM
So a buddy of mine who is a total beer buff ended up at this little bar in Philly called Monk's Cafe he told me it was one of the best places he has been for food as they cook everything in beer.

They ended up having St. Bernardus Abt 12 on tap which he has now told me is his favorite beer surpassing Duvel... I have not been able to find this beer around here yet. I was wondering if anyone has tried it and what they think of it.

PS. I plan on trying Monks Cafe out and there beer selection here in the next month or two and will give a review.
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04-16-2007 , 09:51 PM

I have a bottle of the 12 in my fridge right now awaiting review. Given its reputation, I'm awaiting a somewhat special occasion, though. I await your other reviews.


I think I'll do another beer review tonight, but first I'm going to report back from my trip to DC this weekend. Mostly, this trip was for dancing, but after all the dancing, we hit up Capital City Brewing, a brewpub on New York Ave. Their selection on tap was pretty impressive, even at first glance. They had a koelsch, a hoppy amber, a porter, "trippel/double," a "Belgian ale," and an imperial stout. I got a 10 oz goblet of the imperial stout and the trippel/double for myself, and I tried samples of the Belgian ale and the amber from my friends. Some notes:

Amber -- This was more strongly hopped than most self-described amber ales, and the hops were delicious. They were flavorful without being overly bitter, and the malt was rich (by non-imperial standards) without being too sweet. An excellent well-balanced beer. I'll give it a tentative , but I can't really give it a solid rating without having a full pint myself.

Belgian Ale -- The description in the menu made me expect something like Ommegang's namesake ale, but instead it came out more of a golden color. Unusually, this beer was also hopped. It was a little drier and less spicy than, say, a trippel, but the flavor was good. My impression was 3.5-4 hearts, but I'd really need a full pint to be fair to this beer.

Imperial Stout -- According to the menu, this beer is finished with espresso beans, and it showed in the flavor. The coffee flavor was bolder than pretty much any imperial stout I've had. Unfortunately, there wasn't too much more than that. There was a little bit of chocolate and sweetness, but I missed the light to moderate hopping common to many imperial stouts. MaxxDaddy should avoid this beer, but for other people, I'll give it a respectable . It's not my favorite imperial stout, but it was still a tasty treat if you like the coffee flavor.

Trippel/Double -- Again, the menu really didn't seem to provide an accurate description of what this beer was. They made it sound like, as you'd expect, a blend of a trippel and a dubbel, so you'd expect a beer, oh, golden-brown, with some of the fruit and spice of a trippel and some of the earthiness of a dubbel. Instead, I got a goblet of very light beer, almost like a white. When I took a sip, my very first thought was that this beer was what I wanted the Chouffe Trippel/IPA blend to be. This was a strongly hopped trippel, and I don't know why it had "double" in the name. Compared to the Chouffe, the hops were bolder and more flavorful, and the character of the trippel was more pronounced, too. It was missing the fun, billowy head (all the beers we got had almost no head), but the flavor more than made up for it. In spite of the confusing description, this beer was the standout from this brewery: not only tasty, but a unique style. I'll give it an enthusiastic and a half . I would have liked just a little more from the trippel side and a little more head to give this beer a perfect score. Nevertheless, if you're in DC and love beer, look this one up.
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04-16-2007 , 11:50 PM
Monk's Cafe is supposed to be the #1 beer place in Philly from what I'm told. I'm actually sitting on 750s of St Bernardus Abt 12 and Abt 12 Special Edition...waiting for some friends to help me out with the comparison, as over 50 oz. of 11% ABV doesn't bode well for a man of my size (5'6" 150 lbs.). If you feel like stocking up on good beer while in the area, I can not endorse Capone's in Norristown enough. It's a restaurant/bottle shop. They have tons of amazing brews, including Three Floyd's, Bell's, even some Russian River the only time I was there. And it's surprisingly reasonable given PA's liquor laws.

Whew...time for a review. A few days ago I tried the Duck-Rabbit Baltic Porter, which clocks in at 9% ABV. Although I didn't purchase it, it apparently goes for $12 a 6-pack.

It poured a beautiful brownish-black with a decent amount of tan head. Great aroma of biscuity malts along with touches of raisins, chocolate and dark fruits. This bodes well. Flavor is more of the same, really get the raisins in there, with a little chocolate and alcohol in the background. The finish is good also, ending with more of a roasty, coffee flavor...more on the sweet than bitter end. Moderate to full palate with little carbonation. This is a truly awesome beer. It's too bad it's all the way down in North Carolina and I can't get a regular supply. I'd hoard this stuff if I had the chance, as $12 for 6 of these is an absolute steal. and a half
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04-17-2007 , 01:02 AM
My proper review tonight will be of Anderson Valley's Dubbel. I bought a 22 of this beer on sale for $4.33, as you might be able to see in my pic. It packs a hefty 9% ABV, on the high side for dubbels.

It pours a nice dark brown. The head is fairly light.

The aroma of this beer is typical of dubbels. It's dark, earthy, somewhat sweet, and somewhat of dark fruit. The flavor is a little sweet, malty, and, well, of earth and dark fruit: raisins, prunes, and figs. I'm missing a little of the spice I love in Belgian beer. I'm going to give this beer and a half . As dubbels go, this is a solid one, and the price is good.
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04-17-2007 , 01:50 AM

Hope you made it to the Brickskeller!
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04-17-2007 , 08:58 AM
Nope, I'm back in Rochester. I'll have to see about hitting that one up next time I'm in DC.
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04-17-2007 , 08:07 PM
Tonight's review is Lagunita's Lucky 13, their 13th anniversary ale. The bottle indicates this is something like an ueber red ale, so I'm anticipating a hop bomb. I paid a relatively modest $4.55 for a 22 oz bottle of this beer, and it wasn't even on sale. Since it weighs in at a fairly beefy 8.3% ABV, even a mediocre beer would be a decent buy at this price purely from a buzz for your buck standpoint.

This beer pours a clear reddish gold without much head. In spite of the small head, it does manage to lace my glass.

The aroma of this beer is deliciously hoppy. They smell of the flower and citrus flavors I like most in hops. The flavor matches this nicely. The hops are quite strong, bordering on overly bitter, but walking the line pretty well. This beer is a little less sweet than some imperial IPAs and other strong hop bombs. Personally, I could have used just a hair more sweetness in the malt behind the hops, but if you'd say the DFH 90 is syrupy, this would be right up your alley. I'll give this beer . I haven't been overly impressed with some of the Lagunitas beers I've had, but this is a great one. Hopefully it'll stick around for a while.
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04-18-2007 , 06:49 PM
I'm coming back to the Southampton brewery tonight with a bottle of their Grand Cru. I loved their double white, so I have high hopes for this one. Apparently I'm supposed so. This beer ranks as the #48 beer in the world according to I paid $9.89 for a 750 mL bottle of this 9.5% ABV beer.

I'm still not really sure what it means to be a Grand Cru. Avery's Grand Cru was very dark. It was reminiscent of an English style barley wine. Allagash's was light brown. This one pours a nice, cloudy, medium gold color that reminds me of a trippel. The head is big and billowy, as should be expected of a sweeter, bottle-conditioned beer, but unlike the Chouffe, I could at least keep it under control with careful pouring. It laced my glass as expected.

The bottle indicates that this beer is brewed with orange peel and coriander seed, hallmarks of Belgian beer, but also star anise. I'm actually not sure if anise is a common ingredient in Belgian beer, or if this is something unique to Southampton. However, anise is one of the all time classic alcohol flavorings -- absinthe, sambuca, anisette, Pernod, et al. -- so perhaps I should be surprised that it hasn't made its way into beer all that much. I can't say I've tasted black licorice in any other beer, so we'll have to see how this one does it. The smell of this beer is again like a good trippel. There's a sweet malt and the usual Belgian spice with the orange and coriander. I don't really smell the anise. The flavor of this beer is first class, no doubt. The orange and coriander come through nicely, along with the usual hint of clove flavor that presumably comes from the yeast. There's a little bit of lemony tartness. The malt is sweet, yes, but it's not quite as sweet or fruity as Unibroue's La Fin Du Monde. Oh, there's the anise flavor. It's very slight, and long into the finish. If you drink this beer too quickly, you'll miss it. There's even a little mint hiding in there. The only question with rating this beer is whether to give it 4.5 or 5, and I went back and forth between the two quite a bit. I'm starting to think, though, that I'm a little too stingy w/ my perfect scores, and since I've been drinking so much excellent beer over the past year, I'm becoming too difficult to impress. I'm going to award this beer the rare . It's a classic, and I encourage any and all lovers of Belgian beer to track down a bottle by any means necessary.
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