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Old 05-03-2007, 12:14 PM   #601
MrWookie
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Nice reviews. As I've mentioned earlier, I feel like I should be drinking more English beer. Beers of the World has a huge section for Great Britain, but I'm consistently drawn away from it with the allure of either more exotic brews from other countries or cheaper American micros. If people have some good recommendations or reviews for these, I'd love to hear it.
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Old 05-05-2007, 07:07 PM   #602
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Tonight, I'm going to review the latest in Anheuser Busch's line of seasonal beers, their Spring Heat Spiced Wheat. I paid $6.99 for a six pack. I've reviewed their winter offering, the bourbon casked vanilla thing that wasn't bad, but was too strong on the vanilla. I was curious to see how they do here. This beer is actually a little stronger than I was expecting from AB: 5.2%, and to my pleasant surprise, it's also unfiltered. It's not bottle conditioned, but hey, baby steps. Basically, I'm curious how this beer stacks up to Blue Moon (Coors), not how it stacks up to Allagash's Belgian white.



The beer pours a very light color. It's just slightly cloudy, so it's probably not as yeasty as better brews. The head isn't bad, though.



I'm actually impressed with the scent of this beer. It smells nicely of the usual orange and coriander, and the malt is in there, too. The flavor doesn't quite live up to the nose, unfortunately. It's a little milder than I expected, and there isn't as much of the malt, yeast, or wheat flavors as I would have liked. Compared to Blue Moon, it's not as flavorful in pretty much every aspect. I'm going to give this beer . For an Anheuser Busch brew, that's not a bad rating, really. However, Blue Moon wins this battle, and it's comparably if not identically priced.
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Old 05-06-2007, 01:55 AM   #603
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Hey Wook, did you try out the Lime Blue Moon? Blue Moon is my macro brew of choice and I have to say I wasn't impressed with the Lime version. It tasted more like a regular non-wheat beer than a limed up wheat beer.
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Old 05-06-2007, 12:28 PM   #604
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I don't think I've ever seen the lime version for sale. I've seen the pumpkin version in the fall, but I didn't try it. Honestly, I'd be kind of scared of a lime version.
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Old 05-13-2007, 12:01 AM   #605
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I'm not a big fan of lime + beer unless it's a Corona.

During the Suns Spurs game I tried an impulse buy: I saw a bottle of the DIPA by Cica's Blue Frog Grog and Grille at BevMo. I guess it's a bar and grille in Fairfield, CA. It's a Double IPA. It wasn't cheap. $8.50 for a 750mL corked bottle. 8% ABV. I bought it solely based on the description, which sounded unique and interesting:

"This monstrous version of our IPA has been overloaded with everything from the malt to the hops, even the tunes we rocked out to during the brew day were huge. This bottle conditioned Double India Pale Ale is abound with aromas of citrus hops, English toffee, and fresh baked biscuits. Caramel notes, hoppy lovin' and slight yeastie [sic] notes jump off your tongue."

So onto the beer. I poured the first glass in a standard pint glass, second into a tulip glass. Didn't notice much difference between the two.

Pour - nice head, though dissipated quickly w/o much retention. Color is sort of a clear, dark, orangey amber color.

Nose - not your typical Double IPA. Almost Belgian, actually. A little fruity with some caramel. Hmm.

Taste - My initial reaction: WTF?! This is NOT a double IPA. I really didn't like it at first. The initial flavor that you pick up on the palate is sort of odd... almost like an ESB. The caramel and toffee flavors come through a little. Weird. It also has some characteristics that can be labeled as almost stout-ish.And what about the hops? For a Double IPA, the hop flavor is very underwhelming. Just not a strong hop character and a flavor that isn't all that interesting. This beer just seems confused about what it wants to be.

That's my major problem with it. I expected some hops, and it didn't deliver. All things considered, it wasn't a bad beer, but it was nothing to write home about, and certainly didn't kick the way I expect a double IPA to.

I award it . I just can't imagine spending this much on such an underwhelming beer. The only redeeming value of my $8.50 is I had a pretty solid conversation with the cute BevMo girl. I'm pretty sure she digs me so I'm going to ask her out. But yeah, screw this beer.

Also a quick note of another beer I tried this week: Anderson Valley's Poleeko Gold Pale Ale. A quick, apt description of it would be a light version of the Boont Amber Ale. It's not as flavorful or as strong, but that same malt character comes through and it's very refreshing. Solid beer.
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Old 05-14-2007, 03:34 PM   #606
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Guys, I had a few of Rogue's beers last night. Some time tonight I will post the pics and reviews.

The list includes
Rogue's Imperial Stout (11%)
Mad Monk Ale
Chocolate Stout
Issaquah Bullfrog Ale


briefly about the Imperial Stout, it cost $14.00 for a 25oz beer, and the bottle is SICK. I thought this beer was fantastic.
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Old 05-18-2007, 05:53 PM   #607
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

has anybody visited any breweries or great bars in Brussels? I am going in a couple of weeks, and have a couple days to cruise around. would love to do some beer touring. all recommendations of anything beer related appreciated!
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Old 05-18-2007, 07:07 PM   #608
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Zod,
Here you go:
http://beeradvocate.com/beerfly/city/24

All,
I think it's time I've posted some more reviews. I picked up a case of different stuff last weekend while visiting San Diego & think I'll review the Alpine Brewing Pure Hoppiness & Mandarin Nectar. I have some stuff going on this weekend so I probably won't be able to post the reviews until Sunday.
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Old 05-21-2007, 12:15 AM   #609
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I wasn't able to have a "proper" tasting of the Pure Hoppiness so I'll just review the Mandarin Nectar. Here's what Alpine's web site says about the beer:
Quote:
Mandarin Nectar - A Honey Ale with natural orange flavor. Spices used in a Belgian Wit beer, coriander and orange zest, complement the orange blossom honey used in this ale. 1.052 O.G. - 1.002 F.G. 4.1 IBU 6.5% ABV
The beer pours with a pleasant aroma & nice head. Unfortunately, that's what I liked most about it. It's a standard clean ale. The corriander gives it some spice to go with the sweetness from the honey. Contrary to it's name, I really didn't get much orange taste from it, which is what I was looking for.

All in all, this is a decent beer. Very refreshing for the 100 degree afternoon here in Phoenix. But given the beer's name, I wanted more orange flavor. I give it 1/2
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Old 05-21-2007, 10:03 AM   #610
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Was this beer going for something along the lines of Blue Moon? How do the two compare?
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Old 05-21-2007, 06:22 PM   #611
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I haven't had Blue Moon, so I can't compare them. I have had wits from some of the local brew pubs that I felt were better.
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Old 05-21-2007, 09:40 PM   #612
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Yeah, I wouldn't doubt that local breweries can put out a better product. Blue Moon is a Coors product, but to date it's the best beer I've had from Bud, Miller, or Coors. It's pretty ubiquitous, and I'd be surprised if there isn't a bar around you that carries it or a grocery store where you can buy a sixer for $5-$6. It's on the sweeter side of wits, and it has a good dose of the orange flavor you were hunting for.
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Old 05-22-2007, 06:39 AM   #613
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Quote:
has anybody visited any breweries or great bars in Brussels? I am going in a couple of weeks, and have a couple days to cruise around. would love to do some beer touring. all recommendations of anything beer related appreciated!
Beer Map of Brussels

Also, I would recommend taking the train to Bruges if you have extra time. Most people like it better than Brussels.

If you are a real beer geek (like myself) you should certainly visit the Cantillon brewery in Brussels. If you aren't all that beer geeky then it might be a waste of time.
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Old 05-30-2007, 12:15 AM   #614
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San Diego - Trip Report

Hey guys, I know it's been a while since I've made beer posts in the thread, but I just got back from spending my Memorial Day weekend in San Diego. My girlfriend was attending an ABA (Association for Behavior Analysis) conference there and I got to tag along. Saturday was our designated beer day, and we did quite a bit. We had to rent a car, as we were staying in downtown San Diego, and everything we wanted to do was outside the city. Our first stop was Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido. We arrived early for what was originally going to be our first stop, so we bumped up the beer store to 10:50 AM. I thought I was a kid in a candy store when shopping for beer in New York...After looking around for a while, I settled on the following brews to take home: Lost Abbey Judgment Day and 10 Commandments, and Alesmith Wee Heavy and Speedway Stout.

After that we hit up the relatively new Stone World Bistro, which unbeknownst to us, is attached to the Stone brewery in Escondido. It's the only building on one side of the street for a good half mile, so they have quite an extensive property. We decided to eat outside, which was absolutely beautiful. There's an entire garden out there along with a koi pond. Here's some pictures.





We ordered our food and started the day off right with some beer. They had quite a tap and bottle selection, as you may imagine. I opted for the double dry-hopped version of Stone Levitation Ale, which is their amber ale, just with more hop presence. My girlfriend said she could smell it from across the table. I really liked the hop addition here and there wasn't much of a malt presence; I guess I was very much in the mood for it at the time. My girlfriend is really into sour beers, so she ordered some Russian River Compunction, which Russian River lists as being a blonde ale brewed with pluots (plum-apricot hybrid). It had the typical sour aroma to it, and the taste very much backed it up. Really tart with a nice citrus and apricot taste to it. For lunch, I got their Buffalo Burger. Here's me and my meal:



After that we went to Port Brewing/Lost Abbey in San Marcos. We had talked to the manager/sales director Vince Marsaglia back in February at the Extreme Beer Fest. He was really nice and told us to come visit when we went to San Diego. This place was pretty awesome. Surrounding the bar were just tons of barrels; some full, some just having been brought in. Here's some pictures of that whole scene:





Interestingly, Port Brewing actually bought this building from Stone after they moved to their new Escondido location.

The way the tasting room works is really cool; you can order a $3 flight, in which you get 4 four oz. tastings of their stuff on tap. So that's a decent deal all by itself, but the kicker is that if you choose to buy a bottle or several there, then the $3 you spent on the flight goes toward your purchase of the bottle(s). The beers we tried in our flight were Devotion, Red Barn Ale, Lost and Found, and Judgment Day. Devotion was a hoppy blonde ale that I can't say I was a big fan of, it just seemed sort of bland with not much backing up the slight hoppiness. The Red Barn Ale is their saison, brewed with ginger, black pepper, and grains of paradise. I liked this one quite a bit; it had a familiar coriander and yeasty aroma, but the taste is where it stands out from other belgian ales. You could definitely taste the spiciness here, particularly the ginger, which I'm normally not a big fan of in large doses, but this worked out nicely. Third was their Lost and Found, an abbey dubbel brewed with raisins. The aroma was very malty and boozy, which was echoed in the taste, along with those raisins. I found this to be a bit too much on the alcoholic side for me. Lastly was Judgment Day, their quadrupel that weighs in at 10.5% ABV. This one was also brewed with raisins. The aroma and taste was much stronger than the Lost and Found, with a much thicker mouthfeel. Still, it was a little too boozy for me at the moment. Maybe one of the bottles I got will mellow out with some time. Before leaving I ended up buying a bottle of their imperial stout, Santa's Little Helper.

All in all, it was a really great day. I highly recommend all of those places whenever you're in the San Diego area. It was too bad we didn't make it over to Alesmith...maybe next time. Oh, and for all of the SoCal people, the Pizza Port Real Ale Festival is this weekend in Carlsbad, so go take a look if you can make it over there.
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Old 05-30-2007, 12:37 AM   #615
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Re: San Diego - Trip Report

Nice report. I'm jealous .
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Old 06-01-2007, 02:44 PM   #616
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Quote:
Quote:
has anybody visited any breweries or great bars in Brussels? I am going in a couple of weeks, and have a couple days to cruise around. would love to do some beer touring. all recommendations of anything beer related appreciated!
Beer Map of Brussels

Also, I would recommend taking the train to Bruges if you have extra time. Most people like it better than Brussels.

If you are a real beer geek (like myself) you should certainly visit the Cantillon brewery in Brussels. If you aren't all that beer geeky then it might be a waste of time.
so, I'm trying to figure out how much Westvleteren 12/10 I should bring home. I found some at 12 euro/bottle. as some of you know, it's very hard or impossible to find normally. I doubt it's actually worth that much, you really pay for the rarity. for comparison, excellent beers like Rochefort 10 and St Bernidus cost like $3 per bottle here.

I have bough 4 bottles. buy more, despite the outragous cost?
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Old 06-01-2007, 03:30 PM   #617
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Quote:


so, I'm trying to figure out how much Westvleteren 12/10 I should bring home. I found some at 12 euro/bottle. as some of you know, it's very hard or impossible to find normally. I doubt it's actually worth that much, you really pay for the rarity. for comparison, excellent beers like Rochefort 10 and St Bernidus cost like $3 per bottle here.

I have bough 4 bottles. buy more, despite the outragous cost?
I think Westvleteren is overrated. Yeah, it'g great beer but it does get hyped like you said because of the rarity. But, it's no better than Rochefort 10 and St.Bernardus is close behind. I'd try them all and then make a choice of what to bring home. Money is really not an object when it comes to beer. Think how much the best wine in the world would cost. Even the best beers are a fraction of that (and probably taste better!).

I messed up last time I went to Belgium by not getting Struisse Pannepot. If you see that stuff, I would recommend getting a bottle. You can get it at Bier Tempel.

Also, most of the large grocery stores were selling Rochefort 10 for 1.55 Euros last time I was there. If you buy from a heavy tourist area then you pay 2x/3x the price.

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Old 06-01-2007, 04:26 PM   #618
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

yeah im torn. problem is i bought it warm and wont be able to try it before i leave unless i find a bar serving it tonight (unlikely). i think i will try to load up on the roch. and st. and happily pay duty when i get home. i can buy them in boston, but they cost a whole lot more.
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Old 06-02-2007, 01:42 PM   #619
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Quote:
I messed up last time I went to Belgium by not getting Struisse Pannepot. If you see that stuff, I would recommend getting a bottle. You can get it at Bier Tempel.
I bought a bottle of it in PA for 8 bucks since I had no idea it was remotely in my area. Haven't tried it yet, but I've heard it's amazing. As for Rochefort 10 pricing...I'm all sorts of jealous. The best I can get it for in NY is around $6-$7 a bottle.
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Old 06-06-2007, 10:06 PM   #620
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

for those interested, I posted a trip report of my Belgium trip here
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Old 06-08-2007, 09:24 AM   #621
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

so I am going to do some testing of Belgians vs. US equivalents. do these groupings sound right?

Chimay Blue vs. Ommegang

Duvel vs Allagash Grand Cru

Saison Dupont vs Hennepin
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Old 06-08-2007, 10:04 AM   #622
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I haven't had Duvel, so I can't speak for that one, but I was under the impression it was like a light, golden ale? If so, it's not a good opponent for the Allagash. Other than that, your pairings are spot on.
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Old 06-08-2007, 10:29 AM   #623
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Quote:
I haven't had Duvel, so I can't speak for that one, but I was under the impression it was like a light, golden ale? If so, it's not a good opponent for the Allagash. Other than that, your pairings are spot on.
yeah, that's what the Duvel is. what would be a better natch?
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:22 PM   #624
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I went poking around on Duvel's website to see what kind of beer it is. It looks to be a classic tripel. Consequently, I'd put it head-to-head with Allagash's tripel, Unibroue's La Fin Du Monde (Canada), Ommegang's Rare Vos, or, if you feel like blowing it out of the water, Southampton's Grand Cru. Allagash's Grand Cru was unlike most Belgian ales I've had - it was of a different color. Here's my review of it, w/ pics. I honestly don't know of another American beer that could fill in for the Ommegang against Chimay Blue, but you could consider using the saison from either Southampton or Flying Dog, both of which were solid, if for some reason you didn't want or couldn't find the Hennepin.
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Old 06-13-2007, 07:46 PM   #625
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

OK, it's been much, much too long since I've done a beer review in here. I have several tonight, though, one full, and a few minis. I just got back from Beers of the World, so I'll have more to come over the next few weeks. I got some Maibocks, couple fruit beers, another from Southampton, and a couple odds and ends. My real coup though was that I found that BotW had Allagash's White on sale for roughly 45% off. A case cost me less than a case of Blue Moon! I bought two .

For tonight, I'm gong to review a new (or at least, new to BotW) offering from Dogfish Head, their Immort Ale. I paid $4.99 for a single 12 oz bottle of a whopping 11% beer. They don't offer much of a description of this variety other than that I should expect flavors of maple, vanilla, and oak.



The beer pours a clear reddish brown with a respectable head. The head dissipates fairly quickly, though.



The smell of this beer is fairly subtle. I smell mostly a sort of maple-syrupy sweetness, almost like an English-style barley wine. The flavor, though, caught me off guard. It actually does taste something like a mild English barley wine, but there's a powerful flavor of oak and smoke that I didn't detect in the aroma. The alcohol is noticeable, too. This beer is almost like drinking Scotch -- some sweetness, smokiness, woodiness, although it doesn't have the peat flavor. The closest beer I've had to this one is Rogue's Smoke Ale, but this beer has more to it than just the smoke. It's tough to give this beer a rating. I know for sure that some people absolutely will not like this beer, but lovers of Scotch or lovers of English barley wines looking for a change might really dig it. I'm going to give it and a half . It's good, and people looking for something new to try should give this a whirl. However, it's pretty expensive, and I can't say I'd be in the mood for this sort of beer often.
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