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Old 06-13-2007, 07:58 PM   #626
MrWookie
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

OK, now for some mini reviews. I've been running bad at poker lately, so w/o that contribution to my Booze and Loose Women fund, I'd been drinking cheaper beer. Still, I managed to find a few decent ones.

Blue Moon's Honey Moon Summer Ale: This was a pretty decent beer for the price. The honey flavor was nice, and it had a little fruit and spice to go with it. I might like this a hair better than regular Blue Moon. and a half .

These next beers were all found in Saranac's summer pack. I've already reviewed the Pomegranite Wheat (not very good), so on to the rest.

Saranac's Hefeweizen: A big surprise for an American Hefeweizen. It smells almost identical to the real McCoy. It's flavor was a little more subdued, though. Still, it managed to pull out the banana and clove flavors and avoid being yet another crappy American Hefe. and a half .

Saranac's Belgian White: This was decent, but it wasn't as good of an imitation of the original as the Hefeweizen. I like Blue Moon better

Saranac's Golden Pilsner: I wasn't excited by the prospect of finding this in their summer pack, but surprisingly, it did have some good hop flavor. It wasn't much, but it kept it well out of the realm of cheap plonk beer.

Saranac's Koelsch: This, on the other hand, was a pretty dull lager. Sam Adams is better. and a half .

Saranac's Summer Ale: The best of the bunch here. Appealing fruit and spice flavors, if not much malt behind them. and a half , just shy of 3.
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Old 06-14-2007, 10:27 PM   #627
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Tonight, I'll review Ithaca's White Gold, part of their Excelsior series. Ithaca is a small brewery in NY in the city of the same name. They do, however, put out my favorite red hop bomb to date, their Cascazilla. This Excelsior series is their attempt to get into the premium brews from their more typical microbrew line up. I paid $8.95 for a 750 mL bottle. It packs a respetable 8% ABV. I guess this is something like Southampton's Double White ale.



The beer pours a nice light cloudy gold. Unfortunately, when I swirled the yeast sediment into the beer, it came off in chunks rather than dissolving into the more pleasing homogeneous opacity of some bottle-conditioned beer.



The beer doesn't smell as spicy as I'd hope a Belgian white would be. The flavor is a little disappointing. It's fairly sour and dry compared to the expected sweet and spicy flavors I've come to associate with this style of beer. The malt is fairly thin, and I don't taste the yeastiness as much, either. It's not bad, and I do like the lemon flavor and the sourness for a change. There's a little hoppiness in there, too. I'm going to give this beer . It's decent, but it doesn't really blow me away. I probably won't be buying it again.
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Old 06-18-2007, 08:54 PM   #628
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

It's the summertime, and consequently, I've been drinking a lot of lighter beers. Too many, in fact. It's time for a change of pace. I picked up a bottle of Southampton's Imperial Porter, the last Southampton brew that Beers of the World carries. It ran me a fairly modest $5.29 for a 22 oz bottle. The bottle didn't indicate the ABV, but after a little research, Beer Advocate reported it at 7.5%. I'm actually a little skeptical of this, though. As I'm writing this review, the beer has hit me pretty solidly. I would have guessed 8-9%.



I poured the beer more aggressively than I do most beers, but I know that porters tend to be light on head. I coaxed a decent one out of this beer, though. It has a trace of head that has persisted through my drinking, which is more than can be said of many beers of this type. It's the usual dark brown color. Light gets through, but only around the edges of my glass.



The beer smells, well, pretty mild, much more than I was expecting. The flavor is also lighter than expected. I taste a dark roasted malt, the alcohol, and a hit of an almost fruity sweetness. The hopping is fairly light. I'm going to give this beer and a half . It's good, but I liked the Gonzo Imperial Porter from Flying Dog better, I'd say. It's not as hoppy, and its malt isn't as rich. Considering how much I've liked Southampton beers, this was a disappointment. Stick to their Belgian styles, I suppose.
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Old 06-20-2007, 11:35 PM   #629
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

After my recent trip to Belgium, I came back inspired to taste test a couple Belgians vs. their American 'equivalents'. here are 2 I have done recently. these aren't full-fledged reviews of each, but more of a comparison between the 2.
tonight I did Chimay Blue vs. Ommegang (brewed in USA):



as you can probbaly see, the Ommegang pours darker and with a bigger head. perhaps that had something to do with my glassware, I need to buy some proper glasses. anywho, I taste tasted with a friend, and we came away with similar yet different conclusions. We both agreed that these were superior, excellent beers. We both agreed that that Chimay (especially when left to warm to 50 or so) had a lot more yeast/wheat taste, and more spiciness like you might find in a nutmeg beer. The Ommegang tastes fruiter, I picked up some apricots maybe? that's what we agreed on. He liked the Ommegang better, while I couldn't figure out which one I liked better. I do know that the Ommegang costs $5.99 and the Chimay $10.99, so I will rarely buy buy le blue. Sorry Old World.

about a week ago, we tried a similar test. Saison Dupont vs. Hennepin, brewed by the guys who brew Ommegang. The Saison is on the right.


The Dupont clearly looks like a fuller beer, and it does have a whole lot more yeasty taste than the US version. I like it a lot. The Hennepin was a crowd pleaser b/c it tasted a bit crisper. 2/3 of my buddies preferred it to the Dupont, I think b/c they weren't used to the wheat/yeast taste thats evident in a lot of Belgians. again, I couldn't really decide, I liked both. I do know that this style isnt my favorite, and the Hennepin at $3 cheaper is a far better deal.

coming soon: Westvleteren!
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Old 06-22-2007, 12:17 AM   #630
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Oh no! I typed up a big review for Allagash's Hugh Malone ale. My pics:

[image]http://img256.imageshack.us/my.php?image=allagashhughmalone001fs3.jpg]

[image]http://img473.imageshack.us/my.php?image=allagashhughmalonemolecwl1.jpg]



At this point, I'm too drunk to retype the full review. However, this was a good beer that I award . It's in the same genre as Arrogant bastard, and it packs 8.5% ABV. However, it cost me almost $17 for a 750 mL bottle, and that's too much for a great, but not ridiculous, beer.
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Old 06-22-2007, 02:43 PM   #631
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Quick question: How does everyone pronounce 'Rochefort' and 'Chimay?'

Is it ROCKfort or ROSHfort? Kimay or is the 'ch' pronounced the same as in 'chip?'
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Old 06-22-2007, 02:52 PM   #632
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

My guess at Rochefort is ROAK-fort (Roak rhymes with oak and toke).
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Old 06-22-2007, 03:12 PM   #633
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Quote:
Quick question: How does everyone pronounce 'Rochefort' and 'Chimay?'

Is it ROCKfort or ROSHfort? Kimay or is the 'ch' pronounced the same as in 'chip?'
no, it's like more shh-may, with a quick "ih" between the shhh and may.

glad I could explain that so clearly
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Old 06-22-2007, 03:56 PM   #634
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Yeah, I felt like a huge idiot for always asking for a "Ki-may" and then hearing someone say it "Shy-may."

Kind of along the same lines, I went to a St. Louis micromicro-brew a couple weeks ago. Its literally 20 paces from where I was staying, and they make good beer, so its a favorite. My mom ordered their weizen, but the waitress informed her that they were out. She asked what they had that was similar, and I spoke up right away, telling her to order their saison. The waitress added that she may like a German bock, because it was the most similar to the weizen and the saison would be "a lot darker" than the weizen.

I didn't say anything, but looked at the beer list again, and it flat-out stated that the weizen was close to their saison, and of course when the beers came out the bock was dark as [censored], while the saison I later ordered was lighter, spicier, and in general a closer match.

I still think not saying anything is the right course, because there's always the chance that you're wrong and because often making a fuss causes more problems than it solves. But then I think about my mom getting a drink she didn't really want, and I think about someone asking for a white wine recommendation and getting a red, and I think its ridiculous for a waiter at this small brew pub to be so clueless. I mean, I can understand not picking up on the finer points of IPA v. APA, but a weizen/saison/bock difference seems about like BMC/stout to me... especially when the menu says that they're close.

In any case, I'm fine with going to a ballgame and guzzling BMC to get a good buzz, and if its the right situation, I'm fine with getting an $8 Belgian to go with my food, but I'm never sure where the "beer snob" line stands, and in this case it caused me not to say anything when I knew the waitress' recommendation was clearly not something my mom wanted.
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Old 06-22-2007, 04:02 PM   #635
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

she should know the difference between a bock and a saison.

I think your play is to nod politely, and then say "perhaps, but I have hunch the saison is a better choice here"
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Old 06-23-2007, 07:26 AM   #636
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Has anyone had a chance to taste the Ten Thousand Brew Ale from Rogue? I'm really interested in trying it, but I don't feel like spending the $20 for a bottle only to find out it isn't worth it.
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Old 06-23-2007, 10:49 AM   #637
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

many good things Great about beer, but i use it to wash down the brandy on my good days
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Old 06-25-2007, 08:39 PM   #638
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Tonight, I'm going to do a little roundup for a variety of beer I've never tried before: Maibocks. I picked up three, one from Einbecker, the German brewery that I believe invented the Bock style of beer. The second is from Munich's famous Hofbraeu Haus, and the third is an American imitation from Flying Dog. I'm not really sure what to expect from this style of beer. I just know its brewed similar to a Bock, and it traditionally comes out in May (Mai auf Deutsch). Yes, I'm a little out of season, but I forgot about this one when I was out shopping last at BotW. I paid $2.29 for the 11.2 oz bottle from Einbecker. It's a nice 6.5%, a little on the strong side, which is common for bocks.



The beer pours a clear orange color without much persistent carbonation.



The beer smells, well, not all that strongly. It smells like it's malt is a little on the light side, and the hopping is similar to a decent pilsner. There's just a hint of sweetness and of apples. Taking a sip, it's about what I expected based on the smell, which isn't really an inspiring variety of beer. It's a little sweeter with a caramel-ish flavor and a hair maltier than the average pilsner, and it does have that hint of apples. All in all, though, I'm not really impressed. I'm going to give it and a half , and I considered giving it a lowly 2 hearts.

I'll do the offering from Hofbraeu next. Theirs was a little more expensive, $2.65 for a 12 oz bottle. They don't specify the ABV.



The appearance is almost identical to the Einbecker - orange w/o much head at all.



The aroma is similar, too. It smells a little bit hoppier. The flavor is a little hoppier, too. It's also a little drier. I like the hops in this better, but I miss the hint of sweetness. I think I like this one a shade better, but not enough for a higher rating. I give it the same and a half .

Alright, the last beer up to try and save the variety is the American offering from Flying Dog, which they call their Heller Hound Anti-Spring. It weighs in at a comparable 6.2% ABV, and it was a little cheaper, at $1.99 for a 12 oz bottle.



The Flying Dog pours a shade lighter than the German Maibocks, and it has a little more head. It's still not all that persistent, but it hangs out at least a little longer.



The aroma of this beer doesn't seem to be as hoppy, but I smell a richer malt. Taking a sip, and it's clear that this is my favorite of the bunch. The malt comes through better, and I like the hop make up more, too. There's more of the citrus flavor to the hops that I like, along with a little bit of woodiness and sweetness in the malt. I'm going to give this beer , which might be a little generous. I think that Maibocks are just not my style of beer. Maybe someone out there likes them better than I do, but if this was all I had to drink during the spring, I'd be lamenting the end of the bocks and eisbocks from the winter and longing for the hefeweizens of the summer. If I was going to reach for a lightly hopped, light malt beer, I'd reach for an APA, say, from Flying Dog or DFH, over one of these every time.

One thing I should note, though, is that the German Maibocks were in green bottles. These generally aren't as good to the beer as brown ones due to damage from light. It's not a big deal in the very short term, but I couldn't tell you when exactly they were bottled. If it was a long time ago, they might have deteriorated. Still, given the quality of the Flying Dog Maibock, which was better, but featured similar flavors, I wouldn't expect the German ones to be that much better. Beer lovers reading this might pick up one or two bottles of these if they're curious, but people just looking for a good beer to drink probably shouldn't bother.
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Old 06-28-2007, 03:54 AM   #639
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

RDH,
We need to get rid of ignorant waitresses at brewpubs. I think you over-polited it. I would've told her to stfu and to bring my mother a damn saison asap. Bock=Weizen? OMG get the [censored] outahere

Tree,
The Rochefort is from the french part of Belgium. It's pronounced 'Roshfor' or something. Rosh rhymes with Posh ( Spice Girls) and the t is silent
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Old 06-28-2007, 05:30 AM   #640
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Quote:
RDH,
We need to get rid of ignorant waitresses at brewpubs. I think you over-polited it. I would've told her to stfu and to bring my mother a damn saison asap. Bock=Weizen? OMG get the [censored] outahere
I dunno, I felt like that was a lose-lose. Its a tiny ( under 300 barrels) brewpub, the waitress is obviously clueless... I guess I just felt like having some good food without disruption was probably better than insisting on a proper match. My mom likes to have an ice-cold Rolling Rock after she cuts the grass, so who cares, right?

Sometimes, though, when I eat out a a place that has a wine list four pages long and then only offers BMC, I feel like shaking whoever is in charge and shouting, "Beer is such a better match for all your plates!"
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Old 06-28-2007, 08:20 PM   #641
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I think I'm going to do a couple of reviews tonight. First up is Brooklyn's Summer Ale. I paid $1.85 for a 12 oz bottle.



The beer pours a familiar gold with a decent head. It made an attempt to lace my glass, but it wasn't too much of one.



The smell of this beer is mild, but I'm hopeful. There's a good aroma of citrus and flowers from the hops. The flavor, though, let me down. The malt is downright watery, and is a real disappointment. The hops are not bold enough to cover that fact up. I like the character of the hops, but basically, this tastes like a watered down version of Brooklyn's Lager. I love their lager, but this beer is a pass. I'm going to award this beer . I considered 1.5, but that would mostly be punitive with my disappointment.
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Old 06-28-2007, 10:09 PM   #642
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

For my second review, I'm going to review a new beer from Dogfish Head, their black and blue. DFH has decided to get into fruit beer, and they're doing it in a big way with a beer that combines blueberries and black raspberries, and selling it in a 750 mL bottle for a whopping $13.99. DFH beers are usually on the expensive side, but fortunately this beer is much stronger than most fruit beers, packing a hefty 10% ABV.



The beer pours a clear light brown with a distinct reddish tinge. It has a good and fairly persistent head on it.



The fruit smell in this beer is milder than I was expecting. It has a nice brown malt smell, and a hint of both the raspberry and blueberry come through. The flavor surprised me. I was expecting something extreme, but this is a more balanced beer. The malt is rich and sweet, and the berry flavors are present, but not overpowering or syrupy. The flavor lingers nicely. I thought about giving this beer just 3.5, but I'm going to give it . Is it worth it? That's the real question. It's a good beer, but this is a steep price to pay. I'm going to say no, unfortunately, unless you really, really like fruit beers. Nice job from DFH, but it's a little too pricey.
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Old 06-29-2007, 01:12 AM   #643
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Quote:
Quick question: How does everyone pronounce 'Rochefort' and 'Chimay?'

Is it ROCKfort or ROSHfort? Kimay or is the 'ch' pronounced the same as in 'chip?'
http://www.belgianstyle.com/mmguide/...nce/speak.html
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Old 07-25-2007, 08:32 PM   #644
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

When I was in Atlanta a few weeks back, I got to pick up a bunch of beers I can't get in TN. Among them is North Coast's Brother Thelonius Belgian ale.



I took the picture after I'd been drinking it a little while. It poured with about a 1/4"-1/2" thick light tan head that settled pretty quickly and didn't leave much lacing. Given kidcolin's review of the beer earlier, I thought it'd be a lot darker than it came out. Its a sort of chocolaty brown with maybe a bit of red/amber in there.

First sip is all malt and alcohol. The alcohol doesn't get in the way, really, but it is definitely present right away. I definitely can see what kidcolin was saying about the cherry flavor; for some reason, my first thought was "black cherry?" but its been so many years since I tasted any black cherry soda or something that I don't really know. I don't mind the sweetness as much as kidcolin seemed to. I don't think its as cloying as he seemed to taste it.

I do agree that the beer doesn't get much higher than "OK," though. On taste alone, I've had better beers, but I don't remember how much I paid for the bottle, so I can't really rate it against something like Maudite. I think the beer could actually really improve if well-matched with food, maybe a German Black Forest cake or something. Something with strong, sweat flavor, to help stand up to the booze and complement the fruity, malty sweetness.
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Old 07-26-2007, 12:21 AM   #645
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

All,

Last Friday was the 1 year anniversary of the beer club. Thanks to everyone for posting reviews and helping me find a bunch of great brews. I had hoped to post an index of every review that has been posted to date to commemorate that anniversary. Obviously, that didn't happen. Real life got in the way. I'll probably have that post up in a week or so. It'll be a sorted table of every beer that's been reviewed here, including the location it's brewed, the ABV, a link to the review of everyone who's reviewed that beer, and of course their rating. It'll be a pretty good resource for people wanting to look something up in here, but, yeah, I have to actually make it. Anyway, thanks again guys for a fun thread. I'll probably be returning to Beers of the World in the next few days and should have some more reviews, too.
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Old 07-26-2007, 01:09 AM   #646
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Quote:

One thing I should note, though, is that the German Maibocks were in green bottles. These generally aren't as good to the beer as brown ones due to damage from light. It's not a big deal in the very short term, but I couldn't tell you when exactly they were bottled. If it was a long time ago, they might have deteriorated.
Just as a note, skunking of beer (the reaction with isomerized hop acids with light that causes a beer to taste/smell like a skunk) can happen in minutes, particularly if the beer is in direct sunlight in a clear/green bottle. Age can have very little to do with it. Be very careful not to ever let beer sit out in the sunlight. Unfortunately, if you have a hoppy beer on a sunny day, your beer could be skunked before you finish drinking it.


If you enjoy Flying Dog, do yourself a huge favor and pick up a six pack of their Gonzo Imperial Porter. I am not a big fan of Flying Dog, but the Gonzo is one of the best beers I have ever had. This is compared to Stone Imperial Russian Stout, Bell's Expedition Stout, etc... Big company, but boy, does the Flying Dog Gonzo hold its own.
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Old 07-26-2007, 01:28 AM   #647
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I've had the Gonzo. I may not have actually reviewed it properly in here, but I've referred to it. I agree. It's awesome.
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Old 07-26-2007, 06:44 PM   #648
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Well it sure has been a while since I've posted here and I've got a bit of a backlog. I'll start with ones I have pictures of I suppose. The first beer is a new one from Ithaca Beer Company's "Excelsior" line of brews: IPAbbey






I picked this one up at Whole Foods in NYC. They had quite the awesome beer selection, I was very impressed. Ran me $10 for a 750 ml at 9% ABV. Poured reddish-amber with plenty of white head. Aroma was more IPA than abbey I must admit, but a decent aroma nonetheless. I could smell a little Belgian spice in there, just not much. The taste was IPA dominated as well. A little more the Belgian side came out in the taste, some yeastiness and honey in there. After that, it was all piney hops in the finish. I'm really getting into this whole "bitter beer" thing. I enjoyed this beer, though I think Houblon did a better job with this style. 3.75

The next one is a beer I picked up on my trip to San Diego a couple months back: Alesmith Old Numbskull. Cost me $9.49 for the 750 and weighs in at 10% ABV.






Poured a really dark reddish-brown color with slight off-white head. The aroma was all fruity/candy sweetness and booze...I guess this has mellowed out some. Upon tasting, I get all malt to start, with dark fruits being the predominant taste, though it was tough for me to pinpoint anything specifically. The finish was sweet and boozy, with the latter being predominant after swallowing. The hops definitely faded in this one. I wonder how this tastes fresh, as it was made in the American Barleywine style. I think if it had the sort of bitterness I was looking for, this would easily be a 4+, but as it stands I give it 3.75
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Old 07-26-2007, 07:12 PM   #649
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Max,

Good to have you back . Sounds like the IPAbbey was better than the White Gold. I guess I chose poorly when I was deciding between which one to buy and review.
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Old 07-26-2007, 07:33 PM   #650
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

No go on the White Gold huh? I guess I'm still curious. I assume it doesn't hold a candle to Double White then. I'd really like to try their other two beers in the Excelsior line, Old Habit (a rye barleywine) and Kaffinator (espresso doppelbock), as they sound pretty interesting, though I haven't seen them around here as of yet. Have you (or anyone) seen these in stores?
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