It's been a while since I've done a review here, but I went shopping at Beers of the World yesterday and picked up some good stuff to review. I got new beer from Stoudt's, Dogfish Head, Southampton, Stone, and Ithaca, and I have high expectations for all of them. They're certainly breweries that have repeatedly proved themselves.
Tonight's review, however, is a new beer from Brooklyn. Brooklyn has long been one of my favorite breweries, not because they produce absolutely the best beer, but it's often a very good buy. However, it looks like Brooklyn might be getting into premium brewing now, too. I picked up a bottle of they're Local 1, which is the first beer they've released in a 750 mL bottle. I paid $8.69 for it, which is much more than the damn Californians pay for Stone and Alesmith 22's, but by the standards of BotW, it's on the lower end for a 750. It weighs in at a hefty 9%, but that's only their second strongest offering. The Brooklyn Monster is stronger. Let's get going with the obligatory pics:
The beer pours a nice cloudy gold with a big bubbly head in spite of a slow careful pour. This is a bottle fermented beer, so the cloudiness is welcome. The head is persistent, although it doesn't really challenge the La Chouffe Tripel IPA, the reigning champ for head on beer.
I wasn't exactly sure what kind of beer I was getting when I got this. It says it has German malt and hops and Belgian yeast, and apparently they dumped Mauritius sugar in here, too. I was kinda hoping for a tripel, which is probably my favorite variety of beer. Taking a whiff of this beer, though, and it seemed to be more like a Saison. Turns out that's what Beer Advocate classifies it as, too, so I must be getting pretty good at this beer thing. It's rather strong for a Saison, though. I might have passed if I knew it was a saison, but now that I'm in the middle of reviewing it, I can tell you that it's a pretty good one. The flavor is a little hoppier than most Saisons, but the hops aren't like those in most APAs or IPAs. These are more grassy and herbal. The malt is medium-sweet -- drier than a tripel, but a little sweeter than other Saisons. I get a little bit of apple flavor in there, and something slightly flowery in the aftertaste I can't really narrow down. I find that as I'm finishing of the bottle right now, I'm liking it more. I think that in spite of letting it warm for a bit outside of my fridge, I should have waited a little longer. Since this is a mild, subtle beer, the cold temperature dulls the flavor more than it does for a bolder beer. So, what do I rate this? I think I'm going to give this
and a half
. I think the Southampton Saison is still my favorite of the variety, but this is a much better buy than the Flying Dog Saison, which ran me $9.57 on sale, $11.65 full price, and I liked it pretty much the same as the Brooklyn. This is a somewhat optimistic rating relative to some of my others since Saison's don't excite me as much as richer beers, but fans of Saisons should definitely look this one up. It's reasonably priced, will get you drunker than most, and the quality is good for the style.