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08-01-2007 , 10:35 PM
I have a couple more hawaiian beers to review - try and stick it up tomorrow
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08-03-2007 , 12:34 AM
Here it is. Just to keep things chugging along...arf arf..

Some beers from a couple of the other islands, namely Kaui and the big island. (Pure coincidence I got 2 from each brewery - just noticed that; a coupla reviews are from a few weeks ago and scribbled down).

Keoki, Sunset Ale (Kaui) 3.5/5.
(from scribblings; I was drunk). I liked it. Not a stones throw from being Sierra Nevada, but with a wee bit extra bitterness. Mild malt flavour.

Keoki, Gold (Kaui) 2/5.
Meh. Ok to quaff, but kind of a thin ale & nothing more - could easily have been produced by a mass brewery somewhere in China, or something like that. Light, watery, dull. No inspiration to ever buy again.

Mehana, Volcano Red Ale (Big Island) 2/5.
Deep red colour. Caramelly flavour with plenty sweetness, but unfortunately not balanced out by any bitterness. A cloying aftertaste from the sweetness nailed its coffin for me.

Mehana, Mauna Kea Pale Ale (Big Island) 4/5.
I liked this a lot. A lightweight pale ale, still with good hops tho, but also with a lovely floral aroma thing going - perfect for the warm days here. I enjoyed the slight acetone aroma it also had...if that's the right word.

Kona Brewing Co., Big Wave Golden Ale (Big Island) 3/5.
Reminiscent of a summer ale I guess, but with extra bitterness. Very slight sweetness & mild citrus to it. It left a bit of a lingering bitterness (metallic?) on the back and sides of my tongue that I wasn't keen on.

Kona Brewing Co., Fire Rock Pale Ale 4/5.
Another goodun. A great balance of the hops, sweetness, creamy mouth feel. Wee bit more carbonation than I like but most folk will like it that way (I like low bubbles). Rich, solid mouth feel.

Whew. That took a while & now I'm zingin'. Gotta prime rib to cook up now.

Hope this thread carries on 'cos it's great for knowing which brews to pick up and try. Lookin forward to the summary so far.

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08-03-2007 , 01:21 AM
I heard a rumor from a Hawaiian friend that might disappoint you. I heard that the Kona brews, while the grain is grown on the island, the brewing is done in Seattle, of all places. It's strange that it makes economic sense to grow the stuff out there, ship it over the ocean, brew it, and then ship it back. On the up side, though, it means I can find them when I'm in Seattle. I saw them in Costco, of all places, but I didn't pick any up at the time. I'll have to look them up next time.
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08-05-2007 , 06:40 PM
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.

Edit: wording
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08-06-2007 , 07:55 PM
The new Southampton brew I found was their Secret Ale. This is an altbier that ran me $8.95 for a sixer. By BotW standards, that's not too bad, but not too cheap, either. It packs a modest 5.1% ABV.

It pours a translucent reddish brown with a moderate head.

The scent of the beer is nice and malty. Its flavor, compared to other alts I've had, including a couple German ones and Alaskan Amber, is not quite as earthy. It's mostly a nice malt that's just slightly sweet. There's a little bit of woodiness behind it, and a nice finish. This beer isn't particularly hoppy, so hop heads might want to look elsewhere. This would be a nice everyday sort of beer for me, although it's not quite as good a buy as Brooklyn Brown. Still, I'm going to give it and a half . This is a well-balanced, easy drinking, and tasty ale.
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08-07-2007 , 04:11 PM
I heard a rumor from a Hawaiian friend that might disappoint you. I heard that the Kona brews, while the grain is grown on the island, the brewing is done in Seattle, of all places. It's strange that it makes economic sense to grow the stuff out there, ship it over the ocean, brew it, and then ship it back. On the up side, though, it means I can find them when I'm in Seattle. I saw them in Costco, of all places, but I didn't pick any up at the time. I'll have to look them up next time.
That doesn't surprise me. Development land, property, everything is very expensive here.

There are some other HI beers. Mebbe I'll try do the works.

I tried the Kona Brewing Co Pipeline Porter 1/5 (it prolly shudnt be rated that hi). Its brewed with coffee and it really stinks. Just tastes like bad cold coffee with bubbles.
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08-07-2007 , 08:10 PM
Maxx and I have reviewed half of Ithaca's Excelsior line of premium brews, the double white and the IPAbbey. Tonight, I picked up the third, the Old Habit. The last one is an imperial stout that they dumped some espresso into or something. I might get that one in the next round. The Old Habit bills itself as an ale made out of four different rye malts, two different kinds of hops, and spending some time in bourbon barrels. My experiences with oak aged beer has been mixed. Stones Oak Aged Bastared and Allagash's Curieux are two of my favorite beers. Allagash's other oaked beers, and the Oak Aged Yeti from Great Divide didn't impress me as much, the oaking adding significantly to the price, but not as much to the flavor. The Old Habit ran me $8.95 for a 750 mL bottle. It's not cheap, but it's also not as bad as some other premium 750s, notably Allagash. This beer weighs in at 9% ABV, about what I'd expect from a premium beer costing this much and coming in a 750.

The beer pours a darker brown with a slight red tint. It's clear rather than cloudy. The head is slight in the pouring, and it doesn't hang out long.

I could smell this beer even before I started pouring. The first things I smelled were a dark fruitiness, namely plums and cherries. It smells pretty sweet. The wood isn't as noticeable as in, say, the Oaked Bastard. The flavor of this beer is somewhat sweet, and the alcohol is there, too. It's actually a little less sweet as I thought it might be from the strongly fruity smell. The hops are not really in the first flavors of the beer, but they're in the finish. I didn't notice them as much until the beer had warmed a bit, actually, but they make for a nice aftertaste. The fruit flavors don't come through as much in the flavor as they do in the smell. The woodiness is subdued, but it blends with the malt and hops nicely. I'm going to award this . I actually considered giving this just 3, but this beer definitely needs to warm up from my fridge temp to be properly enjoyed. It's much better just slightly chilled. This isn't the boldest beer, but there are still a lot of flavors in here if you take the time to enjoy them. I wouldn't recommend this for newer beer drinkers, but if you like Stone's Arrogant Bastard and might want something a bit maltier and less hoppy, this is one to check out.
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08-08-2007 , 01:26 AM

this is surprisingly very good
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08-08-2007 , 07:17 PM
Tonight is my first review from Stoudt's, their Double IPA. I remember having heard good things about this brewery, but I hadn't tried them out before. I found their beer on sale this last time, though, so I snatched it up. I paid $9.97 for a sixer of this and also for a sixer of their tripel. Regular price is $13.95. It's a strong beer, 10% ABV.

The beer is a yellow-orange color with a light head. The head fades, but it maintains a ring around the edge that's enough to lace my glass.

The beer has a nice strong scent, mostly from the hops. They don't smell quite as bitter as some, but there's a lot of orange smell in there. There's also some honey sweetness. The flavor isn't quite as hoppy as I expected. It's a fairly sweet and malty brew with a medium body and much less bitterness than the average double IPA. I looked up the ABV after the fact, since it wasn't written on the bottle. I never would have guessed this was a 10% brew. I was thinking 7-8%. The sweetness probably covers that up. I'm going to give this and a half . It's a good beer, but I wish they had kicked up the hops just a hair more. Still, the hop flavor and the malt base is tasty.
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08-09-2007 , 08:44 PM
For tonight's review, I'm going to take on a monster. Beers of the World got in a couple new beers from Dogfish Head, and I couldn't pass up their
Raison D'Extra. This beer, according to Beer Advocate, weighs in at 20% ABV!!! Twenty percent! I didn't think they could make beer this strong, since the World Wide Stout and 120 Min IPA weigh in at a "mere" 18%.

The beer pours a medium brown with almost no head. That's not surprising, though. Beer this strong can't hold a head.

The smell of this beer is extremely strong. I smell raisins, obviously, as this beer is brewed with them. The alcohol is very strong, and makes it difficult to take a deep whiff. I also get apples, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The flavor is quite a rush. I get all the flavors I smelled, although surprsingly, the alcohol isn't as pronounced as I might have thought. I would have known this was a strong beer, but not 20%. It's quite sweet, and there's a hint of the cough syrup, but it's not in the foreground. The flavor of this beer lasts long after swallowing, and there's a little honey in the finish, too. I'm going to give this beer and a half . It's an amazing beer, but I think DFH went a little too far. The cough syrup creeps in there, but not as much as with their 120 min IPA. Still, it seems sweet and strong at the expense of some of the flavor. It's not quite good enough to earn the extra half . If I'm going to pay $10 for a bottle of DFH beer, I'll take the World Wide Stout.
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08-11-2007 , 02:43 AM
Sorry all.. it's been a while since I've had a review, or even read this beast. I got some catching up to do.

Tonight, I sampled Urthel's Samaranth Quadruple. This is from memory of a few hours ago. I didn't take any notes, so this is a little lacking.

Came in a corked 750mL bottle. Poured it into a tulip glass. It pours a dark amber color. Lots of flavor in the nose. Alcohol and spices are abound, along with some deep fruits, notably cherry. It has a very healthy head with lots of retention.

It tastes much like it smells. The alcohol comes through nicely on top of the spices, yeast, and fruitiness. Nice balance of hops and malt. There's a fair amount of carbonation. As the beer warmed up a bit, I noticed the alcohol bite a bit more. In fact, when I first noticed this, I put the bottle back in the fridge for another 5-10 minutes while I finished my first glass.

All in all, a great beer. I enjoyed it with roasted chicken and some bread. I give it .
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08-12-2007 , 07:59 PM
Alright, I've got another review. This time something a little more unique. I was in SF yesterday with my sister and some friends and we stopped at a Japanese place for some Saturday happy hour. Many a drinks were had, but most were just Sapporo. However, this bottle caught my eye:

Hitachino Nest White Ale. It's brewed in Japan, but it seems to be along the same lines of classic Belgian White Ales. It's 5% ABV. I paid $7 per 21/oz bottle at the bar.

It pours the same color as a traditional white. Kind of a hazy straw and orange color. There was a little head to this beer, maybe 2 fingers worth, and there wasn't much lacing.

It's aroma was unique and very strong. Spicy with coriander and some citrus, but I think I picked up on some veggie influence, too. My guess is cucumber (editor's note: after writing this review I poked around beer advocate and I didn't find any veggie remarks. I could be off here).

It tasted very good. A variety of spices to go along with the crisp citrus flavor (mostly lemon). There's a little sourness in there, but not much. It has a very light consistency, almost creamy, and a good amount of carbonation. Goes down smooth and isn't very filling.

Overall, I think this is a beer, maybe even 4.5. I liked it enough to buy 2 bottles of it. I'm going to try to find it again and just focus on the beer, as on this occasion it complimented a myriad of appetizers. I think there's more to this beer than my review from memory indicates.
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08-12-2007 , 11:21 PM
Whoa, a Hitachino review! I was checking out a place in town I hadn't been to before, saw Hitachino Nest Celebration Ale, and had to give it a try. I was going to post pictures and reviews, but my computer with all the info died on Friday.

I thought it was ok. Maltier than I was expecting, but probably because I couldn't get Sierra's Celebration out of my head. From memory, I thought it was a little bit better than average, but probably not something I'd get again when there's so much other stuff out there to try.
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08-13-2007 , 09:23 PM
Tonight, I'm going to review a new beer from Stone, their Vertical Epic 07.07.07. Apparently Stone has been releasing new brews to commemorate the triple dates, from 02/02/02 through 12/12/12. I've missed the first five, but I'm looking forward to trying this one and all the rest. I paid $8.99 for a 22oz bottle of 8.4% beer. The bottle bills this beer as blend of a saison and a tripel, and then they dumped in ginger, cardamom, and grapefruit, orange, and lemon peels. It certainly sounds exotic.

The beer pours a rich gold color. It's darker than any saison or tripel I've ever had. It's also clear, so it's not bottle conditioned like most tripels. The head is bubbly, but dissipated pretty quickly down to nothing.

The first thing I smell in this beer is: spice! I smell cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. There doesn't seem to be as much fruit or malt as I was expecting, but the spiciness is so strong that it might just be overpowering it. The flavor is similar. The ginger is strong and tasty, and the other spices are a nice compliment. There's a sweetness in the finish that I didn't notice at first behind the spice. However, there's not the same yeastiness, malt, or fruitiness I enjoy from a tripel. I'm going to award this beer . It is tasty and unique, but it does feel like it's missing something to back up the spice. I'm looking forward to the rest of this series.
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08-21-2007 , 10:11 PM
I have a few quick reviews tonight. One was from a beer I tried about a week ago but didn't review at the time, and two were from a bar over the weekend.

The beer I didn't review right away was the Wagner Valley Sled Dog Doppelbock from here in NY. It is a strong beer, 8.5% ABV. It was a clear darker brown with a slight reddish tinge and little head. It was a pretty disappointing beer, though. It was kinda sweet and syrupy without having a whole lot else going for it. It was better than the Sam Adams attempt at a doppelbock, but it still wasn't something I'd buy again. .

I'm thinking that bocks and doppelbocks are two styles of beer I'll have to investigate this fall and winter. I'm sure there are good ones out there, but I've been disappointed by some feeble American attempts.

Anyway, onward. I was in Minneapolis this weekend, and at the bar I hit up, I was lucky enough to find that they had some Bell's brews on tap. The first one I tried was the Two Hearted Ale. I was ordering blind at the time, but this turned out to be their IPA. Looking it up now, this beer has a pretty mighty 7% ABV, at least by the standards of this style. I was very impressed. It was a little light on head, but the head stuck around pretty well. The flavor was outstanding. The hops were delicious, with great floral and citrusy flavor without being overpoweringly bitter. The citrus was surprisingly strong. It wasn't as fruity as, say, a tripel, but it was stronger than most IPAs. There was a decent grain flavor hiding behind the hops, too. This was probably the best standard IPA I've had to date. and a half .

For my second beer, I was trying to decide between a bottle of Bell's Kalamazoo stout, which I was pretty sure I'd like, and a draught of Bell's Oberon, which I had no idea what style it was. I opted for the draught, and unfortunately, it was a mistake. It turned out to be an American hefeweizen. Honestly, though, by American hefeweizen standards, it was pretty decent. Naturally, it had none of the banana, clove or other interesting flavors of its distant Bavarian relatives, but it did have a fairly tasty malt and a slight yeastiness to it. It was a cloudy brew. I'm going to give this beer and a half . In all honesty, this was probably the best American hefeweizen I've had, disregarding Brooklyn's, which actually made a decent attempt to get the flavors in the Bavarian hefes. That doesn't mean that I have any love for this style of beer, though.
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08-23-2007 , 12:52 AM
In regards to your comment about bocks/doppelbocks, I suggest you try Ayinger Celebrator (if you haven't already). It's a German doppelbock, and is awesome. I tried it for the first time tonight, and I'm not much for writing reviews, but I don't think anyone who appreciates beer could dislike it.
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08-23-2007 , 01:17 AM
Duly noted. I know for a fact that Beers of the World carries that one, so when I get some doppelbocks, I'll definitely get that one. I've liked the beer I've gotten from Ayinger so far, albeit with one dud, but I'd trust them to do a good job.
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08-23-2007 , 06:54 PM
Two Hearted is also my favorite IPA...makes me want to live in Michigan. Sad about the Oberon though, I heard it was a decent attempt at an American Wheat beer. Speaking of wheat beers, I'll give a review on my new favorite summer beer: 1809 Berliner Style Weisse. $5 for a 500 ml bottle, 5% ABV.

This isn't my first Berliner Weisse, but it it the first that wasn't bastardized by too much raspberry syrup. Apparently this style of beer was thought to be too acidic and sour for some, so to offset that, people added raspberry or woodruff syrup to it. Anywho, on to my review. Pours a pale, cloudy gold with quickly receding white head. It had an aroma of lactic sourness, citrus, and yeastiness. Upon tasting, the sourness immediately comes into play, followed by lemon tartness. Then it beautifully segues into typical wheat/yeasty flavors. The finish is pretty yeasty as well. At one point after having taken a sip, I could still taste lemons in the corner of my mouth. Pretty awesome. Had a lively, carbonated mouthfeel, which is great for these summer months. I could kick back in the sun with two or three of these and be a real happy camper.
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08-24-2007 , 12:21 AM
Nice review. After all the beer we've reviewed in here, it's not every day we get a review for a completely new style of beer. I don't recall if Beers of the World carries this specific beer or any like it, but I'll definitely look next time I'm out there.
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08-25-2007 , 01:39 PM
Beer question, maybe someone can help me figure it out (I'm looking at you Wookie). Just tried Franziskaner Heffe-Weisse; on it is listed at 5% ABV, but on my bottle, it didn't have an ABV, but did say "malt liquor". I was under the impression that malt liquor was listed on beers that are 8-9% ABV, and I thought my Franziskaner tasted far too strong to be 5%. Can anyone explain? Thanks
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08-25-2007 , 01:48 PM
One, I'm inclined to trust BeerAdvocate. There are a lot of people there who make me look like a beer n00b in comparison. I'd suspect hell would be raised if they had something wrong. Two, I'm surprised your bottle says it's malt liquor. I actually bought myself a case of Franziskaner, and at least on the 12 oz bottles, it makes no such indication.
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08-25-2007 , 02:12 PM
One, I'm inclined to trust BeerAdvocate. There are a lot of people there who make me look like a beer n00b in comparison. I'd suspect hell would be raised if they had something wrong. Two, I'm surprised your bottle says it's malt liquor. I actually bought myself a case of Franziskaner, and at least on the 12 oz bottles, it makes no such indication.
That's the thing, I trust Beeradvocate too...but on their beer terms page it says malt liquor is 8-9% ABV! So I'm really confused Mine came in a 16.9 oz bottle, but I doubt that is related. I really want to get to the bottom of this.

EDIT: Beeradvocate claims malt liquor is a legal term for beer 7-8% ABV, which is illegal to sell in certain places due to its high alcohol content. So, yeah, I'm still confused.
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08-25-2007 , 02:17 PM

"Malt liquor" is as much a legal definition as a beer term, probably more so, really. I'm pretty sure it varies by state, but any alcoholic beverage brewed with grain (not grapes) of x% ABV or higher has to be called "malt liquor," not "beer."

In your specific case, I'd be surprised if the hefe was much higher than 5%. That's about on par for the style.
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08-27-2007 , 02:04 PM
Alright beer club, help me pick my next pick 6. I've never tried any of these choices before, and I like pretty much all styles, so I need your recommendations. (I have a couple I know I'm going to try, but I wanna know what you guys would pick)

Here are the choices: La Fin Du Monde, Blanche De Chambly, Samuel Smith Imperial Stout, Samuel Smith Pale Ale, Rogue Mocha Porter, Ayinger Jahrhundert, Kostriker, Ohara's Irish Stout, Leffe Blonde, Grimbergen Double Ale, Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse Dunkel, Paulaner Hefeweizen, Left Hand Milk Stout

Anything I have to try/ should avoid?
Thanks for the input!
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08-27-2007 , 02:59 PM
Leffe Blonde is outclassed by virtually everything on that list. Ayinger Jahrhundert is also, unless you're a huge pilsner fan and you don't really care for beer with strong flavors. I'd avoid them.

I haven't tried either of the Smith's, the Kostriker, Ohara's, Grimbergen, or the Left Hand.

La Fin Du Monde is one of my personal favorites. The rest are all pretty solid.
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