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Old 12-07-2007, 04:45 PM   #801
Fishwhenican
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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I've seen it in stores, but I think only when I'm back visiting my parents in Seattle. I haven't tried it myself, I don't think. There's nothing wrong with "boring" beer, either. I buy Brooklyn Brown by the case, and it's nothing more than a (great example of a) brown ale. It's probably the beer I've had more of in my life than any other. I love treating myself to something exotic, but sometimes something simple and familiar is just the ticket.

I'm actually curious what beer(s) people who frequent this thread drink most often. We report on the new and exciting beers, but I'd be surprised if any of the other beer lovers in here were putting away a barley wine every night with dinner or something.
I hate to admit it in this thread but to answer a question about what beer I drink most often, that would be Ummm.. Miller Lite.

I like Miller Lite, there I said it! Actually I do like it and I know what I can expect it to do to me. I know how much I can drink and it doesn't sneak up and surprise me. It also doesn't hurt me. I can drink quite a bit and have nothing resembling a hangover the next day.

As far as other beers go, I do like the Moose Drool. If anyone has a chance to get that and review it I would love to hear other opinions on it. I also like Fat Tire and just recently had some kind of wheat beer with a lemon in it that was good. I also really like it when I have a chance to go to a micro-brewery and try their beers. That is a lot of fun. Other than that it is usually Miller Lite for me.

Oh Ya, and where I come from, Miller Lite is exotic. If it's not Bud or Bud lite, forget about it!
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Old 12-07-2007, 05:58 PM   #802
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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I also like Fat Tire and just recently had some kind of wheat beer with a lemon in it that was good.
Next time you have either of those beers, pay attention to the smell right before you drink it. Try to identify where the beer hits your tongue and whether it's mostly sweet, sour, bitter, etc, and then see if you can pick out any flavors right after you swallow.

Once you've done all that, post a review! I don't think we've had a single beer review of any New Belgium beers in this whole thread, and those of us east of the mighty Mississippi couldn't buy them if we wanted to.
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Old 12-08-2007, 11:44 AM   #803
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Aha! Good news, guys. The entire beer club thread has now been imported over from the old server. This should be true for all threads that had lost posts as a part of the update.
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Old 12-08-2007, 08:37 PM   #804
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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Next time you have either of those beers, pay attention to the smell right before you drink it. Try to identify where the beer hits your tongue and whether it's mostly sweet, sour, bitter, etc, and then see if you can pick out any flavors right after you swallow.

Once you've done all that, post a review! I don't think we've had a single beer review of any New Belgium beers in this whole thread, and those of us east of the mighty Mississippi couldn't buy them if we wanted to.
I just looked and do have a Fat tire in the downstairs fridge. I will make an attempt following your outline but alas it may just be. MMMMM, Ya, that was goooT!!!!
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Old 12-09-2007, 06:51 PM   #805
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

For my beer tonight, I picked up a bottle of Black Eye ale from the Mendocino brewery in honor of the Seahawks. They're not a Seattle brewery, but all of their beer is named after hawks. This particular beer is a blend of their Black Hawk stout and their signature Eye of the Hawk ale, making this a black and tan style beer. Actually, I should confess. The main reason I bought this beer was price. It ran me just $2.59 for a 22 oz bottle of 6.5% ABV beer.



The beer pours a translucent dark brown. If you hold it up to the light, you can see through it. The head is on the lighter side and dissipates quickly.



The beer smells like a good porter, and tastes similarly. This is a good dark malt combined with a tasty, moderate hop character. This beer isn't anything too exciting, but for the price, it's a solid buy, esp. since 22's tend to command premium prices. I'll award this beer . This isn't a beer you should seek out, but if you see it on special, it can be a nice, affordable winter beer.
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Old 12-10-2007, 12:14 PM   #806
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Wookie or anyone,

Any recommendations on some good seasonal-holiday picks?

May have been brought up previously but I scanned the last 8 or so pages and came up empty.
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Old 12-10-2007, 12:30 PM   #807
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

SN's Celebration hit stores not too long ago and it's outstanding as usual.
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Old 12-10-2007, 12:30 PM   #808
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

The first question is always, "Where do you live?"

Secondly, winter/holiday brews mean a lot of different things to a lot of different brewers. The winter seasonals of some are dark brews: stouts, porters, and the imperial versions of each. Some are red hop bombs. Some are strong brown ales, including Scotch ales. And some brewers go for spiced beer, channeling gingerbread. What sorts of beer from that list are you looking for?
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Old 12-10-2007, 12:49 PM   #809
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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The first question is always, "Where do you live?"

Secondly, winter/holiday brews mean a lot of different things to a lot of different brewers. The winter seasonals of some are dark brews: stouts, porters, and the imperial versions of each. Some are red hop bombs. Some are strong brown ales, including Scotch ales. And some brewers go for spiced beer, channeling gingerbread. What sorts of beer from that list are you looking for?
Buffalo, not too far from you.

Briefly go over my favorites, I generally like everything some more than others...

Favorite Pal Ale - DFH 90 minute
Favorite Stout/Porter - Old Rasputin Russian
Favorite Trappist - Rochefort 10

Spiced gingerbread beer sounds good.

Last time I was in the local beer store they still didn't have the winter seasonal's out in full force and were getting rid of the oktoberfest/pumpkin beers.

Guess I will just have to grab some stuff and keep track of what tastes good. I generally just buy new beer that I want to try and wind up forgetting exactly what style it is and the name so its hard to keep track.

Might need a beer managing spreadsheet at some point for myself.
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Old 12-10-2007, 02:07 PM   #810
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Heh, so, the gist of the above is that you have great taste in beer, and you should be able to get all the northeast regional brews that I can get. Awesome!

If you want to try one of my favorite spiced beers, then pick up Harpoon's Winter Warmer. I've seen big displays of it in Wegman's, so it's definitely out there. My actual favorite is from Custom Brewcrafters, but I think they're a local-only microbrew that doesn't bottle their beer.

I'd pass on the winter brews from Brooklyn, Magic Hat, Rogue, and Southern Tier. These were all sub-par versions of red hoppy beer. Sierra Nevada's Celebration is a better example of this style. I'd also skip any winter brews from BMC, although Blue Moon's Full Moon was decent if nothing special.

Oh, I shouldn't discount Brooklyn entirely. Their Winter Ale isn't very good, but their Black Chocolate Stout I buy by the case during the winter months. It's a solid imperial stout that, while not quite as good as the Old Rasputin, is dirt cheap by comparison. Runs me about $8.50 for a sixer, and I pay a buck or two more for a four pack of the Rasputin.

Those are mostly what I'd recommend for beers only available during the winter. Of course, there's other fine winter drinking to be found in the Old Rasputin, Flying Dog's Gonzo Imperial Porter, and Oskar Blues's Old Chubb Scotch ale, but you can enjoy those year round.

Last edited by MrWookie; 11-12-2008 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 12-10-2007, 02:39 PM   #811
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

If you like DFH IPAs, then yeah, definitely give SN's Celebration a shot. That's been my last three six-packs, fwiw.

Winter Warmer is also very good. I can't drink a lot of them, but it's a very solid, in the "damn it's cold out but I want a beer that warms me up but isn't mega heavy" vein. Nice spice and all that jazz.
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Old 12-10-2007, 05:30 PM   #812
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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Of course, there's other fine winter drinking to be found in the Old Rasputin, Flying Dog's Gonzo Imperial Porter, and Oskar Blues's Old Chubb Scotch ale, but you can enjoy those year round.
I haven't had the Oskar, but Flying Dog's Gonzo is really good.

I hadn't ever really considered it before, but something I picked up from talking to Nashville's Yazoo owner/founder: beer releases/styles are dictated by market factors. It sounds obvious, but I hadn't thought about it. Yazoo wanted its flagship beer to be a rye pale ale, but Terrapin released theirs a year or two ahead of time to great success, and the owner decided it would be in his best interest to market a slightly different beer. Every microbrewery want to release a chocolate stout or spiced beer in the winter, a wheat or golden in the spring, etc. When people talk about seasonal beer, I know what they mean, but I'm careful not to restrict myself to certain style constraints.
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Old 12-11-2007, 07:07 PM   #813
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I'll second the SN Celebration. Colin, what's it going for at Bevmo? $6.49? It's $7.49 here I believe.

I'm drinking a Bell's Winter White right now. Not bad. Kind of reminds me of a Delirium knockoff with less fruit, and a bit more hops and less yeast. Identical coloring to that of Delirium as well. Not nearly as good though.
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Old 12-12-2007, 12:26 AM   #814
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Review time. Tonight's beer is the second beer from Smuttynose's Big Beer series that I bought, this time their Scotch ale. Scotch ales are a somewhat less common variety of beer, generally characterized by being dark brown, lightly hopped if not totally unhopped, on the stronger and sweeter side, and sometimes slightly smoky. This beer advertises the use of some peat-smoked malt, so I expect a little of that smokiness. This beer ran me $5.59 and packs 7.8% ABV.



The beer pours the usual dark brown w/o much head. This isn't typically a heady style of beer.



The smell of this beer is quite nice. I smell a solid dark malt backed by hints of carmely sweetness and smoke. My impression of the flavor is that it's somewhat gentle, but well-balanced, complex, and lingering. This is one of the least sweet Scotch ales I've had, actually, but the lack of a pronounced sweetness allows for the smoke and just a hint of peat to come through and linger on my tongue for a while. This is a delicious beer, and is definitely recommended for people looking for a nice improvement on a typical brown ale. I'll give it . At this price, it's not a bad buy, either. It costs me about the same as Stone's Arrogant Bastard, it's of comparable strength and quality. I'm giving this one an extra half rating, but that's mostly because I'm more often in the mood for a beer like this one than something as hoppy as the Bastard.

Edit: To add, I think I'm the only person who's reviewed Smuttynose beer in here, and I don't think I mentioned where they were located in the last review I did. They're a NH-based brewery, and I hadn't heard about them until I moved. If you're wanting to try this one, I'd be surprised if it makes it much out of the northeast.

Last edited by MrWookie; 11-12-2008 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 12-13-2007, 02:07 PM   #815
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Couple buddies over after our last MBA final of the semester and took on the duties of buying the beers. Swung by the beer store on the way to the exam after work and snagged the following:

Anderson Valley Winter Solstice
Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
Sierra Nevada Celebration

The Solstice which weighs in at 6.90% ABV , I purchased when it first hit the stores about a month ago and thought it was good so I snagged it again for them to try. Pours a amber tone with a small white head. Could definitely taste and smell the caramel and there was a hint of spices, had an overall sweet taste. All three of us thought it was a solid beer, even my GF who typically never likes the beer I bring home had a bottle.

Next we tackled the beast that was the Chocolate Stout, weighing in at 10.60% ABV. Poured a very dark brown with very minimal head. Chocolate was definitely present, but certainly not overpowering. You could definitely taste a hint of alcohol but a beer this strong it would be hard not to. All 3 of us thought it was excellent, but thats not a surprise since we love the Ole Rasputin and this beer is almost a mirror image of it. I felt pretty good about 3/4ths of the way through this beer and knew that it was time to hit the SN next. Great beer, on par with the Rasputin and 1/2

Finally we hit the SN Celebration. Poured a copper tone with a semi large white head. Definitely smell and taste the hops in this one and it was a good change of pace after the Chocolate Stout. I thought it was nothing overly exciting, just a solid IPA. and 1/2

Overall, it was a fun night after a stressful semester. Friends gave the beer selection an A+
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Old 12-13-2007, 02:31 PM   #816
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Glad you enjoyed the BCS. I haven't tried the Winter Solstice. I may have to look it up on my next beer run, maybe do a head-to-head with Harpoon's winter offering.
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Old 12-13-2007, 02:33 PM   #817
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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Glad you enjoyed the BCS. I haven't tried the Winter Solstice. I may have to look it up on my next beer run, maybe do a head-to-head with Harpoon's winter offering.
Bro found the Harpoon last night at a different store but I didn't see it earlier this week when I was there. Very interested to give that a try as I have heard good things about it.
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Old 12-13-2007, 08:51 PM   #818
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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Bro found the Harpoon last night at a different store but I didn't see it earlier this week when I was there. Very interested to give that a try as I have heard good things about it.
Harpoon's 100 barrel series is fun. The barrel glacial harvest wet hop was pretty good and the Resfvundje [sic] private stock has kept well. The peche was pretty bad, though.

We are having a vertical tasting of Thomas Hardy's 1979, 1993, and 2006, along with Sam Adams Utopias. Looking forward to it.
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Old 12-13-2007, 10:48 PM   #819
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

That Smuttynose Scotch Ale looks awesome - thanks for that review - hopefully my store has it.
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Old 12-13-2007, 11:30 PM   #820
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Yeah, you should stand a chance of finding it in Philly if you have a good beer store.
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Old 12-14-2007, 02:21 AM   #821
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

News out of Denver that may or may not be bad:

Flying Dog is closing down their Denver brewery. They aren't going out of business, but they are consolidating all of their brewing operations in their Frederick, MD plant. Depending on logistics, their distribution area may change, it may not. I have no idea really. But if you live out west, you may want to stock up on FD beers, particularly stuff like the Double Dog and the Gonzo Porter that they don't brew as much of.
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Old 12-14-2007, 03:03 AM   #822
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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News out of Denver that may or may not be bad:

Flying Dog is closing down their Denver brewery. They aren't going out of business, but they are consolidating all of their brewing operations in their Frederick, MD plant. Depending on logistics, their distribution area may change, it may not. I have no idea really. But if you live out west, you may want to stock up on FD beers, particularly stuff like the Double Dog and the Gonzo Porter that they don't brew as much of.

Does this have anything to do with the hops shortage? I haven't seen any discussion of it in this thread, but I'm a little worried about how the next year or two will go for the smaller breweries. I expect more than a few will go out of business.
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Old 12-14-2007, 01:08 PM   #823
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I'm sure that had a lot to do with it, as well as the malt prices going up. Glass prices are rising, too; some of the smaller Belgian breweries had to halt production altogether because they ran out of glass. The brewery I work at is going to raise 6-pack prices by $0.50, but that doesn't come close to passing the production costs on 100% to the consumer.
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Old 12-14-2007, 01:52 PM   #824
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

FD is definitely one of the brewers I pass on more often than not, for no particular reason. I'll make sure to pick some stuff up next time I see it so I don't miss out. Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 12-15-2007, 01:13 AM   #825
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

My first review for y'all..

We're doing two bocks tonight. Granted, I'm cheating on this one because the second brew is a wheat Eisbock, but it's close enough. Also, I had a hard enough time finding a bock I hadn't had before, so eat a danish!

First up is the one I haven't had.. Stone Coast's Knuckleball. 5% abv.


I'm drinking it out of the silly Leute Bockbier glass. Aroma is straightforward malt, mostly caramel. No spiciness or complexity. Head is 1/2" or so and dies quickly to a thin film. Taste is a little thin, with fresh malts and a well-balanced finish. This can't be more than 20 or 25IBU, but it's refreshing and very drinkable, if a little bit on the watery side.

Sometimes a simple beer can be a good thing, and stone coast has done some good things in the past. The 840 IPA on draft is above average, and the black bear on cask was phenomenal. Their altbier is supposedly great, too. While this one might be sessionable and possibly better on draft, I'm gonna have to go with a . Actually, screw that, let's go with a full just because it's pretty easy to down and well-balanced.


Now onto the one I've had before, Schneider Aventinus Eisbock. 12% abv.



Now, this is the absolute opposite end of the spectrum from a regular bock. First off, it's chilled to the point of partial freezing, when some of the ice is skimmed off. Second, the beer that it is produced from, Schneider Aventinus, is a wheat doppelbock. As I said earlier, simplicity can go both ways in beers. The same is true for complexity. There are some profoundly complex beers that I just can't find the heart to enjoy. Orval is an example. The good thing about complex beers is that there's usually a lot to talk about.

The first thing that grabs your attention about the beer is the smell. It's sweeter smelling than any Quadrupel or Belgian Strong Dark Ale I can think of, with profuse aromas of plums, cherries, raisins and cinnamon. You can smell the alcohol a little bit, but it's actually quite pleasant. It isn't as cloying and obvious as an old ale in the vein of Thomas Hardy's, but you can smell the nuances behind the sugar more intensely. The beer lets the slightest bit of light in, as well. Head is bubbly but recedes in much the same pattern as the Knuckleball, with minimal lacing.

As is true with good Belgians (yes, I know this is neither Belgian nor an ale), the only way a beer can pull off the combo of having this much sugar and this much alcohol is through a good balance. The eisbock mostly succeeds. The front of the tongue is entirely saturated by a sticky sweetness, with maple/brown sugar, grape, cider and port wine flavors dominating. Very rich and sweet up front, which hides the alcohol pretty well, although you will notice it a little bit on the roof of your mouth after you've finished enough.

Unlike a nice dark Belgian, it would be pretty hard to down a 750ml or even a bomber of this concoction. It really needs to be sipped, and the finish, while good, just doesn't perfectly complement what's going on up front. It's impossible. Also, the sweetness will color your palate for a while.

I recommend splitting a glass of this with a friend or two. It scores points for its uniqueness and complexity, but the drinkability (and hangover) factor prevents it from scoring higher. The regular aventinus is a much more drinkable beer. Nevertheless, in small servings this is an amazing beer with a lot to offer.

Next up: Winter/Christmas Ales (Corsendonk Christmas Ale vs Pere Noel from De Ranke) and then Dark Lagers (provided I can find one I haven't had to go up against Sam Adams Black lager).
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