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08-06-2006 , 10:44 PM
I just finished the first 12oz of this beer. I'm going to drink the rest of it right now. It's so good, that sucks they don't carry it. It's a San Diego brewery - I'm probably going to make a weekend trip out of it sometime.
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08-07-2006 , 12:35 AM
I'm going to review one of my impulse buys from yesterday, the Allagash Musette, from Maine. This is advertised as a Scotch ale aged in oak. I've really enjoyed the Scotch ales I've tried. They're typically unhopped darker beers without much head and are slightly sweet. This beer weighs in at a hefty 10% ABV. Here's a picture of the bottle:

I paid a whopping $13 for a 750 mL. That's a pretty high standard for beer to live up to.

Here's a picture of it poured into my goblet.

It wasn't quite as dark as I was expecting. It didn't smell as strongly as some of the other beers I've been trying lately, but with the IPA's and barley wines, their smells are much stronger than most beer with the hops. Taking a sip, it's quite sweet and bubbly. The oak doesn't come through all that strongly. There are hints of apple and plum behind the malt. It has a long finish, no doubt aided by the sugar. It's somewhat reminiscent of the Ommegang 3 Philosophers, but a little less fruit and a little more beer. I'm going to give this beer . It's very good, but I think it's too expensive for what you get. So far, my impression with oaked beer is that it's overrated. The aging just doesn't seem to do as much for beer as it does for wine, whiskey, or port, presumably because it's not aged for nearly as long. I'd probably pick up the 3 Philosophers instead of this if I'm looking for something sweet, a little friuty, strong, and blubbly, but still beer.
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08-07-2006 , 12:56 AM

That's not a... poker-themed... goblet, is it?
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08-07-2006 , 01:01 AM
Heh, I guess it does kinda look like a playing card from the back. No, it's not. The white thing you see is actually a white shield with a red fleur de lis in the middle and two stars on the sides above it. The writing says Tripel Karmeliet.
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08-07-2006 , 02:33 AM
I just finished the first 12oz of this beer. I'm going to drink the rest of it right now. It's so good, that sucks they don't carry it. It's a San Diego brewery - I'm probably going to make a weekend trip out of it sometime.
Alesmith is one of the breweries that'll be at Stone's 10th Anniversary Celebration on September 9th. I'll be there for session "A", I'd recommend it over the afternoon one as some beers do run out.
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08-07-2006 , 08:44 PM
Belgian White Round Up!!!

I love this style of beer, it's great for summer drinking, and I just bought a whole bunch of them. I'm going to kick things off with Ommegang's Witte. I have come to expect good things from this brewery based on their Rare Vos, abbey ale, and 3 philosophers. I paid $9.89 for a 6 pack of 12 ouncers. It weighs in at a lighter 5.1% ABV. Here's a picture of the bottle.

And poured into my glass:

Taking a sniff, I smell some of the wheat and citrus, but not any of the cloves I've come to associate with this style of beer. On my first sip, this beer is quite a bit "sharper" than other Belgian whites I've had, like, say, Hogaarden or Sterken's. It does indeed lack the cloves. I think the sharpness is coming from some of the citrus flavors. It's kinda lemony, with a little bit of orange. I do taste the advertised coriander in the finish. All in all, I don't think I like this as much as Hogaarden, but it's a little better than the Sterken's. I don't so much dig the sharpness, and it doesn't have as much behind it. I give it .

Next up is the Unibroue Blanche de Chambly. I picked up beers from this brewery on the recommendation of 2+2. I consumed a bottle of the La Fin du Monde and the Trois Pistoles late one night when I was already drunk, and while I remember them being great, I wasn't sober enough to write up a review. I paid $9.69 for a 4 pack, so it was markedly more expensive than the Witte. It packs 5% ABV. Here are the familiar picks of bottle and glass.

This beer doesn't seem to have as much head as the Witte, and in fact, as I've gotten half way through, the head has almost completely dissipated. Smelling it, though, it smells much stronger than the Witte. I clearly smell orange and cloves, probably the two most defining flavors of this style of beer. Taking a sip, it has some of the same sharpness of the Witte, but just a hair less. The flavor, though, is much better. It has much more in the finish, notably orange, clove, and coriander. This is my favorite Belgian white so far. I give it . I just wish it wasn't so pricey.

My last beer of this round up, as I'm reading the bottle now, actually isn't a Belgian white. It's a golden ale. Crap. I picked up North Coast's Pranqster thinking I'd use it for this round up. Oh well. I'll still write up a review. After noticing I got the wrong kind of beer, the next thing I saw on the bottle is that this beer is a hefty 7.6% ABV. For a non-imperial beer, that's pretty huge. I paid $7.95 for a 4 pack. Here are more pictures:

This beer has even less head than the Unibroue, and it smells like a completely different beer. It smells like honey, with a little orange and apricot. It tastes like honey, too. This beer is quite sweet, moreso than I'd expect from a non-imperial beer. I also taste some orange and apricot, and there's a hint of some herbs in the finish that I can't quite make out. It's not quite as deep as the Unibroue, though. I do miss the feel of the head and the carbination, but it is pretty thick in my mouth, no doubt from sugar. There are some little brown bits floating around in this beer. I'm not sure what they are. I'm going to give this beer and a half . It's a good beer, but not quite as deep as some. It's honey and apricot flavors are distinct from most other golden ales; the combination of flavors is pretty unique. I think this is a fantastic beer for non-beer drinkers. It's sweetness and fruitiness are welcoming, and it doesn't have any bitterness. It's a little milder than the 3 Philosophers, and it's cheaper.
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08-07-2006 , 09:17 PM

Thanks for the Allagash review. There's a brewfest coming up in mid-September in Sac, and I was excited to see a brewer from the east-coast/my birthplace attending, even though I knew little of them.

Hopefully I'll be attending and a trip report will follow.
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08-07-2006 , 09:18 PM
I had actually posted this in OOT previously, but you guys seem to be constantly updating so I'll be checking this out more often. Here's a post I made there a while back.

Recently I've bought a couple of offerings from Victory (Prima Pils and Old Horizontal) and Rogue Chocolate Stout. The Prima Pils is a pilsener as you might expect, and it's a pretty good beer with plenty of hops and bitterness, but not to the point of being ridiculous. I'm not terribly familiar with the pilsener style and I'm more of a stout fan myself.

The Rogue Chocolate Stout was as good as it sounded. Came out essentially black with a nice caramel-colored head. It tasted like chocolate in my mouth, but on the way down it tasted more like bitter dark chocolate, just a great finish. I'd definitely have this again. Apparently they brew the beer with chocolate in there, I'm not sure if this is standard for all chocolate stouts (anyone know?).

Lastly, the Victory Old Horizontal is Victory's barleywine offering. At first I had no idea what the hell a barleywine was. Old Horizontal is 10.5% ABV and this particular batch was bottled in December 2004. It came out amber-red and smelled like plums caramel out of the bottle. Despite the high alcohol content, it sure doesn't taste that way. I found myself liking this beer more and more with every sip. By the end I was sad to see it all gone and I knew that having another one wouldn't be such a spectacular idea. Plus, I plan on cellaring some of these for a bit.

In summary, I think I'd give the Prima Pils a 3.7/5, Chocolate Stout 4.2/5, and the Old Horizontal a 4.4/5.
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08-07-2006 , 09:26 PM
I've tried the Prima Pils. As pilsners go, it's better than most, but pilster is, IMHO, just not a very good variety of beer. It's sorely lacking in flavor compared to Germain hefe's, Belgain whites, and darker beers. I'll have to try the Old Horizontal.
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08-07-2006 , 11:59 PM
The Rogue Chocolate Stout was as good as it sounded. Came out essentially black with a nice caramel-colored head. It tasted like chocolate in my mouth, but on the way down it tasted more like bitter dark chocolate, just a great finish. I'd definitely have this again. Apparently they brew the beer with chocolate in there, I'm not sure if this is standard for all chocolate stouts (anyone know?).

The Rogue chocolate stout is sweeter and more chocolate-flavored than most. "Chocolate stout" originally referred to a stout brewed with chocolate malt - there was no chocolate involved. Rogue isn't the only brewery adding actual chocolate now, but you shouldn't necessarily expect others to taste similar to it. (They will still be sweeter than Murphy's/Guinness/etc.)

I've always liked Young's Double Chocolate Stout, which is generally not to hard to find in the 14.9oz (+widget ) cans. It's also sold in bottles but the cans are a better option.
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08-08-2006 , 05:29 AM
OMG what a great thread that I only just discovered. I'll follow this thread closely and contribute with some reviews myself. Currently I'm at 1,440 different beers for the three years, I've been a beer geek.

I havn't even read the hole thread yet, but for now I'll just review the worst beer I've ever had (only two weeks ago). My nine year old son wanted to take pictures of me drinking that "funny" beer. The pics turned out so great that no words is really needed to describe the beer.

All I have to say is that my lips still burned ten minutes later...

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08-08-2006 , 07:44 PM

Best post in the thread, easily. You should have Stuey turn this sequence into an avatar.

As for me, I'm going through my supply of Ommegang, and it's come time to review their Hennepin ale. This is billed as being crisp and hoppy, so I'm curious what I'm getting myself into. Most of the Ommegang beers have been an adventure. I paid $7.99 for a four pack, so it's a fairly expensive beer. It is a fairly substantial 7.7% ABV. Here are the familiar pictures:

It pours with more head than the Witte, and the head sticks around longer. Taking a sniff, it smells a lot like a really good pilsner, with a little Belgian extra behind it. And taking a sip, that's exactly how I'd describe it. This beer tastes exactly like I'd want a pilsner too. A little hoppy, fairly light, more grain flavor, but there's a very subtle kick behind it that's distinctly Belgian. It has just a hint of the character of the Witte in the finish. This is exactly the beer I'd give to a friend who only drank Bud and refused to drink dark beer, but who I wanted to get into drinking good beer. I did have to double check and see that this was 7.7% beer, because it doesn't taste that heavy at all. I think of this beer like a good Chardonnay. It's light, and there's some good subtlety to dig for in the flavor, but at the end of the day, there are other styles I like more. I give it . I thought about only giving it 2.5 since this ins't really my favorite style of beer, but it does what it was made to do well. Bearing in mind how strong this beer is, a frat guy looking to get drunk could pick up a case of Bud, or he could pick up 3 four packs of the Hennepin, and the Hennepin would cost only slightly more and get him just about as drunk while tasting much better.
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08-09-2006 , 01:46 PM
In a flash of brilliant insight, I realized what Hennepin's relative/competition was: Stella Artois. That's what style of beer this is, and the Hennepin is definitely better: more grain flavor, a little more hop flavor, more alcohol, and a little bit of that extra lurking in the background. Stella lovers should definitely look into picking this up instead.
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08-09-2006 , 07:56 PM
OK, I've got one more. I really shouldn't shop at Beers of the World because it encourages me to buy and drink too much. Today's beer is the Hercules Double IPA from Great Divide. I've enjoyed every beer I've had from this brewery, and for a brewery putting out excellent examples of premium beer varieties, they're not as expensive compared to some. I paid $7.45 for a 22 oz of this. It packs 9.1% ABV, and here are the usual pictures:

Taking a whiff of this beer, it smells very strongly of hops, as expected. The hop character seems to be very much citrus, and it smells a little sweet. On my first sip though, it seems quite different. This beer is very dry and quite bitter. Even the citrus has a hard time fighting through the bitterness. I remember people complaining about the Dogfish Head 90 that it was too sweet. Well, this might be more up your alley, but I still don't think the hop flavor is as deep or complex. The grain flavor of the beer base doesn't come through as well, either. I give this beer . I much preferred the Old Ruffian barley wine from this brewery, which was a little less bitter, and the citrus and flowery flavors of the hops and the malted barley flavors came through better. It was a little sweeter, too.
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08-10-2006 , 01:21 AM
just because i remember only seeing good things about this brewery, i looked up this beer on beeradvocate.

4.23/5 after 357 reviews. one of the highest rated double IPAs.

bad bottle or what?
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08-10-2006 , 01:43 AM
It didn't taste skunked or anything. I think it's just that it's not my style. I wouldn't be too surprised to hear someone give it 4/5, but I've liked both the Maharaja double IPA and the DFH 90 better. I think they use different kinds of hops, and the ones in this one I just don't like as much. Go out and try a bottle, because I'm curious if I'm way off base on this one.
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08-10-2006 , 04:03 AM
It didn't taste skunked or anything. I think it's just that it's not my style. I wouldn't be too surprised to hear someone give it 4/5, but I've liked both the Maharaja double IPA and the DFH 90 better. I think they use different kinds of hops, and the ones in this one I just don't like as much. Go out and try a bottle, because I'm curious if I'm way off base on this one.
I'm so with you on this one. I've tried the Hercules several times because the ratings I saw on-line did not coincide with what I thought.

Unlike the Old Ruffian and The Maharaja, the Hercules in my opinion doesn't have anything to balance out the hops. I find the Hercules a rather doll and one-sided beer and I really, really can't figure out what all the fuss is about. Maybe they rate the brewery rather than the beer?

On a side note and just to illustrate that the Hercules really lacks all the other things than hops, it's worth noticing than the Hercules "only" has an IBU of 85. Compare that to the 90 IBU for the Old Ruffian and the 114 IBU for the Maharaja!
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08-10-2006 , 11:09 AM
That is weird... I really loved that beer when I tried it. Definately more then their barleywine and I think I rated it higher then the DFH90
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08-10-2006 , 11:53 PM

I'm glad to know I've got someone who's with me on the Hercules. Your perception of it seems to exactly mirror mine.


I've got a whole lot of reviews tonight. Fortunately for y'all, I typed these up when I was more sober. That said, tis':

Hefeweizen Night! Or, Wookie listens to RDH Night!

The only hefeweizen's I've had prior to just recently have been American ones. Most of them have been pretty insipid, without much in the way of malt, hops, or extras to give them the bold flavors I love in beer. RunDownHouse, however, has been pretty adament about his love for the variety, but only the original German versions. A few weeks ago at Beers of the World I saw they had a special on the Juilus Echter Bavarian hefeweizen, which I'll review first here, so I picked up a bottle to see what I thought. I was impressed, so I resolved to pick up a few more to see what else I could find in the style. For this review, I got another bottle of the Julius Echter, a Paulaner, a Weihenstephaner, and for an American version for comparison, Brooklyn's offering. Brooklyn beer I've found to be generally really solid, especially for the price. They're a little more than Sam Adams, but it's for the most part exactly what I'm looking for in an "everyday beer," that's just simple and good rather than something exotic (and expensive). First up, I'll review the Julius Echter, since that's the one I'm most familiar with, and it'll be the bar by which the others are judged.

This beer I picked up for just $1.96 for a 16 oz bottle. Considering I paid $1.85 for a single 12 oz of Brooklyn's Weiss (about $8 for a sixer, and BotW is on the expensive side), this is very cheap. Unfortunately, the bottle doesn't give me the ABV, but I'd expect it to be in the ballpark of 5%. Here are the usual pictures.

I probably poured this a little aggressively, but it has a nice rich head. Taking a sniff, this beer obviously has more to it than almost all the other hefeweizens I've tried (Pyramid, some small brew pubs, others I forget). I smell a little apple and hint of coriander and clove. Taking a sip, I taste the wheat, a little bit of hoppiness. There's a little bit of banana, and the apple and spice come through in the finish. This isn't as bold as a Belgian white or golden ale, but considering that all this flavor comes just from the special yeast strains and not additives, I'm very impressed. This is a very solid beer, and it's an excellent buy for the price. I may very well pick up a case next time I'm shopping. I award this beer and a half .

Next up is the Paulaner. This is one RDH mentioned as a fairly ubiquitous offering and a good example for people to try. I paid $2.69, so it was a little more than even the regular price of the Echter. This one weighs in at 5.5% ABV.

This doesn't have nearly as much head as the Echter, and it's a little darker in color. I'd say it doesn't smell quite as strong. I smell the apple, and a little banana, but not quite as much spice. Hmmm. Taking a sip, this has quite a different character. The banana comes through much more strongly, and the apple is just lingering in the background. The hop character is similar: just a hint. There isn't the same hint of spice, it's almost all banana in the finish. I think this beer is a little sweeter as well, giving it a slightly thicker feel. It finishes longer, but I don't think it's quite as complex. I'm going to award this beer , but it's partially personal preference, and partially cost. I could easily see someone liking the Paulaner better, but I'm going to give the nod to the Echter.

I'm going to review the Brooklyn Weisse Beer next. This beer claims to be brewed in the Bavarian style, but we'll see. I'm skeptical of American hefeweizens, but on the other hand, I'm hopeful for this brewery. This beer doesn't specify it's ABV.

This beer has almost no head, which is somewhat disappointing. It's smell, though, gives me hope. It smells much more complex than most hefeweizens I've tried, but a little different from the German ones. I don't really smell the banana, but I smell a little apple and pear, and maybe, like, fig. There's a little spice in the smell, too. Taking a sip, I'm impressed. This has good wheat flavor with a hint of hops like the Bavarian ones I've tried. I taste a little apple, and I catch just a flash of cinnamon (of all things) sorta just as I swallow. There's clove hiding there, too. It doesn't finish quite as long as the Paulaner, but similar to the Echter. It has coriander in the finish like the Echter, too. I think this beer is a little drier than the other two. I find myself liking this beer more as I go through it. My first impression was 2.5, and then 3, and then 3.5, but I think I'm going to give this beer . This beer isn't quite as bold as the other two, but someone who really enjoys mining for new flavors may really enjoy it the most. I could see someone liking any of these three the best; it just depends on what you're going for. The Paulaner is the boldest, but it's not as complex. The Brooklyn is a little more subtle, but the most complex. The Echter is just an extremely well balanced beer.

Last up is the Weihenstephaner, which RDH recommended as his favorite that is pretty widely available. I paid $3.19 for a 16 oz bottle, making it the most expensive of the hefeweizens I bought. This beer is 5.4% ABV.

And we finish off with a nice heady beer. It has a great smell that I could detect even before sticking my nose in my goblet. Apple, pear, banana, clove, coriander, and just a hint of cinnamon. Smells great . Oh, wow. I think we have a winner. This beer has a richer grain taste than the others, and a more complex finish. The friut doesn't come through quite as strongly as the Paulaner, but my tongue keeps digging for more like it did with the Brooklyn. It's hard to belive that this beer was only made with wheat, barley, yeast, hops, and water. This beer is pretty easily a beer, a rating I never would have thought I would have given to a hefeweizen. Thanks, RDH, for turning me back on to this variety of beer.
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08-11-2006 , 12:22 AM
a beer i tried out on my recent fishing trip:

I saw this in a wine and beer store and just had to try it. A 6-pack ran $7.99. It's a red ale, which is essentially what it tastes like. The lobster flavor is very slight, but it's there. Lobster Ale is a mid-level beer, to be sure, so it's nothing special, but you could do a lot worse. The deeper into the 6-pack you get, the better it is (and not just b/c you're drunker) as you get used to the taste of it.

I'm no beer expert, so my advice isn't all that trustworthy, but it's a beer that's worth trying.
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08-11-2006 , 12:23 AM
I'm pumped that you liked the Weihenstephaner so much, and managed to find a new style you could relax with (I consider American hefes a completely different style than Germans). If you can get your hands on Schneider Weisse, that's actually my favorite. I subsisted on it in Germany, but haven't seen it available in the States, and haven't had it in a few years. Weihenstephaner is the best I've found in the States, though.
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08-11-2006 , 01:08 AM
I'll look for the Schneider next time I'm at BotW. It's probably one of the American beer shops most likely to have it.
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08-14-2006 , 12:37 AM
I totally agree on the Schneider Weisse. Had some when I was in Switzerland last summer, and it reopened my eyes to how great hefeweizens can be.
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08-14-2006 , 11:22 PM
I have just returned from a trip down to Raleigh, and I've come back with a brief beer review. I was out at a wine bar where I mostly drank what turned out to be mediocre wine for too much money. However, I saw that this place had the Allagash Belgian White on tap. While I felt a little guilty getting beer at a wine bar, I knew as documented in this thread, that they put out good beer. I had to try it. I don't actually know how much I paid for it, since I had a tab open, and my final recipt wasn't itemized.

Taking a sip of this, I pretty quickly saw that this was the best Belgian white I've had to date. It's just a hair sweeter than most, but not overly so -- not as much as some Belgian golden ales or tripels. It has fantastic flavors of wheat, orange, coriander, a little clove, a little banana, and it had a great, refreshing finished. Some guy I was with who also ordered it said he liked Hoegaarden better, but I think he's crazy and doesn't have great taste. I award this beer and a half .
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08-15-2006 , 01:13 AM
Have you had Mannequin Pis? I think that in Belgium it's called Lefebvre's or something like that. It is flat-out the best beer I have ever had. Absolutely exquisite. I enjoy Hoegaarden a great deal, especially during the summer, but Mannequin Pis blows it away.
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