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Old 05-16-2009, 05:31 PM   #1476
MrWookie
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Southampton was the saison that I've given the highest rating to. Flying Dog makes a pretty good saison, too.
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Old 05-16-2009, 09:22 PM   #1477
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Abso, I think RDH is referring to the extra risk that the green bottle has potentially gone bad due to sunlight, I think that's why most bottles are brown and all the beer books I read say to avoid all green bottles (I'm not that nitty about it, but I definitely wouldn't buy brown over green if the same beer were available in both). I think some breweries that bottle with green actually have some sort of added protection, one of the bigger imports iirc.

Wookie, speaking of Southampton, how do they stack up to their belgian counterparts? I noticed they were left out of all the US vs Belgium belgian style discussions. Or am I mistaken and they don't make all that many belgian style beers? I haven't had anything from there at all, one of the few breweries I always hear about that I don't think gets distributed by me.
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Old 05-16-2009, 11:18 PM   #1478
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Yeah, getting light-struck beer was what I was talking about. The one time I've had Saison Dupont, it was in the green bomber and was really badly light struck.

Interestingly, I recently learned that the big domestic breweries use different beers for packaging in clear/green bottles than other forms. The beer that goes into those aren't brewed with hops, but rather chemically isolated compounds found in hops that don't include the chemicals/enzymes that lead to light-struck beer. That reaction is apparently so potent that if a tiny amount of hops or even beer brewed with hops comes into contact with the "clean" beer, the whole batch will be susceptible. Crazy.
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Old 05-17-2009, 12:01 AM   #1479
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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saison are universally pretty good but not great beers from what I've had. If you're into belgians and whites then you'll probably find it solid.
The Foret smelled much like a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, very similar to a La Chouffe; straw like, very earthy and organic. Not overly spicy like a Tripel, more hops, and more bitterness.

Overall I thought it was a good beer, didn't leave me impressed, but something I would drink again. I don't think I would go out of my way to buy another bottle of Foret, as I know there are much better Saisons out there.

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Old 05-17-2009, 12:03 AM   #1480
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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Originally Posted by ChicagoRy View Post
Abso, I think RDH is referring to the extra risk that the green bottle has potentially gone bad due to sunlight, I think that's why most bottles are brown and all the beer books I read say to avoid all green bottles (I'm not that nitty about it, but I definitely wouldn't buy brown over green if the same beer were available in both). I think some breweries that bottle with green actually have some sort of added protection, one of the bigger imports iirc.

Wookie, speaking of Southampton, how do they stack up to their belgian counterparts? I noticed they were left out of all the US vs Belgium belgian style discussions. Or am I mistaken and they don't make all that many belgian style beers? I haven't had anything from there at all, one of the few breweries I always hear about that I don't think gets distributed by me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RunDownHouse View Post
Yeah, getting light-struck beer was what I was talking about. The one time I've had Saison Dupont, it was in the green bomber and was really badly light struck.

Interestingly, I recently learned that the big domestic breweries use different beers for packaging in clear/green bottles than other forms. The beer that goes into those aren't brewed with hops, but rather chemically isolated compounds found in hops that don't include the chemicals/enzymes that lead to light-struck beer. That reaction is apparently so potent that if a tiny amount of hops or even beer brewed with hops comes into contact with the "clean" beer, the whole batch will be susceptible. Crazy.

Yeah, this is what I thought. I've noticed that you rarely find high alcohol beers bottled in anything but brown or black glass. The two exceptions that I can think of are La Chouffe beers, and Tripel Karmeliet.
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Old 05-17-2009, 01:46 AM   #1481
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoRy View Post
Abso, I think RDH is referring to the extra risk that the green bottle has potentially gone bad due to sunlight, I think that's why most bottles are brown and all the beer books I read say to avoid all green bottles (I'm not that nitty about it, but I definitely wouldn't buy brown over green if the same beer were available in both). I think some breweries that bottle with green actually have some sort of added protection, one of the bigger imports iirc.

Wookie, speaking of Southampton, how do they stack up to their belgian counterparts? I noticed they were left out of all the US vs Belgium belgian style discussions. Or am I mistaken and they don't make all that many belgian style beers? I haven't had anything from there at all, one of the few breweries I always hear about that I don't think gets distributed by me.
I love southampton, but they don't brew too many styles that line up directly with Belgians, so it's not really a fair comparison. Their Grand Cru isn't exactly a tripel, their Double White is, well, a double white and not a traditional white. Their saison is really the only one that's directly comparable, and even it was a little offbeat -- but that's why I liked it so much.
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Old 05-17-2009, 09:02 PM   #1482
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Re: TLDR Beer Club



Yum.
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Old 05-18-2009, 07:48 PM   #1483
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Review tonight is Elysian's Bifrost winter ale. Yes, it's almost summer, but I'm happy to nab a special on a seasonal that's out of season. As you can see, I paid just $3.92 for this beer that normally goes for around $6. It's a 7.5-percenter. It bills itself as hoppy and on the lighter side, but winter ales mean so many things to so many breweries that I don't really know what I'm getting.



This may be the lightest so-called winter ale that I've had to date. It's a golden color with just a tinge of red. It doesn't have much head, and it's just slightly cloudy.


The aroma is mostly of piny hops and a thick sweet malt. And the flavor delivers, but with a more complex hop profile than I smelled. It has some of the "best" pine flavor that I've gotten from beers that go for that. It's not too strong, and it doesn't make me think I'm drinking a fir tree, but it's there and it adds. There is also the floral and grapefruit character of other styles of hops. This beer doesn't strike me as anything exotic as seaonals sometimes are, but instead a beer that's somewhere between a regular IPA and an imperial IPA -- strong but not too strong, and hoppy but not too hoppy. There's just the right amount of sweetness and malt, too; it's not syrupy or cloying at all. I generally associate hoppy beer with spring, honestly, so this beer suits me very well right now.

I'll edit the pics in later.
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:50 AM   #1484
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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Originally Posted by MrWookie View Post
Review tonight is Elysian's Bifrost winter ale. Yes, it's almost summer, but I'm happy to nab a special on a seasonal that's out of season. As you can see, I paid just $3.92 for this beer that normally goes for around $6.
and Wookie reminds us that this is a pokah forum with his +EV thinking!

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Old 05-23-2009, 02:11 AM   #1485
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Re: TLDR Beer Club



Yum. It's a little weird having it be so dark and so hoppy. I like it.
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Old 05-23-2009, 02:27 AM   #1486
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

If you like dark hoppy bears, you might try Victory's Storm King or Great Divide's Yeti.
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Old 05-28-2009, 12:19 AM   #1487
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I got to try a couple new beers from Sierra Nevada tonight. One local bar here does beer tastings on the last wednesday of every month. This tasting was sold out before I could get my ticket, but I went after the tasting and ordered some pints of the two SN beers I wanted to try.

The first I tried was the Brown Saison. I've warmed to saisons lately, and it seemed like the thing I'd be in the mood for. However, this beer was a disappointment. It was much too sweet compared to traditional saisons, and the sweet, syrupy nature drowned out any of the traditional light grassy hopping that might have been hiding behind that. I had trouble finishing a pint. I can only give it .

The second I had was the Chico Estates IPA. Apparently this bar got the only two kegs of this beer that have ever been sold in the state of New York. This beer delivered. It was a little darker than most IPAs. It was sort of a dark orange color, darker even than, say, the DFH 90 min imperial IPA, but at under 7% ABV, it doesn't really classify as an imperial IPA. The flavor was outstanding. Flavorful but not overpoweringly bitter hops sat on top of a rich, layered malt. It's now after the fact so I can't adequately describe the flavor profile, but there was much more to it than even great IPAs. This is really what I was hoping for from the brown saison: take the hop profile of a good style of beer and put it on a somewhat darker malt. The brown saison failed. This was perfect. It is probably the best standard, non-imperial IPA I've ever tried. I give it . I was the only one of my friends who ordered this, and when I gave them a sip to try it, they were all jealous. This was by far the best beer any of us ordered that night. This might be a somewhat obscure beer even for people who live in CA, but if you can find it and you like hoppy beer at all, get it.

I also tried a taste of some of my friends beers of which I'll relate impressions but not rate. One was the SN ESB, which was a fairly standard but unexciting ESB about on par with Red Hook. The second was the Lagunitas [Censored] ale. This was a fairly tasty copper-colored ale that wasn't as hoppy as I thought it might be. It was pretty good, but it was a beer my friend had ordered when I ordered the Chico Estates IPA, so I can't say that the [Censored] was all that exciting by comparison.
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:51 AM   #1488
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I've had a few Lagunitas beers, and I've noticed that none of them are knock your socks off good, but all very solid (B+) beers.

They have one of the easier drinking IPAs out there, and it's very sessionable. Kinda reminds me of Rush Rivers Bubblejack. <---has anyone tried this IPA? I think it's awesome, it's like an entry level IPA for people who "hate" hops.
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:56 AM   #1489
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Lagunitas's IPA is a really good IPA. It might have been my favorite before trying the Chico Estates IPA.
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Old 05-28-2009, 11:02 AM   #1490
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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Lagunitas's IPA is a really good IPA. It might have been my favorite before trying the Chico Estates IPA.
I think it's awesome too. It's a bit on the tame side though. Bells Two Hearted and Surly Furious are my go to IPAs, and Furious is a 96 IBU IPA. I love a Lag type IPA if I'm not in the mood to eat hops.

Ironically, [censored] was the very first six pack I had ever purchased (19 yrs old at the time), hated it, thought it was bitter as hell, didn't even finish the thing. Looking back, it was just a product of me not having a palate for beer, and that's a big beer to jump into after drinking only domestics. I'm much wiser, and more appreciative now.
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:48 PM   #1491
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Tonight's review is from Stone, their new Levitation ale. They're billing this as the best "low-gravity" (thus the name) beer you've ever had. At a mere 4.4% ABV, it certainly is low gravity. We'll see if it's any good. They also have stiff competition from Weihenstephaner, the current champion under 6% ABV, imo. I remember this being on the pricey side, too, but I lost the receipt.

It pours a medium brown with an average but persistent head. It's clear and a shade lighter than Arrogant Bastard.

The aroma is very hoppy, classic Stone. I think Stone's strategy for this beer was to take a weaker malt than the Bastard, add the same amount if not more hops, and call it good. And then, the rising price of hops keeps the price on this high. This ain't bad, but it ain't their best. When a beer is this hoppy, I like more malt behind it, some more residual sweetness, and some alcohol. Fortunately, the hops here are flavorful and delicious, but it's still a little out of balance. I wouldn't buy this beer unless it was substantially cheaper than the Arrogant Bastard or for some reason you absolutely did not want a 7% beer. It's not like this is chugging beer. It's very hoppy and doesn't go down all that easy, so the crowd that wants to consume large volumes of beer will still probably stick to cheap pale lagers.
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:50 PM   #1492
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

abs,

Bell's Two Hearted was also very good the one time I had it, but I can't get it out here. I can't get Surly, either.
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Old 06-08-2009, 02:06 AM   #1493
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Christmas has come early to the Wookie household:



ChicagoRy graciously shipped me the above assortment that sits in front of my blasphemous furniture and the immense amount of packing material he shipped it all in. Expect many new reviews over the next several days.
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Old 06-08-2009, 06:18 PM   #1494
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Christmas Review #1: Dark Horse Brewing Double Crooked Tree IPA.

This beer weighs in at a mighty 13.6% ABV and 98 IBUs. Wow. I have no idea how much it costs. You'll have to ask Ry.



The beer pours a cloudy light brown. It doesn't say on the bottle, but it appears that this is a bottle conditioned double IPA. It didn't have much head on it at first, but I swirled the last of the bottle to get the sediment mixed in before pouring it all in my glass, and that gave it a goodly persistent head.



I had no sooner opened the bottle and I was smelling hops: rich, floral hops. I didn't even need to pour this in my glass and take a whiff. I also smell a very strong, bready malt, with hints of caramel, vanilla, and citrus. This is good beer. The head is very creamy to drink through, almost like a nitrogenated beer. The flavor is excellent. The hop character is a blend of flowers and citrus, my favorite style, and they're very flavorful without being overly dry or bitter. I love the flavors of hops, but unlike some hop heads, I don't necessarily get off on the super dry, super bitter beers where that's all they have going on. This is much better. The malt is sweet, but it's not at all like cough syrup. It's a mild sweetness with the flavor of caramel instead. I might guess this is a 9-ish% beer based on the flavors and the consistency, but I'd never guess it was over 13%. It doesn't taste of alcohol at all. I also love the hint of yeastiness in this beer from the bottle conditioning. That's a flavor I love in my tripels and hefes, but that is uncommon in IPAs or double IPAs. I started this review with the beer by itself to get the best sense of its character, but this pairs wonderfully with the steak I just pulled off the grill. I'm going to give this a perfect rating. This is the best double IPA I've had, and it's only second to Alesmith's Yulesmith as the best hop-forward beer I've had.
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:20 PM   #1495
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

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abs,

Bell's Two Hearted was also very good the one time I had it, but I can't get it out here. I can't get Surly, either.
Wow, that really sucks. These are my two favorite go-to beers...

/edit lol same as abs...
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Old 06-08-2009, 10:27 PM   #1496
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

4 pack of 12 oz double crooked tree is around $14.

Dreadnaught is like $11 for a 22oz, Matilda 22s are about $7 or $8, I'm not sure what the 4 pack your 12 oz came out of cost though.

Tres is $7.50 for a 4 pack of 12oz bottles, Alpha King is $11 for a 6 pack, Bell's Expedition is $16 for a 6 pack and that Darklord (2008 btw, I didn't get 09 bc I was busy that day) was $10 or $15 I think, I don't really remember.

The unmarked beer is a belgian strong my friend and I made that is somewhere north of 14%, I want to say 15-16%, we used distillery yeast at one point, as well as some belgian high gravity yeast for that baby. It's based on the recipe for "sugar goddess" in the Dogfishead book by Sam C. Haven't had one in a few months, I believe we brewed it almost a year ago and bottled it last August or September.
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Old 06-09-2009, 08:49 PM   #1497
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Christmas Review #2: Three Floyds' Dreadnaught IPA.

It only makes sense to follow up the great beer last night with an apples-to-apples comparison. According to Beer Advocate, this is a 9.5% beer, and the bottle says it's also bottle conditioned like the Double Crooked Tree.



It pours a fair bit lighter in color, a nice cloudy straw color. It's a little headier than the Double Crooked Tree, too.



The aroma isn't quite as hoppy. I smell apple, orange, pear, and just a hint of floral hops. Well, it's not as hoppy, but in trade, you get a richer malt. I enjoy the fruity sweetness I smelled and now taste. The hops are still prominent, but not the potent flowery flavor of the Dark Horse. They're more of pine, and there's more of the dry sensation of bitter hops in this beer comparatively. This is also a great beer, but I'm going to have to give the nod to the Dark Horse. I prefer the darker malt, and I prefer how it's able to pack in all the hop flavor without coming across as overly dry. The Dreadnaught is not overly dry, in fact it may have more residual sugar than the Double Crooked Tree, but the hops give more of the dry sensation than they impart flavor. I'm going to award the Dreadnaught and a half . It's excellent, and it's the 2nd best double IPA I've had, but the Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree remains my favorite.
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Old 06-09-2009, 09:05 PM   #1498
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I can't wait to try that this weekend (going to Chicago, I haven't seen it here in the Twin Cities ever). I'm really going to keep an eye out for the Double Crooked Tree IPA as well but I don't think they distribute to MN (it's on their map but the link is empty).
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:20 PM   #1499
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

SL_72, shoot me a PM when you're in Chicago if you can't find either of these beers, or just let me know the general area you're staying and I can point you to a place nearby.
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Old 06-10-2009, 12:37 AM   #1500
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Just tried Sam Adams' Imperial White. I've never been a big fan of witbiers, I prefer more flavorful brews. I tried this because it seemed like it would be a unique brew. Bad idea.
The color was a hazy light-orange, with a small head that faded quickly. The beer weighs in at 10.3%. The attack was all sweetness, sugar and honey to the max, with nothing to balance it. To make matters worse, the aftertaste was nothing but overpowering alcohol. Just a really bad beer, almost undrinkable. About the only thing that I liked was the mouthfeel; it had a decent creamy thickness to it, but that's about the only good thing I can say about it. I give it two thumbs down, and recommend staying away from this one.
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