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Old 10-21-2006, 05:10 AM   #201
kidcolin
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

So after work today, I headed to the BevMo down the street intending on picking up an Arrogant Bastard and something new to try in the stout vein. However, I noticed six packs of St. John Brewers Virgin Islands Pale Ale. When I was back home in SE Mass in August, I read about these guys in the Providence Journal. It's a couple of young guys from RI near where I grew up. They moved to the Virgin Islands and within a few years started the brewery. I figured I'd give some home town love and try it out. I didn't bother reading anything about it, but the price was right, at ~$6 for the six-pack (on sale).





As you can see in my poorly taken photos (I haven't learned the up-close features yet), it pours an orange/brown, typical of the style. Very little head at all. Had I read the package more closely, I would've expected the the smell. From the second I popped the cap off, the scent of mango dominated my nostrils. Alomst overwhelming. There it is, right in the description of the beer: "our tropical pale ale is a fine brew with a hint of mango and a smooth hop finish." Hint is a bit of an understatement. The scent is very strong.

After the first sip, I didn't think I was going to care for it much. The mango flavor seemed to dominate the actual beer flavor, and though I like mango, I wouldn't go drink 12 oz's of mango juice. However, after the next sip, I noticed it wasn't quite as strong as I imagined, and it finishes very nicely. Dry, crisp hops. Very nice. As I drank some more, I began to really like this beer. The "hint" of mango exists mostly in the nose. You get the mango taste as you raise your glass to your mouth, but once you sip it, it's more like the description says: just a hint. The rest is solid, pale ale flavor.

This would've been perfect for when it was 106 out here. A very refreshing summer beer. I'll still enjoy this six pack now, though. It might not be the most amazing beer in the world, but it is different and certainly tasty, and easy to drink. I give it
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Old 10-23-2006, 11:43 PM   #202
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

KC,

Nice review. This sounds like a beer I'd like to try. Pale ales are often solid, if boring, varieties of beer. If someone tries to improve on the pale ale archetype by spicing it up a bit, though, that could def. be something special.

Now, my review.

I cracked open a 750 mL bottle of Unibroue's 15 tonight while watching Heroes. This is their 15th anniversary beer, so I had high hopes. It's described simply as "Ale on Lees, 10% ABV."

The beer pours a nice gold color with an adaquate, but not excessive head. The head stuck around nicely as I polished the beer off. It looks similar to their LFDM. Smelling it, though, it doesn't smell all that much. It smells slightly sweet, maybe a little fruity, and mostly a light malt. Taking a sip, I'm sorely disappointed. It doesn't have the usual Unibroue spice. It's about medium-sweet, and the flavor is dominated by the malt. Really, this tastes just like a good version of regular beer, not an extravagant Belgian style ale, and not something I'd dedicate to my 15th anniversary, esp. if I'm capable of brewing something as great as the LFDM. I paid $8.45 for this bottle, so it wasn't too cheap. I'm going to award this beer just . I guess it's a decent option for guys who like regular beer, but might be in the mood for something a little fancier, and want to get plastered. However, I won't be buying this beer again.
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Old 10-24-2006, 12:54 AM   #203
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Bud's just got in some of the DFH Punkin' ale. I'm not a huge fan of the pumpkin beers, but don't mind drinking them or anything. Worth blowing $8 on a sixer to see how good it is?
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Old 10-24-2006, 01:33 AM   #204
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I think $8 for a sixer is a pretty good price. If you know you won't hate it, I'd give it a shot.

I also have another review tonight. I went ahead and cracked open the last bottle of Unibroue beer in my fridge. I tried the Chambly Noire, a dark beer that weighs in at 6.2% ABV.

The beer pours nicely dark with a small, but acceptable head. It smells slightly of dark malt, but mostly of the slightly fruity, spicy sweetness characteristic of (most) Unibroue beers. Taking a sip, this beer is medium-sweet, lightly hopped, and just barely fruity (apples, mostly). There's a really nice smokey character that you tasted just as you're swallowing. There's a little bit of clove and coriander in the finish. Unfortuantely, the malt character is sorely lacking. This beer might have been something truly exceptional if it was more like a stout or a porter with the Unibroue spices, but I think the Trios Pistoles comes closer to this design, even though it lacks the smokey flavor. The Chambly Noire just doesn't have as much behind it as even the Maudite or the Don De Dieu. I'm going to award this beer . I like it's extras a little better than the Maudite or the DDD, but the body just isn't there. It's good, and smoke lovers might want to get this one but really, the two beers from Unibroue to go out of your way to get are the La Fin Du Monde and the Trois Pistoles. I only have left to review their apple beer, and it'll have a hard time living up to these two front runners, which are two of the finest beers in the world.
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Old 10-24-2006, 04:41 PM   #205
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Re: NEW REVIEW

I really got get over here more often....

I noticed a few references to La Chouffe. I recently tried La Chouffe meets IPA: Chouffe Houblon Dobbelen IPA Tripel.



This was a very interesting beer. Huge billowy head that you could probably float a penny on. Once I fought through 4" of foam I was met with that great dry hopped fruity aroma and taste. It was followed by the familiar malty sweetness of a typical Triple. I like just plain old La Chouffe better, but I think this interesting mix can work. I'll definitely buy more and try to pick up some more of the nuances of this complex beer-
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Old 10-24-2006, 05:05 PM   #206
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Wookie,

I agree with your sentiments on pale ales. This is definitely worth a try. However, you might have trouble getting it. As far as I know, it's only distrubted in RI and CA. This was the first time I saw it in BevMo, and when I checked the St. John's Brewers website, they had an ad "now sold in CA BevMo's!" That was likely a huge score for them in terms of growing and expanding. Based on the article I read, it's still a pretty small, young operation. I could be wrong though. Maybe BoW can make a special order for you.

I should note that it's a 4.5% ABV, which makes it easy to drink. I know ABV point/$ can be an important ratio for some, but for me, a low ABV is attractive. I have a funny tolerance for alcohol. It's very difficult for me to get full out bombed, but it doesn't take much for me to get a little buzz going. Sometimes 12 oz. of a 6% ABV beer (typical for IPAs) is just too much for me to enjoy after work. It tires me out after the buzz wears off and I'm too lazy to wash the dishes or do other chores.
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Old 10-28-2006, 02:20 AM   #207
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

I swung into my favorite local bar tonight after having been absent for a few weeks. The had a few new selections, so it's time for a beer review. I'm not sure what happened to kidcolin and his pumpkin ales, but in lieu of him, that's what I have tonight.

Just for the sake of ordering something new, I got a pint of Post Road Pumpkin Ale tonight. Apparently it's put out by the Brooklyn brewery, one of my favorites, but they gave it a different brand for whatever reason. The beer pours a nice darkish orange color with a perfect 3/4 inch of head (2 cm or so for you metric folk). The smell is rich and spicy, and the flavor tastes like everything good about fall. I not only taste the pumpkin and the malt, but there's some great flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, and just hints of apple and pear. There's some hop flavor, too. I'm very impressed with how much complexity lies in this beer. I'm going to give this beer , and actually, I'm revising my rating of the DFH pumpkin ale to 3.5. This beer is markedly better, and I think my rating of 4 for the DFH was a little generous. This Post Road ale is richer and a little more complex, while the DFH is a little more subtle in flavor. I could see someone preferring the DFH, but I give the nod to the Post Road.
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Old 11-01-2006, 10:17 PM   #208
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

Well, it's been a while since someone's posted in here, and I realized I completely forgot to talk about my first experience with Rogue Shakespeare Stout. I loved the Chocolate Stout, though when I got it i was actually looking for Shakespeare. On to the review...

Shakespeare poured a nice black with maybe 1/4" caramel head. It looked and smelled wonderful, with hints of coffee and chocolate. It was very smooth and had a decent mouthfeel, though slightly thin. Had a slight taste of chocolate and definitely had a roasted feel to it. The chocolate flavor was more evident in the finish. I guess the only problem was that I had this slightly warm, since I picked it up with a friend and then drank it soon afterward. A mistake I won't make again to be sure. Overall I give Rogue Shakespeare Stout . Definitely something I'll pick up again in the near future.
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Old 11-03-2006, 08:21 AM   #209
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Re: TLDR Beer Club

This is some of my souvenirs from Estonia. A really good beer IMO. Strong but not too strong and good at the same time. Water beers like Carlsberg etc don't stand a chance against this one. DB from ale coq is really good. A bit sweety maybe but definitely not too sweety. It's good for just drinking or with a good meal. Alc 8%


Mod note: Sheesh, preview your posts and don't post ridiculously huge images of just a beer can.
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Old 11-03-2006, 09:26 AM   #210
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Re: TLDR Beer Club



not sure if this beer has been discussed. only available in Puerto Rico. Extremely light tasting with a bit of citrus maybe!?! comes in 10 ounce cans as Puerto Ricans always want their beer cold as it is hot as h@ll here...i give it a nod as the perfect beach beer.

"El sabor que nos mueve"
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Old 11-04-2006, 12:55 AM   #211
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Re: Alesmith Yulesmith

So I went to the grocery store the other day to pick something up for breakfast. I wasn't planning on buying any beer, but of course I wandered by the beer aisle. Much to my dismay, I saw only one Mich sampler pack left! So of course I bought it. It has four each of AmberBock (wish they'd had another specialty instead of this), Pale Ale, Hefeweizen, Marzen, and Porter. Tonight I tried out the pale ale.



It pours a crystal-clear copper with a small, thin head that dissipated pretty quickly. Not a whole lot of aroma at all. First sip picks up some hops, but nothing like I'm used to, having been on a Flying Dog/homebrew IPA kick lately. There's not a whole lot of bitterness at the back end, either. I think the malt profile is pretty good, though. It definitely works with the hop profile, and I love to get my hands on it and see if it could stand up to some stronger hopping. Mouthfeel is like the head: thin and doesn't stick around. Looking at the bottle, it says it has practically all noble hops, the only exception being Pacific Northwests. For the none-brewers, imagine the hop taste you'd get from a Czech Pils or a German Lager. APA's use a lot of American hops, so maybe their absence is what's throwing me off a bit with this beer.

Overall, the best thing you can say about this beer is that its both drinkable and more flavorful than typical BMC fare. If they served this up at sporting events, I'd be pretty happy - close to thrilled, really - but I wouldn't reach for it over most other APAs out there in stores.
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Old 11-04-2006, 01:13 AM   #212
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Re: Alesmith Yulesmith



Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye Ale.

this is like good.

pours a fairly dark, but clear red-"ish." i bought a 22 oz of it and poured the first glass into a frosted mug. the head was pretty aggressive even in the frosted mug. the mug warmed up, and when i poured the second glass, the head just shot up like it wanted to kill me. it doesn't really move either, so the head and head retention is killer on this beer.

the smell is incredible. i can't smell rye but the hops are very strong and clear.

the taste is very good as well. just imagine a fairly bitter beer combined with a solid malt profile. the first glass, i could really taste the hops more - i would say that the hops were more defined in the first glass. now, drinking the second glass, it is really very well balanced. i am actually getting a hint of the rye after i swallow as well.

i recommend this for sure. i'm not sure how available it will be for all of you guys not on the west coast, but if you can pick it up and you enjoy hops w/ a little twist, try it out.

i'm giving it
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Old 11-04-2006, 11:49 AM   #213
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Re: Alesmith Yulesmith

Not a beer review per se, but a trip report:

Beer Advocate Belgian Beer Fest

This event was held last weekend at the Cyclorama (small convention room) in Boston. Hosted by Beer Advocate, this is basically an event were 30-40 brewers come to show off their best Belgian style beers.

Tickets were $30, which gets you entrance, a 2 oz. tasting glass, and all you can drink. The event was limited to 1,000 people, and was a sell-out (I had to scalp tickets).

Suffice to say, I had plenty to drink, so my memory is as hazy as a Hefeweizien. Still, I'll run down some of these brewers and beers that were there (some of this cobbled together):

Allagash Brewing Co.
Brasserie Du Bocq
Brewery Ommegang
Brooklyn Brewery
Brouwerij De Block
Brouwerij St. Bernardus
Brouwerij Van den Bossche
Cambridge Brewing Co.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewers
Harpoon Brewery
John Harvard's Brew House
Nashoba Valley Winery
North Coast Brewing Co.
Russian River Brewing Co.
SixPoint Craft Ales
Southampton Publick House
The Lost Abbey

plus big guys like Duvel, Chimay, etc

a typical selection for each brewer looked something like this (but varied a good deal, of course)

Southampton Publick House

Abbot 12
Belgian-style Quadruple. 10.5%

Grand Cru
Belgian-style ale with subtle flavors of orange and coriander. 9.8%

Saison Deluxe
A ramped up version of their original Saison. 7.4%

Double White
A big, big Belgian-style Wit. 7.2%

Trappist Triple
Triple hopped Belgian classic. 8.5%

Cuvee des Fleurs '05
Saison style, made with edible flowers. 7.7%

Plus they has some awesome waffles! if anyone has been to Stowe, VT, they are the same waffles they have at the top of the gondola. Yumm.

Anyways, some beer highlites included the Trappist Triple and Abbot 12 from the Southampton guys. I highly recommend these guys from Long Island - everything they had was great. The Ommegang guys had all their beers there, which are also great examples of Belgian beers made stateside. Ommegang had brewed up a special beer for this fest, something really really hopped up. Yum.

Stone brewing company had a great vertical ale, and Harpoon actually made a very good triple. My absolute favorite was the the Delirium Tremors:



from Belgium.

All in all, a fantastic event. The next Beer Advocate event is the 4th Annual Extreme Beer Fest on February 9 & 10, 2007 at the same location as above. If you are anywhere near Boston, come check it out!
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Old 11-04-2006, 03:00 PM   #214
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Re: Alesmith Yulesmith

A heads-up for those of you in the LA/SD area:

The 10th Annual Strong Ale Festival, December 1-2 in Carlsbad (at the Pizza Port). 65 beers, all 16+ proof. I'll be down with a bunch of people from LA; I can't recommend this highly enough.
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Old 11-04-2006, 09:41 PM   #215
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Re: Alesmith Yulesmith

I've been trying some of the beers in this thread and enjoy almost all of them, but last week I decided to pick up Rodenbach Grand CRU. It is labeled as a flemish sour ale. First beer that I have tried and absolutely hated it. Just wondering if you guys have any opinions on this beer.
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Old 11-05-2006, 12:20 AM   #216
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Re: Alesmith Yulesmith

Tonights Beer: Smithwick's Irish Ale (pronoucned Smitticks)

I've been told by numerous authorities on beer that this is better than almost any ale from Europe. Better than Newcastle, better then them all.

Has anyone here tried this? I think it's phenomenal. Definitely better than New Castle, and one of the best ales I've tasted.



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Old 11-05-2006, 03:24 PM   #217
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Re: Alesmith Yulesmith

Just made a run to Shoreline Beverage on Long Island. It was my first trip there and WOW! They had almost anything I could imagine. Definitely somewhere I have to go again. Expect to see reviews for the following brews: Stone Smoked Porter, Southampton Double White Ale, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, and two offerings from Hair of the Dog: Adam and Fred. Color me excited!
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Old 11-06-2006, 01:57 AM   #218
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Re: Alesmith Yulesmith

Abs,

Tonight, I tried Smithwick's for the first time. Color me unimpressed. Better than Newcastle? Sure. Best ale I've tasted? Not even close. It's a decent ale. The malt is darker in flavor, but it doesn't linger very long, and there's not much depth. I'd be happy drinking this at a bar with a limited beer selection in lieu of something that ends in "lite," but I won't be buying it for myself. I award this beer . If you like this beer, I'd look into Alaskan Amber, Ithaca Cascazilla, or Brooklyn Brown instead. These aren't the same types of beer (none of them are even all that similar to one another), but they each exemplify different aspects of what Smithwick's is trying to have.
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Old 11-06-2006, 01:14 PM   #219
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Re: Alesmith Yulesmith

Wookie,

i agree. i have several friends who swear by Smithwicks. i suspect they may be crazy.
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Old 11-06-2006, 04:28 PM   #220
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Re: Alesmith Yulesmith

I LOVE Rodenbach, and other beers in the style. However, it is probably the most unique beer style out there, and will be hit or miss for most people.

One note - I've had good luck with Rodenbach at bars, but the one time I bought it at a store (Whole Foods) it was skunked and nearly undrinkable. I'd give it another shot.
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Old 11-07-2006, 04:30 PM   #221
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Re: Alesmith Yulesmith

Quote:
Abs,

Tonight, I tried Smithwick's for the first time. Color me unimpressed. Better than Newcastle? Sure. Best ale I've tasted? Not even close. It's a decent ale. The malt is darker in flavor, but it doesn't linger very long, and there's not much depth. I'd be happy drinking this at a bar with a limited beer selection in lieu of something that ends in "lite," but I won't be buying it for myself. I award this beer . If you like this beer, I'd look into Alaskan Amber, Ithaca Cascazilla, or Brooklyn Brown instead. These aren't the same types of beer (none of them are even all that similar to one another), but they each exemplify different aspects of what Smithwick's is trying to have.

Wookie,

Upon further review, it's good, it's better than Newcastle, but it's not the best. I'm a huge fan of Alaskan Amber, and it's my favorite amber ale thus far. At $8.49 per six, I don't think Smithwick's would be a go to beer...it's not bad though.

I forgot to mention, I have a problem with giving a beer too much credit the first time I taste it...
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Old 11-07-2006, 05:05 PM   #222
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Re: Alesmith Yulesmith

I've got three reviews today: Southampton Double White Ale, Stone Smoked Porter, and Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout.

First the Double White. Poured a nice golden color with an aggressive white head. Smelled like your typical wheat beer, but with some spices thrown in the mix. As soon as I had my first taste it reminded me of another brew people following this thread are probably familiar with: La Fin du Monde. On the Double White label, it says it was brewed with coriander and curacao orange. The finish was somewhat spicy and malty. Before entering the world of beer, I wasn't really familiar with coriander, but now I know the taste well. Overall, I'd say this is maybe a tad below Allagash White in terms of my top wheat beers and worthy of and a half

Next up is Stone Smoked Porter. This was my first try at a "smoked" beer. Poured a nice dark black with a thin tan head. There was definitely a slight smokiness to the aroma, along with coffee and chocolate hints. The taste was very similar. Though there was smokiness, it wasn't really a dominant flavor, which I think was a good thing. Finished somewhat bitter and smoky. This is something I'd definitely try again, and at $3.99 for a 22 oz. bottle, how can you afford to pass it up?

Last, but not least, is the 2006-2007 version of Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout.





It poured a nice jet black, so much so that you can see my reflection in the glass. I may have poured it too cold and the aroma was faint. Smelled like chocolate, coffee, and alcohol. Tasted like chocolate at first, then coffee and a hint of nuttiness. Finished chocolatey and alcoholic. The mouth feel was very nice, oily and slick. This was my first impy, so it was quite an experience. As it warmed up, the aroma was more pronounced, but toward the alcohol side. Some people seem to be of the opinion that sitting on this for a bit is best. I agree with that camp. See you next year Brooklyn BCS. I put this between the Southampton and the Stone, I'll give it 3.75

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Old 11-07-2006, 05:11 PM   #223
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Re: Alesmith Yulesmith

Hey, there's nothing wrong with being too enthusiastic. I was a little too enthusiastic with the DFH pumpkin, myself.

I also have another review. I'm planning on reviewing some more mainstream beers, and this one will somewhat fit into that trend. The beer I tried (again) last night was Leffe, a Belgian golden ale. I picked it up in an 18 pack w/ 6 each of it, Hoegaarden, and Stella for about $20. Leffe was my first Belgian golden ale, and I remember liking it a great deal. I thought it'd be a good buy at that price.

Leffe pours with a whole lot of head. Even with very careful pouring it was hard to control. Sniffing and taking a sip, the first word that came into my mind was "hollow." This beer is a hollow representation of other Belgian golden ales I've been drinking and reviewing here. It has some mild spice, and some mild golden ale malt, but it's not nearly as rich or flavorful as what I've come to expect of this variety of beer. That said, it might be a decent one to try if someone is curious about Belgian beer but doesn't want something too weird (or expensive) for fear of not liking it. And for just a hair over a buck a beer, I can't say I think I overpaid. I'm going to award this beer . It's quite drinkable, and the price was decent, but you can do much better with the Rare Vos or especially the LFDM.
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Old 11-07-2006, 06:33 PM   #224
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Re: Alesmith Yulesmith

I'll do a better review later, but first impressions are: Mich Porter: sub par, Mich Marzen: maybe ok, but I don't know the style well enough, Mich Weizen: surprisingly good.

The liquor store just got in DFH India Brown Ale - I mean, just, I actually pulled a sixer out of a stack of cases - and I'm wondering what to expect. I'm not really a big fan of brown ales.
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Old 11-07-2006, 06:48 PM   #225
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Re: Alesmith Yulesmith

Quote:
Mich Porter: sub par, Mich Marzen: maybe ok, but I don't know the style well enough, Mich Weizen: surprisingly good.

I'm pretty sure they don't make it any more, but have any of you ever had Michelob Honey Lager? Not that I've drank a ton of these types of beers in my lifetime, but it was far superior to Honey Brown, and one of my favorite beers, period.

-McGee
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