Friday, December 30, 2005

Post One : Jones Soda Brussels Sprout Soda

Ok, so I know this blog is supposed to be all about my love for beer...but I just couldn't help but post this. For Christmas I bought the regional Jones Soda Holiday Pack to share with my brothers. The next few days I'll be posting our reviews of the sodas as we sampled them on Christmas day. This first bottle is Brussels Sprout Soda...yes you heard me right. This one was a leftover from the Target Holiday Pack we had sampled at Thanksgiving....



Let's see how the Brussels Sprout Soda creation fared:

-Don: Aroma is of buttery, vegetal vomit. Simply FOUL! Such an odd buttery, nasty taste. I couldn't drink more than a small sip. Ugh.

-Brian: Nearly vomited. No words can describe the horror of this soda.

-Kevin: Suprisingly tastes a lot like brussels sprouts. Mmm....mmm good!

-Rob: This one is a sipper. Quality brussels sprout taste, just a little salty.

If you see the Holiday Pack...I'd say give it a try...if nothing else for the experience of saying you tried these odd creations.

Breckenridge Small Batch 471 Double Hopped IPA

I picked up this bottle on my last trip down to Kentucky at The Corkscrew in Champaign, IL. It's a really cool little store if you ever make it down that way. I was excited to try this one as I've never seen it before and I'm always a sucker for a nice hoppy IPA. Here we go!



The 471 IPA pours from the bomber a wonderful deep orange with a touch of red and a nice creamy, bubbly head that's almost khaki in color. Looks nice in the glass for sure. Aromas of deep rich piney resinous hops alongside a hefty sweet caramel, doughy maltiness. Brash, herbal hops are raw and quite nice. Candy like.

First sip brings a sweet caramelly, doughy maltiness. This is accentuated by a blast of bitter, piney, herbal hops. Raw, green, earthy and wonderfully resinous. There's a nice balance at play here. A tasty hop forward IPA that is tasty. Finishes with a nice bitterness on the way down.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice creamy aspect and mellow carbonation. Goes down really easily...the bomber will disappear quickly. This one really doesn't seem like it's 9.2%. A winner from Breckenridge. Worth a shot by all means.

Overall I gave this brew a 4 out of 5. Good show as my buddy Kevin would say.

Check out Breckenridge at www.breckbrew.com

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Two Brothers Bare Tree '05


The Bare Tree '05 pours from the 750ml bottle a deep caramel red hue with a generous three finger head of frothy, creamy tightly bubbling foam. Sticky strings of lacing adorn the glass as the head falls. Wonderful! Aromas begin with fruit laced sweet caramel malts that bring hints of cantalope, banana and apple. Heady spiciness with cracked peppery and clove phenolics leading the way. A touch bready with fresh, energetic earthy yeast. Quite the complex aroma.

First sip brings a fruity, slightly sour caramel infused maltiness upfront that has a bit of husky grain as well. There's a big melding of fruit flavors here...I seem to be picking out cantalope, banana and a hint of lemon. Throughout each sip is a vibrant earthy yeast spiciness, again with notes of black pepper and clove. I get an interesting interplay with sweet and sour flavors. Finishes with a touch of vanilla and fresh baked bread. Alcohol is non-existant in the flavor profile.

Mouthfeel is suprisingly light compared to what I expected. Slightly slick with fast moving carbonation...this goes down extremely smooth for a wheat wine. I'm having no problem drinking this quite quickly. This bottle will be a nice end to my long holiday weekend. One of the best Two Brothers brews I've yet to sample. It's worth it to hunt it down and give it a try.

Overall I gave this one a 4.1 out of 5. A nice brew to be had here.

Check out what else Two Brothers offers and what people think about 'em by clicking here http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/689/

Friday, December 23, 2005

Thomas Hooker Old Marley Barleywine 2005


Bottled in 2005 displayed above the swingtop. Pours from the 500ml cobalt blue bottle a viscous, thick dark brown with the deepest streaks of red and a small tan head that lingers atop the brew. Looks nice in the glass. Aromas of deep rich caramel maltiness along with a touch of cocoa and vanilla. A lovely piney, herbal hoppiness stands out here as well. I get some lingering warm oaky bourbon notes along with a blend of dark fruity aromas. A lovely sensory experience. Magnificent.

First sip brings a big blast of sweet caramelly maltiness that's a touch burnt and roasty. Notes of vanilla, dry oak, bourbon, cocoa and dark fruits run amok across my palate with each subsequent sip. As the brew flows down the there's a well placed green, piney, herbal hop bitterness. Slightly vinous overall. Only a touch of alcohol sneaks through. A wonderfully blended barleywine.



Mouthfeel is smooth with a light, arid carbonation. Medium bodied and a touch syrupy...for a 10% brew this goes down like a charm. The wealth of flavors keeps me going back for another sip of this tasty barleywine. The 500ml bottle makes it perfect to sit down to after a long day of work. I'd definetly recommend this one to any barleywine fans. Seek it, sip it and savor it. Thanks to my pal goodbyeohio for bestowing this fine beverage upon me!

Overall I gave this barleywine a 4.35 out of 5. Search high and low to find it..and enjoy the hell out of it when ya do!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Thomas Hooker Munich Style Golden Lager

The Thomas Hooker Munich Style Golden Lager comes in a nice 22oz. bomber bottle. I'm not usually a big lager fan but this beer really turned my head. An incredibly well crafted brew that shows why American craft brewers are some of the best in the world!



The Munich Style Golden Lager pours from the bomber a very nice cloudy golden orange color with a bubbly arid two finger head atop the brew. Aromas of crisp pale grain maltiness that seems to have a touch of lemon zest along with a forward green, spicy, herbal hoppiness. Sweet cereal grains predominate with a touch of dough. Nice stuff.

First sip brings a crisp, chewy pale, munich maltiness that has a nice sweetness with fruity undertones. Hints of dough come out in the flavor, its a touch nutty as well. The spicy, herbal hops meld into the background and assimilate harmoniously into the rest of the brew. Crisp and well balanced throughout with a slight lingering noble hop presence. Quite an enjoyable brew.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and chewy with a rush of carbonation that comes with each sip. Easy to drink and really quite refreshing. A tasty representation of the style and an easy candidate for a session brew. I'd sample this more often if it was readily available. Thanks to UnionMade for this one!

Overall I gave this one a 4.25 out of 5. A damn fine brew...seek it out!!

Check out what's new and what's brewing at Thomas Hooker by logging onto www.troutbrookbeer.com

Hair of the Dog Doggie Claws 2005

2005 vintage bottle. Brewed with Simcoe and Amarillo hops along with dark wild flower honey collected on Mt. Hood. Pours from the longneck a deep dark murky brown with hints of red. Only a ring of small bubbles around the top of the brew...seems a bit uncarbonated. Hopefully this is not a bad sign! Aromas of deep caramelly sweet malts along with a big wet cardboard oxidized aroma...damn. Brash herbal, citrusy hops lie underneath but they are shadowed by the off aromas. The hops smell fresh and juicy.

First sip brings a strong sweet caramel, raisiny maltiness upfront clouded again by the cardboard-esque off flavors. The hops still come through strong with a big herbal, citric bitterness all the way through each sip and on the way down. I really wish I could be tasting the full potential of this brew right now...as I'm imaging in my head it would be lovely. As of now...it's nearly undrinkable.



Mouthfeel is medium bodied with little to no carbonation. Goes down smooth but the flavor just kills it. I'm hoping that the bottle I have in the cellar will not be as poblematic as this one. I'll report back when I open it. In it's current state it's unfortunately not drinkable in the least. Damn. Thanks to weefisheads for the bottles..I'm gonna cross my fingers for the second one.

Overall I gave this one a 2.8 out of 5.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Three Floyds Black Sun Stout

I finally got a chance to drive out to the new Three Floyds Brewpub in Munster, Indiana last weekend. A trip that was damn well worth it. Three Floyds is arguably my favorite brewery in the midwest and I always enjoy making a trip out to the source. If you'd like to read my write up of the trip just go here:

http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/26/?view=beerfly&ba=orbitalr0x

Now onto the brew!
The Black Sun Stout pours from the wickedly wonderfully labeled bomber a thick, viscous deep onyx black with a nice quarter inch of foamy dark tan head on top that leaves spots of lacing all over the glass. Aromas of burnt roasted coffee beans entangled with a hefty helping of lovely fresh grapefruity hoppiness that tingles the nose. A touch of smoky, burnt caramel sweetness with some vanilla bean as well. The interplay between the dark, roasty malts and the intense green citric hoppiness is divine. Wow...such an aroma that it's hard to put down the glass.

First sip brings a big, burnt, smoky dark maltiness upfront with notes of charred coffee and chocolate. Big, citrusy grapefruity hops work their way in, but they don't overpower the brew at the same time. A touch of vanilla and some dark fruits show up as the brew ends fairly dry with a nice bitter finish and lingering notes of roasted malt. An incredibly enjoyable hoppy stout that balances itself with an equally hefty maltiness. I sampled this on nitro the other night at the brewpub and the creaminess and drinkability was outstanding. Seek it out if you stop by the brewery.



Mouthfeel is big, nice and chewy with a good amount of carbonation. I find myself working through this one at quite a fast pace. It's just so damn tasty it's hard to put the glass down. I would have no problem drinking this all night long. Very glad to see this one finally bottled in bombers again. This is a must try brew and another winner from the Floyds. Picked this up at the brewpub for $8/bomber.

Overall I gave this awesome brew a 4.5 out of 5. Highly recommended.

Three Floyd's is always rocking something new...check them out at www.threefloyds.com

O'Fallon Cherry Chocolate

Here's an interesting Cherry Chocolate brew from O'Fallon...can't say I enjoyed it very much. Let's see why:



Hmm..Cherry Cholocate you say. This should be interesting. Pours from the bottle a dark cola color with hints of red and a thin bubbly white ring around the top. Almost looks like cherry coke in the glass. Aromas of..whoa...Tootsie Rolls!! Artificial candy chocolate with an underlying alcohol maraschino cherry aroma. The candy chocolate is nearly solvent like and stings my nose. A hint of caramel and roastiness barely break through. Really, really odd...I can't say it is appealing.

First sip brings the same artificial Tootsie Roll-esque chocolate flavor upfront along with an underlying cherry syrup flavor. Quite a malty brew with a touch of caramel. Sorta resembles drinking a chocolate covered cherry. A bit spritzy. The overall flavor of this brew just doesn't grab me...it just comes off a bit too off the wall.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with fast moving carbonation. Goes down smooth and is actually quite easy to drink. I'll be finishing this bottle but I don't intend to look for this one again. The flavors just don't work for me...you win some, you lose some!

Overall I gave this brew a 3 out of 5.

Check out www.ofallonbrewery.com for more info on O'Fallon.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Southampton IPA

The Southampton IPA pours from the bomber a wonderful deep amber orange with a quarter inch of bubbly off white head on top. Steady active carbonation. Hops hit my nose during the pour and under further examination I get a wonderful mixture of densly piney, citric herbal hops. Underneath the hops lies a bready, sweet caramel maltiness. Quite a nicely balanced aroma here.

First sip brings a nice piney, citrusy, herbal earthy hop flavor met by a caramel biscuity sweet malt profile underneath. Fruity and not overly bitter at all...nice balance with sugar coated fresh green hoppy goodness throughout. Finishes clean with a lingering biscuity hop flavor. A tasty IPA that fufills my craving for some hoppy goodness.



Mouthfeel is smooth, a touch creamy with a medium body. Goes down extremely easy and is equally flavorful and refreshing. At 6.5% this could easily be a session IPA. A couple bombers would probably be perfect. Another nicely crafted brew from Southampton.

Overall I gave the Southampton IPA a 3.95 out of 5

Look at what else Southampton has to offer here at www.publick.com

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Rauchator Dopplebock

This one is brewed by Fort Collins Brewery in Colorado....sent my way by a kind fellow Beer Advocate.

The Rauchator Dopplebock pours from the bottle a deep garnet cola color with bright streaks of ruby coming out when held up to the light. A nice half inch bone white head sits atop the brew. Aromas of rich caramelly, raisiny malts. Fairly sweet with a touch of chocolate and molasses. Underneath lies a lovely smokehouse aroma that conjures up thoughts of fine smoked gouda and various smoked meats.



First sip brings an intricate blending of sweet caramel and chocolatey malts enhanced by a robust smokiness that rolls across the mouth like a dense fog. Rich and malty throughout with hints of raisins, dark fruits and a touch of molasses. The smoke really brings this dopplebock to the next level. An extremely tasty brew. It's good to see a US brewer using some smoked malts...hopefully more will follow suit.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a tantalizing maltiness that keeps me coming back to the glass sip after sip. Extremely drinkable...I'm having a hard time beliving this is 10%. I would love a 750 of this anytime. A definite winner if you like smoked beers and a wonderful introduction to Fort Collins Brewing. Thanks to Crosling for sending this one my way!

Overall I gave this brew a 4.2 out of 5.

Check out what else they have to offer by clicking www.fortcollinsbrewery.com

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

New Belgium Trippel Belgian Style Ale

New Belgium is a brewery out of Fort Collins, Colorado that produces some great brews..including the popular Fat Tire. The brewery is quite eco-concious and is actually wind powered and employee owned. Unfortunately...they don't distribute east of the Mississippi at all...


The New Belgium Trippel pours from the bottle a nice darker golden orange color with a thin tightly bubbled white head atop the brew. Aromas are a nice mix of light fruit and spice upfront with a yeasty aroma that has notes of pepper, banana and bubblegum. Floral, herbal hops are well integrated to the aroma as well. An interesting aroma that brings you into the brew.

First sip brings a light, clean strudy maltiness that is quickly accompanied by a wave of light fruity flavors...banana, apple and a tasty peppery spiciness. Slightly bready yeastiness throughout with a nice snap of herbal, flowery hoppiness on the way down. Overall a nice interpretation of a tripel that's creamy, fairly sweet and easy to enjoy.

Mouthfeel has a nice body and steady carbonation that keeps it lively. There's only a hint of alcohol on the finish. I could see myself having a few of these in a sitting. Easily one of my favorites from the year round New Belgium line. Now if only I could get it in Illinois! Thanks to mentor for the hookup.

Overall I gave this brew a 3.9 out of 5.

New Belgium might be up to something new...check it out at www.newbelgium.com

Monday, December 12, 2005

Hair of the Dog - Rose Cassis


Per the label: Brewed on July 12th and bottled on September 8, 2005. Local grown black currants were used in the brew.

Pours from the bottle a deep cloudy dark purple/violet color with a nice creamy two finger pinkish/purple head on top. The creamy violet color of this brew is really quite cool and stunningly unique. Aromas are a melding of light malty spiciness with a fresh sweet/tart black currant aroma. Mellow notes of cloves and pepper linger behind a fresh yeasty aroma. A bit on the subdued side.

First sip brings an intense berrylicious black currant flavor that carries a nice helping of tartness. Underneath lies a spicy light maltiness that's quite peppery with a hint of clove and big bready yeasty flavors. Sweetness and tartness battle it out in this one as it hits the back of the palate with a tart vengance. A touch of alcohol sneaks in and melds itself well with the overall flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with good active carbonation. Slightly creamy..I enjoy the body on this fruity brew. It's really flavorful and not anywhere near cloying. Fresh berry flavors make it easy to drink. I could see myself easily having a few in a sitting. Cheers to Alan and the Hair of the Dog crew for another interesting brew.

Overall I gave this brew a 4.1 out of 5. As far as I know this was only available directly from the brewery...so unless you find someone to trade with you're probably gonna have very little luck coming across any!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Hair Of The Dog - Doggie Claws 2002


2002 vintage with cool red label...the label states 10% alcohol, brewed with Simcoe and Amarillo hops.

Let's see how this is doing after a good three years. Pours from the bottle a deep cloudy amber brown with a huge fluffy off white head that leaves huge patches of lacing on the side of the glass as it falls. Aromas begin with thick, decadant caramel aromas coupled with notes of raisins, molasses and dark fruits. A thick fog of piney, herbal spicy hops rolls in not far behind. It's amazing how the hops have stayed strong after all this time. Simply a lovely aroma.

First sip brings a sweet caramelly, raisin infused maltiness that carries hints of dark fruits, cherry and sourdough. This is followed by a nice wave of piney, citric, herbal hop bitterness causing an nice interplay between the sweet and bitter aspects of the beer. I get a lingering hint of vanilla spice with only a slight hint of oxidation. Overall this is a tasty hoppy barleywine.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a very active bubbly carbonation that dectracts a bit from the overall brew for me. Still..this goes down super easy with no real hint of alcohol. A tasty barleywine that I wouldn't mind having a few of on a cold snowy night. I'm looking forward to trying the 2003 and 2004 in my cellar..as well as the 2005 I have coming! I'd have to say this beer ages quite nicely! Many thanks to weefisheads for the bottle.

Music: Matisyahu - Warrior

Overall I gave this brew a 4.35 out of 5. Truly a nicely aged barleywine.

Check out what else is up at Hair of the Dog by clicking www.hairofthedog.com

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Orval Trappist Ale

Currently only 6 Trappist breweries exist in the world and they are all in Belgium. They are Westvleteren, Westmalle, Chimay, Rochefort, Orval and Achel. No other breweries are entitled by law to apply the Trappist trademark to their products. The beers are brewed by monks and Orval is the oldest of the Trappist breweries, it was started in the 11th century by Benedictine monks. I'm delighted to finally try the Orval Trappist Ale.


Bottled on 24-10-2002, making this one a bit over 3 years old! The Orval Trappist Ale pours into my big Orval chalice a nice amber brown hue with streaks of orange as well. A tight bubbly white head lingers atop the brew in a fine fashion. Looks lovely in the glass. Aromas are intensely unqiue and perplexing at the same time. Sweet caramel spice smacks up against a musty, yeasty earthiness. A touch of leather mingles with some cotton candy/bubblegum aromas. Fruity with a touch of sour cherry, cinnamon and brown sugar. Maybe even a bit woody but definetly enchanting with each inhalation evoking new scents in my mind.

First sip brings a crisp, dry spicy caramel infused with a plethora of flavors that dash across the palate on the trip down the throat. Hints of leather and wood along with some musty sour funkiness that brings images of a cobweb filled brewery to my mind. Light fruit notes collide with brown sugar bubblegum. Spice cake. Lots of earthy yeast notes throughout. Quite the complex beer here. Finishes dry and crisp. Eccentric and ultimately a wonderful experience.

Mouthfeel features a burst of champagne-esque carbonation that streaks across the mouth with each sip. A mellow medium body allows for easy drinking but maybe the bubbles could be toned down a tad. Drinkability is really quite wonderful as it goes down smooth and each sip brings a new realm of taste sensations. I would not mind seeing this in 750ml bottles! Purchased this pre-cellared for me at Liquor Stop in Highland, IN...didn't even look at the date when I bought it. I will be on the lookout for a fresh bottle to try in the near future. Another testament to the wonders of the Trappist breweries of Belgium. This will go down as one of my new favorites.

If you're interested in trying this beer you can get it at Sam's Wine & Spirits in Downers Grove or you should be able to also get it at Binny's in Naperville or Glen Ellyn. It's well worth tracking down in my opinion!

Overall I gave this Trappist ale a 4.45 out of 5. Quite simply a lovely beer.

Find out more about the monks at Orval by surfing to www.orval.be

Friday, December 09, 2005

Sam Adams Imperial Pilsner 2005 Harvest

The Sam Adams Imperial Pilsner is a beefed up pilsner beer made with loads and loads of fresh Hallertau Mittelfruh hops harvested in 2005 from the Hallertau region of Bavaria in Germany. I was very excited to try this new brew and I was not let down at all. Cheers to Sam Adams for cheering me up after a horribly shitty 4 hour drive through snow last night!

Pours from the big 24oz bottle a viscous, deep, opaque amber orange color with a wispy fluffy inch of off white head. Sticky strings of lacing all over the glass as the head falls on the brew. Aromas stand up and smack me in the face with a hoppy onslaught. Spicy, herbal, citrusy, piney hop notes abound along with an underlying sweet creamy bready, caramel aroma. Fresh, divine Hallertau Mittelfruh goodness. A very enticing aroma...way to go Sam Adams!

First sip brings a somewhat sweet doughy, caramel/crystal maltiness quickly followed by a blast of resinous Noble hop oil dominance. The freshness comes through via the intense green, herbal leafy sensation that each sip brings. The citrusy, piney, spicy hops fill the mouth with a hefty dose of bitterness on the way down. Lingering Hallertau after each sip met by spicy Noble hop burps. Nicely balanced, with the scales tipped rightly in the favor of the hops. Only a faint hint of the 8.8% abv exists.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, fairly dry with a wonderful creaminess in each sip. Simply delectable...this brew goes down very easily for this hop lover. Smooth and tasty it's really hard to put down the glass here. One bottle is enough for a sitting...but I'd pick up a few as you'll want to go back to this one again. A wonderful new entry from Jim Koch and Co. and I hope there is more to come. More brewers need to explore the Imperial Pilsner IMHO.

Overall I gave this one a 4.35 out of 5. Simply a damn good beer that I'd highly recommend to everyone and anyone.

Care to see what else Sam Adams is up to? Check out www.samadams.com

Hope everyone has a nice weekend!!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Goose Island Nut Brown Ale

After a long day of work and even a longer drive home it's nice to sit down to a tasty, local brew. Goose Island has been consistently putting out some of the best brewed beers in the Chicagoland area. I have to give love to a great local brewery that has brought me much enjoyment over the years.

The Goose Island Nut Brown Ale pours from the bottle a deep dark cola brown with a nice inch of bubbly khaki head sitting atop the brew. Dark red hues push out from the sides of the glass when held up to the light. Aromas are a nice mix of fresh roasted nuts, chocolate and caramel sweetness. Quite rich with a lovely herbal, citric hoppy background. I'm really enjoying the nose on this one!

First sip brings a roasty malt swirl with notes of cocoa, caramel and a nice nutty character. Subtle burnt notes weave in and out. On the way down I get a nice complimentary herbal, citric hop that works quite well in the overall brew. A roasty, toasty brown ale that really hits the spot for me.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice creaminess and active carbonation. This one goes down easily and packs in plenty of flavor as well. I could easily see myself sitting down to a session with this one. Another tasty Goose brew that I have neglected for too long!

Overall I gave this Goose a 4.1 out of 5. Check out what's going on at Goose Island by surfing over to www.gooseisland.com

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Dogfish Head Festina Lente

I've been yearning to try this one for awhile now. It's a lambic brewed by Dogfish Head in Delaware. Lambic is a style that is deeply rooted in Belgian brewing and is VERY rarely produced in the United States. Lambics are beers that are often spontaneously fermented by wild yeasts that get into the open vats of beer. They can also be produced by simply adding these wild yeast strains..such as brettanomyces lambicus and others. These beers often times have fruit added, in this case peach, and are almost undoubtedly quite sour with a funky, barnyard aroma and taste. It's a great style to explore, with quite a history:

I finally pulled this beer from my cellar as I've been anticipating it for quite awhile. The Festina Lente pours from the 750ml bottle a crystalline orange/peach color with a few white bubbles that quickly fall, very subtle carbonation here. Aromas begin with smashed peaches, grapes and citrus fruit along with some vinegar acidity and a really nice barnyard funkiness. Nice and sour...I'm really enjoying the nose on this one. It has that authentic lambic musty, earthy funkiness.

First sip brings a puckeringly tart pale maltiness accentuated by a mellow sweet peach flavor. Vinegar acidity flows throughout each sip along with a nice earthy funkiness. Finishes with a lingering tart peach taste on the back of the palate. Fairly dry overall this is a tasty sour brew, the brettanomyces work their magic yet again. A lushious treat, where each sip has me anticipating the next and wishing I had more than just this one lone bottle!

Mouthfeel is fairly light and smooth with a really mellow carbonation that I actually like. There's just enough to give a nice tingle on the way down and making it easy to enjoy. A well done stab at a lambic by Sam and Dogfish Head here...I like the addition of peaches as it makes this unique to any other lambic I have previously sampled. A 750ml bottle goes down like candy to this wild/sour beer lover. An interesting brew that's worth checking out...I hope they brew this one again. Thanks to clvand0 for obtaining this bottle for me!

Overall I gave this lambic a 4.15 out of 5. A lovely rendition of the style.

Sam and Dogfish are always up to something good! Check 'em at www.dogfish.com

Rock Art Brewery Ridge Runner Barley Wine Ale

Check this beer out at Beer Advocate: http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/1805/5336/

Here's my take on this one:

Bottled on Mar. 05 per the notched label. The Ridge Runner Barley Wine Ale pours from the bottle a deep cola brown bordering on black with a taught half inch of creamy bone white head on top. Spotty lacing sticks to the side of my glass as garnet hues streak out as the light passes through. Aromas of rich caramelly, raisiny malts with a slight burnt undertone. Dark fruits along with a hint of cocoa and just a touch of hops. Nice and malty..maybe even a touch of molasses.

First sip brings rich dark maltiness that'a a bit burnt with a cornucopia of flavors including dark fruits, raisins, caramel, cocoa and a hint of molasses and licorice on the way down. The brew is a tad smoky with only a faint hint of hops in the finish. A tasty, flavorful brew, quite thin for a barleywine really, but it makes it easy to drink and enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is smooth and rather light with a good amount of carbonation. The body is not as big and chewy as I was hoping for and it really doesn't resemble a barleywine at all. However, the brew is quite drinkable and I wouldn't mind having another. Overall a nice brew that I wouldn't mind having again given the chance. Thanks to BIF20 and MuddyFeet for this one.

Overall I gave this one a 3.8 out of 5. A nice, drinkable brew!

Rock Art Brewery is brewing up some goodies at www.rockartbrewery.com

Avery Twelve Saison Ale

Congratulations to Avery Brewing Co. for twelve years of brewing!! The Avery Twelve Saison Ale is brewed with Rocky Mountain water, malted barley, imported Belgian malted wheat, sweet orange peel, lemon peel, grains of paradise, chamomile, lavender, hops and Belgian yeast.


The Avery Tweleve Saison Ale pours into my glass a nice opaque golden yellow with a half inch of tight bubbly head on top. Aromas begin with a citrusy, fruity pale maltiness along with an very floral, spicy nose. Chamomile and lavender are both easily noticeable and really quite nice. A fresh, zesty yeast is there along with a touch of hops. The melding of citrusy scents with the floral and herbal scents works quite well here!

First sip brings a crisp, citric fruity wheat maltiness along with a rush of herbal spiciness. A collision of chamomile and lavender intermingle with a mellow peppery spiciness. The brew is a tad bit astringent on the way down with only a touch of hops and a lingering lemon zest. A subtle earthy yeast emerges as well. An interesting saison for sure. The herbs get a bit overbearing at times but overall it's a tasty brew.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a nice amount of carbonation. Goes down easily with only a hint of alcohol. I think one bomber will be enough for me of this unqiue brew. Worth trying..but ultimately I don't see myself coming back to this one again. Yet another interesting creation by Avery.

Overall I gave this brew 3.75 out of 5.

Check out what's going on at Avery by surfing to www.averybrewing.com