Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Rogue FestiveAle

I have to admit I've been slacking on my blog for a bit now. No real reason, just seem to always get home late and never have time to update. Well, I'm drinking a beer now and figured it's high time to start updating more often. Here's a bomber from Rogue, an amazing brewery by all accounts!

The Rogue FestiveAle pours from the 22oz bomber a deep golden orange hue with a big fluffy three fingers worth of foam on top. Tons of active carbonation rises up in the glass. So far, so good. Aromas of pale spicy grains along with a mellow citric orange aroma. Earthy yeast tones are present. Really not too much going on in the aroma department, kind of dissapointing.

First sip brings a spicy, fruity pale maltiness upfront. A bit husky wheat tones with plenty of yeasty tones. Orange tones weave in and out with a mellow spicy hoppiness on the way down. This brew just really fails to grab me. For a saison, this one ended up boring me.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and a bit chalky with a big bubbly factor. Goes down easily and polishing off the bomber is no problem. A drinkable brew, but it lacks the flavor profile I'm looking for when I want a saison. I won't be seeking this one out again.

This beer garnered a score of 3.05 out of 5 for me...just didn't blow me away.

Check out all the fine Rogue offerings over at www.rogue.com

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout

This is a big bourbon barrel aged stout brewed by Founders in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Weighing in at 10% abv, this is aged in the barrel until it's deemed just right by the brewers. I've had samples of this a few times at festivals, and I'm glad to finally have a bottle in my hands, as this was an extremely limited production. Here we go!

After sampling this beer at various festivals, I'm glad to finally sit down to a bottle of it all to myself. Pours from the stubby brown bottle like an oil spill, thick and black as night, producing a half inch of dark tan creamy foam on top of the brew. Spotty sticky lacing is everywhere. Stellar. As my nose reaches the glass I'm assaulted by lush, rich fresh coffee alongside chunks of dark chocolate. Vanilla, caramel and woody tones peek through as well. The bourbon aroma is well integrated and adds a wonderful twist to the already awesome nose on this beer. Just smells so damn good.

First sip brings a wonderfully rich maltiness teeming with fresh brewed coffee and lushious chocolate. The flavor simply explodes when it hits the tongue. Notes of vanilla, caramel and a touch of nuttiness. Midway through each sip the bourbon flavors roll over the palate along with some underlying woody tones. A superb blend of flavors that come together to create one awesome coffee/chocolate/bourbon stout.

Mouthfeel is rich and chewy, but with a medium body and a certain smoothness. Goes down almost too easy with no evidence of the alcohol, except for the slight warming sensation in the belly. Simply an amazing beer that I would love to have on hand constantly if I could! A good evening sit and sip brew and another winner from Founders. Between this and the original Breakfast Stout....I'm in love.

Overall, I gave this kick ass brew a 4.8 out of 5. Such a wonderful beer.

Check out everything else Founders (you'll be glad you did) by surfing over to www.foundersbrewing.com

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Victory Hop Devil

The Victory Hop Devil is one of those beers that's always been available to me and I never really got around to pickin up a sixer. On the way to a party at my friend's place I decided it was high time I grabbed one and finally tried this brew, as I'm a big fan of Victory Brewing in general. Here's how it went down:

I can't believe I haven't reviewed this beer before now. The HopDevil pours into my glass a nice deep copper red with a inch of creamy, bubbly foam head on top. Good clarity. Aromas are all hops upfront, piney, spicy and a touch citric as well. A sweet caramel, midly doughy malt aroma is present as well. Candy coated green leafy hop goodness.

First sip brings a mix of piney and grapefruity citrus hops. A toasted biscuit maltiness dipped in caramel supports the weight of the hops. Tasty green, leafy bitterness flows throughout each sip balanced by a cotton candy sweetness. Finishes with a herbal bitterness that lingers on a bit. Good brew.

Mouthfeel is wonderful with a nice body and solid carbonation. Goes down all too easy, this is a great session IPA for sure and a great six pack choice for heading out to a party. I'm a little upset that I overlooked the HopDevil for so long. Another brew from Victory that's not to be missed.

Overall I gave this brew a 4.15 out of 5. A solid American IPA.

Check out the full line of Victory beers at www.victorybeer.com

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

America's Brewing Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout

Hand bottled 12oz given to me at the Festival of Barrel Aged Beer in Chicago. This is an Imperial Stout aged in a Blantons bourbon barrel for 10 months. It pours from the bottle a big, viscous inky black with a half inch of bubbly dark tan head on top. Zero light passes through this one..a bit ominous. Aromas are a collision course of rich chocolate and coffee coupled with a big dose of vanilla, caramel and some woody tones. Smooth bourbon integrates into the aroma nicely. Rich, roasty and downright wonderful.

First sip brings a rich, sweet, roasty chocolate maltiness with an equally impressive roasted coffee flavor. Seemlessly intertwined is a rush of vanilla and a warming ribbon of bourbon. Hints of toffee and caramel mix in. A bit of a woody aspect as well, I really enjoy how the bourbon accentuates the flavor here. Finishes smooth with a great balance throughout the beer.

Mouthfeel is big and chewy with a laid back carbonation that works really well. Begins warming me up around halfway through the glass. Still, it's really tasty and quite drinkable, although not in great quantities. A stellar bourbon barrel aged imperial stout in my humble opinion. Cheers to brewmaster Mike Rybinski and everyone at America's Brewing for this one. I hope to get over the Walter Payton's Roundhouse and sample more brews soon, maybe I'll get a chance to have this again someday!

Overall I gave this one a 4.45 out of 5. Superb beer!

Check out what else is going on at America's Brweing by surfing to www.americasbrewpub.com

Monday, April 03, 2006

Founders Imperial Stout

Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, Michigan has quickly become one of my favorite midwest breweries. They've come out with some amazing brews, including the awesome Breakfast Stout (double chocolate coffee oatmeal stout), Red's Rye, Black Rye, Rubaeus, the Imperial Stout I'm reviewing today and the very new, very limited Kentucky Breakfast Stout which was aged in bourbon barrels. Luckily my buddy kmpitz2 in KY grabbed me a bottle of that as I can't wait to try it. Check out Founders ASAP..they rock. Now onto the review.

2005 vintage. 10% abv. The Founders Imperial Stout pours from the stubby 12oz bottle a thick, syrupy charcoal black into my tulip glass with a small dark tan head that falls to a ring around the glass. Spotty lacing left on the glass. Good deal! Aromas of dark vinous chocolate, raisins, big roasty sweetness and some caramel. Subtle burnt coffee and dark fruits.

First sip brings a dense dark roasty maltiness that weighs down the tongue. A big mix of vinous and milk chocolate flavors collide along with some mellow coffee flavors. Rich and a bit smoky with dark fruits throughout. Finishes with a touch of hops and a lingering burnt flavor. A tasty impy stout.

Mouthfeel is big, thick and a touch syrupy. Really mellow carbonation on this one works quite nicely. Goes down smooth with no trace of alcohol. I could sit down to a couple bottles and have a good evening. Yet another tasty stout from the guys up in Michigan. Keep 'em coming!

Overall I gave this beer a 4.3 out of 5. A wonderful imperial stout.

Check out all the fine brews of Founders by surfing to www.foundersbrewing.com