Sunday, August 20, 2006

New Glarus Unplugged Smoked Rye Bock

New Glarus Brewing Company is located in New Glarus, WI and brews some fantastic beers. They only distribute to the state of Wisconsin, so you'll either have to make a trip or find a friend to hook you up, but either way checking out their beers is well worth the time and effort. Today I'll be drinking one of the more recent creations from the Unplugged series, which features small batch, limited beers brewed by Dan Carey that they may never brew again. I was excited to try this one as by the name alone I had a feeling it would be quite unique.

The Unplugged Smoked Rye Bock pours out of the red foil covered 12oz bottle and into my tulip glass with a murky copper/gold hue with some suspended yeasties. An arid white head with prickly bubbles of carbonation. Aromas begin with sweet caramel, nutty malts with a somewhat subtle underlying smokiness. Floral and fruity with a dash of rye spiciness. Banana and clove esters sneak up out from the yeast and add an extra dimension to the brew. Unique no doubt!

First sip brings a sweet dense caramel maltiness upfront with a wisp of smoke from a dying campfire. A mix of fruity flavors move in along with a touch of spicy rye. Flows down with some yeasty banana and clove hints. A tasty beer that sets itself apart from the pack. I could have gone for a bit more smokiness in the flavor as my only minor complaint.

Mouthfeel is fairly big with a slight slickness to it. Mellow carbonation is nice and active. Alcohol is incredibly well hidden and this one goes down almost too easily to be clocking in at 12%. A tasty conglomeration of styles that I'm glad I had the chance to try. I have a couple more bottles that I might let sit a bit longer to see what happens. Check this one out if you can still find it!

Overall I gave this beer a 4.05 out of 5. Another good show from NG

Check out the current lineup of New Glarus beers by surfing over to

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Samuel Adams 1790 Root Beer Brew

The last in the Brewer Patriot Collection that I'm sampling is the 1790 Root Beer Brew. Made with molasses, sassafras, wintergreen and licorice, I wasn't really sure what to expect from this brew. It definetly ended up being interesting, that's for sure...

The 1790 Root Beer Brew pours from the 12oz bottle into my tulip glass an opaque, somewhat murky dark brown with red accents and a half inch of bubbly light tan head on top. The aroma is suprisngly nice and akin to many handcrafted herbal root beers I've tried in the past. Sassafras jumps out with a slightly roasted maltiness. As I swirl the glass and inhale the wintergreen comes out more. Licorice root is there with a touch of vanilla as well. A bit grainy, but overall I enjoy the intense herbal aroma of this one.

First sip brings a wall of molasses laced maltiness that's followed by an herbally one-two punch of sassafrass and wintergreen. Flows down with a bit of toastiness, a hint of vanilla and plenty of licorice in the mix as well. Sort of a stingy herbal bitterness on the finish. Well, unlike the aroma the flavor ends up being more of an herbal assault and the root beer ends up getting lost. I could see this being brewed up in a big black cauldron somwhere. Ultimately it's just too much with each sip making me less excited to take the next.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with sturdy carbonation and a bit of a syrupy quality, presumably from the molasses. The drinkability here is basically nil. One bottle is more than enough (maybe even too much) for one person. An interesting, unique experiment all the same, but not a brew I could ever really say I'd want to have again. Guess I'll just have to wait for the next Sam Adams special release!

Overall I gave this beer a 3.25 out of 5. The aroma had me hoping for more than the flavor could provide!

Check out Sam Adams online at

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Samuel Adams George Washington Porter

The third beer I'm trying from the Brewer Patriot Collection from Samuel Adams is the George Washington Porter. This one was brewed with molasses, licorice and plenty of East Kent Goldings hops. Said to be a porter that may have been brewed in the colonial days, I'm excited to see what this one has in store for me.

Pours from the 12oz bottle into my glass a dark, murky brown that borders on black with a creamy two finger head of light tan foam leaving some nice lacing. So far so good! Aroma is nice with a roasty, smokey dark malt in the forefront. Molasses and chocolate work in and after letting the brew sit for a few minutes I get a big blast of herbaceous licorice root. Quite interesting, I'm enjoying the aroma here.

First sip brings a nice dark roasted, kinda smokey malt upfront that's quickly met by a chocolate/molasses one-two punch. Herbal bitterness moves in halfway through with only a light licorice root note that's somewhat earthy. Finishes off with some herbal hops. Quite a strong, bitter flavor profile here. Definetly an interesting porter to be had here.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. This one has quite a bit of body to it and stands up nicely. An interesting porter with a big herbal smack. I quite enjoyed this one and I could see myself coming back to it. Definetly a brew I would've been drinking if I had lived back in the colonial era.

Overall I gave this beer a 3.95 out of 5.
My favorite of the collection so far.

Surf over to Sam Adams at
and look for the 4 pack at your local retailer.