Sunday, January 29, 2006

Bell's Batch 6000 Ale

This beer is a special brew produced only once in celebration of the 6000th batch of beer brewed at Kalamazoo Brewing in Michigan. Easily one of my favorite midwest brewers, they seem to especially excel in stouts of all kinds. This particular brew is a big, rich barleywine weighing in at a sturdy 10.5% alcohol. Let's see how it has fared:




I've decided to drink my lone bottle of this brew today and I'm very excited as to what it holds in store for me. The Batch 6000 pours from the bottle a deep, dark brown, bordering on black with maroon hues that come out when held to the light. A nice half inch of creamy, sticky khaki head sits above the brew. Aromas begin with rich, lush caramel maltiness, rum raisin and a myriad of dark fruity tones, notably cherry. A wisp of alcohol with brown sugar, a touch of cocoa and a suprisingly strong piney, resinous hop presence. It appears this will be one tasty barleywine here.

First sip brings a rush of rich, creamy caramel, nutty maltiness across the mouth. Interspersed within lies a melding of chocolate, dark fruits, cherries, brown sugar and a bit of alcohol. Amongst the overall sweetness, there is a nice blast of piney, resiny hop bitterness that lends a tasty end to each sip of this fine brew. An enjoyable barleywine from Bell's that has held up quite nicely seeing they've brewed over 1000 batches since this was created. I dunno how much longer this will last, it's too bad I don't have a few more bottles left so I could see for myself!!

Mouthfeel is creamy with a sold medium body. Light carbonation makes it easy to drink and each sip leaves me wanting another. The ABV is really non existant in the taste and I could possibly have another after this! I'd like to see Bell's put a barleywine into their seasonal rotation...I think it would round out thier already stellar lineup quite nicely! Thanks to SheepNutz for this one. I'm really glad to have been able to try it.

Overall I gave this one a 4.3 out of 5. Another finely crafted brew from Bell's.

Check out what else is going on at Bell's by surfing to www.bellsbeer.com

Thursday, January 26, 2006

North Coast Brewing Old Plowshare Organic Stout

I was excited to try this beer as I've never tried an organic stout before. I'm a vegetarian and enjoy eating healthy and organic foods..so I couldn't help but be excited about an organic beer. Similarly, I've always enjoyed North Coast's products in the past and was looking forward to this one..so here it goes:



Being a vegetarian and natural foods lover...it's cool to see a fully organic stout. Kudos to North Coast for brewing this one up. Pours from the stubby bottle into my glass a dark black with streaks of deep red. A half inch of bubbly tan head appears and slowly falls. When held up to the light it becomes almost transparent with a burnt sienna hue. Aromas of roasted dark grains with burnt cocoa and an undercurrent of mellow brewed coffee. Maybe a touch of dark fruits lurkin in there. Pretty nice, yet fairly standard.

First sip brings a fairly dry roasty maltiness on the roof of the mouth. Burnt, almost smoky tones emerge with a dash of cocoa and a touch of bitter coffee. I get an interesting fruitiness throughout drinking this brew. It finishes with just a touch of hops and a lingering roasty husky malt. An enjoyable dry stout with the added bonus of all organic ingredients.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice creaminess...I would like to see a little more body, but as is it makes for easy drinking. I could see having a few of these no problem...it could become my organic session stout! My thanks to beerinator for passing this one off to me. Always good to try something new from North Coast.

Overall I gave this one a 3.5 out of 5. It was a pretty tasty dry stout.

Head on over to www.northcoastbrewing.com to see what else they're brewing up out in Cali.

Also...thanks to everyone who has been reading, enjoying and commenting on my blog! I enjoy drinking beer, writing and sharing good brews..so it's nice to see the good words posted. Thanks!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel Peche Mortel

The Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel is a small brewery located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. They have only been open since 1998 and this is the first beer they've bottled and exported to the United States, in a small quantity at that. Head Brewer, Jean-Fran├žois Gravel has created a really awesome imperial coffee stout and I feel priveleged to be able to have the chance to sample it. This particular bottle was bottled on 11/04 and was part of the first shipment to the states. If you (or me) is ever in Montreal make sure to stop by the brewery and fill up on what are sure to be some awesome fresh brews! Now onto the review:




I'm finally getting around to popping the cap on this quite hyped brew from Canada. It pours from the bottle a deep, oily midnight black with a bubbly, frothy creamy two fingers of tan head atop the brew. I can already smell dark, roasty coffee before my nose ever gets near the glass. No light dares to escape this brew. Aromas begin with full force rich, dark espresso exploding all over the place. Lots of roasty chocolate and burnt notes as well. Reminds me of a fresh box of chocolate covered espresso beans in liquid form. A slight note of creaminess here, but the coffee is the centerpiece of the brew.

First sip brings rich, dark, roasted and slightly burnt maltiness with plenty of creamy chocolate flavor and a bold wall of espresso that envelopes the palate. Fairly sweet with a drizzle of caramel and a bit creamy this goes down with a nice lingering roasted coffee bitterness and flavor. Probably the most coffee forward stout I have yet to consume...if you enjoy coffee I can't see not enjoying this brew.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy with a good steady carbonation. It's a touch lighter than I expected but still definetly makes its presence known. It's very enjoyable to sit down to a bottle of this...but I think one would be enough in a sitting. Rich, decadant and a sure bet for any coffee stout lover. Thanks to Shelton and Dieu Du Ciel for bringing this to the USA and into my beer loving hands, even though the high price will keep it out of my hands most of the time. Guess it's time for a trip up north!

Overall I gave this coffee filled brew a 4.4 out of 5. Damn tasty stuff!

Check out the slew of other brews available at Dieu Du Ciel! by surfing over to www.dieuduciel.com

Friday, January 20, 2006

Southampton Double White Ale

The Southampton Publick House is located in Southampton, Long Island, NY. The microbrewery produces some of the best beers this beer lover has had the opportunity to consume. I've been lucky enough to get ahold of these beers thanks to my fellow friends and traders on www.beeradvocate.com. Today I had the chance to sample the Double White from a 750ml corked and caged bottle. It was simply a great beer:



I'm sampling a 2005 vintage of the Double White Ale from a corked and caged 750ml bottle. Pours into my tulip glass a lovely cloudy golden straw yellow with a nice bubbly inch of bone white head atop the brew. The pour is light and inviting. Aromas are quite simply beautiful. Sun dried grains/pale malts are enveloped by a beatiful lemony, citric aroma brought on by the coriander and orange peel used in the brew. Spicy fresh yeast tones along with a slighty sour, funky aroma and a touch of herbal hops that really makes this one special. Quite simply an enchanting aroma.

First sip brings a sweet sun dried pale maltiness that's a bit wheaty. It's quickly met by a big blast of lemony, citric spiciness with lots of noticeable coriander and orange zest. Fresh, slightly bready yeast integrates itself beautifully into the brew. Finishes slightly dry with a bit of funky sourness that really adds to the experience. Clean, crisp and a true testament to the brewing skills over at Southampton. An explosive melding of flavors that works really well for me...I think I found my new favoirte witbier. The bountiful mix of coriander and citric spiciness doesn't quit and brings a smile to my face with each subsequent sip.

Mouthfeel is smooth and rather light with a blast of carbonation that comes with each sip and fills the mouth. Somewhat addictive..it's hard for me to put my glass down. This 750ml is disappearing just about as fast as I opened it. A truly tasty, drinkable, well crafted brew that I hope to be able to sample again. I need to get myself out to Southampton one of these days!! Many thanks to warriorsoul for giving me the opportunity to enjoy this brew!

Overall I gave this one a 4.45 out of 5. One of the best witbiers I have yet to sample.

Check out what is going on at Southampton by surfing over to www.publick.com

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Clipper City Loose Cannon



The Loose Cannon pours from the bottle a wonderful bright clear peachy color with a nice two fingers worth of creamy bubbly white head on top. Really awesome clarity on this brew. Aromas of fresh, bountiful citic, grapefruity hops that also have a big floral element to them as well. A sweet pale, light caramel malt lurks underneath. Peach and pineapple show up as well in the fruity hop onslaught...maybe there are some Amarillo's in here?? Either way it's a lovely aroma.

First sip brings a rush of sweet, pale, caramelly maltiness that almost instantly segues into a wall of bitter, fruity, citric hoppiness. Notes of peach, grapefruit and pineapple all make an appearance with a floral, green undertone. Fairly brash and a bit abrasive, however the malt still manages to pull everything together here. Vibrant, wonderful hop juice makes for a tasty brew.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth and a bit creamy. This one goes down really easily. A really tasty Double IPA that hits the nail on the head for me. Big, awesome hop flavors all around. I wish this was available locally as I'd be drinkin it regularly. Thanks to blitheringidiot for another fine east coast brew.

Overall I gave this brew a 4.3 out of 5. Another treat for any hophead out there.

Check out what's brewing at Clipper City by pointing your web browser on over to www.clippercitybeer.com

Jolly Pumpkin Maracaibo Especial

The Maracaibo Especial is a spicy special brown ale brewed by Jolly Pumpkin in Dexter, Michigan. The small brewery specializes in using open fermentation, oak aging and bottle conditioning to create some seriously awesome brews. I sat down with this one and enjoyed myself quite a bit:



The Maracaibo Especial with the always sweet artwork pours from the 750ml bottle a deep, murky crimson color with hints of brown as well. A creamy, bubbly khaki head appears and leaves some splotchy lacing on the side of the glass. Looks good to me! Aromas begin with rich caramel and chocolate tones along with a dark baked bread. There's a nice spiciness that's a bit peppery with hints of cinammon along with loads of dark fruitiness. Earthy yeast and mellow woody notes collide. The real cacao really shines through here. Quite enjoyable.

First sip brings a sweet melding of caramelly, brown sugar and mellow cacao. Spicy cinammon and light peppery flavors meld in with a side of baked bread. Big fruity esters run wild all over the place mid palate. Yeasty along with a flash of dry woodiness as the brew flows down the mouth. It finishes with a lingering cacao and a sweet fruitiness as well. I haven't had too many dubbels to compare this to, but it's a damn tasty beer!

Mouthfeel is good with a slight creaminess and smoothness from the laid back carbonation. Being not overly heavy it makes it quite easy to drink and each sip has me coming back for more. I think I could drink this damn near all day! Another winner from Capt. Spooky and JP. Easily one of my favorite Michigan breweries..check this out if given the opportunity! Kudos to marburg for the treat.

Overall I gave this brew a 4.3 out of 5. Tasty stuff.

Vist Jolly Pumpkin online by surfing over to www.jollypumpkin.com

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Weyerbacher Black Hole Ale

Here we go with another beer that's not available in Illinois. This one is brewed by Weyerbacher Brewing Company in Easton, PA. It was generously provided to me by my Beer Advocate buddy Ev. He's been my hookup for all the Weyerbacher brews I've tried and they've impressed me quite a bit. This one is no different...so if you plan on traveling near PA anytime soon...be sure to check them out!




The Weyerbacher Black Hole pours from the 12oz bottle a deep, dark oily black with a nice two finger head that's a creamy, bubbly tan. No light is penetrating this brew...it's a black hole!! (Sorry...) Some nice lacing appears as well. Aromas of deep roasty fudge brownie with some blackened coffee goodness thrown in. A touch of vinous fruit and molasses. A hint of cinammon? Rich and decadant with a burnt bread undertone. I really enjoy the aroma here.

First sip brings a wall of dark, roasty burnt malts first thing with with a nice dose of fudge and burnt coffee undertones. Fairly dry with and a bit vinous with hints of dark fruits. Notes of caramel and baked bread in the background as it finishes with just a touch of hops. An interesting brew that's quite enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied. Carbonation explodes in the mouth and gives it a creamy feeling. I was expecting this to be a bit heavier but it works out nicely. I could see myself drinking this more often if it was readily available. A tasty brew for fans of porters and stouts alike. Thanks to Ev for his hook up yet again.

Beer is good. Happy beering :-)

Overall I gave this brew a 4.2 out of 5. Yummy stuff.

Weyerbacher just got a new website going. Check it out at www.weyerbacher.com

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Tusker Premium Lager

I got this brew from a co-worker who got me a mixed basket of brews for Christmas! What more can you ask for?? This one is brewed in Nairobi, Kenya and comes in a 500ml bottle. It should be pretty easy to find in most decent liquor stores and I'd say it's well worth checking out. Here goes:



The Tusker Premium Lager pours from the 500ml bottle a very clear golden hay yellow with a suprisingly big creamy bubbly white head that leaves some lacing on the way down. Looks nice in the glass. Aromas begin with sweet, creamed cereal grains and pale malts. A hint of lemony citric comes through along with a really mellow grassy, herbal hop aroma. Quite impressive for a standard import lager if you ask me. Light and subtle.

First sip brings a crisp, mellow pale grain maltiness that has a nice splash of sweetness to it. I get a hint of lemon and slight citrus with a touch of grassy, herbal hoppiness that follows on the way down. The flavor is light..but it's really refreshing and inoffensive...I'd choose this over Heineken and the likes any day. I'm guessing this would be nice in the super hot Kenyan climate.

Mouthfeel is smooth, light and refreshing. Goes down like water becuase it's about the same consistency. Carbonation is nice and not overly excited. Drinkability is good here. I could easily session this brew and maybe I would one day if I travel to Kenya. Obviously, living in the US there are many other beers I'd choose first...but this suprised me for an import lager.

Overall I gave this one a 3.3 out of 5. A very nice import lager to say the least.

Check out what else they're brewing up by flying to Kenya as I don't believe they have a website :-)

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Bell's Wheat Love Ale

Well, I've been a little behind on my posts here...but never fear! I've still been drinking plenty of new and interesting brews in that time. This one is a wheat wine, basically a strong brew that is produced using mostly wheat in the grain bill. This is the final part of a series of experimental wheat beers that Bell's started putting out in October of 2005. For more info on the project check out: http://www.bellsbeer.com/wheat.asp
I decided to start with the last of the series first...so let's see how it goes:




The Bell's Wheat Love pours from the bottle a nice cloudy orange hue with a creamy inch of bubbly white head atop the brew. It looks ligther at the bottom of the glass adding a nice effect. Aromas of big dense wheat husk that gives me a sense of creaminess. Spicy, yeasty phenols linger underneath with light fruits (banana), pepper, clove and some bubblegum all making an appearance. An enjoyable aroma for sure.

First sip brings a creamy amalgamation of wheat grain flavors. Smooth with some nice light fruity flavors. I get lots of apple and banana along with some citrus. A big layer of spiciness flows throughout with notes of pepper, cloves and bubblegum notes. The earthy yeast is quite evident and a bit tangy. Finishes a tad bit sweet and smooth. A tasty brew in my book.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and quite creamy. Not abrasive in the least, this brew goes down really smooth. I'm enjoying this one and could see myself having a few. A tasty wheat wine with an abv low enough to allow for easy enjoyment. I'm starting at the end of the series and looking forward to trying the predecessors to this brew!

Overall I gave this brew a 4.05 out of 5. Get a six pack if you can!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Post Two: Jones Soda Corn On The Cob Soda

Part two in my ongoing Jones Soda Holiday Pack review saga brings us to the Corn On The Cob Soda. Mmm...how I do love liquified corn on the cob. Let's see how me and my brothers enjoyed this handcrafted soda:



-Don: There's a mellow corn aroma with nice buttery undertones. Tastes like cream soda. Not half bad really. Pretty tasty!

-Brian: A creamy, corny experience. Hey, at least I won't have corn shits!

-Kevin: Tasted like some salty corn. Pretty damn tasty. This one I could actually finish a bottle of. If you're a fan of bad salty corn on the cob, then you will be a fan of Jones Soda Corn On The Cob.

-Rob: Nice creamy corn taste, goes down smooth & leaves a nice taste in your mouth.

There you have it my friends...another crazy soda down. Check back next time as I post the reviews of the Smoked Salmon Pate Soda....yes that is not a typo!

Alesmith Speedway Stout

Speedway Stout is an American Double Stout brewed with pounds and pounds of fresh coffee beans by Alesmith in San Diego, CA. This is a highly rated brew I was excited to try:



Another brew I've been dying to try. I lugged this one back from Dilly Deli in Ohio after my trip to Kentuky. It pours from the bottle a dark, inky black and thick liked used motor oil. A small, dark tan head appears atop the brew and slowly fades to a ring around the glass with some spotty lacing. Looks good. Aromas of rich, lush chocolate rise up off the bat surrounded by wonderful espresso, burnt coffee aroma. Roasty dark fruits and caramel sneak in as well. The milk chocolate and coffee really lead the way and draw me into the brew.

First sip brings a rich, decadant melding of deep roasty chocolate malt and big coffee flavors. Some vinous dark fruits lurk underneath along with sweet toffee and caramel notes. However, the focus remains on rich chocolatey, coffee flavors throughout. Finishes rich and smooth with only a touch of bitterness and a hint of the 12% abv. A damn tasty brew.

Mouthfeel is big, chewy, creamy and malty with mellow carbonation. Fills the mouth well and goes down super smoothly. This would really pair nicely with dessert...maybe some tiramisu? Each sip has me coming back for more. This is a heavy hitter at 12%, packaged in a 750ml bottle, but at the same time it's a joy to drink. I'll definetly be coming back to this one again and I wish it was available locally. Simply an awesome brew for the stout and coffee lover alike.

Overall I gave this brew a 4.55 out of 5. Check out what else is going on at Alesmith by surfing over to www.alesmith.com