Monday, March 27, 2006

Perkuno's Hammer Imperial Porter

This one is a Baltic Porter brewed by Heavyweight Brewing Co. in New Jersey. I've been looking forward to it for awhile now...



Perkuno's Hammer pours from the stubby 12oz bottle a deep pitch black with a small dark tan head that becomes a ring around the top. Spotty lacing everywhere. Aromas of big roasty dark chocolate with a heavy helping of dark fruity aromas. Plum, currant, raisins are all in the mix. A hint of burnt coffee and a light vinous aroma. Quite nice.

First sip brings lots of dark fruity flavors upfront, with notes of plums, raisins, black currants and grapes. A nice chocolate flavor moves in midway through the sip along with a nice roastiness. Just a touch of burnt coffee on the way down. Finishes with a lingering dark fruitiness and a nice mix of sweet & bitter flavors. No alcohol to be found.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with laid back carbonation. This is easy to drink and a tasty treat at that. A fairly big brew that still maintains plenty of drinkability. I'd be down for a few in a sitting if I had easier access to this one.

Overall I gave this brew a 4.1 out of 5. A tasty Baltic Porter.

Check out the rest of Heavyweight's brews by surfing to http://heavyweight-brewing.com/

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Trappist Westvleteren Blonde (Green Cap)

The Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren), which happens to be located in Westvleteren, Belgium, is one of only 6 trappist breweries in the world. The other five are Achel, Chimay, Orval, Rochefort and Westmalle. The trappist monks of Westvleteren brew beer in order to make enough money to sustain their way of life in the abbey. They have a strict policy of selling the beers (Blond, 8 and 12) at the abbey or at the cafe In De Vrede. Resale of the beer is prohibited and strongly against the wishes of the monks. Any Westvleteren you find in the U.S. that is labeled is grey market and is being sold against the wishes of the monks.



The Westvleteren Blonde comes in an unlabeled 33cl brown bottle with a date of 12.08.05 printed on the cap. It pours into my tulip glass a wonderful sunshine/goldenrod color with a creamy frothy two finger head that lingers with massive active carbonation. Very nice. Aromas of fruity sun dried grains with a lovely floral, spicy, herbal green hoppiness about it. Lots of light fruity character with hints of apple, lemon and orange. Hay with some earthy, peppery yeastiness coming across as well. An wonderful aroma to be had here.

First sip brings a nice fruity, sun washed grainy maltiness accentuated by a hint of clove and pepper and plenty of earthy yeast tones throughout. Mildly spicy, floral herbal hops poke in midway through each sip. Apple, lemon and light citrus tones with a touch of fresh baled hay. Finishes clean with a lingering fruitiness. Good stuff.


Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Goes down really smooth and refreshing. A delight on a nice sunny day like today. Truly a tasty blonde ale and one that I would imbibe much more often given the chance. One day I will get to Belgium and sample this at the source, that much is for certain. Ev, thanks again for giving me the chance to try this one!

Overall I gave this brew a 4.15 out of 5. A tasty beer for sure.

Learn more about Westvleteren and the monks by checking out http://www.sintsixtus.be/

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Russian River Pliny The Younger

Thanks to RedwoodGeorge for this handbottled bomber, counterpressure filled from a keg and sent off to me. Pliny The Younger pours from the bomber an amazingly clear bright orange/peach color with a half inch of frothy bubbly white head on top. Slow carbonation rises up to meet some sticky lacing. Aromas of beautiful, vibrant hop cones attack my senses with bold citrus, grapefruit and pine needle aromas. A sweet, slighty doughy caramel undercurrent is present as well. Quite possibly hop nirvana. Green, leafy, floral and quite simply enchanting. Wow.



First sip brings a rush of intense piney and citric hop oils across the palate. Bitterness establishes itself from the get go as the resinous hops relentlessly attack the palate. The underlying caramel, mildly doughy maltiness does a good job of holding things together. Such an awe inspiring amalgamation of wonderful hop flavors. Green, intense and vibrant, like sucking on a fresh hop cone. One awesomely hoppy, incredibly tasty brew, no doubt about it.

Mouthfeel is smooth, medium bodied and creamy with the perfect amount of carbonation. This beer is a joy to drink. Honestly, the only hinderance to the drinkability here is the high abv, otherwise I could sit and enjoy this fabulously hoppy brew all day long. A hopheads dream come true, I only hope to have the chance to sample this again someday. Guess it's time to plan that trip to California, so I can sit and adore this one at the source. Russian River strikes again!

Overall I gave this amazing brew a 4.8 out of 5. Stellar stuff.

To learn more about the real life Pliny The Younger, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pliny_the_younger

For more Russian River information, check out www.russianriverbrewing.com

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Tröegs Nugget Nectar

Tröegs Brewing Company is located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and was founded in 1996. This is only the second beer I've had the opportunity to try from them, the first being Mad Elf, an 11% Belgian-esque beer brewed with cherries and honey. This beer however, is brewed with boat loads of fresh, green hops....



The Tröegs Nugget Nectar pours from the wickedly labeled 12oz bottle a wonderful, perfectly clear golden peach color with a half inch of creamy white head on top. I really like the color and clarity here. Aromas of dank, fresh, juicy green hops rush into my nose. Citrusy, floral, herbal, piney resin over a nice sweet crystalline caramel background that a smidge doughy. Lupulin runs the show here in fine fashion, delightful.

First sip brings a typhoon of fresh leafy green hops. Orange and citrus with a leafy herbal tea aspect. Mix in some piney resins and you have one tasty, hoppy treat. There's a nice crisp malt background with a touch of caramel along with a hint of toasty dough. A tasty brew that brings the hops...drink it fresh!

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied with a sturdy blast of active carbonation on each sip. Goes down almost too easily and I could see myself adoring a six pack of this brew without blinking an eye. All hopped out but still balanced. This is damn fine brew that I highly recommend seeking out and drinking sooner than later. If you love those green, sticky hops you won't be sorry. Thanks to blitheringidiot for the hook up.

Overall I gave this brew a 4.5 out of 5. Damn good stuff!

Check out the full line of beers at www.troegs.com

Monday, March 13, 2006

Jolly Pumpkin Bière De Mars

A new bottle of Jolly Pumpkin is always a delight to this beer lover. The Biere De Mars pours from the 750ml hand labeled bottle a deep reddish brown with nice clarity and lots of active carbonation. A two finger cap of tight bubbly off white foam sticks to the top and draws me in. Aromas begin with a burst of spicy, earthy yeast tones. Caramel, brown sugar and sour fruit predominate (apple, cherry, grape skin). Underneath there's a nice dry, woodiness that's a touch wild and funky. Classy.



First sip brings a big fruity, caramelized maltiness. There's a big grape skin flavor with hints of apple and sour cherry. Spicy yeast intertwines and brings in an earthy, musty aspect to the brew. It flows down a bit dry with a well paced oak flavor. A touch funky with a slight touch of acidic vinegar. This is a tasty beer.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the lighter side, smooth and refreshing with a just enough bubbles. Keeps me coming back for more. I'd have to say this is one of my favorite JP brews so far and perfect for a 50 degree March day. Thanks to marburg for the opportunity. I'm planning on doing a Michigan trip this summer and can't wait to visit JP!

Overall I gave this brew a 4.3 out of 5. A tasty treat!

Check out the Jolly Pumpkin brewery at www.jollypumpkin.com

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Anderson Valley Brother David's Double Ale

The Brother David's Double Ale comes in a 22oz brown bomber bottle with a thick black wax/plastic coated top. Brewed in the style of a Belgian Dubbel, I was very interested to see what this one would taste like.



Brother David's Double comes encased in a thick coat of black wax/plastic covering the top of the bomber. After breaking out the wine servicer to get to the cap, it pours into my tulip glass a deep dark brown with garnet hues and a half inch of khaki foam atop the brew. Enticing! Aromas of sugary roasted malts hinting at chocolate and caramel. Molasses and plums with almost a sour dark fruity twang. Spicy yeast phenols add an earthy aspect with some bready tones.



First sip brings rich roasted maltiness with hints of cocoa, caramel and an array of dark fruit. This is followed by a mix of candi sugar, cinammon, anise, molasses and nutty flavors. Spicy yeast is apparent with each subsequent sip and adds an nice element to the brew. Finishes with a fresh baked bread aspect and subtle lingering smoky nuttiness. Overall it's a tasty brew.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice creaminess and stable carbonation. Goes down smooth with no real note of the 9% alcohol content. Overall, I thought this was a tasty brew that I wouldn't mind having again. A nice job on an American brewed dubbel. Thanks to goodbyeohio for the opportunity here.

Overall I gave this brew a 3.8 out of 5. See if you can find it and give it a try!

Anderson Valley can be found by clicking over to www.avbc.com

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Russian River Bling Pig IPA

Another fine brew from the Russian River brewery in Santa Rosa, California. I had the chance to sample this thanks to a generous Beer Advocate who took the time to hand bottle bombers using a counter pressure filler directly from a keg. This beer was brewed Jan. 21, 2006 and hand bottled on Jan. 27, 2006. Heck, he even made his own sweet labels for the bottles! Now, onto the brew:



The Bling Pig IPA is lovingly poured into my tulip glass with a brilliant clear golden orange color with a half inch of bubbly white head atop the brew. Aromas of fresh hops reach out and smack me across the face. Hefty handfuls of cirtic, grapefruity hop oils are married with an equally blissful and intense green piney aroma. Sweet crystalline, caramel backdrop as well, but the hops are everything here. Sweet fresh cone goodness and pure lupulin love.

First sip brings a slighty doughy, crystal malt backed with a swirl of caramel. The hops waste no time bursting in with a mix of piney, grapefruit and citrus flavors. Sweetness quickly gives way to a blast of bitterness that envelopes the mouth. Fresh green hop leaves and oils are abundant while still playing nicely with the malt backbone. Finishes with a lingering bitterness and hoppy burps.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy with a fast paced carbonation. Goes down easily and keeps me coming back for more. A tasty IPA that can easily be sessioned at 6%. Thanks to RedwoodGeorge for this one, handbottled via a counter pressure filler straight from a keg. Vinnie and everyone at Russian River know the way to a hop lovers heart! Very happy to have had the chance to sample it and hope to do so again sometime.

Tunes: edIT - ashtray

Overall I gave this IPA a 4.45 out of 5. Truly an exceptional, tasty beer.

Check out what else Vinnie and Russian River are brewing up by surfing over to www.russianriverbrewing.com

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Bell's Wheat Two Ale

The Bell's Wheat Two Ale is part of a series of experimental wheat beers that Bell's brewery in Kalamazoo, Michigan put out in late 2005. This is the first in the series and more information can be found at: http://www.bellsbeer.com/wheat.asp



The Bell's Wheat 2 Ale pours from the longneck bottle a cloudy pale orange color with a half inch of bubbly foam on top. Aromas begin with a grainy wheat aroma that has an odd fruitiness about it. Almost akin to sour apple juice and banana. Underneath there's some yeasty phenols exhibiting notes of cloves and a touch of pepper. A touch of orange and lemon peel. It fails to really grab me.

First sip brings a pale wheaty maltiness that's a touch husky and gritty. An intermingled musty fruitiness that has notes of apple, banana and lemon follows suit. There's a big yeasty aspect that brings a mix of spicy, peppery and mellow clove flavors. It finishes a bit dry and chalky on the back of the palate. Ultimately this just doesn't seem to form a cohesive whole.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with mellow carbonation and a creamy grain sensation. An interesting experiment, but in this case I'm glad I only grabbed a few singles instead of an entire sixer. Seems to be a bit muddled. I'll be looking forward to the 4, 6 and 8 that I have yet to sample.

Overall I gave this one a 3.15 out of 5. I can't say I enjoyed it that much myself...but everyone is different, so feel free to give it a shot.

For more fun info from Bell's check out www.bellsbeer.com

Friday, March 03, 2006

Dogfish Head World Wide Stout 2003

World Wide Stout is brewed every year in November by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Delaware. The brew is a huge stout that has ranged from 18% to 23% alcohol by volume in previous years. For those of you who have bottles and wonder what vintage they are:

2001: Has "Vim & Vigor" printed on the label
2002: "Vim & Vigor" is marked out with black marker on the label (23% abv)
2003: Older gold Dogfish Head cap, without "Vim & Vigor" on label
2004: New neon green Dogfish Head cap is on the bottle
2005: Neon green cap with dark grey Government Warning box and black lettering

Now onto my review!

2003 vintage. Older gold DFH cap without "Vim & Vigor" on the label if you're wondering how to tell what vintage you have! Pours from the 12oz longneck bottle like a slick, syrupy oil spill into my glass. I can coax a thin ring of dark tan foam to appear and at 18% I wasn't expecting much more. Intricate lacing emerges above the incredibly dark brew. Aromas begin with huge sweet roasted dark malt accentuated by rampant chocolate and coffee aromas. A deep vinous, port wine character with a touch of vanilla, plums and dark fruits. Robust and a tad burnt with wisps of alcohol. Simply freakin awesome.



First sip brings a veritable onslaught of rich, sweet roasty burnt maltiness and the minute it hits your tongue you know it's not fuckin around. A myriad of flavors invade the mouth including chocolate, ground coffee, vanilla and molasses. Midway through the sip the vinous, port wine-esque character appears with hints of plums and various dark fruits. Fairly sweet, but kept in check by a nice toasted bitterness on the way down and a slight note of hops. Alcohol lurks in with the finish and warms the throat on the way down. Personally, I find this to be an incredibly enjoyable sipper and a great massive stout.

Mouthfeel is big, thick and viscous...this brew nearly weighs down your tongue as you drink it. Rich and decadent with a mellow carbonation that suits it well. Truly an experience and one of the best high gravity brews I've yet to sample. Kick back, sip and enjoy this one over a few hours. Sublime. I can't believe I waited this long to try this, Dogfish Head continues to meet and surpass my expectations. Well worth the price and the hunt to find it.

Overall I gave this amazing brew a 4.7 out of 5. Truly a world class treat.

Check out what else Dogfish is brewing up by surfing over to www.dogfish.com

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Bear Republic Red Wheat Ale



Initial thanks to RedwoodGeorge for this one. 22oz bottle that was hand bottled from a keg using a counter pressure filler under the advice of professional brewers.

Pours from the bottle a crystal clear amber red color with a nice half inch of bubbly off white head that leaves speckled lacing. Aromas bring a subtle underlying toasty, grainy wheat with a bit of spiciness. Forward citrusy, green hops are present along with a bit of piney aroma. Rather mellow and refiend with a touch of caramel.

First sip brings pale, grainy, toasted wheat maltiness that's a bit dry. A bit of spiciness creeps through along with a citrusy, piney earthy green hop that comes in midway through each sip. Hints of caramel sweetness and even a touch of nuttiness. Finishes dry and crisp with a kiss of hops and a lingering grainy husk. An interesting, hoppy wheat brew.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied. Quite refreshing, this brew goes down easily. A nice twist on a wheat brew, but I would've liked to see the hops amped up a bit personally. Bear Republic rocks and I'm glad to have had the opportunity to sample this brew!

Overall I gave this brew a 3.8 out of 5. A nice American wheat ale for sure.

Check out more Bear Republic brews by surfing over to www.bearrepublic.com

(Please note: The label for this bomber was created by my BeerAdvocate friend and did not come from Bear Republic. They currently do not bottle this beer and it's only available on tap or via a keg in California!)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Green Flash West Coast I.P.A.

Pours from the stubby 12oz bottle with a cool picture of a green ocean sunset on it and into my glass with a wonderful glowing copper orange, not unlike a beatiful beach side sunset along with a two finger craggly foam cap that leaves trails of sticky lacing all down the glass. Aromas of big raw hops, citrusy, piney, grapefruity and resinous. Quite the kind bud-esque aroma with a mellow bready sweet, slightly caramelly malt undercurrent. Solid west coast IPA aroma.

First sip brings a rush of sweet citrusy, resinous hop oils. Piney flavors are definetly present with a bready, crystal malt background. As it rolls across the palate the flavors quickly move from sweet to a nice bracing bitterness on the way down. Hops overpower the malt in this case and I'm enjoying it. The brew finishes with a lingering hoppy bitterness and piney hop burps to match. Tasty.

Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy and satisfying. There's a tight, mellow carbonation that really acts as a nice catalyst making this beer easy to drink down. Another solid IPA from the great state of California and one I would be drinking more often if it was readily available. Thanks to blitheringidiot for the hookup once again.

I gave this brew a 4.2 out of 5 overall. Another tasty IPA to cross my lips.

Check out what else Green Flash offers by going to www.greenflashbrew.com