Friday, January 25, 2008

Russian River Brewing Co. - Temptation

Batch 001. 375ml bottle. Pours into my tulip glass a deep golden yellow with nice clarity, fine active carbonation and a creamy white head. Aromas flow out of the glass with sun drenched grains and a fruity profile (green apple). The oak is there with a vinous aroma as well. Brett moves in with a noticeable sourness and an underlying funky, hay/barnyard aroma. Draws me in with its wonderful array of scents.

First sip brings a light sun dried malt with fruity flavors of lemon, citrus and grapes. Oak and woody tannin tones are met by a sourness that flows in. Hay, must and barnyard flavors mix in on the way down. Acidity is there but is well managed and never becomes too much. The Brettanomyces works in so well. Finishes a bit dry. Just an amazing beer.

Mouthfeel is medium to light and arid with mellow carbonation that rolls across the tongue perfectly. Incredibly refreshing and easy to drink. Just an amazing brew overall. I could easily sit down and enjoy a couple of bottles of this to myself and be in heaven. Yet another winner from Russian River, I only wish this wasn't my only bottle. Temptation is worth seeking out and enjoying.

Overall I gave this one a rating of Unbelieveable. Truly a work of art in beer form.

Check out all of the great things brewing at Russian River by surfing to www.russianriverbrewing.com

Monday, January 07, 2008

Bell's Eccentric Ale 2006

This one is brewed by one of my favorite breweries, Bell's. It's only released once a year in limited quantities at their annual Eccentric Day party. I was lucky enough to obtain a couple of bottles.

12oz bottle. Label states "Malt beverage with vegetables, popcorn, fruit, spices, raisins, honey and malted milk balls added" I shit you not! Pours into my glass a viscous deep black with dark brown hues and a small dark tan ring of head on the top. Aromas are hard to even describe. Lots of dark, somewhat roasty malts along with a huge dose of dark fruity scents. Caramel, honey, licorice, spiciness and big chocolate in the nose as well. Each sniff brings something else. Sweetness is there along with a cooked vegetable undertone. Faint buttered popcorn as well. The aroma is seriously layered with piney hops making an appearance.

First sip brings a sweet, roasty rich dark malt upfront that's swirling in fruit tones. Spicy chocolate moves in along with some caramel and honey. There's an interestingly odd vegetal flavor midway through. It flows down with some piney hop bitterness and a touch of dark raisins and buttery sweetness. I get an odd spicy heat that travels all the way down with each sip as well. An intense experience that's definetly on the sweeter side, but not overly so.

Mouthfeel is dense and chewy with a mellow carbonation that rides along nicely. Quite smooth overall. This is just a really odd beer the likes I have never really tried before. It's actually really fun to drink as you pull out new flavors with each sip. Quite contemplative. Another feather in the hat for Bell's and Larry.

Overall I gave this one a rating of Great.

Check out more from Bell's at www.bellsbeer.com