Tuesday, June 16, 2009

New England Brewing - Imperial Stout Trooper

Here we have a beer brewed by New England Brewing Company in Woodbridge, CT. The Imperial Stout Trooper was originally slated to be a one-time release but the brewer has brewed it again since the original release. Future releases are undecided at this point but I am guessing we will see this brewed again. I was able to get a bottle from a friend and decided to crack it open tonight.

Sludgy, viscous inky black pour into my glass that's as dark as the dead of night with a half inch of creamy dark tan head on top. Sticky patches of lacing ensue. Aromas start with rich malts alongside deep, vinous dark fruits. Cocoa and molasses mingle with licorice undertones. Hints of toffee with a bitter cloak about it.

First sip brings rich, smooth dark malts upfront with lots of dark fruit flavors swirling about. Somewhat vinous as it moves into baker's chocolate and mild coffee accents. Flows down with a nice kick of bitterness to counteract the sweet maltiness. Creamy finish with a hint of marshmallow. Bold and tasty with well hidden alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation. Not overly heavy which is nice as it makes it easier to enjoy. This here is a tasty imperial stout that doesn't go overboard on ABV, making it something I can actually drink and enjoy on a weeknight. Thanks to warriorsoul for the hookup.

This beer earned a rating of Amazing. A super tasty RIS.

Check out more from New England Brewing at http://www.newenglandbrewing.com/

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Avery Anniversary Ale - Fifteen

Congrats to Avery for fifteen years of brewing and counting. This Colorado brewed has concocted some great brews over the years from standard styles, to creative interpretations, barrel aged brews and big, bracing high ABV sippers. This one is one-of-a-kind in its own right.

Pours from the bottle an extremely hazy sunshine yellow with an inch of white head on top of the brew and good retention. Aromas start out with crisp malts and deep floral nuances. Earthy Brett funkiness melds with fruit and fig scents. Spicy yeast in the background with some sour twang as well. Complex and enjoyable.

First sip brings slightly sweet malt upfront with floral flavors and a good meld of fruit and fig. Brett kicks in alongside spicy, earthy yeast tones. Flows down on the dry side with lingering funk, herb and spice aftertastes and a mild tartness.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the lighter side with fast moving carbonation that creates a creamy feel. An interesting brew with a good kick of funkiness. A bomber is enough for me but I look forward to aging the others I have for a bit longer.

Overall I gave this one a rating of Enjoyable and look forward to many more years of Avery brews!

Check out more from Avery by surfing over to www.averybrewing.com

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sam Adams - Longshot Traditional Bock

The Sam Adams Longshot series is pretty damn cool. They hold a home brew competition of sorts and allow brewers from around the world to send in their home brew's for a chance to win and have Sam Adams produce and bottle their recipes. The one I am holding in my hand was brewed by Alex Drobshoff of California. Here are my thoughts:

Pours into my glass a vibrant brown with great clarity and flashes of ruby red. An inch of creamy eggshell head that stays around for a good while. Aromas start out with clean, toasty malts along with a bit of roasted grain. Mild fruitiness comes through along with a slight creamy aspect.

First sip brings smooth, clean, mildly toasted malts upfront. Dark fruits and cherry flavors meld in as it flows downward. Grainy aspects throughout with great balance. A solid malty treat, it stands up to it's German counterparts for sure. An enjoyable brew.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with carbonation that washes across the palate perfectly. This is a full flavored bock that I found quite enjoyable, as it's a style that is not often brewed in the States. I could enjoy a sixer of this no problem. Cheers to Sam Adams for brewing Alex's creation.

Overall this one earns a rank of Great.

Check out more brews from Sam Adams by clicking your little mouse on over to www.samadams.com

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Ale Asylum Mercy Grand Cru

Snagged this last time I was in Madison. Pours into the glass a deep garnet hue with an inch of off white, almost khaki colored foam that sticks around for awhile. Banana bread is the first thing that comes to mind along with a swirl of spiciness and some caramel/toffee sweetness. Yeast esters entangled with a touch of fruitiness and cherry accents.

First sip brings spicy, bready malts upfront with a melange of fruity flavors and cherry accents. Spicy yeast tones kick in with a hint of cinnamon. Caramel throughout, the brew finishes a touch on the sweet side with a kiss of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth and creamy with good carbonation that's more on the mellow side. Overall it's a bit on the sweet side for me and that hampers drinkability. I would probably have to stop after a couple, but it's still a tasty brew.

Overall I gave this brew an Enjoyable rating.

Click on over to www.aleasylum.com for more info on the brewery.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Orkney SkullSplitter

Here we have a Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy from Orkney Brewery in Scotland. It arrives in an 11.2oz bottle and has a rather hefty 8.50% ABV. I cracked this one tonight and this is what I thought:

11.2oz bottle pours into my glass a deep garnet hue without much head, just some bubbles that quickly fade and some chunkers that I accidentally let fall into my glass. Aromas start with big sweet malt tones dominated by caramel, sweetbread, dried fruits, leather, tobacco and a mix of spicy tones. There's a vinous quality in the background as well. Really rich and inviting, it pulls me in for a sip.

First sip brings smooth sweet malts upfront that spiral into a vortex of deep fruits, caramel, sweetbread and spice. Earthy tones of tobacco and leather veer in midway though the sip. Just a touch of alcohol in the finish, this is one malty beast with a great depth of flavor. It does teeter on the line of being too sweet for me, but overall is very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is lush and satiny smooth as the beer effortlessly flows down. Mellow carbonation adds to the ease of drinkability here. I can see how this would be dangerous as the alcohol is totally hidden. Overall, this is just a damn fine drink right here. Will be revisiting this and maybe getting some to age as well.

SkullSplitter gets a rating of Great from me. Seek it out!

Check out more from Orkney Brewery by surfing over to http://www.sinclairbreweries.co.uk/index.php

Monday, June 01, 2009

Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale

Located in Atlanta, Georgia, Sweetwater is a brewery that I have not sampled much from due to the fact that they do not distribute to Illinois. On a recent trip to Floria I ran across a sixer of 420 Extra Pale Ale and brought a few bottles back with me. This is how it went.....

12oz'er pours into my glass a bright golden orange with an inch of bubbly white head on top that leaves trails of lacing in its wake. Aromas of crisp, slightly toasty / slightly bready malts upfront with a caramelized backbone. Citric and floral hops dance their way into the aroma and bring things together nicely.

First sip brings crisp pale malts upfront with a toasted accent along with some sweet caramel nuances. Floral, herbal and citrus hop accents work there way in halfway through. Bitterness on the way down while remaining well balanced.

Mouthfeel is light and easy to drink while still having enough oomph to make you know it's there. Goes down easy and is quite enjoyable and refreshing. Overall, a solid APA here that I would drink again. Wish it was distributed out here.

This APA gets a rating of Enjoyable from me.

Check out more from Sweetwater by surfing over to their wacky website at www.sweetwaterbrew.com

Photo from Speed-Light on Flickr.