Monday, November 30, 2009

De Struise Brouwers - Cuvee Delphine

This is quite a rare beer that I was able to get my hands on via a trade and finally decided to crack open and try. This is batch "0" of the tasty Black Albert from De Struise that has been aged in a Four Roses bourbon barrel for over a year. This one is not exported to the US, so if you want it you will have to find an online shop that ships to the US or get one in a trade!

25cl bottle. Pours into my glass dark as night black with a two finger head of creamy tan foam. Lots of chocolate on the nose with wood and some subtle, mellow bourbon accents. There is a quiet and unassuming balance here. Lots of tannins with a touch of caramel as well.

First sip brings smooth dark malts augmented by a big wash of chocolate flavors. Woody tannins meet with a creamy caramel accents. Smooth bourbon weaves in and brings a touch of sweetness and vanilla. The smoothness of the Four Roses barrel really shines through here. Deceptively smooth and mellow.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly on the lighter side with mellow carbonation. Akin to the Black Albert this is a tricky beer as it's powerful but not heavy like a normal bourbon aged stout. This one will creep up on you with a left hook and leave you on the mat. Happy to be able to share this bottle with autumnaldave as it packs quite a punch. Cheers to De Struise for this one.

Overall this one gets a rating of Great.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Three Floyds Apocalypse Cow

Another new beer to try from one of my favorite semi-local breweries, Three Floyds in Munster, IN. They are always brewing up some crazy new beers along with the always popular Dark Lord and it's barrel and vanilla barrel aged variations. They are big on using hops and normally using tons and tons of them. This double IPA is no exception. The twist here though is that lactose milk sugar has been added to this big 10% double IPA. I cracked my bottle and enjoyed:

Finally found this one up in Milwaukee of all places. Never saw it around IL! Pours into my glass a brilliant deep hazy orange with a solid inch of creamy bubbling white head that leaves sticky lacing everywhere! Aromas kick off with a melange of citrus, floral and pine sap hops. A sugary sweet undertone featuring caramel and wisps of cotton candy as well. The bold hops make you envision a field of fresh green cones sparkling in the sun. Tropical accents. Hoptastic!!

First sip brings smooth, crisp malts upfront with notes of caramel that quickly give in to a wall of oily, bitter hop power. Citric and floral flavors battle it out along with herbal pine accents. Pithy earthy green bitterness attacks the palate. Flows down smooth and slightly creamy from the lactose. Hops linger on in the finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with good carbonation. I enjoy what the lactose does for the body here and I'll enjoy the rest of this bomber this afternoon! Overall, it's another bold and flavor packed double IPA from Three Floyds. Glad I got to try this one and I would say it rivals Dreadnaught. Will look forward to when they bottle it again!

Overall I gave this beer a rating of Amazing. Just a superb brew.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #5

Saint Arnold Brewing Company is located in Houston, TX and has consistently produced good quality microbrews. When they began their Divine Reserve line of small batch, one off recipes in limited quantities they lit up the craft beer geek radar. There have been 8 of these produced so far. In order of style they are barleywine, abbey american quadrupel, double IPA, wee heavy, russian imperial stout, american barleywine, weizenbock and scotch ale. The version I am sampling is #5 and happens to be the highly rated russian imperial stout. My thoughts are as follows:

Pours into my chalice a viscous, inky black with a creamy dark tan head on top. Black as night and enticing so far! Aromas kick off with deep roasted malts and an upfront licorice. Chocolate swirls around with a touch of dark fruit as well. Caramel sweetness as well. Rich and inviting.

First sip brings velvety smooth dark malts across the palate with a mix of bold licorice and chocolate flavors. Slightly vinous dark fruits melding with a caramel sweetness. Mellow coffee and molasses with a bit of dark bread. Super smooth and tasty. Just a hint of alcohol on the finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a solid medium body. This one is not overly heavy like some imperial stouts can be. Overall, a great depth of flavor and undeniably drinkable. This one is holding up quite nicely and I wish I had a few more. Many thanks to dmeadows for the unexpected opportunity.

Overall this beer earns a rating of Great and I was happy to have been able to sample it!

Check out more from Saint Arnold at their website:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Captain Lawrence Little Linda's Liquid

Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. is located in Pleasentville, NY. A relatively new microbrewery they have been putting out some very good beers, including a line of barrel aged smoked porters that are each aged in a different barrel (rum, bourbon, wine, apple brandy, etc.) Their Cuvee De Castleton is an amazing sour and I was exited to try this small batch sour. This starts out as a golden ale that is then barrel aged with wild yeasts and added NY cherries. I cracked my only bottle and here are my thoughts:

Super thick red wax on the bottle. Clear golden pour with a touch of pink and a small bubbly head. Funky upfront with light cherry and wet oak scents as well. A bit acidic with some vinegar and honey accents.

First sip birngs funky, cheesy flavors upfront with an underlying tart cherry that's rather mellow. A touch of honey midway through along with mineral water. Lemon zest and puckering tartness on the way down. Odd brew here, flavors seem off.

Mouthfeel is light and arid with solid carbonation. Overall, flavor is just a bit weird and seems infected in not a good way. Shared this one at that was more than enough. Glad to have had the opportunity but this didn't do it for me.

Overall, I gave this sour ale a rating of Average.

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