Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Three Floyds Alpha King

Three Floyds Brewing Co. located in Munster, IN has been one of my favorite breweries since back in late 2004 when I first started making brewery road trips. They now have a great brewpub with an eccentric and tasty food menu that is always changing, but I'll always be nostalgic for the old days when you used to be able to sit inside the brewery and drink the latest creations from the tap window. A folding table along with a random assortment of office chairs for seating. The ambiance and smells of the working brewery just added to the experience. I recently picked up a six pack of their flagship brew, Alpha King Pale Ale. When fresh, this is a brew that has always delivered.

The brew pours into my glass a clear reddish orange with a nice two finger head of off white foam. Aromas are a big with citric, grapefruit hops right off the bat. Resinous and bright with a smooth caramel semi-sweet backbone. The hops run the show here and even though this is labeled a pale ale, I've always thought of it more as an IPA.

First sip brings the hops upfront with citrus, grapefruit and a touch of pine resin as well. Green and vibrant, it's a hop lovers delight! Smooth malts pick up the backbone and bring in some caramel and fruit & spice undertones. Finishes with plenty of well placed hop bitterness on the way down and a lovely lingering hop aftertaste. Fresh, bright and full of flavor. Just a damn good brew!

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with perfect carbonation. Just an incredibly drinkable and tasty brew overall. In the end, this still ranks up there as one of my all time favorites and it will always have a place in my fridge! Well worth seeking out if you've never had it before.

Alpha King earns a solid Amazing from me. Yum!

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Founders Backwoods Bastard - Original Release 2007

This brew was one I have been holding onto in my cellar for awhile and I decided to bring it up and crack it open. A bottle of Founders Backwoods Bastard from the original bottled release back in November 2007. This oak bourbon barrel aged brew clocks in at 8.7% ABV per the bottle. It is a yearly release in 4 packs that you should be able to find around November each year. Founders is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The brew pops open with a nice hiss and pours a deep garnet hue with a quarter inch of off white bubbles on top of the brew. Still a good deal of active carbonation as well. Aromas start off with rich caramel and spice alongside some wonderful oaky bourbon and vanilla aromas. Mild smokiness in the background cavorting with dark fruits. Really nice overall!

First sip brings a rush of dense malts upfront, slightly sweet with deep caramel and spices running wild. Dark fruit works in as the bourbon takes hold with a nice vanilla profile as well. Mellow smokiness on the way down along with toffee and more dark fruits. Finishes smooth with just a touch of heat. Spicy bourbon aftertaste is wonderful.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied with plenty of tight bubbles rushing across the palate. This has smoothed out quite nicely and I wish I was hanging onto a couple more of these, as it aged well. A tasty seasonal from Founders that is well worth seeking out!

Overall I gave this aged brew a rating of Great.

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