Monday, April 25, 2011

Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Our Brewers Reserve Grand Cru

Sierra Nevada celebrated their 30th Anniversary in style by brewing 4 special beers, 3 of which were in collaboration with other pioneering brewers. You can learn about all of these by checking out

They have long been a favorite brewery of mine, in part due to the fact that their awesome Pale Ale was one of the beers that got me into exploring craft beer more way back when. This particular beer is the last of the 4 beers in the Anniversary series and comes in a 750ml bottle, weighing in at 9.2% ABV. The Our Brewers Reserve Grand Cru is a marriage of Oak-Aged Bigfoot, Celebration Ale and fresh Pale Ale that is blended and then generously dry-hopped!

It pours into my glass a great bright red-orange with a good eggshell foam head on top that leaves spotty lacing in its wake. Aromas of caramel and toffee tinged malts along with plenty of herbal and citric hops as well. A touch of pine with some mellow oak in the back end. The "C Hops" (Cascade, Centennial, Chinook) come through nicely here. Slightly spicy as well.

First sip brings semi-sweet caramel and toffee malts upfront with a bit of spiciness as well. Herbal and citrusy hops roll in across the palate with a nice sweep of bitterness. As it flows down there is a touch of dry oak and vanilla. Finishes with lingering hops, a great blend overall!

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied with good carbonation. Fairly easy to drink considering it's a bit on the strong side. Slightly sweet overall but the bitterness balances it out well. A tasty blend and a good tribute to 30 years of one of the pioneering and consistent brewers in the craft beer movement. Cheers!

Overall this gets a score of Amazing from me. I really enjoyed this blend!

Check out everything else Sierra Nevada by surfing over to (Be ready to enter your date of birth!)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Uinta Fifteenth Anniversary Barleywine

Uinta Brewing Company is located in Salt Lake City, UT and if my memory serves me correctly, I've never sampled any of their beers up until this point. This is a barleywine clocking in at 10.5% alcohol brewed to commemorate the 15th anniversary of their brewery, which is a great achievement! Look for their Crooked Line of brews in 750ml bottles as well - I'm hoping to be reviewing a few of them myself soon!

Pours into the glass a deep garnet with orange hues and a small wisp of head on top of the brew. A bit hazy overall but it doesn't take away from the brew. Aromas are dense with caramelized fruits and rich malts upfront featuring a bit of sweetness. Toffee, figs and some raisins along with a nice touch of hops that still manages to hang around even with the age on it.

First sip brings big, rich caramel malts swimming in deep fruit flavors. Toffee, raisins and a touch of cocoa as it flows down. Hops kick in and offer a nice bitterness as the beer flows down. Just a touch of heat on the finish, but it's smooth. A delicious barleywine, fitting of an anniversary!

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with good carbonation. Not overly sweet or cloying at all, a well attenuated brew. There's a great depth of character in this barleywine and I'm really enjoying drinking it. Will be on the look out for other Uinta brews in the future and in my travels.

I'd say this is a Great brew any day of the week!

Check out more from Uinta brewing by surfing over to

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Pannepot Reserve - 2008 Vintage

Pannepot Reserva 2008 - Old Fisherman's Ale Aged on Oak is brewed and bottled by De Struise Brouwers from Belgium. De Struise has been brewing tasty beers for some time now and luckily a good number of them make their way across the pond to the U.S. via Shelton Brothers importers.

This particular brew, per the label, is their standard Pannepot aged in genuine oak barrels that were fetched specially from France. They have been barrel aging it since 2005.

Pours into the glass a deep dark brown with a half inch of light tan head on top of the brew. Aromas bring bold deep fruits and caramel upfront with brown sugar and vanilla undertones. A touch of spice and a light woody accent. Somewhat vinous. Quite wonderful!

First sip brings a wealth of dark fruits wrapped in smooth caramel malts. Vinous accents with brown sugar, raisins and spice. Touches of vanilla and oak come through on the way down. Semi sweet with a smooth finish..this is a wonderful beer!

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied with a nice mellow carbonation that lends itself nicely to the overall beer. Extremely drinkable for a beer of 10% ABV, the oak aging is well placed and adds a nice accent. This one is well worth seeking out.

Overall this earns a rating of Great. A well built and extremely tasty beer.

Check out more from De Struise Brouwers at

Their Wikipedia page is also helpful at

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Three Floyds Pride & Joy

LOOK!!! Over there on the right side of the page! I just added a new search function to the blog so you can quickly look up a specific beer or you can also easily see all of the beers I've reviewed and written about from a particular brewery.

Today I revisit one of my favorite breweries whose beers I have featured on thes pages many times before. Three Floyds Brewing in Munster, Indiana has consistently produced a wide range of wonderful beers and in my humble opinion, some of the best hoppy beers being made in the Midwest! They also have a great brewpub with some mighty tasty food that's well worth making a trip to. (Be aware it's a popular spot that does get crowded at times!)

This is one of their year-round beers...Pride & Joy, which is their American "Mild Ale". Coming in at 5.0% ABV, it's an easy drinker while not sacrificing flavor. Pours with a great golden orange color and a healthy two fingers of sticky foam. Soft malts with a caramel undertone along with bright citrus hops, grapefruit and orange come to mind.

First sip brings much of the same, a soft, smooth malt backbone with a light bready tone and a kiss of caramel quickly followed by wonderful citrus hops. Fruity with just enough bitterness on the way down. Well balanced and refreshing.

This is a great session beer and refreshing on a warm sunny day. I would say it's a good transition beer for anyone out there that hasn't ventured into craft beer very much as well. Seek this one out at your local package store or go to the source and drink it on tap!

Overall this earns a rating of Great. Always a favorite of mine and an easy choice when grabbing a sixer.

Check out more from Three Floyds by surfing on over to

Monday, April 11, 2011

New Glarus R&D Gueuze

New Glarus Brewing Company located in, you guessed it, New Glarus, Wisconsin has long been a favorite of mine. They brew a wide variety of beers along with a rotating Unplugged series and this new "R&D" series of small batch beers that are only available for purchase at the brewery itself. I do highly recommend a trip (or multiple trips) to New Glarus to check out and tour their fairly new hilltop brewery. It's a beautiful place and since New Glarus is only distributed in Wisconsin, it's the only way you'll get their beers anyway :-)

I am sharing my thoughts on the R&D Gueuze. It's long sold out at the brewery - however I am hoping that they will brew and release it again sometime!

Thanks to my buddy Kevin for grabbing this for me while he was at the brewery! Pours into my glass a beautiful golden peach with a fast moving bubbly head that quickly subsides. Great clarity with lots of active carbonation. Aromas start out with a good deal of funk coupled with fruit tones. Cherry and vinous notes. Floral accents meld into a mellow woodiness as well. Mild vinegar works in. Nice!

First sip brings tart fruit upfront with notes of cherry and apple. Malt dances underneath with woody oak tones and a touch of vinegar. Good balance between sour, acidity and sweetness. Dry white wine moves in as it flows down. Lingering funk on the finish that leaves you coming back for more!

Mouthfeel is light and smooth with lots of fast moving carbonation...kinda champagne-esque. Pretty easy to drink as it is not overly sour or acidic. Cheers to New Glarus for taking the chance on brewing a Gueuze!! Glad to have the opportunity to try it and hope to see something like this from them again soon.

This beer gains a rank of Great from me. Very happy to have tried it.

Check out more from New Glarus Brewing Company by surfing over to

More notes on this brew:

1,900 bottles released (only available at brewery gift shop)
Brewed March 24, 2009
Bottled August 6, 2010

Brewed in the tradition of the Lambics of Belgium but using a blend of Ale Yeast, Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, Pediococcus, and Acetobacter. These microorganisms came from our culture collection as well as many collected by Dan around the wilds of Wisconsin! Fermented and aged in Oak. This beer spent the summer of 2009 aging outdoors in used oak barrels, then bottle fermented.