Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sierra Nevada Juniper Black Ale - 2011 Beer Camp

Sierra Nevada from Chico, CA recently released a mix 12 pack of beers in honor of their Beer Camp experience. The 12 pack featured 4 different beers - this Juniper Black Ale, a California Common, a Double IPA and a Weizenbock. I've always enjoyed Sierra Nevada products so I didn't hesitate much when I saw this 12 pack at my local shop! Cracked the Juniper Black Ale and it went like this.....

Deep dark black pour with a nice inch of cragly khaki foam atop the brew. Aromas start off with roasted dark malts and some bright juniper notes. Cocoa weaves in with some spice and a touch of citrus. Interesting for sure!

First sip brings plenty of roasted malts upfront with chocolate and earthy flavors melding in. Citrus tones mix in with the juniper as it flows down. Hop bite kicks in on the finish along with some roasted bitterness.

Mouthfeel is rather robust with smooth carbonation. Quite malty and a touch on the heavier side. Overall, I found this to be a tasty brew and really enjoyed the Beer Camp 12 pack!

I'll give this brew a rating of Enjoyable!

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Friday, July 22, 2011

The Bruery Marrón Acidifié

Here we have a collaboration brew between The Bruery located in Placentia, California and Cigar City located in Tampa, Florida. Two breweries at opposite sides of the country coming together to brew a kick ass beer! This is a dark sour ale aged in oak barrels coming in at 8.5% ABV. Available in a 750ml bottle but extremely limited and unlikely to be found anywhere anymore you will have to live vicariously through my review:

Cigar City / Bruery collaboration?? YES! Pours into my glass a deep dark garnet with a small bubbly off white head on top. Aromas kick off with a plethora of dark fruits and some tropical notes bathed in oak. Spice and balsamic intertwine with a nice sour twang.

First sip is a bountiful mix of dark fruits, plums, cherries and leathery accents. Puckering sours enveloped in oak tannins. Flows down with some chewy roasted mal and a balsamic vinegar kick. Good funk on the all melds together quite nicely.

Mouthfeel is nice and chewy without being overbearing...good carbonation throughout as well. Goes down easier than I expected. Overall, a damn fine sour ale and really glad I picked it up. Price is a bit much...but is par for the course these days I guess...

Overall this garners a rating of Great...closing in on Amazing from me. Wonderful beer.

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Monday, July 11, 2011

New Glarus Thumbprint IIPA

The first brew in the new Thumbprint series from New Glarus Brewing Company in New Glarus, WI. They stopped using the "Unplugged" moniker after another brewery started using it, so they switched to Thumbprint with the recognizable logo of the thumbprint inside the outline of the state of Wisconsin.

This is an Imperial or Double IPA, hence the IIPA. Clocking in at 85 IBU's and right around 9% ABV, this is a brew that means business. Look for it now while it's still fairly fresh in 4 packs with the red foil tops!

Pours into my glass a great golden orange color with some haziness in tow. A good half inch of stark white foam atop the brew that settles down quickly. Aromas jump out with fresh resinous hops. A conglomeration of citrus and pine that gets me excited for the first sip!

Hops lead the way with a menagerie of citrus, pine and some tropical fruits. Grapefruit is definitely there with a nice semi toasty malt backbone beneath that is able to carry the hop load. Resinous bitterness as it flows down with just enough sweetness to carry it. Lingering hops with a touch of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is middle of the road body wise with spot on carbonation. This ends up being a mighty drinkable IIPA. Another great brew from New Glarus and a super start to the new Thumbprint series. Looking forward to seeing what is next!

Overall this brew gets a rating of Great from me!!

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