Sunday, October 12, 2014

Lakefront Brewery's Imperial Pumpkin (Aged in Brandy Barrels)

When I picked out this beer I was just looking for a new, previously-untried pumpkin ale and didn't noticed until I opened it that it was aged in brandy barrels, as was the beer I last reviewed. Before I even get rolling, I have to announce that Lakefront Imperial Pumpkin has dethroned Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin as my favorite pumpkin ale. Wow! This is some good stuff! Pours a autumny cinnamon hue with an all-but-invisible head. The mouthfeel is very creamy, with the various spices, pumpkin flavor, cinnamon and brandy overtones all vying for attention. the 8% ABV combines nicely with the brandy flavor to supply a wonderful warmth that makes this an incredibly apt choice for the cool Fall nights.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Empyrean Big Old Red Ale (Aged in Brandy Barrels)

Brilliant! Bottling the Carpe Brewem limited addition ales was a stroke of genius. Big Old Red pours a frothy (I mean frothy, dude) ruby tinged amber with a gigantic head. Very sweet, with black cherry and apricot predominating, with perhaps a little fig and caramel. This brew was aged in brandy barrels, so the alcohol heat from the 8% ABV combines with the brandy notes to provide a smooth, yet smoky finish. There's a 44 IBU hop hit in the mix as well, tarting things up, while being nicely balanced. It reminds me in some respects of a Belgian Dubbel. Carbonation is very high, the beer spilled over even after setting quietly in the fridge for several hours. Overall a good choice for a nightcap!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Guinness Blonde - American Lager

Weird. That's the first thing that came to mind when I saw this on the shelf today. Granted, Guinness couldn't live forever as a one-hit wonder; they've done alright with the black lager, even if it did scare off the ignorant who "don't like dark beer" (because "dark" is a flavor....right?) and the Harvest Red from last year. But really, what's the point of a Guinness lager? That being said, not a bad beer. It's in the Vienna style (think Sam Adams Boston Lager, Yuegling or Modelo) so it's not very hoppy, but smooth and a little sweet. Really, nothing special here though. Marketing...branding...

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Weyerbacher Nineteen

For the past nine years Weyerbacher has produced a limited run beer in honor of their anniversary. I missed ten through thirteen, but have reviewed them all since (links will be provided below). This year, the nineteenth anniversary is celebrated with a mango wheat beer. There's lots of mango in nineteen (XIX) - you can smell it as soon as you pop the top, and the flavor is very strong and sweet. It pours a cloudy apricot hue, with a porous three finger head that quickly recedes to some lacing. The mango tends to overwhelm any subtlety that the wheat might have provided, but if you're patient, it comes through. Medium hoppiness, tart - but very refreshing; but beware that 10% ABV!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Ichabod Pumpkin Ale by New Holland

One of the better and more interesting brewers new to the Lincoln market, New Holland has impressed me so far; and the pumpkin ale is no exception. Many of the pumpkin ales out there are heavy on the spices: the nutmeg and cinnamon and taste like a cheap pumpkin pie that you might get as part of a McDonald's Happy Meal. Ichabod is lighter on the spices than most, but could be a little heavier on actual pumpkin flavor to be a true classic in the Autumn beer category.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Wasatch Pumpkin Ale

Pours a dark orange unfiltered, with cinnamon and cloves. The pumpkin is a bit understated, which adds to the drinkability. There's also hints of cocoa and coffee as well. Low hop profile, heavy on the maltiness. Little bit of vanilla as it warms up. One of the best pumpkin ales out there in the opinion of Ill-Gotten Booty.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Beer Review: Sierra Nevada Tumbler

Not billed as an Oktoberfest, but appropriate to the season for sure, Sierra Nevada Tumbler is described an an Autumn Brown Ale. It poured with a thick, three-fingered head, deep brown with reddish highlights in hue. Deep, rich taste, with chocolate and coffee high in the mix. Some sweetness, and a hop presence, but not terribly overwhelming. Hmmm...even some almonds in the taste palate!