Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Oskar Blues Ten Fidy Imperial Stout

Since Spring doesn't seem to ever want to arrive, we'll continue with the winter brews, focusing on those delectable imperial stouts. Oskar Blues Brewery produced this spot-on version of the Russian Imperial Stout, beloved of the czars. It poured a muddy dark brown, with a viscosity 10W30 would kill for. The head never seemed to go away, and was so thick you could make brown snowballs out of it. What was pleasantly surprising was the 65 IBUs, giving it the hop kick of a strong pale ale, but hidden behind the malty sweetness. All the flavors you'd expect from a good stout make an appearance: coffee and cocoa especially, but bit parts by vanilla and caramel, and walk-ons by the dark fruit players - figs, dates & black cherries. Overall, worth whatever they charged you for it.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Evil Twin Brewing Even More Jesus Imperial Stout

Evil Twin is a brewery in Brooklyn NY run by Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergso, whose twin brother Mikkel Borg-Bjergso runs the Danish brewery Mikkeler in Copenhagen. Both Mikkeler and Evil Twin are non-traditional breweries in that the brewmasters come up with recipes and farm out the actual brewing to other brewers. And incidentally the brothers can't stand each other! And before I get into the review, I have no idea why this beer is called Even More Jesus.

Even More Jesus poured a deep, tarry black, with a three-finger head that was so thick that you could walk on it. The consistency is thick and syrupy, there's a medium hoppiness and a pungent aroma of coffee and dark chocolate. As it moves toward room temperature molasses and dark fruits, figs, black cherries and dates, become evident. There's some moderate heat from the 12% ABV. Overall a great brew for a cool, rainy night.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Two/Evil Geyser Gose

Let's start with "What's a Gose?" (Go-suh)

It's an old German beer style that originated in Leipzig, brought back to life in recent years. Like a hefweizen, it's made with at least 50% malted wheat. It's generally crisp and dry, with some low hop bitterness and slight sourness. Coriander and salt are usually added. Two/Evil, a collaboration between Two Roads and Evil Twin breweries, adds Icelandic moss, sea kelp and birch smoked sea salt as flavorings. The result is a cloudy golden brew with a two-finer head, and a tart lemony character. There are also hints of pear and Granny Smith apple. Overall, pretty light and refreshing, with just enough tartness to elicit a "Sir, did you know that's a sour beer?" from the bartenders at Yia-Yia's!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Southern Tier Crème Brûleé Imperial Milk Stout Imperial Milk Stout

While visiting Mom I also visited Port Jefferson Spirits and had a lively conversation with the owner while searching for a beer that I had heretofore not sampled. Since it was a breezy, cool day, I eschewed the summer ales and IPA's a zeroed in on the stouts and porters. Southern Tier, a New York brewery that I discovered while in Kansas City a few years ago, offered a Crème Brûleé Imperial Milk Stout, part of their Blackwater Series. As I'm very partial to milk stouts. Milk stouts, also known as sweet stouts, retain some sweetness after fermentation due to the addition of lactose, a sugar that does not convert to alcohol during fermentation. I find that this really takes the edge off a typical stout, giving it a dessert-y character. "Imperial" of course generally indicates a higher alcohol content, deriving from the traditional style Imperial Russian Stout. Southern Tiers website doesn't specify what they add to give it the rich flavor of Crème Brûleé, but the main flavor/aroma that I detect is vanilla. I sampled this in a brandy snifter (which I recommend) - as it warmed up other flavors came out of hiding: chocolate, coffee, and the advertised custard notes. The high ABV (10%) requires sipping, not quaffing, the better to savor the flavors. Definitely not an everyday beer, but one for a special occasion.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Innis & Gunn Bourbon Oak Aged Dark Ale

Beer #2 from the Innis & Gunn collection. This one isn't a stout, but a Scottish dark ale, sometimes called a Wee Heavy, aged on bourbon-infused oak staves. (Not quite bourbon barrel, but still up there). It pours a deep, dark ruby-brown with an almost-not-there head. The bourbon is the first thing that I noticed, with a more subtle oak aroma. Other flavors include vanilla & raisin and a bit of molasses. Very nice sippin' ale.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Thunderhead Brewery's GoldenFrau Honey Wheat

Here's the final beer in the Thunderhead Variety 12-pack. GoldenFrau pours a clear, unfiltered, golden hue with a three-finger head. The honey has an immediate impact, lining my nostrils with sweetness. The underlying beer itself is a pretty solid wheat beer, with a creamy mouthfeel and mild hoppiness. As it warms there's some citrus notes - orange zest & lemon peel. 8 of 10 on the IGB summer ale scale.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Thunderhead Brewery's Prairie Peach - Peach Wheat Ale

Not much to say about this one, there's some faint peachiness to it, with a little apricot thrown in. I'll say this for it, it would make a good summer "lawnmower" beer. Okay, yay, peach beer, but not a lot of effort seems to have gone into crafting a standout ale. Hey, we can't all be astronauts.