Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Beer Review: Troegs Nugget Nectar

Troegs Imperial Amber Nugget Nectar

This is one of the seasonal releases from the Troegs brothers. I love the in your face picture of the hop. Really makes you crave the flavor. This is my first Imperial Amber and I look forward to it. The nectar pours a rich amber color (surprise, surprise) and donates a ton a lacing to the cause. Charlotte was busy with this web. The aroma is perhaps the most noticeable thing upfront. This is the most hoppy smelling beer I have yet experienced. Flowers, fruit, and spice. All in one.

The flavor is extremely hoppy. Very similar to an Imperial IPA. In fact, I don't know why they just don't call it an Imperial IPA. Its loaded with hops and flavor. A damn good beer regardless of what they call it. This is truly a hop lovers dream. Right on par with Saranac's Imperial IPA. The 7.5% alcohol is hidden well with these hops.

In summation this is a great beer that should be enjoyed by all hop fans. Its availability is also a big plus. Maybe in the future I will do a battle between this and Saranac's Imperial IPA to see who wins. Not sure yet... Close Call.

Final Score: 81% (Badass Imperial Amber, Troegs Did Great)

Beer Review: Saranac Belgian Ale

Saranac Belgian Ale

My fourth of the six beers for the Saranac 12 Beers of Winter packs. This Belgian style ale pours a cloudy amber color with a decent head that has some lacing. I didn't know what to expect from this considering I have had some great Belgian ales and while Saranac produces great beers at low prices it would be hard to fill the shoes of some of these pricey Trappist style ales.

The flavor is pretty damn good for how cheap this beer is. I have been debating about whether or not price should factor into these but I feel it may be necessary. Bottom Line: A great cheap beer is better than a great expensive beer. This is an almost great relatively cheap beer. Especially considering the malt and hop shortage. The flavor is very much spiced. I don't get the fruity flavor described by the bottle but I do get lots of spice. It's very similar to a Blue Moon.

Overall this is enjoyable. Not something that will impress someone who has had tasted the best of Belgium beers but this is a great intro. It also adds a great amount of variety to the winter pack. If this was sold as a six pack I might buy it, but probably not.

Final Score: 71% (Mediocre but Less Expensive)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Beer Review: Saranac Mountain Ale

Saranac Mountain Ale

This was quite the find for me. I have no idea how it went so long without being purchased. I found this in a liquor store in south jersey in a torn up box of 12 Beers of Summer. In the winter, over a year after it was not sold anymore. I may now be drinking one of the last mountain ales in existence. This was one I was happy to find. The ale is fermented with blueberry honey, blackberries, raspberries. Should be a great combo.

Pours a amber color with a small head an no noticeable lacing. The blueberry honey is most present up front. The sweetness that the berries provide really compliments the ale well. Very much a rich ale that is good all year. I love the warmth of the honey. It also provides a nice texture.

I am sad that this may be the last one I have for a long time, possibly forever. Though the replacement, the pomegranate wheat is also a great beer. This was more complex where the pomegranate wheat was more refreshing. While this isn't the best beer ever made, it is a solid beer. I really like the flavor and its a nice change from a standard hoppy beer.

Final Score: 82% (A Complex, Flavorful Beer)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Beer Review: Saranac Winter Wassail

Saranac Winter Wassail Ale

I am proud to have gotten my hands on another Saranac 12 Beers of Winter pack. They were all over the place in October/November but have been scarce from January till now. I love being able to get it early but I wish they spaced out the shipping or upped the production a little more. I feel like I will start seeing the 12 Beers of Summer any day now. Don't get me wrong, I love the summer pack as well. But I just would like releases to occur with the season they are meant for. I want winter beer throughout the winter and summer beer throughout the summer. I also would love it if they came out with a 12 Beers of Autumn or Spring but I suppose that may be asking too much. Anyway...

This ale pours a clear copper color with excellent lacing and a creamy head. The aroma is of spice. Nutmeg and cinnamon dominate. Spice also plays a significant role in the flavor as well. This almost reminds me of an Oktoberfest beer with some spices thrown into the brew. I really enjoy this. Its not the deepest beer around but it is definitely in the holiday spirit and I know of few months that may need holiday spirit more than March. The rain and cold would do well to learn a thing or two from Rudolph and his snow antics.

Overall, this is a nice beer. Not going to blow your mind or wow you with subtle flavors. But it is enjoyable and a bit different than what you might normally find in a beer. Unfortunately, I don't have an example of another wassail to compare it to as this is the only one I have tried. Definitely worth the time and something you should experience.

Final Score: 74% (Enjoyable but Not Superb)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Beer Review: Samual Adams Longshot: Weizenbock

Samual Adams Longshot 2007 Part 2 - Weizenbock

The second beer in the 2007 Longshot collection by Samuel Adams. This special brew pours a dark cloudy brown with a solid head. Lacing is also present in large amounts with a sweet malty aroma. Very pleasant all around. Some definite spiciness diffusing around my nose.

This is a great beer. Rodney Kibzey from Illinois has done a great job. This is about as flavorful and refreshing as a beer can be. This beer surprises you with its deep fruity spice then follows up with a large amount of malt. A great winter or fall beer. I really hope this comes around again.

If you at all like wheat beers or bocks you really need to try this. Truly a unique beer. I don't know how many weizenbocks are out there but I will seek them out. This beer constantly keeps me entertained while warming my brain. What else can you ask for?

Final Score: 91% (An Excellent Beer, Bring Me More!)

Beer Review: Saranac Lager

Saranac Traditional Lager

This is Saranac's version of a Budweiser. A beer that I have only found at one store. Up north near my parents is a Shop Rite liquor that has had this beer for some time now. I never tried it even though I am a huge fan or Saranac because of the modest description. Pours a very light gold color with a modest head. Similar to a macrobrew. Aroma is also similar to a macrobrew, that slight sweet maltyness with no hop aroma.

The taste.... its kinda like a Coors. But slightly better. You can taste the wheat used in the malt to some extent. It like a slightly better macrobrew. This is a beer that is designed for use in large quantities or with spicy food. Other than that it really doesn't have much use. I don't see why someone would buy this when for the same price they could pick up an other variety of Saranac. It just isn't that good. It's like they went out of their way to brew a sub par beer. I don't get it. If you can't handle flavorful beer but don't want a Budweiser... drink this or invent something new.

Final Score: 65% (Below Average, Not Special)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Beer Review: Legacy Midnight Wit

Legacy Brewing Co. Midnight Wit

The tagline for this brew is "We Brew Pure Pleasure". If by pure pleasure they mean stale age, I agree. This is the pure pleasure found in a cat lady house. I don't want to judge the brewery solely on this beer but this really sucks. I don't know whether they over spiced this or if this is just extremely stale (bottled in January so shouldn't be too bad). I suspect over spiced. This brew pours a cloudy yellow color with a modest head. Aroma is of beef.

The flavor is also meaty. Old meat. This just doesn't taste right. I get some lactic acid in this one. I really hope this is just a bad batch and not what they normally sell. I can't see anyone liking this. I am struggling though this just by some chance that I get some redeeming quality out of it. None yet. There really aren't any positives that I can come up with. Maybe the appearance is what it should look like. That's the only good thing I can say about this.

Final Score: 20% (I can hardly imagine anything worse...)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Beer Review: Flying Dog DOGtoberfest

Flying Dog Dogtoberfest

This is a cool beer. I love the art. Two obese drunk German guys yelling at each other while a possessed dog does... well I am not sure what the dog is doing. It is cool though. This is a seasonal offering from the Flying Dog Brewery and since the Oktoberfest style of beer happens to be my favorite I had to pick this one up. I consider myself fortunate to have been able to find this in March. I hope my luck finding this style of beer continues until next years batch arrives. Anyway...

This beer pours the classic dark copper color of the Oktoberfest beers with very little aroma or lacing. The flavor possesses that malty richness I love in the style. This is the kind of beer you could happily enjoy in large quantities. This is really a victory for American brewers. Between this and Saranac, American craft brewers are showing a large amount of talent. The flavor is just really rich. It tingles your tongue and leaves your pallet satisfied.

Definitely a fall/winter beer designed to keep you warm. The only downside to this brew is that the flavor is not extremely complex. Which isn't a terrible thing necessarily. This is a Marzen beer. Maybe not the best example but one that is worthy of praise. Definitely one that I will pick up again in the future. I recommend this to any fan of German beer or of large German men.

Final Score: 80% (A Good Offering, Doesn't Standout Enough Though)