Thursday, January 31, 2008

Beer Review: Saranac Summer Ale

Saranac Summer Ale

Having a summer ale in the middle of winter is really a interesting experience. I really don't know how I managed to find one of these in the liquor store but I did. From 2005 no less. Maybe its a bit stale but this one still has some character. You can actually see what I think are lemon particles floating around. Smell is of cloves and lemon. No more, no less.

Pours a light copper color with an average head. Looks like a nice light summer beer. This is what it delivers and promises. I have a hard time reviewing this beer. If I had it in the summer at the Adirondacks I would be beyond happy. To me having a beer in the woods is what summer is all about. But I didn't have this in the Adirondacks in the summer. I had this in the middle of winter in Jersey City.

Despite being out of place it is pretty good. Not the most complex or knockout beer but it is a great light summer beer. Good for boating or anything else in warm weather. Very refreshing and flavorful. Not as good in the middle of winter.

Final Score: 73% (Great in its element, Mediocre elsewhere)

Beer Review: Saranac Golden Pilsener

F.X. Matt Brewing Company Saranac Golden Pilsener Lager

I've shared a few good memories with this one. This is a member of the Saranac 12 Beers of Summer pack. This dry hopped wheat beer pours a very pale straw color and possesses an almost nonexistent aroma. The head is small and disappears quickly.

This is a fairly good beer. Nothing too out of this world. A good hop presence and a very wheaty texture. Very good mouthfeel. Its much heavier in the mouth than you might expect. This is solid summer beer. I really don't have too much to write about it. If you like a light wheaty beer than this is for you. I prefer my beers darker and bolder.

Final Score: 62% (Not Too Much To Say)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Beer Review: Saranac Black Diamond Bock

Saranac Black Diamond Bock Dark Lager

This is a great looking beer. I really love any beer that has a bear with skis on it. You really can't beat that. This definitely wins my award for best bottle label. I have seen some artsy ones but I just don't know of anything that can compare to this. Genius. This is a dark beer with a rich thick head. Very creamy and full of warmth. Great for winter.

I really enjoy bock beers. They are practically the opposite of an IPA with a rich malty flavor and a small amount of hops. I just wish I was able to get these year round. I hate that the spring beers are coming out already. It's January! At least give us till mid February! Back to the beer...

This is a rich beer. Strong malt flavor with a smooth finish. It gets a little bitter towards the end but its really pleasant. This is a great example of a bock beer that I would encourage anyone to try. This will satisfy your palette and keep you warm on those long winter nights. This is one that I will buy every year. It's priced great and full of goodness.

Final Score: 75% (Rich and Malty with Bears!)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Beer Review: Buckler Non-Alcoholic Beer

Heineken Buckler Non-Alcoholic

This was my first NA beer and I had to give it a shot. I have long wanted to try an NA beer and I finally got my chance. This beer pours a standard gold color with a head that lasts longer than I would have expected, but I really didn't expect all that much. This beer really tastes poor. I don't know why I expected any better but I just did. I thought that if you weren't drinking the beer for the alcohol then you should at least be drinking it for the flavor. I doubt anyone drinks this for the flavor. It tastes like a light Heineken that has been out for far too long. Skunk to the max.

If I had to come up with a positive its that this is cheaper than most beer. But you really do get what you pay for. I am not completely opposed to trying more of the NA beers but this is not one I will buy again. It could be better than others but I really hope there are good NA beers out there for the sake of all the good AA members.

Final Score: 57% Tastes Old and Weak, I Name You: Grandpa Buckler

Beer Review: Saranac Black Forest

Saranac Black Forest

I am thrilled that the Matt Brewery has decided to include both the Black Forest and the Brown Ale into their Trail Mix six packs. I love that I can now buy a six pack of six different beers. Great sweet America. This brew has a very light aroma and a dark appearance. Pours very smooth into the glass.

The first thing I notice is that this has a very light mouthfeel. I expected a very heavy beer that would overload me with rich malty goodness. This is not the case, but it also isn't a bad thing. This actually makes this a very unique beer. It has a very sweet and smooth maltiness that goes down very light. Its almost like malt syrup. I detect very little hops in this as well. Overall, I think this is a great offering and I am glad to now be able to welcome it to my home.

Final Score: 76% Malty and Sweet, Dark and Smooth, Good Beer.

Beer Review: Paulaner Oktoberfest Marzen

Paulaner Oktoberfest Marzen

I really love Oktoberfest beers. The Marzen style always greets me with a smile. Some are definitely better than others though. This time of year I grab them wherever I can find them before they disappear for the season. This should be a real deal Oktoberfest style as it is from Munich and depicts many obese women carrying steins around. Obese women know their beer fests.

This beer pours a rich copper color with a small head that hangs around for a bit. There doesn't seem to be any lacing going on. This really has a nice flavor. A bit of honey and a rich maltiness. No idea if I spelled maltiness right or if that is even a word. No matter. This is a pretty solid beer with a good aroma and a nice golden flavor. I would not say this is my favorite but it is one of the most available of the Oktoberfests so this will definitely not be the last time I partner up with the obese women.

Final Score: 72% Pretty Standard

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Beer Review: Harpoon Winter Warmer

Harpoon Winter Warmer

I drove through hellish Hoboken/Holland tunnel traffic for this. This trash. I had such high hopes for this one. I had heard great things about the Harpoon brewery and I was incredibly excited to sample my first of what I hoped was a great line of beers. This was far from a great beer.

The only things that I can say I enjoyed about this beer are its color and smell. It smells like warm cinnamon and is a dark copper color in appearance. I really hate the flavor. It is like having an Atomic Fireball in your mouth. I have never tasted such a concentration of cinnamon in any beer before this. I have had spiced but this is well beyond that. This is burned. I really wish I could have tasted the beer so that I could review some other flavors but all I get is cinnamon. If you LOVE cinnamon give this a shot, but for anyone who likes beer stay away. Far away.

Final Score: 55% Waste of Money and Taste Buds