Thursday, October 15, 2009

Beer Review: Highland Gaelic Ale

Highland Brewing Company Gaelic Ale

My first Highland review. This is a craft brewery located in Virginia that is not normally available in New Jersey unless you have some very generous connections who are willing to drive down to Asheville and pick up a variety pack. I am very fortunate. This is the brewery's flagship beer so it seems fitting that this is my first review. This it touted as a balanced ale with a generous amount of malt. The appearance is exactly as pictured. Dark amber in color with a decent sized fluffy white head. Aroma of sweet caramel and some hop spiciness. Very appetizing.

The flavor is fantastic. I love when I find a really well balanced ale that meets both of my cravings (malt and hops) and this brew falls into that rare category. The lightly roasted sweet caramel flavor really adds great depth to the beer. You can almost chew the beer, very rich and full. Nothing feels watered down. The hop flavor is also in full form here. Spicy and bitter, the hops stand up to the mammoth task of balancing the malt without burning out your taste buds. This is not far off from being a very balanced IPA.

This is a very sessionable and deep ale that is certainly worthy of being the flagship beer of any brewery. If you are lucky enough to have this in your area I certainly recommend supporting Highland. Judging from this beer they are also well worth traveling for. I love a great beer. The only downside is the limited availability.

Final Score: 93% (Outstanding. Worth a Long Journey.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Beer Battle!: Budweiser VS Miller High Life

Beer Battle I: Budweiser (The King) vs. Miller High Life (The Champagne)

Time for my first beer battle. This time its Budweiser versus the High Life. Blind taste testing is the only way to go here and I will rate them on a scale of 1 to 5 in the areas of flavor, aroma, and sessionability. One will be beer "A", the other beer "B". This is the first of hopefully many more to come...


This is a tough one to call, both very similar but I have to hand this to beer "A". Slightly more of a grainy aroma. No real hop aromas in either one. I always find it really hard to get much in the aroma department when drinking rice malt light lagers but there has to be a winner here.

A: 3 B: 2

Another very close call but A just has a deeper flavor. A has a rich malt flavor compared to "B" which just tastes like a toned down version of "A". "A" has a crisper aftertaste while "B" is a little sweeter. Not much going on in the hop department. At least nothing which sets one apart from the other.

A:3: B:2

If I was to reach for another one which one would I go for? Hmm... I have to go with "B". The tables seemed to have turned. "A" just starts to taste watery after a short while and "B" still maintains its flavor after a few sips.

A:2 B:3

Looks like "A" wins by a very narrow margin. This was much harder than I thought it would be. Fun, but tricky. The winner is.... Budweiser! I am honestly surprised, I thought Miller High Life would edge out the King of Beers but the opposite happened. Never again will I buy a High Life. Who needs Champagne when you are the King?

Final Score: A: 8 B:7