Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Beer Review: Tyskie Lager

Tyskie Brewery Tyskie Gronie Premium Lager

Finally! An imported lager that comes in an amber bottle. Green seems way too common for my liking. The lager pours a remarkably clear golden color with a decent head retention. The head was slow to build but managed to stay around for a while. Aroma is of very faint malt. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Flavor is actually pretty dry for my taste. Similar to a typical Japanese lager (Asahi). Very sweet and clean malt flavor with almost nothing in the hop department besides the absolute minimum. This beer goes down very easily but it really doesn't leave me with much of an impression. Hops would have gone a long way to balance this and really make it drinkable.

I like the bottle, but that is pretty much the only thing I can say I am pleased with. The flavor tastes like a slight step up from a typical light lager. Better than a Budweiser but not by nearly as much as I would like. I can't say that I hate this beer but I really don't see a need to import this, there are so many drinkable domestic lagers.

Final Score: 72% (Drinkable. Nothing Unique. Poland Must Have Better Beer.)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Beer Review: River Horse Lager

River Horse Brewing Company River Horse Lager

The flagship beer of South Jersey's great River Horse Brewery. I am definitely a fan of this company. I have heard they have been often criticized for having uninteresting and mediocre beers but I must have missed that time. Every beer I have had from them has been loaded with flavor and the rotating "Brewer's Reserve" line has been filled with big, memorable beers. The lager pours a cloudy golden color with a moderately sized head. Aroma is pure malt.

The flavor is striking. Touted as an "ungespundet hefetrub", this lager is deep. I had to do some googling on this term because I have never encountered it before. I think it means unfiltered and matured out in the open, rather than sealed off. If someone knows, feel free to let me know. The malt flavor on this beer is amazing. Large grain flavors and aromas rise out of the golden clouds and dominate this beer. Some bitterness is provided by a gentle hopping but nothing too noticeable.

Don't fall into the trap of assuming that just because it is called a lager that it is boring. I have been guilty of this more than once. This is a deep beer that should be respected. Much more than a filler for a variety pack. I could definitely see myself getting a six pack of this now and then. Very drinkable.

Final Score: 86% (Complex, Unique, and Drinkable. A Great Choice.)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Beer Review: Flying Dog Raging Bitch

Flying Dog Brewing Company Raging Bitch Belgian Style India Pale Ale

This is an exciting offering. Not too often that you find this style. I hope it becomes more common. The name is awesome and is perfectly complimented by resident artist Ralph Steadman's badass bottle art. Who doesn't like a little gonzo art with their beer? The bitch pours out a medium amber color with loads of lacing around the glass. Aroma is nothing but hops and Belgian spicy yeast. Very inviting. At 8.3% ABV this beer is no joke.

The flavor is excellent. Exactly as I had hoped. Alternates between a very bitter aggressive hop profile and what tastes like a Belgian Dubble. The hops do seem to dominate the beer but that is how it should be. A raging bitch needs to be a bitch to your tongue. Seems appropriate to me. The Belgian side of this ale is very sweet, spicy, and alcoholic. There is just a lot going on here. Very complex.

When I am craving a Belgian ale and do not want to sacrifice hoppy goodness this is the perfect beer. I don't taste a single cut corner. This is a big beer done right and at a great price. $8.39 a six pack is very reasonable for a beer of this caliber. I am not sure what the availability of this brew is but I encourage everyone to get this before it is gone. I can't even find a real flaw. I declare this case worthy.

Final Score: 95% (This Bitch Is Raging. Not for the timid.)