Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Beer Review: Sly Fox Rt 113 IPA

Sly Fox Brewing Company Route 113 India Pale Ale

Gotta love canned beer. Especially hoppy canned beer. I wish all beers were available in this light weight super protective medium. The IPA pours a rich amber color with a very long lasting lace filled caramel head. Aroma mainly of sweet malt.

The flavor is well balanced for an IPA of this size (a whopping 113 IBU with 7% ABV)! Somehow the malt profile is sweet and full enough to mostly balance the normally tongue blistering hops. Very nice beer. You really do get both worlds, sweet bready malt upfront with hops following shortly behind. Mainly grassy hop flavors, I don't get much in the citrus family. The aftertaste is a little strong with the bitterness but with a beer like this can't really avoid that.

This is an excellent example of a big beer that somehow always leaves you wanting more. I definitely recommend this for hop heads but those that aren't big on large hoppy IPAs should avoid this (if these people exist). I could definitely have a couple of these on any given night.

Final Score: 85% (Big, Hoppy, and Balanced)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Beer Review: Sierra Nevada Kellerweis

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Kellerweis Hefeweizen

Summer is the time of hefeweizen for me. I through in other beers to mix it up but these unfiltered wheat beers are my warm weather drink of choice. This is also one of the few open fermentation hefeweizens produced in America. The hefe gets a rich white head to start out with that lingers with some slight lacing. The kellerweis is very cloudy and has a nice golden color. Full aroma of malt and banana, kinda like banana bread.

The open fermentation really pays off. Rich banana smoothly yields to the golden malt. Some clove is present but mainly banana. Hops are barely present but they aren't important in this style. The beer finishes with a slightly spicy wheat aftertaste which is good with the high carbonation. The wheat flavor is also closer to how I prefer it with it not being overly intense or puckering. This is a deep and tremendously drinkable beer.

Amazing beer. This is definitely one of my top two hefeweizens. Maybe even my favorite. The only one that I can say for sure is on par with this is the Sixpoint Eight Days of Wheat beer. I love a good hefeweizen that is dominated by banana. I wish more beers came unfiltered. I really don't know why most beers are filtered. The yeast adds flavor and loads of hangover preventing B-vitamins. This beer is better than all of the Bavarian hefeweizens I have tried. Sierra Nevada hit a home run with this and the fact that this is available year round is a great thing.

Final Score: 96% (Amazing Hefeweizen. World Class.)

Beer Review: Shiner Ruby Redbird

Spoetzl Brewery Shiner Ruby Redbird

Finally Shiner beers are available in New Jersey. I got this one as a very generous gift from my father-in-law. This is the only beer with grapefruit in it that I have yet to encounter and adding ginger to the mix really makes things interesting. The redbird pours a medium golden color with a very quickly disappearing head due to the citrus. Aroma is solidly ginger with some grapefruit, not what you can normally expect from a beer.

The flavor is as unique as the two additional ingredients. The ginger and grapefruit really dominate the taste and the citric acid provides a nice tart aftertaste. The carbonation is very pronounced in this brew and really provides a nice effervescent quality. The traditional beer flavors of barley malt and hops are not as noticeable as in usual brews. The grapefruit and ginger provide a spicy, sour, and sweet experience that alternates while you are tasting the beer which to me is very refreshing.

This is a solid beer that I would definitely purchase this time of year. One nice thing to note if you are concerned with weight is that Spoetzl has the calorie information online and this beer comes in at a count of 116. This beer is a nice break from the constant hefeweizens that usually dominate my summer. The only negative thing I can say about this beer is that it isn't particularly deep and the hop and malt flavors really get muted. If you are a fan of grapefruit, ginger, and beer you owe it to yourself to try this out.

Final Score: 89% (Solid and Unique but Lacks Depth)