Friday, October 30, 2009

Stone 13th Anniversary Ale

Stone's 13th Anniversary Ale, 9.5%

Hey, Happy Anniversary! This was another Whole Foods find - expensive, but in spite of its "collectible limited-edition" status, the bottle is printed with instructions not to cellar this beer, but to drink it immediately. Can do!

The color is just beautiful...a nice dark, copper brown, with a nice head.

It smells seriously of some citrusy hops...a little orangey.
The taste is initially a bit bitter, some toastiness, followed by the firm hand of the grapefruity hops. Spicy, heavy mouthfeel...but not quite as hop-heavy. There are some low malty chocolatey notes in the back that tie everything together. Really interesting stuff.

Nøgne-Ø Saison

Nøgne-Ø Saison, 6.5% from Norway.

Ahhh, more Nøgne-Ø... I was extremely pleased to find another variety from my favorite Norwegian brewery at Whole Foods in Orlando. I'm not a huge fan of saisons, but I'm learning to appreciate them.

This one pours a hazy golden orange, with just a light dusting of foam. It smells sweet, yeasty, but doesn't have that barnyard funk a lot of saisons have.

The taste however, POW. It's starts mouth-puckeringly sour, with plenty of horsey funkitude. The hops chime in. This is some complex stuff, but it some how ends clean, and leaves you reaching for the next sip.

Glad to see this one didn't disappoint. Now if I could just find their Imperial Stout...

Cigar City Guava Grove Saison

Cigar City's Guava Grove Saison, 8% abv.

Here's one from a new Tampa brewery, Cigar City.
(Interestingly enough, the head brewer used to brew for the greatly-missed Buckhead Brewery in Tallahassee.)

I allegedly had this before as a sampler at Coaster's, where they had a small keg on hand (that promptly ran out with my order). I think I got served something else with no explanation. I wasn't surprised to find this bottle tasted a little different.

This pours a pleasant red-orange with a massive head. It smells like guava, as it should, since it's fermented with guava. There's some Belgian spice aroma, clove, some funkiness (appropriate for a saison).
The taste is fruity, grainy, spicy...some yeast goodness in there. It ends sweet, but crisp. It's very refreshing, yet very complicated. It's a little champagne-like in some respects.
Exciting stuff from this new brewery. I grabbed both offerings available at Downtown Produce...the Scotch Ale is calling...

Boulder Beer Buffalo Gold

Buffalo Gold golden ale from Boulder Beer, 4.95%

I've had this one before, and couldn't pass up grabbing another sixer for $3.99 on super-sale at Downtown Produce!

It pours a beautiful orange-golden color, with a nice head that dissipates quickly. Extreme sparkling clarity.

It smells a little of green apples, some grain.
The taste is fully of appley-honey sweetness, medium body, with some earthy hop bitterness to ground it all. There's a nice crisp, dry finish, making this really easy-drinking. It's a steal at this price!

Hofbraü Oktoberfest

Hofbraü Oktoberfest - 6% abv, 11.2 oz bottle

Hey it's time for Oktoberfest! Ok, so that was actually last month, but still.

This pours a lovely light golden color with a beautiful head. It smells grassy, maybe a little piney.

First sip gives you some nice spicy hops with plenty of carbonation, some sweet grain, and nice grassy hops in the aftertaste. Some complain that it's not like most Oktoberfest beers, which are a little darker and sweeter, but it's a lovely crisp and satisfying beer. But what's up with the tiny bottles?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Hoppin' Frog B.O.R.I.S.

BORIS the Crusher Oatmeal Imperial Stout - 9.4% from Akron Ohio.
Apparently BORIS stands for Bodacious Oatmeal Russian Imperial Stout...cute. Apparently, this was an Imperial Stout winner at the Great American Beer Festival.
I was excited to see this at a recent trip to the Orlando Whole Foods, since nobody seems to carry this brewery locally.

It pours like oil, thick...syrupy, with no head (maybe it's the dishwashing soap we use).
It smells like coffee, maybe some molasses. You definitely taste the dark malts...some good roastiness. Thick mouthfeel with an earthy aftertaste. It's sweet, with some snap and a fairly clean aftertaste. Tasty!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Blue Dawg Wild Blue

Next up is Wild Blue from "Blue Dawg Brewing", an 8% blueberry lager. The brewing company is in quotes because it's another attempt by Anheiser Busch to fool customers into thinking they're purchasing a craft beer from a small-scale brewery. It kind of reminds me of the Red Dawg/Icehouse marketing schemes of the '90's.

It pours a lovely dark reddish-purple, with no head and very few bubbles...probably could have used a more polished glass.
It's a little hazy. The smell is super-fruity. Juicy, almost like Belgian yeast.

The mouthfeel is thick, heavy, syrupy. There's a massive sweet and somewhat sour punch that tweaks your jaws, followed by a sticky GAH! finish.

Cloying, sticky, sweet, fruity...not at all a clean lager flavor anywhere, just something like a really bad grape soda. It's definitely a challenge to finish an entire bottle. I actually like most fruit beers, but this stretches the limits of what can be called beer. It's just ...not really horrible, and you contemplate handing a couple of these to some girl who doesn't like beer...but it leaves you with that horrible end-of-the-drinking-binge-I-might-throw-up feeling.