Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hofbrau Oktoberfest

Continuing with my Oktoberfest theme, I went with the real deal. Hofbrau Oktoberfest. This has been served since the original wedding party that then became Oktoberfest. According to them, what they bottle is the same stuff served at their tent at Oktoberfest. It pours a surprisingly light straw color compared to the ambers and coppers of most Oktoberfests and marzens. That said, it has a very good flavor. It's not at all watery. There are hints of grass, hops, and some fruit. It's light, crisp, and has a late, mildly bitter finish. I can see why Oktoberfest is so popular!

Grade: B

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Founders Dirty Bastard

This beer is a Scotch style ale, it is called Dirty Bastard, and it has a tartan on the label. Impossible for me to pass it up, and I was not disappointed! It pours a light brown color, almost like the darkest iced tea you've ever had. The flavor is very complex with a ton of different malt flavors going on. There is roastedness, piney, hoppy, a little bit of not very sweet maple, even a hint of scotch. It's very bold and has a long bitter, but not acrid, finish. I like this a whole bunch and will be looking for more! I feel like about 6 of these would, in fact, make me a Dirty Bastard.

Grade : A

My Scale

I figured since I'm rating beers I should give the rubric on my grades

A: Absolutely love it. Will buy it again and again and again
B: Enjoyed it very much. Would buy again
C: Thought it was fine. Not upset I got it, but probably wouldn't get it again
D: Could finish it, but would not buy again. I'd drink it if it was free, though!
F: Had to pour it down the drain

Abita Amber

From the bayou in Louisiana comes Abita Amber. This is the company's first and most popular beer. It has a light copper color, a little bit of a caramel feel and some citrus notes. It is a lot lighter in color, doesn't feel as heavy, and has a less bold flavor than something like Great Lakes' Eliot Ness or Flying Dog's Old Scratch. Think more like Yuengling. It's very good, just don't expect something heavy and aggressive. I liked it quite a bit and would get it again!

Grade : B

Monday, September 20, 2010

Smuttynose Robust Porter

Porter is my favorite style of beer, so I'm always looking to try a new one. Smuttynose's Robust Porter is a very good example of what a porter should be. Very dark with a full deep tan head. It has bite, bitterness, and a late dry piney finish. This lingers quite a bit, too. The classic characteristics of a porter are here with the roasted malt, coffee and chocolate flavors. I wouldn't say there is anything special or atypical about this compared to other porters, but it's very good. And I happen to love porters.

Grade :B

Beck's Oktoberfest

Since it's fall, I think it's time to try some Oktoberfests. I'm starting with Beck's Oktoberfest. Which, by the way, is owned by InBev/Anheuser Busch. This had great head, an inviting deep copper color. As I was trying to figure out the flavors in this, before I knew it, it was gone! It's very smooth, crisp, and clean. There is a subtle caramel flavor to it and a little bit of hoppy bitterness, but nothing really stood out. It didn't have anything really aggressive nor did it have a lot of character. Seemingly everything about it was average in taste and body. There are certainly Oktoberfest styles out there that are bolder and have move flavor. However, it would be easy to polish off quite a few of these!

Grade: C

Monday, September 13, 2010

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale

I first had this beer one delightful summer afternoon on the patio at The Wine Merchant in Findlay. The aroma had me hooked before I even took a sip. As much as I love beer, I also really enjoy bourbon. All the familiar characteristics of a good bourbon hit me immediately. That oakey and vanilla scent, the copper color. It drinks like the smoothest bourbon you've ever had with that unctuous buttery feel going down. And a hint of residual warmth. Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale is delicious, smooth, and has an aggressive, tricky 8% ABV. If you're wondering where all the bourbon characteristics come from, this ale is aged in barrels that were previously used for bourbon. Brilliant!

While there are beer traits with the color, lacing, and carbonation, the flavor is much closer to bourbon than to any beer I have had.

If you like bourbon, you'll like this. If you don't, then save it for someone who does!

Grade: A


I quit this for a while since the place with the best beer selection in town shut down. But with some new places including Ray's picking up some of the slack, Vino Bellissimo now carrying some beer (which you can buy by the bottle), and a few trips up to The Wine Merchant in Findlay, I feel it's time to get it going again.

I have also started homebrewing. So far I've made a Porter, American style Bock, British PA (not an IPA), and I currently have a Honey Cream Ale fermenting. The Homebrewery has fantastic products and everything you need to get started. It really isn't that difficult, however there is a lot that can go wrong. They have pre-made kits where if you can follow a recipe, you can make the beer. They also have everything you need to come up with your own recipe. I have been very impressed!

Now, onto the beer!