Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Raging Bitch

Flying Dog is having some issues with Raging Bitch. Again. This time in Michigan. Read it from their perspective here. Personally, I don't see the problem at all. I would think someone old enough to drink beer is mature enough to handle the word "bitch." I don't see how it's more offensive than Michigan's own Founders Dirty Bastard (which is delicious). What say you? Vote in the poll ->
and let me know which is more offensive and which is more delicious!

Sorry about having to sign in. I'm still trying a work around for that one.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Out on the Tiles Scotch Ale, my new homebrew!

I'm a bit of a Zeppelin nut, and have decided all my beers from now own will have Zeppelin songs as the names. Previously, it was the Night Flight Vanilla Porter. Somewhere down the road, Misty Mountain Hops IPA. Today, Out on the Tiles Scotch Ale. So here's a little look at today's process

First: The ingredients. 9 pounds of light malt extract. The specialty grains are 12 oz of 90L Crystal Malt, 2 oz of roasted barley, and 2 oz of smoked cherry malt. I had originally wanted peated malt, but that wasn't available. As far as the hops, 1 oz of Fuggles and 1 oz of East Kent Goldings. Scotch Ales typically don't have much in the way of hop presence since hops don't grow well in Scotland and they didn't want to pay the English for theirs!

Now, steeping all the specialty grains at or close to 150° for 30 minutes. You really need to watch the temps here, because if you get too close to 170° you will get some nasty flavors!

These grains are steeped! (That is meant to be read as a Cabin Boy reference)

Yuri the Yeast here making sure everything is copacetic.

Hard to get a good shot of the aggressive boil here. But I added all the Fuggles and half the Goldings at the beginning of the boil. The rest of the Goldings went in with 5 minutes left.

And here it is! Just need the temp to come down to pitch the yeast. Bottle in two weeks, then I think I'll give it a month before I try it. Very excited about this one!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Paulaner Salvator Doppelbock

From another monastery, and one of the supreme styles of the example, here is Paulaner Salvator Doppelbock. Another substitute for food during lent, and translates to "Savior". It can certainly save me!

Pours a fuzzy copper. More orange than brown with not much head at all. Smells of butterscotch and sweet bread. The taste is big, smooth, and creamy. Lots of butterscotch, but a bit of a sour bite in the finish. Some late alcohol and sweetness, too.

It's quite good. I'd put it in the top tier of doppelbocks, but I wouldn't say it's my favorite.

By the way, the website listed on the label doesn't exist. That has me a little worried.

Grade: B

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Rogue John John Dead Guy

My affinity for bourbon barrel aged beers continues with Rouge's John John Dead Guy Ale. This is their standard, and quite good, Dead Guy Ale aged in their own whiskey barrels.

Pours a deep, cloudy honey with a wisp of white head atop. Very floral nose with honey and vanilla in the back. Of all the bourbon barrel aged beers I've had, this is easily one of the most bourbony. A bit of a bitter alcohol punch in front followed by vanilla, smooth butteryness, and wood in the finish. It has quite a bit more of a hop kick than most beers with this much bourbon, and it works as a nice counterpoint. The finish isn't long and smooth like other barrel aged, it's short, bitter, and dry.

Overall, very complex and delicious!

Grade: A

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

North Peak Vicious Wheat IPA

A brewery new to distributing in Ohio, this is Traverse City, Michigan's North Peak Brewing. Pretty interesting article here on their venture to Ohio. By the way, don't let the searches fool you, the website you want is northpeakbeer.com But this is a brew pub that is now distributing rather than a more traditional brewery.

Their Vicious is an American Wheat IPA. The cloudy pour lets you know it's unfiltered, as well. Lots of citrus in the nose with a bit of banana. There's an interesting sensation I'm trying to figure out how to describe. It's got the aftertaste of a huge IPA, but that giant hop bite wasn't in the initial taste. But lots of hops in the very bitter finish. Quite a bit of orange and banana up front. Very smooth, crisp, and light. Leans more toward an IPA than a wheat.

It's very interesting and definitely worth giving a try. I'm curious to see what else this newly available brewery has to offer.

Grade: B

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sam Adams American Originals Sampler

I picked up the Sam Adams American Originals 12 pack sampler. Included are Revolutionary Rye, Noble Pils, Scotch Ale, Irish Red, White Ale, and the ubiquitous Boston Lager. I'm not going to review every one, but to give a general feeling on this, I probably wouldn't buy a 6-er of any one of those, however I would by this 12 pack again. A nice way to spend a weekend.

Overall, and nice, solid B.

Beginning Homebrew DVD

Along with drinking craft beers, I also do a little bit of a home brewing. I'm rather pleased with my current Night Flight Vanilla Porter. Next will be Out on the Tiles Scotch Ale. (You may notice a theme in the titles...)

Homebrewing is a lot of fun and it's really rewarding. It's not as intimidating as you might think, either. It's a little complex, you need to do your research, there is some cost, but the very basics of homebrewing are quite simple.

I was sent a DVD called Beginning Homebrewing to review. If you have never brewed before, or maybe have only done 1 or 2 batches, I think this DVD would really help. It goes through every step of the process and it is well explained. It does a great job of showing just how easy homebrewing can be! If you're on the fence about if you want to get involved in homebrewing, check this out, and I bet you will be converted.

The word "beginning" in the title is key, though. If you have brewed at least 5 times, you probably wouldn't get much out of this. However, it's not called Intermediate Homebrewing.

There may have been a few places where I thought some explanations could have been more in depth, but it really does give good information and you will be surprised how easy homebrewing really is!

Want your own copy? I have one to give away! Email me mcnealc31@gmail.com or leave a comment with your email address in the comments section by March 31.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Avery Brewing Ellie's Brown Ale

I know I've been giving a ton of high ratings recently, but I guess I've been making some good choices! It's going to continue now, because I am hooked from the first taste of Avery Brewing Ellie's Brown Ale. A gorgeous light mahogany color with a sticky light tan head. Very nutty and roasted, but not much smoke or charring. The finish is dry, woody, and earthy. Lots of bittersweet chocolate and maybe even some brown sugar in there. An average 5.5% ABV, but that's fine, because this is one you'll want to drink all night.

Grade: A

Friday, March 4, 2011

Trappistes Rochefort 10

An authentic Belgian Abbey Ale, this particular Abbey has been brewing since the 16th Century. Pretty interesting read about it here.

There are three versions of the Rochefort, 6, 8, and 10. I'm lucky enough to have the 10. My beer guy told me it was the best beer in the world. Will it stand up to the claim?

Pours a very sticky mahogany with a creamy tan head. Big, sweet malt with dark fruits in the nose. The taste is very complex. Butterscotch, sweet malt, dark fruits, a peppery and alcohol bite in the very dry finish. It's huge, smooth, and incredibly complex. I do get some of the 11.3% ABV, but not as much as expected.

The first time I had this, it was cloyingly sweet. It's still rather sweet this time, but not nearly as intrusive.

This is not a beer to chug, it's one to savor and try to figure out.

I don't know if I'd go with "best beer ever", but it's quite good and undeniably unique. A must try.

Grade: A+

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Troegs Brewing Troegenator Double Bock

You've heard beer referred to as "liquid bread." Doppelbocks are why. During times of fasting, monks would rely on stronger beers, like doppelbocks, for nutrition. I love them because they taste good! Troegs Brewing makes quite a tasty one with Troegenator.

A dark copper with ruby edges flows out of the bottled adorned with an interesting looking character set off with bushy white hair and a nasty set of horns. I assume he is The Troegenator. Smells like bread and spice. Not a lot of hops here, but I do get some sweet, toasty bread, some spice in the finish with a bit of chocolate in the aftertaste. Not really bitter, and the 8.2% ABV is sneaky.

Compared to Celebrator, this is not as creamy and the mouthfeel isn't as full, but the flavors are more assertive.

Troegs Brewing is based in Harrisburg, PA and this is the first I've had from them. But based on this and reading the brews on their website, I'm very interested in trying again.

Could I live on this if I had to? I'd certainly be willing to try!

Grade: A