Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast

The last time I walked into the beer store, both the guys told me they had a new beer perfect for me. I'm inclined to believe them. They lead me straight to Mikkeller's Beer Geek Breakfast. Since I love coffee and stouts, I was pretty excited about this one, even if it is my first try from this Danish brewery.

Pours big, black, and has a huge dark tan head (be careful when you pour). Coffee dominates the nose, but you'll notice more layers once you take a sip. Oatmeal stout. Huge flavor, just the right amount of bitter, very well balanced between the coffee and oatmeal. There's even a dry, smokey, woody finish.

Weighing in at 7.5% ABV and a 25 oz bottle, this would be a fantastic way to start the day. Outstanding!

Grade: A

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

North Peak Siren Amber Ale

North Peak isn't a brewery that has a ton of beers on the market, just four year rounds, but I like what I'm getting from this Michigan brewery so far.

This is their Siren Amber Ale. Nice, crisp amber color. Not much of a head. Just one smell has you knowing you're going to be in for something different. There is a ton of flavor in this Siren. Lots of malt, caramel, toasted bread, some hops in the finish. Big, round mouthfeel. There's a bit of a dry, bitter finish.

Tons of flavor, well balanced, and a bigger feel than you'd expect. I'm impressed.

Siren wouldn't stand up to some Imperial Stouts or huge IPAs or anything like that, but it's a very good amber ale.

Grade: B

Monday, June 13, 2011

Great Lakes The Doppelrock

I know it's a bit late in the season for a doppelbock, but how can you go wrong with A) a doppelbock and 2) anything from Great Lakes?

Great Lakes The Doppelrock is a very exciting beer for me. One of my favorite styles from one of my favorite breweries. It starts like a doppelbock should, dark brown color and a big creamy head. The nose is basically just dark, sweet malt, but it's huge.

Lots of dark sweet malt in the flavor, along with nuttiness and bittersweet chocolate. Almost no hop presence, but that's fine with this style. A little bit of wood and alcohol warmth. Bit of a sweet and dry finish. And a very late sour hit.

This is one of those that's great to drink or to sip and savor. Overall, an excellent beer. Very good example of the style.

Grade: A

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Bell's Oberon Ale

The run of summer seasonals continues with Bell's Oberon Ale. Pours a very light and hazy yellow with a sizeable head and great lacing.

The first sip is surprising because there is more body and flavor than expected. There's some grass, some malt, and a bit of spicy hops. Even though there is some wheat malt in this, it doesn't taste like most wheat beers. A hint of orange and sour lemon in the finish.

It's not as light and crisp as most summer seasonals, and it doesn't have the right flavor for someone looking for a wheat beer.

Oberon isn't bad, but there's nothing really happening here that will make me want to have it again.

Grade: C

And if you are the curious sort, like me, here's who Oberon is.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Left Hand Good JuJu

My feelings on ginger are mixed. Love it fresh, can't stand Ginger Ale (the pop), love the women. This is my first try at a ginger beer, Left Hand Good Juju.

The color is a hazy light copper with a fluffy just off-white head. One whiff and even if you didn't read the label, you'd know it's a ginger beer. The most powerful flavor is, of course, ginger, but there's some malt and a bit of hops in the finish. It's not particularly complex, but I do think the ginger is well balanced. Just a tinge of that ginger heat, too. You don't need to worry about the alcohol in this one, just 4.5%. I'm thinking of some Chinese dishes this would be the perfect match with.

Another winner from Left Hand. I'd like a little bit more hops just to give it a bit more complexity, still it's very good.

Can't beat that bottle design, either. I don't like all their bottle redesigns, but I love this one.

Grade: B