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Beer Review #189 Revel Red Hoppy Ale

I love Stoudt’s Brewing Company of Adamstown, PA. They do an outstanding job of producing quality beers and I was lucky enough to have them within a half hour of my college. One of their beers was even on of my favorite beers of the year. When I saw a new beer of theirs on the store shelves I knew that I had to buy it. For some reasons stores know that if they put a new beer in the front of the store, I am going to get it. Darn marketing. Anyway Revel Red has a brightly colored label with the “V” being made out of bottle caps. Neat.

Revel Red pours a nice amber, dare I say, red color. It is perfectly clear and has a wispy white head. The nose has a slight hop kick to it with citrus and lemon being the two major components. I didn’t get any malt and I didn’t really find anything else. This beer just isn’t nosy.

Luckily the taste offered much more than the nose did. There was a slightly biscuit flavor on the front which was followed by a solid kick of hops. A nice tingle on the front of the tongue could be found in each sip. The hops started as a nice grapefruit and then a touch of pine was quickly added. While the kick of hops was solid, it wasn’t as strong as I was expecting. The hops leave easily and do not sit on the tongue very long.

This is a pretty good beer in my book but I didn’t find it to be anything special. If you are going to put “hoppy ale” in the name of the beer, that’s what I expect. Instead, I got a beer that left me down in the malt and hop departments. It’s worth a try, but I think this one needs to be refined a bit more. (more…)

Beer Review #108 Karnivel Kolsch

It seems like I just reviewed a Stoudt’s beer, but their Karnivel Kolsch is their official spring beer. I think a Kolsch is a excellent style of a spring or summer beer. They are generally very delicate in flavor, and light on mouthfeel. They deliver things from both the ale and lager world. A Kolsch is an ale that is lagered, giving it similar characteristics to a lager. It has the fruity esters of an ale, with the crispness of a lager. Kolsch is a style that a lot of craft beer drinkers pass over, but it really hits the spot on a hot day.

Stoudt’s Brewing Company of Adamstown, Pa brewed a nice sessionable beer with this Kolsch. It comes in at 4.8% which makes it devilishly drinkable. This beer pours a very pale blond color and has a thin white head. To the untrained eye, it looks like a Coors Light. The nose is the first thing that would alert you that this beer is nothing like a Coors Light. It has some nice toasty and biscuity odors along with a slight hop aroma.

On the first taste I noticed a nice light malt character (good sweetness) followed by a surprisingly strong and balanced hop bite. The biscuit flavor kicks in on the aftertaste. There was some fruit flavors in there as well. The important thing to remember with a Kolsch is that it is not going to scream flavor, but deliver it in a delicate fashion. I found this beer wonderfully easy drinking and loved every part of it. It has a lot of flavor even though it is not in you face. Karnivel Kolsch should be running out in stores soon, so grab it while you can. (more…)

Beer Review #106 Smooth Hoperator

Stoudt’s Brewing Company is one of my “local favorites.” I went to college about 20 minutes away from the brewery and worked 5 minutes from the brewery a few years ago. I dig the whole vibe to the place and they make some really wonderful beer. I have reviewed two (Fall and Winter) of their other seasonal beers in the past year or so and enjoyed both of them. I have seven of their beers still to review, but I figured their “springish” style seasonal is more timely. The reason I say “springish” is because the brewery calls it a seasonal beer, but doesn’t have an official release time for it.

Smooth Hoperator (great name) is a Doppelbock that features a smooth looking ram on the label. Ram are a traditional logo for any beer with the word “bock” in it. This beer rocks in at 7.2% ABV, so this isn’t a beer you can drink a ton of, although you might want to. This beer pours a nice amber to copper color and has a fluffy off-white head. The nose has super bright hops. There is some grapefruit mixed in there as well, but not much else.

The taste has a nice rich malty front-end. There are some caramel notes in there but other notes were hard to pick-up.  Right after the malt comes some great, punchy hops. The grapefruit from the nose comes through, but so does an unmistakable freshness. These hops were very clean and dried out the malt nicely.

I don’t generally go bananas over beer, but I really dig this one. It really hits the spot and is very well balanced. The fresh taste made it all that much more enjoyable. Go get this while you can! (more…)

Beer Review #89 Stoudt’s Winter Ale

Stoudt’s Brewing Company is one of my local favorites. I reviewed their Oktoberfest last last year and enjoyed it a good bit. Their Winter Ale is another beer that has a different recipe each year, much like Anchor Brewing’s Christmas Ale. I’ve had the 2008 and 2009 versions of this ale and enjoyed them very much. This year’s version comes in a little lighter in ABV, sitting at 6.0%.

Amber is the color that this ale pours. It is perfectly clear and has a nice off-white head that goes along with it. The nose is nice and complex. It is hoppy with some slight heat, which is surprising for a 6.0% beer. I got a lot of dried fruit with some hidden caramel notes. There is also a nice roasty aroma that sits in the background. The more this beer warms up the more complex it gets.

The taste is very malty upfront, which is something that Stoudt’s does with all of their winter beers. There is some heat in the flavor as well. The end was hoppy and spicy. I’m not sure if the spice came from the hops or if it was added in from a third party source. The malty flavor is pretty close to what the nose has to offer. This beer is pretty thick as well. I found it pretty drinkable and it serves as a good example of a Stoudt’s beer. I might be a bit biased, but I haven’t had a bad beer from this brewery, ever. (more…)

Beer Review #70 Stoudts Oktoberfest

First off, Happy Halloween! I know I have been out of the loop for a bit, but I have finally recovered from the shocking loss of the Philadelphia Phillies to the San Fransisco Giants. As it is the last day of October, I thought it appropriate to post about an Oktoberfest. Even though Oktoberfest takes place in September, but who’s keeping track of all of that? Today’s beer comes from Stoudts Brewing Company located in Adamstown, Pa. One thing I love about being back home is that I have been to a lot of the breweries that I drink. In the case of Stoudts, I have been to the brewery, met one of the owners, met one of the brewers, and ate in the restaurant located on the grounds. I also have some glassware from the breweries in the area.

Stoudts Oktoberfest pours an orange color and has a white head the quickly fade. It is totally clear as expected with a lager. The nose is super malty and sweet. There is a slight sulfur smell as well. There are not any hops or heat to be found on the nose. This is not a ccomplicated smelling beer.

As expected, on the first sip I got a lot of malt and caramel sweetness associated with an Oktoberfest style beer. As with the nose, I really didn’t get any hops or heat. I don’t usually expect hops in a beer like this, but I would expect some hints of heat. There was a nice bready aftertaste as well, which if you read this blog often, you know that I love. The only thing I found strange was that it had a slightly metallic flavor to it. It wasn’t awful, but not something that is desired.

Overall I enjoyed this beer. It fits into the style very nicely, minus the metallic flavor. It comes in at 5.0% so it is a little low in the ABV area. If you like this style of beer, you should enjoy Stoudts Oktoberfest. (more…)