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01-15-00

Beer Review #312 American Beauty

01-15-01Dogfish Head always seems to have a new beer out with some type of gimmick attached. Their beers can be hit or miss for me, especially when it comes to their “special release” beers. I haven’t been in love with some of their past releases but for some reason, when I see a new bottle on the store shelves, I go for it. In this case, American Beauty called to me. It has great bottle art and a quick read of the label really made me want to try this one out. It says, “an imperial pale ale with granola and all-American hops.” I really can’t say that I’ve ever had a beer with granola, so I bought it. It came in at a hefty $17.99, but at 9% ABV I didn’t feel too terrible (but I did feel a little terrible).

The beer pours a wonderful orange color and comes with a thick off-white head. It is perfectly clear and as you can see by the images in this review, it looks really cool with lights behind it and a short F-Stop. The nose starts with a nice hit of hops. They are mainly citrus but some sticky pine hides out in there as well. I got a few sweet malt notes, but the hops are the main star on this one. I also didn’t get any granola, which isn’t surprising I guess.

On the first sip I was hit by a complex array of flavors. It starts with a soft sweetness that rounds out nicely and leads into a tropical hop taste. Along with the sweetness are some of the normal malt flavors of oats and biscuits. As the transition from sweetness to fruity hops starts, there is a punch of candy that I really liked. The hops are super tropical and have a load of citrus that gives way to pine hops at the end. This beer struck me as being earthy and hoppy. There are some really nice malt flavors that meld into the hops but the piney finish really cleans everything up and gives a great showcase for various hop flavors.

I liked this one. I wish it was a bit on the cheaper side but I can live with it. This beer was a sipper for me while I listened to the fireplace crackle. You can say what you want about Dogfish Head but this beer is solid all of the way around. It’s not my favorite imperial IPA, but it does a good job of living up to what it says. (more…)

Beer Review #257 Doublewide IPA

12-30-03For my last beer review of the year I decided to go after a big imperial IPA. Doublewide IPA from Boulevard Brewing Company rocks in at 8.5% ABV. The bottle says, “Relax. It’s twister proof.” A long time ago I was a meteorology major (my wife actually is a meteorologist) and tornadoes have a special place in our house. They scare the hell out of me and also fascinate me to no end. The bottle art on this beer is interesting to say the least. It’s a bit of a departure from their other Smokestack Series labels.

Doublewide IPA pours a nice clear orange color and has a white soapy head. For a high alcohol beer the head lasts a long time and never fully fades into the beer. The nose is packed with hops. Citrus and pine ring out of this one along with a little heat. I didn’t get any malt flavor, the hops really overpower everything else.

Unlike what the nose promises, there is a good amount of malt sweetness on the first taste. A really solid punch of hops comes in after that and cleans out any sweetness that was there. The hop flavors are very much like what the nose said they would be. The hops are clean and crisp and do not get muddled in with anything else going on in the beer. I didn’t get any heat in the beer, even as it warmed.

I really dig this beer. It’s super hoppy but very drinkable. Unlike some imperial IPAs that are loaded with hops and nothing else, this beer maintains a surprising balance. I really like this one and I would highly recommend it to anyone in the mood for some hops. (more…)

Beer Review #239 Punk’n Harvest Pumpkin Ale

Uinta Brewing Company of Salt Lake City, Utah recently showing up in my local beer store and I grabbed a few bottles of their stuff based off of a suggestion from a friend (and their cool bottles). I’d never heard of Uinta before but I dug the bottle art and general feel of their product. I’ve mentioned several times that I’m a sucker for good marketing and their total package is a great example of good marketing. As a side-note I talk about design in my day job so I have a hankering to acknowledge good design.

I originally wasn’t going to get a pumpkin beer from the store as I’m avoid seasonal beers for the most part this year. But seeing as this was a new brewery to me, I figured it was okay. Punk’n pours a nice orange amber color with a soapy off-white head that quickly fades into a thin surface floater. The nose was outstanding in the fact that you can actually smell pumpkin meat (that term always grossed me out). Unlike those “pumpkin spice” beers, you can really get an idea that this beer was brewed with the real thing. There was a nice sweetness that was mixed in there as well along with a light pumpkin pie spice.

This beer tastes as close to a pumpkin pie as any beer that I have ever had. The pumpkin flavor is very noticeable and well balanced with the malt and spices. The spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and all spice,  come in at the end to act as hops and help finish out the beer. It really leaves a great aftertaste when it is all said and finished.

In my opinion this beer is everything that a pumpkin beer should be. There is real pumpkin flavor and the spices compliment the beer, not overpower it. I really like this one and I highly suggest it. (more…)

09-21-06

Unibroue Maudite Beer Review

09-21-06Maudite and I have a strange relationship. It was one of the first “worldly” beers that I ever had and it really knocked my socks off. The beer is brewed by Unibroue out of Quebec, Canada. Maudite is a Quebecois cuss meaning “damned.” The look on the bottle screams this. The logo is a devilish looking creature with horns and wings, crossing his arms as to challenge you. On the other part of the bottle art is a canoe full of people flying through the air into what looks like hell. It is pretty awesome and strange, as any good beer logo should be. Unibroue’s website has the following story about the artwork:

Maudite has a typically Quebecois name that is reminiscent of the legend of the Chasse-Galerie (the legend of the Flying Canoe). Legend has it that a group of lumberjacks struck a deal with the devil to fly home in their canoes, guided by Satan himself, to make it home in time for Christmas.

09-21-02Maudite pours a flat brownish color with a slightly off white head. There are plenty of big bubbles to go along with the fluffy head as well. The smell is fully of different things. I picked up on everything from malt, spice, biscuit, and some fruit. There is some much complexity in the smell of the beer that you really have no idea what to expect when you taste it.

The upfront taste is malty goodness with some toasted malt in there. The back is decidedly spicy, fruity, and slightly bitter. There is some good heat that comes out of all of the flavors as well. Everything was surprisingly balanced. It is a medium body beer that is slightly creamy but light at the same time. The high carbonation is wonderful and leaves your tongue sizzling for more.

I love this beer. There is so much to taste and taste again. Each sip is totally enjoyable. I started with this beer right out of the fridge (and after I took my pictures) and drank it over the period of 45 minutes. As it warms it just opens up and you can find new flavors that did not present themselves at first. I don’t know if I properly captured all of the flavors in the beer becasue it is so complex. Very enjoyable and very drinkable. I would highly suggest this beer. (more…)