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04-03-00

Beer Review #324 Spring Blonde

04-03-03As I said last week, New Belgium Brewing Company always has something new on the shelves when I visit the beer store. This go around they had a new beer to me, Spring Blonde. The bottle says that it is a “Belgian Style Ale… Inspired by our anniversary bike trips through Belgium, Spring Blonde is a bright golden ale with a sweet, lemony start, oedaling to a pleasantly bitter finish.” It comes in at 6% ABV.

Spring Blonde, true to it’s labeling, pours a nice golden color. It has a thin white head and it is perfectly clear. The nose is sweet and slightly bready. There isn’t a lot else going on but I would consider the aroma grassy.

On the first taste I got a slight bit of sweetness upfront but there isn’t a ton of malt flavor to be found. After the sweetness fades, a bitterness kicks in and follows through the rest of the beer. I didn’t get much, if any, Belgian yeast notes but more of a lager, sulfur flavor. The bitterness doesn’t sit totally right for me. It seems a bit out of balance with the beer and doesn’t taste like other blondes that I’ve had.

I didn’t really get this beer. It shows promise but it is a bit out of balance in my eyes and it just doesn’t drink nicely. It’s a light beer on the tongue and drinks fairly easily, but it’s not for me. (more…)

03-27-00

Beer Review #322 Snapshot

03-27-02New Belgium Brewing Company is one of the breweries that I can always count on to have something new on the shelves every time I go to the store. On a recent trip I picked up a few bottles of their new wheat beer titled Snapshot. It comes in at 5% and the bottle reads, “Snap! You just captured an unfiltered wheat beer full of refreshment and a smile-inducing flash of tart at the finish.” Interesting.

The beer pours a beautiful golden yellow with a thick white head. As this is an unfiltered wheat beer, it’s pretty hazy, but not as hazy as a wheat beer with yeast in it (think ¬†Hefeweizen). It has a nice light sweetness to the nose along with your traditional wheat aroma. There is a light lemon citrus smell mixed in there as well. I didn’t get any Belgian yeast odors like clove or pepper. (more…)

12-18-00

Beer Review #311 G-Thing

12-18-03The good folks over at Magic Hat Brewing Company recently sent me a few samples of their winter beers. The first was a return to the line-up in Heart of Darkness. I still really enjoy that beer and I’ve actually gone to seek out more on my own accord. Today’s beer is named G-Thing. When I read the label my first thought was “that’s an awesome gingerbread man” and my second though, well more of a song, was Dr.Dre and Snoop Dogg’s Ain’t Nothing But A G Thang. Yup, I went there.

G-Thing pours a nice deep dark brown that I half expected in a winter beer. There is a slight tan-ish head, but not a ton going on. The note of this beer is really interesting. You obviously get some ginger, and a good dose of it. Being the ginger there are some really nice bready notes. This beer surprised me in it’s ability to capture as much malt as it did. I wasn’t expecting that much malt to come through when compared to the ginger.

On the first taste I was very open to the malt flavors. They flowed in nicely and exhibited some nice dark caramels and bread notes. The ginger spice comes in about halfway through the drink and makes for a wonderful addition. I will full admit that I’m not much of a ginger fan, but this beer stays in balance. I didn’t get much in the way of hops but the beer finishes dry. It reminds me of an English style beer in that the malt and body are there until the end.

It was pretty easy to drink this beer quickly. It was refreshing and had a nice mix of flavors to stay interesting as it warmed. With the holidays quickly approaching this beer would make for a nice drinker during a holiday party. With the cold weather that we have had here on the east coast, I have found myself turning to this style of beer. I think it fits the season nicely and fulfills the goals of a seasonal beer.

09-25-03

Beer Review #308 Shipwrecked Double IPA

09-25-02I’ve been on an IPA swing recently and I came across a new beer and a new brewery while at the beer store the other day, so I had to grab a bottle or two to try. The beer is Shipwrecked Double IPA and the brewery is the Mission Brewery out of San Diego, California. This bad boy comes in at 9.25%.

Shipwrecked Double IPA pours a nice burnt orange color and looked mostly clear but might have had some haze. It was hard to tell if it was clear or hazy as the glass got coated in condensation pretty quickly after the pour. There was a medium off-white head that stuck around longer than most double IPAs. The nose is super unique, unlike any nose that I’ve smelled before. You have the normal hop citrus and slight pine but the main hop odor is kind of stinky. It’s almost like a foot smell. I don’t know if I just got a weird batch but the nose, while not unpleasant, wasn’t overly outstanding either.

On the first taste I was thrilled to find that the malt bill on this beer is top notch. There are some great caramel notes along with some nice bready notes as well. The malt by itself is very nice and well brewed. When the hops hit, they hit quickly. They are very clean and leave your mouth as fast as they came in. There is a slightly grassy feeling to this one while drinking but it doesn’t end on a grassy note or even a bitter note, it just leaves.

The mouthfeel is full but it seemed a little under-carbonated for my tastes. I wonder if the feet smell could be associated with an improperly crimped cap. This isn’t a bad double IPA but it is far from my favorite. I really wanted more assertive hops out of a double IPA but this beer left me with memories of a great malt flavor. It’s not a bad thing for a beer, but not a good thing for a double IPA. (more…)

07-18-03

Beer Review #302 Sum’r

07-18-03I usually don’t go out of my way to get seasonal beers, but if one strikes my eye, I’ll get it. Sum’r by Uinta Brewing Company was one of those beers that struck my eye. I’ve really been enjoying their beers since my local beers store started carrying their products and Sum’r was a new one for me.

Sum’r pours a pale golden colors. It comes with a medium white head, small bubbles, and a slight haze. The nose is very bready with some good wheat notes mixed in for good measure. In addition to the malt notes, a light citrus/lemon hop aroma is also clearly present.

On the first taste this beer begins with a light malt sweetness. The bread and wheat come out nicely in the malt and give some nice complexity for such a light beer. To my surprise, the hops that were in the nose didn’t really come out in the flavor at all. I didn’t find anything hop-wise to make note of. I really like how clean this beer drank. The malt comes and then goes and that’s it. No real lingering flavors and nothing off-putting either.

This is a very drinkable summer beer. It doesn’t have a ton of knock out flavor but what it does have is nice and crisp. I like it, but not love it. I bet a lot of new craft beer drinkers would dig this one. I want something with a bit more (any) hop bite. This was a rare miss for Uinta for my tastes. (more…)