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Beer Review #298 3Beans

06-30-02I’ve been a big fan of Sixpoint Brewery for awhile. Ever since I first sampled their beer at the Good Beer Festival I’ve been wanting to try more of their stuff. My father-in-law generally keeps me well supplied with Resin when I visit but luckily, my local beer store recently started carrying a better selection of Sixpoint beers. Today’s beer, 3Bean, is an “ale brewed with natural flavors and with coffee added.” The three beans that give name to this beer are wheat, barley, and coffee. O, and it comes in at 10%.

3Beans pours a brownish black color with a light tan head that quickly fades. No telling if this one is clear or not. The nose has a slight coffee roast to it but not much else. I didn’t get any heat or hop flavor. I really didn’t even get any malt. I was expecting a bigger nose to a 10% beer. In my experience, big beers without a big nose, mean big trouble in terms of how easy to drink they are.

The taste starts with a slight roast flavor that then gives way to a good caramel. The roast in this case is not from the coffee, but it is decidedly a malt roast flavor. A little big of coffee squeaks in at the end to help round out the flavor and give some needed bitterness. Again, I got not hops in this one and I couldn’t detect any alcohol flavors in the slightest.

3Beans drinks very creamy and smooth. The flavor transition are gentle and it doesn’t smack you over the head with any one flavor. It is dangerously drinkable. I would call this beer reserved but balanced. They probably could have gone crazier with the coffee and malt flavor but the restraint that Sixpoint showed was very nice and keeps this as one of the easiest drinking big beers that I’ve ever had. Summer might not be the best time for this type of beer, but football season is only 10 weeks away!

Beer Review #282 Schlafly Oatmeal Stout

04-08-03I might be weird, but I love a good stout when it is starting to get warm out. I know a lot of people who will not drink a stout unless they can see their breath, but I enjoy them in the spring. Something about a quality stout screams spring to me. Odd, I know. For today, I have an oatmeal stout out of the Saint Louis Brewey, Schlafly brand. My father-in-law brought this beer to me as he is a lover of a spring stout as well.

This beer pours as you would expect any oatmeal stout to pour, dark. It has a velvety texture as it poured into my glass with a tanish head. The nose was that of cold coffee. There is some roast mixed in there but coffee roast was there more than malt roast. A slight bit so sweetness can be found as well.

On my first taste I got some really nice caramels notes upfront. A roasted malt soon followed in and notified my taste buds that this beer is a stout. The beer then goes into a very smooth coffee flavor and ends on that highlight. This beer has more coffee than any other oatmeal stout that I have had before. After a quick look at the bottle they do use coffee beans in the making of this beer. Odd to see an oatmeal stout with coffee not advertised as something with coffee, but that’s just me. Where the oatmeal does show up is the wonderful creamy texture in the beer.

This beer is just a joy to drink. While it is more of a coffee stout (is that a style yet?) than an oatmeal stout it is nicely balanced I really enjoyed this one and it is currently my favorite from the Schlafly family of beers. (more…)

Beer Review #95 Peak Winter Session Ale

I have another beer from Portland, Maine for today’s beer review. I don’t remember this brewery at all from my travels in the northeast, but I am glad that I found them. They make some wonderful beer. I recently picked up a four pack of their Espresso Amber Ale and I suggest you do the same as you see it. Peak Organic Brewing Company makes some wonderful beers and I was thrilled to try their Winter Session Ale.

This winter ale pours an amber color and a slightly off-white head sits on top of the magic below. The beer is classified by the popular beer review sites as a “dark American wheat ale.” I honestly have no idea what that means or what to expect from it. The nose spews grapefruit hops, and that’s it. I guess I see where the American part of the classification comes in.

The taste is surprisingly complex. The nose just hinted that there would be hops, but it hid all of the other flavors. There is a great coffee/roast flavor in the malt of this ale that is paired nicely with a hoppy finish. It is very nicely balanced and a joy to drink. This beer rocks in at a modest 5.0% ABV so you can enjoy quite a few of them before calling it quits. This Peak offering is very complex for a beer that doesn’t offer much in the aroma department. Grab it if you can! (more…)