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Beer Review #183 Thomas Jefferson’s Tavern Ale

Yards Brewing Company of Philadelphia, PA has been producing a special series of beers called “Ales of the Revolution” for some time now. Not too long ago I reviewed one of the other beers in the series, George Washington Tavern Porter. Aside from our founding fathers having an apparent fondness for taverns, this Yards series of beers have been very rewarding. Today’s beer was “crafted following Thomas Jefferson’s original recipe.” I’m a slight history nerd and I really dig American history stuff. It might be because it is short, but action packed, or because I just prefer our history to a never-ending list of Kings and Queens, regardless,  when I see historically based beers, I tend to pay attention.

Thomas Jefferson’s Tavern Ale pours a nice clear orange color with a thin bit of off-white head. The nose is fully of biscuit malt along with a lot of rustic grainy odors. There are some dried fruits in there from the yeast esters as well. The nose alone on this beer gave me the feeling of something older. It had a rough elegance to it. The malts come in, hit with some earthy qualities and then part with some esters.

Upon the first taste I got a bit of malt upfront, but not nearly as much as I was expecting. Piney hops then kick in a bit stronger than I expected and clear the malt from the tongue. The beer finishes up pretty dry with hints of dried fruits accompanying the departing beer. There is a lot of subtle flavors going on in this beer that I very much enjoyed. This one comes in at 8%, but you wouldn’t know it by the flavor.

I really liked this one. As a semi-history nerd and a “red blooded American” I really appreciated this beer. One thing that I forgot to mention above was that some of the ingredients of their beer were grown on Thomas Jefferson’s Virgina estate. Cool. Try this one out if you have the chance, I don’t think you will be disappointed, especially if you have a taste for English ales. (more…)

Beer Review #49 Hobgoblin

For some reason I have been in an English beer kick for the past few weeks. Maybe it is because I have been watching a lot of Band of Brothers on HBO recently, but I am really digging the English style ales right now. Unfortunately Lubbock does not offer much in the way of English style ales, however I did find the subject of today’s review, Hobgoblin from the Wychwood Brewery. The Wychwood Brewery is located in Oxfordshire, England and they make about two dozen or so different beers since I last checked.

Hobgoblin pours a dark brown to ruby color and has a thin off-white head that quickly fades into the beer. It is perfectly clear and the head that started with the pour comes in medium sized bubbles. Just like most English ales the malt is showcased on the nose. Toffy and caramel are a few of the highlights, followed by the malt itself. There is also a slight hop smell in there as well.

After tasting the beer, Hobgoblin was exactly what I wanted. Biscuit, malt, nut, and a slight hop bit were all there to be found on the tongue. Sadly my bottle also had a few skunk flavors in there as well, but there did not overpower the beer like some skunk can. I am going to blame Lubbock on the skunk and not the beer itself. There was also some dried fruit in there, mainly grape. The mouthfeel was very thin and the beer was lowly carbonated.

Hobgoblin is very easy to drink and exceptionally dry. When people who have not tried a lot of beers see a “darker” beer the immediately assume that it is thick and high in ABV. This beer is a great example of how assuming things makes an ass of of… well you know the rest of it. It comes in at 5.2% ABV and is almost watery. I found it very easy drinking and a sure thing for anyone who appreciates English ales.

Hobgoblin comes in 500 ml bottles that have a unique design to them. I don’t know about you, but an interesting shaped bottle and almost make be buy a beer without loving the style. Luckily this beer did both for me. If you have a chance to pick it up, I suggest grabbing a bottle or six pack (they sell those too) as you will not be disappointed. And make sure that you are getting it from a place that replaces it’s stock regularly, skunked beer is no good.  (more…)