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03-31-00

Beer Review #323 Viridis Lupulus

03-31-03I always try to support local breweries in addition to other craft beer and I came across a new beer from Weyerbacher Brewing Company, a local brewery, and I decided to go for it. They make some outstanding beer and I was excited by the image of hops on the label. This bad boy comes in a 750 ml bottle and drinks at a healthy 7.5% ABV.

Viridis Lupulus pours a muddy orange color and has a medium off-white to light tan head. The beer isn’t clear at all but light does pass though and you can see a thicker-than-normal layer of yeast at the bottom of the bottle. The nose is solid hops. They are mostly piney with some good citrus hints. The hops are sticky and super aromatic. The only other thing that escapes the hops is a slight bit of sweetness on the front-end.

On the first taste I got a slight bit of malt sweetness. The malt wasn’t very complex and didn’t leave a lasting impression. The hops roll in quickly after the forgettable malt and start slow and build to a sharp pine bitterness. It’s almost like a wave of hop bitterness. The wave starts with a slight citrus/tropical note and builds quickly to pine and then proceeds to wash out everything else. The climax of the wave is pointed and dominating.

I rather enjoyed this beer. The high carbonation mixed with the bitterness helps wash the beer off the tongue and leaves you wanting more. I would of liked to see a bit more complexity in the malt but the hops are really nice. This beer edges on the strong IPA to weaker double IPA realm of things. Drink this one up if you have the chance. (more…)

Beer Review #280 Lancaster Pale Ale

04-01-03It’s been over a year since I last reviewed anything from Lancaster Brewing Company. They are a bit tough to find around me and I haven’t see anything new from them in some time (though I have picked up their wonderful Milk Stout from time to time). The last time that I was at the beer store I noticed something new from them (to me) a Pale Ale. It had a simple Americana logo, and I grabbed a bottle to try it out.

Lancaster Pale Ale pours a nice orange color with an off-white head. The nose has a slight floral hop and there isn’t any malt aroma to be found. I was actually a bit surprised by the smell of this one. I’m so used to the aggressive pale ales that I forget that the mild ones can hold a place. I still generally like a pale ale with a bit more to the aroma, but this one doesn’t sit too far outside of my desired zone.

The taste, unlike the nose, starts with a nice malt sweetness. The flavor then goes into a decent hop bitterness. There isn’t really a distinct hop flavor though, just bitterness. It was kind of odd not to have a defined flavor for the hops. The beer ends on a grassy note which I didn’t care for.

This is a pretty natural pale ale. A starter pale ale if you will. I don’t know if I just got an old bottle but nothing about this beer wowed me. I would love to see this beer come alive more and show some balls. Instead, it seems to be behind the pack. (more…)

09-28-04

Sam Adams Boston Ale Beer Review

09-28-04Sam Adams is one of the first craft brewers to really make a big success out of well made beers. Heck they are so successful that they even run TV ads, something that most, if not all other, craft brewers stay away from or don’t have the money to spend on. Sam does make some great brews with their largest success being the Boston Lager.

When I saw the Boston Ale in the six pack store last week I was a bit surprised, but I figured I would give it a shot and see how it was. It is part of their Brewmaster’s Collection and I have had good and not so good samples of that “line” of their beers. Anyway, the beer pours a light amber and appears to be slightly darker than the Boston Lager. By now you guessed that there are going to be a lot of comparisons to the Boston Lager right now and you would be correct in guessing that. There is a slightly off white head with large and small bubbles. The beer is perfectly clear.

09-28-02The smell on the nose is a bit more complex than what I was expecting. There is the malty sweetness, a bit of a rye smell (no idea where that came from), and some biscuit. I didn’t really pick up any hops or esters in it. I would expect some slight esters becasue of the ale yeast verses the lager yeast. Both can be done with or without esters however.

On my first taste I felt that the beer floated on the tongue and then crashed on the back of my pallet. There is some biscuit taste with some toasty flavors in there as well. The malt sweetness is mostly caramel and there is a bit of hop bitterness on the back. The malt and hop balance it tilted towards the malt side, but in a good way.

Boston Ale is a fully bodied beer that is extremely drinkable. I find that a lot of Sam Adams (Boston Beer Company) beers represent a style of beer that might to toned down just a bit, but are very drinkable and a decent example of the style they represent. For a newcomer to craft beer, their beers might open a door to a new style that they have not tried before. Boston Ale was just wonderful. I’ve actually gone back out and purchased two more six packs becasue I (and the wife) enjoy it so much. One of our later six packs must of been a bit older becasue it was a bit duller in taste and had some metallic undertones. I still really enjoyed to fresh version of this beer and I think most people would also enjoy it. (more…)

09-06-11-02

Troegs Brewing Company Nugget Nectar Ale Beer Review

09-06-11-02

Troegs is one of my favorite breweries. For the past five years I have lived in Lancaster, PA, which is about 20 minutes away from Harrisburg, PA, home of Troegs. So needless to say, I made a few trips out there during my time living near it. Feburary is one of my favorite times for beer. The spring beer are beginning to come out and Troegs releases their Nugget Nectar Ale. Let me start off with what the brewery has to say:

Alcohol by Volume: 7.5%
Hop Bitterness (IBU’s) : 93ish
Color (SRM) : Straw-Orange
Availability: 1/2, 1/6 and Cask Conditioned kegs, 12 oz. bottles
Malts: Pilsner, Vienna, Munich
Hops: Nugget, Warrior, Tomahawk, Simcoe, Palisade
Yeast: Ale

09-06-11-05Squeeze those hops for all they’re worth and prepare to pucker up: Nugget Nectar Ale, will take hopheads to nirvana with a heady collection of Nugget, Warrior and Tomahawk hops. Starting with the same base ingredients of our flagship HopBack Amber Ale, Nugget Nectar intensifies the malt and hop flavors to create an explosive hop experience.

On the nose, this beer is hops, hops, hops. Citrusy and wonderful. It pours a nice orange color and has a decent amount of head, that lasts through the entire drink. As the brewery claims, it is like their Hopback Amber Ale, just an intense version.

It is nicely balanced and has a great malt backbone to support the hops. If you like IPA’s you will dig this beer. I f you can get it in Feburary do it. It is fresh and wonderful tasting. I had this in a 22 oz bottle in Feburary. I just found this at a local bar, on tap, and it is not as fresh, but still good. I wish Troegs made this year-round instead of just one month of the year. Again, if you are a hop head, go get this if you can find it. (more…)

Custom Brewcrafters English Pale Ale Beer Review

09-02-19-05A friend of mine lived in upstate New York for the past few years and he brought me a bottle of Custom Brewcrafters’ English Pale Ale. He had previously brought me their Double Dark Cream Porter which I liked a great deal, so I figured this one would be on the same level.

09-02-19-02The bottle reads, “a well balanced amber ale with a smooth dry finish.” I opened the bottle to a nice pfff and it had a nice malty smell to it. There was a small bit of hops in there as well as a strange sour smell. I couldn’t put my nose to it, but there was something off. The beer pours a nice copper color but not super clear. There is a bit of cloudiness in there but as a homebrewer cloudiness is not a big deal.

Upon my first sip I couldn’t get very much mouthfeel. This beer felt very light and drinkable on basis of mouthfeel. Taste is another matter. There was not much malt flavor, the sour smell continued into the taste, and the hop bitterness stayed around just a little too long. The bottle was correct with the dry finish as the flavors drop right off of your tounge, but the bitterness lingers. It’s not a terrible beer by any strech, but it’s not a good one either. There was a little funk that threw this off. After checking around the net, it’s not just me that has had this problem with this brew. Maybe it is something they are trying to get into their beer, but it only takes away from it. If you are out and about and see this, pick it up if you have some extra cash, but better get a buddy give it to you for free like I did.

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