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Beer Review # 109 Yuengling Bock

The very first beer I reviewed on this site was Yuengling Lager. I figured it was a good starting point as I was born and raised in PA and it is America’s Oldest Brewery. They haven’t added a lot to their beer line-up unlike a lot of craft breweries, but that is because they fit into a different realm of craft brewery. A few years ago they did decide to offer one more beer their their line-up, a seasonable beer named Yuengling Bock. As you can guess, it is a bock so it comes out in later winter to early spring.

I tried it on tap when it first came out thanks to a free sample by my bartender friend and thought it was okay. At the time it was only available on draft so when I saw it in bottles this year I decided to grab one. Yuengling Bock pours a burnt orange color and has a thin, slightly off-white head. The nose isn’t terribly impressive with some slight nutty and roasty notes. I also noticed some sulfur, which is a common odor I get in lagers.

On the first taste I noticed a nutty flavor but not much else. I tried a few more drinks searching from some more flavorful notes, but there were not many distinguishing things to be found. This beer is very light and easy to drink, but doesn’t offer a ton in the flavor world. I was hoping for a bit more from this beer and at 5.1% it seemed sessionable. I liked it for what it was, but it is not a great representation of a bock. (more…)

Beer Review #97 Atwater Winter Bock

I am a big fan of bock style beers so when I saw a winter bock, I had to grab it. The hand with snow covering the fingertips also enticed me towards this selection. Atwater Winter Bock is brewery by Atwater Block Brewery from Detroit, Michigan. I’m not sure if I have ever had a beer from Detroit, but now is as good of a time as any to start. Atwater Block Brewery specializes in German style lagers and specialty ales. The bottle even said the magic words, “high gravity lager” on it.

This winter offering pours a nice deep ruby color and is accompanied by a light tan head. The nose is very pleasant with some slight roasty components to backup the malty front-end. I also got some slight heat, which can be expected in a 7.5% bock like this one.

On the first sip I really got a complex malt flavor. The roasty back-end was there, but it was accompanied by some chocolate and biscuit. The aftertaste almost tasted like a Wendy’s Frosty. Strange, yes. Good, also yes. There was a slight hop bite in there too, but nothing overpowering. Overall I think this one is pretty decent. Nothing that will rock your socks off, but a solid beer. The roasty component is what did it for me. It is so balanced and delicate that it elevated the entire lager. (more…)

09-01-06

Tommyknocker Butt Head Beer Review

09-01-06It is getting close to fall and that means Bock season. Here in Lubbock we had a dip in temperatures over the past week from the high 90s to the high 80s to low 90s, and yes, you can feel the difference here. So I went down to the six pack store and decided I wanted something drinkable and had a lot of flavor. I saw Tommyknockers Butt Head Dopple Bock and grabbed it. First off, I’m a big fan of Bocks, Dopple Bocks, and the one Triple Bock I had I also enjoyed. Secondly, the name of the beer is Butt Head. Why wouldn’t I buy it?

09-01-02When I got home I chilled it down in the fridge overnight and I had it last night after dinner. Upon opening a sweet caramel smell leaked out all over. It was wonderful. After closer inspection, there was a bit of alcohol on the nose behind all of that sweet malt.

It pours a brown to ruby color and had a brownish head with it as well. I usually expect a bock to be crystal clear, being that lagers generally are, but this was slightly hazy. There was also some sediment which I can only assume was some yeast. Being a homebrewer that doesn’t bother me at all, but you generally don’t see sediment on a commercially brewed lager.

09-01-04On my first taste I noticed the malt all over the place. It was sweet, with a slight hop flavor on the back end, but not much. As a bock should be, it was very crisp and had those lovely bubble on the front of the tongue.  As the beer warms up the heat in it becomes more and more noticeable, but that’s not a bad thing. It left a pleasant aftertaste in my mouth that made me want more.

The mouthfeel was a bit thick, almost creamy. It was very smooth and went down easily. For beer that comes in at 8.2% ABV I would expect it to be a bit thicker in the mouthfeel. But man, did I enjoy this beer. It was super drinkable and just a wonderful addition to my taste buds.

A few other notes I jotted down. There is a lot of heat on this, so you really can’t drink too many of them. There is a nice layer of head that last through the whole drink. I don’t know why but I like that quality in a beer. The sediment I talked about earilier was a bit strange. Strange enough to have me comment about it twice. And my final note is that this beer gets more and more enjoyable as it warms up. I would suggest getting a sixer of this if you have the chance. I think most would enjoy it.

09-01-05

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08-04-06

Hamm’s Beer Review

08-04-02My partner in crime, Pete, brought back a Hamm’s for me a few months ago. I really wasn’t sure what to think of it when I first saw it, becasue the can is unimpressive to say the least. Pete told me it was one of the standard cheap drinks where he lives. So my expectations sank even lower. I actually drank this beer around the time he gave it to me, I just misplaced my tasting notes for it until today when I discovered them again. Horray!

08-04-06Let’s get on to the beer. I punctured the can and the standard fizzle sound came out. Poured it into my glass and saw a straw colored beer that was perfectly clear and reminded me of the macro light lagers. But color doesn’t really matter becasue there are excellent beers out there that have little color to them. Just look at the Portland Brewery reviews to see a few. The nose was sweet with a bit of maltlyness in there. There might of been a bit of corn in there too which was weird.

I took my first sip and yuck, light lager to the T. I will give it an “A” for being super drinkable, as I was finished before I knew it, but surely not an enjoyable drink. There was a bit of metalic on it as 08-04-07well which I hate. For a standard cheap beer I guess it wasn’t that bad, but not something I would get again.

Back in PA my standard cheap beer was Lionshead, which is pretty terrible, but has some malt and they recently redid the look of the bottle and the recipe was tweeked a bit. Where was I going with that? Umm… O yeah, Lionshead is cheap and drinkable so is this, but Lionshead has a bit more to offer. This was a shallow beer without much flavor or things to even pick up on. No my style beer and I would not be reccomending it to anyone.

07-20-01

Portland Breweries: Rock Bottom

07-20-01Coming from the Philadelphia area I have heard of Rock Bottom Brewery before. RBB is the first brewpub chain to my knowledge and they have been pretty successful at it with 35 locations at last count. My previous most local one was in King of Prussia, PA, but I never visited. I heard a bunch of mixed reviews about the beer and Victory always seemed to win out if I wanted to make a little drive from home.

Smalls and I wondered around Portland our first night there and caught the MAX light rail (free in the majority of the city by the way) to the river. Almost immediatly we spotted Rock Bottom and decided to make it our choice for dinner. They have a nice coner location and have plenty of indoor, outdoor, and bar seating. We looked over the menu before going in just to make sure it wasn’t out of this world and also to make sure they had food that we liked. Prices check. Food check. Seat please!

07-20-02Our waiter came by and we ordered two glasses of water and a sampler. Their beers included a lager, wheat, IPA, stout, porter, and an amber. For another 79 cents a sample glass you could try the two beers on cask which I don’t remember what they were. The lager, Swan Island Lager, was pretty darn good, nice and light with tons of flavor. My parents would hate it as it was a lighter lager with more flavor than water.

The wheat beer, Volksweizen, had what you expect from a beer with that name. Lots of ginger and corriander with a decent amount of balance. Not the best I’ve had, but not the worst. Sunny Day IPA was on the piney side for me, so I wasn’t too big of a fan, but if you like that taste, you might dig it. The Maltnomah Porter, named for the Multnomah Falls located about a half hour outside of the city was excellent. By far the best beer we had there. Tons of flavor, great after taste, and was a bit more complex than your typical porter.

Morrison Street Stout switches by the season. In the summer they have a cream stout which was pretty typical. If you say cream stout on CO2, you can expect to taste this beer. The final beer that I remember (the other two were on cask) was the Oregonic Amber. It was good, just a bit misbalanced with too much hops and not enough malt, and the pine was back.

Overall it was a decent place, but not somewhere that I would drive to go to. A free train ride five minutes away sure, but nothing more. The food was excellent and I would visit again just based on that. Sorry I didn’t grab any pictures, it was too much of a hassle to bring the camera out everywhere and look like more of a tourist than I already did.