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Beer Review #268 Red Thunder

02-04-02 I have yet another barrel aged beer for review today. I only noticed today how many barrel aged beers that I have had in the past month or so. I still have a few more to review, but I’ll hold them off for some time. Today’s beer comes from my original favorite craft brewery, Victory Brewing Company. If for some reason all craft breweries were going to close and I could save one of them, it would be Victory. I’ve had one of their barrel aged beers before (and I have another in the fridge) but this is the first of their beers to be aged on red wine barrels.

Red Thunder is the same base beer as their Baltic Thunder, but aged in wine barrels. It comes in at 8.5%. Red Thunder pours a flat redish brown color. It has a thin off-white head that fades to just a layer on the top. The nose has a wine, tart smell. It was a “big beer” character to the smell. It isn’t overly malty in aroma and there isn’t any heat, but you can get the sense that this is a big beer.

On the first taste I got a slight sourness. I believe that the tart flavor is thanks to the wine barrel aging. As the tartness quickly faded away I was greeted by my old friend, Baltic Thunder. Red Thunder has a lot of porter qualities to it. The malty flavor gives way to some really nice roasty, chocolatey notes. The wine barrel aging really complimented this beer and added a nice twist.

I like this one and it makes me want to experiment with wine barrel aging on my own homebrews. There is a very nice mix of wine flavor and baltic porter. It’s not my favorite barrel aged beer in the world, but it does give me a few ideas for the future. Special thanks to my buddy Mike for sharing this one with me. (more…)

09-05-21-02

Dogfish Head Raison D’Etre Beer Review

09-05-21-02I’ve had my fair share of Dogfish Head beers before, their brewery is only two hours away from my house, but they still make me happy. I had the pleasure of finding Raison D’Etre in the local six pack store the other day and I had to buy it. It was one of the few mass produced beers that I have not really had a chance to try. The reading on the bottle makes you want to drink it was well. It says, “a deep mahogany ale brewed with Belgian beet sugars, green raisins and a sense of purpose.” Sounded interesting so I went for it.

09-05-21-04Dogfish Heads website claims that this beer is as complex as a fine red wine. I could put quite a few beers in that leauge, but the statement holds true for this beer. It comes in a 8% ABV and 25 IBUs. Raison D’Etre pours a dark red and it is nice and clear. There is a light head, but nothing to write home about. On the nose you get a bit of raisins, wood, and lots of malt.

The first sip was filled with different flavors. There is a lot of malt with notes of wood, some hops, and I got a bit of smoke. The hops were not overpowering at all, just a bit of an accent. The Belgian yeast used on the beer gives a nice little spice on the backend as well. For a higher alochol beer, it is light in mouthfeel and very drinkable. It is also very crisp and refreshing. I enjoyed this beer and would recommend it to anyone who likes interesting beers. Dogfish Head might not be everyone’s’ cup of tea, but I sure did enjoy this example. (more…)