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Beer Review #322 Snapshot

03-27-02New Belgium Brewing Company is one of the breweries that I can always count on to have something new on the shelves every time I go to the store. On a recent trip I picked up a few bottles of their new wheat beer titled Snapshot. It comes in at 5% and the bottle reads, “Snap! You just captured an unfiltered wheat beer full of refreshment and a smile-inducing flash of tart at the finish.” Interesting.

The beer pours a beautiful golden yellow with a thick white head. As this is an unfiltered wheat beer, it’s pretty hazy, but not as hazy as a wheat beer with yeast in it (think ¬†Hefeweizen). It has a nice light sweetness to the nose along with your traditional wheat aroma. There is a light lemon citrus smell mixed in there as well. I didn’t get any Belgian yeast odors like clove or pepper. (more…)

Beer Review #110 Shiner Spring Ale Dortmunder Style

I will give Spoetzel credit for pumping out a lot of seasonal beers. Their line-up of beers seems to really have expanded recently and for the most part I have really enjoyed what they have been doing. Their spring beer this year is a dormunder style lager. Basically the style comes from German and is golden lager with a clean flavor profile and has some biscuit notes thrown in there as well. I think this style is prefect for a warm spring day.

This beer pours a clear golden color and has a fluffy white head to boot. The nose is slightly sweet with some bready notes in there. I got a lot of sulfur as well. On the first taste I really was surprised by how sweet this beer was. I was thinking that it would be a bit dryer because the nose didn’t scream sweetness. Also, “lighter” beers tend to not be overly sweet. The sweetness was very nice though, and even had some honey-like notes. The beer also had an “earthy” component to it as it tasted a bit grainy to me.

Overall I enjoyed this beer, but the sweetness did surprise me a bit. I’ve never had another dortmunder style beer so I don’t really have anything to compare it to but I thought it was a bit out of balance on the malt side. Grab it while you can. (more…)

Beer Review #108 Karnivel Kolsch

It seems like I just reviewed a Stoudt’s beer, but their Karnivel Kolsch is their official spring beer. I think a Kolsch is a excellent style of a spring or summer beer. They are generally very delicate in flavor, and light on mouthfeel. They deliver things from both the ale and lager world. A Kolsch is an ale that is lagered, giving it similar characteristics to a lager. It has the fruity esters of an ale, with the crispness of a lager. Kolsch is a style that a lot of craft beer drinkers pass over, but it really hits the spot on a hot day.

Stoudt’s Brewing Company of Adamstown, Pa brewed a nice sessionable beer with this Kolsch. It comes in at 4.8% which makes it devilishly drinkable. This beer pours a very pale blond color and has a thin white head. To the untrained eye, it looks like a Coors Light. The nose is the first thing that would alert you that this beer is nothing like a Coors Light. It has some nice toasty and biscuity odors along with a slight hop aroma.

On the first taste I noticed a nice light malt character (good sweetness) followed by a surprisingly strong and balanced hop bite. The biscuit flavor kicks in on the aftertaste. There was some fruit flavors in there as well. The important thing to remember with a Kolsch is that it is not going to scream flavor, but deliver it in a delicate fashion. I found this beer wonderfully easy drinking and loved every part of it. It has a lot of flavor even though it is not in you face. Karnivel Kolsch should be running out in stores soon, so grab it while you can. (more…)

Beer Review #107 Copperhook

Another spring seasonal from Redhook Ale Brewery for today. This beer is actually a year round beer on the west coast, but here on the east coast it is only an option for April and May. It came bottled in Redhook’s new bottles. They are partially a marketing stunt, but I really dig how they look and feel. One note about them, they pour very differently compared to a traditional beer bottle. The neck is much shorter so the angle of the pour needs to be altered a bit or maybe I had a few too many on tap for review.

Copperhook pours a light copper color and comes with a thin white head. The nose had a slight sweetness followed by some herbal notes. The taste was a strange mix of flavors. There was some caramel and toasted malt in there, but then that herbal flavor kicked in. It was reminded me of a cross between mint and spruce. Their other spring beer had similar flavors, but had a better malt backbone to stand on.

The bottle says “things gold and silver are way overrated.” If I am basing that saying off of this beer I wholeheartedly disagree. It does come in at 5.8% so it is sessionable, but this one just wasn’t for me. I did get a cool bottle out of it though. (more…)

Beer Review #105 Mudslinger Spring Ale

Another spring beer for review on this Judgement Day; Mudsligner Spring Ale from Redhook Ale Brewery. Redhook has three different breweries located across the country, but my bottle of Mudslinger said that this particular beer was brewed in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I February I reviewed their winter seasonal beer, Winterhook, and thought that it was decent.

Mudslinger is classified as a nut brown ale by the brewery and comes in at 5.8% ABV. It pours a deep copper to brown color and is perfectly clear. A slightly off-white head accompanies the brown drink. The nose is pretty much what you would expect out of a nut brown ale. It has some caramel and roasted malt, followed by some slight hops. When I say slight hops, I mean very slight. On the first taste the roasty notes from the odor returned along with a nutty flavor. These flavors are not nearly as strong as the nose promises. It is then followed by herbal tasting hops. There was almost a minty quality to them.

This beer was had a different name up until last year, but the name is escaping me currently. Whatever the name, it was a decent beer which fits into spring nicely. The beer was not light but not heavy either. The flavors were not complex, but they blended well. Try it out if you get the chance, even if it is to add a new notch to your taste buds. (more…)