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Beer Review #56 Tire Bite Golden Ale

We start off Flying Dog Brewery week with Tire Bite Golden Ale. This beer comes in at 5.0% ABV and supports 16.5 IBUs.  The beer pours a golden color (shocking I know) and is perfectly clear. There is a fluffy white head to go along with it as well. On the nose this is a bit of malt, with biscuit and bread in there as well. There is also a slight hop nose, but nothing overwhelming.

The flavor is bready with a light malt sweetness. The beer is very crisp. The only thing that I found odd was that it finishes a bit sour, with some lemon flavors in there. Overall it was nice and light, just had a few strange flavors that I was not expecting.  The beer is light, but well bodied. I would say this is a solid summer beer. Light and refreshing but refreshing.

If you look around the beer review sites this beer has a very low rating. I don’t know if they changed the recipe or anything like that recently, but I don’t think it deserves the low ratings at all. Sure it isn’t something that is super unique or fully flavorful, but it is not supposed to be. It is a simple refreshing beer that fits in perfectly with warm weather. If you are looking for something light and refreshing and still has flavor this beer might be for you. (more…)

Beer Review #55 Full Sail Pale Ale

When my wife and I look our honeymoon to Portland, Oregon we had our first taste of Full Sail beers. Since living in Texas, I have gotten to taste them more regularly since they distribute here. Full Sail Brewing Company is based out of Hood River, Oregon and is completely employee-owned by 47 employees. Full Sail Amber is one of my favorite amber beers, in fact I think it may be the most classic example of an American Amber Ale out there. These guys don’t mess around when it comes to making quality beer.

Full Sail Pale Ale pours a bright amber color with a nice white head that lasts all the way through. As you expect from a pale ale it is perfectly clear. The nose has some nice hoppy aromas with bits of sweetness from the malt and also a few bready smells as well. Very clean and nice to say the least.

On the taste of the beer you will get the malt sweetness up front, with come bread/caramel, then followed by the hops. The hops are very crisp and leave easily and without any fuss. Some of the bread flavors hang around long after the hops are gone, which I really enjoyed. Unlike some Pale Ales that try to be something special, this one seems to take a straightforward approach and succeeds very well. The whole KISS principle worked very nicely here. The balance was perfect and the taste is everything a pale ale should be. Unlike an IPA where the hops leads the way (but should still be balanced) a pale ale can be slightly hop forward or slightly malt forward. This one leads a bit towards the hop end, but the balance is right there.

This brew is medium bodied and is slightly creamy. In terms of drinkability it is spot on. A wonderfully drinkable beer great for any time of the year. As I said before nothing on this beer jumps out at you and says this is something “wild and crazy” but it is a great example of a wonderfully brewed pale ale. I highly recommend it, I don’t think you will be disappointed. (more…)

Beer Review #45 Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout

While I am stuck in Texas my family back home is getting hit with another snow storm, not as bad as last week’s storm though. This one is only going to be dropping a foot and a half on them. When I think of winter or snow, there is only one drink that will help balance out all of that white. That drink is a stout. Nice, dark, rich, creamy, silky, and roasty are all words that come to mind when I think of a stout.

I recently had the pleasure of have a Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout again. I first had it a year or so ago and loved it. I finally got the chance to have it again and I did not pass up on the opportunity. It pours a deep black with a brownish/tan head. It is actually clear if you tilt the glass a bit to get a thin cross section of the beer. On the nose there are a lot of roasty aromas. It has a slightly bitter/sour smell like that of unsweetened coco.

The first sip is fully of roasty flavors. It is super malty and has a sweetness, mostly do to the oatmeal grain that it is brewed with. I got a lot of bakers chocolate in there as well along with hints of campfire. That might sound odd, but it is wonderful. The mouthfeel is silky but also thick. It goes down very easy.

Overall I think this is a great stout. It is very drinkable and I could easily put away a few of these things. Some might find it filling, but I don’t have a problem with it. When I think of an oatmeal stout, Samuel Smith’s is what a reference everything to. I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys a solid stout. (more…)

Beer Review #35 Hoptober

Last month I reviewed New Belgium Brewing Company’s Skinny Dip. I was a tad late on the review of their summer offering, but I am right on time for their fall beer, Hoptober. Hoptober is classified as a Golden Ale and was quite the steal at $7.49 a six pack. Don’t you just love sales. I happen to love New Belgium’s beer labels becasue they are always a bit new age, and odd. This one is no exception with outlines of people dancing around a fire. How does that relate to fall or hops, who knows? But it looks neat.

11-15-02

11-15-03Anyway the beer pours a brilliant golden color as you expect from a beer labeled Golden Ale. It is perfectly clean and has a think white head, with tiny bubbles. The head sticks to the top of the beer throughout the entire drink. On the nose, floral hops dominate. There is also a nice helping of sweet malt, and some almost, honey notes. There is a bit of pine smell in there as well. Generally I don’t like the piney hops, but this is in smell only.

The taste of the beer is mainly hops, hops, hops. Not that it is an overwhelming hop flavor like some IPAs, but rather a nice punch of them that compliments the malt very nicely. The malt has a strong enough backbone to support the hops and you can still get that sweetness from it. There is also a slight biscuit taste at the end of the beer. It finishes very nicely and crisply. There is a bit of an earthy flavor that can be found in the beer as well. I have found that to be pretty common with New Belgium’s beers as well.

11-15-04On the drinkability scale this one comes in pretty darn good. It is not nearly as hoppy as the name suggests that it would be, but there is a good punch of it. The hops are very bright and fresh tasting. This beer might not be for the new craft beer drinker or someone who does not like anything other than the American light lager, but most craft beer people will find this pleasing.

For a fall beer I was hoping for something a bit darker, with some richer notes. Hoptober comes in at 6% ABV in case you were wondering. It has a great aftertaste and just reeks of freshness (as should all seasonal beers). I really enjoyed it, but I have had beer fall beers before. If you like fresh hops and a good malt character, you will totally love this beer. Again it is not as hoppy as the name suggests, but it is super drinkable and enjoyable. My wife, who hates hoppy beers, even enjoyed this seasonal from New Belgium. (more…)

10-18-02

New Belgium Brewing Company Skinny Dip Beer Review

10-18-02Skinny Dip is New Belgium Brewing Company’s summer beer. So why am I posting about it in the fall and not posting about Hotober? Well I have a bit of a backlog of reviews to get up and I just bought some Hoptober, their fall beer, so I realized that I needed to get moving on the beer reviews. Skinny Dip is classified as an American Blonde Ale and fits pretty true to form for the style.

It pours a dark golden color with a large, fluffy white head. The beer is perfectly clear as one would expect it to be. The nose is distinctly cascade hops with a little malt sweetness. There is an earthy smell to it as well, which I think is pretty common with New Belgium’s brews. There is also a bit of bread or cracker buried in the smell as well.

10-18-03The taste is nice and sweet, but there isn’t a whole lot going on. The hops from the nose are not very strong on the pallet and there is just a bit of spice on the back. Some of that bread smell is carried over to the taste, but not a lot. Skinny Dip is pretty light on the mouthfeel. The beer comes in light, fills the middle of your pallet, and then leaves off as light as it began. It is a solid summer beer, and here in Texas where it is still 75 in October, it was decent.

I bet this is much more refreshing on a hot day. Back when I first got this beer it was very refreshing. Today on the patio it was not quite up to snuff. It is light and easy to drink, surely a summer beer. I enjoyed the aftertaste it left in my mouth and it also had great lacing if that matters to you. It is worth a try on a hot day or if you enjoy lighter beers. (more…)