The Beer Snob Turning up our noses at inferior beers http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity <![CDATA[ LA 31 Biere Pale]]> How does it look? How's the color? Clarity? Head?

  • Deep amber color, very clear, slight head that fades quickly

How's the nose (smell)? Sweet, spicy, fruity?

  • Though it is a pale ale, the scent is more malt centered but not overwhelmingly.

How does it taste? Malty? Hoppy? Fruity? Chalky?

  • The first flavor is of a mild malt that is then overtaken then overran with hops.  When the beer is cold, the hops flavor actually begins to move towards a metallic flavor, but as the beer warms this metallic flavor disappears and just the pleasant hops bitters remains.

Is it full-bodied? Medium bodied? Weak? Clean?

  • Full bodied and while the bitterness lingers the overall sense is clean

Where did you buy it? How much was it?

  • Birmingham AL, $8 six-pack bottles

What do you think overall? Would you buy it again?

  • The market where I buy my beer just started carrying beers from this brewery.  All of the names for the beers are in French, and that gave me pause since the Francophones are not exactly known as master brewers, so I have to say I am pleasantly surprised that at least they have the idea of a pale ale down solid regardless of the language used to name it.  I imagine I will buy it again.
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http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-LA_31_Biere_Pale-3-1789998-216669-LA_31_Biere_Pale.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-LA_31_Biere_Pale-3-1789998-216669-LA_31_Biere_Pale.html Tue, 27 Dec 2011 23:39:43 +0000
<![CDATA[ Belgian Bite!]]> Hoegaarden was a witbeir that surprised me a bit.  I enjoyed this wheat brew on an evening with friends.  At the recommendation of one of those friends, I decided to give Hoegaarden a try.  

Initially I found the brew to be a bit too tart for my liking.  Unlike Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat, it tasted more like alcohol and less like a fruity beer.  The coriander stood out more than anything else, but there was also a hint of orange. 

It did compliment my meal that night (which was fried cod), but so did the Leinenkugel.   The primary difference between these two brews is the way they were served to me (which does make a difference).  The Hoegaarden came in a bottle.  The Leinenkugel was served on tap in a pilsner topped with an orange peel. 

As the evening wore on, the Hoegaarden held its flavor which, in my opinion, is a good thing.  As the beer warmed, the flavor stayed consistent.

I really would like to try Hoegaarden on tap.  Something tells me that this would taste much better had it been served to me that way.  It isn't a bad brew, but it does take a bit of getting used to.

Recommended to witbier fans.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Hoegaarden-3-1465193-216469-Belgian_Bite_.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Hoegaarden-3-1465193-216469-Belgian_Bite_.html Mon, 19 Dec 2011 15:23:51 +0000
<![CDATA[ Hey, Barnnnnn! This Beer's Pretty Good!]]> The Flintstones.  Fred Flintstone would always call his best friend and co-worker, Barney Rubble, by the shortened "Barn," often dragging out the "n" sound.  It's also a reference to the famous cereal that Fred and Barney hawk on television, Fruity Pebbles.

So why am I making a reference to Fred, Barney, and cereal?  Because that's one of the tastes that pops into your mouth with a swig of Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat.

I first tasted this beer, a Belgian Wit brewed in Wisconsin, at a friend's recent graduation party.  We were at my favorite local dive, MacFarlane's, in Lake Charles, LA.  That night the place was packed and since they offer nearly 150 brews on their menu, I always try to snag something that I've never tried.  On this particular night, Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat was my first victim.

While plenty of people enjoy Corona with a slice of lime, I've never been one to indulge in such things.  To me, a beer is supposed to punch you a little bit, and a piece of fruit takes away from that punch in my opinion.  However, when the Sunset Wheat was brought to my table, it came served in a pilsner with a big orange slice hanging from its side.  I immediately had my doubts.

Thankfully I looked beyond the citrus distraction and took my first taste of the brew.  I noticed two things right away:  1)  The brew had a nice bite to it and 2) tasted a lot like Fruity Pebbles.  As I consumed more of the beer, the Pebbles taste slowly fell away as a blueberry taste took over.  It finished off nicely and was a very good compliment to the beer battered cod sandwich I was eating with it.

Overall, this was a nice beer.  In my opinion it would work best in the summer months thanks to its overall fruity taste and light body.  I really enjoyed this brew and plan on having more soon.

Recommended.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/product/UserReview-Leinenkugel_Sunset_Wheat-3-1629162-216468-Hey_Barnnnnn_This_Beer_s_Pretty_Good_.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/product/UserReview-Leinenkugel_Sunset_Wheat-3-1629162-216468-Hey_Barnnnnn_This_Beer_s_Pretty_Good_.html Mon, 19 Dec 2011 15:08:02 +0000
<![CDATA[ Gordon Biersch Czech Style Pilsner -- I think the geography is off just a bit]]> How does it look? How's the color? Clarity? Head?

  • Light gold, crystal clear, light head

How's the nose (smell)? Sweet, spicy, fruity?

  • The bottle says it is a Czech style pilsner and that it is "crisp robustly hopped", the scent is subtle but it does lean towards the hoppy.

How does it taste? Malty? Hoppy? Fruity? Chalky?

  • The first taste is almost what I call the cakey spiciness of a heffeweissen but that settles down pretty quickly to a nice hoppy bitter that then fades cleanly back to just a wee bit of the spice that I tend to associate with Dutch beer.

Is it full-bodied? Medium bodied? Weak? Clean?

  • Full bodied for its billing as pilsner, the flavor lasts quite a while so it isn't "clean" but it is mostly pleasant.

Where did you buy it? How much was it?

  • Birmingham AL $8 six pack bottles

What do you think overall? Would you buy it again?
 

  • In 5 days in Prague drinking a host of beers I don't remember any of them tasting even remotely like this.  It is far sweeter than anything I had there which isn't unpleasant but from my touristy taste-buds, I think the label is off by several hundred miles because it really does seem far more Dutch than anything approaching Bohemian.  I wouldn't turn my nose up at it if offered, but will likely not be buying it again.
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http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Gordon_Biersch_Czech_Style_Pilsner-3-1789853-216386-Gordon_Biersch_Czech_Style_Pilsner_I_think_the.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Gordon_Biersch_Czech_Style_Pilsner-3-1789853-216386-Gordon_Biersch_Czech_Style_Pilsner_I_think_the.html Fri, 16 Dec 2011 01:35:14 +0000
<![CDATA[ Bison Organic IPA -- top notch IPA]]> How does it look? How's the color? Clarity? Head?

  • Largely clear and golden, medium head.

How's the nose (smell)? Sweet, spicy, fruity?

  • Deceptively sweet -- the label says it "blends four malts and three hops" and the malt wins the scent contest however ...

How does it taste? Malty? Hoppy? Fruity? Chalky?

  • The hops win the taste contest.  The first taste is just a bit of malty sweetness before the strong hoppy bitterness takes over.  It fades in intensity after a moment then finishes with a good balance between the better and sweet.

Is it full-bodied? Medium bodied? Weak? Clean?

  • It has a medium body for an IPA but the finish takes so long that it makes up for missing the otherwise "full bodied" category.

Where did you buy it? How much was it?

  • Birmingham AL, $9 six pack glass bottles

What do you think overall? Would you buy it again?
 

  • I've been meaning to try it for ages but this was the first time I saw it in the cooler (I'm not a fan of buying warm beer).  I'm not an "organic" maven so I can't speak to that aspect, but the flavor quality is top notch and easily worth the cost.  I'm adding it to my regular IPA rotation.
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http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Bison_Organic_IPA-3-1789847-216385-Bison_Organic_IPA_top_notch_IPA.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Bison_Organic_IPA-3-1789847-216385-Bison_Organic_IPA_top_notch_IPA.html Fri, 16 Dec 2011 01:16:28 +0000
<![CDATA[Budweiser Quick Tip by BaronSamedi3]]> http://www.lunch.com/Gourmand/reviews/beer/UserReview-Budweiser-2-1010216-215777.html http://www.lunch.com/Gourmand/reviews/beer/UserReview-Budweiser-2-1010216-215777.html Sun, 27 Nov 2011 14:35:12 +0000 <![CDATA[ Victory Summer Love Ale]]> http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Victory_Ale_Summer_Love-3-1781417-215238-Victory_Summer_Love_Ale.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Victory_Ale_Summer_Love-3-1781417-215238-Victory_Summer_Love_Ale.html Wed, 9 Nov 2011 04:58:41 +0000 <![CDATA[ Mythos brings back memories.....]]> http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/beer/UserReview-Mythos_Hellenic_Lager_Beer-3-1433838-215096-Mythos_brings_back_memories_.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/beer/UserReview-Mythos_Hellenic_Lager_Beer-3-1433838-215096-Mythos_brings_back_memories_.html Mon, 7 Nov 2011 00:32:45 +0000 <![CDATA[ Coming Your Way Soon - Fat Tire]]> How does it look? How's the color? Clarity? Head?
 Fat Tire is an Amber Ale 

 

How's the nose (smell)? Sweet, spicy, fruity?
 To me it has a spicy nose.

 

How does it taste? Malty? Hoppy? Fruity? 
Its hard to describe I think.  It has some hopps but is not too hoppy.  It has a little of a malt taste also.  It reminds me of Yeungling beer.

 

Is it full-bodied? Medium bodied? Weak? Clean?  
I would call it a medium bodied beer.

Fat Tire is slowly introducing itself state by state spreading now to the east coast.  I first tried it on the Outer Banks in North Carolina about a year ago.   Now I am finding it in my home state of Maryland the past three or four months.  At first you could only find the 22 ounce bottles.  Then it started appearing on draft.  Its becoming very popular and can be found in 12 ounce bottles at a lot of local bars in Baltimore.   

 

Where did you buy it? How much was it? 
Fat Tire is slowly introducing itself state by state spreading now to the east coast.  I first tried it on the Outer Banks in North Carolina about a year ago.   Now I am finding it in my home state of Maryland the past three or four months.  At first you could only find the 22 ounce bottles.  Then it started appearing on draft.  Its becoming very popular and can be found in 12 ounce bottles at a lot of local bars in Baltimore. 

 

What do you think overall? Would you buy it again?
I do like it.  I usually try to find it on draft.   We have Yeungling Beer here locally in Maryland and have had it for many years.   Fat Tire reminds me very much of Yeungling.   

 

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http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/drink/UserReview-Fat_Tire-3-1393799-215093-Coming_Your_Way_Soon_Fat_Tire.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/drink/UserReview-Fat_Tire-3-1393799-215093-Coming_Your_Way_Soon_Fat_Tire.html Mon, 7 Nov 2011 00:15:48 +0000
<![CDATA[Mississippi Mud Quick Tip by kfontenot]]> http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/drink/UserReview-Mississippi_Mud-3-1441063-211523.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/drink/UserReview-Mississippi_Mud-3-1441063-211523.html Mon, 15 Aug 2011 16:29:55 +0000 <![CDATA[ Makes Summer In The Deep South A Whole Lot Easier To Swallow]]>
One of the things that I appreciate most about Texas is the Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, TX. Spoetzl is best known for their Shiner Bock, a lovely dark amber brew that is smooth and very tasty. They offer a number of other beers as well.

I recently discovered their Shiner Ruby Redbird, a seasonal light amber lager that is perfect for summers in the South.

This beer features a biting one-two punch of grapefruit and ginger. In my opinion, the grapefruit's citrus tang dominates, but I've talked with other people who believe that the ginger is the stand out flavor.

It has to be served very cold, as its tartness gets stronger as it warms up. Luckily for me, I don't have much of a problem drinking Ruby Redbird quickly and haven't tasted it when it was too warm that often.

Overall, I really like this Shiner seasonal brew. It's refreshing, has a nice bite, and goes down with a kick.

Recommended.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Shiner_Ruby_Redbird-3-1750614-210426-Makes_Summer_In_The_Deep_South_A_Whole_Lot_Easier.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Shiner_Ruby_Redbird-3-1750614-210426-Makes_Summer_In_The_Deep_South_A_Whole_Lot_Easier.html Sun, 17 Jul 2011 19:08:05 +0000
<![CDATA[ Terrapin Brown IPA -- what happened to the taste?]]> How does it look? How's the color? Clarity? Head?

  • Pours very dark brown with a mild head

How's the nose (smell)? Sweet, spicy, fruity?

  • It does not have a strong nose but what there is is largely of a malty sweetness.

How does it taste? Malty? Hoppy? Fruity? Chalky?

  • It starts out with a weak brown ale sweetness then an underwhelming IPA hoppiness then it fades to ...

Is it full-bodied? Medium bodied? Weak? Clean?

  • To quote Mrs Slocoumb from "Are You Being Served?" Weak as water!

Where did you buy it? How much was it?

  • Birmingham AL, $11 for 6-pack bottles

What do you think overall? Would you buy it again?

  • Simply put, no.  There isn't enough taste to justify half the price.  But let's see what the bottle claims it has.  It "is a head on collision between a hoppy west coast India Pale Ale and a malty, complex brown ale.  Brewed with 5 varieties of hops and 7 different malts, this hybrid style represents the best of both worlds."
            I'm not a big fan of brown ales, they are too sweet.  But I expected that my tongue would be pretty much beaten to a pulp with 12 flavor ingredients all vying for attention.  Instead, the battle either took place outside the vat, or the ingredients were so weak their deaths left not even a hint of their existence.  At best, 6 of the malts just folded and the 7th fought only enough to leave a hint of it behind in the smell.  Four of the hops ran off if they bothered to show up in the first place and the last one standing is unremarkable in all respects.  Given how weak the taste, I'm left thinking that the very dark brown liquid is somehow just a trick of light or someone has succeeded in making brown food coloring that has very little taste.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Terrapin_Top_Karma_Brown_IPA-3-1719696-204107-Terrapin_Brown_IPA_what_happened_to_the_taste_.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Terrapin_Top_Karma_Brown_IPA-3-1719696-204107-Terrapin_Brown_IPA_what_happened_to_the_taste_.html Thu, 17 Mar 2011 23:37:39 +0000
<![CDATA[ No lightweight American Budweiser here!]]>
AT 10% alcohol/volume with such a strong flavour, this is definitely a "one bottle a night" beer. Brooklyn Brewery suggests serving it in a snifter as a desert beer in pairing with chocolate desserts, cheesecake, fruit tarts, ice cream or as an accompaniment to a strong cheese such as Stilton.

A winter beer, available from October through March only and definitely recommended.

Paul Weiss]]>
http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Brookly_Brewery_Black_Chocolate_Stout-3-1714436-203104-No_lightweight_American_Budweiser_here_.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Brookly_Brewery_Black_Chocolate_Stout-3-1714436-203104-No_lightweight_American_Budweiser_here_.html Sat, 5 Mar 2011 02:15:24 +0000
<![CDATA[ Poleeko Gold Pale Ale -- The bottle don't lie, the review don't lie either]]> How does it look? How's the color? Clarity? Head?

  • Clear, light amber

How's the nose (smell)? Sweet, spicy, fruity?

  • A bit of malty sweetness, but there is a significant perfume quality to it (more on that in a sec)

How does it taste? Malty? Hoppy? Fruity? Chalky?

  • Dry, a wheat-like sweetness, bit of a perfume, and a pretty solid hoppy finish

Is it full-bodied? Medium bodied? Weak? Clean?

  • I'll have to call it medium because of the flavor complexity.  It actually feels like a clean light beer, but that is deceiving. 

Where did you buy it? How much was it?

  • Birmingham AL, $11 six pack bottles

What do you think overall? Would you buy it again?

  • The bottle says that the beer "is crisp and clear with an unusual lightness and dryness for such a full flavored beverage.  A generous addition of Pacific Northwest hops adds both a floral bouquet and slightly bitter, lively finish."  All of that is true with some minor adjustments.  The sweetness isn't mentioned on the label but is definitely in the bottle.  And, the bitter is not slight and does not finish quickly--but to me those are huge pluses.  But if you are not a fan of hops, then the finish may be a bit strong.  All the same though, it is worth the cost and I'll have it in my fridge again.
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http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Poleeko_Gold_Pale_Ale-3-1709956-202122-Poleeko_Gold_Pale_Ale_The_bottle_don_t_lie_the.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Poleeko_Gold_Pale_Ale-3-1709956-202122-Poleeko_Gold_Pale_Ale_The_bottle_don_t_lie_the.html Wed, 23 Feb 2011 02:02:07 +0000
<![CDATA[ Saranac India Pale Ale -- solid, reliable, but drink while still mostly cold]]> How does it look? How's the color? Clarity? Head?

  • Dark amber, mostly clear, very little head

How's the nose (smell)? Sweet, spicy, fruity?

  • Very subtle, it has a malty smell that overrides the hops, but the taste says otherwise.

How does it taste? Malty? Hoppy? Fruity? Chalky?

  • While the sweet smell overrides the bitter (which is just odd), the expected bitterness of an IPA is very strong and consistent.  There is just a little bit of the malty sweetness just as the flavor starts to fade.

Is it full-bodied? Medium bodied? Weak? Clean?

  • Full-bodied, lengthy aftertaste

Where did you buy it? How much was it?

  • Birmingham AL, $10 six pack bottles

What do you think overall? Would you buy it again?

  • Very high quality IPA.  The bitterness is intense even for good IPAs so if you are only ok or indifferent towards that variety, then this is probably going to disappoint.  While it is full-bodied it is not very heavy.  The only thing that stops me from rating it as 5 is that as it warms it gets a bit filmy (with what to me tastes very much like albumin), so this isn't a beer that can sit around for a while and still be good.  This is not my first six pack, so that aspect of the beer seems consistent.  But it is now side by side with Sweet Water IPA for my go-to IPA.  And for people who cannot get the Sweet Water products, then this a very good alternative.
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http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Saranac_India_Pale_Ale-3-1692791-199761-Saranac_India_Pale_Ale_solid_reliable_but.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Saranac_India_Pale_Ale-3-1692791-199761-Saranac_India_Pale_Ale_solid_reliable_but.html Mon, 24 Jan 2011 23:56:51 +0000
<![CDATA[ Raging Bitch Belgian Style IPA -- more Belgian ale than true IPA]]> How does it look? How's the color? Clarity? Head?

  • Dark amber, clear, very little head.

How's the nose (smell)? Sweet, spicy, fruity?

  • Though an IPA the overwhelming scent is fruity

How does it taste? Malty? Hoppy? Fruity? Chalky?

  • The main flavor is the spicy sweetness associated with wheat beers.  It takes about a minute after finishing a mouthful before the bitterness from the hops kicks in.

Is it full-bodied? Medium bodied? Weak? Clean?

  • Full bodied and not clean -- no IPA regardless of modifiers is 'clean'

Where did you buy it? How much was it?

  • Birmingham AL, $10 six pack bottles

What do you think overall? Would you buy it again?

  • "Two inflammatory words...one wild drink.  Nectar imprisoned in a bottle. blah blah blah wallow in its golden glow blah blah blah unleashed, untamed, unbridled -- in heat --" Flying Dog Brewery is not known for subtlety in any way, but someone really should have taken the marker away from the insane guy that named then tried to describe this beer.  It is an IPA, but since it is "Belgian" style, the perfumery aspect of the Belgian ales is the strongest component.  It takes quite a long time for the bitterness to come through all the spicy sweetness.  It is denser and heavier than ales tend to run, much closer to a stout in that respect.  It's ok and I bought it because I like the brewery.  But since I am not a big fan of Belgian style ales, it isn't something I will buy again.  However, for people who do like the Belgian style, I'm pretty sure this will be worth the cost.
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http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Raging_Bitch_Belgian_Style_IPA-3-1691847-199695-Raging_Bitch_Belgian_Style_IPA_more_Belgian_ale.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Raging_Bitch_Belgian_Style_IPA-3-1691847-199695-Raging_Bitch_Belgian_Style_IPA_more_Belgian_ale.html Sun, 23 Jan 2011 00:58:56 +0000
<![CDATA[ Once you start, there is no going back]]>
The best beer IMO is always the beer that one makes oneself.  You can make it as hoppy as you like, light or dark, rich or thinner (with higher alcohol), carbonated or even leave it uncarbonated like they used to a hundred years ago.  It's a whole new world.

Beer brewing isn't very hard.  It's easier than most cooking as long as you are careful about sanitizing equipment, etc.  Instead it takes a little time and patience to learn the basics, and a bit more patience to wait for it to ferment (most beers take about 2-3 weeks to ferment).  Then you can get creative.

For example, I recently made an uncarbonated elderberry beer that I aged in oak for a month in an effort to recreate an early American brewed malt liquor.  It came out very well, though with a few issues that will be corrected in the next batch (I didn't add quite enough elderberries and I had some equipment problems).

After a few batches, you too will turn your nose up at most other beers, preferring usually to drink what you brew yourself!

Update:  2 more quick points:

1)  Cost:  After the initial equipment cost (budget $60 to get started), the cost per 12 oz bottle when I brew tends to be a bit over $1 per bottle.  You could get it down a bit below that though if you try.

2)  I recommend abandoning some of the measurements (time/temperature) eventually and working towards a more artistic approach.  But it's good to start with more rigid approaches.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Homebrew_Beer-3-1682982-198068-Once_you_start_there_is_no_going_back.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Homebrew_Beer-3-1682982-198068-Once_you_start_there_is_no_going_back.html Tue, 28 Dec 2010 21:05:59 +0000
<![CDATA[ My kind of dark beer, you can stand a spoon up in it!!!]]> OK so who the heck am I to tell you what the best beer is?  Well, let me start out by saying that as a retired Army officer and helicopter pilot, “I’ve been around the world three times and have seen every dog and pony show known to mankind!!!  Helicopter pilots are euphemistically referred to by those who “walk” in the army as “lounge lizards.”   I am guilty as charged!  I’ve been in almost every “juke joint” and “honky tonk” around the world.  However, consider the fact that like many of my army brethren I am fond of stating that, “my favorite beer is free beer, and my all time favorite beer is, cold free beer”!!!  All that being said why am I rating a beer?  Because when I do get serious about my beer drinking I have tasted more than I care to admit to my kids.
 
St. Pauli Girl Special Dark™ is one of my favorite beers I came to know this much sought-after beer when I was in Germany.  Brewed in Bremen Germany since 1965, St. Pauli Girl Special Dark™ is a full flavored beer with an alluring amber color. It has a pleasing rich malty taste, with an enjoyable aroma of hops.  No offensive after taste.  I enjoy St. Pauli Girl Special Dark™ with meat dishes and stews especially in the fall and winter months.
 

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http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/beer/UserReview-St_Pauli_Girl-3-1467807-197780-My_kind_of_dark_beer_you_can_stand_a_spoon_up_in.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/beer/UserReview-St_Pauli_Girl-3-1467807-197780-My_kind_of_dark_beer_you_can_stand_a_spoon_up_in.html Sat, 25 Dec 2010 13:35:12 +0000
<![CDATA[ Bass Pale Aleā„¢ was the only beer served on the RMS Titanic.]]> OK so who the heck am I to tell you what the best beer is?  Well, let me start out by saying that as a retired Army officer and helicopter pilot, “I’ve been around the world three times and have seen every dog and pony show known to mankind!!!  Helicopter pilots are euphemistically referred to by those who “walk” in the army as “lounge lizards.”   I am guilty as charged!  I’ve been in almost every “juke joint” and “honky tonk” around the world.  However, consider the fact that like many of my army brethren I am fond of stating that, “my favorite beer is free beer, and my all time favorite beer is, cold free beer”!!!  All that being said why am I rating a beer?  Because when I do get serious about my beer drinking I have tasted more than I care to admit to my kids.
 
Bass Pale Ale™ is one of my favorite beers I came to know this much sought-after beer when I was in England in 1995.  It is a full flavored beer and has the distinction of being the world’s oldest pale ale, brewed since 1777.  With an alluring color Bass Pale Ale™ has a pleasing burnt nutty flavor, with an enjoyable aroma of hops.  No offensive after taste.  I enjoy Bass Pale Ale™ with meat dishes and stews especially in the fall and winter months.
 
In addition, Bass Pale Ale™ is an excellent choice of beers to make a “Black and Tan.”  Little history tidbit: Bass Pale Ale™ was the only beer served on the RMS Titanic.
 

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http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Bass_pale_ale-3-1682102-197779-Bass_Pale_Ale_was_the_only_beer_served_on_the_RMS.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Bass_pale_ale-3-1682102-197779-Bass_Pale_Ale_was_the_only_beer_served_on_the_RMS.html Sat, 25 Dec 2010 13:24:15 +0000
<![CDATA[ Bittersweet Lenny's Double IPA -- clever words on the bottle, do they tell the truth?]]> How does it look? How's the color? Clarity? Head?

  • Pours very thick and brown like a standard brown ale, mostly clear and a light head

How's the nose (smell)? Sweet, spicy, fruity?

  • The label says "Brewed with and Obscene Amount of Malts and Hops" and the smell is equal amounts bitter hops and sweet malt.

How does it taste? Malty? Hoppy? Fruity? Chalky?

  • It is a hi-grav beer (10%) so for the way my tongue works it begins to cross over from beer to wine territory, meaning the flavor gets more complex.  It is far more sweet than bitter so the obscene malts beat the crap out of the obscene hops for flavor dominance. 

Is it full-bodied? Medium bodied? Weak? Clean?

  • Very full bodied, it pours almost like syrup and has the same heft and texture of a stout.  As hinted above and will be covered below, the taste is very complex so I couldn't call it clean on a dare.

Where did you buy it? How much was it?

  • Birmingham AL $12 for four-pack bottles

What do you think overall? Would you buy it again?
 

  • Quickly before the wider comments: I toyed with rating it as low as +1 but thought better of it -- drinking one while writing will do that.  It is a very heavy beer, not something to "pair" with anything.  Using the theater driven theme of the marketing:  the hops are present and try to stage a comeback in the aftertaste but the overwhelming malt-ness stops the comeback from being successful.  It is easily worth the money for the initial four-pack, but whether stick with this hi-grav or try another ... I would recommend trying a new one and coming back to this one later.  If available, I'll buy it again, but it won't be tops of my list.

Shmaltz is the company behind the brand name He'ebrew "The Chosen Beer."  My funny bone is too pronounced for me to let any He'ebrew go untasted (I will eventually get to reviewing their other beers, but their availability is spotty).  But I have to say that I get the sense with this one that the recipe was adjusted to meet the billing instead of the other way around.

The marketing people had a field-day putting the box and bottles together.  "Lenny" is Lenny Bruce and the box claims the beer to be Shmaltz Brewing Company's "Tribute to Jewish Stars" No 1.  I was discussing with a friend that I think this brew was created backwards--the marketing people needed an ingredient starting with an "R" so they could have R.I.P   A, on the label.  So it seems the brewers added "R"ye which was added as part of the long list of malts used to make the beer.

Whose going to be second banana (and if they try to create a second banana-stout ... I hope I didn't germinate an idea of any kind -- [backspace-backspace-backspace-backspace].]]>
http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Bettersweet_Lenny_s_Rye_Based_Double_IPA-3-1680661-197393-Bittersweet_Lenny_s_Double_IPA_clever_words_on.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Bettersweet_Lenny_s_Rye_Based_Double_IPA-3-1680661-197393-Bittersweet_Lenny_s_Double_IPA_clever_words_on.html Sun, 19 Dec 2010 01:16:22 +0000
<![CDATA[ Loose Cannon IPA -- Strong, clean, yet average]]> How does it look? How's the color? Clarity? Head?

  • Pours amber and slightly cloudy, very little head.

How's the nose (smell)? Sweet, spicy, fruity?

  • Strong hops, moderate malt sweetness and just a bit of citrus

How does it taste? Malty? Hoppy? Fruity? Chalky?

  • Mouthful is somewhat sweet but mostly dry and hoppy-bitter

Is it full-bodied? Medium bodied? Weak? Clean?

  • I want to call it full bodied but it just doesn't quite make it.  Medium bodied and a bit too clean for the kind of beer it claims to be--there is an aftertaste that is consistently bitter and doesn't get skunky, but it doesn't last as long as others in this category.

Where did you buy it? How much was it?

  • Birmingham AL, $10 six-pack bottles

What do you think overall? Would you buy it again?

  • The sticker on the bottle says: "Our Loose Cannon Hop 3 is opulently hopped 3 times in the brewing process.  Herbal and aromatic, an amazingly graceful American IPA."  I don't know what hopping three times does to beer (Smirnov vodka is triple distilled and Breakstone sour cream is triple churned but I don't know if this is too much or too little by comparison).  I can say that it isn't 3 times stronger tasting or 3 times smoother.  The initial taste is strong and good.  It fades too fast but doesn't get skunky or grossly sour like some of the higher gravity IPAs can (this one is 7.25%).  It isn't expensive so I'd buy it again but not if there was a new beer to try.
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http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Loose_Cannon_IPA-3-1676983-196027-Loose_Cannon_IPA_Strong_clean_yet_average.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Loose_Cannon_IPA-3-1676983-196027-Loose_Cannon_IPA_Strong_clean_yet_average.html Fri, 10 Dec 2010 23:51:26 +0000
<![CDATA[ A strong stout with a pleasing flavour!]]> A creamy pouring beer with such a rich deep brown colour as to approach an opaque black. The head, a lovely cappuccino brown with reasonable staying power, is thick and creamy with, paradoxically, the appearance of being simultaneously dense and frothy. Generous fluffy lacing all around stayed long after the glass was well drained (which, if I may say so, didn't take very long)

The aroma is faint, rather surprising for a 7% ABV stout, but there are hints of smoke and coffee with chocolate coming in a rather distant third.

The taste is lovely - a beautiful combination of smoke, slightly burnt coffee and chocolate, very subtle sweetness, just the teeniest hints of fruit and, of course, plenty of hops and malt to remind you that, after all, this is a beer you're drinking.  Carbonation is minimal and the beer has a very pleasant mouth and tongue feel. Unlike some other strong beers there is no hint of an alcohol taste. A lovely flavourful beer with no overpowering or cloying aftertastes that I'm pleased to have had the opportunity to sample. By the bye, you might be interested in knowing that Bellhaven also brews and bottles Innis & Gunn which is probably my all-time favourite beer.
 
P.S. Lots of beer reviewers suggest that clear bottles are a heresy that is a chronic cause of skunkiness. They may well be right (I wouldn't know about that) but I can say that there was no hint of skunkiness in this particular beer and I have NEVER encountered even the remotest hint of skunkiness in any of the MANY bottles of Innis & Gunn that I've consumed in my life.
 
Bellhaven Scottish Stout, a great winter beer for in front of the fireplace. Highly recommended.

Paul Weiss]]>
http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Belhaven_Scottish_Stout-3-1676882-196012-A_strong_stout_with_a_pleasing_flavour_.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Belhaven_Scottish_Stout-3-1676882-196012-A_strong_stout_with_a_pleasing_flavour_.html Fri, 10 Dec 2010 17:10:17 +0000
<![CDATA[ Red Hook Long Hammer IPA -- Eeeeeh if you want to say you're an ale drinker, it will let you pretend]]> How does it look? How's the color? Clarity? Head?

  • Clear, very little head, more golden like a pilsner

How's the nose (smell)? Sweet, spicy, fruity?

  • Noticeably grassy, no real malt or citrus sweet and no obvious hoppy bitterness

How does it taste? Malty? Hoppy? Fruity? Chalky?

  • In as much as there is a taste, it happens at the end.  As far as my tongue goes, it has the same general taste and feel of a Corona until the finish--the aftertaste isn't strong, but that's where Red Hook stores the hops that allow them to even consider calling this an IPA

Is it full-bodied? Medium bodied? Weak? Clean?

  • Weak-medium bodied, a bit too clean, the aftertaste is pleasant but not long lasting enough

Where did you buy it? How much was it?

  • Birmingham, AL $10 for six-pack bottles

What do you think overall? Would you buy it again?

  • Overall it is a weak beer.  For someone more accustomed to light (lite) beers, this one will feel heavy, but for ale and stout drinkers this will barely register.  It doesn't taste bad, but what taste there is simply isn't bold enough to do more than kind of whisper that it's there.  Dram for Dram, if it's less expensive than Corona, then go ahead and get this one--at least it doesn't need the lime.  I won't be buying it again.
]]>
http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Red_Hook_Long_Hammer_IPA-3-1481152-194514-Red_Hook_Long_Hammer_IPA_Eeeeeh_if_you_want_to.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Red_Hook_Long_Hammer_IPA-3-1481152-194514-Red_Hook_Long_Hammer_IPA_Eeeeeh_if_you_want_to.html Mon, 29 Nov 2010 23:47:22 +0000
<![CDATA[ Laughing Skull -- only if you like wheat beers]]> How does it look? How's the color? Clarity? Head?

  • Cloudy and amber, like cider but not quite so cloudy.  It is the most foamy beer I've run into in recent memory, if pouring in a glass be extremely careful and be patient as it settles -- or use a huge glass.

How's the nose (smell)? Sweet, spicy, fruity?

  • Somewhat metallic with some hoppy bitterness and a little citrus hiding in there

How does it taste? Malty? Hoppy? Fruity? Chalky?

  • There are enough hops in it for me to want to go ahead and finish the six pack rather than take it to a semi-friend's house as my donation to the beer supply.  But it has the almost gross sweetness and strange cinnamon/nutmeg/allspice taste that come with wheat beers and I didn't get any indication that's what this was.

Is it full-bodied? Medium bodied? Weak? Clean?

  • It is full-bodied and has a pretty complex aftertaste so it isn't clean, but is not unpleasant.

Where did you buy it? How much was it?

  • Birmingham AL, $10 six pack bottles

What do you think overall? Would you buy it again?

  • Laughing Skull is a poor mix of heffeweisen and ale -- it isn't quite as sweet as the wheat beers and not quite as bitter as good ales.  If you like wheat beers, then I think this is worth a try, but understand that it isn't billing itself as such.  No, I will not be buying this beer again.
]]>
http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/beer/UserReview-Laughing_Skull_Amber_Ale-3-1670871-194273-Laughing_Skull_only_if_you_like_wheat_beers.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/beer/UserReview-Laughing_Skull_Amber_Ale-3-1670871-194273-Laughing_Skull_only_if_you_like_wheat_beers.html Wed, 24 Nov 2010 00:05:46 +0000
<![CDATA[ Damn this beer! It's that good!!]]> Simmzy's which i have reviewed and Brewco) open up in downtown Manhattan Beach, and they both serve many boutique beers on tap. I sampled a few and nothing really jumped out at me... in fact, I was even drinking wine at Simmzys for a while. But then I tried this beer named "Racer 5." Great name first off, but then it grew on me.  All of a sudden i found myself in the Whole Foods beer section loading up on every IPA i can find, but nothing compares to my beloved Racer 5.  I'm not sure how long this obsession will last, but right now i find myself frequently thinking... "wow... a Racer 5 would really taste good with this". 

I'll leave the actual tasting notes to someone else who has more experience and a better palate, but the flavor and balance of this IPA really hits the spot for me.  Racer 5 is the stick by which i measure all other beers.  Oh... and btw... it pairs exceptionally well with the pulled pork breakfast burrito at Simmzys... yes... i said breakfast burrito.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Racer_5_IPA-3-1659845-194227-Damn_this_beer_It_s_that_good_.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Racer_5_IPA-3-1659845-194227-Damn_this_beer_It_s_that_good_.html Tue, 23 Nov 2010 17:57:59 +0000
<![CDATA[ The first great beer from Widmere.]]> This is the first truly great beer from Widmere that I have tried.  To be honest, I'm not normally a fan of their beers, as I find them a little too light for my taste.  (And when I brew, I've come to prefer strong, uncarbonated, oaked beers, which of course nobody makes commercially.) At 10% ABV, it's nothing to sneeze at either.  However, this is a very nice, malty, rich, and complex beer which deserves a spot in the world of great beers.

This is a braggot, meaning that the alcohol derives from the fermentation of both honey and malt, and it is a strong beer (more than 8% abv).

The beer pours ordinarily enough.  It is amber colored, moderately carbonated, and has a substantial head.  The nose is very malty, and a little sour. It's not out of sorts for a strong beer.  But then you taste it.  Wow.....

Malty caramel is the first thought along with the complexity of the flavor.  The honey can be tasted, and the prickly pear adds a bit of complexity but the flavor of the latter is hard to pin down.

I don't buy many beers.  I tasted this to see if it was suitable for yuletide gifts and found that it was.  At $7.50 per pint, it's not cheap but is similar to competing craft strong beer.  I expect to buy more to give to family and friends.

]]>
http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Brothers_Reserve_Prickley_Pear_Braggot_Widmere_-3-1670550-194223-The_first_great_beer_from_Widmere_.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Brothers_Reserve_Prickley_Pear_Braggot_Widmere_-3-1670550-194223-The_first_great_beer_from_Widmere_.html Tue, 23 Nov 2010 16:25:04 +0000
<![CDATA[ Snake Dog IPA -- a "go-to" ale for IPA fans]]> How does it look? How's the color? Clarity? Head?

  • Dark amber in color, clear, very little head

How's the nose (smell)? Sweet, spicy, fruity?

  • Strange given the strength of all the flavors, there is almost no scent at all and what is there is a sort of citrus sweet

How does it taste? Malty? Hoppy? Fruity? Chalky?

  • Very hoppy but there is enough malt sweetness that doesn't balance out the experience so much as just adds a cheering section for the bitterness that defines this category of beer.

Is it full-bodied? Medium bodied? Weak? Clean?

  • Full bodied.  The finish lasts a long time and stays consistently bitter which is the major plus.  The one drawback to the beer is in the finish.  It must be served very cold or it tends to get a filmy aftertaste/aftertextrure (it has the same taste and feel as egg-albumin)

Where did you buy it? How much was it?

  • Birmingham AL, $10 six pack bottles.

What do you think overall? Would you buy it again?

  • This is the marketing shtick on the bottle: "Tired of those annoying 3AM hang-up calls from your crazy, stalking EX? Turns out the same qualities that make your EX so damned annoying make our Snake Dog IPA so attractive.  Chock full of bitterness, bite and attitude, it slaps you in the face with flavor.  Just like your psycho EX did at the bar last weekend.

    I have no idea just what sort of EX the marketing team collectively suffered from, but the truly relevant info in the rant is absolutely true: it will smack you in the face.  There is nothing subtle about this beer and since that is not one of its goals I can say that it passes muster on all fronts (except the one problem with the filminess if not consumed at optimum temps).

    Yes, I will buy this beer again!
]]>
http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/product/UserReview-Snake_Dog_India_Pale_Ale-3-1670329-194126-Snake_Dog_IPA_a_go_to_ale_for_IPA_fans.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/product/UserReview-Snake_Dog_India_Pale_Ale-3-1670329-194126-Snake_Dog_IPA_a_go_to_ale_for_IPA_fans.html Sun, 21 Nov 2010 23:44:40 +0000
<![CDATA[ Mojo India Pale Ale -- Great beer, even better given its low cost]]> How does it look? How's the color? Clarity? Head?

  • Golden and cloudy like a light cider, very little head

How's the nose (smell)? Sweet, spicy, fruity?

  • Equal parts malt, citrus (yellow, like lemon or yellow grapefruit), and hoppy bitterness

How does it taste? Malty? Hoppy? Fruity? Chalky?

  • Initial taste is somewhat sweet with a little citrus dryness then strong but pleasant hops bitterness

Is it full-bodied? Medium bodied? Weak? Clean?

  • Medium bodied and mostly clean -- there is an aftertaste but it is not overpowering or long lasting

Where did you buy it? How much was it?

  • Birmingham AL $10 for a six pack (bottles)

What do you think overall? Would you buy it again?

  • Mojo is a higher gravity (7.2%) IPA but is not as sweet as others that get into that %age alcohol and the hoppiness is not overpowering and consistent from initial taste until the aftertaste has faded--this seems to be true even if the beer warms past the chill point most of us prefer.  The six pack cost $10, no lie.  It won't replace Sweet Water's IPA as my favorite, but it is now running a very close second.  One warning though, it does not taste like it carries the punch it has so if you drink it at your normal standard %age beer ... you will hate yourself in the morning.
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http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Mojo_India_Pale_Ale-3-1664579-193469-Mojo_India_Pale_Ale_Great_beer_even_better.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Mojo_India_Pale_Ale-3-1664579-193469-Mojo_India_Pale_Ale_Great_beer_even_better.html Wed, 10 Nov 2010 02:45:26 +0000
<![CDATA[ Pioneering, unique stout]]>
Guinness is one of those underrated beers which is great in part because of how it subtly differs from other stouts.  Folks either love stouts or hate the burned bitterness that characterizes them.  But Guiness goes a step further by adding a signature tanginess which comes from a small portion of the wort being left to undergo a separate, different sort of fermentation.

Guinness is brewed using a somewhat unusual method whereby a small portion of the wort is set aside and allowed to undergo a lactic acid fermentation before being skimmed, boiled, and added back to the main wort.  If you taste Guinness, you will note that it doesn't taste like a stout:  it has a tangy sourness that's not normally present.  That's the lactic acid from this secondary, "sour wort" brewing.  This is similar to the tang you expect from a nice sourdough bread (and actually it's an analogous process).

Sour worts are not generally favored by most breweries and home brewers because there is a view that they are hard to control (and hence consistency isn't as possible as it might be otherwise).  This is true, but Guinness has managed to master it.

So if you are looking for a unique, bitter, and tangy beer, Guinness is one of those you cannot ignore.]]>
http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/drink/UserReview-Guinness_Draught-3-1010482-193372-Pioneering_unique_stout.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/drink/UserReview-Guinness_Draught-3-1010482-193372-Pioneering_unique_stout.html Mon, 8 Nov 2010 17:58:37 +0000
<![CDATA[ Sweet Water Motor Boat Ale -- Sweet Water's ESB]]> How does it look? How's the color? Clarity? Head?

  • Dark Amber very little head.

How's the nose (smell)? Sweet, spicy, fruity?

  • Malt sweet is the strongest scent but there is citrus below that.

How does it taste? Malty? Hoppy? Fruity? Chalky?

  • Almost as sweet as brown ales, but has enough obvious hoppiness to cut the sweet with enough bitterness.

Is it full-bodied? Medium bodied? Weak? Clean?

  • Medium bodied.  Mostly clean as there is an aftertaste but it is not complex, stays somewhat bitter until it fades entirely.

Where did you buy it? How much was it?

  • Birmingham AL $10 for six-pack bottles.

What do you think overall? Would you buy it again?

  • I like the brewery so I didn't have to pause a second to think whether I would try it.  I regret that it is seasonal because it is a solid beer.  It isn't as heavy as ales tend to be and is a great alternative if you don't want an IPA -- or an alternative for a heavier traditional brown ale.  From experience, Sweet Water's seasonal beers are not sold for more than about 6 weeks (and I just saw it today).  So if you like it, buy it in the amount you think you will enjoy because you may not get the chance again.  I'm still waiting to see if an ale from last year (Road Trip) will be re-released or if this is it's replacement.


 

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http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/beer/UserReview-Motor_Boat_Ale-3-1664230-193346-Sweet_Water_Motor_Boat_Ale_Sweet_Water_s_ESB.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/beer/UserReview-Motor_Boat_Ale-3-1664230-193346-Sweet_Water_Motor_Boat_Ale_Sweet_Water_s_ESB.html Mon, 8 Nov 2010 01:57:21 +0000
<![CDATA[ An intensely black extra strong coffee stout]]>
Péché Mortel (French for "Mortal Sin") is an intensely black and dense beer with very pronounced roasted flavours. Fair trade coffee is infused during the brewing process, intensifying the bitterness of the beer and giving it a powerful coffee taste. Péché mortel is brewed to be savored; we invite you to drink it in moderation.

This stout style, high in alcohol and bitterness in order to favour preservation, was historically brewed to support the long and arduous voyage necessary to export the beer from England to Russia. The word Imperial comes from the fact that the beer was specially brewed for the Russian Tsar's court.


The creamy density and viscosity of the beer is evident even as the first few drops pour from the bottle. A modest, dark tan head dissipates quickly leaving behind some very attractive lacing. The strong coffee odour is as intense as the colour. Little if any carbonation remains for more than a few minutes after the bottle is poured.

Bitterness is the overwhelming flavour type from notes of both burnt coffee and dark chocolate but it's ever so slightly moderated by hints of caramel or toffee providing just a teeny touch of sweetness as well. Nice flavour but, as the advertising suggests, at 9.5% alcohol by volume, this extra strong stout is definitely a sipping beer to be taken slowly and in moderation.

This is my second sample of Dieu du Ciel's repertoire and I'm liking what I've tried so far. (My first purchase was Danse Macabre).

Paul Weiss]]>
http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Dieu_du_Ciel_P_ch_Mortel-3-1664176-193297-An_intensely_black_extra_strong_coffee_stout.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Dieu_du_Ciel_P_ch_Mortel-3-1664176-193297-An_intensely_black_extra_strong_coffee_stout.html Sun, 7 Nov 2010 00:37:10 +0000
<![CDATA[ Saranac Imperial IPA -- high gravity, not too expensive and generally worth the cost]]> How does it look? How's the color? Clarity? Head?

Dark amber, head is slight and settles quickly

How's the nose (smell)? Sweet, spicy, fruity?

Maple syrup type sweetness and the woody smell that comes along with it, hoppy undertones

How does it taste? Malty? Hoppy? Fruity? Chalky?

Saranac's alcohol content is 8.5%.  From my experience the high gravity beers are primarily sweet, so it is still taking a little more time than I thought to get used to it.  So there is a sweet red-wine initial flavor, but when that passes it gets really complicated.  The label says that it uses 10 different malts and 10 different hops.  I can't say I can taste every malt but it has a very strong maltiness that lasts throughout the taste experience.  The label says it has 85 IBUs, but despite that, the hoppiness is overpowered by the malt and a berrylike flavor that settles along-side the malt as the aftertaste matures and fades.

Is it full-bodied? Medium bodied? Weak? Clean?

Very full-bodied.  Very complex aftertaste so it is not clean, but that is not a drawback
 

Where did you buy it? How much was it?

Birmingham AL, $11

What do you think overall? Would you buy it again?

Overall it is not bad.  I've been trying the higher gravity beers for some time (they became legal to sell in AL not quite 2 years ago) and am still developing the palate.  It is sweeter than I like but not so much that it is truly offputting.  I cannot recommend it for someone that doesn't care for ales, it is far too strong for that.  I think most IPA fans will find something to like in it however.  I have erred on the side of the positive and given it a full 4, but it's closer to a 3.5.  Yes, I will buy it again.

]]>
http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/product/UserReview-Saranac-3-1661425-192999-Saranac_Imperial_IPA_high_gravity_not_too.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/product/UserReview-Saranac-3-1661425-192999-Saranac_Imperial_IPA_high_gravity_not_too.html Tue, 2 Nov 2010 01:42:09 +0000
<![CDATA[ Great Divide DPA (Denver Pale Ale) -- easily worth a try]]> How does it look? How's the color? Clarity? Head?

Amber and quite clear, very light head.

How's the nose (smell)? Sweet, spicy, fruity?

Very hoppy.  I also smell a distinctly oaky scent that seems a bit out of place.

How does it taste? Malty? Hoppy? Fruity? Chalky?

Nice hoppy bitters but balanced with just enough malt to make it smooth without being obvious.  There is also a slight oaky taste to match the smell and it actually works quite well.

Is it full-bodied? Medium bodied? Weak? Clean?

It is a medium bodied and clean beer.  The "cleanness" is the one draw back for me.  I like ales to have strong (and preferably complex) aftertastes.

Where did you buy it? How much was it?

Birmingham AL, $11

What do you think overall? Would you buy it again?

Overall I would recommend anyone try it. It is not too strong for people that don't care for ales in general and not too weak for people that like stronger flavored and bodied brews.  I don't know that it will wow a beer snob, but I doubt it will disappoint.  Yes I would buy it again, but probably not at full price.

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http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/beer/UserReview-Denver_Pale_Ale-3-1661421-192995-Great_Divide_DPA_Denver_Pale_Ale_easily_worth.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/beer/UserReview-Denver_Pale_Ale-3-1661421-192995-Great_Divide_DPA_Denver_Pale_Ale_easily_worth.html Tue, 2 Nov 2010 00:55:38 +0000
<![CDATA[ I'll race you to the Racer 5]]> http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Racer_5_IPA-3-1659845-192020-I_ll_race_you_to_the_Racer_5.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Racer_5_IPA-3-1659845-192020-I_ll_race_you_to_the_Racer_5.html Wed, 27 Oct 2010 08:50:48 +0000 <![CDATA[ Mendocino Brewing Co White Hawk IPA]]> How does it look? How's the color? Clarity? Head?

  • Amber, lightly cloudy, slight head

How's the nose (smell)? Sweet, spicy, fruity?

  • Quite sweet, mostly malt but there is something closer to maple syrup which is not uncommon for the higher gravity beers (7%), there is some hop in it but if blindfolded and unaware that it bills itself as an IPA, I'm not totally sure I would recognize it.

How does it taste? Malty? Hoppy? Fruity? Chalky?

  • It is quite sweet.  To my tongue, most higher gravity beers tend to be more sweet than anything else--since the alcohol content is closer to wine, that would tend to make a little sense even if the ingredients are different.  Once the sweetness settles, it starts to feel and taste more like an ale, but the bitterness that defines an IPA is not strong enough to truly separate it from something like an amber ale.  So more malt and sweet than hoppy.

Is it full-bodied? Medium bodied? Weak? Clean?

  • Full bodied.  There is a significant but pleasant aftertaste so i cannot claim that it is 'clean.'

Where did you buy it? How much was it?

  • Birmingham AL, $10 six-pack

What do you think overall? Would you buy it again?

  • Overall, I like it.  It would not be my IPA of choice but for a high gravity beer it is good and worth the price.  For IPA mavens, this would likely not be very high on the list, but if given the chance to sample it, do not turn it down.
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http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-White_Hawk_IPA-3-1658982-191937-Mendocino_Brewing_Co_White_Hawk_IPA.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-White_Hawk_IPA-3-1658982-191937-Mendocino_Brewing_Co_White_Hawk_IPA.html Mon, 25 Oct 2010 21:05:19 +0000
<![CDATA[ Left Hand Brewery 400 Pound Monkey English Style IPA]]> How does it look? How's the color? Clarity? Head?

  • It pours golden and somewhat cloudy, light head that settles quickly.

How's the nose (smell)? Sweet, spicy, fruity?

  • The nose is extremely light, there is a very faint malt and hops smell, but only just.

How does it taste? Malty? Hoppy? Fruity? Chalky?

  • The sweetness is somewhat malty, but is far more citrusy (orange) than I would expect from an English style Pale Ale.  The strength of the hops is disappointing because it claims to be an IPA.  This does not mean that the beer is bad, just that the expected hop bitterness is not obvious.

Is it full-bodied? Medium bodied? Weak? Clean?

  • Medium body but smooth.  The aftertaste is pleasantly complex so I can't call it clean but that is actually praise.

Where did you buy it? How much was it?

  • Birmingham AL, $10 six-pack

What do you think overall? Would you buy it again?

  • Overall, it is a decent beer.  I would recommend it for someone curious about IPAs but that are not ready for the true bitterness that separates that brew from the others.  For IPA fiends, this will not really register and may not be worth the cash.  However ... I will buy it again.
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http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-400_Pound_Monkey_English_Style_IPA-3-1658980-191935-Left_Hand_Brewery_400_Pound_Monkey_English_Style.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-400_Pound_Monkey_English_Style_IPA-3-1658980-191935-Left_Hand_Brewery_400_Pound_Monkey_English_Style.html Mon, 25 Oct 2010 20:16:18 +0000
<![CDATA[ Inukshuk IPA, maybe more subtle than an ideal IPA but I quite liked it]]> How does it look? How's the color? Clarity? Head?

  • Somewhat cloudy, roughly the color of cider.

How's the nose (smell)? Sweet, spicy, fruity?

  • Far more subtle than IPAs tend to be but a mix of sweet, citrus, and hops

How does it taste? Malty? Hoppy? Fruity? Chalky?

  • I know how the taste buds are arranged on the tongue so/but forgive me for this image.  The way the flavor works, it feels like the initial flavors sit in the middle of the tongue equally intense.  The aftertaste, though, is what pushes this beer from ok to good.  The question for IPA snobs is whether the timing of the bitterness puts this beer on a list to try more than twice. 

Is it full-bodied? Medium bodied? Weak? Clean?

  • Medium bodied, there is a huge flavor component in the aftertaste, so it isn't truly clean but then I don't think it's supposed to be.

Where did you buy it? How much was it?

  • Bottled six pack in Birmingham AL, $10

What do you think overall? Would you buy it again?

  • Since my initial reaction was that it wasn't bitter enough, I was surprised that by being patient I got more than I expected over all.  And yes I will buy it again.
]]>
http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Inukshuk_IPA-3-1658642-191825-Inukshuk_IPA_maybe_more_subtle_than_an_ideal_IPA.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Inukshuk_IPA-3-1658642-191825-Inukshuk_IPA_maybe_more_subtle_than_an_ideal_IPA.html Sat, 23 Oct 2010 15:52:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Peanut Butter Quick Tip by Caprig]]> http://www.lunch.com/HealthyLifestyle/reviews/food/UserReview-Peanut_Butter-108-1332862-190208.html http://www.lunch.com/HealthyLifestyle/reviews/food/UserReview-Peanut_Butter-108-1332862-190208.html Mon, 18 Oct 2010 14:39:04 +0000 <![CDATA[ The world's oldest pale ale beer]]> OK so who the heck am I to tell you what the best beer is?  Well, let me start out by saying that as a retired Army officer and helicopter pilot, “I’ve been around the world three times and have seen every dog and pony show known to mankind!!!  Helicopter pilots are euphemistically referred to by those who “walk” in the army as “lounge lizards.”   I am guilty as charged!  I’ve been in almost every “juke joint” and “honky tonk” around the world.  However, consider the fact that like many of my army brethren I am fond of stating that, “my favorite beer is free beer, and my all time favorite beer is, cold free beer”!!!  All that being said why am I rating a beer?  Because when I do get serious about my beer drinking I have tasted more than I care to admit to my kids.
 
Bass Pale Ale™ is one of my favorite beers I came to know this much sought-after beer when I was in England in 1995.  It is a full flavored beer and has the distinction of being the world’s oldest pale ale, brewed since 1777.  With an alluring color Bass Pale Ale™ has a pleasing burnt nutty flavor, with an enjoyable aroma of hops.  No offensive after taste.  I enjoy Bass Pale Ale™ with meat dishes and stews especially in the fall and winter months.
 
In addition, Bass Pale Ale™ is an excellent choice of beers to make a “Black and Tan.”  Little history tidbit: Bass Pale Ale™ was the only beer served on the RMS Titanic.
 

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http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/beer/UserReview-Bass-3-1010172-185701-The_world_s_oldest_pale_ale_beer.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/beer/UserReview-Bass-3-1010172-185701-The_world_s_oldest_pale_ale_beer.html Tue, 12 Oct 2010 11:39:43 +0000
<![CDATA[ A great Dutch beer brewed since 1615]]> OK so who the heck am I to tell you what the best beer is?  Well, let me start out by saying that as a retired Army officer and helicopter pilot, “I’ve been around the world three times and have seen every dog and pony show known to mankind!!!  Helicopter pilots are euphemistically referred to by those who “walk” in the army as “lounge lizards.”   I am guilty as charged!  I’ve been in almost every “juke joint” and “honky tonk” around the world.  However, consider the fact that like many of my army brethren I am fond of stating that, “my favorite beer is free beer, and my all time favorite beer is, cold free beer”!!!  All that being said why am I rating a beer?  Because when I do get serious about my beer drinking I have tasted more than I care to admit to my kids.
 
Grolsch™ is one of my favorite beers I came to this much sought-after beer when I was in the Netherlands.  First, the bottle has a very distinctive and for many years, since 1897, an iconic look from all other beers with what the company calls its “swingtop, but we in the army always referred to it as the “flippy top.” 
 
This lager beer, brewed since 1615, (plenty of time to get it right), has a pleasing amber color.  Grolsch™ has a pleasing light and fresh flavor with hints of grain and no noticeable aftertaste.  For me it is a great beer to quench my parched thirst after doing strenuous yard work in the summer months, or for a nice summer cookout.  So, ice down a “flippy” and enjoy!
 

]]>
http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/beer/UserReview-Grolsch-3-1524913-185326-A_great_Dutch_beer_brewed_since_1615.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/beer/UserReview-Grolsch-3-1524913-185326-A_great_Dutch_beer_brewed_since_1615.html Mon, 11 Oct 2010 15:39:25 +0000
<![CDATA[ An average German pilsner]]>
The flavour, nicely balanced between sweetness and the bitterness of the hops, has a pleasant sensation of carbonation on the drinking.

While this beer has nothing sensational to say for itself to make it stand out from a very crowded international field, neither has it any detractions such as aftertaste, skunkiness or undue bitterness. At 4.9% alcohol/volume, this is a very pleasant session beer that would be, on balance, a good crowd pleaser at a summer barbecue, for example.

Many similar lagers and pilsners come to mind to give an idea of flavour - Asahi, Urquell, Peroni, Warsteiner, Bittburger, Steamwhistle and even Canada's mass-produced giant, Labatt's Blue.

At the risk of damning with faint praise - nondescript but overall pleasant.

Paul Weiss]]>
http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Wernesgr_ner-3-1625811-165584-An_average_German_pilsner.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Wernesgr_ner-3-1625811-165584-An_average_German_pilsner.html Fri, 24 Sep 2010 17:11:19 +0000
<![CDATA[ A sweet high-powered ale that's pleasant for sipping!]]> While some reviewers on the internet talked about a modest head, my very aggressive pour resulted in little more than a modest dusting of off white head which dissipated virtually instantly leaving little if any lacing. The carbonation was modest and reasonably long-lived but it's only visible when held up to a bright light. Of course, that's because of the extraordinarily deep red colour that is so rich and dark as to render the ale virtually opaque.

A sweet, malty aroma carried through to the flavour - malt, bittersweet chocolate and some molasses, caramel or maple. Thankfully, the flavour, while powerful and sweet was strong but not cloying. As a matter of fact, the tongue feel and the after taste was quite pleasant. The carbonation, the sweetness and the body of the beer somehow conspired to leave a very pleasant overall coating on the tongue that I've never really experienced before. For those with a scientific bent that might attach some meaning to this, the sensation was most pronounced at the back sides of the tongue.

Have a care ... we're talking 8% alcohol by volume here so it's easy to imagine reaching your initial buzz from only a single sampling.

Enjoy. Definitely recommended as a one-off sipper (dare I say, like a glass of Scotch). This beer is simply too sweet and too strong to recommend as an all-nighter session beer during an evening out with the boys. I'll also add the disclaimer that this beer is not for everybody ... everyone's unique taste buds will react to this level of sweetness differently. I save one reviewer who likened it to cough syrup, LOL,  so be warned!

Paul Weiss

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http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-McEwan_s_Scotch_Ale-3-1619730-161100-A_sweet_high_powered_ale_that_s_pleasant_for.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-McEwan_s_Scotch_Ale-3-1619730-161100-A_sweet_high_powered_ale_that_s_pleasant_for.html Sun, 19 Sep 2010 16:59:39 +0000
<![CDATA[Peanut Butter Quick Tip by Raederle]]> http://www.lunch.com/HealthyLifestyle/reviews/food/UserReview-Peanut_Butter-108-1332862-161035.html http://www.lunch.com/HealthyLifestyle/reviews/food/UserReview-Peanut_Butter-108-1332862-161035.html Sat, 18 Sep 2010 07:59:58 +0000 <![CDATA[ Lighter than stout, heavier than ale or lager ... well, what'd you expect?]]>
The aroma is also what you might expect for this type of beer - a pleasant blend of chocolate, coffee and some miscellaneous fruity flavours that could have been citrus. Hey, my nose isn't THAT good yet!

The taste was what put thisone over the top for me. Stouts and porters are normally a one-off taste for me because they're typically so darn heavy. But this one is a winner. When Hockley, an accomplished and sadly understated Ontario craft brewer, mixes their stout with a lighter underlying ale, we're left with a mixture that preserves the malty, creamy richness of the stout and those magnificent chocolatey and coffee flavours but adds in the dry, hoppy finish of the ale and, at the same time, removes the bloated heaviness of the pure stout. There's definite chocolate sweetness that goes well beyond the citrus sweetness of a wheat ale but the dryness removes anything that might edge it over the top into the realm of cloying.

A solid winner that I'll definitely be buying again. It's such a shame that this one doesn't pour out into the texture black and tan layers that a skilled bartender can produce.

Paul Weiss]]>
http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Hockley_Black_Tan-3-1617507-159263-Lighter_than_stout_heavier_than_ale_or_lager_.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Hockley_Black_Tan-3-1617507-159263-Lighter_than_stout_heavier_than_ale_or_lager_.html Fri, 17 Sep 2010 19:14:23 +0000
<![CDATA[ A sweet beer, reminiscent of wheat, but made with rye!]]>
Paul Weiss]]>
http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Schleimhammer_Roggenbier-3-1605133-147614-A_sweet_beer_reminiscent_of_wheat_but_made_with.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/d/UserReview-Schleimhammer_Roggenbier-3-1605133-147614-A_sweet_beer_reminiscent_of_wheat_but_made_with.html Mon, 6 Sep 2010 19:48:39 +0000
<![CDATA[Beer Quick Tip by MNeulander]]> http://www.lunch.com/spiriteddiscussions/reviews/beer/UserReview-Beer-17-1409395-146920.html http://www.lunch.com/spiriteddiscussions/reviews/beer/UserReview-Beer-17-1409395-146920.html Sat, 4 Sep 2010 12:37:07 +0000 <![CDATA[Corona Quick Tip by MNeulander]]> OK, I don't get the attraction of Mexican beers.  Think logically for a moment.  What is the biggest ingredient of beer?  Water!!!  What is the one thing you don't want to do in Mexico?  Drink the water!!!.  Now obviously they are boiling the water in the brew process to kill the nasty germs.  However, how about all the beers we are told about like Coors and Olympia that taste so good because of the great water.  We all know that not all water is the same.

In addition, I am a bit put off when you tell me a beer taste better with lime in it!!!  A good beer stands on its own!!!

Therefore, I don't get why anyone would want to drink beer brewed in a country you would not drink the water from!!!]]>
http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/beer/UserReview-Corona-3-1010286-146856.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/beer/UserReview-Corona-3-1010286-146856.html Fri, 3 Sep 2010 00:25:31 +0000
<![CDATA[Dos Equis Quick Tip by MNeulander]]>
Therefore, I don't get why anyone would want to drink beer brewed in a country you would not drink the water from!!!]]>
http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/beer/UserReview-Dos_Equis-3-1010375-146855.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/beer/UserReview-Dos_Equis-3-1010375-146855.html Fri, 3 Sep 2010 00:22:21 +0000
<![CDATA[Tsing Tao Beer Quick Tip by MNeulander]]> http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/beer/UserReview-Tsing_Tao_Beer-3-1422498-146853.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/beer/UserReview-Tsing_Tao_Beer-3-1422498-146853.html Thu, 2 Sep 2010 23:52:24 +0000 <![CDATA[Sam Adams Winter Lager Quick Tip by MNeulander]]>
Great domestic micro-brew. It always pleases. The taste is great. However, consider the fact that my favorite beer is free beer, and my all time favorite beer is, cold free beer!!! 

This lager has great body and it is pleasant to drink in the winter months.  I love how the brewery is willing to try new flavors, they have great quality control, I have never had a mediocre beer from them!

Honoring a great American patriot. Much nicer and more interesting than his boring, egotistical uptight cousin John Adams!!!
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http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/drink/UserReview-Sam_Adams_Winter_Lager-3-1438951-146852.html http://www.lunch.com/beercommunity/reviews/drink/UserReview-Sam_Adams_Winter_Lager-3-1438951-146852.html Thu, 2 Sep 2010 23:37:02 +0000