Monthly Archives: August 2012

305. Yuengling Traditional Lager

Another lager from Sunday afternoon and another beer that I got through a friend. This also may be my first review of a green bottle beer – I’m not going to look back through the prior 304 reviews but I cannot think of another green bottle beer.

This beer looks to have potential after the pour with a nice amber color and thin white head. Again the aroma is typical lager style with some sweetness but almost no hops. Beer is fairly simple but more flavorful than the prior review of Cisco Brewers Light Lager. Certainly some sweet malts to start and a slightly bitter finish. Overall a quality lager and certainly sessionable at 4.4% ABV. 
Pros:  
A decent amount of flavor for a lager
Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 4.4% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Yuengling
Brewers Description: An iconic American lager famous for its rich amber color and medium-bodied flavor – with roasted caramel malt for a subtle sweetness and a combination of cluster and cascade hops, this true original delivers a well-balanced taste with very distinct character.

Be Sociable, Share!

304. Cisco Brewers Sankaty Light Lager

Had a couple of lagers in the fridge on Sunday and decided with Summer coming to an end it was time to drink them and start making room for the stouts and porters. This is my second canned beer from Cisco Brewers and truly a session beer with only 3.8% ABV.

Pours a pale yellow with a nice white head full of big fluffy bubbles. Just like the Pale Ale the head disappears very quickly leaving no lacing on the glass. Aroma is what I expect from a lager – meaning not much, maybe a little sweet smelling but no hop, fruit or anything exciting coming from this one. Taste is quite bland but very light, easy to drink and refreshing. Not a bad beer but just not my style.
Pros:
Refreshing
Cons: Very simple
Alcohol Content: 3.8% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Brewers Website: Cisco Brewers
Brewers Description: Sankaty Light Lager is a light American Golden Lager. This delicious creation is light-bodied with tremendous balance and distinct hop character. At 3.8% alcohol and 126 calories this light beer has true flavor and body while being easy to drink and easier on the waistline. It is named after the famous lighthouse that has stood on a bluff on the southeastern side of Nantucket Island since 1849.

Be Sociable, Share!

303. Lawson’s Finest Liquids Session in the Rye

Seems a lot of brewers are starting to use rye in the brew process and it can make for some interesting flavors. I ended up swapping a bottle of Smuttynose Strawberry Short Weiss for this bottle of Lawson’s. When I was in Vermont last month the only bottles available were Knockout Blonde and Double Sunshine so I was glad to find someone with a bottle of this for trade.

The beer pours a deep orange with a small white head. Almost no lacing from but retention was good. A fair amount of aroma from this one including lots of spice and some hops which surprised me. The rye gives this one a complex flavor including a fair amount of spice but also some citrus hops. I was not expecting a hoppy beer with this but was pleasantly surprised. The beer finished smooth with minimal aftertaste and being a fairly low ABV the bottle was finished fairly quickly. Really enjoyed all 3 bottles I had the chance to try from Lawson’s and hoping I can score more when I go back to Vermont in less than a month. 
Pros:  
Spicy, hop flavors
Cons: 
Alcohol Content: 4.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★☆
Brewers Website: Lawson’s Finest Liquids
Brewers Description: Not currently listed on website

Be Sociable, Share!

302. Cisco Brewers Whale’s Tale Pale Ale

Cisco recently started selling cans in Maine so when I saw a few at Bier Cellar in Portland I grabbed one of each. Hopefully the others are better than the pale ale.

Pours a nice deep orange color with a thick off white head that disappears quickly, leaves no lacing and makes the beer appear flat. Aroma has some hop and sweet caramel but it is fairly subdued. Taste is almost all malt and very sweet. Not what I expect from a pale ale, tastes more like an amber ale due to the lack of hops. This beer was disappointing in appearance due to poor head retention and taste.
Pros: 

Cons: Overly sweet – no hops
Alcohol Content: 5.6% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Brewers Website: Cisco Brewers
Brewers Description: Whale’s Tale Pale Ale is an English style pale ale. This is our flagship beer. Wonderfully balanced with Maris Otter malt, hints of crystal malt and generously hopped with East Kent Goldings, it has a rich honey color and fruity hop aroma. It is named in honor of Nantucket’s whaling history.

Be Sociable, Share!

301. Smuttynose Rye IPA (Short Batch Series #15)

This beer was released the end of June and available only at Smuttynose. I was not able to attend the bottle release but one of my followers grabbed me a bottle and we were able to connect last month to swap some beer. The short batch series includes some experimental beer from Smuttynose brewed in 20-30 barrel batches. These are bottled and kegged and disappear quickly.

The Rye IPA started with their Finest Kind IPA recipe and makes some adjustments (see brewer details below). Color is a nice orange with a sizable head. Aroma has plenty of piney hops and some rye notes. Taste has more citrus than pine and is balanced out well with the rye. I have not had many rye based beers but this has to be one of the best.
Pros:
Nice hop flavor
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 7.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 65
Rating: ★★★★☆
Brewers Website: Smuttynose
Brewers Description: The beer uses our best-selling Finest Kind IPA as template, but a few key changes make this beer quite different.

Be Sociable, Share!

300. Oxbow Barrel Aged Farmhouse Pale Ale

Finally made it to review #300 and decided to open a bottle from Oxbow. They have only bottled two of their beers; this Barrel Aged Farmhouse Pale Ale and their Arboreal. Oxbow’s Farmhouse Pale Ale is one of my favorite beers from Maine so I am expecting the barrel aged version to be just as good. The bottle is your typical 750 ml with a very classy black and white label.

If you have a bottle of this beer be prepared when you open it as mine had a bit of an eruption. Cool to look at but caused quite a mess on the dining room table and also wasted some very good beer. Have a glass ready and be sure to save every ounce. Pour is a cloudy light orange color with minimal head.

Nice earthy aroma with some wood (oak). Overall a pleasant smelling beer that will draw you in. The barrel aging takes a beer that already has plenty of flavor and adds another layer of complexity. You still get the grassy, citrus, floral taste of the FPA but with a bit of extra funk from the Brett and wood from the barrel. I find barrel aging to be hit or miss – but it seems to work well with this beer from Oxbow. These guys just make great beer and their first venture into bottling and barrel aging works.
Pros: Complex flavor / well balanced
Cons: Hard to find
Alcohol Content: 6.5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★★☆
Brewers Website: Oxbow Brewing
Brewers Description: A farmhouse ale fermented in stainless steel and aged in oak barrels with Brettanomyces.

Be Sociable, Share!

299. Widmer Brothers Citra Blonde Summer Brew

Sometimes you just need a simple refreshing beer. For me when it is really hot and humid or if I just finished a big double IPA or similar beer but still want another. That is usually when I look for a blonde ale.

This one from Widmer is about what you would expect from a blonde ale, light in color and body – simple but refreshing. Color is a nice pale yellow with a fairly thick white head. Aroma has some wheat and citrus. Taste has quite a bit of flavor for a summer blonde ale. Citrus hops, a bit of spice and a nice malt backbone. Overall a nice refreshing summer brew from Widmer. 
Pros:
Light refreshing and flavorful
Cons:
Alcohol Content: 4.3% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 20
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Widmer Brothers
Brewers Description: Citra hops lend their name to this interpretation of a golden ale. But that’s not all they bring to the party.  Their striking citrus aroma and thirst-quenching flavor are the perfect pairing for the soft malt notes. Together they create a beer that’s full in flavor and uniquely refreshing.

Be Sociable, Share!

298. Samuel Adams Third Voyage

I picked up the Samuel Adams IPA variety pack which has six different styles of IPA in it. Two of the styles I had previously reviewed and this was the first of the other four. I’m really hoping the other three are an improvement over the Third Voyage.

This is the Double IPA and if you have been following my blog you know I love double IPAs so I was really looking forward to this one. Unfortunately it did not impress. Color is typical of a double IPA dark orange to red with a nice white head. Smell had some hops but was mostly sweet malts – not your typical floral, fruit, pine hop aroma. Taste had some hops up front but was quickly overpowered by the sweet caramel and alcohol taste. I’m not sure what this one was missing but it seems like the hops were competing instead of complementing each other. Not their best effort, especially in a category that has so many great beers.  
Pros: 

Cons:
Alcohol Content: 8.0% ABV
Calories: 278
IBU (Bitterness): 80
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Brewers Website: Samuel Adams
Brewers Description: Bright and intense with a vivid hop punch. Third Voyage features Cascade hops from different growing regions throught the world. The unique conditions of soil, moisture, and sunlight from each yield subtle differences that make this beer a complex medeley of hop notes.

For our double IPA we used Cascade hops from each of these regions to give the beer a distinct grapefruit and piney hop character. We add a touch of sweetness with Caramalt and honey malt for subtle hints of caramel and toffee. The result is a brew that’s citrusy, earthy, and full of bold character.

Be Sociable, Share!

297. Throwback Brewery Rhubarb Wit

Visited Throwback Brewery a couple of weeks ago and was glad they still had the Rhubarb Wit on tap. The assistant brewery said the keg was almost empty and she was not sure if it would fill the growler but it did.

Beer pours a nice golden color with a thick white head. Retention was great and also left a lot of lacing on the glass. Aroma was sweet which I assume is the rhubarb but it has been years since I was around fresh rhubarb so I have forgotten what it smell like. Tastes follows with a sweet refreshing taste which lingers a bit but in an entirely good way. This beer is a great summer beer with a low ABV, refreshing taste and crisp clean finish. If you can find your way to Throwback hope they have this available.
Pros: 
Very refreshing and unique
Cons: Seasonal and only available in NH
Alcohol Content: 5% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 15
Rating: ★★★★☆
Brewers Website: Throwback Brewery
Brewers Description: Our Rhubarb Wit is a traditional Belgian White (or Wit) made with belgian ale yeast, orange peal, oats from Maine, wheat from Rollinsford, New Hampshire, and chamomile from Rye, NH. We then used 75lbs of New Hampshire rhubarb. The result is a really drinkable, summery beer with a very pleasant, citrusy / lemon flavors that come through at the end.

Be Sociable, Share!

296. Rising Tide Brewing Company Zephyr

A few months ago I heard Nathan was experimenting with some IPA recipes with the goal of adding an IPA to the already solid line up of beer from Rising Tide. This was great news as I love a good IPA and generally enjoy their beer. A couple of  weeks ago it was released as Zephyr and is available in the 22 oz bottles with the simple yet eye catching label as well as growler fills from the brewery and few places will have this on-tap. According to Nathan this will be limited due to the limited availability of hops so enjoy it while you can.

The beer pours a bit darker than many IPAs with a slight white head. Aroma is pleasant but not overpowering. A bit different from other IPAs as you get some fruit but not your typical tropical/grapefruit. Taste is very well balanced with plenty of hop bitterness and a sweet finish. Might be a little more bitter than some of the other IPAs but for me that is not a bad thing. Overall a quality East Coast IPA with a bit of a different twist.
Pros:  
Well balanced and different than your typical IPA
Cons: Bitter (if you don’t like bitter)
Alcohol Content: 7.2% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★☆
Brewers Website: Rising Tide
Brewers Description: Heady like the sweet breath of Zephyrus, our India pale ale is redolent of citrus, apples, and pears, balanced by a touch of caramel. We use malted barley grown by local farmers and add a special blend of Cascade, Centennial, and Calypso hops to create this juicy, hoppy ale.

Be Sociable, Share!