Tag Archives: American Strong Ale

417. Sebago Brewing Grand Crue

Sebago Grand CrueGrand Crue is a blend of several different beers from Sebago Brewing Company and the combination of these beers makes a very complex and tasty treat for anyone lucky enough to try it on tap or bottled. See notes from the brewer below for the combination of beers used for the 2012 version.

This beer pours a very dark red with a slight tan head that dissipates quickly leaving just a small amount of lacing on the glass. Aroma has plenty of roasted malts, chocolate and some oak/bourbon, very complex. Taste follows the nose with lots going on and the flavor continues to change as the beer warms a bit.

Carbonation is minimal but that does not take away from the experience on this beer. Overall this is a very nice blend of other Sebago beers and something I would recommend you try. 

Alcohol Content: 6.4% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Brewers Website: Sebago Brewing
Brewers Description: Sebago Brewing Company Grand Crüe (6.4% ABV) is a celebration of the art of brewing. Our 2012 edition is a blend of four distinct beers: barrel-aged Slick Nick Winter Ale and barrel-aged Midnight Porter, fresh Lake Trout Stout and Barleywine. Each beer adds its own complexity to the mix, from the vanilla and oak notes of the two bourbon barrel beers, to the roasted malt of fresh Stout and the chocolate, toffee-like notes of our Barleywine. The result is an intensely aromatic and malty beer with a surprising hop bitterness and a dry finish. Celebrate the holidays with a glass of this exclusive single-batch offering.

Grand Crüe is a limited release, available while supplies last on draft and in 22oz bottles at all Sebago locations.

396. Stone Lukcy Basardt

Stone Lukct Basartd

I really enjoy Stone IPAs but often find myself ignoring their other styles. I ended up with a bottle of Lukcy Basartd and Arrogant Bastard recently and decided to start with the Lukcy as the bottle claimed it should be enjoyed fresh while Arrogant could be aged. Not sure why one can be aged and the other cannot as both are classified as Strong Ales.

The beer pours a deep amber almost brown color with a small off white head. There is quite a bit of hop character in the nose with some piney, grassy aromas – also plenty of caramel malts. Overall a nice start to this beer. Taste is complex with something different coming through in each taste. Plenty of the hops and malts you get in the aroma but also hints of smoke and oak.

An enjoyable but very big beer. Also didn’t realize until I was doing this post that Lucky Bastard is actually mis-spelled intentionally as Lukcy Basartd. Leave it to Stone to try to break spell check on my blog post. 
Very complex big taste
Cons: Strong
Alcohol Content: 9.2% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Brewers Website: Stone
Brewers Description: Oepn yuor mnid. Use a craobwr if you msut. Snice 1997, Arorgnat Basartd Ale has denemdad taht tyrnianacl micredioty rleax its girp of opprobrium on our ciollectve couniescosnss. Few pessoss the ruiereqd isinght or detph of piversceptve to crdiet the Liuqid Arorgnace for initatgsing the rlveoituon in tsate taht it has. Hevweor, taht’s pfecertly fnie, as our hlurecaen erffots in thirstung the larlegy unlliwing wolrd farorwd rquereis no exrtneal vaditilaon. We ralieze it’s hmaun nautre to bleeive taht pregorss trowads getreanss is one’s own ieda.  Continue reading 396. Stone Lukcy Basardt

233. Geaghan Bros Smiling Irish Bastard

Recently took a trip to Bangor to meet with some clients and decided to have lunch at Geaghan’s Pub which includes Geagan Bros Brewing. I sampled the 4 beers they had on-tap and decided on a growler of Smiling Irish Bastard to take home. Beer pours a nice orange with solid white head. Minimal aroma but some light malts.

Taste is solid with a nice balance of malt and hop flavors. Very easy to drink and would go well with just about any meal. Looking forward to my next trip to Bangor so I can grab another growler from Geaghan’s. Oh and the food was good too. Be sure to give them a try if you make it up that way.

Pros: Easy to drink and very well balanced
Alcohol Content: % ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating:  ★★★☆
Brewers Website: Geaghan Bros Brewing
Brewers Description: Our brewer’s favorite staple beer is copper in color with moderate maltiness and features grapefruit hop character. This pale is brewed with traditional Cascade hops from the Pacific Northwest that linger on your palette. The name says it all: American strong, like Officer Bernie Welch, a legend in the Bangor Police Force. From Freeses’ Department Store through “Devil’s Half Acre,” with his billy club in hand, he wiped the smile off more than one hooligan’s face while keeping Bangor’s downtown safe.

115. Sebago Brewing Slick Nick Winter Ale

This one is very similar to the Samuel Adams Winter Ale. Great dark color and thin head, smells of spice and malt. Taste seems slightly watered down and not what I expected from what is listed as a Stong Ale. I was hoping for something a bit bigger in taste and higher ABV but overall this is a good beer with a great name and very nice art work on the bottle.
Pros: Color, easy to drink
Cons: Feels watered down
Alcohol Content: 6.2% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): 38.8
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Sebago Brewing
Brewers Description: Slick Nick Winter Ale is our most popular seasonal ale. The caramel and black malts we use to brew Slick Nick gives it the deep amber color. This insidious brew is best enjoyed during New England’s freezing winter months. Slick Nick himself is pictured on our label casing out the Victoria Mansion in Portland Maine on a blustery night. Warm up with one of Maine’s best winter offerings.

104. Shipyard Prelude Special Ale

There are only a couple Shipyard beers that I enjoy and this happens to be one of them. The other is Pumpkin Head, although I can only take one of those on any given night. Prelude ale has a great dark amber color with a moderate head and some lacing. Aroma has a very sweet almost butterscotch smell to it and taste is smooth with plenty of malts but has a bit of hop bite at the end. This does not linger and is replaced with a bit sweetness. Overall this is a very good winter beer; hearty, slightly higher alcohol content and a beautiful winter scene on the label. I look forward to this one each winter and Shipyard did not disappoint in 2011.
Pros: Color, aroma, smooth balanced taste
Cons: Seasonal (if that can be considered a con)
Alcohol Content: 6.7% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Brewers Website: Shipyard
Brewers Description: A rich, nutty, full bodies English Ale with an inviting amber hue and hoppy finish. Prelude has 6.7% alcohol volume, making this seasonal specialty the perfect winter warmer.

83. Geary’s Hampshire Special Ale

Geary’s HSA has always been one of my favorites and I remember when this came in bottles with gold foil wrapped around the top. This pours a nice copper color with an almost white head. Aroma has some caramel and a bit of alcohol. Taste is complex with lots of different parts from the begining to the slightly bitter aftertaste. Solid alcohol content with just the right amount of hops and malt. I believe this is a winter seasonal from Geary’s and one that you should make every effort to try.
Pros: Complex flavor, color
Alcohol Content: 7.0% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): ??
Rating: ★★★½☆
Brewers Website: D.L. Geary Brewing
Brewers Description: Hampshire has a huge toasted malt flavor balanced by assertive hoppiness. The finish is long and lingering with the malt and hop notes blending with alcohol warmth.

43. Stone Brewing Arrogant Bastard Ale

This is my first 22 ounce bottle beer review and I bought this after seeing Stone Brewing on Drinking Made Easy. The description on the bottle and the brewers website is very accurate as this beer is full of flavor and very close to being barley wine. Very little carbonation, lots of complex flavors (not all of which I enjoyed) – too much hop flavor for my taste. The beer does have great color, pours well with a great head that lasts. It is a quality beer just not my style.
Pros: Color
Cons: Too hoppy
Alcohol Content: 7.2% ABV
Calories: ???
IBU (Bitterness): Lots
Rating: ★★½☆☆
Brewers Website: Stone Brewing
Brewers Description: This is an aggressive ale. You probably won’t like it. It is quite doubtful that you have the taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth. We would suggest that you stick to safer and more familiar territory–maybe something with a multi-million dollar ad campaign aimed at convincing you it’s made in a little brewery, or one that implies that their tasteless fizzy yellow beverage will give you more sex appeal. Perhaps you think multi-million dollar ad campaigns make things taste better. Perhaps you’re mouthing your words as you read this.

At Stone Brewing, we believe that pandering to the lowest common denominator represents the height of tyranny – a virtual form of keeping the consumer barefoot and stupid. Brought forth upon an unsuspecting public in 1997, Arrogant Bastard Ale openly challenged the tyrannical overlords who were brazenly attempting to keep Americans chained in the shackles of poor taste. As the progenitor of its style, Arrogant Bastard Ale has reveled in its unprecedented and uncompromising celebration of intensity. There have been many nods to Arrogant Bastard Ale…even outright attempts to copy it… but only one can ever embody the true nature of liquid Arrogance!