Friday, April 22, 2011

It is not just for breakfast anymore...

My thanks to my good friend Jeff for giving me a couple of bottles of this hard to find brew. 8.3% abv 60 IBUs. Pours a dark black color with a thin tan head. Smells like fresh coffee grounds. More coffee aroma than just about any beer I have ever sniffed. First sip is black coffee, 85% plus cacao chocolate bar, and the slightest tinge of citrusy hops. No real alcohol esters to speak of. Hop profile increases with each sip. Somewhat acidic with hop and big malt profile astringency toward finish. Sweet and then bitter and sweet and bitter. Slight warming in the belly after a couple of sips. This is a really interesting beer. It jumps from hops to sweet malt to something in between. Very dry at finish. Touches of anise, oak, sweet oatmeal, and more chocolate and maybe subtle berry flavors. If this is what coffee tastes like, I might just start drinking it. This is a truly great beer.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I don't drink coffee, but beers with coffee flavors...

I am one of the few people on the planet who have never had a cup of coffee. I grew up in a tea drinking household and never really had an interest in coffee. I do know that if I did drink coffee, I would probably take it black and very strong. Now beers with coffee flavors on the other hand, I absolutely love. I picked up a Troegs Brewery 12 pack recently and tried the Java Head Stout.

Here is my review:

7.5% abv. Pours black with a half inch tan head. Coffee and roasted nuts on the nose. Great espresso and dark chocolate flavor. Silky smooth mouthfeel with good carbonation. Slighest bit of tootsie roll. Some citrusy dry hops at finish. Excellent lace. Dark cocoa flavors similar to European sipping chocolate. Excessively drinkable. Finishes extremely well with a pleasant lingering chocolate flavor. I really like this one, especially as a dessert beer.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Murray Macumber's Abbey Ale Homebrew

I have to thank my good friend Phil for hooking me up with this one. Pours dark brown with a thick creamy tan head. Sweet bready aroma with hints of cloves and fig. Nice natural carbonation creates a good mouthfeel. Dark fruit, lemony citrus, and mild black pepper flavors. Some warming in the belly, but alcohol presence is nicely masked. Decent lace throughout. More and more citrusy hops as I make my way through the glass. This is an excellent abbey dubbel for a home brew. I am going to guess that it weighs in at about 8% abv. Hop and yeasty spice tingle on the back of the tongue. This would pair well with cheese, chocolate, or a mildly spiced meat dish. Very nice, Murray please keep beers like this one coming!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A beer that was worth the wait...

This one weighs in at 11.5% abv, but you would never know it. I cellared this for 5 long years, resisting the urge to pull it out of the cellar at least a few times. I had this on my daughter's first birthday. It pours a murky, unfiltered brown color and has a peaty oak aroma. You know this beer is different on the first sip. I has an viscous mouthfeel and a sweet, but not quite cloying maltyness. The wide range of flavors include raisin, oak, rum, honey, chocolate mousse, fig, caramel...the list goes on and on. Immediate warming on the back of the throat. This is a beer to be taken seriously. Some very mild citrusy hop flavors sneak through, but this one is really all malt. Wow, this beer is really delicious. The dark fruit flavors are amazing and it goes down so smoothly with virtually no alcohol esters at all. I am so glad I let this one sit for a while. I have to say that I am a huge fan of Lagavulin Whisky and this beer may not be for everybody. I am about halfway through at this point and the peat and caramel flavors are still dominant. This is one of the best beers I have tasted in a long, long time. Dare I say this beer is worthy of the celebration that I saved it for.