Friday, July 29, 2011

Tis the saision...

I just love Saison or Farmhouse Ales. They taste fresh and natural and well, they are just plain delicious. Victory Helios Ale weighs in at 7.5% abv. It pours gold with a thick white head. Cloves, banana, and mild citrus aromas. Nice spice flavors from the first sip. Generous hoping gives it a decent citrus bite. Black pepper and cloves dominate the flavor profile, but don't overwhelm you. Needs a touch more carbonation and is a little bit one dimensional. Get's drier and drier with each sip yet it remains very drinkable with a lemon tartness that is perfect for summer. This would pair well with grilled fish or shrimp and certainly cheese. This is a nice American version of one of my favorite Belgian beer styles. I pretty much like everything coming out of Victory.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Pretty Things East India Porter...

6.% abv. Recipe first made on December 6th 1855 and revived by Ron Patterson. Pours a black-brown color with a huge whitish-tan head. Excellent fresh roasted coffee and leafy, earthy hops on the nose. First sip is all roasted malt initially, but floral hop flavors follow quickly. Incredible sticky lace even on the second pour. Awesome mouthfeel combines a heavy malt silkiness with an oily hop slickness. I could drink this beer all night long. Made with tons of malt, you can taste the astringency halfway through the bottle. I love how complex and balanced this beer is. Floral hops to roasted coffee notes to chocolate to a bit of citrus. Other flavors include anise, molasses, and caramel. Another fantastic beer from the folks at Pretty Things. Please keep the beers and the historical perspective coming.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Hops and malt and malt and hops and malt...

Here is a review of Anderson Valley Brewing Company Imperial IPA. This is a big beer. Not just big in your face hops, but a big balanced beer. That is a BBB in the world of TLA (three letter acronyms). Simply put, this beer is delicious. I would pair it up with some zesty cheese or spicy pulled pork or ribs. Anyway, here is the review:

8.7% abv. First made for the 20th anniversary of the brewery. Pours a deep and rich dark copper color with a big fluffy white head. Fresh cascade and centennial hop aroma with a fruity sweet smell to boot. Brewed with tons of malt to balance the hops that are added 20 times during the brewing process. This is all Imperial IPA, but it is very well balanced by all the malt. Sweet caramel backbone with flecks of honey and maybe even pineapple. Complex blending of flavors fade in and out. Spicy hop flavors build with each sip and add touches of pepper, pine, and herbs. More alcohol presence than expected, but this is a smooth and drinkable big beer. Bottle conditioning helps add to the complexity of this beer. Too bad this is a limited edition offering, I could get used to having this one around.