Sorry for the absence, folks. Life has been crazy busy at the moment, but you can expect new content soon, so stick around. Cheers.
I ran across a 12-pack from Anchor with 4 of their beers. This quite excited me, so I purchased said 12-pack. I’ve actually only had the Steam beer out of this pack, so I’m finally able to try some more of their beer that isn’t super-widely distributed. This beer is older than me, and probably much wiser. It was first brewed in 1972 and bottled two years later. Pay homage, kiddies.
American Porter. 5.6% ABV. California.
Very dark chocolate brown to black in color. Really fantastic head on this beer, and just a ton of lacing.
Dear god, this smells amazing. Can I never smell anything else? Jesus. The chocolate and caramel will blow you away.
Mouthfeel is also fantastic. Medium body, but with a good shot of carbonation. It’s not too heavy, just enough body.
Just a hint of tartness up front followed by caramel and chocolate. Love the roast, as it doesn’t overwhelm and leave you feeling like you just licked a briquette.
It’s a damn shame that I havn’t tried this sooner. 93 points.
A beer specifically made for the 12th Man. Texas A&M? Naw, Seattle stole that and made it theirs. This is for you, Hawks fans. Boy, do I love me some marketing. That aside, let’s get into the beer. It’s a “session” pale ale, so a pale ale. It features Maris Otter (interesting), and Crystal malts with Cascade hops. Am I using too many commas?
American Pale Ale. 4.5% ABV. 32 IBUs. Washington.
Burnt yellow color with a really small head that doesn’t leave a trace.
Huh. It’s actually got a Belgian character. Must be using a Belgian yeast strain. Otherwise, it’s pretty malty, and a hair sweet.
Light body, high carbonation. Shotgun!
Slightly tart, slightly sweet. Definitely tastes like a Belgian strain. A bit spicey, with a half-way decent grainy finish. The hops aren’t very present, but it’s fairly bitter.
It’s okay. I don’t really see Hawks fans going crazy for it. 85 points.
This is the 7th recipe in the Full Sail LTD Lager Series. I love these beers. Full Sail has really transitioned to more of a lager brewery, and that’s a good thing. We have an Oktoberfest beer today, that features Two-row Pale, Vienna, Caramel, and imported roasted Munich malts, with Saaz and Sterling hops. A little German, a little American, and hopefully more than a little delicious.
Märzen. 5.7% ABV. 26 IBUs. Oregon. Available September-October.
Dark caramel color. Lovely head when poured down the middle. It fades to a whisper of white on the top of the beer. A few small streams of carbonation are visable.
Lots of caramel and vanilla on the nose. Some roasted nuts in here, as well. I’m even getting a little bit of grape jelly.
Mouthfeel is actually surprising. It’s a medium body with a nice crispness from the carbonation. I was really expecting a thin body here, but they hit the nail on this one.
Lovely maltiness, with caramel and vanilla. Hints of bready-ness and a beautiful finish that’s just has just a hair of sweetness and a grainy, vanilla flavor.
Really damn good beer. The best lager they’ve had for awhile and one you have to seek out before it goes away. 90 points.
This month’s Beer Club is brought to you by the rich, malty, sweet beer known as the Scotch Ale. Admittedly not a favorite style of mine. These beers are generally quite sweet, full-bodied, and usually not shy with the alcohol. They often have a long boil which creates some caramelization. That adds sweetness, body, and probably a little color.
We had the same format as the last Beer Club. The brews were ordered by ABV and everyone wrote their top 3. 5 points for a first place vote, 3 for second, and 1 for third. We had 14 beers all together. Two of them are not pictured because other folks brought them. Let’s get started!
14th: Pelican MacPelican’s Scottish Style Ale, Big Sky Heavy Horse, Hale’s Barrel Aged Wee Heavy, Orkney Skull Splitter, Silver City Fat Woody
These beers received no votes. The Big Sky Heavy Horse was actually a favorite of mine, but just couldn’t quite make it on my top 3. Most found the oaking of the Hale’s and Silver City to be over-the-top. Of course, in a tasting like this, it sticks out like a sore thumb. The Pelican was the only beer not technically a Scotch ale, but an export style Scottish ale, and was light and pretty unspectacular. The Skull Splitter had the most noticeable alcohol and was off putting to some.
9th: McEwan’s Scotch Ale, Silver City Fat Scotch Ale
The unoaked Silver City was donated and got a third place vote from me. Someone enjoyed the McEwan’s, which also got a third place vote.
7th: Boundary Bay Scotch Style Ale
A Bellingham classic got 3 votes. 2 third place and a second place vote. It was a go-to beer when I lived up there, and held up well in the tasting.
6th: Pike Kilt Lifter
Another local brew and another classic. This beer actually received a first place vote and a third place vote. It’s always interesting to see a standard hold up well.
5th: Oskar Blues Old Chub
Old Chub was on my ballot, as well as 4 others. I particularly like the balance of this beer. It’s not too sweet and cloying, and the alcohol is well hidden.
4th: Bellevue Brewing Scotch Ale
A growler of this was generously donated, and it’s a good thing, too! Fourth place is not too shabby for a new little brewery in our backyard. This beer got 2 first place votes and 2 third place votes.
3rd: Traquair Jacobite
It’s not considered “world class” for nothing. This coriander infused Scotch ale received 2 first place votes, and a second and third place vote.
2nd: AleSmith Wee Heavy
The AleSmith is our second place beer, but it actually received more first place votes than our overall winner. This was my first place. The balance on this beer is remarkable. It really was the show stopper for me. Delicious.
1st: Traquair House Ale
And our winner is the Traquair House Ale! This is their flagship beer and really is the classic example of the style. 2 first place votes and 4 second place votes.
This was one of the most challenging tastings that we’ve done. The beers really do become cloying after awhile and considering the ABV, we had all palate fatigue. It was a great night, and we got to try a few beers that the host brought out after the tasting. Lots of great beer! Next month we will be diving into Oktoberfest beers.
Happy 17th Stone. This is an interesting brew. It’s got a Pilsner malt profile, with a bunch of interesting German hops, and an American attitude and style. Pilsner malt base with such hops as Herkules, Hersbrucker, Magnum, Merkur, Opal, Smaragd, and Strisselspalt.
Imperial India Pale Ale. 9.5% ABV. 102 IBUs. California. Limited Release.
Dark golden color. Nice fluffy head when it’s poured, but it calms down pretty quick.
German hops maybe, but the nose is all American. Heavy hop aroma that’s fairly earthy and floral. Some light fruits show up here, but I’m getting this really great tobacco component.
Mouthfeel is actually pretty light for this kind of beer. Probably a little too easy-drinking.
Interesting flavors on this beer. Earthy and floral with the hops. A little bit less fruit than on the nose. bitterness is there, but decent balance for the style. I’m drinking this beer room temp, and I do get just a bit of alcohol, but you really got to look for it.
This is what Stone does best, and this is no exception. This is a beer to buy. 91 points.
ISA stands for India Session Ale. Isn’t that a Pale Ale? Or is this supposed to be a slightly more easy-drinking IPA? Yay, marketing! This is the first beer from these folks that I’ve reviewed, so I’m kinda excited. That’s have a drinky-drink.
American India Pale Ale. 5.5% ABV. 51 IBUs. Oregon.
Nice big head as it pours. Lacing is looking good, so far. Fairly light colored IPA.
Well, this beer is off to a good start, because this nose smells great. Loads of citrus, and a surprising tropical fruit aspect that makes me think of Citra hops. Bit of pine and black pepper here, as well.
So the mouthfeel is a bit light, but considering this is supposed to be fairly sessionable, I’ll let that pass. Carbonation is a perfect medium.
Upfront flavors include orange, grapefruit, mangos, and starfruit. Pine seeps in after, with a hint of vanilla and I’m surprised by the coconut component. Grainy and dry finish, which I love to see.
Sessionable or not, it’s a good IPA. This is in my wheel house. It’s drinkable, and it’s hoppy without over-shadowing the malt. My kinda beer. Drink this. 92 points.