Thursday, November 03, 2005

beer review #1

I plan to start reviewing beers here. I have a decent stock of reviews on, but I haven't reviewed much there recently. I'm a bit sick of it really, but I do enjoy reviewing beers and it help me to develop my palate etc. So here's the first installment. CLICK THE PICTURE FOR A LARGER VIEW. Reviews are after the pic.

From De Dolle Brouwers in Esen, Belgium: oerbier (7.5%abv)

I've been waiting a long time to try this brew since De Dolle has returned to using a blend of yeasts that I've heard are used at Rodenbach, the famous brewer of Flemish sour ales.

The beer is a deep red, mahogany almost brown color. Medium to high carbonation with a large, persistant beige, off white head that leaves a medium bit of lacing in spots. A bit cloudy even after a careful pour; the yeast is really quite powdery. A very nice nose; sharp, pungent, maybe sour or tart but not overwhelmingly so, with a good bit of alcohol. Definately get some raisin and plum as well.

Little less stellar than I expected in the flavor department. Still very big and complex, but a bit astringent in the finish and not as sour as I would like. It's quite nice up front with medium yeast character and big adjunct and grain sweetness. A very nice breadyness is there as well and maybe a bit of coffee? But all this is swept up and away by the rather acidic, dry and rather astringent finish. There is a bit of a burnt sugar or raisin aftertaste that lingers. There is a big alcohol whoosh in the finish as well which is slightly disappointing considering the relatively low abv. The medium-high carbonation contributes to the perceived dryness of this beer and makes for a rather thin mouthfeel which is appropriate for the style.

All in all I'd let new bottles age for a year or so in the hopes that they develop some sourness and also that the alcohol hotness would mellow out a bit.

From Oaken Barrel Brewing in Greenwood, IN: Saison.

Well, I hope the beer was worth the hassle with the cork. Definately the wrong sized champagne cork. It took vise-grips to break the top of the cork off then it took Brian's rabbit cork screw to poke several holes in it until it finally decided to give up the ghost and pop out.

Beautiful looking beer. Huge carbonation. Massive, frothy white head of large bubbles that leaves absolutely beautiful sticky lacing on the glass. Huge, massive fruity nose. Big fruity esters, bubble gum, maybe some tropical fruit like candy scents. A touch musty at first. Actually a bit floral and perfume-y. Spices? Just an awesome nose.

Huge tropical fruit flavors up front. Maybe pineapple, banana, coconut even?? But unfortunately it quickly finishes rather astringent with a good bit of cotton candy like flavors. Really quite astringent actually. I wonder what that is?? A rather tart, harsh citrus in the finish too. It's a fairly dry beer and the massive carbonation doesn't exactly help with the astringency. It pricks your tongue around and tenderizes it for the assault.

Really promising, but unfortunately it's really just too astringent in the finish to be very drinkable. Very nice finishing gravity and appropriate carbonation and the nose was so tempting and perfect. Hopefully they'll make it again and it will be better then.

From Ska Brewing in Durango, CO: True Blonde Ale.

Got this in a beer trade from Colorado. Nice looking beer. Good blonde color. Medium carbonation, small but persistant head. Very minimal lacing. Fairly nondescript nose. Little bit of plastic-y fermentation character with subtle hop notes. Very uneventful tasting beer. Very very plain. A bit of a nice, subtle grainy sweetness. It says it's brewed with honey, maybe that contributes a bit to the kind of off smelling nose and semi-interesting sweetness. Also get a bit of that plastic fermentation character on the palate, but nothing overwhelming or unpleasant. Nice clean finish with a touch of hop bitterness. All in all a very easy drinking beer whose faults don't stand out much. And this beer is quite light thus making every little thing stand out. I'd drink a couple more of these if I had them.

And check out the post below. I went to Indy!

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