Monday, December 1, 2008

Budweiser American Ale

Look: bright brick red with a foamy white head


Taste: Light, but not too bitter. Nice roasted flavor with a hint of grape.


Conclusion: I know, I know, all the shite talking we do about Buttwiper on this blog, and here you are reading a review of a Bud beer. I must say, I was duped into trying this beer by the commercial, and my love for brown ales. Well, I wont lie just to save face and say its an awful beer… I liked it. I liked it a lot!

            It has a very light and refreshing mouth feel, but had a strong roasted barley flavor that lingers long after drinking. It was a very solid ale that you can compare to most any other ale you find.


I give Bud American Ale a solid 7 out of 10

(I cant believe I wrote that... 7?! Buttwiper?!)

Beckenridge 471 IPA

Look: dark, light brown…. Wrap your head around that one.


Taste: Bitter, skunky initial taste that gives way to a semi-sweet barley flavor


Conclusion: I was expecting a sharp hoppy taste for an IPA from a micro brew, but this dint quite hit the mark. It has a slight skunky aroma when you bring the glass to your mouth, but the initial bitter helps get rid of that skunk. I wish the bitter hung around for a bit longer, but the barley sweetness sooths the taste buds, and sadly washes away the IPA flavor. Once the sweet washes away, you are left with the initial taste you started with… skunky! Oddly, the more I drank of this beer, the more I was able to tolerate it. That’s not to say it started to taste better, but I got a better idea of what the brewer was trying to accomplish.  I just wish that brewers were not afraid to make their IPAs sharp and hoppy, the way a good American IPA should be.


The sweetness and skunky flavor cost it big.


A 5 out of 10 

Beckenridge Pale Ale

Look: Honey color with light foamy head


Taste: skunky initial, followed by a hoppy bite


Conclusion: This beer was strange. It starts off kind of skunky and yeasty, but hits you with a sharp hoppy bite. It washes clean and leaves a really flavorful after taste to savor. The beer paired well with my fish and chips, as the vinegar complimented the hoppy bite. The floral aftertaste was a welcome taste that off set the strong vinegar taste of the fish.

On its own, I don’t know that I can have too many of these beers, but accompanied by food, this beer was really nice… once you get past the first few skunky drinks.


I give this a 5 out of 10 

Blue Frog Hefe Weizen

Look: Very cloudy and thick burnt orange color. So thick, you cant see through it when held up to light.


Taste: Sweet with a strong clove taste. Alas, it washes way all to quick with little to no after taste.


Conclusion: When I saw this beer on the shelf, with the big frog on the label, I had to pick it up. Those crafty brewers at Blue Frog did this bottle right as well. The frog is right side up, but the wording, and everything else is upside-down. This is done to get you to flip the bottle to mix up the unfiltered goodies in the bottle.

Here is the thing, every time I drink a hefe, I always expect a nice thick, some what bitter beer with a hearty feel. 9 out of 10 times, I am disappointed. This is one of those disappointing times.

            There is a strong clove flavor throughout, and a semi-sweet citrus sweetness, but its not overly sweet. It was very refreshing, and would go well with a BBQ. As readers of the blog know, we are not big fans of “fruiting the beer”, but I thought this beer needed something to kick up the taste. I quartered a lemon, squeezed in a slice, then dropped it in my pint. Low and behold, it made a world of a difference. The lemon cut through a lot of the clove and sweet flavor.


I give Blue Frog hefe a 7 out of 10

Chimay Ale

Look: Ale Brown with foamy, off white head


Taste: Semi-sweet, but not over the top like your traditional Belgian


Conclusion: This beer was one of the better Belgian beers I’ve had. Once you get past the Belgian sweetness and citrus flavors, it offers a great roasted ale flavor. It is not your typical over the top Belgian sweet brew. Instead of pouring a sweet syrup into your glass, this beer tastes like the natural sweetness you get from roasted malted barley. This time, its a good thing though; the natural sweetness overtakes the citrus flavor just enough to give you a decent balance.

Although its still sweeter than a beer I’d regularly drink, it’s a decent beer.


I give this Belgian a 5 out of 10.

Pump House Igniter Pale Ale

Look: Amber color with minimal head


Taste: kind of bland, slight hopy flavor, but its barely noticeable


Conclusion: This beer was not “pale” enough for me. It has a good initial bite, but the malty finish ruins the beer. This beer won the 1999 G.A.B.F. Gold Medal, but I wonder what it was up against. I wish it had more bite and less sweet wash that always seems to ruin a beer. I guess the hopy and sweet offset to the point of blandness.


I was expecting a lot more from this gold medal winning micro brew from Denver, CO.

I give it a 4 out of 10

Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale

Look: burnt honey color with little to no head


Taste: Great sharp hop flavor followed by a nutty, roasted flavor that sooths the sharp hoppyness.


Conclusion: I really love this ale! My beer reviewing compatriot told me to try it, and since he didn’t review it, here we go…

            This beer tastes a lot like Sierra Nevada Ale, but with a semi-sweet nutty finish. It still offers a lot of hopy goodness, but washes malty good. I can drink this beer year round and love it. It’s warming for those cold nights, but cooling for those hot summer days.

            The first drink will give you a burst of wonderful hops that you are used to if you’ve drank Sierra Nevada’s Ales before. But this one gives you a little extra roasted flavor. It is one of the most well balanced beers I have ever drank. 


I give this wonderful ale a 9 out of 10

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sierra Nevada, Stout

Look: Smooth black with slight cocoa head

Taste: Very light with a roasted malt/barley finish

Conclusion: I'm usually a "stout" supporter(i kill myself) of Sierra Nevada. I'm a sucker for their monstrous Tornado IPA.

This stout, however, was like drinking a Porter. The mandatory roasted malt flavor was there but the lingering taste is one of, well, roasted malt and not much else. There was way too much carbonation on the front end and not enough flavor on the back.

This one had me scratching my head. It's like they put all their effort into their other brews and didn't care to pay much attention to this one. It's not bad, but nothing special.

5 Brews!

Stone, Cali - Belgie IPA

Look: Golden Brown with minimal white bubbly head

Taste: Sweet, warming fruit flavors followed by hops

Conclusion: My brew reviewing buddy and I both jumped on this special edition brew when we saw it. This beer is essentially a hybrid of a Belgian and an IPA.

I was both intrigued(IPA) and disgusted(Belgian) when I picked it up. The fact it was made by Stone, however, swayed my opinion. I have never liked Belgians so I crossed my fingers and drank.

To my was GREAT! The first half of the drink you get the IPA bite, but it gets it's throat stomped on by the sweet and lightly fruity traits from the Belgian side of things. The thing I loved about this drink was that the Belgian side never becomes overly sweet as most tend to. Instead it's tempered by the IPA and the hop flavors come in near the end of the taste to mellow things out and prevent the sugary sweet Belgian coup.

This beer surprised me and I'd actually try another. I've never said that about any Belgian beer, so this is progress. Give me that diploma, I'm on my way to Belgian grad school! Well, maybe I'll start by aiming for my GED for now. I am again floored by Stone's genius and cunning.

8 Brews!

Avery Brewing, India Pale Ale

Look: Amber with white clean head

Taste: Slight bitterness followed up with hop and citrus

Conclusion: Back to Avery Brewing. Last time I had their wonderful Hog Heaven Barley Wine. This time it is a bit more subtle offering with their version of the India Pale Ale.

Like a good IPA, it has that initial bitter bite but this edge is dulled by the soothing and delicious hops that follow it up. The finish doesn't linger but is still thick enough to taste like a silky smooth treat.

This is an IPA I'll set on the top of my "regulars" list. This is what an IPA should taste like. Kudos Avery. A supremely solid IPA that doesn't show off.

8 Brews!