Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Weihenstephaner Kristall Weissbier (2018 re-review to BJCP specs)

Bottling code: 4018

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 10A Weissbier

AROMA: Moderate banana-like yeast esters with a slight lemonpeel background note. Moderate bready/wheaty malt base. Faint bubblegum and clove-like phenolics. No hops (none needed). 9/12

APPEARANCE: Pilsner-like appearance of white gold (2-4 SRM) over a crystal-clear body with a very large, bright white, fluffy foam which retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Lightly spicy (clove-like) taste at first, followed by a moderate bready maltiness from the wheat. Finishes with a light banana-like taste with a lemony flavor right at the end. Aftertaste is lightly spicy. No obvious hop flavor and bitterness is very low. Due to the filtration, some of the raw wheaty and yeast character seems to be missing when compared to traditional, unfiltered versions (age of the bottle certainly doesn't help, either). 14/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; high carbonation. Smooth with a crisp, lager-like finish. Very refreshing. Tempting to session at 5.4% ABV. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Enjoyable and to-spec for the most part. Lacking a certain cachet that unfiltered weissbiers seem to have. Also a bit old. 7/10


NOTE: See my 2012 original review here: http://www.chadzbeerreviews.com/2012/05/weihenstephaner-kristall-weissbier.html

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Half Acre Gone Away IPA

Fill date: 2/19/18

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 21A American IPA

AROMA: Potent, fruity, hop-derived aromatics with notes of berry and stone fruits. A background presence of pine/resin. Noticeable honey maltiness. No alcohol presence. 11/12

APPEARANCE: Extremely hazy shade of amber/pale orange (5-7 SRM). Large ivory frothy foam retains well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Plenty of hop presence throughout. Immediate sensation of summer fruit flavors. The taste is much more dry than juicy. At the same time there is a somewhat sticky, resiny/piney taste. Bitterness is moderately-high. Malt presence is quite strong with a lightly sweet, honey-like graininess. Finishes with a subtle grassy/spicy sensation along with clean alcohol - both of which linger in the aftertaste. 18/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; moderate carbonation. Texture is quite smooth leading to rather easy drinkability. Definitely feels like the 7% ABV brew it is: plenty of heft without being overbearing. 5/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Great selection of hops with a lovely malt base that combine for a delectable taste, well-balanced palette, and nice drinkability. 10/10


Saturday, August 11, 2018

Orval Trappist Ale (2018 re-review to BJCP specs)

Fill date: 8/11/2017

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 28A Brett Beer (base style: 24B Belgian Pale Ale)

AROMA: Noticeable Brett presence with plenty of pomme fruit characteristics (white grape, green pear and apple). Subtle countryside/terroir presence. Moderate amber malt presence with slight caramel impression. Low spicy/floral hops. No alcohol. 11/12

APPEARANCE: Hazy shade of copper (9-13 SRM). Large off-white foam retains well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Brett dominates the palette for better or for worse. Intense drying sensation throughout, except at the apex at which point moderate biscuity/caramel malt emerges. Fruit-like yeast character is prominent, but is not juicy. In fact, attenuation is so high from Brett re-fermentation that the palette is near bone dry. Actual bitterness is tame due to the lack of unfermented sugars. Hops are slightly spicy. Not quite as complex and fruit tasting as I'd prefer, but definitely a Brett brew done pretty well. 15/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; very high carbonation. Not refreshing, but overall drinkability is nice despite the carbonic bite. Feels a bit lighter and closer to standard strength brew than 6.9% ABV as the label purports. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Certainly a classic and unique brew in all aspects. One all beer nerds can and should appreciate. 9/10


NOTE: See my 2011 original review here: http://www.chadzbeerreviews.com/2011/07/orval-chadz-beer-reviews.html

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Crooked Can Mr. Tractor

Fill date: 5/4/18

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 5B Kölsch

AROMA: Moderately-low, grainy-sweet malt aroma. Very faint fruity esters of apple and white grape. Very low spicy hops. Clean lager fermentation. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Clear golden hue (2-4 SRM). Moderate white foamy head retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Moderate grainy-sweet pale maltiness, slightly bready (wheaty?). Only the faintest hint of fruity esters. Considerable hop presence with firm, dry bitterness and spicy hop taste. Well attenuated with clean lager fermentation. 14/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body; high carbonation. Smooth, crisp, refreshing and sessionable at 5% ABV. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Well-balanced, simple, but tasty palette that's mostly to-spec for the style. Great drinkability is nice of course. 8/10


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Founders Barrel Runner

Fill date: 6/5/18

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 33B Specialty Wood-Aged Beer (base style: 22A Double IPA)

AROMA: Strong pineapple-like hop aroma from Mosaic hops. Rum and alcohol are quite prominent, but are clean (not fusel or solventy). Faint woody/vanilla character from the actual barrel. Noticeable amber maltiness. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Hazy shade of copper/orange (9-13 SRM). Large off-white froth retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Initial rum-like flavors but without spice. Fairly significant bready maltiness throughout along with a consistent tropical fruit flavor from the hops. Mosaic hops emerge at the apex with an overt pineapple flavor and slight grassy/spicy taste that lasts into the finish (along with a banana-like character from the alcohol and rum barrel). Some honey/lemon flavors are also noticeable (intentional oxidation character? If so, it works). Actual bitterness is surprisingly low, though palette seems balanced. Very little barrel character other than subtle woody/vanilla notes which are obscured by the boozy alcohol presence. 13/20

MOUTHFEEL: Essentially full-bodied; moderate carbonation. Texture is thick, creamy, and smooth. While a hefty brew at 11.1% ABV, the alcohol feels quite tame which makes drinkability rather high. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Certainly an interesting, innovative brewing feat. Tropical theme is nice, too. Not the best DIPA or barrel-aged beer, though. 7/10


Sunday, August 5, 2018

Westmalle Dubbel

Best before date: 6/10/18

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 26B Belgian Dubbel

AROMA: Belgian yeast esters are still present and create for classic candy sugar-derived raisin/cherry/plum bouquet, but less intense than usual due to age of bottle. Subtle spicy phenols. Noticeable sweet, candy-like notes; though nothing in the way of specific malt character. No hops (none needed). Minor clean alcohol presence. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Deep burgundy/maroon hue (34 SRM). Body is rather cloudy. Large tan soapy suds when pour evaporate and leave no lacing. 2/3

FLAVOR: Complex palette, but not quite as robust as it could be. Begins with a mild clove/rye spiciness immediately followed by sweet confectionery flavors of caramel and vanilla. At the apex and into the finish the yeast character emerges with a lovely fruit basket assortment of flavors. Hops are still present and offer a subtle earthy/spicy taste and a moderate amount of bitterness for balance. Alcohol is also noticeable with a clean sensation that seems to enhances both the sweetness and the spiciness. Aftertaste is mildly spicy, but otherwise clean. Faint oxidation notes, though they are easily overlooked and ignored. 17/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; high carbonation at first, though it calms down rather quickly. Smooth texture with gentle alcohol warmth. Feels like a bigger brew despite being only 7% ABV. Overall drinkability is quite good. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: One of the classic examples for sure. Holds up well with some age, though fresher is a better choice. 9/10


Friday, August 3, 2018

Samuel Smith's Yorkshire Stingo (2018 re-review to BJCP specs)

Fill date: 2015

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 34B Mixed-Style Beer (base styles: 17A British Strong Ale; 17B Old Ale)

AROMA: Moderately-strong sweet aromas of confectionery syrups (vanilla, caramel, toffee) and classic British fruity esters (especially apple). Clean, smooth alcohol presence. No hops (none needed). Subtle honey/lemon aged character and even subtler woody notes from oak cask aging. 10/12

APPEARANCE: Ruby/burgundy/brown hue (22-27 SRM). Body is hazy, but mostly translucent without sediment particles. Large, beige creamy foam, retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Malt-forward palette for sure. Fairly strong confectionery flavors of caramel and toffee throughout. British yeast esters impart a fruity sensation of apple, cherry, fig, etc. Hops are still present even after three years of aging with enough bitterness to notice and offer balance with subtle earthy/floral flavors. Oxidation is subtle in the form of a honey/lemon sherry background taste which becomes a bit more prominent on the finish. Wood from the casks is difficult to discern and may add a vanilla taste that blends with the confectionery flavors of the rich malt as well as the alcohol. Nothing in the way of wild/sour notes. Tough to say if this beer if this beer gained anything from extended aging. 15/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; moderately-low carbonation. Feels lighter and thinner on the tongue than would be expected for an 8% ABV strong ale. Drinkability is quite high as the alcohol is clean and smooth. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Tasty, complex and nicely drinkable. A challenge to judge since it's not quite a British Strong Ale and not quite an Old Ale. 8/10


NOTE: See my 2010 original review here: http://www.chadzbeerreviews.com/2010/02/samuel-smiths-yorkshire-stingo-chad.html

NOTE: See my 2014 re-review here: http://www.chadzbeerreviews.com/2014/05/samuel-smiths-yorkshire-stingo-2011.html

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Hidden Springs Deja Moo

Fill date: 5/7/18

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 30A Spice, Herb, or Vegetable Beer (base style: 16A Sweet Stout)

AROMA: Relatively strong roasted malt presence with a chocolaty character. An impression of cream-like sweetness exists. Very faint smoked pepper presence, but no indication of spice or heat. No hops (none needed). 8/12

APPEARANCE: Opaque inky black (44+ SRM). Large brown foam slowly evaporates and leaves no lacing. 2/3

FLAVOR: Plenty of dark and roasted malt throughout. Flavor is malty, but not sweet, though the lactose sugar does impart some cream-like character. Slight dark chocolate flavor. Bitterness is low; but enough to offer balance. Subtle fruity esters are noticeable, especially in the aftertaste. Chipotle peppers are virtually indistinguishable, though there is a lingering, tolerable heat in the throat. 13/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; moderate carbonation. Texture is creamy and overall drinkability is high for a pepper brew. Feels much lighter than 6.1% ABV, though. 3/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: A fine sweet stout, but lacking the chipotle character as marketed. Very approachable for a pepper brew. 6/10 


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Prairie Twist

Fresh code: B#06081

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 25B Saison

AROMA: Fairly strong citrusy/tropical aroma of American hops. Subtle Belgian yeast character of banana. No spicy phenolics. Malt base is nondescript. 8/12

APPEARANCE: Yellow-gold hue (2-4 SRM). Very cloudy body. Large white soapy suds evaporate quickly and completely. 2/3

FLAVOR: Strong hop-derived lemony flavor throughout. Slight tropical/stone fruit flavors as well, but also seem hop-derived rather than yeast-derived. Mild spicy phenols on the finish offer some bitterness as well. Aftertaste is lightly bitter and spicy. Malt base is surprisingly weak with no specialty character. Brew is missing most of the signature characters of a saisons; this is closer to a pale ale or blonde ale. 9/20

MOUTHFEEL: Light body; medium-low carbonation. Texture feels thin and watery. Somewhat refreshing and easy to drink. Beer feels much lighter than 5.8% ABV. 2/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Too over-Americanized for a saison; this is closer to a hoppy blonde or pale ale. Body needs some work, too. 4/10


Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Paulaner Hefe-Weizen (2018 re-review to BJCP specs)

Fill date: 11/3/17

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 10A Weissbier

AROMA: Standard banana yeast esters, though milder than normal. Plenty of wheaty/bready supportive malt base. Clove-like phenols are present, but much subtler than usual. No hops (none needed). No sweet bubblegum or vanilla aromatics. 10/12

APPEARANCE: Extremely hazy shade of rusty amber/copper (5-7 SRM). Very large ivory fluffy foam; retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Slightly tart initially, but quickly followed by signature banana-like yeast esters. Intensity is a bit lower than usual. Wheat base is still rather prominent with a bready character, though lacking richness. Finishes with a slight clove phenolic spiciness. Faint vanilla in the aftertaste, otherwise clean. Hop presence is effectively null as there is no obvious flavor and bitterness is low. Technically, this has all the components of a classic hefeweizen, just stale. 15/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body; high carbonation. Fluffy, smooth texture. Quite refreshing and crushable. Feels lighter than 5.5% ABV, though temptingly sessionable. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: When fresh this is world class. With some age it's merely very good. 8/10


NOTE: See my 2008 original review here: http://www.chadzbeerreviews.com/2008/11/paulaner-hefeweizen-chadz-beer-reviews.html

NOTE: See my 2015 re-review here: http://www.chadzbeerreviews.com/2015/09/paulaner-hefe-weizen-2015-re-review.html

Monday, July 30, 2018

Pabst APA American Pale Ale

Fill date: 1/16/18

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 18B American Pale Ale

AROMA: Moderate citrusy/floral American hops with a touch of grass. Moderately-low malty base; slightly bready. Subtle signs of oxidation. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Mostly clear shade of amber/light copper (7-9 SRM). Large white froth retains and laces pretty well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Moderately-high high flavor of citrus and pine simultaneously. Taste becomes a bit more earthy and resiny towards the finish. Bitterness is fairly strong for the style, but still within style guidelines. Malt base is moderate in intensity with a noticeable caramel/bready flavor and slight sweetness. Some oxidation due to the age of the can. Aftertaste is mildly hoppy but otherwise clean. 15/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body; moderately-high carbonation. Smooth and highly drinkable. Plenty of flavor for only 5% ABV. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Could easily pass as a craft pale ale. To-spec in pretty much every facet. 8/10


Sunday, July 29, 2018

District 9 Into The White

Fill date: ?

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 24A Witbier

AROMA: Moderate lemon aroma as if derived from lemon juice or peel; not from hops. Subtle coriander imparts a clean perfume note. Noticeably lactic acid character seems to play off the lemon. No obvious malty/wheaty aromatics. Esters are entirely too subtle. 7/12

APPEARANCE: Pale straw color (1-3 SRM). Body is only slightly cloudy and easily translucent/transparent (should be very hazy). Small white foam fizzles away immediately and leaves no lacing. 1/3

FLAVOR: Fairly strong lemon flavor throughout; a taste akin to citrusy soda rather than authentic lemon peel or lemon-like hops. There is a wild component to this brew as there is a lemonade-like sourness up front and brief tartness at the finish (brew is not marketed as a wild ale, so it could be infection). Faint coriander spiciness in the background and briefly in the aftertaste. Minor wheat taste, though the malt base as a whole is noticeably weak and watery. Little hop bitterness; difficult to discern hop flavor. 9/20

MOUTHFEEL: Light body; fairly low carbonation. Texture is  overtly thin and watery. Easy to drink and refreshing at only 4.8% ABV.  Much too boring to session. 2/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: This seems like a failed attempt to make a wild witbier. Bland, watery, and undercarbonated. Does not seem like a professional brew. And what exactly about it is "Pacific" anyway? 3/10


Saturday, July 28, 2018

Weyerbacher D'Tango Unchained

Fill date: ?

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 28C Wild Specialty Beer (base style: 29A Fruit Beer (base style: 26D Belgian Dark Strong Ale))

AROMA: Moderately-strong authentic slightly sour cherry with substantial Brett-induced funk/terroir. Oak character is present, but a bit more subtle with a slight vanilla quality. No obvious Belgian ester character. Malt base is dark, but without specialty character. No hops. Alcohol is subtle and clean. 10/12

APPEARANCE: Dark shade of burgundy/brown (27 SRM). Body is a bit cloudy, but without sediment. Moderate tan foam mostly dissipates and leaves no lacing (acceptable for the style). 3/3

FLAVOR: Sour cherry flavor immediately; completely authentic-tasting. Quickly followed by strong, classic Brettanomyces countryside-like terroir. The oak enhances this a bit to give the palette an earthy/woody character and a delectable vanilla taste with just a touch of candy-like sweetness. Cherry emerges again on the finish with a tartness. Aftertaste is slightly and briefly acetic, but otherwise clean. Alcohol is fairly prominent, but seems to enhance all characteristics rather than distract. Base style is difficult to discern, but this is to be expected. 18/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; moderately-high carbonation. Smooth and easily drinkable despite being rather hefty at 9.6% ABV. Alcohol warmth is difficult to overlook, but never burns. 5/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Impressive, innovative and interesting brewing feat combining fruit, oak and wild yeast. Being delectable and drinkable helps too. 10/10


Friday, July 27, 2018

Atlantic Beach Mayport Red

Fill date: 5/18/18

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 19A American Amber Ale

AROMA: Moderately-strong citrusy/floral American hop character. Somewhat candy-like. Relatively low malt base with a caramel note. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Reddish-brown hue (17-22 SRM); somewhat hazy. Large tan foam retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: High hop flavor throughout; citrusy at first and piney on the back end. Bitterness is moderately strong. Malt base is firm with a slight toasted bread character. Chocolate/caramel malts emerge at the apex and blends with the resiny hops well. Aftertaste is an interesting mix of confectionery flavor and piney hops. 15/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; moderate carbonation. Quite smooth. Aftertaste is briefly astringent due to the Chinook hops. Very efficient at only 5% ABV. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Tasty, well-balanced, and easily drinkable hoppy red ale. Could maybe pass as a Red IPA, but works well as an amber. 8/10


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Prairie Americana

Fill date: 6/7/16

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 28A Brett Beer (base style: 25B Saison)

AROMA: Strong Brett-derived white grape/green pear/banana aroma. Moderate citrusy character likely due to dry hopping. Farmhouse character is present, albeit quite subtle. Faint wheaty character. No alcohol. 10/12

APPEARANCE: Highly hazy shade of amber/pale orange (5-7 SRM). Large, off-white, soapy foam retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Palette is Brett-driven for sure (which is not surprising considering the age of the bottle). Consistently tart in the background with classic farmhouse terroir character. Flavors of hay, wheat and pale malt are quite prominent. Alcohol is imparts a honey-like flavor and adds the only true sweetness. Fruity esters are present in the form of white grape/green pear/banana flavors (though much more subtle than the nose would indicate). Most of the balance is provided via the spicy phenolic character akin to crushed black peppercorn. Actual hop bitterness is moderate, though the attenuation is quite high so as to create for a bone dry finish. 18/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; high carbonation. Effervescent yet smooth. Not refreshing per se, but highly drinkable considering its potency of 8% ABV. 5/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Now THIS is a Brett-conditioned brew done right. Two years of conditioning has really brought out the nuances of Brett without impairing the base brew. 10/10


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Lagunitas Dark Swan Sour Ale

Fill date: 2/22/18

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 28C Wild Specialty Beer

AROMA: Moderately-strong citrusy hop aroma. Faint fruity/yogurt-like component from the grapes and souring bacteria. Despite the dark appearance, there is no presence of dark malt and certainly nothing roasty. No alcohol presence. 7/12

APPEARANCE: Deep, opaque violent/lavender hue (38+ SRM). Moderate indigo foam, retains fairly well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Moderately-low dark malt base but without toasted/roasted character. Slightly bready. Grapes impart a dry red wine taste; absolutely nothing juicy or yogurt-like. Actual sourness is very low and only emerges briefly on the backend with subtle tartness at the beginning and end. Hops are quite strong with an IPA-like citrusy taste and noticeable bitterness. The hops and fruit flavors clash and the sourness is perceived more as infection than intentional sour flavor. 8/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-full body; moderate carbonation. Smooth, but a bit challenging to drink because of the palette. Feels much lighter than 8.5% ABV. 3/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: A noble effort, but the product just doesn't work due to the clashing flavors. Hops are way too high and sourness is way too low. 4/10


Monday, July 23, 2018

Dos Equis (2018 re-review to BJCP specs)

Best Before Date: 3/19

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 2A International Pale Lager

AROMA: Moderate clean, grainy malt aroma. Slightly bready. No obvious adjuncts. Difficult to detect any hop character. A touch of green apple, otherwise clean fermentation. No lightstrike despite green bottle. 8/12

APPEARANCE: Clear golden hue (2-4 SRM). Moderate white foam never completely evaporates. 3/3

FLAVOR: Medium-low clean, grainy malt taste throughout. Slight cracker character with just a kiss of honey. Well-attenuated with little residual sweetness, but far from bone dry. Moderately-low dry bitterness noticeable in the background. A subtle green apple fermentation character lingers briefly, otherwise a clean aftertaste. 15/20

MOUTHFEEL: Light body; moderate carbonation. Smooth, but a bit watery. Refreshing and sessionable at only 4.2% ABV. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Not bad at all for a global macro pale lager. Fairly tasty and clean for a green bottle brew. 8/10


NOTE: See my 2011 original review here: http://www.chadzbeerreviews.com/2011/09/dos-equis-xx-special-lager-chadz-beer.html

Sunday, July 22, 2018

The Bruery Terreux Tart of Darkness

Fill date: 1/12/17

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 28B Mixed-Fermentation Sour Beer (base style: 20B American Stout)

AROMA: Strong sourness with a clean lactic acidity. Prominent fruity flavor akin to red or black grape; quite candy-like in character. Subtle woody/funky presence. Faint dark malt; no roasted notes or anything that would identify it as a stout. No hops nor alcohol. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Opaque black color (44+ SRM) with slight ruby highlights. Seemingly clear body. Large tan foam when poured, though it evaporates rather quickly and leaves no lacing (this is normal for the style). 3/3

FLAVOR: High sourness throughout; always with a clean lactic acidity (never vinegary nor acetic). There is a moderately-strong red or black grape taste likely due to the dark malt in conjunction with the bacteria. Brett-induced funky/tartness emerges at the apex and lingers well into the finish. Oak aging feature is rather subtle, but noticeable in background with a woody/vanilla flavor. Actual base stout brew is difficult to discern from the wild fermentation, as there is no roasted flavor. No hop flavor nor bitterness (none needed). No alcohol presence. Aftertaste is sour and tart; no residual sweetness or maltiness. 15/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-full body; low carbonation. Smooth texture, but noticeably under carbonated. Intense sourness may lead to low drinkability for some drinkers. Though only 6.6% ABV, it somehow feels like a much stronger brew. 3/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: A delectable sour and funky brew. Meets the guidelines for sure, though a bit simplistic and repetitive IMHO. 8/10


Saturday, July 21, 2018

DuClaw The Devil Made Me Do It

Fill date: 8/1/17

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 33B Specialty Wood-Aged Beer (base style: 28B Mixed-Fermentation Sour Beer)

AROMA: Moderately-strong presence bourbon barrel. Wood character seems quite fresh with just a touch of bourbon, coconut, and vanilla (character may have shifted after nearly a year of aging). Sourness is present, but subtler. The aromatics do seem to work together. Difficult to detect specific malt character; no hops whatsoever. No alcohol presence. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Body is extremely hazy with fine sediment particles. Color is a shade of burnished copper (9-13 SRM). Micro carbonation streams up the glass. Large, soapy, off-white foam slowly evaporates. Haze and sediment likely due to age of bottle. 2/3

FLAVOR: Highly sour with a clean, lactic acidity and slight citrusy flavor. Bourbon flavor is present throughout; subtle at first, but more prominent on the backend. Barrel adds a toasted coconut or almond-like flavor along with slight vanilla. Malt base is slightly bready, but with little residual sweetness (attenuation seems to be quite high). No hop presence (none needed). No alcohol. 16/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; very high carbonation. Though smooth, drinkability is hindered by the spastic effervescence. Aftertaste is mostly clean with a subtle woody/earthy flavor. Feels stronger than 5.5% ABV. 3/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Interesting and creative concoction; all the characteristics work pretty well together. Cellaring did nothing for the beer, though. 7/10


Friday, July 20, 2018

Dogfish Head Mixed Media

Fill date: 4/27/18

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 29C Specialty Fruit Beer (base style: 25B Saison)

AROMA: Fairly prominent Belgian yeast esters of banana, clove and peppercorn. White grape must also imparts a strong grape/apple/pear fruity character with some implies sweetness. Subtle farmhouse malt character. No hops. Slight alcohol presence. 10/12

APPEARANCE: Mead-like shade of dark gold/amber (7-9 SRM). Clear body. Small white suds quickly evaporate and leave no lacing. Alcohol legs visible. 2/3

FLAVOR: The specialty nature of this brew is due to the fact 49% of the fermentable sugar came from the use of white grape must. The base style is described as saison-esque and it does come through due to the fairly-strong Belgian yeast presence of banana, clove and peppercorn. Up front the palette is lightly spicy and zesty with faint pale malt character and possibly a touch of wheat. The white grape is subtle at first, but emerges rather prominently on the finish with a juice-like flavor, but without being especially sweet. Bitterness is derived more from the yeast phenolics than hops. The sugar from the grapes add a noticeable, clean alcoholic presence akin to that of a mead. All the ingredients work well together for a delectable beverage; this product is definitely recognizable as a beer. 17/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; low carbonation. Smooth, but feels much calmer than it should be. Aftertaste is slightly wine-like, but otherwise clean. There is some alcohol warming due to the 7.5% ABV potency. Overall drinkability is quite high. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Definitely what I would consider a great specialty fruit beer, but difficult to score accurately to the [poorly-defined] guidelines. 9/10