Thursday, November 23, 2017

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier UrBock

DOB: ?

2015 BJCP Category: 32A Classic Style Smoked Beer (base style: 6C Dunkles Bock)

AROMA: Strong smoked presence with significant beechwood character. There is a moderate bready malt presence that implies some sweetness. A touch of chocolate is also present. No hops (none needed). Clean fermentation. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Seemingly black, but actually dark maroon (22-27 SRM). Clear body. Moderate dark tan froth retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Smoke flavor throughout; though it is especially strong towards the finish with a bacon-like taste. Base style of dunkles bock is fairly prominent with distinct bready malt flavor, though it is not sweet nor rich. There is a brief taste of dark chocolate right as it finishes. Hops are very low and virtually undetectable; smoke provides bitterness. Clean fermentation. Though smoke dictates the palette, it doesn't feel wildly askew. 15/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; medium-low carbonation. Smooth and highly drinkable. No alcohol presence for 6.5% ABV. Smoke leaves a slightly astringent aftertaste akin to bacon, but without grease. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Interesting and tasty combination of a dark bock and smoked malt. Best appreciated as a meal accompaniment. 8/10


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Kulmbacher EKU Pils

DOB: ? (2433134)

2015 BJCP Category: 5D German Pils

AROMA: Moderate grainy-sweet maltiness with slight graham cracker and honey scent. Medium-low spicy/earthy Noble hops. Faint sulfur, but it is not distracting (and acceptable for the style). Clean fermentation. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Banana yellow hue (2-4 SRM). Mostly clear body. Large creamy white head retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Remarkably sweet up front with a honey/bready flavor (oxidized). Noble hops are present throughout; mild bitterness on the first half and a moderate peppery/spicy flavor on the second. Brief hop bite right as it finishes. Hops have likely faded with age. Slight sulfur quality, but is tame and not upstaging. Brew is well-attenuated with a soft malty aftertaste; otherwise clean and dry. 13/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body; medium carbonation. Easy to drink, but not especially refreshing. Session beer candidate at 4.9% ABV. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: More to spec than not, but better enjoyed fresher than this. 7/10


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Ayinger Urweisse (2017 re-review to BJCP specs)

DOB: ?

2015 BJCP Category: 10B Dunkles Weissbier

AROMA: Moderately banana and clove yeast esters and phenols. Moderately low bready malt presence, but lacking Maillard character. No hops (none needed). 9/12

APPEARANCE: Deep copper hue (13-17 SRM); hazy body. Large white froth retains well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Moderate banana bread taste throughout. Good balance of yeast esters, phenols and wheat. Grist creates for a wheat bread flavor, though it is not particularly toasty. Tingling clove flavor and spicy sensation throughout which becomes rather prominent on the finish. No hop flavor or bitterness. The palette is also mild overall. 13/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body; moderate carbonation. Feels a bit flat and watery for the style. Very refreshing and easy to drink. Seems much lighter than 5.8% ABV, though. 3/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Though enjoyable, this seems more like a regular weissbier than a true dunkelweizen. 6/10


NOTE: See my 2012 original review here:

Monday, November 20, 2017

Hofbräu Original

DOB: 8/16/17? (L229Q)

2015 BJCP Category: 4A Munich Helles

AROMA: Moderately-light grainy-sweet malt. Extremely low spicy Noble hops. Fairly prominent lightstrike skunky due to olive green bottle color. Fermentation seems to be clean. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Straw golden hue (2-4 SRM); brilliant clarity. Large bright white frothy head retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Fairly neutral start with no distinct flavors. A moderate grainy-sweet malt presence emerges on the second half. Moderately-low spicy hop flavor is present throughout with brief bitter bite on the finish. Lightstrike imparts a metallic/oily off-flavor. Aftertaste akin to crackers. Fermentation seems clean. 13/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; medium-high carbonation. Very crisp. Not smooth per se, but no challenge to drink (once you get over the off-flavor). Feels a bit lighter and more sessionable than 5.1% ABV. 3/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: It is to spec? Yes. But is it a great example of the style when it's old? No. 6/10


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Ayinger Weizenbock

DOB: ?

2015 BJCP Category: 10C Weizenbock

AROMA: Fairly strong banana and clove yeast character. Rich bready/wheaty malt base is also present, but lacking in toasty/Maillard flavors. Slight vanilla from the alcohol. No hop (none needed). 10/12

APPEARANCE: Golden/amber hue over a hazy body (4-7 SRM). Large white foam eventually dissipates and leaves little lacing. 2/3

FLAVOR: Very strong banana and clove yeast character from start to finish. Bready/wheaty malt base is quite rich to create for more sweetness; but toasted component is faint. There seems to be a general fruity flavor in the background akin to apple sauce or fruit punch. Slight honey/lemon sherry character from oxidation, though it works with the natural tastes of the palette. Slight vanilla flavor from the alcohol. Very low spicy/earthy hops and low bitterness. 17/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-full body; high carbonation. Texture is soft and smooth. Easy to drink, but not refreshing per se (not that it should be at 7.1% ABV, anyway). 5/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Takes everything I like about hefeweizen and increases the intensity. If this bottle were fresh it'd be perfect. 9/10


Saturday, November 18, 2017

Tucher Dunkles Hefe Weizen

DOB: ? (L292)

2015 BJCP Category: 10B Dunkles Weissbier

AROMA: Moderately-strong rich bready maltiness. Notes of bread crust and a faint toasted character from Maillard reaction seem to be present. Banana and clove yeast character are also present, but not quite as strong as in a standard weissbier. Faint vanilla or bubblegum. No hops (none needed). 10/12

APPEARANCE: Very dark copper/chestnut hue (17-22 SRM). Hazy, but still has some clarity. Large off-white froth retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Rich bready/malty taste immediately. Akin to whole wheat bread with a slight toasty flavor. Banana flavor is present throughout; lurks in the background at first, but becomes much more prominent and sweeter on the second half. Clove phenols emerge on the finish with a gentle spiciness. Faint vanilla taste is present. Hops are extremely low in terms of flavor (earthy) and bitterness. 18/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; high carbonation. Texture is soft, smooth and comfortable. Refreshing and quaffable. Ideal summer session beer at 5.2% ABV. 5/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Delectable, fun to drink, and to-spec; what more could you ask for? 10/10


Friday, November 17, 2017

Schneider Weisse Original (TAP7) (2017 re-review to BJCP specs)

DOB: 8/11/17

2015 BJCP Category: 10A Weissbier

AROMA: Strong banana and clove esters and phenols, respectfully. Nose is akin to fresh banana bread. Vanilla and bubblegum notes linger in the background to complement the yeast character and imply sweetness. No hops (none needed). 12/12

APPEARANCE: Very hazy deep amber/dark copper hue (9-13 SRM). Dark for the style; this could pass as a dunkles weissbier on appearance. Large, off-white, fluffy head retains and laces fairly well. 2/3

FLAVOR: Palette is moderately-strong banana bread flavor throughout. There is an underlying clove flavor and gentle spiciness throughout which becomes rather prominent on the backend. Lightly sweet vanilla and bubblegum flavors lurk in the background. Wheat imparts an authentic bready taste, though esters and phenols account for most of the flavors. Very low earthy/spicy hop presence. Brief, light aftertaste of banana bread; otherwise dry and clean. 18/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-light body; high carbonation. Soft, smooth texture and rounded mouthfeel. Very refreshing and quaffable. Definitely sessionable even at 5.4% ABV (especially outdoors in the summer). 5/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: An absolutely delectable and fun-to-drink beer. Pretty much perfect for the style. 10/10


NOTE: See my 2009 original review here:

Monday, November 13, 2017

Żywiec Porter (2017 re-review to BJCP specs)

BBD: 11/26/2018

2015 BJCP Category: 9C Baltic Porter

AROMA: Rich malty sweetness with notes of toffee, licorice and dark chocolate. Rich dark maltiness without any burnt notes. Very low earthy hops; no alcohol presence whatsoever. 11/12

APPEARANCE: Seemingly black but actually opaque dark brown with light brown highlights (22-44 SRM). Very large and persistent tan froth which retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Rich, elegant dark malt which is roasty but not burnt. Confectionery/dark fruit flavors are quite strong as well, but are at no point cloying. Distinct flavors of toffee, black licorice, dark chocolate, and a slight cherry or black currant flavor. Medium-high hop bitterness and slight earthy/spicy flavor. 18/20

MOUTHFEEL: Full-bodied with a smooth, slightly creamy texture. CO2 is medium. Alcohol presence invokes a gentle warmness, but is fairly neutral as far as flavor. 5/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Pretty much a perfect beer for the style. Style guidelines were probably written based on this brew. 10/10


NOTE: Read and watch my 2011 original review here:

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Kulmbacher Eisbock (2017 re-review to BJCP specs)

DOB: ? (2648301)

2015 BJCP Category: 9B Eisbock

AROMA: Strong dark fruit aroma (plum, grape, raisin, cherry). Malt presence is quite strong, but very little in the way of overt breadiness or Maillard products. Alcohol is noticeable and seems to create for a confectionery scent. Clean lager fermentation. 10/12

APPEARANCE: Clear, dark ruby red (17-27 SRM). Small tan foam slowly dissipates. 3/3

FLAVOR: Fairly intense fruit flavor (cherry, grape, raisin) with plenty of base malt at the core. Slight Maillard flavor of toast. Low bitterness and virtually no hop flavor. Alcohol creates for a drying sensation but also some confectionery flavors. Warmth is subtle and easily tolerable. Clean lager fermentation. 17/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-full bodied; low carbonation. Smooth texture. Aftertaste is initially sweet, then dries out quickly. Not an intimidating drink at 9.2% ABV. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: If this is really the only commercial example of the style, it's a darn good one. 9/10


NOTE: Read my 2013 original review here:

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Spaten Optimator (2017 re-review to BJCP specs)

BBD: 5/2018

2015 BJCP Category: 9A Doppelbock (dark)

AROMA: Strong maltiness with an authentic bready scent. Rich, but no impression of sweetness. Faint toast and chocolate notes. A trace amount of earthy hops. Alcohol imparts a minor caramel scent. Clean lager fermentation. Slightly skunky from the green bottle. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Mostly clear chestnut/mahogany hue (22-27 SRM). Large tan froth retains and laces fairy well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Fairly intense bready/malty flavor throughout. Significant Maillard components of toasty bread and subtle dark chocolate as it finishes. Low earthy hop flavor with moderate, dry bitterness at the apex. Palette is sweet, but well-attenuated so as not to be cloying. Alcohol is present and accentuates the natural sweetness. Clean lager fermentation. Light strike is noticeable in first sip but easily overlooked. 15/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-full body; moderate carbonation. Texture is soft and smooth with relatively dry aftertaste. Highly drinkable for 7.6% ABV. Only a gentle warmth from the alcohol. 5/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Definitely a very good example of the style, but not World Class due to the color and age of the bottle. 8/10


NOTE: See my 2014 original review here:

Friday, November 10, 2017

Old Rasputin Vertical vs. Horizontal aging experiment | Round 2: 6 months

It's been six months since I've had two four-packs of North Coast Brewing's Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout againg in my fridge. One pack has been standing up straight and the other has been laid on its side. After six months of aging, will I be able to tell the difference? Does it matter if you lay down beer or stand it up? That's what I' m trying to find out. Thanks to my buddy and co-worker Robert for coming over and helping out with this experiment. Hopefully we can get a third or fourth person to help out on the one-year anniversary next May!

Round 1: 3 months

Schneider Weisse Aventinus Eisbock (2017 re-review to BJCP specs)

DOB: 6/16/16

2015 BJCP Category: 34B Mixed-Style Beer (base styles: 9B Eisbock & 10C Weizenbock)

AROMA: Moderately high bready rich aroma with strong banana and clove esters and phenols, respectfully. Slight dark fruit presence and a touch of caramel. Alcohol is quite muted. No hops (none needed). 10/12

APPEARANCE: Very murky shade of burgundy which almost seems purple (17-22 SRM). Moderate tan froth retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Fairly rich bready maltiness at the core with a continually spicy sensation from esters and phenols (clove/peppercorn flavors are quite strong). Backbone is akin to raisin bread. Freeze distillation may have sapped the natural flavor of the base brew and replaced it with more of a raw alcohol in the form of caramel/vanilla flavors (though it not sweet, per se). No hop flavor; low bitterness. 16/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-full body; high carbonation. Quite smooth texture and brief spicy aftertaste. The alcohol is tame for 12% ABV, with a gentle warming sensation. Not necessarily a sipper. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: An interesting variation on an already great weizenbock. Amazingly drinkable considering the potency. 9/10


NOTE: Read and watch my 2011 original review here:

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Kulmbacher EKU 28

DOB: ? (2620201)

2015 BJCP Category: 9A Doppelbock (Pale)

AROMA: Fairly strong malty character with strong fruity notes as well (cherry, plum, apple). Slight caramel or vanilla scent from the alcohol. Does not seem to be toasty or have distinctive Maillard products. Clean lager fermentation. No hops (none needed). 9/12

APPEARANCE: Hazy shade of deep amber/rusty orange (13-17 SRM). Small tan foam evaporates after a short time. 2/3

FLAVOR: Hefty malt presence for sure, but not overtly bready. Not toasty or full of Maillard character; more of a fruity flavor. Caramel and vanilla are present throughout with substantial sweetness, though it never comes across as cloying. Very low bitterness and no hop flavor (none needed). Clean lager fermentation. Remarkably clean finish. 13/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium-full bodied; moderately low carbonation. Though tepid, it does not feel thick or sticky. Smooth and easy to drink despite a strong 11% ABV presence. Alcohol is rather gentle and complement the palette well. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: This walks a fine line between the pale and dark doppelbock styles. Not perfect, but certainly exemplifies the style well. 7/10


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Pair O' Dice Lowball IPA

DOC: ?

2015 BJCP Category: 21B Specialty IPA - Session IPA

AROMA: Strong Mosaic hop presence of pineapple juice and a slight herbal character. Bubblegum sweetness in the background. No malt distinctiveness. Clean fermentation. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Hazy shade of amber/orange (5-7 SRM). Large white soapy foam retains and laces fairly well. 2/3

FLAVOR: Malt-forward palette, surprisingly enough. Sweet with a bubblegum taste. Hops linger in the background as a dry, peppery flavor and low bitterness. Mild hop bite at the apex followed by resiny flavor into the finish. Grassy/peppery flavor lingers momentarily, otherwise clean aftertaste.  12/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; moderately-low carbonation. Smooth texture, but feels a bit sticky. Should be crisp and clean. Bit heavy for the style at 5% ABV. 3/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Good-tasting beer, but a little too malty and sweet for the style. Drinks like a regular APA. 6/10


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Hofbräu Dunkel

DOB: ? (L177Q)

2015 BJCP Category: 8A Munich Dunkel

AROMA: General bready nose, but without toasted character. Malty, but without sweetness. No hops. Some oxidation and lightstrike flaws. 7/12

APPEARANCE: Clear ruby hue (13-17 SRM). Large tan froth retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Mild flavor of brown malt but without any sweetness. A bready presence to be sure, but nothing toasted or doughy. Very faint background note of caramel and perhaps a nutty character. Extremely low bitterness and earthy hop flavor. Lightstrike and oxidation are noticeable. 11/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; medium-low carbonation. Smooth with a clean aftertaste, but not refreshing. Feels much lighter than 5.5% ABV. 2/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Probably a World Class example fresh on tap in Munich; an old bottle in Florida is a whole lotta meh. 5/10


Monday, November 6, 2017

Primátor Double Bock

DOB: ? (887)

2015 BJCP Category: 9A Doppelbock

AROMA: Strong presence of dark fruit and dark malt (but without roasty/toasty character). Sweet nose from hefty malt presence as well as some chocolate liqueur from the alcohol. No hops (none needed) 9/12

APPEARANCE: Deep burgundy hue (22-27 SRM). Clear. Large, tan froth retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Rich and malty throughout with dark fruit flavors up front (cherry, plum, raisin) and light chocolate and caramel taste on the back end. Though plenty malty, there are no obvious Maillard products in the palette. Low bitterness; very low earthy hop flavor. Alcohol enhances sweetness and creates for a smooth, warming sensation. Clean lager fermentation. 15/20

MOUTHFEEL: Full-bodied; moderately-low carbonation. Texture is soft and smooth with a brief, slightly sweet aftertaste, but eventually finishes clean. The 10.5% ABV is apparent, but gentle. Remarkably drinkable for the potency. 5/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: The sweet malt showcase you expect in a doppelbock. Missing a few key features, but otherwise well done. 8/10


Sunday, November 5, 2017

Krombacher Dark

BBD: 4/3/18

2015 BJCP Category: 8B Schwarzbier

AROMA: Moderately-low malt base with a bready character. Slightly sweet with caramel or confectionery aroma. Roasted malt is also present, but is not burnt or coffee-like. Clean lager fermentation. Oxidation is present, but not too intense. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Seemingly black proper hue (44 SRM); a bit too dark for the style. Body looks murky. Large, dark tan froth retains and laces very well. 2/3

FLAVOR: Moderately sweet up front with minor caramel/toffee flavors and a hefty malty-bready base. Roasted malt emerges on the second half to impart some bitterness and contrast, but is not burnt or astringent. Palette overall is a tad mild, though this is due to age (slight sherry taste due to oxidation). Very low floral/earthy hops. Clean lager fermentation. 16/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; moderate carbonation. Extremely smooth and comfortable. Not refreshing per se, but highly quaffable and sessionable at 4.7% ABV. 5/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Represents the style surprisingly well considering the age. Imagine how great it'd be fresh. 8/10


Friday, November 3, 2017

Weltenburger Kloster Barock Dunkel

DOB: ? (214H0759)

2015 BJCP Category: 8A Munich Dunkel

AROMA: Prominent bready/browned malt presence with notes of chocolate and toffee; but nothing cloying or faux. Slight toasty scent. Low herbal/floral hops (almost minty). Some oxidation is present, but easily overlooked. 10/12

APPEARANCE: Hazy shade of reddish-brown (17-27 SRM). Moderate, tan, creamy head retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Malt-forward palette that is sweet for sure, but not cloying. Fairly rich bready flavors along with chocolate and toffee in the background. Minor toasty notes impart some bitterness for balance. Hops are quite low with a faint herbal/floral flavor. Clean lager fermentation. Some oxidation character. 17/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body with moderate carbonation. Smooth texture with a slightly malty aftertaste but nothing cloying or astringent. Not refreshing per se, but defintiely quaffable and sessionable at 4.7% ABV. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Both delectable and to-style; that's a winning combination. If only it were fresh! 9/10


Thursday, November 2, 2017

Tomoka Hazy Sunrise Wheat Ale

DOC: 7/21/17

2015 BJCP Category: 29A Fruit Beer (base style: 10A Weissbier)

AROMA: Light, clean, fruity aroma of orange and banana. Background note of clove. Light bready character. No hops (none needed). 9/12

APPEARANCE: Amber/orange hue (7-9 SRM); mostly clear (beer is clearly filtered). Moderate white foam never completely dissipates. 2/3

FLAVOR: First half is a general wheaty/bready flavor, though a bit mild. Esters and phenols emerge on the second half with the standard banana and clove flavors, respectively. Orange is quite subtle considering how the beer is marketed. Only a minor fruit flavor in the background - nothing sweet and juicy. Very low bitterness and no hop flavor (none needed). 12/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body and carbonation. Smooth texture, clean aftertaste, refreshing. Sessionable at only 5% ABV. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Adding orange to a mild hefeweizen base results in only an okay beer. 6/10


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Tomoka Oceanside White IPA

DOC: 9/20/17

2015 BJCP Category: 21B Specialty IPA - White IPA

AROMA: Fairly strong grapefruit/citrusy hop aroma. Slight peppery/spicy character, but otherwise not much yeast ester presence. Base malt and wheat is neutral. 7/12

APPEARANCE: Hazy golden hue (4-6 SRM). Moderately large white soapy foam retains and laces well. 3/3

FLAVOR: Grapefruit and other citrusy flavors dominate the palette. Taste is rather dry and astringent akin to actual pith rather than fruit or any kind of juicy sensation. Dry astringency throughout which is especially strong on the finish. No sweetness or distinctive malt or wheat flavor. Only a faint spicy flavor but it does not taste like coriander. No fruity yeast esters. 8/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; medium-high carbonation. Crisp and quaffable, but leaves an astringent, pithy aftertaste. No alcohol presence for 7.1%, but feels like a much lighter brew. 2/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Too one-dimensional as the grapefruit peel dominates everything. Unbalanced. Mis-marketed as a "White IPA". 4/10