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Author Topic: Beer Blog  (Read 29764 times)

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Offline ParadoxTopic starter

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #125 on: August 04, 2010, 08:51:04 PM »
Your assessment isn't entirely inaccurate >_> As for the Tommyknocker, I bought it both for its name and its affordability. I wanted to find a Double Bock that doesn't break the bank. Troegenator is a good candidate, but I need a second opinion.



Today's brew is Paulaner Hefeweizen



Brewed by:
Paulaner Salvator Thomasbraeu
Munich, Germany
Style- Hefeweizen
ABV- 5.5%

Seeing as this is only the second Hefeweizen reviewed in this thread, the style should briefly be reexplained: Hefeweizen, roughly translated, means “wheat with yeast”, which is a fairly accurate profile of the beer considering that its malt is composed of at least, and often more than, 50% wheat (70% is usually the upper end of the scale). If ever you see the word “weizen” in a beer name, that simply means that wheat is a major part of its malt profile; however, it’s actually the yeast that gives Hefeweizens their unique flavor. Although the specific strain of yeast used varies by brewer, all impart an interesting flavor that is reminiscent of banana and cloves; sometimes, they have a bubble gum-like flavor as well. The undertone flavors generally tend to be rather dry and somewhat phenolic (essentially, reminiscent of sanitizer, plastic, and band-aids; it’s a desired part of the flavor profile for this type of beer, but is often frowned upon in other types as a result of contamination). The unfiltered “hefe” (“With yeast”) part of the beer lends a cloudy appearance. Hefeweizens usually have between 4% to 7% alcohol by volume.

The brewery that made today's beer was established in the 1600's by a group of monks in the order of Saint Francis of Paola, from whom they derived their name. It has since become the 8th best-selling brewery in Germany. Note that the bottles of Paulaner Hefeweizen Natural Wheat are an American/English alias for Paulaner Hefe-Weissbier Naturtrüb. It's the same beer; only the packaging is different.

Poured from a 12oz bottle with no freshness date provided.

Appearance- 4.5 out of 5. A soaringly high, splendidly foamy two-finger white head sticks around for most of the drinking experience and leaves thick sheets of lace all across the glass. The color is a rich coppery-orange with yellow around the edges. Tons of bubbles burst up from the bottom. Overall, it's a very good-looking beer.

Smell- 3.5 out of 5. Light lemon, candid cloves, and a bit of banana bread mingle with an undertone of bubblegum in the scent. It becomes a little nutty as it warms; but even then, the smell is fairly weak. Good, but weak. A stronger scent would make this beer more enticing.

Taste- 4 out of 5. Paulaner Hefeweizen has a very gentle taste that is reminiscent of bananas, bread, a bit of zesty lemon, and mild spice that prickles the tongue. A bit of bubblegum brushes the side of the mouth before giving way to an aftertaste of honey and malt with hardly any hops at all.

Mouthfeel- 4 out of 5. This beer is medium-bodied and mostly smooth aside from a slightly astringent quality that appears in the mouth mid-swallow. Unfortunately, the abundant carbonation seems to have somehow disappeared a minute or two after pouring.

Drinkability- 4 out of 5. Much like the Erdinger Hefeweizen, which was previously reviewed in this blog post, this is a very drinkable beer. The iconic Hefeweizen flavors are present but not overpowering; in fact, nothing about this beer is particularly strong, but it would make a great introduction to the style. It's balanced and good enough to refill your glass a few times.

 

Overall, a B.
My opinion of Hefeweizens is changing since trying the two reviewed in this blog. I'll grab a Franziskaner or Weihenstephaner to seal the deal.

Unsolicited tip of the day- Although it is a popular modern method of enhancing Hefeweizens and Witbiers, do not add wedges of lemon or orange to your beer unless it's a crappy brew whose disappointing taste you want to disguise. If the brewers wanted those additional flavors in their beer, they would have added them. The citric acid from such fruits ruins the intended flavor, alters the pH level, which affects yeast and malt stability, and destroys the head on a beer. If you care about your beer and the money you spent on it, make sure not to dilute it with fruit.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2010, 09:01:27 PM by Paradox »

Offline Will

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #126 on: August 04, 2010, 09:12:28 PM »
Mouthfeel- 4 out of 5. This beer is medium-bodied and mostly smooth aside from a slightly astringent quality that appears in the mouth mid-swallow. Unfortunately, the abundant carbonation seems to have somehow disappeared a minute or two after pouring.

Haha, I've had some like that.  There's a RUSH of bubbles to the head.  Drinking it from the glass, there's almost no carbonation, but if you take a sip from the bottle, it's enough to burn. XD  I have no clue what makes some hold their carbonation better than others. ???

Offline Ket

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Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #127 on: August 04, 2010, 09:21:37 PM »
I've made quite a few batches of wine myself. A Riesling will probably be next.

Do want!


Offline Ramster

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #128 on: August 04, 2010, 09:34:35 PM »
Ket, are you in any position to give us an impartial review of the upcoming Château Paradox Grand Premier Cru?

Offline Ket

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Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #129 on: August 04, 2010, 10:03:01 PM »
I could...um...try?

If he'd ever make wine again! He's such a slacker.

Tell you what Para, you get some more wine a fermentin', and I'll snag you a bottle of something special from the package store for your birthday.

Offline Arhys

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #130 on: August 05, 2010, 02:38:43 PM »
Overall, a B.
My opinion of Hefeweizens is changing since trying the two reviewed in this blog. I'll grab a Franziskaner or Weihenstephaner to seal the deal.

Unsolicited tip of the day- Although it is a popular modern method of enhancing Hefeweizens and Witbiers, do not add wedges of lemon or orange to your beer unless it's a crappy brew whose disappointing taste you want to disguise. If the brewers wanted those additional flavors in their beer, they would have added them. The citric acid from such fruits ruins the intended flavor, alters the pH level, which affects yeast and malt stability, and destroys the head on a beer. If you care about your beer and the money you spent on it, make sure not to dilute it with fruit.

THANK YOU for this, so often in the U.S. they are ruined.  Lemon slices are often served with Kristallweizen (the filtered version) though.  I'm glad you are enjoying them.

Offline Ket

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Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #131 on: August 07, 2010, 01:13:39 PM »
Beers I very much enjoy, and suggest you imbibe, but not necessarily all at the same sitting:

Kwak (Belgium)

I second this suggestion to imbibe!

Offline Transgirlenstein

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #132 on: August 08, 2010, 11:43:12 AM »
Any chance of you doing Blue Moon?  It's one of my favorite pale wheat ales, well that and Hoengard.

Offline ParadoxTopic starter

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #133 on: August 10, 2010, 01:10:43 PM »
Soon, Trans, soon! I've been in a bit of a beer rut lately, mostly due to a lack of time (aside from a ton of Yuengling and a few Samuel Adams Summer Ales, neither of which were consumed under conditions suitable for reviews).

It will likely be this weekend before I can post a new one, so in the meantime, this is a fun read:

Abnormal Ales: 10 Beers with Weird Ingredients

Offline Oniya

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Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #134 on: August 10, 2010, 01:23:40 PM »
The Saison du BUFF sounds very interesting, actually.

Offline ParadoxTopic starter

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #135 on: August 10, 2010, 07:46:09 PM »
Saisons, by their very nature, are almost always interesting. That one definitely sounds good though.

Chile beer, another entry on the list, is a love-hate kind of beer. I love chiles. I love beer. Put them together, however, and it's pretty hit-or-miss.


Anyway, I lied. After a hard day at work, I had a Becks, which put me in the mood to do a real review.


Today's beer is St. George Brewing Company's India Pale Ale, brewed only about ten miles from where I live!


Brewed by:
St. George Brewing Company
Hampton, Virginia
Style: English India Pale Ale
ABV- 5.5%

St. George Brewery started as a humble Brew-On-Premises establishment in Virginia Beach in 1991; since then, it has made a good name for itself and moved to a 10,000 square-foot facility in Hampton, Virginia. St George Brewery now makes seven different styles of beer, one of which is today's India Pale Ale. Their IPA incorporates Fuggle hops shipped over from the United Kingdom; additionally, it uses a stronger malt base than most IPAs, which results in a more balanced flavor.

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle with no freshness date provided.

Appearance-  4.5 out of 5. This IPA pours with a perfect three-finger beige head that is fluffy, foamy, and leaves huge chunks of lacing all around the glass. The head retention is great as well. The beer itself is like molten brass-- brown and orange mixed together. The only thing keeping this from being a full 5 is the lackluster carbonation. It's present but not powerful enough to match the awesome head. There is also a bit of sediment floating in the brew.

Smell-
4.5 out of 5. A mild sweetness permeates the scent of this beer, back up by fruity esters that are reminiscent of lemon and apricot. The typical IPA pine-tree scent is present but not pronounced. A slight hint of hops finishes the whiff.

Taste-  4.5 out of 5. I'm not normally a big IPA fan, but this stuff is wonderful. Sweet biscuity malt starts the taste, followed by a taste of citrus fruit and floral flavor, much like a jasmine tea. The slight acidity (which is less pronounced than some popular IPAs) combined with the Fuggle hops give this beer a tasty bitterness that reminds me of grapefruit but without the mouth-puckering sensation and sourness. After mild phenolic and spicy qualities mingle with the aforementioned flavors, this IPA finishes with an aftertaste of pine and mildly sweet caramel malt. Everything is balanced and delicious, just not particularly strong.

Mouthfeel-  4 out of 5. This beer has a light to medium body that is crisp but becomes a bit creamy as it warms up. A slight astringent bite compliments the citrus twang of the flavor.

Drinkability-  4 out of 5. St. George Brewing Company's India Pale Ale combines all the high points of the IPA style with a high drinkability factor. Some IPAs are delicious but too strong to make a session out of; this one, on the other hand, could easily last for quite a few glasses. It bridges the gap between being a sipping-beer and a chugging-beer.

Overall, an A, and not just because it's from a local brewery! It's available up and down the East Coast, all the way down to Alabama as far as I know, so give it a shot if you can find it. More brews from St. George Brewing Company will be reviewed in the coming months.

Unsoliticited Tip of the Day: Be careful when you pour this beer! It damn near overflowed from the glass. If not for my fast reflexes, the foam would have been all over the desktop.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2010, 08:26:52 PM by Paradox »

Offline Torch

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Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #136 on: August 10, 2010, 07:49:57 PM »
If not for my quick lips, the head would have been all over the desktop.

Sorry. You know I had to do it!  XD

Offline ParadoxTopic starter

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #137 on: August 10, 2010, 08:24:12 PM »
>_>

Time to edit.

Offline Torch

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Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #138 on: August 10, 2010, 08:25:30 PM »
It's almost up there with the black cock quote. Almost.

Offline Ket

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Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #139 on: August 10, 2010, 08:28:31 PM »
Thank goodness for quotes!

Offline ParadoxTopic starter

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #140 on: August 15, 2010, 07:31:53 PM »
For anyone with an hour to kill, I highly recommend watching the History Channel's episode of Modern Marvels about Brewing. I can't send my recorded DVD of it to all of you, so I found it online instead.

This is good for anyone who doesn't understand some of the terminology I use in this blog or who just wants to learn more about the history and production of beer. The first ten minutes are a little slow as they walk through a Budweiser plant and discuss each component (but still interesting), but the rest is full of world history, beers from Europe and American and Mesopotamia, and all sorts of other little lessons. Ah, the wonders of technology:


Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Edit: I messed up the link for Part 5. It should work now, but you have to click on it.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2010, 07:47:10 PM by Paradox »

Offline auroraChloe

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #141 on: August 15, 2010, 07:36:50 PM »
wow, Paradox.  thanks!

Offline ParadoxTopic starter

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #142 on: August 17, 2010, 08:48:27 PM »
Anytime, Chloe. I try to share more than just my own opinions here.

Even though they're all that matter in the grand scheme of things.






Today's beer has a great name: Tommyknocker Butthead

Brewed by:
Tommyknocker Brewery
Idaho Springs, Colorado, United States
Style- Doppelbock
ABV- 8.2%
 

Bocks, as covered in more detail in this previous article about Troegenator Double Bock, are powerful lagers that were originally brewed by German monks to help them feel full as they fasted during religious observances. Doppelbocks (literally, Double Bock) are even stronger, often weighing in around 7 to 9% ABV. As is common with Bock beers, there are goats on the label-- butting heads in tribute to the name!

Nestled in the heart of Colorado's Rocky Mountains, Tommyknocker turns out a number of beers that are available in half of the states of the Union. Tommyknockers, according to the back label of this bottle, were mischievous elves who slipped into mining camps with the Welsh and Cornish miners in the 1800s. Mythologically-speaking, they are the equivalent of  Irish Leprechauns and Scottish Brownies.

I bought this beer because I wanted to find a fairly affordable Doppelbock that manages to taste good without costing ten bucks for a four pack. Let's see how it holds up.

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a snifter. Date notched on the back label could be either Drink By or Bottled On; it doesn't specify.

Appearance-  4 out of 5. Contrary to its crude name, Butthead has a very regal color. It pours a deep ruby-brown mahogany that is reminiscent of freshly-polished fine wooden furniture. The one-finger beige head quickly dissipates but leaves fine rings of lace and a few clumps floating atop the brew.

Smell- 3 out of 5. The smell of this beer is very uncharacteristic of Doppelbocks because its primary notes are of pine-tree-scented hops. Underneath those come the more typical toasted malt, dark fruit (especially plums), and fruity alcohol esters along with straight up alcohol. It smells okay, but it does neither the beer nor the style itself justice; however, I noticed later that the pine scent disappears once it warms up, to be replaced instead by the sweet malt.

Taste-  4 out of 5. The first thing I notice is that it's rather sweet (some beers I swear could give you diabetes) with hints of caramel, toffee, bing cherries, and a bit of earthy tobacco (prior to being smoked; just sniffed in its dried leaf form). Perhaps they refrained from filtering out the residual sugars; regardless, along with the sweetness comes robust toasted malt, a bit of bite from the piney hops, and an aftertaste of warming alcohol to finish it off.

Mouthfeel-  4.5 out of 5. Thick, fat, and chewy best sum up this beer's mouthfeel. It's not so bad that you'd need a steak knife, but it almost feels like I'm taking a bite out of the glass. No wonder monks considered this a meal in a bottle!

Drinkability-  4 out of 5. The sweetness keeps this from being a truly drinkable beer. I could have two and call it a night; still, for an 8.2% ABV beer, that's not bad considering how well it disguises that high alcohol content. It's great for a nightcap, but if you want a night of Doppelbocks, opt for Troegenator or Samuel Adams Double Bock instead.

Overall, a B.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2010, 09:17:33 AM by Paradox »

Offline ParadoxTopic starter

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #143 on: August 29, 2010, 07:31:58 PM »
Pardon the lack of reviews lately; things have been hectic with classes starting, having to buy a new car, and various work-related responsibilities.

In the meantime, here is a great little article about bathing in beer:

http://travel.nytimes.com/2006/04/30/travel/30surfacing.html

Offline Arhys

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #144 on: August 30, 2010, 05:09:36 AM »
No worries Paradox, have to cut back on carbs a bit anyway so it's all for the best. :p

But this...this is a waste of good beer!  It's making me laugh though.

Offline ParadoxTopic starter

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #145 on: September 02, 2010, 10:01:12 AM »
More amusing beer sites until next week:

Fried beer, courtesy of Lady Annabelle.

Also, this deer drinks beer:

Beer Drinking Deer Makes News

Offline Eric28

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #146 on: September 07, 2010, 07:40:29 AM »
I just wanted to pop in and say that I really love this blog! Being a beer man myself (maybe had a few too many over the summer? lol) I've tried a lot of what you have written about, well what I can get in this part of Canada anyways and I must say I agree with your reviews for the most part! Keep up the good work!

Offline ParadoxTopic starter

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #147 on: September 12, 2010, 06:12:43 PM »
At long last, faithful followers, my tongue has returned! (My liver, on the other hand, is still wondering what the fuck is going on).

Glad to see you're enjoying the blog, Eric.

Without further adieu, the beer review:



As my loyal readers have likely learned from recent reviews, I have become increasingly interested in IPAs. Although I initially dismissed them as too intense for my tastes, the extremely hop-centered style has slowly grown on me; now, I actually find myself craving that unique taste of citrus and pine from time to time. Hops are in the same biological family as Cannabis, which may explain their potent aroma. Some have even said that smoking dried hops results in euphoria similar to that provided by Cannabis, but I think I'll stick with drinking them.

Today's IPA comes from Heavy Seas, an imprint of Clipper City Brewing Company. They divide their beers into three nautical-themed fleets; this one is from the Pyrate Fleet and is called "Loose Cannon- Hop^3 IPA". Apparently, the name comes from the fact that each barrel is brewed with over 3 pounds of hops along with the fact that those hops are incorporated in three different ways: in the kettle, in the hop back, and finally through dry-hopping. If you don't understand any of that fancy-pantsed brewing terminology, then don't worry: the most important thing is the beer itself, so let's get to it!



Brewed By:
Heavy Seas (Clipper City Brewing Co.)
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Style- American IPA
ABV- 7.25%

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle indicating December 2010 as the best-by date.

Appearance- 4.5 out of 5. This beer appears to be straight out a pirate's chest-- bright burnished gold with bubbles streaming up from the bottom to form a creamy two-finger head that sticks around for quite a while. It becomes a little orange as it warms. It is also remarkably clear for a bottle-conditioned beer; the small amount of live yeast left in the bottle is not at all visible in the glass.

Smell- 4.5 out of 5. The smell of grapefruit overcame my nose as soon as I cracked open the bottle; after pouring it, more scents became apparent, such as bitter pine, lemon rind, and a hint of sea salt, which is fitting considering the brand. There is also a touch of sweet malt in the nose, which is incredible considering the strength of the other scents. This is the kind of smell that makes me want to dive into the glass as fast as possible.

Taste- 4.5 out of 5. At 7.25% alcohol and such a heavy-handed amount of hops, I expected the kind of intense American IPA that could strip the varnish off my hardwood floors, yet Loose Cannon has a surprisingly mild taste. Well, no IPA is mild by its very definition, but it's a lot less aggressive than I thought it would be, which isn't necessarily a negative quality. The initial taste is one of citrus and pine, so no surprise there; however, the sweet light malt does an admirable job of showing through. I don't usually expect much malt in my IPAs, so it's an added bonus to an already great beer. This is the kind of beer that stimulates your entire tongue-- sweet malt on the front, sea salt on the sides, and wonderfully bitter hops on the back of the tongue. The aftertaste is made of grapefruit and win.

Mouthfeel- 4.5 out of 5. Tangy, crisp, and dry with a fairly full body and tons of tingles from the bubbly carbonation.

Drinkability- 5 out of 5. Loose Cannon gets a full five stars for being so easily imbibed for such an ostensibly strong beer. This one officially made it onto my "dangerous" list since the above-average alcohol content is almost entirely disguised. It should definitely be left out of the fridge for about ten to fifteen minutes before opening and pouring to let the warmth develop its full flavor profile. This is the kind of beer that would go great with a strong cheese; much better than some of those paltry half-assed wine and cheese pairings out there.

Overall, an A.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2010, 06:45:53 PM by Paradox »

Offline Will

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #148 on: September 13, 2010, 01:14:31 AM »
A review worth waiting for!  It really sounds like a fantastic brew.  I will definitely keep an eye out for it.

Offline ParadoxTopic starter

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #149 on: September 19, 2010, 06:08:17 PM »
Today's beer is Yuengling Porter.

Originally brought to popularity by 18th century London workers transportation eager to imbibe after a hard day's work, Porter was the first hybrid beer. The combination of an old stale ale, a freshly-brewed brown ale, and a weak ale resulted in the classic Porter recipe, commonly referred to as "Entire Butt". I have yet to figure out exactly why it was given that nickname, so let's chalk it up to English eccentricity for now since the brew itself tastes nothing like butt, much less an entire one.

Porters reached their prime peak of popularity during the Industrial Revolution and have since unfortunately stagnated in the UK to a certain extent; fortunately for those of us on the other side of the Atlantic, the American home-brewing revolution has revamped the recipe. In addition to the traditional combination of black, chocolate, and crystal malts, American brewers have added a slew of innovations such as increasing the amount of hops (then again, Americans do that with damn near any beer they can get their hands on) and incorporating smoked malts to augment the smoky character common in many Porters; in fact, some brewers actually add chocolate or coffee to bring that flavor out even further.

As for the brewery itself, Yuengling is widely-renowned as the oldest still-active brewery in America. Since 1829, they've been pumping out quality beer that blurs the line between mass-production and micro-brew. Their Traditional Lager is my stand-by beer anytime I go to a party or bar and want to drink something good without breaking the bank, so I'm interested to see how they do with another style.



Brewed by:
Yuengling Brewery
Pottsville, Pennslyvania (United States)
Style- American Porter
ABV- 4.7%

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle with a twist-off cap and no freshness date.

Appearance- 3.5 out of 5. The only colors this beer has are the creamy tan one-finger head and the deep brown around the edges; aside from that, the rest is pitch-black even when held up to the light. Typical porter in appearance, but some more head would have been nice (a phrase uttered by all men at one point or another). At least it sticks around for a while.

Smell- 3 out of 5. The scents in this beer are somewhat subdued. Coffee, charcoal, and caramel stand out with an undertone of dark malt. It smells like a Stout with shyness issues.

Taste- 4 out of 5. As with the smell, there's nothing significantly strong about this brew; luckily, the tastes are still savory despite their subtlety. That scent of coffee becomes the main taste with nutty notes as well. A taste that's more like roasted cocoa beans than actual chocolate mingles alongside a little burnt wood. Hardly any hops appear in the beer aside from a little bitterness. The aftertaste is probably the best part of this beer-- all of the flavors come together and a leave a semi-sweet, semi-smoky residue. The flavors get stronger as it warms, so warm it up a little to fully enjoy it (or cool it down if you don't want to taste it, but if that's the case, why in the hell are you drinking it in the first place?)

Mouthfeel- 3.5 out of 5. Medium-bodied, like creamy coffee with a dry finish. The fact that I've mentioned coffee in three out of five sections should tell you something.

Drinkability- 4 out of 5. It may not be strong, but it's good. Unlike some porters, you could probably drink a whole six pack of this stuff. If you've never tried a Porter before, start here. This is definitely an Autumn and Winter kind of beer.

Overall, a B.

Bonus! For anyone interested, a brew by the name of Entire Butt is still being produced by the UK's Salopian Brewing Company. More to come on that when I obtain a bottle.