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Author Topic: Beer Blog  (Read 29749 times)

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Offline Anithinum

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #200 on: January 06, 2011, 10:39:01 PM »
First of, I think you should earn brownie points for this because it's excellent! I haven't tried any of these beers yet (I'm a passionate beer drinker), but I will search for them!

Taste is, of course, subjective.  In my case, I like my beers to taste like beer, and if I feel assaulted by waves of hazelnut and have to strain to pick up any lingering remnants of hops and alcohol, I'm going to be disappointed.  I have a hard time enjoying particularly sweet beers when they aren't balanced with other flavors (such as hops or higher ABVs).  Honestly, based on Para's review, I could see myself going lower than a C; I find him to be a little too generous at times.  Still, outside of the subjective letter grading, he does an incredible job of objectively describing the beers.  It gives me a really good idea of what to expect and what beers I will likely enjoy/dislike.

I'm going to have to agree and disagree with you there. I think beer should taste like beer, but I see no reason why I shouldn't try it out just for the heck of it. You might find one you really like.  ;)
Although I have to add I tried Cherry beer once and I almost cried. It was quite horrible.

Offline Will

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #201 on: January 06, 2011, 11:01:02 PM »
I don't have a lot of money, and a lot of these varieties are incredibly pricey.  If I went out and spent that sort of money on beer and found that I didn't like it, well... I would be severely disappointed.  I can't afford to just shrug it off and head back out to get something I like.  So that's a reason not to try something.

Offline sexy xander

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #202 on: January 10, 2011, 03:49:31 PM »
What a fantastic post! I've always wanted to do this but just never got around to it. If possible could you highlight your favourite beer at the very top of the post. I'm sure after all of this research we would like a clear cut winner!

Offline ParadoxTopic starter

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #203 on: January 10, 2011, 07:59:25 PM »
First of, I think you should earn brownie points for this because it's excellent! I haven't tried any of these beers yet (I'm a passionate beer drinker), but I will search for them!

I'm going to have to agree and disagree with you there. I think beer should taste like beer, but I see no reason why I shouldn't try it out just for the heck of it. You might find one you really like.  ;)
Although I have to add I tried Cherry beer once and I almost cried. It was quite horrible.

I'll try anything once-- but I won't necessarily spend money on just anything, hence the exploration inherent in reading about beer. I read about five times as many beers as I actually drink. Maybe I'll get to them down the line; maybe not. Whatever I manage to imbibe is worthwhile enough.

Which cherry beer was it? One of those Samuel Adams Cherry Wheats? A Cherry Lambic?

I don't have a lot of money, and a lot of these varieties are incredibly pricey.  If I went out and spent that sort of money on beer and found that I didn't like it, well... I would be severely disappointed.  I can't afford to just shrug it off and head back out to get something I like.  So that's a reason not to try something.

Yeah; unfortunately, some of the best beers on the market are too prohibitively priced to drink on a regular basis. If I could drink the one below every day, angels would fuck themselves with unicorn horns to the sound of Prince singing falsetto.

What a fantastic post! I've always wanted to do this but just never got around to it. If possible could you highlight your favourite beer at the very top of the post. I'm sure after all of this research we would like a clear cut winner!

It's a tie between either Gulden Draak or La Trappe. The height of beer obsession comes in the form of Belgian Ales (Strong Pale if you like lighter-colored beers or Strong Dark if you like darker-colored beers). If you can find one, check it out. If not, let me know what looks interesting at your local store, and I'll give you some recommendations.



Spending so much time at the Birch lately has somewhat spoiled my palate with a predilection for excellent beer, so today's review involves a Belgian Quadrupel from one of the iconic Trappist breweries. As mentioned in a previous article, Trappist beer is only produced in seven breweries housed in abbeys run by Trappist monks (six in Belgium and one in the Netherlands). Brewing and selling beer is how each abbey supports itself; originally, the beer was their actual sustenance, but now it funds their charitable works in the community. The knowledge that my drinking habit is improving the lives of people half a world away makes me feel somewhat better about spending so much money on a single bottle of beer.

This particular abbey, technically entitled Our Lady of St Rémy, has been around since 1229; it has been brewing beer since 1595. In 1653, the abbey was almost entirely destroyed by French forces jealous about how much the beer was than their wine (or embroiled in a long-since forgotten conflict-- whichever you prefer). Luckily, the surviving monks rebuilt the building by 1671. Since then, numerous conflicts, controversies, and outright battles have significantly reduced both the premises and the number of monks working there. Only 15 monks currently inhabit the premises, and --in typical ascetic fashion-- they refuse to increase production even if consumers demand more beer; moreover, the brewery is closed to the public, unlike some other Trappist abbeys. Their stubbornly furtive nature adds a little mystery to the beer I'm about to drink. The fact that it earned 100 out of 100 points on RateBeer.com doesn't hurt either. Rochefort makes two other beers: 6 and 8 (the most common). The higher the number, the higher the ABV and stronger the flavor.


"It's all there, black and white, clear as crystal! You stole fizzy lifting drinks!"


Trappistes Rochefort 10
Brewery: Brasserie de Rochefort
Style: Quadrupel
ABV: 11.3%

Poured into an oversized snifter. The bottle has a code that says 030215. A little research revealed that this means it was bottled March 2nd, 2010 and will be good for five years past that date (though it would probably age even longer under the proper conditions).

Appearance- 4.5 out of 5. Pours a deep, dark brown like a medieval monk's robe. The formidable tan-brown head quickly fizzles away into nothing. Once it subsides, there is a little lacing left sticking around the edges. Be warned that there is a thick yeast cake sticking to the bottom of the bottle that will plop into the glass if you don't pour carefully. Once the sediment intrudes, the beer becomes cloudy and somewhat thicker.

Smell- 4.5 out of 5. Sweet malt and dark fruit leap out of the glass and tickle my nose with a thousand subtle nuances. Red grapes-- almost like wine, figs, plums, and vanilla swirl in an olfactory orgy. Cocoa and caramel linger afterward. Hops are nowhere to be found, but in this case, I don't miss them. The alcohol is evident at first whiff but not unpleasant-- just a bit spicy. This is a fairly fresh bottle, so it would likely mellow with age. Not quite as enticing as La Trappe Quadrupel, but damned close.

Taste- 5 out of 5. This is one of those beers whose scents blissfully match its flavor profile. Sweet caramel malt, dark bread, and fruity esters roll through my mouth like moat waters in a storm. It's like a feast from the Dark Ages bottled and sequestered away in a dusty castle alcove, saved for me to enjoy today. Everything from the smell translates into the taste but manifests more powerfully. The alcohol is strong and spreads warmth across my face; the sedimentary yeast adds a spicy, peppery note to balance out the vanilla and fruit sweetness. Only the faintest hint of herbal hops crosses my tongue, quickly washed away by an aftertaste that reminds me of port wine. The red grape taste is strong in this beer. The banality of "mouth-gasm" seems entirely too weak for this beer; "tongue-fuck" is more appropriate.

Mouthfeel- 4.5 out of 5. Moderate to full-bodied. The port wine comparison is once again applicable. Creamy and smooth except for a bit of an astringent phenolic bite on the back of the tongue. The only disconcerting note is the intense tingling on my tongue like a Fizzy Lifting Drink from Willy Wonka's factory, but that fades after a few minutes in the glass.

Drinkability- 5 out of 5. If I could drink this beer on a nightly basis, I would be a rapturously happy man. It's probably good that this beer is somewhat rare; widespread availability would irrevocably spoil our palates. I could easily drink three or four of these, but keep in mind that it's a beer better sipped than gulped. As it is, the review is concluding just as the glass is almost empty, and I want to shout like Captain Jack Sparrow, "why is the beer gone?!". La Trappe Quadrupel is still probably by favorite Quad of all time, but this one definitely gives it a run for its money. If you see it, buy it; budget be damned.

Overall, an A+. World-class.

Notes: Be sure to leave this beer out of the refrigerator for at least ten to fifteen minutes before pouring it. The ideal serving temperature is around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and the flavor profile won't fully develop unless you let it reach that level of warmth. Don't cheat yourself. Also, use a goblet or chalice or snifter or something other than a traditional pub glass to ensure maximum development of the nose.

For a more comprehensive history of Rochefort, the other Trappist breweries, Trappist beers, monks, and the Trappist subsect in general, check out http://www.trappistbeer.net/trappist_portalEN.htm

Offline Ramster

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #204 on: January 10, 2011, 08:13:14 PM »
Quote
It's a tie between either Gulden Draak or La Trappe.
Great minds think alike!

Great to see you managed to get hold of Trappistes Rochefort! I can't believe I haven't recommended you before; I think it must be the fact that the name isn't as catchy as Gulden Draak (Golden Dragon!) or any of the others I've told you about. I'm a big, biiiiiig fan of the stuff none the less!

In fact, you've reminded me to go for a few bottles of the brew tomorrow evening. Ladies and gentlemen, what Para said. It is phenomenal. What you should be drinking between Gulden Draaks if you have the cash on hand.

Offline ParadoxTopic starter

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #205 on: January 11, 2011, 07:29:19 AM »
Great minds think alike!

Great to see you managed to get hold of Trappistes Rochefort! I can't believe I haven't recommended you before; I think it must be the fact that the name isn't as catchy as Gulden Draak (Golden Dragon!) or any of the others I've told you about. I'm a big, biiiiiig fan of the stuff none the less!

In fact, you've reminded me to go for a few bottles of the brew tomorrow evening. Ladies and gentlemen, what Para said. It is phenomenal. What you should be drinking between Gulden Draaks if you have the cash on hand.

Yeah, the names of most of the Trappist ales are rather difficult. That's why I keep referring to it as La Trappe without adding Koningshoeven in front. God help me when I find Westvleteren. I have an Achel and a Westmalle in the garage, so that's actually the only Trappist left for me to find  ;D

I want to reiterate to everyone the importance to me of y'all discussing stuff in here! If you run across a beer you like, let me know about it. I'm always down for learning about something new.

Offline Ramster

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #206 on: January 11, 2011, 07:55:46 AM »
I should be able to get hold of some Westvleteren here; I may have had some before but I don't have any strong memories of it. That could just be a result of whatever I drank afterwards though!

I'll try and order one at the Belgian beer house tonight and treat you to a mini-review, how about that?

Also, I can heartily recommend Black Sheep Ale from Yorkshire, if you can buy it wherever you get your delicious Belgian imports.

Offline ParadoxTopic starter

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #207 on: January 11, 2011, 12:08:36 PM »
This one? http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/1417/4904/?ba=bros

If so, the only brew from Black Sheep available around here is their specialty Monty Python Holy Grail Ale. I'll definitely put out some feelers for their other offerings.

Offline Neroon

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Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #208 on: January 12, 2011, 04:07:12 PM »
Black Sheep is as close to the delicious Theakston's Best that I used to drink in my twenties and is one of my favourites.  It's hardly surprising, since the Black Sheep brewery is owned by one of the Theakston brothers, started after the eponymous brewery was sold off to Scotch and Newcastle at the end of the eighties.  I'm hear (though I'm not certain) that the other brother has reacquired the old family brewery.  I do hope that this means the standards will return to what they were in the seventies and eighties.

Offline Ramster

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #209 on: January 13, 2011, 10:17:25 AM »
I had some about half a year ago when I was last in London, and I have to say I'm impressed with their offerings. I've had there Black Sheep Ale, Riggwelter and Golden Ales (it was quite a sitting!) and it's definitely worth looking out for; one of the few beers made in Britain at the moment that's actually worth exporting, in my opinion.

Offline ParadoxTopic starter

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #210 on: January 22, 2011, 10:13:35 AM »
I had La Trappe on draft last night.

On draft, man.

I wanted to stick my dick in it.

Offline Ramster

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #211 on: January 22, 2011, 10:48:09 AM »
Oh MAN! I indulged in Westmalle myself last night and damn!

On DRAFT?!

I feel you bro!

Offline ParadoxTopic starter

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #212 on: February 14, 2011, 11:31:56 AM »
I'm arranging a Beer + Food evening and would like your input on any other ideas.

So far, the list is:

*Chocolate Stout + Ice Cream (and brownie bits, fudge syrup, and malt powder)
*Framboise Lambic + vanilla ice cream
*Strawberries + Lambic
*Fruity Pebbles + Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat
*Beer bread
*Vodka + Watermelon (or Everclear, should we dare be so bold; however, I'd much rather have a beer to use with the watermelon. What do you folks think would work best to soak the watermelon in?)
*Bananas foster
*Irish car bomb cupcakes

Anything else y'all can think of?

Offline Ramster

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #213 on: February 14, 2011, 11:50:03 AM »
Get a good hard yellow cheese, preferably French or Belgian, and enjoy with crackers and a dark dubbel or tripel Belgian ale. I think it goes better with cheese as a drink than red wine!

Then for the watermelon: you'll need something crisp, but quite alcoholic. I'm thinking a pale ale with around 7-10% alcohol by volume. Personally, I'd use La Chouffe, as it's all of those things and comes in large bottles, but see what you can get your hands on.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #214 on: February 14, 2011, 11:50:37 AM »
Vodka and watermelon is okay, but I have an alternative.

Nuclear melon balls:  Take a honeydew melon, cut a small hole into the center cavity, and wedge it onto a bottle of Midori.  Invert, and refrigerate overnight.  Before serving, remove the bottle (most of the Midori will be absorbed), halve the melon and attack with melon-baller.  These things practically glow in the dark.

Offline Blitzy

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Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #215 on: February 14, 2011, 02:45:34 PM »
You can get Midori at any liquor store down here at least.

Offline ParadoxTopic starter

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #216 on: February 14, 2011, 02:47:16 PM »
Hmm. Any brand recommendations?

Offline Blitzy

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Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #217 on: February 14, 2011, 02:52:56 PM »
I don't have any, but perhaps Oniya does. I don't drink it, I just know that it's there.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #218 on: February 14, 2011, 02:54:10 PM »
I thought Midori was the brand.  It's a melon-flavored liqueur.

Offline ParadoxTopic starter

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #219 on: February 14, 2011, 02:58:10 PM »
Oh. You're right >_>

Never had it; pardon the ignorance!

I'll hit the ABC stores around here soon to investigate its availability.

Offline Blitzy

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Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #220 on: February 14, 2011, 03:11:05 PM »
Hahaha. I thought it was the brand, too, but I didn't want to seem silly since I don't drink it. Thanks Oniya!

Offline Will

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #221 on: February 15, 2011, 12:03:18 AM »
The watermelon is kinda tricky.  It would be too easy to overpower its own natural flavor, unless you happen to get a really sweet melon, or a particularly bland beer.  The high ABV is definitely a necessity, and some herbal hops would be great.

I'm seeing a conspicuous absence of savory ideas.  I dunno how much cooking you're really up for, though.  XD

Offline Ramster

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #222 on: February 15, 2011, 07:02:17 AM »
Good point. Get some sausages, curry and/or ribs to go with the torrent of beer!

Offline ParadoxTopic starter

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #223 on: February 15, 2011, 07:40:03 AM »
The idea is to mix beer and food together-- food on its own isn't really necessary. Each person attending will be bringing a different item, but I suppose I could invite someone who's good at actual cooking to bring actual doof >_>

Offline Ramster

Re: Beer Blog
« Reply #224 on: February 15, 2011, 10:24:40 AM »
Try and get some nice, thick, German style pork sausages at any rate. They're ridiculously easy to grill/cook/whatever, and are literally made to go with beer. You can't have an Oktoberfest without them! Almost any beer goes well with them, too.