Norse Legend Beer Review

Samuel Adams Norse Legend

Sahti ; 7.0% ABV

This was a really interesting beer. I liked the juniper in place of the hops, it made for a very different experience. The beer had a ton of body, which is due to the lack of boiling after the spent grain is removed, leaving behind proteins. I would like to try some other examples of the style.


Samuel Adams Norse Legend Review

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Blue Moon Winter Abbey Ale Review

Blue Moon Winter AbbeyBelgian Dubbel [Type 43] 5.6% ABV

As you might note from the picture, this beer was served with Hershey's chocolate sauce on the rim. A bit unusual, but it really made the beer for me. The beer itself is pretty tasty, but the sweetness of the chocolate was a really good pairing. It was good enough for me to break my usual rule of not giving Buffalo Wild Wings my business.


Blue Moon Winter Abbey Review

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Widmer Okto Festival Ale Review

Widmer Okto Festival Ale

Faux Oktoberfest/Altbier [Type 61] 5.3% ABV

A fun seasonal variant on the Oktoberfest style, usually a lager. The altbier yeast gives this one a lot of body and flavor. I've been pretty happy with Widmer lately. They keep making beers I like. Keep it coming boys.


Widmer Oktofestival Ale Review

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Rhinelander Boatswain Double IPA Review

Rhinelander Boatswain Double IPA

Double IPA [Type 30] 8.4% ABV

This was a left-over from Strong Beer month at Beer Club. I am not familiar with Rhinelander, so I was uncertain what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised. As an IPA curmudgeon, I tend to be skeptical of all things IPA. In this case, I found a nice beer with good flavor. More beers like this could make me a fan of IPAs.

As you can see in the picture, this is a pretty dark IPA. The hops aren't actually that strong either, I think Lumberyard's IPA has more IBUs than this double IPA. The hops that are present are pleasant fruity ones. On the whole, a pretty sweet beer. IPAs are often sweet underneath the bitterness. Since this one lacks bitterness, the sweetness comes to the fore.


Rhinelander Boatswain Double IPA Rating

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New Belgium Shift Beer Review

Shift Pale Lager

Pale lager [Type 51] ABV 5.0%

I tried Shift straight out of the can first. It seemed like the right thing to do. It was pretty darn good. I poured it into a glass later, and it actually did change the flavor a bit. I felt like Shift tasted a lot like Lumberyard Red in the can, but in the glass it takes on a less creamy flavor. Shift has pretty good body for a pale lager, but retains the lighter flavor profile that makes a pale lager what it is.


New Belgium Shift Pale Lager Review

Shift is a mighty fine beer. I like that you can now get good beer in cans. Cans are way easier to pack out when you are camping, and definitely easier to open. This is a light, refreshing beer, nice for a warm day, but not a really hot one. You would probably want something with less body after mowing the lawn in August, but it is still May...

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Oggi's California Gold Review

Oggi's California Gold

Oggi's California Gold

I had this beer as well as the Torrey Pine's IPA at Oggi's Pizza and Brewing Company. I was staying in Orange Grove near Disneyland, and Oggi's was right across the street from our hotel. I picked the California Gold first because it is a cream ale, and I don't often see those. It was very light in color, and had a nice smooth flavor. I enjoyed this beer immensely. I had a chicken ciabatta sandwich that went very well with this beer. The beer was not heavy at all, perfect for hot summer days.


A great microbrew. Light yet tasty, it really is golden. Crisp is a good word for it.

Beaver Street Belgian Pale Ale Review

Beaver Street Belgian Pale Ale

Pale Ale ABV Unknown

Beaver Street Brewery is one of the local brewpubs, and my favorite of the bunch. I purchased a half-gallon growler of this to accompany a sushi dinner, and I thought they went well together. Slightly sweet, with a fruity finish, bananas of all things. Golden in color, not too hoppy.


A mighty fine beer. A good Belgian pale ale, with the richness characteristic of all Belgians.

Samuel Adams Irish Red

Samuel Adams Irish Red

Samuel Adams Irish RedIrish Ale
5.6% ABV

Samuel Adams Irish Red is an ale from their Brewmaster's Collection. As the name says, it has a deep red color. The hops are subtle, unlike so many beers these days. I like that. Understated hops is a good thing, rather than beating me over the head with them. The malt predominates the flavor, but it is less intense, making this beer easier to drink. Better for more situations than the earlier reviewed Double Bock. Well-balanced, this is a beer I could enjoy regularly.


An excellent microbrew type beer. I would gladly buy this beer regularly, or even enjoy it on tap. Good for relaxing after work.

Made in the Shade 2009

Made in the Shade Beer Festival

June 20, 2009

The beers are listed in order of tasting, so the effect of increasing concentrations of EtOH can be taken into account.

1. Coopers Lager, ABV 5.0%, pretty light, would be good if it were really hot, but rather tasteless.

2. Barrio Razzbery. The Magistra Scientia really liked this one, it was good, not too sweet.

3. Baltika Dark Lager, ABV 5.6%, a very nice dark lager, flavorful without being too heavy. 

4. Moosehead Lager, more of a palate cleanser than anything else. I really do just buy this when it's on sale.

5. Sam Adams Hardcore cider, light and refreshing, with just a little bit of tartness.

6. Spaten Optimator, a double bock, ABV 7.2%. One of my favorites.

7. Warsteiner, German pilsener, ABV 4.8%. Another favorite of mine.

8. Old World Brewery Nitro Blonde. Truly nasty, I don't know whether I had a bad batch or it was just really terrible. I actually poured this on the ground.

9. Carlsberg, Danish pale lager, 5% ABV. 

I stopped giving ratings at this point, anything that wasn't awful tended to taste pretty good.

10. Golden Pheasant, Slovak pilsener. Crisp is the best word to describe it.

11. Barrio Copperhead

12. Sam Adams Hardcore

13. Sam Adams Blackberry Wheat

14. Gordon Biersch Marzen

15. Big Sky Summer Honey

16. Pyramid Thunderhead

17. Fox Barrel Pear Cider

18. Breckenridge Vanilla Porter, very strong vanilla flavor.

19. Oak Creek King Crimson

20. Fox Barrel Apple Cider

Ale Smith Anvil ESB Review

Ale Smith Anvil

ESB [Type 45] 5.5% ABV

Anvil is a throughly American take on the Extra Stout Bitter. A bit more alcohol, and more hops as well. I quite liked this one. It had good balance of malts and hops, about right for a big beer. It poured a delicious dark brown with a big fluffy head on it. The hops definitely came on the finish, and helped cut the sweetness of the malt before it overstayed its welcome. I'll take one of these any day. 2 beers for you! Thanks again to Owen for providing the beer.


Ale Smith Anvil Review

Bruery/Elysian/Stone La Citrueille Celeste Review

La Citrueille CelesteFruit [Pumpkin] Ale [Type 15] 5% ABV

Another collaboration beer from Stone. This is advertised as a pumpkin ale, but you won't find it very pumpkiny, not like Punkin Ale. You do get a bit of pumpkin pulp on the finish, on the back of your tongue, but it hides behind the hop scent on the front and the strong coriander in the middle. Maybe some ginger too. It is well balanced, the hop smell is very citrusy, but the beer itself is malty enough to compensate.

It poured a beautiful red with a fluffy white head. I had a picture of the head, but I'm playing with the camera on my my Droid 3, and I didn't like that picture.


This is a darn tasty beer. Not the thing for a true pumpkin lover [Sorry Magistra!], and the beer snobs probably won't like it either, but I think this is delicious. It has some unusual spices in it, and it is thinner and drier than a lot of pumpkin ales. I like that. My only reservation is the price. This is a pretty pricey beer. If it were cheaper I would buy it more often, but this is probably hard to make with three breweries in the mix.

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New Belgium Belgo Beer Review

New Belgium Belgo

Belgian Style IPA [Type 6 and Type 30] 7% ABV

This beer is exactly what it says, an IPA that tastes Belgian. As you can see from the picture, it developed a massive fluffy head in a tulip glass. The citrusy hops just fly out of those bubbles! The beer is a rich golden orange, slightly thick like a Trippel, with a hint of sweetness.


Pretty damn tasty. The extra malts of the Belgian style help balance the massive hops, making this a pretty good, but pretty hoppy beer.

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Shock Top Belgian White Beer Review

Shock Top Belgian White

Belgian White [Type 4] 5.2% ABV

The key descriptors for a Belgian white are light and refreshing. This beer is both. It has a strong orange flavor, created by using orange rinds during the brewing process. Cloudy, with a nice white head on the pour. Orange color (fitting). Sweet on the front of the tongue. Nice spices, not overwhelming, just enough to let you know they are there. The spices give the beer a nice finish.


This is a great summer beer. I've been very happy drinking this beer recently when I felt like I was in a beer rut. I love drinking seasonal beer, it allows me to exercise my palate and keep my beer drinking from settling down into monotony. Shock Top seems to be expanding their market recently. I find it newly on tap more and more often. Good for them.

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New Belgium Lips of Faith Dunkel Weiss Review

Lips of Faith Dunkel Weiss

Dunkelweiss [Type 27] 9.0% ABV

Poured a delicious looking dark copper color with a massive brown head. A sour nose, but very little sourness on the tongue. Malty and mouthcoating, with a bit of hops, more than the typical dunkelweiss. Maybe a bit peppery on the finish.


A fun beer, well worth the $7 I paid for it. Some unusual features for the style, but they work well together. Less of the banana and clove come through, but it is still present to let you know its roots.

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Belhaven Scottish Ale Review

Belhaven Scottish Ale

Scottish Light Ale [Type 19] 5.2% ABV

A nice copper color with a decent while head. There was a little cloudiness in the bottom of the bottle, so I left that behind when I poured it.


Malty, a little smoky and spicy. Easy going down. A great flavor. I would drink this any day. I'll have to try one of the cans with the nitro canister to see how it is with a creamy head.

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Beer Club December 2010

Stouts and Porters

December 2010 Lineup

Porters come from Merrie Old England. The first recorded examples of the style are from the 1700s. They were blended beers, a combination of a stale or old ale, a new ale, and a weak or mild ale. Various flavors could be achieved by different blends. After blending, the beer is then aged for several months in wooden maturation vats. This was a beer of the the Industrial/Scientific revolution. The name reportedly comes from the popularity of the beer with the transportation workers of London.

Stouts are a kind of porter, or vice versa. Stouts are porters with blackened or roasted grains. Sometimes, this grain is not actually malted. Originally, stout referred to the strength of a beer rather than its style, but over time the roasted flavor of the most popular stout beer, Guinness, helped to spawn a style that can range from mild to extremely alcoholic.

Sierra Nevada Fritz and Ken's Ale

A 30th anniversary beer from Sierra Nevada, they teamed up with the founder of Anchor Brewing to create this Imperial Stout [Type 36]. Imperial or double stouts combine fruity flavors with strong roasted grains and high alcohol content. This one tasted of cocoa, hops, and nuts. It has a noticable alcohol warming as well. 9.2% ABV. 1 beer.

Rogue Chocolate Stout

An American take on the Stout style [Type 35], this beer tastes much like a chocolate soda from a soda fountain. It has a solvent taste to it, with a slighty rancid and coppery finish. 6.0% ABV. 3 beers.

Rogue Double Chocolate Stout

Another Imperial Stout, the double chocolate stout is smoother than the chocolate stout. It is a darker beer, with more of a cocoa flavor. 8.0% ABV. 2 beers.

Rogue Double Mocha Porter

Previously known as XS Imperial Porter, this is a robust porter [Type 48]. It is much less sweet than the chocolate stouts, with a bit of an alkaline finish. 8.2% ABV. 3 beers.

Stone Smoked Porter

As smoked beers go, this one is pretty mild. A standard porter [Type 34]. The smoke flavor is suggestive rather than overwhelming. Slighty bitter and metallic. 5.9% ABV. 3 beers.

Anchor Porter

A little bit nutty, 5.6% ABV. 2 beers.

Dogfish Head World Wide Stout

This beer is a little unbelievable. 18.0% ABV! It is priced to match. The flavor is unusual, vinegar and mustard, with yeasty notes. Pretty good for the alcohol content. Fun, but probably only worth drinking on a lark. 1 beer.

Oatmeal Stout home brew

A home brew brought to the tasting. It is an Oatmeal Stout [Type 49]. Good flavor, easy drinking, but a little watery. Not bad though. You could down a large number of these.

Kalamazoo Stout

Made with brewer's licorice, it says. This concerned me at first, but the licorice flavor is quite nice. Very subtle. A bit of a fruity taste, like apples. 6.0% ABV. 2 beers.

Home brew

Another home brew, but unfortunately an undistinguished one.

Black Butte Porter

A passable porter, but it really pales in comparison to the other beers available tonight. 5.2% ABV. 4 beers.

Left Hand Milk Stout

A sweet stout [Type 35], of the milk stout sub-type. It has added lactose for extra sweetness. Very smooth and flavorful. One of the fan favorites of the night. 5.2% ABV. 2 beers.

Lump of Coal

A foreign/export stout, this type was created to be shipped across the ocean on steamships. [Type 22] Tends to be stronger to survive the voyage. 8.0% ABV. 4 beers.

Dogfish Head Chicory Stout

You can smell the chicory, a good addition to this style. A tasty beer, with a pleasing but unusual flavor combination. 5.2% ABV. 2 beers.

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Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig Beer Review

Samuel Adams Old Fezziwig

Winter warmer [Type 33] 5.9% ABV

Old Fezziwig is a winter warmer, a rich dark ale often brewed with additional spices. This ale is a dark copper color, with a head that dissipates quickly.


Sweet, but with a hop kick. This beer is indeed pretty satisfying on a cold winter night. The thickness and the mix of spices is just about right for sitting on the couch under a blanket.

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Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock Beer Review

Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock

Bock [Type 40] 5.6% ABV

This comes in the Sam Adams winter seasonal pack, and it is a fine beer for winter. It is dark and rich, with a tawny head that dies down quickly. This is a good thing, because the lack of carbonation complements the smooth, easy drinking nature of this beer. As a bock, there is no hop flavor, just malts and cocoa. If this were a sweet beer, I don't think I would like it as much as I do.


I could have easily drank all of the Chocolate Bocks in the box in one sitting. This beer goes down wayyyy too easy. It tastes much like a porter, but without hops. Nice for sitting on the couch and relaxing on a cold day.

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