Beer Club March 2011

Beers of Central and Eastern Europe

Baltika #5 Gold

5.3% ABV, Euro Pale Lager. [Type 12] A pretty good lager, tastes a lot like a Heineken. 3 beers. I'd drink it.

Stout homebrew

More delicious homebrew that we have had in months past.

Czechvar

5.0% ABV, Czech pilsner [Type 37] An alias for Budweiser Budvar. The other Budweiser. Similar to Pilsner Urquell, a light refreshing beer. 2 beers.

Werewolf Lithuanian

A Belgian dark ale [Type 29]. 8.2% ABV. Sweet and sour. Pretty heavy. Not the best Belgian I've had. 4 beers.

Primator Dark Lager

Munich Dunkel. [Type 39] 4.8% ABV. Has that distinctive German maltiness.

Primator Maibock

A Hellesbock, or light bock beer. [Type 13] 7.5% ABV. Strong, malty, some fruitiness. A fun beer.

Baltika #4 Dark

The Baltika version of a European dark lager. [Type 39] 5.6% ABV. Sweeter than the Primator.

Okocim Full Pale

A Polish pale lager [Type 12] 5.6% ABV. This is a pretty good lager. Tasty and creamy, a pleasant beery taste. 2 beers.

Baltika #8 Wheat

Type 14. 5.0% ABV

Primator Double Bock

Amazingly strong doppelbock. [Type 26] 10.5% ABV. Pretty thick and sweet, a bit like cough syrup.

Celebrator Ayinger

Another doppelbock. 6.7% ABV. Everyone remembers this as the goat beer.

Old Rasputin

A Russian Imperial Stout [Type 50] 9.0% ABV. More bitter and stronger than a mere Imperial Stout.

Beer Club February 2011

Belgian Ales

Always a favorite of mine, we return again to Belgian Ales. We had a particularly good selection this year, with two kinds of Golden Carolus, a new front runner for my favorite Belgian brand.

Belgian Ales February 2011Cuvee van de Keizer Rood

10% ABV Golden Ale [Type 3]. Tastes like cherry and apple. Dry and crisp. One beer.

Lost Abbey 10 Commandments

A California Beligan Style brewery, Lost Abbey makes strong, often hoppy beers. This one tastes like raisins and honey. A Belgian dark ale [Type 29] 9.0% ABV. Three beers.

Golden Carolus Hopsinjoor

A hoppier version from Golden Carolus. A Belgian Pale [Type 16], perhaps shading towards the IPA. 8.0% ABV. A great pale ale, with fruit, hops, a dry finish, and lots of fizz. One beer.

Belgian homebrew

Sweet smelling with a cherry finish. Mellow overall. Two beers.

Adriaen Brouwer Finest Dark [Type 29] 8.5% ABV. Sweet, with a quick finish. Pretty easy drinker. Two beers.

Delirium Nocturnum

Pink elephants on parade. Belgian dark, 8.5% ABV.

Piraat

Belgian pale [Type 16] 10.5% ABV. Belgian sourness followed by sweet cherry.

Dogfish Head Red & White

Belgian wit [Type 4] 10.0% ABV. An usual beer due to the presence of pinot noir juice and aging in oak casks. It combines the qualities of a white beer with a red wine. Very unusual, but very good. One beer.

Lucifer

Belgian pale [Type 16] 8.0% ABV.

Kwak

Belgian pale [Type 16] 8.4% ABV

And three for which I have no notes other than name, for some reason.

Corsendonk Pale Ale

Lost Abbey Lost & Found

Delirium Tremens

Beer Club January 2011

Strong Ales

This month's theme was beers of greater than 10.0% alcohol by volume. This means lots of flavor and thick mouthfeel. There are a number of styles that find their way into this category. There are barleywines, Belgian ales, and imperial styles that have extremely high alcohol contents. Barleywines can be aged, hence the name. Their flavors vary widely, it is an old style of beer, but expect a thick, heavy beer. Dubbels, Trippels, and Golden Ales tend to be strong due to the amount of malt used. Imperial [or double] styles are double doses of whatever goes into them. You can have an imperial anything, but the prototypical example is the imperial stout. We see a few Christmas ales as well.

Strong Ale Lineup 1Strong Ale Lineup 2

Old RuffianOld Ruffian Barleywine [Type 64] was the first tasting of the night. Brewed by the Great Divide Brewing company in Colorado. It is a red beer, very hoppy 90 IBUs. But the hops are sweet instead of bitter, with melon flavors. The hops balance the thickness of the beer well. 1 beer. 10.2% ABV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2010 Reserve Boardhead2010 Reserve Boardhead Barleywine [Type 64]. This is from Full Sail. Much drier than the Old Ruffian. There is a sharpness to the beer you can feel on the sides of your tongue. A very good beer, 1 beer. 9.0% ABV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imperial Stout Homebrew

We enjoyed an imperial stout brewed by one of the beer club members. It was an excellent example of the style. So dark it is almost black. Tastes of brown sugar, roasted malts, and celery. Brewed using 9# dark malt extract, 1/2# chocolate malt, 1/4# crystal malt, and 2 oz of hops of an indecipherable variety. Thanks for sharing!

Mikkeller BlackMikkeller Black 黒 is an Imperial Stout [Type 36]. Anything with Imperial modifying it is usually hoppier, stronger, or sweeter version of the original. Sometimes this is taken to extremes. This is definitely a case of that. Mikkeller Black is one of the strongest beers I have ever seen in person. It pours like used motor oil, slow, black,and thick. It has a sharp flavor. Coats the tongue. This would be a great topping on vanilla ice cream. It has a roasted-coffee flavor, better than I expected for the alcohol. It is more like a liqueur, something to sip after dinner. 17.5% ABV, 1 beer rating.

 

 

 

 

 

Le FreakLe Freak by Green Flash. A western take on the Belgian Golden Ale style. Quite hoppy, lots of grapefruit flavors. But a balanced beer. The malts and hops were balanced. 1 beer. 9.2% ABV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cuvee van de Keizer Blau

Cuvee van de Keizer Blauw. This is my undisputed favorite of the evening. Oh. My. Goodness. This beer tastes like candied apples. Caramel and green apples. A Belgian Dark Ale [Type 29]. 11.0% ABV. 

This beer is brewed for the birthday of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.  Charles V was Emperor during a crucial time for Europe. The Turks were first defeated at Vienna in 1529, giving Central Europe relief from the unstoppable advance of the Ottoman Empire. This was also the time of the Council of Trent and the Counter-Reformation. Charles was a contemporary of Henry VIII, and Catherine of Aragon's nephew.  

 

 

Three PhilosophersThree Philosophers Quadrupel. 9.8% ABV. Like a Trippel, but more so. A blend of Kriek and Belgian Dark Ale.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Double Bastard Ale. A Stone Brewery Beer. 11.2% ABV. A sweet, hoppy beer.

Delirium Noel Delirium Noel, Belgian Dark Ale [Type 29] 10% ABV. A Christmas version of Delirium Nocturnum. Tastes like sweet cherries.

Hairy Eyeball. From Lagunitas, 9.0% ABV.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hairy Eyeball Lagunitas 9.0% ABV

Beer Club, California Youngberg Edition

We are out in California for Christmas, and I had the chance to try several beers for Christmas. We purchased a bottle of Samuel Adams Infinium, the new champagne beer produced in collaboration with Weihenstephan. We were given a bottle of Heritage 100 2010 from BJ's Breweries. We also enjoyed a glass of BJ's Grand Cru 2011. 

Samuel Adams Weihenstephan InfiniumSam Adams and Weihenstephan set out to create an entirely new type of beer. This beer is brewed under the restrictions of the Reinheitsgebot, only water, barley, hops, and yeast. A second fermentation is used to add carbonation, like champagne, so the beer has has the dry crispness typical of champagne. 10.3% ABV. Slightly sweet, with a slight wet dog scent. The taste is amazing. I would recommend this beer for almost anyone. Well worth $20. 1 beer.

BJ's Heritage 100A small batch beer from BJs Breweries. This was given to me by a relative who works for BJs. The beer is fresh hopped, so unlike previous editions it cannot be aged. The scent is wet dog up front, and ends up citrusy. This is a golden ale, think of a watered down trippel. Less body, less hops. 5.7% ABV. Three beers.

BJ's Grand CruWe enjoyed the BJ's Annual Grand Cru at BJ's Restaurant. This is the 2011 version, 10.0% ABV. A Belgian Gold Ale, it is sweet and spicy, exceptionally delicious. I ate BJ's open face chili cheeseburger with this, and found it an excellent combination. 1 beer.

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.

My other beer reviews

Beer Club November 2010

Brown Ales

November 2010 Lineup

Brown ales originate in England. The original brown ale style is made from 100% brown malt. There is some difference between American brown ales [Type 33] and English brown ales [Type 47], with the American styles tending to be drier and hoppier.

New Belgium La Folie

Although labeled by New Belgium as a Sour Brown, this beer is very much like the Flanders Red [Type 28], a sour, fruity beer. Nearly everyone did not like this beer, but I loved it. The intense sourness coated your tongue with an aftertaste of vinegar and sour cherries. A very unusual beer. 1 beer/6 beers. 6.0% ABV.

Boddington's Pub Ale

Not a brown ale, but an English Pale Ale, we used this to cleanse our palates after the Flanders Red.

Newcastle Brown Ale

Newcastle is one of the most widely distributed English Brown Ales. 4.7% ABV. A lighter brown ale, Newcastle is a sweet malty beer, easily drinkable and easy to find too. 3 beers.

Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar

The Magistra's favorite of the moment. Rogue's Hazelnut Brown is an intensely full, nutty beer. It has tastes of chocolate that make it taste like Rocky Road ice cream. Our host favored this beer as well. 6.2% ABV. 1 beer.

Nostradamus

This beer tasted like apples and malt. Very thick, much like a barleywine. This is a Belgian dark ale [Type 29]. 9.5% ABV. 1 beer. A host favorite.

Mountain Standard Reserve

Sweet and foamy with an intense burst of flavor as it hits your tongue. 8.5% ABV. Pretty expensive for the taste. 3 beers.

Saboteur 

Aged in oak barrels, this beer tastes like Kentucky bourbon. Not as popular due to the oakiness, but it has a sweet finish like pineapples. 3 beers. 10.0% ABV.

Humboldt Brown

A hippie beer brewed with hemp. This actually isn't that unusual, because hops are a member of the Cannabaceae family anyway. 5.7% ABV. Good flavor, but nothing special. 3 beers.

Session Black

A black lager or schwarzbier [Type 53], Session Black is a smooth dark beer with little hops and intense malty sweetness. 3 beers. 5.4% ABV

Moose Drool

A drier brown, with cocoa notes. 5.1% ABV

Bitch Creek

An ESB [Type 45], this beer starts bitter but finishes sweet. 6.0% ABV

Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale

5.0% ABV

Lost Coast Raspberry Brown

A rather weak tasting beer, the raspberry was not backed up by anything more substantial. 5 beers. 6.5% ABV

Abita Pecan Harvest

5.0% ABV. Another host favorite.

My other beer reviews

Beer Club September 2010

Amber and Red Ales

Amber ale is a variant of pale ale that uses crystal malts to achieve a slightly darker color. The ambers can range from copper to dark reddish brown. The malts tend to give the ambers a caramel flavor. Some beers referred to as amber are actually lagers with colored malts.

Fat Tire

One of my favorites, Fat Tire is the most popular beer from New Belgium brewery in Fort Collins. Fat Tire has a biscuity flavor, a bready taste with a bitter finish. 5.2% ABV. 2 beers.

Alaskan Amber

Not actually an amber, this is an Altbier [Type 61], from the German for old beer. A German brown ale, Alaskan Amber has a sweet bready taste with a mellow finish. 5.3% ABV 2 beers.

O'Hara's Irish Red

The Irish Red Ale tends to be sweeter than the American Amber, with dominant malts. The taste was smoky, it reminded me of a porter. 4.3% ABV. 2 beers.

Drop Top Amber

Drop Top's Amber tasted of melons, with a light finish. 5.0% ABV. 2 beers.

Full Sail Amber

The hops were strong enough to make me think of an IPA. 5.5% ABV. 5 beers.

Boont Amber

Also quite hoppy, but this was better balanced than the Full Sail with stronger malts. 5.8% ABV. 3 beers.

Old Scratch

An example of an amber lager. The term we settled on was 'fair-middlin'. This beer has little flavor, but it wasn't terrible. 5.5% ABV. 4 beers.

Bell's Amber

This beer was middlin. A bit more flavor than Old Scratch, 5.5% ABV. 3 beers.

American Amber Ale

From Rogue Brewery, I expected a lot of hops. Turns out, this one is moderately hopped, just enough to give the beer some character. The pine flavor of the hops obscured the amber malts, but I liked this beer quite a bit. 5.6% ABV. 2 beers.

Alleycat

Sweet and hefe like due to the German yeasts. 5.5% ABV. 2 beers.

Jumping Cow

A undistinguished beer. 5.5% ABV. 5 beers.

Sunset Amber

My favorite of the evening, this is a local beer from Grand Canyon Brewery. Lots of malt, caramel, and body. 5.4% ABV. 2 beers.

Red Bridge 

An amber with a twist, this is a beer brewed with sorghum so that it is gluten-free. Not bad for a gluten-free beer, a bit thin and fizzy, but a nice light lemony flavor. 4.8% ABV. 3 beers.

Dundee Irish Red

Sweet and malty, but no smoky flavor in this Irish Red. 5.5% ABV. 3 beers.

Wapiti

Another local beer, this one from Mogollon Brewery. My favorite of the Mogollon beers so far. Sweet and malty. 5.0% ABV.  3 beers.

My other beer reviews

Beer Club August 2010

Pale Ales

LineupPintThe pale ale isn't necessarily pale, it is called so in distinction with the porter, the other common style in England. The use of malts with less color makes the pale ale less dark than a porter, but usually darker than a pilsner.

As an ale, they are made with top-fermenting yeast. The style originated in Burton-upon-Trent, a city known for its hard water. The preeminent pale ale from Burton-upon-Trent is Bass. The minerals in the water gave the beer its flavor, and later a process known as Burtonization was developed to allow for the same flavors in beer brewed in other locations.

 

Oak Creek Pale Ale

An American Pale Ale [Type 17], which tends to be maltier and much hoppier than the English Pale Ales, Oak Creek Pale Ale is amber colored, with a significant piney hop taste. 5.5% ABV. 3 beers.

Reaper Deathly Pale Ale

Dark orange, and a little hazy. Has a sour, Belgian finish. Surprisingly sweet for a pale ale. 6.2% ABV. 4 beers.

Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale

This is my favorite of the bunch. It is an old school English Pale Ale [Type 10], more like a porter because of the cocoa flavors from the malt. Very drinkable beer. 5.0% ABV, 2 beers.

Poleeko Gold Pale Ale

A California beer, it is strong on the hops, with a smell like stale beer. 5.5% ABV, 5 beers.

Four Peaks 8th Street Ale

An Arizona classic, 8th Street Ale is the flagship brew from Four Peaks. It is citrusy, something I had never noticed before. As a milder Pale Ale, it is considered an English [Type 10]. It has a bit of a soapy finish. 4.5% ABV, 3 beers.

Boddington's Pub Ale

Boddington's Pub AleA traditional pub ale, Boddington's is clear and smooth, the kind of beer you can just keep on drinking all day. We had the can with the nitrogen capsule, so it had a nice creamy head on it. Light in color and flavor, goes down easy. 4.7% ABV, 2 beers.

Mirror Pond Pale Ale

Another moderately hopped pale ale. 5.0% ABV

Nimbus Pale Ale

Nimbus is a very pale pale ale. Light on color and flavor. 5.5% ABV

Ballast Point Yellowtail Pale Ale

A bit of a blended style, Ballast Point Yellowtail is an ale that is lagered. It is a Kölsch [Type 55] more than a pale ale, but they label it as the latter. Very sweet, I don't think I could drink too many. 4.6% ABV, 5 beers.

Rogue Juniper Pale Ale

I couldn't really taste the juniper, but that may not be the beer's fault at this point in the evening.

Two Hearted Ale

A couple of IPAs snuck in at the end, which is okay since in this part of the queue you aren't all that selective anymore, and the IPA hops cannot affect the more delicate flavors of the earlier beers.

I reviewed Two Hearted Ale in January of 2010.

Modus Hoperandi

OMG! That is hoppy! This is a quote, and everyone insisted I write down what I said, so there it is. Modus Hoperandi is one of those punch you in the face kinds of IPAs. It has an intense hop aroma and equally intense flavor. 6.8% ABV, 4 beers.

My other beer reviews

Beer Club July 2010

July 2010

Lineup

Pilsners

Pilsner glassThe pilsner defines beer for most of the world today. It is a recent style of beer, invented in the 19th century in Bohemia by applying the pale ale techniques to the existing lager style. Lagering is the storage of beer at low temperature, allowing slow-acting lager yeast to ferment the beer. Lagers were first developed sometime after the middle ages, but the pilsner quickly became the most popular in the world due to its light flavor, golden color, and low cost. The biggest sales volume beer in the world, Budweiser, is a pilsner-style, but it can be considered an adjunct lager because other grains are used to brew it.

Pilsners are named after the town of Pilzen, now part of the Czech Republic. They are traditionally served in tall skinny glasses with a slight taper, the better to create lots of bubbles that form a dense white head. This allows the scent of the pilsner to build while drinking.

 

Simpler Times

Simpler Times

Simpler Times is the 2 Buck Chuck of beer, and that is an insult to 2 Buck Chuck. A german pilsner [Type 23] at 5.5% ABV it has a lot of punch, but the flavor is just, strange.... Buttery is the dominant flavor, with some strange bitterness in the finish.

I could not in good conscience recommend this beer to anyone. It was terrible. I opened a can and could not finish it. That is unusual for me, and a good indication of just how bad this beer really is. 6 beer rating. I would give it less if I could.

Karlovacko

Karlovacko is a Czech or Bohemian Pilsner [Type 37]. 5.0% ABV. Pretty similar to Pilsner Urquell. 3 beers.

Scrimshaw

A german pilsner [Type 23], 4.4% ABV. An excellent example of the style, it is golden and clear with a pure white head. Clean dry finish, very tasty. 2 beers.

Port Brewing Panzer Imperial Pilsner

Very hoppy. Unusual for a pilsner, there is a strong piney hop flavor. As an imperial, it has 9.5% ABV. This is really a craft beer modification of the pilsner style that adds a massive dose of hops to increase alcohol and bitterness. Not really all that good. 4 beers.

Okocim

A polish beer, with a bit of a medicinal flavor. 5.2% I like the Okocim brand, they make some pretty good stuff, so a solid 3 beers.

Coney Island Albino Python

Part of the lager group rather than the pilsners, Albino Python has a bit of the wit bier about it because of the spices, lots of ginger in this beer. Pretty tasty, albeit unusual. 3 beers. 6.0% ABV.

Samuel Smith's Organic Lager

Tastes a lot like Rolling Rock. Another lager [Type 12] 5.0% ABV, pretty bland really. I like rolling rock, but I suppose I expect something different when I get an organic craft beer. 4 beers.

St. Pauli's Girl

A german pilsner [Type 23], 4.9% ABV. A standard pilsner that you can find in just about any grocery store. It has the typical German yeasts, light body and flavor, and is really pretty drinkable. 3 beers.

Almaza

This is a Lebanese beer, german pilsner [Type 23]. 4% ABV. Not bad, not great. Probably not worth paying extra for, but it tasted fine. 3 beers.

Stiegl

A fine german pilsner [Type 23], Stiegl has 4.9% ABV. Clean, crisp, unadorned. The Austrians did a good job. 2 beers.

My other beer reviews

Beer Club June 2010

Beer Club

June 2010

Hefeweizen

Since it is moving into the summer, have have moved on to the lighter beers. June was Hefeweizen month. Wheat beers are the first column on the beerodic table, running from weissbier through weizenbock. The major differences are filtered or unfiltered, and the kind of yeast used. German wheat yeast tends towards a banana and clove flavor, while other wheat yeasts are more citrusy.

June 2010 Lineup

Erdinger dunkel

Unusually, the darkest beer was the first. However, this was the only dunkelweizen of the evening, so we wanted to make sure it didn't get lost. 5.6% ABV, Type 27, a traditional dunkel from Bavaria, it is creamier and maltier than other kinds of wheat beer. Very little hops, which is perfect here. Nice dark brown color, like chocolate. I am very partial to the dunkelweizen style, so this is my favorite of the evening.

Ayinger ur-weisse

The Ayinger Ur-weisse [or original white] is technically a dunkelweizen as well, but it is a very different beer than the Erdinger. The beer is much lighter than the Erdinger, more of an amber or tea color. The smell is spicier, and the malts not so predominant. Unfiltered of course. 5.8% ABV, Type 27. Unlike any other wheat beers I've had, dunkel or regular. I found the spice a little strong, and the malts a little weak, so I didn't like this one near as much as the Erdinger.

Odell Brewery Easy street

An American craft wheat, Easy Street is an unfiltered American style wheat beer. 4.6% ABV, Type 7. American wheats are usually filtered, but the real distinction is the kind of yeast used. This beer has a citrusy smell, and a cloudy straw color. The taste is slightly sweet, without much malt or hops. This is a really good example of a wheat beer, good for relaxing on a hot day. I will definitely be looking for this beer again.

Samuel Adams Blackberry witbier

The Blackberry Witbier is a Boston Brewing Company offering, a fruit flavored white beer. 5.5% ABV, Type 4.  The flavor of blackberry is quite strong, but the beer is not quite as sweet as a lambic, which is nice. An unusual beer, but pretty well executed for what it is. I might buy this one occasionally just for something different.

Leinenkugel Sunset wheat

Sunset Wheat is the standard Leinenkugel's wheat beer. 4.9% ABV, Type 4. Sunset wheat is known for its unusual aftertaste, what I would describe as artificial blueberries. I'm not sure how they do it, but there it is. Sunset Wheat is widely available on tap, so no surprises here. Sunset wheat is a cloudy orange with a fluffy white head.

Ballast Point Wahoo

4.0% ABV, Type 4. A lighter wheat beer, a little less alcohol and body than some. Depending on your mood [or state of fullness], this could be a good wheat beer. Light yellow color, with a matching thinness of body. Has a bit of the smell of a field to it.

 

 

Flying Dog in Heat Wheat

4.7% ABV, Type 14. Made in the German style, spicer, with the banana esters that characterize the German style.

Franziskaner Hefeweizen

5.0% ABV, Type 14.

Paulaner Hefeweizen

5.5% ABV, Type 14.

Pyramid Brewing Haywire

5.2% ABV, Type 7.

Widmer Hefeweizen

4.9% ABV, Type 7.

Fat Tire Sunshine Wheat

4.8% ABV, Type 7.

My other beer reviews

Beer Club May 2010

BEER CLUB

May 2010 SESSION

BELGIAN ALES

This month featured Belgian beers. Most of the typical Belgian beers are ales, but there are also witbiers [Type 4], fruit beers [Type 15], and pale European lagers [Type 12] in this month's selection.

Belgian Beer Lineup

Blue Moon 

Blue Moon

Blue Moon is an American version of the Belgian White, or witbier, brewed by Coors. Witbiers are unfiltered wheat beers, cloudy due to the presence of yeast in suspension. They are spiced with things like coriander and orange peel. Blue Moon is a good example of the style, slightly sweet, with a smell of citrus fruit. 5.4% ABV.

 

 

Hoegaarden

Hoegaarden

Another Belgian White, but this one from Belgium. A bit cloudier and lighter in color than the Blue Moon, but similar in flavor. This beer has hints of cinnamon rather than coriander. I find that I prefer Hoegaarden to Blue Moon, but the difference is small. 4.9% ABV.

 

 

 

Stella Artois

Stella Artois

I've rated Stella before, but I will comment today on the European Pale Lager or Munich Helles style [Type 12]. Pilsner Urquell is the original Pilsner, and after the Pilsner style caught on, brewers across the world began to make their own versions of this beer. Stella is the Belgian version of a Pilsner, that is light, and slightly sweet, but with something of a sour finish.

 

 

Wittekerke

Wittekerke

This beer was a bit of a surprise for me. I hadn't expected to find a Belgian White in a can, but there it is. Lighter and clearer than the previous two wheat beers, this beer would be very easy to drink in large quantities. It just goes down easy. 5.0% ABV

 

 

 

Westmalle

Westmalle Tripel

A Trappist Ale, in the Tripel style [Type 6]. Tripels are high alcohol, and this one is no exception. 9.5% ABV, golden, sweet, and heavy. So named for the amount of malts used in the brewing process [three times as much as a normal Trappist Ale],

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maredsous

Maredsous TripelAnother Tripel, 10.0% ABV. This one is darker than the Westmalle, less bitter, more caramel. The host wanted it noted that this was his favorite Belgian of the evening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ommegang

This was the first Dubbel of the night [Type 43]. Twice as much malt as usual, the Dubbel is usually dark instead of golden, and very rich. This one is an American Abbey style, sweet and heavy. 8.5% ABV

 

Chimay PremièreChimay Première (Red)

Another classic Dubbel, a bit cloudy, 7.0% ABV

Cassis lambic

Cassis LambicThe lambics are Belgian fruit beers [Type 2], spontaneously fermented by environmental yeasts, and then fruit is added once the fermentation begins. Cassis are black currants, tart and sweet. 4.0% ABV

 

True Blonde Dubbel

True Blonde DubbelBelgian Pale Ale [Type 16], p 8.0% ABV

 

Delirium Nocturnum

Delirium NocturnumBelgian Dark Ale [Type 29], dark brown with a white head. 8.5% ABV

Honorable Mentions

There were a couple of beers I didn't get to, Gulden Draak, Delirium Tremens, Brother Thelonious, and two more I'd had previously, Pranqster and New Belgium Abbey.

 

My other beer reviews

World's Strongest Beer

My brother suggested Tactical Nuclear Penguin for the Beer Club. We have a while to get a bottle, since stouts are not scheduled until December, but man, that stuff is potent! Brew Dog says it is the most alcoholic beer on the planet, and I believe them. 32% ABV is almost in whisky territory, surpassing Sam Adams Utopias by 5%.

Only the miracles of modern science could produce such a thing. We shall have to see whether a sample can be procured for the club.

Tactical Nuclear Penguin from BrewDog on Vimeo.