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 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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