Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Rogue Mocha Porter

Well I love porter, really anything dark, I love coffee, and who doesn't like chocolate? All of those flavors are NORMALLY usually found in a porter anyway so when "Mocha" is in the name I figure there is some extra added flavors. Nope. Uh uh, no way.

That's not to say this was bad just, well, false advertising comes to mind.

There was not much aroma to speak of though it did pour a really deep chocolate brown with a LOT of head that lasted for longer than I could wait for it to leave.

The first taste and first thought was, wow, there is WAY too much carbonation for a porter in here. I like my porters smooth and silky. I know that's tough without a nitro pour but there were just too many bubbles in this one.

Like I said taste was underwhelming. Not much toast, not much roast. Not much coffee, definitely not much chocolate. Disappointing. This was a pretty lackluster offering from a brewery that I have liked in the past, but have not been excited by lately. I was surprised to see that Brewadvocate and RateBeer both had high marks for this one. Just goes to show you how subjective these things are.

This is definitely not a repeat. If you want a GOOD coffee based dark beer their Cappuccino Stout is great!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Speakeasy Double Daddy IPA

SOoo do you think this is a full pour? At least the YardHouse got SOMEthing right besides their food because they certainly screwed the pooch on their beer selection. How do you have THAT many taps, be THAT large, and have me strike out on 4 different beers? They were out of them! Out? How are you out? I mean, I picked the most interesting(read non traditional beers) on your menu and you're out? I know there are not that many people in this place that come here to drink things that are "interesting" because there are better places for that then here. We come here for the happy hour food(Awesome Half Price!).

With that being said Speakeasy made me a convert. I was a little turned off by their packaging in the store but I liked what I've had by accident with their White Lightning Wit. I don't know what it was but I just couldn't take it seriously. I passed on their beers multiple times in the store. I'm glad that this was my fifth choice at YardHouse.

This was a BIG, FILLING, DIPA. I mean, they are normally but this one had huge body. It came out with NO head, or maybe there was just no head because it overflowed since it was filled to the tip top. Surprisngly there was very little aroma. A little pine, a tad citrusy, otherwise pretty unremarkable.

First sip though, woah, wasn't sure if I was finishing this one, it was big. This was definitely a pinecone with some alcohol to back it up. 9.5 ABV but .it was hidden decently. This was chewy like I said. I like doubles though because I hate thin beer. Doubles also seem to be less carbonated which is good too. Too many bubbles reminds me of Bud, Miller, etc. etc.

Good beer, not a go to as a DIPA I still love the Hop Henge from Deschutes. I don't see how that one is EVER getting dethroned

Monday, June 28, 2010

Green Flash Hop Head Red

MMMMmmmmm. This was REALLY REALLY good. 
Both in bottle and on tap. So good I bought another bottle.

Green Flash Brewing company is fast becoming one of my favorite breweries. I have reviewed a couple of their offerings before(Imperial IPA, West Coast IPA) and I will be RE-reviewing the West Coast IPA with a MUCH more favorable opinion soon.

I had Hop Head Red on tap at Tustin Brewing Company during the first US-England World Cup Game. The vuvuzelas were in full effect and there was even a guy draped in an England flag, a giant Uncle Sam hat and LOTS of U-S-A chants. Oh, and beer. Lots of beer.

The bottle asks if this is a "Red IPA"? My answer is without a doubt yes. Bitter is something I have come to expect from Green Flash and this one delivers with exactly the right amount.

I know this is an awful picture but this pours a really clear brown copper color. It's not as red as most "red's." The only real aroma off of this one is bitter, pine, teeny grapefruit, and a tad of bread maltiness. IPA? Definitely.

The taste is where this one differs a bit from the traditional IPA. It has a creamier mouthfeel, more like a DIPA, there's not too many bubbles which in my opinion is good. It's silky smooth with enough bitterness to balance the sweet caramel malt.

It's definitely a pinecone, but with some maltiness to back it up.

I'll be buying more.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Guest Post Trade-Offs!

Hey everyone take some time to check out the guest post I did over at Lost in the Beer Aisle on BrewDog's 5AM Saint. Also read the post on Rockart Golden Tripel that JD from LIBA was good enough to trade with me.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Rock Art Golden Trippel Guest Review

 Two milestones for this post, one old, one new.

1)I actually have posted OVER 100 times and totally didn't even notice it. Yay me.

2)This will be the first guest review I have been lucky enough to have here. My East Coast Beer Cohort JD will be reviewing for today. We've done some beer brainstorms before but I am honored to have him review from that OTHER coast.

So, without further ado.
Well, my vacation is over.  It was an awesome week off, and I’m going to start working on a way that I can do it more (e.g. winning the lottery).  If anyone out there would like to fund me sitting on my butt all day and drinking beer, please contact me ASAP. 
Before I go on,  I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank Tyler for hosting my review tonight.  He and I have next done the guest review thing, but we have done two beer brainstorms: Young’s Double Chocolate Stout and Avery IPA.  Thanks Tyler!

I’m anti-celebrating going back to work with a bottle of Rock Art Golden Trippel.  Right from square one I can tell that this beer is an odd one.  I failed to get a bead on what was in the aroma (smelled slightly sour), so I fell back on reading the label.  GINGER!  This is clearly nothing like any other trippel I’ve ever had.
The beer is golden in color, as advertised.  The head was minimal, but hearty and fluffy: it doesn’t fade quickly at all.

Taking my first sip…YUP!  That’s ginger alright.  I’m not a huge fan of ginger.  Rock Art gets points for originality though.  Seems like there is something else in the flavor – maybe citrus.  The beer is complex for sure.  There are multiple flavors going on here, and I don’t think I can identify them.
The brew is 100% on the sweet side.  No hints of bitter at all.  It checks-in at 8% ABV, but the booze is pretty well hidden by the sweetness.

At the end of the day, I have to give props for uniqueness.  I’m not sure I can get by the ginger flavors though…it’s just not my bag baby.

Josh (A.K.A “Lost”) started his blog Lost in the Beer Aisle in the spring of 2009.  The goal of the blog is to write about beer in an unintimidating way, opening the world of craft beer up to everyone.  When Josh isn’t working or drinking beer he can be found on the golf course, or at home reading about World War 2 history.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra Pale

This was actually a present surprise. I mean, I know that Sierra Nevada was one of the very first craft breweries to start the revolution and coming from Chico, CA near my hometown I've naturally had a few of their ubiquitus pale ales but I really wasn't expecting much out of this EXTRA IPA. I was wrong. Did it blow my mind? No. But it was good.

This was another PREbachelor party brews that was picked up by my buddy from NorCal who's pretty obsessed with Sierra.

On the nose there was some pine, grapefruit, all the normal smells out of a classic IPA, which is pretty much what this is. A very classic, non-over-the-top West Coast IPA. Not too bitter, not too sweet. Nice head and retention. Crystal clear coppery orange.

It was good. I'd get a six.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Stone Dogfish Head and Victory Saison Du BUFF

This was one of the first beers of the PRE bachelor Party Weekend and it was a GREAT one. This is a collab brew from Stone, Dogfish Head, and Victory brewing companies. Though not in that order these three brewers are in my top five of all time.

BUFF stands for Brewers United for Freedom of Flavor, and let me tell you there was a LOT of it.   Saison du BUFF is brewed with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme and the same recipe will be brewed three times during 2010 at each of the three breweries. Stone(April), then Victory(July), and finally Dogfish(August). Obviously this one was done close to home at Stone since it's only June.

This is a crisp satisfying beer that has a lot of spice, black pepper, coriander, and reminds me of Thanksgiving(Rosemary, sage, parsley). There are underlying notes of lemon, pine, a little citrus, and a little bread. I know what you are thinking. do I really want to be drinking a roasted turkey? Trust me, you do. This beer is immensely complex and satisfying at the same time because the aromas and the taste coincide and are recognizable without being overwhelming. There's none of this, "what am I smelling? What IS that taste"? You know it and you like it.

I will be picking up more of this to drink and for sure will be looking out for the next two batches to compare. That will be an interesting experience. Will they be different? What do you think?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bachelor Party Weekend Spread

Ok so we hit Total Wine in Tustin and we got more than a few looks. Sorry about the photo quality but the lighting was crappy and I didn't want to take out the Nikon. Here's what we bought for the PRE bachelor party. Yes, the PRE party. I couldn't fit all of them in the photo either, that's a Brewdog Riptide stout and a Red Trolley ale covered up in the back, plus more in the fridge 
4 Guys.We don't mess around. 
Reviews will be coming.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Meantime India Pale Ale

Quick history lesson. Though we Americans(West Coast especially) have really taken the IPA to a new fullblown overblown level, it was those dastardly Brits that originally brewed the India Pale Ale. The beer is named for the trip to the Indies that was, though quite profitable, VERY long. Long enough that the ale that was taken on the trip would never make it there unspoiled. Enter HOPS! Hops has an antibacterial property inherent to it and the Brits discovered if they hopped the beJesus out of their ale it would make it without any nasty buggies growing in there. Not to mention it tasted pretty damn good too.

Go figure, those boring Brits, famous for their bland food actually created a beer style that is now famous in the Americas for being agressive, over the top, punch you in the mouth and make YOU say sorry flavorful(read, bitter).

That being said this IPA is from London and claims to be made from the original recipe for the Ale that made those long voyages. Knowing what we know now we can expect this beer to not be as agressively bitter as a typical American style. The only thing I can associate with agressive and British now are those soccer hooligans. Who, I think, in a fight I would want on my side more than a rabid band of Raiders fans.

This beer poured out a hazy orangey copper color. Not much in the way of head and it didn't stick around in any meaningful amount. This is the MOST floral beer I have ever had. The aroma was really nice. A little lime but mostly just fresh picked flowery hops. No pine cones here.

The taste was sweet, not bitter. A tiny bt of citrus but there was a raspberry, cranberry quality to it on the first few sips. This beer, interestingly enough might be the most evolutionary beer I have ever had. What I mean by that is that its flavor profile completely changed as it warmed. It went from a sweet, floral, english pale, to a spicy, gingery, slightly choclatey deep, bitter American IPA. It actually had some stout notes to it. It was really interesting.

It had a nice body to it. Not too thick not too thin. Perfect carbonation. I REALLY enjoyed this one. Thanks to the vegan for this one. I might have a new resident in my favorites file! I think I'm going to have to pick up some of Meantimes others.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Lagunitas The Hairy Eyeball

I've reviewed a few Lagunitas brews before and I have been nothing short of impressed with all of them. That is, until "The Hairy Eyeball." I was really excited about trying this beer as it had gotten good reviews and it sounded very nuanced and layered and complex. All those words that make a beer a pleasure to drink. Unfortunately it didn't live up to its hype.

I was expecting this big sugary smelling malt bomb but there wasn't much there. I went back and read others' reviews and maybe I got a bad bottle? Mine was boring. I even let it warm up to see if anything came out and nothing.

Taste was malty, a little bitter, with some licorice and molasses and a HEAVY alcohol burn on the back end. I mean this was only 8+ABV and I have had beer pushing 12+ that hid their alcohol better. I really couldn't get over that aftertaste and it became more pronounced as it warmed.

I was dissappointed. Especially since the name and label with that eyeball looking out at you is so cool. Oh well, this was the first Lagunitas brew that has let me down. Maybe a case of high expectations.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Nectar Ales Red Nectar

"Red Nectar" from Nectar Ales was not at all what I expected. I bought this beer originally with D as a beer she and I could share. She doesn't like bitter,hoppy beers. Nor does she like dark beers. Her favorite beer of all time is Saison Dupont(reviewed), go figure, since that beer can be fairly spicy and hop forward.

Red Nectar pours a bit hazy brownish red color with little to no head that doesn't stick around long.

The aroma definitely lies about this beer to some extent. The nose reveals red fruit, strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. Malty with a little bit of hops spice in the background. It was pretty pleasant with that fruity sweetness.

The taste however was MUCH more hops forward bitterness with a bit of sweetness, strawberries I think on the back end. I was SURE that she wasn't going to like it but she did. Unless she was just humoring me which is possible.

I really enjoyed this one and could see myself knocking back a couple out of a sixpack since it clocks in around 5.6ABV.

Red Nectar Ales has quite a few offerings and I'm planning on picking up the ones I can find.

All in all a good beer made even better by the fact that D liked it and it was outside of her usual comfort zone.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Better Late then Never Home Brew Opening

I've been really busy what with my cousin getting married, school sorta kinda winding down, and 44 more days until I get MARRIED! So I haven't been good about posting OR drinking although the drinking part I had down for last weekends wedding, just too bad it wasn't really beer. Mostly vodka. Hmmm, my brother did NOT back me up on this one either. It was a really fun weekend away though in WEstlake Village with my family. I can't wait to have them back for the Bachelor party in a couple weeks. Ok, well short post and a couple pics. The Homebrew Store opened up in Fullerton opened up a few weeks ago and I was on hand to welcome them to the neighborhood. The owner, Eric, is a super nice guy so go check him out and support the homebrew!

HomeBrew Provisions
1328 E. Orangethorpe Ave
Fullerton, CA. 92831 US
Mon, Thu, Fri: 11:30AM-7:00PM, Sat,Sun: 10:00AM-5:00PM