Saturday, October 30, 2010

Victory Wild Devil RE-Review

I've gotten back into Belgians of late after a detour to the land of IPA's. Yes, I know this is an IPA, but it's very different from your classic IPA. I've reviewed it before here, but this one has been cellaring for 6 months or so and I figured that the time might have mellowed some of the bitterness and brought out some of that sour fruit, funkiness of "Brett."

Yes and yes. Time had definitely brought out the funk. I like this beer a lot more now. Similar to a Belgian IPA which is a little sweeter Wild Devil brings a tinge of sweetness on the backend that makes this one enjoyable.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ommegang Three Philosophers Quad

Fate has decided to keep me on my Belgian kick of late. My brother, who I've been missing brought over this one along with another fabulous beer the other night.

It was a great night too. We ended up at The Haven in the Orange Circle where again, I had some MORE great beers. It also was momentous for the four guys there because it was the first time we had all gone out and all been married. I had to smile at that, it made me happy. My brother, the youngest at the table by years, is also the longest married.

I've thought about buying this in the store about a thousand times and I also serve it at the wine bar I work at but I've never really had the impetus to pick it up.

This was the first beer from Ommegang I've had and I have to say that I was underwhelmed. It was good, nuanced, the kriek(2% cherry ale) came through as did the darker ale but what I really didn't like was that getting down to the last few sips, where the beer shoudl evolve, but in a good way, all I got was alchol. I know this is a quad and is heavy but good beers shouldn't have that burn in my opinion. I expect the burn from my whiskey but not from my beer. Even some beers that I've had at nearly twice the alchol masked the presence well.

I did however enjoy it until the last 3 or four sips.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Avery The Kaiser One Year Later

This is one of my ALL-TIME favorites. The first time I had this it was part of a flight at The Twisted Vine in Fullerton, Ca. It blew me away. This is a lager? I've never had a lager with SO much character. Maybe I haven't had the opportunity but I still see lagers as relatively bland compared to ales.

As soon as I had this though I knew I needed to pick up some bottles. I got three 22's. I drank one that night, one about a week later, and this one, well, I'm not sure how I held onto it for a year but I did.

It was worth the wait. This beer actually turned into a celebration beer as I cracked it and shared it with my friend, his wife, and their new less than a year old addition who had just come back from 18 months in Germany.

This is Oktoberfest as it should be. Malty, bready, sweetness to the extreme. Caramel just oozes from the top and the body is so viscous it just seems to coat your tongue and glass in the best way possible. Lower carbonation just makes it all the more luxurious. This isn't a beer that you could drink a ton of because I think it might get cloying but I definitely did not want my glass to be empty.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Green Flash Le Freak Belgian IPA

D and I met our friends at The Haven the other night. We seem to spend a lot of time there. Maybe because the beer is so good? They took away our chicken wings so it can't be because of the wings. D had her usual Saison Dupont, although I did get her to try a different Saison called Solstice although the brewer's name escapes me right now. I however got to have a beer on tap that I've been looking forward to trying for a long time
Green Flash is a brewer out of San Diego that at first I didn't like. Their West Coast IPA just annihilated my taste buds. SOO bitter. Now though, I've either acclimated to IBU's, they've toned it down, or I had some monstrous mistake of a beer the first time because West Coast is one of my more favorite IPA's when I'm looking for a nuclear hop warhead. Their Imperial IPA is amazingly balanced and don't get me started on their red which is one of my favorites.

Le Freak is a Belgian IPA so I knew i was in for a little bit of a sweeter iteration of the style. The candi sugar they are known for lends to this taste and it is one that I actually enjoy with the bitterness. It tends to tone it down, add a level of complexity, and complements it quite well.

This one didn't let me down, light to medium body, floral, orange, and citrus on the nose. Maybe a little pine for good measure.

This one was definitely not overly bitter and had that sweetness on the backend. Slightly biscuity like a good French champagne as well. I picked up some floral notes as well.

Very enjoyable.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Full Sail Session

This is exactly what the name implies, a beer you can drink a lot of and still remember your name. It's a lager but that doesn't mean it can't have character. I've had a couple lagers that were out of this world(The Kaiser).

This beer is easy going down, slightly sweet finish, good carbonation, and the bottle is just awesome. I feel like I'm holding a beer grenade. Plus, you can play paper, rock, scissors, because they print one of the three under the cap!

Pick up a 6, or two, crack one open with a friend, hopefully you win the game, but if not you still have a great beer.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Avery Salvation Strong Pale Ale

I have never not liked a beer from Avery and the streak continues with Salvation.

This strong pale was noticeably lighter in color than most other pales I've had but that in no way detracted from my enjoyment of this beer.

Sweet on the nose with Belgian candi sugar, grapefruit, lemon and some spice, this American version definitely does its Belgian Brethren justice. Even at 9% ABV I couldn't get very much alcohol on first whiff.

Salvation has a decent amount of body and it only get chewier as it warms. It's light on the bubbles but it's just the right amount to not be drowned out in sweetness.

The alcohol also helps to overcome what could have been too sweet but instead is a perfect accompaniment to the slight hops bitterness. Overall a great beer that I think just tops Goose Island's Matilda, definitely outranks Russian River's Damnation, and slaughters North Coast's Pranqster(Golden Ale).  

I will never pass up the chance to drink Avery. I'm REALLY looking forward to opening up a Kaiser that I have been cellaring since last year. It's fall and that means new bottlings!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Abita Turbo Dog

This is the first brew I've had from Abita and I enjoyed it.
This is an English brown ale. 5.6% ABV. It poured really dark for a brown ale but thank goodness there wasn't any toast with that darkness. This is all sweet bready, malty, caramely goodness. Definitely a malt bomb with a teeny hop bitter backend. VERY nice. I'll get some more for sure

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

San Diego Session IPA

San Diego Session IPA. This beer is something I have been looking for. A low alcohol HIGH taste IPA. These two do not go hand in hand, or at least, I have yet to find one that is decent.

I think this is left over from a recent beer fest in San Diego. I had it on tap at The Haven in Orange. I'll be reviewing the place soon so look for that. Anyway, back to the beer.
4.2% alcohol and ALL the taste of a high class IPA. This isn't a pale ale in IPA clothing either. Pine, citrus, and a good bitter back bite. This isn't a knock you off your rocker IPA. It is what it purports to be. SESSIONABLE. Meaning, I can drink more than a few and be pleasantly warm. Not blitzed.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Avery Maharaja Guest Review from Cheegan!

Well I finally succeeded in haranguing the Cheegan, our mostly weekly dinner and a beer partner into writing for me. Hope you enjoy. 

 Hi Brew or Fermented readers! Cheegan here! Long time reader, first time guest writer, and lover of all things fermented.

I’ve been called many names: the Jew, the Vegan, Tofu, and perhaps even more nomenclatures D and T my married friends have chosen not to put on their respective blogs, Cake&Co and BreworFerment. Though, in my most recent press, I believe I’m now and forever affectionately known as “Cheegan.”

Driving along, heading to the house of BreworFerment, electric with the anticipation of doing one of the things I look most forward to during the week.  My foot on the throttle, perhaps a bit heavier than necessary, but hell, I just can’t help myself, what waits at my destination is worth it. But, in accordance with my reputation, I am, and most usually am, running late. A protracted glance at the clock makes my mouth salivate. The Avery Maharaja DIPA lies cold and chilled, patiently pending its fate.  It is dinner and beer tasting night and this IPA is on the chopping block.

Now, you all should know that I may be the luckiest beer loving vegetarian this side of the Mississippi. On one side of the kitchen I’ve got D’s cooking, which can tempt even the most devout vegetarian. I don’t know how she does it, but her food always tastes like home and far away places all at the same time. Don’t even get me started on her cupcakes! On the other side, I’ve got BreworFerment, an inspired and inspiring beer lover. And he is letting me do a guest review on his blog! I hit the friend jackpot.

I arrive at the house and we head to pick up dinner. Most weeks D and T cook, but this week we opt for Mexican take-out. Once we get back to the house, the beer comes out of the fridge and the tasting begins. This beer is part of Avery’s dictator series and boasts intense and mighty flavors, both things I like in an IPA. It is a dark amber beer with a nice creamy head that definitely doesn’t run away too quickly. It’s citrusy with some vanilla at the beginning and nice and bitter at the end.  There was a flavor I couldn’t quite name in between. The flavor was on the tip of my tongue but I couldn’t quite figure it out. It has kind of an alcohol burn. Is it Brandy? Scotch? These are not things I usually taste in an IPA, but then Tyler nailed it. Tannins. It had just a hint of wine right there in the middle. This was a very tasty beer. Not quite as bold a hop monster as it professes, but still a very nice sipping IPA.

I like most of the beers that I taste by Avery. I’m dying to try Avery’s duganA IPA. I hear it’s a hop BEAST. Maybe next time.