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Monthly Archives: July 2011

Review of Achor Old Foghorn

For today’s drinking pleasure, I’m going to be having an Anchor Old Foghorn Barleywine Style Ale produced by the Anchor Brewing Company located in San Francisco, California. 

Anchor has always been one of my favorite brewers and they make some very solid beers, so I’m sure my first experience with Old Foghorn will be a good one. 

Here’s the description from the website, anchorbrewing.com.
Old Foghorn Barleywine Style ale is brewed strictly according to traditional brewing methods, using only natural ingredients – water, malted barley, fresh whole hops, and yeast.  Old Foghorn is based on traditional English barley wines.
Old Foghorn is highly hoped, using only Cascade hops.  It is fermented with a true top-fermenting ale yeast.  Carbonation is produced by an entirely natural process called “bunging,” which produces champagne-like bubbles.  Our “barleywine ale” is dry-hopped with additional Cascade hops while it ages in our cellars. 
We have been producing small batches of Old Foghorn since 1975.  Today, it is available both on draught and in twelve-ounce bottles.  The high original gravity and full flavor of this ale make it a unique product, perfect for sipping after dinner.  A lot of time and tradition goes into our Old Foghorn, and we hope you will enjoy it as much as we do. 
Whew!!!  That’s quite a description.
This beer has an ABV of 8.2% and comes in a 12 oz. bottle. 
The appearance of the Old Foghorn is a deep brown, rust to copper color with a few red highlights showing through around the edges.  The body seemed to be mostly clear.  The head was a tan color, creamy, smooth and luscious.  It retained a very nice size for several minutes and as it retracted it left some very nice lacing behind.
The fragrance was comprised of some super sweet caramel and toffee malts.  A burnt, candied sugar commingled with a prevalent molasses hint added further sweetness.  Some dark fruits of raisin and plum combined with some light alcohol notes created a very unified flavor appropriate for the style.  I did notice that the aroma seemed a touch more aggressive regarding the “hoppy” grapefruit notes.  It wasn’t overpowering, but rather just a touch more than what I’m used to in a Barleywine.  Overall though, I thought the smell was great, well balanced and pleasant.  
In the taste, I immediately got more of the sweet, sugary caramel, soft toffee and rich molasses.  Some baked bread and biscuits were incorporated in the taste to help create a “smoother” profile.  The dark fruits were noticed again and welcomed, but they didn’t seem to be as robust as they were in the aroma.  I did receive a decent little hop bite though.  Medium strength alcohol tones finished off the savor nicely. 
The mouthfeel was a solid and sturdy medium.  It was sticky, but smooth and somewhat chewy.  It was dry, had plenty of warmth and left a touch of burn in the finish.  Plenty of flavor was left behind.  Not too much, but enough to hold me over until the next sip.  
Anchor Old Foghorn is a very good brew in my opinion.  It’s not quite as gargantuan or prodigious as some other Barleywines, but it was still well made with plenty of the proper characteristics.  I found myself enjoying this more and more with each sip.  It was highly drinkable considering the 8.2% ABV also.  As it warmed it became more refined and balanced in the aroma, taste and mouthfeel.  I will not hesitate to pick this up again in the future.  I would recommend that you do the same if you have not tried it.  
Who makes your favorite Barleywine?  Please leave a comment and tell me all about it if you like.
As always, thanks for reading!!!!
Cheers.
Score:  4.1 out of 5
Grade:  A-        
 
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Posted by on July 28, 2011 in Anchor, Country: USA

 

Review of La Trappe Dubbel Trappist Ale

Are you guys ready for another craft beer review???  How ’bout we try one from Berkel-Enschot, Netherlands???

The beer I chose to share with you today is brewed by the Bierbrouweij De Koningshoeven B.V. Brewery.  It’s called the La Trappe Dubbel Trappist Ale. 

This will be my first beer ever from this brewery, so I don’t quite know what to expect. 
Let’s see what the description from the website (http://www.latrappe.nl/) says.
An authentic Trappist beer with a deep red-brown colour.  Through the use of a.o. caramel malt, it has a soft aromatic, caramel-like character.  A little bit sweet in taste with a fresh aftertaste.
Let’s give it a try. 
This beer has an ABV of 7.0% and comes in a 25.4 oz. bottle.
The pour produced a burgundy to very deep ruby red color with a few dark orange highlights around the edges.  The crown was tan, mostly creamy, full and had nice girth.  The retention left a bit to be desired and the lacing was “so-so.”  After a few minutes the head dissipated completely and left no remnants even after several aggressive swirls.  
The aroma provided very prominent notes of fresh, dark grapes.  Straight forward hints of cloves with some fruity cherry notes too.  A baked, pie crust aroma was noticed that really stood out and appealed to me.  A touch of caramel malt along with some yeast and a slightly earthy hop tone.  I even got a smell similar to licorice jelly beans.  Very complex with tons of stuff going on in the nose.  
With the first sip, I received more of the dark, fruity grapes followed by a hint of alcohol.  It seemed to be a touch tart and sweet for the first little bit, but a very nice baked bread came on stronger through the middle, which helped pull some of the edge off the profile.  Not much by way of hops or bitterness I didn’t think.  Further spicy flavors of clove and pepper mixed with a sugary caramel malt completed the analysis.  As the brewed warmed and developed the sweetness started to subside considerably and let more of the bready malt and spices come to fruition, which created a more balanced flavor in my opinion.   
The mouthfeel was medium, very smooth and mostly dry.  The carbonation was good I thought, but only an average amount of flavor and a minute alcohol warmth was left behind for me to enjoy.
Overall, I thought this was a good beer for the most part.  It’s a good representation of the style.  It made for an easy drink and I found this to be most enjoyable on the “lazy” afternoon of which I tried it.  I think this could be a great after dinner drink or a suitable sipper on a cool evening.  I would recommend that you give it a try if you see it.  It has a great aroma and flavor, which warrants some serious pondering in my opinion.  As I’ve mentioned before in previous posts, this particular style is not my “go-to” beer, but I could have it again no problem.   
Has anyone out there tried the La Trappe Dubbel?  What did you think of it?
Thanks for reading everyone.  Keep the comments coming.
Cheers.
Score:  3.75 out 5
Grade:  B       
 

Review of Three Floyds Blackheart English Style IPA

For today’s craft beer review I’m going to share with you another beer from the Three Floyds Brewery located in Munster, Indiana called the Blackheart.
This beer is an India Pale Ale brewed in the English style.  
I haven’t had the opportunity to try very many Three Floyds brews, but every one that I have sampled has been great.
The description from the website, 3floyds.com, regarding the Blackheart is as follows.
This beer is Three Floyds’ U.K. IPA brewed with all English ingredients and aged on toasted oak.  An artistic collaboration with our friends at Blackheart Tattoo in San Francisco.  Check it!  May release. 
Into the glass it goes…..

The Blackheart has an ABV somewhere between 8-9% and comes in a 22 oz. bottle. 

This brew poured a very hazy, nice, straight, orange color with a very nice white, smooth, creamy top.  It had good size, ok retention and very good lacing.  It’s hard to tell from the picture, but the orange color really stood out when held against the light.  It looked pristine.  
The nose of this beer was very appealing.  At first, the aroma seemed a bit restrained, but as the beer warmed I started to find well endowed characteristics of orange peel, other tropical fruits, pine needles, flowers, light caramel, biscuits and sour dough bread.  All well balanced and even with one another.  I didn’t detect any of the “oak” that was mentioned in the description, but that’s ok.  The tropical fruits and bready malts more than made up for any lack of a “woody” tone.  
With the first sip I found a great burst of orange citrus and tropical fruit juices.  A very noticeable, hoppy bite with a small tone of alcohol.  Light caramel and light biscuit flavors complimented the fruit ever so nicely.  Most IPA’s that I’ve had seem to become more malty as they warm, but not this one.  The Blackheart only increased in poignant, zesty, juicy sweetness.  Like sugared candied goodness.  Very nice in my opinion.  A touch of lip puckering sourness was noticed on the first couple of sips, but it mellowed extremely well after a few moments.  For a flavor that was this “forward” in sweetness, it honestly didn’t seem that way.  Robust and complex, yet balanced and proportioned.    
The mouthfeel was medium, crisp, smooth and very refreshing.  Very dry with great carbonation.  I didn’t find that this beer was a thirst quenching beer because of the severe dryness, but I doubt most would drink this for the thirst quenching capabilities.  More than enough flavor was left behind long after the swallow.  It coated the tongue and throat very well. 
I’ll tell ya.  This beer does not drink like a high ABV beer!!!  It’s super easy going down and, as a matter of fact, I was taking huge gulps when I should have been sipping.  I’m, without a doubt, picking this up again.  If you have not tried it, be sure to seek it out.  This is an exceptionally juicy, hoppy experience.  Three Floyds has not let me down yet and they are quickly becoming one of my favorite brewers.  They make outstanding stuff!!!!
Thanks, once again, for reading and commenting everyone.  Don’t hesitate to leave an opinion if you have one.  I would love to hear from you.
Cheers!!!
Score:  4.25 out of 5
Grade:  A-       
 
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Posted by on July 26, 2011 in Country: USA, Three Floyds

 
 
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