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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Review of Founders Imperial Stout

Hello everyone.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the Founders Imperial Stout produced by the Founders Brewing Company located in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Anyone who knows me realizes that I love Founders products.  They always churn out a solid brew regardless of style.

Let’s jump to the website, foundersbrewing.com, for some information on the Imperial Stout.

Brewed with ten varieties of malted barley, this stout is smooth as silk, yet complex and rich in body. Serve this guy at cellar temperature. Put another log on the fire, sit back, and enjoy the friendship of this ultimate winter warmer.

I think it’s time to drink.

This Stout has an ABV of 10.5% and it comes in a 12 oz. bottle.

This beer looked great right off the bat.  It poured pitch black with absolutely no highlights showing at all.  The head was creamy, smooth, soft and mocha in color.  It wasn’t overly large from a very gentle pour, however the retention time and the lacing were as solid as a rock.  The alcohol feet were very apparent when tilted from side to side and I could easily generate a bit of foam by agitating the liquid.

The nose had an expectant deep, dark, roasted malt component.  Hints of chocolate and licorice.  Some dark fruit (prunes), a very slight coffee note and a very faint alcohol tone.  Considering the fact that this brew had 90 IBU’s, the hops seemed quite relaxed, although earthy in distinction.  The malts were quite rich and bold however.  A very nice smelling beer to say the least.

The bittersweet chocolate jumped out first with the initial intake.  Some roasted coffee aspects, licorice and savors of alcohol were all easily discerned.  The dark fruits however, were quite a bit more restrained.  The hops emerged as more of the “grassy” type.  They really seemed to harmonize well with the heavily roasted facets of this beer.  It really tasted balanced.  It does have a “big” flavor, but at no time did it feel overwhelming or obtrusive.  A spectacular tasting beer right here in my opinion.

The mouthfeel was easily full bodied.  It was thick, smooth, slick and chewy.  The carbonation was really nice and an excellent amount of warmth and flavor were left to ponder between sips.

Well… this is a delicious beer.  There’s no mistaking that.  It’s one of my favorite Stouts.  It’s definitely worth a try if you can get it in your area.  Especially if you appreciate a big, rich and bold Imperial Stout.  It’s well represented in all categories.  It looks great, smells great and tastes great.  The drinkability is a bit better than most of this style also, so watch out because this thing does have a 10.5% ABV.  It will get on top of you in a hurry if you are not careful.  That’s about all that needs to be said really.  Founders Imperial Stout…..  one that will continue to be a staple in my beer cellar for years to come.

Thanks for reading and commenting folks.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.35 out of 5
Grade:  A     
  

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Posted by on March 31, 2012 in Country: USA, Founders

 

Review of Anchorage The Tide And Its Takers

Hello guys.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying The Tide And Its Takers produced by the Anchorage Brewing Company located in Anchorage, Alaska.

This beer is Batch #1 and it was bottled in October, 2011, so I’m very lucky to have obtained a bottle this rare.

From the website, anchoragebrewingcompany.com, we find this enticing description:

This is an unshored ale. Wild and Remote; there’s a beer where the sea used to be. I believe there will be many takers for this tide. It begins with a soft and spicy floral nose. The brett notes are measured and reverberate around the lemon-cream-pie hops like ripples around a buoy in a beam sea. Wood notes drift and float by and bring a bit of vanilla toward the end but mostly the wood does the important work of softening the heat of a multi-phase fermentation that is three fathoms deep. Putting a snifter of this beer up to your lips is like putting a conch shell up to your ear. Living right up against the Atlantic Ocean here in Delaware nothing says welcome home to me so much as the rhythmic crashing of an incoming surf on land and I get that familiar feeling while drinking The Tide and Its Takers. Like a powerful ocean you cannot take this beer for granted. It’s complex, it has a lunar-pull that makes you reflexively go for the next sip, and it puts you in the right mood to appreciate life and nature’s bounty. To paraphrase folk-punk Michelle Shocked, You know you’re in the largest state of mind in the union when you’re anchored down in Anchorage. Cheers!  -Sam Calaglone, President & Founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

How ’bout it?  You ready for a sip?

This beer comes in a 25.4 oz. bottle and it has an ABV of 9.0%.

It poured a hazy, yellow to orange color with a bright white head that was sized very nicely.  It was smooth, soft, fluffy and frothy.  The retention time was more than adequate and the lacing was surprisingly good.  It was left clinging to the sides of the snifter for a good long while.  Once the head finally settled it left a skim of film on top of the liquid for the remainder of the drink.  The foam was easily regenerated when swirled vigorously.

The aroma was outstanding!!!  It started with a strong hint of that “barnyard funk”, however it subsided considerably once allowed to breathe and open up.  A relaxed sourness was noted at first, however a sturdy yeast compounded it and balanced everything out.  An ample amount of lemon citrus and green apple was made known too.  A nice underlying oakiness was found and did nothing but compliment and meld everything together.  After a few moments I began to notice that the woodiness really started to take over and define the bouquet.  Overall, super well balanced and harmonious.  An awesome smelling beer to say the least.

The taste was more of the same.  More of that funky goodness and sourness at the start that somehow dissipated and smoothed out as the brew warmed to let that spectacular woody/oakiness take over and define the overall flavor profile.  However, a compelling sour apple and lemon citrus was made known from the get go.  I also noticed a significant peppery spice that was undefined in the smell.  One thing of note was that the alcohol was felt more than tasted.  The yeasty components were not left behind as they pulled through on the back end to help finalize and balance this incredible tasting beer.

The mouthfeel was a solid medium.  It was smooth and very dry with a near perfect amount of carbonation.  The warmth from the alcohol was ideal.  Not too much and not too little.  An awesome amount of flavor was left on the palate for me to enjoy for several minutes between sips.

Well, it could have just been the mood I was in tonight, but I honestly think that this is one of the best beers that I’ve ever had.  The look, feel, aroma and taste were all “world class” in my opinion.  I was dreading finishing the bottle.  It’s safe to say that I want another.  The drinkability was top notch and I have no doubt that it could be enjoyed all year long.  The aspect that I liked best was the fact that the oak and wood really became the star of the show.  I couldn’t get enough.  It was harmonized so well.  Obviously, I would recommend trying The Tide And Its Takers, although I’m not sure how easily it could be obtained.  If you happen to see a bottle, don’t hesitate at all and pick one up.  I think that even the most sophisticated palate could enjoy this beer.

Thanks for reading and commenting folks.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.75 out of 5
Grade:  A+     

 
 

Review of Unibroue La Fin Du Monde

Hello again.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be tasting the La Fin Du Monde produced by the Unibroue Brewery located in Chambly, Quebec, Canada.

It’s been awhile since I last tried this brew, but I have always enjoyed it when given the opportunity to partake.

Let’s jump to quite possibly my favorite “brewery” website, unibroue.com, and find out what they say about the La Fin Du Monde. 

La Fin du Monde was developed through 18 months of research on a unique strain of yeast originating from Europe. It is brewed in honor of the intrepid European explorers who believed they had reached the “end of the world” when they discovered North America ‘the new world’. This triple-style golden ale recreates the style of beer originally developed in the Middle Ages by trappist monks for special occasions and as such it was the first of its kind to be brewed in North America.

How ’bout a sip or two?

This brew comes in a 25.4 oz. bottle and it has an ABV of 9.0%.

The La Fin Du Monde poured a cloudy, yellow/gold color.  It produced a bright white head that was not of great size.  It was quite fizzy and sudsy.  The retention time was slight and the lacing left a little to be desired, but the color does look very nice I must say.

The nose brought out hints of white grapes.  They were combined with an exquisite dose of spices ranging the gamut of pepper, cloves and coriander.  It was also rather yeasty and bready with undertones of wheat.  I found it to be very well balanced and even throughout the drinking experience.

Within the taste, the spices stepped it up a notch.  The pepper, coriander and cloves really pushed forward and delighted the tongue with a good “sting”.  The white grapes were accounted for again, but I also noticed a touch of alcohol coming out as the liquid passed across the palate.  The bitterness was mild due to the yeasty and bready components becoming more evident and round as the brew warmed to room temperature.  I thought this was an overall pleasing and excellent flavor.

The mouthfeel was a sturdy medium.  It was mostly smooth, dry, crisp and somewhat refreshing.  The carbonation was good and a solid amount of heat was generated from both the alcohol and the peppery spice.  A commendable amount of flavor was left covering the tongue and roof of the mouth for a good while after each sip too.

The Unibroue La Fin Du Monde is a solid, solid beer to say the least.  It’s a “staple” in my book.  A beer that I think should be tried by all craft beer enthusiasts.  It’s a brew that can be enjoyed at anytime of year in my opinion.  It’s one of those beers that, when chosen, is never a bad decision.  The aroma and flavor carry enough “oomph” to satisfy.  Not to mention the ease of drinkability that it possesses.  In conclusion, if you have never tried the La Fin Du Monde, or if it’s been a while since you last did so, don’t hesitate to pick up a bottle the next time you see it.  I think that you will be satisfied by the outcome.

I would love to hear some feedback from you guys.  Do you like the reviews?  Do you think I should continue?  I can handle the criticism I promise.  Good, bad or otherwise.  I want to make this site the best it can be.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.0 out of 5
Grade:  B+       
 

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2012 in Country: Canada, Unibroue

 
 
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