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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Review of Jolly Pumpkin Fuego del Otono

Hello everyone.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the Jolly Pumpkin Fuego del Otono (Autumn Fire) produced by Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales located in Dexter, Michigan.

Let’s go ahead and jump to the website, jollypumpkin.com, and see what kind of information we can find out about this brew.  

To catch a bit of soft radiance in each bottle, we wait for fall colors to begin their bright and fleeting glow before brewing this wonderful ale under their autumn fire.  Gentle amber malt blend smooth caramel notes, gently lapping against a shore of distant forgotten spice.  A beer to sip, contemplate and enjoy. 

How about a sip or two?

This brew comes in a 25.4 oz. bottle with an ABV of 6.1%.

It poured a mostly clear, rust/copper to deep red color with a slightly off white head.  The texture was sort of creamy, soft and smooth.  It was honorably sized with an honest retention time.  The lacing left behind wasn’t bad either.  A presentable looking beer right here.

The nose brought forth a very nice waft of funk and sourness at the beginning, which eventually gave way to a decent flutter of caramel malt and light woody/oak tones.  A slight vinegar redolence and some earthiness too.  Maybe even some cinnamon spices and cherries as well.  As the brew continued to warm and open up I started to get some kind of “dental fluoride” smell (????).  I don’t know what it was.  It just sort of smelled like a sterile dentists’ office or something.  It wasn’t bad, just unique smelling.

The taste was a bit more relaxed I thought.  A low intensity of sourness and funk.  The woody/oaky aspects remained fairly consistent, but the spices and caramel malt were also a bit subdued.  Additionally, I discovered some sort of light fruit.  Kind of a mixture of citrusy orange and cherries.  Solid for the most part. 

The mouthfeel was medium to medium/thin.  Fairly dry, crisp, refreshing and smooth.  The carbonation was good, however only an average amount of flavor was left behind on the palate.  Toward the end of the drink, the dryness started to lose grip and it became more thin and a touch watery.

Well, overall I thought this beer was ok.  Aside from that dental fluoride kind of smell that I received for a bit within the aroma everything else seemed in order.  It was easy to drink and it wasn’t an extremely over-the-top kind of Biere de Garde.  A little more reserved and bearable.  I wouldn’t have a problem drinking it again, but I don’t know that I would go out of my way to find it.  It may be a suitable brew to give to someone interested in trying the style, but I don’t necessarily think that it’s a top of the line beer.  With that being said, if you guys see the Jolly Pumpkin Fuego del Otono sitting on a shelf somewhere, pick it up and give it a try and see what you think.  I’d be interested in hearing your opinion.  Feel free to leave a comment if you wish.

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

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  3.7 out of 5
Grade:  B 

 
 

Review of Arcadia Ales B-Craft Black

Hello everyone.  How’s everyone doing?  Good I hope.  Well, for today’s craft beer review I’m going to by trying the B-Craft Black produced by the Arcadia Brewing Company located in Battle Creek, Michigan.

It’s been quite some time since I last reviewed a brew from Arcadia Ales, but thanks to the generosity of Mr. Liquid Bread, I’m able to once again try a brew that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to find.

I couldn’t obtain any information about this particular brew on the website, arcadiaales.com, but I checked on ratebeer.com and found this:

This big beer has a beautiful malt character to accompany the intense hop profile. Plus a hint of roast character. 

Ok.  Let’s give it a try.

The B-Craft Black comes in a 12 oz. bottle with an ABV of 8.5%. 

This beer poured a black color with just a smidgen of ruby around the edges.  The crown was light tan in color, sized nicely, smooth and somewhat creamy.  The retention time was solid and the lacing was suitable.  Not a bad looking beer at all. 

The nose divulged a nice bit of orange peel along with hints of grapefruit.  Very fruity and citrusy.  I also found the bouquet to be very piny, resiny and earthy.  Not a tremendous amount of roast or malt I didn’t think.  If I had been blind folded and didn’t know this was a Black IPA, I would have never guessed it from the aroma alone.

The taste was more of the same.  Grapefruit and orange citrus with a solid dose of pine hanging around.  A very nice hop punch and bitter profile.  Again, not much, if any, roastiness was to be found.  Maybe my palate is broken or something.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Very smooth, dry and crisp.  Very good medium strength carbonation, which helped in leaving a decent amount of flavor behind on the roof of the mouth and tongue for a minute or two after each sip.

Well, I think we have a very solid and sturdy Black IPA right here.  I, personally, have never been a huge fan of Black IPA’s, however I believe the Arcadia Ales B-Craft Black is one that I could have often.  I’ve always been a bit perplexed and torn with the heavy hop profile and roasty mixture that this style encompasses.  It’s kind of an oxymoron to me.  With that being said, because this particular beer is less intense with the roast it was a bit more pleasing to my taste buds.  I’d say give it a try if you are able to find it.  It’s a very easy beer to drink and could be had at anytime of the year.

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 July 22, 2012 in Arcadia Ales, Country: USA

 

Review of Nogne O Imperial Stout

Hello everyone.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the Nogne O Imperial Stout produced by Nogne O – Det Kompromisslose Bryggeri A/S located in Grimstad, Norway.

I was pretty impressed with the Nogne O Porter that I tried a while back, so I’m hoping that the Imperial Stout follows the same path. 

Here’s a brief description of this brew from the website, nogne-o.com.

We thing the Russian tsar would have liked his stout this way.  A dark, rich ale in which a generous sweetness with roasted malt bitterness.  Great with vanilla ice cream or dark chocolate.

Time for a taste.

This brew has an ABV of 9.0% and it comes in a 16.9 oz. bottle.

The Nogne O Imperial Stout poured pitch black.  No highlights whatsoever.  A very dark tan head was formed from a fairly easy pour.  It was very smooth, silky, creamy, and smooth.  The retention time was excellent and the lacing was thick and sticky.  A gorgeous looking beer I thought. 

The nose presented some heavily roasted malts and grain.  Earthy/herbal hops intermingled with tones of black licorice.  Light espresso notes amalgamated with hints of chocolate and creamy oatmeal as well.  The bouquet was very well balanced, harmonized and very pleasing.

The taste revealed more of that roasted malt and grain.  It was nearly burnt tasting to be honest.  Toasted coffee beans and espresso savors.  Earthy hops and bitter, chalky chocolate goodness provided a good tickle on the tongue.  Some very, very relaxed dark fruits were distinguished also, which provided an extra kick of sweetness.  No discernible alcohol taste even with the relatively high ABV.  Overall, this brew kind of reminded me of a creamy Oatmeal Stout only with a touch more roastiness. 

The mouthfeel was medium to medium/full bodied.  Dry, smooth and slick.  It had a chalky aftertaste too, but it was somehow creamy going down.  Very nice I thought.  The carbonation was medium to low, although fitting.  It left a good amount of flavor behind after each sip also.

I’ll tell ya what.  This may not be the best Stout I’ve ever had, but it’s pretty darn good.  It was a very easy drinking, proper and becoming beer.  I think it could easily be a “go-to” brew for me throughout the cooler months.  It has a lot of character and personality without ever becoming an over-the-top, challenging or tiresome beer like some Imperial Stouts can be.  It was still best enjoyed when sipped and pondered, however I had no trouble taking a bigger gulp from time to time.  The bottle went down fairly easy.  If you guys are looking for a no frills, solid Imperial Stout, I’d say give the Nogne O Imperial Stout a try.  I think that you may find it rather enjoyable.

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

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.05 out of 5
Grade:  A-

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2012 in Country: Norway, Nogne

 
 
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