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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Review of Goose Island Night Stalker (2011)

Hello everyone.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the 2011 version of Goose Island Night Stalker produced by the Goose Island Beer Company located in Chicago, Illinois.

From what I understand this beer is no longer brewed, so I’m going to take my time with it and try to savor every last drop.

From the website, gooseisland.com, we find this little description.

A heavily-hopped imperial stout, Night Stalker is a heavyweight of a beer. It delivers a formidable punch of hops and rich roasted malt notes to the nose in a silky body that’s as dark as night.  

Mmmm.  Let’s drink.

This brew comes in a 22 oz. bottle with an ABV of 11.7%.

It poured black with absolutely no highlights whatsoever showing through.  The head was dark tan, medium sized, smooth, creamy and tightly compacted.  The retention time was adequate and the lacing looked rather nice too.  A thin skim of alcohol was left on the sides when rotated and tilted.  Very attractive in the glass I thought.

The nose still had a fairly robust fragrance of piney hops left.  Hints of dark, fruity raisin along with plenty of toasted breads and roasted grains.  A very pleasing waft of dark chocolate was intertwined with a very, very mild coffee aroma.  This brew really had a beautiful smell.  It had settled nicely with nary a hint of alcohol.  (I tried it when fresh a couple of years ago and I seem to remember the alcohol being a lot more prevalent.)

The flavor released the dark fruits right off the bat.  Relishes of raisin, fig and dates.  More toasted grains mixed with well blended touches of chocolate.  Some bitter coffee and light earthy/piney hops really tickled the sides of the tongue as it worked its way across the palate.  Even with a bit of age the taste still had a noticeable amount of alcohol present.  I guess that was to be expected considering the high ABV.  Oh well, still a very pleasant savor.

The mouthfeel was medium to mostly full bodied.  Thick, chewy, dry, velvety and smooth. The carbonation had subsided somewhat, but it was still solid enough.  A sturdy bit of warmth was felt and a great dose of flavor was left behind for me to enjoy between sips.

Well, obviously the hops have faded a bit and the higher than normal ABV doesn’t lend itself to a very high drinkability rating, however this brew remains a very good and enjoyable treat to partake in on a cool, crisp night.  One thing is for sure, the roasty aspects and the dark fruits have really begun to mesh well with the hops and become the most important aspect of the beer in my opinion.  I have one more bottle left and I’m going to try to hang onto it for a couple of more years.  I can’t wait to see how much more it morphs and evolves.

Did you guys ever get to try the Goose Island Night Stalker?  What was your opinion?  Did you like it?  Feel free to leave a comment if you would like.

Thanks for checking back in on another review guys.  I really appreciate the support.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.15 out of 5
Grade:  A- 

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Posted by on October 31, 2012 in Country: USA, Goose Island

 

Review of 8 Wired/Nogne O/Renaissance Brewing "O Is For Awesome"

Hello everyone.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying an Imperial Amber Ale called “O Is For Awesome” produced in a collaborative effort by three different brewery’s.  8 Wired Brewing Company and the Renaissance Brewing Company both located in Blenheim, New Zealand and the Nogne O – Det Kompromisslose Bryggeri A/S located in Grimstad, Norway.

If you have a few moments I would suggest checking out each brewery’s website:  8wired.co.nz, renaissancebrewing.co.nz and nogne-o.com.

From the Renaissance Brewing Company’s website, we find this commercial description.

A 3 way collaboration between Norway and New Zealand. Loosely based on a mix of our 3 flagship beers: Stonecutter Scotch Ale, Hopwired IPA and Batch #100.

Let’s sip.  Shall we?

This brew came in a 16.9 oz. bottle and it had an ABV of 9.0%.

It poured a deep brown, oxblood color.  The head was light tan, smooth and creamy. The size was decent and the retention time seemed to be sufficient.  The lacing looked alright.  A few patches of foam were left on the sides of the snifter for a good while. Not a bad looking beer.

The nose smelled wonderful.  Hints of sweet caramel and toffee.  Touches of chocolate and cocoa powder as well as a solid dose of toasted wheat bread and other toasted malts.  Well suited piney hops along with a slight hickory nut type of aroma also.  Very well balanced and pleasing on the nose.  I really liked it.

The taste was very gratifying too.  It was almost exactly like the aroma.  Rich caramel and toffee malt intermingled with dry chocolate.  More toasted breads and malts.  The piney hops mix with some earthiness to create a very “round” and “smooth” flavor profile.  A very light taste of alcohol was found, however it only added to the complexity and never became distracting or obtrusive.  Again, very well balanced and very good.

The mouthfeel was medium to full bodied.  Thick, sticky, dry and chewy.  Medium to low carbonation with a nice warmth from the alcohol.  A nice shot of flavor was left on the palate for a good while after each sip.

No doubt about it.  This is a great brew.  Tons of complexity was had to be pondered. It kind of reminded me of an Imperial Stout actually.  It was a bit thick and chewy for a real high drinkability rating, however if you are looking for a sipper that could be best enjoyed on a cool Fall/Winter night, this may be a brew to be tried.  I wish I had picked up another bottle and squirreled it away that’s for sure.  Have you guys ever tried the 8 Wired/Nogne O/Renaissance Brewing “O Is For Awesome” Imperial Amber Ale?  What did you think of it?  If you would like, leave a comment and let me know.

Thanks for reading everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.25 out of 5
Grade:  A-       

 

Review of Mikkeller It’s Alive

Hello everyone.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the Mikkeller It’s Alive (Belgian Ale Aged In White Wine Barrels) produced by the Mikkeller Brewery located in Kobenhavn, Denmark.

Let’s skip all of the small talk get right to the beer.

Unfortunately, I’m having a hard time finding a commercial description of this brew. Just be sure to check out their website, mikkeller.dk, sometime and cruise around. They have some very interesting reads on there.

Time for the pour.

This brew came in a 12.7 oz. bottle and it had an ABV of 8.0%.

It poured a hazy, burgundy/red color.  The crown was an off white color and it was sized very well.  The texture was a touch soapy and sudsy, however it maintained its form and girth for a few moments and when it finally settled it left behind some real nice lacing.  A tremendous looking beer in my opinion.

The bouquet released hints of gorgeous soured grapes and some sour apple.  A very slight amount of funk was found along with a good dose of yeast.  Quite bready too. A very easy going, but duly noted hint of wood came through as the brew warmed to add a little bit of an earthy smell.  Overall, the balance was spectacular and the fragrance was very inviting.

The flavor let loose of some sour, tarty grapes and red apples.  It came off a touch acidic, but in a good way.  A very subtle tickle of peppery spice was discovered as well as some funky goodness.  The breadiness was tasted again, which helped counterbalance the tartness.  I didn’t acquire any of the wood though.  Very tasty nonetheless.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Very dry with a sharpness that smoothed out nicely as it warmed.  A lively amount of carbonation aided in keeping the palate drenched with the essence of the brew.

Man!!!  The Mikkeller It’s Alive (Belgian Ale Aged In White Wine Barrels) is a winner in my book.  It was a wonderful beer and a super easy drink.  It really opened up and became more harmonious as I made my way through the bottle.  It totally hit the spot that’s for sure.  I’d highly recommend you guys give it a try if you happen across it. Be sure to leave a comment if you have sampled it.  I’d love to hear if you guys enjoyed it as much as I did.

Thanks for reading everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.4 out of 5
Grade:  A   

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2012 in Country: Denmark, Mikkeller

 
 
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