Monthly Archives: October 2012

Review of Mikkeller Monk’s Brew (Barrel Aged Bourbon)

Hello everyone.  For today’s craft beer review I am, again, going to be trying a brew from the Mikkeller Brewery located in Kobenhavn, Denmark.  This particular beverage is the Monk’s Brew (Barrel Aged Bourbon). 

It has seemed as though I have been getting a ton of Mikkeller stuff lately, so I apologize if they all start to run together. 

I couldn’t find a specific description of this brew, but be sure to check out Mikkellers website,, if you have a moment.

How ’bout a sip?

This beer came in a 12.7 oz. bottle and it provided an ABV of 10.0%.

It poured a cloudy, burgundy/brown color.  The crown was khaki colored with lots of small bubbles.  Smooth, soft, creamy and sized nicely from a gentle pour.  The retention time was suitable and the lacing looked pretty good too.  A very attractive beer I thought.

The nose provided a pretty significant waft of oak, vanilla and bourbon.  Further in I discovered hints of roasted malts and toasted breads.  Some distinguishable fragrances of dark fruits along the lines of figs and dates, although they seemed to be somewhat overpowered by the alcohol.   

The taste administered more of the oak, vanilla and bourbon, however they didn’t seem to be quite as forceful as they were in the bouquet.  The dark fruits were a little more harmonized and I even began to discover a minute amount of clove in there as well.  The roasted malts and breads really only started to show themselves toward the end of the drink as it began to warm to room temperature. 

The mouthfeel was medium to full bodied.  Rather smooth, dry and chewy.  A great deal of warmth was experienced from the relatively high amount of alcohol.  It was more felt than tasted I must say.  Quite a bit of flavor was left behind on the palate as well.  Definitely enough to ponder between sips. 

Well, this beer was pretty nice.  I, personally, think this one could benefit from a couple years in the cellar.  Maybe the alcohol would subside a touch and let those dark fruits come forward a bit and really shine.  As it sits, it’s most definitely a sipper.  I really had to take my time with it.  However, I’d still say give the Mikkeller Monk’s Brew (Barrel Aged Bourbon) a try and maybe grab another bottle to put back for a few years.  Be sure to let me know your opinion when you try it though.  I’d be interested in hearing another point of view.

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

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  3.7 out of 5
Grade:  B   

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Posted by on October 19, 2012 in Country: Denmark, Mikkeller


Review of Fantome Printemps

Hello everyone.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying another beer from one of my favorite brewers.  Today’s tasting is of the Fantome Printemps developed by the Brasserie Fantome located in Soy, Belgium.

I’m really looking forward to trying this brew.

Again, we are going to have to revert back to for the commercial description.  However, if you can translate French be sure to check out the Fantome website,, sometime. 

Light, fruity and champagne-like. Fantôme brews special seasonal beers, never repeating a recipe from year to year. This one is for spring . . .

I’m excited to say the least.  Let’s drink.

This brew came in a 25.4 oz. bottle and it had an ABV of 8.0%.

It poured a hazy to golden/orange color with a white head that was very soft, fluffy, soapy and rocky.  It was sized very well and the retention time was very, very good.  The lacing looked rather solid too.  A lot of patchwork was left covering the sides of the snifter.

The nose presented some yeast as well as some light floral and fruity notes.  Hints of lemon and lemongrass.  It began with a very moderate amount of funk, however it became way more prevalent as it began to warm.  It revealed some earthy and woody tones that really peaked my interest too.  A solid dose of relaxed spices made their way through also.  All around a very pleasing and well balanced bouquet with this one I thought. 

The taste seemed to be even more entertaining and complex than the nose.  Tones of delightful musty funk along with a very earthy and herbal touch.  Spicy coriander and light pepper gave it some additional bite whilst subtle citrus of lemon and orange added some sweetness.  A modest amount of breadiness along with a minor tickle of grassy hops completed the flavor profile.  Very nice.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Smooth, dry, kind of crisp and somewhat refreshing.  The carbonation was spot on and a small bit of warmth was felt from both the spice and the alcohol.  The palate was left drenched with a good deal of flavor for me to enjoy between sips. 

Well, this is another very good and well made beer by Fantome.  Definitely worth a try if you favor Saisons.  The drinkability was outstanding because I made my way through the bottle in no time flat.  I should have picked up another one.  I don’t know that it’s quite as “loud” as some of the other Fantome beers, however it’s just as complex.  I’m guessing that because it’s a Spring seasonal has a lot to do with it being a touch lighter.  I, however, tried it back in the Summer and found it to be quite fitting for that time of year as well.  So, if you guys happen to see the Fantome Printemps next Spring at your bottle shop, pick it up and give it a go.  I think you may really enjoy it.

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

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  4.25 out of 5
Grade:  A-  

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Posted by on October 17, 2012 in Country: Belgium, Fantome


Review of Jolly Pumpkin Calabaza Blanca

Hello everyone.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the Calabaza Blanca produced by Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales located in Dexter, Michigan.

I’ve never tried this particular Jolly Pumpkin brew before, but we all know that they make some solid beers, so I have no doubt that this will be a pretty good one.

From the website,, we find this little quip about the beer.

Aged in large oak casks and refermented in the bottle, Calabaza Blanca is a Belgian Biere Blanche.  Spiced with orange peel and corriander, you’ll find it refreshingly tart, with a wonderfully dry finish.

Let’s pour.

This brew comes in a 25.4 oz. bottle and it has an ABV of 4.8%.

It poured a cloudy, orangish/yellow color with a bright white collar.  The texture was both soapy and soft.  It was sized well and the retention time was nice enough.  The lacing was ok too and I could see a lot of bubbles rising to the top helping support the crown for a minute or two.

It had a medium strength funkiness on the nose.  Not too robust at all.  A bit of pepper and coriander as well as a touch of lemon and orange citrus.  Just a smidgen of yeasty goodness.  That, honestly, was about all I could pick out.  I felt as if I should have discovered more, however.  Oh well.

The flavor had a nice crisp cracker type of taste intermingled with the coriander and pepper spice.  Again, the funkiness was quite subdued.  A minute amount of sourness and tartness arose from the orange and lemon citrus.  I seemed to get more lemon than orange actually.  It had a slight “wheaty” profile stemming from the yeast as well.

The mouthfeel was medium to medium/thin.  It was not extremely dry, however it was smooth, crisp, refreshing and thirst quenching.  The carbonation was lively and an ok amount of flavor was left behind on the palate after each sip.

Overall, I thought this to be a decent beer.  It was very easy to drink and I think it would make for a great brew during warmer weather.  It wasn’t overly complicated or loud, so in that regard I believe it would be an awesome introductory beverage for someone looking to try a Jolly Pumpkin beer that may not be into the whole “funky” thing just yet.  I’d say give it a go regardless of your experience though.  I doubt that you will be blown away by it, but it’s a pleasant drinking experience none the less.  Be sure to let me know your thoughts when you try the Jolly Pumpkin Calabaza Blanca or if you have already done so.  I’d love to hear a second opinion.  

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

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  3.75 out of 5
Grade:  B  

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Posted by on October 15, 2012 in Country: USA, Jolly Pumpkin

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