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Monthly Archives: December 2012

Review of Founders Frangelic Mountain Brown

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

Most that have followed this blog know what a fan of Founders I am, so to have the opportunity to try this limited Backstage Release beer really excites me.

Let’s jump to the website, foundersbrewing.com, and see what they have to say about this beer.

Frangelic Mountain Brown is the quintessential taproom “one-off” beer: Founders’ brewers created the Mountain Brown series for their taproom in Grand Rapids in 2007. Frangelic Mountain Brown is the 16th iteration in the series of popular brown ales—and it likely won’t be the last. The singular characteristic of this beer comes from the use of hazelnut coffees in the brewing process. The beer has distinct aromatics with sweet and nutty flavors beautifully balanced. Founders is known for its beers made with coffee (i.e., the Breakfast Stout series), but this is both the brewery’s first brown ale and its first beer brewed with hazelnut coffees to be bottled. 

Let’s drink.

This brew came in a 25.4 oz. bottle with an ABV of 9.0%.  
It poured dark brown with some ruby hues around the edges of the snifter.  The head was light tan in color, smooth, soft and creamy.  It had a near perfect size with some pretty impressive retention time and some very conspicuous lacing as well.  This beer looked great in the glass.
The nose released a nice shot of espresso, toasted malts and breads.  Beautiful hints of roasted and toasted hazelnuts with a very, very slight touch of bittersweet chocolate.  I really liked this fragrance.  I thought it was bold, balanced fairly well and enjoyable.  
The taste had a lot more of the chocolate flavoring.  Cocoa powder and savors of freshly baked brownies.  It was sweet, but not overly sweet.  Less coffee was found, but the hazelnut was there along with more of the toasted breads and a slight “leafy” profile. This taste was very malty, round with low bitterness and little to no alcohol. The very last sip reminded me of the last swallow of the chocolate milk I used to drink as a kid. 
The mouthfeel was a solid medium.  Very, very dry, smooth and chewy with a medium to low carbonation.  A decent amount of flavor was left behind, but not as much as I had hoped actually.  Still not too bad though.  
Man, I really liked this beer.  One of the better Browns I’ve had.  It was chocked full of aroma and flavor and the drinkability was exceptional.  I tried this back in the Fall and it totally hit the spot.  I hope that Founders decides to make this again because I would definitely continue to pick it up.  I’ve noticed that this beer has gotten some mixed reviews and I don’t know why that is.  Maybe it’s because it didn’t get all of the publicity that some of the other Backstage beers got.  Anyway, I don’t care.  This is a great beer.  I should have picked up two bottles.  I hope that you guys had the opportunity to try the Founders Frangelic Mountain Brown.  It was definitely a treat and one that I hope to get to try again.  
Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.
Until next time.  Cheers.
Score:  4.5 out of 5
Grade:  A
 
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Posted by on December 24, 2012 in Country: USA, Founders

 

Review of Evil Twin Mad Dog Pale Ale

Hello everyone.  I hope all is well.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be giving the Evil Twin Mad Dog Pale Ale a go.  It’s brewed by Evil Twin Brewing located in Valby, Denmark.

This will be only the second Evil Twin beer that I’ve ever tried.  We have just recently started getting their products in my area, so I’m going to have a lot of fun working my way through their catalog.

From the website, eviltwin.dk, I found this description of the Mad Dog Pale Ale.

Named after an antagonist movie character with a violent temper and a propensity for drooling, furthermore brewed amongst mad-ish Scottish dogs. Nevertheless is this beer far from mad itself. You’ll find it a very pleasant, peaceful and a loyal Pale Ale – wooof.

Let’s get it in a glass and see how it tastes.

This brew came in an 11.2 oz. bottle and it had an ABV of 4.75%.

It poured a somewhat hazy, deep orange to caramel color.  The cap was off white and sized well.  The texture was kind of creamy and smooth.  The retention time was good and the lacing seemed solid enough.

To begin with, the nose released a nice shot of hops.  Tones of grapefruit and pine.  It was also quite bready and biscuity.  Only a touch of caramel was discovered at first, but it gradually increased in intensity as it warmed and I worked my way through the glass.  It wasn’t anything over the top, however it did become a lot more noticeable.

The taste brought forth some earthy and piney savors along with some bittering grapefruit citrus.  Again, a sturdy amount of a bready/biscuity malt helped smooth some of those hops.  The sweet caramel acted just as it did in the aroma.  It began somewhat subdued then flourished gradually as the beer opened up and settled.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Smooth, slightly refreshing, slightly thirst quenching and kind of crisp.  It wasn’t altogether dry, yet it wasn’t so much watery either.  It sat right in the middle.  The carbonation was good and it left a pretty nice amount of flavoring behind on the palate between sips.

Overall, I found this to be a very good and worthwhile beer.  Solid all around without being too complicated.  Definitely one to try if you happen to see it.  The drinkability was good and it had enough character to warrant some discussion.  I also believe that it would be best suited for the Spring season as the weather starts to warm a bit.  It’s not the best Pale Ale that I’ve ever had, however it’s far from the worst I must say.  I’d drink it again for sure and I’d be happy to share one with a friend at any point   So, if you are fortunate enough to get the Evil Twin Mad Dog Pale Ale in your area…  give it a go.  I think you may like it.  Be sure to let me know your opinion in the comments if you so desire as well.

Thanks for reading everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  3.8 out of 5
Grade:  B+

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2012 in Country: Denmark, Evil Twin

 

Review of Mendocino Oatmeal Stout

Hi guys.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be sharing with you my tasting experience of the Mendocino Oatmeal Stout produced by the Mendocino Brewing Company located in Ukiah, California.

It’s been forever since I’ve had a brew from the Mendocino Brewing Company and, to tell the truth, I have only had two or three all together, so I’m interested in seeing how this brew tastes.

The website, mendobrew.com, had this bit of info regarding this seasonal Oatmeal Stout.

Oatmeal Stout is jet black in color and full·bodied with a rich, creamy, long-lasting head. Robust, with luscious chocolate and coffee flavors, it is balanced with just the right amount of UK Golding hops. Brewed with massive quantities of oats, our Oatmeal Stout is smooth in the extreme. It pairs well with a wide range of hearty, full-flavored foods and delicious desserts. Our Oatmeal Stout is 6.0% alcohol by volume and 100% marvelous!

Sounds good enough to me.  Let’s pour.
This beer came in a 12 oz. bottle and it had an ABV of 6.0%.
It poured black with a few traces of ruby showing through middle and around the edges of the liquid.  The crown was very small, tan, smooth and creamy.  It didn’t stick around too long nor did it leave much lacing behind once it dissipated and I sipped. 
The nose was fairly light.  I was able to pick up on some chocolate and coffee notes as well as some roasted grains and toasted breads.  I even noticed a bit of nuttiness and, of course, a light fragrance of oatmeal.  Deep within the aroma I also detected a slight whiff of sorghum.  Overall, it was balanced well, however just a bit more relaxed than what I had anticipated. 
The taste was a touch better and more forthcoming.  The chocolate seemed richer and the coffee more robust.  Some nice earthy undertones helped create a “round” savor. More of the creamy oatmeal, toasted breads and even more of that sorghum flavoring. It actually became quite sugary and sweet as I went along. Not bad at all.
The mouthfeel was medium bodied.  Smooth, mostly slick, creamy and chewy without being thick and viscous.  The carbonation was on the lower side and a decent amount of flavor was left behind on the palate after each gulp.  
This beer wasn’t bad.  It’s not going to blow anyone away or anything, but it’s worth a try especially if you favor Oatmeal Stouts (of which I do).  It was very easy going and the drinkability was very good.  It goes super well with the cooler months of Winter for sure.  I think it could be enjoyed by a wide range of craft beer drinkers and it would be especially tempting for someone who may not have a whole lot of experience with Stouts.  So, the next time you see the Mendocino Oatmeal Stout, pick it up and give it a try.  You may be happy that you did.  
Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.  
Until next time.  Cheers.
Score:  3.65 out of 5
Grade:  B 
 
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Posted by on December 20, 2012 in Country: USA, Mendocino

 
 
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