Monday, February 28, 2011

Local Beers

Whenever possible, I try the new local beers I can find. Weston Brewing Company is a fairly new brewery in St Louis, I only noticed them late last year, and this is the first beer of theirs I've tried. Its the O'Mally's Irish Brown Ale. I've drunk many brown ales before, and many Irish ales, but an Irish brown? Thats something I havent seen before.
Its darker than a regular brown ale, but nowhere near as opaque as a stout. The aroma is lightly toasty, with a dose of sour, and some fuggle hops at the end. A good bit of carbonation too. The first taste is smooth and light, not as strong as I was expecting for something called "Irish", but theres a good nutty flavor, a mellow toastiness to the malt, and a sour undertone that feels more like a stout than a brown ale. A strong but muddled aftertaste of hops, I can certainly taste fuggles in there, but also some sharper ones. Overall the combination works, although it makes me think of a couple of homebrewing buddies who made a beer they liked then tried to figure out what to call it than a true brown ale.
Look: 2 - deep brown
Aroma: 3 - light and toasty
Taste: 2 - muddled mix of flavors
Feel: 3 - solidly refreshing
Total: 2.5

Monday, February 21, 2011

Moose Drool

Beer brewers tend to have an odd sense of humor when it comes to naming their products, and this one is no different. Its the Moose Drool Brown Ale, from Big Sky Brewery in Montana.
It pours a deep dark brown, darker than you normally expect for a brown ale, with a good amount of carbonation. The aroma is subtle and nutty, with some underlying sweetness and a light doese of hops. The flavor carries over the nuttiness of the aroma, with a bit of sourness to it also. The maltiness is understated, and the hop aftertaste is not strong at all. The carbonation is a bit much for me, almost to a light lager level, and not fitting of the style. But overall a light refreshing beer with a bit of flavor.
Look: 2 - dark for a brown ale
Aroma: 3 - subtle sweet
Taste: 2 - nutty but sour
Feel: 2 - too much carbonation
Total: 2.75

Monday, February 14, 2011

Doing the Quad

Yes, its another from the wonderful local brewery, Schlafly. What can I say, when I go there I cant buy just one. This is the Belgian Quadrupel, which has its roots in the ancient brewing traditions of Belgian monks. Those guys really know their beer.
It pours a deep thick brown, with tons of carbonation, and an aroma thats both sweet and spicy, with some notes of fruit. The first sip.... stand back, this thing hits you like a brick. Its 12% alcohol, and that makes you take notice right away. After your tongue recovers from the initial shock, you notice the wonderful sweetness, and an overall nutty flavor thats very satisfying. I also get some fruit flavors like sour cherry, dates, and grapefruit. Theres a decent hop kick at the end, just enough to keep the sweetness from becoming cloying, and the lingering afterburn of that high alcohol content. This is a beer you take some time to enjoy, lest you end up on the floor.
Look: 4 - great head
Aroma: 4 - sweet and fruity
Flavor: 4 - nice layers of fruit and nut
Feel: 4 - thick
Total: 4

Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Beer Sunday

What better way to watch the Packers win the Super Bowl than with a great beer?
I had purchased this one a couple weeks ago at the local Schlafly tap house, and was saving it for a special occasion. Its their 20th anniversary Imperial Pilsner, brewed by their original brewmasters from when the brewery first opened. An Imperial Pilsner is not a type of beer you see every day; lately the word "imperial" has been used to denote a much stronger and heavier version of the standard style. This one certainly is!
It pours a deep clear gold color, with lots of carbonation, and the head sticks around a while. The aroma is sweet and citrusy, and rather strong for a pilsner, with some nice hop spice at the end. The first taste gives your tongue a smack.... this isnt your standard pilsner. The first word that comes to mind is creamy. It has a ton of body, so if you're thinking of a nice light refreshing lager, think again. The flavor is complex and layered. In front, you get a good dose of citrus, almost a tangerine flavor, with some light malty sweetness. Then the hops kick in, and you know its a pilsner. You get a spiceiness like sage or basil, plus the deep earthy bitterness in the aftertaste of a good pilsner.
The alcohol is up to 9%, very high for a pilsner, but the "imperial" should warn you. Its barely high enough to taste, and doesnt interfere with the flavors, but careful standing up after swilling a couple.
Look: 4 - deep clear gold
Aroma: 4 - sweet and spicy
Taste: 5 - Layers of citrus, spice, and hops
Feel: 5+ CREAMY!
Total: 4.5