Wednesday, April 27, 2011

More Spring Seasonal

Spring does bring some delicious beer styles, like bocks; but an IPA is not a beer you normally associate with Spring. The Pyramid Brewing Company has gone one farther, making an Imperial IPA for their Spring seasonal beer this year. Lately, American brewers have used the word "imperial" to mean a stronger, heavier version of a regular style. This one weighs in at 8.5% alcohol, a tad bit higher than you'd expect from an IPA, but nowhere near the 10-11% of some other 'imperial' beers.
This one pours a deep gold color, with plenty of carbonation and nice head. The aroma is clean and fresh, and does put you in mind of spring. Nice hop aroma there, you get some floral and spice notes. The flavor... wow, is HOPPY. The bitter and spice really takes over from the first sip, almost too much at times. There is a good strong body underneath to support it, and some lingering sweet maltiness there too. Certainly not one you can drink quickly, but worth a try.
Look: 4 - deep gold/orange
Aroma: 3 - spring!
Taste: 2 - overpoweringly hoppy
Feel: 4 - tons of body
Total: 3.25

Monday, April 18, 2011

Beer for a Cause

Good beer that also supports a good cause? I'll drink to that!
This week I discovered the SOS "Save Our Shore" Pilsner from Abita Brewery in Louisana. Ive admired their beers before, and this one is special. All proceeds go to coastal restoration for the gulf oil spill of last summer.
This is a bottle conditioned wheat pilsner, thus the golden and cloudy look. The aroma is refreshing and clean, with some nice hop spiciness and a good sweet malty undertone. The first taste, in a word, is creamy. Lagers typically have a smooth, slippery mouthfeel, but this takes it to another level, and tickles your tongue with creaminess. The flavor is lightly sweet and citrusy, plenty of body, and hints of peach, orange, and spice. The sterling hops give it a good touch of bitterness on the back end, not overpowering but enough to let you know this beer means business.
At 7% alcohol, its enough to make you happy too!
Look: 4 - cloudy gold
Aroma: 3 - sweet and spicy
Taste: 4 - balanced malt and bitter
Feel: 5+ - creamy!
Total: 4

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What beer drinkers drink when they're not drinking beer

What would that be? Why hard cider, of course! This is the Fox Barrel Black Currant Cider, from California.
It looks deceivingly simple, like an apple juice with a blush of pink, and moderate carbonation. The aroma is heavy on the apple, and lightly sour, with just hints of berry hidden in there. The flavor comes through also heavy on the apple, which is to be expected, as its primarily an apple cider with berry added. You get a nice crisp dry feeling on your tongue, then residual berry flavors creep out on the back end. Very smooth and refreshing.
Look: 3 - apple blush
Aroma: 4 - lots of apple
Taste: 4 - great balance of fruit and sour
Feel: 3 - crisp!
Total: 3.5