Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Beers #29-40: At Home and Around Town

A lot of times, particularly after a beer road trip, a few of us beer geeks get together and share some of our haul or cellar stocks. As the years have passed and we all got busy with kids, our tastings have been scaled back a bit. We still manage to sneak some in!  Here are a few recent notes from a few tastings during the last week of January and first week of February ...

29/365: Cigar City Jai Alai India Pale Ale:
Super fresh hop aroma. Fruity and floral with apricot and orange blossom. Sweet and luscious. Brilliant amber hazy with thin foamy lacing head. Medium watery body with medium carbonation. Starts medium sweet and malty with caramel and light fruity character. Apricot and pear. Floral fresh hops with light smooth bitterness. Sweet, smooth after and no harsh bitterness. Tasty.  India Pale Ale  86/100

30/365: Santa Fe State Pen Imperial Porter:
(This one was given to me by my buddy Mike, who lives in Santa Fe) Ruddy chocolate malt, dusty grist and light stale coffee grounds. Alcohol vapors, malted milk, and Twizzlers. Black opaque with thin tan lacing head. Medium-heavy body with medium-high carbonation and alcoholic warming. Starts sweet and smooth, lightly smoky, with tons of rich malt and Twizzlers. Mellow with light nutty bitterness. No off flavors or oxidation notes - has held up well.  Imperial/Strong Porter  84/100  

31/365: Dogfish Head Bitches Brew:
(A bottle courtesy of my father-in-law) Smells like coffee porter, light tang. Dark black opaque with medium foamy-creamy dark tan lacing head. Medium-heavy body with medium carbonation and light fizz. Starts with big roasted and chocolate notes. Coffee and light acidity. Not really that complex but has some vanilla and other esters.  Imperial Stout  78/100

32/365: Goose Island Fleur:
Wonderful floral-funky nose. Bretty and neutral fruit, hint of acid and leather. Very Orval-ish. Medium dark amber clear with thin off-white head. Starts fairly dry with light funky farm and leather. Neutral fruit with dry hops and yeast.  Belgian Ale  84/100  

33/365: Full Pint Festivus:
Dusty grain, roasted barley, chocolate, and mild spices. Much like a brown ale in nose. Dark coppery brown clear but with some haze, topped with creamy light tan lacing head. Medium body with medium carbonation. Starts medium dry with lots of roast, nutty and spicy bitterness. Some malty chocolate sweetness and light spicy character. Medium bitter hop finish with lasting bitter after.  Spice/Herb/Vegetable  58/100 

On January 30, The Coventry Inn hosted its first ever beer tasting dinner.  Normally closed on Wednesday, the pub opened up its doors to host a $50/plate four-course meal, each course paired with a different beer or cider.  For first-timers at such an endeavor, I think they did wonderfully.  John Cuccaro, of Holiday Beverage and Downtown Indiana, worked with the Coventry's chef (name escapes me at the moment) and owner Charles Runyon (sp?) to create a nice two-hour event.  The food was good, the pairings, save one (IMO) were spot on, and the pours were very generous. If you live in the area, I suggest you get to the next one.  Of the four offerings, I had not tried one, and the notes are below.

34/365: J.K.'s Scrumpy Orchard Gate Gold Hard Cider:
Sweet macerated apples, light sweet alcohol and acidic vapor. Great aroma reminiscent of Normandy cider. Sweet. Light golden clear with no head. Medium body with medium-light carbonation. Sweet and tangy with great cider flavors. Juicy with light carbonic tang.  Cider  78/100

Here are some more notes from another tasting that a few friends and I had in early February ...

35/365: Alchemist Heady Topper:
Nice fruity fresh hop aroma. Apricot, pear, pine. Sweetness abounds with alcohol vapor and funky resin. Amber clear with light haze and thin white head. Medium body with high carbonation. Starts sweet with lots of juicy hops, fruity and bitter. Light caramel. Bit bitter finish and after.  Imperial/Double IPA  82/100  

 36/365: Lindemans Kriek Cuvée René:
(From 2006 bottle I brought back from Bruges) Aroma is super funky, some BandAid, leather, and sour cherries. Carbonic fizz and light rubber. Cloudy dark strawberry color with light pink head. Lactic, oaky, sour. Medium body with medium carbonation. Huge tart sour cherry with tons of funk. Horse blanket and light BandAid. Acidic throughout with bit bitter sour after. Not much cherry flavor remains.   Lambic-Fruit  80/100 

37/365: Terrapin Moo-Hoo Chocolate Milk Stout:
Nice sweet chocolate and lactose nose. Roasty and toasty, light coffee, and broth. Dark brown black clear with thin head. Medium body with medium-light carbonation. Very chocolatey with lactose, mild nutty bitter and sweet chocolate finish. Some coffee in the after. Sweet Stout  72/100

38/365: Firestone Walker Parabola:
Awesome nose. Oak, vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, coffee, toffee, caramel. Just a real nice blend of aromas. Dark black opaque with thin creamy tan head. Heavy oily body with medium-high carbonation, chewy with alcohol warming. Starts sweet with alcohol, oak, vanilla, bourbon. Boozy and a tad too sweet, but rich and delicious, silky and smooth. Terrific impy stout, with a hint of soy sauce and broth at the very end.  Imperial Stout  94/100

And here are two more I tried with Dana at home when her family visited for Sunday dinner in early February ...

39/365: St. Stefanus Grand Cru:
Light wheat and yeasty nose with a bit of citrus, coriander, and honey. Golden amber hazy with thin creamy white lacing head. Medium body with medium-high carbonation and light warming. Starts medium sweet with a lot of pilsner malt, honey, and a bit of orange. Light bitter hops, some grain hull, citrus rind, and sweet alcohol. Medium vanilla sweet finish and light bitter, lemony after. Belgian Strong Ale  58/100

40/365: Samuel Adams (Barrel Room Collection) New World Tripel:
Light alcohol and lactose sweetness, mild peach and vanilla. Mild, mild oak. Medium golden amber clear with thin creamy off-white lacing head. Medium heavy body with high carbonation and light warming. Starts medium sweet with vanilla, light pilsner malt, some wheat and oranges. Alcohol sweetness, carbonic fizz and acidity, and neutral fruity character. A little weak but has a decent tripel profile. Certainly not lacking in alcohol.  Abbey Tripel  66/100

Up next ... Tired Hands Delivers to Indiana!

No comments: