Friday, February 25, 2011

Silver City Brewery Fat Woody Scotch Ale

I must apologize for my recent absents from this blog the past week I have been rather distracted by a string of strange events in my personal life the most notable of which was my car breaking down by the side of the freeway. It’s been a rough week but I found solace in many a good beer and saved all my notes. The week is over now and life is getting back to normal so time to post some things from my drinking notes… yes I am that geeky beer girl sitting drinking her beer and taking notes. lol

Silver City Brewery Fat Woody Scotch Ale

Fact of the Matter

ABV: 9.2%

Seasonal: Avalible Febuary

From: Silver City Brewery Silverdale, WA

Peoples Choice Award Washington Cask Ale Festival - 2004
Bronze Medal - North American Beer Festival - 2006

Oh holy crap this was good, damn good! Many thanks to Tiffany from 99 Bottles specialty beer store in Federal Way, Washington for recommending this delicious beer. It was poured dark, but not too dark with slight reddish tinge around the edges with a very thin brown head that fades quickly. The aroma is intoxicating and the perfect preview for the taste. Oak and raisin are predominate smells slightly toffee, vanilla and Carmel all mingle together in the background. Full bodied with mild carbonation this beer drinks easy enough that you need to watch out for its 9.2% abv bite. I had a lot of trouble defining the taste other than it being delicious!!  After a lot of research (ahem ya, that’s what drinking good beer is… research…) I have come up with the following adjectives to describe the taste of this beer: toffee, oaky, brown sugar, banana, sweet but not too sweet, rich and complex yet amazingly smooth. You really just need to pick up this one and try it for yourself! Let me know if you have better adjectives for the taste or smell.
Appearance: 4
Smell:  5
Taste: 5
Drinkability: 4.5
Mouthfeel: 4

Enjoy better beer!!


Monday, February 14, 2011

Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale

Facts of the Matter:
ABV: 7.2
IBU: 50
Hails From: Dogfish Head of Milton, DE

This beer poured a very dark reddish color that appeared burgundy under the light with a very small light brown head that faded fast and left minimal lacing. Smelt of roasted coffee beans mixed with a faint malted brown sugar sweetness. The flavor is rich and powerful yet gentle and delicate (like the perfect man) it is full bodied with complex layers of earthy flavor to be explored in each sip, yet light on the tongue it’s not over intense.  Roasted espresso is the dominating flavor but there is also the warmth of molasses and spices mixing together like backup singers. All in all this was an enjoyable beer, my first from Dogfish Head and certainly not my last.
Overall Rating: Thank you sir may I have another

                               Me            Crystin
Appearance:           4                   4
Smell:                     3.5                 5
Taste:                     4.5                 4
Drinkability:           4                    4
Mouthfeel:            3.5                
Overall: 81% (B+) Thank you sir my I have another

P.S. Seeing as this is Valentine’s Day and all I figured I should point out that it goes wonderful with caramel, chocolate, and honey… have fun and don’t get in too much trouble and for more info on this beer you can watch Dogfish head founder Sam talk about it.
Enjoy Better Beer


Brew Dog Hardcore IPA (India Pale Ale) Explicit Imperial Ale

Fact of the Matter:
ABV: 9.2%... Watch Out!
IBU’s: 150
Malts: Maris Otter, Crystal Malt, Caramalt
Hops: Centennial, Columbus, Simcoe
Hailing From: Brew Dog Fraserburgh UK

Over all ranking: Eh... it works

True to the IPA style this beer takes hops to a new level. It poured a cloudy amber brown color with a dense frothy head (it looks much darker in the picture due to bad lighting). The smell was overtly hoppy but it was only a precursor to the intense hopieness that smacked the back of my mouth the moment beer touched my lips. It was extremely bitter, so bitter that I had trouble detecting other flavors. A very dry finish made me feel like I had to rinse my mouth with water after finishing it. The light carbonation gently caressed my tongue and the frothy head left beautiful lacing along the glass. Now, to be fair I should warn you that intensely bitter beers are not my favorite so I may be a little biased. The only way to know for sure is to pick up a bottle and try for yourself, the write me and tell me what you think.
Appearance 4  4
Smell 3  3.5
Taste 2 2.5
Drinkability 2 2
Mouthfeel 3 2
Overall Rating: 57% (C-) Eh… it works

Enjoy Better Beer,


Monday, February 7, 2011

Beer Tasting and Dinner Hosted by BJ's Restaurant, Featuring New Belgium Brewing

Let me begin this evening with a huge shout out to the folks at New Belgium Brewing and BJ’s Brewhouse and Restaurant in Tacoma for putting on an awesome beer tasting and dinner!! If you are looking to convert a friend to the world of better beer this is absolutely the way to do it, a night of good beer, good food and a lot of fun. Let me preface this entry by saying that I am slightly biased New Belgium is one of my favorite breweries and always has been, it’s the beer that is always in the fridge at home and the first micro brew I can remember drinking. My dream job is to work for New Belgium brewery. Okay, disclaimer out of the way…. moving on now…
The night began with BJ’s own Oasis Amber. A relatively non descript beer it was well balanced light amber in color, easy drinking, light carbonation, minimal lacing, a fine beer to be sure but nothing really remarkable or stand out about it.
On to the first course, we ate spinach stuffed mushrooms and drank Fat Tire Amber Ale. The flagship beer of New Belgium brewery this beer perfectly represents the balanced style of classic Belgian beers. It had a hoppy aroma and a clean balanced flavor palate, no one flavor really stood out because everything was working in such perfect harmony. Light in the mouth and easy drink it is clear why this is the beer that put New Belgium on the map.

Next up was an iceberg wedge salad with bleu cheese and bacon to be accompanied by the Ranger IPA (India Pale Ale). If you don’t know much (or anything) about the IPA I will write a brief history of the IPA style later for the moment I am just trying to get down all my notes from this evening before I forget something. One of the newest in the New Belgium line up “ranger” gets its name from the New Belgium “beer rangers” (aka salesmen) who travel the country making sure the wonderfully crafted beers reach their appreciative drinkers, like me. These “beer rangers” had to lay it on pretty thick to get the folks at New Belgium dedicated to the perfectly balanced Belgian style beer to give in and create such a hoppy concoction. This beer is brewed with 3 kinds of hops which create the strong aroma I first noticed when lifting my glass. It was more golden in color with a much stronger flavor than any of the other beers we had been served. The extra hopes and unique choice of hop blends left the beer with a distinctly citrusy, grapefruit-ish flavor that my friend Carol truly enjoyed, this was by far her favorite beer of the evening.

Following this was my favorite beer in the New Belgium line up, their Trippel which was served along a great white deep dish pizza. It had a strong aroma of bananas created by the characteristic Belgian yeast that is part of what makes a triple special. New Belgium uses 3 times the malt and even a little candied sugar and coriander to held hide the strength and high alcohol content of this beer and it works marvelously. This is the beer I like to always have stocked in my fridge, light enough to pair with summer bbq’s, strong enough to stand up to a winter stew, easy enough to drink on its own, this is one of my all time favorite beers.
Next up was a break from the delicious food and a chance to cleanse our palates with the Blue Paddle Pilsner. The rep from New Belgium (whose name was Sean) told us to expect an almost sulfur, match stick taste to this beer and he was absolutely right. This beer slips right in there as Carol said with a hoppy spice filled aroma and flavor. It was heavily carbonated and full bodied. It was a fine beer but certainly not my favorite of the evening

Then the food continued with the main course a wonderful balsamic glazed chicken which was paired with the 1554. This beer is technically called an ale but is really closer to a lager and is created using lager yeast but has too high and ABV to fall into the technical lager category. By far the darkest in the glass this beer pour a warm rich amber brown color dark enough to portray it’s full range of flavors but light enough to still see through the glass. It had a medium body and carbonation and a very pleasant rich. There were very faint chocolate undertones typical of a dark beer but over all despite the color this beer drank and felt more like the ale it is named for than the lagers that are typically produced from its yeast.

Last but not least was the Mothership Wit paired with BJ’s Baked Beignet and strawberries. While I enjoyed both the beer and the food this was the only beer/food pairing that I didn’t care for. The dessert was delicious and sweet and wonderful. The beer was full of citrus and spice flavor and smelled strongly of bananas as a result of the Belgian yeast and organic ingredients that go into this beer. The banana and citrus spice of the beer did not pair well with the sugar and strawberry cream of the dessert on my tongue. Individually both were wonderful and the unfiltered organic wheat beer was an excellent nod to the white beers of Belgium, but the combo definitely left something to be desired.

All in all this was a wonderful and enjoyable evening. Many a thanks to Sean at New Belgium and Tom at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse for putting on such a stellar celebration of beer, I will certainly be back for the next beer tasting you host.

Here is tonights line up, minus the first two which were served on tap.

Enjoy better beer,


P.S. These are the pictures Carol took for me, I am still waiting for BJ's to send me the ones their photographer sent but as soon as I get them I will post them.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Green Flash Brewing Co. Tripple Ale

Tonight’s beer is the Tripple created by Green Flash Brewing Co. of San Diego CA. Those of you that aren’t avid beer freaks are probably wondering what the hell a Tripple is so I figured I would start out this entry with a little background of one of my favorite beer styles.
The exact origin of the Triple and its meaning are a little murky but it seems clear that the earliest use of “triple” to define a style of beer was used by the Trappist monks’ of Westmalle, Belgium. It’s debated exactly what the term triple refers to. Some think it refers to a part of the brewing process where brewers use 3 times the amount of malt typically used in a Trappist “simple” ale. Other claim it a reference to the strength of the beer which would have been marked with “x’s” on the barrels, “x” for the weakest “xx” for medium “xxx” (triple) for the strongest, no it’s not a reference to porn get your damn head outa the gutter man!  A third theory is that the term referst to the original gravity of the beer (this is a technical brewing term I won’t bother to explain because I don’t want to hurt your head like mine does when I attempt to do math or even so much as look at science but if you’re curious you can read the Wikipedia explanation) which rougly corresponds the ABV at 3% 6% or 9%. Most triples range from 7-10% putting them firmly in the third (triple) abv category. Honestly I don’t really give a damn where the name comes from all I need to know to enjoy this magnificent malted beverage is that it rocks!

Beer Rating: Beautifully Brewed

Appearance: 3.5
Smell: 3.5
Taste: 4
Mouthfeel: 3.5
Drinkablity: 5

Overall ranking: 78% (B) Beautifully Brewed

Poured golden brown in the glass with a small and very light foamy head that dissipated quickly leaving a small amount lacing along the glass. The first thing that caught my nose was the abundantly fruity aroma although the characteristic Belgian yeast could also be clearly detected. The beer started out rich and fruity on my tongue, exactly what I would have expected after giving it a good sniff. Medium bodied full of spices, it sat lightly in my mouth and finished with just the slightest dry alcoholish bitterness which was no surprising given it’s 9.7% abv, I had actually been impressed at how well the fruity, malted sweetness of the beer had hidden it’s intense strength up until that final punch of flavor. All around this is a satisfying and enjoyable beer, great to have on hand for friends who drop by or soothing a shitty day away.

Enjoy Better Beer


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Rouge Chocolate Stout

I made a trip to my favorite specialty beer store yesterday and picked up a few brews I had never tried before to begin the tasting and reviewing process. Just for the record, yes I know I should be tasting these out of there proper glasses but sadly I am broke and just affording the beer to taste is stretching my budget so there is no room left for glasses... hopefully someday.

Now on to the good stuff... My first beer selection was the Chocolate Stout by Rouge for this initial tasting I was joined by my friend Crystin so I have included her rankings as well.

Overall Ranking: Thank sir may I have another

                    Crystin    Me

Taste:              3          4

Smell:             4.5       4.5

Appearance:     5           5

Drinkability:     4          3.5

Mouthfeel:      3.5        4

Overall Ranking: 82% (B+) Thank you sir my I have another

This is a beautiful beer I was super excited to taste. It poured very nicely in the in the glass looking rich and thick coming out of the bottle. The appearance was super dark almost coffee like with a surprisingly light and foamy head for such a dark beer. The first thing I noticed was the rich malted aroma, the first sip was strong, full bodied, and delicious. A bittersweet chocolate taste sat atop my mouth mingling with hints of espresso. As I continued drinking the alcohol taste seemed to become more pronounced but it didn't distract from my enjoyment at all. My whole mouth was impacted by the flavor without being overpowered, the light carbonation was exactly perfect to balance the heavy flavor. It was sweet and rich, not overly bitter and left my mouth "wet and wanting more" in Crystin's words (minds out of the gutter please). I will almost certainly be picking up more of this stout to warm me up after a cold winter day on the ski slopes and I would recommend any better beer lover to do the same.

Enjoy better beer


Rules of the Game

WOOT! Time to start tasting beer and writing about it! Here are the rules… (yes, yes, yes I know rules are meant to be broke but oh well)
I will rank each beer in 5 categories, Appearance, Taste, Smell, Drinkability, and Mouthfeel on scale of 1-5 (5 being the best) and average out for a grade off of the scale bellow:
95-100% (A+) Kick Ass
90-95% (A) Rockin Brew
85-90% (A-) Can you put a tap of this in my kitchen?
80-85% (B+) Thank you sir my I have another
75-80% (B) Beautifully Brewed
70-75% (B-)Good but not Great
65-70% (C+) Valiant Effort
60-65% (C) Props For Trying
55-60% (C-) Eh… it works
50-55% (D+) Seriously?!?!?!
45-50% (D) Major Suckage
40-45% (D-) Piss Poor
40-0% (F ) Bud

We all know a good beer is meant to be shared so most of the time I hope to have someone with me to share in the tasting and provide a second opinion. If you’d like to join in a tasting with me just let me know and we can crack one open together.