journal of a self proclaimed beer connoisseur

American Ale

Alley Kat – Unity Brew (2010)

Date: Friday, January 28, 2011
Brewery: Alley Kat
Beer: Unity Brew
Category: American Amber Ale
ABV:
5.00%
Brewed in: Canada (Edmonton, AB)

Unity Brew is a collaborative project between several Alberta brewers to raise money for the Kidney Foundation and various smaller local charities. Eleven of the twelve brewers in the Province were a part of this brew. The brewing took place at Alley Kat but the recipe is cooperatively written by all eleven.

Unity Brew 2010 pours a deep copper color with a thick tan head. Retention was moderate and produced a large amount of lacing.

The aroma is predominantly of caramel and lots of hops. There is also a bit of fruity notes in it – dark fruit the malts are also apparent but overpowered by the other notes. There is definitely a nutty aspect to the smell.

The taste is sweet and malty and there is something that makes me want to say “dark fruits” here but I’m not sure that is exactly what it is. There is hint of citrus and spices present. You can taste something nutty – I say hazelnuts there. Overall the taste is great but it is difficult to pinpoint which may be a result of the collaborative effort on the recipe. Tough to pigeonhole this one but easy to enjoy it.

It is medium bodied and light to medium carbonation. It has a smooth feel going down and is very easy to drink. Tastes quite fresh. I was so busy sipping it to try and isolate the flavors that it was gone in no time.

Rating:


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Rogue – HazelNut Brown Nectar

Date: Monday, January 24, 2011
Brewery: Rogue
Beer: HazelNut Brown Nectar
Category: American Brown Ale
ABV:
6.22%
Brewed in: USA

Rogue HazelNut Brown Nectar (aka Bald Guy Brown) pours a hazy brown and develops a one finger foamy tan head. Retention was noticeably short and lacing was absent.

The aroma is dominated by hazelnut and general “nutiness”. I pick up on a mild chocolate smell and a bit of brown sugar which is likely the sweetness from the malts coming through. It is not a very complex nose but it is well balanced.

The taste echoes the aroma and is also dominated by hazelnut with an understated chocolate flavor. The beer is very sweet (maybe too sweet for some tastes?). The taste is great but the sheer power of the hazelnut is distracting and makes isolating other flavors difficult. I found as the beer warmed slightly that the hazelnut became less overpowering. At this point the beer was revealed to have a definite quality brown ale base.

The mouthfeel is creamy but with high carbonation. When holding the beer in the mouth longer to pick up on the flavors you get a pretty tingly tongue.

This was a fairly one-dimensional beer albeit a very enjoyable one.

Rating: