Date: Monday, January 31, 2011
Brewery: Dogfish Head
Beer: 60 Minute IPA
Category: American IPA
Brewed in: United States
60 minute IPA means that Dogfish Head hops this beer continunally for 60 minutes. They have 90 minute and 120 minute offerings as well. So this is the baby of the bunch.
The beer poured a nice amber copper color with great clarity and a beautiful 1.5 finger bubbly white head. This was not an aggressive pour (learned that the hard way with a tulip glass). Very attractive glass of beer.
The aroma from this beer is intoxicating. I took a deep initial sniff and was very pleasantly surprised by the harmonious combination of crisp citrus hops, pine, and malts. The hops and grapefruit citrus are clearly dominant but not overpowering. The pine finished out the nose and balances out the fruity aspect nicely. This is like airfreshner for beer geeks.
I took my first sip and let it wash around in my mouth and linger before eventually swallowing in an attempt to glean as much information as possible out of my first impression. To summarize – spectacular. This is a delicious beer. You get a very good dose of bitter hops but the grapefruit citrus flavors play this bitterness off very positively. Pine again is present in the finish to balance off the experience. In the finish you can start to taste a bit of the malts.
The mouthfeel is smooth, if not a little thick, and carbonation is moderate. The finish is dry and refreshing.
This beer definitely lived up to expectations and I can agree with Dogfish Head’s assessment that this is THE session beer for hop heads (i.e. IPA lovers). So far, it would be my choice. If you haven’t and had the pleasure of trying this beer – get on it!
Now remember, ratings are subjective. This one may not be 5 pints to everyone – but it is to me. I could drink copious amounts of this.
Date: Saturday, January 15, 2011
Beer: Beer Geek Brunch (Weasel)
Category: Imperial Stout
Brewed in: Norway
Pour is onyx with virtually no light penetrating the beer. The head developed about one finger thick and was a tan brown color. Head retention is short as it quickly fades back into the beer. Trace amounts of lacing occurred.
The aroma from this brew is absolutely mouth-watering for anyone who likes coffee (or chocolate or beer for that matter). The immediate and dominant smell is of potent coffee but the beautiful thing is that despite the potency a myriad of other aromas still break through. It took me near 20 sniffs to identify what individual notes I could but I believe I smell dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, molasses, dark fruits, licorice, and a light hoppiness.
Tasting the beer reveals an immensely complicated grouping of flavors. Coffee, dark chocolate, and dark malts are at the forefront. These three stick out and dominate the first touch of the beer to the tongue. It is very well-balanced. The initial tastes yield to more subdued notes of dark fruits, nuts, and oats. The finish is a touch acidic and the coffee aftertaste lingers long after the swallow. The quality of the world-class coffee used is evident.
This beer has the most impressive mouthfeel I have yet experienced. It is very smooth and almost creamy. It can only be described as thick as it feels as if your mouth is both filled and coated with beer simultaneously. The carbonation is very fine. The mouthfeel compliments the tasting but allows the tasting to shine – as it should.
The alcohol content of 10.9% is amazingly well hidden; however, I could feel its presence after having had to consume this beauty in a fairly short time. This isn’t a session beer but goes down easy enough.
This is the best beer I have tried to date. I feel privileged to have been able to even have a bottle. I am afraid this is a must-buy whenever I see it. The journey of flavors this beer took me on left me sitting on my couch with my empty glass in hand feeling content, relaxed, and sporting a goofy smile. If that isn’t a summary of what a brewer should be aiming for, I don’t know what is.
Date: Monday, January 10, 2011
Beer: La Chouffe
Category: Belgian Specialty Ale
Brewed in: Belgium
The beer pours a cloudy honey color. The head development was rapid and fluffy. Head of about 1.5 inches developed and retention was very good – it seemed to last forever and displayed nice lacing. I have no idea how much pouring this into my new tulip glass affected any of this. I do love unfiltered and unpasteurized beers so I was excited by the appearance.
The aroma was very subtle and I had difficulty actually picking out anything specific to comment on. This may also be a function of my somewhat congested nose but nothing demands your attention in the aroma. There is a faint sugary smell.
The first taste imparted by the beer to me was an understated hint of banana mixed with much more prominent citrus notes. For spices the only one I could easily detect was coriander which strongly influences the taste of this beer.
I would say this beer has medium carbonation – but not on the lighter side. It was very refreshing. As the you drink the beer the fruity citrus notes tend to give way to more of the spice. You taste surprisingly little alcohol in the beer despite that it is 8%.
Be aware – this goes down so smooth you can land yourself in trouble if you have more than one on hand.
In conclusion, I was impressed beyond my expectations with this beer and I would strongly recommend it to anyone – especially if you know you like wheat beer or any unfiltered or unpasteurized beers.
Sidenote: this beer (or brewery) even has it’s own music! Listen to the Chouffe’s music.