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RyanFuller003


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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried a new offering from Goose Island last night and I was quite impressed. Without further ado, I present you with my humble review of

Goose Island Nut Brown Ale



Has a nice dark brown color to it, and it gives a pretty tall head. Has a sweet scent with some hints of chocolate and nuttiness to it. It also has flavors of honey, tobacco, and caramel, though admittedly I can't pick all of them out (I'm just going by the label here). It's not what you'd call an overly refreshing beer because it's just a little heavy and has an above-average alcohol content (5.3% ABV). I would say it's a good after-dinner beer because it's of the sweeter variety, definitely appealing to those of us who prefer a maltier beer in lieu of a more hoppy variety like an IPA.

In the mode of Waldo, what I like best about this beer is its complexity. Of course it has the beer flavor to it, but it's also got a lot of other flavors going for it and it keeps you interested because every time you take a sip you try to figure out what exactly that flavor is.

What I like least about it is that it's maybe a little too sweet. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, and in fact I did drink three of them throughout the course of the afternoon and evening yesterday, but after that I felt quite thirsty and needed to drink some water for a while. It's also a bit filling, but nothing serious.

Rating: 9.0. I will definitely be buying this one again, though I think it's more appropriate for Winter than for Summer.

Recipe Information:
Style: English Style Brown Ale
Alcohol by Volume: 5.3%
International Bitterness Units: 25
Color: Chocolate
Hops: UK Fuggle, Willamette
Malts: 2 Row, Caramel, Wheat, Dark Chocolate, Victory

Serving Suggestions:
Preferred Glass: Nonic
Preferred Serving Temperature: 40º
Food Pairings: Beef, Pork
Cheese Pairings: Morbier, Fontina
Cellaring Notes: Enjoy within 180 days


EDIT - I'm upping this puppy to a 9.0 in lieu of the original 8.0. This is my favorite beer and I've tried a lot more since I first did this review. I can't think of one I've enjoyed more.

EDIT 2 - A year or two changes things. This isn't a 9.0. That's reserved for monstrously good beers, and I've tried about another 3 dozen new brews since I last had this one (at least . . .). I think a 6.5 or 7.0 is appropriate for this one. Though I did like it for a while, I've kind of grown out of it so to speak.
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Last edited by RyanFuller003 on Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:28 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Waldo


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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really like good Brown Ales. To me a Brown Ale should be a lighter, sweeter Porter, with the same basic flavor, but more balance to the chocolate malt, which IMO should be the dominant flavor of a Porter, but only part of the flavor of a Brown.

Chocolate malt is very distinct. It tastes like a dark chocolate with coffee and slightly smokey hints. IMO it is the easiest caramelized malt to pick out.

It's odd that Goose Island used some wheat malt. With normal Ale yeast that just serves to raise the alcohol content while having minimal effects on the flavor.
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RuskieTitan


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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrDrew wrote:
boondock wrote:
MrDrew wrote:
boondock wrote:
I'm just curious if anyone has ever order beer online and had it delivered to your house.

I have heard a lot of good regarding the beers from Great Lakes Brewery, but they do not distribute in my area. I thought about finding a way to have them sent to my house and saw there was many websites to purchase beers online.

Has anyone ever done this before? Can someone recommend a site?


Everything I've found says it's illegal to ship alcohol to a person in NC. In fact, it looks like a felony. I found this image on a wine store's site about where they'll ship.



It matches up with a couple other sites I looked at. The other problem is that it costs $12-$20 to ship a 6 pack when you can get it.


Wow, never realized that. I know a guy who is in a beer of the month club and gets a new 6 pack of different beer each month. I assumed it was alright to ship to NC.

Maybe I'll look into into it in more depth.


I just looked at another online store, and they quit shipping to NC on Jan 1st. Might be a new law?


Interesting.

I could have sworn this in the fall semester in my Business Law class my professor told us that they were actually changing this rule, because a bunch of lawyers and judges couldn't ship wine to their homes in NC.

Maybe it just hasn't gotten fully processed yet? I dunno.
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MrDrew


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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Salvation



Brewer: Avery Brewing Company (Boulder, CO)
Style: Belgian Strong Golden Ale

My Review:
Just finished this one, and I was happy. 9.0% ABV, a good start. Pours a golden/orange color, with a big white head. The head lasted all the way to the end, and it had beautiful lacing all the way through. Had a slightly spicy scent, with a nice citrus and floral hop aroma. Taste was malty, sweet to start, with a slightly bitter and spicy finish. Nice full body. I really enjoyed it. Drank while BBQing some chicken, and while I ate. Really good pair with the chicken. Worth the near $7 I spent on the 22oz. I have yet to be disappointed in an Avery beer.

Tech:
Avery Brewing wrote:
Beer Style: Belgian Strong Golden Ale
Hop Variety: Styrian Goldings
Malt Variety: Two-row barley, cara 8, cara 20
OG: 1.080   ABV: 9.0%   IBUs: 25
Color: Golden
Availability: Year round in 22oz. bombers


My Score: 8.0



There's a 22oz Alaskan Summer sitting in my fridge. I'll review it tonight, after I finish it, while watching a movie with the wife.
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Waldo


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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing with all the high grades people keep giving out.

Ask yourself, how much $$ would you pay for a single bottle? IMO if it is an 8+ it should be good enough that you should be willing to drop $5 for one single bottle, and be happy to do it again.

At 9.0.....

Would you pay $20+ for a single bottle?
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Waldo


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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyway, next installment from the multi-pack I picked up:



Red Brick Peachtree Pale Ale

Made by the Atlanta Brewing Company, Peachtree Pale Ale is an American Style Pale Ale, which tend to have more hop flavor than their European counterparts. This beer isn't as bitter as some other APA's, but it does have a moderate floral hop flavor, being the primary flavor of the beer. The beer is bottle conditioned and has a noticeable bread like yeast tint to the flavor, definitely not a bad thing in this instance, at it blends nicely with the biscuit-like nutty flavor of the caramelized hops.

What I like best, I think that it is pretty well balanced between malt and hops, and it has a very nice aftertaste, a yeasty/malty flavor. Quite enjoyable, it sends you back to the fridge when you finish one off.

What I like least, this beer is overcarbonated. It pours out of the bottle excessively foamy, and it has done this to me in all bottles from this pack of this style (the Brown was not like this). I have to let it settle for a few minutes before pouring out the second half of the bottle, even then a quick foam drink is needed to stop a foam volcano. Plus then I have to let it sit for a bit before the head goes down enough for the beer to be drinkable.

Overall the experience with this beer improves every second after opening it. At first the foam is annoying, by the end you are savoring the very good aftertaste. In between it is a solid Pale Ale, but nothing special.

Grade 5.5

(woulda given it a 6.0 without the foam issue)
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MrDrew


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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Summer Ale



Brewer: Alaskan Brewing Company (Juneau, AK)
Style: German Kölsch/Seasonal/Summer

My Review:
Pours a clear gold color, with a two finger sized white head. Zero lacing. Scents of heavy citrus, grass (yes, like a lawn), very limited hops. Heavy taste of citrus, and very tangy. Tasted a lot like every Saison I've ever had. Actually got better as it warmed up. Not exactly what I expected, and I'm actually a little disappointed. Every other Kölsch I've had was smooth, and very light. This had a pretty big bite.

Tech:

Alaskan Brewing wrote:
Ingredients:
Alaskan Summer Ale is made from glacier-fed water and a generous blend of European and Pacific Northwest hop varieties and premium two-row and specialty malts. Our water originates in the 1,500 square-mile Juneau Ice Field and from the more than 90 inches of rainfall Juneau receives each year.


My Score: 5.5
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BLick12


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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Magic Hat #9


Definitely my favorite beer of choice right now. This pale ale is very tasty and very hard for me to describe. It has an unbelievable blend of flavor, and I'm not beer expert but it has a nice little sweet zing and most certainly goes down smooth. I'd highly recommend giving it a whirl.

9.0
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ienjoythesnow


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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Triple Exultation (certified organic)

Brewer: Eel River Brewing Company (Scotia, California)
Style: Old Ale

My Review: Meh, wasn't overly impressed with this, got it on a whim, like i do most beers and this 9.7% ABV just didn't do it for me.

First scent, got a huge whiff of alcohol from this beer mixed with a lingering malt and caramel aroma. Three fingered head and disappeared crazy quick, not very impressive carbonation. The taste was just meh, i'm a fan of bitter beers, but the lingering hops just didn't taste that good in this beer. The alcohol flavor was just too poignant and wasn't appealing. Other flavors i noticed, a kind of burnt caramel, a little cocoa, nuts and fruit. The texture is pretty decent, not too drinkable but not too thick. I couldn't see myself eating anything with this.

This beer wasn't horrible but it wasn't anything great.

My Rating: 4.5/10
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scar988


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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

how would we know how to pick out the flavors of everything, that's one thing I would love to learn.
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Waldo


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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scar988 wrote:
how would we know how to pick out the flavors of everything, that's one thing I would love to learn.


It really, really, really helps to brew it yourself for this. You know exactly what you put in, and in what quantities. Once you can pick out the flavors in your own beer, it helps a lot to pick out the flavors in beer made by others.

Here is a post I made earlier, hope it helps:
Waldo wrote:
There are 10 primary flavors to a beer and some possible secondary ones.

Hops have 3 distinctly different flavors in beer, depending on how they are boiled. The effect is drastically different.

1) Bittering, hops boiled for 45 min+, they add bittering and nothing else to the beer. All beer has bittering hops to counteract the malt. Some such as IPA's, use a ridiculous amount. Others, especially malty beers, use very little. Bittering hops do not compete much with the malt flavor.

2) Flavoring, hops boiled for 5-15 minutes, it imparts that flavor of hops in the beer without adding much bitterness. The American Pale ale is a style known for tasting like hops, and typically uses copious amounts of flavoring hops. There are several hop varieties grown specifically to use as flavoring hops, the Cascade hop is America's most well known entry, with a very strong flavor (Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is the taste of Cascade). Flavoring hops compete with the malt favor. The taste and aroma of hops is not all that dissimilar to the smell of some strains of a certain illegal plant that sometimes is smoked by people.

3) Aroma, hops boiled for 5 or less minutes or not boiled. They add the smell of hops an little else. Beer gets a lot of it's flavor from it's nose, plug your nose when you drink and it isn't nearly as interesting. This is one reason glass shape influences flavor so much. There aren't a lot of beers that use much aroma hops, the bang for the buck is very bad. Sometimes you see a beer "dry hopped", this is adding unboiled hops to the fermenter, it adds tremendously to the nose, but can be a very expensive and unpredictable process at the commercial level.

Malt comes in 3 flavors as well

4) Light malt, standard malt dried at a cool enough temperature to not caramelize the sugars. The bulk of the fermentable sugar (aside from cheapo American beers) comes from light malt. It adds a sweet malty flavor. Many of the lighter european beers, especially German, use light malt exclusively and taste of it fairly strongly.

5) Caramelized malts, malts dried at a high enough temperature that the sugar has carmelized. These malts add color and flavor to the beer, adding much of the malt character. They range from light and sweet crystal malts to dark chocolate malts that are almost like a smokey chocolate (the flavor of Porter).

6) Roasted malts, where the sugar has become burned and is unfermentable. Very dark and strong tasting. This is the primary flavoring of stouts. Red ales use just a touch for color and flavoring interest.

then there is the other stuff

7) Yeast, some yeasts are very plain and transparent, some, like Scottish Ale yeasts, add a slight natural smokey taste, Wheat yeasts only partially ferment and have leftovers that have a strong taste (the banana flavor of wheat beers), Belgian ale yeast are very complex and add a lot of different flavors.

8) Other grain, Oatmeal has a hint of flavor and adds to the mouthfeel, Rye is a medium color grain that has it's own distinct flavor, Wheat is light, smooth, an easy to drink, and replaces a portion of the fermentable sugar.

9) Other stuff, I've had some crazy stuff, vanilla beans (awesome), blueberries, raspberries, oak chips, coffee, cherries, passion fruit, coriander, orange peel, etc...., only limited by the imagination.

10) Fermenting and aging, the temperature of fermenting and aging has a large effect on the final flavor. Warm fermenting happens fast and gives the beer bold flavors. Cold fermenting (lagering) is slower and results in a more muted but smoother beer. Younger beer has more separate and distinct flavors, as it ages the flavors blend to become more of a whole than a bunch of distinct parts. Beer with living yeast stays fresh for a very long time if stored correctly. I still have very good bottles of a beer I brewed 8 years ago stashed away for special occasions.

Outisde of that there is some minor stuff related to age and chemistry that has effects, but those 10 are the bulk of the flavors in beer.

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MrDrew


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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Waldo wrote:
scar988 wrote:
how would we know how to pick out the flavors of everything, that's one thing I would love to learn.


It really, really, really helps to brew it yourself for this. You know exactly what you put in, and in what quantities. Once you can pick out the flavors in your own beer, it helps a lot to pick out the flavors in beer made by others.


That's pretty much how I was going to say it. Once you get used to how some of the grains taste, it's easier to pick out. You are a stud though Waldo. The yeast is about the hardest thing to learn what the taste differences are. The only one I can tell easily is in a Hefe, and most know the banana flavor.

The other thing you have to remember when tasting beer is that it's about what you taste, not what somebody else thinks you should taste. You may actually be noticing something else that most others don't. Drink slow, and you'll notice a lot more. A lot of good beers will have a recommended serving temperature, either on the bottle, or on the brewers website. Try to follow that, and you should get what the brewer intends you to.

You might not be able to pick out exact flavors. Knowing by taste that they used Two Row malt, or Chinook hops is an art. Most people will just pick out a malty flavor, or floral, pine, or citrus flavor from the hops. Most of us aren't as good as Waldo, and can tell you what kind of yeast they used just by tasting it.
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Waldo


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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Sweetwater 420

Sweetwater is another hometown brewery in Atlanta. Of all beers brewed here, this one has risen above the others and is definitely the most popular local brew, I'm sure thanks in no small part to it's rather popular name. 420 is billed as an Extra Pale Ale, which really means that it is a lighter American Style Pale Ale. Overall it is a lighter beer. The malt flavor is light but notable, a biscuit like flavor that comes from lighter caramelized malt. There isn't very much bittering hops, however there is a good amount of flavor hops, American Cascade in particular (picked surely because the flavor is not too dissimilar from fresh Northern Lights). The flavor hops are the dominant flavor of the beer, though there is a little malt flavor. No aroma hops were used however.

What I like most about it, this is a light beer for hopheads. If you like hops, this is definitely a good choice. But it is a light beer, not a heavy IPA. This is one that you can sit down and drink all night. For some reason IMO this beer goes really good with Pizza, though I always get it when I get a 'za from the Mellow Mushroom, a local chain that seems tailor made for this beer.

What I like least, they could have done more. Little things like adding aroma hops or dry hopping, to really take it to the next level. As is it is kinda plain, not much malt complexity, and only basic hop flavor.

For some reason IMO this beer goes really good with Pizza, though I always get it when I get a 'za from the Mellow Mushroom, a local chain that seems tailor made for this beer. Overall it is a solid beer, but nothing spectacular. Definitely a good bar beer though where drinkability is important.

Grade - 6.0
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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a great name for a beer^^

Waldo wrote:
Some people love wheat beers above all others, with good reason. There are some crazy good ones out there, even a bad one is quite good, and they are easy to drink, especially in the heat.


First of all, great thread Waldo. Personally, I love wheat beers.

That which I prefer the most being:

HefeWeizen Pyramid

The beer is smooth, has a chill buzz, and doesn't seem to fill you up like some others do.
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Waldo


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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrDrew wrote:
Waldo wrote:
scar988 wrote:
how would we know how to pick out the flavors of everything, that's one thing I would love to learn.


It really, really, really helps to brew it yourself for this. You know exactly what you put in, and in what quantities. Once you can pick out the flavors in your own beer, it helps a lot to pick out the flavors in beer made by others.


That's pretty much how I was going to say it. Once you get used to how some of the grains taste, it's easier to pick out. You are a stud though Waldo. The yeast is about the hardest thing to learn what the taste differences are. The only one I can tell easily is in a Hefe, and most know the banana flavor.

The other thing you have to remember when tasting beer is that it's about what you taste, not what somebody else thinks you should taste. You may actually be noticing something else that most others don't. Drink slow, and you'll notice a lot more. A lot of good beers will have a recommended serving temperature, either on the bottle, or on the brewers website. Try to follow that, and you should get what the brewer intends you to.

You might not be able to pick out exact flavors. Knowing by taste that they used Two Row malt, or Chinook hops is an art. Most people will just pick out a malty flavor, or floral, pine, or citrus flavor from the hops. Most of us aren't as good as Waldo, and can tell you what kind of yeast they used just by tasting it.


Oh I'm not that good. I can't really separate most of the lighter caramelized malts from each other. Biscuit malt or Muchich malt? Heck I can't tell the difference in a store bought beer. Yet. I do think though that roasted barley and chocolate malt are very different, though both are dark, one being the stout grain, the other the porter grain.

The only hops I can pick out are Saaz and Cascade, I think that each is particularly distinct, Saaz is the hop flavor of Pilsner Urquell, a softer floral hop, where as Cascade is basically flavor turned up to 11, bludgeoning your taste buds with floral hop power. Very American.

There are a few distinct yeasts. Scotch Ale yeast for example, that smoky hint is very distinct when it comes from yeast. Some American Porters use it too. Wheat yeast is obvious. American ale yeasts tend to be very clean and transparent, whereas the British ones are a little more floral or bready. German lager yeasts are practically flavorless. There are so many strains of Belgian Ale yeasts with so many various components that are strongly flavored, that they too are fairly obvious, though you'd never be able to ID which one in particular, each real Trappist ale uses a proprietary strain.

Like I said though in the opining post, having a glass helps. I find beer in a normal pint glass, mug, or out of a bottle to be really boring and bland. I discovered 5-6 years ago that Porters tasted better out of a large tulip shaped glass, and have been refining my home beer drinking glass until I settled on my current one. It really helps that my current glass magnifies the flavors a great deal, and I drink practically every one out of the same glass and take care to only wash it with water to avoid any off flavors from soap residues.
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