Sunday, June 20, 2010

Who needs Chipoltaway with a beer like this?

I've never actually been to Chipotle - I hear it's good, but can't say that I've gone out of my way to try it. I like Chipotle peppers and have had those a whole bunch. So, when I saw the Rogue Chipotle Ale at Sunflower Market the other day, I had to see whether the pepper makes or breaks the beer.

Appearance - A beautiful rich amber. A decent amount of head - looks pretty carbonated. 4.0/5.0

Smell - You can get a hint of the pepper, but that's all - just a hint. The malt dominates the nose. I really was hoping for a slightly more dominate chipotle smell, but didn't get it. - 2.5/5.0

Taste - Mostly malt, and kinda sweet. You can detect a slight pepper burn, but it's really mild. For a chile beer, I expect a stronger flavor than what I got. The Sierra Blanca Pancho Verde is on the other end of the spectrum, being an almost overly strong green chile taste. Some smoke as well. - 3.0/5.0

Feel - Coats the mouth well, with a bit of pepperly aftertaste. 4.0/5.0

Drinkability - Given the style, I'll pass on it. While I enjoyed it, it's not what I would have expected from a beer whose style is focused on the chile. 2.0/5.0

Friday, June 18, 2010

Old Ben - first of the Longshots

This is the first of the 3 Samuel Adams Longshot Beers that came in the 2010 pack. The other two, the Lemon Pepper Saison and the Mile High Barleywine (from a local brewer, no less!), are pretty good and we'll get to them soon. Tonight's brew is the Old Ben Ale, which is the product of one of Sam Adams' employees who won the best brew for this year.

Appearance - Slightly translucent golden color. Really spotty, light tan head, almost filmy. - 3.0/5.0

Smell - Sharp malt scent, with a hint of hops to it. Some fruit - tartness, plum, cherry. 3.5/5.0

Taste - Pine, sweet malt, caramel, tart cherry. There's some alcohol burn at the end of each taste, which is very enjoyable. There's a maturity to this beer is evident - makes sense for an old ale style. 4.0/5.0

Feel - Medium bodied, somewhat thick. Carbonation is light. - 3.5/5.0

Drinkability - Good, not sure I would get it again - I preferred the Lemon Pepper Saison and Mile High Barleywine. 3.0/5.0

Monday, June 14, 2010

Oy! A beer fitting for a rabbi!

I crack up each time that I see any of the Shmaltz Brewing offerings - you'll see the little Rabbi guy and the He'Brew logo and you know you found Schmaltz. I've had their Genesis Ale and the Messiah Bold - tasty brews and I gotta love the Jewish connection. I did find out that these are Kosher beers - so...just FYI if you do Kosher. This beer is the Rejewvenator - Year of the Date - it's a dopplebock style beer that has included dates into the brewing process. The 2008 version used figs, 2009 dates and 2010 will have grapes. After having this beer, I'm definitely interested in trying out the 2010 Grape version, plus check out the brewery in San Fran.

Appearance - Deep amber color, minimal head that dissipates into a film. - 3.0/5.0

Smell - Sweet malt with some caramel. The dates are fruity and bold. - 4.0/5.0

Taste - Bready malt, sweetness that comes from a mix of the malt and the dates used in the beer. Definitely a dopplebock with the strong addition of the date. I wasn't sure if the dates would be overpowering, but they are very complementary to the style. - 4.0/5.0

Feel - Really enjoy the medium thickness of the beer, carbonation was good too. The brew felt hardy and substantial. 4.5/5.0

Drinkability - I'd have this one again. Tina enjoyed it too. It was an enjoyable use of the style, while adding a nice dimension with the addition of the dates. 4.0/5.0

Monday, June 7, 2010

Mirror Mirror on the wall, who has the best beer of them all?

While I cannot say that it's definitely Deschutes, they do have an awesome variety of beers that I have really come to enjoy. It doesn't hurt that Deschutes and Deshayes (my last name) are very similar in spelling. Tina, the Queen of Beers, took me on a little beer shopping spree for my birthday back in March. One of the beers, the Deschutes 2009 Reserve Mirror Mirror, was one of the fine bombers purchased that day. It has been sitting in my beer fridge since late March because the bottle told me to wait. No really - on the label there was a "Best AFTER 4/30/2010" marking.

Instead of waiting until midnight on the 30th, like an impatient guy watching a toaster, I figured it would be a good idea to wait a few more weeks for Tina and I's 5th anniversary to pop it open. We got into our bathrobes, sat on the porch and enjoyed this fine reserve.

Appearance - Rich copper, thick looking, very minimal carbonation, light lacing. When you swirl the glass, you can tell it's thinner than it originally looked- 3.5/5.0

Smell - Very earthy and piney hops, sweet and delicious - 4.0/5.0

Taste - Flavors are well blended, hops are present and as expected in a barleywine, not overpowering, bit of fruityness and sweetness, hop flavor is really tasty. As expected with a good barleywine, the ABV of 11% is deceptive and will creep up on you if you're not careful - 4.5/5.0

Feel - Enjoyably smooth, flavor profile is really well done - felt good, aftertaste is hoppy and sweet. - 4.0/5.0

Drinkability - I did wait until the prescribed "best after 4/30/10" - really enjoyable barleywine that I would definitely have again- 4.5/5.0