Skipping the Session

Despite pre-posting, getting prepared and buying a special new release, I blew off the Session. It seems they had a good turnout, I doubt I'll be missed.

Why no dubbels for me? Well, I think I had a good excuse. Traveling up to State College by way of I-99 took me past Marzoni's and Otto's and I could not resist the call of the growler fill.

I ended up bringing home a growler of Marzoni's Weizenbock and Otto's Maibock, and since I believe one of the suggested themes of this round was bocks (and will probably follow in turn, so I may have jumped the gun) I'll just pass it off as some sort of conscientious objection. Opportunity knocked and I had to answer.

So Friday was a bock night. I've only opened the Maibock thus far and my thoughts are as follows:

Poured from a growler into a pilsner glass. I got this growler Thursday, opened it last night and am reviewing the beer today, Saturday afternoon. Otto's website says this one comes in at 6.4%

Pour is still well carbonated, an easy tilt leaves a fluffy creamy head capping a clear and rusty body, with curtains of lace above the foam.

Smell is of floral and grassy hops along with malty sweetness, though not much aroma unless forced. Whiffs of alcohol, too.

Taste is bready and sweet, like a blend of grains, honey and nuts, almost cereal-like. There's a good hop bitterness as well, present mostly in the finish, a spicy flavor the washes the tongue as you swallow. As it warms, more fruitiness comes through and the hoppiness drops back to more of a grassy flavor.

Mouthfeel is lighter than medium bodied with a nice crispness and some mellow carbonation. Notable, but not overpowering warming and alcohol.

Drinkability is good, this is a beer intended to welcome the warmth of spring and though my timing was off and I'm sipping it on an April day all of 33 degrees F, its a nice balance of warming and drinkability.


Another Session ahoy, this Friday she be...

Arrr, mateys!

Allan at A Good Beer Blog has sounded the warning for Friday and this time the beers be Dubbels (just stick with me on the pirate theme for a minute)!

Like Allan, the area is a tad lacking in Dubbels and my personal experience is consistent. However, Clipper City recently released a new beer to their line-up, Holy Sheet Uber Abbey Ale.

Part of the Heavy Seas line-up of very tasty beers, Holy Sheet Uber Abbey Ale is:
From the centuries-old tradition of Belgian Abbey monks comes our Uber Abbey Ale (9%). Aromatic and very full bodied, the beer will pour a deep burgundy in color and feature a rich, robust depth of malt character. Grab a line – Holy Sheet! – or you might be swept overboard.

Some websites (like BeerAdvocate for example) call it a Beligan Dark Ale, but in that same category are many other Dubbel-style beers, like New Belgium Abbey, Ommegang, and Chimay Red, so I think I am safe enough.

I'm really looking forward to trying a new beer from Clipper City and I'm quite pleased with the way the timing worked out for this one. Now walk the plank, land lubber!


From Boston to Latrobe

via Realbeer.com:

The Boston Beer Co., brewers of Samuel Adams beers, has signed an agreement with a wholly-owned subsidiary of City Brewing Co. to brew some of its beer in Latrobe, Pa.

According to a company press release, Boston Beer and City Brewing will upgrade the brewery by purchasing equipment to allow for Samuel Adams’ traditional brewing process, use of proprietary yeasts and extended aging time, and beer bottling and kegging. Brewing of Boston Beer products is expected to begin during the second quarter.

“This agreement gives us increased flexibility,” said Martin Roper, President & CEO of Boston Beer.

More here. The official press release is on the Boston Beer Co website. This is good news for the region, without a doubt, especially with continued growth in the craft beer market.


First Brew Review - 2 weeks in the bottle

After two weeks in the bottle, I could wait no longer. I stuck a bottle in the fridge yesterday and popped in open Sunday afternoon. I said to myself, "If its even drinkable, I'll be satisfied".

Well, based on that goal, I think its ok. The head off the initial pour was huge. Infection? I fear that may be the case. The body is a golden honey color, a tad cloudy though I think I didn't leave quite enough in the bottom of the bottle.

The nose is rather fruity for a bitter I think, but not sour or offensive. I think the DMS is a little present though.

Taste is ok, again, not offensive. Drinkable but not great. I think we'll be making a little more beer bread around the house. A decent bitterness in the finish but certainly not what I would call hoppy.

Carbonation seems like its coming a little, I got a nice pffiff popping the cap.

The recipe says this beer hits its prime around two months in the bottle, so I'm hoping it gets better...