Monday, September 1, 2014

Lakefront East Side Dark

Another one from May of 2003, this the dunkel lager from Lakefront:

Appearance: dark brownish hue, nearly opaque, with a fine, if short, creamy head.

Aroma: soft, with flavors of cocoa and nuts, very malty.

On the palate, so smooth, and terrifically tasty. Body feels light, on the tongue, but the texture is quite good, and the flavor is unstoppable. Some minerally notes pop up in the middle, carrying through the finish, though they did not detract from any enjoyment of this delicious dunkel.

Lakefront River West Stein Beer

Notes from May 2003:

Lakefront Riverwest Stein Beer amber lager. 5.7% ABV.

Appearance: muddy bronze body, below a small, dunnish head.

Aroma: a bit complex! Bitter, dark fruits mingle with caramel overtones, although the dominant aspect is dry, with a whiff of carbonation. Malt is felt prominently, and seriously kicks in once you get it up to the lips.

Great texture right up front, and a very mellow mouthfeel. Little hops, but substantially malty. That's what this beauty is all about, and it delivers a fantastic, rewarding taste all the way through.
Rich, tasty, lush, warm and friendly, full in body, this is a malty masterpiece. Just a perfect lager in every respect, never, ever lacking in flavor.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Lakefront Fixed Gear American Red Ale

These are notes from a bomber, taken in summer of 2010:

Lakefront Fixed Gear, American Red Ale, 22 oz. bomber

Hazed crimson coloration, bountiful beige head, a good inch, lasting and lace leaving.

Malty, fruity nose, nothing too distinct, soft, pleasant.

Taste: light hops up front, then malt, and sweetness, various fruits, apple, cherry, ...bright, plump malt. Really has the character of an Irish Red, but with American hops involved. Not too many, mind you, scarcely any bitterness, no, malt and sweetness dominate.

Big flavor, immense drinkability, ...very likable. Wish this were in a 6-pack of 12-ouncers, rather than an a bomber. But this is a bolder beer than Lakefront normally brews. So, cheers to that!

Lakefront Fuel Cafe Coffee Stout

Another new look at old notes. These are from April, 2003, and regard the coffee stout from Lakefront Brewery of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Color: a dark black, head: thick, brown and frothy.

Aroma, however, starts a downward trend: surprisingly clean, at first, later revealing nuts, some chocolate, slight coffee, and roastiness unfolds with time. Does this one need to "breathe"?
No,..that didn't work, either.

Very smooth on the palate, with nice little appearances from hops. Good texture, nice play on the tongue, big, fat malt.

A decent stout, that I'll give you, but where's the coffee already?

After trying it again, I have to say: decent coffee, but where's the stout, already?

Lakefront Kilsch Pilsner

So. Here I am, buying sampler packs again. What does that mean? That I'm not taking home free growlers every day? Maybe....I won't get into it, just yet. But, yeah. And why not revisit Lakefront Brewery of Milwaukee, Wisconsin?

Here are notes from August of 2004:

Clear golden hued, transparent at bottom, vague haze at top, covered by a slim, white head, which doffs it's cap and bids adieu in a trice.

Nose is spare, floral, lightly lemony and herbal, subtly hoppy, feels just right for the style.

Mild entrance on the palate, good malty feel...doesn't impress at first, but I warm up to it more as I drink...gets tastier, nice, bright flavor, decent texture.

good "lawnmower" beer, "hedgetrimmer" pils, "weedpuller" lager, whatever you want to call it. Citric feel follows through in the finish, feels quite nice in the mouth.

Not a favorite style of mine, so I probably won't revisit this, but do recommend it to those so inclined.

(It's still good. If that's your thing.)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sierra Nevada / Bell's Maillard's Odyssey Imperial Black Ale (Beer Camp #12)

Sierra Nevada/Bell's Maillard's Odyssey Imperial Dark Ale. Alc. By Volume 8.5%, 40 IBU. Beer Camp Across America #12.

Utter blackness, toasted tan head, lace leaving, if on the slim side.

Aroma: rich and roasty nose, slight notes of coffee and cocoa, low hop bitterness.
Creamy and just a little chocolatey.

Taste: Hey, here we go. Imperial Dark Ale. What's that mean? That it's strong and it's dark, but we're not in stout category. Is it one of those "black ales", aka "black IPA"? Not hoppy enough. Just a bit of hop bitterness, then the tasty toasty malt rushes in, with all manner of dark malt flavors. Some molasses, a touch of anise. This is becoming increasingly complex and doubly delicious. Once more I'm finding myself wishing it was more than 12 ounces at my disposal, at least a bomber or a six-pack to myself.

Okay, now I'm trying to read the label. Colored letters on a burgundy background. Great, nice and readable. " This robust dark ale is layered with complex malt flavors of coffee, caramel, toffee, chocolate, and dark fruit." Sure, I'll buy that. More? Yes! "Rich, dark, and roasty. That was our shared vision, and Maillard's Odyssey is exactly that, taking it's name in part from the famed Maillard reaction--the browning of sugars and amino acids--that creates the wonderful caramelized toffee-like and roasted flavors so abundant in this beer."

One distinction between their description and mine, clearly, is the missing caramel and toffee flavors that they report and that I failed to recognize. It's far too dry in the finish, and there's not really much caramel flavor to speak of, though rich and delicious it is.

Another contender for top beer of the Beer Camp pack? Maybe, just maybe….

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sierra Nevada / Ninkasi Double Latte Coffee Milk Stout (Beer Camp #11)

Sierra Nevada/ Ninkasi Double Latte Coffee Milk Stout Ale With Coffee And Lactose Added. Alc. by vol. 7.5%, 60 IBU. And it's #11 from the Beer Camp box.

Solid blackness, rich toasted tan head, small, but lasting.

Aroma: ah! Cocoa first, followed by coffee, and along comes the cream. Beautiful blend. Lush and malty loveliness. This is one of those times that I push off the drinking just to enjoy the aromatics all the more.

Now, drink it up! Silky smooth and easy-going. Coffee and cocoa flavors aren't quite as prominent on the tongue at first, as in the nose. The milk is taking over. Rich, smooth, and just a little on the strong side.

Yummy. Ends on a dryish note. Delivers deliciousness right up until the end. Man, this is all right.

What do they say? "Beer Camp Across America Double Latte. This cold press milk stout features roasted grain, artisan coffee and a dose of lactose for a robust body, and sweet coffee-chocolate-like flavor." Also, "Inspired by the perennial cafe favorite, Double Latte combines two great things: coffee and beer. Oregon's Ninkasi Brewing knows their way around a good cup of joe. Featuring cold-press coffee from legendary Stumptown Coffee Roasters and a dose of milk sugar, this coffee milk stout is a rich and roasty treat."

Maybe it's another contender for best of the box?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Dogfish Head 75 Minute IPA

Dogfish 75 Minute IPA. Can this be my first time with this beer? It boggles the mind. And it's about time.

About this label. They make a version of this beer, or some sort of IPA, called Johnny Cask, using an image of JC pounding a spile into a firkin with a bunghammer. And this image has groucho glasses and stache. I don't know what that means. And I'm going to do what I usually do and drink it blind, without reading the label until I've had enough and tried and tried to figure it out. Here we go…

Clear, bright amber coloring, beautiful bone white head, lasting long, looking lovely.

Aroma: Ah! Citrus and pine aplenty. Gorgeous. A little tropical fruit, melon and pineapple in this nose. Orange and lime, too. Ah, I say again.

Taste: Boom! Just what we want from an IPA, but creamy and smooth and just delightful. Bittersweet notes blast the palate, followed by malty sweetness. None too caustic, this IPA, it's smooth and palatable as can be.

I peeked at the label. Maple syrup? Not getting that yet. Huh.

Hop bitterness is retrained, but enjoyable. Delicious. Tasty. I'm loving it. I'm liking this so much, it's time to find out more about it. Okay, so…."A bottle conditioned India Pale Ale with maple syrup." 7.5% ABV. There are some situations when 90 is too much. There are other situations when 60 is too little. There are many situations when 75 is just right. Bottle-conditioned with pure maple syrup for complexity and dry-hopped out the bejeezum boards."
Did the estate of the Man in Black require Dogfish Head to alter the image above to the label below?
Add caption

Ale Asylum Tripel Nova

Ale Asylum Tripel Nova. No ABV given. They never do. But, i had one at the brewery a few weeks ago, pretty sure it was from 8.5%-10. Sounds about right.

Slightly hazy, bright golden hue, below a snow white cap of foam, slim but staying.

Aroma: Spice and sweetness first, with mild fruit notes below. Beautiful nose, note perfect for a triple.

Taste: Bittersweet hop attack hits first, then is overcome by spice and Belgian yeast character. Sweet, fruity notes dominate the palate, mingle with spice and never quite split the scene. Alcohol creeps up a bit, as with any good triple. Just enough spice and fruit. Just enough of everything. Not bad, not bad at all.

What's the gobbledygook? "Golden in color, with a bouquet of fruit and spice, this Belgian-style tripel has a touch of summer sweetness and a euphoric finish. Tripel  Nova is brewed with passion and is best enjoyed that way."

Evil Twin Ashtray Heart Smoked Porter (Stout?)

Evil Twin Ashtray Heart Smoked Porter. 8.9% ABV. Brewed by Evil Twin Brewing, Statford, CT.

I haven't had much Evil Twin. This is the first one to enter this blog. They're popping up all over, faster than I can keep up with them. But, hey, you've got to start somewhere, and here's as good a beer as any.

Ultra dark. Black as soot, with a toasted brown head, starting proud and slimming down.

Aroma: Char. Cocoa. Toffee. Smoke. Nice. Deep and complex.

Taste: Sweet at first, then come the maple, the licorice, molasses and more. Full-bodied. Rich and filling. Long-lasting flavors. Vast, malty finish. I can't really find a fault with it, yet…I can't fall in love with it. It's not exactly rough around the edges, but it lacks a certain charm. Eh.

hey, there's words on the label! "Amazingly rich, seductively dark and smoking good. Yes a real heartbreaker. We recommend only the truly skillful, heavyweight beer champions to battle this awfully irresistible smoked stout."

Wait, which is it, smoked porter or smoked stout? It's called two things on the label. Make up your minds!

This falls in the domain of "okay", but don't go out of the way for it.