Random Post – My latest beer haul from Vintage Estate

I purchased most of this beer from Vintage Estate, and let me start off by saying it is a beer lovers MECCA. The owner (Phil) and staff (Bob and others) are unbelievably friendly and helpful. This place is only about a 45 minute drive for me, but I would probably drive up to 3 hours to stock up. This place is THAT good. They have almost 700 different FRESH and some hard to find bottles, all at prices that are just amazing. Most of the beers are under $2. They also have a ton of wine, and carry about a dozen different types of meads. Meads are fermented just like beer, but with honey. If you live anywhere even close to Boardman Ohio, you must go here. You can easily make a day of it.

The other bottles I purchased from 3 Sons dogs and suds in Wexford, PA. In my opinion its probably the best 6 pack shop in Pittsburgh, but unfortunately their prices and selection cannot compete with Vintage. This is mostly because PA Beer laws are almost criminal. They tax the crap out of beer and make it pretty hard for anyone to run a real bottleshop around here. The guy who runs the shop is a little bit cranky at first, but he will warm up to you once he gets to know you.

Anyways onto the beer. Why is it that breweries stop releasing their seasonal beers way too early in the “season.” I wanted to pick up a bunch of winter warmers and Christmas beers but they are sold out almost EVERYWHERE. Regardless I made some pretty decent pickups. The front row will be sent off next week on a trade, but the rest I will be drinking over the next couple months. Unibroue Terrible, Delirium Noel, some Speedway Stout to age for awhile, etc etc.

See a beer you recognize and have a dislike/like for it? Let me know in the comments section below.

Published in: on December 22, 2009 at 9:50 pm  Comments (11)  
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Beer 44 – Oskar Blues Ten Fidy

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Purchased at: 3 Sons

What makes this beer different: Thick and Tar like

Will I be drinking this again: Yes

Grade: A

12/22/2009: Remember when you were a kid playing outside on a hot summer day, and the little tar spots on the road were so hot that they turned sticky? Well this is kind of what this beer looks and acts like; hot liquid tar. Picture cannot do justice as to how pitch black this beer is. It really does pour like thick sludge similar to what the liquid looks like when changing oil in your car.

This beer is just plain awesome. Reminds me a lot of Speedway Stout, but not quite as strong or thick. This beer is kind of like Speedway’s little brother. This beer also has a pretty strong chocolate flavor right off the bat, and a little tiny bit of an alcohol bite. I like it that way though because this beer is sweet, but the little bit of alcohol/hop bite at the end evens it out. This might have just jumped up to #2 on my stout list, just ahead of Yeti and right behind Speedway.

Published in: on December 22, 2009 at 9:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 43 – Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale

Style: American Strong Ale

Purchased at: Vintage Estate

What makes this beer different: Bourbon with Caramel

Will I be drinking this again: If I can find it again

Grade: A-

12/21/2009: This is the first beer on my list I have had from Kentucky so I think its suitable to have the logo for the brewery be the first thing I think of when I think of Kentucky; a horse. The picture of the gift pack above is actually going to be sent off in a trade.

I had this on tap at Vintage Estate, but forgot my camera. Admittedly when I first read the description on the wall I expected this to be a stout, but it came out light so I had to do a double take at the board and then realized it was an Ale. I was ready for the bourbon to kick me in the ass from the get go especially because this is an ale, but it did not at all. Bourbon without a doubt hits you first, but it immediately jumps into a caramel and light vanilla aftertaste. Unlike the Founders Backwoods Bastard, I was able to take this one down without somewhat hating bourbon at the end (Note that I love Whiskey/Bourbon). This beer was very unique and I will be drinking this again for sure.

Have you had a bourbon/whiskey beer you like? Let me know because I am really starting to like this type of beer.

Published in: on December 21, 2009 at 8:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 42 – Bell’s Special Double Cream Stout

Style: Milk Stout

Purchased at: Vintage Estate

What makes this beer different: Smoothest Milk Stout ever

Will I be drinking this again: For sure

Grade: A

12/20/2009: Special Double Cream might be the most accurate beer description ever. This beer is amazingly creamy. I poured this beer pretty slow and as you can see the head overflowed and I made a little bit of a mess.

Hops are nowhere to be found in this stout (pretty typical for milk stouts). The taste is just perfect. I mostly taste the chocolate, and the milk (lactose) in this one, followed by a little bit of a roasty flavor. It all blends together perfectly. It also is not nearly as “heavy” as it looks in the picture. This might have just jumped up to the top of my Milk Stout list right next to Lancaster Milk stout.

Published in: on December 20, 2009 at 11:02 am  Comments (1)  
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Beer 41 – Saranac Season’s Best Nut Brown Lager

Style: Euro Dark Lager

Purchased at: Vintage Estate

What makes this beer different: Pine Taste

Will I be drinking this again: Maybe

Grade: B

12/19/2009: We ended up getting about a foot of snow here in Pittsburgh on Saturday, and I will have you all know I froze my @$# off to take this picture. Figures as soon as I poured the beer and went to set it on the rail I realized it was frozen. This is why the pint glass looks like it is about to slide off.

Anyways onto business. At first sip this has a very unique flavor, and it took be awhile to realize what it was; pine. I can’t really decide if it is a taste that I like or not, but it is very unique. The only other flavor I can pick out is a little bit of caramel in the aftertaste. Overall this is a pretty good beer, a little bit hoppy, and a little bit malty. Could have used a little bit more flavor overall.

Published in: on December 19, 2009 at 10:54 am  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 40 – Victory Storm King Stout

Style: American Imperial Stout

Purchased at: Tony from Vision

What makes this beer different: VERY hoppy for a stout

Will I be drinking this again: Maybe

Grade: B+

12/18/2009: Thanks to my coworker Tony for this one. The more I am paying attention to where beers are brewed, the more I am realizing the eastern half of my state has a lot of good breweries. I have had many of the beers from them (Troegs, Victory, Weyerbacher), but never realized they were brewed in PA.

The head on this beer was massive. Once you taste it the first thing that hits you with this beer is undoubtedly hops. It is almost overwhelming at first. Once the beer warms up a little the hops back off a little bit, just enough for you to taste a pretty complex malt flavor. I didn’t really taste a lot of coffee/chocolate flavor that you usually do in stouts. I liked this beer but a little bit too hoppy for me. I am sure if it was aged a little bit it would be awesome.

Published in: on December 18, 2009 at 5:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 39 – Founder’s Backwoods Bastard

Style: Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy

Purchased at: Vintage Estate

What makes this beer different: Whiskey Whiskey Whiskey

Will I be drinking this again: Yes

Grade: B+

12/17/2009: This is the first time I have ever tried a Scotch Ale. According to Beer Advocate Scotch Ales are strong ales, also known as “Wee Heavy.” In the 19th century Scotland, they’d also be known as 160/-, a nomenclature based on the now obsolete shilling currency.

First thing that hits you without a doubt is the bourbon, followed by oak chips and vanilla. Might sound weird but it is a really good blend. As the beer warms up it REALLY becomes a sipping beer (as if it wasn’t before that). Lots of whiskey flavor as it warms. If you are a whiskey/bourbon lover give this one a try, otherwise steer clear.

Published in: on December 17, 2009 at 9:24 am  Comments (6)  
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Beer 38 – Trappistes Rochefort 10

Style: Quadruple

Purchased at: Vintage Estate

What makes this beer different: Super smooth for a quad

Will I be drinking this again: Yes

Grade: A

12/16/2009: The style “Quad” usually has a ton of sweet maltiness to try and cover up the alcohol content. Typical you get dark fruit flavors, and little to no hops. Flavor is usually very complex.

All three Trappistes beers are world class. The only thing that made me not grade this beer an A+ was also the reason I liked it so much. Weird right? It is unbelievably smooth for a quad, but actually lacked a lot of flavor. Don’t get me wrong it tasted great, just expected a tiny bit more flavor for a beer with 11.3% alcohol content. Taste was sweet, and almost had an ashy earthy aftertaste. This would be a good beer to introduce people to the style as it is not super intense.

Published in: on December 16, 2009 at 9:11 am  Comments (2)  
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Beer 37 – Trappistes Rochefort 8

Style: Belgian Dark Ale

Purchased at: Vintage Estate

What makes this beer different: Its the only beer that is the best beer ever.

Will I be drinking this again: Absotively

Grade: A+

12/15/2009: The brewery at Rochefort has been brewing beer since 1595. Plenty of time for them to perfect their recipes. The three recipes they have, 6, 8 and 10 are each aged for 6, 8, and 10 weeks respectively. Another funny thing is that the monks actually used the beer as their primary source of nutrients through the years. Father Antoine (former head brewer) said “Without the nutrients in our beer, we would have died.” Pretty intense.

Let me start by saying this is my favorite beer of all time. I really can’t put into words specifically why I like it so much… I just do. It might be because there’s about 9827 flavors going on at once. This beer is very sweet, but has a bit of an alcohol bite. Most Belgian beers almost hide the alcohol too well. Sometimes I like knowing that I am drinking an alcoholic beverage and not a malty fruit wine. If you have never drank a Belgian beer, you need to give this on a shot.

Published in: on December 15, 2009 at 9:11 am  Comments (6)  
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Beer 36 – Trappistes Rochefort 6

Picture will be added later today. I attached it wrong from my home computer this morning.

Style: Belgian Dark Ale

Purchased at: Vintage Estate

What makes this beer different: Granny Smith Apple aftertaste

Will I be drinking this again: Yes

Grade: A

12/14/2009: Over the next few days I’m going to be drinking each of the 3 varieties of Trappistes Rochfort; 6, 8, and 10. There are plenty of Belgian breweries, but only 7 authentic trappist breweries. Six from Belgium (Orval, Chimay, Westvleteren, Rochefort, Westmalle and Achel), one from The Netherlands (Koningshoeven). A trappist brewery must brew its beer within the walls of the abbey, and profit is only to be used to sustain the abbey, or be given to charity. You will see the logo to the right on an authentic trappist beer. I am a bit of a history buff so I find this stuff interesting.

Anywho onto the actual beer. This is a very smooth beer even for a Belgian. Can’t put my finger on the actual fruit flavors I am getting but apple is for sure one of them, but it doesn’t jump out at you. A lot of Belgian beers almost border on too sweet, but this one is just perfect. Super smooth. Give it a try.

Published in: on December 14, 2009 at 8:46 am  Leave a Comment  
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