Beer 53 – The Bruery 2 Turtle Doves

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Purchased at: My buddy Kevin picked me up a bottle from Denver

What makes this beer different: Chocolatey but almost too strong

Will I be drinking this again: At the price probably not

Grade: B+

12/31/2009: This is one of the many beers my buddy Kevin from Denver brought back for me. Wanted to save it for a special occasion and figured what better than New Years Eve. I think they named this 2 turtle doves because after you finish the bottle, you get these little birds flying around your head just like in the cartoons. Similar to when Wile E. Coyote would fall off a cliff and smash his head, those kind of birds.

I was pretty excited for this beer because of all the hype behind it. Unfortunately it did not quite live up to the hype. The smell is strictly roasted malt with some alcohol behind it. Flavor overall was very good. The major flavor to this one is chocolate, with an almost charcoaly aftertaste. The pecans advertised on the label do not come through for me at all. This also kind of feels like a hybrid between a belgian dark and a stout to me because it is so heavy. The killer here to me is the alcohol burn. I usually like super strong beers, but they did not do a very good job of hiding the ABV at all. By the time I got to the bottom of the bottle I was kind of choking it down. For the price I probably will not be drinking this one again.

Published in: on December 31, 2009 at 1:12 pm  Comments (3)  
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Beer 52 – Pretty Things Saint Botolphs Town

Style: English Brown Ale

Purchased at: Received via trade with Jared @

What makes this beer different: Dark and complex as hell for an English Brown

Will I be drinking this again: If I can get my hands on it again

Grade: A-

12/30/2009: I just received this beer through a trade with Jared at Beer Advocate. I sent him some beer he cannot get here such as Great Lakes and Bells, and he sent in return a ton of stuff from the northeast that I cannot get here in the burgh. Not sure what made me pick this one to drink first but, I am glad I did.

As you can see the color of this beer is kind of a muddy brown. Smells like roasted almonds covered in brown sugar. The taste of this is VERY toasted and malty for a brown ale, but at the same time very complex. If I didn’t know ahead of time that this was a brown ale I would have assumed it was a porter. You can taste roasted malts, brown sugar, a little bit of some kind of sour fruit that I can’t put my finger on, and a tiny tinge of coffee in the aftertaste. Mild hops jump out also. Each sip brought out a little bit of a different flavor. Mouthfeel is heavy for a brown ale, and as I mentioned almost had more of a porter character to it. This whole bottle went down very easy, and might have to get Jared to send me another in the near future.

Published in: on December 30, 2009 at 1:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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Random Post – Gifts from Denver

Don’t mind the dusty table! My buddy Kevin was in town for the holidays, and I had him pick me up some beer that I can’t get here in PA. Pretty pricey but I think I got some good stuff. I love the regular Yeti so really looking forward to trying the oak aged one. Also pretty pumped about getting a couple Abyss’. I plan on aging them for one a two years respectively.

From front to back:

Avery Maharaja IPA
Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti
Moylans Xmas Spiced White Lager
Alaskan 2007 Smoked Porter
Goose Island Bourbon County Stout
Deschutes The Abyss (2)
Russian River Consecration
The Bruery 2 Turtle Doves
O’Dells Woodcut Oak Aged Crimson Ale

Published in: on December 30, 2009 at 11:16 am  Comments (2)  

Beer 51 – Chimay Grand Reserve

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Purchased at: Vintage Estate

What makes this beer different: Drinkable as hell for 9% ABV

Will I be drinking this again: Pricey but yes

Grade: A-

12/29/2009: A couple months back I picked up a Chimay gift pack for $16 from Vintage Estate that included the Grand Reserve, Tripel, Premiere and the Chimay Chalice. That same gift pack in Pittsburgh runs $26-$28 so I couldn’t pass it up. Plus the chalice might just be the coolest looking beer drinking apparatus ever created.

Onto the beer. The Chimay Blue (Grand Reserve) is widely regarded as one of the best of the Belgian Trappist beers, and I would have to agree. This isn’t quite as good as my favorite beer of all time Trappistes Rochefort 8, but it is top tier.

The head on this beer is awesome and what you expect from a Belgian Dark. I have to say when people compare the taste of beers to dark fruits; currants/figs/plums, I am not able to pick that out. Mostly because I have never tasted any of these fruits on their own. All I know is this is a super easy drink for a 9% ABV beer. The taste and mouthfeel is actually much more mild that what I was expecting, but again it amazes me that they can pull this off while maintaining 9% alcohol by volume. If this beer was just a tiny bit sweeter I would have given it an A or A+. You have probably tried the Chimay Red (Premiere), but you need to give this one a try as well.

Published in: on December 29, 2009 at 9:57 am  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 50 – Stone Smoked Porter

Style: American Porter

Purchased at: Vintage Estate

What makes this beer different: As the name suggests, smoked flavor

Will I be drinking this again: What was I doin again?

Grade: A-

12/28/2009: Dude, this beer is totally awesome.. Just look at the name bro! Smoked Stone man! I think I see some dragon looking dude with wings. Okay its late and I am lacking any type of comic relief so excuse me for the weak attempt at the funniez.

So this beer actually had a “drink by date” of 12/16/2009, but I doubt a couple weeks had any major impact on the flavor. I love any type of smoked beer, and this one did not disappoint. Not nearly as heavy as it looks, and not nearly as smokey as you would expect it to be. It actually is a very easy drink and has just enough of a smoked flavor without screaming “HEYYY LOOK AT ME I’M A BEER THATS SMOKEDDDD!!!1!~!.” Usually takes me a good while to finish a dark beer this size but it went down super easy.

Whats your favorite smoked beer? Post in the comments section below!

Published in: on December 28, 2009 at 9:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 49 – Miller Lite

Style: Light Lager

Purchased at: Nowhere, had it at a tailgate.

What makes this beer different: Distinct urine taste

Will I be drinking this again: Yes only because it seems to be the beer of choice at tailgates

Grade: C-

12/27/2009: This beer is unique because it is made from human pee that is collected from the bottom of restroom troughs at your local sporting event, and then fermented with the finest urinal cakes money cannot buy.

Okay seriously Miller Lite on a “beer snob” scale is terrible, but of the three major light beers (Coors and Bud being the others) I would have to say this one is my beer of choice. This is only because it actually has SOME flavor; albeit a less than average flavor. Bud and Coors light both just taste like water to me. I mindlessly drink these and can take down a half dozen or so in no time because I seriously feel as if I am drinking stale vitamin water.

Published in: on December 27, 2009 at 8:13 pm  Comments (4)  
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Beer 48 – Lagunitas Brown Shugga

Style: American Strong Ale

Purchased at: Vintage Estate

What makes this beer different: Sweet but hoppy at the same time

Will I be drinking this again: Yes

Grade: A-

12/26/2009: I totally expected this beer to be sweet to the core when I first tasted it, but boy was I wrong. If you read my blog often you know I am not a fan of hops, but I have to say they are starting to grow on me. This beer is proof of that.

Hops smack you right in the face as soon as you sip this, but as soon as you get about a 1/3 of the way finished with the beer the sweetness takes over. Brown sugar and caramel really start to kick in at this point, but the citrusy hops are still there. If I am going to drink a hoppy beer, it has to have some sweetness as well, and this one fits the bill.

Published in: on December 26, 2009 at 8:06 pm  Comments (2)  
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Beer 47 – Delirium Noel

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Purchased at: 3 Sons

What makes this beer different: Alcohol not hidden very well

Will I be drinking this again: Maybe

Grade: B+

12/25/2009: Merry Christmas!!! I have had both Delirium Tremens and Nocturnum, and both are world class. So of Course I went into this thinking Noel would be more of the same. I also have a couple friends who say this beer is amazing.

The head on this beer was much less than that of other Belgians I have had. The taste is good, but the alcohol is NOT hidden well at all. This to me actually just tastes like a very strong version of Nocturnum, with a little bit of Christmas spice thrown in. Don’t get me wrong the beer is good, but it just wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked.

Published in: on December 25, 2009 at 1:02 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 46 – Penn Brewery St Nikolaus Bock Bier – Brewers Reserve

Style: Bock

Purchased at: 3 Sons

What makes this beer different: Not sure its just damn good

Will I be drinking this again: I would like to but unfortunately Penn Brewery shut down.

Grade: A

12/24/2009: Penn Brewery is one of two excellent craft breweries in my home city of Pittsburgh; the other being East End Brewing. Penn had some money problems earlier this year that caused them to shut down their restaurant, and cease brewing on site. The beer brewing moved to a company outside of Wilkes-Barre.

Enough about the history and onto the beer. This stuff is REALLY good, especially for being a year old. You get hints of cherry, cinnamon, nutmeg, and finishes off with a strong caramel taste. All the flavors blend together perfectly. Hops are nowhere to be found. I really hope that next year Penn can get their money situation back in order so they can brew more of this stuff. If you come across this, buy it as it may never be brewed again.

Published in: on December 24, 2009 at 12:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 45 – Unibroue Chambly Noire

Style: Belgian Dark Ale

Purchased at: Vintage Estate

What makes this beer different: Lacks oomph for a belgian

Will I be drinking this again: nope

Grade: B

12/23/2009: I have had a handful of Unibroue beers, and up until this one they have all been awesome. Unibroue consistently makes some of the best tasting Belgian beers outside of Europe.

At first taste I expect some wow factor, but I get nothing. Every sip after that I find myself looking for a taste that just isn’t there. The flavors are so dull that I really cannot pick out anything specific. I taste dark malt, and some sort of fruit but I cannot tell what it is. Someone who has never tried a belgian might like this, but I expect more out of a Belgian Dark Ale. Very drinkable, just not a lot of flavor.

Published in: on December 23, 2009 at 12:19 pm  Comments (2)  
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