Beer 296/365 – Pretty Thing’s American Darling

Pretty Things American Darling

Style: American Pale Lager

ABV: 7.00%

Purchased at: Jared sent me this as an extra… I seem to be typing that a lot lately hah.

What makes this beer different: THIS is the beer you want to make your miller lite drinking friends try. It will make them a believer in craft beer.

Will I be drinking this again: Would love to if they distributed to PA. Pretty things is becoming one of my favorite New England area breweries.

Grade: A-

8/31/2010: I think by this point Jared may have sent me just about every beer that Pretty Things Beer & Ale project makes. Which is fine by me because they really brew some great stuff. Their St Bodolph’s Town is one of my favorite brown ales ever. So unique.

The nose is mostly pale malt, with some floral and grassy notes. The flavor is what all American “Lite beers” should taste like; Crisp, slightly grassy, just a little bit of floral hops, and a good bit of pale malt to provide a really nice balance. ABV is hidden very well for 7%. Very well carbonated and medium body. Very refreshing, and all non-craft beer drinkers should have to try this beer.

Picture of the day: I can see into the future.

Beer 295/365 – Fuller’s London Porter

Fullers London Porter

Style: English Porter

ABV: 5.4%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman OH

What makes this beer different: Very good porter, nice and chocolaty.

Will I be drinking this again: Yes one of the better porters I have had in awhile

Grade: A-

8/30/2010: I know porter isn’t exactly a summer style, but I have been wanting to try this beer for awhile. Plus at $1.59 for a bottle you can’t pass it up. Gotta love Ohio beer prices. I’m sure this would cost at least $3.00 here in Pittsburgh. If you are interested in reading what makes an English Porter different than an American Porter, click here.

The nose is almost all chocolate, getting some kind of fruit too, almost raisiny. The flavor is really nice, lots of sweet chocolate, again some kind of small hint of a fruit that i can’t put my finger on. Overall this beer isn’t overly complex, but the flavor is really good. Mouthfeel a little heavier than an average porter, but not by much.

Picture of the day: The police are onto pedobear.

Published in: on August 30, 2010 at 1:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 294/365 – Smuttynose Ry(e)an Ale

Smuttynose Ryean Ale

Style: Rye Beer

ABV: 7.7%

Purchased at: Sent to me as an extra by Jared.

What makes this beer different: Walks a fine line between too much/not enough bourbon flavor, but ends up being the perfect amount.

Will I be drinking this again: I wish.. I really hope they brew this again.

Grade: A+

8/29/2010: Jared always sends me some awesome extras, but this one has definitely taken the cake. I love barrel aged beers, but most of them over do it, or the bourbon just goes undetected all together. Smuttynose Ry(e)an is an Imperial Red Rye Ale, aged in bourbon barrels hand-selected by Julio’s Loch & Key Society. Turns out Jared was one of the lucky few to go to Kentucky to pick out the bourbon barrels (what brand of bourbon barrels were used in this beer Jared?).

The nose is boozy as all hell, but its a sweet/clean type of bourbon boozy. Sweet smelling as well. The flavor is amazing. Lots of caramel malt, and just a perfect amount of smooth bourbon. Sweet cherry type flavor, semi woody with a good bit of vanilla. Might be some maple syrup in this too? Mouthfeel is a little heavy/syrupy, but the aforementioned is needed to help keep the bourbon in check. Ended up drinking the whole bomber myself. This might be the best beer I have had yet this year outside of stout/belgian styles. Thanks again to Jared for being so gracious in sending me this beer.

Picture of the day: I don’t want to know where this flashlight has been.

Published in: on August 29, 2010 at 10:53 am  Comments (9)  
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Beer 293/365 – Oskar Blues Mama’s Little Yella Pils

Oskar Blues Mama's Little Yella Pils

Style: Czech Pilsener

ABV: 5.3%

Purchased at: Vecenie Distibuting – Pittsburgh PA

What makes this beer different: Its my go to beer to take with me on golf outings. One of the few canned craft beers that non-craft beer drinkers really like.

Will I be drinking this again: Next time I golf!

Grade: B+

8/28/2010: I bought a case of this back in the beginning of the month for my birthday gold scramble. This was the favorite of the canned beers I bought. The others were Sly Fox Royal Weisse, and Bud Light Lime… Yes Bud Light Lime. I won’t lie I like having one or two BLL’s on a hot summers day. Sidenote: I actually drank this before a Stone Templ Pilots concert, and they were terrible live. One of my favorite bands growing up, but they just don’t have the same mojo.

The nose is slightly grassy and spicy. The malt profile is mostly bready, a bit of grassiness and a touch of spice. Something a little fruity is in the mix, the best I can tell its a little lemony. Whatever the flavor is I like it, very unique for a Pilsener. Body is a little less than medium, but nice carbonation. Very crisp and drinkable.

Picture of the day: Poor Squirrel.

Published in: on August 28, 2010 at 9:57 am  Comments (1)  
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Beer 292/365 – Sprecher Black Bavarian

Sprecher Black Bavarian

Style: Schwarzbier

ABV: 6.0%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate Wine & Beer – Boardman OH

What makes this beer different: It might be the best Schwarzbier I have ever had.

Will I be drinking this again: Yes, and I’ll be this would make an awesome marinade for some steaks.

Grade: A

8/27/2010: One of my readers recommended I try some Sprecher beer, but I cannot remember who? Well whoever it was thanks. I didn’t know which specific beer to grab, so I just purchased the one that looked the most interesting.

The nose is burnt caramel sugar, similar to what a cotton candy machine might smell like (not the candy itself, but the sweet burnt smell). Also smells like some chocolate in the mix? The flavor took be by surprise as I was not expecting much. A lot of stout characteristics, smashed into a lager style beer. Really nice chocolate, some roasted caramel malts, a light smokey wood type flavor, and finishes with a dry earthy type kick. Very complex and a lot of nice flavors going on here. Even with all these heavy flavors, Sprecher Black Bavarian comes off “crisp” in an odd way. The over-average carbonation helps make it very drinkable for a heavy-ish beer. No question this is one of the best lagers I have ever had.

Picture of the day: Someone is overtly creepy.

Published in: on August 27, 2010 at 8:23 am  Comments (3)  
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Beer 291/365 – Summit Belgian Style Golden Ale

Summit Belgian Style Golden Ale

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

ABV: 8.60%

Purchased at: Sent to me in a trade as an extra, by Doug.

What makes this beer different: It lacked “oomph”

Will I be drinking this again: I appreciate the extra Doug, but this was a little below average.

Grade: C+

8/26/2010: Thank you to Doug for going above and beyond again, and including a ton of extras. I really liked Summits Rye, so he threw in another Summit beer for our latest trade.

The nose was a little spicy, and a bit grassy. Didn’t have that yeast nose nice a lot of BSPA’s have. The flavor was not the best, mostly herbal, some pepper type spice, and sweet candy sugar. The mouthfeel is what really killed it for me, it did not have that full/creamy/bubbly mouthfeel you typically associate with a Belgian Strong Pale. It was more Oily than anything. The alcohol was a little too apparent in Summit Golden Ale as well. This beer didn’t strike me as infected, but after reading some other reviews on Beer Advocate, maybe I got a bad bottle?

Picture of the day: Apparently Purple is in this season.

Beer 290/365 – Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA

Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA

Style: American IPA

ABV: 7.2%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman OH

What makes this beer different: I usually am not much for how a beer looks, but this is a tasty looking beer.

Will I be drinking this again: Maybe, a little bit on the bitter end for me but it was good.

Grade: B+

8/25/2010: Been wanting to try Torpedo for a while now, but just recently got around to buying a fresh one. I surprisingly have not had the Pale Ale in my prior 289 beers yet, maybe I should pick that up on my next beer run?

Torpedo has a very unique smell to it, citrus, grapefuit, and .. dirt? Not sure how to explain the smell I am getting. The flavor has all kinds of stuff going on, toasted malt, slightly herbal, citrus hops, and a little bit of pine. One sip I love the mix, the next I’m not so sure. That exchange continues until about halfway through the beer, then it really starts to meld together well. The mouthfeel is semi-creamy for the style, and not “sharp” like some IPAs. Overall very good, and pretty unique for an American IPA.

Picture of the day: What it was like being drunk at 18.

Published in: on August 25, 2010 at 9:26 am  Comments (4)  
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Beer 289/365 – Victory Whirlwind Witbier

Victory Whirlwind Witbier

Style: Witbier

ABV: 5.0%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman OH

What makes this beer different: Tons of lemon, even for the style

Will I be drinking this again: Yes! Very refreshing

Grade: B+

8/24/2010: On my last beer run I realized I haven’t had nearly enough Victory beers yet out of my prior 288. I would venture to say they are the biggest craft brewery in Pa, but I’m not 100% sure on that. I usually am not one for watching interviews on the web, but I just recently saw a really good one on winelibrary with co-owner Bill Covaleski. If you are bored go check it out, really good stuff.

Victory Whirlwind is one of the most lemony smelling witbiers I have ever encountered. A little bit of spice peeks out also. The flavor is tart but pleasing lemon, some coriander, and a little bit of pepper. A bit light on the mouthfeel but it makes this beer very drinkable. I could easily down 4-5 of these on a hot summers day.

Picture of the day: I’m pretty sure someone has to have oral cancer to go through enough containers to make a table like this.

Published in: on August 24, 2010 at 9:06 am  Comments (2)  
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Beer 288/365 – Harpoon IPA

Harpoon IPA

Style: American IPA

ABV: 5.9%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman OH

What makes this beer different: Pretty tame for an IPA

Will I be drinking this again: Maybe but there are better IPAs out there.

Grade: B

8/23/2010: Another beer I picked up on a whim because of cool labeling. I am willing to take a gamble on a beer every now and again, especially if its under $2. Plus I know Harpoon on the whole is a pretty decent brewery.

The nose has some citrus to it, with some earthy tones. The flavors are pretty subdued for an IPA, but not bad. Citrus/Floral hops, pale malt, and a little bit of earthiness. Mouthfeel is a bit light for the style, in fact I would have guess this to be an American Pale Ale if I didn’t already know it was an IPA. Very average, nothing great but not much bad about it.

Picture of the day: Ummm and what did you do with this gun sir?

Published in: on August 23, 2010 at 8:31 am  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 287/365 – Left Hand Sawtooth Ale

Left Hand Sawtooth Ale

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

ABV: 5.3%

Purchased at: Firewaters – Atlantic City NJ

What makes this beer different: Had this weird barleywine type kick to it.

Will I be drinking this again: No

Grade: B-

8/22/2010: Today was my buddies bachelor party in Atlantic City. We showed up to firewater’s bar a little later than everyone around 1pm. Pretty cool little place with 50 taps, but the prices were not to friendly. I guess that is to be expected in a tourist town.

The nose on Saw Tooth is very mild, some caramel graininess. Really strong flavors for an ESB, biscuit, caramel, grainy, and a big bitter earthiness to it. This is by far the most bitter of any ESB I have ever tried, too bitter in my opinion. Average mouthfeel and carbonation. I will admit this isn’t my favorite style in the first place, but this beer was below average as well.

Picture of the day: Facebook status of the week. Punctuation is key.