Beer 367/365 – Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar

Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar

Style: American Brown Ale

ABV: 6.2%

Purchased at: Giant Eagle Market District – Robinson, PA

What makes this beer different: Tons of nutty flavor.

Will I be drinking this again: Maybe! Very unique.

Grade: B+

11/29/2010: I’ve seen this beer on the shelves for years, but never got around to trying it. To be honest Rogue overall seems to be a bit overrated to me, although I will say their regular chocolate stout is a pretty damn good beer. Other than that I won’t go out of my way for much of their beer.

The nose is without a doubt very nutty, possibly the nuttiest of any brown ale I have ever smelled. Surprisingly the dominant flavor is a nice roasted malt, followed by a good nutty flavor. To be honest I would not have guess it to be hazelnut if I hadn’t known that was the secret ingredient. Also a bit of chocolate and tobacco like flavors in the mix. Hazelnut nectar actually ends up being a bit on the bitter end of the brown ale scale. Medium mouthfeel but a bit syrupy. Overall a pretty decent beer, a bit better than I expected.

Picture of the day: This kid is handicapable.

Published in: on November 29, 2010 at 10:04 pm  Comments (4)  
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Beer 366/365 – Surly Surlyfest Lager

Surly Surlyfest Lager

Style: Oktoberfest

ABV: 6.0%

Purchased at: Sent in a trade

What makes this beer different: The fest Oktoberfest beer I have EVER tried.

Will I be drinking this again: Will be trading for some of this next year.

Grade: A

11/24/2010: My first beer back! I actually drank this a while back, but took a mini vacation from updating. I have about 6-7 beers to update, just need to get around to editing the pictures and getting everything up on the site. About the beer; this is classified as a Rye Beer on BA, but I am convinced that has to be a mistake. It HAS to be an Oktoberfest just check out the design on the can.

The nose is Pale malt dominant with some noble hop action. The flavor is just amazing as far as an Oktoberfest goes; some caramel, nuts, noble hops, and even a bit of citrus. The rye is there but I would not call this a rye beer. Interesting combo of flavors, but they work amazingly well. Mouthfeel is super creamy for a lager, medium body and super drinkable. I really wish Surly would distribute to PA. Maybe someday!

Picture of the day: A Genie does not let you wish for more wishes …butttttt.

Published in: on November 24, 2010 at 9:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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365beers Recap & Top Ten List

11/19/2010: This blog has been the most exhausting yet gratifying thing I have ever been through. Drinking and acquiring all the good beer was the easy part, but actually updating the site proved to be a bit daunting at times. In the end it was all worth it, tried almost 80 styles of beer, drank some amazing beer from all over the world, made some great business connections, got a lot of great publicity from some high profile people/breweries, and made some friends along the way as a result of creating this website. I never could have imagined when I thought this idea up that I would get 56,000+ page views in just under a year. Thanks to everyone for reading and commenting, as that is what really motivated me to stick with it. After I gained about 15 lbs I almost decided to call it quits, but thank God for p90x as it helped me lose that weight plus 5 more (side note if you are looking to get back into shape, p90x IS the real deal). Keep in mind I am going to keep the site up and running, just going to update about half as much. So keep reading! I hope you all have enjoyed reading as much as I have maintaining it.

Below is a list of my top ten from the year. No surprise that five of them are Imperial Stouts, one Quad, one Belgian Strong Dark, one Double IPA, one Rye Ale, and an English Barleywine. Let me know your personal thoughts on any of the beers in my list. Agree Disagree?

10: J.W. Lees Vintage Harvest Ale 2001

Such a unique sweet toffee like flavor. Wish it was a bigger bottle though!

Click the link below for the rest of the top 10!


Published in: on November 19, 2010 at 10:52 am  Comments (11)  
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Top Ten List & Recap Coming Later Today

Just a quick update. I finally got around to rounding up all my A+ beers in a spreadsheet. It took a lot longer than I had anticipated, and this would have been much easier if I updated a spreadsheet as I went along but I like to make things difficult. Anywho there are 22 beers that I rated an A+, so I have to put my Simon Cowell hat on this afternoon and narrow this bunch down a bit.

Still drinking/taking pictures of beer, just haven’t updated because I want to get my recap and Top 10 up first. Hold tight!

Published in: on November 18, 2010 at 10:36 am  Leave a Comment  

Beer 365/365 – Cigar City Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout

Cigar City Hunahpus Imperial Stout

Style: Imperial Stout

ABV: 11.5%

Purchased at: I traded for it, but can’t even remember who I got it from?

What makes this beer different: The touch of chile really cuts through the sweetness.

Will I be drinking this again: Would love to get my hands on another bottle.

Grade: A+

11/8/2010: So here I am, at the finish line. It is kind of bittersweet… I feel a sense of accomplishment that I made it through an entire year of this, but I am also a bit sad that this is ending. Well technically this is not ending, I’m just going to take a week or so away from drinking beer all together then I am going to update 2-3 new beers a week. Sometime in the next few days I am going to post up an entire recap of my experience, as well as my personal top 10. So keep reading because I am still going to keep updating the site, just not quite as often.

Figured I would dip into my big stouts in the basement for my last beer. I was at a big stout tasting over the summer, and this was the hands down favorite for the group out of 25-30 other imperial stouts. The nose is a lot of sweet chocolate, and you do get a little bit of a chili powder smell. The first thing you notice after sipping the beer is its mouthfeel, most creamy and perfect mouthfeel of any beer I have ever had. Even though it is creamy, its not super heavy/gloopy for an Imperial Stout which made polishing off this whole bottle by myself a lot easier than I thought. The flavor of sweet chocolate and a bit of heat from the chili is really a great combo, they both keep each other in check. While chocolate/chili are the main flavors, there is also a bit of dark fruit, smoke, vanilla, and a tobacco kick (maybe a play on the name Cigar City?). Excellent combination of flavors. This beer is without a doubt in my top 3 beers for the year. Now its time to round up all my A+ beers and decide which ones were my favorite. Again I am going to keep updating the site, but only 2-3 times per week instead of every day. Stay tuned!!

Picture of the day: A map of the world as it really is.

Published in: on November 8, 2010 at 11:25 am  Comments (22)  
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Beer 364/365 – De Struise Black Damnation III – Black Mes

De Struise Black Damnation III Black Mes

Style: Imperial Stout

ABV: 13.0%

Purchased at: De Struise Online Store

What makes this beer different: So many strong flavors that somehow mesh together so well.

Will I be drinking this again: I bought three total, so yes. Loved this stuff.

Grade: A+

11/7/2010: A few months back I made my first ever purchase from an online beer store, which is where I got my Black Mes. Why not go big and have that beer store (De Struise) be from Belgium? Sounds expensive right? Well the bottles themselves are so cheap that when you roll in the price of shipping it ends up being $5-$6 per bottle. You figure you are going to pay that much here for a good Belgian beer so why not? Plus it allows you to purchase beer that otherwise would not see on the shelves here in the states. Sidenote: For whatever reason they print these labels off on uncoated crappy looking paper, not sure if you can see that from the picture. You would think they would spring for some decent labeling considering the quality of the beer.

The nose is just amazing, very potent; coffee, whiskey, chocolate and smoke are apparent (in that order). There are 5 main flavor components to this beer, and they seem to be spread out evenly at 20% a piece; Roasted Coffee, Dark Chocolate, Dark Fruit, Whiskey, and Smoke. Each flavor makes itself completely known with every single sip, while not overshadowing the other 4 flavors. Mouthfeel was on the rich side, but it was amazingly creamy like a Belgian Strong Dark would typically be. Overall I would have to say this might possibly be my favorite beer EVER. Off the top of my head at this point I would have to say this is the case. Its not for sale on the webshop anymore, but if you can find this you NEED to try this.

Picture of the day: Whats that you want tea partiers?

Beer 363/365 – The Lost Abbey Red Poppy Ale

The Lost Abbey Red Poppy ale

Style: Flanders Oud Bruin

ABV: 5.5%

Purchased at: Sent in a trade.

What makes this beer different: Officially the most expensive beer per ounce I have had to date ($18.00 for 375ml)

Will I be drinking this again: Probably not, I really don’t see the hype behind this one.

Grade: B+

11/6/2010: I am officially off the Sour Beer Bandwagon. Barrel aged stouts, and sours of all styles have been the big thing lately in the craft beer world, but I just cannot appreciate the latter as much as other beer geeks do. I’m not going out of my way to purchase sour beers especially considering the price tag of this beer, and most other sours for that matter. That being said I can respect a sour beer, and I do enjoy drinking them, just not head over heels crazy about them like a lot of people are.

The nose of Red Poppy is semi-funky, sour cherries, and some woodiness. The flavor is tart, sour cherry, and almost vinegar like in a way. A little bit of oak flavor really helps give this beer some needed diversity away from the tart/sour aspect. Just like many of the other sour beers I have tried, this beer grows on you more as you drink it. The finish is very dry, and the mouthfeel is one of the highlights; silky, light and well carbonated. On the overall scale of craft beer this is above average, but its not worth the $18 for 375ml. I’m officially convinced I’m never going to truly appreciate sour beer. Yes I ranked this a B+, but a lot of that was rating it in regards to the style.

Picture of the day: Over 350lbs? Eat for free!

Beer 362/365 – J.W. Lees Vintage Harvest Ale

JW Lees Vintage Harvest Ale

Style: English Barleywine

ABV: 11.5%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman OH

What makes this beer different: Super sweet but still really good.

Will I be drinking this again: Pricey but might have been worth the $8.99 price tag.

Grade: A+

11/5/2010: Phill out at Vintage Estate has been telling me for a while how good this beer is, but I could never bite the bullet on spending $8.99 for 9.3oz of beer. My last trip to VE I decided to finally pull the trigger since I wanted to get some really good beer for my last dozen or so. He had the 1999, 2001 and 2002 vintage’s, and said that his favorite was the 2001 so I decided to go for that one. Oh this is also my first ever English Barleywine, so not sure what to expect.

Tons of sweet caramel and toffee in the nose of Harvest Ale, semi-musty as well. The flavor is abundant and extremely unique; malty, sticky and almost port-like in a way. Lots of toffee, caramel, some honey, some wood, and a bit of earthiness. Mouthfeel is almost syrupy, but still creamy if that makes sense. I have never had a beer that was this sweet, yet this drinkable. Had trouble not drinking this beer in only 10 minutes, very good and very unique.

Picture of the day: Super Market Mario.

Beer 361/365 – Drie Fonteinen Oude Gueuze

Drie Fonteinen Oude Gueuze

Style: Gueuze

ABV: 6%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman OH

What makes this beer different: Sour/Funky as hell, to be honest any Gueuze I have had so far is about the same.

Will I be drinking this again: Maybe! Not too expensive so I just might.

Grade: A-

11/4/2010: I am really trying to make an effort to appreciate as many styles as possible, and Gueuze is one that takes a lot of getting used to. Actually any of the “sour” type beers take some getting used to. Drie Fonteinen Oude Gueuze is the highest rated Gueueze on Beer Advocate that is also readily available, so why not go for the best if you are trying to get used to a certain style right?

The nose is very sour and funky, almost smells like a musty basement. The flavor is very tart, funky, semi-yeasty, some wood, and some sour lemon/sour apple in the mix as well. Like every other sour beer I have tried you start off hating it, and by the end you can’t stop drinking it. Typically I have a hard time picking out particular flavors in a sour beer, but Drie Fonteinen did a great job making all the individual flavors very pronounced. This is one of the most carbonated beers I have ever had. It was still bubbling away like a science experiment gone wrong even with only 1/4 of the bottle left. This is no knock though, as the airiness helps lighten the funk going on. Overall very good for the style. Would be interested to see what this would taste like with some age too it.

Picture of the day: A painful way to exit the field.

Published in: on November 4, 2010 at 4:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 360/365 – Dieu Du Ciel Peche Mortel

De Dieu Ciel Peche Mortel

Style: Imperial Stout

ABV: 9.5%

Purchased at: Sent to me by Jared

What makes this beer different: One of the most intensely coffee flavored stouts ever.

Will I be drinking this again: Yes if I can find it again.

Grade: A

11/3/2010: I’m pretty sure this is my first beer from Dieu Du Ciel. I have a bottle of Aphrodisiaque in the basement, but it didn’t make the cut for the final handful of beers for my 365. I am sure I will drink and review it after the 365 is over.

The nose smells like used up coffee grinds, which is good because I love coffee (drinking some boca java as I type this). The flavor is all about semi-bitter roasted coffee, but it is rounded out nicely by some bitter chocolate. The alcohol is completely hidden. The mouthfeel is the highlight of this beer, so full and so creamy. This beer is by no means complex, its all about the coffee. Sometimes coffee doesn’t come through in big heavy stouts like this, but the coffee makes itself well known in Peche Mortel. The coffee flavor may be a bit too much for non-java lovers, but me personally I loved it.

Picture of the day: Baby is not a fan of yoda.

Published in: on November 3, 2010 at 8:47 am  Comments (2)  
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