Beer 354/365 – Great Lakes Christmas Ale

Great Lakes Christmas Ale

Style: Winter Warmer

ABV: 7.5%

Purchased at: Great Lakes Brew Pub – Cleveland, OH

What makes this beer different: Subtle hint of ginger is pretty unique.

Will I be drinking this again: Yes, but its hard to get in bottles.

Grade: A-

10/28/2010: Made the two hour trip to Great Lakes Brewery this day for the BA Blackout Stout release. We got there a bit early so I decided to have a Christmas Ale. I took a picture JUST in case I wasn’t able to take down a full 10oz snifter of BA blackout at the end of the night. Well turns out it was a good thing that I drank this beer and took this picture, because I was in no shape for any more beer after 5oz samples of 2007-2010 Blackout Stouts, 2010 Ba Blackout, and 2010 Rackhouse Ale (30 more oz of high ABV beer). Ended up leaving with a belly full of beer, bourbon pulled pork, and 6 bombers of BA Blackout Stout.

The nose is sweet, caramel, honey, cinnamon, and a touch of ginger. The flavor is much the same; Caramel malts, honey, cinnamon and a little bit of ginger in the aftertaste. Ginger is a flavor that either disappears, or is just too overpowering, but they got just the right amount in their Christmas Ale. This kind of reminded me of a light version of Troeg’s Mad Elf. Mouthfeel is a bit on the full side, with decent carbonation.

Picture of the day: Keanu Reeves just doesn’t give a @#$%.

Beer 346/365 – Great Lakes Nosferatu

Great Lakes Nosferatu

Style: American Strong Ale

ABV: 8.0%

Purchased at: On Tap@Vintage Estate – Boardman OH

What makes this beer different: Pretty hoppy for a Strong Ale, but thats a good thing!

Will I be drinking this again: Yup! Would like to see what this tastes like aged.

Grade: A

10/19/2010: One last major beer run for my 365! Made the trek up to Vintage Estate to BS with Phill, and to grab some beer for my last couple dozen updates. As usual I was unable to keep my tab under $100, but that’s okay as I picked up a lot of really good beer.

The nose is much hoppier than a typical Strong Ale, boozy, and caramel malt. The flavor is an amazing 3-way balance between caramel malt, citrus hops, and booze. Strong Ale’s can sometimes be a bit overwhelming for me as far as the booze goes, but this was just the right amount. This is probably due to the fact that it was very well carbonated. Mouthfeel was about average. Nosferatu almost comes across as a boozy DIPA, either way its the best American Strong Ale I have ever tasted.

Picture of the day: CNN seems to have their priorities screwed up.

Beer 244/365 – Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold Lager

Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold Lager

Style: Dortmunder Gold

ABV: 5.80%

Purchased at: TGI Fridays – Sandusky OH

What makes this beer different: Very unimpressive looking, but a lot of clean crisp flavor.

Will I be drinking this again: Yes

Grade: A-

7/10/2010: I figured since I was spending the weekend in Ohio, I might as well continue drinking beer from the Buckeye state. Today the girlfriend and I decided to go to Soak Zone, and Cedar Point. Sixty bucks for both for the day, pricey but the coasters are worth it. Soak Zone though, just average. For the Pittsburgh readers lets just say sandcastle is just as good if not better.

The Dortmunder did not have a lot of smell to it, maybe a little bit of grain. First sip reminds me of a pilsener, but much more drinkable and a bit more malt. The one word I would use to describe this lager is balanced. Nice crisp hops, just enough sweet malt, and finishes off very dry. The dry finish makes this a great summer beer and very drinkable. If I wasn’t about to go ride a bunch of roller coasters, I would for sure get another pint.

Picture of the day: My penis s a goat.

Beer 243/365 – Great Lakes Lorelei Dunkelweizen

Great Lakes Lorelei Dunkelweizen

Style: Dunkelweizen

ABV: 5.10%

Purchased at: Great Lakes Brewery – Cleveland Ohio

What makes this beer different: One of the doughiest tasting beers ever.

Will I be drinking this again: I wish they bottled the stuff, but they don’t so probably not.

Grade: A

7/9/2010: Decided to take a weekend away with the girlfriend to the great mistake by the lake: Cleveland Ohio. Okay seriously I feel bad for the city though, they just lost Lebron James to the Miami Heat. Lebron was literally the only thing this city had sports-wise. We were there the day after the announcement, and great lakes already started brewing a beer called “Quitness;” A dry hopped ipa that will leave a bitter aftertaste.

I always scratched my head when I read reviews on Beer Advocate describing beer as doughy, but I now understand without question. It smells a lot like when you roll out fresh dough for bread, and a bit nutty. The flavor is like taking a bite into a slice of banana bread right out of the oven. Fresh grains, banana, a little bit of nuttiness, a hint of vanilla, and some fresh hops in the background. The mouth-feel is perfect for the style, medium to medium heavy. Great Lakes doesn’t offer a lot of brewpub exclusives, but this one made up for the lack of selection. Very tasty.

Picture of the day: Haha tell me that this isn’t the truth.

Published in: on July 9, 2010 at 10:39 am  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 234/365 – Hoppin Frog Turbo Shandy

hoppin frog turbo shandy

Style: Fruit / Vegetable beer

ABV: 7.0%

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman Ohio

What makes this beer different: Very refreshing citrusy summer drink. Its like mellow yellow meets wheat beer.

Will I be drinking this again: Probably yes. Especially on a hot summer day.

Grade: B

6/30/2010: Hoppin Frog brewery is known for their big beers; Doris, Boris, Triple IPA etc. Apparently head brewer Fred Karm’s wife isn’t a fan of the aforementioned beers, so he told her he would make any style off beer she wanted. Rumor has it she suggested a light summery beer, and alas Turbo Shandy was born.

Turbo Shandy pours out like a lemon soda. Very carbonated to the point where the bubbles pop similar to how a fountain drink would. Smell is lemony and sugary. Has anyone ever tried Tequiza? The flavor reminds me a lot of this. Very lemony, and very very carbonated. The malts add a different depth to the beer, which I think makes it more drinkable than a typical soda. Although this is more on the soda end than it is on the beer end. I had this right after taking a jog, so I thought it was real refreshing. I’m sure purists will hate this, but it really hit the spot on a 90 degree day.

Picture of the day: Apparently beauty is more than skin deep.

Published in: on June 30, 2010 at 8:42 am  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 192/365 – Great Lake’s Lake Erie Monster

Style: Imperial IPA

ABV: 9.10%

Purchased at: On tap @Vintage Estate – Boardman OH

What makes this beer different: Not a ton but its a really good beer

Will I be drinking this again: Pretty rare but if I find it yes.

Grade: A-

5/19/2010: Does Great Lakes make a bad beer? I can’t think of one. With that said they don’t make anything “spectacular” either. I’ll bet the Barrel Aged Blackout Stout is amazing, but its also impossible to find unless you go to the brewery. Lake Erie Monster is pretty rare as well, but Phill out at Vintage Estate got some on tap somehow.

Lake Erie Monster is a bit sweeter smelling than most DIPAs. The hops are there but mostly fruity. The taste has a lot of sweet caramel/biscuity malt, with the fruity/citrus/grapefruit hops right behind. This is the type of ratio I like in a DIPA, about 60% malt, 40% hops. The mouthfeel is very creamy for an Imperial IPA, and hides the 9.1% VERY well. I wasn’t even thirsty but I took down the entire pint in about 10 minutes. I would have had another if I didn’t have to trek it back to Pittsburgh after.

Picture of the day: This has been around for awhile, but I haven’t seen it in a long time. When in doubt eat the evidence.

Published in: on May 19, 2010 at 1:28 pm  Comments (2)  
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Beer 167/365 – Rust Belt Rusted River Irish Red

Style: Irish Red Ale

ABV: 5.5%

Purchased at: Steamers Bar & Grill – North Lima, OH

What makes this beer different: Heavy but very little flavor

Will I be drinking this again: No way

Grade: C

4/24/2010: Had this beer the same night the Pens clinched the series against the Sens. Also I am typing this up as the Caps are about to blow it in game 7, hilarious. Ovechkin’s tears make me happy. Oh I should also mention I had this beer AFTER The Big Tap In, and I sampled probably 30-40 different very good beers at. Rusted River Red might have been the worst of all of them.

It was weird because it really had no smell, maybe a little sweetness. The mouthfeel was pretty syrupy, but oddly enough it was not very sweet. The only thing I can pick out is some caramel malts. Maybe my palette is shot after trying 9842 different beers today, but this beer just isn’t doing it for me. It reminds me of Killian’s but with even less flavor.

PS This picture was taken with a camera phone so excuse to poor quality.

Picture of the day: How America sees Europe.

Published in: on April 24, 2010 at 11:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Beer 112/365 – Great Lakes Blackout Stout

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman Ohio

What makes this beer different: Oakey hops

Will I be drinking this again: Yup, bought a few to age.

Grade: A-

2/28/2010: I can’t believe its been a couple months since I have had a Russian Imperial Stout for my beer a day. I also can’t believe this is my first Great Lakes beer for this site. Probably because I have had pretty much every readily available beer they make. Although this is my first time trying blackout stout.

Blackout stout smells like coffee, black malt, and a bit of hops. The taste is mostly a roasted coffee, a bit of chocolate, a little tiny bit of hop flavor, and a hint of smoke. Very nice combination. The smoke adds a nice touch to the aftertaste. Thick but silky mouthfeel, and hides the 9% alcohol very very well. Great lakes doesn’t really make a beer that I don’t like, and this one falls right in line with the rest.

Picture of the day: Son, this is what a woman should look like when you are through with her.

Published in: on February 28, 2010 at 6:26 pm  Comments (2)  
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Beer 106/365 – Thirsty Dog Lunar Lager

Style: German Pilsener

Purchased at: Vintage Estate – Boardman Ohio

What makes this beer different: The most non lager tasting lager ever.

Will I be drinking this again: Maybe if it was the last beer on the moon

Grade: C-

2/22/2010: Ugh. So very disappointed by this beer. I love thirsty dog as they brew two of my favorite beers; Old Leghumper and Siberian Stout, but they really dropped the ball on this one. Not only did it not taste like the style AT ALL, but it just didn’t taste good for any style.

Lunar Lager pours out extremely hazy. Giant galaxies of yeast are suspended in the middle of the beer as if there was zero gravity in the liquid. I even let this beer sit for 10 minutes to see if the giant meteorites of yeast would settle, but they didn’t. Look at the picture… You can see the pile of sand on the bottom and the chunks floating around. The smell is sour as hell with no sign of hops at all, which is usually at the forefront for a German Pils. The taste is sour/spoiled lemons, and thats really about all. Its not the good kind of sour you usually get with a good beer either, its the spoiled sour type of taste. No sign of hops in the taste either. Mouthfeel is decent but not nearly good enough to bump this beers C- grading. Avoid this one, but it shouldn’t be hard as it was a one time experimental release. Also assuming not many people have tried it since there are only 6-7 reviews of it on BA.

Picture of the day: Now this is a good one. If men wrote Women’s magazine covers.

Published in: on February 22, 2010 at 2:29 pm  Comments (3)  
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Beer 8 – Siberian Night Imperial Stout

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Purchased at: Vintage Estate

What makes this beer different: Smoothest stout I have ever tasted.

Will I be drinking this again: For sure

Grade: A+

11/16/09 Smoothest stout ever (that I have tried). Amazing how well it hides the 9% alcohol content. The smell is mostly roasted coffee. Huge roasted flavor to the Siberian Night with slight coffee/chocolate flavor. Mild smoke aftertaste. Mouthfeel is average for a stout.

There is a reason this is an award winning stout. If you have never tried it be sure to pick some up if its in your area.

Published in: on November 16, 2009 at 9:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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