Posts Tagged ‘beer review’

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Beer Review: Trumer Pils

August 27, 2010

Trumer PilsI was lucky enough to score a six pack of Trumer Pils lately, thanks to Debbie Rizzo of DrinkPR!

According to Wikipedia:

Trumer Pils is an Austrian pilsner previously sold almost exclusively in the Austrian federal state of Salzburg. It is characterized by hoppy bitterness, high carbonation, and a light body.

In 2004, Trumer Brauerei opened a brewery in Berkeley, California, to reproduce for the American market the Trumer Pils it has brewed for 400 years in Austria.

The Pour
This pours to a pale straw color.  A one finger thick bubbly white head floats atop this very effervescent brew.  A very vigorous pour resulted in an almost three finger thick head.  It sure made for one beautiful beer in the pilsner glass.

The Nose
The nose contains some citrus and a slight sweetness, with a toastiness also making an appearance.

The Taste
This light bodied beer is very effervescent on the palate.  Crisp and light, this beer shows lightly grassy hoppy flavors after an initial faint sweetness.  The bitter hop flavor becomes more noticeable on the finish.  This beer almost has a slight crispy cracker flavor and character to it as well.

Overall
A pilsner is essentially a pale lager, and I am not much of a lager fan.  But there is something I like about this beer regardless.  Whatever my personal opinion about lagers and pilsners, this pilsner is a good example of the style, and has a good hop flavor.  This beer really reminds me of beers I’ve had on trips to Europe.

Recommended
If you’re a pilsner or lager fan, this is a good one to enjoy, with a good hop profile.

Price: Unknown, review samples

ABV: 4.9%

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Beer Review: Sweetwater Motor Boat Ale

August 24, 2010
Sweetwater Motor Boat

Yet another photo from The Full Pint

I first noticed Sweetwater Brewery because of the rainbow trout on the bottle. (I’m a sucker for trout….brook trout mostly, but I think rainbow trout are beautiful as well). I tried their 420 Extra Pale Ale first, and I found it to be a tasty but subtle brew. That was back in 2007 and I haven’t picked up any Sweetwater since then, for some reason.  I recently found myself at Publix looking for beer, so I went with the subject of today’s beer review, Sweetwater’s Motor Boat Ale.  As the bottle puts it, this is their “titillating version of an ESBBBBBBBBB!

The Pour
This unfiltered ESB pours to a sediment-rich orange/coppery color.  My first bottle I overpoured, resulting in a very large 2 1/2 finger thick head that crested the mouth of the glass like a nice, light tan pillowy dome.  When you take a look at the beer in the glass you can see the yeasty sediment slowly sinking through the beer.  It’s funny, I noticed that when you raise the glass to your lips, the action of raising and then lowering the glass swirls the beer around, and the sediment swirling around the glass resembles some sort of awesome snow globe made up of yeast and golden nectar!  There is a decent amount of lacing left on the glass as you drink the beer.

The Nose
This has a nicely hoppy nose that features citrus mixed with floral scents.  There’s also a slightly powdery hint to the nose.  It smells interesting!

The Taste
The taste of this beer nicely matches the nose.  The hop in the taste, however, is more floral than citrusy, with a powdery dryness as well.  The hop doesn’t linger on the finish as long as I expected it to, which makes it finish pretty clean.  There’s a good malt backbone as well, giving it a well rounded body and a slight sweetness.  The beer tastes of yeast and a slight dustiness as well.  All of the beer’s flavors really take turns in the spotlight.

Overall
This light-medium brew has more character and depth of flavor than I expected it to.  I thought I’d come out of this review thinking this beer wasn’t half bad, but I found it quite enjoyable.

Recommended
Definitely.  This beer has good, simple flavors that intermingle well.  No one flavor really overpowers or hogs the spotlight.  They all well up on the palate on their own but also act as a well organized team.

Price: $8.69/6 12 oz bottles

ABV: 5.6%

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Beer Review: Caldera IPA

August 21, 2010

Caldera IPA

Today’s beer review, Caldera IPA,  is another review brought to you courtesy of my buddy Elmer.  He recommended this beer to me, and I recently (finally) took his sage advice and tried what turned out to be a surprisingly tasty IPA. (Photo “borrowed” from http://www.thefullpint.com, so please visit their site!)

About the brewery
(Direct from Caldera Brewing Company’s Website) Caldera Brewing Company, located in Ashland, Oregon, was established in 1997.  Caldera is dedicated and determined to produce uncompromised quality craft beers.  Balancing premium malted barley, fresh whole flower hops, and natural carbonation, each beer is brewed for optimum sensory pleasures. Caldera is the first craft brewery in Oregon to brew and can its own beer.

About the beer
This beer is made with Simcoe, Centennial and Amarillo hops.  According to Caldera, this beer is an American-style India Pale Ale brewed with plenty of body and an assertive hop profile.

The Pour
This slightly hazy, coppery orange colored beer pours slightly hazy and with a 2 and a half finger thick, somewhat pillowy head.  The head quickly settles into a 1 finger thick, denser head that leaves great lacing clinging to the glass for dear life.

The Nose
Oh heavenly hops!  The nose simply overflows with good clean floral hops and juicy grapefruit.  This smells like it will be a great IPA.  My mouth waters just inhaling it’s heavenly hoppy bounty!

The Taste
Smooth and extremely clean, the flavor of this beer is mildly citrusy/fruity upfront with a floral, slightly bitter hop flavor on the finish.  The hops really come in on the finish, make you forget about the beer’s fruity aspects, and make you want another taste, just to experience the fruitiness again.  There is a slightly thick, clinging mouthfeel to this light-medium bodied brew.

Overall
I love love love a good, complex beer, with endless depth of flavor and great character.  This is not one of those beers.  But I also appreciate a simple, very well crafted and flavorful beer, and this definitely fits the bill.  This is an excellent example if what an IPA can be.  Juicy grapefruit and floral hops can’t be done any better than they are here.

Recommended
Absolutely. I can recommend this without a doubt.   If you like a good IPA, you’ll definitely enjoy this one.  A template for what a great IPA could taste like.

Price: $2.29/12 oz. can

ABV: 6.1%

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Beer Review: Kona Brewing Company’s Wailua Wheat

June 24, 2010

Beer Review: Kona Brewing Company's Wailua Wheat I had never tried any of Kona Brewing Company’s beers before, but when they contacted me to see if I would review their Wailua Wheat (made with passion fruit!), I of course said yes.  I wasn’t sure what I thought about passion fruit, but I do appreciate a good wheat beer, so I was eager to give this a try. 

I had forgotten they were even sending me the samples when, lo and behold, a package appears on my doorstep bearing not two, but four reviewing bottles.  I usually get two bottles, and that is perfect for my reviews.  I always modify my tasting notes after the second bottle, as I finally pinpoint certain flavor notes or aromas, or just come up with a better way to describe the play of malt and hops on the palate, for example.  Four tasting bottles meant I could share this bounty with my fellow beer lover, Elmer.

Here is some of what Kona Brewing Company had to say in the accompanying press release:

Feel that ocean breeze, temperatures around you starting to climb and a new pep in your step?  That’s Hawaii calling you, and if you’re not soon boarding a flight bound for the Big Island, you can transport yourself in spirit with a bottle of Wailua Wheat, Kona Brewing Company’s spring/summer beer brewed with tropical passion fruit from Hawaii.

They go on to say that this beer will be available through August 2010, and that its bright citrusy notes will complement summer’s grilled fish and shrimp, roasted chicken, salads and Asian foods and even vanilla ice cream.

Here is what I thought…

The Pour
 A two finger thick, fluffy white head rests momentarily atop the lightly golden straw brew, and dissipates somewhat quickly.  A small amount of lacing decorates the glass as the head dissipates and as the beer is enjoyed.

The Nose
The nose on this beer is clear and unmistakable.  Quite simple, but pleasant.  The wheat and passion fruit are present in spades, but hints of orange also make subtle appearances.

The Taste
I must be honest with you, fair readers.  I was quite underwhelmed with my first impression of this beer.  I found it overly light and thin and not anywhere near wheaty enough for my tastes.  By the time I finished the first bottle, though, I was beginning to appreciate this beer much more.  It is mildly wheaty, but quite strong on passion fruit.  Orange flavors are there as well.  In essence, the taste very closely mirrors the nose.  It is indeed quite thin and light, but it has a refreshing nature and clean mouthfeel that fit the spring and summer seasons very well.  There is a very very slight hop bitterness on the finish as well.  Without the passion fruit, there would not be much in the way of flavor in this beer, but the passion fruit flavor is done very well.  It is there, and you know it’s passion fruit, but it doesn’t taste overpowering or artificial. 

Overall
This turned out to be a refreshing, clean beer that gives you unique flavor without weighing you down.  I prefer fuller bodied beers with more complexity, but if you like your beers lighter and more refreshing, this is a good choice for an occasional change.  The fact that it is only available seasonally means you can enjoy it year after year without burning out on it.  I would say this would definitely pair well with grilled seafood or chicken.

Recommended
This would have been a very refreshing beer to drink while grilling or with which to follow up a Saturday spent landscaping the yard.  This would also be a great beach beer or Jimmy Buffett concert beer, as the passion fruit would add to the tropical atmosphere of either locale.  If you like lighter beers (at least lighter as far as body and hue), give this a shot.

Price: Unknown (reviewing sample)

ABV: 5.4%

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Beer Review: Buckbean Brewing Company’s Roler Bock (maibock)

June 17, 2010

Perhaps a month or two ago, I heard that Buckbean Brewing Company was coming out with a maibock.  They are quickly becoming one of those breweries from whom I can expect very tasty beer, every time they can something new, so naturally I asked for a reviewing sample, and they were happy to oblige. 

More: Beer Review: Buckbean Brewing Company’s Roler Bock (maibock)

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