Posts Tagged ‘New Belgium Brewing’

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Beer Review: New Belgium Brewing’s Mighty Arrow Pale Ale

March 7, 2009
Part 4 of a (now) 4 Part Series
Part I: Fat Tire Amber Ale
Part II: Mothership Wit Organic Wheat Beer
Part III: 1554 Enlightened Black Ale
Part IV: Mighty Arrow Pale Ale

Cheers,
The Beer Snob

Mrs. Beer Snob and I had some friends coming over for dinner one night last week, so I cruised on over to the new Kroger here in Spring Hill to see what sort of beer I could find that we could try, that I could also review. When I saw a new (to us Tennesseans, anyway) New Belgium beer, I grabbed it.

Mighty Arrow is one of their seasonal beers, a Spring pale ale. According to the neck of the bottle…

Mighty Arrow Pale Ale provides lots of pleasurable sniffs from Cascade and Golding hops, with a fetching honey malt base.

Incidentally, this beer is apparently named after a dog, hence the “sniffs” and “fetching” references on the neck of the bottle.

The Pour
A pour with the glass at 45 degrees, followed by the other half of the pour poured vigorously into the glass, results in a two finger thick, off-white dense head that quickly becomes loose and pillowy. This beer is a great coppery hue and is very clear. Very little carbonation activity is seen. The head leaves an average amount of lacing on the side of the glass.

The Nose
This smells first and foremost of grapefruit and honey, with hints of a slightly bitter floral hoppiness. Judging by the nose, you expect the beer to be full-bodied.

The Taste
The taste is much more about dry floral hops than the grapefruit and honey, though the honey is definitely present in undertones. The beer is medium-light bodied with a crisp mouthfeel. The finish is slightly hoppy and sharp but has a clean, refreshing feel to it as well.  

Overall
Overall, this is a good solid pale ale. It’s a good refreshing spring brew, meaning it still maintains some sweetness (through the honey malt base?) while also giving you the hoppiness you start to want as the days get slightly longer and warmer. As far as I’ve seen, with the four New Belgium brews I’ve tried so far, you really can’t go wrong with one of their beers.

Recommended: Sure! I would say they are a brewery that consistently (as far as I’ve seen so far) cranks out good to great beers.

Price: $7.99 / 6-pack

ABV: 6%

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Beer Review: New Belgium Brewing’s 1554 Enlightened Black Ale

September 23, 2008
Part 3 of a (now) 4 Part Series
Part I: Fat Tire Amber Ale
Part II: Mothership Wit Organic Wheat Beer
Part III: 1554 Enlightened Black Ale
Part IV: Mighty Arrow Pale Ale

Cheers,
The Beer Snob

I tend to like my beers on the darker side so I was eager to try this beer, especially after trying New Belgium’s Fat Tire and enjoying it so much.

According to the New Belgium Web site:

Born of a flood and centuries-old Belgian text, 1554 Enlightened Black Ale uses a light lager yeast strain and dark chocolaty malts to redefine what dark beer can be. In 1997, a Fort Collins flood destroyed the original recipe our researcher, Phil Benstein, found in the library. So Phil and brewmaster, Peter Bouckaert, traveled to Belgium to retrieve this unique style lost to the ages. Their first challenge was deciphering antiquated script and outdated units of measurement, but trial and error (and many months of in-house sampling) culminated in 1554, a highly quaffable dark beer with a moderate body and mouthfeel.

Let’s give this a try, shall we?

The Pour
This pours in a pilsner glass with a nicely thick and pillowy cafe au lait colored head. There is great lacing on the glass and a nice coffee color. At first glance it looks pretty black but held up to the light, its true color shows.

The Nose
The nose is quite dark. There are definite chocolate and licorice notes in the nose, as well as toffee and malts. There is only a slight hint of hops. There is almost a dustiness to the nose but it works with the chocolate and licorice. It smells as old as its recipe, but in a good way.

The Taste
This is a dry, strongly dark ale. There are great roasted malt flavors present, with hints of fresh bitter coffee and slight hops notes on the finish. It’s medium bodied, and the dustiness is present as well. It’s like you’re drinking a happy distant memory. The chocolate, toffee and licorice flavors of the malts are all present but no one flavor is the star of the show. All work together to make for an interesting deep, dark flavor.

Overall
This is an interesting beer for when you want something really different. This is a beer to be savored and sipped like a fine wine, experiencing its nuances and depth of flavor. It’s not necessarily a beer I would go back to often, because there are so many others to try, but if you want a deep dark brew, this is it. Overall, a well crafted and intriguing beer.

Recommended: Yes, it has an interesting character that must be experienced at least once.

Price: $2.99 for a 22-oz. bottle

ABV: 5.6? (One source said 5.6% and one said 5.5%)

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Beer Review: New Belgium Brewing’s Mothership Wit Organic Wheat Beer

August 12, 2008
Part 2 of a (now) 4 Part Series
Part I: Fat Tire Amber Ale
Part II: Mothership Wit Organic Wheat Beer
Part III: 1554 Enlightened Black Ale
Part IV: Mighty Arrow Pale Ale

Cheers,
The Beer Snob

The second part of this series was supposed to be New Belgium Brewing’s 1554, but I seem to have misplaced my tasting notes, and I really needed to post a review tonight (I have a backlog of tasting notes) so I decided to go ahead and post my review of New Belgium’s Mothership Wit instead.

According to the bottle, this brew:

…elevates the zesty wit or white beers of Belgium with wheat, malt, coriander and orange peel spicing – all of which are organically grown. The alluring taste is the result of a gravitational balance of citrus and sour flavors held in suspension by a bright burst of carbonation.

On to the review…

The Pour
This poured into a pilsner glass to a three finger thick head. The head was pillowy and fluffy with a decent amount of lacing as it dissipates. The beer itself is a lemony yellow straw color. It’s definitely cloudy but some clarity can still be observed. It looks like it has a mild level of carbonation.

The Nose
There are nice wheat and spice notes present in the nose right away. You can smell the coriander and slight citrus notes from the orange peel. It’s a nice bready nose with the spice and citrus giving it a nice freshness.

The Taste
This is full bodied and wheaty, with the spice and orange peel definitely present. The spice comes out more as the beer warms. This is a good thick witbier. It’s smoother than I expected it to be, with a creamy smooth mouthfeel. I noticed a sour lemony note on the finish. The beer is thick and coats your palate with good flavor.

Overall
This is a good solid example of a witbier. It’s a good choice if you want to branch out from something like Blue Moon to a more authentic and fully flavored witbier.

Recommended: Yes, it’s a good solid witbier.

Price: $2.99 for a 22-oz. bottle

ABV: 4.8%

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Beer Review: New Belgium Brewing’s Fat Tire Amber Ale

August 2, 2008
Part 1 of a (now) 4 Part Series
Part I: Fat Tire Amber Ale
Part II: Mothership Wit Organic Wheat Beer
Part II: 1554 Enlightened Black Ale
Part IV: Mighty Arrow Pale Ale

Cheers,
The Beer Snob

New Belgium Brewing‘s Fat Tire Amber Ale is a brew my buddy Elmer told me about and he often praised it’s tastiness. He would only get it when he headed west, I believe, usually on a beer run to prep for Bonnaroo. So naturally this is the first one of their brews I tried. And he understated its excellence, if you ask me.

According to the Web site:

Named in honor of our founder Jeff’s bike trip through Belgium, Fat Tire Amber Ale marks a turning point in the young electrical engineer’s home brewing. Belgian beers use a far broader pallet of ingredients (fruits, spices, esoteric yeast strains) than German or English styles. Jeff found the Belgian approach freeing. Upon his return, Jeff created Fat Tire and Abbey Belgian Ale, (assuming Abbey would be his big gun). He and his wife, Kim traveled around sampling their homebrews to the public. Fat Tire’s appeal quickly became evident. People liked everything about it. Except the name. Fat Tire won fans is in its sense of balance: toasty, biscuit-like malt flavors coasting in equilibrium with hoppy freshness.

So let’s check the air in this “Fat Tire” shall we?

The Pour
This poured, in my tall pilsner glass, to a thick 3 finger head. The head was off-white, thick and creamy, with great lacing. The color was a kind of orange tinted light caramel color. It looks to be quite carbonated and crisp and is quite clear.

The Nose
This has an excellent nose, just fantastic! The citrusy hops are balanced with the malt, and subtle chewy chocolate notes. The chocolate and malt give it a nice earthy nose with bright citrus accents.

The Taste
This, to me, is an absolutely unique brew. It is exceptionally smooth and tastes exactly as it smells. What you smell is what you get, as it were. The citrusy hops are slightly more dominant, but the chocolate and malt flavors are well played and well balanced. As you drink this, the hops open the show but melt away into the chocolate and malt flavors, all the while maintaining a medium-light body and a smooth clean mouthfeel.

Overall
This is not at all what I expected, but it is an exceptional brew. The earthier flavors, especially complimented and offset by the citrusy hops, were a great surprise. This is one terrific and drinkable brew!

Recommended: Absolutely a must-try. The flavors are terrific and well balanced and just a well crafted brew.

Price: $2.99 for a 22-oz. bottle

ABV: 5.2%

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