Friday, February 29, 2008

Skagit Brewery

http://www.skagitbrew.com/

Skagit Brewery visit was a result of a day trip to go look at a car. Interesting building, more of a restaurant with a small bar off to the side. The brewery was in the same building/floor and was divided with large glass panes. Old rustic construction, lots of old posters, piano's, tricycles, and misc stuff made focusing on the present party difficult.

The beer was less impressive.

We drank all of a sampler, which consisted of all of their beers including the barleywine. The only beers to note were the Barleywine, Scullers IPA, and the Trumpeter Stout. Both were excellent beers. Enough so that I bought some stout to take home for later consumption. I'm not giving up on them yet, but further analysis is required.

LaConner IPA

Straight from LaConner Washington, its their IPA. This one has a light body, light amber in color. Its white foamy head clung to the glass as I drank it but it didn't come off as too sweet or as thick as the legging suggested. It goes down easy and the hop level accentuates this. Being that I am a fan of strong, flavorful IPA's, I would drink this again for sure. It was too dark to take a picture here at Le Ch√Ęt Noir in Fairhaven, but they had a couple of beers on tap worth drinking. This was definetly one of the best.

MacTarnahan's Blackwatch Cream Porter




Its got a light body, poors dark with a white head. Very dry, not sweet at all. It coats the tongue in a near Guiness type film, almost milky. Its missing some of the roast malt flavors I associate with some of the better porters, but has a hint of toasted grain. Hops seem there, but nothing really seems to stand out from this beer. It isn't as chalky as some so is more drinkable. More than a couple of glasses is possible. My choices for the night were Redhook ESB, Alaskan Amber, and Guiness Stout.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

90 Minute IPA

This is an awesome Imperial IPA. I can't think of one thing I don't like about it other than the wishing it came in a 6 pack.

It pours a deep golden amber color, dense head and amazing hop aroma. It tastes like a sweetish full bodied IPA, almost like an American style barleywine. The hops are there, but they're not as assertive as some IPA's, this is a balanced beer - I like it.

I have a bit of a rant about IBU's (international Bittering Units). While they are an important measurement for brewing, I don't think that they accurately portray perceived bitterness. For example, the 90 minute has a huge 90 IBU rating but it tastes more like a beer with 60 IBU's.
Whaaaattt? Where did the hops go?

Aging, beer ingredients, alcohol level in the beer and a whole host of other things mess with perceived IBU's. Let me prove it to you, here's an experiment you can do at home! Stone's Ruination IPA has 100+ IBU's as does Avery's Hog Heaven Barleywine (I’m sure there are others, any IPA and strong ale with about the same IBU rating will work) so they both should taste outragesly hoppy right? The barleywine will be nowhere near the bitterness level of the IPA – try it and see!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Abyss

http://www.deschutesbrewery.com/

This is one of my top three favorite stouts.

The bottle is capped with wax, first hint this isn't your everyday stout. Once the bottle is finally open, it pours thick with a dark head - hint #2 that this is a big stout. The beer smells of sweet carmely goodness with a brush of hops in the nose. It smells how I would like my hot chocolate to taste if that makes any sense... first sip is thick and velvety, I think I've found the heroin of beer, I'm addicted for the moment. Second sip, almost a Yeager like licorice taste - read the bottle... dee dee dee it has licorice in it... mmmm yeah, definatly an excellent stout!

Have you gotten your bottle yet?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Stone IPA

http://www.stonebrew.com/ipa/
If you like IPA's, this one should either be on your favorite list or your next to buy. Staying pretty true to form, this beer is made well. It has a tad of its sweetness left, medium to light body, and pours leaving a pure white frothy head. Left to sit, it really looks good, letting its golden pale yellow color light up. It claims 77 IBU's but it sure tastes like a lot more, however, it is done tastefully and I enjoyed my pitcher without regret. A feat seldom attempted with any other IPA.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Older Viscosity

Pricey stuff, I was skeptical, but the Old Viscosity was good so what the heck. Older Viscosity is what Old Viscosity is blended with. In other words this is the cask strength stuff, unblended with lesser beer - It will challenge you.

Opened the bottle, nothing new there, but when you pour (or try to pour) the beer something is different. It pours thick, much like a well aged port. Smells of rosted malt, choclolate, carmel and who knows what else explode from the bottle and glass as I pour. A quick swirl, it clings to the glass like super glue clings to your finger. Only the Dogfish Head World Wide Stout has legs that are even close to this beer. Take a sip, BAM! Take it up another notch! This beer is amazing, I'm going to need another bottle. The body is very full, almost chewy, it tastes, it tastes... Its just overwhelming, there is so much going on with this beer. Its everything I liked about the World Wide Stout without the sweet bite. The only other thing I've had like this would be a variation on the Tard Munkey I made awhile back. What you see in the glass is as far as I made it, I can't wait to have another sip tonight!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Fish Tale Organic Wild Salmon Pale Ale

http://www.fishbrewing.com/

Fish Tale Pale Ale is unlike most ales. This ale has had its fair share of hops and has a light bite. It almost has a citrus tang to it. Not very sweet with light body would make this beer be great on a warm summer day with bbq chicken and potato salad! I'll buy it again this summer for that purpose.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Scuttlebutt Porter

http://www.scuttlebuttbrewing.com/beer.htm

My first sip led me to believe that there was something to be had here. Its not chalky, nor is it a bland porter. It has some really good light hop flavor. At the end of my second glass I started to get that chalky feeling in the back of my throat. Its not heavy in chocolate flavors but they are there. I wouldn't say its a "creamy", but it certaintly does go down smooth. I definetly would buy this again.

Old Guardian Barleywine

Mmmmm Smells sweet and malty like beer flavored cotton candy. Just a nibble of hop aroma. Medium lacing on the glass. Smooth viscous malty sweet first taste, hops linger on the back of my pallet. This is a good barleywine, I'm still waiting for a great one to pop up again, but for the moment I'm happy. Not quite as hoppy as the Bigfoot which I had last night, but still has a little bite, definitely an American style barleywine. Next sip, the hops and malts are in harmony. The brewers symphony of malts, barley and hops is playing out in my glass, the day fades away and only the moment I'm in right now matters. Thankfully it comes in a 22oz bottle!

My beer snapshot...

This should be a sudo complete list of what I have that hasn't been drank yet...

Stone:
Vertical epic 03, 04, 05, 06, 07 (I'm looking for 02...)
Double bastard
11th Anniversary
Old Guardian

Dogfish head:
120 minute IPA
90 minute IPA
World wide stout

Sam Adams:
Utopias
Triple bock

Avery Hog Heaven Barleywine
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine
Older viscosity ale
Hair of the Dog, Fred #1 and Fred #70
The Abyss

Brew Munkey:
Amber #2
IPArter #2
Tard Munkey
Mocha Cherry Stout
Brewkakii
Blessed Barleywine