I am sorry. I had no idea it has been over a week since I last blogged. Please accept my apologies. I hope my latest beer choices will make up for lost time. I was finally able to track down a few I had been looking for, and one that I have been saving for a while. So, without further wait, here is my latest reviews.
Flying Dog - Horn Dog Barley Wine style ale.
I am drinking it right now. This is my third beer of the evening. And I will tell you a secret. I am feeling it. It rings it at a powerful 12.0 Alc/Vol. I know that because they print it on the side of the bottle. They also printed the IBU: 45 as well. Good thing. As much as I wish I could tell what the levels were from just a taste, I can't. I'm not that good. But what I can tell you is that this beer is good. I expected that slap of alcohol taste, but it didn't happen. It was surprisingly subdued. I wouldn't exactly say, absent. However, it is far from distracting. In fact, I am really enjoying it. I would say it leans more to the malt side than hops. But it is a even spread across the palate.
I really love this brewery. If I was to cheat on Dogfish Head, it would be with Flying Dog. And the more I try their brews, the more I think they might be take over the top spot on my top 5 list. More and more, I find myself recommending Flying Dog to anyone willing to try a new beer. Their beers are just so different, yet so good.
Grade: 4 Burps
New Belgium - 1554 Enlightened Black Ale
New Belgium is a brewery that keeps climbing up my top 5 list. They aren't in the "extreme" beer category of the Dogs. What they do is make good beer. Beer so good, that I have friends request it on the east coast where they can't get it. So in my attempt to review every beer they make, I started with a bottle of the 1554 Black Ale. I don't know what it is, but most of the beers I have been drinking come from the dark side. That explains so much.
I liked this one, just as I thought I would. It was very flavorful, and didn't linger on the palate. It was a heavy malt with a clean finish. Honestly, I expected the usual fruity taste of a Belgium ale, but the coffee and toffee flavors covered it up. I was surprised how mellow and smooth it was. I think this is why so many of my friends turn to New Belgium when the decide to break into the world of Micro Brews. They are a safe choice. And that is Ok. They make good beer. Strike that, they make really good beer. In fact, I think that missing keg I have yet to replace in my kegerator, might be filled with New Belgium Fat Tire. But don't tell the Dogs I said that.
Review: 3 1/2 Burps (very close to 4 burps though)
Samuel Adams - Imperial Series, Imperial Stout
I have been dying to try the newest creations from the Boston Beer Company. Samuel Adams has created 3 new brews for us under the "Imperial Series" label. The first one I was able to try was the Imperial Stout.
I really liked this one. Yes, I am a fan of Jim, but all biased aside, this really is a good brew. In fact, of the three (reviews to follow), this was my favorite. It is just a good, big, beer. That is what I like. It rings in at a quality 9.2% Alc/Vol. in a 12 oz. bottle. And it is just about perfect. I actually had another one before I decided to try one of the other 2.
It pours a beautiful dark color which I loved. An ever so slight hint of alcohol as you might expect from a brew of this caliber. The slight aftertaste and drinkablility (I hate that word, but it fits) is the only thing I could find to describe as faults. It wasn't as "thick" as I expected. Aside from that, it is a damn good beer. If you can find it, buy it.
Review: 4 Burps
Samuel Adams - Imperial Series, Double Bock
The next in the Samuel Adams Imperial Series, Double Bock. This might get a little old, but yes, it was good. Nearly as good as the Imperial Stout. However, I think it is just a notch below. Coming in at a 9.2 Alc/Vol, it is a quality beer. If it wasn't for that, this could be a good session beer. It has a great flavor, and an enjoyable aroma. This is a brew I would share with friends. It has the usual flavors of malt and coffee. But the alcohol was just a little stronger than the Stout. I think I am going to age a bottle or two and to see what happens.
Review: 3 1/2 Burps
Samuel Adams - Imperial Series, Imperial White
This is the third offering from the Imperial Series. And it is the third on my list. Normally, I am not a big fan of this style of beer. I did like it, but not as much as I wanted. This one rings in at a powerful 10.3% Alc/Vol. And you can tell. There was that alcohol aftertaste. But it wasn't as distracting as some other beers at this level. I might be biased, but I don't enjoy the citrus aftertaste. I am a malt and hops kind of guy, Thus, the unfair bias towards Witbiers. So if you are a fan, then try it. But if you are a hophead, or a true Ale kind of guy, go for the other two.
Review: 3 Burps
There you have it. I do have a few more, but I this is a long post, and I have to save something for the next review.