BeerCritic


Stone 13th Anniversary Ale

Stone 13th Anniversary Ale

Style & glass: American Strong Ale; Snifter

22 fl oz x 9.5% ABV = 209 / 60 = 3.48 beers * 150 C = 522 calories (est.)

Available at: Joe Canal’s for $9.99

aroma is tar and resin, visuals are deep angry ruby under a tan head, taste is citrus, cherries, peach, and a quick turn to pine and resin, feels crisp and bright, overall, a delicious and wonderful brew.

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Mikkeller Monk’s Brew (Elixir)
Mikkeller Monk's Brew/Elixir

Mikkeller Monk's Brew/Elixir

Style; glass: ABT/Quadrupel; Trappist
25.4 fl oz x 10% ABV = 254 / 60 = 4.23 beers * 150 C = 634.5 calories (est.)

Purchased at: The Foodery at 3rd and Arch, Philadelphia, PA for $25.00

Aroma: caramel, tar, dirt, dust, earth, wine, fruit, cherries, mold, cellar, dank

Visuals: brand conscious packaging, stylish, deep dark copper body, tan head, staying, looks like an illustration of hell, in a good way.

Taste: well balanced, sweetness up front gives way to funky sourness, and finishes with a delicate bitterness.  Phenomenal.

Palate: active carbonation, not drying, rounded mouthfeel.

Overall: Delicious, if expensive. Like many other Mikkeller brews, this one is a great take on the style.

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Avery Fifteen Saison/Brett
Avery Fifteen Saison

Avery Fifteen Saison

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Style; glass: Saison/Brett; flute, Trappist
22 fl oz x 7.68% ABV = 168.96 / 60 = 2.816 beers * 150 C = 422.4 calories (est.)
Purchased at: Canal’s Burlington, NJ for $9.99

Beer Style: Brewed beyond any known category
Hop Variety: Sterling
Malt Variety: Two-row barley, Belgian wheat
OG: 1.064   Alcohol By Volume: 7.68   IBU’s: 19.2
Color: Hazy Sunset

originally posted at: http://www.averybrewing.com/BigBeers/seasonal/AnniversaryAleFifteen

Avery Fifteen is a golden bodied, white headed farmhouse style brewed with figs, hibiscus flowers, and white pepper. Funky, fruity, sour, and bitter, it is a surprising ale with a fantastic and generous dark finish.

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Avery’s Collaboration not Litigation Belgian Strong Ale

Troeg's Collaboration not Litigation Strong Belgian Ale

Troeg's Collaboration not Litigation Strong Belgian Ale


Vodpod videos no longer available.
Style; glass: Belgian Strong, Trappist, Snifter
22 fl oz x 8.72% ABV = 191.84 / 60 = 3.19 beers * 150 C = 478.5 calories (est.)
Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $8.99

Avery’s LNC is a Belgian IPA moshpit of flavors, with banana, peach, cloves, and hops all battling, and I’m the winner. It’s a beautiful mixture of flavors, an enjoyable layered voyage.

Update: The two brews were Avery’s Salvation and Russian River’s Salvation. I’ve had the RR, and it’s amazing, as this was. A great brew, a great opportunity for collaboration, and a great example of how mediation can transform potential conflict into real opportunity and creative achievement. Cheers.

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Sampler Session: Hulmeville Inn

Hi, all,

One of my favorite things in the world is a flight. A multi round sampler that allows you to taste a series of brews on tap, while only imbibing about a pint altogether (e.g. 4 * 4 fl oz), at a little past the price of a pint. One of my favorite places for this sort of pleasure is the Hulmeville Inn in Hulmeville, PA, home of Jeff Louella, The Aleien Homebrew club, and a whole lot of great craft beer.

I’ve decided to add a category to BeerCritic that focuses on these Sampler Sessions, rather than doing individual posts for the brews, because I can’t showcase them in the same way as I can in my home studio, and taking notes for each of the brews can be a daunting task in public, since some people think it’s, well, weird. As a result, my reviews are often more concise, tight, and immediate, and photos, if I get them, are minimalist.

So, here is the first post in this brand new category, but certainly not the last. Future Sampler Session entries will reveal the glorious visit to Bella Vista at the grand re-opening in September of 2008, with over 100 samples, as well as past visits to Hulmeville and other sampling spots, such as Triumph, Canal’s Lawrenceville, and Firkin Tavern.

Russian River Blind Pig, DFH Red and White, Troeg's Mad Elf, Boulder's Mojo IPA

Russian River Blind Pig, DFH Red and White, Troeg's Mad Elf, Boulder's Mojo IPA

Russian River‘s Blind Pig IPA: gold body with a white head, very hoppy, flavors are sweet, washy, not bad, but surprisingly, not great, finishes very bitter, a bit chilly, which is killing flavor and aroma.

Dogfish Head Red & White: More gold than red, thin translucent head on a deep, golden hazy body, looks very nice. Taste is deep Belgian, fruity with a very warm finish. Truly great and with an amazing finish.  You can really taste the wine. Sticky, sweet and warm. A must have.

Troeg’s Mad Elf: deep red body, rich finish, no head on a ruby body, delicious and beautiful. Mostly malt with a bit of carbonation.

Boulder’s Mojo IPA. An amber body with a tiny white head, dissipates to nil.  Good hops at the end, and lots of sweetness up front. Raspberry notes, orange juice, some sourness. Very enjoyable.

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Smuttynose Gravitation Quadrupel
02/15/2009, 2:59 AM
Filed under: ABT/Quadrupel (trappist), Smuttynose | Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Smuttynose Gravitation ABT Quadrupel

Smuttynose Gravitation ABT Quadrupel

Style; glass: ABT/Quad; trappist
22 fl oz x 8.5% ABV = 187 / 60 = 3.08 beers * 150 C = 462.5 calories (est.)
Purchased at: Super Saver, Pennington, NJ for $4.99

Aroma: cherry, raisin, wine, fruity, flowery.

Visuals: quirky but not unappealing packaging, ruby red body is brilliant, transparent and foreboding, weak white head thins to nil, little lace. The body is breathtakingly beautiful.

Taste: Very over the top sweet, slightly artificial in flavor. Candy malt, bright cherry sugar flavors, hops seem to be an afterthought, but they are there.

Palate: Tangy, tingly, highly carbonated, sharp, could cut through a heavy meal. Might be better with some age. Finish is acrid, bitter, and biting, but quick and fleeting.

Overall: A nice big beer from Smutty, though not my favorite from them. This one seems kind of  chemically influenced, somewhat overly sweet, and just a bit off balance. Some time in the cellar would teach it a few tricks, I think.

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Sierra Nevada Bigfoot BWSA 2009
Sierra Nevada Bigfoot BWSA 2009

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot BWSA 2009

Style; glass: BWSA; snifter
12 fl oz x 9.6% ABV = 115.2 / 60 = 1.92 beers * 150 C = 288 calories (est.)
Purchased at: Super Saver Pennington, NJ for $1.99

Aroma: Tea, cherries, alcohol, oak, hay, smoke, agitation brings out the hops

Visuals: well designed packaging, inviting, funny, and brand-strong, A deep pool of tea, orange to red, brilliant and clear, thin gray head, very nice lacing.

Taste: Overtly sweet and malty, some roasty flavors, high gravity, caramel, sharp crisp hoppy bitterness.

Palate: Starts heavy with sweetness, syrupy, quickly moves to tea and caramel, followed by slow descent to bitterness and hoppy overload.

Overall: Delicious and amazing. I have to grab it when I first see it each season. Great stuff. An absolute go-to fave. Value is amazing for the craft involved. Despite the macro overtones of what Sierra Nevada is doing, on their scale, you have to give them credit for delivering on flavor and quality on their brews — they do macro right.

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Schlafly Oak Aged Imperial Stout 2007
Schlafly Oak Aged Imperial Stout 2007

Schlafly Oak Aged Imperial Stout 2007

Style and Glass: Imperial Stout; snifter
ABV, Volume & Calories: 10.5% in 25.4 fl oz. estimated at 400 C
Purchased at: Canal’s Hamilton, NJ for $11.99

Aroma: Mostly cocoa, fainter, but delicious. Attractive.

Visuals: Packaging is exquisite, royal. You should expect something very special, and if the BWSA from Schlafly is any indicator, I do. A black tar pit of a brew.  Fully opaque, though the pour seemed thinner than this body proves. Thin tan head, almost fully dissipating, with some lace remaining.

Taste: Surprisingly light at first, but a quick flavor of oak, cherries, raisin, and alcohol hit after a second, followed by a longer hoppy burn. Very nice. Caramel, chocolate, and coffee show through. Licorice, taffy. A sweet treat. Needs some dark chocolate and pretzels to set it off.

Palate: Crisp, terricloth, and biting in the end. Hoppy dark finish. Oak is quiet on this comparative to the BWSA, but I don’t miss it. I only enjoy smokiness to a certain point, though there is some here, it is not overwhelming.

Overall: I liked it a lot. There are other less expensive, equally enjoyable imperial stouts, such as Oak Aged Yeti, or even just Yeti, but this was a very nice treat. Thanks, Schlafly.



High and Mighty Home for the Holidays
01/25/2009, 5:43 AM
Filed under: Current selections | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

On tap at the Hulmeville Inn, Hulmeville, PA, for $1.25 as part of a sampler flight. Deep reddish brown with a thin off white head. Sour! Licorice, seems off. Bitter, seems smoky, and deep. Not my type but well done. Cherry and lots of wine. Grapes, tannins, and wine. Once you notice the wine effects, it makes a lot more sense.



Avery Hog Heaven BWSA
Avery's Hog Heaven BWSA

Avery's Hog Heaven BWSA

Style and Glass: BWSA, Snifter
ABV, Volume & Calories: 9.2% in 22 fl oz. estimated at 400 C
Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $7.19

Aroma: Very nice. Aromatic. Grapes, hay, olive oil. Spices. Flowery. A very inviting scent. Foretells of a certain kind of wallop.

Visuals: Beautiful packaging, as with most Avery brews. The reddish slightly hazy body seems angry, ruby, bloody. It is fairly brilliant to start, but gets hazier with pour. Thick off white head and lace are staying, sticky, and wonderful.

Taste: Beautifully balanced. The alcohol is well hidden, but there is clearly a lingering burn, mixed with a sweet tea moment. Delicious, bitter, and satisfying, but most surprising of all, it can be tasted. Restrained, and wonderfully so. Nice hop bitterness throughout, but the malt is forefront. On a longer sip, fruits emerge. Cherry, grape, melon, sweetness, but not overly so. Warm, spicy, and simply delightful.

Palate: A long lasting flavor of tea, hops, licorice, grapefruit, and cherry. A wonderful warming sensation throughout, clearly due to the ABV, but the usual burn on the palate is missing. That’s killer.

Overall: Near the top of my list for Barelywines. I prefer a bit more of a cloying flavor in a BWSA, whereas this is much dryer. I’ll search this out again though. I’d love to pair it with a medium rare steak, some al dente green vegetables with a spicy sauce, or a spicy potato masala dosa.