BeerCritic


Stone Old Guardian BWSA

First Published on June 13th, 2008

link to collage on Picasa Web Albums

Glass: snifter
Purchased at: Joe Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ
Price: $6.49
Size: 22 fl oz
ABV: 11.26%
IBU: n/a

Estimated Calories: 400C
RateBeer Rating: 97

Aural: uneventful opening, quiet carbonation, simple easy pour

Aroma 10 out of 10
Intensity: strong
Balance: sharp (alcohol)
Impression: nice

Malt Aroma: bread sweet nut caramel roast coffee
Hops Aroma:
mud mold clover rum rubber mango
Other Aroma:
grapes arugula pepper
Notes: An amazingly deep set of aromas – very interesting.

Appearance 4 out of 5
Color: dark
Clarity: slightest cloudiness, almost clear

Head Retention: poor
Lace: poor
Notes: The color has great depth and character, but there is little head to speak of.

Flavor 10 out of 10
Intensity: strong
Balance: sweet start with bitter finish
Impression: amazing
Malt Flavor: brown sugar rye walnut caramel dark chocolate liqueur roasted espresso
Hops Flavor:
dirt grasses star anise smoke grapefruit
Other:
mango, ashes
Notes: One of the best barley wines I’ve ever had, and no surprise from Stone.

Palate 5 out of 5
Mouthfeel

Sensation: drying warming
Body: full
Carbonation: average
Finish

Length: very long
Intensity: very strong
Balance: very bitter
Notes: A fantastic finish that leaves you looking forward to the next sip.

General Impression: 19 out of 20
Craftmanship: excellent
Freshness: fresh
Personal Taste: loved
Notes: Except for the slight critique of the missing head, which is forgivable considering the alcohol content, which is well hidden, this is a nearly perfect BWSA. Great job, Stone, as per the usual. This brew was purchased to celebrate the finish of my summer 1 Mediation class at Rider University in the Graduate Program for Organizational Leadership. The review of this fantastic ale is dedicated to the efforts of Jon Millen and the COM 390 class. Collaboration, not litigation.



Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale 2008
pourn: Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale 2008

pourn: Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale 2008

Glass: Shaker, Tulip
Purchased at: Oaktree buy rite, South Plainfield, NJ
Price: $16.99 for two 6 packs.
Size: 12 fl oz
ABV: 6.8 %
IBU: n/a
Estimated Calories: 170 C
RateBeer Rating: 96

Aural: quiet opening, active carbonation, nice pour

Aroma 8 out of 10

Intensity: strong

Balance: sweet

Impression:  nice

Malt Aroma: rye toast, peanut oil
Hops Aroma
: dry earth, grass, basil, grapefruit
Other Aroma
: pine

Notes: A great active aroma. Very mindful of a strong IPA.

Appearance 5 out of 5

Color dark

Clarity: cloudy, bottle conditioned

Head Retention: average

Lace: intricate

Notes: Beautiful beer. Deep red orange hues with a white head and lace.

Flavor 9 out of 10

Intensity: strong

Balance: bitter

Impression: nice

Malt Flavor: grain bread toast nut
Hops Flavor: curry, cardamom, grapefruit
Other: orange, grapefruit, pine

Notes: Sawdust and blood. Like an accident happened, but in a good way. How do they make such a commercial beer so very good?

Palate 5 out of 5

Mouthfeel

Sensation: creamy drying

Body: full

Carbonation: average

Finish

Length: long

Intensity: strong

Balance:  bitter

Notes: Perhaps the best aspect of this very good beer. Leaves you wanting more.

General Impression: 18 out of 20

Craftmanship:  excellent

Freshness:  fresh

Personal Taste:  loved

Notes: An amazing beer for the brewer and price. Just fantastic.

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Victory Wild Devil Ale Vodpod videos no longer available.
Victory Wild Devil

Victory Wild Devil

Style; glass: Belgian Ale, Trappist
22 fl oz x 6.7% ABV = 147.4 / 60 = 2.45 beers * 150 C = 367.5 calories (est.)
Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $9.99

It’s a deep bitter style that eludes traditional style descriptions – not quite an IPA, not quite a Belgian, but delicious, dank, and a bit soapy. Recommended as a different direction for hop lovers and Belgian lovers.



Long Trail Coffee Stout

Vodpod videos no longer available.
Style; glass: Imperial Stout; Snifter
22 fl oz x 8% ABV = 176 / 60 = 2.93 beers * 150 C = 439.50 calories (est.)
Purchased at:Canal’s Burlington, NJ for $3.50

A delicious, dark roasted coffee, cocoa, and espresso imperial stout with a deep opaque body topped with a dark tan head. Syrupy, sticky, and like dessert. A decadent treat.

Long Trail Coffee Stout

Long Trail Coffee Stout

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Troeg’s Nugget Nectar IPA

Troegs Nugget Nectar

Troegs Nugget Nectar


Vodpod videos no longer available.
Style; glass: India Pale Ale/Imperial Amber; tulip
22 fl oz x 7.5% ABV = 165 / 60 = 2.75 beers * 150 C = 412.5 calories (est.)
Purchased at: Canal’s Burlington, NJ for $5.99

A beautiful deep amber body under an off white head. Full of sweetness and bitterness so very nicely balanced. Pine, citrus and rind all meet in a deep and delicious beer.



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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Brooklyn Local 2 Belgian Strong Ale
brooklyn local 2 belgian strong ale

brooklyn local 2 belgian strong ale

Style; glass:Belgian Strong; trappist
25.4 fl oz x 9% ABV = 228.6 / 60 = 3.81 beers * 150 C = 571.5 calories (est.)
Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $ (have to check)

Aroma: cloves, banana, peach, fruit. A wonderful version of the style, aroma fills the room.

Visuals: Meticulous packaging, beautiful and royal, thinner translucent head, hazy ruby body, gossamer lacing.

Taste: Begins bubbly, sweet, and washy, middles to a fruity candy, finishes dark with some bitterness. Delicious.

Palate: Heavily carbonated, very fresh, middle dulls and flavors emerge, finish is long lasting, sweetness, roastiness converging.

Overall: As most of my purchases from Garrett O., this is a quality brew, worth the price, with exquisite care, packaging, and attention to detail. Superb.



TTL Transatlantic Stouts, as it happened

http://twittertastelive.com/events/twitter-taste-live-beer-stouts says:

Tasting Times (EST USA):

Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout– 6:10
Rogue Shakespeare Stout– 6:30
Rogue Chocolate Stout– 6:50
Samuel Smith Imperial Stout– 7:10

7:30 – ? @reluct_scooper says he has a few UK Stouts that he will open and tweet about. Discussion on Sam Smith & Rogue continues.

5:53: I’ve got my water nearby, tweetdeck chirping away, and I’ve already done group and individual bottle shots. This is going to be cool.

6:21: Just got some compliments on my notes. This is fun.

7:08 this is tough to do. Lots of beer!

8:39 What an experience. Here’s the trail:

  1. @reluct_scooper those two are very fine examples, but many more exist. #ttl

  2. @NormskiBrewer nice to have you! #ttl

  3. http://twitpic.com/1mf4n is a little compilation pic of tonight’s offerings. Cheers.

  4. @beerbabe just finished a WWS, and enjoyed it immensely. It defines the words ‘sip’ and ‘pleasure’. #ttl

  5. @beerbabe I ❤ Santo Palo Marron. I’ve gotten into Facebook fights over the amazingness of this brew. #ttl

  6. @beerbabe the flavor really emerges with the mellowing warmth. #ttl

  7. @beertweeter I am an amateur beer chef. 😉 hehehe. #ttl

  8. having very room temp Shakespeare, and it’s still standing up nicely. Nice hop finish, a bit mellower, of course, but flavor is there. #ttl

  9. @beertweeter good or bad? I finished my impy. #ttl

  10. biab. You people absolutely rock. #ttl

  11. @beertweeter you inspired me. 😉 #ttl

  12. @Normskibrewer My pleasure. 😉 #ttl

  13. @tastelive blushes and cheers. 😉 Video forthcoming, but a slower process. #ttl

  14. @beerbabe Thanks! It’s my latest little way of getting into my work. 😉 #ttl

  15. Photos from tonight’s tasting: http://tinyurl.com/bcxrph #ttl

  16. @Ekajtactless love that bastard. #ttl

  17. #3 trend on all of twitter. That really is kind of something on a Saturday evening, no? #ttl

  18. Wow. we cracked the code. Care deeply about something and talk about it. For hours! Lets get advertisements going. 😉 #ttl

  19. @Gservo had the Creme Brulee on tap once. That was nice. #ttl

  20. @Normskibrewer I like the way you drink… er think. #ttl
  21. @beertweeter Sessions are the new imperial styles. 😉 #ttl

  22. @reluct_scooper yeah I’d like to hear the also rans! #ttl

  23. @Normskibrewer If you want bucketlist brews, I’d suggest Mikkeller Black, Beer Geek breakfast, Great Divide Yeti, Dogfish Head 120, etc #ttl

  24. @Normskibrewer I don’t think any of these were to-die-for brews, but all good. #ttl

  25. @beerbabe I think these all stood up well. We can all agree that a macro brown ale would have trouble in the list. 😉 #ttl

  26. @Normskibrewer Sam Smith Imperial 17/20 Oatmeal 18/20 Rogue Chocolate 16/20 Shakespeare 18/20 #ttl

  27. @beerbabe it’s going to be a long night. But delicious. Cheers! #ttl

  28. going to follow each of you soon. 😉 #ttl

  29. @beertweeter I love that we live in a time that we can share this experience in this way. I’m a technologist first, and this is sublime #ttl

  30. @beerbabe it was my absolute pleasure, I can assure you. I’ve wanted to taste beers with you a long time now. #ttl

  31. does anyone esle have unfinished bombers sitting before them? #ttl

  32. This has been a lot of fun, friends! I’m looking forward to the next one as well. #ttl

  33. Being that Philly Beer week is approaching I think ale on cask will be an easy fix come March. Just saying. #ttl

  34. @beertweeter I think we all might benefit. They do casks at the Hulmeville Inn from time to time, in PA. #ttl

  35. I once had Sculpin from a Firkin in Philadelphia at a very special event. 😉 #ttl

  36. @beertweeter will do. I’m in NJ. You? #ttl

  37. @beertweeter there’s a place near me that has no trouble kicking casks in a few days — they do great advertising, beer lists, etc. #ttl

  38. @beertweeter trending #10 – damn, who’s at #9? #ttl

  39. @beertweeter The Mikkeller (Imperial stout) I mentioned earlier comes out at about 18% ABV. #ttl

  40. @hopwild I have to say I usually taste at cellar or warmer. I enjoy fuller flavors, genuinely. Mine aren’t cold at all, but delicious. #ttl
  41. @beerbabe sadly, no. #ttl

  42. @Normskibrewer Sam Smith Imp Stout. #ttl

  43. @hoppy_mike Raison seems a lot more intense than this, though. This is smoother, mellow, to me. #ttl

  44. To Bill, a deserving brew for a deserving appreciative. #ttl

  45. palate starts washy, foamy, middles to a linen and silk luxury, followed by a raisinous dark roasted finish that stays for a bit. Nice. #ttl

  46. Agitation does wonders for the visuals and for the aroma. The flavor retains its impact thoughout. #ttl

  47. Taste goes right to raisin, plum, oats, and coffee. So very smooth. some carbo in the finish, but not distracting. #ttl

  48. An appropriate stout for the toast: thick viscosity, thinner beautiful tan head, intricate lacing. Bill might have loved it. #ttl

  49. @hopwild to Bill! #ttl

  50. @reluct_scooper Cheers! #ttl

  51. @beertweeter me am. I mean I am. Wow. Long night. #ttl

  52. Maybe instead of the 25 random things craze on facebook, we could start a 10 beers for life list. Just a thought. 😉 #ttl

  53. pausing to video and snapshot the pour and body. biab. #ttl

  54. Mikkeller 黑 is mine, hands down. Lots of Number 2s though. http://tinyurl.com/akgg4q #ttl

  55. @beerbabe how’s the pairing? #ttl

  56. @beerbabe Agreed and wholeheartedly. #ttl

  57. @beerbabe I would go as far as to say that generalizing to gender is a fruitless endeavor. Especially when it comes to beer. 😉 #ttl

  58. Comparatively, I’d say this is more intense than the Sam Smith, but less than the Shakespeare. Hops are somewhat less here, no? #ttl

  59. @beertweeter and oh, how I’ve tried to turn her on to great beer. 😉 #ttl

  60. @beertweeter my wife. #ttl
  61. Starts carbona crisp, dry, and middles to blunt malty roasted notes. Finish is slightly bitter. Dark chocolate throughout. Delicious. #ttl

  62. roasted malt definitely comes through in the aroma as chocolate. Fully opaque body with foamy tan head. lacing is nice already. Milky. #ttl

  63. just paused to take some video of the pour and some body shots. Pourn. hehe. Ahem. Back now. #ttl

  64. oh man. sit this pint aside. take a drink of water. deep breath. #ttl

  65. @beerbabe a good problem to have. 😉 #ttl

  66. For Rogue, DFH, and Stone, having new offerings allows for diversity and experimentation that led to their original success. Good on em #ttl

  67. @beerbabe And as a result, you get Chipotle ale. I was less impressed with Soba ale. Don’t get me started on Dogfish Head. 😉 #ttl

  68. @beerbabe Babe Ruth was a leader in strikeouts as well as hits (i think), I think Rogue’s experimental nature allows for greatness. #ttl

  69. @beertweeter +10 for Lovibond reference. #ttl

  70. @beerbabe Rogue is really one of the most reliable brewers for hopheads no matter the style. Their Yellow Snow IPA, is world class IMO. #ttl

  71. No light escapes the body, no taste bud avoids the hop and silky coating. The back and roof my mouth are tingling. Well crafted. #ttl

  72. I think it’s brave of Sam Smith to endcap these brews from Rogue in our tasting. It says something for the fortitude of their brews. #ttl

  73. @beertweeter WD-80 😉 #ttl

  74. Flavor is far more hoppy, middles out to citrus and mint for me, finish is very bitter and lasting. I absolutely love Rogue brews. #ttl

  75. this is wholly opaque, black, no such ruby notes as in the SS. Fluffy tan head goes to thin with intricate lace. Beautiful. #ttl

  76. @hopwild mine deflated too, but lace is nice. #ttl

  77. @beerbabe i ❤ sediment. Lees, extra yeast, whatever, let me at it. #ttl

  78. @beertweeter lol Radiohead here. #ttl

  79. <sips water> #ttl

  80. @hopwild as we approach 25% ABV in some experimental Dogfish head brews, I think we’ll see it more and more. ;)One can hope. #ttl
  81. @hopwild I find that 5% and under forego the ABV listing. #ttl

  82. @reluct_scooper the carbo left mine pretty quickly and let the flavor come through. I started at cellar temp, too. #ttl

  83. Belgian lacing is crisp, intricate, and picture perfect. Nice way to finish. #ttl

  84. starts crisp, mellows to soy and dark notes quickly, longer oat based finish. A delicious session brew. #ttl

  85. I have a little 5 LED flashlight to get a good impression of the deeper color in more opaque brews. This one lights right up! #ttl

  86. I love stouts with some sediment or bottle conditioning. This one is clean as a whistle, but I’ll not hold it against ol’ Sam. #ttl

  87. @binendswine bottoms up while it’s 5% ABV! 😉 #ttl

  88. @binendswine blushing and cheers! #ttl

  89. jealous of those with food pairing. 😉 #ttl

  90. The color is one of the nicest features, I think — that ruby tinge is one of my favorite in the beer spectrum. #ttl

  91. As the carbonation departs and it warms, the flavors start to emerge more. Raisin, plum, soy. #ttl

  92. roasted malt is definitely coming through — oats help it. more choc than coffee for me. #ttl

  93. Mine is smooth, a bit like tea. Some chocolate, as beerbabe notes. I have a cold, sigh. #ttl

  94. @hopwild may be a bit shelved. Age doesn’t work in all brews, or could be a bad producer recipe. #ttl

  95. Taking shots and video as we go, will go up on http://beercritic.wordpress… later. #ttl

  96. Just a bit translucent. The ruby undertones are beautiful and the tan head is fluffy with nice lacing. #ttl

  97. Lots of grain and earthiness in the aroma. Nice. #ttl

  98. it says 6 p.m. EST here. 😉 #ttl

  99. I have four glasses setup, an english pint for the oatmeal, a shaker for the shakespeare, 2 snifters for the rest. All room temp, clean #ttl

  100. @binendswine Stouts, depending on substyle can be poured into shakers, English Pints (e.g. oatmeal), and Snifters (e.g. imperial) #ttl
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Oskar Blues Ten Fidy Imperial Stout
Oskar Blues Ten Fidy

Oskar Blues Ten Fidy

Style; glass: Imperial Stout; 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 $2.99

Aroma: An amazing aroma of cocoa, sugar, chocolate, syrup, coffee, mold, and dust.

Visuals: Cans are beautful, rather unique for craft brew, and very welcome. It is darkness in a glass. It’s midnight. It eats light. It is black and fully opaque. The beautiful brown tan head is fluffy and lasting, and the lace struggles against the ABV, but is beautiful.

Taste: Like chocolate syrup, so very delicious. A chocolate milkshake. Over the top roasted malts and a bitter rich finish that is very much like espresso. Absolutely delicious.

Palate: Starts sweet and with a heavy gravity, middle is dark and roasted with a satisfying bitter finish. Great for a hop head like me, but soothes my imperial cravings as well.

Overall: An amazing, if expensive, brew. Worth every penny. Dark chocolate, espresso, and syrup, you just can’t beat it.

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Russian River Damnation Golden Ale
Russian River Damnation Golden Ale

Russian River Damnation Golden Ale

Style and Glass: Belgian Strong Ale, Trappist, snifter
ABV, Volume & Calories: 7.75% in 25.4 fl oz. estimated at 400 C
Purchased at: The Six Pack Store, Philadelphia, PA for $20.00 (Joe, we need to talk — I have since seen this elsewhere for $8.95)
Aroma: Very nice aroma, fainter, flowery, fruity, spices, cloves, cinnamon.

Visuals: Very nice packaging, interesting label, educational iconography, body is very much like white balanced deep space pictures of the sun, deep muddy orange, thick with haze and sediment, bright white head, sticky Belgian lace.

Taste: Delicious, well balanced. Not very sweet with malt, but a nice hoppy surprise in the finish.

Palate: Starts crisp, slightly chemical, middle is somewhat fruity, malt hits for a second with peach and cherry notes, then goes to a hoppy, darker finish that stays for a short while.

Overall: A very enjoyable brew. I’d have it again. I was upset to find it for less than half the price in the suburbs, but you live and learn.

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