BeerCritic


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.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


Chouffe Houblon Dobbelen IPA Tripel
Pourn: Chouffe Houblon Dobbelen IPA Tripel

Pourn: Chouffe Houblon Dobbelen IPA Tripel

Volume: 25.4 fl oz * ABV: 9% = 220.5 / 60 = 3.67 beers * 150C = 550.5 C est.
RateBeer rating: 98

Style; Glass: Abbey Tripel; Trappist
Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ
Price: $8.99

Aroma:  fruity, musky, humid, wet. Nice mix. Faint aroma, but delicious.

Visuals: pale golden hazy, immense white long lasting head. Carbonation is a bit overactive, but calms down after some time.

Taste: delicious, rich, hoppy, layered, nicely balanced, slight burn of alcohol. Banana, cloves, pineapple, very hoppy.

Palate: back of tongue, top back, roof. finish is long, dark, deep, and fruity. This marriage of california style hops and Belgian style fruit is an instant classic for me.

Overall Impressions: Banana, cherry, lemon, orange, hops, bitterness. One of my all time favorites.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


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
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


Elysian The Immortal IPA
Elysian The Immortal IPA

Elysian The Immortal IPA

Style; glass: IPA; tulip
22 fl oz x 6.3% ABV = 138.6 / 60 = 2.31 beers * 150 C = 346.5 calories (est.)
Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $3.00

Aroma: sour, flowery, and some pine. Mold. Inviting.

Visuals: Overwrought packaging and label design, though the box branding won me over. Sunlight in the glass, though there is clearly sediment awaiting me in a subsequent pour. Bright, brilliant orange, with a wonderful white staying head and crisp, sticky lace.

Taste: beginning is resinous, malt is not sweet, as you might expect, but rather nutty. Charming. Middle is corn, hay, and dust. Grassy. Finish is aa light hoppy bitterness. Very enjoyable.

Palate: Starts heavy and rounded in the mouth, works quickly to crispness and bite, then to some warmth and a middle length butter finish. Well done.

Overall: Delicious, definitely not an imperial style, but I appreciate the subtlety and focus on hops. Malt is secondary here, and sweetness is clearly muted. I like it a bunch!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


North Coast Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout 2007

ABV: 9%
Calories: estimated at 200 C
Volume: 12 fl oz
Glass: 4 oz stem goblet
Purchased at: circle liquors, pennington
Price per fl oz: $3 / 12 fl oz = $0.25 per fl oz
Consumed at: Home

sensory first impression: Rich, deep, chocolaty, and nutty. Alcohol comes through, but still drinkable. Impressive darkness, tan head, and aroma. Hoppy finish and malty front end are wonderfully balanced. A great example of the style.

Aroma/Olfactory: 10 out of 10
Malt flavor is: dark caramel, maple syrupy, dark chocolate, bold coffee, almonds, cashews, almost burnt
Hop flavor is: resinous, florid, oregano
Yeast flavor is: rye, floury, feta cheese, dirt, dry
Other flavors include: alcohol, ginger, garlic, licorice, raisin, oak

Visuals/Appearance: 5 out of 5
Color is: black, without highlights except for a light blue tinge
Liquid is: absolutely dark
Head and lace are: nice, brown with sticky lacing

Taste/Flavor: 10 out of 10
Maltiness or Sweetness level is: medium
Hoppiness or Bitterness level is: medium to heavy
Sour level is: light

Palate/Tactile: 5 out of 5
Body or Mouthfeel is: full
Texture is: oily, creamy, sticky, papery
Carbonation is: soft, flat
Finish is: astringent, bitter, long

Overall experience: A great taste and visual experience. Murky and mysterious, but tastes deep and wonderful. 18 out of 20. I liked the flavor, color, and aroma. I did not like the high price, but I can’t say it wasn’t worth it.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


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.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


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.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]