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.



Captain Lawrence Nor’ Easter Winter Warmer
Captain Lawrence Nor'Easter Winter Warmer

Captain Lawrence Nor'Easter Winter Warmer

Style and Glass: American Strong; Trappist, Snifter
ABV, Volume & Calories: 12 % in 25.4 fl oz. estimated at 400 C
Purchased at: Joe Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $14.49

Aroma: Very much the impression of bourbon or whiskey. Alcohol, smoke, and fire await. Like a fireplace going in the neighborhood on a cold winter night.

Visuals: Very nice packaging, tasteful, inviting. Thin white head hangs on indefinitely, over a dark black oily body. Lacing is intricate and sticky.

Taste: Like cough syrup — it’ll cure what ails you. Thick, sugary, with a surprising control of the 12% ABV. Warms immediately. Woody, oaky, and smoky. More of a smoked german sausage than italian or polish spicyness. Like biting into a cupcake — very thick. Tasty! Cherry, chocolate, and caramel.

Palate:  Warming throughout. Starts thick and dull, no crispness throughout, and not really looking for it. Middle is spongy and drying, and finishes long, smoky, and a little spicy.

Overall: Like other CL’s I’ve tried, this is very much about the smoke, and like others I’ve tried, CL seems to do it right — not like eating a sausage, but it would compliment it very well. Delicious, expertly balanced, and neither cloying nor overpowering, which is astounding considering the ABV.



Stone Double Bastard Ale

Style and Glass: American Strong Ale, Snifter; trappist
ABV, Volume & Calories: 10.5% in 22 fl oz. estimated at 400 C
Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $7.99

Having this on Christmas night to finish off an amazing day. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all of you.

Aroma: amazing, sweet, flowery, hoppy, grassy, heavenly, malty, earthy, mold.

Visuals: nice label design, what seas might look like in hell, menacing deep red, brilliant, clear, thick white head, sticky tight lace.

Taste: wow. very malty, deeply hoppy, sugary, not syrupy, crisp, heavy, molasses, smoke, strong.

Palate: Of the highest visual and taste quality, rigid, sandy, rough, long bitter finish.

Overall: An absolutely amazing DIPA, though not classified as such. I’d have it again no question. Perhaps one of my top ten. A favorite. Great value. High craft.



Victory Prima Pils

Victory Prima Pils
ABV: 5%
IBU: ?
Calories: 150
Volume: 12 fl oz
Glass: Tulip
Purchased at: Joe Canal’s
Price per fl oz: $8 / 72 fl oz = $0.11 per fl oz
Consumed on/at: home on March 18th, 2008

sensory first impression: No head but a beautiful yellow golden beer. A pilsner, to be sure – pale, clear, and plain, visually. Aroma is smoky. Aroma is deep and rich. Aroma is hints of pork and cabbage. Taste is delicious, rich and hinting of other flavors. I taste bologna. I taste bread. I taste lettuce. I taste toast. It’s wonderfully balanced, a superlative taste but so very simple and unidimensional. Lacing is nice, but head is minimal. Warm with light alcohol. A great simple beer.

Aroma/Olfactory:
Malt flavor is: bread, cereal, nuts, toast, oats.
Hop flavor is: resinous, floral, very herbaceous
Yeast flavor is: doughy, thick, moldy, leathery, deep.
Other flavors include: bubblegum, lightly cherry, ginger, raisin, smoke

Visuals/Appearance:
Color is: pale, golden, amber, light, thin, white.
Liquid is: clear, immaculate
Head and lace are: minimal, white

Taste/Flavor:
Maltiness or Sweetness level is: medium to heavy
Hoppiness or Bitterness level is: light to medium
Sour level is: none

Palate/Tactile:
Body or Mouthfeel is: medium
Texture is: creamy, thick, silky
Carbonation is: lively
Finish is: long and wonderfully balanced.

Overall experience: Visually this is not a stimulating beer, but so rewarding in other ways. It’s delicious in terms of taste, though not overwhelming in any way. It’s feel is enveloping, smooth, and mellow. Its aroma is enticing, but not overwhelming. It’s a wonderful beer, and easily my favorite pilsner.



JW Dundee’s American Pale Ale

ABV: 5.3%
IBU: ?
Calories: 150
Volume: 12 fl oz
Glass: tulip
Purchased at: Joe Canal’s – sampler.
Price per fl oz: $11 / 144 fl oz = $.07 per fl oz
Consumed on/at: Home on March 18th, 2008

sensory first impression: A bit of sparkle, but a calm beer. nice deep sunset color – clear orange red. big head goes to bumpy head goes to wispy head goes to nothing. Suprisingly nice flavor – crisp, a touch of hops. Not entirely disappointing, but not very great. A bit watery, but not undrinkable. Not far off from big pilsners though.

Aroma/Olfactory:
Malt flavor is: hay, grain, cereal, nuts, and dust.
Hop flavor is: grassy, a wee bit citrus.
Yeast flavor is: doughy, moldy, dry
Other flavors include: bubblegum, corn, sulfur, smoke.

Visuals/Appearance:
Color is: bright, orange, red fiery, sunset.
Liquid is: clear, a bit thin.
Head and lace are: minimal, white.

Taste/Flavor:
Maltiness or Sweetness level is: light
Hoppiness or Bitterness level is: very light
Sour level is: none.

Palate/Tactile:
Body or Mouthfeel is: thin.
Texture is: slick, papery.
Carbonation is: average
Finish is: slight, and short.

Overall experience: Not a bad beer. Not off putting, but not very good. I don’t think I’d get it again. The price is the best part, and that’s just not a very good reason to choose a beer.



Green Flash Imperial IPA
Green Flash Imperial India Pale Ale

Green Flash Imperial India Pale Ale

ABV: 9%
RateBeer rating: 97
Calories: estimated at 400 C
Volume: 22 fl oz.
Glass: snifter, tulip
Purchased at: Oak Tree, South Plainsfield, NJ (Thanks, jay and Matt!)
Price: $5.99
Consumed at: home

First Impression: deep, smoky aroma and a simple gold body with a white head. Aroma is smoke, hops, and some funk. Visuals are a gold body with a persistent white head with very intricate lacing. Taste is a roller coaster – a bit metallic, somewhat mechanical, deeply hoppy, and lacking balance, which I don’t mind.  Palate is sharply bitter with a smoky sourness. Long dark, deep finish. Rich. Second Impression – a very special IIPA, in that it imparts a sausagey flavor to the hoppy bitterness, and avoids the cloying answer to the bitterness and preserves the bitter crunch nicely. A great buy for such a very uniquely treated co-style.

Aroma: 9 out of 10

Visuals: 4 out of 5

Taste: 10 out of 10

Palate: 5 out of 5

Overall: 18 out of 20

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Victory Golden Monkey
06/21/2008, 4:33 AM
Filed under: Abbey Tripel (trappist), Victory | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Victory Golden Monkey Tripel Ale with Spices
ABV: 9.5%
IBU: n/a
Volume: 12 fl. oz.
Glass: shaker
Purchased at: Sherwood Liquors
Consumed on: February 27th, 2008, 10:12 pm

sensory first impression: A very pretty beer with quirky advertising. Overwhelming fruity scent, which I like. No head or lace to experience, but I don’t miss it, since the olfactory is so nice. I poured twice – first time clear – second time because I felt I had missed out on the bottle conditioning yeast. Whoopsie! the second yeasty pour made it downright cloudy. It’s like sandblasted glass now. Nice bite, lots of flavor – I taste bacon, and I smell banana. I’m not crazy about smoke in beers – see my future review of Triumph’s Rauchbier, for example, but this is balanced pretty nicely. There’s lemon and plums and orange and apple — lots of apple — and banana. Nice bite and texture, and the presence is divine. This is a special beer.

Aroma/Olfactory:
Malt is smoky and full of a fruit bowl of taste influences.
Hops are herbaceous, mellow, and leafy. Very nice balance here. In the hands of an amateur, this would be a mess. Hail Victory.
Yeast/Bacteria doughy, earthy, leafy, and reminds one of an aquarium. I just jumped in. Did I mention this is 9.5% alcohol by volume?
Banana seems omnipresent, and I love it. Paprika? Ginger-licious. What an amazing depth of flavor.

Visuals/Appearance:
Color is pale and a solid block of gold.
Liquid is cloudy with yeast.
Head/Lace is nowhere to be found.

Taste/Flavor:
Maltiness/Sweetness is heavy in smoky sweetness – like a banana infused sausage, but delicious.
Hoppiness/Bitterness is light and very balanced.
Sour from the smoke, but in an affectionate way.

Palate/Tactile:
Body/Mouthfeel is quite full and cloying.
Texture is creamy, slick, and thick
Carbonation is softly present in the background.
Finish is long lasting but muted. The cloying aspect amplifies this aftertaste, which is wonderful.

Overall second impression: What a wonderful beer. It wasn’t the first thing to reach out and grab me, but I’ll be sure to keep it on the top of my list when I’m looking for something special to sip, enjoy, and savor. What a treat.