BeerCritic


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.



Brooklyn Black Ops Oak Aged Imperial Stout
Brooklyn Black Ops Oak Aged Imperial Stout

Brooklyn Black Ops Oak Aged Imperial Stout

Style and Glass: Imperial Stout; Snifter
ABV, Volume & Calories: 10.7% in 25.4 fl oz. estimated at 400C
Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $23.00

Aroma: intense coffee and licorice aromas, alcohol is very present, inviting, enticing. Berries, grass, and wood. Oaking is evident. Roasted, burnt scents throughout. A bit acrid, and enjoyably so.

Visuals: Packaging is engaging, classic, and perfectly done. The body is absolute pitch in color, viscosity, and heft. As deep black and opaque as anything I’ve ever seen. Head is tan, starting thick and fluffy, then dissipating, but not fully. A thin head remains. Lacing is exquisite.

Taste: Crisp body gives way to sultry chocolates, coffee, and caramel. Luxurious. Surprisingly balanced for the style and treatment. I expected to be bowled over, but instead, I’m treated to a very drinkable (dangerously so) beer.

Palate: Perhaps the best part of this beer is the set of sensations in the mouth and throat. Starts with a bubbly crisp effervescence, followed by a mild transfer to smoothness that carries those roasted flavors, then a sweet cream milkiness, then a bit of chalk, followed by a three part finish consisting of sweetness, roastiness, and hoppy bitter burn.

Overall: This is a once in a lifetime beer, very well done, and I’m thrilled to have enjoyed it. I only wish I was celebrating something besides Saturday night, as this beer deserves a celebration.



Founders Imperial Stout
Founders Imperial Stout

Founders Imperial Stout

Style and Glass: Imperial Stout; Snifter
ABV, Volume & Calories: 10.5% in 12 fl oz. estimated at 200 C
Purchased at: Joe Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $2.75

Aroma: roasted malts, coffee, sugar, syrup, carbon, toast, winter evenings, fireplace

Visuals: beautiful, exquisite packaging like all Founders brews, dark as midnight, absolutely black, light does not escape, starts with thick tan head, which dissipates over time but does not disappear, lace stays for a while.

Taste: delicious balance, syrupy but not cloying malt flavor, deep and acrid hop flavor afterwards.

Palate: Smooth, silky velvet feel. lingers upon the tongue and in the mouth. Coating, sticky, and delicious.

Overall: What an amazing brew. I’ll have it again, at least 3 times, though I’d love to have it at least once a week.



Founders Double Trouble DIPA
Founders Double Trouble DIPA

Founders Double Trouble DIPA

Style and Glass: DIPA, Tulip; snifter
ABV, Volume & Calories: 9.4% in 12 fl oz. estimated at200 C
Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $2.75

Aroma: A beautiful, hoppy explosion. Pine, citrus, resin, salt, seawater, and burn of alcohol is very present.

Visuals: design is fun, inviting, and apropos, body is a winter sunset, deep reddish orange with a bright white head, very clear, head is small but withstands the tasting, lace is missing.

Taste: smooth, sweet and burning, syrupy and spicy with savory notes, hops are forefront, bitter and biting.

Palate: smooth throughout. Alcohol inhale on first taste, followed quickly by sweetness, then intense bitterness, then a long dulling battering of the mouth. Delicious.

Overall: An amazing and delicious brew. A bit expensive, but always worth it. .



Russian River Pliny the Elder

Style and Glass:  DIPA, Snifter; Tulip
ABV, Volume & Calories: 8 % in 16.9 fl oz. estimated at 300 C
Purchased on tap at the Hulmeville Inn, Hulmeville, PA for $4.75

Hoppy, sweet and delicious. Aroma is hops, sour and mold. A great way to toast the new president, as I had this on inauguration eve. Bright, orange with a small white head. Sticky lace. Pine cirtus and grapefruit in the flavor. Coats the mouth, and finish is long and sweet, then bitter. A truly great brew.



Rogue Yellow Snow IPA 5L Mini Keg
Rogue Yellow Snow IPA 5L mini keg

Rogue Yellow Snow IPA 5L mini keg

Style and Glass: IPA; tulip
ABV, Volume & Calories: 6.2% in 5 liters estimated at 1,000,000 C
Purchased at: Bensalem Beer and Soda for $34.59

Aroma: mellow, sour, grassy. Hops come through nicely.

Visuals: The 5L can is impressive, unique, and a great way to draw beer. Fun, inventive packaging for craft brew. A bit hazy, golden to amber in color, with a long lasting white head that thins but does not disappear. Lace is phenomenal.

Taste: Very well balanced, with a malty, sweet start and a bitter hoppy finish. All the classic flavors you’d expect: pine, grapefruit, and resin. Dark malty finish is delicious. Flavor is deep, strong, and lasting.

Palate: Fresh, clean, and crisp, but lingers nicely on the front and back of the tongue. Tingles throughout the mouth.

Overall: A special treat from a great brewer. As close to the tap as I’ll have at home. I’d love to have it again, but I doubt I’ll ever see it again, after I slowly enjoy these 14 glasses. Delicious.



Russian River IPA

http://www.russianriverbrewing.com

Russian River's Logo from http://www.russianriverbrewing.com

Enjoyed this with friends at Issac Newton’s in Newtown, PA. On tap, served a chilled (sigh) shaker. Deep golden, brilliant, clear and delicious. Nice white head dissipates fairly quickly. Some lacing. All about the hops — delicious flowery aroma and bitter finish that is a little bit sour and sweet. Would be delicious with a Szechuan stir fry or with Vietnamese chile dumplings. Dark flavor, roasty, and an exemplar of the style. I really really want to try some of the bigger brews by RR.



St. Bernardus Prior 8

Style and Glass: Belgian Strong, trappist
ABV, Volume & Calories: 8 % in 11.2 fl oz. estimated at 200 C

Purchased at: Canal’s Lawrenceville, NJ for $17.00 as a part of a gift pack complete with glass.

Aroma: sour, fainter, flowers, metallic, mold

Visuals: inviting, dark, moat, deep brown, nearly opaque, thin, staying, off white head, tight lace.

Taste: well balanced, maple, syrup, sour, woody, fruity, plum, cherry, orange, slightly bitter.

Palate: whole tongue active, sweet, bitter, delicious, mellow, blunt, long dark finish.

Overall: Delicious and remarkable. Deep, dark, and multi-layered. I’d love to have it again, though generally, I prefer sweeter Belgian variants.



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.



St. Bernardus Christmas Ale

Sorry people, this was on location, and so no visual media.

Style and Glass: Strong Dark Belgian Ale, Trappist
ABV, Volume & Calories: 10 % in 22  fl oz. estimated at400 C
Purchased at: Issac Newton’s, Newtown, PA for $18.00

Aroma: malty, sweet, inviting.

Visuals: typical St. Bernardus label — neither inviting or not, like visiting an old friend, dark pour, thin head, opaque, dark body, red brown body, nice lace.

Taste: amazingly balanced, deep flavors, overlapping influences, peach, banana, cinnamon, bitter hops, high strength.

Palate: high quality, fruit juice texture, amazing, deep finish.

Overall: delicious. An amazing treat. Beautiful, rich, and deep. A repeat when I can afford it. A high level favorite. medium value. high craft. Paired with a brownie and ice cream dessert — matched well in sweetness and contrast.