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.



Eel River Triple Exultation Old Ale

Style and Glass: Old Ale, Snifter; English Pint
ABV, Volume & Calories: 9.7% in 22 fl oz. estimated at 400 C
Purchased at: Super Saver Pennington, NJ for $6.99

Aroma: nice, heady, whiskey, oak, wood, musk, dust

Visuals: nicely packaged, rose colored glasses, iced tea, quite hazy, long lasting tan head, rocky, frothy, thick sticky lace.

Taste: whiskey, unbalanced, mostly malt, little hops, alcohol in front, warming, bright, heavy.

Palate: delicious, warming, smooth, like a thinner 120 minute IPA, medium finish.

Overall: Enjoyable. Good winter night brew.



Southern Tier Choklat

Style and Glass:  Imperial Stout, Snifter
ABV, Volume & Calories: 11% in 22 fl oz. estimated at 400 C
Purchased at: Canal’s Burlington for $8.99

Aroma: So nice, cocoa, chocolate, milk chocolate, sourness, cream, caramel, alcohol.

Visuals: beautiful packaging, as usual, utter darkness, like a night in the deep woods, black, opaque, nice tan head, strong lace.

Taste: Well balanced, syrupy chocolate, tight bitter finish, warming, strong, delicious.

Palate: High quality, smooth texture, warm, bitter finish.

Overall: dessert in a bottle. I’d have it again in a heartbeat. Likely my favorite chocolate imperial stout. It turns it to 11. Nicely done once again by Southern Tier.



Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast Stout

Glass: English pint
Purchased at: OakTree BuyRite, South Plainfield NJ (Thanks, Jay & Matt!)
Price: $14.99
Size: 22.3 fl oz
ABV: 7.5 %
IBU: n/a
Estimated Calories: 175 C
RateBeer Rating: 100

Aural: quick release in opening, dark, quiet carbonation, intense but uneventful pour

Aroma 10 out of 10

Intensity: strong

Balance: sharp

Impression:  so nice

Malt Aroma: oat, sugar, toast, hazelnut, caramel, espresso roast
Hops Aroma
: mold, licorice, tar, resin, lemon
Other Aroma
: bacon

Notes: An amazing aroma. An aroma by which to compare all others. Phenomenal.

Appearance 5 out of 5

Color: black

Clarity:  wholly opaque

Head Retention: persistent

Lace: poor

Notes: A full darkness with a dark tan head. An exact replica of deep roasted coffee.

Flavor 10 out of 10

Intensity: strong

Balance: bitter

Impression: so very nice

Malt Flavor: oat, rye, chocolate syrup, burnt toast, carbon, cashew, caramel, toffee, espresso
Hops Flavor: mint, cilantro, dust
Other: alcohol

Notes: An amazing flavor. Comparable to no others. An instant and lasting favorite.

Palate 5 out of 5

Mouthfeel

Sensation: drying, warming

Body: full

Carbonation: faint

Finish

Length: long

Intensity: strong

Balance: bitter

Notes: Leaves you wanting another taste. Would make a great gift. I wish I was having pancakes right now.

General Impression: 20 out of 20

Craftmanship: excellent

Freshness: fresh

Personal Taste: absolutely  loved

Notes: I cannot find more superlatives to apply here. It is, without a doubt, my favorite beer. Mikkeller is a genius.



Avery IPA

Glass: shaker, tulip
Purchased at: Issac Newton’s, Newtown, PA
Price: $4.50
Size: 12 fl oz
ABV: 6 %
IBU: n/a
Estimated Calories: 160 C
RateBeer Rating: 90

Aural: quiet opening, visible carbonation, rushing pour

Aroma 6 out of 10

Intensity: medium

Balance: sweet

Impression: nice

Malt Aroma: nut
Hops Aroma
: resin citrus
Other Aroma
:

Notes: A nice, if faint, aroma.

Appearance 2 out of 5

Color: amber

Clarity: brilliant

Head Retention: medium

Lace: interesting

Notes: an average appearance, nothing out of the ordinary.

Flavor 9 out of 10

Intensity: strong

Balance: bitter

Impression: nice

Malt Flavor: grain nut
Hops Flavor: resin citrus
Other:

Notes: A very nice hop and malt balance. Well done.

Palate 5 out of 5

Mouthfeel

Sensation: drying warming

Body: full

Carbonation: medium

Finish

Length: long

Intensity: strong

Balance: bitter

Notes: A great IPA finish – long, bitter, and hoppy.

General Impression: 16 out of 20

Craftmanship: very good

Freshness: fresh

Personal Taste: liked a lot

Notes: A nice example of an IPA, though I prefer more imperial versions.



Anchor Old Foghorn BWSA

Glass: snifter
Purchased at: Issac Newton’s, Newtown, PA
Price: $6.00
Size: 12 fl oz
ABV: 9 %
IBU: n/a
Estimated Calories: 190 C
RateBeer Rating: 97

Aural: quiet opening, little carbonation, simple pour

Aroma 10 out of 10

Intensity: strong

Balance: sharp

Impression: nice

Malt Aroma: grapes
Hops Aroma
: roses
Other Aroma
: alcohol

Notes: An inviting and forewarning aroma. Enticing and siren like.

Appearance 5 out of 5

Color: brown

Clarity: hazy

Head Retention: persistent

Lace: medium

Notes: ruby body and wispy white head – quite beautiful.

Flavor 10 out of 10

Intensity: strong

Balance: bitter

Impression: very nice

Malt Flavor: grain sweet toffee licorice
Hops Flavor: dust cinnamon lemon sugar
Other: alcohol

Notes: A wonderful flavor, full of wine live depth and flavors. Very sweet, but not cloying.

Palate 5 out of 5

Mouthfeel

Sensation: slick warming

Body: full

Carbonation: average

Finish

Length:  long

Intensity: strong

Balance: sweet

Notes: A surprisingly deep mix of hoppy bitterness and sugary sweetness. Well done.

General Impression: 18 out of 20

Craftmanship:  excellent

Freshness: fresh

Personal Taste:  loved

Notes: A great beer, but hard to find and a bit expensive at $6 a bottle. I hope it comes to Jersey soon.



Stone IPA

Stone India Pale Ale
ABV: 6.9%
IBU:
Volume: 12 oz
Glass: Tulip Goblet
Purchased at: Hopewell Valley Wine and Liquor
Consumed on: Friday, February 15th, 2008 at 10:55 pm

first impression: A quickly dissipating head and a slightly unfiltered, hazy appearance gives a mixed bag of anticipation, but I’ve had this beer before, and know what I’m in for. The grapefruit is amazingly present in the aroma, and the color, while not the most interesting or poetic, is certainly not unappealing. The taste is remarkable. It warms, and travels down the chest with a trail of hops. It is a beer with a taste history to it. You can remember the flavor for minutes after, and it is a great flavor. Wonderfully bitter with heavy malt undercurrents. It is an exemplar of an IPA.

Aroma/Olfactory:
Malt is roasted, toasty, and weighs heavily on the flavor.
Hops are resinous, very flowery, and brimming with grapefruit and lemon.
Yeast/Bacteria reminds one of a stack of stone slabs, a hint of surface water but not odoriferous or negative in impression.
It is tasty, heady, commanding, intoxicating, present, heavy, and delicious.

Visuals/Appearance:
Color is pale, orange, single noted, and without real depth.
Liquid is just a bit hazy and quiet.
Head is gone, but the lace is remarkable present. Hangs more on the glass than the volume itself. Quite white at the start.

Taste/Flavor:
Sweet in a slight way, but more bitter
Bitter is the overarching sentiment here, and it delivers in droves. It’s not ruination, but it’s not far off, IMHO.
Sour notes come with the bitter and citrus components.
Beatifully balanced in hops and malt.

Palate/Tactile:
Body/Mouthfeel is full and long lasting.
Texture is slightly cloying, not in a sweet way, and not like a stout, but it does not dissipate quickly.
Carbonation is crisp but not visually active.
Finish is quite bitter, and nicely so.

Second impression: Overall, this is a great beer, a fantastic example of an IPA, a strong exemplar of Stone’s lineup, and just a pleasure to have. One of my favorite beers, by far.



Abbaye des Rocs Grand Cru Belgian Strong Ale

Glass: Large Tulip
Purchased at: Circle Liquors Super Saver, Pennington, NJ
Price: $8.99
Size: 25.4 fl oz
ABV: 9.5%
IBU: n/a
Estimated Calories: 400 C
RateBeer Rating: 99

Aural: opening is explosive, but contained over a few minutes of caution. carbonation is very active and audible, pour after calming is beautiful and quiet.

Aroma 8 out of 10
Intensity: medium
Balance: sweet
Impression: inviting

Malt Aroma: grain bread sweet toast nut
Hops Aroma:
earth floral herbal
Other Aroma:
fruit cherry, peach,
Notes: inviting, nice, fruity, mild

Appearance 4 out of 5
Color: dark
Clarity: quite cloudy
Head Retention: poor
Notes: head dissipates almost instantly to absolutely nothing. The body is quite beautiful though – murky, cloudy, and reminds you of what it might be like to swim in the dirty seas of countries that have no concern for pollution. Scary, in a way.

Flavor 9 out of 10
Intensity: strong
Balance: between sweet and bitter. Interesting.
Impression: nice
Malt Flavor: rice, Italian bread, whole wheat toast, walnut
Hops Flavor:
soil, dying flowers, tea
Other:
cherry, celery, peas
Notes: A very interesting, dark taste. Full bodied, deeply flavorful, and not easily drank. Alcohol is expertly hidden.

Palate 5 out of 5
Mouthfeel

Sensation: sticky, warming
Body: full
Carbonation: highly carbonated, like seltzer
Finish

Length: long
Intensity: medium
Balance: more bitter
Notes: A bit of ash, yeast, and tea in the finish. Again, quite interesting mix of fruit, texture, and color.

General Impression: 17 out of 20
Craftmanship: excellent
Freshness: fresh
Personal Taste: liked quite a bit
Notes: A once in a while treat – not one of my favorites, but glad to have tried it as a specialty.



Chimay Bleue

Glass: tulip, trappist, tumbler
Purchased at: Circle Liquors Super Saver, Pennington, NJ
Price: $4.29
Size: 11.2fl oz
ABV: 9%
IBU: who @!#$%^&*() knows
Estimated Calories: 200 C
RateBeer Rating: 99

Aural: opening was boisterous, exciting, and wet. carbonation was overstimulated, but controllable, pour was about average, but with caution.

Aroma 8 out of 10
Intensity: medium
Balance: sweet
Impression: reasonable

Malt Flavor: grain bread sweet toast nut
Hops Flavor:
herbal spice
Other:
fruit
Notes:A very nice scent with a delicious aroma

Appearance 4 out of 5
Color:  dark
Clarity:very hazy
Head Retention: poor
Notes: I wonder if the humidity is affecting the head of these beers. 🙂

Flavor 8 out of 10
Intensity: above average
Balance:  medium
Impression: okay
Malt Flavor: grain bread sweet toast nut
Hops Flavor:
earth floral herbal
Other:
fruit
Notes: A very nice fruit style, but does not feel strong, which is kind of a plus. Or maybe a plooooose.

Palate 4 out of 5
Mouthfeel

Sensation: creamy slick drying warming
Body:  medium
Carbonation: medium
Finish

Length: long
Intensity: medium
Balance: more bitter
Notes: a very tasty beer, with a nice balance and a nice finish.

General Impression: 18 out of 20
Craftmanship: excellent
Freshness: fresh
Personal Taste: loved
Notes: delicious, very hoppy with a long bitter finish, and a very nice color.



Great Divide Hercules Double IPA

Glass: tulip
Purchased at: Joe Canal’s, Lawrenceville, NJ
Price: $7.29
Size: 22 fl oz
ABV: 9.1%
IBU: 85
Estimated Calories: 400 C
RateBeer Rating: 99

Aroma 10 out of 10
Intensity: Strong
Balance: Sweet
Impression: Nice

Malt Flavor: Sweet Toast Nut Caramel
Hops Flavor:
Floral Herbal Spice
Other:
Syrup, maple, nuts, grapefruit
Notes: One of the best aromas I’ve encountered – fills the room.

Appearance 5 out of 5
Color: Copper
Clarity: slightly Dull
Head Retention: Persistent
Notes: One of the best head retentions I’ve seen in quite some time. Lacing is remarkable. Color is deep and very good looking. Body is not perfectly clear, but I imagine that’s by design. There is no mention of bottle conditioning.

Flavor 10 out of 10
Intensity: Strong
Balance: well balanced between Sweet and Bitter
Impression: very Nice
Malt Flavor:
Grain Bread Sweet Toast Nut Caramel
Hops Flavor: Floral Herbal Spice Resin Citrus
Other: Grapefruit, orange peel
Notes: quite spicy – could stand up to the most potent foods and flavors.

Palate 5 out of 5
Mouthfeel

Sensation: Creamy Slick Drying and Warming
Body: Full
Carbonation: Lively and visible
Finish

Length: Long
Intensity: Strong
Balance: Bitter
Notes: The finish is superb. The carbonation is present and active. The mouth is affected and warmed all over.

General Impression: 20 out of 20
Craftmanship: Excellent
Freshness: Fresh
Personal Taste: Loved
Notes: One of my all time favorite beers – remarkably drinkable, smooth, bitter, sweet, and tasty. Beautiful to behold, and nicely crafted. Aroma is enticing. Price is reasonable for the product, and the finish keeps you interested. A superlative beverage.