Monday, November 25, 2013

Review: Southern Tier Warlock

Southern Tier Warlock
8.6% ABV
Southern Tier Brewing Company, Lakewood, NY
22 oz btl
Served in Burley Oak tulip glass
Date on bottle: Bottled on 10/16/13
Reviewed on 11/16/13 

This pumpkin stout pours a dark brown color with a good beige head that has decent retention. Good lacing.

Smell consists of malt, pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, sugar, mild hops, slight caramel, mild chocolate, some coffee.

Taste has malt, pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar, some caramel, hints of coffee and chocolate, some dark fruit.

Mouthfeel is somewhat bitter on the palate with a good coating sugariness.

Overall, this is a rich tasting pumpkin stout that combines the flavors of a pumpkin ale with an imperial stout. Pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, and brown sugar are prevalent here, with good flavors of coffee, chocolate, caramel, and even a touch of dark fruit rounding things out.  The flavors mesh together quite well.  Pumpkin stouts are an underrepresented variation of beer--there be more if they taste as well as this one does.

My score: 92

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Review: Cigar City Jai Alai IPA

Cigar City Jai Alai IPA
7.5% ABV
Cigar City Brewing,Tampa, FL
12 oz can
Served in a standard mini tumbler
Date on can: Canned on 10/15/13
Reviewed on 11/8/13

This IPA pours a light amber color with a thin white head that quickly dissipates. Mild carbonation present. Mild lacing.

Smell consists of hops, grapefruit, orange-like citrus, some malt, slight spice, fresh flowers.

Taste has decently strong bitter hops, varied citrus flavors including grapefruit, orange, and a touch of apricot, slight dry champagne, peppery spice.

Mouthfeel is quite dry and bitter on the palate.  The hoppiness blasts the palate fairly well in true IPA fashion.

Overall, this is a quite dry and bitter IPA that's strong on the hops and citrus.  I was on vacation when reviewing this one, so I had to make do with the all-purpose tumbler found in the resort suite for glassware. The tumbler somehow works surprisingly well as a tasting vessel for this beer--perhaps the beer is so strong in flavor the drinking glass is irrelevant.  This is a solid IPA that has a strong citrus component to go with the hoppiness.  It doesn't balance out but instead provides intensity.  Some peppery spice and fresh flowers provide good accents as well.

My score: 92

Monday, November 18, 2013

Review: The Bruery Oude Tart

The Bruery Oude Tart
7.5% ABV
The Bruery, Placentia, CA
25.4 oz btl
Served in Dogfish Head signature glass
Date on bottle: Bottled on 7/31/13
Reviewed on 10/26/13

This Flemish-style red ale pours a solid reddish brown color with a decent beige head that quickly dissipates. Moderate lacing.

Smell consists of sour fruit, alcohol, berries, mild malt, mild hops, garden flowers, touch of spice, pungent honey.

Taste has sour, tart citrus, grapefruit, mild berry, oaky alcohol, honey, herbal/floral notes.  The sourness is quite strong.

Mouthfeel is quite sour and bitter on the palate.  Some wine-like alcohol dryness emerges.

Overall, this is an exquisite Flemish-style red ale that is quite sour.  Solid flavors of sour citrus, particularly grapefruit, dominate the palate, with flavors of berry, honey, and flowers providing complexity.  Sours have recently entered my radar, and I'm finding this one to be quite a treat.  It's a bit expensive, but worth trying at least once as it's quite distinct.

My score: 94