Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Beer Roundup Part 2
Victory Yakima Glory
This is an interesting one. Victory came out with a nearly identical beer last year except the name of the beer was "Yakima Twilight". Yakima is a region in Washington where the hops for this beer are grown. Now I wonder whether they'll have a different name for this beer every year, or was it just a switch for this year? I wonder if it's because of the recent success of the "Twilight" movie series and they were embarrassed to have that name in their title? I don't know, but anyway this beer is awesome. It weighs in at a hearty 8% alcohol and though it's not called an IPA, it tastes a lot like a very hoppy IPA. Super hoppy and super flavorful, definitely a good alternative to some of the other winter seasonals out there. I should also mention I spilled this beer on my laptop which I can partially blame for my lack of updates. Kind of. Whoops.
Weyerbacher Old Heathen Stout
Another day another stout review from Weyerbacher. This is kind of their "base" stout I'd assume where the "Fifteen" and "Heresy" that I reviewed before were based on this one. I don't know why, but I was just slightly disappointed in this one. I think the standard was set pretty high by the others and this one didn't quite live up to it. This stout comes across as a little bit too sweet despite it being highly drinkable at a solid 8% alcohol. I think it definitely misses the bourbon barrel aged flavor that Heresy gave it. Still a pretty tasty stout, but I think I'll stick with the other varieties.
RiverHorse Oatmeal Milk Stout
I've been enjoying trying out many of the offerings from NJ's RiverHorse brewery lately and I was glad to see that they tried out an oatmeal/milk stout. Though I was willing to give this a try, I think it made me realize that I don't enjoy sweet stouts all that much. Although I love a good, rich stout, I seem to be more taken with chocolate or coffee notes than vanilla or milky notes when it come to a stout. It just seems to distract from a nice bitter finish. This is still a pretty tasty beer, but I guess this is one kind of stout that I'm not that into.
Yard's Love Stout
These next three I had at the wonderful Johnny Brenda's which I have mentioned before. They always have a good rotating cast of local beers and I got to have a few more a few weeks ago starting with this stout from Yard's. This is a pretty mellow stout and I was surprised to be asked by the bartender if I was a vegetarian because this is an oyster stout! I've had a couple oyster stouts now and I can't say that I've ever really noticed the difference. I guess a really salty/fishy flavor would be kind of nasty, but I just feel like any of that flavor was nonexistant. The basic stout flavors were there, nice and malty and chocolatey, but yet again the promise of oyster has let me down. Still a fine English style stout though.
Sly Fox Chester County Bitter (Cask)
Johnny Brenda's always offers at least one of their beers in cask which is always a nice change. It comes out a little warmer and a little less carbonated and just feels appropriate for the season. I feel like a cask works well for this style of bitter. Nice and mild and hoppy this one left a good white tracing on the pint glass. Very English in flavor this one didn't blow me away with its taste, but I don't think it was supposed to. Most reviews I've seen of this one mention it served on cask which seems to be tailored to this beer. A good choice.
PBC Joe Porter
I've never been overly impressed with the offerings from Philadelphia Brewing Company, but this one was pretty nice. I guess I'm a sucker for coffee flavored beers, and of course the porter style fits that perfectly. The coffee hits you in a pretty bold way which is usually what I look for. It doesn't quite overpower the normal characteristics of a porter though which is good. Not the best coffee beer I've had by any means, but a pretty good option for a local coffee porter.
Great Divide Espresso Oak Aged Yeti
Great Divide makes another appearance on the blog and we get some back to back coffee related beers! I believe I had looked at this beer on the shelves for a long time, but had always turned my back because of the fairly high price (around $10 I think.) But, I ended up being in the mood for a nice big and bold coffee stout, and there's something that felt right about the yeti as the cover art. Anyway, the coffee isn't so intense here, but definitely strong enough. And at 9.5%, you definitely get an alcohol kick, but it still goes down pretty strong. Basically, it's rare I meet an imperial stout like this that I don't like.
21st Amendment Fireside Chat
Well, there's a lot to be said about the beautiful cover art of this beer. It's really one of the main reasons that I bought it to begin with. Who wouldn't want to sit down and have a beer with FDR during one of his "fireside chats"? Besides that, it was a little bit early in the season, but I was ready enough for a winter beer. I'm not sure about this one though. This had a weird sour frutiness to it, along with being terribly bitter. I appreciate the idea behind what's supposed to be a complex mix of flavors in this beer, but that doesn't necessarily matter if you aren't enjoying it while drinking. I'm not too displeased that I tried it, but I don't think I'll be buying it again to warm me up.