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Archive for January, 2009

Stone Smoked Porter

January 28th, 2009

Stone Smoked Porter

Stone Smoked Porter is brewed in California by the Stone brewing company. I’ve had Stone’s Arrogant Bastard Ale, and it was terrible so I wasn’t expecting this to be any better but I’ve heard that there are good things that come out of this brewery so I figured I’d give them another chance.

Stone Smoked Porter has very dark amber color and is quite thick when poured, with a slight head that stays until the last sip. It has a mild, earthy, smoky aroma and the smell of a darker, black beer. At first the taste is sharp and quite offensive, but after a few sips you can really appreciate the smooth, mild flavor. Even though this is a dark amber beer it is more akin to the flavor of a black beer, with it’s smoky taste and slight bitterness. The taste is very close to the Xingu I reviewed a while back, but is creamier. The alcohol content is 5.9% so it’s not too high, but the large size makes up for the lack in alcohol.

If I were to judge this beer based on just the first taste it would probably be a two. Once you get over the initial shock you can really appreciate the creamy, mild flavor. I would recommend this to people who don’t normally like black beers. It has the flavor of a black beer but is much milder and would go well with some semi sweet chocolate. While this is good it’s almost too mild and lacks complexity. Maybe I’m being too critical. Taste it for yourself and let me know what you think.

Rating: 3

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3 Star, Beer Reviews

Shiner 100

January 22nd, 2009

Shiner 100

I’ve been looking forward to this beer ever since I found out about Shiner 96, which out of the five limited run beers Shiner has made is the only one I haven’t had (Send me one, hint hint). Shiner 100 is brewed to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the brewery in Shiner, Texas. I heard some good things about this beer before I tried it so my expectations were very high.

Shiner 100 has a beautiful dark amber color with a slight reddish tint. It has a light floral, slightly smoky aroma. At first the taste is akin to a slightly darker Shiner Bock, with a clean, slightly bitter finish. This is probably the fourth Shiner 100 I’ve had and it is definitely better when poured. It also seems that the colder this beer is served the better. The beer is surprisingly easy drinking due to the mid-level alcohol content. While this is a good thing, it would be very easy to overdo it. I couldn’t find the exact alcohol content, but I’m guessing around 7%.

I expected Shiner to save the best beer for last, but I’m still partial to the 98. This beer reminds me too much of a heavier Shiner Bock, which is not a bad thing since I think Bock is their best beer, but Shiner 100 fails to really wow me. Not to say this is a bad beer, but I guess I expected to be able to put up my first 5 star beer with this one. If there is a Shiner 100 and a Shiner Bock right next to it I know which one I’ll reach for.

Rating: 4

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4 Star, Beer Reviews

Chimay Blue

January 18th, 2009

Chimay Blue

Chimay Blue is a Belgian beer that is brewed in a trappist monastery. I’m guessing that a trappist monastery is just a place where a bunch of drunk monks make beer brewing a religion.

When poured you immediately notice that this is a very thick beer and forms a great frothy head. Chimay is a deep, dark amber beer that is too thick for light to pass through. The smell is smoky and woody and more akin to a black beer than an amber one. Initially the taste seems bitter but is quickly masked with a rich woody flavor that has a very satisfying finish. Though the alcohol content is quite high at 9%, the rich, thick, and smooth flavor masks the alcohol very well.

This beer is best enjoyed slightly chilled. When it’s served too cold it loses some of the complexity of the flavor. This is a fantastic winter beer that would be well suited after a steak dinner. The smooth flavor is quite surprising due to the syrup like texture and woody smell, but is very pleasant. I recommend this beer to anyone who likes amber beers. Chimay Blue has a unique flavor that can’t be compared to any other type of beer.

Rating: 4

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4 Star, Beer Reviews

Duvel

January 10th, 2009

Duvel

Duvel is my next beer for review. Duvel is a Belgian ale brewed by Duvel Moortgat. This beer was selected for me by my wife because she liked the bottle.

Duvel has a light, slightly hazy, golden color. When poured it bubbles and sparkles, like champagne, and forms a great fluffy, snow-like head that stays until the last sip. Like most lightly colored beers, it has a fragrant hoppiness that is very mild and pleasant. The texture is champagne like, very bubbly and crisp. Duvel’s taste is dry, probably due to high 8.5% alcohol content, mildly bitter, with a slight sweetness. It has a dry finish that seems to linger a while, but it’s not an unpleasant aftertaste.

I had low expectations for Duvel, since usually a nice bottle means they are trying to draw your attention away from the contents, but this is far from the truth here. I’ve never had a beer like this. The unique texture, surprizingly easy drinking, and high alcohol content make this a unique beer worth your hard earned money.

Rating: 4

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4 Star, Beer Reviews

Sapporo

January 5th, 2009

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Sapporo was first recommended to me by a friend who tried it when he was in Hawaii which was probably close to nine years ago, and it’s taken me this long to actually try it. With a name of a Japanese city, the Japanese writing, and the fact that the bottle says Japan’s Oldest Brand, I kinda figured it was a Japanese beer but in small print on the bottom it says brewed in Canada. So unless there is a Canada in Japan, I’m thinking this is a Canadian beer eh?

The origin of the beer aside, Sapporo has a deep golden, orangish color. It has a pleasant, very fragrant, hop smell. The first taste is slightly bitter but is instantly erased by the malted hop flavor, with a clean finish. The beer is slightly thicker than you would expect but not near as thick as dark, or black beers.

The mid 5.2% alcohol level makes it a perfect beer for enjoying at the end of the day, or any time you want to just sit back and enjoy a great beer. This is one of the best Japanese, err, Canadian beers (eh) I’ve ever had. The relatively low price and ease of acquiring this beer make it a must try.

Rating: 4

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4 Star, Beer Reviews

Flensburger Weizen

January 1st, 2009

Flensburger Weizen

Flensburger Weizen is Flensburger’s unfiltered wheat beer brewed in Flensburg, Germany.

I am a huge fan of wheat beers and this one does not dissapoint. The beer is cloudy and golden in color, as most unfiltered wheat beers are, and makes a great head when poured. The initial smell is citrusy and there is something else that I just can’t put my finger on. The taste is slightly dry almost like wine, which is a little strange to me, with a slight sweetness and a little bitterness at the finish. A wedge of lemon would compliment this beer very well. It has substance to it but is not overly flavorful or alcoholic. This would be a great beer to have with a meal.

I’ve never heard of Flensburger beers before, and only tried it by chance, but after trying this beer I’ll be looking for some of their others. This is one of the best beers I’ve found and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as well.

Rating: 4

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4 Star, Beer Reviews