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Archive for February, 2009

Samuel Adams Irish Red

February 28th, 2009

Samuel Adams Irish Red

Samuel Adams is a well known US brewery, that has a wide variety of offerings from the super expensive Utopias, all the way down to the standard Boston Lager. I’m a fan of Samuel Adams beers and I had never tried the Irish Red so I thought I’d give it a review.

This being an Irish Red, it’s safe to assume that it will be red in color, so no surprise it has a deep red amber color. This beer has a hoppy, slightly alcoholic smell to it. Samuel Adams Irish Red has a little sweetness at first taste with a bitter sting that lasts throughout. You can pickup on the earthy tones which go quite well to balance out the sweet and bitterness. Now it’s not an overly bitter taste, but you will definitely notice it’s there. It’s a very easy drinking beer due to the 5.5% alcohol content.

This beer was a gold medal winner in 2006 but I’m not sure what it was up against so take that with a grain of salt. This is not my favorite Samuel Adams beer. For that I look to the standard Boston Lager. Not to say it’s a bad beer but it seems to me that all their other beers just don’t hold up to the standard Boston Lager. Give it a try see what you think but it’s not a beer I’ll be buying again. Oh and by the way, if anyone wants to buy me one of those Utopias I won’t bitch.

Rating: 3

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3 Star, Beer Reviews

Fuller’s ESB

February 18th, 2009

Fuller's ESB

Fuller’s ESB is brewed by the Griffon Brewery in Great Britan. If you are unfamilar with ESB beers it means extra special / strong bitter and even though the name suggests a bitter beer this is not always the case.

Fuller’s isn’t a particurly thick beer but it does form a nice head, that subsides rather quickly (as you can see in my photo), when poured. It has a mild amber color with a slight reddish tint to it. It has a nice malted hop and light fruity smell. You can pickup on the malted hops right away. The taste is a little bland but not too bitter and I wanted a little more substance to it. This ESB is fairly easy drinking with a heavy finish that gives you a taste of the bitter that is expressed in the name. The 5.9% alcohol volume makes this a good beer to enjoy by itself in the evening.

This ESB isn’t bad by any standards and some may actually find it quite good, but it lacks a little in the flavor for me. I expected a little more robustness to the malted hops and this just didn’t deliver. This being only the second ESB I’ve ever had it’s hard to compare it to something else or suggest an alternative. The closer to room temperature this beer is the more the flavor comes out but I’m not the type to drink warm beer so I’m not going to let it get that far.

Rating: 3

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3 Star, Beer Reviews

St. Peter’s Cream Stout

February 10th, 2009

St. Peter's Cream Stout

I tried St. Peter’s Cream Stout cause I had no idea what a cream stout was. St. Peter’s Cream Stout is brewed by the St. Peter’s Brewery in the U.K.

You notice immediately that this is going to be a heavy, thick beer. The color is dark amber, with a slight reddish tint and approaches pitch black in the center. The smell has a strange quality. I would describe it as the smell of a cabernet sauvignon. You can kind of catch a hint of berries. The smell is more akin to wine than beer. The Taste is just bitter. Bitter at the start, bitter at the end, a lot of bitter in the middle, and very dry throughout. I could try to describe some of the other flavors but it wouldn’t be worth it. All you can taste is bitter. You would expect this to have a very high alcohol content but at only 6.5% it seems to have a lot of bitterness for the alcohol content.

Normally at this point I’m winding down to the bottom of the glass but this beer is so bitter I’ve almost got a full glass. I can’t recommend this to anyone, even if you like dark beers stay away from this one. Try some of the other dark beers I’ve reviewed. Maybe you’re supposed to drink this beer warm or at room temperature, I don’t know, but I’m not going to find out. Oh yeah, I still have no idea what cream stout is.

Rating: 1

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1 Star, Beer Reviews

Shiner 99

February 2nd, 2009

Shiner 99

This is not my first time to have Shiner 99. I bought a couple six packs when it first came out and still have one unopened as a collectors item. I’m revisiting this beer due to the overwhelming praise my co-workers give it. Shiner 99 is a Munich style helles lager brewed to celebrate the 99 years the little brewery in Shiner has been open. It was brewed in limited quantity for 2008 only. So if you’re reading this and haven’t already tried Shiner 99 you probably don’t have much more time to find a six pack unless Shiner decides to make this a permanent brew like they did with the Shiner 97.

Shiner 99 is a beautiful bright golden beer, with little to no head when poured. The malted hops give it a subtle yet pleasing aroma. There is no hint of bitterness with this beer. The only flavor is the great malted hop taste. There is a slight thickness to it but it’s hardly noticeable when drinking. A clean finish and a mild aftertaste make this a very easy drinking beer. I couldn’t find the exact alcohol content of this beer but it seems quite low. I’m guessing hovering around the 5% alcohol mark. This is surprising due to the thickness.

Overall this is probably the finest beer Shiner has ever made and it would be a shame to not make this a permanent addition to the brewery’s already stellar offerings. The only thing I can ask is that there be a little more hoppiness to give it a more robust flavor, and this is really just nit picking. If you like Shiner 99 or missed it and are looking for something similar, I hate to disappoint you but, there isn’t much in the same league. If you found Shiner 99 a little too mild, I suggest you try Sapporo. It has the same malted hop flavor but is much more bold, alcoholic, and unfortunately, much more bitter.

Rating: 5

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5 Star, Beer Reviews