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Eisenbahn S.A.P.A.

June 8th, 2009

Eisenbahn S.A.P.A.

Let’s just get this out of the way first.  S.A.P.A. stands for South American Pale Ale.  There, now we can go on using the abbreviation without any confusion.  I’ve never had a S.A.P.A. before so I’m not sure what to expect.  I have had other beers from South America, and some have been quite good.  Eisenbahn S.A.P.A. is brewed by the Eisenbahn brewery in Brazil.

There is a small amount of head but it’s very persistent.  I made it through the entire beer with the exact same amount of head the entire way down.  It has a wonderful blend of floral and fruity aromas.  The beer is slightly cloudy, but nothing like an unfiltered beer, and has a light brown color.  The sweetness of fruits and floral hops are very pronounced in the taste of this beer, and that usually equals a heavy bitterness, but not here.  S.A.P.A. has a mild complimenting bitterness that isn’t too overpowering and goes quite well with the overall flavor.  The texture is very smooth and almost creamy.  There is no alcohol content listed but I’m guessing the 5 – 5.5% range is probably accurate.

I can’t help but think I’ve tasted another beer, almost identical, in flavor.  It took me a while to put my finger on it but it tastes just like the Piranha Pale Ale from BJ’s brewhouse.  Now that’s not a bad thing in my opinion.  I can’t really complain too much about this beer except that it’s just a little bit too fruity.  I have another beer from this brewery to try and I’m excited to see how it stacks up.  Another win for the South American brews.

Rating: 4

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4 Star, Beer Reviews

EKU 28

April 13th, 2009

EKU 28

EKU 28 is a German brew, and that’s about all I can tell you about it’s origin. Everything on the bottle is in German. I could not be lazy and look it up but, eh. What is in English however is quite disturbing. It was given a 4 star rating and called a “World Classic” by Michael Jackson. I can only hope that it isn’t the Michael Jackson I’m thinking of.

Right off you notice this is a very thick beer with an unusual orange tinge to it that forms a mild head when poured. It has a very dense heavy smell of fruits and hops. The first drink almost took my breath away. The alcohol content is so high this beer is more akin to wine than beer. It is definitely more of a sipping beer. It has a heavy, thick, sweet taste almost like a sherry or port wine. With all that alcohol content there is a slight bit of bitterness but it’s very mild and goes quite well to balance out the overall flavor. You get a warming sensation through your body when drinking it which is obviously due to the 11% alcohol content. This is by far the most alcoholic beer I’ve ever had.

I was anxious to try this beer just due to the alcohol content. It is not a beer you’d have two of in the same sitting and is aimed as a dessert beer to be enjoyed after a meal or in the winter evenings. You could easily sub this beer for a glass of wine, or hell, split it with a friend, it’s that potent. It’s a little too sweet for my taste but I can see what they were going for and they have succeeded. This is a very unique beer and I’m sure I will not run across another like it for a very long time. On a side note, I hope this isn’t the beer Michael Jackson was using to get little boys drunk. Wait, did I say that?

Rating: 4

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4 Star, Beer Reviews

Vanilla Java Porter

March 20th, 2009

Vanilla Java Porter

My wife recently signed me up for a beer of the month club and this is the first beer I’m reviewing out of that shipment. I wasn’t too excited about this beer just from the name alone. Don’t get me wrong I like coffee and vanilla, but to add them to beer seems like a taste mash-up made in hell. But to my surprise this beer is brewed in Detroit, Michigan at the Atwater Block Brewery instead of hell.

This is a thick beer, I would compare it to natural maple syrup consistency. The color is pitch black. Probably the darkest beer I’ve had. With most black beers you can hold a small portion up to the light to get little hint of color but not with this beer. When I first opened the bottle and took a whiff the scent was delightfully hoppy but once I poured it into the glass the hoppiness was accompanied by roasted coffee beans and vanilla. My first sip was very smooth, balanced and mild, with no sign of bitterness and a nice hint of smokey, roasted coffee bean taste. The lingering aftertaste gives you a little bitterness but its nothing horrible and actually goes well with the coffee beans. The alcohol content is lower than I expected at 6%.

This is a prime example of don’t judge a book (or beer) by it’s cover. I immediately dismissed this beer as a gimmick when I saw the label. This is an excellent beer and if you can get a hold of one you’d be a fool not to try it. While it is probably suited best for the winter months, it would go well as an after dinner drink.

Rating: 4

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If anyone is interested I have 2 more of these wonderful beers I may be willing to part with for the bargain sum of $4 each.

And yes, I do know I’m still behind on reviews by a week but I promise I’ll catchup and get back on track.

4 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

Xingu

December 30th, 2008

Xingu

My latest exotic beer is Xingu. Xingu is a Brazilian beer so I had the assumption it would just taste like coffee.

Xingu is thick and black. Just to call it black would be an understatement. Let’s put it this way, no light will pass through this beer. The initial smell is typical of black beers, very smokey and earthy, but this is where the similarities stop. The taste is bitter, but only slightly. Xingu is not as robust as other black beers. It is, however, much more mild, to my astonishment and liking. The flavor is balanced and smooth with a great finish.

I am not a huge fan of black beers but this is one of the best I’ve had. The higher than normal alcohol content coupled with a smooth mild taste make it a perfect winter beer, or a great candidate for the black half of a black and tan. If you’re into the black beers I highly recommend this one. You won’t be dissapointed.

Rating: 4

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4 Star, Beer Reviews