Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Some recent beers

Well, it seems I've slowed down rate-wise as I approach another milestone, rating number 700. I have a ton of beers on hand, and time to rate, just haven't got my butt in gear lately. May be the onset of spring here (it comes a little late in Edmonton) and wanting to be outdoors enjoying the few rays of sun after being cooped up for a long, cold, snowy Albertan winter. At any rate, the few beers I've taken notes for have been for the most part enjoyable.

Edelweiss Snowfresh Weissbier

Edelweiss Snowfresh Weissbier - This beer poured an expected hazy pale yellow, fairly strong white head as a Weiss should have. Pleasant wheat aroma with some pink bubblegum and vanilla notes. The flavour was similar to the aroma - wheaty, yeasty and vanilla-y, some citrus. Some of the "alpine herbs" the bottle proclaims it is brewed with show up as grassy notes in the finish. Light bodied and good to comsume in hot weather. Rating 3.6

Lobkowicz Demon 13° - I was surprised to find this beer classified as a Vienna, as I haven't had very many of the style. This Czech version was coppery with a small tight head, with a nice strong malty nose. Flavour was also malt accented with some grassy hop accents. The aftertaste was again malty and toasty. A nice find. Rating 3.5

Brooklyn Lager - Imagine my surprise finding another Vienna to rate just a few days after the Demon. Brooklyn advertises this one as a "pre-Prohibition" styled lager. I enjoyed this one a bit more than Demon. It was a great beer to look at - orange/gold in colour with a lasting sticky white head. Aroma was floral, flavour was somewhat fruity (citrus/apricot) with a hoppy, dry finish. Another good lager to session while the sun beats down on you. Rating 3.7

O Hanlons Goodwill Bitter - I just picked this up on my last beer shopping trip because I love a good bitter, especially a Camra approved bottle conditioned 500ml bottle of it. Upon getting it home I noticed St Nick on the label. Yup, a Christmas seasonal just became available to us at the end of May. I also noted that when I popped the cap, the cap liner had a gummy layer of yeast under it, leading me to believe the bottle spent some time upside down on it's journey from Devon, England to Edmonton, Alberta. It poured a hazy orange with a small receeding white head. The aroma was standout with some candied orange and sweet malt behind it. The beer was solid flavourwise, malty with a citrusy bitter finish. Fairly light bodied with fine light carbonation, a great session pint. Looking forward to cracking the bottle of their Port Stout I also picked up! Rating 3.7

Bieropholie Cascade Plus - One of the many bottles I recieved in a mystery beer swap. This has the same malt bill as their regular Cascade IPA, but double the hops. It poured beautifully, orange in colour with a sticky, thick, merangue like head which lasted to the end of the glass. Tons of Cascades in the aroma, grapefruity with a touch of spice. Hoppy flavour, earthy in the finish. Went down way too easily for a 7%abv beer. I'll seek this out (and some more Bock Emassaire)if I'm ever in Quebec again. Rating 3.9

La Recidive

Brasseurs et Freres La Recidive - Another great bottle received in the mystery trade. I read in someone's review that Recidive means "second offence", which I guess eludes to the fact that you'll be reaching for another bottle of this great stout once you finish the first. The label shows a bandaged, somewhat derranged looking mouse returning to the mousetrap for another hunk of cheese. Very deep brown/black colour with a beige cap. Superb chocolatey aroma. Flavour had coffee, cocoa and a dark (blue?)berry like fruitiness beneath it all. Bitter, roasted finish. A lot of flavour packed into this 4.8%abv stout. Canadians can definately make some kick ass stouts (see St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout, Dieu De Ciel Peche Mortel, Paddock Wood Bete Noire for starters)! Rating 4

Other beers I've recently had included the harsh, fizzy Carling Black Label Extra Old Stock malt liqour (Rating 1), the average Western Canadian amber Kootenay Mountain Ale (Rating 2.8), and an underacheiving, slightly lemony, corny pale lager from South Korea - Hite (Rating 1.5) Can't win all the time I guess...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Rogue Chipotle Ale

Rogue Chipotle Ale

It's been a while since I've blogged, sorry to the regular readers (haha). Been picking up new beers here and there such as Brooklyn Lager, my local brewpubs new seasonal Maibock, and today's featured beer - Rogue Chipotle Ale.

I'm a big Rogue fan, and this one showed up on the shelves unannounced so I had to buy it, despite having reservations about it being a "chili" beer. I haven't had much experience with these beers, I had one many years ago before I rated by a London Ontario brewer which has long since gone out of business called Glatt, which if I recall was infused with Jalepenos. Since I didn't take notes, I can't give you the specifics of it, but I recall being not quite ready for a beer that was spicy and packing heat, and not enjoying it too much. Also in the back of my mind was the legend of Cave Creek Chili Beer, which has the reputation of being one of the worst rated beers of all time on Ratebeer.com. I decided to soldier on and take one for the team (or blog).

The beer poured a hazy shade of caramel brown. It held a bit of a head for a while, then settled to a thin white layer, leaving some stiky lace behind. I was expecting a lot of spice in the aroma, but found the Chipotle notes to be pretty reserved. There's a little smoke in the aroma and some caramel malt. The first sip (ok it was more of a gulp) took me a bit by surprise as the heat of the Chipotles showed itself in the beer's finish. Upon slower sips I noticed that the beer started with light caramelly malts then finished with some light touches of smoke and had a red pepper flake type heat which lingered breifly. There was a light citrus hop character to the finish as well. It had a fairly light body with a fine, persistent carbonation. I enjoyed it, and decided the nest time I would try pairing this with mexican dishes, or maybe some spicy pizza to see how it fairs. The label suggests pairing it with chicken or pork dishes. Overall this isn't a beer I'd reach for during a playoff hockey game, or to quench my thirst in the summer heat, but I can see it being an interesting compainion with a Mexican meal. It wasn't over the top with heat which I enjoyed, yet I think it could have used a bit more body and malt, for some extra oomph. Rating 3.3