Now I don’t know how the E.S.B. style of beer became beer of rugby players, it just always has been, other than water of course. E.S.B. stands for Extra Special Bitter, and they are essentially more aggressive and more balance bitters, both in alcohol and in hop character, but nothing overpowering. This is more common in England where I believe the style originated. There are some versions of E.S.B. here in the United States. Deep River Brewing Co. The Ruck E.S.B., 6.5% ABV is one example. Deep River Brewing Co in Clayton N.C. sells The Ruck and uses the sales from it to help the Local Clayton Rugby team The Bootleggers. The Ruck pours a nice litter copper color with a two finger light beige head that leaves behind minimal lacing. The aroma is faintly malty with a slight breaded note. The taste is smooth with a malty breaded flavor with the lights yet faintest sweet note that comes in a goes out in the blink of an eye. The Ruck is quite drinkable and smooth. The mouth feel is light to medium with a nice smooth malt bread finish. But the after taste isn’t there, but what is there is a nice flat hop note with a very faint crisp malt note. Overall this beer is a B. I think there are better E.S.B.’s out there but his isn’t a bad one. Yes you should try Deep River Brewing Co. The Ruck E.S.B.! Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!
Sunday, November 15, 2015
Belgian Ales are the best tasting beers, in my opinion. I love them all each one of the different Belgian beer styles is great. Some I like more than others but that isn’t to say that others are bad. Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown N.Y. is partly Belgian; they are part of the Duel family of fine ales. They brew Three Philosophers Quadrupel Ale, 9.7% ABV. Three Philosophers is a blend of Ommegang Quadrupel ale and Liefmans Kriek. So that is 98% Ale and 2% ale with cherries added. Three Philosophers pours a deep rich copper brown color with a beige two finger head that leaves nice lacing behind but not a lot of lacing. The aroma is sweet with candied sugar and dark fruits. Three Philosophers has a rather richer taste but none to rich, there is a nice sweetness with dark cherry and a hint of faint caramel. This is like most good Quads, and how one should be. But the taste and the flavors don’t wow me though. That might hold it back just a bit. The mouth feel is more towards the fuller side but not overly full and Three Philosophers has a nice smoothly sweet dark fruit finish and almost the same after taste but with a lingering raisin note. I think that is ale is pretty good, but I have had better. Don’t worry I am not saying that Three Philosophers is bad. I say that it is a B grade Belgian Quad. Yes I have had better one brewed in Belgium, but those are the best in the world compare to this Ommegang, which is no slouch. I would recommend this one because it’s not as strong taste in the alcohol department, nor is it overly strong. I would have this again for those to reasons. So go try Ommegang Three Philosophers Quadrupel Ale. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
I have said this many time before, IPAs are growing in popularity more and more each day. Breweries are coming up with new and inventive IPA’s all the time, it seema like there is at least 6 new IPAs a day out on the market. Here is a popular one from Ballast Point Brewing Company in San Diego California, Grapefruit Sculpin, 7.0% ABV. This is a grapefruit version of their famous Sculpin IPA. Grapefruit Sculpin pours a copper color with an off white two and a half finger head that dissipates a normal speed and leaves medium sized lacing behind. The aroma is like a normal IPA but with a nice grapefruit juice aroma to go along with the piney earth notes. I found to have sour bitter grapefruit scent to it that was nice on the nose. The taste is earth a little bitter with touches of pine and yes there is a big grapefruit flavor that reminds of Shine Ruby Red Bird but with out ginger. Grapefruit Sculpin isn’t overly hoppy or bitter, it has the right amount of it to really balance it out, but I find that the grapefruit isn’t as predominate, as it should be for a beer with grapefruit in the name. But that doesn’t kill the beer though. I think Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin is a B+. I would like to have it be juicier with more grapefruit. I enjoyed this and though it was good. Just need a touch more grapefruit is all it needs. I recommend try it! Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Belgium is where you can find authentic Trappist products. This registered trademark (Trappist) certifies that this ale was brewed within walls of an existing Trappist monastery under the control of the Trappist community. The monks to support charitable work use a major part of the sales revenue. Chimay Première Ale, 7.0% ABV is a dubble ale. This beer is also known as Chimay Red because of its red label and is more of a red label when in a 11.5 oz. bottle. Chimay Première pours a reddish brown color with a light three finger beige head. The head slowly fizzes away but leaves behind some thin lacing. There is a nice caramel raisin aroma to this beer with a faint and light toffee note. Première has nice sweet caramel and raisin taste with hints of a boozy taste but you don’t get toffee from the aroma on the taste. I find this beer to be easier to drink than I though it was going to be, because a few Belgian dubbles are a bit full and heavier. This though has a medium mouth feel that is nice and easier to drink. Chimay Première Ale has a nice sweet yet sticky finish that sets you up for a nice after taste of toffee and faint caramel. This is hand down one of the best beers and one that you need to have! I give Chimay Première Ale A+. It’s always great year after year. You should really try it! Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!
Monday, November 2, 2015
I have seen beer collaborations between two breweries and even between a grocery store and a brewer. Here is collaboration between Trader Joe’s and Unibroue of Chambly, Québec Canada. The beer is Providential Belgian-Style Golden Ale, 7.5% ABV. This beer pours a nice bright golden color with a bright white four finger head. The aroma is bright and yeasted with a faint banana and clove scent. The taste of this Unibroue is a bit sweet at first with a little spice and a nice light banana flavor. I found this to have champagne-like effervescence that helps bring out the beers flavor like the malty mildly sweet. I also found a little bit of ginger and orange peel on the flavor profile. The mouth feel is medium and has a nice light spicy finish with a touch of hops. The after taste is subtly spicy with a hit of ginger and banana. Overall this is one great beer so I give this A+. I can’t find anything wrong with this beer. I highly recommend that you try Trader Joes Providential Belgian-Style Golden Ale by Unibroue. Cheers! Please Enjoy Responsibly!
Brown Ales are under rated by opinion and I find them to rather delicious and flavorful. Brown ales don’t have so many different types of them like other styles do like IPAs or Stouts. But Abita Brewing Company in Abita Springs Louisiana has brewed something rather interesting, from their Bourbon Street series, Maple Pecan, 8.5% ABV and brewed with Pecan and Maple syrup aged 100% in Bourbon Barrels. Abita also uses Pale, Munich, biscuit and caramel malts. Maple Pecan pours a lighter brown caramel color with a three finger off white head that slowly dissipates into thin lacing. The aroma is sweet with maple syrup and hits of fresh pecans. Reminds me of a slight pecan pie almost. Now the taste is much like brown ale but with a nutty sweetness of a flavor. You really taste the maple syrup in which gives it a bit of a light creaminess that makes this beer enjoyable. The mouth feel is lighter with creaminess. Maple pecan has a nice sweet nutty finish and a nice sweet maple syrup aftertaste with a little creamy texture. This was spot on what a brown can and should be. This Abita Maple Pecan gets A+. I think that more breweries should experiment with brown ales and come up with exciting new brews. I commend that you try Abita Bourbon Street Maple Pecan. Cheers! Please enjoy responsibly!