Tasting Notes

Happy Bastille Day!

Notes de dégustation de la French Beer Week

Boum’r Brasserie White IPA with Chinook and Citra

A similar aroma to a wheat beer with a lot of grapefruit, some basil, pepper, and a touch of Belgian funk. Not as acidic as expected, but some good lemon tones and a touch of farmhouse funk from the French yeast and malt.

Matten La Schwortz Biere noire (stout)

Lovely roasty nose with note of coffee and peat. However the mouthfeel on this stout is extremely light and the flavor is more of acidic coffee with just a touch of dark fruits. All in all, this beer smells more like Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, but tastes like a regular Guinness Stout and is very thin.

Kronenbourg 1664 Lager

This beer was exceptionally funked and had a bold weed nose with notes of honey. On the palate we got a lot of honey, but the flavor overall was not good. This beer was too sweet with almost no bitterness and is best described as a very bad German lager.

Bisaigue Kaeffer Beer IPA

A little bit of grape must on the nose goes well with the rest of the standard West-Coast IPA tones we are used to in American beers. This beer is very much a French attempt at a West-Coast IPA with some light grape tones. Supposedly very hoppy, but not by our American standards.

Dernières réflexions sur la bière française

We were rather impressed with the French craft beer we tried, however the Kronenbourg was absolutely terrible. With the freedom to brew without following tradition it is fascinating to try out all the new beer that can come from this traditional wine power, however we just need to get it over to America! Travis and Courtney preferred the Bisaigue IPA while Andrew and Laura thought the Boum’r White IPA was the best.

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Summer Shandy Episode

Shandy

Tasting Notes from our Shandy Episode

Leinenkugel Summer Shandy

Reminding us of college, this beer was not our favorite. Tasted like fake lemon and almost no beer flavor. While we did learn more about the Jambulance than we ever expected, we did not care for this as it is very sweet and light and is best described as bad lemonade.

Stiegl Zitrone Radler

Smells like lemonade with more natural lemon aroma. While this beer has very little alcohol (2.5% ABV!), it has good flavor for a shandy and is quite refreshing. The lemon is not too strong and while it is sweet it is not overpowering.

Flying Dog Summer Rental Grapefruit Radler

A fairly light nose, even though the beer is darker. Not as much grapefruit flavor or aroma as we expected. A touch of bitterness on the backend and definately the least sweet of the 4 shandys we tried.

Narragansett Del’s Watermelon Shandy

Biggest nose of the night with watermelon and candy tones in the aroma. This beer is fairly heavy in the mouth and dull on the palate. This cleans like watermelon, with not much lingering after the initial drink.

Final Thoughts on Shandys

None of these were particularly good to us, but Kim and Laura liked the Flying Dog Summer Rental the most and Andrew preferred the flavors of the Stiegl Radler, however we were not very impressed in general and would not recommend shandys as a general rule.

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Deschutes Brewery

Tasting Notes from Deschutes  Brewery

Twilight Summer Ale

Very smooth yeast aroma with hints of citrus. This was a very refreshing beer that we both really enjoyed, even if it wasn’t exactly what we expected as this lacked lemon which we associate with summer ales.

Fresh Squeezed IPA

Big caveat: we do not know how old our can was and we think that may have impacted our beer.

On the nose we detected some citrus and astringency. On the flavor we got some grapefruit, some citrus, and some pine, more like a DIPA with a touch of astringency and some pineapple notes.

Fresh Haze Hazy IPA

This hazy IPA is not too hazy, but it does clearly have a nice haze to it. The nose is similar to a Terrapin beer that we have had before, and is unlike many hazy IPAs in its aroma. The flavor is very much like orange juice, especially upfront. There is a nice soft mouthfeel and a touch of sweetness to this beer as well.

Black Butte Porter

The nose is more roasty with notes of creaminess. On the palate this beer held up well. A fairly thick mouthfeel, dark chocolate notes, and some coffee. This reminded us more of a mocha, but it was really delicious.

Final Thoughts on Deschutes

We thought the Fresh Haze wasn’t anything special, but fits nicely into the haze craze. We enjoyed the Twilight Summer Ale as it is unique considering the style. Andrew’s favorites were the Twilight Summer ale and the Black Butte. Try Deschutes if you are able to find their beer as it is very good, but on the East Coast our options have been very limited recently.

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Cigar City Brewing

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Tasting Notes from Cigar City Brewing

Florida Cracker Belgian-Style White Ale

This clear white ale has aromas of coriander and notes of citrus on the tongue. While Cigar City claims this beer is hazy, ours was completely clear. Both Travis and Andrew enjoyed the Belgian yeast tones, and Travis was able to get a touch of bubblegum in the flavor. All in all this is a very easy drinking white ale that we think is a good craft beer introduction.

Guayabera Citra Pale Ale

Named after a very unique/hideous shirt, this beer tastes much better than a Guayabera shirt looks. Lovely nose with a heavy dose of tangerine and some lime. A very bitter pale ale with a touch of breadyness on the backend. We really enjoyed this beer as it was not too bitter but perfectly well balanced.

Tocobaga Red IPA

Nice red color with a heavy nose of crusty multigrain bread and caramel. On the tongue we detected a touch of astringency, pine, and a little bit of blueberry in addition to the bread profile from the malt.

Jai Alai IPA

Pronounced “Hi-Li”, this IPA is Cigar City’s flagship beer and has a very busy hop bill using 6 different hops. Lot of orange and caramel on the nose. This is a good drinking IPA with a slight maltiness and wonderful flavor blend without one strong flavor note beyond some citrus. If you like a good hop bill without one strong characteristic that takes over your palate.

White Oak Jai Alai Oak Aged IPA

Smells very similar to the standard Jai Alai, but with additional notes of oak. The oak imparts a silkier mouthfeel than traditional Jai Alai, more like a buttery chardonnay. We did pick up notes of vanilla and only the slightest bit of dill. The hops balance out the oak tannins well, but this does not taste like traditional Jai Alai to the point that in a blind tasting you would not be able to tell they are the same base. We think this would go well with a spicy fish curry.

Final Thoughts on Cigar City

We liked everything we had from Cigar City. We both enjoyed the Guayabera and the Florida Cracker was surprisingly enjoyable. Andrew of course likes the oak aged Jai Alai and the standard Jai Alai is Travis’ go to from Cigar City. All in all, we highly recommend Cigar City and you should definitely go out and get some!

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pFriem Family Brewing

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Pilsner

Very robust nose for a pilsner, with high IBUs, this Pilsner is quite floral on the nose. Fresh grass is correct in the flavor, and this a very good pilsner, even though it is a touch different than a standard pilsner.

IPA

Zounds! This IPA, while harkening back to England, is clearly a West-Coast tropical IPA. With a lovely hop body, this beer has all the hallmarks of pineapple and guava that we expect from a tropical American IPA. This is a solid IPA, even if it is not wholly unique.

Flanders Red Ale
Sour cherry nose makes you think this beer will be more sour than it is, however it is only slightly tart. It has a very smooth mouthfeel, almost as if its on nitro, but this beer is robust and fun with a lot of funk, sherry, and oak.

Final Thoughts on pFriem Family Brewing

We really enjoyed the beer from pFriem and would really like to visit again. The beer was all excellent and unique. If you like good Belgian beers and live in Oregon, absolutely give pFriem a try!

Chicago Brew Tour

Maximo 1
Maximo was a good drinking buddy
Sue 1
But not as good as SUE

We had some great beers from Haymarket, Goose Island, and Cruz Blanca, but these weren’t our only brews!

Tasting Notes from Moody Tongue

Smoked Applewood Gold

Very light nose with little discernible aromas. The flavor builds with this beer and each sip adds more to the profile. Light apple flavors upfront and some delightful smoke tones in the middle and on the backend create a lovely brew.

Sliced Nectarine IPA

A fluffy headed beer leads to a fruity nectarine aroma. The chinook and fruits balance well with stone fruit being the primary flavors. This beer is extremely smooth, subtle, and easy to drink for a more traditional IPA.

Steeped Emperor’s Lemon Saison

Light and subtle lemon nose invite you to drink this beer. Lovely lemon flavors of this beer work very well with any lemon cookie, especially Girl Scout Lemonades. No bitterness, but a well balanced Lemon Saison perfect for a meal or hot summer day.

Final Thoughts on Chicago Breweries

Laura’s favorite of the Moody Tongue was the IPA while Andrew’s favorite was the Saison. We highly recommend visiting Chicago and visiting the breweries. Andrew Highly recommends Cruz Blanca and Laura recommends Haymarket, but really you cannot go wrong!

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Cinco de Mayo!

Tasting Notes from Cinco de Mayo

Corona Premier

Corona’s response to Michelob Ultra with a low carb beer. Pilsner based brew with a light color and light flavor. Corn aroma but tastes of watered down Corona. If you like watered down Corona, this is the beer for you!

Sol Beer

Bright nose, much like a Vienna lager with a slight citrus note. Very much a lager with a touch of breadiness to it and no corn flavor. This beer is a very good lager that goes well with most any food.

Victoria Lager

A touch of citrus on the nose, but overall a very weak nose with a light straw color. This is a style-bending brew with a touch of pilsner sweetness balanced with lager caramel flavor is a wonderful example of this style.

Dos Equis Lager Especial

Slightly citrus nose, like the Sol and Victoria brews before. This Bohemian inspired lager is stylistically very similar to earlier beers, and it may be your favorite, but not ours.

Modelo Negra

Lovely brown color with a nose of a standard Dunkel beer. It has a nice caramel complexity to it with a touch of coffee and chocolate and a great finish. This is a good version of the style.

Final Thoughts on Mexican Beer and our Recommendation for Celebration!

For a nice Cinco de Mayo we would recommend you party with Victoria if you are looking for a lighter brew. This style is very much like Bohemian style lagers and is a good style if you like a touch of citrus and some heavy malt bill.

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