Tasting Notes

Irish Beer Week

Irish WordPress

Tasting Notes From Irish Beer Week

Harp

Straw colored and highly effervescent, this beer is a standard European lager. A very easy drinking beer with some wheat flavor and little to no bitterness to speak of.

Smithwick’s & Sons Red Ale.

This red ale truly is ruby red in color. This low-alcohol session ale has great legs and slight caramel and roasty aroma. There is a slight bitterness to it, but it is slight. THis beer could easily be an all day sipper for any function.

Wexford Irish Style Cream Ale

This beer poured like cream soda, but eventually fell out to resemble a cream ale in color and opacity. Having a head similar to a nitro-poured beer, the aroma is very odd and we could not place it. Sort of chalky and smooth, this beer should be skipped as there are almost no redeeming qualities here.

Murphy’s Irish Stout

The original Irish Dry Stout, this dark and medium bodied beer is our favorite of the Irish stouts. Coffee and toffee tones are on the nose with just the barest amount of cocoa detected. The coffee and roasty notes continue on the pallet, but the beer itself is fairly thin in the mouth compared to an American oatmeal stout, but this is very creamy.

Guinness Draught

Not as much on the nose as the Murphy’s, creating a more subtle beer. While the flavors are less, this beer is much heavier than the Murphy’s and fills one up much faster. This is a plain beer. A little bitterness, a little coffee, and nothing that stands out.

Guinness Foreign Extra Stout

Lovely nose with dark fruit and fig notes and touch of coffee roast. Flavorwise, this beer is heavy figs, with a bittersweet middle and dry finish. This is much better than the standard Guinness Draught.

Final Thoughts on Irish Beer

All in all, Irish beer has been greatly stunted by the predatory practices of Guinness, and Irish craft beer is nearly impossible to find in the states. We look forward to future small Irish breweries, but this St Patty’s day, if you need an Irish stout we recommend a Murphy’s or Foreign Extra.

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Tasting from Four Saints Part 1 and 2

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Our full tasting from Four Saints with new and old style cans!

Tasting Notes from Four Saints

Yoga Pants Latte

This beer is spicy in the best since! Pumpkin spices on the nose and the palate truly make this beer a pumpkin spiced latte dark ale. Vanilla, baking spices and coffee are all on the nose. Heavy pumpkin with clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, and all-spice flavors abound in this easy to drink pumpkin latte. Unlike many pumpkin beers, this one finishes cleanly and is a new favorite.

Stout One

Heavy smoke nose with some vanilla and whiskey tones, similar to a smoked sausage or scotch. This is not a sweet stout, but it still retains flavors of smoke, chocolate, and a touch of whiskey, vanilla, and charred meat. Perfect beer for a grilled steak.

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Things get a little heavier and darker with part 2!

Impending Grace

Faint honey on the nose with some smoke and dark cocoa notes as well gives this pitch black stout some excellent aromas. This stout has a bit bolder flavor profile compared to the Stout One, with smoke still being a part of the palate.

BBA Impending Grace

More subtle than some bourbon barrel aged stouts, the barrel aging seems to have removed the smoked notes on the aroma and replaced them with some bourbon tones. The bourbon really shines through on the tongue, giving strong bourbon flavors without losing the stout tones. The bourbon does thin this beer out though, in a manner we thought odd, but tasty.

Final Thoughts on Four Saints Brewing

We really like Four Saints.We love their beer, their commitment to their community, and their willingness to talk to us. Our only regret is that we do not live closer to the brewery! Their beer is excellent and we cannot recommend this brewery enough if you find yourself in Asheboro, NC visiting the NC Zoo, or just cruising looking for breweries!

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Gibb’s Hundred Brewing

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Beers from our tasting of Gibb’s Hundred Brewing

Tasting Notes Gibb’s Hundred

Rock 92 Session Ale

Paceable session ale with nice caramel and banana tones on the nose. The flavor is very malt forward, with a bit less caramel than expected.

Guilty Party ESB

This gold-medal winning ESB has a big nose with nutty and caramel aromas which translate into a very good ESB. The nutty flavors are the biggest addition to this beer on the tongue.

Monkeysphere IPA

Very floral nose with meaty tropical fruits and a touch of citrus zest on the nose. The tropical fruits and a touch of biscuity goodness are discernible on the pallet. This hop-forward beer is a nice departure from their standard style.

Final Thoughts on Gibb’s Hundred Brewing

Thanks again to Mark Gibb for joining us and we would definitely recommend visiting the brewery in Greensboro, NC. This is a great change of pace brewery, with a heavier rotation of malt forward beers that while certainly delight folks who are tired of hop-heavy beers.

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Season 2! Happy Brew Years!

For our first episode of season 2, Andrew and Laura traveled to Asheville, NC to give everyone a taste of the east coast brewing mecca. Listen along during their travels and Happy Brew Years!

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The first flight of the trip took place at Brevard Brewing. The Schwartzbier and Rye Pale Ale were very tasty
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Hefty flight from New Belgium Brewing at the Asheville Liquid Center. One of our favorite places to grab a pint!
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The Archetype for this trip. we enjoyed Archetype brewing a ton!
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This oddly colored blonde bock from Hi-Wire and Bond Brothers was a very good treat to find at the Big Top!
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Winner of our favorite brewery of the trip, Hillman! We cannot recommend this brewery enough. If you are ever in Asheville please swing by!

 

 

Year End Review Part 3

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Going back to Clown Shoes, Dogfish Head, Sweetwater, Terrapin, and Lagunitas, the crew finishes up 2018 in style!

Clown Shoes Blaecorn Unidragon (2016)

The smokey and hoppy nose on this beer create a unique aroma. However the smokeyness is heavy in the flavor as well. This beer is very sweet with a slight hoppy bitterness on the back end. Additionally some baker’s chocolate and very little coffee. The Smoke really overpowers the other flavors in this beer.

Dogfish Head Burton Baton

On the nose this odd beer blend has mostly IPA notes with a touch of oak, similar to Chopsecutioner by Terrapin. When we got to flavor, this beer is odd and unique, and with the unique blend you wind up with a beer that has similar qualities to a triple or imperial IPA. The back end is very astringent with heavy hop notes, and the bitterness stays with you.

Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron

The wine notes on the nose are very evident with lighter bodied red tones such as a syrah, pinot noir, or even a heavy rose, with undertones of dark fruit such as black current or figs. This brown ale blends well with the fig and fruit tones while balancing with the brown ale exceptionally well. There are minor notes of caramel and vanilla, but is a great blend of beer with wine flavors.

Sweetwater 21st Anniversary Ale

This sour funky wild ale is strong on the nose with funk, and is fairly consistent with the Oud Bruin style from Belgium. The nose does this beer justice as it is both funky and tart on the palate. This beer is a sour symphony with notes of cherry, but mostly sour.

Terrapin Raspberry Truffle Wake-N’-Bake

The nose is as advertised with heavy raspberry truffle tones, lovely chocolate and fruit balancing with each other and a touch of bready-ness to remind us of a cheesecake. The flavor is similar in that this is a chocolate cake with a heavy dose of raspberry jam.

Lagunitas Wilco Tango Foxtrot

This brown ale was not at all what we were expecting. Heavy hop tones on the nose, with citrus, pine, and dank aromas like an IPA. This beer tastes like a very malty IPA, more like an English IPA than a brown ale. Malt, citrus, and a touch of pine round out the flavor of this beer. Honestly the best way to describe this beer, it is a blend of the Brown Shugga and Maximus IPA from Lagunitas.

Beer of the Tasting

Andrew really loved the 21st Anniversary Ale, the Raspberry Truffle Wake-N-Bake, and the Palo Santo Marron for very different reasons, and would recommend all three depending on your preference at the time. Travis was a bit more picky and chose the Palo Santo Marron as his beer of the tasting.

Brewery of the Year

Andrew and Travis gave Brueprint their surprise brewery of the year award as they far exceeded his expectations and continued to surprise us as the year went on. Andrew gave Dogfish Head his Brewery of the Year award.

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Year End Review Part 2

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We cover some rare (and heavy) beers from Oskar Blues, Sierra Nevada, New Belgium, and Founders brewing!

Oskar Blues Ten-Fidy

This pitch black beer pours like motor oil, but has a roasty chocolate nose. The flavor is bitter coffee and bitter chocolate with nice caramel tones as well. This beer is very boozy, but the flaked oat provides a nice rounded finish to prevent the Ten-Fidy from being too boozy and sharp.

Sierra Nevada Trip in the Woods Maple Scotch Ale

There is no question this beer is maple syrup based, as the nose let’s you know right off the bat with a touch of scotch ale tones. The flavor starts out with earthy scotch ale tones, but transitions to maple syrup sweetness. This beer is perfect for the fall and winter months as not being too heavy, but boozy enough that it could sneak up on you.

New Belgium Oakspire

Rye bread notes flood out of the glass on the nose. Flavorwise, the bourbon is muted, but the strong ale flavor is very forward with oak tones including vanilla, and lacking a standard rye ale’s peppery quality. This beer is not particularly boozy tasting, and is very unique compared to other bourbon barrel aged beers.

Founders Backwoods Bastard

Big, boozy, nose with oak, vanilla, and bourbon tones. Spiced well with nice baking spices throughout the flavor and a liquor heat finish, this beer is more scotch than bourbon with hints of dark fruit. This is a good fire pit sipping beer that will not sneak up on you.

Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS)

The nose is heavy coffee with notes of chocolate, creating more of a mocha feel. It is everything you love about the regular Founders Breakfast Stout, but now with more flavor! Lots of coffee and bitter dark chocolate mix well with the vanilla from the bourbon.

Founders Better Half

Very maple syrup nose, you know you need some pancakes with this beer that actually looks like maple syrup. Booze and maple syrup are the predominant flavors, and this beer may need to sit for a year or so before it starts to mellow out. This beer works well with the barrel they aged it in and is a very unique experience.

Beer of the Tasting

All of these heavy beers were really good and really well made with Unique flavors. Travis’ preferred beers were the KBS and Trip in the Woods while Andrew preferred the Oakspire from New Belgium. Listen, like and subscribe to the Brew News Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Anchor, Google Podcasts, Castbox, Stitcher, or whichever Podcatcher you enjoy! The Brew News Podcast is listener supported and you can join the Brew News Crew on Anchor or on Patreon.

 

Year End Review Part 1

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We cover some brews we missed from our local breweries, Highlands, Foothills, Unknown, and Brueprint.

Highlands Imperium Imperial Stout

Good stout head with a nice cocoa color that lingers along the glass edge goes great with this black as night beer. Robust coffee tones on the nose with some lingering coconut tones make the aroma of this beer. Flavor-wise all of the flavors, vanilla, coconut, coffee, come through with the coffee flavors providing a nice finish and body.

Foothills Seeing Double IPA

This big, bold imperial IPA has a heavy citrus nose, mostly orange peel and grapefruit, with a touch of pine resin for good measure. The citrus does not fully translate into the flavor but the pine does, and there is a touch of pineapple to this beer. Unlike many imperial IPAs we have tasted, the Seeing Double is not particularly sweet and lacks the cloying mouthfeel.

Foothills BBA People’s Porter

Heavy toffee nose on this porter and not particularly boozy on the nose either. The flavor though is almost pure neat bourbon. The Buffalo Trace flavors overpower any flavors of the people’s porter, making this beer a very good bourbon porter, but sadly lacking any of what makes the people’s porter good. It is still a good beer, just not what we were expecting.

Unknown Pew Pew Pew

Not overly hoppy or sour nose, with a touch of funk and oak in the aroma. Nice sour front end with a clean finish, more like a farmhouse than a true sour. If you are looking to try sours this is a good first sour.

Brueprint Brewing Imperial Sour IPA

The aroma is mostly lemon and melon, with very few pine or grapefruit tones. This starts out very tart and lemony with a fairly good sweetness to balance out the sour from the lemon. This hopped sour ale is very good and reminds us of a lemonhead candy.

Brueprint Cab Sauv Barrel Aged Edinbrue

The nose is heavy red wine and fig, with a touch of black currants. The fig and currants continue on the palate, giving heavy fruit notes and mostly masking the Edinbrue’s natural flavors. The barrel aging seems to impart more jammy-wine flavors and smells compared to oak or barrel flavors. Like the BBA People’s Porter, the beer is lost in the flavors of the barrel.

Beer of the Tasting

Travis’s vote was split between the Imperium and the Cab Sauv Edinbrue, whereas Andrew was partial to the Imperium and the BBA People’s Porter. Pew Pew Pew was our least favorite by far.