Thursday, March 21, 2013

Anchorage Whiteout Wit - Tom #13

Hello again, today we have a pretty good review that I am pretty excited about on Anchorage Whiteout Wit. Sticking with another witbier base beer this week, I came across Whiteout Wit at my local shop as it was a first time I saw any Anchorage beer on a New Jersey shelf before. Now the Anchorage beers are a little more pricier than your normal bombers but I heard they are well worth the price. (Whiteout Wit was $15 at my local) For those of you not familiar with Anchorage Brewing here is a little passage from their site: "Founded by brewer Gabe Fletcher, Anchorage Brewing Company is one of the newest breweries to open in Alaska. Specializing in barrel fermentation with brettanomyces and souring cultures. Blurring the lines between new and old styles of beer and brewing procedures, we take extreme steps to produce some of the most unique beers ever made. "WHERE BREWING IS AN ART AND BRETTANOMYCES IS KING!"" 
So with that said everyone of Anchorage's brews are brewed with brettanomyces or brett for short. (Brett is a wild yeast strain that is used in American Wild Ales to make them sour) So read on and enjoy! 

How it rates with others:

YouTube Videos: 

ABV: 6.5%
IBU: 20 
Availability: Winter 
Hops: Sorachi Ace 

 About the Brew:
"Anchorage Whiteout Wit Bier has a quiet delicacy from the light malts and Sorachi Ace hops contribute the lemony aroma and flavor. Lemon peel, Indian coriander and black peppercorns add the same invigorating zest whiteout survivors feel when stepping from the world of white. Triple fermentation, the long slumber in French Chardonnay barrels and a shot of brettanomyces provide an explosion of flavor when combined with the other swirling, enticing elements. It's okay. Stand up, shake it off and feel alive; that's what Whiteout Wit is all about."

This was poured into my Duvel tulip glass 

Appearance: From pop of the cork there was no gushing or pressure, cork came off very easily. Poured like campaign with carbonation speeding up from the bottom of the glass. Brew was a light golden white grape color with very minimum head that didn't hang around long at all. 

Aroma: The nose filled up with brett and the Chardonnay barreling instantly followed by peppercorns. You really had to dig deep to get the orange and lemon peel through all the initial scents.Was a fantastic smelling beer. 
Taste: This followed the nose perfectly as you get a mouthful of brett and Chardonnay and A LOT of carbonation. But you definitely get a mix of fruit and a peppercorn, coriander spice. The brett and barreling really takes the witbier style to a whole new level with this one and is highly drinkable. 
Verdict: Overall I really enjoyed this one. I shared the bottle with my girlfriend and she highly enjoyed it as well so there is two thumbs up. I have to give this a solid B+ as it definitely has some witbier characteristics within the mix of the different things Anchorage does to their beers. But it was a solid easy drinker to say the least but at the slightly step price tag of around $15 its a little much to make a routine drinker when its available. 

Thanks for reading, feel free to comment, subscribe and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

 - Tom 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Dogfish Head Red & White - Tom #12

For today's review we are going to dip into a personal favorite of mine, Dogfish Head's Red & White. This is a wine hybrid beer as it was DFH's first wine hybrid to my knowledge. It is a Belgian style Witbier brewed with Pinot Noir Juice and a portion is oak aged. So if you are a wine enthusiast heads up this may be a beer for you! One last not the bottle I am reviewing had a year in the cellar under it's belt.
How it rates with others: 

YouTube Videos: 
Dogfish Head Quick Snips 

Alcohol by Volume:  10%
Hop Bitterness (IBUs):  35
Availability:  Limited / Rotating (2013 release: July)
Food Pairing Recommendations: Grilled red meat, Reuben, meatballs, stewed greens, grapes, Manchego cheese
Glassware Recommendation: Snifter
Wine Comparable: Light red with dried fruit flavors

From Dogfish Head:

Red & White is a big, Belgian-style witbier brewed with coriander and orange peel and fermented with pinot noir juice. After fermentation, a fraction of the batch is aged in one of our 10,000-gallon oak tanks.
The idea for Red & White was born at a beer and wine dinner Sam attended on the West Coast. Whenever there's peanut butter and chocolate in the same room, Sam's gonna mix 'em.
Red & White successfully marries the refreshing citrusy qualities of a Belgian-style white beer with the robust complexity of a bold red wine.
It's been one of our most popular limited-edition beers at our Rehoboth Beach, Del., brewpub and at festivals around the country.
Reach for Red & White when you're grilling meat or nibbling on buttery cheese.

Shared this with my girlfriend and was poured into my Cigar City Snifter and Hill Farmstead glass

Appearance: This brew pours a very nice deep golden orange color. It produced a generous slightly off white head that hangs around for a few minutes in which dies down and leaves some great lacing.
Aroma: On the nose this brew has a mildly sweet scent backed with a grainy malt and Belgian yeast. You definitely get a swirl of orange and coriander on the nose mixed with a nice dry red wine type smell. At the end you can definitely pick up on the oak barrel characteristics.
Taste: The taste definitely follows the aroma for the most part. At first you get a very mild sweetness upfront that intermingles with the orange peel and pinot noir juice. It is a great balance between these two flavors upfront. It is than backed with a subtle oak backbone that finished rather dry. Being the bottle I had was a year old, the alcohol showed no presence on my pallet being at 10%. This was a very superb brew on the pallet and was completely balance for a beer / wine hybrid.
Verdict: So this was DFH's first take on a Wine/Beer Hybrid and it is one of my favorites. I have quickly become a fan of the witbier style and on my journey on trying different wine hybrid beers I have been quickly turned off by a lot as I can quite find an equal balance in them as I do enjoy wine as much as I do beer on occasion. I just haven't found the right one after trying Red & White. (that includes DFH's Noble Rot which is what they call their closest beer to wine hybrid to date) So with all that said I have to give Red & White a all around solid A- (borderline A!) So if you are a wine enthusiast who enjoys an occasional beer or vice versa better yet maybe you just hate beer and like wine or hate wine and like beer, definitely give this one a try this July '13. One last note I will add this particular brew gets better with age! 

As always lady's and gentlemen, thank you for reading! Remember to comment, subscribe and follow us on Facebook and twitter! Thanks


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tröegs Nugget Nectar (2013) - Gus #46

I've been away for a couple weeks on reviews because I've been traveling for work and staying busy.   I've brewed a couple beers since then and will have some HBW posts for the future.  My return to reviews is a good one.  It's the annual release from Tröegs called Nugget Nectar.  This is an extremely hoppy Imperial Amber Ale.  I'm a fan of Amber Ales when they are done right and I'm a hop head in my own right as well.  I haven't had this brew before so will this one live up to the big reputation it carries?

How it rates with others:

YouTube Reviews:
What Cheers!

ratebeer review:

Information from Tröegs website:
Alcohol by Volume:  7.5%
Hop Bitterness (IBUs):  93ish
Color (SRM):  Straw/Orange
Availability:  Seasonal (February-March)
Malts:  Pilsner, Vienna, Munich
Hops:  Nugget,Warrior, Tomahawk, Simcoe, Palisade
Hopback Hops:  Nugget
Yeast:  Ale

Tasting Notes
"Squeeze those hops for all they're worth and prepare to pucker up!  Nugget Nectar Ale will take hopheads to nirvana with a heady collection of Nugget, Warrior and Tomahawk hops.  Starting with the same base ingredients of our flagship HopBack Amber Ale, Nugget Nectar intensifies the malt and hop flavors to create an explosive hop experience."

Food Compliments
Cheese (Sharp, Blue, and Cheddar); Meat (Beef and Poultry)

Serving suggestions:  
Temp:  50-55 degrees Fahrenheit    Glassware:  Pint Glass

I poured this brew into my Jester King glass.

Appearance:  The brew poured out of the bottle with a copper/burnt orange color with some red hints.  Good amount of carbonation streaming up the sides of the glass.  Poured with solid two fingers of head.  Really clear.  I'm assuming they filter this one.  The lacing is all over the glass so it hides any hints of alcohol legs, if they were to be there.  It does look like what I would think an Imperial Amber Ale would look like.  It looks extremely tasty.  

Pretty good head retention.

Lacing all over the glass.

Aroma:  Right up front it has a really floral and citrus nose.  Hints of numerous flowers and grapefruit start to just fill your nose.  Some hints of something sweet like honey or maybe honeysuckle flowers.  Then come malty caramel notes come in to clean it up.  It's really hop forward.  I expected that given the description and hop bill that it has.  Also pick up some resiny pine notes.  Fresh green pine needles mixed with some grapefruits and honeysuckle could be a good description.  Don't pick up any hints of alcohol whatsoever.

Taste:  Taste is right there with the nose.  Really hop forward.  Getting a tone of grapefruit bitterness like you would get from the white part of the skin of a grapefruit.  Then some of those herbal floral notes come out as well.  Still getting a caramel sweetness from the malt mid palate and the back of the mouth.  That is cleaned out by another wave of bitterness.  More of the grapefruit in a sweeter tone.  Then the pine flavors come in on the finish.  It finishes really nice with enough bitter aftertaste to make you want another drink without overpowering anything.  Extremely drinkable and fresh tasting.  Pretty refreshing at that.  You pick up all of the flavors that you get from the nose and they blend really nicely.  I like the malt sweetness that comes forward as caramel or honey.  Still reminding me of those honeysuckle flowers.

Verdict:  This is some really nice stuff form Tröegs   This was my first year to try this one.  Tom was nice enough to split a case with me.  I think it will for sure be on my list to try again next year.  I have a few remaining of my half a case so I'm going to savor these.  I'd really like to have this with a nice salad that featured some fruit like strawberries or blueberries.  A nice tart vinaigrette would be a good dressing pairing.  The bitterness would cut through the tartness and mix well I think.  For a rating I'm going to give this one an A.  It really is one of the best Amber Ales I've ever had.  They took a base recipe from their Hopback Ale and just amped it up to something amazing.  After doing all that they kept it super drinkable and refreshing.  Really nice job from Tröegs.

We will see you guys in the next review!  Thanks for reading!



Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Bells Hopslam - Tom #11

Hey all, its been a busy pass couple weeks for Gus and I. But back with another review and to stick with th Bells theme we are going to look at Hopslam by Bells. This is a huge IPA that every hop head seeks out once it is released sometime in late January.
 How it rates with others:


YouTube Videos:
Beer Geek Nation 
Chad'z Beer Reviews

About the beer: 

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
ABV: 10%

Availabilty: Winter (6 packs)

Info from Bells 
Starting with six different hop varietals added to the brew kettle & culminating with a massive dry-hop addition of Simcoe hops, Bell's Hopslam Ale possesses the most complex hopping schedule in the Bell's repertoire. Selected specifically because of their aromatic qualities, these Pacific Northwest varieties contribute a pungent blend of grapefruit, stone fruit, and floral notes. A generous malt bill and a solid dollop of honey provide just enough body to keep the balance in check, resulting in a remarkably drinkable rendition of the Double India Pale Ale style.

I poured this into my Dogfish Head IPA glass
Appearance: This brew pours a golden hazy amber color with a finger and a half of pure white fluffy head. Great carbonation bubbles throughout the glass.

Aroma: I have to say this brew was a lot more milder than I expected having a name like Hopslam. The aroma was very sweet with a touch of honey. Almost gave it a flowery smell to it. One the back end you pick up on some of the orange and citrus smell swirling around with a hint of hops on the very tail end of things. Very interesting smell for such a big IPA.

Taste: So the aroma definitely carries over to the taste as the brew is definitely sweet. But the Hopslam title definitely comes into play now! Great honey flavor that subdues the hops mildly being that this is a full hop assault on the pallet. Being 10% I found no sign of the alcohol present with zero burn. No malt played any role that I could dig out which is where the hops fully come out to play. Solid balance throughout and not over bitter.

Verdict:  Overall this is a fantastic brew. Solid all around and glad I finally got to try it. I gotta give this brew a solid and well deserved A+. Well done bells and great job brewing what I think is one of the most balanced beers I have had the pleasure of tasting.

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