Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bornem Dubble

 Pours a very dark brown, mostly opaque, with dark ruby red hues when held to light. 1 finger bubbly light brown head that fairly quickl ypops away. The smell reminds me of plums, Raisins, maybe a bit of tart apple/pear, a little brown sugar, little belgian yeast (slight funk). As for the taste, fairly heavy does of dark fruits, with a little prune in the background. There seems to be a bit of bitterness in the background, maybe slight floral hops, tastes like bitter prune. I'm not really getting the tart/funk that I got on the nose. Everything seems focused on very dark fruits, almost burnt, with bitter prune in the background, slightly burnt brown sugar (close to molasses), with just a bit of malt. Finish has almost a metallic quality, it's a light bitter finish. Seems to lack depth and complexity. Very high carbonation for the style, more so than even most BSDA, Triples, and Wits. Very light body, it is smooth I suppose, but it really lacks substance. Almost no viscosity and if there is any, the carbonation completely covers it up as it fizzy out all the way to the finish. Not that impressed here. I suppose this could be ranked fairly high due to the light body and high carbonation, but the flavor fall short of the nose/style and the mouthfeel isn't what I enjoy out of great Dubbels. I can't imagine buying this again.

Flying Dog Raging Bitch

The appearance is a clear gold-toned copper orange liquid with a finger's worth of sturdy white foam on top and plenty of active carbonation bubbles racing throughout the body. Head retained quite well and deposited lots of sticky lace around the glass. Bright citric hops and spicy Belgian yeast combine nicely here, giving the aroma a bold hop character but with a spicy flair suggesting notes of pepper and clove. Malt character is grainy, although the hops and yeast are really at the forefront here.I was anticipating this to have a taste more on the Belgian side of the spectrum, but you know what? Raging Bitch boasts a decisively hoppy flavor that is bursting with citrus fruit and, to a lesser degree, floral notes. The yeast adds a pleasant spicy bite to counter the assertive hop bill in the backend, then trails off a bit to finish with a grainy malt character. I enjoyed this way more than I'd hoped. Raging Bitch is easily one of the better Belgian IPAs I've had thus far. Great stuff!

McSorley's Irish Black Lager

I will try to be objective since it's from one of my least favorite places in the world: McSorley's Irish Pub. It's not actually brewed there but rather it has a label slapped on it in Latrobe, PA where all the finest beers in America are brewed. Latrobe, PA is 324 miles away from McSorley's. Too close for comfort in my opinion but enough of a buffer that the beer is able to escape the intense pull from the black hole of despair that is McSorley's Irish pub.

Poured into a pilsner glass.

Pours a near black. Has a very small of white head, that settles to a thin layer. Some patchy lace left behind. Average looks.

Brew smells of very faint maltiness, roasted notes. Not much of a nose of this one. Average.

Brew is smooth and creamy, light roasted malts; coffee, nut and some hints of chocolate. Brew is very mild and drinkable. A little thin in the flavor department. Finishes slightly dry. A very sessionable brew. Pretty good tastes.

Brew is very drinkable for sure. Not a ton of flavors, but enough to enjoy a few. Pretty ok stuff.

Steinlager Pure

The Appearance is golden color, 1 finger of bubbly head which almost completely disappeared. As for smell, Non-existent. Seriously, I couldn't smell a thing, and my nasal passages aren't the slightest bit blocked at the moment. And the taste is so unbelievably bland. I guess it deserves a 2 for being very pure and not having any off flavors, but I would appreciate SOME flavour. And the mouthfeel is smoother than your average macro lager, good carbonation level. But even if most of Earth's population disagrees with me, I say a beer with no flavour does not make a good session drink. I think I may have just found the blandest 5% ABV beer on Earth. I'm pretty sure that is close to what Steinlager wanted to achieve in brewing this beer, but that still does not mean it deserves a good review score.

Duvel Green

A creamy, bubbly, bright white, one-finger head of foam topped the nearly clear, golden colored liquid. The head retreated rather quickly, leaving behind only minimal amounts of lacing, might be because of the glass)

The aroma was a bit more subtle than I anticipated. Powdery and off-dry with a fruity, Belgian yeast quality. Citrus notes were noticeable. Some hay as well. Slightly hoppy, in a grassy sort of way. A touch of candi sugar appeared as the beer warmed.

Although the nose was a bit restrained, the flavor profile was nearly as good as the original Duvel. Crisp and bright with a smooth, grassy hop character. Dry and spicy (peppery) up front. Notes of orange peel and clove appeared in the center. The finish was snappy and clean with lingering hop notes.

The mouthfeel was rather unexciting. Medium bodied with a carbonation that bordered on low for the style. Slightly creamy and slick.

Like the original Duvel, this rendition is crisp and refreshing. Flavorful yet so drinkable.

Despite the different categorization on style, I would be hard pressed not to compare Duvel Draft to the bottled version. While the original has a more impressive appearance and a snappier mouthfeel, the draft version definitely holds it own. A nice, "lighter" spin on the original.