Friday, November 22, 2013

A Trio of Beers (with a Spaghetti Western twist)

Hello.  Craft Beer Friday again.  Question is, where the hell have I been???  Out of town, shitty memory, and wrote a draft but didn't post.  So, that brings us up to speed.

Anyone remember the Clint Eastwood flick The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly?  Great movie which also stars Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach rounding out the trio.  Anyway, I'm going to review four beers today.

We will call them--the excellent, the really good, the good, and the horrifically awful.

Beer #1.  Samuel Adams Chocolate Cherry Bock (available in the winter variety 12 pack).  An excellent beer, sampled on...hell I can't remember the date.  The bottled beer was sampled from a wide-mouthed snifter glass.  The beer poured a dark brown with a creamy off tan head and a wonderful aroma of chocolate malts with hints of cherry.  The cherry flavor comes through like a shining star in the taste--crisp with the sweetness of maraschino cherries.  The beer reminds me a lot of Sam Adams Cherry Wheat, also quite good.

As a side note, years ago, when Sam's Cherry Wheat was a summer seasonal beer, my friends and I bought fifteen cases to make sure we didn't run short.  Sadly, the beers did not see the first cool autumn day.

Beer #2.  Stone Brewery's Ruination IPA.  This heavy Imperial IPA comes in at a stout 8.2% ABV.  As stated before, I love IPAs.  I would have rated this higher had I not tried the Sam Adams Chocolate Cherry Bock first.  The bomber bottle was poured into a standard pint glass.  The beer smells like a typical IPA--citrus, piney, and a strong hop aroma.  The amber colored beer maintained a good head and the lacing on the glass was off white and prominent.  I love this beer--but my favorite from Stone is their Russian Imperial Stout.

Beer #3.  Blue Mountain Brewery's Steel Wheels ESB.  I wanted to love this Virginia beer, but could not.  The ESB (extra strong bitter) poured yellowish clear with minimal head or lacing.  The taste was reminiscent of a bitter American red ale.  The canned beer was poured into a standard pint glass.  The bitterness flattened the taste of the beer a little too much for me, but I still liked it OK.  ESBs (a British style of beer) are typically not my favorites.  On to the ugly.

Beer #4.  Samuel Adams  Juniper IPA (also from the same winter variety 12 pack).  This beer is a swing and a miss.  As I opened the beer and sniffed the bottle I knew instantly that I would not like this beer.  Juniper berries are used to distill gin--NOT for flavoring beer.   The bottle of beer was poured into s standard pint glass (SPG from now on) and the colro was golden with a whitish head and minimal lacing.  The beer smells piney with strong odors of juniper--horrific.  I am not a gin drinker and so maybe for someone who does like gin, it might be the beer for them.  But not me.

I never finished the beer.  Still have a full one in the beer fridge.  I'll have to offer that to a guest, assuring them that it is a good beer.

A holiday blog coming Tuesday or Wednesday.  (I hope)

Keep trying craft beers--you never know when you just might discover your favorite new brew.

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