Saturday, March 27, 2010

Moylan's Brewing Co: IPA

Hello all! I am here to review a new beer. This time it comes to us from a new brewer (for me), Moylan's Brewing Company based in Novato, CA (nor cal) 30 miles north of San Francisco, and 75 miles south and west of Sacramento. I have seen their brews time and time again every time I'm browsing the beer section at my local QFC. Please note: I am just recovering from a cold that left my nasal passages well clogged, so perhaps you should take this rating with a grain of salt. I don't believe my nose is 100% fully recovered yet and therefore cannot promise my sense of smell (and taste for that matter) to be up to its normal expert standards :P Regardless, I am here and testing out this new beer :]

Moylan's Brewing Co is known somewhat well for pioneering the craft brew trade in nor cal by opening its doors way back in 1989. Since then they have expanded, won numerous awards, and have gained many a follower. As for popular brews on the market, I can only recall seeing this one in my local QFC, but looking at it would seem that other popular brews include: The Dragoons Irish Stout, Imperial IPA, Kiltlifter Scotch Ale, Double IPA, Imperial Stout, Old Blarney Barley Wine, and the Tippery Pale Ale (a more complete list can be found here). I however simply have in my hand, Moylan's India Pale Ale.

Name: Moylan's IPA
Category/Style: IPA
ABV: 6.5%
IBU: 70
OG: 1.094
Malt Types: American 2-Row, Crystal, Munich, & Acidulated
Hop Types: Chinook, Simcoe, Columbus, & Ahtanum
Yeast Type: White Labs #001 Chico
Additives: Dryhopped
Bottled: Unknown

The Pour: Murky golden yellow, slight orange hues. Head is weak, lacing most likely non-existent.

The Nose: Initially the aroma is of oranges and brown sugar, a definite trace of sweet malt present as well. Even though the website claims a floral aroma, I think this one is dominated by pine and citrus. Going deeper I am getting some dulled citrus, pine, and grapefruit, as well as some spice, maybe some honey and clove, and something else I can't quite place. I'm detecting some notes of pineapple as well as some kind of heavier meaty notes as I swirl the glass. Smells a bit musty, and maybe even some smokey hints? Quite intriguing I should say.

The Taste: A slight initial sweetness fills the nostrils, but leaves quickly revealing a fairly weak but spicy carbonation. I get a little bit of burnt orange notes and piney sweetness in my cheeks midway through. Definite resiny, piney hop character all the way through to the finish, lingering for quite some time after the last sip. Mouthfeel is light to medium airing on the medium side. Carb is light, kind of tingly; not too heavy, just right. Somewhat dry on the finish but not overly so.

The Verdict: Overall I liked this IPA. It has the bitterness one desires when looking for an IPA, and the spicy piney notes as well. I wouldn't say this is the cleanest or crispest of IPA's I've ever had, but it's not half bad. I thought the nose was most intriguing; notes of orange, smoke, pine, malt, clove, and honey, what's bad about that? I would definitely recommend this for all of the hopheads out there (myself falling into that category) and for those who do not mind the resiny hoppy taste left in ones mouth long after the last sip. As stated above, I found this at my local QFC, but I'm sure you could also find it at PCC, World Market, Whole Foods, or any other specialty beer store :]

Thanks for reading!


Monday, March 22, 2010

Pike Brewing Company: XXXXX Extra Stout

Hello! Here I am again, reviewing yet another beer here. This time I have selected a delicious stout from Pike Brewing Company. They brew their beer in the heart of Pike Place Market, just off of 1st Ave in downtown Seattle. This is the first beer I have reviewed from this particular brewer, but it is not the first time I have sampled their selection. Other beers you may have encountered from Pike include: Naughty Nellie (Golden Ale), or their Kilt Lifter (Scotch Ale). They also produce an IPA, Double IPA, Pale Ale, Weisse Bier, Double and Tripel Ales, a seasonal Holiday Ale, and an Oak-aged Stout.

I have been on a dark beer kick ever since I produced my own porter about a month and a half ago and when I saw this in my local QFC for the first time, knew I had to pick one up and give it a try. So let's do it! Ok here we go.

Name: XXXXX Extra Stout
Category/Style: Stout
ABV: 7.0%
IBU: 65
OG: 1.073
Malt Types: Pale, Crystal, and Roasted
Hop Types: Chinook, Willamette, and Goldings
Yeast Type: English Ale
Additives: None
Bottled: Unknown

The Pour: As is typically the case, this guy is dark and black, really tough for light to penetrate. Do I detect the slightest hint of brown coloration? Perhaps. Looks nice and rich, lovely tan head. This is gonna be a nice stout.

The Nose: Initially sweet and malty. Coffee, dark chocolate roastiness, light smoke, burnt sugar, molasses. Took me awhile to pinpoint it but there is a bit of floral hop presence there in the back...

The Taste: Hops and smoke on the front. Chocolate cocoa, roastiness, lingering bitterness. Light carbonation, medium to full bodied. Smooth, silky mouthfeel. Slight initial sweetness but it disappears quickly and midway through becomes dry and spicy. It has a nice bite. Finish is dry and definite bitter chocolate.

The Verdict: A rather delicious offering from Pike Brewing Co. Lots of good things going on with this stout: light smoke, dark chocolate, and coffee, with a lovely lingering bitterness. This is one brew to be savored; drinkability is not super high, but that is to be expected as this beer is so incredibly dark and rich. Pike says it is available year round, so if you're looking for a good dark and delicious 22 oz bottle of stout to share with a buddy or enjoy for yourself you can't go wrong here...

Thanks for reading!


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Elysian Brewing Company: Avatar Jasmine IPA

Hello! How are you tonight? I am well myself! And I am here to review yet another beer for you. This time I am reviewing a truly local example of Seattle Microbrew, and it is the Avatar Jasmine IPA from Elysian Brewing Company.

We find Elysian Brewing Co in three locations within the Seattle area. The first is located downtown just off of First Ave (Elysian Fields), the second on Capitol Hill, and the third in Tangletown (near Wallingford) in North Seattle.

Elysian brews a full line of available-all-year-long brews, as well as a seasonal line. But if I had to pick one, I would say that Elysian is most well-known for producing the: Immortal IPA. I have not tried the Immortal, but I have tried their Dragonstooth Stout, and must say that I find it to be ridiculously good (perhaps a future review is forthcoming?). I have also sampled their winter seasonal: Bifrost Ale (and don't remember liking it terribly well) but hey, I have always been one for second chances, and third chances, and fourth, and yeah, well you get the picture, so let's have a go...Avatar Jasmine IPA....................

Name: Avatar Jasmine IPA
Category/Style: India Pale Ale
ABV: 6.3%
IBU: 40
OG: Unknown
Malt Types: Pale, 45° Crystal, Munich, and Carahell
Hop Types: German Northern Brewer, Glacier, and Amarillo
Additives: Dried Jasmine Flowers
Bottled: Unknown

The Pour: Hazy, dark yellow-orange, coppery amber, thin white head, and not much in the way of lacing...

The Nose: Hops, pine, citrus, straw, flowery, slight malt, sweetness, caramel notes? Yeasty, slightly bready...

The Taste: Hmm, slight initial bitterness, sweet, good combination and balance. Lots of flowers, grass and straw midway through, carbonation is light to medium. The bitterness is not overpowering or dominant and lingers ever so slightly with just a touch of sweetness at the end. This brew totally reminds me of cross between an IPA and a German Lager (like Bitburger Pils), the floral, grassy and straw-like characteristics of this beer reminds me of this.

The Verdict: The drinkability is definitely high and I would say that it should be quite refreshing on a hot summers day. I would estimate an IBU between 40 - 60 for this beer. The flavors are very mellow, not incredibly hoppy, pretty well balanced (although I am a bit of a hop head myself ;] and don't mind super bitter beers) I thought it was a decent brew and it might do well to drink it ice cold (something that I did not do). If you're looking for something different IPA-wise and enjoy a slightly less bitter beer, this is a good bet :]

Thanks for reading!


Friday, March 5, 2010

Great Divide Brewing Co - Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout

Hello hello! How is everyone? I am back, and this time I'm reviewing a beauty! It comes to us from Great Divide Brewing Company (I reviewed previously Hercules Double IPA from this Brewing Co) and this offering is the oak-aged counterpart to Great Divide's Yeti Imperial Stout. The alcohol content is high: 9.5% and the IBU is 75 so that's pretty high also. Yeah I know what you're thinking, it definitely sounds interesting...add in a splash of vanilla from the oak aging process and it makes for one intriguing combination. This brew was recommended to me by a friend, so let's test it out :]

Name: Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout
Category/Style: Imperial Stout
ABV: 9.5%
IBU: 75
OG: Unknown
Malt Types: Unknown
Hop Types: Unknown
Bottled: November 27th, 2009

The Pour: Super dark! The head is light brown/dark tan, nice and fluffy. The beer looks like it's thick and rich. The color is dark. Black. No light penetrates this one; it's black as night. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

The Nose: Oh man the nose is incredible! Hops, Dark Chocolate, roasted coffee, Vanilla, some oak/woody notes, maybe some cola notes? Sweet and malty...molasses? This one is gonna be good! Definite roasted character and swirling the glass only enhances the nose. Smells of alcohol, after all it's 9.5%.

The Taste: Oh yeah. Wow. Really intense. I'm drinking this nearly roomtemp and I think this is the perfect way to drink it. Where do I start describing?! Full on heavy mouthfeel, the Vanilla deliciousness rises slowly up through my nose and the 9.5% alcohol feels warm in my mouth. Dark Chocolate, Cacao Nibs, oak. Roastiness midway and all the way through to the finish. Light bubbly carbonation, perfect for a stout. Bitterness, Vanilla midway through and on the finish! The dark roasted, burnt notes are amazing and the lingering bitterness only enhances the desire to drink more (I've only had two sips by the way). High alcohol. Lingering warming on the throat. Lacing is good. Slight smokiness on the finish as well.

The Verdict: This beer basically blew my mind. This one is definitely worth savoring and is more or less, dessert in a glass. What more is there to say? It's a huge stout. Imperial. High alcohol. Massive chocolate, coffee, roasted and burnt notes, as well as vanilla from the oak aging process. It's amazing! A great beer! Instantly one of my favorites. Please go and do yourself a favor and buy a bottle. You really won't be disappointed :]

Thanks for reading!