Beerly Departed - Search The Crypt's Records

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Cisco Brewers - Bailey's Blonde Ale

Dead Soldier 
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Bailey's Blonde Ale
Cisco Brewers 
5 Bartlett Farm Road
Nantucket, MA USA
Est. 1992 

Brain Damage Quotient = 5.3 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 22.0 

Postmortem Brew Review
Hazy orange/yellow in color.
Smells fruity/hoppy, with some biscuit malt and yeast notes.

Off-white two fingered
head, covers to wisp.
Fair amount of lacing down the side of the glass.

Hoppy taste with bitter finish and a firm malt body.
Medium carbonation.
Light to medium bodied mouth feel and enjoyable to drink.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
An American take on a Blonde ale, Cisco Brewer's Bailey's Blonde is named after their very own blond Labrador. You can see the silhouette on the bottle label. Speaking of the label, on it I noticed a rather nice $10 word, "piquant". Its definition, courtesy of is...


1. Having a pleasantly sharp taste or appetizing flavor.
2. Pleasantly stimulating or exciting to the mind.
This seems to be quite the adjective in describing the proper characteristics of virtually any Blonde/Blond, (however you might want to spell it.) And for an American version, I'd say that Cisco has pretty much "nailed the coffin shut" on this one. According to Cisco's website, Bailey's Blonde is a past gold medal winner at the World Beer Championships.

I should have picked up a second can be had in 12 oz., 22 oz. and very selectively on tap, most likely in the general distribution area of the brewery.

Here's a little tidbit for those of you wanting to learn more about Cisco Brewers.  They are in cahoots with two other ventures, namely Triple Eight Distillery and Nantucket Vineyard. They seem to be covering all the bases of the fermented and distilled. Cheers!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Laughing Dog - Sneaky Pete Imperial IPA

Dead Soldier 
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Sneaky Pete Imperial IPA
Laughing Dog Brewing Company
55 Industrial Park Road

Ponderay, ID
Est. 2005 

Brain Damage Quotient = 10.0 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 22.0 

Postmortem Brew Review
Amber red, dark and clear in color.
Citrus and piney at the same time on the nose with little else present.

Off white
head, two finger head that leaves sticky draped lacing.
Hops that last throughout the session. Nice presence of malt; balanced nonetheless.
Full bodied and great sticky hops mouth feel.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
What a find. I was in CT visiting family at the crypt up north and discovered this hiding in the smallest but nicest of beer/wine stores. I was looking for other brews, but could not pass this one up for the cute little Boston Terrier on the label. Such a cutie! Uh, ahem, Reaper! Let's remember we have a fearsome presence to uphold!

Anyway, the ale is terrific and was great to share on this Easter weekend with family at the southern most Florida crypt location. Such a sticky piney tasting brew. We shared until the little fellow gave no more.

Try to find some of this where you live. It is made in Idaho, but seems to have far distribution, at least to Connecticut. Don't let the 10% ABV "sneak" up on you. WOOF!

Good dog.

Lagunitas - Hop Stoopid

Dead Soldier 
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Hop Stoopid
Lagunitas Brewing Company
1280 North McDowell Boulevard
Est. 1993 

Brain Damage Quotient = 8.0 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 22.0 

Postmortem Brew Review
Rich gold color.
Smell of hops and more hops with some malt sweetness on the nose.

Nicely near white
head, one finger high, covers to wisp.
Fair amount of lacing on the glass.

Smooth hops, not nearly as punchy as the nose, but nicely warming.
Has a great malt backbone.
Medium bodied mouth feel.
Alcohol is nicely masked. 

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
Thought I was getting a hops "bomb" for the taste, but surprisingly for 102 IBU's, it is pretty mellow. And that is welcome.  The malty backbone absorbs some of the hops shock on the tongue and makes far a pleasant ride down the Imperial IPA highway. Me like-y! ! ! A lot.

Go and find yourself a bomber of this Stoopid stuff while it lasts on your store shelves. It's not what you think it is, but then it's so much more.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Blue Moon - Grand Cru

Dead Soldier 
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Grand Cru
Blue Moon Brewing Company 
Coors Brewing Company
13th and Ford Street
Golden, CO USA

Brain Damage Quotient = 8.2 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 22.0 

Postmortem Brew Review
Hazy golden color.
Bread, yeast, orange and spice on the nose for aromas.

White head that has a frothy and chunky appearance; sticks around for a while.
Fair amount of lacing down the side of the glass.

Light fruit and coriander spice taste..
Light bodied, refreshing taste. Alcohol barely noticeable.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
Trying not to discount the taste of a macro craft beer, (is that an oxymoron?), this was good as any introduction into Belgian White style you'll come across. Is it the be-all-end-all of Belgian Whites? No, you can do far better elsewhere, especially if you look to the country of Belgium to begin with, during your search.

It is, however, a nice effort by a macro brewer (Molson/Coors) and serves those whose tastes have expanded beyond mass produced pilsener lagers that have been foisted upon the American scene for the past 30 to 40 years. Found it in the Super Duper Market near your town, did you? Then take it home and give it a try. You will do yourself a favor to try this mass produced Grand Cru, but this, I will tell you...there are a lot better Grand Cru's to explore once you have satisfied your curiosity.

Keep looking friends.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Val Dieu - Blond

Dead Soldier
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Val Dieu Blond
Brasserie de L'Abbaye du Val~Dieu
Val-Dieu, 225
Aubel, Belgium
Est. 1216 - Re-est. 1997

Brain Damage Quotient = 6.0 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 11.2

Postmortem Brew Review
Translucent golden color that appears partially filtered.
Yeast smell detected on the nose.
Bright white, fluffy, tightly bubbled head.
Lots of sparkling nucleation.
Good amount of draped lacing on glass.
Sweet up front with a balanced bitter middle-to-finish.
Light bodied and easy to drink. 

Grim Reaper's Eulogy 
From their website, "The abbey of Val-Dieu was built 1216 by Cistercian monks. They were looking for a lone valley with a stream for agricultural and brewing activities, a haven of peace full of nature. Cistercian orders are well-known abroad for their brewing skills. The monks of this abbey made no exception to this rule." It seems that over the centuries, the Abbey fell into different states of disrepair. Thankfully, it was re-established in 1997. The Reaper applauds the brewery for a fine 'resurrection.' Mua-haa-ha-ha!

Unpasteurized and partially filtered, this blond has a nice pungency in the nose. The Belgian yeast is detectable and offers a wonderful, inviting aroma that reels you in for more. Another fine ale from Val Dieu. It is wonderfully sessionable and easy to drink at only 6% ABV.

Anchor - Liberty Pale Ale

Dead Soldier
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Anchor Liberty Ale
Anchor Brewing Company
1705 Mariposa Street 
San Francisco, CA USA
Est. 1896

Brain Damage Quotient = 5.9 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 12.0 

Postmortem Brew Review
Clear, golden color.
Floral hops and slight malt aromas meet your nose.
White colored, one finger head; tight bubbles. Leaves a nice cover.
Some spotty lacing on glass.
Gentle hops taste upfront all the way to the finish. Smooth and easy to drink.
Light bodied, tasty and super sessionable.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
Drop the anchor and set a while with this delicious west coast pale ale. This beer was originally brewed on April 18th, 1975 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Paul Revere's famous ride to warn the patriots throughout the countryside, that "...the British are coming." This is a delicious tasting malt and hops structure made with top fermenting yeast and pure water, according to the label.  The German Purity Law in full effect right in your hand. Naturally carbonated and refreshing.

I am currently posting while sipping in the early spring 81 degree heat at my favorite watering hole. You should too.You already know that Anchor makes some mighty tasty brews. Do it soon. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cocoa Beach - Not Just Some Oatmeal Stout

Dead Tiki God
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Not Just Some Oatmeal Stout
Cocoa Beach Brewing Company
150 N. Atlantic Avenue
Cocoa Beach, FL USA
Est. 20??

Brain Damage Quotient = ? % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 22.0

Postmortem Brew Review
Dark brown color on the pour.
Roasted malts and dry oatmeal nose.

Tastes like it smells but also with a hint of chocolate.

Copious amount of carbonation.
One finger head with scant cover and stringy lacing.

Medium body. A mild stout, not watery. Very tasty.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy 

I have had this now on tap and in the bottle.  I visited the brewery/pub back in November while with family and found this stout to be very tasty and delicious. It was, without doubt, better on draught, however, do not dismiss it in the bottle. This is one of Cocoa Beach's best sellers and is always anticipated when the next batch is brewed.

If you haven't stopped by the brewery/pub, do so on your next visit to Cocoa Beach. It's a hop skip and a jump from Orlando or Daytona, and worth every bit of the trip.  Enjoy the beach during the day and then cool off with a cool one afterwords. You'll be glad you did.

Ska - Euphoria Pale Ale

Dead Soldier
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Euphoria Pale Ale 
Ska Brewing Co.
225 Girard Street
Durango, CO USA
Est. 1995

Brain Damage Quotient = 6.1 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 12.0

Postmortem Brew Review
Burnt brown/orange in color.
Copious amount citrus hops; resiny to the nose.
Quickly foaming two finger slight white head fizzes out in about ten seconds.
No lacing present.
Big malted backbone. Well balanced hops and malts at play.
Medium amount of carbonation.
Medium bodied, medium mouth feel, dry finish. 

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
A fellow after my own heart, the Ska Skull guy.  Wearing the suit and ski cap complete with pom on top, this recently caught my eye, on a beer shopping expedition out west.  I have enjoyed their bottle beer and now see that they can as well. That is fortunate for me as it saves weight during the plane trip back, allowing a few more to slip into the travel coolers.

So, Mr. Ska Bones with his jazz hands is all up about the Euphoria Pale Ale. And for good reason. it is a delicious example of an American pale ale. Something about the western breweries that bring pale ales up to the level of IPA's and then the IPA's go so much farther. This has nice balancing of hops aromas that don't peter out in the taste. In all, it's an aggressive little pale ale, and that's fine with me. Very noticeable presence on the tongue that will make you happy if you like the hop.

Back to the can art...if you want to know how the Reaper feels about his beer, just look to this delightful fellow. That pretty much says it all about how I feel about this pale ale.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mother Earth - Dark Cloud

Dead Soldier
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Dark Cloud Dunkel Lager
Mother Earth Brewing
311 N. Heritage Street
Kinston, NC USA
Est. 2008

Brain Damage Quotient = 5.1 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 12.0 

Postmortem Brew Review
Dark copper/brown with ruby colored tones
Aromas include roasted malts with a bit of nuttiness and some dark fruit.
One fingered tan head with stringy, spotty lacing.

Bready and caramel flavors with a bit of nuttiness and nice dry pop finish.
Medium amount of carbonation.
Medium bodied. Slightly filling for a dark lager.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
The Beer Blogger's Conference held in November of 2010 was where I won this bottle, as part of a trivia quiz about North Carolina brewing history.  The question and answer aren't important, but this beer was a treasure to win.

Mother Earth Brewing has been creating their beers since 2008.  Young for a brewery, but they are wise beyond their years. As with many new breweries, the love of brewing fostered the need to create the brewery to fuel their passion.

Dark Cloud is a treat for the senses. Dark, roasted and nutty flavored was what won me over instantly. You don't have to be a trivia expert to get one of these, but it paid off for me. Hope to try more of their beers someday.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tin Mill - Red Caboose Amber Lager

Dead Soldier 
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Red Caboose Amber Lager
Tin Mill Brewing Company
First & Gutenberg
Hermann, MO USA
Est. 2005

Brain Damage Quotient = ?.? % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 12.0

Postmortem Brew Review
Yellow/amber color.
Malt grain with soft hops. Aromas remind me of potatoes.
Short head disappears to a cover but leaves clingy lacing.
Soft malt taste, proper lager style bitter hops finish that is long and tangy.
Soft carbonation.
Light body and a dry hops finish. 

Grim Reaper's Eulogy 
I received this from a friend that is familiar with the Hermann, MO area, when she returned from a recent trip. If you look closely at the bottle label you will notice the faint etchings of a map. A map of the Hermann area, complete with the mighty Missouri River. I had not heard of this brewery, but got schooled by reading all about them on their website. All you need to know about how they approach beer is what I read, here:
At Tin Mill Brewery, we follow the Reinheitsgebot, or German Purity law, to the letter using no corn or rice in our beers. The barley we use is grown and malted in Germany and comes from some of the best barley fields in the world. Our hops come from the Hallertau Region of Germany about an hour north of Munich. Even our traditional copper brew kettles are imported from Germany.
Another thing Tin Mill does with their beers is Krausening.  This is a process currently used by only a few brewers in the United States.  They take beer that is almost finished fermenting and then they add a little newly fermented beer to recharge the fermentation activity to help naturally carbonate the beer. Then Tin Mill ages the beer in cold cellars for five weeks. This cold lagering process gives the beers a more balanced flavor with a clean finish and a true German style taste.

So you can see they are serious about their brewing. I was impressed by the way the hops stung long after each sip and also how the malt sweetness just wants to come out to play in a tantalizing way. I usually encourage others to try Amber Style beer as a gateway into fuller bodied beers. This is one great example of such a brew. It will change your mind about lagers and teach you how flavors can play in balance within the beer. Premium German ingredients also say a lot about the makeup and character of Red Caboose.

Note of interest - - - I could not find much about the Red Caboose Amber Lager on Tin Mill's webpages. It may have been a seasonal or been replaced by one of the other featured beers, (methinks it's the Maibock!)  No matter. I will look forward to trying more of their offerings knowing now how much they respect the brewing process.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sarah's Stash - Apple Beer

Dead Soldier
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Apple Beer
Sarah & Matt Home Brewing
Allston, MA USA
Est. 2009

Brain Damage Quotient = 6.0 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 12.0

Postmortem Brew Review
Cloudy amber orange color.
apple/citrus fruit nose.

Sweet apple taste with something of a chamomile tea flavor.
Clove and all-spice flavors present.
Active carbonation; zesty.
Three finger off white head with spotty lace on glass.
Light mouth feel. Nicely refreshing. 

Grim Reaper's Eulogy

Home brewing is an extension of thought, a heartbeat of passion and sufficient curiosity to say, "I think I can do that." So many are home brewing these days, in large part to former President Jimmy Carter, who enacted legislation allowing American citizens to brew beer in their homes back in 1979.

Visiting with family and friends this past month, I was exposed to some home brew from a rather unlikely source. My best friend of thirty plus years, was holding onto a bottle from his daughter's home brewing adventures. Could it be that Sarah, this girl I held in my arms many years ago as a week old infant, is all grown up and making beer? It's true! I should not be surprised.  After all, I did mention that he is my BEST friend!

So during our abbreviated trip up north, we did gather for some good pizza and beer, when this bottle of apple flavored beer was produced. Sarah and friend Matt have been brewing since the fall of 2009 and were particularly active this fall as she states:
"...we had a couple types at one time. It [the apple beer] is actually the favorite out of all of our brews thus far. Our friends loved it. It was our first apple beer, so we have some notes for what we would like to do differently next time, but all things considered, it was a success."
Her favorite styles to drink when not brewing?
"Our favorite style of beer is generally Belgian Ales. Although, my tastes run the gamut."
It seems that grown up Sarah has tastes in spirits as well. I have found that many a beer drinker also has a few levels of indulgence once up to the brewing level and Sarah is no different. Scotch and bourbon, a couple of her uncle's favorites (that's me!)  We have so much in common. Her dad is proud of her accomplishments in life so far, and I am equally impressed with her range.

Go Sarah!