Beerly Departed - Search The Crypt's Records

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Breckenridge - Summer Bright Ale

Dead Soldier 
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Summer Bright Ale
Breckenridge Brewery
471 Kalamath Street
Denver, CO USA
Est. 1989

Brain Damage Quotient = 4.5 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 12.0 

Postmortem Brew Review
Straw yellow in color.
Some bitter hops, citrus zest notes and wheat.

Near white colored, one finger head. Dissipates rather quickly.
Not much lacing down the side of the glass.
Dry wheat, hops and lemon/ginger taste.

Carbonation is fairly pronounced.
Light bodied. Tart mouth feel.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
Summer Bright is a refreshing Pale Wheat Ale. They have the hops and citrus for tartness. There is a dryness to it, not unlike ginger ale. Even though there may not be ginger in the ale, it remains crisp, dry and refreshing. A super sipper on any hot day. It is one to light up your taste buds time after time with its tight, tart finish.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Ommegang - BPA

Dead Soldier
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
BPA (Belgian-style Pale Ale)
Brewery Ommegang
656 County Highway 33
Cooperstown, NY USA 
Est. 1997

Brain Damage Quotient = 6.2 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 25.4

Postmortem Brew Review
Translucent apricot golden color.
Citrus fruit, dry yeast and caramel malt made up the aromas.
One finger, fluffy white head. Foam leaves nice spotted lacing.
Deliciously fruity but crisp and dry with a nice dry hopped finishing taste.
Balanced carbonation.
Light to medium mouth feel. Nicely complex flavors.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
The bottle label claims "Limited Edition", however after researching their website I find it listed under their 'Year-Round Brews'. I purchased this bottle while on vacation at a natural foods store that carried an incredible beer selection. The bottle gives perfect advise for storing, serving and pouring to avoid the yeast sediment. Details such as these are what make the drinking experience produce the most enjoyable outcome possible. Also interesting to note, its a little bit European and a bit American, borrowing ingredients from both regions and combining for a spectacular Belgian-style Pale Ale.

Dry hopping and warm cellaring at the brewery are listed on the bottle's label. This shows the dedication to craft that goes into Ommegang's products. As we allowed our bottle to warm slightly from the fridge, and then again in our glasses, the aromas of the dry hops and Belgian yeasts treated our noses. Citrus and tropical fruit notes wafted up as we took a sip. This is a very nice sipping Belgian Pale Ale. And it was sweet to have found it on the shelves that day. A pure pleasure to share with a loved one on these warm summer days.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Left Hand - Wake Up Dead Imperial Stout

Dead Soldier
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Wake Up Dead Imperial Stout
Left Hand Brewing Company
1265 Boston Avenue
Longmont, CO USA
Est. 1994

Brain Damage Quotient = 10.2 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 22.0 

Postmortem Brew Review
Dark mahogany color. Brown with reddish tones.
Mostly chocolate, roasted coffee. Faint whiffs of oak on the nose.
Thick, two finger tan head that lasts quite a while.
Thin string lacing down the side of the glass.
Roasted malts and dashes of vanilla in the taste. Some oak, but not much.
Lightly carbonated.
Light to medium bodied. Thin and slippery mouth feel. 

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
Imperial Stouts are usually a bit on the dark side. Aggressive malting will make them pour with the color spectrum of used motor oil all the way to jet black. This stout was - - - not so much. It was a dark brown, at best. On the other hand, the alcohol will be noticeable. At 10.2% ABV, Wake Up Dead was on the boozy side, so good points for that. And it did give forth a luxurious frothy head. Another point added.

Some of the flavors that you would expect in an Imperial Stout were there; roasted malts, licorice and coffee. But overall, there were some flavors that I couldn't derive. Even the oak was a bit more of a suggestion than fact.  It did slowly work its way into the profile late, late, in the glass.

A good ale? Yes. An Imperial Stout? All things considered, I had high hopes for what should have been a slam dunk write-up, given my macabre nature and the name of the stout. But, my fellow pallbearers, we will have to bury this one for now. I will say that while it was enjoyable, it wasn't my expectation of an Imperial Stout.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Founders - Devil Dancer

Dead Soldier
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Devil Dancer
Founders Brewing
235 Grandville Avenue SW
Grand Rapids, MI USA
Est. ????

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

Postmortem Brew Review
Dark amber color.
Sweet smelling and actually reminds me of spiced ham aroma.
One-half finger, tan color head. Leaves very little lacing.
Slightly sweet and hoppy. Hops roll through each sip.
Lightly carbonated.
Medium mouth feel. Alcohol taste is masked by hops.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
Founders has created a 112 IBU, 12% ABV beer, appropriately named Devil Dancer. There's a potent tango. If you're dancing with the devil, you know it's a calculated risk. I, The Reaper have some experience with this. Now, if only they had a "Drinking With The Stars" show. Muahaha.

Think about it for a minute. 112 IBU's are intensely strong for a hops base. They come from 10 different alpha (acid) hops varieties. That's lots of science. Then pack the 12% alcohol by volume wallop on top of that - - - if you can't do the science by now, at least you can probably do the math. Boom goes the dynamite! First in your mouth, then in your head.

I think the most interesting thing experienced, was how my olfactory senses picked up a scent of ham. It's likely a wrong pick on my part, but whoomp, there it is. It certainly didn't taste like that in any way.

Promenade over and try one, if you dare.

Lagunitas - India Pale Ale

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

Brain Damage Quotient = 6.2 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 12.0 

Postmortem Brew Review
Rich gold color with copper tones.
Smell of citrusy hops and malt sweetness on the nose.

Nice, fluffy, near white 
head, one finger high.
Good amount of lacing on the glass.
Smooth hops up front and nicely warming in strength on the back.
Dry malt flavor coming through from start to finsih.
Medium bodied mouth feel.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
Oooooo! Lagunitas has a nice IPA here that while bitter in hops, keeps you coming back for more. Easily sessionable at a mere 6.2%, this is a tasty take on the American India Pale Ale style.

Many of their other offerings also include hops strength, but this one is a keeper with me. The malt and hops balance is smooth and interestingly complex. Both get nicely tangled around all of your taste buds. Try some yourself and see if you agree. Visit their website if you have the time...there's a lot going on there.

Sinebrychoff - Porter

Dead Soldier
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Sinebrychoff - Porter
Oy Sinebrychoff Ab
(Part of the Carlsberg Group)
Sinebrychoffnaukio 1
Kerava, Finland

Brain Damage Quotient = 7.2 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 11.2 

Postmortem Brew Review
Dark black appearance.
Dry, roasted malt smell with sugary molasses notes.
Medium sized, tan colored head. Hangs around a minute or so.
Slight strings of lacing on glass.
Fairly big malt taste up front with strong coffee notes balanced by a subtle sweet toffee finish.
Some hops bitters at the end of each sip.
Light to medium mouth feel. Dry and astringent on finish.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
Here's another first for me. A beer from Finland. This is a sturdy porter at 7.2% ABV and 45 IBU's of hops. But then again, the Finnish are a sturdy bunch and require a beer that will fortify them through the cold temps of their land.

The porter began with a bitter note of espresso coffee taste, but I say that in a good way. Soothing it on the back side were more toffee/caramel sweet tones. Not over done, just to balance the initial strength of the coffee flavors. In all, a nice combination. It gave what is usually a simple ale, such as a porter, a bit more complexity.

Erittäin hyvä !

Monday, July 25, 2011

Dundee - India Pale Ale

Dead Soldier
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
India Pale Ale
Dundee Brewing Company/Genesee Brewing Company
445 St. Paul Street
Rochester, NY USA
Est. 1994

Brain Damage Quotient = 6.3 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 12.0

Postmortem Brew Review
Dark golden color with copper hues.
Citrus/grapefruit hops notes with a biscuit malt aroma.

Off white 2 finger head that leaves a cap.
Good amount of lacing on the glass.
Nice balance malt and hops taste up front, but not as much hops on the finish.
Active carbonation.
Medium bodied mouth feel.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy

Dundee's slogan "The Best Beer You Never Had" is curious. I guess you could say that I never had it before now. But where does that slogan leave me now? It was a good beer to have. Hmmmm. Hafta' look up their marketing ploy on that phrase, sometime. It took a little sleuthing to uncover their founding date. Seems that Dundee started marketing a lager in 1994 at the former High Falls Brewing plant in Rochester. This was all done under the Genesee name, part of the North American Breweries Group. Nice to see a seasoned veteran of brewing helping to reinvent themselves. From a handful of beers, they have grown the list to around a dozen that include seasonal beers.

Chinook and Willamette hops combine with Caramel 60 and Crystal 77 malts to produce this balanced IPA. At 60 IBU's this India Pale Ale  is on target to produce the hops sting you might expect. I found that the hops appear to be there up front, but seemed a bit missing in action on the finish. In all, it is still a fine IPA and I would easily consider this again.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Kona - Wailua Wheat Ale

Dead Surfer
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Wailua Wheat Ale
Kona Brewing Company
Kona, HI USA
Est. 1994

Brain Damage Quotient = 5.4 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 12.0

Postmortem Brew Review
Straw yellow color.
Light wheat flavor, a little malt and little hint of citrus on the nose.
White two finger head that leaves a cover.
Fair lacing on the glass.
Wheat taste with a citrus finish of passion fruit.
Active carbonation.
Light mouth feel. Easy to drink.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
Wailua is a pleasant tasting wheat beer that Kona brews up for the spring and summer seasons. The bright citrusy notes were a pleasant surprise upon sampling. I had to read the label to identify it as passion fruit, which Kona states is brewed into each batch. The name Wailua means two fresh streams of water that mingle.

This was purchased to be used originally for a cooking recipe.  I tasted some of the left over and that was all she wrote...the rest of that sixer is now history. It paired well with the pork steaks we made. Mmmmm.

Try some when the weather turns H O T. You'll appreciate the quirky passion fruit flavor at the end of each sip.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Grand Canyon Brewing - Black Iron India Pale Ale

Iron Soldier
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Black Iron India Pale Ale
Grand Canyon Brewing Company
233 W. Route 66
Williams, AZ USA

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

Postmortem Brew Review
Translucent golden amber color.
Appears to be unfiltered as there are suspended particulates.
Grapefruit like hops bang on the nose.
Two and a half finger, fluffy white head that settles rapidly to a nice cover.
Great spiderweb lacing on the glass.
Sticky hops taste. Lots of good hops resin notes coat the tongue.
Light to medium bodied.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy

I placed a FaceBook question with three beers to review, all for your reading pleasure today. This one was the clear choice of you wandering souls. I found this in Arizona while visiting, a while back.  Just for the record, if you are reading the notes above, I was not bored and getting carried away with the ? key. Interestingly, I couldn't dig up jack about this IPA on their website! I mean, they have their amber ale, pilsner beer, pale ale, raspberry wheat, white water wheat, stout and even a 'seasonal' listing, (deep breath) but sadly, zilch on this terrific IPA. No ABV info on this ale. Nothing about when they were formed as a brewery, either. Sheeesh! 

But fear not, my minions!  The autopsy is just in on this IPA. The hops hit you straight away from the pop of the can tab. Stick foam covered my bony finger as I cracked it open. The hops are there and add a lot of warmth.  Either that or the thermostat is broken down here in hell. Speaking of its heat, the warmth may also be due to the unknown amount of alcohol by volume. Since there is nothing to go on from the website, I turned to two 'other' fairly reputable sources, but they too do not have a clue as to its ABV. Judging by other IPA's drunk, I'd place it in the 6 % to 6.5% range. Possibly a tad more even...

So in closing, we don't know a hell of a lot about this brew. GRAND CANYON ARE YOU OUT THERE??? You've got to place a bit of info on this wonderful libation on your website and correct the err of your ways, SOON. Cripes, do you need a branding manager?  I'm me. ;-)

Oh, by the way dear all should try this IPA if you get a chance. It's very sessionable. That is all.

Now back to playing with the keyboard?????        ????????????????????? ??????????????????         ???????????????????              ??????????????????             ????????????????????????????????????

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Red Brick - Brown Ale

Dead Soldier
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Red Brick Brown Ale
Atlanta Brewing Company
2323 Defoor Hills Rd. NW
Atlanta, Georgia 
Est. 1993

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

Postmortem Brew Review
Cloudy and light brown/amber color.
Sweet caramel malt and hazelnut aromas.
Tan, two finger high head.
Good lacing on glass, early on.
Malt flavors that linger on the palate. There are nutty tastes and a bit of cocoa present.
Medium bodied mouth feel. 

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
Another offering from The Atlanta Brewing Company is their Red Brick Brown. I am usually not short on words, but it's enough to say that this is a good and solid brown style ale.

This brewery's quirky yet austere labels promotes pride in their Southern roots. Like I said before, short on words for this one, yet found it to be a very nice, drinkable brown. Words may escape me today, but this ale did not.

Achouffe - McChouffe Brown Ale

Dead Soldier
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
McChouffe Brown Ale
Brasserie D'Achouffe
Rue du Village 32
6666 Achouffe, Belgium
Est.late 1970's
(2006 as part of Duvel-Moortgat)

Brain Damage Quotient = 8.0 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 25.4

Postmortem Brew Review
Hazy, dark brown color.
Notes of Belgian yeast, dark breads and fruits. Some alcohol noticeable.
One finger, tan head. Disappears quickly leaving little lacing.
Tastes slightly spicy, peppery. Dark fruits; sticky raisin tastes predominate.
Soft carbonation.
Light to medium bodied. Nice flavor complexity.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
Brasserie D'Achouffe is a Belgian brewer that has been around for several decades. Recently they came under the arm of Duvel-Moortgat, a fine purveyor of Belgian ales. This brown ale (Scottish ale/Abbey ale) is made with spring water from the Ardennes region, long known for their refreshing and restorative powers. English Golding and Saaz hops are combined with pilsener malts and top fermenting Belgian yeast to produce this hand crafted ale. The final touch is double fermentation (bottle fermenting) that features a soft, natural carbonation.

Their gnomes embellish the bottles of all the ales produced from the Brasserie giving its branding a cute and impish playfulness. I was inspired to try this brown ale after not being able to help but notice the decoratively painted bottle. I was hooked on the taste. Since it is a large bottle with a large amount of ABV, you will make many friends with this one!

Don't think you like Belgians? Try McChouffe and see the difference hand crafting and fine ingredients make.

You can catch up with me later, frolicking with the gnomes...

Wurzburger Hofbrau - Julius Echter Hefe-Weiss

Dead Soldier
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Julius Echter Hefe-Weiss
Wurzburger Hofbrau GmbH
Hochberger Strabe 28
Wurzburg, Germany
Est. 1643

Brain Damage Quotient = 4.9 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 16.9

Postmortem Brew Review
Hazy, golden orange color.
Citrus notes, spice and wheat aromas.
Two finger, fluffy white head. Foam leaves spotted lacing.
Banana and faint vanilla tasting with a creamy smooth, enveloping finish.
Light, creamy smooth mouth feel.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
Wurzburger Hofbrau was founded way back in 1643 and is one of Germany's oldest brewers. This beer shows off their dedication to crafting wonderful beers, such as this Hefe. It is, as all good German beers are, brewed under the Bavarian purity law of 1516 (Reinheitsgebot). This means that Wurzburger Hofbrau has been creating beer for nearly 200 years prior to the law.

Wonderfully tasty and super easy to drink, give this one a try the next time you are ordering a Hefeweizen.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Samuel Adams - Light

Dead Soldier
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Samuel Adams Light
Boston Beer Company
Boston, MA USA

Brain Damage Quotient = 4.0 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 12.0

Postmortem Brew Review
Clear, pleasant light amber color.
Malt, toasty grain and hops aromas in balance.
One finger, fluffy white head. Foam leaves some spotted lacing.
Malts and hops are balanced with a very slight hint of peach flavor in the taste.
Lightly carbonated.
Light and smooth tasting mouth feel.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
Light beer, when done right, can be a beautiful thing. This bottle, actually two of them, appeared in a mixed 12 pack of recently purchased Boston Beer products. I have a penchant for stronger ales and beers, so I was prepared for the worst when seeing the word 'light' floating in the ribbon below the Sam Adams label. After all, I take my motto seriously, "Helping to pass beer into the great at a time." So this one would also be reviewed.

I braced myself and took a sniff or two. Nice gentle Bavarian Noble hops aroma, just like those found in their Boston Lager. Hmmm. Let's pour it. Rich amber color. Whoa! Was expecting clear yellow fizziness. Okay, barriers and preconceived notions are crumbling at this point like the Berlin Wall. I sipped, and sipped. Did someone say this was a light beer?

It took two years of figuring, researching, deconstruction and polish for Jim Koch & Company to come up with the formula that breaks the notion of what a light beer can be. The result? A great tasting light beer that, oh-and-by-the-way, won an award at a German beer competition with no light beer category!

Much as I hate to admit it, I now can say that there's a light beer I like.

Harpoon - Summer Beer

Dead Soldier
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Harpoon Summer Beer
Harpoon Brewery
306 Northern Avenue
Boston, MA USA
Est. 1986
Brain Damage Quotient = 5.0 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 12.0

Postmortem Brew Review
Pale straw yellow color. 
Mostly malt grain and trace floral hop aromas.
White, tightly bubbled crisp, one finger head.
Head lacing fairly nonexistent.
Malty grain taste with a bit of sourness.
Active carbonation balances any thin watery appearance.
Light bodied. Slightly drying on finish. 

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
Here's another crisp Kolsch for our perusal. These beers are refreshing in taste. A bit crisper than a lager. A bit more floral bite on the finish. Perfect for warm summer days. Great for killing your thirst while easy on the taste buds and alcohol. An ale yeast, not a lager, is used to set this apart from ordinary beer. The beer will have a dry, tart, almost sour taste. It is not for everyone's palate, but I prefer the tartness.

Freshen up with a Kolsch and see what your summer is missing.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sweet Water - Blue

Dead Soldier
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Sweet Water Brewing Company
195 Ottley Drive
Atlanta, GA USA
Est. 1997

Brain Damage Quotient = 4.6 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 12.0 

Postmortem Brew Review
Clear golden color.
Blueberries and hops are noticeable.
Near-white, one finger of head. Settles out quickly.
Some spotty lacing on glass.
Nicely sweet blueberries, just a bit of malt grian and nice tart hops finish.
Modestly carbonated. Very smooth and easy to drink.
Light bodied.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
Sweet Water's Blue is a 1998 World Beer festival Bronze Medal Winner in the Fruit beer category. It's very refreshing and I might add that it has a taste of natural blueberry that is not in-your-face like so many others in this style. I found that this wheat beer was one of few fruit styles that was enjoyable to drink. Of course it was consumed on a rather hot day here in he---, uh, hello, Florida! Yeah, that's what I meant to say. Yeah, Florida. Well, it only seems like hell.

But never the less, this is a brewery from Georgia that I have been watching for some time. Only having their bluebery/wheat and the brown ale thus far, I look forward to some of their other more interesting offerings. Gona have to fire up the hearse and take a trip north of the border for some more, soon.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sweet Water - Georgia Brown Ale

Dead Soldier
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Georgia Brown Ale
Sweet Water Brewing Company
195 Ottley Drive
Atlanta, GA USA
Est. 1997

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

Postmortem Brew Review
Deep brown, root beer like in color.
Malty sweetness with a nuttiness. Hops are not noticeable.
Off-white head that produces one finger of creamy froth. Settles to a cover.
Some stretched and spotty lacing on glass.
Malty, hint of brown sugar in taste.
There is a very laid back hops bitterness present, in the finish.
Lightly carbonated. Very smooth and easy to drink.
Medium bodied. Finishes with a nice dry pop.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
A surprise gift from the younger Reaper of the family. He found some of this recently while on a trip to Georgia. He was helping a fellow move into his "new digs." Bwahaahaha!

Sweet Water's ales are just now reaching into Florida. I discovered more of their brews at a recent beer festival, down here in 'God's Waiting Room.'  I hope to try more of their stuff, over time. This brown ale is a nice example of the English style.

My boy also returned with some of Sweet Water's Blue; a blueberry wheat beer which was equally pleasant and refreshingly good as a summer brew.

Suh-weet Georgia Brown!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Jolly Pumpkin - Bam Noire Dark Farmhouse Ale

Dead Soldier
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Bam Noire Dark Farmhouse Ale
Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales LLC
Dexter, MI USA
Est. 2004

Brain Damage Quotient = 4.3 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 25.4

Postmortem Brew Review
Mostly brown in color with some plum tones.
Yeast and spice aromas with some tart vinegary notes.
One finger, fluffy white head. Foam leaves some spotted lacing.
Coffee and cocoa with some dark fruity plum notes.
Slightest hint of brettomyces funkiness to the taste.
Light to medium mouth feel. A bit thin, but smooth bodied.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
Here's a pick from my son. He found this on our excursion to a natural foods store. While neither of us raved about it, the ale did slowly grow on me. It is very low in alcohol at only 4.3% ABV, however, there was the most tantalizing aftertaste that kept me coming back for more.

Unusual. Curious. Would I buy it again? Possibly, but there are other Jolly Pumpkin Ales that I would like to explore first. Tip of the hat to Jolly Pumpkin for their informative and interesting website.

We'll be back for more.