Beerly Departed - Search The Crypt's Records

Monday, September 26, 2011

Thornbridge - Jaipur India Pale Ale

Dead Soldier
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Jaipur India Pale Ale
Thornbridge Brewery
Riverside Brewery
Buxton Road
Bakewell, Derbyshire England
Est. 2005

Brain Damage Quotient = 5.9 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 16.9

Postmortem Brew Review
Unfiltered golden yellow color.
Some citrus hops and honey aromas. Malts are subdued, but sustained in strength.
Two finger, off white head on pour.
Good amount of stringy lacing down the side of the glass.
Hops and malts are well balanced. Honey flavor is mild and enticing. Hops surge in bitterness moments after the sip.
Medium bodied. Well balanced with plenty of flavor. Easy to drink.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
It was a great day when I discovered this bottle of Thornbridge's Jaipur IPA. I'm a big fan of the BBC hit show Top Gear. One of the show's principle hosts, James May, has gone on to appear in a few other interesting shows including a mini-series called, "Oz and James Drink to Britain". The show came about after they had done a couple of wine tasting mini-series, where Oz tries his best to educate James on the finer points of wine and wine making.

During the beer series, James tries to turn the tables on Oz. One episode in particular was based upon a Yorkshire pub crawl, via train through the central British countryside. In a comical respite during the pub crawl, James and Oz sample this very IPA by Thornbridge. During the crawl, James counters the droning of Oz Clarke, a noted wine connoisseur, about the differences between wine and beer. As they begin their crawl at the first railway station pub, James puts Oz in his place by declaring
"Beer is a simple drink for people who want to get on with something useful. I'ts not a philospher's drink - - - it's not like wine. French people drink wine and sit there, then comtemplate the meaning of a teacup. British people drink beer to slake the thirst they've built up from building things. It's ridiculous, right?" --- James May
Not ridiculous at all. James is dead right, if you'll forgive the morbid pun. Muahaahaahaa! Oz eventually goes on to guess correctly that it's Jaipur, but the point sticks with him through the trip. Oz admits that James might be on to something.

Do enjoy this fine British IPA. Might I suggest watching all of the episodes whilst doing so? You will see that Oz will make a believer out of James in noting the finer qualities of well built ales. Of course, James will keep his 'wine-ponce' friend Oz in check with cheeky remarks on their journey to appreciation of well crafted ales.

PS - The train pub crawl is now on The Reaper's official "bucket list".

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Nimbus - Old Monkeyshine

Dead Monkey
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Old Monkeyshine
Nimbus Brewing Company LLC
3850 E. 44th
Tucson, AZ USA
Est. 1996

Brain Damage Quotient = 8.2 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 12.0

Postmortem Brew Review
Deep brown color with some ruby tones.
Malty smell up front to dry hops. Sweet and sour notes throughout.
Two finger off-white head that leaves some strings of lacing.
Raisins and a nutty, dry flavor balance the malts, while the hops bring it in balance.
Moderate amount of carbonation.
Full flavor, medium bodied.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
Malty sweetness will pull you in over and over, masking the over eight percent ABV. If you've tried English Strong Ales before, there will be no surprises here, except pleasant ones. The rich malted roastiness envelops your tongue in a nicely sweet coat. Dashes of hops bittering round out the sweetness.

Well done, well done indeed.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Firestone Walker - Union Jack IPA

Dead Soldier 
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Union Jack IPA
Firestone Walker Brewing Company
1400 Ramada Drive

Paso Robles
Est. 1996 

Brain Damage Quotient = 7.5 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 12.0 

Postmortem Brew Review
Golden/amber color.
Lots of citrus and pine hops notes on the nose.
Near-white head that does not last too long nor does it lace much.
Heavy lingering hops flavors that turn dry. Slight paper flavor noticed.
Medium bodied, medium mouth feel.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
This is the second Firestone Walker brew I was able to bring back from a west coast trip. As with the other (the Pale Ale) I think something was lost in translation. And I think I know what the culprit may have been. Let me explain...

I have heard and read a lot about this brewer as stated in the previous review of the Pale Ale. As I "boned" up on my homework about this IPA, I noticed the brewer's notes stated the beer was unpasteurized and was best stored at 44 degrees (Fahrenheit). Basically, it required some special handling to ensure it was as fresh a product the brewer intended it to be. I did travel with it for 24 hours without refrigeration, but I can assure you that it was not my mishandling. Looking back on it now, I purchased this and the Pale Ale from a 'big box' liquor/wine/beer chain from their assorted singles shelf, where the customers are allowed to 'mix-a-six' of their own choosing. Those shelves are out in the open and not refrigerated. And although the store had air conditioning, I can reasonably state it was not set anywhere near 44 degrees! As a result, it had a paper flavor that may have been indicative of oxidation.

So alas, fellow beer drinkers - - - I am sad to report that while it was a nice tasting beer, overall, it did not impress due to the off flavor note at the end. As a result, I am chalking it up to the retailer for not having refrigerated the product. And as for me, my selections will be more influenced by how I can better purchase and handle unpasteurized beer in the future. As is my usual course for other beers I have tried and felt may have been mishandled, I will attempt to get an ideal example of this again; likely a fresh refrigerated bottle when next in the western states. It deserves my re-examination as this IPA is a multiple award winning beer, as judged at The Great American Beer Festival.

Lessons learned and shared, so you don't have to learn them for yourself.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Rheingold Lager

Dead Soldier
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Rheingold Lager
The Rheingold Brewing Company
372 Danbury Road - Suite 163
Wilton, CT USA
Bottled at:
The Rheingold Brewing Company
Wilkes-Barre, PA
Est. 1883

Brain Damage Quotient = 5.0 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 12.0

Postmortem Brew Review
Pale straw yellow color.
Sweet grainy malt and just a dash of hops in aroma.
Two finger, bubbly white head on pour, and then it's gone in 30 seconds.
No lace on the glass.
Hops are pretty indistinguishable and the copious presence of grainy malt abounds.
Very active carbonation
Light bodied.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
Ballantine. Shaefer. Piel's. Shmidt. Yadda, yadda, yadda and the list goes on. This beer would have made a great addition to the run of Beers of Yesteryear that I ran a couple of years ago. It fits right in. I am old enough to recall Rheingold being around at the family picnics and gatherings back in the tri-state area of NY, NJ & CT.

It was the official beer of the Mets, (the Yankees had Ballantine). Rhiengold, like so many of the others mentioned above, had its heyday during the 1940's through the early 1970's. Then like most of the others, they were bought up for branding and recipe by Pabst, or swallowed whole by Anheuser Busch or put asunder by Miller and Coors. The redundancy of yellow fizzy lager beers caused the collapse and only the biggest and strongest survived. Well, this one couldn't be killed off that easily.

An investment group recently bought and reinvigorated the brand. Interestingly, they kept the same branding, logos, formulation, etc. in a hope that nostalgic lagers would become hip. After all, Pabst and Narragansett have been able to cash in on this type of success with good marketing campaigns. So now we have a beer that once hailed from New York, is now headquartered in Wilton, CT and is brewed (presumably contract) in WIlkes-Bare, PA. Is this a flag looking for a country or the other way around?

Any way you slice it, another tried and true name has been lifted off the scrap heap and is getting some air under it's wings for lift. For nostalgia's and their sake, let's hope it rises like the Phoenix out of the ashes.

This ends your history lesson for the day.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Belgium - Trippel

Dead Soldier
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
New Belgium Brewing
500 Linden Street
Fort Collins, CO USA
Est. 1991 

Brain Damage Quotient = 7.8 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 12.0 

Postmortem Brew Review
Hazy bright golden color.
Lemon and spice aroma with some sweet apple notes.

Delicate foamy, bright white, one-finger head.

Slightly spotted lacing on the glass.
Light spice taste with touch of apple-like sweetness.
Moderate carbonation.
Light to medium bodied. Alcohol is masked.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
We don't get this one around these parts, so when offered a chance to try, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to do so. New Belgium's Trippel is on the mark for the style, but not as bold or brilliant as other Belgian Tripel's that I've tried. It lacks the more typical banana note elements, but does impart a nice bouquet that includes a sweet apple fragrance. Although there is a definite spice component, it is just not as punctuated as other Belgian Tripel's I have sampled.

I have had the opportunity to enjoy a few of these at the New Belgium Brewery on a couple of occasions, in Fort Collins, CO. From the tap, this is a very refreshing and delicious Tripel. Sadly, it seems the bottle conditioned version wasn't what I remembered it to be from those past tap room experiences.

I have been spoiled by drinking too many of this style that are direct from Belgium lately. But on the other hand, the thought of how my palate has developed over the past several years has shown me how to discern the nuances. Still, this is a solid Tripel to enjoy and I would not hesitate recommending it to someone who has yet to try the style.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Cocoa Beach - 888 India Pale Ale

Dead Men Don't Tell No Tales
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
888 India Pale Ale
Cocoa Beach Brewing Company
150 N. Atlantic Avenue
Cocoa Beach, FL USA
Est. 20??

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

Postmortem Brew Review
Translucent yet clear amber color.
Muted citrus hops and just a hint of sweet malt.
Off-white head. Spotted and stringed lacing. Covers to a cap.

Minimal amount of carbonation.
Hops heat comes on with each and every sip.
Malt sweetness is muted but does a good job of balancing the whole mix.
Medium body, medium mouth feel. Great hops stickiness in finish.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
Today, September 19th, is National Talk Like A Pirate Day. Lookin' around the mortuary fridge for a beer to review, I was becomin' dismayed at the prospect of reviewin' somethin' with an "Arrrgh" (the letter R) in it. This just won't do. After all, I am the poster child for every Jolly Roger ever flown. That would be a cop out of magnanimous proportions! Besides that matey, what would Cap'n Slappy and Ol' Chumbucket think?

I took out me spyglass and spotted the booty in the back of the cold chest...888 India Pale Ale from Cocoa Beach Brewing! Bloody good luck, then. We were in business for a dead reckoning with this treasure of an ale. I plucked it out with me bony paw, arrrgh, and brought it out for a closer examination. Cool lookin' pirate flag sportin' the triple eight skulls? Check! A pirate chest on the sand filled with said pieces of eight? Check! Arrrrrrgh, this was gunna be an easy plunder. All the makin's of Davy Jones secret treasure, right there in me hand! Though it rivals its Pacific coast IPA brethren, it's an Atlantic coast IPA treasure, make no bones about that.

Ye should get yerself some of this grog, mateys. It's me favorite imbibement from all their treasures. Worth crossing the equator and prime meridian for, in search of it's holy nectar. At 8.0% ABV, this concoction will keep the saltiest of dogs satisfied and their scurvy at bay. Pieces of eight, harrrrgh! Fifteen men on a dead man's chest, yo ho ho and a bottle of.......keep yer' rum.

I'll take my share in trade of this stuff, ya' best be belivin' it!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Nimbus - Red Ale

Dead Monkey
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Red Ale
Nimbus Brewing Company LLC
3850 E. 44th
Tucson, AZ USA
Est. 1996

Brain Damage Quotient = 5.0 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 12.0

Postmortem Brew Review
Clear, copper color.
Great malts aromas and splashes of floral hops are present in the nose.
Two finger firm crisp white head that leaves great spiderweb lacing.
Tastes lightly sweet from the addition of four kinds of malts.
Just the right amount of carbonation.
Balanced malt and hops flavor, light bodied. Slightly watery.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
There's that monkey again. This time e's running around with a pitcher and mug of frothy beer in his hand. He's dressed in what appears to be Roman gladiator garb, right down to the calf laced sandals. Hmmm...not sure I get the connection, but there's probably a good inside joke going on over at Nimbus.

As for the ale, it's plenty fine. There is a dry aromatic hops finish that is pleasant, not bitter in the least. My only slight is that for all the flavors and aromas in this beer, it was just a touch on the watery side. It could have used a bit more mouth feel. But is did not diminish the wonderful flavors that were present from the complex bill of malt and hops.

Hope that monkey doesn't run with scissors in his hand.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Mendocino - Black Hawk Stout

Dead Soldier
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Black Hawk Stout
Mendocino Brewing Company
1601 Airport Road
Ukiah, CA USA
Est. 1983

Brain Damage Quotient = 5.2 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 12.0

Postmortem Brew Review
Deep, near black color with ruby highlights when held up to light.
Roasted malts and chocolate notes shine through.
Caramel colored, creamy, two finger head that covers nearly to the end of the glass.
Moderate carbonation.
Nice amount of stringy lacing on glass.
Clean taste has chocolate and roast malt with hints of roasted nuttines.
Medium bodied with a clean and dry finish. 

Grim Reaper's Eulogy 
Let's get the pun out of the way. Black Hawk Down! Yeah, it went down alright from creamy head start to clean dry finish. The light complexity of roasted malt and chocolate notes, along with the nuttiness made for a very pleasant brew. This is an unusually crisp Stout.

An easy quaff at 5.2%ABV, so if you're a Stout lover, this is certainly for you. Once this bird is on your arm, you'll want to remember to remove the hood before drinking.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Alaskan - Amber

Dead Soldier
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Alaskan Amber
Alaskan Brewing Company
Juneau, AK USA

Brain Damage Quotient = 5.3 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 12.0

Postmortem Brew Review
Copper/brown in color.
Bready, earthy and slight spice nose. Subdued malts and brown sugar come through along with some noble hop aromas.
One finger, biege/tan colored head that leaves spotty lacing.
Taste biscuit and caramel malt with bitter nuttiness and spiced component. A bit of brown sugary sweetness in the malt evens it all out..
Medium carbonation.
Light to medium bodied. Drinks smooth; finishes clean, dry and bitter.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
Altbier by definition falls into two categories. Dusseldorf and Northern German. Alaskan Amber is the latter, and as a Northern German Altbier goes, it matches the criteria very well. This is NOT an amber ale/red ale, so do not confuse it for that while drinking. Altbier has a very unique set of qualities all its own.

I found this to be as interesting as their White Ale. They both stick to their styles more closely than others. This certainly sets Alaskan apart from many other brewers, as it seems there is a strong adherence to the style code. As a beer drinker, I appreciate that, because it wakes up my taste buds and I do take notice.

A nice, stoic little drinker, just like the hard working fishing boat on the label.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Southampton Publick House - Biere de Mars

Dead Soldier 
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Biere de Mars
Southampton Publick House
40 Bowden Square
Southampton, NY USA
Est. 1996 

Brain Damage Quotient = 6.5% ABV
Fluid Oz. = 12.0 

Postmortem Brew Review
Hazy orange/golden color.
Smells caramel and a bit nutty with faint hop notes and a hint of wheat.

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

Tastes of caramel malt with dried apple and grape with sour citrus component.
Medium carbonation.
Light bodied mouth feel and enjoyable to drink.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
Is this beer from outer space? It has "Mars" on the front! No, it's not. That is the Latin word for the month of March, when it was traditionally brewed.

Biere de Mars is a French Farmhouse style ale that is fermented cool, like a lager beer. It also contains both wheat and barley. An interesting ale that will refresh the palate. Equally interesting to note is that The Publick House has been opened since the 1800's. Located in eastern Long Island, New York, it has seen it's share of historic notables between then and now. No slouch of a brewery either; Southampton has won several awards in the beer industry, including The Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup.

Cisco Brewers - Whale's Tale Pale Ale

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

Brain Damage Quotient = 5.6 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 12.0 

Postmortem Brew Review
Hazy amber to copper color.
Smells biscuit malt, slight sweetness and a scosh of hops.

White two fingered 
head, covers quickly to wisp.
Fair amount of lacing down the side of the glass.

Malt forward body with a nice grippy finish of hops.
Medium carbonation.
Light to medium bodied. Super enjoyable to drink.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
American brewed, but and English Pale Ale. And a classy one to boot. The fresh tasting English malts combine nicely with the domestic American malts. A good dash of Kent Golding hops and viola'! Nice working pale ale.

I've had their Blonde Ale, which was brought back from a trip up north, closer to where it is brewed. The best part for me is that Cisco now makes it's way into my state. Now I don't have to search for it any longer. The name makes a double pronged statement. On the one hand, Nantucket was once the whaling capital of the world. On the other hand, "Whale's Tales The Prince of Wales" is an age old drinking game. Yours truly just happens to know all the sorted rules, having played it fairly extensively during ditch digging school. Back in the day. Check it out on their website and you'll see.

Whale's Tales The Prince of Wales, in a stationary court of two, calls on YOU!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bridgeport - Hop Czar Imperial India Pale Ale

Dead Soldier

Where to Dig Up More About This Beer 
Hop Czar Imperial India Pale Ale
Bridgeport Brewing Company
1318 N.W. Northrup 

Portland, OR USA
Est. 1984

Brain Damage Quotient = 7.5 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 12.0 

Postmortem Brew Review
Deep orange color with a hazy body.
Big smell of citrus, mostly grapefruit but a pinch of pine hops.
Near white color, one-half finger head.
Good amount of sticky, draped lacing on glass.
The taste switches up from the aromas, where piney hops flavor dominates the citrus hops.
A little bit low on the carbonation.
Light to medium bodied.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
Several things appealed to me about this IPA. First was the company name, as it reminds me of home. Not Portland OR, but my hometown is named Bridgeport.

The Hop Czar himself, tweeted to many of the bloggers that attended the 2011 Beer Bloggers Conference, held in Portland, OR. He was willing to pick up bloggers as they arrived at the airport, in full regalia - wearing the crown and hounds-tooth cape! Ha-ha! That is going the extra mile to impress. Alas, my flight arrived a bit too late for the royal reception.

Hop Czar is an Imperial, as the name would suggest. So what better to show on the label than an emperor, king or in this case, a czar. Is this the strongest Imperial as I have ever tasted? Well, no. But, moving up the chain of command, it leaves some room for "Hops Emperor" or "Hops King".

If you are fond of hops, it's a great beer. Give it a try.

Bear Republic - Racer 5 India Pale Ale

Dead Soldier 
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Racer 5 India Pale Ale
Bear Republic Brewing Company
345 Healdsburg Avenue

Healdsburg , CA USA
Est. 1995 

Brain Damage Quotient = 7.0 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 12.0 

Postmortem Brew Review
Golden to amber in color with a slight haze.
Smell of grapefruit and sweet orange citrus hops on the nose.

Off-white head, about one finger high, covers to cap.
Fair amount of lacing down the side of the glass.

Citrus tastes more like grapefruit and lemon zest. It belies the aromas.
Active carbonation.
Light to medium bodied mouth feel.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
Here's a pretty darn good IPA. I had heard a lot oh hoopla about this one. So when a recent trip took me out west, I found a bottle to bring home to try. It is good, borderline great for an American IPA. It sure fits the qualifications for a west coast IPA. Citrusy hops smell and taste.

Once again, wish I had bought a whole six pack of this stuff. But being that I can only bring back so much in luggage, it was a one off. I liked it.

What's your take?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Laughing Dog - Dogzilla Black IPA

Dead Soldier 
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Dogzilla Black IPA
Laughing Dog Brewing Company
55 Industrial Park Road

Ponderay, ID
Est. 2005 

Brain Damage Quotient = 6.9 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 22.0 

Postmortem Brew Review
Deep mahogany red on the pour. (Pour slowly/carefully)
Citrus and piney with hints of roasted malt and even less of coffee.

Billowy tan 
head, easily three fingers high.
Great amount of draped lacing.
Hops that last throughout the session balanced nicely with a rich malty presence.
Medium to full bodied.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
Sixty nine IBU's go into the makeup of this Black IPA, (a.k.a. Cascadian Black Ale). A malty backbone bridges the firmament to all those hops and imparts the rich inky blackness of color. This style has come from out of the northwest and is in fast company with The Reaper. I really do enjoy a well done Black IPA.

On the whimsical side, Laughing Dog has taken some poetic license to tweak the words of "Godzilla" from Blue Oyster Cult.

With a purposeful growl and a terrible sound
He pulls the rack of kegs all down
He picks up a bottle and he throws it back down
As he walks through the kegs toward the center of town
Oh no, they say he's got to go
Go, go Dogzilla!

Humorous and true to the name Laughing Dog. If you find some, get some.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ska - Modus Hoperandi India Pale Ale

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

Brain Damage Quotient = 6.8 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 12.0

Postmortem Brew Review
Golden amber color.
Sweet malts, then a copious amount of pine hops aromas.
One and a half finger of off-white head.
Rings of sticky lacing down the glass with each sip.
Malt sweetness with citric zinging hops element.
Medium amount of carbonation.
Medium bodied, medium mouth feel with a slight oily hops finish. 

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
Modus Hoperandi IPA is a bang-on pine/citrus sticky hops ale. It is very flavorful and well balanced with sweet malt that rounds it out, but rest assured the hops are there from start to everlasting sticky finish.

This is probably one of the best dozen or so west coast American IPA's that I've come across. Fun too, cause' The Reaper likes the skull dude - this time leading the pack in a snazzy suit and tie combo. As he takes the pony-tailed bobby-soxer into a dip, the words "Lip Up Fatty" are emblazoned above the dancing couple. It pays homage to the ska band "Bad Manners" which managed to bust a record into the UK charts back in 1980.

I also found many other "Easter Eggs" on the can.  The word 'recycle' is listed not once, not twice but three times around the can neck. Subtle word choice such as 'walk', 'kite', 'hide', 'seek' even 'shower' are reminders to do good and have fun along the way in life. Something that this beer and brewer, seem to be all about. After all, even the name Modus Hoperandi is a play on Modus Operandi. Hops is how they roll, down in Durango. And having fun seems to be in their nature.

The best hidden word gem was found on the ingredients list. It seems the folks at Ska have found a way to get around the German Purity Law of 1516 by adding a fifth ingredient and still keeping it Reinheitsgebot. What's that fifth ingredient? Love.

No German Brewer would fault them for that brewing addition. Thanks Ska!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cigar City - Jai Alai White Oak Aged India Pale Ale

Dead Soldier
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Jai Alai White Oak Aged India Pale Ale

Cigar City Brewing Company
3924 West Spruce Street
Tampa, FL USA

Brain Damage Quotient = 7.5 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 12.0

Postmortem Brew Review
Cloudy, orange/amber color.
Citrus hops on the nose. White Oak adds a different nose complexity of dryness.
Off-white, two finger head that hangs around a long time.
Sticky, stringy lacing inside of the glass.
Citrus (orange) hops flavored. Woody oak tones shine through.
Moderate amount of carbonation.
Medium bodied mouth feel. Complex flavors of drying oak and citrusy hops on the tongue.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
I've had the Humidor Series IPA aged on cedar and the standard base JaiAlai IPA's before. Here's a very interesting take on the standard JaiAlai from Cigar City Brewing. It is aged on White Oak and that imparts a new and interesting taste to the beer.

The White Oak adds a rich, pungent and dry quality to the flavor. It truly speaks to you and asks, "Why don't you sit back and just sip me?" I was quite unprepared for this version and was ready to quaff away, but after the first bold flavored sip, I knew that we were going to take some time to get acquainted. It's not that the IPA is overwhelming or strong, it is that the beer has such a complex flavor profile coming off the oak.

And, boys & girls, that is not a bad thing. Settle in and get to know this oak aged treat! Not your ordinary India Pale Ale.

Shiner Oktoberfest

Dead Soldier
Where to Dig Up More About This Beer
Shiner Oktoberfest
Spoetzl Brewery
603 East Brewery Street
Shiner, TX USA
Est. 1909

Brain Damage Quotient = 5.8 % ABV
Fluid Oz. = 12.0

Postmortem Brew Review
Clear amber color.
Biscuit and bready malts, not much in the way of hops presence.
Light fluffly near-white head with very little lacing.
Abundant amount of carbonation.
Medium malt taste and slippery/slick mouth feel on the finish.
Light to medium bodied.

Grim Reaper's Eulogy
I do love a good Marzen style Oktoberfest beer. They are the beers that were a gateway into craft for me, so very long ago. I have tasted lots of them by now and it is interesting to see the American take on them versus the German take. There are usually a few variances.

For one thing, American style usually denote the word Octoberfest with the letter "c" as opposed to the letter "k" for the Germans. That's not always true, as in Shiner's case, but it is a generality that I have noticed. Another generality is the American styles are typically a bit more malt forward; that is to say they are also a bit sweeter as a result of the amount and style of malts used. German Oktoberfests are nearly perfectly balanced with hops and malts on the front end and just a touch of hop bitterness at the end. I would also say the German Marzens tend to be lighter tasting and bring you back for more. They finish cleaner, too.

As for this beer, sadly it does not impress me much. I know that Spoetzl is German in origin, but in the end it was a bit lackluster for me when it comes to an Oktoberfest beer.