Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 90, Makeson XXX Stout

Happy Easter for those of you who celebrate it.  For me it was a weekend of brewing, working for the man, and cooking dinner for my parents.  I got a lot done and feel good about it.  I'm way too stuffed to drink this beer, but I will make the best of it!

This is my first go at a milk/sweet stout.  At first sip I didn't like it, but it's growing on me.  Here is a pic:
I got burned on my report about Bass last night thinking that is was an independent brewer.  I have no idea about Carib brewery who makes this.  They may be owned by ABImbev as well.  I am not sure.  Either way, this beer is different than any other that I have had.  I have had stouts with lactose added to sweeten them, but not this much lactose.  This beer seems on the extreme of sweet, but that is supposedly the style.  Still, it's too much.

The bottle however is good to reuse for homebrewing!  Good looking out Carib!

The beer pours pitch black with a one finger brown head that lasts throughout the drink and leaves a Mothra looking lacing pattern on the glass with antennae and all!  Cool!

The beer has a roasted malt aroma evenly mixed with a milky sweet smell and maybe some caramel and vanilla going on.

The flavor is sickening sweet lactose and corn sugar with a caramel malt and a hint of roasted malts and perhaps some bread to it.  At the end there is only a tiny hint of bitter dryness from some hops and for me, that is the most enjoyable part of this beer.

The mouthfeel is over the top sweet and extremely full with low to moderate carbonation.  It leaves a film on my tongue.

Overall, this may be a good beer for the style, but I doubt it.  It's my only sweet/milk stout so I can't really judge it to the others and going by the description on here it fills all the criteria, but I think more than necessary so I am going to give it an average score of 3 overall.  Will I seek this out again?  No.  Only if I want to compare it with another one, but I don't like this beer.

Hey it's worth a shot, right?  You aught to try it too!  You might like it.  Life is too short not to take chances, especially with beer!  I rarely meet one that I didn't like enough to not drink, but I do.  This would be one of them, but I just bought a Blichmann burner so I need to not waste money!

-Wiss


Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 89, Bass Stout

Hello!

I had me a pretty long day today AND managed to learn how Stilton cheese was made!  It's definitely beer time, but too bad that I am too tired for karyoke at Stevenson's Place.  I don't sing, but enjoy the vibe, everyone is happy and Rob has some good beer to choose from.  So tonight I am drinking a classic English Stout which is typified by being very roasted and slightly dry with various hopping, but this one is typically mildly hopped with English hops.  It's pretty sessionable truthfully.  Mostly straighforward.
Bonus points for crimp top bottle!

The beer pours pretty black at the base of the pint where it is thinner there is a clear brown hue and the head was a one finger tan head that lasts as a nice ring with a center cap and fairly half decent lacing.

The aroma is mostly just roasted barley with a little malt sweetness and a hint of hop and with a swirl some yeast aromas come out.

The taste is pretty straightforward as well.  I find it has a mild sweetness way in the background with an up front roasted flavour.  At the end is some peppery bittering hop taste that lingers and leaves you fairly dry.

It's mouthfeel is not very sweet but balanced well with the dry roasted taste and the body is fairly on the thin side which makes this sessionable for sure.  It is a bit thin for the style and I see where they lose points for that, but it may be good for the profit margin as this might be attractive to some.  The carbonation is low to moderate and it's a fairly dry beer.

Overall, I like it.  It is definitely watery and not very complex but the style really isn't supposed to be overly complex.  I think this would be a great alternative to someone who wants to drink a stout that doesn't taste like Guinness (coming from an area where Guinness is one of the only craft beers offered at the bars).  I'm going to have to say it's about a 3.5 out of 5.  Would I seek this out, well it matters what the alternatives were at the time really.  I wouldn't shun it in the least.

Hey, try it!  You might like it and it may open your eyes to better fuller stouts other than Guinness.  I do know that you are wasting your life if you drink macro-crap water!  After posting this I learned that Bass was bought by macro-crap water makers.  Watch Beer Wars and see why I'm pissed.

-Wiss

Friday, March 29, 2013

A year of Craft Beer, Vol. 88, Fullers ESB

Great beer after great beer!  My life is awesome!  Ha ha!  This is one of my favorite beers and definitely a style that I can relate with.  ESB stands for extra special bitter, but these bitters are not bitter at all, they are more balanced than anything, malty sweet with a higher ABV and only the faintest of bitter at the end.  The malts can be tasty and fruity as well as the beer having a slight diacetyl taste (butterscotch).  So this beer class is Extra Special/Strong Bitter.
The bottle is very nicely designed and is hearty and reusable for homebrewing.  Cheers!

The beer itself pours a beautifully clear and deep amber with a thin tan head that almost completely dissipates but lasts as half a ring around the glass and leaves very little lacing to mention.

The aroma of this beer is really nice and fits the description of the beer perfectly.  It comes off as caramel malty with fruity esters of apple, cherry, and grapes and a very slight butterscotch there are some earthy notes as well, but I am not sure if that is yeast or hops, but it's barely imperceptible to me either way.  If I hadn't read about it some I would not have known what to call it because it is so faint.

The taste is mostly that of caramel malts with maybe some molasses but it starts off as mildly tart, moves to the caramel and molasses with very light butterscotch and then as it reaches the back of the tongue and afterward it is mildly bitter.  It's so incredibly balanced and not overly sweet in the least as you might perceive from the aroma.

The mouthfeel is different it tastes sweet but is actually slightly dry and the body is midrange with a light to medium carbonation.  Many people review this as under carbonated and I suppose it is, but if it were higher, I think the balance would be off and the slight bitter finish might be over the top.  Finish is definitely on the dry side.

Overall, I have to say that this is a top notch ESB.  I do need to drink more as I have only had a handful of others and this is probably the best that I have had save for some local boys Yards that make a mighty mighty fine offering and I can't wait to try theirs!  This beer is world class for sure and it will garner a solid 4.25 or better from me!  It is so easily drinkable and the only thing that lets me down in the least is that I don't taste cherries like in the aroma.  Big whoop!

This is a great beer to transition from that crappy swill water that the big boys offer so get off your azz and drink something worth while instead of wasting time, effort and calories on pure garbage.  Life is too short for that!

-Wiss

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 87, Old Tom Strong Ale from Frederic Robinson

Old Tom is considered an English Strong Ale and is somewhere in the middle of a Pale Ale and a Barleywine bold and fruity with, most likely, noticeable alcohol flavour.  Being that this one is 8.5 ABV,  I'm inclined to think that it is most possible.
Yup! The bottle is pretty cool!  Old Tom gets points for being homebrew friendly!

I poured this beer at about 55 degrees and it seems to be just perfect.  It pours a very dark amber in my tulip goblet shaped glass (I guess I should learn glassware names better) and leaves a nice tan head with a Friar Tuck cap in the center and pretty decent lacing.

Fruit esters first hit my nose right out of the bottle then in the glass malt sweetness predominates with notes of dark fruit, slight acidic bite, molasses, vanilla and a twinge of alcohol.

I thought this would taste more syrupy from the aroma, but it actually isn't overly sweet.  The malt sweetness is the road that cherry, oak, vanilla and molasses ride on and finish in a mildly pepper parking lot.  There is not a whole lot of bitter, but enough that it tames the sweetness a tad.  Along the way alcohol is mildly noticeable becoming more apparent on the way down your gullet (warming is the nice way of putting it).

This beer is on the sweet side, but befitting of the style and the body is medium which is lighter than I had anticipated. The carbonation is light to moderate and there is a slight slimy and numb feeling on my tongue.

Overall, I think this beer is pretty incredible!  If it is not world class, it has to be close.  I do find it a touch on the sweet side and a little bit high on the alcohol, but that is part of the story of this beer.  It is an attractive looking, smelling and tasting beer that is not hoppy and I am going to give it a solid 4 out of 5!  Well done!  I will seek this beer out and recommend it to others!

I would encourage anyone wanting to get a taste of English ales to try this beer!  And if you haven't tried an English Ale or any other Ale, get off that duff and do so, life isn't going to come to you, you have to seek it out!  Don't waste your time!

-Wiss


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 86, Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout

I found another beer from my favourite English brewery.  Imperial Stout.  It's the style of of Russian Imperial stouts that in the 1800's the English brewed to get the Russian czar to drink their beer.  I guess that guy had lots of money and they wanted his business!  Anyway, these are pretty close to being the darkest, fullest, and most roasted out of all beers so it takes a certain palate to enjoy them.  They are usually not incredibly bitter and that makes them more to my liking.

And yes my favourite brewery gets points for using bottles that I can bottle my beer with!  Tasteful label and I do dig their symbol as well.

The beer pours a deep black with a one finger brown head that fades to a solid cap on the beer with Charlie Brown Halloween ghost costume heads of lacing on the side of my glass mug.  Pretty cool!

Cherries seem to be up front in the aroma, slightly acidic or astringent, raisins and definitely malts, but not much in the way of roasted malt.

I poured this beer too cold.  I needed to let is sit out of the fridge longer.  So here are a list of flavours associated with this beer, not in any particular order and surprisingly, no one really more predominant than the other, but in this order of appearance: Dark Roasted malt, dark chocolate, cherries, raisins, bread, vanilla, cherries, roasted malt and then finally bittering hops followed by licorice and a hop dryness.  Like I said, none more overwhelming than the other and only the lingering hop bitter stays.  It's very well balanced.

It has a smooth and creamy mouthfeel and is most definitely full bodied, but not syrupy.  The carbonation is moderate or a hair under and the finish is dry, but not overly so.

I love this beer!  There is a tartness that I associate with the cherry flavours that I am not overly fond of.  I'm not sure of the origins, but there is good reason why this is truly a world class beer!  The complexity along with the balance alone is astonishing.  If you don't like a bitter finish, you will probably want to stay away from this beer as it seems accentuated by the dark roasted malts. For the style, I am giving this beer high 4s out of 5!  Superb!

Like I said, this beer is not for all beer drinkers.  It is bitter, but not enough to turn me away.  Although drinking two of these in a row might be a challenge for me.  Really, the only way to know it to take that leap and check it out!  If you know the style is not to your liking already, so be it.  You can always convince your publican to give you a taster.  Just get out there.  Try new beer!  You don't want to be on your death bed regretting that you didn't taste a piece of history when you could have do you?

-Wiss

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 85, McSorely's Irish Black Lager

This beer is aptly classified as a Schwarzbier, or black beer in - guess what language, and is typically dark in color but not so much in body and mouthfeel like a porter or stout.  Instead it is a bit more refreshing and hops are in greater usage.  This is my first schwarzbier that I am reviewing, but not the first I have had.  In fact, I have probably had a dozen different ones so far.  My own Eddie's Small Bier with some tweaking may actually fit into this category.  I wish I had more feedback on that beer as I think it's pretty good.  So here goes with the McSorely's!
I can reuse this bottle for hombrewing so I am giving some extra sumtin for dat!  But look at that head!  It is a very nice tan one finger head of tiny to small sized bubbles that fade to a heavy ring around the glass and a cap in the center and leaves a nice little Hopi village in the side of sandstone cliff kind of lacing on the glass.  The beer pours a clear but opaque black.  I poured this beer at about 50 degrees F.

At an instant an aroma of dark roasted malts hit me.  Underneath that are some sweet malts and a bread like note.  Someone reviewed it as the dark toasted crust on a slice of bread.  They were not too far off.  It's pleasant to say the least.

Taste wise once again like with many beers is amazingly similar to the aroma.  At first the dark roasted malts are apparent and they carry through with the sip, but just after and sort of under that flavour is a darkened caramel sweetness almost like cola (as another reviewer put it) and then as the beer continues on the sweet fades to mild to medium English bittering hops on the back of the tongue with some dryness and a hint of licorice.  Again, it is dry and a little bitter, but only enough so as to get you to drink more!

The mouthfeel is often described as crisp and I tend to agree.  It's body is light to moderate with just over moderate carbonation which puts forth the crispiness.  It's balanced and refreshing.

Overall, I would say that this is an excellent Schwarzbier at the least.  I would totally seek this out AND recommend it to the beginning craft beer drinker as a good transition beer as well as an alternative to a stout in which they may not like.  It is a great alternative to the latter in the winter as you feel like you can session this 5.5 % ABV beer without getting bloated and hammered.  4 out of 5!

I feel it imperative to put this little saying at the end of every post not to drum up craft beer business, but to bring joy to those who are stuck on the mundane and may not even know it!  Try different beers!  Try craft beer!  Try wine!  Life is too short to be sitting in that lounge chair!  Get out, make friends!  Enjoy life!

-Wiss

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 84, Innis & Gunn Rum Cask Oak Aged Beer

This has got to be on your beer bucket list!  It is in the Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy class of beers, obviously Scottish, and are boiled for longer periods to caramelize the wort to give it a nice warm caramel sweetness with higher alcohol and this one is just that along with being aged in oak rum casks for 60 some odd days.  It's a very good mix of flavours!
The bottle is clear, BUT this beer is not skunky in the least and it can also be reused for homebrew, so Cheers!  Homebrew points!

I poured this beer at about 55 degrees into a pint glass and it was a nice mohagany/amber colour and very clear with a thin head of tiny creamy tan bubbles that lasts as a thick ring around the glass throughout the drink leaving an archway pattern of lacing on the glass.

The aroma to first hit me out of the bottle was rum and as my nose got closer the caramel malts came through nice and strong along with molasses.  I get some banana yeasties in there along with some figs, some light vanilla and a hint of white bread?  Not sure on that one.  Notes of alcohol.

The flavour is incredible!  It's got a lot going on just as stated above.  There's not much in the way of hops but mostly this beer starts off caramel sweet and as it rolls across your tongue flavours of molasses, vanilla and fig come to light half way.  Nearing the end is when a banana wallup coats your tongue followed by minutest of a dry finish that can be attributed to a mix of hops and a lightly noticeable skunk taste.  Last but not least is a hint of black pepper as it warms your throat and stomach from that alcohol.  7.4% ABV I believe.

The mouthfeel is smooth and not not overly sweet with a body that is lighter that I would expect but that is nice as it is easier to drink.  The carbonation is mild and thankfully so because this beer would bite if it were moderate.  I think its pretty balanced for being so sweet at first but that is neutralized in the finish.  Some alcohol warming is noticeable.

Overall, I am going to consider this beer world class.  I think that it would be.  I have had only a few, but I could see this as something for a brewer to aspire to or learn from.  4 out of 5 would be on the low side, I may have to give this more.

Like I stated.  Add this to your beer bucket list!  It's a great transition beer to craft beer as long as the drinker is aware of the ABV, otherwise there is nothing to turn you off so get out there and give it a go!  You know what is too short?  NO, not your Wee Willy Webber!  Your life!  Don't waste time on drinking cold urine!  Drink good beer!

-Wiss

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 83, Old Speckled Hen, Greene King / Morland Brewery

First off, let me apologize for missing last night for not posting.  I have come to realize that it will not always be possible for me to make it every day!  Sometimes it just isn't possible.  I wasn't at home all day and night.  I did have a great day working with the crew from Gazela milling up a huge Quercus Alba down in Delaware and then after work there was a pot luck party which are always fun!  I had 3 very good whiskeys paired up with 3 Philadelphia Brewing Company beers and 3 different meats off the grill and with talking with a member of the guild I have decided to go this route with a dinner pairing at some point.  So there was beer progress amoungst all the fun that was had and I feel that I have learned something!  And now on to Old Speckled Hen which was originally brewed for the 50th anniversary of the opening of the MG automobile plant and named after the little car they used to run around the plant in.
This beer is considered an English Pale Ale and generally has mild malty, fruity, and hoppy characteristics about it.  And that pretty much describes Old Speckled Hen.

The bottle gets points for being reusable, but it's clear and so not exactly the best for storing beer for a long time because of UV exposure which makes beer taste skunky.  But when I reuse these bottles I drink the beer first from the clear bottles.

The beer pours a crystal clear and deep amber color with a nice thin off-white head that remains throughout the drink as a thin ring around the glass with nice, but minimal lacing.

Initially cold out of the bottle the beer smells more skunky than malty.  Not terribly skunky and definitely not detracting from the beer, really.  As the beer warms in the glass the beer becomes more caramel malty sweet in aroma and notes of dark fruit and light bread come out.  The skunky becomes barely noticeable.

The flavor is pretty much the same as the beer starts off sharp with carbonation then mellows to a lightly sweet flavor and as the cabonation completely flattens out some bitter from hops comes through with a faint skunk taste.  Amoung the sweet there notes of caramel and dates, but very light.  It finishes with a hoppy note a bit dry, but ultimately sweet overall and could be balanced a little better.

The mouthfeel is lightly sweet and medium to light bodied and it really drops off flat near the end and gets a bit watery.  This may be a function of the carbonation which seems plenty enough until you get half way through the sip and it dies.  There is a bit of a slimy feel on my tongue in between sips.

Overall I would give this beer high 3s out of five.  It's an excellent beer, but not what I would call world class.  Would I seek this out.  Probably not as I have built up a list of beers in this realm that I like better.  I do like it though!  Would I recommend this beer?  HAYLE YES! Just as I would recommend trying any new beer just to try something different because you never know if this could be the one!  There is the chance this could be it for you.

For me, it's not the one, but I had to try because life is too short to drink crappy beer!

-Wiss

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 82, Maine Beer Company King Titus Porter

This porter is dedicated to Dian Fossey and named after the silverback Titus. Pretty cool.  It is considered an Amerian Porter which is a redesigned English Porter.  How?  Well, how do you think?  What to Americans do to most of the rest of the worlds' beers?  They hop them up!  Well, that is not all they do.  They usually add ingredients that will complement the style in some way.  For this style chocolates and coffees are added to go with the burnt grain tastes.  It's quite ingenious!
I poured this beer just below room temperature and that is really what you want with this beer.  It poured almost jet black with a nice two finger brown head of various sized bubbles that leave a solid lacing pattern with holes in it sort of like street signs out on a distant farm road that has a multitude of bullet holes in it.  

The aroma is of dark rosted malts, chocolate, coffee, and a hint of citrusy hops with a bit of yeast.

The taste starts off with dark roasted malt sweetness intermingled with a chocolate and vanilla creaminess and as it works its way back a charred bitterness cavorts with hop bitterness and some yeasties and finally ending up both sweet, dry and acidic.  Well balanced.

The mouthfeel, to me, seems medium to full bodied with a silky creaminess that leaves a bit of slime on the toungue.  Not much, but it's there.  The carbonation is just under moderate and pert near perfect leaving you with a dry taste on the tongue.  

Overall, I would have to say that this beer nails it for the style.  It's perhaps a little too dry for my taste with a bit too much on the hop side.  All in all, it's roasty, smooth, creamy and bitter which is pretty much what an american porter tends to be.  This beer is getting at the very least 4 out of 5.

Hey folks, don't sell yourself short by drinking crap beer.  Spend the few extra bucks and enjoy life a little.  It's too short to settle for the mundane!

-Wiss



Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 81, Theakston Old Peculier

Old Peculier is considered an Old Ale of British origin.  Old Ales were aged in vats for a long time, hence the name.  Old Ales can be light or dark in colour, have full body and can be have flavors like raisin and black currants along with some acidic notes associated with it due to the occasional addition of brettanomyces (an alternative yeast sometimes used in sour beers) to the fermentation.  They can be hoppy but traditionally not.  They are mostly full bodied and sweet with a wide range of alcohol content but most likely around 6% ABV.

Points scored for the reuseable bottle!

I poured the beer at a cold temperature, unfortunately, so I may not be experiencing the full effect of the beer.  Vigorously poured it was opaque obsidian black and had a nice two finger sized brown head of various sized bubbles that settles to a ring and a full cap throughout the drink with a nice random streaking pattern of lacing.

The aroma is of dark malt sweetness with that brettanomyces kind of acidic aroma on top.  Some yeast and some fuggles (one of my favorite mild english hops, not "non-magic folk" from Hairy Pitburn) are very lightly apparent.   I also get a whiff of prunes.  Very nice and complex yet mellow.

This beer is sweet, but not overly so like you would picture a duble or triple of Belgian fare, but in a dark but unroasted malt sweetness of a way.  Within the sweetness hides notes of prunes and aloft there is a very mild bitter/sour/acidic hint that may be a mix of hops and that acidic flavor which all roll along the tongue in unison and down the gullet only to be followed by a neutral pause and then some very light hop dryness which is almost unperceptibly bitter.  Although it has a mildly pronounced sweetness, factors other than hops play a roll in balancing this beer well.

Mouthfeel is sweet of course.  Here I will introduce you to a word called "cloying".  Cloying means to some degree, overly sweet.  This beer IN NO WAY can be described as such.  It's perfect.  The body is full yet very drinkable and refreshing.  Carbonation is mild but just enough to lift the bitter to the top and help balance the beer well.  The finish is mildly dry and a tiny bit peppery from alcohol which gives a little warming effect on the way down.

All in all, I would have to say this beer is world class as well.  It's not judged as so on Beer Advocate, but there is very little that I can find fault with this beer.  English ales still are probably my favorite and I score them well.

Get out there and try Old Peculier!  Not only is the name different, but the beer will make you say "hmmm!"  Life is too short not to go "hmmm!"  Don't waste it on beer that makes you go "pppppppttt!"

-Wiss






Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 80, Ommegang Gnomegang

This beer is considered one of the better Belgian Strong Pale Ales and it's style is close to that of a Belgian Pale Ale which back during WWII was the Belgian counterpart to pilsners and other pale ales of Europe.  Belgian Pale Ales were a bit more delicate than other pale ales as they used aged hops which were less bitter and had a nice toasty malt base.  Belgian strongs are very much like this but with considerably more alcohol content and perhaps a bit more hoppy.

Of course I like the bottle.  Homebrewer points!  Fairly attractive design.

This beer pours a hazy gold color at 45 F.  I did not pour it vigorous enough to get a huge head because yesterday the yeast was disturbed and that could also be leading to the super haze.  The head is brilliant white mostly of fine bubbles and a few lager ones and just as a nice ring around the glass and a Friar Tuck cap in the center that is a six point star.  Cool!  The lacing is minimal but the ring remains on the glass as I sip.  As the beer warms it gets clearer (Chill haze).

The aroma is mostly of a mix of sweet light malt, grain, citrus, banana, bubble gum, yeast and a hint of metallic.

The taste is bready and mildly sweet and very similar to the description of the aroma.  I love straightforward beers even though they are pretty complex.   The malt sweetness and grains with the fruits play equally on your tongue as it passes over your taste buds and then near the end some tartness come through just before a bit of dry hop bitterness and peppery feel at the end albeit very mild.  The dryness lures you to another sip unsuspecting of the high alcohol content which is only mildly apparent on the back of your throat.  Very well balanced! 

The mouthfeel is a bit tricky.  The moderate amount of carbonation mixed with the higher alcohol content sort of give it a bite although the body is moderate and lighter than you'd expect.  The finish is dry and peppery.  There is a bit of slippery feel on my tongue.

This beer is really quite good!  In fact, I would say it is on the cusp of being world class.  I know there are better versions out there, but I have not had them yet so I can't compare.  I am going to say that I feel confident in giving this beer 4's in all the categories.  It's really excellent!  Well balanced and pleasant.

She's blonde, you should try her.  She's not some generic watered down version.  Like Lady Galadriel, she's the real deal!  Don't waste your time on cheap light colored beers!  Life is too short to be robbed of all your money!

-Wiss

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 79, Rogue Dead Guy Ale

This has been one of my favourites for a long time.  I was first introduced to it when I lived in Oregon and attended a big wave surf contest party at the Brewery in Newport, OR.  It is considered to be a Maibock/Helles Bock which is like a bock but lighter in color with a bit more hop character and the about the same ABV and is often associated with spring time festivals.  Mai=May
The bottle, of course gets homebrew points for being reusable.  I definitely give an extra few tenths of a point for bottle and design.  Both of which are excellent.  May they never change it!

The beer pours a beautiful hazy (chill haze, poured it cold) deep orange/amber with an amber/tan one finger head that stays throughout the drink as a full ring and Friar Tuck cap in the center of tiny silky bubbles mixed with a few larger bubbles.  Lacing is very apparent with sticky looking disorganized archways.

The aroma is centered around citrus, whether it be citrus hops or actual orange and lemon, it's there with a nice sweet caramel base to it.  There are some hop floral notes as well and maybe a bit of breadiness.  Very faint.

Wow!  The taste!  There is a good reason that this is a world class beer!  It's two major constituents, sweet and bitter are so very well balanced that it allows for the minor flavours such as citrus, caramel and some yeasty banana to play a hand in making you fall in love with this beer.  And to tell the truth, all these flavours play on your tongue equally throughout the sip from start to finish, one never dominating the other until only at the end when there is some mild dry hop bitterness.  I think the slightly above moderate amount of carbonation is what really pulls this off.  It's truly a beer drinking experience to behold.

Mouthfeel.  Silky, creamy and sweet with a just-under mid range body to it making it thin enough to session and not get overly tired of any one character like sweetness.  EXCELLENT! The amount of carbonation is moderate yet a little lively and really lends to helping bring all these flavors and aromas to your senses.

Overall I am going to have to give it a 4.75 out of 5.  I don't know what a 5 would be, I haven't tried it yet and I'm banking that this may be an actual 5, but I'm new to this and don't have the experience to give out 5's. 

All that I really have to say that if you don't try this beer, you don't know what you are missing and it needs to be on your bucket list!  Thank you Rogue!  Now get out there and drink some different drinks!  Mix it up, but stop drinking f@cking Jaeger Bombs and drink good beer!  Life is short enough, don't make it even shorter drinking that complete garbage!

-Wiss



Monday, March 18, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 78, Fuller's London Porter

This one is truly world class!  Take one whiff and you will know why!  I love me a porter and this one is probably going to stay on my top ten list for life.  This beer is classified as an English Porter and that style has a bit of history behind it.  First off, it's rumoured that it was most popular with transportation workers and that is where it got it's name.  It was also one of the first "engineered beers", as Beer Advocate puts it, meaning that it is a blend of three different beers in order to appeal to the public, a first in English beer history.  Typically the beers were an old ale that had gone stale, a fresh batch of brown ale and a mild ale.  These three in different variances were aimed at using the best qualities of the three to make a beer probably what we now call "sessionable" or easy to drink them end on end.  Now these beers are mostly brewed with lighter malts with small amounts of darker malts added to the mash or boil.  Hops are mostly mild and english.  Typically they are fairly complex with roasted coffee, chocolate and grain flavours being forthright and many other underlying tastes like vanilla, dark fruits, breads, etc... to tantalize the taste buds.
The bottle on this beer is great.  Not only is it an attractive label, but homebrewers can reuse it to showcase their beers as well.

It pours a very dark brown/black that is almost opaque, but does allow light through highlighting some deep reds.  It's not hazy but clear as you can tell by the bottom of the pint glass in my picture.  The head is minimal and stays as a tan/brown ring around the glass mostly and has a decent dispersed polka-dot pattern that is pretty minimal.

I served this beer to myself too cold, which means that I am going to have to drink it slower that I desire so I can experience more of the aromas.  I was first struck with roasted coffee and chocolate.  I feel like dipping it in my fish tank water to heat it up.  There are some notes of vanilla, caramel sweetness and some bread along for the ride.  As I drink it and it warms up, I will make note of any other aromas if they occur.

The flavour is pretty much the same as the aroma.  Creamy sweet maltiness starts off on the tip of the tongue and works its way back.  By time it reaches midway it is in full force and the bittering hops become palpable while tastes like coffee, chocolate and, most importantly, vanilla start to show through to the end making it truly very smooth and creamy.  Hints of bread also dabble in the mix.

The mouthfeel is sensational.  Smooth and creamy dominate the drink with a nice moderately full body.  The bittering hops take you through to the end leaving a medium dry, wanting feeling on your palate begging for another sip.  The carbonation, mildly moderate to really help with the creamy soothing feel of the beer.

Overall, I would have to say that this is TOTALLY world class!  I'm going to have to give this high 4's in most of the categories and ultimately the same for the overall score.

To H.E. double hockeysticks with the big boy beers!  Get out there and taste what really makes a beer like this a craft.  It was crafted long ago and perfected over the years.  There is ages of experience in this beer and you have to give it a try.  If you hate dark beers, this is by no means a mild dark beer, but it is one of the best and you owe it to yourself to try it.  I guarantee that in the least you will appreciate this beer as a quality beer.  You may not like it, in which case I would deem you insane, BUT you will know what a good beer truly is.  Life is too short to waste on watered down experiences, go full throttle!  *enter rebel yell here*

-Wiss



Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 77, Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale

Hello everyone!  I'm back to beer.  No more Gluten Free stuff for a while.  I can't think of a better way to start off than with one of my favourite breweries Samuel Smith's.  I apologize for the bland writing that I sometimes do.  Last night's post was not very fluid.  I was tired and I had two of the best beers in the world in me (Pliny the Elder) before I wrote about Redbridge.  Man that could lead to depression and a drinking problem!

So here I am with a Sam Smith old style English Pale Ale in front of me and all is OK with the world!
I apologize for the photo.  My apartment is humid.  The glass always fogs up.  But the beer really is clear.   You just cant tell.  I dig the bottle.  I can reuse it.  It's classically attractive too.  I love their symbol.

The beer pours a deep red amber, very clear and with a nice tan head consisting of tiny bubbles that fade to a ring around the glass and a center cap for the rest of the drink.  Lacing is a wide and uniform polka dot pattern, but very little of it.

The aroma is of dark fruits like figs and raisins with a caramel malt base and some nice bread to make you feel at home.  As it warms, it becomes even more like you wanna put your feet up on the coffee table and drink in the atmosphere.

With the taste you can sort of make out the effect of the hard water as it seems to carry the light hop bitterness on top of a caramel malty, bready, figgy base.  The bitterness is mild but apparent with the whole sip as the mild sweetness moves across the tongue and ends up finishing lightly dry with a little bitter at the back of the tongue.  It's nicely mild and balanced well leaning a little more to the bitter side.

Mouthfeel is fairly moderate and maybe a little on the thin side allowing the bitter to slightly overtake the sweetness at first.  I poured it too cold.  As it warms up it becomes even better balanced.  Carbonation is perfectly moderate leading to a lasting dry mild bitter finish.  English hops for sure.  My favourite.

Overall, I would say that this is close to being a world class beer if it were only a little more full bodied, but then it would not be a session-able pub beer would it?  It gets a 4+ out of 5 from me!

You have to try this beer as it is pretty affordable and a classic!  Get out there, drink good beer.  Life is too short for the mundane!

-Wiss

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 76, Gluten Free Week ends with Redbridge by AB

Wow, what an anticlimatic end to Gluten Free Week!  But before I get into that, I wan't to talk about the magic number 76.  76 has a lot of meaning for Philadelphia historically as you may know, but also the inhabitants 200 years later gave it even more meaning with one of the coolest celebrations that this city has ever seen!  It was truly a magic time for a kid to grow up.  Philly was really cool.  It was truly a city of neighborhoods.  Everyone knew each other and the economy was still flourishing.  People were painting liberty bells in the streets and the police encouraged it.  Sports teams in Philly were doing great and the July 4th celebration for the bicentennial was awesome with a parade of tall ships on the Delaware River.  The 70's in general were a cool time, but 1976 was the the height of it.  Philly is a great place to live!

So today is the big St. Paddy's day celebration.  It's a huge thing here in Philly that lasts through 4 weekends.  It's really overkill and kind of sloppy.  I'm part Irish, but am not a fan of the celebration.  In fact, I worked very hard on board Gazela today and am paying for it physically as I write this.  This may be the most difficult one to write so far.  One other time was worse.  I take that back.  But anyway,  there is nothing that I would rather do than to go to Gazela and learn and be with good folk who have nothing but good vibes.  It is so refreshing from the rest of the work week.  Thank you Gazela for being truly a one of a kind place for anyone who wants to go and learn seafaring.  You truly bring back that spirit of 1976 that I was so lucky to witness as a lad!  And thank you Philadelphia for realizing what she has to offer.  No where else in the world has a Gazela!

So tonight with some of my mates I went to the Memphis Taproom after work and I discovered Pliny the Elder from Russian River Brewing Company.  It's an Imperial IPA or an Amerian Double.  Basically double the ingredients are used to make it higher alcohol and higher flavor.  I loved it.  I can't say too much about it in detail because it's been a few hours since but I will say that it is world class for a reason!

Now onto a lesser "beer" Redbridge by AB.  
The bottle looks nice.  I like the label, but it's a useless screw top.

It pours a clear thin amber colour with very little head that disappears pretty quick and leaves no lacing.

The aroma is almost medicinal and apple-like with some caramel sweet base to it with notes of fresh white bread.  I can't get past the medicinal hint up front.

The taste is basically like a thin apple cider with some of that sorghum flavor that tastes a bit like licking an orange peel.  There is a black peppery finish with some decent dryness.

Mouthfeel is thin with that familiar sorghum slimy feel on the tongue.  It's overly carbonated and I think that lends to the medicine like smell and feel to this beer.  It almost smells like when you open up a fresh band-aid or use that topical antiseptic Mercurochrome?  Iodine maybe.  Mixed with lysol.  It's just not that good.  After a Pliny the Elder I don't even want to drink this to tell the truth.  I'm being hard on it though as I do believe that I have had one worse from New Planet.

Overall, average for a Gluten Free.  If you class it with real ambers like they have it on Beer Advocate it would be pure sh!t.  I'd only give it a 2 tops.  But for a Gluten Free, a 3 out of 5.

Hey, it was worth a shot.  I had it before and wasn't expecting much.  It's a lot better paired up with a gluten free pizza from Uno's!  Don't be afraid to try something new.  Life is too short for those crappy beers!

-Wiss

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 75, New Planet 3R Raspberry Ale (Gluten Free)

Hey, hey!  We have another addition to Gluten Free Week.  After this one there will be just one more from the big boys AB.  Tonight we have another sorghum and corn based beer from New Planet which is completely gluten free.
Beer Advocate has this listed as a fruit/veggie beer which in their description is a beer with added fruits or veggies.  This is not a beer in the way that beer is brewed with barley.  This is brewed with sorghum and corn, so it is not going to be the same.  It's tough to judge it in this category, but the beer holds up a little.  

Check out the new beer Glass from up and coming Saint Benjamin Brewing Company here in South Kensington, Philly.  Check them out this summer at 5th and Cecil B. Moore!

The beer pours a cross between thin amber color and pink.  It appears diluted as many sorghum beers do.  The head starts out white and wispy then fades to a thin ring, and almost completely disappears midway through the drink.  Lacing is one notch above non-existant.

The aroma DrewCapzz on Beer Advocate nailed.  I'm glad I read his review.  It's like raspberry jam and buttered toast notes.  It is actually overly raspberry in aroma and syrupy.  No hop detected.

The taste is thin creamy raspberry througout the sip.  Sweet a bit up front and tart a bit on the back on the way down.  I'm not picking up much else other than a lingering astringency that is a bit like witch hazel.  Not too bad.  There is mediocre dry finish with miniscule bitter from hops.

There is a thin mouthfeel that is pretty lively with carbonation and leads to a slimy feeling on the tongue which is akin to the sorghum style.  The alcohol content becomes a little more noticeable as the beer warms up.

All in all, for a sorghum beer in the gluten free realm I think this is better than average.  I, personally, would seek it out again as I can not drink many real beers in one sitting without getting glutarded.  If you are comparing it to real beer than it is average at best.

Celiacs (I think I like the sound of Glutard better than sounding like a Sleastack from Land of the Lost) should seek this out as it is a pretty good fruit beer alternative.  Beer drinkers in general probably won't like it, but you know, life is too short to not take a chance and try something different!  Enjoy!

-Wiss



Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 74, Estrella Damm Daura Gluten Free (?) Beer

HI folks!  Gotta run soon so I have to do a quick one on another addition to Gluten Free Week.  Estrella Damm Daura is another beer brewed with barley and the gluten flocculated out.
It's a lager from Spain and considered a Euro Pale Lager.  It's delicious.

The beer pours a clear golden straw with a nice foamy head that  dissipates to a ring while you drink it.  There is a little half decent lacing.

The aroma is of some sweet malts, hay, hops and skunk.  Pretty much like many lagers.

It tastes sweet pretty much throughout.  Nice and light malts with some mild hops with a twinge of skunking.  The finish is finally a little dry.  It's balance tips in the favor of sweet, but that is OK with me.

Mouthfeel is a hair under middle of the road sweet, maybe a little watery with semi lively carbonation and a mild dry peppery feel at the end.

Overall, for a mild celiac, this is a dream beer in the lager realm.  I'm going to have to say in that arena its in the high 3's.

Thanks,  have a great night!  Get out and try some crafty beer as it's worth it!  Live a little!

-Wiss

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 73, Fox Tail Gluten Free Ale

Gluten Free Week continues even further with this addition from the Joseph James Brewing company. This beer is NOT made with sorghum but with "rices and nectars" and is considered in the class of American Pale Ale, which these days, to me, means "mellow IPA".

I'm doing this blog after 6 hours bottling my own gluten free Belgian Wit (tastes INCREDIBLE) and my fingers are barely functioning so I have to keep this short!

I read a couple reviews and man, some people have whacky notions.  Anyway...

The beer pours a crystal clear straw color with a white head that retains a ring and a Friar Tuck cap throughout most of the drink.  The lacing is there, but widely spaced in columns.  Hey, for a gluten free beer, it's lucky to have a head, let alone lacing so ROCK ON!

It smells like cider mostly.  Estery green apples and some floral hops.

The first sip is a whallup of hops overtop light sweet grains that comes off very much like soap.  I let it sit for a few minutes and came back to it and found that it mellowed in the pilsner glass.  It's bitter from start to finish that transitions midway through with lightly sweet diluted apple cider and a fairly pronounced hop finish that leaves you a little dry.  Not bad.  There are notes of rice, yes.  Not balance well.

Mouthfeel is slightly slimy with a very thin body.  Carbonation is pretty lively.

Overall, for a gluten free beer, I will give it an average score.  As an APA I'd have to score it low, but it's not an APA really, so I'm going to give it a 3 out of 5.  I won't seek it out again as I think the hops overpower everything.

Hey, but you gotta try!  Life is too short for crappy beer!

-Wiss


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 72, OMission Lager by Widmer Bros.

This beer is in the Light Lager entry.  It is akin to something like Coors Light and I would have to say better.  This style is typically light in calories and flavor, well balanced with almost no maltiness or hoppiness.

This is a Gluten Free beer part of my Gluten Free Week celebration and it fairs well against it's counterparts in the real beer world even though the gluten has been flocculated out.
The bottle is great for homebrew use!  The label on these beers from the OMission line are rather boring and bland.

The beer pours a crystal clear golden straw color cold in the glass.  As you can see, it's humid in my apartment and condensation has formed on the glass and bottle.  Other reviews say the color is really pale, but for me it was a nice deep color.  There was almost no head and no retention of said head and absolutely no lacing.  I clean my glassware well, so...

There is almost no aroma.  What there is reminds me of grains and lemon with maybe a little yeast and the tiniest amount of skunk.  I suspect that if this warms up, those will become more pronounced.

The taste is so faint that it is hard to decifer, but I can tell you this, I am not tasting cheap adjuncts, I'm tasting malts which raises the quality better than the big beers.  It starts off mildly sweet like honey in water and as it moves across the tongue it just fades to maybe a dried grass kind of taste and a very mild hop dryness at the end.  This one is NOT easy to pick apart because it's so faint.

Mouthfeel and body are thin for sure.  Some sweetness well balanced with a tiny bit of bitter from the hops.  The finish, if there is one, might be slightly dry from the hops but this beer is so thin that it is tough to tell.  Carbonation in this beer is light to moderate and definitely on the light side of moderate.

Overall, this being a gluten free beer AND in the same class as light beers from the big boys, I am pretty happy with it!  I would choose this over many other light beers that I had and they have gluten still in them so I am going to have to give this a 4 out of 5 overall!  I would recommend this to someone drinking the big beers as an alternative any day.

Get out there, drink something else.  Life is too short to waste on crap beer!

-Wiss

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 71, OMission Pale Ale, by Widmer Bros.

And yet Gluten Free Week continues.  Last night I postulated that I might continue gluten free week for a whole month with ciders, etc..., but after looking at how many ciders there are at the Craft Beer Store, I began to think that I am going to bore the heck out of my readers with that stuff.  I, myself, am getting a little bored with the gluten free offerings as a few of them have really sucked.  But alas, I have 5 or 6 more beers in the gluten free realm and I will finish with a gluten free selection from the devil himself, AB.  Tonight I'm going to focus on a beer from a west coast conglomerate corporation named Widmer, famous out west for a Hefewiesen that is sort of a good entry beer to craft beer.  Anyway, here is their attempt at a gluten free Ale called OMission Pale Ale and from the get go, it smells pretty nice!

Ah ha!  I stumbled upon their secret on their website.  It has been brewed with barley and the gluten removed probably via flocculation.  Whether or not it is really gluten free and the ELISA test is accurate is debatable.  If you have hardcore Celiacs, you will want to do more research into the contents of this beer and the fact that recently ELISA testing methods have been questioned as to whether or not they are 100% effective.   For me, this is a great alternative as I don't think that I have full blown Celiacs.  I haven't been tested as I haven't had medical benefits for a while.  But it's nice to know that gluten can be mostly flocculated out with natural additives that are also used for clearing up your beer.  I'm pretty sure that they are natural.  Don't quote me on that.


Beer Advocate has this listed under American Pale Ale which is a generic term, almost, for and English Pale Ale that has been experimented with in many ways, but mostly in the realm of NW hops making it a, sort of, mild IPA.  That is pretty much how I would describe this beer.  I do not use the term beer loosely for this one as it actually tastes like beer!  It's delicious!  One thing of note, it's a crimp top bottle and perfect for homebrewing!

The beer pours a coppery amber color and is crystal clear with an off-white thin head that fades to a ring and a tiny Friar Tuck type center cap.  After a while it starts to fade, but while doing so during the drink it leaves a little bit of lacing.

The aroma is an extremely pleasant and balance mix of floral west coast hops with a bit of caramel malt sweetness and the tiniest aroma of citrus.  It's quite nice.

This beer is an APA.  It starts off a little flat with a hop bite and as it moves across the tongue the malt sweetness comes through while the citrusy hoppy flavor stays along for the ride.  The finish is a little flat and dry with a little bit of black pepper, but it's pretty well balanced. 

As for mouthfeel and body, well, the body is a little light.  If you put it side by side with your avarage APA you'd think it was a little watery.  It is, however, mildly sweet balanced with hops and is a great alternative for gluten intolerants like me.  I hate to use the word "Glutards" as it grates on my soul to think that most people think this is all in our heads and we should just "man up" and eat pizza.  Can I hear an "AMEN" from all the Glutards?  How many think you are crazy too?  Has the term "bitch-slap" ever crossed your mind in relation to such folks?  Anyway, this is great.  The carbonation is moderate and not too lively.

Overall, I'd say that this is the best Gluten Free that I have had, BUT is it really gluten free?  That is the question.  It is more like a modifed American Pale Ale.  If judging by APA standards, I'd say that it was watery.  That is not always a bad thing because it makes the beer sessionable.  Will I seek this beer out again, HAYLE yes!  In the gluten free realm, this beer scores overall 4.25, or better, out of 5.  In the APA world, 3.6 or so.

Hey, get out there and enjoy real beer.  Life is too short to f@ck around with pee water (unless, camping, etc... but even now, there are great beers in cans for that other than pee water).  Live it, love it, drink it.  Craft Beer.

-Wiss









Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 70, Commonwealth Ciders Traditional Dry by Philadelphia Brewing Company

Gluten Week is here and I am going to try and extend it as long as I can and maybe make it a whole month.  I hope interest doesn't wane, but alas, the Gluten Free movement is gaining momentum and estimates now are that close to 1/3 of Americans have a concern over Gluten and are trying to reduce it in their diets.  Source:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/03/09/173840841/gluten-goodbye-one-third-of-americans-say-theyre-trying-to-shun-it

So in order to extend my Gluten Free Week I am going to delve into another alternative that people are using hops in and that is Cider.  Tonight's pick is a local cider from Philly and really refreshing.  It's by Philadelphia Brewing Company in Kensington and is a nice alternative to beer.

First off, I want to thank all the breweries that are still using crimp top bottles as they are really good to put forth the art of craft brewing in the home.  If it weren't for homebrewing, craft beer might be pretty boring.  PBC is one that still uses crimp tops.  Thanks PBC!  Clear glass is fine with me as I keep my beer away from light.

This cider pours what PBC calls a silver straw color.  There is only a thin wisp of a head that is around the ring of the glass and is constantly replenished by the effervescent carbon dioxide.  There is a little bit of lacing, but pretty minimal.

There is a faint aroma of tart apple and and even lighter note of honey and maybe some grassy hops.  

The flavour is pretty much the same.  Mostly light apple moves across your tongue from lightly sweet to mildly sour (but more central on the tongue) and finishes dry with only the faintest hint of black pepper and hops.

The body is light and refreshing but definitely NOT watery in mouthfeel.  The champagne like carbonation is lively but not in a burning way.  PBC describes this as "delicately balanced" and I am going to have to agree with them 100%!

Overall, this is probably my favorite cider so far.  Most I find too sweet or too bitter apple and heavier.  This really is refreshing and I am going to have to give it one of the highest scores for a cider that I have had so far with a 4.75 out of 5!

Life's a beer.  Drink it!

-Wiss


Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 69, Gluten Free New Planet Off Grid Pale Ale

Ah my lucky number!

Welcome back to Gluten Free Week!  Tonight's addition is an "American Pale Ale" from New Planet called Off Grid Pale Ale and from the smell of things to come it's going to be a hoppy one.  Here is a pic...
Funky weird.  I can reuse this bottle for homebrew, so score!

The beer pours a beautiful clear amber mahogany colour with a thin white head that fades to just a ring around the glass and leaves a little bit of lacing.  Not much, but more than some.

It has an aroma of light caramel and citrus, but mostly hops.  Actually, it's the aroma that carries this beer, it is really pleasant, but then...

But then you take a taste.  Geeze, something is not working here.  Soap, soap and more soap with a soapy slimy mouthfeel and a witch hazel finish.  I'm not exaggerating.  The sip starts of tart and astringent like a lemon peel and carries all the way through. There is a base of malty sweet and maybe apple, but...it's fairly disgusting.  Truth be told, I can't drink this beer.  I get absolutely no hop flavor at all.

Mouthfeel is light and slimy and totally reminds me of witch hazel or kerosene.  Carbonation is moderate to lively.

I gotta pour this one out.  Sorry New Planet.  I don't mean to disrespect but you have to work on this one.

Hey folks, you know, you don't live unless you challenge yourself with new experiences and this is totally one of those times where you are happy to have tried it just so that you know.  If you didn't then you wouldn't have all those other great beers to judge upon.  Give it a try, you might like it.  Odds are not in that favor though.  ha ha ha

-Wiss

Friday, March 8, 2013

A year of Craft Beer, Vol. 68, Sprecher Brewing Company Shakparo Gluten Free Fire-Brewed African-Style Ale

Gluten Free Week continues with this long titled beer!  Beer Advocate has it labeled as an American Amber.  It seems that every gluten free beer on there is in a different category.  I guess that it is good that they are actually considering it beer!  I like that, but it's not an amber ale.  Just in color.
I was loving this 16 oz. bottle until I opened it and found out it was screw top.  Boooooo!  It's a cool bottle and a nice label otherwise.  It's a pretty affordable beer though, so that is good.

The beer poured a mostly clear light brown/amber in color with a full one finger head that immediately dissipated to non-existant pretty quick.  This seems to be the norm for gluten free's.

I immediately smelled sour upon opening, it wasn't strong, but released all of a sudden.  As I drink it, that has mellowed but still apparent.  Indeed it does have an apple note to it but there is also a faint caramel  aroma associated with it.

I don't know what they mean by "Fire Roasted" in the description of the beer,  perhaps that pertains to the millet adjunct used to flavor the beer.  The beer starts off mildly cider-like and as it moves across your tongue it moves into caramel apple with, indeed, a very mildly apparent fire roasted flavor and then a slightly dry mega mild hoppy finish with black pepper notes at the very end.  Lots of beers have this in common.  There is also a lingering mildly grassy and yeasty taste.  It's really good and mildly complex and warming with alcohol when drinking on an empty stomach.  It's not easy picking out these flavours, but they are there.  It's just a little thin.  The roasted flavor is quite noticeable between sips.  It's F@CKING GOOD! 

Mouthfeel and Body are kind of like those difficult terms to describe like "Ethereal" or even "Surreal" and it takes a while to really discern them.  When people mention them don't get discouraged and just try and see what they mean by trying that beer as well.  You can think of it as sweet and syrupy or thin like lemonade in one respect, but it encompasses a wide range of how it makes your mouth feel.  Sometimes it is as simple as that.  This beer is thin for a beer like an ale like bass ale, but more full than say a coors light.  So I call it thin to moderate.  Something syrupy might be like a Belgian Tripel or something like a La Fin Du Monde (if you haven't tried that, you are missing out).  Mouthfeel also describes how the carbonation of the beer feels on your tongue or whether or not the carbonation carries flavors and smells along with it as the bubbles burst.  This beer is only mildly carbonated which is nice.  Sometimes higher carbonated Gluten Free beers will taste like champagne on the tongue and in your nose.  

As Gluten free beers go, this is one of the best that I have had so far.  The roasted flavor really tips this beer over the edge and I feel that this is going to be, or has been, an award winning beer.  I highly recommend it!  It's only downfall is it's lack of head and lightly thin body and I have to give average scores for those.  How the "sorghum problem" was handled in this beer is excellent and definitely world class!  CHEERS!

Hey, don't just sit there and drink that HAMMS, f@ck that!  Try different sh!t!  Spread your wings, this is a sessionable beer that is perfect for at home or on the beach between sessions.  Drink it.  Love it.  Life.

-Wiss