Ted’s Beer of the Month: Oct 2013 (2 of 3)

Have ten days gone by already? Well the month is flying by, but lucky for you, I have another ten beers for you. I must say, this was an exceptionally good ten days, beerwise. Have a look and let me know what you think in the comments.

10/11: Duck Rabbit Milk Stout – 5.7% ABV – bottle

When I poured this one right out of the fridge it foamed up sostoutlabelweb much it took me almost 10 minutes to get the whole bottle in the glass. It pours smooth and black, with no perceptible bubbles rising up the sides of the glass. If I were to measure the head in fingers, I’d probably have to say it was about 30, but after I let it quiet down and warm up a little, it settled to half a finger of stable foam, with no lacing to speak of. The aroma is sweet and smoky with dark roasted malt notes along with a twinge of burnt wood chips. The flavor is primarily the same dark roasted malts, though there’s also a subtle cocoa and vanilla flavors. The mouthfeel is thinner than most milk stouts I’ve had, and the finish is dry and mildly bitter. I like drinking this one at cellar temperature over fridge temp. It really helps release the flavors.

raisondetre

10/12: Dogfish Head Raison D’Etre – 8% – bottle

It’s a repeat, folks, you knew it had to happen someday. I had this one back in May, and liked it then, and I’m happy to say I still do. Pleasant grape flavors amid the malty sweetness and light tartness common to high-gravity ales.

10/13: Mother Earth Weeping Willow Wit – 5% – bottle

Pours cloudy and pale yellow. Smells like oranges and bread. The taste is a little flat and sweeter than I like my witbiers. No fruit in this because I didn’t have any, but it’s so orangey it really doesn’t need it. The coriander taste is really nice, and I can definitely see this making a good pairing beer for a summer salad. Very refreshing. As I write about this I notice that I should probably include more light beer styles in my BOTM posts; they’re pretty hop- and dark malt-heavy.

10/14: Foothills Torch Pilsner – 5.3% – bottle

torchpilsA very pilsnery straw color, it also has a pilsnery aroma, mildly bready with some citrus around the edges. Lo and behold, it tastes like a pilsner! Fairly bitter with a grassy flavor. The bitterness pushes through to the finish and hangs around. It’s not one I’d drink regularly, but it’s an excellent example of the style, and I don’t hate it, which is much more than I can say for most pilsners that I’ve had. Maybe that means I’ve only had shitty pilsners though, so please enlighten me if this is the case!

10/15: New Belgium Trippel – 7.8% – bottle

Previously reviewed in the very first Beer of the Month post in February 2013. I love it just as much as I did then, the coriander blending beautifully with the fruity esters and the strong alcohol flavor.

10/16: New Belgium 1554 “Enlightened” Black Ale – 5.6% – draft

The head was WAY too thick when this came to my table, but it settled to a thin layer of foam that left thick lacing. Dark malts fill the nose along with some smokiness. The taste is sweet and malty with more smoke, as well as coffee and chocolate notes. You all know that smoke isn’t my thing, but 1554 does just about as good a job as possible. The finish is much cleaner than most black ales, hence the “enlightened.” I’m always happy to drink a pint of it.

10/17: New Belgium Accumulation White IPA – 6.2% – bottle

Pours yellow with a slight haze and a foamy white head thataccumulation dissipates very slowly. The aroma is spicy and mildly citrusy. The hop character is fantastic throughout, and I adore the smoothness the wheat brings to this beer. While it feels a bit early for winter seasonals to be hitting shelves, I’m actually glad about this one, since it’s a nice change of pace from the thick heavy winter stouts we’re used to seeing.

10/18: Flying Dog Snake Dog IPA – 7.1% – can

Aroma is mild and hoppy, but that’s about all I can get through the mouth of the can. The beer is pleasant and drinkable, even through the high ABV. There’s a balance of citrus and pine flavors, along with a spicy floral taste I can’t quite place. The finish is bitter and not much else. It’s good, but Snake Dog’s package art always disturbs me slightly, so I’m docking points for that.

10/19: Steinhaus Mission St. Hefeweizen – 4.7% – bottle

I bought this for about three bucks at Trader Joe’s, so my hopes are not high. The beer pours golden with a thick head that foams away quickly, leaving minimal lacing. The aroma is wheaty with mild citrus notes. There are some banana flavors and a good bit of sweetness with a mildly bitter finish. The beer isn’t terrible, and in fact exceeds my expectations. I would be happy if I brewed this beer at home, but I will likely not buy it again.

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10/20: Boulevard Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale – 8.5% – bottle

Pours pale gold and effervescent with a thick foamy white head that leaves heavy lacing as it slowly dissipates. Hop-forward aroma with undertones of grass and lemon. The flavor is nicely tart and mildly astringent, with very nice yeast flavors supported by the pine and citrus notes from the hops. The finish is clean and bitter with some lemon that lingers on the tongue. Big thumbs up for this beer, I will definitely buy it again and keep an eye out for other brews in the Smokestack Series. One of the best farmhouse ales I’ve had.

And the winner is…

Boulevard’s Tank 7! As farmhouse ales go, this is definitely my favorite, at least in recent memory. Superbly balanced and really refreshing. That reminds me, I need to see if I can find more of these. 20 beers down, 11 to go! Tune back in on the 21st for the final installment!

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