Ted’s Beer of the Month: Feb 2014

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Wow, has it been a year already? Welcome one and all to the 13th beer of the month post! I’ve had a lot of fun over the last year trying out new beers, expanding my palate, and sharing my thoughts with you. What I want to figure out now is where to go from here. I like the idea of reviewing beer and food pairings, but I’m not quite sure where to start with that. I’m also interested in beer cocktails; I’ve never had a black and tan or any kind of shandy, and they sound interesting. Any bright ideas for me out there? For now I’ll keep on rolling with the beer reviews, though I may limit myself to the top and bottom few beers of each month. Thanks for reading!

The Great

Thirsty Dog Wulver Wee Heavy – 12% – draft

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I drank this one on tap at Sam’s Quik Shop in Durham, my favorite bottle shop. Wulver is a phenomenal beer. It has a complex, sweet nose with bourbon, oak, raisin, and smoke. It’s a wee heavy that drinks like a barleywine. I love it.

Raleigh Brewing Miller’s Toll Imperial Oatmeal Stout – 9.1% – draft

Fast becoming my favorite brewery, Raleigh Brewing Company MillersTollhas made another great beer with this stout. Super smooth and creamy, with a great chocolate and roasted malt flavors.

Widmer Brothers Columbia Common – 4.7% – bottle

Man, how do I keep forgetting how much I love the California common/steam beer style. Nothing terribly special to say about this particular one, it’s a great example of the style. Light-bodied, earthy and with a clean finish.

Widmer Brothers Hopside Down IPL – 6.7% – bottle

This one is really nice. The aroma is faint, but grassy and pleasant. The flavor is excellent, balanced citrus and pine hops and a bright, clean lager-y finish.

The Not-So-Great

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Widmer Brothers Hefeweizen – 4.9% – bottle

Smells nice, some grass and lemon and a good wheat scent. The taste is very mild, with light maltiness taking up most of the flavor. The mouthfeel is thinner than expected for a hefeweizen, particularly one this cloudy. Not my favorite hefe, although if you have any recommendations I’d be happy to give them a try.

Widmer Brothers Alchemy Ale – 5.8% – bottle

The “Alchemy” hop blend Widmer uses in this beer is some sort of secret recipe, but I don’t really care to find out what it is. It gives this beer a ton of bitterness with a predominant resin flavor, followed by fresh pine and a little soapiness. The finish is long-lasting and resoundingly bitter. My least favorite in the “Brothers’ Best” variety pack, so it’s about a 50/50 value for me.

Dogfish Head Sixty-One IPA – 6.5% – bottle

This is a strange one. It’s copper-colored with a reddish tinge. In a tulip glass it surrendered about one finger’s worth of white head that fizzed away quickly and left decent lacing. It smells hoppy, floral with a little citrus, and some bready malt aromas underneath. If I squint, I can almost smell some of the syrah must the bottle told me about. The flavor is certainly different. As an American IPA, it’s less hoppy than I’d expect, but it has a nice floral character. Beyond that I’m not sure quite how to describe it. The syrah must gives it some acidity in the taste, but most affects the finish, which tart and dry, and is what I imagine a carbonated syrah would taste like. A friend who had one of the bottles from this 4-pack says it doesn’t taste as good as he remembers, so maybe I need to try it again sometime.

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Top image via FloppyChiptunes

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