Friday, June 24, 2011

Propeller IPA

This IPA pours an apricot orange with a bit of minimal head and solid lacing.

The smell - to be disappointingly honest - has almost a bit of skunk to it. I was expecting great hop scents, and it smells more like a European lager (it was bottled only a month prior to drinking). There is a bit of malt in the smell, like an amber ale - some toffee, almost.

The flavour has a bit of fruit from the hops, and is bitter like an American IPA. There are some citrus notes, but they're really subtle. This beer has a stronger malt profile, with caramel and toffee, than it does fruity, fresh hops. Not quite a British IPA either, it's more like a combination of an ESB, a lager, and something else that eludes me at the moment.

The carbonation is a bit much. The finish is dry, with a medium bitterness and body.

Overall, it was OK, but it didn't live up to what I thought it would or should be. I have heard good things about it, though, so will try it again in the hopes that I just had a poor bottle.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sea Level Planters Pale Ale

This brew from the Port Pub is clearer than clear. It really is pale, as well, making me think a little more of a white wine than a beer. It does have a nice golden tint to it, though, with a bit of a peach hue. A finger's worth of white head drops slowly to leave a creamy skim on top.

There's a bit of a burnt rubber smell to it - it's almost borderline. Almost like a roasted aroma - a mix of some slight fruit notes and some malt, but a bit more like old, cracked tubing.

The flavour is something similar, unfortunately... so don't take this as an honest taste test of this beer. I've heard that Sea Level's bottled stuff can be hit or miss - I think I unfortunately got my first miss. I was looking forward to a lightly hoppy brew. This is so unfair. What can I pick out? Some malt, with a bit of a rubber band finish.

Mouth-wise, it's medium and a bit slick. The carb is/would have been fine.

Overall, a dud bottle. Very disappointing. The cap seemed to be hardly on at all... wonder if that wasn't helping things. I'm thinking diacetyl could be the culprit here - slick and a bit buttery. Maybe a bit of chlorophenolic to cause the plastic/rubber? Maybe autolysis? Whatever it is (I'm thinking most likely diacetyl), something went wrong, and I'm not happy. I hate pouring beer down the drain. I'll have to try it again someday, I guess...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

BrewDog Punk IPA

This ale is pretty pale for a legit IPA. It's apple-juice yellow with some cloudiness or haze. There is lots of creamy, lumpy white head... two fingers' worth that stays around for a while. Lots of lacing follows the beer down to the bottom of the glass.

Great smell on this one... some juniper / evergreen, citrus, and tropical fruit smells like tangerine and grapefruit. There's even a bit of spice in it... almost peppery.

The taste is a bit of a blend of their Trashy Blond and an IPA. Drop the TB's bitterness down, though - this isn't as much of an attack as that. Lower the spice as well, and up the hops and fruit profile. In the end, you get this!

The feel of it is a bit slick and viscous. It's bitter and airy, but not overwhelmingly so. The carbonation is just right.

Overall, pretty good. A decent slant on an IPA - just not my favourite. I'm not sure what exactly makes this "punk" - there's nothing overly strong or attitude-laden about it in any way.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Twisted Mist Mojito - The Bottling

So, this past Sunday was the grand finale of sorts for this Twisted Mist Mojito experiment - bottling day. As you can see, the liquid in the carboy cleared up pretty well after eight days.

On bottling day, the only real bump was deciding whether or not to add both of the two F-Packs or not. There was very little online in terms of people already solving this problem (and by little, I mean nothing recent and definitive), so I did what the instructions said, and added the multiples of every pack I had when they were needed (just like with the yeast). The two flavour packs were pretty much thick, flavoured corn syrup - at least by the look of it. It was some pretty thick, syrupy stuff that raised the final density / gravity rating to around 1.030. The packs smelled the same (kind of lime/mint/rum although I thought one may have been a bit more "rummy")... and I'd be curious how it would turn out with just one.

Bottling and corking went pretty smoothly, and I tried it in three different bottle colours, just to see which it looks best in.

I don't want to give too much away before the "official" tasting / testing, but I did have the better part of a glass of it on bottling day. My first impression - not good enough straight... it needs some help / mixing. That being said, we'll see what it's like soon with some white pop, mint, watermelon, or even extra rum. Stay tuned...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Red Racer White Ale

Out of the can, this Red Racer White Ale is a very light, and slightly cloudy, golden colour. A very small head is gone in no time - not even a bubble, and zero lacing.

In the smell is coriander and wheat, which are light. Brighter / stronger is the orange peel and dried apricot.

The taste, similar to the smell, has the orange peel and apricot up front. The coriander is stronger, but still light.

The body is light, with a nice, crisp (but not sharp) light-medium amount of carbonation. The finish is somewhat dry.

Overall, a very nice white ale - would be A-1 in the summer! The Central City Brewing Company continues to prove that top beer can come in cans.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

What's in the Cellar?

Just a brief video of the beers I currently have stored away - should keep me busy for a good little while!

Some of the brews are from previous trips. The new-to-cellar ones are: Tilford's Nit Wit by Garrison, Maître Brasseur's Champenoise, Tusker, Quilmes, Samuel Smith's Organic Lager & Pure Brewed Lager, Lost Coast 8 Ball Stout, Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout, Mill Street Coffee Porter, Anchor Porter, Samuel Smith's Taddy Porter, AMB's Imperial Poorter and Imperial Stout, Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout, Anchor's Old Foghorn, Lagunitas' Gnarly Wine, Pauwel Kwak, Trappistes Rochefort 10, Rogue Hazelnut Nectar, Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale, Lagunitas' Wilco Tango Foxtrot and Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale, AMB's Scotch Ale, Pump House's Scotch Ale, St. Ambroise's Scotch Ale, AMB's Rousse Fumee, Brasseurs de Montreal's Ghosttown, Ayinger's Altbairisch Dunkel, Efes' Dark Lager, Sea Level's Dussel-port Altbier, Dieu du Ciel's Resousse, Samuel Smith's India Ale (IPA), La Vache Folle ?, AMB's IPA, Red Racer IPA, Garrison's Hop Yard Pale Ale, Samuel Smith's Old Brewery pale Ale, Sea Level's Planters Pale Ale, Samuel Smith's Tadcaster Bitter, Garrison's Sugar Moon Maple, Unibroue's Ephemere, St. Ambroise's Apricot Wheat, DdC's Blanche du Paradis, Caracole's Saxo, and MC's Dominus Vobiscum Double.

There's something satisfying about building your own collection of brews in the cellar - akin to what a wine collector must feel - only this collection should be tastier, cheaper, and less aristocratic. Happy, better-quality drinking in the months ahead!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

La Vache Folle ? Double IPA (Mystery Hop)

I thought this one might be a bit of fun, in that it's a bit of a challenge in guessing what single hop was used to brew this double IPA / Imperial IPA from the Microbrasserie Charlevoix (nice to see someone still has a Geocities site). Also, I just happen to like hoppy beers / IPA's, so why not give it a shot?

The beer pours a very clear tangerine colour... kind of a deep, mellow, orange Jell-O. The head is nice, albeit modest, but it has great retention and leaves lots of lacing.

The somewhat subtle, bright smell reminds me a bit of some triples or even a saison or two. The aroma is built on stronger notes of roasted pineapple, orange, and smaller hints of things like lychee fruit. There is a bit of smell from the malt, too - some sweet / lightly-roasted components. As it warms, a bit of the alcohol comes out.

The flavour is not very fruity or hoppy. Neither is the smell, really, but there is less here than what is in the aroma. The flavour of this just fair. There's a bit of alcohol in it, which is too bad (considering the style and that it's only 8%). The flavours (and feel) don't really mesh that well. The overall impression is a muted orange-pineapple that goes into more of a sweet, malty beer - almost like a red or "medium-strength" amber ale.

The feel is a little off-putting. It's a bit alcoholic / harsh... like when Ralph Wiggum "eated the purple berries". It's not a taste or feel you should want or find in a drinkable beer. The body is a solid medium, with a bit of a sticky finish.

Overall? Meh. It's not bad, but it's not great. My favourite sensation from the beer was from the burps (not uncommon in an IPA / double IPA, really). They smelled / tasted like the whole beer should have - mellow, smooth, fruity. They were pretty nice, really. Oh well. Maybe the next one in the series will be as good as the others have supposedly been.