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Black Toad Dark Ale

23 Jul

 

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Brewer : Josephbrau Brewing Company

Location : San Jose, Ca

Alcohol % :  5.3

IBU : 12

Appearance : Very dark mahogany color which poured to a small tan head

Aroma :  Sweet

Body : Medium

Marketing Gimmick  : This brew is a Trader Joe’s beer. TJ’s likes to use an alias for its brewers for some reason. While listing Josephbrau on the label as the brewer this beer was actually made by the Gordon Biercsh Brewing Company in San Jose.

Survey Says : I purchased this beer with low expectations, being that it was quite inexpensive and a Trader Joe’s house item. I was very pleasantly surprised by this brew. It has a malty, lightly roasty flavor with a touch of hops bitterness. The hoppiness was not offensive and added to the flavor profile of this beer. It was refreshing, smooth and very enjoyable and drinkable. There was some lingering bitter aftertaste but not objectionable. I would definitely buy this beer again.

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Full Boar Scotch Ale

9 Jul

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Brewer : Devil’s Canyon

Location : San Carlos, Ca

Alcohol % :  7.4

IBU : 12

Appearance : Medium sized foam head. It has a very dark brown color.

Aroma :  Very slight yeasty smell

Body : Medium

Interesting Fact : The Company, established in 2001 in Belmont, derives its name from the canyon which runs through the area named la Canada del Diablo by 18th century Spanish settlers.

Survey Says : I sampled the pint sized bottle of this fine brew and the 7.4% alcohol level had my head spinning quickly. This is a very drinkable smooth flavored brew. It exhibits a nice malty flavor with no detectable hoppiness. There was no bitter aftertaste with this brew. It has very little carbonation. This was a very enjoyable beer which I would definitely try again.

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Deschutes Obsidian Stout

27 May

Brewer : Deschutes BrewryImage result for deschutes obsidian stout

Location : Bend, Oregon

Alcohol % :  6.4%

IBU : 55

Interesting Fact : This brew was voted by the World Beer Awards in 2016 as America’s Best Stout

Survey Says : This Northwestern brew had a nice yeasty aroma and it poured to a dark head. This stout is practically black in color. It is very lightly carbonated. This dark beer has a strong toasty malt flavor with some sharp bitter notes. With a slightly high IBU of 55 for a stout, it expresses more than expected hoppy bitterness. It also left a bitter aftertaste. I prefer stouts with a smoother malty flavor and little to no bitterness. Overall I was disappointed with this style stout.

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Zywiec 1881 Porter Beer

8 May

Brewer : Zyweic Brewery

Location : Zyweic, Poland

Alcohol  Content :  9.5%

IBU : 32

Interesting Marketing Gimmick : Zywiec claims that this excellent dark stout, brewed since 1881, has health-giving properties.

Survey Says : This Polish brew had a sweet, pleasant aroma and a very dark almost black color. The head was large and dark tan in color. There was just medium carbonation. This porter beer had a fairly strong malty flavor with some tart/bitterness, but not too much. This is not a beer you would guzzle due to the strong flavor and high alcohol content. Rather, this brew was meant to be enjoyed like a fine wine and sipped slowly. This heavy bodied beer had no bad aftertaste either. I would definitely try it again sometime.

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Hofbrau Munchen Dunkel

2 Apr

Brewer : Staatliches Hofbrauhaus

Location : Munchen, Germany

Alcohol  Content :  5.5%

IBU : 25

Interesting Item :  Although Hofbrahaus has been around since the 16th century in Germany, it wasn’t introduced into the United States until 1997.

Survey Says :  This brew is a bottom-fermented ale with a dark ruby brown color. It poured with a large tan head. It is only lightly carbonated. It has a very smooth, toasty malt flavor but with some bitterness from its hops. It was very drinkable and refreshing. It does exhibit a slight bitter aftertaste but is not in any way objectionable. I would definitely try this beer again. I think it would go well with about any food.

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Sierra Nevada Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale

23 Mar

Brewer : Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

Location :  Chico, CA

Alcohol  Content :  5.5%

IBU : 37

Interesting Item : Due to low volume and declining sales, this fine beer has been discontinued. We can only hope they bring it back someday. R.I.P. Tumbler, until we meet again

Survey Says : This personal favorite was sold as part of a fall season variety pack. It has a nice dark color with a slightly toasty aroma. It is medium bodied with a very smooth mouth feel. The flavor exhibits a wonderful malty taste. It is extremely drinkable. Even with a relatively high IBU of 37, the hoppy bitterness does not overtake the sweet malty tones. This brew was originally designed to be enjoyed in the fall but actually could have been loved year round.

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Ayinger Celebrator Double Bock

20 Aug

 Brewer : Ayinger BreweryImage result for ayinger celebrator doppelbock beer

Location : Aying, Germany

Alcohol % :  6.7

IBU : 24

Interesting Item :  The serving suggestions for this German brew include roast goose, cured ham, smoked duck, and wild turkey and then enjoy a fine cigar!

Survey Says : This beer had a nice, sweet and fruity aroma. It has a very dark brown color and poured with a huge tan head. The flavor was a full bodied strong malty one. The initial sip was quite bitter. It seemed a little hoppy which was unexpected. The flavor was definitely strong throughout but the bitterness continued as well. This brew might indeed taste better with some goose or duck but it was a little too bitter just to drink. I would not try it again.

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Belhaven Scottish Stout

7 Aug

Brewer : Belhaven Brewery

Location : Dunbar Scotland

Alcohol % : 7.0

IBU : 0

Marketing Gimmick Belhaven Bill is the famous trademark, created in the 1950’s. Bill is a large (fat) fisherman wearing sea boots. He represents the beer and its sea location.

Survey Says : This Scottish stout has a deep,dark almost black color, with very little aroma.  The dark color is almost intimidating but once you get that first sip you realize this is a very enjoyable experience. It is heavy bodied but has a nice malty flavor with just a hint of bitterness. The flavor is robust, creamy and full. It is very smooth and very drinkable. There was no bad aftertaste with this stout. The panel liked this one and would try it again.

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Franziskaner Dunkel

24 Jul

Brewer : Spaten-Brau

Location : Munich, Germany

Alcohol % : 5.0

IBU : 12

Interesting Fact : In Bavaria, Dunkel is a traditional dark style beer, brewed in Munich. Munich malts give Dunkels their dark color. Dunkels are weaker than German Dopplebocks.

Survey Says : This brew is a dark unfiltered wheat beer. It had little aroma but did have a slight yeasty smell. Being unfiltered it had a cloudy, medium brown appearance and poured to a large tan head. This German ale had a sweet, very smooth and refreshing taste. With a low IBU, there was little to no hoppiness. It was lightly carbonated and medium bodied. It was very drinkable, with no bitter aftertaste. I would definitely try this German dark beer again.

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Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel

12 Jul

Brewer : Ayinger Brewery

Location : Ayinger Germany

Alcohol % = 5.0

IBU = 21

Interesting Fact : The Ayinger Brewery has been producing beer for over 130 years in the world renown Bavarian beer region of Germany. Only 10% of its beer is exported with the majority being sold in Germany.

Survey Says : This German beer labels itself as an authentic Bavarian dark beer. It has a deep dark brown color and a large foamy tan head.The aroma was sweet and malty. The flavor was full bodied with a slight sweetness. There was just a hint of bitterness which blended quite well with the overall malty flavor. It was fairly smooth and quite drinkable and since I had the pint sized bottle this was great!! This brew would go well with many foods but I think any type of beef would be especially good with it. I really enjoyed this English brew and would definitely try it again as well as recommend it to anyone who is a little tired of today’s hoppy craft beers.

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