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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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Victory Golden Monkey

20 Jan

Brewer : Victory Brewing CompanyImage result for golden monkey beer

Location : Downington, PA.

Alcohol % :  9.5%

IBU : 25

Interesting Fact : Since its introduction in 1997 this craft beer has been Victory Brewing Company’s number one selling brand

Survey Says : This medium bodied brew had a sweet, yeasty aroma. It had a cloudy golden color with a nice tan head. This Belgian-style tripel ale has some spice added which can be detected in its flavor. The taste is very smooth with both maltiness and some sweetness coming through. There are no bitter notes or negative aftertastes. It is very easy to drink and quite enjoyable. I would definitely try this one again and would recommend it to friends.

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Fuller’s 2013 Vintage Ale

5 Jun

Brewer : Fuller Smith and Turner

Griffen Brewery

Location : London, UK

Alcohol  Content : 8.5%

IBU : 38

Interesting Item : This unique beer is produced in limited amounts each year. The bottles of each year’s vintage are individually numbered. We sampled bottle #117373 from 2013. Fullers recommends aging this beer for 3-4 years, rather unusual for a beer.

Survey Says : First of all I have to say that any bottle of beer that comes individually packaged in a handsome box must be pretty good and this brew was just that. This beer was a pretty amber color. It was slightly cloudy due to the fact that it was bottle conditioned . The flavor was medium strong with definite bitterness. It was quite smooth and very enjoyable and drinkable. The hops notes definitely come through and may be a little too strong for some but I think overall it  was a reasonably well balanced ale. Overall a very good experience.

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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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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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Fuller’s ESB

4 Jul

Brewer : Griffin Brewery

Location : Chiswick Lane South London England

Alcohol % :  5.9

IBU : 35

Interesting Fact : This popular English beer has won the World Champion Beer Award twice giving it the nickname “The Champion Ale”

Survey Says : This strong ale was introduced in 1971. It had a nice medium amber color with virtually no head when poured. There was little detectable aroma and it was only lightly carbonated. The taste of this medium bodied English brew was quite smooth with just a hint of bitterness. It exhibited some malty notes with some slight fruity sweetness. This was a very drinkable, well balanced ale or as the Brits would say its tastes were “spot on”. I would definitely try this beer again given the opportunity.

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Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc

29 Mar

Brewer : BK 67200

Location : Strasbourgh France

Alcohol Level :  5.0 %

IBU : 0

Marketing Gimmick :  This beer is bottled in a very modern and elegant blue bottle. Very Cool !!

Survey Says : This brew is a premium wheat beer which has only been produced since summer 2008. It exhibited little to no aroma. It has a slightly cloudy yellow color with a large tan head. This is a very smooth and drinkable beer with virtually no hoppiness. It is light bodied with a sweet refreshing fruit taste. The fruity flavor is citrus like. While it doesn’t have the bitterness that many of today’s brews exhibit it still has a nice flavor and was quite enjoyable. Did I like it? Yes.  Would I try it again? Most certainly. If you’re a hops freak you may not like this beer but it defintely is a very enjoyable drinkable beer.

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Paulaner Salvator Double Bock Ale

16 Feb

Brewer : Paulaner BrauereiImage result for paulaner salvator

Location : Munich, Germany

Interesting Fact : This beer dates back to the 18th century. The Paulander monks drank Salvator Double Bock as a substitute for food during Lent.

Alcohol % : 7.9

IBU : 28

Survey Says : This German brew had a sweet malty aroma. When poured it exhibited a cloudy light amber color with a large foamy tan head. It was just lightly carbonated. This double bock had a wonderful pleasant malty flavor with just a little sweetness. It was medium bodied and very drinkable. It is very smooth with no bitterness or bad aftertaste. I liked this beer a lot and would definitely try it again!

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