Monday, October 27, 2014

Full Pint Brewing Company Chinookie IPA

Full Pint Brewing Company Chinookie.  Thanks to Nick from Regal Wines for providing this one.  Catchy label with two hops all cozy together in the brew kettle.  Brewed with the three C's:  Chinook, Cascade, and Centennial hops.  The label says that Chinook hops were added four times during the brewing process and then it was also dry-hopped to enhance aroma even further.  This brew does smell pretty good before even being poured into my glass.
     Post-pour reveals a cloudy golden copper color with decent head that quickly disappeared and left behind decent lacing.  The piney grapefruit aromas are still present but seemed to be slightly less pronounced.  More of a malty/bready smell comes out over time yet it is still accompanied by the piney resinous grapefruit aromas. 
     The body is medium and the mouth feel is somewhat creamy.  The malts are there but they take a back seat to the Chinook pine and citrus.  So upfront there is a very subtle sweetness that is quickly overtaken by piney bitterness.  The bitter aftertaste also lingers for a while but it is actually quite pleasant.  The alcohol content is there but for the most part hidden behind everything else going on here. 
     All in all this is not a bad brew at all.  It is definitely very drinkable and enjoyable for what it is and what it's supposed to be.  A solid offering that is worth a try.  I'm just not sure that it can truly distinguish itself in the flooded IPA market.  Like I said it is worth a try but I can't say that I would necessarily seek it out with all the other choices available. 

India Pale Ale

12 oz 6 pack bottles @ $11.99

7.1% ABV 103.1 IBU

Style: 8/10

Personal Rating: 8/10

Check it out @ whitehorsewine.com

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Ciders with a Snap! (Plus Cheese Pairings)


CIDERS WITH A SNAP
(& Cheese Pairings)

What's the trendiest drink this season? Ciders! They're amazingly versatile and food-friendly, especially with cheeses plus they are GLUTEN FREE. They make perfect partners for pork, chicken, veggies and fish. Rule of Thumb: If you'd pair it white wine, it'll go with cider. 

These snappy brews have a tart crispness that cuts through the rich butterfat in creamy cheeses, refreshing your taste buds for the next delectable bite. Here are a few of our favorite along with some great cheese pairings from the Market!

A great small batch cider made for distinct flavor. This 100% pure apple juice cider is fermented with Belgian Abbey-style yeast.
CHEESE PAIRING: Di Bruno Bros. Gouda $10.99/lb
A crisp, fruit forward cider made with organic honey. This is an unfiltered cider so it retains alot of its natural flavor. A true cider made from fresh apples not an "apple" flavored beverage.
CHEESE PAIRING: Delice de Bourgogne $19.99/lb 

NAKED FLOCK PUMPKIN CIDER 

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Locally harvested pumpkins and apples are combined with seasonal spices to craft this pure and natural cider.
CHEESE PAIRING: Cranberry Cinnamon Goat Cheese $3.49 (4oz) 




This crisp and refreshing cider mixes the sweetness of the apples with a subtle dryness for a balanced cider taste. The fresh apple aroma and slightly sweet, ripe apple flavor this hard to resist.CHEESE PAIRING: Di Bruno Bros. 3yr Cheddar $8.99/lb


Pure Apple bite on the first sip with tight champagne-style sparkle that cuts right though cream cheeses. Very refreshing!
CHEESE PAIRING: Taleggio $15.99/lb


Pure Homemade Apple Pie in a glass. Pour this one over ice for an even crisper refreshment. This cider is perfectly balanced with apple sweetness and cinnamon, graham cracker nuttiness.
CHEESE PAIRING: Di Bruno Bros. Fontina $10.99/lb 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Sixpoint Sensi Harvest Ale





  
     Sixpoint Brewery; Brooklyn, New York.  When one thinks of a harvest ale usually intensely fresh hop flavors come to mind.  The freshness stems from the wet hopping these ales undergo.  This is simply using hops harvested right off the vines as soon after maturity as possible.  The hops undergo no processing whatsoever.  So time is of the essence with this practice.  They should also be consumed as soon as possible to ensure the best flavors and aromas.
     With that being said, let's see what Sixpoint has to offer to this category.  Sensi pours a light golden amber color with thick white head. Many of the bubbles were quite large.  After being in my glass for only a minute or two the head dissipated rather quickly.  Not much lacing on the glass afterwords.  Seems to have quite a bit of carbonation at the onset.  I noticed though that half way through my glass this one went almost flat for some reason.
     As far as the taste goes, this one is pretty much all hops as expected.   Nothing much on the malt end to speak of.  Even though this is the case it's not overly bitter at all.  Sensi is considered a pale ale, yet I have definitely had pale ales that are more bitter than this one.  So the usual citrusy and grassy floral notes are found here.  I also feel like it smelled fresher than it actually tasted.  The body was also very light.  This one could also be considered a session ale, as the ABV only clocks in at 4.7.
     I really don't have much more to say about this ale.  I kind of expected more out of Sensi considering how much I like other offerings from Sixpoint such as Resin and Bengali Tiger.  Both of which I would pick up any day over this one.  The one thing I can say is that it's very easy to drink.  To be honest, I feel like this could have been a lot better.  It feels like there's something missing.  It's not that it's undrinkable, there just should have been way more flavor for this style.  If you want a good example of a wet-hopped harvest ale, my choice would still have to be Northern Hemisphere Harvest by Sierra Nevada.  That is to me what a wet hopped ale should taste like.


American Harvest Pale Ale

Seasonal Availability

4.7% ABV 50 IBU

Style: 6/10

Personal Rating: 6.5/10      

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Old Forge Overbite IPA

          Old Forge Brewing Company; Danville, Pennsylvania.  The old saying "Don't judge a book by it's cover" is very fitting for this very tasty India Pale Ale.  This is definitely not the most bitter IPA you will ever have as it is more of a malt forward offering.  This does not mean that there is no bitterness present because there is, it just isn't the most pronounced here.  What the label lacks as far as aesthetics go, the 16 ounces of this refreshingly tasty 7.5 ABV IPA make up for it. So once again, don't count this one out until you try it.  Seriously, what's there not to like about a 16 ounce can???

     Old Forge brewing company prides themselves as being true craftsmen in the art of brewing.  Their product is made in small batches in order to ensure freshness and quality that can only come from a hand-crafted brew.  They are also truly in-touch with the local community as their menu at their brew pub is all sourced from local farms and markets.  Even the woodwork, metal fixtures and custom tap handles are all produced by local artisans!

     So let's dive into this full pint of delicious ale!  Overbite IPA pours a nice dark gold/copper color and has nice thick off white head.  As the head recedes abundant lacing is left on the sides of the glass.  The aroma is only mildly hoppy as it is somewhat overwhelmed by the bready malts.  Pacific Northwest hops are used to provide a piney citrusy taste that almost holds up to the malts.  It can't be said that this is a perfectly balanced IPA but it is still a delicious one nonetheless.  The malts do somewhat take over even though the finish is slightly bitter as this one still clocks in at 75 IBU's.

     I would recommend this brew to both IPA drinkers and non-IPA drinkers as it has just enough bitterness present to satisfy most hop heads and is definitely malty enough as to not cause the "bitter beer face" on those who don't like bitter brews.  Overbite IPA is one of my "go to" IPA's when I'm not sure what I want to buy.

     India Pale Ale

     Year Round Availability 16 ounce 6 pack (cans only)

     7.5% ABV  75 IBU's

     Personal Rating: 9.6

     Style Rating: 9.0

     Price: $10.99 @ White Horse Wine & Spirits


   

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Magic Hat Brewing Company, Dream Machine Indian Pale Lager

From a brewery out of Burlington Vermont, Magic Hat has released a new year round  beer for the first time in 10 years entitled Dream Machine IPL. Combining the elements of an IPA and the yeasts and brewing techniques of a lager, Magic Hat has beautifully crafted this new creation that promises to satisfy the hop-head IPA drinkers out there and spark the curiosity of the smooth drinking, lager folks.

The Dream Machine pours with an amber color and a nice fluffy head also giving off a citrusy, piney aroma due to the dry-hopping method where Amarillo & Sterling hops were used. Without a doubt, the idea behind this off-shoot style brew is to combine two great beer experiences into one, and certainly Magic Hat has easily accomplished this. The concept of providing a unique drinking experience was their tactic and indeed.

Magic Hat delivers as promised. The Dream Machine is a beer that was specifically designed for my palate. Being a lager drinker for years and years, this IPL really provides the best of both worlds into one smooth drinking, mildly bitter beer. I find the idea behind the recipe of cross-pollinating an IPA with an amber lager as intriguing as the taste of the beer itself! On the front end, a crisp grapefruit, yet mild citrusy taste gives way to a smooth, lager finish on the back end with little to no bite. The Dream Machine is highly aromatic, but not quite as bitter as one might expect from the amount of hops used to produce it.

Magic Hat has hit this one out of the park with their Dream Machine IPL! If you’re an IPA lover, give it a whirl. It may not have the ultimate bitterly hop flavor you’d expect from a standard IPA, but it certainly meshes 2 very popular styles of beer into 1 that has, in my opinion, captured the best elements of both styles. If you’re a lager drinker much like myself, this would be a great beer to help crossover into the world of craft beer drinking. The Dream Machine IPL is a great session beer and an enjoyable change-up from the standard routine. Whether you’re and IPA advocate or a lager drinker, this beer appeals to either and will not disappoint. Cheers & enjoy!

India Pale Lager

ABV 5.7%

Availability Year Round: 6 packs, 12 packs, 22oz bottles, draft

Personal Rating: 9.1/10

Style Rating: 9.6/10

Wanna try it now? Order it online at whitehorsewine.com


Weyerbacher Brewing Company, Verboten


Weyerbacher, the company that has brought us so many good beers including Merry Monks, Blithering Idiot, and their popular Imperial Pumpkin Ale have yet another one of their crafty brews in the archive known as Verboten, a Belgian-Style Pale Ale. Originally released under the name Alpha, it was later changed to Zoten (the Dutch word for fools) when it became a seasonal release, but it wasn’t until they received a cease & desist from a European brewery that they chose to rename this beer Verboten, which fittingly translates from the German language to ‘forbidden’. 

Founded in 1995 by Dan and Sue Weirback, Weyerbacher Brewing Company is located in downtown Easton, PA. After touring Long Trail’s brewery in Vermont back in 1993, Dan was inspired and decided to start his own craft beer company, and there his company was born in a livery stable in Pennsylvania.

Verboten is a Belgian-Style Pale Ale, medium-body, moderately hopped with a light, fluffy head. The combination of Pale, Carahell and Wheat malts in addition to a generous hopping of Cascade really  gives this Belgian-Style Pale Ale an interesting, distinctive character. Verboten has a crisp, refreshing  first sip followed by mild bitterness introduced by the abbey yeast strain. Mild carbonation and a slight, soured fruity taste individualizes this beer from the rest of the Weyerbacher family.

I found the balance of this beer to be almost close to perfect! Verboten hits the mark with all of the ingredients used in the formula, but what I appreciate the most is the simplicity of the product upon completion. Not one aspect was overbearing or overwhelming and they really took the time to create a European beer with an American twist yet still keeping their creation harmonious.

I gave this craft beer a higher rating than usual, but it is well deserved and rightfully earned. Verboten  is a great session beer and a perfect change-up from the IPA’s and summertime farmhouse beers. I highly recommend this beer to anyone that enjoys Belgian-Style Ales and is looking for something a little bit different from the norm. Weyerbacher has yet to disappoint me with anything they have released thus far. I have had many of their beers prior to trying Verboten, but I must say this one is in my top 3 from Weyerbacher. Well done guys! Cheers!

Belgian-Style Pale Ale

5.9% ABV

Package: 6 pack 12 oz. bottles

Personal Rating 9.2/10

Style Rating 8.8/10

Wanna try it now? Order it online at whitehorsewine.com

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Great Ideas for Your Next Summer Barbecue

Summer at the Jersey Shore has officially arrived. The grills are hot and the waters cool. Here are some great ideas about what to drink and eat this Summer. Enjoy!

Big Bold Zinfandels made for BBQ
There is nothing quite like a big, bold Zinfandel (red of course) to go with your Summer BBQ. Juicy, jammy dry red wines like these go perfectly with pulled pork, spare ribs and burgers.

Try some of our staff favorites:

Monster Malbec, perfect with a big Steak
A big steak right off the grill and glass of Malbec is the perfect way to end a hot summer evening. The rich spicy, flavor of the Malbec paired up with the meatiness of the steak makes a perfect pairing.

Try some of our staff favorites:
Wonderful Whites Wines
The hot weather can make you sweat in no time, but a simple solution is a nice cold glass of white wine. There is nothing more delicious than a crisp, refreshing glass of white wine, but why stick to Pinot Grigio when there are so many different white grape varietals out there? Try some of our favorite white wines that are off the beaten path.

Try some of our staff favorites:

Craft Beers to Cool Off With
Stuck in front of the grill all day? Nothing beats a cold brewski to keep you cool. Don't pick up the same old boring mass produced beer, drink something unique and delicious. We are all big craft beer geeks here and we drink these all Summer long.
 
Try some of our staff favorites:
*Yards, Saison                          *Victory, Summer Love
5 Foods for a Fun-Lovin' Summer
1. The Market sandwiches:Swing by on your way to the beach and pick up a sandwich to go from the Market! Try the Prosciutto Mozzarella with homemade basil pesto and vine ripened tomato or the Fig and Brie with caramelized onions and arugula. The Market also has salads, fruit salads, and cold drinks available for take away.

2. Epic Pickles: Small batch company out of York, PA using all natural ingredients pickling kosher dills, carrots, string beans, asparagus, and okra! We love a handful of string beans in our Bloody Mary, New Orleans style.


3. Eat This Bacon Marmalade - Sweet, savory, and LOADED with bacon, this all natural marmalade from Pennsylvania can be used as a marinade or dressing for grilled chicken or meat and it's fantastic atop a grilled pork chop!

4. Bone Suckin BBQ Sauce - It wouldn't be summer without grilling and this BBQ sauce is legit! Get it in regular or thicker style.

5. Hanks Hot Sauce - Crank up the flavor on anything from eggs to steak with this local hot sauce from Sea Isle City!