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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tröegs | Dreamweaver Wheat Ale

Ah…. warmer times are coming, and with the warmth comes the need to drink lighter, more refreshing suds. The two 80 degree days we had last week motivated my decision to go for one of my absolute favorite styles of beer when the temps rise, Hefeweizen. Hefeweizen's or Weissbiers originated in Germany, particularly Southern Germany in Bavaria. If you break the word down "hefe" translates to "yeast", "weizen" to "wheat", and "weiss" to "white". The unfiltered wheat malt causes the pale cloudy appearance that is common in these beers, which its name is also derived from.

While I do love a good traditional German Hefeweizen, I decided to go for an American version this time, with Tröegs Dreamweaver Wheat.

Poured into a Weizen glass, Dreamweaver has a semi-cloudy golden straw color with two inches of fluffy white head. Pronounced carbonation makes this beer look very light in body, while retaining a creamier looking head.

The aroma is smack in the middle between light spicy clove/coriander and sweet banana. Mild hints of medicinal funk from the yeast are just noticeable in the nose, but really don't get in the way of the spice and banana tug-of-war.

The taste starts with a nice bite of carbonation that injects flavors of banana and bubble gum sweetness right off the bat. Clove spice and other yeast esters fill in through the middle, while the finish is rounded off by a lightly toasted malt. Crisp and refreshing all the way through.

A Hefeweizen really hits the spot for summertime day drinking, and Tröegs Dreamweaver is no exception to that. The Pennsylvania locals have done a great job in keeping with Bavarian tradition. While Dreamweaver is not my all time favorite wheat beer, it's a definite must try, and is without a doubt a better choice than the typical watery light beers you'll be offered at a summer barbecue.

Personal: 7/10
Style: 8/10

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale

A Black IPA that actually delivers on its promise to be the best of both an IPA and a Stout! I was very skeptical before first trying this beer as every single Black IPA I have had was a complete disappointment (and I have had 12 beers of this style)

Stone is known for their focus on Hops and extreme beers. This was originally brewed as their 11th anniversary ale, but was so popular that they brought it back as a year round bomber.

When you first crack the cap a rush of hops hits your nose. It reminds me of Port Brewings Wipeout or Lagunitas Maximus IPA. It pours a nice two finger head with a black as night body. The taste is a perfect mix of hoppy IPA bitter citrus flavors and dark cocoa flavors that meld like a dissonant chord in a bittersweet symphony. A perfect beer for any season, it is light and refreshing enough for the hot summer weather but rich enough for the cold winter weather. Perfect for us hop heads looking for something slight different but still hoppy and delicious. Definitely the beat of both worlds! A must try!!

9/10 Personal Score
9/10 Style Score (Black IPA)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Rogue | Voodoo Doughnut Maple Bacon Ale

Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Maple Bacon Ale, a specialty once-brewed beer from Rogue, inspired by a signature doughnut made by Voodoo Bakery in Portland, Oregon. The beer features all natural ingredients, so yeah, this beer has real maple syrup and actual bacon in it.

Poured into an Imperial Pint glass, Voodoo Doughnut has a moderately hazy, copper-red color and a large foamy off-white head. The head falls to a cm or so where it sticks around with little bits of lacing stuck on the glass.

The aroma…. sweet lord, the aroma. It smells like a delicious breakfast at the diner after a long night. Smokey well-done bacon, rich sticky maple syrup, and pancakes. Very sweet and smokey malt bill, with virtually no hop aroma.

The taste starts off with a very light crisp hop character before an onslaught of intense smoke flavor coats my tastebuds. Ashy smoke, burnt bacon… really interesting stuff. The finish introduces the sweeter maple syrup doughnut icing flavor that is so prevalent in the aroma, with the lingering aftertaste of sweet pancakes and bacon.

For the rich flavors in this beer, it's kind of surprising how light and carbonated the beer actually is. While it's not as light drinking as a pilsner, it sure is fizzy and easy to drink. This is a tough point on the beer, while I find it sort of watery, I'm enjoying the whole bottle; but if it was a thick full bodied sugar monster of a beer, I think an 8 oz glass would be enough. Personally I think it works great to give such heavy flavors a lighter body.

Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Maple Bacon Ale is probably not going to win the gold medal in any competitions, but I think it is absolutely worth checking out. Rogue shows they can make beers just as unique, if not crazier, than Dogfish Head, and the beer is good too! This is probably the only chance you'll get to try this beer, so just suck it up, pay the high price, and tell your friends you drank a maple bacon doughnut beer.

Personal: 8/10
For the style: Well if this is considered a brown ale: 6/10, but for a smoked beer: 9/10, since this has more flavor than an ashtray being dumped in your mouth.