Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sam Adams | Verloren Gose

Sam Adams Verloren Gose ale, an all but dead style of beer that the Boston Beer Co. is taking a shot at putting the defibrillator on. Originating from Leipzig, Germany, Gose beer is traditionally brewed with at least 50% wheat malt, and an addition of coriander and salt. Although these additions to the beer don't comply with the German purity law of 1516, it has been accepted due to being a "regional specialty."

With all that being said, I was very intrigued by this beer, so I bought one…. two months ago. And, expecting the worst, have been scared to try it. Well, today is the day to finally give it a try.

Poured into a weizen glass, Verloren has a somewhat hazy, golden amber color. The fluffy white head piles up nicely, but recedes kind of quickly.

The nose is spot on the style of a Hefeweizen, with a strong spice kick from the coriander. Lightly tart yeast comes through the spice, which adds a little bit of complexity to this unusual beer.

The flavor is much like the nose, very German style wheat beer, but the yeast is a little funkier than normal. Flavors of lemon peel, coriander, clove, and banana come to mind. The salt addition is just barely noticeable near the finish, but it is there. It almost seems to make the beer a little oily towards the end. But at least it keeps the beer from finishing too dry!

Overall this beer is much better than I feared it to be, but it's still a bit odd. It could be a placebo effect where I'm searching for the saltiness because I know it's in there, instead of just tasting the salt blindly. However, I would recommend trying Verloren, maybe not because it's the best beer on the shelf, but because it's cheap, and I've never seen a Gose style beer before. There's a good chance this is the only Gose beer you'll see in your life, so why not give it a shot?

Personal: 6.5/10
Style: N/A

Friday, June 15, 2012

Weihenstephaner | Hefe Weissbier

A rare Friday off work this week means I get to crack open a beer while the sun is still up! And with the sun out shining, the perfect choice sitting in my fridge is Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier. A Bavarian style wheat beer from the "oldest brewery in the world," brewed since 1040. At least they claim all that, who knows if it really is the oldest brewery, but it's definitely older than any brewery in the USA.

Poured into a Sam Adams pint glass, Weihenstephaner has a cloudy dark golden color with a very large frothy white head. As with most wheat beers, this is a very attractive beer. Not too much lacing, but the high carbonation keeps the big foamy head around for most of the…. how-you-say… beer drinking experience.

The aroma, like most traditional wheat beers, is dominated by banana, clove, bubblegum, and light toasted grain. The banana aroma is the strongest out of the bunch.

The taste starts off very mild with a nice blend of banana and bubblegum sweetness mixing with light malt. A light hint of spice kicks in while the toasted cracker-like malt flavor intensifies through the finish. Earthy yeast, biting carbonation and a barely noticeable grassy hop bitterness finish just a little on the dry side.

Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier is a wheat beer that sets the bar extremely high for the style, and makes it a very difficult style to improve upon. With centuries, if not millennia, of brewing tradition in Bavaria, it's no surprise that the wheat beers from that area are all world class, including the likes of Hacker Pschorr, Schneider, Ayinger. Some of which are harder to find than others. Of course there are American breweries that make a great Hefeweizen, but the Germans still make the best. It's a style we haven't quite mastered like we've done to the IPA style.

With all that being said, it's summer, drink a Hefeweizen!

Personal: 9/10
Style: 9.5/10

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Goose Island | India Pale Ale

After hearing great things about this brewery for years, New Jersey has finally been granted distribution from Goose Island. Lets crack open the India Pale Ale and see what all the fuss is about.

Poured into a pint glass, this ale has a bright yellow-amber color, with a nice 2 fingers of frothy white head. There is a very slight amount of haze to the beer and lots of foamy lacing stick to the glass with each sip.

The aroma is wonderfully abundant with piney and woody hops, as well as a smooth and sweet biscuit malt. The flavor is not far off of the aroma, with a balanced herbal hop spice and creamy malt flavor. Mild grassy hop bitterness creeps in toward the finish, hinting at the intended English IPA style.

The light body and slight creaminess to this IPA make it an easy sipping beer. While not an amazing IPA, it's a real treat of (what I consider) a session beer. The price is pretty good too! I'm sure I'll be picking up a six pack or two throughout the summer.

Personal: 7/10
Style: 8.5/10