Friday, February 15, 2013

Great Lakes Conway's Irish Ale

A reoccurring Spring seasonal from our friends at Great Lakes Brewing Company. I figured with St. Patrick's Day coming up I should try this Irish Ale.  I have been very impressed by other brews by Great Lakes in the past such as the Erie Monster, Nosferatu and Black Out Stout (All Four Packs).  

When poured into a nice chalice glass, it looks a lot richer then I originally expected. There is not much on the aroma, just some light malty bread and slight hints of caramel. It is an very smooth beer (very reminiscent of a lager) but with a light German sytle hop bitterness. To be brutally honest, this is not really my style of beer and I did not enjoy this one. I think it is pretty accurate for the style but unless your looking for something neutral and flavorless to wash down some corned beef and cabbage, I would pass on this one. 

Personal Rating: 5/10
Style Rating: 9.5/10

Wanna try it now? Order it online at:

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Boulder Honey of a Saison

A really interesting brew from Boulder Brewing. When I think of Saison style beer, I usually think of a light, crisp (sometimes low in alcohol) citrus driven beer that is perfect for a hot summer day. This is one that clocks in at 11.5% and is brewed with honey (a nice compliment to citrus). According to the brewery, it is fermented to full dryness. I had to pick this one up just for the shear juxtaposition of a light, crisp style with a heavy, sweet twist to it. 

When first poured into a pint glass, it foams up nicely (which is not common for such high alcohol beers). Its is light amber in color with a nice citrus, honey nose. It drinks surprisingly well for such a big beer. The Saison style defiantly works well with the honey! Think of this as a big brother to a Belgian Tripple style beer. It has a lot of citrus and spice complexity to the nose with a silky smooth finish without the expected burn of alcohol. Overall, I'm very impressed with this beer. It certainly doesn't fit into the typical Saison style but it is a really great, unique brew. Definately well worth the 7 bucks for a big 22oz bomber!
Personal Rating: 9/10
Style Rating: 5/10

Wanna try it now? Order it online at:

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sam Adams Double Agent IPL

INDIA PALE LAGER!?!? Ok, so we can't really talk about Sam Adams in a craft beer blog without dealing with the hot debate over whether or not Sam Adams is really a craft brewer. It is obvious that due to the large amount of beer pumping out of Sam Adams everyday that their semi-large size puts them in about the same category of brewers as Sierra Nevada and the likes. These are brewers who are massive in size compared to most of the micro breweries out there, but still dwarf in comparison to brewers like Bud, Miller and Coors. However you feel about Sam Adams as a craft brewer, it is hard to argue with the fact that they consistently come out with new, often very creative beers. Here is a new very creative beer that splits the IPA and Lager style of beers.

As most of you know by know, we here at White Horse Wine & Spirits are solid Hop Heads. As such, I had to try this interesting Double Agent IPL experiment that is as Sam Adams puts it "What if we gave an IPA a second identity and used some of our favorite West Coast hops, with their grapefruit, piney, and tropical fruit character, in a lager?". 

I have to say that I did not go into this tasting with much hope for a hoppy beer. Most of the new "IPAs" coming out of the larger breweries just don't pack the necessary hop punch to satisfy. I was pleasantly surprised when the aromas of fresh West Coast style hops hit my nose. It is filled fresh grapefruit, citrus and pine notes that do an IPA proud. The taste is actually pretty hoppy and bitter when you take a sip which is really enjoyable. The finish is really the difference in this beer, because the hops fade away and it ends with a smooth lager like silkiness. Overall, I would definitely say I was impressed by this beer especially at under $10 a six pack. At 5% ABV, it is a nice session beer that is good for the new style Sam has created.

Personal Rating: 8.5/10
Style Rating: 10/10

Wanna try it now? Order it online at:

Friday, February 8, 2013

Nugget Nectar is here!

That pallet is just for me, but maybe you can get some before it's all gone.