January 31, 2013

The Brü Revü – Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale

Another Dogfish Head beer.  This time the Indian Brown Ale which Dogfish Head describes as a cross between a Scotch Ale, an India Pale Ale, and a Brown Ale.  All beer I love (what beer do I not loveso this is the perfect hybrid beer for me.  It poured a deep dark brown with ruby hints and a decent tan head.  There was loads of chocolate syrup in the aroma with some sweet malts as well.  The initial taste hit me with straight up chocolate syrup that faded to a slight bitter hop burnt malt on the back end that coated my palate.  This was truly a hybrid beer, but more towards the Scotch Ale/Brown Ale spectrum with the IPA notes on the tail end that kept it from being overly sweet.  As it warmed I picked up notes of coffee and burnt brown sugar and the bitter hoppiness became more pronounced.  It literally started with the sweet chocolate syrup and ended on the bitter burnt malt & hop profile on every sip.  I didn’t know what to expect with this beer, but I really loved it.  It shows a lot of depth and experimentation for a year-round offering and another excellent Dogfish Head brew.

Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale

January 27, 2013

The Brü Revü – Real Ale Sisyphus

Real Ale’s Sisyphus is their version of a barleywine and according to the label, was their first seasonal product.  I know barleywines are usually better with some age, but the word on Sisyphus is it is incredible fresh since it is made with a load of hops. The bottle I sampled was about 3 months old according to the bottle date, which is not a lot of aging time for a barleywine.  When I opened it I could easily see why it’s great fresh.  The pungent citrus hop aroma crept out of the bottle as soon as I popped the top and I knew this was going to be awesome.  The beer poured a copper color with very little head and the aroma continued to entice.  The first sip was exceptional.  There was a nice citrus, grapefruit hop bitterness at the front that quickly dissipated into a smooth caramel and toffee malt body. It had a full mouthfeel and medium to full body that you would expect from such a substantial brew with no harshness and not overly boozy.  It is definitely a hoppy Barleywine that really blew me away.  Maybe the 3 months took a bit of the hop edge and bitterness out of the Sisyphus because I thought it was just the right amount without being overly biting.  The typical barleywine flavors were allowed to assert themselves and play nicely with the grapefruit hop undertones.  A really wonderful brew that keeps Real Ale on the forefront of the Texas brewing scene. 

Real Ale Sisyphus

January 23, 2013

The Brü Revü – Green Flash Le Freak

When I read the description of the Green Flash Le Freak as a modern ale converging a Belgian Trippel and an American Imperial IPA I knew I was in trouble.  A Belgian Trippel and an American Imperial IPA are my two favorite beer styles so combining them into one behemoth beer could easily destroy me.  I wasn’t wrong.  The beer poured a bright golden color with a large fluffy white head that reflected its bottle conditioning.  The aroma was big and fruity with a fresh hop nose and Belgian yeast undertones that had me eagerly anticipating my first taste...  and that first taste blew my face off. It started lightly sweet and fruity and melded into a slightly bitter citrus hop flavor that was expertly nuanced and balanced. The best flavors and profiles of the Trippel and Imperial IPA blended exceptionally and continued to pull me back in for sip after blissful sip.  I see the Le Freak as the more refined and sophisticated older sibling to the Rayon Vert, (an excellent beer in it’s own right).  It is not often that a beer can wow me with such ferocity, and this unique brew may ruin my ability to love another beer again.

Green Flash Le Freak

January 18, 2013

Beer Bums Meeting – January 2013 – Favorite Beers of 2012

As usual on our January meetings we like to look back on the previous year and bring our favorite beers.  It could be a new discovery or just our go to beer that we could not get enough.  Sadly, I could not attend this months meeting, but I sent my pick anyways (the Karbach Hopadillo).  I have had most of these beers in the past, and I am really sorry I missed the Jester King Wytchmaker!

Lagunitas A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale
Sixpoint Resin
Karbach Hopadillo
Theakston Old Peculier
Brooklyn Lager
Jester King Wytchmaker Rye IPA

Next Month, February – Mardi Gras Beers

January 16, 2013

The Brü Revü – Stone Double Bastard

Double Bastard is Stone’s iconic Arrogant Bastard times two and it is a devastatingly devilish brew.  It poured a deep amber ruby color with a tan head that produce significant lacing.  The aroma is a boozy malt with citrus and floral hops coming from everywhere.  The taste was incredible.  Thick and syrupy malt at the front with plenty of bitter hops to balance it out in the end.  It is a unique brew with a heaviness and maltiness to be a barley wine but loads of hops to keep it directly on the Stone Brewing map.  The Double Bastard was bracingly bitter but boozy and smooth all in one bastardly package.  I love this one twice as much as the Arrogant Bastard and will look forward to it every fall.  Are you worthy of the Double Bastard?

Stone Double Bastard

January 13, 2013

The Brü Revü – Victory Yakima Glory

The Yakima Glory uses fresh hops from the Yakima valley played off dark roasted malts in this seasonal offering from Victory.  I miss the release of this beer every year, but not this time!  This is a Dark IPA or Black IPA that is one of the best I have had.  It poured a deep ruby brown with a full tan head and loads of hops on the nose.  Below the hops there was a hint of sweet malt that subdued the hoppy aroma.  The taste was a front load of big juicy hops that faded into a bitter burnt chocolate and sweet toasted malts.  The two flavors played well with each other and brought out the shining attributes of each while not allowing the other to take over.  There was loads of flavor and lots of dynamic tastes to be had … and I had and had and had some more.  A delicious beer with plenty of flavor to spare.  Perfect for these winter months when a dark brew is appropriate, but with enough hops to keep my palate singing. Yum!

Victory Yakima Glory

January 9, 2013

The Brü Revü – Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Oatmeal Stout

I saved the Oatmeal Stout from the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp set for last because it seemed like the best way to finish off the set.  This is the darkest, biggest looking beer of the bunch and it says it’s a perfect after dinner treat.  It poured a deep black with a substantial khaki head and heavy dark chocolate and roasted malts on the nose.  The taste was very smooth with light carbonation for such a heavy looking brew.  There were hints of chocolate, sweet roasted malt, and some oatiness with a bit of hop bitterness on the very end. This Oatmeal stout was like a toasty oatmeal dark chocolate chip cookie with the slight bitterness keeping it from becoming overly sweet.  I haven’t had many stouts from Sierra Nevada, but this was a great one.  With a few months in the fridge I would expect this stout to mellow and be even better.  It is a perfect quaff for these cold winter days. 

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Oatmeal Stout

January 6, 2013

Pint Glass Nights - January 2013

Misc. pint glass nights around Austin for January.  Buy the beer, keep the glass.

Gingerman – Mondays, at 6 PM
Jan 07 Samuel Adams Boston Lager
Jan 14 Oskar Blues Ten Fidy
Jan 21  Duvel Splatter Art Glass
Jan 28 Real Ale Devil’s Backbone

The Tavern – Tuesdays
Check their facebook page for glass updates

Zax Pints and Plates – Wednesdays, at 6 PM
Jan 02 Widmer Brothers Brrr
Jan 09 Boulevard Nutcracker Fresh Hop Ale
Jan 16  Guinness
Jan 23 Ballast Point Sculpin IPA (Ballast Point in TX!  this confirms the rumor and a great beer too!)
Jan 30 Rahr and Sons Iron Joe Cask Conditioned

Flying Saucer  - Wednesdays, at 7 PM
Jan 02 Bosteels Pauwel Kwak
Jan 09 Ballast Point
Jan 16  TBD
Jan 23 TBD
Jan 30 TBD

Draught House – Wednesdays
Check their twitter page for glass updates

Red's Porch – Thursdays, at 5 PM
Check their events page for glass updates

January 1, 2013

The Brü Revü – Lagunitas Brown Shugga

Brown Shugga is Lagunitas’ winter seasonal that was briefly replaced last season for the exceptional Lagunitas Sucks.  While I loved Lagunitas Sucks I am happy Brown Shugga is back.  The brew poured a deep amber with ample head that billowed quickly and lasted throughout.  The aroma is sweet hops, that is a good hop scent with sweet toffee and malt all rolled into one.  The first taste was a wow moment.  The full on signature Lagunitas hop profile with loads of the sweet malt and toasted sugary goodness to make for a perfect beer.  It is definitely unique to say the least and dangerously easy to drink..  Not quite an IPA and not quite a barley wine, but a great brew nonetheless. I love all of Lagunitas’ beers and this may be my favorite.  It’s a shame it only comes once a year, and it disappears fast!

Lagunitas Brown Shugga