I always look forward to Stone’s Odd Year releases which is when they experiment with their traditional seasonal beers and take them in entirely new directions. While I have not always been partial to them, they have had some home runs like the Espresso Imperial Russian Stout. This years Odd Year take on their Old Guardian Barley Wine being “Extra Hoppy” which was a dry hopped version of their already hoppy Barley Wine recipe using Azacca hops. Count me in! This beer poured a deep golden amber with a full and fluffy off-white head. I got a hint of the aroma as I poured and even when I left it on the table about 6 feet away as it was oozing with an abundance of hops and sweet malts. The first sip was a tastebud overload of sweet fruity malts along with a fruity hop bitterness that left my mouth spinning. The Old Guardian is an excessive ode to the Barley Wine and the added dry hopped “Extra Hoppy” takes the excess to a new and pleasingly bitter level. Akin to a Triple IPA the sweet malts were aggressively battling the citrus rind bitter hops and in my mouth and I was the ultimate winner. This thick and syrupy brew was big and bitter with while being sweet enough to not allow either flavor to dominate. Pick one up before they are gone and you will thank me.
May 27, 2015
May 20, 2015
Oasis Texas Brewing is putting out some outstanding beer, so when I saw their one-off Lake Monster was a Barrel-Aged Wee Heavy it was a no brainer. Scotch ales are great and when you barrel-age them they become magical. The Lake Monster is no exception. The beer poured a deep brown with ruby highlights and a wonderfully large tan head. The aroma was all sweet and malty with slight barrel character noticeable in the background. I am not sure what type of barrel they used but you get caramel and vanilla notes on the nose with what I detected as some red wine berry notes. The taste was a delicious scotch ale with loads of caramel malts and deep vanillas that were rich and smooth. I detected only slight barrel characteristics in the taste that seemed to lend a bit of bitter qualities along with the smooth vanilla notes. There were undertones of chocolate and a slight smoky richness that were unveiled as it warmed. In the end the Lake Monster was a great beer and another example that Oasis Texas Brewing is in full stride as a brewery. Keep these experimental batches coming and I will keep drinking!
May 17, 2015
This was Chris’s Birthday Spectacular so he chose the fitting theme of “Sexy Beers” or beers with some sort of sexy themed label or the like. Pin-up girls seemed a likely candidate for a beer label and those chosen prove that point. Banana bread beer was a very surreal interpretation, but well done although pin up girls were on the carrier. A few extras thrown in with a Curmudgeon to wash it all down. Happy Birthday Chris!
May 13, 2015
The Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Barleywine is aged in 3rd use barrels which originally housed Kentucky Bourbon and then aged the Bourbon County Stout. These barrels have soaked up some seriously divine spirits and brews in their lifetime. The beer poured a deep opaque brown to black with slight ruby hints and an almost imperceptible head. The pour left some strange whitish oil slick like traces on the top which I found odd but that wasn’t going to stop me from forging through this phenomenal beer. The aroma was very similar to the Bourbon County Stout that was heavy on the bourbon with slight hints of vanilla but mostly Bourbon. The taste had those familiar Bourbon County flavors of Bourbon and vanilla with the slight coconut hints coming at the tail end. Very malty and very bourbon forward the Bourbon County Brand Barelywine is one beast of a beer. Another barrel-aged masterpiece from Goose Island that takes over your palate as it warms and becomes a divine drinking experience.
May 6, 2015
I loved my first brew from Armadillo Ale Works, Brunch Money, so I jumped at the chance to try this Imperial Oatmeal Stout brewed with Maple Syrup. It sounded exceptional and seeing that it won Gold at last years GABF I knew it had to be good. The beer poured a dark brown to black with a full tan head. I immediately got notes of chocolate syrup on the nose along with coffee and sweet malts to round it out. The taste was right along with the nose but with a more roasty profile along with the chocolate and sweet malt notes. The coffee flavors were more subdued in the taste and I only got a hint of the maple syrup, but more in the sweet tone it gave the beer rather than a syrupy pancake bomb. This is a brew you definitely want to allow to warm up a bit as all the flavors really begin to shine. The beer was a creamy and silky smooth which made for a rich and deep drinking experience. Definitely seek the Armadillo Ale Works beers when in Dallas. They are representin’ Denton well.
May 4, 2015
Misc. pint glass nights around Austin for May. Buy the beer, keep the glass.
Gingerman – Mondays, at 6 PM
May 04 Saint Arnold Summer Pilsner
May 11 Real Ale White
May 18 Kronenbourg Blanc
May 25 Samuel Adams Summer Ale
Zax Pints and Plates – Wednesdays, at 6 PM
May 06 Victory Summer Love
May 13 Goose Island Brewing
May 20 Lagunitas Waldo’s Special Ale
May 27 Green Flash Soul Style IPA
Flying Saucer - Wednesdays, at 7 PM
May 06 Brooklyn Brewing Local 1 & 2
May 13 Saucer Beerknurd Appreciation Glass
May 20 Strange Land Brewing
May 27 Left Hand Brewing Stout Glass
Draught House – Wednesdays
Check their twitter page for glass updates