Thursday, December 29

Beer Review: Boulevard Brewing Harvest Dance Wheat Wine Style Ale


"Beginning with a large portion of wheat malt, we add an equally generous helping of Hallertau and Citra hops and age the ale on both French and American oak. The result is a big, warming burst of tropical fruit flavors, highlighted by subtle wine notes, and rounding slowly to a long, dry, oaky finish."

Appearance: (4.5)
- Huge overflowing super light tan head slowly settling to a mound of centered foam over a cloudy IPA-like straw and zesty orange hue. Leaving lace all about the glass. Pretty beer.

Smell: (4.5)
- Zesty Belgian yeast aroma.. lemon zesty, citrus zing, light and subtle wheat malt notes and a bit of ginger and clove to boot. Earthy oak, and esters with a light alcohol aroma. This puppy smells great.

Taste: (3.5)
- Oaky wine-like esters, fruit, raisin, clove, and zingy lemon zest. Fruity tropical hops zest, and a great earthy bitterness peppered with sugars and spice. Overall quite interesting, but doesn't hold up to the aroma.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- Quite the bubbly brew. Many bubbles expand the brew in the mouth. Medium body, chewy, and bitter dry. Enough sweetness keeps the juices flowing.

Overall: (3.5)
- I like the unique qualities of this beer. It looks amazing, smells amazing, but the flavor and feel fall just a touch short. This "wheat-wine" does have a best by date of 10/10, and I am a couple months past that, but for a strengthy beer, that shouldn't make much of a difference except for perhaps a little lack of aroma hops. Very good beer either way.

3.75/5 rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale

Monday, December 26

Beer Review: Boulevard Brewing Nutcracker Winter Ale


My wonderful Aunt snagged me up a 6-pack of this. I had seen it in a few oddball places, but never purchased it. Also with the 6-pack was 2 very nice imperial pint glasses. Or better stated.. 22 oz. glasses. (Not pictured below).

"Nutcracker Ale is Boulevard’s holiday gift for real beer lovers. This hearty, warming brew is a classic winter ale, deep amber in color, with hints of molasses balanced by the “spiciness” of freshly harvested Chinook hops.

Color (EBC) 61.8
Bitterness (IBUs) 38
Original Gravity (Plato) 16
Terminal Gravity (Plato) 3.8
Alcohol (ABV) 5.8%
CO2 - Bottles 2.6 vol. (5.1 g/L)
CO2 - Kegs 2.55 vol. (5.0 g/L)"


Appearance: (4.0)
- Semi-cloudy amber brew with a couple fingers of slow forming light tan head. The head has settled leaving some bubbly lace behind with a thin pillowing blanket above the ale. Solid.

Smell: (4.0)
- Light zingy spice, a pleasant citrus zest and almost orange peel character, light brown sugar, and a touch of molasses. Overall a unique and pretty good smell.. almost like a fruitcake without being overwhelming. Perhaps some light bitter grassy hops.

Taste: (3.5)
- Indeed like a waldorph's salad of sorts. Fruity canned mandarin orange, grape peel, and light sweet bready grain with a hint of molasses and/or brown sugar. Very interesting and unique brew. Love the bitter earthy hops to balance it out.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- Lightly creamy and smooth medium bodied brew. Plenty carbonated and easy to belch. Bit chewy and drying, and has a very tart bitterness that leaves a little zingy feel on the tongue. Not bad.

Overall: (3.5)
- I like this better than most winter beers that seem too sweet and loaded with spice. This one takes on a whole different spectrum of winter flavors. Seriously, we all know those fruity salads with mayo and walnuts. This is much like that, an amber with all those flavors without the dank mayo and nutty flavor. Not bad.

3.63/5 rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale

Roscoe's 5th Anniversary Summit


"Get ready for a great beer weekend! Roscoe's is turning 5 next weekend. Our anniversary party will kick off on Friday December 30th at 4PM.

We will have some amazing and unique beers on tap for the event.
Some of the breweries (and beers) will include: Full Sail (5 year old Imperial Porter), Stone (2007 Old Guardian Barleywine, it'll be turning 5 the weekend of the summit), Boneyard (Batch #1 Black 13 aged in bourbon barrels), Hair of the Dog (2010 Adam), Upright (Rose City Seven), Fort George (2010 Kentucky Girl), Bear Republic (Barrel Aged Ryevalry), Hopworks, Struise (Tsjeeses Reserva 2010), Double Mountain (Fa La La La La), Oakshire, Russian River , Dogfish Head 120 Minute, and more.

There will also be brewers from some of our favorite breweries in attendance. We will have 5 ounce tasters available. The official event date is Friday, but there will be great beers on tap all weekend long.

A huge thanks to all of our customers and the brewers that have made the past 5 years so much fun. We hope to see you there."


When
Friday, December 30, 2011 at 4:00pm until Saturday, December 31, 2011 at 2:30am

Roscoe's
8105 SE Stark St., Portland, OR 97215

Beer Review: Gilgamesh Brewing Ridgeway IPA


Received a lovely 1 liter flip-top bottle filled with this lovely brew from my good cousins who reside in the area of this brewery. Since they are buds with one of the assistant brewers, I see I am going to have to work some magic to try and get some more goodies from them, and make a nice travel over as well which I should have anyway none the less.

"RIDGEWAY IPA

100+ IBU 6.5% ABV
Dominated by citrus and pine flavors, this reddish beer features three of our favorite hops (Columbus, Simcoe, and Amarillo) added every minute for an hour during the brewing process. The three pounds of hops per barrel forge a well-balanced, full range of hoppiness, in this medium body brew."


Appearance: (3.5)
- Pours a rather dark amber color with subtle off-white bubbly head which has settled to a nice small ring, and large island of thin foam on top. The brew is slightly cloudy, and could really almost pass as an amber. Not bad.

Smell: (4.0)
- This brew smells fantastic. Lovely herbal and grassy citrus hops. Pine resin, and a great grain quality that reminds me a little of a Full Sail brew. Almost has a slight pipe tobacco essence to it as well without really being a bad trait.

Taste: (4.5)
- Nice pine and earthy bitterness. Bready and biscuit grain really balance this puppy out. This must be a mad yeast much like what Full Sail uses.. some serious closeness to the Hop Pursuit from them. One of my favorites. This beer really touches on my taste for beer.. crisp, clean and refreshing. This could be a regular for me.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- Little drying from its great bitterness. Slightly chewy, and a rather light to medium body. Well carbonated, and very easy to drink. Clean character.

Overall: (4.5)
- Love this beer. The hop profile is just what I like, and so is the grain bill. Both blend extremely well with one another to create a fantastic beer. This is a refillable bottle i am reviewing from, and I can't really imagine it being any better fresh from the tap, but I will have to find out.

4.25/5 rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5
BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale


Gilgamesh Brewing
http://gilgameshbrewing.com/
2953 Ridgeway Dr SE Turner, Oregon, 97392

Saturday, December 24

Beer Review: Ninkasi Renewale 2012 Porter


"Available in 22oz. Bottles and on Draft, Seasonally from January 1st to March 1st


  • Statistics
  • First Brewed: 2012
  • Starting Gravity:
  • Bitterness: 38 IBUs
  • Alcohol %: 5.9
  • Malt: 2 Row, Baird Chocolate, Briess 2 Row CaraPils, Flaked Barley, Weyermann CaraHell, Weyermann Carafa III, Baird Roast Barley, Crisp 77
  • Hops: German Northern Brewer, Horizon, Sterling"

Appearance: (4.0)
- Rich solid colored dark brown porter. Couple fingers of fluffy light light mocha tan head.. settles to a thin spotty creamy blanket, and leaves some lacing all about the glass.

Smell: (3.5)
- Very roasty in smell, lots of biscuity and sharp grain, light chocolate, and light bitter coffee notes. Surprisingly quite hoppy with very earthy, grassy, and herbal notes. Smells like this may be quite bitter.

Taste: (4.0)
- Indeed it is a very bitter porter, and it is also very good. I love the bitter grassy hops and how zesty bitter it is. Not a very sweet chocolatey malt bill, but more a zesty, crisp, and refreshing porter. I really dig the flavors here. Husky grains with only some light cocoa and coffee. Big resinous hops and earthy flare.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- Light to medium bodied, and very well carbonated. Bitter dry and a slight bit cloying. Leaves the tongue quite dry for sure. Not an overly creamy porter or sweet porter at all, but more so thinner like an IPA.

Overall: (3.5)
- This is a very interesting porter. It is almost more like a CDA. Very bitter and hoppy.. but not on the aroma and finishing end. Light sweetness, but more like a dark lager. Overall it is very crisp and refreshing, and is the kind of beer that would snap you out of a non-drinking kind of mood.

3.75/5 rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale


Friday, December 23

Beer Review: Maritime Pacific Jolly Roger Yo-Ho-Ho Christmas Ale (2010)


Grabbed this bomber at By The Bottle.. seems to be an aged 2010 release. Only downside for me so far was some mold around the base of the cap. It did however crack with a hiss and it seems to smell ok.

http://maritimebrewery.ypguides.net/

Appearance: (3.5)
- Very lightly cloudy brown. Finger and a half of light tan head.. settled to some lace, and a very thin solid layer above the brew. Overall somewhat average.

Smell: (3.0)
- Light caramel, and bready malt. Somewhat sweet, and has a deep rich earthiness.. light spice. Overall light in scent, and seems silky sweet.

Taste: (3.5)
- Sweet caramel malt, light spice, and molasses.. brown sugar and grassy herbal hop. Hops are not big, though this seems to be an aged bottle. It is rather smooth, sweet, and overall decent.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- This beer kind of shines here.. it is medium bodied, lightly carbonated which seems perfect for its creamy smooth body. Little chewy and cloying. Overall an easy drinker.

Overall: (3.5)
- It's a solid beer, and I wonder what a fresh 2011 release would taste like. Perhaps more bitter and hoppy. But this cellared number seems nice and smooth.. and certainly has some nice character in its malt and spice.

3.45/5 rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale


Beer Review: Left Coast Brewing Hop Juice Double IPA


"At Left Coast Brewing Co. we pride ourselves on being one of the pioneers of Double IPA style craft beer. This hop monster uses Premium American 2– Row and a touch of light crystal malt to create a solid malt foundation. Five different Hop Varieties are used in the Hop Juice. It spends two weeks dry hopping in fermenter contributing to its great hop aroma. Starts out sweet and finishes with the crisp bitterness of a Double IPA. This drinkable blend will have you HOPPING till nights end."

http://leftcoastbrewing.com/

Appearance: (4.5)
- Nice lightly cloudy west coast orange and straw brew with a fluffy white head that quickly turns itself into a bubbly spotty mess above the brew and around the inside of the glass. Just the way a west coast IPA should look.

Smell: (3.5)
- Nice bready grainy caramel malt seems to be masking this beers true punch. Little earthy and herbal.. yet some nice grassy and pine-like hops show through. Smooth fruity hop notes as well mellow the smell out.

Taste: (3.5)
- Very rich grainy malt without being overly sweet. Grainy, husky, bitter grassy hops.. very bitter. Not a bad thing. Light bready caramel, and the hops tame any sweetness way down. Super bitter, and has a light citrus and floral finish. Solid and different.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Puckering dry. Yet keeps the mouth watering for more. Chewy as all get out, and is well carbonated and smooth to drink. Medium body with a character being a bit of a meal.

Overall: (3.5)
- Many more hops were used in the early boil in this beer than most other double IPA's I have ever had. The bitterness is intense and quite good. Lovely all grain husky barley bomb. This brewer kind of went big on both ends.. and it turned out to be a true natural double IPA. Worth the try for sure.

3.6/5 rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale


Thursday, December 22

Migration Brewing Co. New Years Eve Bash


"Migration will be celebrating our annual New Year's Eve party on Saturday, 12/31 starting at 7pm. We'll be having some of Portland's finest jazz musicians setting the back drop for what shall surely be a great party!

No cover, free champagne at midnight, tasty beers and good times!

migrationbrewing.com"

2828 NE Glisan Street
Portland, OR

Beer Review: 10 Barrel Brewing Precursor Imperial Red Ale


"Precursor is a harbinger of things to come. This Imperial Red is a multi-dimensional creation of malt, hops and barrel aging playing off each other. The finished complexity is enhanced by eight months of aging in bourbon barrels. Notes of grapefruit, bitter orange, dark caramel, and toasted bread purvey through this beer. Close your eyes, open your mouth, and let yourself wander.

10% ABV 85 IBU 750 ml bottle"


This is the Fall 2011 release, and is bottle #280 of 2600 bottles.

Appearance: (4.5)
- Huge light tan head.. many fingers over a very dark red/brown brew that is mostly clear. Slowly settled down to lace stuck all about the glass, and a thin 1/8" layer just resting. Very nice looking brew.

Smell: (3.5)
- Nice zesty citrus zing, light lemon, grapefruit.. all along a lightly toasty caramel malt, and subtle vanilla notes. Bit earthy and grassy as well. Some alcohol and liquor notes certainly present.

Taste: (4.0)
- Certainly a hoppy number. Lot's of zesty citrus and grassy hops here.. somewhat roasted caramel touch, and bready husky grain. Grain bill actually seems somewhat light, and is in great harmony with the barrel wood, and bourbon notes. Certainly a nice bourbon vanilla kick. Overall not bad, and is rather bitter. Little medicinal and sharp with alcohol.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- Lighter bodied than I had expected, though still a medium bodied brew. Certainly drying from the bittering hops.. slightly chewy, and puckering. Kind of zaps the tongue with a zesty, spicy, herbal flare.

Overall: (3.5)
- The beer is certainly good, but a bit messy as of yet. I am guessing this beer would really come together over time, and perhaps even develop some better body. The hops may calm down a bit, and the vanilla oak notes would really come forward while calming down the medicinal alcohol character. But a very good beer, and the price of roughly $13 for a 750ml bottle is quite nice.

3.78/5 rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)


Monday, December 19

Christmas Garage Sale At The Green Dragon

Big discounts on all Rogue Brewing and Green Dragon goodies! Get some gifts for your loved ones, and make sure they have something to do with good craft beer!


The Green Dragon
1001 SE 9TH Ave, Portland, OR 97214

Beer Review: Alaskan 2011 Pilot Series Barleywine


"Bottled Releases: December 2007, December 2008, January 2010 and January 2011;
Recommended for cellaring.

Aged in the cool tunnels of a historic gold mine in Juneau, this big beer provides beer fans with a unique connection to Alaska's frontier past."


Appearance: (4.0)
- Big fizzy light tan head slowly settles with lace all about the glass, and a spotty thin blanket left around. The brew is a clear dark cola brown, barely can see through it, but some light does show.

Smell: (4.0)
- Nice esters, fig, and prune notes. Molasses settles in well with a slightly sweet caramel malt. Light alcohol and an earthy woody character is present. Not overly hoppy, but some herbal grassy hops are in there.

Taste: (4.0)
- A very interesting barleywine. Many esters, some currant notes, fig, raisin, and some piney grassy hops all melded in. Somewhat sweet brew with a big molasses and honey-like touch to it. I am really liking the unique flavors here and it is far from a caramel malt bomb which often tires me in this style. Quite good, and light with the alcohol flavors, though at this point perhaps just a tad medicinal.

Mouth Feel: (4.5)
- Medium bodied, and not too thick. Certainly a little chewy and drying. Carbonated very well, and leaves a tasty film behind. Parches the mouth. Quite nice.

Overall: (4.0)
- This is a great barleywine, and is unique, and certainly a nice surprise from Alaskan. This barleywine is very complex, and seems to offer a lot of different ingredients and technique in the flavor. Well made, and a must try. Age a few!

4.05/5 rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)

Saturday, December 17

The Guild Public House Grand Re-Opening


Please check out one of the best online beer communities in and around Portland, OR and abroad. #PDXBeerGeeks are beer people like you and me. If you are even reading my blog, you must be a beer geek... or just really bored. Get involved, and experience the #PDXBeerGeek community. Why not start at the new Guild Public House?

Check out the write-up of this grand re-opening HERE, via the @PDXBeerGeeks Blog.

The Guild Public House
1101 E. Burnside
Portland, OR 97214

Beer Review: Boulevard Smokestack Series Saison - Brett


"Saison-Brett, based on our very popular Tank 7, is assertively dry hopped, then bottle conditioned with various yeasts, including Brettanomyces, a wild strain that imparts a distinctive earthy quality. Though this farmhouse ale was given three months of bottle age prior to release, further cellaring will continue to enhance the “Brett” character, if that's what you're after.

Color (EBC) 12
Bitterness (IBUs) 38
Original Gravity (Plato) 17
Terminal Gravity (Plato) 2.5
Alcohol (ABV) 8.5%
CO2 - Bottles 3.49 vol (6.9g/L)
CO2 - Kegs N/A"


Been wanting to try this brew since it is one of my favorite styles. Found this bottle at QFC for a hefty $15.99. No 02273 of 13400.

Appearance: (4.5)
- Beautiful beer. Cloudy straw yellow and glowing farmhouse orange hue. Huge multiple inches of frothy bubble head bursting above the rim of the glass rather quickly. Settles with large lace made of large bubble outlines, huge frothy ring and a light fluffy thin blanket.

Smell: (4.5)
- Lovely woody tart sour. Bready lightly sweetened grain. Very floral in quality as well. Zesty lemon peel, clove, spice, peppery yeast. Super refreshing and great sour aroma. Very good.

Taste: (4.0)
- Refreshing lemon zest, grassy herbal, and floral hops are really present as well.. all melded superbly with a lightly sweet bready grain. Lovely dry brett character, and a spicy lager-like hop flare. This is super good. Little spicy, clove, earthy woody hoppy goodness.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Bubbly well carbonated brew. Dry from the bitter hops and brett character. This beer was done very well. Light body, yet chewy, and crisp. Refreshingly light and thirst quenching.. yet dry that it makes one want to keep drinking it.

Overall: (4.5)
- Quality. This is a damn fine beer. Well made, and all the flavors are melded perfectly. I love this style of beer, and I feel this is very true to what it should be. Between something like this, and the winners from Block 15 Brewing and the like... I am in heaven. Wish the price wasn't so high, but that doesn't affect my judging.

84 / 4.22 rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)

Thursday, December 15

Beer Review: The Bruery/Elysian/Stone Collaboration - La Citrueille Celeste De Citracado


I am grateful that Elysian's Regional Sales Manager David Chappell handed me this bottle after mentioning that he left it at a table at Roscoe's in Portland. Stone Brewings Rep Erin brought the goodies. I also had this beer on tap there that evening. Solid, but didn't hit very high marks for me. Let's see what this bottle brings shall we?

"Bruery / Elysian / Stone La Citrueille Céleste de Citracado

-- Malt bill: Pale, Rye, Crystal, Chocolate Rye, English Brown, Aromatic, and Honey malt
-- Hops bill: Warrior, Motueka
-- Adjuncts: Pumpkins (grown at Stone Farms), yams, toasted fenugreek, lemon verbena, birch bark,
-- Stats: 5% abv, 47 IBUs

Brewers:
-- The Bruery – Patrick Rue (CEO/Founder), Tyler King (Head Brewer);
-- Elysian Brewing Company – Dick Cantwell (President/Head Brewer);
-- Stone Brewing Co. – Steve Wagner (President/Co-Founder), Mitch Steele (Brewmaster)

-- Availability: Limited, one-time brew. Single 12-oz. bottles and draft.
-- Distribution: AZ, CA, CO, FL, IL, MA, NC, NM, NY, OH, OR, PA, SC, TX, VA, VE, WA
-- Release date: October 17 in Southern California, rolling out other markets over the next several weeks."


La Citrueille Céleste de Citracado Collaboration Video: http://vimeo.com/30568618

Appearance: (3.5)
- Pours a nice rather clear dark brown. Off-white finger of foam quickly settled to a ring and thin scatter above the brew. Overall simple.

Smell: (3.5)
- Lovely citrus and zesty lemon flare hits me first. Subtle grain, light sweetness, and a great spicy aroma hits later. Slight molasses, woody notes, and candied yam. Not bad, and it is rather light.

Taste: (4.0)
- Balanced. The great thing about the flavors here, is that not one is overdone. Lovely pumpkin spice and yam action, along with a great citrus lemon zesty appeal. Subtle bready brown ale grain creates the backbone. Little herbal, grassy, and earthy from some hops and bark.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- Medium to light bodied, and pale-ale-like bubbly carbonation. Little touch drying from what must be primarily early boil hops. Overall simple much like the look.

Overall: (4.0)
- Solid drinker, and off the beaten path for sure. I like seeing these collaborations, and this is one from 3 of some of my most favored breweries that are not right here in my backyard. Love the ingredients, and I do think it's a good beer, and worth the purchase.

B+ / 3.83

(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)

Tuesday, December 13

Beer Review: Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale


From their press release:

"It is a sad day at Lagunitas when we have to tell you that our favorite seasonal — Brown Shugga — will take a year off and come back in full force in the fall of 2012 after the installation of our new brewhouse.

A brand new beer that’s sure to please is our “Lagunitas Sucks Holiday Ale”….. it’s our BrownShugga’ substitute.

This beer is a Dry-Hopped ‘Cereal Medley’ of Barley, Rye, Wheat, and Oats…. full of complexishness from the 4 grains, and weighing in at 7.6% abv, it is mondo-dry-hopped for that big aroma and resinous hop flavor.

This sad holiday season we didn’t have the brewing capacity to make our favorite seasonal brew, the widely feared BrownShugga’ Ale. You see, we had a couple of good years (thank you very much) and so heading into this season while we are awaiting a January delivery of a new brewhouse we are jammin’ along brewing 80 barrels of IPA and PILS and such every 3 hours. A couple of months back we realized that since we can only brew a mere 60 barrels of Shugga every 5 hours, that we were seriously screwed. For every case of Shugga’ brewed, we’d short 3 cases of our daily brews. The new brewhouse will help insure that this kind of failure never happens again. It’s a mess that we can not brew our BrownShugga’ this year and we suck for not doing it. There is nothing cool about screwing up this badly and we know it. Maybe we can sue our sorry selves. There is no joy in our hearts this holiday and the best we can hope for is a quick and merciful end. F*@& us. This totally blows. Whatever. We freaking munch moldy donkey butt and we just want it all to be over."


Appearance: (4.0)
- Nice golden yellow and slightly orange pour, yielded a couple fingers of foamy white head.. settled to a fluffy ring and some scattered traces. Rather clear brew.

Smell: (4.0)
- Massive citrus hops.. just massive. I don't think I have ever smelled such a hoppy beer. Lots of sweet grains going on here, some breadiness.. but overall just a sucker punch to the face of grapefruit, pine, lemon zest, and sticky dank hops.

Taste: (3.5)
- Sweet brew. Sugars, caramel grain, and tons of herbal grassy bitter hops with a smooth citrus zesty hoppy punch as well. The sugars, bitter hops, and aroma hops all play very well together to create this hop tea of a beer. I like the bitterness, but like with most Lagunitas beers for me.. a bit over the top sweet. Nice to grab though if craving a mega hop bomb.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- Slightly sticky, certainly chewy and resinous brew. Medium to light bodied, but just sweet and all the characters of sweet. Good bitter drying touch to it. Well carbonated.

Overall: (3.5)
- Hops. Hops. More hops. This is just a sweet hoppy monster of a beer. I wonder if they just took Hop Stoopid, and dry-hopped the living hell out of it some more. In fact, I think that is just what they did. Certainly seems like it was brewed with some candy sugars or something much the same. A solid hop monster, and more a novelty beer for me. Hard to drink more than 1.

B / 3.63

(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)

Monday, December 12

Beer Review: Silver City Brewing Imperial Stout


"An extremely black beer with massive roasted malt character balanced with assertive hopping from Northwest Chinook hops, fruity esters and a sinister alcohol content. Brewed in late fall/early winter and a is limited release. Alcohol By Volume: 9.2% Hops: Chinook Malts: NW Pale, British Pale, Roast, Black, Munich, Flaked Barley, Caramel, Brown Malt, Chocolate IBU’s: 60 2007 - North American Beer Awards Bronze Medal Winner 2005 - North American Beer Awards Silver Medal Winner 2004 - Great American Beer Festival Silver Medal Winner 2004 - North American Beer Awards Gold Medal Winner."

Appearance: (3.5)
- Super dark and somewhat clear brown brew. Very robust looking brown at the edges of the liquid. A heavy pour really didn't yield very much head, but a finger of light tan foam which quickly dissipated to a small ring, and some scattered traces in the middle.

Smell: (3.5)
- A rather sweet stout with quite the caramel scent really. Light roasted coffee flare, a bit of oatmeal chocolate, and quite the caramel flare. Little alcohol and grassy hop touch.

Taste: (4.0)
- Grainy, some oats and barley flare, perhaps a little roasted bready character.. overall some nice coffee flavors, and chocolate. Bitter coffee and grass hop flare. Little tart, perhaps a slight aceto edge to it, but overall it has a great balanced flavor and unique coffee-like touch to it.

Mouth Feel: (3.0)
- This is where I think this stout falls a bit short. It is a rather thin and watery stout. I expected a heavier body and a bit more foamy carbonation. It's well carbonated, but has the body of a bubbly pale ale.

Overall: (3.5)
- This stout has a great flavor, and shows promise. I just feel it can be refined a little more, and perhaps use a little more grain and build up some body. I wonder if some heavy adjunct usage occurred to boost the alcohol in this one. Just a little too home-brewy to me. Like the coffee/carmel flare though.

B / 3.68

(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)

Saturday, December 10

Elysian Brewing: It's Back. BÊTE BLANCHE Belgian-Style Tripel


"Elysian's deceptive and delicious spring seasonal returns to shelves on February 1, 2012.
If you've visited the Elysian pubs over the years, you may have tried "The Bitch". While we can't divulge the full story on the nickname of the beer, here are a few words about it from Head Brewer Dick Cantwell:

"Belgium is full of inspiration for a beer like Bête Blanche, from strong golden ales like Duvel to the many delicious tripels, both in and out of monasteries. Crisp, estery, refreshing and a little dangerous, Bête Blanche is the perfect spring seasonal. We've been brewing it almost since the beginning, back when the only reliably warm place for bottle conditioning was our second floor office, where a hundred or so cases sat--until bottles started exploding and we almost literally had to put together a bucket brigade to get it all downstairs and into the cold room. That really wasn't the kind of dangerous we had in mind! "

BÊTE BLANCHE Belgian-style Tripel is extremely drinkable, blonde and somewhat treacherous. Brewed entirely from Pale malt with Belgian candy sugar in the boil. Bittered with German Northern Brewer and finished with Styrian Goldings hops; fermented with Belgian Ale yeast. 7.4% ABV

AVAILABLE in 22oz bottles, 12oz-6 packs and Draft

More Info :: Contact sales@elysianbrewing.com

About Elysian Brewing Company
Elysian operates three neighborhood brewpubs and a production facility in Seattle. Known for variety, Elysian has brewed more than 200 different beers since opening in 1996.
www.elysianbrewing.com"

Friday, December 9

New Bridgeport Brewing Beervana Box w/ Latest Seasonal 'Dark Rain' Black Pale

"Some exciting news for fans of BridgePort Brewing has just come to light. The Portland brewery has just announced the release of a new seasonal brew, Dark Rain Black Pale Ale. This new Cascadian Dark Ale is a hoppy and roasty dark beer fitting for the colder, darker, wetter months. It will be featured in the first of their new Brewvana Brewer’s Box, a variety pack of BridgePort’s beloved offerings. Here’s the details:

BridgePort Brewing Company, Oregon’s oldest craft brewery, will release its newest winter seasonal ale, Dark Rain, on Jan. 1. A perfect beer for cold winter and spring nights, the smooth roasted flavors of Bridgeport’s Dark Rain create the toasty-warm feeling of home.

The new brew is a black ale that features a generous amount of Crystal and Dark Wheat malts, creating its dense color. While you may expect an assault on the senses, this refreshing beer has a mild bitterness that starts with roasted, hoppy aromatic notes and finishes with the dry hop characteristics of Oregon’s largest hop variety, Nugget Hops. Dark Rain will be available in six-packs and 12-packs across the United States.

“Dark Rain is that link between darker, maltier beers and the highly-hopped pale ales that our fans might be more accustomed to,” explains Bridgeport’s brewmaster, Jeff Edgerton. “While using the bold flavors that come from very dark roasted malts is not new to Bridgeport, this is the first time that we have layered these flavors with five distinct hop varieties – all from the state of Oregon.”

BridgePort’s Dark Rain Ale Stats:

IBU’s: 60.0 ABV: 5.6% Color: Black OG: 14.4

Ingredients: Dark crystal malt, Dark Wheat Malt, Nugget, Chinook, Crystal, Centennial, and Cascade hops.

Description: Black Wheat and Dark Crystal Malt add dense color and mild smooth flavors to this intensely hopped Black Ale. This ale has a very drinkable, mid-level alcohol and bitterness that starts with roasted and hoppy aromatic notes and finishes with the dry hop character of the Nugget hop varietal. A Chinook, Crystal, Centennial and Cascade blend is used in our hopjack to provide full flavored background hoppiness.

BridgePort Beervana Brewer's BoxFor the first time in its 27-year history, BridgePort Brewing Company will release a 12-bottle variety pack featuring four of its signature brews. The Beervana Brewer’s Box, will include BridgePort IPA, Hop Czar, Kingpin and a seasonal craft selection.

“This is the first time in our 27-year history that we’ve had a group of beers that are in such high demand that they warrant a variety pack,” commented Brewmaster Jeff Edgerton. “It wasn’t until the addition of Kingpin that we finally felt ready to launch the Brewer’s Box for long-time fans to have access to the four top beers as well as the chance for new customers to try BridgePort for the first time.”

The Beervana Brewer’s Box will be distributed nationally and will feature three bottles each of:

IPA: Our award-winning IPA is brewed with a blend of five hop varieties (Cascade, Golding, Ahtanum, Crystal and Chinook) and presents a floral, citrusy aroma and full hop flavor, while downplaying the bitterness. The beer pours smooth in the glass, emitting its signature golden glow.

Hop Czar: An Imperial India Pale Ale brewed with over two pounds of whole leaf hop cones in each barrel. The Emperor of IBU’s, Hop Czar is triple hopped with four varieties (Nugget, Chinook, Centennial and Cascade) to produce an aggressively bitter, yet drinkable flavor.

Kingpin: This triple-hopped red features rye and caramel malt yielding a deep red color. Kingpin uses a rarely-grown Willamette Valley Hop varietal known as Liberty Hops from fourth generation hop farmer John Annen of Annen Bros. Farm in Silverton, Oregon.

Winter Seasonal, Dark Rain: Black Wheat and Dark Crystal Malt add dense color and mild smooth flavors to this intensely hopped Black Ale. This ale has a very drinkable, mid-level alcohol and bitterness that starts with roasted and hoppy aromatic notes and finishes with the dry hop character of the Nugget hop varietal. A Chinook, Crystal, Centennial and Cascade blend is used in our hopjack to provide full flavored background hoppiness."


Full Sail Brewing Company Celebrates Its Employee Owners With Brewer’s Share Line-Up

"Hood River, Or – In 2008 Full Sail Brewing created their small batch Brewer’s Share series as an opportunity for each of their individual brewers to express their creations to be shared on tap exclusively in their pub. Since their crew came up with so many great beers, they decided to share a selection of them with beer lovers everywhere. The first beer in the series "Extra Special Barney" (ESB) developed by Brewing Supervisor, Barney Brennan will be released in 22oz. bottles and on draft in January.

“It’s rare to know who makes your beer. We’re proud to be the people behind so many award winning brews. As an independent and employee owned brewery, you know that we put our hearts and souls into every drop. With Brewer’s Share, we take it one step further and introduce our individual brewers by name and beer,” said Irene Firmat, Full Sail’s CEO and Founder.

According to Brennan, this beer is a departure from the big, hoppy, Northwest ales. This Extra Special Bitter, a traditional English style ale, is brewed with attention to balance, highlighting both malt and hops. Five different malt varieties give the beer its orange hue, and caramel complexities. A single hop was used, Challenger, including a pound per barrel dry hop. The pint first offers the interaction of the aromas of malt and hop, then the medium body and caramel flavors finish with a slight bitterness. Drinkable and quenching with an invitation to return for another taste. 6.5% ABV, 35 IBU

Brennan’s ESB was inspired by two things; a perfect beer moment and the aromatic highlight of the hop selection in Yakima, a US Challenger hop. As Barney puts it, “I was sitting on the deck at the brewery overlooking the river in the sunshine – drinking a perfectly balanced bitter – already looking forward to the second pint. It was one of those great beer moments. Hopefully, my ESB will make one of those moments for someone else with its five different specialty malts and this one very special hop. We made it entirely with US Challenger hops including a pound per barrel dry hop because we wanted to share the aromatic experience we had at the hop rub in Yakima with our customers.”

The inspiration for the name “Brewer’s Share” came from that mysterious portion that vanishes from a barrel during aging that brewers refer to as the “angel’s share,” and that led to “Brewer’s Share,” an equally mysterious offering that appears during inspiration. Brewer’s Share can also mean a unit of ownership, as in stock. Consider this program to be an Initial Public Offering (IPO). Whenever you purchase a Brewer’s Share you get a unit of ownership – one share of the batch. As a shareholder you have the right to consume the beverage. In doing so you will also be investing in the public good – as each brewer not only chooses the recipe, they choose a local charity or organization that will benefit from each bottle sold – Which can bring an excellent return on ingestion (ROI).

Full Sail’s Brewer’s Share small batch offerings will be available in 22oz. bottles and on draft. The other beers in the 2012 line-up include Phil’s Existential Alt, Chris’s Summer Delight Berliner Weiss and Big Daddy J’s Malt Liquor. Full Sail will release one Brewer’s Share at a time and a new beer will be released for each season.

With each Brewer’s Share series beer, Full Sail picks a local charity or organization to receive a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the beer. Barney has chosen to support Columbia Gorge Arts in Education so every barrel of Extra Special Barney benefits this organization. The Columbia Gorge Arts in Education provides visual, literary, and performing arts to local K-12 students. Through artist residencies in schools, workshops, after school programs, community art projects and installations, programs for at-risk youth, and cultural performances, Columbia Gorge Arts in Education served 6,000 kids last year in the Mid-Columbia region. For more information please visit www.cgaie.org."


Elysian & Fantagraphics Announce: The 12 Beers Of The Apocalypse

This is great news, and very nice to see so soon after a big expansion. These beers look very unique, and really seem to push the boundaries. Can't wait to try them.

"In a year-long run-up to the end of all time (according to the Mayan calendar), Elysian Brewing Company and Fantagraphics Books, both of Seattle, are planning a series of twelve beers, issued on the 21st of each month in 2012 and featuring the label artwork of Charles Burns. Taken from Burns's weirdly apocalyptic work "Black Hole," the labels will adorn Elysian's "Twelve Beers of the Apocalypse," featuring the creativity and unusual ingredients for which its brewing team is known. What twelve beers would you brew (and drink) if you knew they would be your last?"

"First up in January is NIBIRU, named for the mysterious planet X supposedly on a collision course toward Earth. The Elysian / Fantagraphics Nibiru will be a Belgian-style Tripel flavored with an infusion of yerba maté. Combining the tasty esters of Belgian yeast and the compelling tea-like flavors of the South American herb mixture, the beer will weigh in at around 7.6% alcohol by volume. A mixture of German Northern Brewer, Czech Saaz and American Amarillo hops round out the uniqueness of this first beer of the Apocalypse. Oddly enough there's another apocalyptic-themed Nibiru out there: a super volcano currently burbling most dangerously beneath Yellowstone National Park. It too is scheduled to end life as we know it very very soon."

"February 21 will usher in RAPTURE, an ale of opulent proportions flavored with heather tips. Unlike the various Rapture events predicted by pseudoscientists and alarmist evangelicals, the beer will be very real and frankly delicious, combining the floral fragrance and slight bite of high country heather with Northwest Glacier hops in another 7% abv beer. FALLOUT follows in March, right around the time of the vernal equinox. Fallout will be a pale ale made with green cardamom."

"As Earth's last year unfolds, other beers will appear as if by dangerous magic. Persimmons, chilies, raisins, blood oranges, rosemary and other herbs will be integrated into ales, lagers and Belgian styles using the finest local and imported ingredients. These limited brews will be available in bottles and draft and at select bars and bottle shops.
We will celebrate as they are released - on the 21st of every month in 2012 - with events at one or the other of Elysian's three Seattle pubs and at Fantagraphics headquarters in the Georgetown neighborhood. Once they're gone, these beers will never be brewed again. Then again, come December 21, that will be the least of our worries."

Wednesday, December 7

Collaboration A Trois With Stone, Elysian And The Bruery At Roscoe's


"The "Collaboration a Trois" will bring you the very limited release collaboration between Stone, Elysian, and the Bruery. La Citrueille Celeste de Citracado is an ale brewed with yams, pumpkin, toasted fenugreek, lemon verbena, and birch bark.

In addition to the amazing collaboration beer we will also feature 8 amazing and limited releases from the three breweries. From Stone we will feature Vertical Epic 11.11.11, Cali-Belgique IPA, and Ruination. From Elysian we will feature the only keg of Motueka Belgian Pale to make it to Oregon, and Cyclops Barleywine. From The Bruery we will feature Rugbrod and Trade Winds Tripel.

We hope to see you there!"


Friday, December 9 · 5:00pm - 8:00pm

Roscoe's
8105 SE Stark St, Portland, OR

Sunday, December 4

Beer Review: Firestone Walker XV (15th Anniversary Ale)


Grabbed 2 bottles at NW Liquid Gold here in Vancouver for about $21 each. From what I can tell, that is a pretty good buy since some are charging more. I always buy two of this so I can have only one to age and try. So far all I have is a 14, and now 15.

I cracked the bottle open, and didn't hear a thing. No hiss, pop, nothing. Kind of scared me a little, but it turned out great and well carbonated. Perhaps it was because I just pulled it from a cold fridge.

Appearance: (4.0)
- Nice rich dark and mostly clear brown. Big slowly forming off-white to beige colored head. Bubbly like a barrel aged brew should look. Settles with lace all about and a thin pillow riding on top. Nice looking!

Smell: (4.5)
- Great sweet malts and holiday dessert notes. Brown sugar, molasses, vanilla from the barrels.. earthy sweet caramel.. light grassy and herbal hop spice.. little roasty tobacco, and light alcohol. Almost a touch of licorice going on. Very good.

Taste: (4.0)
- Oh my. Where to start? Rich caramel and grainy molasses sweetness. Vanilla and oak character really shines through, and blends perfectly with the bready grain, and esters from the grain. Some fig, raisin, tobacco, earthy grassy hops with a slight citrus and spicy zest. Little alcohol, but very well hidden. Really good bourbon notes. May be a bit much on the bourbon side for some, guessing this will age perfectly.

Mouth Feel: (4.5)
- Super nice medium to heavy body with the perfect carbonation. Though a very sweet beer, it isn't too overly syrupy or sticky. Quite chewy and cloying really, and dries the mouth just a touch. This is a smooth winner.

Overall: (4.0)
- A very well made and carefully blended beer. I love barleywines, and I love bourbon barrel barleywines. This turned out very good and is very well balanced. A lot of good beers went into this, and simply created a fantastic beer. Worth picking up a few.

A- / 4.15

(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)

Friday, December 2

Beer Review: Ninkasi Imperiale High Gravity Stout

What was a bomber in the winter 4-pack, now a single individual sold stout about the NW.


I saw this sitting in the shelf at NW Liquid Gold here in Vancouver, WA and was curious. I have never had this Ninkasi brew. Sitting under $7 a bomber.. had to try it.

Appearance: (4.0)
- Jet brown brew.. maybe even some black! Minimal tan to light tan head which really didn't froth up in a hurry. Leaves a pancake of foam in the middle above the brew with some lacing about.

Smell: (3.5)
- Little hidden beneath a safe malt bill... bready, grainy, lightly sweet.. chocolate, light sweet malts.. not much of a dry or hoppy nose. Meh..

Taste: (3.5)
- Nice chocolate bready grain.. melded very well. Sweet, lots of grain, and sweet chocolate malts. This is an American sweet stout for sure. Perhaps a little grassy touch of a barely used hop, but this is certainly a malt forward sweety.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- Credit here where credit is deserved. It has a nice viscous medium to heavy body as a so-called Imperial Stout should. It's a little sticky, but more cloying and syrupy. It could use some more early boil Irish flare. But then it wouldn't be an American Sweet Stout...

Overall: (3.5)
- I guess it is about par with what I would expect from a brewery that took off like a Russian rocket on American fuel. It's a solid sweet stout, but nothing to write home about. Though if it were to be on tap somewhere next to a few other better known stouts.. I may still pick this one because it is easy to drink, and makes a nice desert if a brownie is absent.

B / 3.53

(BeerAdvocate.com Rating Scale)