Tag Archives: tasting

Texas Big Beer Brewery – Texas Crude

Stopped at a different liquor store than I usually go to, looking for a sixer or a bomber of something interesting or new.  Turns out this place had beer from a company that I haven’t heard of before, Texas Big Beer Company.  I must say that on the main page of their website, I see this, and I quote:

We are passionate about our beer. All of our beers are Big in Flavor and Style. We love High Alcohol beers, but love Flavor and Style more. We, just brew beer we love and share it.

Our Big Texas Blonde is our “Light Beer” (with tongue in cheek) The law states a light beer is light in color, so our light beer is 10.55% ABV (ROTFLMAO)

I gotta say that I like them already!

The guy behind the counter said that their store just got in four different beers from this brewery, and that they had done a tasting with all of them.  He said he liked them all, even the blonde, which is a style that he normally doesn’t care for.  I saw the blonde, the porter, the working man’s stiff ale, which is an ESB, and renaissance ale, which is a Scotch ale.  At first I had selected the Scotch ale, but that was because I couldn’t quite read the label in that lighting (I’m slowly losing my ability to read things up close, a typical effect of aging, LOL).  I decided against the scotch ale because I’m not a real big fan of scotch ales.  Had I realized that there was an ESB, I would have chosen that one for sure.  I’ll have to go back for it tomorrow.  So anyway, I picked up a bomber of the porter, which I will review shortly.

Price wise, I was more than willing to give this new brewery a shot.  They were all either $4.99 or $6.79 (or something close to that).  When you’re in the mood for a bomber of something new, these are very reasonable prices.  I’m far less likely to try a $10 or $12 bomber than I am a five or seven dollar one!  Now of course style plays a role (big stouts and IIPAs are often more expensive), but still, the price was right, so sold!

Numbers wise, the specs for this beer are as follows:

ABV: 7.00%
OG: 1.072
FG: 1.017
IBU: 59
SRM: 31.71°±

So let’s have a taste!

Appearance was something a bit more like an imperial stout than a porter, although I’m not sure how much that is really going to matter here. The color is jet black without room between any two molecules of inky blackness for light to pass through. The head was about a half a finger and was lightly brown, but didn’t last too long. There was ample lacing in thin sheets as the head went down.

The aroma was initially roasty, with a little burnt malt as an accent, and some subtle dark fruit notes. There was also some sweetness, brown sugar and molasses come to mind.

I think the taste was considerably more bold than the aroma. There’s a real nice dark malt and roasty malt component that’s up front, with side notes of coffee, chocolate, and just a tinge of burnt malt character. Sweetness is also a major component of the flavor, with a real nice brown sugar component, with a touch of blackstrap molasses as an accent. My take is that the chocolate component is more of a milk chocolate one than a dark chocolate one, and I don’t taste much of the semi-sweet baker’s chocolate flavors that I sometimes get from stouts or robust porters.

I rather like the mouthfeel. It’s not real heavy or thick, but isn’t overly watery or too thin either. The medium mouthfeel is well suited for this beer’s flavor and alcohol profile. And by the way, I really can’t taste or smell any alcohol in this beer.

My overall impression is that this is a fine porter, and having tried it, I want to try more beers from this brewery.

The bottom line is that a local brewery has produced a fine and tasty beer which is available for sale in my local area stores (at a reasonable price too!). Anytime someone can buy local beers from local breweries, it’s a good day for us all. Support local breweries and businesses. For me that means picking up another variety of Big Texas Beers next time I’m near the liquor store.  I think I’ll pick up the blonde and the working man’s stiff ESB.  I might still try the scotch ale (if I can get into the mood for a scotch ale, lol, it’s just not a style that I’m real crazy about).

Cheers to Big Texas Beers, I hope your brewery is a big success!  And Keep ’em coming, I’m always looking for new beers and new breweries!

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Boulevard! Harvest Dance Wheatwine

Boulevard Brewing, from Kansas City, is some awesome stuff!  Today I’m having one of their smokestack series, Harvest Dance Wheatwine.  I love this stuff!  Wheatwine isn’t a very common style, and I think I’ve only actually ever had a few examples of the style.  But the ones I’ve had are delicious!  Especially this one!

http://www.boulevard.com/BoulevardBeers/harvest-dance-wheat-wine/

A very delicious beer indeed.

Wheatwine pours a beautiful orange-ish tan color, just a little hazy, with a wonderful white head that lasts forever and leaves great lacing.

Fruity and spicy on the nose and taste, with great citrus and floral components as well.  Hops aren’t real forward, nor should they be for this style, but they’re pleasantly accenting of the taste and aroma.  Honestly, the commercial description pretty much describes the beer perfectly:

John Barleycorn is memorialized in English folk tradition as the personification of the barley plant, sacrificed at harvest time and then reborn as beer or ale. Our Harvest Dance Wheat Wine is a celebration of John’s Midwestern cousin, wheat. 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-like notes, and rounding slowly to a long, dry, oaky finish.

I am not one to take anyone at their word on what I should think of a beer without trying it myself, but this description is pretty accurate (and I’ve had this beer multiple times).  Boulevard isn’t blowing their own horn on this one, this beer actually is really good!

Citra hops, eh?  I just brewed with them for the first time today.  Haven’t tasted the results yet.  My next blog will chronicle the event (it was an odd brew day, fittingly for citra, which has so much myth and hype around it, lol).

Why not toss in a nice bit of music to listen to whilst enjoying this delicious beer?

If you like wheatwine, or if you’re just a fan of great beer, you should try this beer!

Pike Brewing XXXXX Stout

All those x’s should give me some really oddball hits on this blog, LOL!

But we’re talking about Pike Brewery’s XXXXX Extra stout, a very delicious beer that’s in my glass right now!  Sorry to disappoint if your search engine was searching for something else!

This is about the third or fourth of Pike’s brews that I’ve tried.  I keep trying them because they are good beers.  I really like this one, it’s (perhaps) the best of the Pike beers I’ve tried so far.  Albeit that’s not a lot of beers, but I just discovered them, and plan to try more of their beers soon!

Pike XXXXX Extra Stout

Black as night with a good tannish-brown head and good lacing.

Aroma is roasty and a little burnt with nice coffee and chocolate notes.

Flavor follows through with the nose, maybe with a touche of anise (but it’s subtle).  The chocolate and coffee are a bit more pronounced, leaving a slightly cappuccino effect for the imbiber.

Body is full, thick, rich, and leaves a wonderful slightly roasted, slightly burnt aftertaste that I really enjoy in a stout.

Definitely recommended.  I’ll for sure buy this one again.  It wasn’t even very expensive, so it’s a great value (I can’t remember the exact price, but it was very reasonable).  A very nice stout you should definitely try if you’re a stout lover.

Pike XXXXX Extra Stout

Ranger Creek Mesquite Smoked Porter

A truly Texas beer, Ranger Creek MSP is a tasty one that’s in m glass right now!!

Black as night with a monster head that would hardly go away enough to pour the rest of the bottle.

Very smoky, dominated by smoke at every step.  Tastes like a Texas BBQ.  Quite a nice roasty/burnt component, more like a stout than a porter if you ask me.  Some other more subtle flavors and aromas, like coffee, chocolate, and very dark fruits (figs, dates, raisins).

Body is thick and very full, with a pretty heavily smoky aftertaste.

This one is truly the taste of Texas.  Quite enjoyable, especially recommended for fans of smoky beers.

Rogue Dead Guy Ale

Having a bomber of Dead Guy Ale from Rogue Ales.

This is a maibock/helles bock, not a style that I typically drink a lot of.  Part of that might be because there just aren’t that many examples of this style out there.  However, from reading my blog you can see more IPAs, stouts, and pale ales.  This isn’t my favorite style, but I mean to give Dead Guy its due.

Pours a really nice coppery color, mostly clear, with a very good two finger head that lasted and left pretty good lacing.

Aroma is pleasant and pretty heavy on the malt side, as expected.  There’s a good bready malt character, plenty of caramel malt, and some fruitiness.  However, there’s also a good hops presence.

The aroma carries over into the flavor, but with enhanced qualities.  I really like the way the hops are forward in this one, something that’s not typical in any way of a maibock.  The caramel malt, fruitiness, and bready characters form a solid and delicious base, from which the hoppiness just adds character.  With perle and saaz hops, they must have used a lot of hops!  Very nice!

The body is medium and a bit warming, with a lingering spicy hop aftertaste.

There’s nothing typical of this beer.  It’s pretty darn good stuff if you like the helles bock style.  And the bombers are great for re-use in homebrewing! Definitely give it a try.

Great Divide OAK AGED Yeti!

Well I’ve already reviewed regular Yeti Imperial Stout, and now I’ve got a nice fat bomber of OAK AGED Yeti.

Rating 100/99 on ratebeer and 95 on beer advocate, this is certainly a top-dog Russian Imperial Stout.

The appearance is great, used diesel motor oil black with a massive brown, lasting head and monster lacing.

The aroma is very nice.  There’s a plentiful supply of roasted, toasted, and burnt malt flavors.  Notes of coffee, chocolate and tobacco accent the nose.  There’s a touch of woodiness from the oak too.

Taste wise this one is tremendous, and mostly follows the nose.  The roasted and burnt grain flavors are up front, followed by a nice coffee/chocolate flavor.  I still detect a little tobacco like flavor in there too, like a fine cigar.  The oak aging is more apparent in the flavor and accents the rest of this delicious beer wonderfully.

The body is tremendous!  Super thick and incredibly rich and full bodied, with pretty well hidden alcohol.

What a great beer!   I highly recommend this to anyone who loves Russian Imperial Stouts or oak aged beers.

Cheers to Great Divide!

I have never been so excited over Malt Liquor!

WOW!!

Full Sail Brewer’s Share Initial Pub Offering Malt Liquor

I am friggin’ amazed!   Brewed with Hallertau hops?

I picked this up from Gabriel’s in San Antonio.  I mostly have always drank malt liquor when I’ve been either po, or just in a cheep beer mood.  Ever since Dogfish Head came out with the non-gettable Malt Liquor of their own, I’ve been wanting to try some craft malt liquor (no, it’s not an oxymoron).  Today I got my chance, and WOW!

Let me just say that I am impressed.  This beer is delicious!

Very happy to have just purchased this beer from Gabriel’s in San Antonio!  I can already tell you that I am going to get more of this one just in case they run out!

22 oz bomber.

Pours a nice clear tan color with slight orange notes.  Head and lacing weren’t bad at all.

Aroma is already FAR beyond any malt liquor you’ve ever tried.  It’s incredibly complex, assuming from the (probably generous amounts of) Hallertau hops.  It’s not overpowering like an IPA, rather more delicate and subtle, but wonderful!  I get tons of herbal and grassy notes, a delicate peppery smell, and some fruitiness.  It would be impossible to categorize this as a malt liquor if this were blind and you were just going by aroma (and maybe taste, see next paragraph).

Flavor… again, WOW!  Very nice!  The peppery spiciness is more apparent now, as is the fruitiness.  Although it’s got some malt-liquor like properties (a little sweet corn, grainy notes, some light alcohol), it’s more between a strong dry pale ale and a very strong, hoppy lager.

Body is dry and light, alcohol apparent on the backside, and overall just plain delicious.  And the spirit of the American Malt Liquor is not lost either!  All it needs is a brown bag (aka poor man’s koozie).

It has the other property of malt liquors… I’m only on my second beer of the day and I’m already a bit buzzed!

Just amazing, great flavor, great aroma, great body, great job Full Sail!

This is malt liquor! Best Evah!

Ten Fidy

Ahhh, Ten Fidy.  Oskar Blues makes some really good beers, and this one is one of their most interesting!  It’s the very first beer I traded for, although to be honest I didn’t quite realize how potent it was when I traded for a four pack of it!

Rated 100/98 on ratebeer, and 95 on beeradvocate, this is one whopper of an imperial stout!

Black as used diesel motor oil from an old caterpillar on the farm, with a great, lasting brown head and tremendous lacing.

Although it’s a bit subdued for an imperial stout, the aroma smells of sweet roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, molasses and caramel. The rising smell of alcohol seems to accent the complex aromas nicely.

Taste wise the complexity only increases.  Bitter roasted malts, molasses, honey, coffee, chocolate, a touch of dark fruits (raisins?), and notable alcohol taste are rounded out by a slightly acrid bitterness from the ample hops.

The body is thick and rich, gaining complexity as it warms.  Carbonation is smooth and silky.  A lovely burnt, roasty, bitter malt character finishes it off and leaves a nice stouty aftertaste.

Absolutely amazing beer, and even more amazing that such a beer can be found in cans.  I’m all for canning beer, BTW, and Oskar Blues does a great job with all their brews.

Hats off to Oskar Blues Ten Fidy!

Double Bastard!

Ah the joys of Stone Brewing.  I’ve had this bottle of Double Bastard for over a year, and I said “screw it, I’m drinking it.”

Rating a 99 on ratebeer and a 95 on beer advocate in the American strong ale category, this is one of my favorite examples of the style.

What stands out about this beer, along with Stone’s regular pale ale and Arrogant Bastard ale, is that there’s a pronounced hoppiness and a pronounced maltiness that don’t cancel each other out.  In reading The Craft of Stone Brewing, I discovered that Arrogant Bastard was derived from a test batch of Stone pale ale that went wrong (they put too many of the same ingredients in for the batch size).  What came out was so good, despite being a big mistake from what they intended to make, that they made a whole new brew out of it.  Obviously, their creation was a huge success, because arrogant bastard is one of the best beers on the planet, and has been a big commercial hit for the brewery too.  I can only assume that they continued this evolution to create double bastard.  You can see, taste and smell all the same great ingredients in all three beers.

It pours a somewhat cloudy, reddish-brown color with a 1/2 finger head that dissipates into a sheen and leaves thin sheets of lacing that cover the glass.

Aroma is heavily malty, with sweet citrus and lots of hops.  You can detect a bit of alcohol already, although at 11.2%, this is to be expected.

Flavor is a BOMB of a monster of a beer!  American strong ale is right, and this may be the quintessential example of the style (which, BTW, has been hit or miss for me).  The flavors are so strong that they seem to permeate your tongue.  So much maltiness that you’ll think you died and went to malt heaven.  It’s a bit barleywine-esque in that sense, in fact there is probably a lot of overlap between this beer and a good barleywine.  Hops wise you’re once again about to cry uncle, unless you’re a hop-head (like me), in which case you’re just marveling at the saturation of intense flavors that they manage to cram into a single brew.   Piney citrus from the hops is notable.  It’s also quite fruity, with light and mixed mid/dark fruit flavors coming through.  Really your taste buds can’t decide which way to go, but they keep coming back for more.

Feel wise it’s thick, rich, somewhat slick, and downright delicious, with a lingering malty and bitter hop aftertaste.

Overall, you just need one word.  Stone.

A direct quote from the Stone Brewery, and the full text of what’s on the back of the bottle:

This is one lacerative muther of an ale. It is unequivocally certain that your feeble palate is grossly inadequate and thus undeserving of this liquid glory…and those around you would have little desire to listen to your resultant whimpering. Instead, you slackjawed gaping gobemouche, slink away to that pedestrian product that lures agog the great unwashed with the shiny happy imagery of its silly broadcast propaganda. You know, the one that offers no challenge, yet works very, very hard to imbue the foolhardy with the absurd notion that they are exercising ‘independent’ thought, or attempts to convey the perception it is in some way ‘authentic’ or ‘original.’ It’s that one that makes you feel safe and delectates you into basking in the warm, fuzzy, and befuddled glow of your own nescience. Why so many allow themselves to be led by the nose lacks plausible explanation. Perhaps you have been so lulled by the siren song of ignorance that you don’t even notice your white-knuckle grip on it. You feel bold and unique, but alas are nothing but sheep, willingly being herded to and fro. If you think you are being piqued in this text, it is nothing when compared to the insults we are all asked to swallow streaming forth from our televisions and computers. Truth be told, you are being coddled into believing you are special or unique by ethically challenged “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” marketers who layer (upon layer) imagined attributes specifically engineered to lead you by the nose. Should you decide to abdicate your ability to make decisions for yourself, then you are perhaps deserving of the pabulum they serve. Double Bastard Ale calls out the garrulous caitiffs who perpetrate the aforementioned atrocities and demands retribution for their outrageously conniving, intentionally misleading, blatantly masturbatory and fallacious ad campaigns. We demand the unmitigated, transparent truth. We demand forthright honesty. We want justice! Call ‘em out and line ‘em up against the wall… NOW.

BILF!!! Bacon is life Federation, Wrath of Bak’han!! REPORT

Wow, what a spread!!  Great food, Great beer, Great people!!!  BILF II was a huge success!!  Here’s the report…
Bak’han!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111!!!one!!!!1!!!

Pictures here.

Can’t guarantee the spellin’ of every one of these, BTW. It’s a product of a multi-user effort between me and @meggitymak, and alcohol WAS involved!

Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Quad

Maredsous dubbel

bruery collaboration (forgot which one, lol)

the brewery faster bigger better bolder

Rogue voodoo donut bacon maple (HAD to have bacon beer!!)

Schlafly reserve barrel aged imperial stout 06

woodcut dark aged crimson

founders backward bastard

sam adams infinium

Schlafly raspberry coffee vertical ’10+’11

new belgium snow day

woodcut oak aged

mckeller beer hop breakfast

big john

Stone Epic Vertical 11.11.11

woodcut oak aged lager

half acre

Three Floyds behemoth

black xantus

Schlafly southern hemisphere IPA growler

Stone cheery choco stout

Great Divide espresso oak aged yeti

dreadnaught

brooklyn black chocolate stout

old chub

new glarius black top

santa’s litter helper

knight train

goose island 09 xmas

new holland night tripper

marshall zhukovs imp. stout

Dogfish Head porta marillo

oskar blues g’night

great lakes xmas ale

new glarius dancing man wheat

firestone 14

breakfast stout clone homebrew x3

avery rumkin

horny devil

velvet merlin (firestone)

he’brew 1515

dew clavy hero

new glarus smoked rye

hoppin frog double imp. stout

he’brew jewbilation

life and limb

hoppin frog boris stout

mikkeller 1000 IBU

mikkeller beer geek brunch

lips of faith prickly passion saison

Three Floyds gumball head

Goose Island bourbon county brand stout

firestone parabala

peace offering

coney island sword swallower

The food was great.  Everything from bacon-chocolate cupcakes to bacon pizza, bacon dip, bacon wrapped barbeque water chestnuts, and bacon chocolate bars!!

The people are great too.  Thanks to DicemanSTL for hosting.

Saint Louis, this is one of the gems of the craft beer world in your city.   I intend to attend every one I can, and enjoy the great bacon and beer delights as much as possible!!

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