Monday, October 3, 2011

Highland Oatmeal Porter

Beer: Highland Oatmeal Porter
Aroma: Not a ton of aroma, especially when cold. When it warms up I get just a little bit of roast and that’s it.

Taste: Got more going on in the taste department than in aroma. Some nice roast flavor, but it isn’t biting or strong. The taste is really smooth and easy to drink, with some crystal malts coming through. The crystal malt is of the darker variety and it tastes like a burnt caramel.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and very oatmeal-ey.

Worth a try?: I love this beer. Its so easy to drink and I could see “accidentally” putting back 4 or 5 of these. On another note, I bought an 18-pack sampler from highland brewing and this is the only beer I’m reviewing. I absolutely love this brewery and everything they make, I just didn’t feel like typing up a bunch of reviews… bottom line, buy highland when they are available.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Uinta Labyrinth Black Ale

Beer: Uinta Labyrinth Black Ale
Aroma: Chocolate, sweet sweet chocolate. I’ve had some stouts on the lower end of the gravity spectrum lately and haven’t had a huge ass stout in a while. The chocolate malt flavor comes out and disguises the roast considerably.  I used to think of myself as a roast guy, but this chocolate aroma is much more appetizing. Vanilla comes forward a lot and you can definitely smell the oak in there as well. The alcohol smell kind of burns your nostrils, but I don’t find it off-putting at all.

Taste: Some roast, some licorice, some fruity esters, and a huge helping of molasses. Remnds me of Old Rasputin Imperial Stout a little bit, just with a sweeter taste. It really has a ton of sweetness to it, and I’m kind of regretting opening this 750 mL bottle, since I’ll be finishing it by myself.

Mouthfeel: Really viscous, like drinking syrup.

Worth a try?: It took me nearly two hours to drink the entire bottle, but it is done. Would I buy it again? Absolutely. It was a great beer and it had the type of flavors I prefer in a stout. It was really heavy and boozy, but a great beer to share with a friend.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Stillwater Artisanal Ales existent

Beer: Stillwater Artisanal Ales existent
Aroma: Getting some roast and dark coffee. Kind of strange how it pairs with the really mild estery saison aroma. There is also a really strange aroma in the background… coca-cola smell maybe? Some sort of weird sweetness.

Taste: I have a lot to talk about. I am not sure I can pinpoint it all, since theres a bunch going on. First off, I get some sort of grapefruit/orange flavor that isn’t hops but more of a sweet tangy citrus. Then comes a chocolate and toffee flavor. The aroma was pretty strong toward roast, but the flavor is more chocolate, coffee, and toffee. I am really searching this thing looking for the saison and I’ve come across a small amount of hops, kind of piney and hidden beneath the coffee bitterness. After swishing it around in my mouth for way too long I finally got some damn saison esters. I wish you could taste as many esters as you smell, which still isn’t many. Another thing about the beer is it kind of has some hot alcohol flavors. The aftertaste of this beer had a little twang to it at first, but that seems to have mellowed as the beer warms and I drink more of it.

Mouthfeel: A full-bodied beer. Nothing like an oatmeal stout, but for a farmhouse ale it definitely has some gravity on it.

Worth a try?: I am enjoying this for sure. My first thought when I took a sip was how complex it was, but its pretty strange. I do like strange though. My pint and 9 oz. bottle was perfect for me, but anymore would be way too much. I did notice that the alcohol content was not hidden at all by the dark malts in the beer. Last night I had a biere de garde that was 7.2% and I tasted every bit of its alcohol content too. I wonder if biere de garde and saison style brews just don’t lend themselves to high alcohol content? In any case, It was a good beer and I’m glad I bought it and have tried it, but I don’t know that I would buy it again.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Lakefront Brewery Rendezvous Biere de Garde

Beer: Lakefront Brewery Rendezvous Biere de Garde
Aroma: Lots of light fruity esters. I think I’m getting some malt aroma coming from it, but its taking a backseat to the ester that I love so much. There is a candied fruit smell that mixes well with some light citrus notes.

Taste: A really deep malty flavor comes out. The first thing I get is caramel sweetness. Then comes a tart, cidery, boozy, flavor that is sharp and hot. The beer’s ABV  really seems higher than 7.2%, but I love the flavor. The malty and “cider”ey flavor pair really well together and with the ester flavors coming out, it’s a good beer.

Mouthfeel: Has some really good body, but easy to drink.

Worth a try?: It’s a really good beer. The only real problem it has is it’s a little on the hot side for a 7.2% beer. Other than that though, its everything you would expect from a good Biere de Garde.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Stone Sublimely Self-RIghteous Ale

Beer: Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale
Aroma: The aroma I like better than the other Black IPAs Ive had. Shit ton on flowery and piney notes. Not quite as strong as ruination, but neither was Hiroshima. I guess I like this aroma better than other black IPAs because you can’t smell the carafe III or whatever shit they try to sneak in to make it look like a pile of black tarry stools.

Taste: There it is. I get a chalky bittersweet chocolate flavor up front. It isn’t complex, fruity, or even caramel, just bittersweet. After that you get the inevitable hops. They last for a brief second, and in that second I wish I was drinking some huge Double IPA without the 12,000 friggin levibond malt they put in here. Then on the back… I somehow get even more bittersweet chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Like all the other black IPAs its smooth, easy to drink, but not super dry.

Worth a try?: I keep buying these damn black IPAs. Cascadian Dark Ale is a bona-fide style sanctified by the almighty BJCP. They saw it in their wisdom to make this beer a style even though I think the roasted flavors clash with the hops. However, everybody else seems to like this fucking style. Its like a big ass party I wasn’t invited to. If you’re gonna try a black IPA it should be this one. If for no other reason… I just realized it is 8.7% ABV.

Lentils: Sweet and Sour Lentil "Meat"balls.

Sweet and Sour Sauce:
1 (20-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup barbecue sauce
1 Packet zesty steak marinade
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 orange, zested and juiced
3 tbs vinegar
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 Cup French Lentils
½ Cup brown rice
1 onion, minced
1 cup breadcrumbs)
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 large egg, beaten
1 tbs parsley
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 F
Combine all of the ingredients to the sauce in a medium saucepan and simmer while preparing the meatballs.
For the meatballs: Combine all ingredients together in a mixing bowl and mix well. Then shape the mixture into golf-ball sized meatballs and place in a single layer casserole dish. Poor the sweet and sour sauce over the meatballs, cover with foil, bake for 35 minutes, and then remove the foil and bake for 10 more minutes.

Any good?
Yea, I’d make them again. They were an adaptation(what I had lying around) of “Down Home with the Neelys” Sweet and Sour Meatballs. When I make these again I will follow the recipe exactly with the exception of the turkey(and use the 1 cup lentils, ½ cup brown rice mixture instead). Link here: