Archive for October, 2014

Brew With a Twist

Twisted Manzanita Pale AleWell, not really, but it sounded kind of snazzy. This is a new one for me, as I hadn’t really seen them in stores before. This brew is from Twisted Manzanita Ales, a brewery located in “beautiful” Santee, CA, in eastern San Diego county. These guys do can their beer, but I still prefer bottles, despite the purported advantages of canning. I’m always up for trying something new, so let’s get to it.

The Prospect Pale Ale poured a rich golden color with quite heavy carbonation and very thin head that didn’t really stick around long. It is billed as being “citrusy,” though I found it had strictly floral aromas and literally nothing else. The taste was definitely floral up front, with the bubbles adding a refreshing quality to the whole experience. A bit surprising was the somewhat thick mouthfeel for such a “sessionable” beer. It finished very clean with the ever-present floral notes. There was a somewhat unpleasant stickiness after the swallow, followed by a IMG_2123mysterious sourness.

Some of the characteristics were a bit odd. Overall, I would rate this beer:

3

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Belated Oktoberfest

Rough Draft OktoberfestA little late to the party, after I promised a series celebrating Oktoberfest, I give you one from a great local brewery, Rough Draft. They are starting to send their bottles and kegs out more, so if you see it, pick some up and support the locals! I always do, though I got Rough Draft Oktoberfest Lager direct from the brewery because it’s always better from the source.

This one poured a clean medium brown, with light carbonation and foamy head that stuck around a pleasing amount of time. It did not smell like much; very mild and slightly bready was about all I could smell. The first thing I tasted was a lot of bitterness up front, then that faded to a mildness that was almost no taste at all. There was a slight pick up of malty notes toward the end, but that was about it. There really was no finish to speak of.

Over all, I was slightly disappointed with this beer. I had hoped for some bigger taste, but it just did not materialize.head pic top

I would give this beer:

3

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Punkin’ Drublic, Legally

Coronado pumpkin logoIn my continuing celebration of fall, I came across one from one of my favorite breweries. Coronado’s Punk’in Drublic Imperial Pumpkin Ale is just an ok example of this paragon of the fall season. I have had a number of regular pumpkin ales, but never the “imperial” kind. Turns out, this makes little difference to the actual taste, at least in this case.

Punk’in Drublic pours a pleasing dark red color with large bubbles in the carbonation and the quickly dissolving head that is characteristic of this kind of beer. The first thing I smelled was a sweetness. “Uh oh,” I thought. “This is the standard pumpkin pie ale I alwaysPunkin Drublic pint and bottle seem to find, instead of one that actually tastes like pumpkin.” Luckily, I was wrong on that, though it did not necessarily make it a better beer.

It didn’t taste as sweet as the smell indicated it might be. It was very mild, with some bitterness up front. Then a little malty sweetness came through, moving back to the bitterness lasting through the finish. That was about it for the experience of this beer.

head pic topThis beer was quite a bit less tasty than I had hoped from such a brewery. In fact, it didn’t taste like much of anything at all and I generally enjoy bitter tastes.

This beer left me wanting, so I am rating it:punkin drublic bottle back

3

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Punkin Drinkin’

IMG_2221So, in my continuing celebration of all things (beer) fall, I went with another recommendation by the same BevMo employee who suggested the pumpkin ale from Unita Brewing. This one comes from Delaware brewery Dogfish Head Craft Brew Ales.  This is another one I have not had too often and it’s no wonder why: this beer came in a 4-pack of 12 oz bottles for over twelve bucks! Now, I’ve been around the beer scene long enough to know how this works, but this is just a little too budgetarily (yeah, I made that one up) lofty for me to pick up regularly. But enough about me; on to the beer!

Punkin Ale poured a surprisingly light golden color, with fizzy off white head. I’m no expert in pumpkin ale brewing, but these seem to all resemble soda in the glass, with lots of active carbonation that makes them come alive on the pour. The smell was sour up front, with some fruity notes and a touch of spice. Not much maltiness came through on the taste, but the effervescence gaveIMG_2224 it a nice lively kick. Then came a refreshing sourness that was not at all out-of-place. The vegetable bitterness from the pumpkin didn’t come on until the end, with helped take away the sourness to leave a nice clean finish.

Much like the pumpkin offering from Unita, I liked this beer, as it also avoided the sweetness I have found so often in other pumpkin beers. Despite that, I have to give the edge to Unita and am giving this beer a:

4

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