Archive for February, 2015

Berry Bruiser

JulianBlackandBlue_fullContinuing non-beer experience from earlier last month, I had another cider from Julian Hard Cider called Black & Blue. Now, normally I don’t like to eat or drink things whose name tells me what it could potentially do to my body, but this one was tame enough. It was just a cider, after all.

It poured a deep purple-red color with again very little carbonation. It smelled, appropriately enough, like tart black and blueberries. It also smelled a little yeasty. There was a surprising amount of carbonation at first. Then the blueberry flavor came through big time. The tartness of the berry flavor was a lot to take at first, but it soon mellowed out and an almost sticky sweet berry flavor washed away any other flavors that were in there. It finished with a little of the stickiness, but with a nice blackberry flavor lingering afterward.

Even though I liked it well enough, I think ciders JulianBlackandBlue_backare just a little underwhelming for me overall:

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Little Abita Mardi Gras

AbitaMardiGrasBock_fullHappy Mardi Gras! Today I have for you a celebratory libation from the good folks at Abita Brewing Company called Mardi Gras Bock. This was an interesting lager with some flavors I would not expect to find in a bock, which usually emphasizes just the malt and caramel flavors.

It poured a slightly hazy golden amber, with characteristic thick-looking head that dissipated quickly. There was a light smell of malts and some caramel at first, but then some very faint sweet fruit aroma, possibly of melon, that really surprised me. The taste was hard to describe at first with a medium mouthfeel, AbitaMardiGrasBock_toplots of carbonation and some roasted malt flavor. This was followed by the sweetness of the malts. Some bitterness came through next to break up all the malt, finishing with the malty sweetness lingering afterward.

Despite what may seem like an overabundance of malts, this was an interesting beer:

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Tripping on Melons

DeschutesHopTripFreshHopPaleAle_fullWhenever I see a beer from what has become one of my favorite breweries in Deschutes, I have to try it. It was no different when I decided to try the Deschutes Hop Trip Fresh Hop Pale Ale. Even though the hoppy name put me off a bit, I pressed forward.

It poured a deep golden red color with medium white head that stuck around a while and left some nice lacing on the glass (despite the lack of lacing in the picture…) There was a light smell of fresh fruit and malt on the smell, with a nice hoppiness coming through afterward. On the taste, it was medium-bodied with light carbonation. Some fruity berries came through at first. The most surprising bit of this one was the slight watermelon flavor I got after the berry DeschutesHopTripFreshHopPaleAle_topflavors. This was refreshing, if a bit odd for a beer called “Hop Trip.” That refreshing watermelon stayed through to the finish, with a touch of maltiness on the tail end.

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Brew of the Common Man

AnchorSteamCommon_fullToday I have for you what may not be the most exciting beer I have tried, but still one I enjoyed. Anchor Steam makes a good Christmas Ale, but their regular, everyday California Common Beer is a great one that you can enjoy year-round and at only 4.9% abv, you can also enjoy it all night.

It poured a bubbly reddish-golden color with persistent medium white head. The aromas were light, with caramel and vague fruitiness like a mix of berry and some dark plum coming AnchorSteamCommon_topthrough. It was light on taste, too, with heavy carbonation and sweet fruit up front, then some of the caramel coming through. The fruitiness came back and stuck through the rest of the drink, including the finish. The carbonation made it a little like drinking a soda.

Not the most dynamic drink I have had, but still enjoyable.

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