Posts Tagged pirate
On a corner on the main drag through San Diego’s Ocean Beach, was a cool new brewery and tasting room called Helm’s Brewing. Just down the street from one of my favorite breweries, Culture Brewing, Helm’s new location had a long bar top seating area at a large roll up window overlooking the street. The place was small, with the tasting bar directly in front of the door, facing more tasting tables to the right. There was a definite nautical motif, with a boat wheel over the hall to the bathroom at the back and another painted on the floor in the center of the tasting room. On the wall, there was some photography of beach landscapes and boats.
With more than a few beers to choose from, I settled on Ninja Monkey Pirate (6.3% abv) because, with a name like that, how could I pass it up? This hoppy saison was a collaboration beer between Helm’s and another local brewery called Monkey Paw. This beer poured bright golden-yellow, with fizzy white head on top that clung to the sides of the glass. The aroma was definitely hoppy, with some fruitiness and a whole bunch of bitterness. There was even a touch of lemon. The taste was mild at first, with some citrusy hop flavor next. The middle was light and refreshing, with light body and light carbonation. it finished clean, with only a little bit of lemon flavor trailing.
Next up, I had a half pour of the Hispañola Golden Stout (7.5% abv). A neighbor at the tasting bar had one sitting in front of her so it piqued my interest. This beer poured deep golden in color with a cap of creamy white head. Aromas included coffee and a mild bitterness. The taste surprised me with a richness and sweetness I was not expecting. It tasted something like chocolate and sugar. There wasn’t much else going into the middle, which was medium bodied and lightly carbonated. The finish was more of the chocolate and a stickiness that was less than pleasant. Kind of disappointing.
According to Wikipedia, a Carrack was a three- or four-masted Portuguese sailing ship. Christopher Columbus even used one. More importantly, it is a beer made by the good folks at Mission Brewery. I’ll be honest- I got it mostly because of the pirate ship on the label…though I do like the product over there at Mission. Also, this is one of my favorite kinds beer: imperial red ale.
This is a HUGE beer (over-emphasis indented). At 10.2% abv, I expected a good time with this one. It poured a deep rich reddish-brown with a creamy cap of light off-white foam on top. That cap of head didn’t let much of the aromas out of the glass, until I broke it by sneaking a taste before smelling it. Despite the process being out of order, I always appreciate good head (*snicker…sorry).
The first thing on the smell was a sourness I did not expect from an imperial red. But that quickly gave way to a warm maltiness, with hints of brown sugar. On the taste, it hit the front of my palate with the sourness of the aroma that reminded me of a Belgian-style beer. But, like the aroma, that mellowed quickly to the warm maltiness I was looking for. There was also the mild sweetness from the brown sugar notes I detected on the smell. It finished mellow with a huge alcohol burn afterward.
I did enjoy this beer, but I think any abv over 10% is a little much.
Overall, I would rate this beer: