What I'm Drinking (via Untappd)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

New Holland Brewing Co. - Dragon's Milk (2010)

Bio 
Part of New Holland's High Gravity Series, Dragon's Milk is an oak barrel-aged stout. I'm drinking the 2010 vintage, and enjoying this brew brings me back to my first taste of it at the World Beer Festival in Raleigh earlier this year. They only poured it at specific times, so we (me & The Awesome One) had to battle a crowd for a spot at the front of the line for the 3:00 pour. Well worth it.

10.0% ABV

Appearance 
Dragon's Milk has a deep, black color, and is nearly opaque with a subtle warm, brown highlights when held up to a strong light. It has a velvety, but shortly retained, tan head that leaves a bit of sticky lacing.

Aroma 
Dragon's Milk has a strong, caramel aroma, complemented by the distinct smooth, woody, vanilla scent left by oak barrel aging. As it warms, the aroma gets a bit dusty and sour, but not nearly enough to spoil the experience.

Taste & Feel 
This full-bodied ale has a soft, creamy mouthfeel. The flavor is robust and sweet and while caramel and vanilla are most prominent, there's also a touch of chocolate milkshake. Roasted malts and woody oak flavors balance against the sweetness. A nice, boozy bourbon taste appears toward the finish, which leaves a slight alcohol tingle and a sweet, cigar-like aftertaste.

Verdict
Exceptional. This is a complex, well-crafted beer that tastes great on its own.  The high alcohol content puts severe limits on its sessionability, but the big flavors will stand up to pairing with the most hearty and robust meals. A must-try and a solid "A"

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Flying Bison Brewing Co. - Buffalo Lager

Bio 
The name doesn't get much more straightforward. Buffalo Lager is a light, golden lager from my hometown's Flying Bison Brewing Company. They've been around for a decade

4.8% ABV

Appearance 
It has a hazy  appearance and bright golden color. Appears to be fairly well carbonated and is capped with a fluffy, white head. 

Aroma 
Surprisingly aromatic. It has a sweet, floral purfumy scent with a hint of yeast.


Taste & Feel
The flavor is an amplification of the aroma. It hits your tastebuds with a floral, hoppy burst that remains rather consistent right up to the finish. There's also a light, fruity pear taste that emerges as it warms.The body is light and clean, with a bubbly finish, which is more intense, and leaves a perfumy aftertaste.

Verdict
Rather flavorful for such a light-bodied beer. It's a decent, sessionable lager. A bit perfumy on its own, but pairing it with fruit or light fare would be a great mix.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Southern Tier Brewing Co. - Creme Brulee Stout

Bio
Essentially a milk stout brewed with vanilla bean, Creme Brulee Stout is part of Southern Tier's Blackwater Series. This is actually a summer seasonal that I picked up late in the season while traveling home to Buffalo. Still, I'm not worried about how a 10% imperial stout will have held up over a few months.

10.0% ABV

Appearance 
Everything you'd expect , it's completely opaque and black  in color. The only surprise is the head, which is rather thin.

Aroma 
Not just a catchy name... it smells exactly like creme brulee, most notably the vanilla and burnt sugar, with some additional hints of coffee. It's a very strong, sticky scent. No hops in the nose whatsoever.

Taste & Feel 
Desserty. It has a smooth, creamy mouthfeel and a dark, sweet flavor. Starts out with a robust, coffee malt that soon gives way to vanilla sweetness.  It has a bit of warm, boozy bite toward the finish and leaves a sweet, sticky aftertaste.

Verdict
Tasty and sweet. This is a good pair for a rich dessert, or as a standalone. A great beer, but between the sweetness and high alcohol content, it's nowhere near sessionable.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Southern Tier Brewing Co. - Jah*va Imperial Coffee Stout

Bio 
This potent eleven-percenter is a seasonal release and part of Southern Tier's Blackwater Series of Imperial stouts.  It is brewed with Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee and a variety of dark malts. The 650ml bottle has been sitting in my 'private reserve' for a couple months.  I purchased it in Buffalo as part of my effort to bring home several New York beers that I can't find in North Carolina, but just now got around to opening it. Not sure why I can't find Southern Tier beers in NC, since they're available in 25 states, including Virginia and South Carolina.

11.0% ABV

Appearance 
Jah*va is nearly opaque. It's black-brown in color and when I held it up to a glaringly bright light, it had a soft mahogany glow. Tough to see any sort of carbonation, but it is capped with a relatively thin creamy, tan head.

Aroma 
Plenty going on here. It is defined by sweet, roasted malts filled with coffee and brown sugar aromas. Woody hops give it an oaky character. 
 
Taste & Feel 
A complex brew with several distinct layers of flavor. It's dark and malty up front, with strong coffee notes, along with hints of caramel, vanilla and oak. After a smooth start, a woody hops flavor emerges  mid-sip and packs a bit of a bite.

Even the mouthfeel changes gears on you. It starts off smooth and creamy but has a dry finish. It also leaves a sweet, sticky taste on the lips with an underlying hops bitterness.

Verdict
Very good... complex, flavorful and well-crafted. The only downside is, that at 11%, you definitely feel a 650ml bottle. Drink it slowly, because you can't hope to survive a second bottle.