Sunday, February 6, 2011

Brewery Ommegang - Zuur

Zuur (which means "sour" and in my mind is pronounced as a deep, drawn-out "zoooooooooooor") is a limited edition cherry-infused Flemish sour brown ale, released last summer.  This one is actually brewed in Belgium, and is a collaboration between Cooperstown, NY's Ommegang and Belgium's Liefmans. I have it in a corked & caged 750ml bottle.

I imagine it's nearly impossible to find right now, considering Ommegang doesn't even acknowledge it on their website.

6.0% ABV

Zuur (i love the name, btw) has a somewhat hazy appearance and a deep coppery-brown color. The pour is quite effervescent, with an audible fizz and a visible, bubbly burst that feeds into a fairly thick and dense cream-colored head. The head thins out after a few minutes, but leaves a thin, but dense, cap.

It has a sweet, tart and fruity aroma. Dried cherries and sour candy are prominent, with whiffs of leather and wood. (Damn, I just pulled a Lee Williams and smelled leather in my beer.)

Taste & Feel 
Zuur is tart and fruity from start to finish, with an acidic, wine-like feel. It's sour, but not overwhelming... just enough to create a dry, tingly sensation, but not quite sour enough to make you pucker. Flavors include sour cherry candy, oak and a peaty malt. As it warmed, the fruit/sour/acidity combined to create a tangerine flavor. It's medium bodied and rather carbonated. Malty finish.

I want to give it an A, but instead I'm giving it a "Z!"... because I really like to say "Zuur!". Seriously, though,  I enjoyed drinking this as much as I liked saying it. A very well-crafted brew.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Mother Earth Brewing - Old Neighborhood Oatmeal Porter

Old Neighborhood is one of Mother Earth's newest releases, a fall seasonal first making an appearance this past October. It's the only one of their current lineup that I hadn't tried before tonight.

5.5% ABV

It has a deep brown color. Not quite black, but almost completely opaque. Some light sneaks through the narrowest part of my glass, creating a slight ruby bottom-lit effect. The dense, creamy khaki head is fairly long-lasting and leaves a thick coat of lacing.

Old Neighborhood has a sweet, malty chocolate scent... a cross between Whoppers candy and a milkshake. There's also a significant presence of roasted coffee in the aroma.

Taste & Feel
Dark roasted malts start things off up front, balanced with soft, cocoa sweetness. It's full bodied, with a smooth, creamy feel. The roast gets more intense toward the finish, which is dry and filled with a bold, dark chocolate flavor.

Excellent. This is both a very flavorful and highly drinkable beer. My first thought is that it pairs well with rich, beefy meals, but Mother Earth's website also recommends chocolate peanut butter cookies.

I can assure you, it also goes nicely with the Caramel Delights that I was coerced into buying on my way out of Lowes Foods this evening. (No, seriously, be sure to support your local Cookie Pusher troop.)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Help a Student [Survey]

Earlier today, I was contacted by Johnathan Stephens, a graphic design student from NC State. He's working on his final design project, a hypothetical mobile app for the Raleigh Flying Saucer's UFO Club, and is conducting a survey to help guide him. He asked that I help reach out to local beer drinkers in order to get enough respondents.  So...