Purchased at Taylor’s Market ($10.99/22 oz. bottle) and poured into tulip glasses.
Pinchy Jeek is “brewed with pumpkin and spices and aged in Wild Turkey bourbon barrels” by Anderson Valley, and it pours a black-and-tan color with a mid-sized, beach sand hand. The nose is sweet, transfixing, mysterious, and autumnal, a candied and complex aroma that boasts pumpkin pie spice, toffee, vanilla, and a hint of whiskey barrel. Spices hit the palette first, a warming glow of nutmeg, cinnamon and pumpkin, with the Wild Turkey kick and Tootsie Roll sweetness riding in on the second wave of flavor. It’s a fascinating and rewarding brew, maple sweets and savory spices in perfect harmony, and an essential beer for the fall.
We recently sat down with Johnny Flores, host of the Sacramento-focused podcast Serious Talk. Seriously., to drink a beer and record an episode of his show. The three of us shared a bottle of 3 Best Friends, a delicious coffee vanilla lager brewed by the rejuvenated Davis legends Sudwerk, and talked about beer, illustrations, how we got started here at His and Hers, our review process, and some of our favorite beers. There is also a lengthy talk about the evolution of the TV show Cheers, long a fecund subject for discussion in our household, and a brief back-and-forth about pairing beers with Panda Express. You can download the episode (#28) on iTunes here or listen on Johnny’s blog: stspodcast.com.
After months of anxiously peering through their windows during Saturday morning Old Soul runs, we finally got to check out the newly opened Oak Park Brewing Company last weekend. It was worth the wait, and their large brewing space/bar on Broadway shows a meticulous attention to detail and design. They had six beers on tap, and while they were not serving tasters for their high-volume opening weekend, they apparently plan to offer those moving forward. The Rower’s RyePA was the standout among the beers we sampled, a bitter and complex brew that showed off the rye as much as the hops. There is an immense indoor dining area – they offer dining and catering services as well as beer – but the sweetest plum is a spacious outdoor patio roofed with interlacing lights. There is a lot of activity and development on this stretch of Broadway, and Oak Park Brewing Company has the potential to be a hub of the scene.
Purchased at The Rare Barrel and poured into tulip glasses.
This “golden sour beer aged in oak barrels with ginger” pours a pineapple-juice gold with a bright white head, and it boasts a lovely nose of candied ginger, alongside touches of grapefruit and oak. The first swallow is extremely ginger-heavy, and while that may not be to everyone’s taste, the flavor is strangely unoppressive and the beer finishes clean. A grapefruit- and lemon-heavy citrus pulp flavor puckers the tongue on the finish, and the beer remains delicious and even throughout, with an overall taste similar to sucking on a lemon drop and a ginger hard candy at the same time. It should be noted that although the portions were poured evenly, the beer in Darcey’s glass, in addition to being darker, murkier, and less carbonated, was more citrus-forward and less ginger-y than my pour.
Purchased at Pangaea Bottle Shoppe and poured into mini tasting glasses.
This dark pumpkin beer was aged in pinot noir wine barrels, and it pours a Dr. Pepper dark brown with a tight, soda fizz head. It has that unmistakable “Almanac sour smell” of sour candy, citrus, wood, and wine, causing my mouth to instinctively pucker, although there is a little extra roastiness on this particular brew. The fall/pumpkin aspect breaks through on the first swallow, lending an unusual depth of flavor to the beer, with wine tannins, candied pumpkins, and autumn spices coming to the fore. The taste of red wine settles on to the palette far more impressively than any pumpkin or spice flavors, making this a suitable substitute for red wine with your turkey dinner or fall dessert.
Purchased at Pangaea Bottle Shoppe ($16.99/22 oz. bottle) and poured into an oversized wine glass [cage of emotion].
This “barley wine aged in oak bourbon barrels” is from Coronado Brewing in San Diego, which of course in German means “a whale’s vagina.” Old Scallywag pours as silky smooth as the beard of Zeus, a clear and dark maple with a tight tan head. The aroma is a formidable scent. It stings the nostrils…in a good way, with waves of bourbon, dried and dark fruits, roasted nuts, barrel wood, brown sugar, and maple candy enticing the nose like a jazz flute solo. I wanna be friends with it. It’s delicious on the first swallow, more English than American barley wine, with brown sugar sweetness, wood bitterness, and a bready texture dominating up front, and ending as clean as a nice pair of slacks. Some apple and tea enter the picture as the beer rests on the tongue, and the overall effect is not unlike a wood-fired apple pie drizzled in scotchy scotch scotch. Beer drinkers assemble!
Purchased through Rare Beer Club (25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into tulip glasses.
This unusual offering from London-based brewers Meantime pours a dark, muddy amber with an almost nonexistent white head, with a thin halo of off-white foam circling the inside of the glass (we initially thought the beer was skunked). The nose promises a tart, caramel apple-like sweetness, with crisp green apple playing off of burnt toffee and caramel aromas. That interplay between tart and sweet is also present on the first sip, which offers much more carbonation than suggested by the flimsy head and brackish body. Meantime Weizen Double Bock gets richer and less tart as it warms, rounding out the flavor profile with black pepper, wood, brown sugar, red apples and other red fruits, and wine tannins.