Archive for the month “June, 2012”

Mad Meg – Jester King Brewing

9.6% ABV
Purchased at Taylor’s Market ($12.99/25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into tulip glasses.

His Notes:

This “farmhouse provision ale” from Austin, Texas-based Jester King pours a murky tangerine with a billowy ivory head and an understated nose of banana, bubblegum, guava, and Belgian funk.  Its first swallow is a crisp mouthful, combining the snap of rustic spices with the fruity effervescence of champagne, along with enough dusky farmhouse bite to keep your interest on the long alcohol finish.  Mad Meg is an unusual and not entirely successful brew, with an atypically hefty ABV for a “traditional” saison, but it manages to be simultaneously aggressive and approachable.

  3.5 Toasts

Her Notes:

  3.5 Toasts

Victor and Victoria – Allagash

In a break from tradition, His and Hers Beer Notes sampled two separate companion brews from Portland, Maine’s Allagash Brewing Company – He sampled and reviewed their red grape-infused Victor, while She sampled and sketched their white grape-infused Victoria.

9% ABV
Purchased at Pangaea ($9/10 oz. pour) and served in tulip glasses.

His Notes – Allagash Victor:

This strong Belgian ale was brewed with 100 pounds of red Chancellor grapes (its companion Victoria was brewed with 200 pounds of Chardonnay grapes), and it pours a glassy burnt orange with a white marshmallow sauce head.  Allagash Victor captivates the nose with complex and ester-y aromas of peach, Belgian yeast, and candied sugar. The grapes come in on the first swallow, but they are instantly followed by sublime raisin and complex barnyard and tropical flavors, with some lovely melon and cucumber on the aftertaste.  This is a thought-provoking brew, light and thirst-quenching, but mysterious and tantalizing at the same time.

  4.5 Toasts

Her Notes – Allagash Victoria:

  4 Toasts

Biere du Soleil – Brasserie d’Achouffe

6.3% ABV
Purchased at Pangaea ($7.50/10 oz. pour) and served in tulip glasses.

His Notes:

This “summer seasonal” from the venerated Belgian Brasserie d’Achouffe pours a hazy cantaloupe orange with a minimal bone-white head and a nose of citrus zest, hay, and fermented grapes.  There is more citrus bitterness on the palette, but the edges are rounded out by softer fruit flavors like melon, peach, kumquat, and orange, with a welcome background of farmhouse funk.  Biere Soleil isn’t a particularly challenging brew, but it’s certainly tasty, refreshing, and fairly complex for the style.  It’s a very pleasant warm weather saison, with very little of the icky mouth-coating sensation I often associate with citrus-forward summer beers.


  4 Toasts

Her Notes:

  4.5 Toasts

La Terrible – Unibroue

10.5% ABV
Purchased at Corti  Brothers and poured into globe glasses.

His Notes:

Quebec-based Unibroue’s La Terrible pours a ruddy black with a fluffy but quickly retreating desert sand-colored head, and a nose of black licorice, pepper, and rustic bread.  This Strong Belgian Dark Ale possesses a very complex palate that mixes raisins, nutmeg and pepper spices, dark fruits, spun candy, and coffee.  La Terrible leaves an immense bread and dried fruit impression that lingers pleasurably on the tongue, and takes on more and more complex bitterness the longer it sits.  A strong but contemplative slow-sipper, this would be a magnificent desert beer to pair with heavy deserts like caramel brownies or rum cake in place of coffee.

  4.5 Toasts

Her Notes:

  4 Toasts

Aprihop – Dogfish Head

7.0% ABV
Purchased at Taylor’s Market ($9.99/4-pack of 12 oz. bottles) and poured into tulip glasses.

His Notes:

This seasonal offering from Dogfish Head pours a burnt orange with a sizable off-white head, and a strong nose of fleshy apricots – in fact, it’s like walking through an apricot orchard in the middle of harvesting season.  Apricots also dominate the palette, but it’s leavened with a honey-caramel sweetness backed up by a substantial amount of hops. Aprihop is a refreshing take on the summer IPA, and unlike the similarly fruit-inflected Sam Adams Whitewater IPA, the tastes here are refined and don’t reek of gimmickry. Like so many Dogfish Head brews, Aprihop manages to combine disparate and seemingly discordant ingredients into a harmonious whole.

  4 Toasts

Her Notes:

  4 Toasts


Mikkeller Czechet

4.6% ABV
Purchased at Taylor’s Market ($4.99/11.2 oz. bottle) and poured into lowball glasses.

His Notes:

Danish brewer Mikkeller’s “Czech-Style Pilsner” pours a light apricot orange with a nearly invisible white head and a sharp nose of yeast, tangerine, and citrus zest. Czechet offers a dry and restrained palette that is more bready and mouth-filling than the prototypical skunk-and-sock American version of the pilsner.  It has the same pear-forward flavor profile as many other Mikkeller beers, with an odd sort of salty spice to the finish.  There is a little citrus on the tongue, but the finish gets progressively thicker and yeastier, making this less a “refreshing” pilsner than simply a beer with a ton of character and unexpected twists.

  3.5 Toasts

Her Notes:

   3 Toasts


Sweet and Sour – HaandBryggeriet

7.5% ABV
Purchased at Davis Beer Shoppe ($8.99 /16.9 oz. bottle) and poured into red wine glasses.

His Notes:

This barrel-aged sour blend from Norwegian brewer HaandBryggeriet (they also brew the sublime Hesjeol) pours a bright, peachy orange with a slight, bubbly, bone-white head and a fair amount of sediment.  Sweet & Sour has a pungent but inviting nose of fermented grapes, citrus zest, sharp yeast, and tart berries.  The beer’s sourness is initially disguised by the ripe orange and sweet melon flavors on the tongue, but it’s the lemon and Sour Patch pucker that dominates the back end.  This absolutely delicious brew is an ideal introduction to sour beers for the uninitiated, but it’s also a remarkable refresher for hardcore fanatics.

  5 Toasts

Her Notes:


  5 Toasts

Monk’s Blood – 21st Amendment

8.3% ABV
Purchased at Nugget Market ($10.49/4-pack of 12 oz. cans) and poured into mason jars.

His Notes:

This thought-provoking Belgian strong dark pours a rusty brown with a moderate, light brown head, and a confetti splash of spices when you hold the glass up to the light.  It has a sweet nose of cranberries, fruit pastries, and raisins, with an overall aroma as similar to berry wine as it is to beer.  There is berry tartness on the tongue, as well as dried fruit and a candied sugar quality indigenous to Belgian dubbels, although 21stAmendment’s take offers a lot more hop punch.  Toffee flavors, raisins, toasty vanilla, and a slight heat from the addition of cinnamon come to dominate the unique finish much more than the initial berry impression

  4 Toasts

Her Notes:

  4 Toasts


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