His & Hers Beer Notes: Chocolate Hazelnut Porter – Heretic Brewing Company

hisandhersbeernotes:

Here’s our latest beer notes for Eat Drink Films: Heretic Brewing Company’s Chocolate Hazelnut Porter. Cheers!

Originally posted on Eat Drink Films ©:

 by Daniel Barnes and Darcey Self-Barnes

7% ABV

Purchased for $6.99/22 oz. bottle and poured into mason jar glasses.

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The City – Calicraft Brewing Company

city_bttl

6.4% ABV
Purchased at Curtis Park Market (22 oz. bottle) and poured into tulip glasses.

This “Dynamic” India Pale Ale from Walnut Creek-based Calicraft Brewing was “brewed with blackberry root and orange peel,” and it pours a murky tangerine color with a sizable off-white head.  Dried fruit and a honeyed sweetness are the first to appear on the nose, with apricot and cantaloupe especially prominent.  There is an unusual, seltzer-y flavor on the first swallow, along with a very definite berry and bitter root presence, and it ends with some nice citrus and pine bitterness.  As more is consumed, the bitterness on the first flavor movement becomes less and less pleasurable, too closely resembling cocktail bitters, although the pine and citrus finish still satisfies.

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TheCity

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Brotherly Love – The Commons Brewery

BroLove-commons-bttl10% ABV
Purchased at Final Gravity ($11.99/25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into goblet glasses.

This “bourbon barrel aged Belgian dark strong with sour cherries and cocoa nibs” pours a dark and brackish espresso brown with a marshmallow-like, sawdust-colored head.  Hard alcohol and barrel wood aromas assert themselves on the nose, with dark cherries, dark chocolate, and some citrus peel on the periphery.  Wood and alcohol take the lead on the tongue as well, although here those flavors are given depth by the cocoa nibs, as well as a little bit of tartness from the cherries.  Still, the most robust flavors (freshly cut wood and bourbon neat) seem to come straight from the barrel, and the fact that the Portland-based brewery The Commons used a Belgian dark as a base may have given the alcohol-soaked staves more to latch on to. Brotherly Love has a powerful firewater character, but there is also some nuance and craft, and despite being a little overwhelming, the flavors of this beer are still quite good.

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BrotherlyLove

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Hoppy Independence Day!

“Beer, if drank with moderation,
softens the temper,
cheers the spirit and
promotes health.”

– Thomas Jefferson

Hoppy4th

His & Hers Beer Notes: Payback Porter (Speakeasy Ales & Lagers)

hisandhersbeernotes:

We’re excited to be contributing to “Eat Drink Films”. Check out our review of Speakeasy’s Payback Porter.

Originally posted on Eat Drink Films ©:

 by Daniel Barnes and Darcey Self-Barnes

7.5% ABV

Purchased at Curtis Park Market in Sacramento ($4.99/22 oz. bottle) and poured into pint glasses.

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Portland and Hood River

 

IMG_1065We recently spent a week in Portland, with most of our time devoted to exploring the city’s inspiring array of breweries, beer bars, and bottle shops.  Our first couple nights were spent at a hotel in downtown Portland, one which was conveniently located a half-block away from Bailey’s Taproom, the best beer bar we hit during our visit.  Of course, Bailey’s Taproom does not lack for competition, and while we were not able to hit every highly lauded suds palace on our wishlist, a few of our personal favorites were Belmont Station, Imperial Bottle Shop, APEX, and The Beer Mongers.

One of the many great things about Portland is that every place that serves beer also serves food, so every brewery in the city is basically a brewpub.  It was no surprise to us that Upright, Cascade, Hair of the Dog, and Deschutes ruled the Portland scene, but that didn’t make the beers any less sublime.  The more unfamiliar breweries that really impressed us were Base Camp, Burnside, and Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB).  A pilgrimage to Hood River to visit Full Sail and the magical Logsdon Farmhouse was our only out-of-town trip, and it was more than worth the effort.

Here is a list of the 10 best “new to us” beers that we tried during our trip to Portland.  It is tempting to just award all ten spots to the litany of magnificent Cascade sours that we consumed over the course of a couple hours at their Barrel House, or to split the spots evenly between the heavy hitters like Upright and Hair of the Dog, but we are limiting ourselves to one beer per brewery.  All beers were consumed at the brewery, unless otherwise indicated.

Talon Smoked Double Porter – Mendocino Brewing Company

talon_bttl

10% ABV
Purchased at Curtis Park Market ($6.99/22 oz. bottle) and poured into pint glasses.

This “smoked double porter” from Mendocino Brewing Company pours a black tea-like dark brown with a slight sandalwood head, while the nose mixes burnt kindling, savory smoked bacon, and just a little bit of Band-Aid.  That slightly medicinal aroma is thankfully absent on the palette, and instead the first swallow offers waves of maple, candied nuts, and some chocolate flavors, with a second charge dominated by bitter wood smoke.   The smoked bacon component is also present, but Talon mostly contrasts that maple and praline sweetness against birch and hickory woodiness, and the result should please fans of this style.

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Talon

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Portland Beercation

BeerInPortlandWe’re headed to Portland for a Beercation. Follow our adventures on Twitter, Untappd (Daniel B. and Darcey), Instagram and Facebook.

 

Rick and Robbie’s Spröcket Bier – Stone Brewing: Spotlight Series

sprocket_bttl

5.4% ABV
Purchased at Pangaea Bottle Shoppe ($8.99/22 oz. bottle) and poured into mini globe glasses.

This “black rye kölsch” is the first entry in Stone’s “Spotlight Series,” the winner of a blind tasting contest whose entries were sourced from Stone’s own brewers.  It pours a glossy, minor key black with a mid-sized sawdust head, and offers a welcoming nose of chocolate-y coffee, licorice, and black bread.  Sprocket Bier is surprisingly light and crisp on the palette, and also quite thirst-quenching, with the coffee and roasted nut bitterness riding in only on the finish.  The yeasty brightness of the kölsch is counterpointed by the beer’s dark and roasted qualities, and the whole thing is harmonized by the presence of rye, which also adds a nice snap to the aftertaste.  It is an excellent intersection of chocolate, coffee, yeasty dark bread, rye, and nuts, and it consistently maintains a light and lovely mouthfeel.

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Sprocket

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Cellar Series: Love Child #3 – Boulevard Brewing Company

Love_Child_No3_bttl

9.5% ABV
Purchased at Final Gravity ($19.99/25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into tulip glasses.

This bourbon-barrel aged sour ale from Kansas City-based Boulevard pours a ruby-tinged rust color with a mid-sized beach sand head, and a fair amount of flotsam in the body. Sour fruit aromas sock you in the nose, including SweeTarts, pineapples, tart berries, and red wine.  A big tartness also asserts itself on the tongue, but the beer finishes pretty clean, with grapefruit, slightly immature strawberries, green apple, and even lime coming to the fore.  Some of the barrel makes its way onto the palette on subsequent swallows, but the most accurate analogue to the beer is a sour apple-flavored Jolly Rancher.  We cellared this beer for 14 months before uncorking, and I did not recall it being this fruit-driven and boldly tart in the spring of 2013, nor this distinct and nuanced.  My suspicions were seemingly confirmed by the bottle itself, which includes icons indicating low fruitiness and medium sour-ness, although many Beer Advocate reviewers from the time of release mention green apples, tart berries, and the like.  Either way, this beer is fantastic, and should hold up in the cellar for at least another year. 

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LoveChild

 

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