Archive for the tag “4-5 Toasts”

Pinchy Jeek – Anderson Valley Brewing Company

PinchyJeek_22oz8.5% ABV
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.

toasts-4.5   4.5 Toasts

 

PinchyJeek

toasts-4.5   4.5 Toasts

 

Valley of the Hearts Delight – Almanac Beer Company

almanac_valley_bttl7% ABV
Purchased at Corti Brothers (12.68 oz. bottle) and poured into mini-wine glasses.

This “ale brewed with apricots, loquats, and cherries and aged in used wine barrels” pours a pale, citrus juice gold with a tight ivory head and some fruit flotsam in the glass.  Sour fruit aromas beckon you on the nose, with a fantastic fruit bowl of smells that includes grapefruit, kumquat, kiwi, sour grapes, banana, and even watermelon.  Valley of the Hearts Delight offers lovely tart and sour fruit flavors on the first swallow, but it’s refreshing instead of face-puckering.  Except for the steady presence of oak tannins, all of the flavors are fruity – pulpy pink grapefruit, sour cherries, assorted juicy berries, lemon zest, kiwi, and guava.  This ambitious and brilliant beer hits a wide variety of notes on the palette, and all of them are perfectly in key.

toasts-4.5   4.5 Toasts

Almanac-ValleyHearts

toasts-4.5   4.5 Toasts

The Czar – Avery Brewing Company

avery_bttl10.3% ABV
Purchased at City Beer Store in San Francisco (22 oz. bottle) and poured into mini globe glasses.

This beloved Russian Imperial Stout from Colorado stalwarts Avery pours an espresso black with a tight, dust-colored head.  Czar has a nose that promises dessert-like decadence – chocolate pudding, chocolate cupcakes, and bananas, with a little bit of black coffee on the periphery.  The first swallow follows up on that promise, with a big taste of moist chocolate banana nut cake welcoming the tongue, very rich and delicious.  There is a little coffee bitterness deep into the finish, and dark fruits, toffee, and wintry spices emerge as the glass warms, but that’s only if you’re able to resist subsequent sips long enough to allow those flavors to take shape.

toasts-4.5   4.5 Toasts

Avery

toasts-4.5   4.5 Toasts

He Said Tripel – 21st Amendment/Elysian collaboration

HeSaid_Tripel8.2% ABV
Purchased at Curtis Park Market ($11.99/4-pack of 12-oz. cans) and poured into goblet glasses.

This collaboration between San Francisco’s 21st Amendment and Seattle’s Elysian is a Belgian tripel brewed with pumpkins, tarragon, and galangal (aka Thai ginger).  It pours a light, peachy orange with a tight white head, and presents a lot of earthiness and spice on the nose, including pumpkin and gourd flesh, sweet potatoes, ginger, and other autumnal spices.  He Said Tripel feels lighter on the tongue than anticipated, with a nice effervescence on the front end that gives way to those expected autumn spice-bomb flavors, led by pumpkin, ginger, and candied yams.  Despite the potential here for a cutesy hybrid, the flavor profile is expertly balanced, with a little banana-like sweetness cutting through the heavy, lingering spice notes.

toasts-4   4 Toasts

HeSaid_Tripel

toasts-4.5   4.5 Toasts

Vampire Slayer – Clown Shoes Beer

vampire_bttl10% ABV
Purchased at Taylor’s Market in Sacramento ($9.99/22 oz. bottle) and poured into mini globe glasses.

Vampire Slayer pours midnight black with a fun-sized, caramel candy-colored head and intricate spider web lacing on the glass.  This imperial stout from Ipswich, Massachusetts-based Clown Shoes smells of smoldering wood (the malts were smoked with hickory and ash), caramel, and a little milk chocolate.  The first swallow is rich and chocolate-y up front, but that fades into a long and bitter finish dominated by burnt wood and coffee grounds.  It’s a dark and delicious beer, and a masterful storyteller at that – on later swallows, caramel and root beer flavors emerge on the front end, while firewood and bitter coffee stay planted on the finish.

toasts-4.5   4.5 Toasts

Vampire_ClownShoes

toasts-4.5   4.5 Toasts

Oak Jacked Imperial Pumpkin Porter – Uinta Brewing (Crooked Line Series)

jacked10.3% ABV
Purchased at Pangaea Bottle Shoppe in Sacramento ($15.99/25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into pint glasses.

This oak-aged seasonal offering from Utah-based Uinta pours a fairly clear chestnut brown with a fluffy and persistent light tan head.  Oak Jacked smells of pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, and sweet baked breads, with buried wine and tropical notes.  The first swallow is velvety and the flavor profile is beautifully spiced, mixing pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, maple, and roasted nuts, with the sweet and bitter taste of pumpkin innards and spiced apples on the periphery.  It has the perfect amount of autumn spice to cut through the brown sugar and pumpkin sweetness, with oak and alcohol giving depth to the long and warm finish.

toasts-4.5   4.5 Toasts

Uinta_Pumpkin

toasts-4.5   4.5 Toasts

POPULIST IPA – Eagle Rock Brewing

populist_bttl7% ABV
Purchased at Sunset Beer Company in Los Angeles’ Echo Park neighborhood ($5.79/22 oz. bottle) and poured into tulip glasses.

This beautiful IPA from Eagle Rock Brewing pours a slightly hazy tangerine with a mid-sized white head and the nose of an open field, offering some lovely floral and honeyed pear aromas.  It is very clean on the first swallow, as restrained fruit syrup-style sweetness and a little bit of spice nicely balances out the bitter hop profile.  The finish is exceptionally smooth, with BBQ-ed peach and grapefruit rind flavors lingering on the palette.  Populist IPA is flat-out delicious – it’s flavorful up front and crisp on the finish, with predominantly jam and toast flavors eventually giving way to a nesting pine character.

toasts-4.5   4.5 Toasts

Populist

toasts-4.5   4.5 Toasts

Beer Geek Vanilla Shake – Mikkeller

vanilla_bttl13% ABV
Purchased at LowBrau ($/ oz. pour) and served in tulip glasses.

Beer Geek Vanilla Shake pours an ebony black with a vaporous brown head, and emits a gigantic candy shop nose of vanilla, milk chocolate, candied nuts, black coffee, sweet breads, and caramel.  There is a massive sweetness on the first swallow as well, including flavors of vanilla beans, coffee grounds, and melted chocolate, although it’s a little smoother and more refined than the nose would have you believe.  It has the overall taste of coffee-vanilla syrup, or a coffee crème brulee, finishing with some pecan and wood bitterness that asserts itself more on subsequent swallows.  Mikkeller has brewed a beer that is very tasty in small servings, but might be a bit too much for large pours and solo bottle shares.

toasts-4   4 Toasts

mikeller_vanilla

toasts-5-small   5 Toasts

Centennial IPA – Founders Brewing Co.

founders_CentIPA7.2% ABV, 65 IBUs
Purchased by beer sherpa Matt S. in the State of Michigan and served in taster glasses.

This highly lauded IPA is from Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Founders, a brewery that rarely if ever makes an appearance on Sacramento-area taplists and bottle shop shelves.  Their Centennial IPA – named after the brew’s primary hop source – pours a deep honey gold with a minimal eggshell-white head.  Big citrus and floral notes come off the nose, but it’s still a more restrained aroma than one would get from a West Coast IPA.  The first swallow offers a mixture of citrus and rye spice up front, a fantastic frosted hops flavor in the magnificently dry middle third, and a polite wallop of pine resin and citrus peel on the impressive finish.  Centennial IPA is a beer that tells a story, going through numerous phases and hitting several different notes, all of them true.

toasts-4.5    4.5 Toasts

Founders_CentIPA

toasts-4.5    4.5 Toasts

 

Moscow – Midnight Sun Brewing Company

moscow_bttl

11% ABV; 45 IBUs
Purchased at Davis Beer Shoppe ($9.99/22 oz. bottle) and poured into globe glasses.

This Russian Imperial Stout brewed with rye from Anchorage-based brewers Midnight Sun pours an olive black with a quickly departing caramel-brown head and a body thick as motor oil.  The nose of booze-soaked dark chocolate practically leaps out of the glass, although black licorice, lumber, and molasses aromas are present when you drill down further.  Moscow offers velvety and decadent dark roasted malts on first swallow, with flavors ranging from rich chocolate to boozy barrel wood to fresh-roasted espresso beans.  It could have been an overwhelming beer, but it’s all given balance and texture on the aftertaste by the presence of peppery rye grains, and a coffee bitterness that lingers pleasurably on the palette.

 

toasts-4.5   4.5 Toasts

Moscow_MidnightSun

 

toasts-4.5   4.5 Toasts

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