Archive for the tag “Strong Pale Ale”

Birra Etrusca Bronze – Dogfish Head

Birra-Etrusca-Bronze8.5% ABV

Purchased at Taylor’s Market ($13.99/25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into mugs.

Another one of Dogfish Head’s “historical beers”, this marriage of archaeology and brewing is an attempt to recreate the ales of pre-Christ, pre-wine ancient Italy.  Birra Etrusca Bronze pours a clear bronze with a decent, dirty-white head and plenty of fizzy carbonation.  There are some incredibly funky-in-a-bad-way aromas on the nose, including raw flour, dehydrated fruits, and a touch of pilsner-y sweatsock.  Utterly curious upon the first swallow, with a mix of intense grains (thanks apparently to the use of hazelnut flour and “heirloom wheat”), along with a slightly tangy, cider-style aftertaste.  This beer presents an odd and unpleasant mix of flavors, both nutty and slightly tart, that only grow more off-putting the more you drink.   It’s simultaneously a fascinating historical project and thoroughly undrinkable.

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   1.5 Toasts

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toasts-small-2   2 Toasts

 

As Follows – Stillwater Artisanal Ales

stillwater_bttl9% ABV

Purchased at Davis Beer Shoppe ($13.99/25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into tulip glasses.

This “eschatological ale” (no one told Baltimore-based Stillwater Artisanal Ales that the Mayans were full of it?) pours a bright but opaque pale gold with an extremely dense, shocking-white head.  As Follows offers a nose of barnyard funk, bread, peach, and a little bit of butterscotch, fairly Belgian-y in all with some subtle spice notes.  The taste is decidedly un-sweet and very rustic, with a taste and light mouthfeel reminiscent of seltzer water, along with an aftertaste of funk, rye, garden herbs, and some touches of spice and wood.  It’s a very subtle and drinkable beer that doesn’t quite live up to the price tag, although it could be a hit amongst beer geeks with sensitive palettes.

toasts-3.5    3.5 Toasts

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Biere de L’Amitie – Brasserie St. Feuillien/Green Flash Collaboration

9.5% ABV
Purchased at Pangaea Bottle Shoppe ($13.49/25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into tulip glasses.

This Belgian Strong Pale Ale is a collaboration of San Diego’s Green Flash and Belgium’s Brasserie St. Feuillien, the opposite number of their more recent partnership Friendship Brew, a black saison.  It pours a pale orange with an expansive bone-white head, and a gorgeous array of farmhouse aromas in the nose – citrus, hay, and funk are there, along with some banana-coconut tropical notes.   Biere de L’Amitie is unbelievably light and effervescent on the first swallow, with some champagne and funk flavors entering on the finish.  There is some citrus present, but nothing juicy or cloying, just a perfect accent to the crisp mouthfeel and floral, tea-like spices.  In the spirit of cross-cultural collaboration, the resulting tasty brew is both old-world understated and brimming with new-world personality.

    4.5 Toasts

    4.5 Toasts

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