Archive for the tag “Davis Beer Shoppe”

Lower Dens – Stillwater Sensory Series, Vol.1 – Stillwater Artisanal Ales

stillwater_Bttl6% ABV
Purchased at Davis Beer Shoppe ($6.99?/12.7 oz. bottle) and poured into tasting glasses.

This “ale brewed with hibiscus” pours a clear, pale yellow with a bountiful bone-white head and a nose of citrus, grass, flowers, Sour Patch candy, and a subtle farmhouse funk.  It’s marvelously refreshing on the first swallow, with a just a prickle of sour citrus cutting through the balanced barnyard sweetness.  The hibiscus flowers enter the frame on the superbly dry finish, along with clove-heavy Belgian yeast, cracker-y notes, and a touch of honeydew melon.  This stellar “Vol. 1” of Stillwater’s Sensory Series (each bottle comes w/ a QR code that when scanned links to the “full sensory experience” – i.e., a 13-minute psychedelic jam by Baltimore indie rockers Lower Dens), is light and drinkable, but packed with complex flavors and spices.

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Coming Home Holiday Ale 2012 – Grand Teton Brewing Company

ComingHome2012_bttl10% ABV
Purchased at Davis Beer Shoppe ($10.99/25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into pint glasses.

This Grand Teton holiday seasonal pours a clear redwood brown with a nearly nonexistent light tan head, and a nose dominated by dark fruits (mostly plums and grapes), as well as apricots and wet wood.  It’s much woodier on the tongue, offering classic barley wine flavors like barrel oak, brown sugar, and caramel upfront, and culminating with peppery yeast in the aftertaste.  Coming Home 2012 combines American-style strength with some interesting Belgian textures and bottle-conditioning, resulting in a relatively light and un-sticky beer given the style and ABV.  It’s an excellent version of a classic style with some unique twists, as apple pie spices and an almost IPA-like abundance of piney hops complete the flavor profile.

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Black Albert – De Struise Brouwers

lBlackAlbertBottle13% ABV
Purchased at Davis Beer Shoppe ($9.99/11.2 oz. bottle) and poured into tasting glasses.

Oosvleteren-based Belgian brewers De Struise produce this masterful 100 IBU “Royal Stout”, which pours a deep-space black with a tight, brown sugar head and a body that looks as thick as molasses.  Black Albert’s beckoning nose offers heavy aromas like licorice, bark, and red wine barrels, but with some surprisingly bright floral and citrus notes, almost like African coffee.  The taste is absolutely delicious – dark chocolate and citrus, as well some caramel and licorice – while the body is remarkably light and the aftertaste lingers pleasurably on the palette like great coffee.  This beer is not particularly boozy considering the 13% ABV, instead offering a whirlwind of complexity, including touches of milk chocolate, orange, and red wine, in an utterly drinkable package.

toasts-5-small    5 Toasts


toasts-5-small    5 Toasts


Luciernaga – Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Luciernaga_bttl6.5% ABV

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

This Belgian-style ale from Michigan-based Jolly Pumpkin pours a sunny orange with a tight, off-white head, and a nose that gives off sour citrus, ginger, and white wine, with a distinctly puckering scent.  It is milder than expected on the palette, with a light and juicy body that offers muted grapefruit rind, subtle spice, some lemon, and indistinct spices.  Luciernaga goes down quite easily, with just a prickle of sour and some spices (coriander and grains of paradise, according to the bottle) piercing the tongue throughout the aftertaste.  Subtlety is the keyword for this brew – it’s as light and effervescent as its namesake, the “firefly”.

toasts-4    4 Toasts


 toasts-4.5   4.5 Toasts


Grand Cru – Green Flash Brewing Company

GrandCru_bttl9.1% ABV

Purchased at Davis Bottle Shoppe ($7.99/22 oz. bottle) and poured into Green Flash tulip glasses.

This “mysterious dark ale” from Green Flash pours a dark plum-y brown with a mid-sized, dust-colored head.  There are lots of dusky – and indeed, mysterious – farmhouse spices on the nose, along with herbs, some woodiness, fruit tree leaves, and brown sugar, while still suggesting very little sweetness.  Green Flash Grand Cru presents little sweetness on the tongue either, offering instead spices, wood, dust, and cracker-like notes, with the brown sugar complementing the savory flavor in the same way that it would pork chops.  It makes a very pleasurable impression on the taste buds (with the spices and wood lingering on the tongue), changing character a number of times while remaining balanced throughout.


toasts-4.5    4.5 Toasts



 toasts-4.5   4.5 Toasts


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