Archive for the tag “Drake’s”

His and Hers Mid-Year Top 5

As we enter the second half of 2012, we also enter the second half of His and Hers Beers Notes’ first year.  We’ve reviewed nearly sixty beers in our first six months, including over a dozen brews that we’ve both awarded 4.5 toasts or more (what can I say, we’re picky about what we drink).  That left us with a lot of worthy candidates when we set down to compile our list of the top 5 beers we’ve reviewed so far, but the top two stood out right away.

1. Jack N Jolly – Drake’s

We sampled this barrel-aged wonder during SF Beer Week at The Page, where He successfully Roshamboed for the last two seats at the bar.  We’ve both been cultists to Drake’s barrel-aged masterpieces for a while, and Jack N Jolly is one of their best.  It looks like sewage water and tastes like Heaven – He gushed, “all in one swallow, it’s bitter, woody, fruity, roasted, toasted, and sweet”; She swooned over the liqueur-filled chocolate and toasted coconut flavors.

2. Sweet and Sour – HaandBryggeriet

This was intended to be a special treat from one of our new favorite breweries to celebrate our 50threview, and instantly became one of our all-time favorites.  He loved how this Norwegian brew’s “Sour Patch pucker” was counterbalanced by “the ripe orange and sweet melon flavors”; She loved that the taste of liqueur-soaked sponge cake was wrapped in the shimmery mouthfeel of champagne.

3. Trappistes Rochefort 10 – Abbye St. Remy

Abbye St. Remy’s classic Belgian quad inspired our senses to no end – He found wood and freshly pulled taffy in the nose, with cooked berries, toffee, and licorice on the palette; She discovered apple caramel tart and cherry brandy tastes inside of the “mango chutney color”. Sent to us by Kyle T.

4. Pliny The Younger – Russian River

A tipoff e-mail from Pangaea Two Brews helped us to beat the crowds for a rare post-Beer Week pouring of Russian River’s legendary limited release Imperial IPA.  He fell for “the complex mix of bitter and sweet notes on the palette” and the “dry, cakelike texture”; She thought the “clarified butter coloration” matched perfectly with the taste of biscuits and herbed butter.

5. Ovila Quad – Sierra Nevada

Another great Belgian quad, only this one came from Northern California’s own Sierra Nevada.  He felt that it had “a flavor profile similar to a smoky scotch or a mild brandy”; She found complex flavors of bourbon and cherry. Sent to us by Tricia D.

Cheers to six more months of great beer in 2012!


SF Beer Week – Jack ‘n’ Jolly (Drake’s)

10% ABV
Purchased at The Page in San Francisco ($4/pint) and poured into pint glasses.

His Notes:

Jack ‘n’ Jolly is a blend of previous versions of Drake’s Jolly Rodger series aged in Jack Daniel’s bourbon barrels.  It pours redwood brown with a minimal sandy head, and offers a very inviting aroma of whiskey, wood, and tropical fruits.  The bourbon character comes through stronger with this brown/red ale than with a barrel-aged stout, with the alcohol burn softened into the coconut flavor of rum.  Once again, Drake’s has brewed a masterpiece with a long-term impression on the palette and a  mesmerizing mix of tastes – all in one swallow, it’s bitter, woody, fruity, roasted, toasted, and sweet.

  5 Toasts

Her Notes:

   5 Toasts


Midtown Monthly Beer Issue Reviews

We are very pleased and honored to be featured in the issue of Midtown Monthly that is on newstands now.  To highlight the upcoming Sacramento and San Francisco Beer Weeks, we did tasting notes for beers from four local (and local-ish) brewers – Sacramento’s Track 7 and Ruhstaller, San Leandro-based Drake’s, and the Auburn Alehouse.  One of the most exciting things about the current brewing renaissance going in the Sacramento area is seeing local beers for sale at local stores, and all of the beers we reviewed for MidMo are available at places like Taylor’s Market, the Pangaea Bottle Shoppe, the Davis Bottle Shoppe, or even Whole Foods and BevMo.  We decided not to put star ratings on our MidMo reviews in order to encourage you to get out there during Sacramento Beer Week (February 24 – March 4) and sample some new brews for yourself.  Cheers!

PU240
(Auburn Alehouse)

8% ABV, 100 IBUs
Purchased at Taylor’s Market ($6.99/22 oz. bottle) and poured into tulip glasses.

His Notes:

This Imperial India Pale Ale tips the scales at 100 International Bittering Units (IBUs), and pours a brownish orange with a slight white head.  The strong nose contains butterscotch hard candy, tangerines, tropical fruits, and wet grass.  Honeyed sweetness greets you on the palette, but it’s all a smoke screen for the powerful hop punch waiting on the back end.  PU240’s hop bitterness is rooted more in zesty citrus (especially tangerines and grapefruits) than oily pine, and it’s less assaultive than you might think.  There is little in the way of complexity or surprises here, but if the goal was to create a mouth-puckering Imperial IPA for hop-hounds, then PU240 is a definite success.

Her Notes:

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Drakonic Imperial Stout
(Drake’s Brewing)

8.75% ABV, 40 IBUs
Purchased at Taylor’s Market ($6.99/22 oz. bottle) and poured into tulip glasses.

His Notes:

San Leandro-based Drake’s brews this sublime imperial stout, which pours an impenetrable onyx with a thick, cola-style head that features dancing ruby highlights.  The nose is strong with dark chocolate, fresh coffee beans, and old oak.  Drakonic has a powerful yet never bullying taste that mixes artisan chocolate and roasted coffee beans, throws in some yeasty wood and dark berry notes, and tops it off with the warming glow of alcohol.  This masterpiece of a beer is knock-you-out strong but extremely nuanced, seemingly stimulating different taste buds with each new sip.  You can purchase Drakonic locally in 22 oz. bottles, or head to Drake’s Barrel House in San Leandro for one of their barrel-aged versions.

Her Notes:

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Daylight Amber Ale
(Track 7 Brewing)

6.25% ABV
Purchased at Track 7 Brewing ($4/16 oz. serving) and poured into pint glasses.

His Notes:

New kid in town Track 7 Brewing serves this tasty amber ale, which pours a cloudy orange with a minimal white head.  It smells of peaches, citrus, grass, pungent hops, and baked bread, and the taste is dry and honeyed, with a creeping bitterness that settles in as the golden nectar fades.  Daylight Amber has a biscuit-like crispness that’s similar to a Widmer’s Drop Top, or a less aggressively malted Fat Tire.  Malt flavor is ever-present here, but it’s not annoying, and is balanced well with mild citrus fruit notes, especially oranges and grapefruits.  Daylight Amber is drinkable and unpretentious, but the lingering hop flavor lends it a surprising complexity.

Her Notes:

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1881 (Ruhstaller)

5.6% ABV, 35 IBUs
Purchased at Taylor’s Market ($7.99/22 oz. bottle) and poured into pint glasses.

His Notes:

Former Sacramento Brewing/Odanata brewer Peter Hoey returns with Ruhstaller 1881, a “California style red ale” with several ties to Sacramento beer history.  It pours a transparent light brown much like the color of iced tea, and comes with a tight off-white head.  1881 smells of an open-air forest, all wind-swept pine and wafting orchard fruits.  A touch of rich sweetness on the front end quickly gives way to the pine needle hops and fresh lemon flavors.  This beer has the full-on hop assault and citrus notes of a west coast IPA, but it’s modified by the tangy-smoky malt and the earthiness of the barley. The mouth-coating finish is long-lasting and the aftertaste is bitterer than expected given the relatively low IBU count.

Her Notes:

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