Archive for the tag “The Rare Beer Club”

Weizen Double Bock – Meantime Brewing Company

meantime_bttl8.0% ABV
Purchased through Rare Beer Club (25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into tulip glasses.

This unusual offering from London-based brewers Meantime pours a dark, muddy amber with an almost nonexistent white head, with a thin halo of off-white foam circling the inside of the glass (we initially thought the beer was skunked).  The nose promises a tart, caramel apple-like sweetness, with crisp green apple playing off of burnt toffee and caramel aromas.  That interplay between tart and sweet is also present on the first sip, which offers much more carbonation than suggested by the flimsy head and brackish body.  Meantime Weizen Double Bock gets richer and less tart as it warms, rounding out the flavor profile with black pepper, wood, brown sugar, red apples and other red fruits, and wine tannins.

toasts-3.5   3.5 Toasts



toasts-3.5   3.5 Toasts


Tart Attack – NoDa Brewing Company

noda-tart-attack-bttl4.3% ABV
Purchased through Rare Beer Club and poured into tulip glasses.

This blackberry-aged Berliner Weisse from Charlotte-based NoDa Brewing pours a clear, light gold with a filmy, bright white head.  The Rare Beer Club notes suggested aging Tart Attack for a maximum of 6 to 7 months, and this bottle fit right within that timeframe.  It offered a berry patch nose of blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, and a little mineral water, with some white wine grapes and honeydew melon on the periphery.  There is a succulent tartness on the first swallow dominated by berries and other fruits, including green apple and cantaloupe, but it finishes clean and crisp, without a significant amount of mouth pucker.  Some dusty funk asserts its presence on the nose and tongue, and a lemon-like tartness appears on the finish, giving Tart Attack the feel of a North Carolina terroir brew.

toasts-4   4 Toasts




toasts-4   4 Toasts

Tripel B – Adelbert’s Brewery

tripelb_adelberts9.3% ABV
Purchased through Rare Beer Club ($/25.4 oz.bottle) and poured into goblet glasses.

This bottle-conditioned Belgian tripel from Austin-based Adelbert’s pours a cloudy cantaloupe juice orange with a minimal, bright white head.  It smells of grass, toffee, some farmhouse funk, melon, cantaloupe, and tropical citrus.  There is a lovely warmth and restrained sweetness on the first swallow, with the expected tropical and melon flavors given a biting contrast from the peppery Belgian yeast.  Adelbert’s Tripel B is very heavy for a Belgian tripel, reaching more into the realm of a strong Belgian gold.  It’s not a boozy beer, but while some cracker-like grains, spice, caramel, and marmalade flavors are present, the overall taste is fairly neutral and tiring on the palette.

toasts-3   3 Toasts


toasts-3   3 Toasts

Page 24 Brune – Brasserie Saint-Germain

page-24-brune_bttl7.9% ABV
Purchased through Rare Beer Club and poured into oversize wine glasses.

This brown “biere de garde” – really an abbey-style dubbel – comes from Brasserie Saint-Germain, based in the north of France, near the border of Belgium.  Page 24 Brune pours a deep walnut brown with a sand-colored head that makes up in integrity what it lacks in volume.  The curious and enticing nose boasts raisins, chestnuts, berries, and a hint of the grape vine.  Delicious toffee, nuts, and dark fruits welcome on the first swallow, with a little bit of tartness entering the finish courtesy of the raisin and wine grape flavors.  More roasted nuts come in as the beer settles on the palette, along with a caramel-y yeastiness and a little farmhouse spice.  Brasserie Saint-Germain has brewed an exemplary dubbel with a balanced but complex blend of flavors.

toasts-4.5    4.5 Toasts


toasts-4   4 Toasts


Tropical Tripel – Cigar City/de Proef Collaboration


9.5% ABV
Purchased through Rare Beer Club and poured into goblet glasses.

This limited release collaboration between Belgian brewers De Proef and Tampa-based Cigar City pours a clear mandarin orange with a minimal bright white head.  Tropical Tripel was “aged on oak chips with coconuts and peaches”, and the nose offers a pina colada-style aroma of tropical fruits, including oranges, guavas, pineapples, and coconuts, with hints of Belgian farmhouse yeast.  It is strong and sweet on the palette as well, dominated by distinctly overripe fruit flavors like oranges, tangerines, guavas, and bananas, along with a touch of hop bitterness on the aftertaste.  The fruit adjuncts definitely heighten the candied fruit and hay taste of a Belgian tripel, but while this brew is thirst-quenching and flavorful, the overwhelming sweetness quickly becomes stomach-turning.

toasts-3    3 Toasts


toasts-3    3 Toasts


Prairie Noir – Prairie Artisan Ales

prairie-noir-bttl9% ABV
Purchased through The Rare Beer Club ($66.95/four 25.4 oz. bottles) and poured into pint glasses.

Oklahoma-based Prairie Artisan Ales only produced 100 cases of this “imperial oatmeal stout aged in oak whiskey barrels”, which pours a deep onyx with a scarce brown sugar head.  Prairie Noir offers a distinct nose of sawdust, bitter chocolate, coffee grounds, and fire-hot whiskey, but has a little more moderation and complexity on the tongue.  Freshly sawed lumber is the main flavor up front, followed by the expected coffee and chocolate notes, and some scorched sugar and burnt cereal on the retreat.  There is almost as much barrel as beer here, with that sawdust-y wood flavor coming to dominate the profile, along with hard alcohol and vanilla bean.  Allowing the beer some time to warm brings out more of the rich stout flavors.

toasts-3.5   3.5 Toasts


toasts-4   4 Toasts

La Gold – Birra San Martino

lagold_bttl7.6% ABV
Purchased through The Rare Beer Club (around $23/25.4 oz. bottle) and poured into globe glasses. 

This “strong honey bock” from up-and-coming Swiss brewers Birra San Martino pours a murky raisin brown with a mid-sized, dirty white head.  The distinctive and fairly promising nose of La Gold offers chestnuts, raw flour, twigs and leaves, and some dark fruits.  Nuts and grains appear first on the tongue, fading nicely into richer flavors like caramel, flowered honey, and plum-y chocolate.  La Gold has a unique flavor that is earthy and contemplative, and yet still quite drinkable, with complex waves of roasted nuts, cereal grains, and hints of honey, plums, and raisins washing across the palette.  La Gold gets more flower-y as it warms, with wild berry notes coming on and less of those richer caramel flavors.  With a little more sediment in the glass, some barrel root beer and sarsaparilla enters the frame.  What a beer!

toasts-4.5   4.5 Toasts


toasts-4.5   4.5 Toasts

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