Archive for February, 2011

Racer 5 India Pale Ale

Posted: February 18, 2011 in American IPA
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I picked up a pint bottle of Racer 5 IPA at the local Safeway.  The label calls it an “aggressive styled IPA” and “well-hopped” and as you’ll see below, it really lives up to those descriptors.  It’s brewed by Bear Republic Brewery which is just a little north of me, so a little trip may be in order.

This was a clear gold beer with an off-white head that dissipated quickly and lots of lacing.  It smelled very citrusy with a bit of pine.  Oh wow, this is hoptastic!  Hops, hops, and more hops.  A bit bitter once you get past all the hops and some hints of the citrus and pine.   Not at all malty.   Mouthfeel is middle-of-the road. Definitely has some body to it, but not too heavy, though it does stay with you for a bit afterwards.

Overall, a good beer but probably not a great choice for a true beer novice due to the bitterness.  This is really the beeriest beer I’ve reviewed so far.  I’m really not a big IPA fan, but would certainly recommend it for fans of the style.

Terrible

Posted: February 13, 2011 in Dark Ales
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Last night I opened up a pint bottle of Terrible, a Belgian-style strong dark ale made by the Unibraue Brewery in Quebec.  It really is a pretty strong ale, clocking in at 10.5% ABV.  This is a very dark, syrupy, caramel brown beer with a thick tan head.  It smells very sweet, like a white wine, with some definite fruity notes.  The taste is pretty true to the smell, almost tasting more like a wine than a beer.  In addition to the strong fruitiness, there’s also some chocolatey/molasses taste that blends well.  This is really a complex-tasting beer and really not what I was expecting from a Belgian Ale, but in a good way.  There’s a crisp, carbonated mouthfeel and the alcohol is very well hidden.  This is a beer that can really sneak up on you if you’re not paying attention, not a session beer by any stretch!  I had to drink this slow due to plans to drive later, but this is a very drinkable beer, though the high sweetness and alcohol content would definitely limit how much of this I could drink in an evening.

Overall, this was a great beer.  It lacked the “meal-in-a-glass” quality that you get with some very dark beers, especially stouts.  Like the last beer I tried, this doesn’t really have a typical “beer” taste, possibly because it’s really sweet with almost none of the bitterness/malt/hoppy taste that I really expect in a beer.  I definitely recommend this beer and would buy it again if I ran across it.

Purple Haze

Posted: February 12, 2011 in Fruit Beers
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The first beer I’ll be reviewing is Purple Haze.  It’s made at the Abita Brewery in Louisiana and they describe it as an American style wheat beer with fresh raspberry puree added after filtration.

This beer is a cloudy gold color with very little head.  It’s supposed to have a “subtle purple coloration” but I failed to see it.  It has a clean fruity aroma that is slightly malty.  The only notable flavor is the raspberry.  Very watery mouthfeel.  Tastes quite a bit like a raspberry flavored carbonated water.  Very drinkable, but I wouldn’t drive across town to get it.  It would probably be a good starter beer for someone who thinks they hate beer.

Overall, this wasn’t a bad beer, though there was nothing really special about it and I was ultimately disappointed.  I was really hoping for a more complex taste.  That being said, it would be a good beer to drink outdoors in the heat of summer.   The light fruitiness would likely do better in that setting than drinking it in my livingroom on a chilly Bay Area evening.

Intro

Posted: February 12, 2011 in Informational

If you read the title of the blog, you know I’ll be writing about beer.  My plan is to sample a variety of beers and discuss each one here.  Really it’s just a handy excuse to drink beer.