Archive for September, 2011

Little Sumpin’ Wild is a limited release from Lagunitas, a brewery that I’m sure regular readers will know I tend to favor.  It’s a clear orange/gold beer with a pale off-white head.  The smell pops you in the nose with citrus, pineapples, and spices but the hops come out more in the taste.  It really seems more like an American IPA than a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, but not obnoxiously hoppy.  It’s 9.2% abv but doesn’t taste like it and the overall feel is pretty smooth.

I actually took some of this to a coworker’s 21st birthday party last night with the instructions that he is not to drink this after an evening of Bud Lights.  I explained that he’s a big boy now and needs to learn to drink real beer, but if he really needs to drink Bud Light he should start with the Lagunitas and finish with the Bud Light.  He was impressed with the sexy lady on the bottle.  And the 9.2% abv.

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This past Friday I flew from Sacramento to LA and was running a bit behind.  After two hours of rush hour traffic and a too long wait for the shuttle from economy parking, I made it to the gate about 15 minutes before boarding.  I looked around and right across from the gate was an airport bar featuring the beers of Pyramid Breweries.  Surely this must be a sign, I thought to myself and went over and ordered an Alehouse Amber.

It was a very hazy brownish orange.  The scant foam was likely a result of an indifferent airport employee who cares very little about a proper pour.  It smelled kind of fresh and spicy with a bit of fruitiness.  The spice continued into the taste with a good amount of malt and very subtle hops. It was a very drinkable brew.  I find it especially nice for pounding rapidly in an airport bar.

Today I’m drinking a Fat Tire Amber Ale from the New Belgium Brewery in Colorado.  It’s a translucent honey-gold with an off-white head that quickly fades but leaves quite a bit of lacing.  The scent’s an earthy malt with some hops thrown in.  The flavor’s on the mild side but has a pleasant caramel and malt tastes.  The hops are refreshingly light. (I live in California where the breweries seem to be in constant competition to get the most hops into their beer.)  The mouthfeel was fairly thin and watery, which is fine for a beer I’m trying to drink all night, but not very interesting.  Ultimately, if I were drinking several beers in a sitting, I’d choose this, but if I’m drinking to have an interesting beer experience, I’ll pass.  It’s not bad, but it’s really nothing special either.

I recently missed an appearance of Dogfish Head’s 120 Minute IPA at a beer pub, so I’ll have to make due with the 90 Minute IPA I found in my local supermarket (which really has a great beer selection).  It’s an Imperial IPA (or American Double IPA, your call) which means that I should expect all the hoppiness of an IPA, but more aggressive and in your face.

It’s a clear copper/gold color in the glass with a yellowish cream-colored head that slowly fades and leave substantial lacing on the glass.  The smell is more citrusy than hoppy with a bit of malt coming through.  It’s not nearly as hoppy as I expected.  I can certainly taste hops, but they’re not kicking my teeth in or anything.  The taste really mirrors the scent with the addition of just a hint of pine on the back end.  It’s a pretty smooth drink, not too boozy or too carbonated.  Despite not particularly liking IPA’s, I quite enjoyed this.  I’ll definitely have to track down some of the other IPA’s Dogfish Head makes.  This is a good beer to try if you’re attempting to ease yourself into hops.  I’d drink it again.  (And the brewery has a steampunk treehouse!)

Traquair House Ale

Posted: September 3, 2011 in Scotch Ale
Tags: , , ,

I had a party last night and brought out some new beers to sample as well as some old favorites.  One of the new ones was Traquair House Ale, a Scotch Ale that poured a dark caramel brown with a slight cream colored head.  It smelled fruity and almost sour…possibly figs.  This beer tasted awesome!  Caramel and chocolate, some vanilla, pretty malty.  Sweet but not too sweet.  A very smooth beer, velvety even.  I loved this beer!  I’d definitely drink this again and suggest you find some and try it.