What time is it? Beer o'clock.

Our mission at The BeerFathers is to teach you to stop worrying and love the beer. Our secondary mission is to drink a lot of beer. Our tertiary mission is to give you ratings on those beers - objective, unbiased, opinionated, prejudiced ratings based on what we find good about beer. Take it with a grain of salt or preferably one of those big beer pretzels they sell in Munich. Those things are great.

And recently from the Beer Blog...

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Arcadia London Porter

By John & Dad on January 3, 2008 (No Comments)

In what has become a regular tradition, we now review a beer together on our usual Thursday evening call. The Arcadia London Porter was the first beer we reviewed using our new The BeerFathers Beer Review Form, which will soon be available to the drinking public.

First off, this is one of the all-time great beer bottles. It’s got Winston Churchill on the label and he stares you down as you drink with his cigar and derby hat. Dad picked this up on a recent trip to Missouri to visit Grandma Beer Love and our derby hats are off to the Arcadia Brewing Company for this one. We served this one up in a pint glass. It has a good medium brown head, about average in size (3/4″) and slightly fizzy. It dissipates rather quickly though it does leave a fair amount of lacing on the glass. The body is just about solid black and it’s got a soft carbonation to it. It’s bottle conditioned and the pour leaves some sediment in the bottom of the glass.

The aromas are intriguing – coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malts and perhaps a touch of molasses. There’s also an earthiness and nice smokiness to it, plus some possible black licorice and soy sauce. The initial flavor is heavy and a bit sweet. The chocolate overpowers the other flavors and really doesn’t let them come through. This really prevents a true balance resulting in a not overly complex tasting beer. The finish is bittersweet and long lasting, and as it warms tends to get very sweet. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth.

We suspected this might be a great beer to have with some cheese and fruit – perhaps strawberries. We got out some sharp cheddar and put it to the test and it immediately worked. This is a wonderful companion beer – the cheese lessens some of the strong malty aftertaste and it really does work. Combine that with its 7.2% ABV and you’ve got something pretty good. On the strength of that we’d probably move it up to a 7, but stand alone we feel it’s a good solid 6.

Arcadia London Porter Rating: 6 out of 10 (?)

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Hoegaarden

By John on January 2, 2008 (1 Comment)

“Who-Garden” – this is one of those beers I’ve drunken probably ten plus times without writing a review. It’s finally review time so I can reverse engineer exactly what it is I like about it so much. We can start with the obvious – it’s a wheat beer.

Further details: 4.9% ABV, brewed by Hoegaadren Brewery. The bottle reads that it’s a naturally unfiltered cloudy Belgian white beer. It pours well with an average to large frothy white head (about 1″ to 1 1/4″) following the recommended pouring method (2/3 into the glass, swirl the bottle, remaining 1/3 on top to create the head and charge the beer). The head dissipates slowly and the carbonation is light to soft. The body has a deliciously cloudy (a bit murky) and unfiltered goodness to it, combined with a light yellow golden appearance.

The smell is wonderfully sweet – citrus – orange and lemon, and a slight floral aroma plus a touch of wheat. The flavor backs up the aroma, a mild sweetness with a great lemony taste with coriander and a hint of banana. The mouthfeel is watery and it’s quite thirst-quenching. The finish is about average in duration and also mildly sweet with a little hop bitterness to it. I want to say I picked up a slight bubble gum flavor to the finish as it warmed, but I wouldn’t swear to it in a court of law.

It’s very refreshing and super-easy to drink. It’s got a pretty good balance to it. It’s similar to a hefe, but slightly different in a good way. You could easily slam back a few of these and call it a good night, especially a summer night.

Overall it’s a strong contender. It has all the elements of a great one – highly repeatable, very drinkable, somewhat memorable. It’s along the same lines of the Jahrhundert – a bit like a radler in Germany, though not quite as sweet. It’s worth the six pack and I bet this would move up to a 9 if you could find it on tap.

Hoegaarden Rating: 8 out of 10 (?)

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Single-Handedly Saving the Beer Industry One Beer at a Time

By John on January 2, 2008 (No Comments)

Good news: TheBeerFathers has single-handedly revitalized the beer industry. Or not. But the beer industry is regaining some of its steam and in 2007 recouped some of the losses it had been experiencing to, of all things, mixed drinks, thanks mostly to the surging interest in craft beers, such as those featured here on The BeerFathers. (Also featured: run-on sentences).

To steal a line from Fake Steve Jobs (who happens to be The BeerFathers’ favorite blogger – both Father and Son Beer Love now blog from home on their macs), money quote:

After years of losing people to mixed drinks, industry experts say the beer industry regained some of its lost luster in 2007, helped by surging interest in craft beers, a slowing economy and the desire of more drinkers to imbibe at home.

That’s right – drinking craft beers at home is revitalizing the beer industry. Imbibe away folks!
Read the full, boring story here.

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A Beer Love New Year

By John on January 1, 2008 (No Comments)

Happy new year from The BeerFathers! To celebrate we’ve made some resolutions for ourselves and are excited about the beers we will consume, nay become one with, in 2008. We’ve got a backlog of paper reviews we’ve got to type up and post from 2007 and we will begin doing that shortly. Full apologies for our absence – computers were down at the Father Beer Love residence and Son Beer Love was working on creating and coding some new Beer Love features. That aside, here’s our list of resolutions for 2008:

  • More beer ratings and reviews – we only got up to 55 in 2007 and we slacked off towards the end of the year. Apologies for that. We are recommitting ourselves to the beer and sharing in the beer love with you.
  • More broad focus on beer – more than just ratings and reviews, we also just want to write about beer. So The BeerFathers here have created this beer blog to post our other beer thoughts.
  • More tools to help you stop worrying and love the beer – in addition to more reviews and our new blog, we’ve got some other tools we’re currently crafting in our beer labs to help you further enjoy your beer quest. More details to come soon.

That’s it. Thanks for hanging out with us in 2007 and here’s to a beerful 2008!

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Unibroue Chambly Noire

By John on October 2, 2007 (No Comments)

This is a Unibroue brew, which should immediately tell you that it is a top tier beer. I’ve never seen this one before and picked up this and another “new to me” Unibroue on a recent trip to Total Wine. It’s a 6.2% ABV and the bottle reads “Dark Ale on Lees.” Unsure what this meant I looked up lees and found it is the sediment from fermentation, consisting of dead yeast, fruit debris and the like. This definition suited me better than a dark ale on top of an onion.

It is bottle refermented and it’s a foamer – it foamed right out of the bottle upon opening. The pour is a dark dark brown (near black) that produces a decent tan head that is rather foamy and dissipates relatively quickly. The aroma is a nice, deep, rich aroma of roasted malts and coffee. All Unibroue beers have a very inviting aroma. Come to think of it I can’t think of many beers with bad aromas. Hmmm… The taste is good – hints of chocolate, dark fruits, roasted malts and traces of oak. It’s smooth, though not terribly complex. The mouthfeel is good and it has almost no aftertaste at all.

Overall it’s just a bit too plain. It’s not great. It’s not unique. It’s not a beautiful snowflake. Drinkable? Yes. Repeatable? Yes. Memorable? No. This beer has to be judged a little bit against Unibroue’s own high standards it has set for itself and it just doesn’t live up to the reputation. The good news? There’s like 15 other Unibroues for you to try.

Unibroue Chambly Noire Rating: 5 out of 10 (?)

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Widmer Hefeweizen

By Dad on September 21, 2007 (1 Comment)

I must admit I really like good hefe’s and on a 92 degree summer day I was looking forward to one. This is new to the area so I got a single.

Beer temp. 39.9 F-4.6 C. Pours a cloudy amber gold with no head. Aroma of lemon and grain but not the distinctive biscuit wheat aroma that makes my mouth water. The first sip is lemony and really bitter without any touch of sweetness of a good hefe. Either this damn thing is bad or it has way too many hops for a wheat beer. The bitterness overpowers the pepper taste if there is any. The delicate subtle wheat beer taste just isn’t in there. Even Samuel Adams Summer Ale is more restrained in the hops. The only reason I’m not pouring it out is I’m so damn cheap. Hope the one inch charge I saved at the bottom would be better. It wasn’t.

Repeatability, I could barely choke this one down. Normally I only give beers I pour out a 0 but I’ll give this one a belated pour out.

Note – I picked up a package of Port Salut flavor blended cheese which isn’t very strong but it did take the taste of this stinker out of my mouth. No matter how bad this beer was I’d drink a case of it for one more night sitting around drinking wine or beer (sometimes homemade sometimes store bought) and eating stinky cheese with my father. I miss you dad!!! Port Salut brings back a lot of memories.

Widmer Hefeweizen Rating: 0 out of 10 (?)

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Beach Bum Blonde Ale

By Dad on September 21, 2007 (No Comments)

This is by A.B. Beer temp. 41.3F – 6.1C. Pours medium gold with a fair white head that faded quickly with no lacing. Mild sour citrus aroma. Not much depth to the malts with a fair amount of bitterness and some sourness but I’m thinking it’s not all hops. The citrus that I smelled at first is responsible for the sour part and it’s (drumroll…) GRAPEFRUIT. Yes I’m drinking grapefruit flavored beer. It’s not the worst I’ve had but it’s nothing to write home about, although I’m writing about it. While citrus is a traditional flavor for beer, lemons, orange and maybe even lime could work – I don’t think grapefruit works at all. Maybe if there was a touch of sweetness it might help but I don’t know, sweet grapefruit, no way.

This was the last of a six pack (thank god). As I bid a fond farewell I’ll say this: buy it at your own risk, drink it if you must or better yet serve it to people you don’t care for very much.

Beach Bum Blonde Ale Rating: 1 out of 10 (?)

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Stella Artois

By Dad on September 14, 2007 (1 Comment)

This is a Belgian lager, the first one I’ve seen so I thought I’d give it a try.

Beer temp. 44.6 F (7.0 C). Clear light gold color with a fair white head. Mild hop aroma with maybe a touch of hay to it. Mild malts with not much body but a surprisingly rich mouth feel. Although the head faded quickly there is a nice lacing on the sides of the glass. The hops are fairly sharp but don’t last overly long and have a lemony taste.

Repeatability, yes. I could do several more. It’s worth it if for nothing else than the mouth feel.

Stella Artois Rating: 5 out of 10 (?)

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Trappistes Rochefort 8

By John on August 31, 2007 (2 Comments)

Let me start off by saying this is a superb beer. It however suffers the unfortunate fate of being the second Trappistes Rochefort beer I’ve consumed – see my previous review on the Rochefort 10. With that said, any beer that has to suffer through having such a stud of a big brother can’t help but pale a bit in comparison. In the case of the Rochefort 8, paling in comparison means it’s still an awesome beer, it’s just no Rochefort 10.

My bottle code is L280312 06:36 and it’s the traditional 11.2 oz Trappist Rochefort bottle (the only difference in their 3 beers is the label and cap color). The beer is 9.2% ABV – that’s a little less alcohol than the 10 (which logs in at 11.3%), and makes this one a tripel ale (as opposed to the 10 which is a quadrupel). The pour is a deep, dark brown, almost black with a huge head, dark beige and creamy, that settles to about 1/2″. If you put your ear close to it you can hear a sound like rice crispies with snaps, crackles and pops tempting you to dive in.

The smell is alcohol, roasted malts, dark fruits and a hint of coffee. The taste is subtly smooth and discriminating. It’s got flavors of mild chocolate, dark roasted malts, dark fruits (plum, prune, fig?), earth and an ever so slight sweetness that is not overdone. Despite all this it’s not as complex as you might think compared to the 10 (big brother strikes again). The aftertaste is smooth with subtle hops and a floral hint to it. Mouthfeel is good – about medium with a little carbonation. The beer gets a little sharp as it gets really warm. Compared to the 10 this one is less of a sipper.

Overall this is just a terrific treat. Drinkability is high, repeatability is also good, though you won’t be slamming down 3 of these in a row. I’d love to get multiple bottles and cellar one or two of them to try in 6 months to a year. It’s supposed to get better as it matures. Though I’ve not tried the Rochefort 6, I’ll go out on a limb and say that you can’t go wrong with any of the Trappistes Rochefort beers. When you find them, buy as many as you can (expect to pay between $5 and $8 a bottle though).

Trappistes Rochefort 8 Rating: 8 out of 10 (?)

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Paulaner Hefe-Weizen

By John on August 28, 2007 (1 Comment)

Paulaner makes some terrific beers and their hefeweizen is no exception. This natural wheat beer is, as are most wheat beers, a perfect summer beer. This one is in my top 3 for hefes (Flying Dog In Heat Wheat, Ayinger Brau-Weisse and this one, in no particular order).

This one is 5.5% ABV and initially pours a clear lemony golden yellow and foams up a good bit (about a 3/4″ head that settles to a 1/8″ skim of froth). But with the last pour (the obligatory bottom inch of the bottle which is swirled to suspend all the yeast) it becomes cloudy like it should be. This is a byproduct of the top fermenting style – most wheat beers will have this. Did you know “hefe” is German for yeast? Look it up.

The head is a soft wispy head, like a cumulus cloud. It’s got light carbonation and a light and crisp aroma featuring wheat, yeast, citrus and a little banana. An intoxicating smell.

The taste is very balanced – malty and hoppy, but very smooth. It’s a fruity taste – banana, lemon, wheat, yeast, a hint of spice and a light floral taste. The taste is better and more complex and unique with a full pour of the bottle as opposed to just pouring half. I recommend you empty the entire contents into a pint glass at once. As it warms it actually gets a little sharp, but the good news is it’s a gulper of a beer and probably won’t have a chance to warm. I drank two – the first I let warm up for 30 minutes or so but the second came straight out of the fridge. Advantage – fridge. The aftertaste lingers a bit and gives you a fruity lemon and wheat edge. Overall it’s very good. My real rating is a 7+, which rounds up to a 8.

My final thoughts – you’ve gotta do it cold, right out of the fridge, and it’s a good beer to have with food (as are most hefes). I also can firmly stand behind my initial thoughts after my Brau-Weisse review – we simply must make it mandatory to possess an inventory of no less than 6 hefeweizens in your fridge at any given point in time between the months of April and October. I’ll even broaden it out to allow for any wheat beer without fear of punishment.

Paulaner Hefe-Weizen Rating: 8 out of 10 (?)

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Blue Moon Honey Moon Summer Ale

By Dad on August 16, 2007 (1 Comment)

I saw this in the store and when a pal said it was good I invested in a six pack. Some people invest in stocks, bonds and mutual funds – I invest in beer. At least I can drink my investments (is that liquidating them?).

It’s made by Blue Moon. Beer temp. 48.2 F (9.0 C). Pours clear medium gold with a nice white head. Orange and sweet honey aroma. The head faded pretty quickly. First taste gives a nice sweetness with a subtle orange note and very mild hops. The label says pale malt and malted white wheat, but I didn’t notice the distinctive wheat aroma I’m so fond of which may have been covered up by the honey and orange aromas. Since it’s clear and not cloudy it’s not bottle conditioned and filtered. I must admit I like the cloudy appearance of wheat beers. This was actually my third one so it’s not terribly new to me so I’m a little too critical but I feel it’s either a tad too sweet and a little short on hops to balance the sweet. It is still a good call for a summer beer especially for someone not looking for much depth, after all that’s what summer calls for. My lovely wife tried it and pronounced it good. It might even work with Q.

Repeatability? Darn right.

Note: a later taste on a late humid night after work was even better. I may have been a little too critical. Clean, crisp and smooth, great balance of orange and sweet isn’t quite as annoying as I thought before. Give it a try while it’s available, you won’t be sorry.

Blue Moon Honey Moon Summer Ale Rating: 6 out of 10 (?)

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Heineken Dark

By John on August 12, 2007 (3 Comments)

We all know about Heineken and their reputation as an “ultra-premium” imported beer. It seems Heineken is a status symbol of sorts, even though most people openly admit that it suffers from skunk beer syndrome (it is said that green bottles do very little to protect against this skunky smell).

Heineken Dark is a completely different creature than it’s older brother. For starters it comes in a brown bottle to help differentiate it – though the labeling and graphics are very similar to a regular Heineken. I remember the first time I had a Heineken Dark – I was home visiting my parents and dad pulled me one out of the fridge – I immediately braced myself for the impending skunkiness and was surprised to not find it. Instead I found a very drinkable beer.

Like it’s elder brethren, Heineken Dark is brewed in Amsterdam, Holland. It pours a dark ruby brown color with a roughly 1/2 inch tan head that dissipates rather quickly. It smells very different from a regular Heineken – a lot less skunky with a strong coffee and earth aroma. The taste is somewhat subdued and muted – a lot milder than you’d expect – but you pick up roasted malts, coffee (leaning towards lighter rather than darker roast), earth and molasses. The mouthfeel is a good medium weight – not too heavy. The aftertaste is actually quite smooth with a slight sweet edge to it. It’s a good finish.

It’s really a pretty good brew and almost comes across as an anti-Heineken. It could be a lot bolder though – it’s so mild that you almost wish it would take a stronger stand (this is no doubt because it’s a lager and not an ale). In that regard it may be a good dark beer for people who don’t tend to favor darks because they’re “too strong” (as most of the dark beers tend to be ales). It is quite drinkable though and is a fairly good complement to food. It’s worth a six pack and you’ll find yourself wanting to drink a couple.

Heineken Dark Rating: 5 out of 10 (?)

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Guinness Draught

By John & Dad on August 10, 2007 (14 Comments)

This is by far our most strenuous test to date – the Guinness Draught 4 way test. Guinness is classified as a dry stout and it comes both in cans and bottles (as well as on tap). We wanted to do a bottle vs. can test to find out which beer delivery system really tasted better, but we noticed that both the can and the bottle recommend serving “extra cold.” This is a bit contrary to what we know about beer, which says you should drink them warmer, closer to 50-55 degrees (the British ales are recommended even a bit warmer than most beers). So our bottle vs. can test became an extra cold bottle vs. a warmer bottle vs. an extra cold can vs. a warmer can. Both the cans and the bottles have a “widget” inside them that helps simulate a draft beer coming out of a tap.

An interesting side note: pouring a Guinness on tap is an art form in and of itself. We’ve all seen Guinness served in bars and if you’ve seen someone who actually knows how to pour Guinness correctly out of a tap, it’s a thing of beauty. Because the beer is run through a cooler to chill it to the required temperature, the nitrogen bubbles become agitated and as it pours it creates the creamy goodness that makes Guinness so famous. So pouring the “perfect pint” is a multi-step process that involves topping off the initial pour after it has settled for some time. Guinness says it takes 119.53 seconds to pour the perfect pint. There is a terrific photo essay at INtake, an Indianapolis nightlife guide, on pouring the perfect pint (additional reading can be found at Esquire). Bonus Video – Fergal Murray, the Guinness brewmaster, explains the perfect pour (click on the video to play it):

Back to the review. Dad notes: While I realize that Guinness is pretty much thought of as THE STOUT I must admit I’ve never been a big fan. Awhile back I was drinking a Guinness Extra Stout and noticed it was brewed in Canada. I thought maybe the real Guinness Draught brewed in Ireland would be better so I mentioned it to John. He said the cans he had were brewed in Ireland so on his next trip home for a wedding he brought 2 Guinness cans (along with 10 other beers for good measure). On the day we carved out a little time to test them I went to the liquor store to get a couple of Canadian made ones, and discovered that the pint cans and bottles of Guinness Draught here were also Irish. I then realized it’s only the Extra Stouts that are brewed in Canada. Dismayed but undaunted I grabbed 2 bottles of the Draught and headed home. So now we had four Guinness Draughts and we intended to drink them all under the guise of testing, not drinking but TESTING. 52.2 ounces of testing in the middle of the afternoon.

Test variables:
The cans are 14.9 oz, with a widget inside. The bottles are 11.2 oz, also with a widget inside. Though both widgets float in the bottle, the can widget is more of a round ball and the bottle widget is more a of a long plastic cylinder, called a “rocket widget.” The bottle actually recommends you drink it straight from the bottle, but that just seems so wrong we can’t bring ourselves to even fathom it. Besides, who can resist the sight of a beautiful glass of stout with that light brown head?

For our warmer beers the rest time was 26 minutes out of the fridge. The beer temperature of the can was 58 F and the bottle was 53 F. For our extra cold beers they spent the same amount of time in the freezer. The beer temperature of the can was 38 F and the bottle was 34 F. “Extra cold” isn’t a clearly defined number but these seemed to fit the mark (side note: after reviewing the Guinness web site after the test extra cold is supposed to be 38.3 F). We used 4 pilsner glasses.

Results:
All the pours are terrific. It’s a creamy, frothy pour that waves up from the bottom of the glass and settles into a rich deep cinnamon tan head that hangs around forever. The beer itself is a deep black color that complements the head very well. It’s a visual treat to watch the wave and see the cream work its way up to the top to create a luscious head.

The aroma is roasted malts, with some coffee undertones. Overall the beers are all thick, rich and creamy. We found that the flavor of the counter rested (warmer) beers was markedly better – better than the extra colds with more depth and complexity. The subtle taste of the coffee and chocolate with the bold anise or black licorice flavor really came through. There is also a terrific touch of sweetness as well. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy and it laces insanely well on the glass. It’s got a dry finish and has a smooth slightly coffee aftertaste.

The very cold stouts lost the marvelous subtleness of the rested ones and gave us only black licorice. We both found much to our surprise that the taste of the can was smoother than the bottle. Given a choice between a can and a bottle of the same thing we would always choose a bottle but this may give us cause to rethink that. Fortunately that is rarely the case, as we don’t like to do a lot of thinking when we are drinking.

Conclusion:
34-38 degrees is just too cold for a stout. 40-49 degrees might be better but we only had 4. In the 50’s is just so right for a stout. The can definitely wins out for smoothness. It also really does taste a lot like a draft beer on tap – they’ve done a good job with that. There is another test we must do – a bottle vs. a bottle poured into a glass.

Final Thoughts:
4 containers of Guinness, about 10 bucks. A father and son standing around swilling them on on a summer afternoon, absolutely priceless.

Guinness Draught Rating: 7 out of 10 (?)

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Abita Turbodog

By John on August 2, 2007 (4 Comments)

Turbodog is a dark brown ale brewed and bottled by Abita Brewing Company in Abita Springs, LA. The bottle reads that it:

  • Is brewed with a combination of pale, crystal and chocolate malts
  • Is dry-hopped with the finest Williamete hops
  • Is fermented using a unique German alt yeast
  • Uses pristine Artesian water of Abita Springs
  • Has a sweet chocolate-toffee like flavor
  • Is cold-filtered and brewed in small batches

I would say just transcribing what’s on the bottle would stand as a review, but you know as well as I do that that’s not what The BeerFathers are about.

It pours a dark brown – almost black – with a good two finger head that fades slowly leaving a thin layer that remains on the surface throughout the entire drinking session. It’s a got a chocolate and coffee smell to it, with a hint of nuttiness – I’m serving mine in a pint glass and it’s a little harder to smell out of this than the tulip glass.

The initial taste is complex – it has a sharp nuttiness to it with the chocolate predominantly jumping out. It also has a coffee undertone and a slightly toast-like taste. The aftertaste has a bit of toffee to it. The mouthfeel is rich and bold – it coats the tongue well and has some solid carbonation to it.

The malts prevail in this and it may edge a little too malty. It has a sharpness to it that could be more balanced. However, it is still wonderful and is ideal for a strong meal – think red beans and rice with a good Andouille sausage, preferably from Mulate’s. Despite the maltiness it is easy to drink even in hot weather, which is surprising considering it’s a dark ale. Maybe that’s a result of the good water they put in it.

Personally I love it – it tastes a lot like home. Sentimental? Yes, but rightfully so. You won’t want to drink it every day, but you will want a 6 pack.

Abita Turbodog Rating: 7 out of 10 (?)

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Theakston Old Peculier

By Dad on July 19, 2007 (3 Comments)

I’m pretty sure I’ve had this one before but I have misplaced my first hundred reviews so I tried it again. Beer temp. 49.8 F – 10.1 C. Pours dark amber brown with med. tan head that faded quickly. Molasses aroma with coffee undertones. First taste has pleasant malts and very light hops. Malts have very light caramel taste with molasses. I would classify this as a dark brown ale which I sometimes call “stout light,” but this is even quite good to my taste. There is a slight sweetness to it and the taste doesn’t linger overly long. The taste works the back of the tongue and the carbonation faded quickly. John has said that the true test of a beer is the second one and this may prove him right. Not quite as strong or complex as Turbodog but it’s quite enjoyable. The mildness is surprising as the color is so deep.

At $1.99 each it is good for the rotation when you want something with depth of malts but not as deep as a stout. I give it a good solid 6. Repeatability, wish I had some more now.

Addendum:

After the comments on the site I picked up another and tried it at 66F, Wow were my eyes opened. I picked up 8 aromas cereal, coffee, nutty, roasted, toffee, mold, alcohol and plum. Taste were 8, coffee, roasted, toffee, black licorice, brown sugar, plum and raisin. At 66F the flavors really pop, first the dark fruits and then the light licorice and coffee. The taste were complex but danced lightly on the tongue. It seems like the aging brings out the dark fruits of a Belgian Ale and the dark malts give it a nice light porter quality , almost like 2 beers in one. I must admit that at the higher temperature the 5.7 ABV hit harder than I expected. I have also awarded this the The BeerFathers “Best Buy Award” for quality and price. Thanks to those of you who commented I have adjusted the rating to an 8. I also after some trying managed to score the last single and the last 6 pack in the area. Some troll at Heineken has “De-Listed” this so it is not available in the USA anymore. Pox upon them.

Theakston Old Peculier Rating: 8 out of 10 (?)

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