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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.
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By John on September 3, 2008 (31 Comments)
Being a guy, I love movie quotes. I really love them. A lot. It’s a weakness (or maybe a strength?) for just about every guy I know – friends and I can have entire conversations where nothing but movie quotes are passed around – no actual other words are used. Entire conversations. Really.
The fun part of course is trying to figure out what movie your friend just quoted and returning another quote from the same movie, if possible, to subtly let them know you know what they know. You know?
Well I recently got involved in a Twitter exchange with some of our Atlanta beer peers (or the ATL as we call it in, um, Charlotte) over at Monday Night Brewery after they posted a link to one of the all time great beer names: I’ll Have What the Gentleman on the Floor is Having Barley Wine (from the fine folks at McGuire’s Irish Pub in Florida). Well, the lads over at Monday Night Brewery are actually starting a brewery, so after that post they noted that they’re “tempted to rename all of our beer names ridiculously long sentences.” With that, the fun began.
I started out with a recommendation for “The Road Less Traveled And That Made All The Difference Pale Ale” and quickly realized what it was lacking: movie quotes. So we started a fun exchange of ideas that traveled along the lines of:
- What About That Time I Found You Naked With That Bowl of Jell-O Lager (from Real Genius)
- I’m Kind of a Big Deal Stout (from Anchorman)
- Roads? Where We’re Going We Don’t Need Roads Tripel (from Back to the Future)
- We Can’t Stop Here. This is Bat Country Hefeweizen (from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
- I Hope You Have a Big Trunk Because I’m Puttin’ My Bike In It Doppelbock (from 40 Year Old Virgin)
- Warm Glass of Shut the Hell Up Barley Wine (from Happy Gilmore)
A great exchange of ideas, but were we done? Ha! After mentioning it to Father Beer Love our brains just kept on going and the fun was just getting started. We came up with a few other movie quotes:
- I’ll Have the Cream of Sum Yung Guy Rice Lager (from Wayne’s World)
- A Man’s Got to Know His Limitations Quadrupel (from Magnum Force)
- The Strain Was More Than he Could Bear Triple Stout (from Tombstone)
And Father Beer Love came up with a nice non-movie quote:
- Madam, You Are Ugly. In the Morning, I Shall be Sober London Porter (from Winston Churchill)
So let’s keep it going – let’s come up with some more quotes, both movie quotes and non movie quotes, that have an appropriate beer tied to them. Here’s a full list of beer styles (via Beer Advocate). Let’s have your best quotes – just post a comment below. Also – the gang at MNB is actually asking for help in naming their Belgian wit beer – if you want a real exercise in naming. If you want a fake one post away below.
By John & Dad on September 2, 2008 (No Comments)
Thursday beer review time again, meaning Father and Son get together and have a beer. Nothing better in the world! Today we revisit the Kulmbacher Brauerei AG to give the Kulmbacher Eisbock a try. We recently tried the Kulmbacher Edelherb and weren’t too impressed with the results. The good news is they completely redeem themselves with their Eisbock. The bottle reads “Bayrisch Gforns” which Father Beer Love translated to “frozen beer.” If you want to know more about eisbocks, check out our review of the EKU 28, where we detail exactly what makes an eisbock an eisbock. Interestingly enough, Kulmbacher is the same company that makes the EKU 28.
We poured our 11.2 oz bottle into a snifter and got an initial beer temperature of 55 F. ABV comes in at 9.2%, which you’d expect for an ice bock (and may be a little on the low end for an ice bock). We got a small 3/4″ creamy light brown head on the pour that dissipated quickly and left virtually no head lacing in the process. We found a soft carbonation in the opaque, ruby brown body.
For our aromas we get lots of dark fruits and sweet malts – chocolate, roasted malts, alcohol, black currant, maple syrup, dark cherry, raisin, spices, vanilla and a nice dark rum. A great medley of nose candy. Our tastes were as scattered as the aromas – a touch of chocolate, moderate coffee, molasses, alcohol, dark cherry, raisin, oak, sherry, a hint of vanilla, dark rum and a slight resin and soy sauce to the finish. We almost wore out our sniffers and our taste buds trying to pull the complexity out of this one.
Our initial flavor notes were a heavy sweet and light bitter. The finish notes move to a more moderate sweet, moderate bitter and light saltiness. The finish length is about average, the mouthfeel is creamy, and the tongue hit is right in the middle of your tongue. There’s a fair amount of body lacing as you drink it. On our patented malt to hop scale it comes in 2 clicks to the left of balanced on the malty side, which is mid range for malts.
Our bottom line notes – yes to drinkable, yes to balance, yes to memorable and yes to buy again. No on repeatable (only if you want to take a nap where you’re standing), no on harmony and no on wow factor.
There’s really a lot to like here. Raisin definitely dominates this beer and it’s not bad at all. There’s an oak hit in between the initial taste and the finish that brings a nice woodiness to it. It’s not a Vay-ner-chuk style Oak Monster, but it’s definitely oak nonetheless (though to be honest I did make the oak monster face). Think more of a wine barrel than an bourbon barrel for that oak – it’s not the charred kind you get in bourbon.
This beer really hits its groove as it warms – that’s when you get some nice notes – the fruits really come out a bit more and you get some slight notes of sherry. I think you’ll want to treat it like a good port – sip it and enjoy it. It’s different than the EKU 28, but just as good in many different ways. The ABV comes in a little less, but there’s more complexity to it. This would be a great winter beer. Overall we highly recommend it.
Kulmbacher Eisbock Rating: 7 out of 10 (?)
By John on August 27, 2008 (366 Comments)
List Last Updated: October 2011
We’ve all been frustrated at some point with the beers in our local market (Father Beer Love calls Shreveport/Bossier a vast “Stout Wasteland”). So what are your options if you who have a poor beer selection where you are or if you just want to find some good stuff that’s maybe not distributed in your area? Welcome to buying beer online!
Our beer pal Eli Shayotovich wrote an article many years ago on the top places to buy beer online. It was a great post that really opened my eyes on how to get beer online – unfortunately it’s no longer available.
So we decided to go ahead and put together a list of where to buy beer online based on our own experiences. I know I didn’t have a lot of knowledge on this before Eli’s article, and searching online really didn’t produce a ton of helpful links, so hopefully this can help you get started and save you a little time like Eli did for me. It’s worth noting that I’m not talking about “beer of the month club” sites, rather these are sites that you can go to and purchase exactly the beers you want.
- Half Time Beverage – Possibly the largest selection we’ve found online (around 1,800 beers). It’s not a liquor store, they only sell beer. Their online presence is pretty great too – search by brewery, country, color, style, ABV, and for us bitter Americans even by hop content. Lots of good brands: Brew Dog, Stone, Great Divide, Lagunitas, Avery, Hoppin Frog, Dogfish Head, Bear Republic, Mikkeller and even our beloved Theakston Old Peculier. Online beer ordering, a beer of the month club and their retail store has 12 taps running at all times. Great stuff. Based in Poughkeepsie, New York, a city still living off the buzz marketing campaign of John Cage’s character in Ally McBeal.
- Bierkraft – a really good selection, online beer ordering, reputable site. Probably between 400 and 500 beers available online. Based in Brooklyn, New York, where they operate a retail store as well.
- BottleTrek – About 500 beers to choose from and a pretty wide-ranging selection across the styles. Kind of hard to find certain beers on the site, but they’ve got good beer taste. Unlike most others on this list they don’t have a physical storefront, they just ship online. Based near Eugene, Oregon.
- Hi-Time Wine Cellars – It’s a wine store that has a little bit of everything, including hard liquor (one of the best scotch selections I’ve seen) and beer – lots of beer (well over 1,000 beers including some pretty unique stuff). Family owned and based in California and recommended by one of my readers.
- Shoppers Vineyard – It’s primarily a wine shop, but as we know there’s a lot of good wine shops that also do beer. Around 400 to 500 beers to choose from with online ordering. Based in Clifton, New Jersey, where they operate a retail store.
- Binny’s Beverage Depot – Good selection of beers (they bought out Sam’s Wine), but you can only get some of the beers online (some are marked “in-store only”). Based near Chicago, Illinois, where they operate 20+ stores.
- John’s Grocery – About 700 beers to order and a really great Belgian selection (about 125 beers). The site is kind of hard to navigate and it’s a little wonky as they publish the beer list and prices online but you can’t order online. You have to call them to order and they’ll only ship to select states. Based in Iowa City, Iowa.
- Archer Liquors – Mixed selection including Three Floyds, Hoppin’ Frog, Bell’s, Founder’s, Dogfish Head, Stone, Great Divide, Lagunitas and Bear Republic, but lots listed that you can’t buy. No online ordering either, you have to email them very specific directions. Based in Chicago, Illinois.
- BevMo! – A really respectable selection (well over 1,000 beers) with online beer ordering, real-time inventory and a lots of good photos. Based in Concord, California and they operate over 100 stores on the West Coast in California and Arizona. They only ship beer to California and Arizona though.
- BelgianShop – Exactly what you think it would be – focuses on Belgian beers with a great selection of stuff you’ve never heard of. About 700 beers total. Expensive, but worth it. Online beer ordering and they ship globally. Based in Verviers, Belgium.
- BeerBoxx – Very nice site focusing on only Belgian beers, with over 800 in stock. In addition to individual beers you can order themed beer boxes – such as a box of tripel, a box of trappist or a box of Gueuze. May be the best designed beer site we’ve seen. Online ordering with worldwide shipping. Based in Antwerp, Belgium.
- Beer Planet – Almost 1,000 Belgian beers to choose from. It’s not the prettiest site but the selection is immense. Online ordering and worldwide shipping. Based in Brussels, Belgium.
The BeerFathers’ personal favorite? It’s the BelgianShop where you can get some great Trappist Belgian beers and the appropriate glassware to fully enjoy it like it was meant to be enjoyed. Their selection is mind blowing – you can even find the rare Westvleteren Abt 12 (which we have ordered and tasted from them – wow), as well as stuff from Rochefort, St. Bernardus, Abbaye des Rocs, Hoegaardens you won’t find in the US, Belgian cheeses and a lot more. They actually ship from Belgium though, so your shipping and handling may be a tiny bit more than a standard order from say, Amazon.com.
A warning to those who read this: don’t come crying to us when you drop hundreds of dollars on your online beer orders, because, well, we’ve done the same thing.
And if you’re trying to find a beer to buy online and aren’t having any luck just leave a comment for us below and we’ll do our best to help you locate it. Please tell us where you are and we may be able to find somewhere local to get it.
By John & Dad on August 25, 2008 (1 Comment)
Thursday Night Lights time here at The BeerFathers – meaning a Father and Son Beer Love review. For our prime time performance we’ve got the Flying Dog Kerberos Tripel in the spotlight. As you know Flying Dog makes a good variety of beers and we love just about every one of them. They’re consistently in the upper half of our ratings for good reason. The Kerberos Tripel, though good, misses the mark a bit.
For the Kerberos we decided to use a tulip glass and this 12 ounce bottle conditioned puppy came in with a temperature of 50.5 F and an ABV of 8.5%. Our initial pour gave us a small 3/4″ fizzy white head that dissipated so quickly we almost didn’t have time to figure out how it looked (we maybe should have used a different glass). There wasn’t any head lacing to speak of and the body clarity was a sparkling clear golden color, thanks to the lively carbonation. Towards the end when we got to the yeast we got a bit of haze on the pour.
The initial aromas came in with honey, straw, floral, grass, citrus (lemon mostly), alcohol, spices and some mild fruits – pear and a few other light ones we couldn’t put our finger on. It’s a really nice bouquet of smells – like a hefeweizen on steroids. The flavors come in with honey, straw, citrus (again mostly lemon), spices and pear, but also add a peach flavor to the fray. You get a slight alcohol in the taste as it warms up. You also get some nice fruit notes and a peach tartness is in the taste. They use some candy sugar in the brewing process from what we’ve read to give you some of the sweetness.
The initial flavor notes are a moderate sweet and a light bitter, which move in the finish to a light sweet, moderate bitter and a light saltiness. The finish is about average in duration and there’s no body lacing as we drink it down. The mouthfeel is a bit hard to discern – a bit oily but a bit dry on the finish. The tongue hit is on the back of the tongue. On our malt to hop scale it comes in 2 clicks to the right of balanced on the hoppy side.
For our bottom line notes we get a yes for drinkable and repeatable, a so-so on the balance and a no to harmony, memorable, wow factor and buy again. It’s really kind of light as trippels go. It’s definitely not as good as some of the other trippels we’ve done (forget the obvious ones from Belgium which are great, it’s not even as good as the New Belgium Trippel made in Fort Collins, Colorado). It’s a little too hoppy for our taste (even though the IBUs rate in at 27) and just doesn’t have the balance and harmony that we like in a trippel.
Our overall take – it’s an American imitation of a good Belgian trippel ale. It’s a bit off though and doesn’t quite pull it off. There’s better trippels on the market for both price and taste. Flying Dog puts out a lot of great beers, this one just misses the mark a bit. Maybe it’s the extra “P” they left out of Trippel? Who knows?
By John & Dad on August 21, 2008 (6 Comments)
It’s Thursday Beer Love time – which means Father and Son have a terrific excuse to drink a beer together in the name of Beer Love Science. We’re The BeerFathers after all, lest we forget. This week we have the Duck Rabbit Milk Stout as our test subject. Past experience with Duck Rabbit beers have set the bar pretty damn high, with their Duck Rabbit Baltic Porter setting the benchmark. Can the Milk Stout compete? Yes it can, in it’s own unique way.
All Duck Rabbit beers come to us from the Duck-Rabbit Brewery over in Farmville, NC, where Son Beer Love still says he’s going to take a field trip one day. We served up the Milk Stout in a tulip glass and got an initial beer temperature of 52 F. The ABV is a little low on this one (compared to the Baltic Porter) at 5.7%, but that’s okay.
Our initial pour gave us a generous 2″ large foamy medium brown head that gave us a fair amount of head lacing as it dissipated slowly into the black opaque body below. It tends to foam up really well when you pour it. We noted a soft amount of carbonation around the head.
The aromas come in with chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, black licorice and a milky, lactose like smell. A very intriguing smell as neither Father nor Son Beer Love has ever had a Milk Stout before this one. The tastes are true to all the aromas and also add smoke and cream to to the mix. When you sip the beer through the head you get more cream than milk in the taste for a nice effect. The smokiness comes through in the finish.
Our initial flavor notes come in with a moderate sweet and light bitter. The finish flavor notes move to a light sweet and moderate bitter and add a light saltiness. The finish duration is about average and the mouthfeel is nice and creamy. The tongue hit is in the middle of the tongue and there is no body lacing to speak of as we drink it. On our patented malt to hop scale it comes in very malty – 3 clicks to the left of balanced on the malty side (which is right where we like ‘em).
For our bottom line notes we got a yes for everything but wow factor. Yes to drinkable, repeatable, balance, harmony, memorable and we would definitely buy it again.
The fact is folks we love this beer. It reminds us a lot of a cafe au lait (French for “coffee with milk”) and takes us back to our favorite place in the world – The Cafe Du Monde on Decatur Street in New Orleans. Tell me that a cafe au lait and a beignet (or 15) wouldn’t hit the spot now. This beer takes us there.
We might enjoy this beer really warm, say room temperature. Heck, we might even enjoy this beer hot. This is Son Beer Love’s third Duck Rabbit Milk Stout and he still loves it. Like we said folks, this is our first experience with any milk stout, so we’re not saying Duck Rabbit makes the best milk stout in the world – they may in fact all be this good. What we are telling you is that we’ll be buying milk stouts as quickly as we can find them in the near term future to put this to the test. If you can find the Duck Rabbit try it and let us know what you think about it compared to the other ones. And if you know of some good other ones (we’ve heard the Lancaster Milk Stout and the Left Hand Milk Stout are also great) please let us know. We’re not lactose intolerant and we’ll gladly try them on, you know, for science.
Duck Rabbit Milk Stout Rating: 8 out of 10 (?)
By John on August 19, 2008 (2 Comments)
Fellow beer blogger David posted a great list of Beer Etiquette Tips over at Musings Over a Pint. These are tips for us craft beer drinkers to remember when we deal with the rest of the beer public. A few gems to comment on:
- People are entitled to their own opinions about beer – This one is very true and so easy to forget. Don’t force a beer on someone – what’s good to you may not be good to the next guy.
- Never order “a beer,” – order by style, by variety, or by specific name – I can honestly say I haven’t been guilty of this in a long time. Might be a good idea if you see a friend order a “beer” to offer up some friendly advice.
- If you get a frosted mug or glass, politely ask your server if they have any non-frosted glassware – I’m bad about not making waves, but I’ve got to remember that I’m paying $5 or so for a beer here and I want to enjoy it correctly. I’m going to do better with this!
- Be grateful for the variety of beer that is out there… you are living in the best beer time in history. – Amen. We really are in a great time. You don’t have to go back very far – within our generation – and you wouldn’t find a lot of variety in the beer selection, especially at restaurants. It’s a good time to be into beer.
Thanks David! For those who don’t keep up with him regularly, you’re missing out – check out his site at Musings Over a Pint.
By John & Dad on August 17, 2008 (1 Comment)
In yet another Thursday night Father and Son Beer Love review, we decided to try the Dogfish Head Aprihop, especially after seeing some good notes about it on Twitter. Our other experience with Dogfish Head was their 90 Minute IPA, which we really enjoyed – the Dogfish Head Aprihop is actually an IPA as well. I’ve done some other Dogfish Head beers as well (we recently had a Dogfish Head night with the Charlotte Beer Club Meetup) and I can say this with confidence about Dogfish Head: They know what the hell they’re doing when it comes to good beer.
We picked up the Dogfish Head Aprihop at World Market for $1.89 a bottle. Dad and I used an American pint glass for the review and registered a temperature of 57 F, which may have been a little too warm (more on that below). This one weighs in at 7% ABV.
On our initial pour we got a large 2 1/2″ foamy off-white head that dissipated quickly and laced fairly well in the process. The carbonation is about medium on this one and the body is a clear sparkling amber/orange color.
The first whiff gives you a lot of fruits, malts and hops. For the aromas we got a mild caramel, some generic citrus, floral, a slight resin, peach, sherry and of course loads of apricots. This is an apricot beer after all. The taste is also big on apricots and hops. The flavors don’t stray too far from the aromas, continuing with the mild caramel, some orange on the initial taste, mild grapefruit, a dry sherry and again with the apricots, which remain the biggest part of the flavor.
The initial flavor notes are a moderate sweet and a light to moderate bitter that slides in the finish to a light sweet, moderate to heavy bitter, light saltiness and light tart. There’s a lot going on here in your mouth with this one. There’s not really much body lacing as you drink it. The finish is average to long in length, the mouthfeel is oily, the tongue hit is on the back of the tongue and on our patented malt to hop scale it comes in – guess what – somewhat hoppy. We marked it two clicks to the right of balanced on the hoppy side. You’d expect nothing less from an IPA after all.
For our bottom line notes – we say yes to drinkable and repeatable, yes to memorable and yes to buy again. We mark a no for balance (needs a few more malts to balance out the hop tastes), a no for harmony and a no for wow factor (that undefinable thing that makes us say “Hot Damn!”).
As with any fruited beers there’s always a fear it’s going to taste like a wine cooler, but fear not, this tastes like a beer. It’s good, it’s refreshing, it smells great and we think it’s a terrific summer beer. This is not a bad IPA at all. Our advice is to not treat this like a regular IPA though and do it a little bit cooler – somewhere in the mid to upper 40s would probably be a pretty good starting point and as it warms you can determine where you like it best.
It’s a great outdoor beer – I had one with dinner outside one night and it absolutely hits the spot with food. Of course I tend to prefer my hoppier beers with food to help tame some of that bitter finish (not being much of a hophead personally). The 7% ABV is a really good mark and should let you easily have two. If you are a hophead, you’ll love the twist on this. Is it worth a 6 pack? If you’ve got some hot summer days ahead of you we’d say go for it.
Dogfish Head Aprihop Rating: 6 out of 10 (?)
By John on August 13, 2008 (1 Comment)
Father Beer Love and I were chatting recently and we both mentioned that it would be nice to have a dictionary of some of the beer terms we frequently use on the site. Not an all-encompassing beer dictionary, but just something that we could use as a reference and those who read the site could use as well to understand both our terminology and beer terminology in general a little better.
So we had a little brainstorm session and came up with a few best practices:
- It must be in layman’s terms
- It must have short, quick definitions – one sentence when possible
- It should be fun, not stuffy
A good example of the above is our definition for Session Beer – “A beer with a low enough alcohol content that you can drink many of them in one sitting without becoming all sloppy drunk.” This is the kind of thing that can be easily understood and may help bridge the gap with some craft beer outsiders and craft beer newbies.
So have a look at the first pass of our beer dictionary and let us know what you think. We also added a link to it up in the main navigation bar at the top of the page for easy access (called Beer Dictionary, appropriately enough).
By John & Dad on August 10, 2008 (6 Comments)
In our ongoing Father and Son Thursday night beer review saga, where we never have an offseason, we finally reviewed our very first lambic. For the occasion we chose Lindemans Peche Lambic, which comes to us from Lindemans Farm Brewery in Belgium. Judging from this first review we wouldn’t mind visiting Lindemans Farm Brewery, falling into a vat of lambic and trying to drink our way out. Yeah – it was that good.
First off, this is the hardest beer in the world to open. It’s capped and corked so you’ll need a corkscrew and a strong will because the cap doesn’t come off easily. Having a little experience with the bottle opener as we’re closing in on 100 beers reviewed we were a little shocked just how hard it was to open. Oh well – the good stuff in life takes a little more work.
Once we got it open we poured our 12 ounce, roughly $6 bottle into an American pint glass and got a temperature of 46.8 F. The ABV comes in about 4%, a little light, but who are we to question the Belgians? The initial pour gave us a small 3/4″ fizzy white head that dissipated quickly and left virtually no head lacing. There is a little touch of carbonation to this slightly hazy golden lambic.
The initial aromas are sweet biscuit, wheat, shortcake, floral, cinnamon, nutmeg, cream and a healthy dose of peach. An absolutely great smell – light and sweet. The initial flavors came in as sweet biscuit, cinnamon, cream and peach, but also added some other light fruits to the mix – apple and pear come in much lighter than the peach, but it’s there. It’s an insanely delicious combination of flavors. The initial flavor notes are a moderate to heavy sweet and a light acidic. The finish flavor notes are a light sweet and moderate tart. Again – this beer works the whole way through to the finish.
The finish duration is short, there’s no body lacing to speak of and the mouthfeel is syrupy. On the malt to hop scale it comes in very malty – about 3.5 clicks to the left of balanced on the malty side.
For our bottom line notes we got the rare 7 yes set – Repeatable, drinkable, balanced, harmony, memorable, wow factor and buy again – all yes. It’s a wonderful sugary taste with a sweet and syrupy start that evolves to a nice tart finish. It’s really a great beer that you think is going to be too sweet, but instead it’s just sweet enough. The only knock is the price – about $6 per bottle. If you were to develop a lambic habit you could go bankrupt rather quickly. Ultimately we highly recommend it. It’s not a dessert beer, it’s dessert.
Lindemans Peche Lambic Rating: 8 out of 10 (?)
By John on August 7, 2008 (1 Comment)
We’ve added a quick new feature to the The BeerFathers site that we’re jazzed about – timely beer photos. As you know we have featured our old friend – the dark beer in the tulip glass – prominently at the top right side of every page since we relaunched the site in May this year. And we love that beer photo – very sexy, curves in all the right places and it’s really indicative of the kind of beer we strive to drink here at The BeerFathers.
With that said though, 12 months out of the year isn’t always the right time for that dark beer, so we got a little creative and decided to do 12 different beer photos throughout the year. I wrote a little script that figures out what month it is and gives you an appropriate beer photo for that month. You’ll see the beers get lighter and darker throughout the year, taking into account what month it is and what kind of beer we’d be likely to drink (i.e. a hefeweizen in July). We’ve also found some nifty other photos that really work with some of the holidays – we think you’ll really like our Christmas photo for December, our nod to Valentine’s Day in February and our ode to St Patrick’s Day with a green beer in March. And what would Oktoberfest be without a beer pretzel? And not to worry – our old dark beer in the tulip glass stays in as our January beer.
We hope you enjoy the new photos and we hope you continue to stop worrying and love the beer. Let us know what you think!
By John & Dad on August 5, 2008 (No Comments)
It’s Thursday Father and Son Beer Love beer review time again. This week we wrangled up a Kulmbacher Edelherb Premium Pils, which is a Bavarian lager brewed by Kulmbacher Brauerei AG.
We poured our 4.9% ABV, 12 ounce bottle of Premium Pils into an American pilsner glass (how appropriate!) and got an initial temperature of 43.3 F. The first pour generated an average 1 3/4″ foamy white head that dissipated quickly and left a fair amount of head lacing in the process. A good start! There was a tremendously lively amount of carbonation with some big bubbles. The body clarity was extremely clear and sparkling – actually one of if not the clearest beer we’ve ever done. The body color was light – in the neighborhood of straw.
The initial aromas were barley, hay, citrus (mostly lemon) and yeast. Not much too it, but it is a pils after all. The initial flavors gave us some light toasted malts, some more lemon and something resembling a light white wine vinegar. The initial flavor notes are a light sweet and light bitter that evolve in the finish to a very light sweet, light acidic and a moderate bitter. The finish duration is average, the mouthfeel is dry and somewhat thin and there is no body lacing to speak of (surprising considering there was some decent head lacing). The tastes hit you right in the middle of your tongue, except for a touch of sweet on the front. On our patented malt to hop scale we came in about one and a half clicks to the right of balanced on the hoppy side.
Our bottom line notes show a yes for repeatable, drinkable and balance and a no for harmony, memorable and wow factor. We probably wouldn’t but this one again.
Overall it’s not offensive, there just isn’t anything to write home about here. It’s not complex but it’s not supposed to be. It’s slightly sweet and reminds us of a Dortmunder/Helles with a slightly stronger hops edge at the end. Though it’s light it’s got a decent balance, skewed a bit by the vinegar taste in the hops on the finish. This is another one that would probably be better pretty cold, maybe in a frosty mug. Father Beer Love notes it could work nicely into a radler (our favorite dessert – half beer and half lemonade). We wouldn’t mind trying something like this in a dunkel or a dark beer. We started out giving this a 4 out of 10, but skewed it down to a 3 by the end. We’re looking forward to trying some of the other Kulmbacher beers in the coming weeks.
Kulmbacher Edelherb Premium Pils Rating: 3 out of 10 (?)
By John & Dad on August 3, 2008 (17 Comments)
In yet another Father and Son Thursday night beer review, we head down to south Louisiana and stop back by the Abita Brewing Company. We’ve visited many times before and we’re usually not disappointed. This time, however, we’re not exactly happy customers.
The Abita Purple Haze is one of the staples of their lineup and it’s touted outright as a raspberry beer. It’s pretty readily available anywhere and I’ve even found it on tap in San Diego. With that said we poured our 12 ounce bottle into an American pint glass and got an initial temperature of 41.2 F. The ABV rates in at 4.75%. We got an average 1 3/4″ foamy white head on our pour that dissipated slowly and left virtually no head lacing. There was no carbonation to speak of in the hazy golden body.
It’s a little light on aromas – we picked up wheat, vanilla and of course a lot of raspberry. There may also be some other berries in there but we couldn’t pull any out specifically. Don’t get us wrong, it’s a very good, fresh aroma, there’s just not a lot of punch in it. The flavors echo the wheat and raspberry, but not the vanilla. We did pick up a touch of lemon as it warms in the finish, but that’s it. Initial flavor notes are a light sweet, light acidic and light tart. The finish moves to a very light sweet, light bitter and light tart. The finish duration is short, the mouthfeel is dry and there’s a fair amount of body lacing. On the super useful The BeerFathers patented malt to hop scale it comes in just one click to the left of balanced on the malt side.
Bottom line notes – It’s repeatable, drinkable and balanced. It’s also memorable because you’ve probably not had a lot of other beers like it. No on the harmony and wow factor. Ultimately we probably wouldn’t buy this again.
Don’t get us wrong, we love Abita (probably a little too much sometimes), but this just isn’t one of their better beers. It’s not complex at all. The aroma is definitely the best part. Though it tastes like beer, it’s a bit too fruited for us. The hops may be the only thing that keep it from tasting like Kool-Aid. It may be a good refreshing beer for cooling off, maybe after mowing the yard, but it’s not a go-to beer. This is one of the few beers I’d say you should do with a frosty mug, because it’s better ice cold, which dulls the taste a bit. Don’t let it get too warm.
The reality is (and this may be their target market) it’s a good chick beer. A great craft chick beer. It’s very unique and it’s the first fruited beer I ever had that I actually somewhat liked. That was quite a long time ago though and I’m afraid my beer tastes may have moved on past it.
Abita Purple Haze Rating: 3 out of 10 (?)
By John & Dad on July 30, 2008 (3 Comments)
In our ongoing Thursday night father and son review series, we virtually visited the Flying Dog Brewery to sample their Gonzo Imperial Porter. We picked this one up as a 4 pack for around $9 and were excited to see it in some mainstream grocery stores like Harris Teeter and Lowes Foods, in addition to some of the specialty beer shops you’d expect to find it. As you know Flying Dog puts out some great beers with some attitude behind them. We’ve not loved everything they’ve done but more often than not their beers are in the 6 and above range on our 10 point scale.
We found conflicting reports online about the ABV on this puppy – 7.8% seems to be the winner, but we’ve seen reports as high as 9.2% (Beer Advocate labels it at 9.2%, Rate Beer labels it at 7.8%, Flying Dog’s site also comes in at 7.8% for the win) . After drinking it we figured it was probably closer to 7.8% based on how we felt. We served it up in a goblet and our 12 ounce bottle registered a temperature of 55.5 F.
The initial pour yielded a small 1/2″ frothy dark brown head that dissipated quickly and left virtually no head lacing. There was little carbonation, and the color was somewhere between dark brown and black, with a skew towards black – obviously opaque on the clarity.
The initial aromas were very malt heavy (who said this hops shortage was a bad thing?) – chocolate, coffee, molasses and roasted malts. The initial flavors were similar to the aromas but the chocolate taste leaned more towards dark chocolate and the coffee leaned more towards espresso. The chocolate tastes tend to dominate. We also picked up hints of black licorice and a light soy sauce.
The initial flavor notes were a moderate sweet and a light bitter with the finish moving to a light sweet, moderate bitter and light saltiness. The finish duration was long and the mouthfeel was somewhere between oily and creamy. We got a good amount of body lacing as well. The tongue hit is in the back of tongue – that’s where most of the flavors strike your taste buds. On our patented malt to hop scale we came in at a 2, which is 3 clicks to the left of balanced on the malt side. Very heavy on the malts, but surprisingly it has an IBU of 85, which is pretty high for something that rates this malty. You feel those bitterness units on the finish. It’s very smooth early on but the bitterness in the finish bites a little hard as it warms, which is a little off putting.
For our bottom line notes we marked it as a yes for drinkable, balance, harmony and memorable. We marked a no for repeatable – it’s a good first beer but you’ll lose some of the nice subtleness on the second one. We would definitely buy it again though. The Hunter S. Thompson Gonzo label graphics are phenomenal including the Gonzo Memorial Fist and more (done by artist Ralph Steadman, I believe). Here’s more about Hunter S. Thompson, inventor of Gonzo Journalism, for those not in the know.
Overall there’s a lot to love about the Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter. The sweet molasses in the smell, the huge chocolate in the taste. However, it’s only available a couple of times a year and is done in small batches (though Flying Dog has said that with demand what it is they’ll continue to make it for the next several months). Father Beer Love calls it a Flying Dog Road Dog Porter on steroids, which should be a good enough vote of confidence that if you can find a 4 pack it’s worth taking this puppy home with you. If you don’t we will.
Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter Rating: 8 out of 10 (?)
By John on July 29, 2008 (No Comments)
A reader writes:
Q. So you had 99 beer reviews on your site and now you’re sitting at 88. What happened? Where did your beers go? Who stole your beer?
A. Astute reader, you are correct – we were sitting gloriously at 99 beers on the wall and then we dropped to 88. So where did those 11 beers go? Did we drink them? Technically, yes we did. But what you’re seeing is the result of us doing a little housekeeping on our site.
See we started getting really excited about our 100th review. I mean really excited. It’s a great fake benchmark. So we started looking back over all our old reviews, making notes on ratings we wanted to adjust and whatnot when we noticed something: we had a bunch of duplicate reviews. You see usually Father and Son Beer Love collaborate on reviews together during their normal Thursday night beer session and post these reviews with an author of “John and Dad”. But we also drink beers independently (we did this a lot more in the early days of the site) and we post those reviews as being from either “John” or “Dad”.
So you see, there were several beers (11 to be exact) that we had both done independently that added to our total. As we went back we realized we hadn’t really reviewed and rated 99 different beers. We technically had 99 ratings, but we only rated 88 different beers.
So we decided to fix it. We consolidated the duplicate reviews into a set of single reviews that include both of our original reviews in it. We felt this was a little more true to the idea behind the beer ratings number – it should be unique beers.
So now we’ve had a minor setback in our race to 100, but fear not dear reader, in a few weeks we’ll be back up where we were and ready to hit the triple digit beers. Again.
By John & Dad on July 22, 2008 (17 Comments)
It’s Thursday Father and Son Beer review time again! This time we’re hitting the Aventinus Wheat Doppelbock, and we were primed for it by several of our beer peers who said this one was an absolute treat. You know what? They were right. This is one of our new favorite beers. Not only is it a new favorite but it seems to be pretty readily available in most places. We must be close to achieving beer nirvana.
The Aventinus is brewed by G. Schneider & Sohn in Germany. The 500 ml bottle is a terrific size for this 8.2% ABV bock bock. We served ours up in a weizen glass and got an insanely huge 4″ frothy light brown head that dissipated slowly and didn’t leave any head lacing to speak of. There was a medium amount of carbonation and the color was light brown to medium brown with a murky haze to it.
The smells in this thing pop – chocolate, lightly toasted malts, wheat, banana, brown sugar, bubble gum, clove and dark fruits, with plum standing out most in the pack. The aroma has a really nice sweetness to it.
The taste though is where this thing really stands out with just as much variety as the aroma – chocolate, vanilla, wheat, alcohol, light banana, brown sugar, bubble gum, cola and plum. The sweetness from the aromas continue on in the taste and it’s just a great touch. The chocolate and vanilla notes really harmonize with each other to create a great beer experience. The initial flavor notes come through as a moderate sweet. The finish duration is long and the finish notes evolve a little to stay moderately sweet with very light bitter and light tart. There’s not much body lacing as you gulp it down but the mouthfeel is delicious and creamy – really one of the best mouthfeels of any beer – rich, smooth and strong with a good flavor profile. On our malt to hop scale it comes in about 2 1/2 clicks to the left of balanced on the malty side – that is fairly heavy malts.
For the bottom line test – we got a yes for everything – drinkable, repeatable, balance, harmony, memorable, wow factor and buy again – yes to all. You get some nice warming action with the beer as you drink it thanks to the 8.2% ABV and the extra couple of ounces (16.9 oz). It tastes a lot like a Belgian ale with candy sugar and less like a doppelbock (which is technically a lager). The Aventinus website says it’s “streaked with fine top-fermenting yeast” which means it’s got ale yeast in it. So again we have a bit of a hybrid beer that’s hard to classify as a lager or an ale. Our advice? Stop worrying and love the beer – it’s one of the best beers you’ll ever try. I bought two and after this test cellared the second one so I could try it again in a year or so after reading several bloggers note that it cellared quite well (Update: cellar experiment status: Failed. I drank it in less than a month).
It’s as good as a strong Belgian ale like a Chimay Blue or a Trappistes Rochefort 8 – but it has a deceptive lightness to it. We struggled with how to phrase it but we settled on “a nice overstated subtleness.” We think that sums it up nicely. This is an absolute must try beer. Buy it in large batches and enjoy this as one of the top beers in the land.
Aventinus Wheat Doppelbock Rating: 9 out of 10 (?)
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