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#14346 - 03/24/05 10:01 AM Re: beer thread ****
BigWill Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/01/03
Posts: 1951
Loc: Corona, Calif. USA!!!
Tom, the wife is happy - surprisingly so for a woman who received a keg of beer for her b-day. I've had a couple glasses of the Lindemann's, but like you, one glass is about all my taste buds can handle. As soon as that keg is dust I'll be replacing it with the local brewpub's pale ale.
BTW, I ended up buying that Front Avenue grill from CostCo. Thanks again for the info you sent me.

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#14347 - 03/24/05 10:24 AM Re: beer thread
bigjohn Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 3016
Loc: San Angelo, TX
i finally drank the bottle of Rogue Santas Private Reserve Ale last night. thought i might get the review in.

first, let me start by saying that i have come to the conclusion, that i just dont like the speciality winter ales. this is the third i have tried, and it tasted very similar to the other two. the Rogue was a very dark, ruby red cloudy color. head was average, but left a nice lacey trail on the glass. it smelled malty, looked malty, tasted malty, and had a malty finish. throw in a good hint of hops, plus some citrus and 'woodsy' flavors, and you get the idea. i thought it had a bitter finish(just like the other winter ales), and left a stale taste in my mouth. the beer was very straight forward, bold and aggressive flavors, daring you to like them or not. i would have to say i did not..

like i was saying, the Rogue Santas Reserve falls in the same pile as the other winter speciality beers. they all have an overall flavor that i just dont care for. i did like it a little more than the pyramid snowcap ale, but didnt like it no where near enough to buy it again. i give the Rogue Santas Reserve a 4.5 out of 10. if you tend to like the winter ales, then give this a shot, but i think its an overall style of beer that i just dont find appealing.

bigjohn
_________________________
EXCUSE ME, ARE YOU THE SINGING BUSH??

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#14348 - 03/24/05 06:23 PM Re: beer thread
BigWill Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/01/03
Posts: 1951
Loc: Corona, Calif. USA!!!
bigjohn, I don't care for those winter warmers much either - especially the heavily hopped west coast styles.
I AM surprised that you didn't rate higher the dunkel weisse you had a while back. I really suggest you give those subtle German styles (export pilsener not being one) a more extended sampling.
They're not heavily hopped, they don't have wild yeasty flavors or exotic ingredients so you will be inclined to say they are bland; but, if you focus the attention of your palette on the purity of the malt flavors and the delicacy of the hop bitterness/aroma I really think you'll come to appreciate the subtle differences between those old world beers and our new world imitations.
Regardless, we enlightened beer intellectuals are looking for "nuance", right?

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#14349 - 03/24/05 07:51 PM Re: beer thread
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8144
Loc: Tacoma
Well, sometimes I'm just thirsty

Well put, bigwill. Except that part about "imitations"; I think you can make a pretty good case that there are several meaningful innovations or new styles developed in the new world. Now, you may not *enjoy* all of them, but I'd contend that those West Coast IPA's and Barleywines, Steam Beer, Pre-Prohibition Pilsner, et. al. are distinctly and deliberately different styles than those traditionally brewed in Europe, and are not inherently "worse".

But yeah, I'll take a good Munich Helles any time.

I've had bad luck with bottled versions of the Northwest Winter Warmers. The draught versions seem to be much more reliable. I still like Jubelale a lot, but like bigjohn, I don't care if I ever drink another Snowcap from a bottle. Any of that style beer that you would be drinking NOW would have been brewed about last October, so keep that in mind, too. Most beer doesn't age very gracefully, and I perceive that style as being particularly susceptible to oxidization.

Geez, with all this talk about "nuance" and being nice to people about non-Axiom speakers and stuff, pretty soon we're going to be accused of being "sensitive" or something.

I have to go home and drink beer right now. Maybe use some power tools, too.
_________________________
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#14350 - 03/24/05 09:59 PM Re: beer thread
SpockTheater Offline
local

Registered: 04/06/03
Posts: 220
Loc: Shreveport, Louisiana
Contrary to bigjohn's bout with the winter brews, I have to say I've had some great Winter/Christmas brews this year. Here's this year's list:

1 Fantôme Hiver (Winter)
2 Fantôme de Noël
3 Gouden Carolus Noël (Christmas)
4 Corsendonk Christmas Ale
5 Jenlain Biere de Noel
6 Abita Christmas Ale

It was interesting to discover that the Belgian Christmas brews tend to be a bit more spicy and less on the sweet side. I just hate that I have to wait till the end of the year to get these again.

Anyway, I'll admit I've been procrastinating this particular review lately. I felt that one bottle wasn't enough to award this one "the favorite brew" title, but after a second one the following weekend, IT WAS. So I gladly award Fantôme Hiver my favorite brew so far. It definitely had the best and most complex aroma and a little bit of everything to keep me guessing what I liked so much about it. There was a touch of sour in the finish that reminded me of the Flemish sour ales, but not as dominant or pronounced. The finish was also a touch silky and dry. I remembered the Fantôme de Noël was spicy, but the Hiver had a lot more in the mix. Clove, pumpkin, and nutmeg were the only spices I could pick out and none of them overpowered the others. The alcohol really was more of an afterthought in the taste which is always nice. My first glass was with a steak and the second was with dark chocolate. The great thing about the dark chocolate is that is made me more aware of the sour finish. I think the Hiver would go best with duck or lamb (wow that makes my mouth water just thinking about it). I just hope that my local store can get more of the Fantôme brews because if they're all of this quality, then I may have also found my favorite brewery. So if you guys have access to the Fantôme brews, by all means give them a try. The local store has one Hiver left and it's all mine MINE!! MINE!!!

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#14351 - 03/25/05 01:11 AM Re: beer thread
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16227
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
If the Fantôme Hiver in a bottle is better than the Gouden Carolus Noël, which I was forunate enough to catch on tap (!!) at a local pub, then it must be the best beverage ever created.
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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#14352 - 03/25/05 09:31 AM Re: beer thread
bigjohn Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 3016
Loc: San Angelo, TX
bigwill- well, of those two, i definitely like the dunkel much better. like i said, i guess i just have a soft spot for the dark beers. and it really wasnt a case of not liking them, it was just a matter of economics. i didnt find either of them good enough to warrant $2 bucks for a 16oz bottle. but i agree with you on the mild flavors. i think i had my mind all geared up to get that kick of flavors that i have become used to in tasting all these new beers, and both of them were tame by comparison. but, with that sentence i broke the first cardinal rule of beer tasting, never compare one to another. rate it on its own merits. see, i wouldnt be any good at this professionally. i would be open to try more of these traditional Germans, got any suggestions? maybe a good hefe-weisse?

spock- glad you were able to find some good winters for yourself. its kinda funny, you mentioned the Hivel as having the spicyness, and with all the various flavors keeping you guessing.. thats exactly what i dont like about the winter beers. i find the spicyness to be distracting, and the bombardment of the various other flavors tends to just be too much for me. its just not my cup of tea.. but, if thats your thing, then thats cool. to each our own, right? but it does kinda stink for you that you can only get them 3-4 months out of the year.

i was looking last night, and i still got 3 Duvels and 2 Chimays left in the fridge. i guess i havent been as thirsty as i thought. i gotta get to drinkin!

bigjohn
_________________________
EXCUSE ME, ARE YOU THE SINGING BUSH??

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#14353 - 03/27/05 11:13 AM Re: beer thread
BigWill Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/01/03
Posts: 1951
Loc: Corona, Calif. USA!!!
Tom, of you're right about my use of the word "imitations". "Bastardizations" would have been far more appropriate.
Seriously, there are plenty of great North American craft beers, but there as many or more that are not very good pretenders. Some coloring malts and/or a big hop presence doesn't make a beer great all by itself.
I particularly love all the beers I have tried from Kulmbach in Germany (Kulmbacher Reichelbrau, Kulmbacher Pils, EKU, etc...). Whether it's the malt, the water, the brewers' unique processes, or yeast, or whatever, those beers are unique.

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#14354 - 03/30/05 04:15 PM Re: beer thread
BigWill Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/01/03
Posts: 1951
Loc: Corona, Calif. USA!!!
I know it's the beer thread, but I found an inexpensive new tequilla that is really good - fantastic for the price. I'm a little reluctant to tell everyone, as it may one day result in higher prices on the stuff, but I feel guilty not sharing.
It's called "Tequilla Mico". Currently $20 for a 1.75L bottle. While it is not 100% blue agave it is fat, smooth and full of agave flavors (for a reposado/anejo) like any good pure agave tequilla. Very satisfying. The difference between it and Patron is not at all like the difference between straight and blended (neutral grain spirit)whiskeys.
In a side by side comparison with conventional Jose (yuk!) the tequilla Mico won by a landslide.
For you brand-conscious folks, apparently it is made by the same folks who blend Patron.

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#14355 - 03/30/05 04:58 PM Re: beer thread
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16227
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Mark, where did you pick it up from? I'm not currently in need of Tequila (it comes and goes, you see ), but I'll keep the brand in mind.
_________________________
"I wish I had documented more…" said nobody on their death bed, ever.

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