Saturday, September 17, 2011

Beer of the week: Duck-Rabbit Amber Ale

Beer score: 5.7
Web site: The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
ABV: 5.5
IBU: unknown
Pours a very dark blonde color, almost like a tea. Has a bit of a burnt caramel in the scent over the glass. Not a lot of foam or carbonation, but not flat. Quite wet, and a little more sturdy than your typical amber ale. Starts off (very) slightly sweet, but the hoppy bitterness grows in strength on the back of the tongue and the more you drink. A touch of caramel in the taste, with maybe a bare hint of fruitiness. This is quite the respectable beer, though I wouldn't classify it necessarily as a great beer. This brew is light enough and flavorful enough that a beer snob could drink it all day without being embarrassed, so if you're a beer snob looking for something you can keep on hand in your fridge for regular, every-day drinking, this would not be a bad choice by any means. The craft brew comes to us from Farmville, North Carolina.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Beer of the week: St. Cloud Belgian White

Beer score: 2.2
Web site: St. Cloud
ABV: 5.4
IBU: 12
Has a light, dirty straw color to it as it comes out of the bottle and hits the glass. The smell is kind of noxious, and the taste doesn't improve it any. There's some citrus accents in the smell, just a little, and that is stronger in the flavor once you sip. There's a little bit of a wheat taste here, but that's overpowered by a sour bitterness that quickly explodes any potential for this beer to be good. Honestly, this is without a doubt the worst beer with the words "Belgian White" on its label that I've ever had. This stuff is made by Winery Exchange, a supplier of premium beers to grocery stores and other such markets, and I'm thinking they should stick to the wine business.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Beer of the week: Carolina Pale Ale

Beer score: 6.3
Web site: Carolina Brewing Company
ABV: 5.6
IBU: 40
Coming to us from Holly Springs, North Carolina, this isn't a bad brew. It's got a slightly dark golden color in a glass, and I have to admit it's a little more sturdy than it looks. I wouldn't classify this as a great beer, but the brewers have nothing to be ashamed of here. There was no head whatsoever when I poured it, which is neither here nor there in my opinion, but some folks like more head on their brew. Quite wet with a slight hoppy bitterness that grows stronger the more it lingers on the tongue, but without becoming overly strong. Kind of a flowery smell here, with a touch of malt graininess and maybe a little lemon or orange zest. The style is American pale ale, but it's definitely on the lighter side of any pale ales. Somewhat on the average side, but not atrocious by any means. You could do a lot worse, believe me.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Beer of the week: Bard's Original Sorghum Malt Beer

Beer score: 6.6
Web site: Bard's Tale Beer Company
ABV: 4.6
IBU: 20.5
More and more people are turning to gluten-free products nowadays, so it would seem a natural that eventually there would be a gluten-free beer. But a beer that doesn't include wheat, rye, oats or barley? Yes, it exists in this beverage, Bard's Original Sorghum Malt Beer, which is brewed with 100 percent malted sorghum and is of this writing the only beer to be brewed with 100 percent malted sorghum. Basically, this drink from Utica, New York, is a beer made from sourghum. It also happened to be the first gluten-free beer. But you want to know how this stuff tastes, right? Well, first off, it's style is that of an American lager, just to give you a feel for it. When you pour it into a glass it gives off kind of a sweet burnt sorghum smell that borders on being heavy. The coloring is a light reddish, looking somewhat like a slightly darker version of premium "red" beers. Very wet, almost watery, quite smooth, has a decent head that didn't grow overly large. It tastes stronger than it smells, starting off with that slightly sweet but burnt, almost maple texture that quickly grows into a sturdy bitterness. There's a hint of spices, almost like one of this winter holiday brews. I can't say this is something I will drink on a regular basis, but it was worth trying, and I'd definitely recommend it to those who want to drink beer but have to stick with gluten-free foods and drinks.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Beer of the week: RJ Rockers Patriot Pale

Beer score: 6.7
Web site: RJ Rockers
ABV: 6.0
IBU: unknown
Since 1997, RJ Rockers has been bringing quality brews to the Spartanburg, South Carolina, region, and this was one of their flagship beers. This American pale ale has a nice gold, cloudy look to it in a glass, and a slightly malty and citrus scent. Very wet, with a frothy head and a strong hoppy bitter flavor that goes down smooth. There's also a touch of caramel flavoring with hints of citrus. The taste is stronger than the scent, so don't be fooled and don't say I didn't warn you. This is not an overly complex beer, but it is quite a good one. This would make an excellent staple beer for any connoisseur's fridge. By the way, RJ Rockers is a microbrewery, and their brews are handcrafted.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Beer of the week: Presidente

Beer score: 3.4
Web site: Presidente
ABV: 5.0
IBU: unknown
Coming from the Dominican Republic, this pilsener is not worth your time. It tastes much like your typical Mexican brew, but with quite a bit more carbonation, making it almost acidic. There is a little beer taste, sort of grassy, splashing around in this liquid, but I just can't recommend it to true beer connoisseurs. It's wet, with some light bitterness that lingers on the tongue. Sorry if this is one your favorite beers, because it sucks.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Beer of the week: The Bruery Trade Winds Tripel

Beer score: 5.0
Web site: The Bruery
ABV: 8.1
IBU: 25
In all fairness, this is a quality brew. However, I just didn't care for the flavor, thus the lower score on my part. That being said, there are probably plenty of beer snobs out there who would love this beer. Trade Winds Tripel is the summer brew from The Bruery out of Placentia, California, and I have to admit it is one of the more unique-tasting beers I've had. It's a Belgian-style ale but it's brewed with Thai basil and rice, which is enough to make this an usual beer, and worth trying. When I poured it into a glass it had a nice, light blonde coloring and quite the foamy head. The scent is quite strong, and I could really smell the basil along with some floral elements. There's not a lot of alcohol flavor here, which isn't bad, though there is an overabundance of bitterness which is where this drink went bad for me. There's also a wheat flavor here, some citrus qualities and you can taste the rice. Again, this is actually a good beer, but it's just not my thing.