Fellow beer blogger, Josh from Lost in the Beer Aisle, recently reviewed Founders’ Kentucky Breakfast Stout. Before he got to the actual review, he gave a little rant on rare beers. I commented on his post, but figured I should probably write it a bit better and go deeper into my thoughts. So here I am wondering if rare beers are actually good for the craft beer industry or could they cause problems for the industry. I may not actually answer the question. I’m more thinking out loud and looking to start a discussion. Continue reading Are Rare/Hyped Beers Good for Craft Beer?
I haven’t written a good review in a while, so here’s something to keep all you beer people looking for better beer. These 2 beers are hard to find, one harder than the other.
Founders Curmudgeon Old Ale is a bourbon barrel aged old ale. It pours a nice amber color with a very thin, quickly disappearing head. It smells a bit of bourbon and malts. The taste is mostly bourbon and it’s a bit hot. I bought this at the recommendation of a guy I know who works at Yankee Spirits. I liked this beer, but the amount of bourbon flavor and the heat took over my senses and I wasn’t able to really taste much else in the beer. I bought a 4 pack. I’m going to age the rest of it for a while and see what happens.
Founders Breakfast Stout is a coffee stout brewed with some chocolate. It’s a thick dark pitch black stout with a brown head. It smells of roasted coffee and a hint of dark chocolate. This is one of the smoothest coffee stouts I have ever tried. There’s a lot of coffee flavor in it, but the chocolate round it out nicely. It’s thick and a little on the oily side, but very tasty. If you can find this one, you will do yourself a disservice if you don’t buy it. It’s that good.
As a little extra, I also drank my bottle of Ithaca Ten, their 10th anniversary beer, a double red ale. This one was super carbonated with a huge head. It had a nice balanced hoppy flavor, but the malts were right up there with it and it had a slight rye flavor to it as well. It was very tasty once I was able to get past the head. This was exactly as it was described… a double red ale.
I’ve had a lot of beers that I haven’t written about. You can always check my beer list if you’re curious as to what I’ve been drinking. I keep that more up-to-date than my posts about beers I’ve had. Anyway, here’s some of the beers I’ve had since I stopped writing about them.
As I posted previously, I picked up a bunch of beer from Rock Art in Vermont. I have since tried their Midnight Madness Smoked Porter and their IPA. The Midnight Madness was awesome. It was nicely smoked and a great all around porter. The IPA, however, was pretty bland. It was light in color, flavor, and body. It didn’t have the hops flavors I’ve come to love in my IPA’s, but it wasn’t really an English-style IPA either. I probably wouldn’t bother with this one again.
One beer I picked up in Vermont that I thought was really solid was Peak Organic’s Maple Oat Ale. This one has a nice hint of maple and the smoothness of the oats. It’s a really great amber ale that I will likely buy again and again (perhaps they’ll find their way down to RI soon).
I rarely give a beer a drain pour. However, I tried the bomber of McNeill’s Summer IPA. It was easily the worst IPA I have ever tried (and being an IPA fan, I’ve had a lot). I drank a full glass, but poured the rest. It was just an unbalanced mess of hops and malt that didn’t make for a drinkable beer.
Another recommendation from BeerRiot was Clipper City’s Loose Cannon from the Heavy Seas lineup. It was good, but nothing special. I’d consider it just an average IPA.
Another disappointment was Founders Devil Dancer. I use the term “disappointment” lightly as the beer was good. It just wasn’t what I expected. They call it a “Triple IPA”. That’s not a true style (not yet at least), but the beer tasted like a slightly hoppy barleywine. It was good and definitely worth trying (and maybe I’ll buy it again), but I wanted a DIPA at the time.
I tried a different Victory beer (and I think I’m just about through with their whole lineup aside from the bigger bottles, like V-12 and V-Saison). I had the Moonglow Weizenbock. It had a nice banana and spice flavor to it, but it wasn’t overly complex. I’ve had better weizenbocks, but this one is still a great weizenbock from a great American brewery.
Finally, the beers I brought back from Canada… I had Picaroons Blonde Ale and Picaroons Yippee IPA. The Blonde Ale was simply fantastic. It was a nice light ale. It was very refreshing, but still had a lot of flavor. The IPA wasn’t quite as good, but it was still a good English IPA. It had this other flavor to it that I couldn’t figure out. The only thing I can liken it to is a slight whisky flavor (perhaps it was aged in barrels). Other than that other flavor, which did make it good, it was a very solid beer. The label made it sound like they were playing around with the recipe with each new batch. I’ll have to look over their Brewer’s Log to see if I can find it. Picaroons is turning out to be a totally awesome brewery. I can’t wait to try the others I bought. I had to add the Blonde and the IPA to BeerAdvocate because they weren’t listed (new styles, perhaps?).
That ends my catching up. I’ll post about the Dogfish Head dinner in a little bit. Right now, I think I need some Mr. Lemon.