Monthly Archives: August 2011

Saranac Brown Ale


I’m working my way though a Saranac variety six-pack from the Matt Brewing Company of New York, and today I’m having the Saranac Brown Ale.  It’s got a rich caramel nose, and the flavor is more hops than the malt, which isn’t the typical profile I’d expect for a brown ale.   Even though I’m a big fan of hoppy beers, I find this one to be a bit flat and bitter for my taste.

I give it a 2.9 out of 5.

Ommegang Three Philosophers


Three Philosophers is a Belgian Quad, and and awesome one at that.  Dark, rich, sweet cherries in the nose and on the tongue, and heavy with alcohol.  (It’s a big beer without a doubt at 9.8% ABV.) This is one of my all time favorites.

I give it a 4.8 out of 5.

Death By Hops


Death By Hops is a double IPA from Olde Hickory Brewery, the same folks who produced the excellent Table Rock Pale Ale I reviewed earlier.  True to it’s name, Death By Hops is overpoweringly hoppy.  It’s not a particularly big beer for a double IPA at 7% ABV, but it certainly has as much bitter hop flavor as any beer I’ve tasted.  Despite my love for the IPA, this is not one of my favorites, and it simply feels a little one dimensional to me, and I really think it’s gone overboard on that dimension.

I give it a 2.75 out of 5.

Kirkland Signature German Style Lager


Costco’s house brand, Kirkland Signature, white labels beer brewed for them by the New York Brewing Company.  The lager is surprisingly dark, a copper color that I’d mistake for an amber ale.  It’s unlikely to win any awards, but it has a hint of bitterness, and I enjoy it more than most lagers, I have to say.

I give it a 2.6 out of 5.

BridgePort IPA


Another day, another IPA.  Another good IPA to boot.   BridgePort Brewing Co.’s IPA is right what I expect from a traditional IPA.  Pine scents, citrus flavor, not much sweetness to speak of, and a nice strong bitter finish.

I give it a 4.6 out of 5.

Centennial IPA


Founder’s Brewing has hit the nail on the head with Centennial IPA.  It’s extremely well balanced in all aspects.   It’s 7.2% ABV, nicely between the lightweights and the big IPA, a light-to-medium weight on the tongue, earthly pine scents on the nose, a sweet citrus-laden middle, and the signature bitter hop finish of an IPA.   An excellent IPA.

I give it a 4.6 out of 5.

Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout


Kalamazoo Stout by Bell’s Brewery is a nice, heavy bodied stout that though it has a distinct chocolate flavor, isn’t particularly sweet, which I appreciate.  Hints of coffee also keep this brew slightly on the bitter side.  A nice stout.

I give it a 4.25 out of 5.

Olde Hickory Table Rock Pale Ale


Table Rock by the Olde Hickory Brewery is a nice pale ale, with a bit more flavor than I usually expect to find in a pale ale.  It’s well balanced, but not subdued at all.   It’s got pine on the nose, a lively fruity sweetness in the middle that’s offset by some seriously bitter hops in the finish.  This is a fun, tasty beer.

I give it a 4 out of 5.

OMB Copper Amber Ale


OMB Copper is an amber ale from The Olde Mecklenberg Brewery right here in Charlotte, North Carolina.  It’s dark, for an amber ale.  Way on the copper side of amber for sure.  The nose picks up nutty malty scents, and flavor is balanced and mild.  It’s a medium bodied, very smooth and easy drinking ale, though the mildness makes it a touch boring, in my mind.   All in all though, a great beer worth drinking regularly.

I give it a 4.25 out of 5.

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Ale


Sierra Nevada Bigfoot is a fantastic example of a barleywine ale.  The thick head in the picture is more a result of a careless pour than the beer.  Toasty caramel notes in the nose, and a full-body with a flavor that’s strong and evenly balanced between the malts and the hops.   This is an excellent beer.

I give it a 4.6 out of 5.