Monthly Archives: October 2011

Dogfish Head Theobroma


One of Dogfish Head’s Ancient Ales line of beers, Theobroma is said to be the earliest known alcoholic beverage containing chocolate.   But make no mistake, this is no chocolate stout.   The nose resembles what you might expect from a chocolate stout, thick and sweet, but the flavor is something else entirely.   This is true spice beer, and predominate flavor is bitter cocoa, followed by spicy chili oils.   This is not an every day beer, but it’s definitely been a treat that I wouldn’t dare miss.

I give it a 4.7 out of 5.

Redhook Pilsner


When I see “Pilsner” I think “lager”, but this is a better beer than a standard lager.   It’s got an unexpected bit of a bitter bite from the hops in the middle.   It’s probably actually closer, in my opinion, to a pale ale than to a lager.   It’s nice.

I give it a 3.8 out of 5.

Saranac Adirondack Lager


Adirondack Lager from Matt Brewing Company’s Saranac line is actually a nice beer.   If I sound surprised, it’s because I tend to be biased (probably unduly) against lagers in general.   This however, despite my lack of confidence coming in, is a really good beer.   It’s a lager, yes, but it’s got a pleasant floral scent and a well balanced flavor with some hoppy goodness.   I like it.

I give it a 3.8 out of 5.

Founders Curmudgeon Old Ale


Curmudgeon, by Founders Brewing, is a big, rich (award winning!) beer.   It reminds me of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale like Brother Thelonious or Chimay Grande Reserve.  It’s got a heavy body, and you can taste the alcohol in this 9.8% ABV beer.   The heat is offset by syrupy sweet malts and the molasses that it’s brewed with.  This is a big huge beer, and a good one if you like the style.

I give it a 4 out of 5.

Bell’s Oberon Ale


Oberon Ale is a nice, mild wheat ale from Bell’s Brewery.  It’s a summer seasonal…(Maybe I’m done with my summer beer reviews now?) It’s got some lemon and bread, and subdued hoppy finish.   It’s good, and this is the kind of beer that makes me a little bit sad that summer’s over.

I give it a 4.2 out of 5.

Redhook Copperhook Ale


Copperhook is a copper ale from Redhook Brewing of Woodinville, Washington, not too many miles from my childhood home.  The body is a bit heavier than a typical copper ale, with a bit of fruit and sweetness in the middle, and bit of bitter hops in the finish.   Not a lot of anything though.  It’s a fairly mild beer.  It’s nothing special, but it’s a nice drink.

I give it a 3.1 out of 5.

Saranac Black Forest


Matt Brewing Company’s Saranac Black Forest is what they refer to as a “Bavarian Black Beer.”   Whatever that is, it’s apparently nice.   There’s cocoa on the nose, a medium body, chocolately well roasted malts and a dry finish.  This is like the light(er) version of a chocolate stout.   It’s a very good beer, and the best I’ve had from the Saranac line so far.

I give it a 4 out of 5.

Victory Headwaters Pale Ale


The blurb on the bottle of Victory Brewing Company’s Headwaters Pale Ale calls this beer “crisp.”   That’s not the first word that came to my mind though.   Despite the fact that it’s got all the piney, hoppy bitterness that one would expect from a fine pale ale, it’s delivered in a package that I would describe as “creamy.”   It’s got a fairly heavy body that practically slides off the tongue with a dry, pine finish.   I love this beer.

I give it a 4.7 out of 5.

Samuel Adams East-West Kölsch


This is another first for me.  I’ve never had a Kölsch before, so I don’t know how it compares to others in the style, but I certainly found  the East-West Kölsch, which is Samuel Adams’ take on the style with a twist, quite agreeable.   It’s light yellow and light bodied, but it’s no lager.   It’s fairly bitter…There’s a lot of hop bite and it’s brewed with Jasmine which comes through in both the nose and the middle.   The finish is nice and dry.  Alas that the warm weather has left us for the year, because this is a nice summer beer.

I give it a 3.4 out of 5.

Saranac Pale Ale


Saranac Pale Ale by the Matt Brewing Company is an English Pale Ale that’s pretty marginal, to my taste.   There’s really isn’t a nose to speak of at all, the hops are muted, and there is just a hint of sweetness in the finish.  It’s just a fairly boring ale, in one man’s humble opinion.   It’s not a bad beer, and better than a lager any day, but it’s just not much of a pale ale to me.

I give it a 2.9 out of 5.