RSS Feed

Hallelujah

The Reverend
Avery Brewing Company-Boulder, CO
Belgian-Style Quadrupel Ale
10% ABV

Beer can be many things: an old friend, a moral lesson, or a tribute. Avery’s The Reverend was created as a tribute.

True to both our “small brewery, BIG BEERS” philosophy and to the spirit and character of the departed Reverend, this beer is strong willed, assertive, and pure of heart.

The bottle is both imposing and lovely, the colors on the label reflective of the colors in the glass; deep amber and tinged with reds. The aroma is not overpowering but smells like the perfect fall bouquet. Currants and raisins with a bit of spice.

The fruit continues on the palate, but not overwhelmingly so. The candy sugar used in the brew gives the beer some carmelized sugar notes. It’s smooth and very drinkable, particularly when you consider it weighs in at an impressive 10% ABV. So enjoy this beer, but be judicious in your consumption.

Advertisements

Raise a Glass and Carry On

Old Brewery Pale Ale
Samuel Smith Old Brewery, (Tadcaster) North Yorkshire, England
Pale Ale
ABV 5.0%

Sometimes doing things the way you always have is a good thing. Such is the case with Samuel Smith Old Brewery, operating in northern England since 1758. The well was sunk in 1758, but the brewery still draws its brewing water from 85 feet below ground. The brewery’s ales and stouts are fermented in slate slabs, “stone Yorkshire squares”, giving the beers a full and pure taste. The brewery’s web site can show you more adequately than we can explain.

We didn’t hesitate to call this ale a “very English beer” – straightforward, tidy, and honest. We taste the malt and toasted favors but, without being overpowering, we also taste the hops. The carbonation is a sight to behold. When poured into a tulip glass and held to the light, hundreds of tiny, perfect bubbles sit just below the clear, amber surface.

Brilliant!

20120314-193657.jpg

Drink me, I’m Irish

O’Hara’s Irish Stout
Carlow Brewing Company
Carlow, Ireland
4.3% ABV

IPA, pilsner, trippel. These are beer styles for a sunny spring day. Stouts lend themselves to blustery fall or gray, winter days. Since this is the week to celebrate all things Irish, we chose a beer named for the founders of the Carlow Brewing Company: O’Hara’s Irish Stout.

If you’re expecting the well-known flavor of mass produced “Irish beer”, this will be a disappointment. Rather than being creamy, this stout is dry.

It pours a thick, nearly black glass tinged with dark ruby hues. The head is creamy but recedes quickly. This stout has a slightly sour note both on the nose and palate. There is little to no sweetness, just a hint of caramelized flavor lingering after drinking it. There are faint notes of dried fruit but this beer tends to be crisp and fairly mild.

The clean flavor of this beer would be good for cooking with as it would showcase the roasted malt notes without overpowering the dish.

Although we didn’t test the theory, we imagine it would be a perfect pairing with an Irish whiskey

We’re back…

Each year, in late winter, Denver eats. Yes, the entire city (suburbs included) goes out to eat. Denver Restaurant Week, or half-month as it’s affectionately known to restaurant staff city-wide, came to a close this weekend. Two weeks of delicious chaos didn’t stop The Darlings from drinking and eating but it did put a halt to our “Drinking Denver” adventures.

Fear not. We are back and the fun begins, again.

Uniter, not a divider

Wagon Ryed
Wynkoop Brewing Company in conjunction with Denver off the Wagon- Denver, CO
Dry Stout
5.99% ABV

Beer brings people together. A toast, a round, a brew. A year ago Denver Off the Wagon was born, a collaborative effort among a number of local bloggers with one thing in common: a shared love for drinking. The craft beer scene, much like the blogging scene, is rapidly growing. Yet even with the increase in both attention and volume they remain small communities. And so, Wynkoop Brewing Company assisted the good people behind Denver Off the Wagon in crafting a first anniversary brew: Wagon Ryed.

This dry stout, brewed with toasted caraway, is thick and very dark brown-almost black. The toasted malts offer a warm flavor but it’s dry, not overly sweet or heavy. It lives up to the promise of rye, being reminiscent of the darkly spicy flavors of rye bread.

But on the night of Denver Off the Wagon’s self-proclaimed “Birthday Bacchanalia” it was hard to say whether the beer or the company drew more attention. (Cute) Brewers, (witty) bloggers, and (drunk, not at work of course!) bartenders, oh my! There were many old friends along with any number of new introductions. As one local blogger put it, “We’re uniting people.” In the end, it’s as much about the people you drink with as it is the beer you drink.

Identity Crisis

February 23, 2012
Schneider Aventinus Doppelbock Wheat
Weissbierbrauerei G. Schneider & Sohn-Kelheim, Germany
Weizen Bock
8.2% ABV

Now that you’ve gotten through and survived – komplette & überlebt – the German portion of this post…

This beer has a very dark copper hue, with amber tinges when held to the light, with a light creamy head that dissipates (again, a higher alcohol content than many beers.) A raisiny aroma hits you immediately, with hints of dusty smokiness, and a pale leathery quality…masculine.

Identity crisis?

The first sip yields a slightly yeasty flavor, rich in banana notes. The unique notes of a hefeweissen shine through in light whispers of bubblegum.

It is a delicious beer, yet difficult to understand, and not what you expected but exactly what you wanted. (Just like the perfect woman.)

Prost! Auf Wiedersehen!

20120226-165830.jpg

What Dwells in the Sixth Glass

The Sixth Glass
Boulevard Brewing Co., Kansas City, MO
Belgian Dark Strong Ale
10.5% ABV

This is not our first Sixth Glass. We are both loyal fans of Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing Co.
Quadrupel Ale – a great example of Belgian Quadrupel ale. There are four classifications within Belgian ales; Quadrupels have four times the malt of a regular ale. Malt goes up, sugar goes up, so alcohol goes up. (Yay!) We learned that Boulevard’s Master Brewer, Steven Pauwels, is from Belgium and has a masters degree in brewing, which made us rethink grad school.

We were lucky enough to have Marc Bayes, our certified beer server at Euclid Hall, help navigate the complexities of Quadrupel-style ale. Marc also authors notyourdadsbeer.com, so do yourself a favor and go take a peek.

The Sixth Glass pours with a massive head, which quickly recedes (the head doesn’t linger for long, due to the high alcohol content in the beer). As the head recedes, a minor lacing is left clinging to the glass. And yes, do use the appropriate glassware, a tulip glass opens the flavor and allows the raisin notes to come through. While there are sweet and fruity notes, you should never taste alcohol in a quad. If you do, the beer is “off”.

Unapologetic “cool label” seekers, the story behind The Sixth Glass speaks to our mutual appreciation of literature. The Sixth Glass refers to Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of Olé in “The Watchman of the Tower”.

There is an old legend about a saint who was to choose one of the seven mortal sins, and he chose, as he thought, the least-drunkenness; but in that state he perpetrated all the other six sins. The human nature and the devilish nature mingle. This is the sixth glass…

Every time we’ve tasted this beer it’s been the same: consistent, complex, and drinkable. Despite the increased malts, we’d never describe this beer as malty. It’s smooth, palatable, and definitely worth finding.

When you do find it, we urge you to appreciate the comingling of both human nature and devilish nature.

20120226-165521.jpg