Monday, October 17, 2016

Deschutes The Abyss 2015 Reserve

"Like liquid God."

Last weekend was pretty beer-centric for me, a whole swirl of activity involving visiting a few local breweries with an old friend and hitting up this year's annual Beer Feast, put on by Flying Saucer.  Keeping track of all the beers i drank and sampled over Friday and Saturday proved easier than in events past (hint: write them down), but the cream of the proverbial crop had to be The Abyss 2015 Reserve barrel aged imperial stout from Deschutes Brewery (as well as the only brew i went back for seconds of).  Wow.  This yearly offering from the brewery comes in at a whopping 12.2% ABV, pours black with a dark tan head, and smells of roasted malt and chocolate with hints of vanilla, toffee, and booze.  The beer is complex with flavors of said malts and chocolate ebbing and flowing with additional notes of vanilla, licorice, molasses, and hints of the oak, bourbon, and wine barrels this thing gets aged in.  A phenomenal beer all around, i will have to be on the hunt for a 2016 edition over the coming months.

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Monday, October 10, 2016

Zombie Monkie

I'll admit it.  Sometimes i make a beer purchase based solely on the name of the brew.  How was i gonna skip out on something called Zombie Monkie?  A tasty porter from Tallgrass Brewing out of Manhattan, Kansas, the beer pours dark with plenty of carbonation and a quickly dissipating tan head.  Aromas of roasted malt abound with some subtle hints of chocolate and coffee.  The beer's flavor is the same but with some slight notes of vanilla on the back end.  All in all, this 6.2% ABV brew is a pretty standard and tasty porter, and great beverage to have on the patio as the nights grow cooler.

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Monday, October 3, 2016

Nitro Pumpkin Spice Latte

Pumpkin beer season is in full bloom, with a smattering of offerings available from many a brewer.  Breckenridge Brewery's Nitro Pumpkin Spice Latte pairs all of the wonderful pumpkin spice flavors with a coffee stout, essentially making an alcoholic version of that seasonal coffee so many people freak out about.  And they do a pretty good job of it.  Pouring a thick and velvety black with a foamy white head (hooray nitrogen!), the stout looks fantastic and smells of roasted malts, coffee beans, and hints of nutmeg, clove, and pumpkin.  The beer is very smooth and easy to drink, subtle notes of the aforementioned nutmeg, clove, and pumpkin, as well as some hints of vanilla meshing wonderfully with the malt and coffee flavors.  All in all, it's a very drinkable beer, and at 5.5% ABV, feel free to have a few...just don't drive later you dummies.

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Austin Beerworks Montecore Oktoberfest

I was fortunate enough to hit up this year's Texas Craft Brewers Festival on Saturday for an afternoon without kids, plenty of sunshine (and some rain), and a slew of great beers from all over the state.  It's kind of hard to pick a favorite, as i had a lot of good stuff and i have a penchant for forgetting what i've imbibed as i'm not writing anything down, though No Label's Off Label Peanut Butter Chocolate Time and Big Bend's Marfa Light are close contenders.  But, being as it's that time of year, and it was my first taste of the day, i'm going to give it up to Montecore, a collaborative marzen-style (Oktoberfest) brew from Austin Beerworks and local beer garden Easy Tiger.  The 6% ABV beer was crisp and gold and clear with light aromas of malt and Bavarian hops, and was smooth and tasty, said malt and hops running down the palette like a cool elixir on a hot central Texas autumn day.

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Monday, September 19, 2016

Boulevard Funky Pumpkin

Finally a beer for fans of pumpkin ales and sour brews, Boulevard Brewing's Funky Pumpkin is a style unto itself, a wholly original concoction that surprised me as to how much i enjoyed it.  On paper, a sour pumpkin ale probably sounds like a terrible idea, but in practice, it totally works.  Funky Pumpkin pours a hazy gold with a light and dissipating white head and smells of bread and light spices with a tiny hint of pumpkin.  The 5.8% ABV beer is crisp and medium-bodied, sour, but not overly so with very subtle flavors of pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, and yeast, all in a tart little package.  Definitely one of the more interesting beers i've tried in a while, but tasty all the same.  Fans of pumpkin beers or sours should give it a whirl.

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Monday, September 12, 2016

Southern Star Oktoberfest

Last week i mentioned how much i love the fall beer season, when pumpkin ales and Oktoberfest brews pop up all over the place, just waiting to wet the palette.  And Southern Star Brewery out of Conroe, Texas has a delicious, canned take on a beer celebration standard.  Their Oktoberfest pours a darkish amber with a quickly dissipating head, aromas of malt and hints of sweetness on the nose.  The flavor is a lovely mix of said roasted malts, nuts, and hints of molasses, all in a 6.3% ABV package.  I love fall beers!

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Monday, September 5, 2016

Ballast Point Pumpkin Down

Fall is just around the corner, and you know what that means.  It means the battle for autumnal superiority begins between pumpkin ales and Oktoberfest brews.  I for one refuse to pick sides, as i love them both dearly, and will surely be writing about some of each over the next couple months.  So let's get started.  First up is a pretty tasty brew i'd never had before from the always dependable Ballast Point Brewing Company out of San Diego.  Pumpkin Down is a Scottish ale brewed with pumpkins and a very mild amount of spices to craft a delicious, but not overpowering pumpkin ale.  The beer pours a dark amber with minimal head and smells of toffee, malt, and pumpkin of course.  There are also some very subtle hints of cinnamon or nutmeg in the mix.  The flavors of roast pumpkin are very prevalent, but they compliment well with the toffee and caramel flavors from the Scotch ale, and the spices never come in too strong.  All in all, this is fine pumpkin brew, and comes in at 5.8% ABV.  Fall is here (kind of).

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