Monday, December 22, 2008

Westmalle Trappist Dubbel Ale

The Liquid:

Westmalle Trappist Dubbel Ale

The Stats:

7% ABV

1.063 SG

Those are the only two specs I can find online. I would place the IBU between 30-40.

The Ingredients:

Malts: ?

Hops: Tett, Saaz and Styrians (as well as unnamed hops)

Yeast & Water: No record of the yeas, though we know it is a single yest. They get their water from an artesian aquifer & then filter out unwanted metals.

The Notes:

This was my first sampling of one of Westmalle's Ales. The only other Trappist Ale I have had is Chimay. I like Westmalle better. If you are not familar with Trappist Ales let me enlighten you a wee bit.

The Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, or Trappists, are a contemplative Roman Catholic religious order, that follows the Rule of St. Benedict. These Trappist monks live in monasteries. It is in these monasteries that they brew these ales. There are under 200 monasteries left in the world, and out of that, only seven produce beer (six in Belgium and one in the Netherlands), these are known as The Select Seven. The first Trappist Ales were brewed to sustain the monks during fasting. The quality of these brews is very high and this is the main reason they have taken steps to protect the name from being used by outside brewers whether big or small. A foundation called "Internationale Vereniging Trappist" was set up and a logo produced to signify a true Trappist ale. There are only seven breweries that adhere to the strict standards and production criteria today, these are: Chimay, Westmalle, Orval, Rochefort, Westvleteren and Achel, located in Belgium, and LaTrappe in the Netherlands.

Appearance: Deep, deep, reddish brown color with some burnt umber at the edges. The beer pours with an dense head of rich, creamy foam that lace down to the last sip.

Aroma: Malty, bready and a bit of fruit. Some citrus notes as well as caramel. It was probably not the best time for me to put thoughts to paper after drinking this ale as I am a little bit stuffed up with a head cold. Oh well.

Taste: Malty. Sweet malt. It has a nice freshness to it too. A little bit of that caramel as well. I have to admit that I poured the whole thing into my glass and allowed the yeast to join the party. I know this will give a more bready taste and I like that. It also gives the appearance some cloudiness.

Mouth feel: Smooth with a good bit of carbonation due to the secondary bottle fermentation. Mouth coating but not to viscous or creamy. It hangs around and finishes with a nice dryness.

I encourage all to give this style of brew a try. The single yeast, secondary bottle fermentation will give you a nice white bread component to it. Malt before hop, so hopheads may not like this style.

The Score: A-

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Rogue's Dead Guy Ale

The Liquid:

Rogue's Dead Guy Ale

The Stats:


40 IBU

78 AA

16º Lovibond

The Ingredients:

Malts: Northwest Harrington, Klages, Maier Munich and Carastan.

Hops: Perle and Saaz.

Yeast & Water: Rogue's Pacman Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.

The Notes:

Hope you like your German when drinking this one. This is done in the Maibock style, though not a true Maibock and you do not have to wait for April-May for this to roll around.

Appearance: Poured an off orange, butterscotch color. Nice creamy, two finger almond color head that dissipated to a healthy ring with good lacing.

Aroma: I was expecting more from this on the nose. The main component here is this malts. They are greatly overpowering, but the do stand taller then the hops. I also get a bit of apple peel on the nose.

Taste: Once again I think I was expecting more. Although not up to what I was expecting, it is still a very nice flavor. Not complex, but balanced and tasty. The malts dominate the hops all day long on this. Like I said I hope you are a fan of German lagers, hop heads need not apply. Once the initial taste of malt subsides you can now get a little bit of the hops with a very small treat of bitterness on the finish. There is also a subtle sweetness to this one. Maybe honey, maybe a little bit of the taste you get when you keep bread in your mouth and let the pytalin convert the starches to sugars. It is subtle, but present.

Mouth feel: Very creamy with good carbonation. The hops tend to stick around towards the end and give you a little sampling of bitterness. Finishes dry and has good drink-ability. A six pack goes down with ease.

I was actually surprised that my non-beer drinking wife actually liked this. She said this is one of the few beers she could drink (along with a nice frambois lambic). Will I be drinking a lot more of this? No. But when I crave some of that malty Bock style brew, this may be where I come.

The Score: B-

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rogue's Chocolate Stout

The stats:

69 IBU
77 AA
135º Lovibond

The ingredients:

Malts: Northwest Harrington & Klages, Crystal 135-165, Beeston Chocolate, Rolled Oats & Roasted Barley.

Hops: Cascade.

Specialty: Imported Dutch Bittersweet Chocolate.

Yeast & Water: Rogue’ s Pacman Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.

The Notes:

Appearance: Deep chocolate brown, almost black color. Three finger, foamy tan head which hangs around like old luggage. A slight cascade to the head but nothing like a thicker stout. No real lacing to speak of.

Aroma: Quality imported chocolate, like a very rich cocoa powder. Some hops but not to much other then the cocoa.

Taste: Dry and rich, sweet and bitter, if that makes any sense. High percentage cacao gourmet chocolate. I love bitter dark chocolate and this was right up my alley. It has a nice hoppyiness to it and enough bitterness on the back end to keep me anticipating the next sip. I can also get just a bit of oatmeal. I like this. I like it ALOT. It seduces you then keep you wanting more.

Mouth feel: A bit thinner then some stouts but mouth coating and silky enough to supply a familiar texture. Leave it up to Rogue to put the "chocolate" in chocolate stout. I feel like I just bit into a Lindt gourmet candy bar.

Will this replace Guinness as my go to stout? No. Will it satisfy my craving for chocolate truffles? Oh Hell yea.

The Score: A-

Don't Call It A Comeback...

Wow it has been a long time since I actually supplied some much needed keystrokes to this blog. The time has been spent drinking wine, drinking beer, eating fine foods, watching the Yankees miss the playoffs, watching the Rangers have an unbelievable start to their season and then become meh. I also have been spending some quality time with my family.

I intend to contribute to the blog on a regular basis again. Hopefully it will be worth reading, but it probably wont. Enjoy!

About Me

My name is Bo Carlson. I am married to Kim and have two awesome boys. First and foremost I love my family. I love my wine, my beer, my food and of course The New York Yankees.

I am an in IT as a Network Admin. Scuba diving is a passion of mine. Blogging is pretty new to me and I am sure you can tell. I hope you take a look around and check out my posts.

Please feel free to leave a comment or two and friend me up on Twitter as @kallardnyc or Facebook. It would be great if you follow this blog so you can see the changes that will be upcoming and any future posts that I will make.

Thank you.

Todays Wine Deal

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