Monthly Archives: March 2016

S. W. S.

Schneider Weiss and Saranac

Three from G. Schneider & Sohn in Kelheim, Germany, and three from Matt Brewing in Utica NY. Family owned since 1872 meets family owned since 1888.


ScheniderWeisseOriginalSchneider Weisse Original Tap 7

This Hefe-Weizen is effervescent amber, fairly dark for a hefeweizen, with a moderate fluffy white head. The armoa is of light estery yeast leaning toward banana, accented by spicy hops. The flavor hits that banana note even more than the aroma, then there’s a caramel maltiness. It has a pretty big mouthfeel for relatively low alcohol. The finish is quietly fruity with a layer of noble hops. 5.4% ABV

ScheniderWeisse Edel-WeisseSchneider Weisse Weisen Edel-Weisse Tap 4

Pours effervescent clear gold, unusually clear with a medium white head. The nose gives biscuit and cracker malt plus malt ball sweetness and a lagery note. The mouthfeel starts creamy, becomes crisp then lightly fruity, really complex. The finish is crisp and light ending with little burst of bitterness. Very refreshing! 6.2% ABV

ScheniderWeisse AventinusSchneider Weisse Aventinus Tap 6

Very dark amber in the glass with a generous vanilla cream head. The aroma starts with rich complex malts with spicy hops and just a hint of yeast. The mouthfeel is medium full, bubbly, with dried dark fruits, figs and dates on a bed of dark malts ranging from bread through cake to rough dark tones. The finish is long and carries the dark fruit into a dry hoppy ending. 8.2% ABV

I have to wonder what’s on Taps 1, 2, 3 and 5!

Crossing from Bavaria to New York State . . .

SaranacTwinsSaranac Adirondack Lager

Pours effervescent amber with a moderate bubbly off white head. There is a cake malt nose with a little toffee and a hint of spicy hops. Medium mouthfeel comes with solid malt and almost a touch of maple. The nice malty finish continues that with just a bit of hop bite on the very end. 5.4% ABV, 20 IBU.

Yes, that is the Pale Ale in the picture, but these next notes are from the Legacy IPA.

Saranac Legacy IPA

“Our founder’s century-old IPA recipe uses lighter malts which allow the hop flavor to shine through. We’re proud to share his legacy of great beer.” There’s a half-inch ivory head of smooth foam over clear pale gold. The aroma starts with piney-citrus hops sweetening to a tropical fruitiness over bready malt. There is a caramel malt flavor with hops in a supporting role and a touch of butterscotch. A hint of prune emerges in the malt, and the hops are complex and hard to break down, but herbal flirts with pine and flirts with floral. The beer has a soft body and medium finish. This might be an IPA that is approachable for those not yet on the hop bandwagon. It might still be too bitter for them, but only a little bit too bitter. An entry drug, perhaps. 6.5% ABV

Saranac NitroSaranac Distuption Nitro

A nearly black pour with a tan head after settling from bubbly brown. The nose is of chocolate milk with a touch of hops. On the palate comes a creamy mouthfeel with lots of roasty malt and more hints of chocolate with a slight alcohol note. The finish continues the creamy chocolate and malt, and ends on a hop note. 7% ABV

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Winter Beers, Round III

We’ve just about run out of winter, at least here in the Tri-State Area, so I have to rush to get in the last winter beers.

The Shed Mountain AleThe Shed Mountain Ale

This is a brown ale with a brief off white head, as malty as an English ale should be. The flavor gives full-bodied caramel and toffee with a lightly roasty undertone and moderate English style hops (the notes say Mt Hood & Northern Brewer). It has a nice caramel finish dried by hops. 7.4% ABV

Victory Winter CheersVictory Winter Cheers

“A celebratory wheat ale” this pours cloudy straw with a generous foamy white head. The nose is yeasty and estery with banana and stone fruit plus a distinct but subtle spiciness. On the palate comes sparkly refreshment with a touch of cloved orange. The finish is long and lightly spicy with almost a hint of cinnamon, dry, but retaining that estery quality all the way. 6.7% ABV

21st Fireside Chat21st Amendment Fireside Chat

“Winter Spiced Ale,” dark brown in the glass with a moderate off tan head and an aroma of spiced fruit bread. The mouthfeel is soft, the flavor is earthy, almost meaty, with roasted grain and dark malts. The finish gets very dry as substantial hops come in, a nice finishing bite. On further sips, sweetness develops in the flavor and spice increases on the finish. This is a 50-degree ale, not a 40-degree brew. 7.9% ABV 45 IBU

ommLovelyDarkAndDeepOmmegang Lovely, Dark and Deep

“Oatmeal stout winter ale,” this pours opaque brownish black with a persistent moderate tan head. The aroma is so roasty it almost crosses to tobacco, then come rich malt and a hint of smoke. The flavor starts with smoke, almost ashy, with malt building in. It makes me think of rauchbier and that persists into the finish. Never sweet, it dries out more on the end. 5.3% ABV

Founders Project PAMFounders Project PAM

A Backstage Series beer, a Black IPA, this delivers maple syrup & bourbon, inky brown with a brief off tan head. It delivers a rich bourbon nose over deep malt, then a maple-and-malt flavor blending with the bourbon then persisting into finish getting sweeter. 10.8% ABV

Troegs The Mad ElfTroegs The Mad Elf Ale

“Ale brewed with honey and cherries,” it pours clear chestnut with almost no head, just a light pinkish ring. The nose? Cherry soda with a hint of biscuit malt. The aroma left the expectation of cherry soda and the flavor is not far from that, just adding a base of malt and a smooth layer of honey. The finish holds both cherry and honey but adds a spicy hop note. Pleasant sipping and good follow up to the Great Lakes. 11% ABV and not a hint of that strength. This stuff could be dangerous!

It has been a mild winter of good beer, let’s look forward to a nice spring with more of the same!

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Winter Beers, Round 2

I have to hurry up while it’s still winter!

Deschutes JubelDeschuttes Jubelale 2015

A cloudy brown glassful with a very brief light off white head. The aroma is of caramel and oaky vanilla, tons of malt and just a hint of alcohol. The flavor is of rich raisiny malt, definitely wine-like, and the raisin reminds me of Italian Amarone, one of my favorites. The finish is smooth and balanced with just a note of hops mixed with the malt and raisin. This is an ale that many wine drinkers–like my wife–would love. Ale with 50% aged in Pinot Noir and Oregon oak barrels. “Affectionately known as ‘Super Jubel’, Jubel 2015 is an imperial take on our festive winter ale. Originally planned as a once-in-a-decade ale; we just couldn’t wait another five years.” This was one of my favorites of 2015! If somehow you can find it, the 10.4% ABV will let it age for some time.

Brooklyn InsulatedBrooklyn Insulated Dark Lager

A Schwarzbier, pouring dark cola brown with a generous light tan head. Starts with a lightly roasty, malty aroma. It delivers more roastiness on the palate with a chocolate hint and a mix of German and American hops. The finish continues these, drying at the end. 5.6% ABV

Stone Double Bastard in the RyeStone Double Bastard in the Rye

“2015 Double Bastard Ale aged in Templeton Rye Whiskey Barrels” Cloudy dark amber in the glass with a brief tannish head. There is rich malt and whiskey on the nose with rye spiciness. It’s a filling mouthful of malt, rye and caramel carrying into the finish with a solid shot of hops on the end and a solid shot of alcohol as well. 12.7% ABV

Stone BBA Arrogant BastardBourbon Barrel Aged Arrogant Bastard

This pours a rich chestnut amber with a medium tannish head. The nose is dark malty with only a hint of bourbon. Even the flavor is more toffee and caramel than bourbon, but there is an oakiness and some alcohol heat. A creaminess comes into the mouthfeel and then a bitterness emerges and carries into the finish, joined by hop spiciness. “Quite refined, unlike you.” 8.1% ABV

Singlecut DoesAnybodyRememberLaughterSinglecut Does Anybody Remember Laughter?

This IPA has an apricot nectar look with a moderate persistent off white head. Citrus-piney hops hit as soon as the cap comes off. It arrives as a big bitterish hoppy mouthful and the lemon peel citrus stays bitter through the finish. I like this but it’s sort of a one trick pony. 7.2% ABV

21st Cerveza El Sully21st Amendment Cerveza El Sully

Clear gold with a brief white head and light effervescence. The aroma seems almost like a Belgian single, lightly yeasty and estery, crossed with the flavor of clean biscuit malt and light spicy hops. This one is a straightforward lager, a summer beer, but in a winter with a 70 degree Christmas Eve, I’ll happily drink it. 4.8% ABV

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