This Growler & Gill tasting was of Two Roads, from Stratford CT, presented by Emily their Marketing Manager and Joe from Accounting. They claim they’re the “B Team” but they showed the flag proudly.
We started with No Limits Hefeweizen, nice and creamy with some fruitiness, a hint of clove and some bubblegum on the finish. Others got gum right away, for me it came along later. As I said in a prior review, this stands up to German originals. 5.0% ABV.
The next was Worker’s Comp Saison. This leads with a nice slightly sour yeasty nose. It’s a good sipper, not as sour as some saisons and I prefer it this way. They say it’s brewed from 7 grains described as like what’s laying around farmhouse but also mentioning spelt. Not many farmhouses with spelt, methinks! This is quite fruity but not citrusy, with some nice spice on the finish. 4.8% ABV, so continuing a sessionable trend.
On to Road Jam Raspberry Wheat. This is their summer seasonal, made with raspberries and black raspberries and lemongrass. The pour is very pretty. This gives a solid raspberry aroma and flavor, a little less sweet than the lambic I just had, and a bit of citrus follows the raspberry, with a light spiciness. 5.0% ABV.
Changing to a hoppy gear, Road 2 Ruin Double IPA leads with strong musty fruit and pine. This continues on the palette with a complex blend of hops. I don’t get much malt, so this is not necessarily balanced, nor is it intended to be, I think. 8.0% ABV, and they said that value has risen from year to year, probably as competing doubles come in at high levels.
We wrapped up with a Rye 95 Tripel Blonde Ale. (I must say I’m getting tired of having spell check “correct” me from “Tripel” to “Triple.” However, I was surprised to discover that my iPhone auto-completes “Hefeweizen” as soon as I type “Hefew.”) Anyway, this is a nice Belgian style ale with a little spicy twist from the rye. I think this suffered after the hops of Road 2 Ruin, which I think masked the fruitiness that I would expect, though I got hints of it. Whatever hops it has were likewise masked by the earlier, stronger hops.
To test this theory I followed up after a few minutes with another taste, and then I found it to be malty, fruity, and yeasty, so we had a sequencing problem like at a wine tasting when you put something like a Zinfandel in front of a Pinot. With beer, it’s easy to lead off with a Pilsner or a Saison, but then it gets tricky sequencing Double IPAs and Big Belgians and Stouts and so forth. A challenge to the presenter!
The evening was a nice trip down the side roads of Connecticut.
Prior to the Two Roads tasting, I had a pint of Jack’s Abby Aussie Rules APL. Coming off tasting a forgettable pale ale, this hit firmly with hops in the nose and on the palette, herbal and flowery with significant bite. Hops carried the finish as well. This went very well with a pair of hot dogs and spicy mustard.
Lager and hot dogs, what an unusual combination! OK, really good Lager and hot dogs; that’s a less common combination. This reminds me that I just read that the Yankees were ranked last in a list of “best beer at the stadium.” Seattle ranked first, which is not the least bit surprising! I’ll be at Yankee Stadium in a few weeks, so I’ll have to see what’s available.
While we’re on the subject of Jack’s Abby, at home I had one of their Hopstitution Extra Pale Lager. Poured into my IPA glass I got a almost a 3″ head, or almost half the height of the glass! I didn’t *think* I was pouring incautiously. The nose was nicely hoppy and didn’t show me lager yeast. I probably would have thought IPA rather than EPL. Nice gentle malt with a bit of yeast and a sort of toffee trace. Not much hops on the middle, but then they strengthen on the finish, more of the herbal sort than piney or citrusy.
I look forward to doing a tasting sometime of Jack’s Abby…now that I know how to spell it.
Two Roads images courtesy of Two Roads Brewing Company