If there is a theme to this post, it’s the geographic diversity of good beer . . . and eclectic taste!
An American Pale Ale, this pours golden amber with a ragged off-white head. It delivers a citrus hop aroma with pine. Bread malt comes in on the flavor, quickly overpowered by nice piney hop bitterness and a foamy feel. More malt develops on the finish and hops slide back into balance, finishing dry. I like this a lot. 6.0% ABV
MO stands for Madeline & Oliver. As it says on bottle and website: “Daniel (my brother the brewer) had twins while starting a brewery. Cheers to his courage and beer making skills.” He should tip his hat to Daniel’s wife, as well!
It’s interesting to prepare to open the can with no idea what’s inside. There’s no style indicated, no description, just the name and the skull/blonde image with a hop cone and grains. It pours peachy amber with a yellowish head, slightly ragged. It’s a beautiful shade and just a touch off crystal clear. Piney hops arrive from a foot away, gaining fruity complexity like plums, any malt is in the background. The flavor is of resinous hops, caramel, and then more hops, and once again any malt is in the background. Further sips bring in some citrus like mandarin orange, alternating in waves with the hops. This is way up there on the bitterness, maybe 80 IBU. 6.8% ABV. Once again, I like this a lot.
Almost opaque in the glass, dark chestnut brown with a tan head, slightly ragged. The head dissipates in a couple of minutes, lightly lacing the glass. The nose leads with a moment of earthy hops, blending straight into caramel malt with a touch of smoke and stone fruit. Caramel and bourbon come in full on the flavor, with spice and vanilla behind. The body is slightly thin but still mouth coating with a touch of effervescence. The finish is moderrately strong oak and a shot of fig, drying gradually. 8.3% ABV
Rushing Duck Bauli Saison
Fresh from the tap, this is rich yeasty hazy gold. The slightly sour nose has complex notes of lemon grass, coriander, and some citrusy esters like Belgian ales. It has a mildly effervescent light body, herbal, straight malt, and no apparent hops. Refreshing. The finish is the proverbial “short and sweet.” The lemon grass suggests an obvious pairing with Thai food. 6% ABV
An Austrian lager, pale gold with a long-lasting foamy white head, replenished by ample effervescence. It has a floral spicy hop nose with crackery malt. The flavor features bready malt with a faint hint of stone fruit. It’s dry like a German pils but with deeper flavor like a Czech lager or a Marzen. Mildly hoppy finish, somewhat brief. Refreshing, and suitable for its large, distinctive mug. 4.9% ABV
Coppery in the glass with a ragged yellowish head lasting a couple of minutes. Arrives with a strong nectarine nose followed by citrus hops and a hint of cracker malt. The flavor is sugary with stone fruit, not specifically nectarine. Bitterness comes in on a fairly long finish of mixed citrus & resin. The hops and fruit come to a nice balance. 6% ABV
The brewery claims that it’s style is “culinary beer” from Pilsen, Chicago. “Beer is our food. We look forward to feeding your moody tongue.”
Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale
This pours hazy amber with a finely-textured head and persistent lacing. The nose is nice Belgian estery peach and banana. It is mouth filling with foamy cracker malt, medium sweetness and yeast with stone fruit. The hops dry out the finish nicely. 9.5% ABV, 34 IBU
Brouwerij Bosteels Tripel Karmeliet
Hazy straw in the glass with a big foamy white head, supported by ample effervescence. The aroma of yeast and bready malt features peaches and perhaps banana. The rich, lively flavor emphasizes the estery fruit notes, but again with lots of classic Belgian yeast and bready malt. All those elements continue through a long finish with just a hint of bitterness nibbling at the edges.
“3 grain” beer, still brewed after a 17th century recipe from the old Carmelite monastery of Dendermonde.
So this is an abbey-style ale, no longer associated with an active monastery . . . and one of my all-time favorite beers! Consistently excellent! 8.40% ABV