Posts Tagged With: Mikkeller

January Mix & Match

I’ve been neglecting the blog–but not the beer drinking–so I have a lot of catching up to do. We’ll start with a couple of European pilsners, continue with three IPAs and an APA, a Scotch Ale, a Barleywine, and conclude with a Hot Chocolate Stout.

RothausRothaus Pils Tannenzäpfle

The Rothaus Pils Tannenzäpfle has existed since 1956—so for almost 60 years. Its unusual name is embodied on the labels of the 0.33 l bottles. Just as today, the original Tannenzäpfle labels depicted spruce-fir branches accompanied by pinecones. These pinecones are what gave this beer its name.

From Badische Staatsbrauerei Rothaus, this pours a very clear straw, and the malty nose has a hint of sour. On the palette it’s crisp, dry and pure. This is what Milwaukee pretends to be, this is canonical Pilsner with no adjuncts. Absolutely perfect for a hot summer day and pretty damned good in the depths of winter. Gentle malty finish. Would be terrific with shellfish or to freshen the palette after heavier fare. 5.1% ABV, 32 IBU

Mikkeller Imperial Pilsner

This went into the glass with no head, unusual for a pilsner, cloudy light amber. The nose is of caramel malt poured in a bakery. On the palette I get a medium body with fruity caramel hinting at cinnamon raisin. . This gradually wraps itself in hops, still with hints of caramel and bread. It’s a nice twist on the traditional pilsner, more full and less crisp. 8.0% ABV

21st BFOD21st Amendment Brew Free or Die IPA

Light amber to dark straw in the glass with a generous persistent head. There are lovely citrusy hops apparent from a foot away while pouring, then there’s a sweetness to the aroma. On the palate comes a creamy mouthfeel with lots of hops over a malt backbone. The finish is restrained with some piney notes coming in over the citrus. Very sippable and the 7% ABV could sneak up under the guise of a session IPA. 70 IBU, but surprisingly balanced for that level of hops.

MidnightSun sockeyeMidnight Sun Sockeye Red IPA

Pours chestnut amber with a generous light tan head. Starts with an herbaceous hop nose with underlying malt. The mouthfeel is effervescent and the flavor delivers earthy malt and hops. The finish is creamy with gentle hops. . . which slowly intensify on very long finish. 5.7% ABV, 70 IBU

ElysianSpaceDustElysian Space Dust IPA

This pours a light amber, or hazy gold with the light behind it. The brief light head then laces the glass. Gives a strong herbal hop nose, turning to citrusy hops on the palette with firm malt and light effervescence. This swiftly moves into a bitter herbal lingering finish. As the beer warms the mouthfeel grows stronger as does a hop candy flavor, and everything gets smoother. AB-InBev has not harmed this, at least not yet. 8.2% ABV 73 IBU

stPMXSouthern Tier PMX

Renamed to Phin & Matt’s Extraordinary Ale, in the glass this APA is light amber with a brief white head. Malt and yeast come on the nose with a hint of honey and maybe stone fruit. The flavor is Belgian-like, similar to a saison, emphasizing yeast over malt and bypassing hops. The mouth feel is mildly fizzy. The finish is subtle, alternating malt with a slight sour tang. 5.7% ABV, 37 IBU

OldChubOskar Blues Old Chub Nitro Scotch Ale

A beautiful light tan head builds over a coffee-dark glass. The nose has a sort of plum character, a hint of sour, then stronger hints build of toffee and coffee. Silky smooth and creamy on the palate, again with a hint of sour, with a pleasant malt background, ending with a dry hop note, after which the original sour plum creeps in. To me, it’s more like a Guinness-style stout, or at least a porter, than an ale. Then again, I suppose a Yorkshire Ale like Old Peculier has a similar character with less head (which requires the widget to dispense the nitrogen). Nice stuff. 8.0% ABV

Cricket Hill Reserve Ale No. 3 Barleywine

Pours dark amber with a one-inch light tan head. Starts with a nice roasted barley and yeast nose, then toffee with a hint of chocolate and a tiny bit of fruit. On the palate, chocolate and molasses come with a slightly sour edge on the first sip, but any sourness disappears on subsequent sips. Long malty finish. 8.5% ABV

FlyingDogMexicanFlying Dog Mexican Hot Chocolate Stout

From their Brewhouse Rarities series, I expected heat though it didn’t say so. No, it’s not hot. This isn’t like, for example, Hot Jala Heim from Horseheads, rather it gives very, very dry bitter chocolate, almost dusty. It pours black with a tan head. Starts with only a tiny bit of chocolate in the aroma, but this increases steadily on nose and palette as the beer warms from fridge temperatures. There is a light bitter finish tinged with the flavor of chilis, making a fine cold weather brew.

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Super Flight to the Holidays

It’s holiday time! (Well, with good beer, when isn’t it?) Even though the weather on the East Coast has been incredibly mild, it’s time for winter warmers, holiday beers, Christmas beers. So let this be the official start for this blog!

Growler and Gill usually has some “red star” special beers that aren’t eligible for inclusion in flights. These are often ones in limited release or higher alcohol or both. Last night I saw they were offering “Super Flights” which could consist entirely of those “red star” beers. Most of the current batch were holiday offerings, and it’s definitely the time for those. Preflight, though, I had this one:

sfDarkHorse 4ElfDark Horse Brewing 4 Elf Winter Warmer Ale

Hailing from Michigan, this pours almost opaque darkest brown with a brief tan head. The delicious nose delivers spices & malt with a liqueur hint. On first gulp you get a big mouthfeel (yet still refreshing) with roastiness and dark malts plus a light sweetness. The spice comes back in on the transition to the finish with clove and nutmeg and a hint of hops. The big flavor makes this a tough act to follow. It destroyed the next beer I tasted, and I won’t name that beer–a light holiday ale–because it wasn’t a fair fight. 8.75% ABV

Now on to the Super Flight!

sfScaldis NoelScaldis Noël

Crossing the pond to Wallonia, this big beer is chestnut brown in the glass with no head at all.The aroma is of super molasses and caramel malt. The flavor is raisiny and intense with tons of malt, and the finish is long, smooth, sweet and boozy. This is really interesting–perhaps even challenging–and will stand up to anything. 12.5% ABV

sfMikkeller SLHMikkeller Santa’s Little Helper

Moving on to Denmark, I had the Grand Marnier barrel aged version of this Belgian Strong Ale a couple of weeks ago, and I have a 750ml bottle of the regular green label waiting for Christmas. This time it’s the “regular” on tap, yielding a brown glass with ruby highlights and a small off white head. The nose is restrained cara malt with a hint of smoke. The flavor continues caramel with a ton of malt. (Clearly we have a theme of Big Malt for these special holiday beers!) This has another long smooth finish with increasing caramel, but it doesn’t have the depth and balance of the Scaldis. I’m a little disappointed, but it’s hard to follow the Scaldis. 11.0% ABV

sfRidgeway VeryBadElf-cropRidgeway Very Bad Elf

Now we cross the North Sea for the British Pale Ale, hazy straw-gold with a moderate white head. Leads with a powerful nose, fruity, apple cider like with strong malts like cake and spice bread. The mouthfeel is smooth and palate coating with complex flavors including toffee and a fruit brandy flavor rather than a cidery flavor. Continues with a long liqueur finish, very smooth. 7.5% ABV

Prairie Artisan Ales Christmas Bomb!

Back across the Atlantic into the heartland of Oklahoma, Prairie takes their excellent Bomb! and readies it for the holidays. This Imperial Stout pours dark brown with a medium off tan head. The spicy toffee nose comes with strong, complex dark malts. The flavor is like biting into a great spice cookie with nutmeg & cinnamon & allspice, and yes, you can practically chew it. This flows into a very long spicy finish with crystal malt tones. Use this one with–or in place of–dessert! 11.5% ABV

2.DFH_BitchesBrew_BottleShotDogfish Head Bitches Brew

If that was dessert, then this can be the after dinner drink. Finishing this holiday trip in Delaware, this Imperial Stout is very dark brown with a big long lasting creamy tan head. Starts with a nose of chocolate and dark malt, followed by super smooth flavor continuing the chocolate and rich dark malt. The finish is lightly spicy, and since the beer coats your whole mouth, that finish goes on and on. So this isn’t a holiday beer? Give yourself a present of the Miles Davis album of the same name, and savor the beer with the jazz. 9% ABV

sfSuperFlight

Now who says that flights during the holidays are a bad thing? Happy holidays!

Image courtesy of Dogfish Head
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Santa and The Beast

Here’s a quick review by request, with two brews that I picked up at Growler & Gill.

Mikkeller Santas Little Helper GlassMikkeller Santa’s Little Helper

“Belgian ale brewed with spices and aged in Grand Marnier barrels” This pours opaque cola brown with a moderate light tan head with a hint of rose. You get an aroma of rich malt from two feet away. Up close add a note of chocolate orange liqueur and lots more malt, kind of a hint of brown bread. The flavor is like a Belgian Dubbel crossed with a chocolate porter as roasty notes come in. The finish starts with that roastiness and adds a caramel sweetness and a touch of hops. The Grand Marnier shows mostly in the aroma with just a hint in the flavor. Overall, it’s quite smooth with a roasty edge. Does the “good twin” think this is suitable for aging? The “best before” date is 03/06/21! 9.1% ABV However, there’s better to be had for much less than this premium priced beer.

Avery The BeastAvery The Beast Grand Cru Ale

Hazy dark amber in the glass with a light amberish head. The nose features light liqueur barrel and apple sour notes over caramel and bready malts. The flavor is of poached dark fruits with a slight sour edge sliding more toward sour on the finish, but also more toward caramel with a little alcohol heat. No wonder! Long finish, good stuff! 17.2% ABV!

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From Munich via Belgium to Oxfordshire

Here’s a taste tour that I would love to make in person.

FranziskanerFranziskaner Hefe-Weissbier Naturtrüb

This pours gold with a big foamy white head. As they say on their website, “Due to the higher carbon dioxide content, it is particularly lively and sparkling.” It has a yeasty nose with peach and banana esters. The smooth yeasty flavor continues the fruit with cracker malt building in, wrapping up with a nice malty finish. This comes from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu in Munich (inBev) 5.0% ABV

AugustinerAugustiner Bräu Maximator

From the oldest brewery in München, founded in 1294, this Dopplebock is chestnut brown with a generous bubbly cream head. The aroma is of rich dark malt, light coffee and cocoa. It has a medium-full body, brandy-caramel malts, and a slightly funky flavor. The finish is a little bitter with classic hops and a roasty touch. They say “especially suited for festivities during the chilly season” but I found it excellent in high summer . . . in good air conditioning. This is not ideally one for sipping by the pool. 7.5% ABV

LefebvreBrasserie Lefèbvre Blanche de Bruxelles Wit

Shows hazy gold with a moderate off white head. The yeasty nose carries faint fruit and light spice, perhaps coriander. The fruit emerges in the flavor with banana and stone fruit, along with lots of malt, bread and cracker, with lightly spicy hops. The body is quite light. The finish continues the malt and fruit. 4.5% ABV

MikkellerJackieMikkeller Jackie Brown Ale

Described as an American Brown Ale, this is almost opaque dark brown with a very generous off tan head. The nose is of caramel malt, coffee and a faint stone fruitiness. The flavor is very malty, roasty, with bitter chocolate coming in on a medium body. The finish gets smokiness and a light wave of caramel ending with a nice shot of hops. As a gypsy brewer, Mikkeller beers can come from a variety of breweries, this one is brewed at De Proef Brouwerij in Belgium. 5.9% ABV

Wychwood King GoblinWychwood Ale King Goblin

“Brewed only on a Full Lunar Moon.”

This pours hazy copper with a brief off white head. The malty nose comes with dried plum and a hint of spice. The flavor brings the fruit toward raisin with lots of chocolate and crystal malt and a trace of toast. The finish carries the flavor smoothly through a fade-to-black. Perhaps fitting for a King Goblin with a big axe, this seems to hit harder than its 6.6% ABV would indicate!

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