Sunday, February 27, 2011

Smuttynose: Shoals Pale Ale - not "just" a Pale Ale

The latest from Mark included a Smuttynose, Shoals Pale Ale. This is their British style pale ale. Mark has given me a couple of New England beers this time around which pulls at my heart strings. I'm originally from New England and can almost never get some of the great small brews from there (and some of the larger ones). Thanks Mark for sending me a little reminder of home.

Now on to the beer!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sierra Nevada Black Barleywine

My recent experience drinking a Sierra Nevada Black Barleywine on tap included funny banter.  The bartender poured it into an 8 or 9 ounce snifter.  He commented that a lot of beer drinkers want no part of  a brew served in such a glass:

Him:  Not a lot of drinkers want their beer in a glass like this.
Me:  I'd drink this beer in that glass. 
Him:  Right!  It's different than having a Miller Lite in this glass.
Me: I wouldn't want one of those in any glass.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cottrell Brewing Old Yankee Ale

Maybe a great beer should be judged not by any amount of ingredients in it or the complexity of its flavors but by simply how much it makes you take notice. This is a concept I'm pondering as I explore more beers.  Meanwhile, I just enjoyed another of Shaun's Craft Beer Club brews, the Connecticut-based Cottrell Brewing Old Yankee Ale. A quick search of the web reveals that this beer was rated highly at Beer Advocate, which made me excited to try it.

Full Sail Brewing Top Sail Bourbon Barrel Aged Porter

Full Sail Brewing hails from Hood River, Oregon, and first came upon my beer radar when I was visiting Shaun in Seattle in late summer of 2007.  On my last night in town, at one of the bars we visited someone poured me some kind of beer in a Full Sail glass.  I somehow still have the glass, having really liked the name and logo.  Shaun's recent belated review of Bell's Hopslam reminded me that I'm delinquent on a review of Full Sail's Top Sail Porter, bourbon barrel aged.  Shaun tortured me last year by sending me a photo of a perfectly poured glass of this beer but made up for it by sending me a bottle last fall.  I opened it soon thereafter and took tasting notes that I need to share in a full review.  My hope was that this beer would match the hype I had worked up in my mind after the enticing photo. 

Original Craft Beer Club Beers - Cape Ann Brewing and Cottrell Brewing

As a Christmas present, Shaun was nice enough to get me - what else? - some beers!  What else does a guy want for the big holiday?  He purchased a couple of allotments from the Original Craft Beer Club.  They send you a box of 16 beers, four each of 2 different varieties from 2 different breweries in each shipment.  I received my second shipment yesterday in the midst of Chicago's Big Blizzard of 2011.  While the flakes were falling sideways outside, I figured it a perfect time to launch a couple of these beverages to see what they were bringing to the table.