Okay, so it’s taken me longer than it should have to do a review of a Nola beer, considering it’s a 5-10 minute drive from where I live. Let me put it out there that these guys have great beers as well as a great staff. Been on the brewery tour a couple of times and they couldn’t be friendlier. If you’re ever in New Orleans (or live here, for that matter) and have never been, you’re missing out. I hope to have a few proper posts in the coming weeks of all their year-round brews, all of which are deliciously unique in their own way. Now onto the task at hand…
Poured the beer into an “American-sized” pint glass(the glass that 99.9% of establishments use and insist on calling a pint for some reason). Comes out a dark gold/amber color. It’s a pretty citrous-y pale ale with a dry finish. It’s got a leafy, lemon smell with what I think is a hint of mustard? Interesting. Light, dried fruit finish, with a mouthfeel on the lighter side. I could definitely knock a few of these back on a hot day. There a pleasant, upfront bitterness to it as well. Overall a well-balanced ale leaning to the more bitter yet light and drinkable side of the spectrum.
I have to admit, I tried this beer when it came out earlier this year and it was kind of just ‘meh.’ I’m a big fan of both their Hoptitoulas and Mecha-Hopzilla IPAs, as well as their blonde. Compared to those, I was left a little dissatisfied with this at first. But the other week I picked up a six pack and I found myself enjoying a lot more. I think my expectations influenced my initial opinion on how the beer would taste. But now that opinion has changed. It’s a little different than a more traditional pale ale in that I taste more yeasty bitterness as opposed to a hop-based bitterness, if that makes any sense. 4/5.
Poured from a little 11.2 ounce bottle into a goblet glass, because I like being fancy sometimes. There’s a lot of carbonation here, with a moderate sized head that dissipates to a thin film quickly. It’s got a dark brown/ruby color to it, typical of the style. Has a predominantly smokey malt smell to it, with little traces of caramel and honey in the body. Pretty musky, like its been sitting in a cellar for a while. Tastes a little bitter with not much hop character. Nutty flavors become more apparent with each sip. Medium mouthfeel, and highly drinkable for a beer of 8% ABV.
Honestly I wasn’t too impressed with this beer, and I usually love everything I’ve had from Brasserie d’Achouffe. I did enjoy the musky malt flavor, but nothing really stood out too much to make it a memorable beer. 3.5/5.
Let me begin by proclaiming my love of the Dogfish Head Brewery. These guys have some really good beer year-round, some of my favorites being the Indian Brown Ale and the 90-Minute Imperial IPA. Unfortunately, living in Louisiana means the closest place I can get it is either Florida or Alabama. So whenever I go down that way, anything by Dogfish Head (and Victory Brewing, for that matter) is the first six pack I pick up. This brew is interesting because it is a collaboration between Dogfish Head, Victory Brewing Co., and Stone. All top notch. And apparently each brewery did their own version of it. Pretty cool. But the thing that really caught my eye was tidbit of info below the name: Ale brewed with parsley, sage, rosemary & thyme. Being a Simon and Garfunkel fan, I of course had to get this. Poured into a tulip glass, it has a hazy, yellow color. Decently carbonated with a big frothy head that dissipates quickly. Right off the bat you can smell the rosemary and sage, which is a first for me in a beer. I guess the parsley and thyme kinda blend in with those. It smells like a really good veggie pizza, or an Italian restaurant. A very pleasing and unique smelling beer. A good amount of a Belgian yeast flavor(think Belgian golden ale, lots of citrus as well as bite) is also apparent. For a 6.8%, it’s a got a surprisingly light mouthfeel, but I guess that’s the case with most saisons of this style. Not too dry and not too wet, pretty good balance. Not too much in the hop department here, but again I think that’s to be expected from a saison. Overall not a bad brew. I gotta admit, I’m not usually one for drinking saisons. I either love them or hate them. This one falls under the former category. I think it’s greatest strength is it’s uniqueness. I’ve never had a beer with any of the herbs soothingly sung in Scarborough Fair before. I would definitely buy this again. Solid 4/5.
Picked up a bottle of this while I was in Tampa.
Poured it into a fat Stone flute glass. Right off the bat you’re assaulted by this beer’s strong, malty character. It’s got a really dark orange/bronze color, totally opaque. Not much of a head to this one, but that’s usually normal for double/imperial IPA’s. The relatively high (8% ABV) alcohol content is masked well by sweet citrus flavors malty goodness. It finishes pretty dry, and that’s where you can taste the hops. Not too hoppy for an imperial. Medium carbonation. After a few sips you get hints of boozy grapefruit and orange flavors, while still retaining it’s dry character. While finishing dry, this beer surprisingly doesn’t suck the moisture right off your tongue like you’d expect a strong IPA would. Still quite refreshing.
This beer has got a strong malty character with a lot piney, grapefruit undertones. Pretty smooth light mouthfeel considering it’s strength, which might make it taste a little off to someone expecting something more robust from an imperial/double IPA. Overall I really enjoyed this beer, mainly for it’s mild fruity undertones and it’s drinkability. I’d definitely pick up a six pack if I saw it in my area.
Sorry for the lack of beer in the pick, it was just so drinkable…
Let me begin by saying that Piraat is one of my favorite Belgian Ales available here in the States. It’s crisp, refreshing flavor is surprisingly smooth considering it’s 10.5% ABV. It’s called a Belgian Strong Ale for a reason. Just two or three of these and you’ll be on the floor. Maybe too strong for some. Now on to the review…
Pouring it into a tulip-like glass accentuates this beer’s high level of carbonation and has a very thick head at first, about 3 1/2 inches just from a slow pour. Dark, golden color with a lot of carbonation. Although possessing a mild hop-aroma, that is not where this beer shines. It has a huge sweet malty smell and flavor, with traces of honey, fresh fruit, and spiciness, with a little granny smith apple thing going on. The malt/yeast character is very resiny and thick, with a little bit of bite. Some might say it’s a little on the boozy side, but I think it blends well with the spicy character of the beer. The initial sweet honey flavors taper off after a few sips, replaced by the heavier malty yet drinkable taste.
If I was forced to identify one downside to this ale, it would be it’s potency. While I’m not one who thinks this is necessarily a bad thing, some may find it off putting. About half way through the bottle and after sitting out for a little while, the alcohol flavor becomes more apparent. Not to the point of tasting like malt liquor of course, but still something to consider. This may be a turn off for some, but to each his/her own. Other than that, this beer is quite tasty. Although I didn’t work today(cause it’s Labor Day), this is the perfect beer to sit down and enjoy after a long day at the office(or anywhere that’s not your bed/couch/home). If you’ve seen this in your local store but refrained from buying because of the price (it’s like $12 for a 4-pack). Stop. Buy it. You won’t be disappointed.