Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Round Or Two With The Choc Gose

I just want to say up front that I'm thankful to Choc for putting the pronunciation of this beer on the label, because I am the king of Belgian beer name butchering, and I need all the help I can get.  Perhaps breweries should start putting pronunciation guides on the labels like they do glassware suggestions, but then again, we don't want to dumb good beer down too much, because we sure have spent a lot of time making it so damn sophisticated. 

Uncorks with a promising pop and pours murky brown with golden hues threaded throughout.  The off-white head settles slowly.  Aroma is of fresh baked beer bread, a panoply of light fruits, coriander, and lemon.  Wow.  Salty as fuck to the tongue.  Going to let that element sink in a bit before I go back for another try.  Ok, here goes.  The second round reveals some more light fruits (apple and melon) and malt.  A lemony tartness moves in all aggressive like toward the end, slaps me around a little, and makes we wonder why I re-entered the ring.  Light to medium bodied and dry, which is according to style, but I'm still wondering if I'm in the wrong weight class.

Since this is the first Gose I've tried, I really don't have anything to compare it to.  I will say it seems to be in line with the style guide, and I have decided not to throw the towel in on the style, but I have to admit the bottling in a magnum demands sharing with friends.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

St. Martin Brune

The Belgian Dubbel is a style that does not seem to get a lot love, but is a style that can really hit the right spot when done well, and when paired with the right moment.

This is one of the few Belgian beers available in Oklahoma that I haven't tried, and I will admit that there's nothing about it that just jumps off the shelf at me, but I'm still looking forward to seeing how it pans out, because drinking extraordinary beer all the time makes jack a dull and very complacent boy. 

Ok, enough about jack (pun intended).

This beer looks as good as any beer I've seen, and the fluffy tan head is quite promising, but we need to delve a little further to see if there are some brains behind the pretty face.

Dark brown with cherry streaks where the light hits.  When fully settled the head lingers soft and rolling atop the brew.  Has an involving aroma with a nice blend of bubblegum, cotton candy and dark fruits.  To the tongue I get more bubblegum, a little grain and grass, and a distant bitterness.  Has a slightly syrupy finish.  After a few sips the bubblegum breaks into pure sugar, but the beer is never cloying.

A little thin in the mouth, with a light to medium body, and dry going down.  I never get even a hint of alcohol, although some mention a certain booziness with this one. 

An attractive beer that reveals a slightly simpler side when you get to know it, but never lets you down.  This one keeps you content the entire time you are together, and that is something you really cannot find too much fault with.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Marshall Oktoberfest To Win.

Marshall make the most consistent brews in Oklahoma.  That is not to say they make the best brews in Oklahoma (I sure as hell don't want to start that debate) just the most consistent.  It is a great thing that many Oklahoma brewers are putting their own unique signature on the Sooner State's beer-scape, and it is becoming apparent Marshall has a monopoly on quality and consistency. 

Let's see if the Oktoberfest continues the tradition.

Has a fleeting and minimal off-white head from a medium pour.  A few swollen fingers of lace jut here and there.  Orange on color with some streaks of light brown threaded throughout.

Earthy and grainy with some light fruits to the nose.  Tastes of more light fruits (apples, faint oranges) and spice up front, with a perfectly timed caramel malt backbone that flirts with beervana.  I reach for some hop bitterness, and  get a handful, which is just enough to add, rather than detract.   

Medium mouth-feel; smooth and delicious.  Initially crisp, and becomes slightly creamy as it warms, which works well.

Slow out of the gate, but ends with a bang.  This beer rivals some of the better true German Marzens I've tried, and is further proof (as if you needed any) that Eric Marshall is aiming for quality in every beer he puts on the shelf.  The comfort of knowing you are going to get your moneys worth when you grab a Marshall brew is priceless.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Barrel Aged Wake Up Dead . . . Finks Don't Talk

Accidentally deleted my photo, but this one is a helluva lot better than I could do anyway.  Stolen from  Sue me. 

The old reliable Left Hand Brewery.  They never seem to knock home runs, but are good for consistent singles, which works out just as well sometimes.  

This one has a thick and resilient tan head that leaves behind a few ramdon fingers of lace.  Flat black in color.

Has aromas of sweet malts, caramel and pine upon initial inspection.  A second take reveals some medicinal aspects as well as some burnt sugar and licorice.  Piney and grainy to the tongue with dark chocolates and an expected woodiness.

As it warms cherry notes and some candy begin to take shape, adding a much needed complexity without unbalancing or cloying the brew.   Body is a little thin for the style, but not watery.  Slight notes of fusel alcohol linger.

I really wasn't expecting much from this one, but was pleasantly surprised.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Duchesse De Bourgogne

Been a week or so, and I am fully aware that I'm slacking off, but never fear, because a beer is never too far away from these lips, and a review is never too far away from this mind.  Going to be honest up front about this one.  It just doesn't compute for me.  The BA crew give it an A minus, which goes to show there is no accounting for taste.  You might want to accompany this one with a glass of chilled water. 

The off white head flutters away with an afterthought of thin and scattered lace.  Dark brown in color with dark red hues at the edges.  Powerful sweet and sour fruit aroma; including prunes, ripe grapes, figs and raisins, along with burnt sugar and freshly baked brown bread and phenols.  Vinous, grainy and tart to the tongue with a prolific amount of sour grapes and figs and a hammer-to-the-face vinegar character that never relents.

Not my thing at all, but that does not mean you won't like it, and certainly does not mean that I am "right", because one of the most wonderful things about exploring and talking about beer is that everybody has a different opinion and a right to express it.  That right there my friends, is the arch enemy of banality.