Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Kasteel Tripel

This was from a trade from my friend in Belgium. I looked for an import counterpart to this brew for comparison but couldn't find one locally.

I shared the bottle with my hubby . . . unfortunately.

Kasteel Tripel (11.0% ABV) is brewed by Castle Brewing Van Honsebrouck in Ingelmunster, Belgium; a family owned and operated brewery since 1900.

It pours a clear lemony orange with a head of big bubbles that diminish to a halo around the edge of the glass.

The aroma is combination of fruity wine and Belgian funkiness. Intriguing.

The taste is both tart and sweet with a touch of banana, bubblegum, and spiciness. There are wine like characteristics as well. An unusual combination of flavors that somehow work very, very well together.

The mouthfeel is medium and tingly. The tingle comes from both the carbonation and alcohol.

This really is a wonderful brew that I would happily drink again.

Overall: very good.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Cooking with Beer - Hefeweizen Chopped Salad

This salad is a remarkable combination of tastes and textures. The veggies add crunch and flavors ranging from bitter chicory to anise. The apples are crisp and sweet. The cheese and prosciutto are soft, sharp, and salty. The dressing is sweet and citrussy.

Adapted from a recipe in American Flavor by Andrew Carmellini. It's a carnival of flavors and truly wonderful.

Use a good hefeweizen or wheat beer for the dressing.

Hefeweizen Chopped Salad

1/3 Cup Wheat Beer
1 Tablespoon Honey
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
Juice Of 1/2 Lemon
1/3 Cup Grapeseed Oil
1/3 Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Fresh-Ground Black Pepper
3 Heads Belgian Endive, Chopped
1 Head Radicchio, Chopped
1 Head Anise, Chopped
1/2 Pound Prosciutto
2 Gala Apples, Diced
1/4 Pound Sharp Cheddar, Diced









Whisk together the beer, honey, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice. Drizzle in  the oils, whisking briskly to blend the ingredients. Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.

Toss the chopped veggies, apples, half the prosciutto (chopped) and cheese. Pile onto a chilled salad plate.

Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper.

Drizzle the dressing over the salad, and then lay a couple slices of prosciutto over each salad.



Thursday, July 17, 2014

Stormcloud


Thirsty Thursday at our local brewery (Two Roads Brewery) has become a standing event with me and
some of my fellow beer drinking buddies. A regular to this little gathering is Robert.

Robert is an intelligent, fun-loving, and sweet fellow. He also has more than a passing resemblance to Glen Quagmire from Family Guy. He's a pig but we love him anyway. Giggidy, giggidy, gig-gi-dy!

Because he's such a rockin' good dude, he brought me beer back from his recent trip to Texas. One of those brews was Shiner Bock. The other was an IPA brewed by Rahr & Sons Brewing in Fort Worth, Texas.







Stormcloud (6.00% ABV) pours a hazy orangy amber with a big floofy off white head that leaves behind a spattering of lacing on the glass.

The aroma is bright tart citrus with sweet malty undertones.

The taste is grapefruity and pleasantly bitter. The flavors are balanced out by the caramelized malt. There some dry toasty biscuit presence towards the tail end.  The finish is mildly bitter.

The mouth feel is medium-ish and well carbonated.

Stormcloud is a really nice, quaffable IPA. I liked it a lot!

Overall: very good.





Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Summer Blonde Ale






Hump day wouldn't be complete without cold beer, hot wings, and the occasional pizza. A new beer on tap is like the froth on the brew.






Summer Blonde Ale (4.50% ABV) by River Horse Brewing was up on tap. So, of course I had to try it.

It was served in a pint glass. It was a hazy yellow orange with a smallish head. Loose lacing clung to the glass.

The aroma a was a gentle whiff of lemon.

The taste was mild and palate friendly. A tiny bit sweet, nary a bit bitter with a pleasant lemony finish. Clean and refreshing.

The mouthfeel was light and smooth.

Summer Blonde Ale is easy to drink and tasty. A perfect summer brew.

Overall: very good.



Shiner Bock





I have a buddy who's from Texas. Well, that's not entirely accurate. He was born in England. moved to Texas, then Maine. I think he lived in New York for a time and now he lives in Connecticut. You should hear his accent! It's like pip-pip-cheerio-ayup-y'all. Funny as hell.

Anyhoo . . .

He often travels back to the Lone Star state for both business and pleasure. So, of course, I bug him to bring me back beer. Specifically, something uniquely Texan. I asked for Lone Star beer but he out-and-out refused.

What I got was Shiner Bock. Ironically, about a week or two after he brought me the Shiner Bock it became available in Connecticut. Go figure.

Thanks Robert! Ride'm cowboy!





Shiner Bock (4.40% ABV%) is brewed by Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas.

It pours a clear brown with a small head with minimal retention and no lacing.

The aroma is clean and malty.

The taste is malty with a bit of sugary sweetness. Clean tasting, nary a hoppy bite, and nothing really outstanding. The finish is sweet and mildly metallic.

The mouth feel is light and bubbly. Much like most of my conversations with my buddy Robert.

Shiner Bock is an easy drinking beer. It's nothing special but I could kick back and drink a fair share when I'm looking for a light, uncomplicated brew.

Overall: good.





Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hoptimus Prime

The Transformers! More than meets the eye!
The Transformers! Robots in disguise!
The Transformers! More than meets the eye!
The Transformers!

Oops . . . that's Optimus Prime not Hoptimus Prime.

The only transformation that will happen with this beer is if you drink too much . . . and that's not into a cool crime fighting robot but a drunken slurring lush.

Hoptimus Prime (9% ABV) is a double IPA brewed by Ruckus Brewing.

It pours a deep hazy orange with a thick but small head of foam.

The aroma is mildy hoppy with fruity undertones.

The tasty is malty with sweet fruits and barely any hoppy bitterness. The alcohol is pretty well concealed. The hops pull in towards the finish, which is clean and gently bitter.

The mouthfeel is medium with lots of bubbles.

When I pulled Hoptimus Prime from the fridge, I was craving a lot of hoppy bite. This doesn't have it. In fact, it's a pretty sweet brew for an IPA. Not a bad beer just not what I was looking for.

Overall: good


Monday, July 7, 2014

Peche Mel Scaldis





I picked up this beer on a whim. I like peaches. I like beer. It could be good.

 A precursor to Pêche Mel’Scaldis was a brewtail made up by students who would mix of equal parts Scaldis Amber and peach juice. The popularity of the cocktail was the inspiration for making it an official brew of Brasserie Dubuisson,

Pêche Mel’Scaldis (8.5% ABV) pours a hazy orangish amber with a wisp of a head.

The aroma is very peachy with underlying Belgian funkiness.

The taste is big time juicy peaches with a whisper of bitterness. There is some Belgian funk but it is mostly overtaken by the fruity sweetness. The finish is somewhat sticky.

The mouthfeel is medium-light and smooth.

Pêche Mel’Scaldis makes for a refreshing summer brew or an after dinner beer. Drink in moderation, though, it's a strong one!

Overall: good