Thursday, May 9, 2013

Porkin' out on Beer and other stuff

Me and hubby's weekly date night found us once again at our favorite wings and beer hangout - Porky's Cafe.   We were greeted by the lovely and talented beer maidens, Katalin and Danielle.

A pitcher of cold beer and a pair of frosty mugs were brought to our table forthwith and an order of hot and saucy wings were delivered shortly thereafter. 

As I was sucking the spicy wings sauce from my fingers I happened to glance at the beer menu above the bar and spied not one but two new-to-me beers listed there - Brooklyn Summer Ale and Allagash Odyssey. WOOT!

Summer Ale (5% ABV) by Brooklyn Brewery

My experience with Brooklyn beers has been mostly meh.  I have a theory as to why - read about it here. So, since I was fully expecting to dislike the Summer Ale and didn't want to have to actually pay for the stuff, I asked for a sample.

When Danielle placed the glass before me I chuckled knowingly.  My expectations were soon to be realized.  I just knew it!  The beer was as pale or paler than the Bud Light in my frosty mug - paler even! 

Don't judge me! It's a tradition - hot wings and Bud Light.  Besides - it's like drinking water and you have to drink water sometimes.

There was little aroma to speak of except a light metallic scent that wafted forth.  Uh huh.  I knew exactly where this is leading. 

I ventured forth, nonetheless, and took a sip.  I was like, "Oh!" Then I was like, "Hmm." Then "Huh."

Hubby said, "You're going to have to get a pint now, aren't you?"

That's right.  I actually liked it.  I know!  I'm as surprised as anyone.  But it was actually fairly tasty.  Light but tasty. 

Summer Ale is malty with a burst of citrus and had a nice crisp finish. The mouth feel is light and very drinkable. This is a great sessionable brew, perfect for the hot days of summer.  

Overall: Good.

Odyssey by Allagash Brewing is a Belgian Strong Ale.  Strong is right!  It weighs in at a hefty 10.40% ABV. 

Since we didn't want to get knocked our butts, hubby and I decided to share a glass.  I took a taste and then he took a taste.

The interesting thing about beer is that people experience them differently.  The case in point is Odyssey.

We can both agree on the appearance which was deep and dark with a thick off-white head.

Me:  The aroma was very wheaty and a bit malty.  The taste was very big on wheat but also fairly sweet and malty with a touch of fruit. The finish was crisp and dry.  The mouthfeel was heavy and somewhat creamy.  Smooth. 

Hubby: The aroma was smokey and sweet smelling.  The taste was smokey with a larger than normal barley profile.  Sweet and malty almost like a smokey barleywine.  

After he pointed the smokiness out to me I could pick it out.  He got no wheat and I got no barley.  I could taste and feel a definite alcohol presence whereas hubby experienced none.  Very interesting.

Here's the thing.  Beer advocate describes Allagash Odyssey as follows:

A dark wheat beer aged for ten months, a portion in oak barrels and the remainder in stainless tanks. The recipe includes 2-row barley, malted wheat, a generous amount of roasted barley and Belgian candi sugar. This deep brown beer boasts an aroma of black treacle and raisin. The flavor hints at dates, with a mildly roasted finish imparted by aging in both medium and heavy toast American Oak barrels. The finish is dry, punctuated by vanilla.

Between me and hubby we nailed the brew right on the head. But separately we experienced only some of the aspects of this complex beer. 

Overall: Very Good!


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