Recent Staff Beer Reviews
I arrived at Old Town Beer Exchange in downtown Huntsville eager to find a good beer to review. My malty sweet tooth was in control, so when I saw Florence's Singin' River had a doppelbock out, I immediately knew I would be taking a crowler of Orchestrator home with me.
Shortly after getting home, the crowler was popped open and the clear copper brew was poured into a glass. I may have been a bit timid with the pour but I expected a little bit more than the very thin cap which never quite melted away. It seemed to be mostly made up for the fact that it left plenty of white lacing on the glass.
I got a general sweet smell when I first brought the pint glass to my face. As I drank more, I could discern caramel and a bit of booze. I'm a bit disappointed by the lack of aroma. I decide to leave the crowler on the counter to warm up in hopes of eliciting a stronger aroma on my second glass. Sure enough, the aroma bloomed as it warmed. The caramel still dominated, but I started to pick up some vague dark fruit aromas (kinda plum-ish) along with a char affectation to the caramel sweetness. The warming definitely helped. It wasn't a night and day difference, though. The second glass seemed like a more fuller experience.
The Beer Fairy handed me a crowler of a new brew from Yellowhammer named "Joey Freshwater Gose" the other day. Last night, once home from work, I popped the can open to review. Oh, it turned into such a nice way to wrap up my day. What the brewers called Joey Freshwater Gose is being released to the public with the name "Kettle Sour Gose".
Funky Buddha's Iron & Barleywine has been teasing me for a while. I like the folk act Iron & Wine, so the name of this barleywine won me right of the top. The bottle says Drink Now, Or Age and I thought about cellaring this beer and opening it next winter instead of the start of this summer. Alas, good comments from others prompted me to pull this out and use it for a ZiggyZoggy staff review. I'm really glad I did. I hope Funky Buddha continues brewing this because they can count on me buying up bottles each year after release.
With the warmer weather of spring (finally) here, I wanted my staff review for this month to be something from a highly-regarded brewer but that is easy to find almost anywhere. While taking a trip down the beer aisle, my curiosity was piqued by the Ballast Point Even Keel - a session IPA with the surprisingly low ABV of 3.8%. Is it possible to have good IPA-style taste from a beer with such a low ABV. I had to know!
Congratulations to Terrapin for 14 years of brewing beer in the Southeastern US! To celebrate this achievement, they have created a tart Belgian red ale. I started to see the bottle when browsing around on Instagram last week and decided that this deserved a staff review on ZiggyZoggy. On Saturday evening, I swung by Liquor Express, grabbed a bomber from their cooler, and headed home. I had spent most of the afternoon and evening volunteering at the Rocket City Brewfest in Huntsville, Alabama and was eager to finally get to drink some beer after spending all day pouring it for others.
Many breweries have one beer they brew that is always the subject of experimentation. Sure, it is possible to get the normal version of this beer, but you are far more likely to find the marshmallow or peanut butter or grapefruit or some other Frankenstein deviation from the norm that the brewers think up. For Madison, Alabama's Blue Pants Brewery, their Pinstripe stout is the beer which they seem to constantly be releasing a new variation. It seems that it was probably just a matter of time that the recent trend of brewers playing around with Brettanomyces (aka "Brett") that Blue Pants put Brett and Pinstripe together.
Poured out of a four pack of bottles.
Monday Night Brewing of Atlanta, Georgia has rolled out an interesting brew - a Russian Imperial Stout that has been brewed with hazelnuts from Georgia (the country next to Russia, not the state). I am going into Georgian Imperial hoping for the complexity I enjoy in a good RIS as well as hopefully actually tasting the hazelnuts. What can I say, but if I grab a Ritter or some other fancy chocolate bar, I will commonly search out one with hazelnuts. To say I had high hopes for this beer is not overstating things.
I really like taking a look at these beers at different temperatures. It really is shocking how good (or not good) some beers can taste at different temperatures, and this really demonstrates (at least to me) how a bad first impression can be as simple as a bad serving temperature!
Memphis's Wiseacre Brewing's Holy Candy dubbel poured from the bomber and into my tulip glass a hazy, murky brown with a slight beige head. That bit of foam quickly went away. This brew looks a lot like really muddy creek water as I swirl it around in the glass. There is some sloppy lacing which quickly breaks up and falls back into the beer.