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Deep Ellium Brewing Double Brown Stout

Another beer from Lidney. I’m honestly not sure how many I have left.

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(Sorry for the too-aggressive pour. Sometimes a problem with cans I find.)

I’m amazed at this genre until known more or less unknown to me of stouts made primarily with brown malt. It’s a very classically English stout thing to do, but now I’ve had a couple in the States which have a very nutty brown malt quality. It’s nice, and something I’ll probably do in a homebrew sooner or later.

On to the review.

Pours dark brown/black with a creamy brown head that dissipates pretty quickly. Nuttiness on the nose is apparent before I even really stick my schnoz in. Beneath that some coffee, caramel, earthy pungent hoppiness. Definitely some dark roasted chocolate in there as well.

Flavor? Again with the dark chocolate. A hint of spicy pine from the hops perhaps? Finishes with a dry and astringent finish that fades into an aftertaste of chocolate malt. The can claims this is 7% ABV and that feels about right — I don’t taste any booze but it’d probably be well hidden by the malt.

All in all a very nice and roasty stout. I’d definitely throw this in the rotation if I could get it regularly.

Rating: B+

Bottle Share: 4 Hands Pyrus Saison and Jester King El Cidra

So my buddy Franklin had a bottle of Three Floyds Blackheart to share, as well as a couple of other bottles, so he came over and we split some stuff. We started with the Blackheart (which I didn’t bother to review) but I did do tasting notes on paper for the two bottles of Lidney’s that we split. I’m basically transcribing verbatim below, with exact transcription in italics.

4 Hands Pyrus Saison

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Pours yellow-orange with a thin white head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is super dry, with pear, notes of funk, perhaps some brettanomyces? Taste follows the nose very well.

At this point I just transcribed one word: salty so I suppose I was getting hints of saltiness on the back of the palate. Then: Extremely dry. Crisp. Green apples. Green apples can be a sign of acetaldehyde but here I think it’s more likely just a yeast ester. (Lots of things can add green apple flavor to a beer.)

Drinkable, good, not too complex.

Rating: B+

Onward and upward.

Jester King El Cidra

This is a dry-hopped and cedar-aged ale from Jester King. It sounded gimmicky to me, but Lidney typically doesn’t steer me wrong, and I quite liked Black Metal, the only other beer from the brewery. I ended up amazed at the quality.

Cloudy yellow-white. White head sticks around.

Smells of weirdly complex roasty, grapefruit/orange rind. Gourdy. Definite woody undertones. Taste follows the nose. Delicious.

This one had a really interesting spicy note that was really hard to place for certain. This was the first beer in awhile that I wish I had done a video for, because the process of me trying to find the particular flavors was probably really entertaining.

With yeast very bready. Fruity ester notes. More green apple? Hugely complex spice build. Allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon.

Rating:A, maybe even an A+

Southern Star Buried Hatchet Stout

Another day, another beer from Lidney. This one doesn’t have an ABV listed, but BeerAdvocate calls it 8.25%. (I used to post technical info on these reviews from the brewery website, but if no one’s really reading who cares?)

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(Yeah, I used a mug, because that’s how I roll today.)

Pours dark brown (not quite black) with thick creamy head. Reasonable carbonation. Some lacing on the inside of the glass.

Smells very English, hints of licorice and toffee. Tons of classic brown malt. No discernable hop.

Flavor is right on. Straight up English-style Imperial Stout. I wonder if they’re using a historical recipe for this one? Ron Pattinson could tell me how accurate this is to a high-gravity stout circa 1850, I’m sure. Lots of rich coffee and chocolate character. Hints of raisins. Perhaps a touch floral?

Reviewing this as a classic American Stout or Imperial Stout would make this look bad. The can emphasizes the brown malt used, which leads me to think they’re trying specifically for a sort of historical recreation. Either way it’s very drinkable and makes me happy on a Wednesday evening. Quite good.

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Rating: A-

Beyond the Pour Episode 19: Session IPAs and Ryan Goes To England

Sorry for the long hiatus. We’re definitely working on it. But look! New content!

Download link.

Show Notes:
0:00 to 8:14 What we’re drinking right now. Ryan’s been doing a ton of homebrew, including a barrel-aged stout. Also Pizza Port Swami IPA in cans. On the mike now: a two-year old bottle of Arcadia Shipwreck Porter from Battle Creek MI. Daniel’s drinking the Paw Paw Brewing KUA (Kalamazoo Urban Assault).
8:14 to 22:46 Session IPAs and general bullshit. Does the term “Session IPA” mean anything? The pleasure of low-abv beers as being some of the greatest beer geek experiences.
22:46 to 31:00 The IPA-ification of craft beer.
31:00 to end Ryan’s trip to England (with a side trip to Brussels). Also: the ascendancy of saison.

Beyond the Pour Podcast Episode 18 (with Bonus Episode!)

There’s about two and a half hours of content here, so hopefully no one’s disappointed on length at least. In the main episode, Jamison, Lee, and I discuss what we’ve been drinking, the “craft vs. crafty” distinction, and beer cultures around the world. We also play a little beer geek game around barrel-aged beer. In the bonus episode, Rob Derbyshire of Hopzine and I have a long and free-flowing conversation about the UK beer scene, craft beer vs. real ale, and a wide variety of other topics. If you listen carefully I even make a Doctor Who joke!

Main episode:

Download

Show notes:

0:00 to 17:40 Introductions and what we’ve been drinking. Jamison: Deschutes Jubelale, Scotch Silly, Firestone Walker Parabola. Lee: Boxing Rock Vicar’s Cross DIPA, 2012 Oskar Blues Ten Fidy. Daniel: Three Floyds Arctic Panzer Wolf, various other Three Floyds beers, and a visit to Revolution Brewing in Chicago. Different kinds of experiences at breweries and brewpubs?
17:40 to 25:55 BrewDog’s definition of “craft beer” for the European market. http://www.brewdog.com/blog-article/defining-craft-beer
25:55 to 46:40 That leads into the “craft vs crafty” distinction which has been a major conversation piece in beer blogs for the last few months. Does it make sense to make a distinction between a true local brewery vs. a large corporation if we don’t make that distinction in other areas of our lives? What happens if and when large American breweries start to make really good beers? Is that even possible?
46:40 to 1:14:27 Beer culture around the world. Also, we respond to a few of our live comments.
1:14:27 to 1:27:22 A barrel-aging beer game Jamison came up with. Fun!
1:27:22 to 1:29:21 Wrapping up and where to find our stuff on the internet.

Links:
http://www.brewdog.com/blog-article/defining-craft-beer
http://www.pivni-filosof.com
http://barclayperkins.blogspot.com
http://www.camra.org.uk/
Jamison’s review of George T. Stagg Jr.

Bonus episode with Rob from Hopzine:

Download.

I didn’t keep show notes for the bonus episode, but it’s a fun listen. Check it out. For a good taste of Rob, check out his review of a fresh bottle of Stone Ruination here.

Nightly Beer: Licher Oktoberfest

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Sorry if this seems rushed, but I’m trying to do this from my cell. 

Oktoberfests from Germany have been getting lighter in color, body, and flavor over the last few years, and this one looks to be no exception. Slightly muddy straw yellow body with a thin white head.

Smells sweet, grassy, very low-hopped. Almost a little adjuncty. Taste is much cleaner, though, dry with a nice grainy quality. Body is smooth and clean. I want a bit more spicy hop in my pale lagers, but this might do in a pinch.

For an Oktoberfest, though, I’d take Great Lakes or Left Hand in a heartbeat. Or Hacker-Pschorr, although given the direction of German Oktoberfest lately that might not be the best choice down the line.

Homebrew Bottling 2013-10-28 (Scotch Ale)

I finally bottled that peated Scotch Ale I’ve had in the fermenter for six months. I used a pound of peated malt in it, and holy shit can you taste it. It’ll definitely be a sipper, not a gulper. Fine by me.

Anyway, the trub at the bottom of the bottling bucket was the thickest I’ve ever seen.

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Hard to tell from the photo, but it actually nearly clogged the spigot on the bottling bucket. Might be because of that three ounces of Willamette I dry-hopped with. (Maybe.)

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Looks like a final gravity of 1.005 or so. Lower than anticipated. Probably end up being around 8.0-8.5% ABV. I’ll do a full review once it’s carbed up and ready to drink.