Southern Tier Oak Aged Unearthly

oakipa

That’s a mouthful, eh?

Sometimes I just dive into a beer without really thinking about it.  We watched Forgetting Sarah Marshall tonight (very good, by the way) and I opened a large bottle of this brew to enjoy while watching the flick.  I should have paid a bit more attention to the bottle, because this was definitely one to savor.

It’s an Imperial IPA, and Imperial generally means big alcohol.  This didn’t disappoint.  It comes in at a hefty 11.0% ABV and it packs a punch. But at the same time it is also very drinkable.  I love a good contradiction.

The kids at Southern Tier really get it when it comes to specialty brews.  This one excites, enhances, and any other “e” word you can think of.  It’s THAT good.  Big hoppy first bite that mellows (must be the oak) as the beer warms up.  One of the reasons that I wish I had read the bottle before starting it is that they recommend drinking the beer at a slightly warmer temperature.  That’s when it excels.  Ohhh…another “e” word.  Excellent!

Like the picture above suggests, I would imagine that it would go great with cheese.  I wasn’t eating anything as I already had a belly full of BBQ from a local joint.  Deep fried pickled jalepeno slices, waffle fries and a great jerked chicken sammy.  So this IPA was more of a dessert for me.  That’s how I roll.

My Rating: 9 out of 10

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Masons Black Wheat

Tried this wonderful beer out of Sixpoints Brewery in Brooklyn, NY the other day and I’m hooked!

I haven’t been able to find out too much about it, but it appears to be a limited one-time only brew according to the kids at BeerAdvocate.  I had it out of a bottle, but it was a generic no-label bottle directly from the brewery as a sample.  Apparently, it was introduced earlier this year for the third anniversary of the brewery and it was only to be sold at a BBQ joint in Williamsburg.  So I don’t know why I am even reviewing it, because I don’t know if it will ever see the light of day again.

And that would be a shame, because this is one damned fine brew.  It was definitely a smoother, less bitter brew than many dark beers out there on the market.  Something that might appeal to the drinker that normally shuns the night.

It garnered a healthy B+ from the measly 8 reviews it garnered from the BeerAdvocate faithful.  But the comments seem to back up what I thought.  Smooth, drinkable, tasty…all good things.  Let’s hope that Sixpoints introduces it to a wider market one of these days.

Southern Tier

We sat down prior to a delicious meal of pasta and meatballs from Maroni’s this evening to try a couple of seasonal brews from Southern Tier Brewing Companyout of Lakewood New York. The two we tried were the PumKing (an Imperial Pumpkin Ale) and the Creme Brulee (an Imperial Milk Stout). They like the word “Imperial”. And it fits their brews to a T!  We enjoyed the big 22oz bottles, which I’m pretty sure is the only packaging available on these delicious brews.

PumKing – I love pumpkin beers. It’s probably has a lot to do with my love of Autumn just as much as anything. For years when it came to pumpkins, my only choice was Post Road’s Pumpkin Ale. And it was a great choice. A little different every year, it always tasted wonderful. Many years later now, I’ve tried just about every pumpkin beer I could get my grubby hands on. And with absolute glee, I have to say that PumKing is the best of the bunch! So much flavor, so much aroma, great color. It literally has everything going for it. While there are a whole slew of great food pairing ideas with this one, I prefer to enjoy it on its own. What a delicious brew!

My Rating – 10 out of 10.

Creme Brulee – As soon as you open the bottle on this one you can smell a strong toffee aroma that is bigger than the bottle itself.  Great aroma!  It pours nicely with a lush, thick head and it looks great in the glass.  The taste is both smooth, as an Imperial Milk Stout would suggest, and bold as it’s 10.0% ABV would dictate.  Wow!  It’s not a beer that usually fits within my comfort zone, to be honest.  As I’ve mentioned before I have a “thing” about stouts.  But it is unquestionably delicious even though I don’t think I could finish one all by myself.  It would be great with a rich dessert or as a dessert on its own.

My Rating – 7 out of 10.

Butternuts


Instead of focusing on one beer today, let’s talk about the selection of canned beers offered from Butternuts Beer & Ale out of the great state of New York.

As I’ve said before, I’m a big fan of canned beers. Especially in the summertime. It just seems to go better with an outdoor setting, having some barbecue or sitting at the beach. Cans just make sense. And I think they keep the beer colder. Maybe that’s not true, but it feels right to me at least.

Butternuts currently makes four different style of beers and ales. They are:

Hennieweisse– Their take on a Hefeweizen.  Very drinkable and fun.  Like all wheat beers, I prefer to drink this one out of the glass and observe the cloudiness and smell the rich aroma.  I think it stands up very well to its German ancestors.

My Rating: 8 out of 10.

Porkslap– I love the artwork on the can on this one.  Very whimsical and fun.  Great for a BBQ.  There shouldn’t be a barbecue joint in the area that doesn’t serve this brew.  It tastes great on its own as well, a really rich and surprisingly malty Pale Ale.  Delicious!

My Rating: 8 out of 10.

Moo Thunder – I’m not a stout guy.  Let me clarify.  I love Guinness Stout, but I’ve had a hard time accepting any other stouts over my long history of beer consumption.  This one is no exception.  Maybe the reason is the time of the year.  Stouts and summertime just don’t go together well for me.  I’ll give it another go in the Fall.  OK?

My Rating: 5 out of 10. (for now)

Snapperhead– A very, very drinkable IPA with a lot less bitterness than most.  Tasted great right out of the super cold can on a super hot day.  I love IPAs in the summertime!  Gotta say my current favorite out of the Butternuts Barn. 

My Rating: 9 out of 10.