Archive | See For Yourself (3.25 – 2.5) RSS for this section

Lakefront – Fixed Gear

Style: American Amber / Red Ale
ABV: 6.50%
Serving type: Bottle into pint glass

I’m not a hipster so I don’t really understand the obsession with fixed gear bicycles. Are you too good for modern breaking systems? In my day, we rode Huffy’s (Dyno’s and Mongoose’s if your parents actually loved you). We fit one on the handle bars and one on the pegs and rode all the way up to 7-11 just to get Slurpees! And we jumped homemade wooden ramps and failed miserably at grinding bike racks. Damn kids these days!

Dammit this beer has got my blood boiling from hipster rage! Good luck getting a good review now asshole!

I kid…I kid… This is actually a decent offering from Lakefront Brewery based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The beer starts with a deep cloudy red color with about a half inch of head that faded quickly. Great sticky lacing gets left behind like a prom night dumpster baby. Strong aroma of earthy and piney hops dominate the nose which eliminates any detectable malt presence that may be lying underneath.

The flavor is where you find that secret malt stash as it hits you upfront with a left hook and then follows with a decent hop bitterness uppercut. It tastes pretty piney at the end of the sip and it has a borderline copper taste in the finish, which I usually despise. Remember that date you had with the girl that was pretty cute but had a nose that was just a little too big for her face? The metal taste, much liker her gross nose, isn’t enough to make you dislike it, but it’s enough to think twice about a second date. Did I come off as a big enough asshole yet? Because rereading that comparison makes it seem like that was my end goal.

The beer has a light medium body with average carbonation. Easy to drink but nothing that really “wows” me.  As a beer ticker, I’m glad that I finally tried this one. It’s a decent offering but nothing I would really go out of my way for.

Now get out of my way cause I got to bust out some of my sweet BMX moves! Barspins all day!

Overall: 2.75/5 – Did I mention I hate hipsters?

Lakefront Brewery

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Minhas – Rhinelander Chocolate Bunny American Stout

Style: American Stout
ABV: 5.50%
Serving type: Bottle into pint glass

I’ll just admit this to start things off so you know what kind of beer drinker I am.

Sometimes I buy beer based on the names or the label art. There I said it!

It’s terrible. It’s a recipe for disaster. But I continue to do it every once in a while and I pray that I’ll be pleasantly surprised. It’s my version of playing the stock market. Sometimes I come through all roses and sunshine, and other times I’m quite literally pouring money down the drain. I’m happy to say that after seeing this beer at work everyday, I couldn’t take it making my mouth water anymore. I liked to think of the chocolately goodness possibilities this beer had. Turns out the possibilities were still there, but it just doesn’t deliver the way I had hoped.

The appearance starts off pitch black with an impressive three fingers of super creamy chocolate milk colored head. Nice lacing left behind when I swirled it around my glass. Nice strong start and definitely surpassed what I was expecting from this underdog.  The first few inhales I take are filled with mostly dark malts, coffee beans, and maybe only hints of chocolate in it. I was hoping the chocolate would dominate the beer, but it just doesn’t shine through.

The taste is all coffee, roasted malts, roasted nuts, and again, a small hint of chocolate. Subliminal chocolate taste maybe? It just seems like false advertising to put “chocolate” in the name and not deliver in the slightest. There was a bitter hop presence that crosses the finish line in last place. The beer pretty much falls into the standard stout expectations of medium bodied with good carbonation.

I liken this beer to when you were a little kid and wanted Oreos for your sleepover later that night. You got super excited when your mom got home with the groceries and snacks. You begin digging in pure excitement, with your eyes set on the delicious chocolatey goodness that only Oreos can deliver! You finally grab what you think is the Oreos, only to find generic Jewel brand ” Chocolate Sandwich Cremes.”

God dammit mom!

Overall, I got to say that the Chocolate Bunny name is a little misleading as chocolate is definitely not the primary flavor that comes out. But a 22 oz bomber that only costs $2.99,  and coming from a brewery better known for its “Axe Head” malt liquour, it was a decently drinkable stout.

Overall: 2.5/5 – Where’s the beef? chocolate?

Minhas Craft Brewery

Southern Tier – Hop Sun

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale
ABV: 5.10%
Serving type: Bottle into pint glass

If I was playing a game of charades, and I needed to act out the word “underwhelming,” to my partner, I would probably just point to this beer.

I went into picking this beer out with the mindset that A) It’s pretty warm out and a nice summer brew would set the mood nicely; and B) I haven’t had any Southern Tier offerings before so maybe I’ll try something new!

This led to C) I should have grabbed another hefeweizen.

The beer starts off innocently enough with a  cloudy, golden pour with a very thin white head that wasn’t around long. Summer beers don’t normally blow you away with their complex features, but they shouldn’t put you to sleep either. The very mild hop presence blends with a malty backbone well, but it’s standard in every sense of the word.

The taste was mostly wheat upfront with a slight citrus hop flavor fighting to be noticed. It had the littlest of bitter finishes to it, but overall it was smooth as a baby’s bottom. I have to wonder if maybe this is an old bottle. For a beer called “Hop Sun” I was expecting some more hops and a helluva lot more sun! Oh well, I guess I’ll just sip on it and dream of what could have been. To its credit, it had a light body to it and some good carbonation.

Will this beer quench your thirst after mowing the yard on a hot day? Absolutely! But so would water and I can get that shit from the hose. With so many other beers fitting that imaginary “mowing the yard” thirst quenching description equally well, I doubt I would recommend this over any of the others.

To summarize: In all honestly, I doubt I could pick this beer out of a police lineup with a gun to my head. But why in the hell would that scenario ever come up?

Exactly.

Overall: 2.5/5 – Nothing to see here folks. Move along!

Southern Tier Brewing Company

New Holland – The Poet

Style: Oatmeal Stout
ABV: 5.20%
Serving type: Bottle into pint glass

As a huge fan of Edgar Allen Poe, I feel pretty bad for him lately. First, I see he is being portrayed by John Cusack (ugh) in a new movie that will probably be going from the theater to DVD faster than I can finish this sarcastic eye roll. Then, I stumble across this beer that’s name references Poe directly and is a play on his work “The Raven.” Perhaps it was done in tribute, or perhaps they just thought it was a theme that would sell beers. Whatever the decision was, I can respect the label and theme but the beer is just average in most respects and doesn’t do the Poe-ster the credit he definitely deserves.

This bottle poured pitch black with about a half finger of dark khaki head that was gone in an instant. It was a pretty standard appearance for an oatmeal stout honestly. It didn’t disappoint, but it didn’t “wow” me either.

The beer gave off an aroma of chocolate mixed with dark fruits and some burnt coffee. This was followed up with a sweet cocoa taste highlighted with hints of that very same coffee. It’s hard to explain for me. It’s like I can appreciate what they were going for and they did a respectable job, but with so many delicious oatmeal stouts readily available, I wouldn’t rush out to pick this one out. It doesn’t set itself apart enough for me to seek it or order it by name at a bar. The mouthfeel is slightly lighter than I was expecting but to its credit is very smooth and creamy as I was hoping.

Not a bad beer in any respect. I hate to beat a dead horse, but this is somewhere in the middle of the pack in my opinion in regards to oatmeal stouts. I’ve only come across perhaps four or five beers by New Holland, though I’m starting to see a trend in that they don’t impress me enough to search them out. If you’re looking to try something new and want a peek at what the standard for a particular style is, New Holland is a good first choice as they are usually the one brewing that beer.

Overall: 3.0/5 – How often will I search this out? Probably “Nevermore”

New Holland Brewing Company

Boston Beer Company – Samuel Adams Blackberry Witbier

Style: Witbier
ABV: 5.50%
Serving type: Bottle into pilsner glass

I don’t know why I keep giving Sam Adams fruit-infused beers my immediate attention as I peruse the liquor store aisles.  I guess I love the idea of a beer with a little something different and I hope that it will blow me away. From what I can tell so far, this isn’t going to happen anytime soon. I will say I was somewhat surprised by this witbier infused with blackberrys though. I guess my expectations were lowered because of my Cherry Wheat experience, so I wasn’t thinking this would be anything but a blackberry bomb. Well it wasn’t, and I could see why some people really enjoy this beer.

Blackberry Witbier pours a cloudy golden color with a half finger of white head. Not much to say about it really as it looked like a pretty standard beer. I will say it had above average lace retention that I appreciated.

I picked up mild blackberry and wheat scents while breathing it in.  I will admit I was expecting some artificial blackberry smell, but I was impressed that it actually smelled like real blackberrys. Still, it was pretty ordinary and not really shattering my expectations. The taste did beat my expectations though as it had a surprisingly good balance of blackberry, malt, and spice. Naturally it was pretty light in the body and seemed to be strong with the carbonation.

Perhaps I was expecting this beer to be some Willy Wonka type experiment gone wrong. Overall, all I can really say is “the schnozberries tasted like schnozberries!”

I was expecting to bash this beer, but it proved itself worthy enough to finish and possibly recommend to a dumb girl who doesn’t really like beer but needs something to drink. It was a little too sweet to have more than one or two for my tastes, but I could see it being a pretty good beer on a hot summer day.

Overall: 2.75/5 – Unique flavor. Standard offering.

Boston Beer Company