Sunday, October 25, 2009
The season of the witch is upon us, so that means falling leaves, the holy daze season, and some nice and strong Oktoberfest/Fall beers! Keep in mind that the ratings here are my own, and can be echoed on my BeerAdvocate site. Beers are rated from 1 (being awful) to 5 (godlike). But dare to try them yourself...and support the indie brewing culture.
BRECKENRIDGE AUTUMN ALE (Denver, CO) - 4.0
A nice and deep (almost black) opaque ale with a thick head, this one
has a spice hint at first, with an almost burnt chocolate/caramel
follow-through. It's strong and malty, but the citrus-spice zing gives
it an added dimension, and a clean finish. Attractive and tasty, this
Breckenridge's Autumn Ale is more than enjoyable, and an easygoing,
yet still uniquely creative brew.
BERGHOFF TRADITIONAL BOCK (Monroe, WI) - 2.5
A traditional bock is, by nature, highly malted. And well, this
no-nonsense beer certainly fits that description. At the same time,
the malt presence here seems to overload my taste buds at the expense of any other flavors. Pouring a deep brown/amber, Berghoff's bock initially has a simple, rich caramel taste which permeates every subsequent sip. I sense no complexity, and this one-dimensional brew just doesn't cut it with me.
GOOSE ISLAND BOURBON COUNTY STOUT (Chicago, IL) - 4.5
Ah, this one is a deep, charry black stout that pours from the bottle
like a viscous oil. The scent recalls sweet cherry, aged oak, and of
course the sting of bourbon (this is aged in bourbon barrels, thus the
residual flavoring). First tasting reveals a heavy, potent alcohol
presence (it is a goliath 13% ABV, after all). This initial palate is
followed by a smoky, rich maltiness that is simply overpowering. No
session beer here, as this one's best for sipping or sharing, unless
you're seeking a quick ticket to buzz-land. An stunningly strong beer,
and a uniquely memorable "extreme beer" experience.
BACARDI SILVER - SANGRIA (St. Louis, MO) - 2.5
If it looks like a fruit punch, but smells like a wine, which is it? I
can't tell exactly what this one is, but I can report that this light
and fizzy drink is not altogether awful. I detect flavors like berries
and grapes alongside the more astringent sulfites. I've had several
kinds of these fruity "malt beverages", and most are horribly sugary
and artificial-tasting. Sugary, yes. Artificial, sort of. But I could
down it and not make sour faces, and that alone says something.