Ah, we are at the end of the year, and that can only mean one thing - it's Beer-mas! Here are some selections of some brews I've sampled, and hereby report to you my findings. Remember that the "score", being from 1 to 5, gives higher marks to beers I find to be complex and deliciously unique. A "1"-rated beer would be sewage swill, a "3" would be a drinkable, if unremarkable beer, and a "5" would be a godly nectar worthy of praise and worship. And a-here we go!
GOOSE ISLAND - NUT BROWN ALE (Chicago, IL) 3.5
This brown ale gives the appearance of being almost a stout, with it's
rich and deep, almost black appearance. The initial taste heralds a
malty chocolate note, with a pleasant sweetness that's not overbearing nor artifical-tasting. Tasty and enjoyable stuff.
PYRAMID - SNOW CAP WINTER WARMER (Seattle, WA) 4.0
This dark, opaque amber ale hits the palate with a zingy citrus punch
at first, followed by a hoppy bitterness and burnt nuttiness. Quite a
unique and flavorful taste experience, this winter warmer is 7% but
the alcohol presence is fairly obscured by what I call a profound
"flavor roll", whereas different taste elements evolve on the tongue.
An invigorating and impressive beer.
MENDOCINO - IMPERIAL IPA (Saratoga Springs, NY) 3.5
An intensely floral hoppiness emanates from the bottle at once,
certainly a good opening scent. This one's a nicely amber-red in
appearance. It's "only" 7.5% ABV, but this hop-monster packs a bitter
wallop -- certainly not for beginners. Actually this is a pretty
traditional IPA, and not too fanciful or unique. Solid, but not
AMSTEL LIGHT (Amsterdam, Holland) 2.5
Pouring a clear pale gold (with little lacing), this unassuming and
simple lager is crisp, light, and malty. It's well-balanced and not in
the least bit challenging. A perfect example of a light lager, this
one's more on the watery side. Likeable for what it is, though not one
I'd seek out or stock at the house.