Sunday, December 19, 2010

Happy new beer!

Sure, it's a wee bit early to be celebrating the new beer, or is it? This month sees a few of my recent personal tastings, more of which can be found on my page. Ratings run the gamut from 1 (nasty, dirty, horrible) to 5 (a taste experience to relish). With that in mind, beers of a 3 or 4 are excellent and worthy. Remember to taste responsibly, and to support your local and craft breweries. Forget BMC corporate "beer" and their monopolizing tactics! Argh! Sermon over and out.

LEFFE BLONDE (Belgium) - 3.5
This traditional abbey-style ale flows with a heavy lacing and a sweet, fruity, yeasty scent -- typically indicative of the style. Points there. The flavor is sweet, with a hint of spice and ripened fruit -- maybe orange. Somewhat on the heavy and sweet side, but definitely drinkable.

BELL'S WINTER WHITE ALE (Comstock, MI) - 4.0
First impression here is with the nose - all flowery citrus zestiness - instantly appealing. Pours a cloudy, murky pale gold, with a rich froth. Taste is sharp and spicy, with hints of clove and orange, but if you're thinking Blue Moon, think of it's bigger, stronger brother. This beer is bold and distinctive, and a definite winner.

Served only slightly chilled in my New Belgium ale glass, this big and hoppy IPA has a deep, grassy, floral, herbal nose, with huge lacing. Attractively amber in color, this one is smooth and easy up front, followed by a swift kick of hoppiness. But it's not a hop bomb as this may suggest. It's really a steady and balanced flavor, with hints of citrus and spice. Very delicious and a superlative IPA.

STELLA ARTOIS (Belgium) - 3.0
Belgian in origin, but not at all representative of the region's preferred/famous style, this pale golden lager with a thick lace does manage to stand out among the plethora of mainstream lagers out there. The scent is almost floral - a definite spicy, hoppy sharpness and presence. The taste follows this, with more complexity and depth than similar brews. Not half bad, and a solid step in-between mainstream and craft beer.

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