January 17, 2012

Wells - Bombardier English Premium Bitter Ale

We're moving onto Bedford, UK, to try Wells Bombardier English Premium Ale.

This canned beer is brewed with natural mineral water. "Bombardier is an iconic real beer loaded with distinct English brilliance. It''s the epitome of impeccable taste and great character. The rich, full-bodied nectar is a lingering reward - English, ever reliable and damned tasty!" It ranges from 4.7-5.2% ABV.

Overall average rating: 7.3/10

The color is a reddish brown and it pours with a slight creamy off white head which moderately diminishes. We were surprised since it came from a can, but attribute it to the carbonation. The aroma is malty and nutty; Chris compares it to a weak nut brown. It tastes like a "malty nut brown ale" with an all over tongue bite.

Shawn- It's nicely balanced - the hops aren't overpowering and it accents the malt flavor well, 7.5/10.
Angela- It is rich and malty and really good. I get a little creaminess from this, 7.5/10.
Chris- It is surprisingly good considering it's in a can, 7/10.

January 16, 2012

Morland - "Old Speckled Hen" English Fine Ale

Our next English brew is from Suffolk, UK, and is Morland Brewery's Old Speckled Hen.

This brewery was established in 1711, and it was first brewed "to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the MG Car Factory and affectionately named after an old MG car used as a factory run around - 'The Owld Speck'd Un.'" It is 5.2% ABV.

Overall average rating: 6.0/10

It is an orangey color with a moderately diminishing frothy head. We smell malt as well as citrus and bitter hops; Chris identifies at least 2. The taste is malty, which is standard for English beers.

Shawn- I've had this on nitro; obviously bottled is different. I like the consistency of the flavors, but they don't really develop. It's a good beer for the price, but I wish the maltiness richened more, 6.25/10.
Angela- I don't care for the smell at all, and although it tastes a lot better, it's not something I'd choose to drink again, 5.5/10.
Chris- This is exactly what I would expect from an English Pub lager, 6.25/10.

January 15, 2012

St. Peter's - Sorgham Beer

Next on our beer journey, we go overseas to England. Our first English beer is from Suffolk, UK, and is St. Peter's Sorgham Beer. (We purchased all of these beers at Vintage Estates.)

This beer uses sorghum instead of wheat or barley. It is "clean, crisp with a pilsner style lager finish and aromas of citrus and mandarin from American Amarillo hops." It comes in a green bottle (which has us a bit skeptical.. green bottles typically yield skunky beer.)

Overall average rating: 4.3/10

It pours a carbonated, golden wheat color with a white head. The aroma gives off a citrus hop, mandarin, and a sweetness (possibly rice?). The taste gives a hoppy start with a back tongue bite and a lingering hop finish.

Shawn- I bought this because I really liked the bottle, however, I wish I liked the beer as much. There is an intense hop flavor that just isn't for me, 4/10.
Angela- I could drink this, but it's not something I'd seek out. It has an intense flavor with a bit of a skunky after taste, 4/10.
Chris- The first time I had this it was skunked, but this one isn't bad, especially there's no wheat or barley. It is a good beer for someone with those allergies, 4.5/10.

January 14, 2012

Lost Coast - Winterbraun

Our final winter ale is Winterbraun from the Lost Coast Brewery, purchased at Vintage Estates.

"Enjoy the full body and rich chocolate taste of Winterbraun. Brewed with American pale malt and a mixture of caramel and chocolate malts, with Czech Saaz hops added to give a unique spicy flavor and aroma." This '98 Silver Medal award winning beer is 6.8% ABV.

Overall average rating: 7.8/10

This is a red beer with a slowly diminishing caramel head with lacing on the glass. It has just a little aroma, considering what the label boasts - hints of wheat, malt, light piney hop, and maybe brown sugar or molasses. There is definitely more taste than smell. There is a ginger taste with a hop finish; the two go very well together.

Shawn- It has a warming feel, and it develops as you drink it. It's as impressive as the http://twoguysagirlandahangover.blogspot.com/2011/11/saranac-pumpkin-ale.html with its surprising and unexpected flavor. I wish there was a little more nose, however, 8/10.
Angela- I like the slight chocolate caramel flavor, and it is the best winter ale we've tasted, in my opinion. I expected more aroma, but it is yummy and drinkable, 7.75/10.
Chris- I have never heard of this beer, but I will definitely drink it again, 7.75/10.

January 13, 2012

Great Divide - Hibernation Ale

Our next winter ale is Great Divide Hibernation Ale purchased at Vintage Estates.

This is an award-winning malty, robust, English-style old ale. This "has been our celebrated winter tradition since '95. This robust, dry-hopped ale has a malty richness balanced with a complex hop profile and hearty, warming character." Suggested food pairings include Romano, an aged hard Dutch cow's milk cheese, grilled beef tenderloin, apple crisp with ginger ice cream. It is 8.7% ABV.

Overall average rating: 7.4/10

This pours red with a nice white, sustaining head. The aroma is a deep, delicious caramel malt, reminding Shawn of the malt room at the Great Lakes brewery. We also smell a touch of molasses, a little cinnamon, and a little nutmeg which may be from how the malt is roasted. The flavor primarily is a rich caramel malt with a kind of chocolate/caramel flavor that fades into a hop finish, flavors which complement each other well.

Shawn- This beer has a Great Lakes taste, but with better water. It is rich and complex and develops nicely, 7.5/10.
Angela- It is rich and malty and a great cold weather beer that has a nice warming effect, 7.25/10.
Chris- This is less malty than the last time I had it, so my score is based on improvement over time, 7.5/10.

January 12, 2012

Pyramid - Snow Cap Winter Warmer

Our next winter ale is Pyramid Breweries' Snow Cap Winter Warmer purchased at Vintage Estates.

This is a winter seasonal full-bodied winter ale. "Life is what you pour into it. Your thirst for life demands an offering that can match it. With the artistry of our brewing, we've created in every bottle an adventure worth sharing with friends." It is 7% ABV.

Overall average rating: 6.1/10

This is dark red in color with an off-white head. The aroma is of citrus hop, caramel, molasses, coriander, and ginger. The taste has a rich hop finish - it smells hoppier than it tastes.

Shawn- The hop finish develops more while you drink it, and I think it tastes better than it smells. The more I drink, the more the hop developed instead of being hop forward, 6.5/10.
Angela- There is a slight hop taste, but it's not overwhelming. It is drinkable and not bad overall, 6/10.
Chris- This is heavier than the Weyerbacher, and I actually pull more out of the smell than the taste, 6/10.

January 11, 2012

Weyerbacher - Winter Ale

Our third winter ale is Weyerbacher Winter Ale purchased at Vintage Estates.

The label shows very happy snowmen carrying boxes of beer :) "Weyerbacher Winter Ale is the perfect libation for a winter meal, with good friends, or beside a warm fire fending off a cold winter night." It is 5.6% ABV.

Overall average rating: 5.0/10

It pours a deep amber red with a quick to diminish head. It gives off aromas of caramel, malt, honey, molasses, cinnamong, ginger, and a touch of nutmeg. The taste is very thin with flavors of caramel and malt.

Shawn- This is thin and it doesn't develop; it is unmemorable. I wouldn't rank any other Weyerbacher beer below a 7, but this is my least favorite of their beers, 4.5/10.
Angela- This is also my least favorite Weyerbacher beer. This is very average for them, and while it's drinkable, it's not very memorable, although it gets better as it warms, 5/10.
Chris- It starts out thick, but thins out quickly, 5.5/10.