Sunday, November 9, 2008

Comparative Study #1: Newport Storm

I think I need to slow down a little. Back up. Take some distance. Do a little reflection. It's not you, beer, it's me. Let's get down to the basics. Before I'm able to venture out to Asian and English brews, let's start at home.

For me, that is currently Rhode Island. The popular local brewery is Newport Storm. I purchased 2 bottles from them: Rhode Island Blueberry and Dark Ale in the Cyclone Series.

I've poured the 2 beers and am referring to my new bible, "Beer for Dummies" to see what I should be looking, tasting, and smelling for.

The Blueberry: remember when I asked before if all fruit beer were lambics? Turns out, the answer is no! Ales and lagers can have fruit added to the brewing process (usually cherry, blueberry, or raspberry). Lambics are a Belgian fruited ale which many consider a separate category to learn about on another day. This one is an ale.

Appearance: golden and bubbly with 1.5 fingers of head that sticks around. Smells: very strongly of blueberries, but real blueberries. Nothing artificial here. Mouthfeel:It is crisp with carbonation and Tastes: mostly...Of blueberries! It's sweet, and slightly tart. Nothing I could drink a ton of, but it's tasty.

The Dark Ale: a liquor store clerk informed me that this is part of a Cyclone Series which comes out with limited quantities and have different varieties named after employees of the company, in this case Henry. I thought that was a nice thing for a business to do! It's also considered "extreme" perhaps due to the 7.6% alcohol. EXTREME!

Appearance: 3 fingers of head and very dark brown in color. Smells: I think a little coffee, a little fruity...And perhaps what I may be starting to identify as malt?! Mouthfeel: smooth and creamy. Tastes: um, malty(?) and a tiny bit fruity.

I've enjoyed tasting both of these. And am happy to get some "local flavor." But I'm not smitten. I would not go out of my way to try either one of these again. If I were to choose though, the winner would be...The Dark Ale! WHOOOOOOH!

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