Tuesday, August 24, 2010

All The Leaves are Brown and the Brown Ale is Hazelnut

It's back to school time! Tighten up your bookstraps, button your cardigans, and fill your inkwells kiddoes! For the vast majority of my life I've been in school or worked for a school. So this time of year is full of distinct feelings related to "back to school." Slight butterflies, giddiness, anxiety about the future, a strong instinct to purchase pencil boxes. The weather brings it on, and right now its 70s, grey skies, foggy mornings. Okay, not brown leaves yet, but soon, soon.

Autumn is full of fun beer what with Octoberfests and pumpkin ales and all. But what better compliment to back-to-school-jitters than this nice looking brown ale from our Rogue friends? The Hazelnut Brown Nectar is, oh, a brown ale brewed with hazelnut. Brown ales tend to be malty, nutty, and on the sweet side. Speaking of sweet, I shared a bomber of this with my dad. Aww.
It poured a murkey brown with amber highlights. Lots of visible carbonation and a small light brown head with good retention that left some lacing in the glass. The smell was mild; I picked up more spice and hops than malts. But as it warmed the hazelnut aroma came out strong. It smelled like hazelnut syrup they put in coffee. Which in my humble opinion is an awesome smell.
This was a tasty brown ale that definitely was on the sweeter side of things. Nutty, mildly fruity, malty, and with a strong hazelnut flavor. Dad thought it tasted a little like Dr. Pepper. Nice. I bet it would be a tasty accompaniment to some dessert. Chocolate-chip cookies perhaps. Hmm...One glass was enough; its a little sweet but I think this is one of the tastier brown ales I've had. And I've been for a walk on a winter's day.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ooooooh...Pink!: Short's Soft Parade

Short's is local to me, and I haven't had much from this esteemed Michigan brewery, namely their delicious Huma-Lupa-Licious. So I went to the store to check out their other selections.
I walked in, gazing upon the shelves.
And then...A very beautiful woman stared at me. Her long hair rested upon her back as she sat, relaxing in her recliner, sexy long legs gently resting on the ground. Do I want her? Do I want to be her? I don't know but add in a pink background and the marketing department clearly knows what it's doing! I took her home.

I poured some into 2 wine glasses. Big for me, small for dad. It poured a hazy red/peach color with a small bubbly white head. When swirled, a viscious residue was left on the glass sides.
When discussing odors I am tempted to talk about "the nose" but fear it may be pretentious. Ah, well. "The nose" was strong. Strawberries, sweet candy, peach, a touch of alcohol. I asked my dad what he thought of "the nose." He said, "Its fruity as all get-out!" And there you have it.

The bottle claims to have an ale brewed with strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, and blueberry. I can taste the first three, but not so much of the latter. At first a plastic-like artificial taste hit me, which is often the case with fruit beers. However, it decreased quickly, and as the beer warmed up, I warmed up to it. It has a yeast flavor similar to some Belgian ales. Sweet malts, tartness, and noticeable alcohol add to the very fruity flavor. Apparently this is a rye ale as well, but I could not detect any rye.

Overall, this is not a style I typically care for. But this was one of the better fruit beers I've ever had. Plus it was fairly boozey at I believe 9% ABV, but it was subtle in the taste. Good enough to have a 2nd, not good enough to seek out again. I'll see what else Short's has to offer.