Saturday, September 17, 2011

Stone Smoked Porter: Smokin'!

Stone Smoked Porter! I've been wanting to spend some quality time with this one for a while now.
As an aside, I've also been interested in trying more smoked beers. Rauchbiers are traditional old-school German beers that have had malts smoked over a beech wood fire. On the other hand, Smoked beers use peat-smoked malts in a variety of styles. Thanks! Stone's Smoked Porter would be the latter style, using peat.
Appearance: Way too many words on the bottle. I don't have time for this. But truth be told, it is an entertaining/informative read. AND, Stone recommends PB&J as a good food item to be paired with this beer. Very nice. This brew was very dark, but had ruby highlights around the edges. Also a beautiful foamy tan head rested on top of the dark liquid.The nose was fairly mild, but notes of sweet malts as well as smokey malts were present. And the taste: UHM. NUM. Roasty, robust coffee, sweet dark chocolate. Nutty, sweet malts, burnt sugar. Rich, tasty, earthy (wood). Smokiness is there, but not in the forefront.
Overall, this is a delicious porter. The smoked factor adds a little to the taste. This is a full-bodied, creamy ale. Delicious; I would totally have another.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Lagunitas 13 Year Anniversary Release

How could anyone resist this sexy bottle? Lagunitas released Lucky 13 as their 13th anniversary release - an amber ale. I found myself wondering - would this be considered "imperial"? What makes a beer style imperial anyways? According to the first website I found on the topic, it used to refer to beer shipped to Russia from England for the imperial court. Now it simply means a beer with a higher alcohol content than the typical style, and often stronger flavors as well.

Therefore, I declare Lucky 13 as an Imperial Amber Ale. I also declare it as damn good.
Appearance: From the sexy label to the lovely subdued orange-amber, sudsy off-white head, and visible carbonation, this is an attractive beer.

Smell: Sweet, sweet pineapple.

Taste: Tropical fruits, again pineapple in particular. Also strongly sweet caramel malts. Then very bitter hops. Strong flavors all around on both the hops and malts front, making this "balanced yet bold." (I should go into advertising, amiright?) Not much noticeable alcohol in the flavor, but certainly some warmth could be detected.
I shared this one with my dad. His thoughts? "It's fruity. Light yet not lite." (He spelled that one out). That's a fair assessment.

Overall - this is a solid beer. Tasty, strong flavors, strong hops the way I like it, great flavors of tropical fruit, sweetness, caramel, and bitter hops in yo' face. I'm a fan. Well done Lagunitas!