Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Spicy Cocoa Stout

So sometimes I go visit my sister in Bloomington, IN. When I'm there, I always go to Sahara Mart which has all kinds of lovely delicacies, but my favorite part is their two very large aisles of beer. The first aisle has local selections, and US beer. The second aisle is international. I could spend a long time (and much money) in that place. And usually do (with some restraint).
I picked up a modest 4 bottles during my last visit. The Foret from Brasserie Dupont (Belgium) I had before, and picked up in hopes of getting my sister excited about Belgian beers. No such luck (more for me). The rest came home with me to Michigan.
Off the Cuff is a Spicy Cocoa Stout from Two Brothers Brewing in Warrenville, Illinois. It's a good beer, so it seems like preparation went into it. So it may be off the cuff, but it is also definitely off the chain. Or something. Super attractive with its thick dark brown body, and solid sudsy light brown head. The smell was subtle but definitely picked up both cocoa and spice notes. Because of the subtle smell, the very strong flavors took me by surprise. I tasted coffee then spice then chocolate. This actually made me exclaim, "Ooooooh!" out loud.
The spice was not very spicy as in heat, just peppery. Likewise, the chocolate was not overt or sweet. The flavors were strong but went really well together. The mouthfeel was medium-bodied, creamy, and substantial carbonation. Drinkability? Extremely good. The 7.2% alcohol is nice but not over the top. I am a fan of this beer.

A


Sunday, July 7, 2013

3 Big Atwater Beers

I want to like Atwater, because its from The D and all. I picked up a few bottles of their big beers to try over the July 4th holiday. 
First I tried their Black Imperial Stout. The label informed me that Atwater has been brewing since 1917 and this stout contained 11% alcohol.
It sure looks stout-y with 1 finger solid brown head that sat through the entirety if consumption. The smell was mild but toasty, coffee. And the flavor, also coffee primarily with just barely noticeable hops and alcohol, and an unfortunate metallic aftertaste. The body was very smooth and creamy. Overall this was a very drinkable stout, especially at 11%, but the metallic taste was distracting. B
The Voodoo Vator was a Doppelbock with 9% alcohol, bottled January 2013. It was a pretty dark brown with ruby highlights and a big sudsy 2 fingers of head which left rings of lace. The strong nose was of malts and grass. The taste was very well-balanced. Grains, malts, and subtle grass. Nothing overpowering or dominating. Dark, bitter chocolate and dark fruit but really the individual flavors all seem mild and blend well. The mouthfeel was surprisingly thin and watery. Overall this was fine but a little meh. B
Apparently I tried these in order of cool labels with this sexy devil lady being the winner. The label gave no hint as to what style this beer was. Just the name Teufel bottled March 2013 and 11% alcohol.this beer was cloudy, hazy, brownish-amber with a thin quickly dissipating head. The smell was malty, fruity, with raisins, wood, and floral notes. As the smell suggested, the flavor was quite malty, heavy on caramel and grains. Alcohol just barely noticeable but the sweetness dominated. Body on thick side. Upon research, I find this is a Weizenbock, and to be fair, that's not a style I'm super familiar with. I have to go with another B.