Beer #195 Cigar City Criterium Ale

Cigar City Criterium Ale

Cigar City Criterium Ale

Name: Criterium Ale (2012)

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Brewery:  Cigar City Brewing  website

Country: USA

Region: Tampa, Florida

ABV: 5.0% abv

How served:  750ml capped bottle poured into a Franziskaner weizen glass.

My Overall Opinion: Good 3 Stars a

I paired this beer with:  Grilled salmon and grilled asparagus.

Tasted on:  Monday February 18, 2013

Notes: Wheat Ale Brewed With Bitter Curacao Peel.  Bottled on January 30, 2012.  So please note and take into account that I am drinking and reviewing this beer which is now past its prime

This beer poured a clear golden color with a large 3 finger billowing head and left an nice thick lacing on the glass.       

The nose was very light with hints of bready yeast and orange zest.          

The taste started off with a light sweet wheat bready tasted then quickly bites you with some bitterness from the hops and orange zest taste.  This beer had a medium long finish which was a moderately strong leaning towards the dry bitter side.

The body was crisp with a light to medium body with a moderate level of lively carbonation.

Overall the drinkability was good, but I wish I drank this brew 9 months ago.

On the Label:  Ever see bikes move faster than cars?  You will on Saturday, March 31, 2012 in Tampa’s Downtown!

Criterium – style bicycle racing – like stock car racing on two wheels.   Hang out at tampa’s Longest bar with a beer.  Grab a bite from a food truck or sidewalk café. Run in the 5k race.  Sports enthusiasts, cyclists of all types, families and foodies with all find something to enjoy at the largest one day bike event in the state.  www.tampacrit.com

From their website:  ABV: 5%  IBU: OG:  SRM:

March 31, 2012- – –

Ever see bikes move faster than cars? You will on Saturday, March 31, 2012 in Tampa’s Downtown!

Criterium-style bicycle racing – like stock car racing on two wheels. Hang out at Tampa’s Longest Bar with a beer. Grab a bite from a food truck or sidewalk café. Run in the 5k race. Sports enthusiasts, cyclists of all types, families and foodies will all find something to enjoy at the largest one day bike event in the state. www.tampacrit.com

Criterium Ale is a beer that we plan to change every year for the Cigar City Brewing Criterium & Street Festival. This year’s Criterium Ale is an American wheat ale with bitter curacao peel added.

Tasting Notes

This American wheat ale is light gold in color and has a slight haze from the use of wheat. Criterium Ale is a crisp wheat beer that has a refreshing hop flavor that is contributed by New Zealand and Australian hop varietals. Motueka, Galaxy and Pacifica lend a complex melange of citrus character and mesh beautifully with bitter orange peel to provide a full flavored yet light refreshing beer. Pair this beer with food truck fare and cycling while sitting at the world’s longest bar.

Bon Beer Voyage

Beer #194 Blue Mountain Mandolin

Blue Mountain Mandolin

Blue Mountain Mandolin

Name: Mandolin

Style: Tripel

Brewery:  Blue Mountain Brewery  website

Country: USA

Region: Afton, Virginia

ABV: 9.0% abv

How served:  750ml corked and caged poured into my Piraat snifter.   

My Overall Opinion: Good + 3 Stars a 1/2

I paired this beer with:  Crab cakes with mango pineapple salsa and watermelon arugula salad.

Blue Mountain Mandolin with dinner

Blue Mountain Mandolin with dinner

Tasted on:  Thursday February 14, 2013

Notes: Best by March 2013 stamped on the cork

There was a muted hiss as the cork was pulled out of the bottle.  The poured a mostly clear golden-amber with a 1 ½ off white head which left almost no lacing on my glass.       

The nose had hints of yeast, pepper, apples, sweet malts and earthy tones.         

The taste started off a bit earthy, spicy and peppery.   Midway thought I picked up some light apple and citrus notes as well as some sweetness.  The finish was clean and dry with no evidence of the 9% abv.

The body was medium and slightly tacky as the carbonation level was lower than anticipate.

Overall the drinkability was good and paired well with my dinner.

On the Label:  A deep golden beer born of a single malt. Balance derived from whole-flower hops. Created from water drawn deep beneath the feet of the world’s oldest mountains. Flavor driven by a faithful dedication to excess. All brought to life by yeast from a holy place. Great beer is a riddle that does not need to be solved!

100% bottle refermented.  Store cool and upright to keep in peak condition and avoid disturbing naturally settled yeast.

STATISTICS

Alc 9% by Vol.  34 IBU’s  21.6° Plato

Proudly brewed and bottled in the heart of Virginia.  Blue Mountain Barrel House, LLC

495 Cooperative Way Arrington, Nelson County, Va 22922

Sister Beer:

Steel Wheels E.S.B.   What’s this? Find out at www.bluemountainbarrel.com

From their website:

Mandolin Artisanal Ale

24° Plato, 50 IBUs, and 10% ABV

(Note different Plato, IBU & %ABV listed on bottle)

A pale beer born of a single malt. Balance derived from whole-flower hops. Created from water drawn deep beneath the feet of the world’s oldest mountains. Flavor driven by a faithful dedication to excess. All brought to life by yeast from a holy place. Great beer is a riddle that does not need to be solved!

Available as long as each batch lasts, March-July.

Bon Beer Voyage

Beer # 190 Clown Shoes Miracle

Clown Shoes Miracle I.P.A.

Name: Miracle

Style: I.P.A.

Brewery:  Clown Shoes   website

Country: USA

Region: Ipswich, Massachusetts

ABV: 5.5% abv

How served:  22oz capped bomber poured into a De Struise glass.   

My Overall Opinion: Good.

I paired this beer with:  a Rib-eye steak topped with A-1 bold and spicy sauce (Tabasco) and a side of Chickpea salad.   You can almost never go wrong pairing an IPA with a steak, &  this pairing was awesome!

Tasted on:  Wednesday May 31, 2012

Notes: 

This beer poured an opaque amber orange with a 2 finger off white head, which dissipated slowly leaving a thin and sticky lacing on my glass.

The nose was light with some citrus notes like orange and lemons mixed with sweet malts and caramel.

The taste was not overpowering and started slightly hoppy/bitter with citrusy grapefruit rind notes and a pinch of pines, then was quickly balanced with a mildly sweet biscuit malty flavor and finished more on the dryer side.

The body was light to medium body & and a nice level of carbonation.

The drinkability was good as this was a light and refreshing IPA.  This IPA might be one of the few IPA’s which those who say they do not like IPA’s might actually like!!!

Overall, this was a great pairing with my steak, but as I.P.A’s go, it was just middle of the road.  That’s not saying this beer wasn’t good, as it was, but there are many other I.P.A’s which I would much rather have.  However if this beer was in front of me… down the hatch it would go & I would enjoy every drop of it!

On the Label:  Our boy Miracle Mike,  represents the good we hope to do with the Clown Shoes  Minor Miracle Fund.  A percentage of the profits from this juicy sessionable IPA will be used to help real people (and maybe a puppy or two).

Mercury Brewing Co.  Ipswich, MA.  Bottled May 2012

From their website:  Our boy Miracle Mike represents what we hope to do with our Minor Miracle Fund. A percentage of the profits from this juicy sessionable IPA will be used to help real people (and maybe a puppy or two).

Bon Beer Voyage

Beer # 187 Goose Island Matilda

Goose Island Matilda

Name: Matilda

Style:  Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Brewery:  Goose Island website

Country: USA

Region: Chicago, Illinois

ABV: 7.0% abv

How served:  22 oz capped bottle poured into a Malheur glass.

My Overall Opinion: Good

I paired this beer with: Giants vs 49er’s NFC Championship Game & leftover Ruth’s Chris Rib-eye steak and a potato knish.

Tasted on:  Sunday  January 22, 2012

Notes:  Bottle 11/16/09

The beer poured a hazy orangey golden color with a 1 finger head which dissipated rather quickly leaving a mild lacing on the glass.

The nose was sweet and malty / bready with some Belgian yeast notes and a hint of orange and spices.     

The taste was slightly sweet of bread crust, malt and orange.  There was a slight musty flavor in the background with some spiciness and not much tartness from the Brettanomyces.  The beer finished dry.

The body was of a medium body with a low level of carbonation and very little effect from the alcohol.

The drinkability was decent for a Belgian Strong Pale Ale.

On the Label:  2009.

Pale Ale Re-Fermented with Brettanomyces.  7% Alcohol  By Volume, 650 ml – 1 Pint 6 Fl OZ.  Develops in the Bottle For Up To 5 Years. Contains Live Yeast.  Sediment May Form.

From their website:

Brewer’s Notes:

Wild in character, with a slightly fruity aroma and a spicy yeast flavor that is as unique as it is satisfying – Matilda is an intriguing choice for beer and wine lovers alike. Dry and quenching, it’s the perfect accompaniment at the dining table or for casually socializing at the bar.

Recipe Information:

Style: Belgian Style Pale Ale
Alcohol by Volume: 7%
International Bitterness Units: 32
Color: Golden Sunrise
Hops: Styrian, Saaz
Malts: 2-Row, Caramel

Serving Suggestions:

Preferred Glass: Wide Mouth Glass

Food Pairings: Matilda pairs with many foods. Its spicy yeast flavors complement fresh mussels and contrast rich pork belly.

Cheese Pairings: Camembert, Washed Rind Cheeses
Cellaring Notes: Develops in the bottle for up to 5 years

Availability:

Year Round
Bottles: 4pks, 650mL
Draft: 1/6 & 1/2bbl

Great American Beer Festival Recognition:

Judging Category: Belgian and French Style Ale
2005: Gold Medal

World Beer Cup Recognition:

Judging Category: Belgian and French Style Ale
2008: Silver Medal
2006: Silver Medal

World Beer Championships Recognition:

Judging Category: Belgian Style Amber Ale
2011: Gold Medal

Complete Awards List

Beer Drinker Reviews:

Beer Advocate
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Beer # 186 Epic Sour Apple Saison

Epic Sour Apple Saison

Name: Sour Apple Saison

Style:  Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Brewery:  Epic Brewing Co website

Country: USA

Region: Salt Lake City, Utah

ABV: 7.8% abv

How served:  22 oz capped bottle poured into a 3 Fonteinen glass.

My Overall Opinion: Good 

I paired this beer with: Ravens vs Patriots AFC Championship Game & Snyder’’s Pretzels

Tasted on:  Sunday  January 22, 2012

Notes: 

The beer poured a light & cloudy straw color with a large 3 finger billowing head with medium to large sized bubbles.   The beer left a nice lacing on the glass.     

The nose was of faint sour apples and some earthy undertones.

The taste started off with mildly sour green apples  and yeasty.  Midway through I picked up some of the cloves and coriander.  It finished crisp and dry

The body was light to medium body with the feel of champagne from all the carbonation.

The drinkability was very good and this would be a good substitute for champagne at brunch time.

Overall I rated this beer as Good, But I was torn between Good & Very Good and in the end I gave it a “Good” as it was more one dimensional.  However YOU might think otherwise, so if you can Try it Yourself because it might end up being Very…..!!!

On the Label:  Exponential Series. Bottled Conditioned. Release #6

You are holding something special – one of only 1,800 bottles released and numbers.  Intrigued?  Visit www.epicbrewing.com to explore this limited brew’s precise details.

From their website:  Sour-Apple Saison

Sweet, yet dry and tart, apples spiced with coriander, grains of paradise, anise, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger. There is no wrong way to enjoy this Saison Belgian Style Farmhouse Ale!

Sour Apple Saison-Style Ale Release #6   Brewed on June 6, 2011. Packaged July 7, 2011.

This is a gorgeous saison, it has a nice mild sourness with a slight kick of apple and cinnamon. It has a very dry finish from the classic Saison yeast that gives it a little earthy, peppery and spiciness.

The Malts

Weyermann Pilsner is the base malt on this beer followed by Briess Flaked Oats and Muntons Wheat Malt.

The Hops/Spices

Saaz, Tettnang, ground Ginger, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg, Anise Seed, Grains of Paradise, and Coriander.

ABV 7.8%

Beer # 181 Mikkeller Funky E Star

WOW!! has it really been more than 3 months since I posted to my blog?   Sorry about that… I need to get back to not just drinking my beers but posting them too!!

 Back to my Review.

 

Mikkeller Funky E Star

Name: Funky E Star

Style:  Belgian Wild Ale

Brewery:  Mikkeller   website

Country: Denmark

Region:   København

ABV: 9.4% abv

How served:  750ml silver foiled corked and caged bottle poured into an Augustijn Grand Cru tulip.      

My Overall Opinion:  Good

I paired this beer with:   Salmon filet steamed inside a foiled bag on top of fennel and leeks, then served on a bed of couscous topped with a dollop of cucumber yogurt dill sauce.  Boy this was a very yummy dinner and paired well with this beer!!

Tasted on:  Wednesday November 30, 2011  

Notes:  best by Dec 16 2014, So  I could have kept this 3 more years!!  Brewed at De Proef Brouwerij in Lochristi-Hufte, Belgium

 This beer pours a cloudy light orange with a one finger off white head which left a thin lacing on my glass.    

The nose on this brew was very mild and vague.  There were hints of bread, some very mild hints of a wet horse blanket and a little medicinal, otherwise the nose was unremarkable.   

The taste was also very mild or should I say short, as it went from the start to finish in record time!  I got a very strong bready, malty and zesty spicy taste up front, then a mild bitterness near the end with nothing in between.   There was nothing in this beer taste which would have suggested a “wild” side.  

This beer had a thin to medium body with a low to medium level of carbonation..        

The drinkability of this “Funky E” brew was very good overall and there was only a mild hint of the 9+% abv. 

This beer is worth a try, but I was expecting more.  Not sure if I had a bad bottle or not & it was a good beer, but I felt like something was missing 😦

On the Label:  fũng’kē ē star 

From their website:    Nothing on their site on this brew!

Beer #174 Unibroue Quatre-Centième Brassin Commémoratif

Unibroue Quatre-Centième Brassin Commémoratif

Name: Quatre-Centième Brassin Commémoratif

Style:  Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Brewery: Unibroue.  Website

Country: Canada

Region:   Chambly, Quebec

ABV: 7.50% abv

How served:  750 ml corked and caged bottle poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. 

My Overall Opinion:  Good

I paired this beer with:   Grilled tilapia with tomatoes, rosemary, zucchini and black olives.   Paired very well.

Tasted on:  Thursday June 23, 2011  

Notes:  I’ve had this beer sitting in my cellar for 2 years.  It was 1st released in 2008 in celebration of the 400th anniversary of Quebec.

The cork popped with a nice loud “pop” and poured a light golden yellow with a fluffy 2 finger head.  There was a thin and small lacing left on my glass.   

The nose was sweet with lots of yeasty notes like bananas, lemons, cloves and some spices.

The taste closely resembles the nose with a mixture of bananas, cloves, hints of lemon and spices all being on the sweeter side with only a mild hint of the alcohol

This beer had medium mouthfeel and was quite refreshing with a pleasant carbonation level.    

 The drinkability was as easy as it gets.

Overall I felt that this was good beer and would recommend it to anyone who like a Belgian strong pale ale, but is not nearly as good as most of the other beers I’ve had from Unibroue.

 On the LabelIn 2008, Quebéc City proudly celebrates four hundred years of settlements by people of different races and cultures.  These pioneers built the first European city in this part of North America which became the gateway to the New World.

 In 1608, Samuel de Champlain arrived on a ship bearing the name Don de Dieu to establish a French colonial empire.  He named the settlement Kebec, a native word meaning “where the river narrows”.  This strategic location made it the scene of major battles that raged for over a century.

Throughout this period and beyond, the city continued to grow attracting French, Scottish, Welsh, Irish and English settlers who enriched the community with a variety of traditions, customs, trades and professions creating a blend of cultures found nowhere else in the world.

This exclusively brewed beer honours all those who have made “joie de vivre” synonymous with this amazing city!

From their website:   No information on their website on this brew, so I am assuming that this beer is no longer made.

Beer #173 Terrapin TomFoolery (Side Project Volume 14)

Terrapin TomFoolery (Side Project volume 14)

Name: TomFoolery (Side Project Volume 14)

Style:  Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Brewery: Terrapin Beer Company.  Website

Country: USA

Region:   Athens, Georgia

ABV: 7.30% abv

How served:  22 oz capped and gold foiled bottle poured into a Lamoral degmont glass. 

My Overall Opinion:  Good

I paired this beer with:  Hot & Spicy grilled Italian sausages. 

Tasted on:  Monday June 6, 2011  

Notes:  This is a Black Saison Ale

The beer poured a dark brownish black with a large 3 finger tan head, which left a nice lacing on my glass.   

The nose was a mix of what you would expect from most saisons, spicy and fruity notes, plus what is not normally found in a saison, roasted and toasted malts.

The taste started off with the roasted malt flavors and was followed with mild funkiness, citrus fruits and mild pepper which ended on the dry side.  The entire flavor profile was on the light and mild side.

It had a nice medium body with a crisp/pleasant carbonation level.    

 The drinkability was easy going, but much less refreshing as I would expect in a saison.

Overall I felt that this was an interesting twist on the saison style, but IMHO I would much rather have the roasted malt flavors left out of my saison, as it made it less refreshing than I would like in this style.

On the LabelTomfoolery “Black Saison” is the latest addition to our Side Project series of beers. Number 14 on the list, this ale boasts an uncharacteristic black color for a traditional Saison, but is just untraditional enough for our experimental mentality.

Made with a silly amount of rye, wheat and black malts, this dark spicy beverage will tickle the taste buds of any court jester in the land. We hope you enjoy our light hearted attempt at making this traditional style with foolish brewing behavior.

 Cheers! Spike and John.

Spike’s brewing words of wisdom: Brewing beer is serious business… but what you have here is pure shenanigans!

From their website:   

Volume 14 – Tomfoolery

Tomfoolery “Black Saison” is the latest addition to our Side Project series of beers. Number 14 on the list, this ale boasts an uncharacteristic black color for a traditional Saison, but is just untraditional enough for our experimental mentality.

Made with a silly amount of rye, wheat and black malts, this dark spicy beverage will quench the thirst of any court jester in the land. We hope you enjoy our light hearted attempt at making this traditional style with foolish brewing behavior.

Spike’s Brewing Words of Wisdom: Beer is serious business…what you do after consumption often times is not.

 O.G. 15.2 F.G. 1.5 ABV% 7.4

Hops: Golding, Willamette, Vanguard

Malts: Pale ,Vienna, Wheat Rye, DH Carafa III, Acidulated

Beer #172 Mission Shipwrecked

Mission Shipwrecked Double IPA

Name: Shipwrecked

Style:  Imperial IPA

Brewery: Mission Brewery.  Website

Country: USA

Region:   Chula Vista, California

ABV: 9.25% abv

How served:  22 oz capped bottle poured into a Bruery tulip glass.  

My Overall Opinion:  Good

I paired this beer with:  Grilled Knockwurst and sauerkraut.   Nice pairing.

Tasted on:  Wednesday June 1, 2011  

Notes:  The beer poured a hazy amber with a huge off white fluffy 3 finger head which left a nice sticky lacing on the glass

The nose was light and pleasant with hints of grapefruit and other citrus fruits leaning to the sweet side.   

The taste started off with sweetness from the malts and then quickly switched to bitterness of grapefruit rinds and ended very dry with a not so pleasant lingering aftertaste.     

It had a nice medium mouthfeel with a nice pleasant carbonation level.    

 The drinkability was only OK due to the aftertaste which was very dry and bitter, but in a peculiar way.  The alcohol level of 9.25% was very nicely hidden and added a pleasant warmth to this brew.

There are too many very good double IPA in the market that I would much rather drink, so this brew will not get a second chance from me.

On the Label:  Double India Pale Ale.   A style of beer curiously born on the foggy shores of Father Junipero Serra’s first founding mission.  Our own vigorous entry is one rebellious IPA, quick on the trigger, and brimming with a bounty of hop ingenuity.  This is a big, bold, brazen beer, a restless vision or a new America.

From their website:   

Mission Shipwrecked Double I.P.A.
San Diego Style Double India Pale Ale
A amazingly balanced and hoppy beer, yet finishes as smooth as silk with no hint of high alcohol hotness usually associated with strong double IPA’s. Super citrus and grapefruit aromas and flavors from the generous use of Cascade, Magnum, Centennial and CTZ hops.
9.25% ABV, 75 IBU

Beer #171 Goose Island Pere Jacques 2010

Goose Island Pere Jacques 2010

Name: Pere Jacques 2010

Style:  Dubbel

Brewery: Goose Island Beer Co.  website

Country: USA

Region:   Chicago, Illinois

ABV: 8.0% Abv

How served:  22oz capped bottle poured into a Malheur glass.  

My Overall Opinion:  Good

I paired this beer with:  Grilled salmon steaks.   

Tasted on:  Wednesday May 25, 2011  

Notes:  The beer was a hazy light reddish brown.  On my first pour, which was aggressive, there was just about no head on the beer.  On my second pour I had a very thin layer of an off white head & on my 3rd and last pour (above photo) I ended up with a nice fluffy 1 finger off white head.  The foam on all 3 pours dissipated rather quickly leaving almost no lacing on my glass.

The nose was sweet with roasted malts, caramel, dark dried fruits and candi sugar.

The taste was very sweet and I picked up dried dark fruits and caramel, this brew finished on the drier side.   

It had a mild to medium mouthfeel with too little carbonation for the style.   

 The drinkability was very good with a nice warmth from the alcohol.

Overall I’m glad I had a chance to try it,  but I’ve had way too many better dubbels then this one.   If the carbonation level was a little higher I bet that this brew would have tasted less sweet to me & I would have most likely bumped this up to a Very Good.  

On the Label:  Bottle date: 02/26/10  lot 1456

Abbey ale inspired by visits to Belgium.  Develops in the bottle for up to 5 years

From their website:   
Brewer’s Notes:

Brewed with loads of malt and Belgian yeast, Pere Jacques is a wonderfully fruity, malty ale. Pere Jacques’ complex flavors stand shoulder to shoulder with the Belgian Dubbels enjoyed in the world’s finest beer bars. At the dining table it’s the perfect alternative to a glass of vintage port.

Recipe Information:

Style: Belgian Style Abbey Ale
Alcohol by Volume: 8%
International Bitterness Units: 26
Color: Warm Molasses
Hops: Saaz
Malt: 2-Row, Wheat, Caramel, Rye Flakes, Special B

Serving Suggestions:

Preferred Glass: Wide Mouth Glass
Food Pairings: Pere Jacques pairs with a wide variety of foods, its intense flavors complement rich flavors like bittersweet chocolate or wild game and contrast with spicy flavors like curries.

Cheese Pairings: Aged Gouda, Stilton
Cellaring Notes: Develops in the bottle for up to 5 years

World Beer Championships Recognition:

Judging Category: Abbey Dubbel Ale
2011: Gold Medal

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