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Archive for the day “December 29, 2012”

Leapbeer Review #364 Rayon Vert by Green Flash Brewing Company

My investigation into sour beers has led me into a deeper study of one of the sour yeast genus, Brettanomyces. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about that yet (still working on that one), but I will say one of the beers I had read about is this next one. Green Flash Brewing Company’s Rayon Vert is a Belgian style pale ale finished with brett (the common shortened version of Brettanomyces).  Because of this I think their whole “continuously evolving” tagline takes on a whole new meaning. Sour Beers, like all others, continue to change while aging. In fact a brett beer needs a minimum of 8 months in the beer before it does its thing. While my initial thoughts on this beer aren’t the greatest I do plan to try a bottle from the same batch in 6 months and then another in a year.

As far as how it is now, this is a cloudy orange/amber beer with a tall fluffy tan head on top. The aroma is all brett, tart orange, barnyard funk and agave nectar. Unfortunately that’s as far as the brett goes for me. Tasting has a very thick bitter note, a bit bready, some spices followed by a small note of sour. It basically tastes like a bitter Belgian pale ale with brett aromas. I do hope it ages well.

Leapbeer #364 is Rayon Vert

Rayon Vert Belgian Pale Ale with Brettanomyces by Green Flash Brewing Company

Rayon Vert Belgian Pale Ale with Brettanomyces by Green Flash Brewing Company

Brewery: Green Flash Brewing Company of San Diego California
Size/ABV/IBU: 650ml Bottle/7.0% ABV/32 IBUs
Availability: Select Private Liquor Stores
Purchased:
Cascadia Liquor Store in Courtenay BC
Website: http://www.greenflashbrew.com/our-beers.php
Other Reviews: Beer Advocate, Rate Beer

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Leapbeer Review #363 90 Minute IPA by Dogfish Head Brewery

A few years ago I watched a documentary called ‘Beer Wars’ that showed a few different smaller breweries in their efforts to crack in against the juggernauts like Anheuser-Busch. One of the brewing mavericks featured in that was Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head. They have a trio of continiously hopped IPAs, the 60 Minute IPA, the 90 Minute IPA and the 120 Minute IPA. By that I mean that hops are added during the boil continuously. It is a concept somewhat similar to what Phillips did with their Pandamonium Anniversary IIPA. Phillips did 11 different hops additions in their beer. Dogfish Head did it differently. Originally they rigged a tabletop shaker football game to deliver the hops. Sam did the video below explaining the process.

This beer is regarded as one of the best imperial IPAs widely available in the states, and because of that I really really wanted to try it. I made sure that a 4 pack of this got made its way into the Leapbeer Portland beer haul.

I was expecting a gigantic hop bomb from this beer, but what I got was something very different. This is a cloudy dark amber beer  with a white head on it. The aromas are more malty with a hint of licorice. Their is only a lingering hop note on the nose. The real shocker for this beer is in how it tastes. It manages to dance this high wire balancing act between pungent bitter hops and smooth sweet malts. They even note on the bottle that they jack up the two-row barley to balance it out. Esquire magazine has called this “perhaps the best IPA in America”.

Sadly this isn’t currently available in Canada. I say currently because a conversation over twitter with AFIC (liquor importer) @beerzarre I learned that they are hoping to have DFH available in BC sometime next year. Here’s to hoping.

Leapbeer #363 is 90 Minute IPA

90 Minute IPA by Dogfish Head Brewery

90 Minute IPA by Dogfish Head Brewery

Brewery: Dogfish Head Brewery of Milton, Delaware
Size/ABV/IBU: 355ml Bottle/9.0% ABV/ 90 IBUs
Purchased:
Belmont Station in Portland
Website: http://www.dogfish.com/brews-spirits/the-brews/year-round-brews/90-minute-ipa.htm
Other Reviews: Beer Advocate, Rate Beer

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Leapbeer Review #362 Local 2 By Brooklyn Brewery

This next beer I bought on a bit of a whim. I was walking around in the Liquor Depot on the north end of Nanaimo just to check this place out, and this bottle seemed to hop out at me. There was a Local 1 and Local 2 side by side, I chose Local 2 because it has “honey and citrus peel” on the label. The notes from the Brooklyn website have this to say about it.

Here in Brooklyn we’ve combined European malt and hops, Belgian dark sugar, and raw wildflower honey from a New York family farm to create Brooklyn Local 2. Our special Belgian yeast adds hints of spice to the dark fruit, caramel, and chocolate flavors. After 100% bottle re-fermentation, the beer reveals a marvelous dry complexity, enjoyable by itself or at the dinner table. (from their website)

This is a bottle conditioned beer, leading to the gigantic tan head on this beer. Its almost a 50/50 head to beer ratio. The beer itself is a cloudy brown colour. The aroma of it is very strange, a tinge of citrus mixed with caramel malts and a hint of saison-esque peppery yeast. It tastes very odd. As I imagined it is very carbonated. The sweetness is very delicately balanced with tart, both qualities of the raw wildflower honey. The beer tastes super light and easy to drink. It does not taste like a nine percent beer. The tastes is almost nondescript with only faint notes of chocolate, malt and citrus peel.

Leapbeer #362 is Local 2 by Brooklyn Brewing Company

Local 2 by Brooklyn Brewery

Local 2 by Brooklyn Brewery

Brewery: Brooklyn Brewery of New York NY
Size/ABV/IBU: 750ml Bottle/9.0% ABV/ 24 IBUs
Purchased:
Liquor Depot Nanaimo
Website: http://brooklynbrewery.com/brooklyn-beers/big-bottles/brooklyn-local-2
Other Reviews: Beer Advocate, Rate Beer

I’m not sure this is one I’d ever get again, or at least get again any time soon.

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Leapbeer Review #361 Duchesse de Bourgogne

Before I get into the information about this beer I want to thank Sean (@xaendovet) for recommending this beer. I was tweeting about my newly developed love of sour beers and lamenting the lack of availability in my area. He said that Duchesse de Bourgogne should be a readily available sour that I have to try.

Duchesse is a Flanders Red Ale, a sour beer brewed in West Flanders at Brouwerij Verhaeghe of Vichty Belgium. For more information about this beer style you can read about it this article by Michael Jackson and on wikipedia. It is very highly rated on both Beer Advocate and Rate Beer.

To say that I liked this beer is an understatement. Even the thought of this beer makes me salivate. It is a cloudy dark brown/reddish beer with a tan head. It smells of tart cherries, balsamic and malt vinegars balanced in a blend of sweetness, tart and a touch of funk. The bouquet of this beer is intoxicating. The taste of this beer is as complex as its aroma. I’ve described this beer as a thin carbonated balsamic reduction before, and I’m pretty certain that hits the nail on this one. It is light and airy with an almost champagne like carbonation. It tastes tart, like sour vinegar then it smooths out to delicious sweet fruit. It tastes almost wine like, delivering flavours of cherries, plums, apples, pears and a touch of smoke.

Leapbeer Review #361 is Duchesse de Bourgogne

Duchesse de Bourgogne by Brouwerij Verhaeghe of Vichty Belgium

Duchesse de Bourgogne by Brouwerij Verhaeghe of Vichty Belgium

Brewery: Brouwerij Verhaeghe of Vichte Belgium
Size/ABV: 330ml Bottle/6.2% ABV
Purchased:
Liquor Plus Victoria
Website: http://www.proximedia.com/local/breweryverhaeghe/produkt1fr.htm
Other Reviews: Beer Advocate, Rate Beer , Video Review by Chris Steltz

I’m hoping to coerce a local liquor store to stock this beer. It is something I think everyone should try, at least once.

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