Monday, September 12, 2011

Craft Beer Calendar

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Flying Fish Abbey Dubbel

Reviewed By: Rick S.
Style: Dubbel
State/Country: New Jersey
ABV: 7%
Serving Type: 12oz Bottle

Look: 8.5
Reddish brown color, clear, with a thin tan head and decent lacing.

Smell: 8.5
Mild aroma consisting of cherries, dark fruit, brown sugar, and spice

Taste: 9
Taste is much more pronounced than the aroma!  Very complex as well. Lots of spice with some hops up front. followed by a malt, cherry, raisin, and finishing with malt and a mild nutty flavor.

Mouthfeel: 9
Medium body and carbonation, and a dry finish

Drinkability: 9
Dangerously easy to drink!

Overall Score: 8.8

Cost/12 oz serving: $1.42

Overall Impression:
I LOVE this beer!  While it may not rival the best Dubbels brewed in Belgium, and it may not even be the best Dubbel brewed in America, it IS unquestionably the best one pound for pound...or should I say for the money.  To my knowledge, there is no other Dubbel anywhere near this level of quality on the market priced at only $7.99/six pack.  And price aside, it more than holds its own in this category.  Having said all of that, Belgian Abbey Dubbel is easily the best "year-round" offering from Flying Fish in my opinion!

Flying Fish ESB Ale

Reviewed By: Rick S.
Style: Extra Special Bitter
State/Country: New Jersey
ABV: 5.5%
Serving Type: 12oz Bottle

Look: 8
Medium amber color, clear, with a foamy off-white head and decent lacing

Smell: 8
Sweet malt, caramel, subtle fruit, and earthy hops

Taste: 8.5
Caramel and complex malt flavors, balanced nicely by earthy hops

Mouthfeel: 8
Medium body and carbonation, and a creamy finish

Drinkability: 8.5
Very Smooth!

Overall Score: 8.2

Cost/12 oz serving: $1.42

Overall Impression:
I think part of the reason this beer does not receive as much credit as it deserves has to do with its classification.  Is it an American Amber Ale, or is it an English-style Extra Special Bitter?  Many of the reviews I have seen regard it as an American Amber, and as such, it has fallen a bit short.  But to me, this is clearly an ESB (the malt, hops and ale strain used are a dead giveaway people), and a good one at that!  This ESB is really easy to drink and it is fantastic with grilled and broiled food, or any type of food where caramelization is happening. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Iron Fish 8/27/11

Cool Ice Sculpture, by Richard Glodowski, a chef at Iron Hill
IRON FISH, a Black Belgian Imperial IPA, is a collaboration beer from Flying Fish Brewing Company and Iron Hill Brewery in Maple Shade.

This fish was created to be a complete FAD Brew.  A future release is currently being Barrel Aged with Brett and Cherries, thereby covering every EVERY single fad at once.

The beer was excellent, and there was a great turnout at the event despite Hurricane Irene.

Chris LaPierre (Iron Hill), Suzanne Woods, Gene Muller & Casey Hughes (Flying Fish), Mark Edelson (Iron Hill), Kevin Finn, and Curt Decker (Noddinghead)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier – Urbock

Reviewed By: Rick S.
Style: Rauchbier, Bock
State/Country: Germany
ABV: 6.5%
Serving Type: 16.9 oz Bottle

Look: 8
Dark brown color, clear, with a decent head and little lacing

Smell: 9
Bacon, malt, and slight must

Mild Smoke up front, then a wave of sweetness, and then the two trail off together in the finish

Mouthfeel: 9
Medium to full body, slightly creamy, with low carbonation.

Drinkability: 8.5
Surprisingly good!

Overall Score: 8.7

Cost/12 oz serving: $3.79

Overall Impression:
I was expecting to be overwhelmed with smokey flavors, but that was not case.  This beer is surprisingly well balanced.  There is plenty of malt backbone to stand up to the smoked malt and mild hop bitterness.  

There are those beer drinkers who consider Rauchbier strictly an acquired taste, and will have none of it. However, when paired with the right foods, Rauchbier can become the star of the show.

Food Pairing:
Suzy-QCB and I tried this world-class Rauchbier with a Pork Tenderloin that I smoked for 2.5 hours accompanied by green beans with roasted pecans and butter, and all of the flavor combinations were superb! 

Rauchbier goes extremely well with bold, full-flavored foods, real BBQ, and smoked foods such as smoked ham, smoked pork, smoked salmon, smoked sausages or smoked cheeses.  The smoky flavors in the beer and food complement each other perfectly! Rauchbier is also great with Mexican food.