Peace Tree Black River Gumbo Stout

posted on January 25, 2011 at 9:27 am by Ken Valley in Beer Reviews,Craft Beer

Peace Tree Black River Gumbo Stout

Peace Tree Black River Gumbo Stout

Over the past week, I’ve enjoyed a six-pack of Peace Tree‘s new offering: Black River Gumbo Stout.  It happens to be one of those ‘I can have a few of these’ stouts.

What makes this stout unique is the use of a Belgian yeast.  So far, there are only a few Belgian-style stouts on the market (e.g. Boulevard‘s Dark Truth Stout), but the Black River Gumbo Stout is the most drinkable due to its lighter body.

To start with, the beer had a coffee and roasted scent to it.  There was a lot of roasted and chocolate flavors present, but there was a hint of a unique flavor, similar to a cola, that isn’t in many beers.  It had medium body, and finished fairly clean, leaving a slightly bitter, roasted, and smoky aftertaste.

Overall, I enjoyed the Black River Gumbo Stout quite a bit.  I’ve heard that Peace Tree serves this on a Nitro tap at their Knoxville tap room, so if you’re in the area, check it out!

Have you had the Black River Gumbo Stout?  What did you think?

New Belgium Frambozen

posted on January 19, 2011 at 11:07 pm by Ken Valley in Beer Reviews,Craft Beer

New Belgium Frambozen

New Belgium Frambozen

I have to say, it took me a while to review New Belgium‘s Frambozen.  One time I enjoyed it, where it was slightly tart, and then the next bottle I didn’t like it at all.  It seemed to be a bit of a beer enigma.  Over the course of the six pack, I found it was better chilled and poured into a goblet-type glass.

The beer started off slightly tart.  It had a brown-ruby color and has a slight scent of raspberries.  As it traveled through the mouth, it had a fairly light mouthfeel and had a bit of tartness.  It finished fairly clean, but left a hint of raspberry behind.

The overall impression of this wasn’t great because, to me, it seemed to be stuck between two styles – malty brown and tart raspberry.

What did you think of Frambozen?

Samuel Adams Revolutionary Rye

posted on January 13, 2011 at 10:07 am by Ken Valley in Beer Reviews,Craft Beer

Samuel Adams Revolutionary Rye

Samuel Adams Revolutionary Rye

As part of the American Originals Variety Pack, Samuel Adams released the winner of the 2010 Sam Adams’ Beer Lover’s Choice contest, Revolutionary Rye.

With this beer, I didn’t quite know what to expect because rye beers run the gambit of beer styles.  Initially, this smelled like bread and a bit like spicy hops.  It tasted a bit malty, but there was a lot of flavor from a pine-like hop variety.  It left quite a bit of bitterness in the finish.  I think if you enjoy IPA‘s, you might like this beer since it reminded me of a less-bitter crisp IPA.

Have you tried the Revolutionary Rye?  What was your take?

Samuel Adams American Originals Spring Variety Pack

posted on January 10, 2011 at 10:20 am by Ken Valley in Craft Beer

Samuels Adams American Originals Spring Variety Pack

Samuels Adams American Originals Spring Variety Pack

Now that the calendar has turned the page to 2011, breweries are beginning to release the spring seasonal packs (except Leinenkugel’s, who thought Dec. 1 was late enough in the winter season).

The spring seasonals are a great way to start to shed the strong, malty beers of winter and begin to enjoy the lighter beers the new year brings. Samuel Adams repackaged their Spring Brewmaster’s Variety Pack by removing the Honey Porter, Black Lager, and Boston Ale, and renaming the pack the “American Originals” along with adding a few new beers.

In the pack, there are 2 bottles each of:

  • Boston Lager
  • Scotch Ale
  • Noble Pils
  • White Ale
  • Irish Red
  • Revolutionary Rye (winner of the 2010 Sam Adams’ Beer Lover’s Choice)

So far, the pack looks good, with the Irish Red being one of my top 10 beers.  The Revolutionary Rye looks interesting, so look for a review of it soon.

Have you tried the American Originals Spring Variety Pack?  What did you think?  Which ones did you like?  Which ones didn’t you like?

Infinium by Samuel Adams and Weihenstephan

posted on January 5, 2011 at 9:30 am by Ken Valley in Beer Reviews,Craft Beer

Infinium

Infinium

On New Year’s, I had the chance to try Infinium, the collaboration between Samuel Adams and the Weihenstephan Brewery, the oldest known brewery in the world. These two breweries worked for over several years to create a new type of beer, adhering to the Reinheitsgebot, or German purity law that states beer can be made of only four ingredients: malt, hops, water, and yeast.  They claimed it to be like a champagne, but it’s not at all like the champagne of beers…

To sum up this beer, it closely resembled a highly carbonated Belgian trippel .  What makes it more fascinating though is most trippels tend to use candi sugars in the beer to increase the strength of the beer while reducing the body.  Infinium uses only malt to push this to a 10.3% beer.

This beer smells very fruity, like a trippel with more carbonation.  It tastes like a mix of a Belgian trippel and a Belgian dubbel (because of the bigger malt flavor), and the extra carbonation leaves a big tingling sensation.  It finishes slightly sweet with a dry finish.  I thought it was a good beer that has its place in the beer world, but, in my opinion, at $18, there are more cost effective Belgian beers available.

Did you have some Infinium over New Year’s?  What did you think?