Last night I had the chance to sample Millstream Brewing’s next beer in the Extreme Series (after the Hop 2 Double IPA), the Sun “Ryes” Helles Doppelbock at Old Capitol Brew works in Iowa City. It was a very nice, full bodied beer with a lot of malt sweetness and a nice crispness from the rye. The rye crispness makes it seem a bit lighter than the 7.9% ABV, and should be in stores in the next couple of weeks. They recently posted a photo of the bottling line.
One of the representatives from Millstream told me they were having a lot of fun with the Extreme Series, and the next one in the series after Sun Ryse was going to be a Honey Hefeweizen.
Have you tried the Sun Ryes from Millstream? What did you think?
I was working in Tennessee this past week, and I had a chance to check out a few beers I normally don’t get a chance to try. One of the selections I had a chance to sample was Abita Andygator.
It was a hellesdoppelbock, making it stronger than the typical helles. My overall impression: it was nice and malty, and was a very drinkable beer. There was a bit of a fruity scent with an initial sweet taste. It had a nice golden color, and a good malt flavor that carried through to the aftertaste. There was little to no hop flavor or aroma.
Have you tried Andygator by Abita? What did you think?
To finish off American Craft Beer Week 2010, I cracked open my Millstream 25th Anniversary Dopplebock. This was a limited edition release, and was available at the brewery, or John’s Grocery in Iowa City.
Right off the bat, I noticed it was very smooth. Because of how smooth it was, it seemed like they had lagered (stored) it for a while. I had it on the cool side, so there may not have been as much carbonation bite as usual, and the carbonation seemed low.
True to style, it was very malty sweet with very little bitterness and had nice balance. It seemed lighter in body than many of the other dopplebocks I’ve had, making it very drinkable. It was a very nice beer, and a great first high gravity beer from Millstream.
Did you get a chance to try the Millstream 25th Anniversary Dopplebock? What was your experience?
Reinheitsgebot, pronounced ryn-hyts-ga-boat, is Germany’s world famous “purity law”. This came about in the 1400’s, in Bavaria, and after it was put into law in 1516 was originally used to reduce the usage of chemicals or additives to beer and to reduce competition with bakers for wheat and rye.
According to the law, it was illegal to use anything in beer except water, barley, and hops (yeast was added to the list after Louis Pasteur determined that yeast was responsible for fermentation). Because of this law, many popular beer styles arose, including doppelbocks.
According to the law, the bearer of questionable beer would have the kegs confiscated without compensation.
Some of the adjuncts that would be illegal according to the purity law would be sugar, rice, corn, fruit, and even wheat, although the law was expanded in 1993 to allow wheat and sugar additives.
What do you think? Should reinheitsgebot be followed, or do you like your wheat and/or fruit beers?
Last night, I enjoyed Boulevard Brewing’s Seeyoulator Doppelbock, which is part of the Smokestack Series. It is a bottle conditioned doppelbock lager, and has been aged on cedar.
Upon tasting, it had a sweet, malty flavor. With the finish, there was a hint of spice. According to Boulevard, this is due to the cedar aging. After trying it, it is now one of my favorite releases in the Smokestack Series.
Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock (6.7% ABV) From Ayinger: A beer that has a dominant malty taste. This beer’s origins in a monk’s recipe are reflected in its heartiness. A well known Austrian journalist and leading German language specialist on beer, Conrad Seidl, describes it as: “Almost black with a very slight red tone, a sensational, festive foam and truly extraordinary fragrance that at first summons up visions of greaves lard. The first taste is of mild fullness with an accompanying coffee tone, which becomes more dominant with the aftertaste. There is very little of the sweetness that is frequently to be tasted with doppelbock beer.” The Ayinger Celebrator has been ranked among the best beers of the world by the Chicago Tasting Institute several times and has won numerous platinum medallions in competition.
Have you tried Ayienger Celebrator? What did you think?