Thursday, August 23, 2012

Review: Lazy Magnolia Timber Beast

Alright, finally the long awaited higher abv beer from Mississippi's Lazy Magnolia (facebook - twitter) Brewery!  First off, I have to give many thanks to David Komendanchik for bringing me a bottle of this one from Mississippi.  It has hit a few bars in Louisiana, namely Avenue Pub and Barley Oak, but no bottles have made it this way as of yet.  I sure hope that changes soon because this is a real winner of a Rye IPA. 

The appearance is pretty much what you see to the right... a copper colored brew with a large lingering off-white head that just screams "drink me!!" but also, "wait and savor the aroma a bit first."  And the aroma doesn't let me down, with a hop assault of primarily piney hops and an underlying spiciness of the rye.  I'm digging this one so far, but the taste is a beer's bread and butter, not the appearance.  Or even really the aroma.

The taste on this one though, brilliant.  Rye spice with a strong, bold presence of west coast hops.  Not much caramel or malt or anything along those lines but if you want a good hoppy rye IPA, this is your bag.  

I still have hops lingering on my tongue... they don't want to leave and I don't want to kick them out.  Sometimes a beer can really leave a little too much bitterness on the tongue but this one finds the sweet spot... er... bitter spot?  

Anyway, I think that this is a real winner from the brewery next door, and a fantastic first go at a higher abv IPA.  I'm looking forward to this in bottles around here on a regular basis, because I could see it sitting in the beer fridge right next to the Parish Envie APA as two of my go-to brews.

Well done Lazy Magnolia, well done indeed.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Review: Parish Envie Pale Ale

Would you look at that locally brewed goodness?
Thanks of course to Andrew for giving a few of these to Brenton Day of The Ale Runner and then to Brenton for passing one on to me!  This beer isn't out in the Baton Rouge market yet, but we should see tap handles before too long.  With all the success of Canebrake in Louisiana I'm sure it has been hard for Parish Brewing (facebook - twitter) to keep up with its demand let alone work on two other flagship brews and a limited release, but they have somehow done it.  So, without further ado, here's a sneak preview of the Parish Brewing Envie American Pale Ale!

First up, the pour... I went with the Spiegelau tulip glass, and I don't really care that it's not the "right" glass for the style.  Mostly I like that the shape allows the light to get through different depths of beer to really bring out the colors.  This beer is an orange-red brew with a bit of a white head... appetizing for sure.

On to the aroma... the first hit is mostly malt with a biscuity feel to it and some caramel in there as well.  A good swirl though, and the hops come alive and dominate but with a subtle flavor as opposed to an aggressive pine or grapefruit nose.  It's a really nice blend of hops and I think it leans a little toward the citrus and slightly floral range of things.  Very well done!

The taste is really a solid follow through on the impressive nose.  The malts probably come through a little more here than before, but each sip brings another whiff of hops to the nose that keeps it interesting.  

I'm a huge fan of this one, I dare say even more my cup of tea or, mug of beer, than the Canebrake.  This isn't a final recipe though, and Andrew has plans to tweak it even more on his new bigger brew system.  I know he still plans on going even hoppier and I have to say that I agree and would probably like this beer even more than I already do with a more aggressive hop profile.  So... until then, I'll keep drinking the Canebrake and looking forward to the future versions of the Envie APA and the South Coast Amber Ale.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Coming Soon: Stone 4-Packs!

Well alright Stone Brewing (facebook - twitter) fans, 4-packs of three of their "bigger" beers are on the way, including the Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale, the Ruination DIPA, and the Oaked Arrogant Bastard.  Oaked Arrogant Bastard and Ruination have been available before in 6-packs, but the Sublimely Self-Righteous was only available in bombers before.  Now it's hard to really be excited about getting 4-packs instead of 6-packs for the first two, since I know damn well that they are really good beers and don't mind getting them six at a time.  
Sublimely Self-Righteous though, that's one I'm excited to see in 4-packs!  I think the different packaging has a number of pros and cons, but buying in 4 or 6 packs is almost always cheaper per ounce than buying bombers and that's just fine for a beer that I know I really like.  For beers that I don't know much about though, I don't usually want to take the plunge and go straight to the packs.  If it's a terrible beer, then I have 3 or 5 bottles that I don't want to drink and have to pawn off on friends.  And I don't like giving friends bad beer, even the ones that claim to not care.  
So... you can bet your hop loving ass I'll be adding some Sublimely Self-Righteous 4-packs to the beer fridge regular rotation when they get here.  It's one of the best black IPAs around and there's nothing wrong with a good black IPA.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Review: Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #12

What's this shit?  Two reviews in two days?  That's right, readers, another beer review and it's coming in quick because like the Stone Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA, the Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #12 was just released in Baton Rouge and it won't be on the shelves long.  As I mentioned before, this beer from Saint Arnold (facebook - twitter) is an Old Ale, which means it's meant to age and develop over time as opposed to drinking it fresh.

That didn't stop me though, I had to try one so I could let you all know what it's like, right?  It's the tough life I live, drinking these beers so that you don't have to.  Or so that you know that you should.  Either way, I'll bite the bullet.

Back to the beer... as you can see it's a copper color, a little thick with a decent head on it.  It certainly looked pretty in that Big Eddy glass... the one that actually survived the trip back from Indianapolis.  The nose was malty... caramel, toffee, alcohol, a little fruity, very nice though other than the heavily boozy presence.  

The taste was more of the same, boozy but still quite good with a caramel and molasses malt bill and dark fruit present as well.  It's good, but the booziness and "youth" of this one screams aging.  Fortunately, this one has 4 friends that are meant for just that, and I won't touch them until I have a Divine Reserve #13 in my hands.

So if you have some patience, and want to see how a beer ages, this would be a good 6-pack to pick up.  They should be available a few places in town still.


Monday, August 6, 2012

Review: Stone Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA

It's been a while since I threw out a straight up simple beer review, so when I recently finally got to try the Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA from Stone Brewing (facebook - twitter) I thought it would be the perfect beer to mention here!  Unlike my last two of my last three beer reviews, the Dogfish Head 120 Minute and the Bell's Hopslam, this Stone offering IS available in Louisiana!  Like those two, though, the Stone Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA is a palate destroying hop bomb of a beer. 

It poured a copper color... no haze to it and a finger or so of off-white head.  A very nice looking beer, and I went with the Spiegelau tulip for this one.  In all reality I find that the tulip works with just about any beer style.  It's nice to have a pilsner or hefeweizen glass on the shelf for those styles but the majority of the time a tulip will do the trick. 

The aroma on this one is the first thing that really grabs your attention, and it's outstanding.  A grapefruit and pine hop assault on the nose and a hint at things to come, the description of the beer reads that they amount of hops used in this beer versus the regular Ruination went from 2.5 pounds to 5 pounds per barrel.  And two of those pounds of hops are in the dry-hop variety which is just killer on the nose, and leaves me excited about that first sip. 

And that first sip does not disappoint, as the pine hops come out even more on top of a substantial caramel malt base.  Even though the hops used were increased by 100% the malt used in this one only increased the alcohol content from 7.7% (regular Ruination) to 10.8% in this anniversary batch.  The result is a definite hop-forward beer but it doesn't lose the malt required to finish out a beer this hoppy.  They could have just doubled the amount of hops and left the grain bill alone, but the result would have probably been overly bitter and tough to swallow.  Instead, Stone put together one hell of a nice beer, and I'll be looking forward to trying another bottle soon.

As I said before, this one is available in Baton Rouge, but it's a one-time release and it will go fast, so if you see it on the shelves and you like hoppy beers... do yourself a favor and get one.  Or two. These aren't meant to be aged but I bet you'll want another.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Help Name Tin Roof's Coffee Porter!

Tin Roof's newest seasonal, their Coffee Porter, will be out before too long and it's looking for a name.  The poll is up on 225's website, here's a direct link for you all, and you can cast your vote among the 7 finalists.

My picks?  Either Parade Grounds Coffee Porter, which would be an homage to the LSU Parade Grounds of course, but also a play on words with the grounds and coffee.  Or possibly Rise And Grind Coffee Porter, because there's nothing wrong with a breakfast beer and I like the tie-in to coffee in the name.  

The ones I really don't like... Mojo Porter... boring!  And Neutral Grounds... I get it, but this is a BR brewery, not New Orleans.  Parade Grounds works so much better here.  

Anyway, cast your own vote by 5 PM today to help name the beer!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Happy IPA Day Everyone!

It's that time of year... the first Thursday in August... so it's time to celebrate another International IPA Day!  This is actually only the 2nd Annual IPA Day, the brainchild of a fellow beer blogger who took social media by storm to make the first one happen.  I hosted a tasting last year that went very well... a little too well in fact!  I think I need to petition to make IPA Day a Friday instead of a Thursday, but I'm sure I'll be able to tough it out tomorrow at the office.  

I have a few good ones lined up for tonight as well... some Austin Beerworks (facebook - twitter) Fire Eagle IPA thanks to twitter friend and beer lover Lynell (@hopslover) and also three selections from Three Floyds (facebook - twitter) that I picked up in Indianapolis during the Beer Bloggers' Conference.  I have the Dreadnaught DIPA, Apocalypse Cow DIPA, and the Blackheart English IPA... yum! 

So cheers everyone out there, and be sure to try a new IPA today!