Friday, September 27, 2013

Feature Beer Friday! - Red Stripe Dragon Stout

Huh?  A stout from Red Stripe?  Yeah, that's what I thought too, but apparently it does exist. In fact, Desnoes & Geddes, who brew Red Stripe, have a few other stouts in their lineup, inlcuding Guinness, but since D&G is owned by Diageo, that makes perfect sense.  I always knew that Jamaica was one of the brewery locations for Guinness but I never realized it was the same brewery that did Red Stripe.

Followed all that?  Great!  The real point is that "Red Stripe" brews a stout, and we had one to try. It comes in at 7.5% alcohol, and is listed on BeerAdvocate as a Foreign / Export Stout, which is a little stronger than a normal Dry Irish Stout, but not huge like a Russian Imperial Stout.  They are traditionally brewed in tropical climates and made to last a little longer before going bad.  Well, Jamaica classifies as tropical in my book, and it had to survive the journey to the USA... so here goes...

Reviewers: Eric Ducote (BR Beer Scene), Jay Ducote (Bite And Booze), Brenton Day (The Ale Runner), Chuck Pierce (Me And My Big Mouth), and Kevin Cowan.

Serving: 12 oz. bottle.

Appearance: Dark, with an off-white head. Hints of ruby but a general stout-ish appearance.

Fruity and malty... odd to pick up fruit notes in this one. Jay and Brenton also picked up on some fruit notes so it's not just me.  

Taste: A little thin, not all that roasted, still some fruit flavors that are odd for the style. A little chocolate flavor as well.  


Overall: Honestly, it's not a bad beer, but it's mislabeled as a stout. I'm not sure what a better style would be... maybe some sort of English Old Ale, but not as strong as those typically run.  All said, I'd drink it again, but I'm not going to run out to buy more. 

Overall Rating: 66
My Rating: 61

Friday, September 20, 2013

Feature Beer Friday! - Brash Cold Ass Honky

Surprisingly, this is only the second offering from Brash Beers that I've had on Feature Beer Friday! and the first was a collaboration with Clown Shoes.  This week Brash gets this space all to themselves with some Cold Ass Honky.  I'm a little surprised that they received label approval with that name... but I guess this isn't Texas.  They seem to be a lot more strict on the other side of the Sabine. 

While most breweries out there are already releasing Oktoberfest beers, pumpkin beers, and other fall seasonals, this is Brash's summer seasonal and it's still on shelves around town. It probably won't be around too much longer though, so get it while the getting's good.

Here's what they have to say about the 8.5% dry-hopped saison: "Cold Ass Honky is our summer season and is available now. This saison is ridiculously dry hopped while still allowing the saison style to shine. We don’t call it farmhouse because it’s not. Think more trailer park saison. Get it while you can."

Reviewers: Eric Ducote (BR Beer Scene), Jay Ducote (Bite And Booze), Brenton Day (The Ale Runner), Chuck Pierce (Me And My Big Mouth), and Kevin Cowan.

Serving: 22 oz. bottle.

Appearance: Hazy orange with a white head.

Floral, citrus, and definitely some hops in there. Jay picked up tangerine flavors and Brenton also described it as spicy and grassy.  

Taste: Citrusy, funky, I really enjoyed the taste of this one.  Jay said that the hops on the saison were really nice and most of us gave it very high scores here.  

Bubbly, bitter end but in a nice way.  Brenton thought it needed more carbonation but I don't agree... I don't like overly carbonated beers though, so maybe to style it should have had a little more.  Maybe.

Overall: Jay, Brenton, and I all really enjoyed this one with top 25% scores. Chuck and Kevin didn't care for it as much but still both had it top 50%.  I think it's a perfect stronger summer seasonal with just the right amount of hops and funk balanced. 

Overall Rating: 72.4
My Rating: 79

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Louisiana Craft Brewer Week - Event Schedule!

Okay, yes, it's officially called "Louisiana Craft Brewer Week" and not Craft Beer Week or even Craft Breweries week.  Yes, I also think that's pretty dumb, but I didn't write the legislation and I'm sure there's some legal reason.Okay, not that that little rant is over, it's on to the fun stuff.

Louisiana Craft Brewer Week kicks off on September 23rd, next Monday, and runs to September 29th, the following Sunday.  There will be good stuff happening throughout Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and elsewhere, so I thought I'd share what I think are the most relevant to beer lovers in Baton Rouge.

Monday, September 23rd:
Avenue Pub - 6 PM - NOLA Brewing / New Belgium Brewing collaboration Swamp Grape Escape is released.  This is a limited beer brewed with muscadine grapes, and Louisiana Craft Brewer Week might be the only chance to try it.

Tuesday, September 24th:
Bulldog BR - 5 PM -  NOLA Brewing cask night, with a "Smoky Praline". This is their Smoky Mary with praline, brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.  
Niche BR - ?? - Parish Dr. Hoptagon's first Baton Rouge tapping.

Wednesday, September 25th:
Chelsea's - 6 PM - Abita tasting featuring Oak Aged Pecan Harvest Ale.
Chimes East - 6 PM - Tin Roof Brewing features a cascade dry-hopped cask of Voodoo Bengal Pale Ale.

Thursday, September 26th:
Bulldog BR - 6 PM - Tin Roof Brewing features a citra dry-hopped cask of Blonde Ale.

Avenue Pub - 7 PM - Stone tap takeover with Greg Koch.  Greg Koch is the founder/owner of Stone Brewing, and he will be in town to promote an impressive lineup of Stone beers, including many cellared releases and some fresh hoppy brews. 

Friday, September 27th:
Mathernes - 4 PM - Tin Roof tasting at both locations, featuring all products.
Tin Roof Brewing - 5 PM - Tours and tastings, featuring one of Tin Roof's beers on a hop randall.
Bulldog BR - 5 PM - Abita tasting featuring Oak Aged Pecan Harvest Ale.
Pelican House - 6 PM - Tin Roof "Blonde Sugar Sex Magic" release, this is a chili pepper infused blonde ale.
Avenue Pub - ?? - Lips Of Faith feature with Lauren Salazar of New Belgium Brewing.  Lauren is the director of New Belgium's Lips Of Faith series and the whole lineup will be available plus some limited releases that Lauren is bringing from Colorado.

Saturday, September 28th:

New Orleans City Park - 1-7 PM - New Orleans On Tap - Lots of beer and live music, a good way to end the week of beer drinking!
Churchill's BR - ?? - Oktoberfest sampling.

I've also heard that Parish will be releasing Dr. Hoptagon, their new Black IPA during Craft Brewer Week.  If I hear any exact details I'll pass them on!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Feature Beer Friday! - Dogfish Head Tweason'ale

Okay, time for more Dogfish Head... this beer is not available in LA, but we broke it out last time I had a few reviewers together, so here's the scoop.  It's one of Dogfish Head's seasonal offerings, but rather than being brewed once per year for a specific season, it's brewed 4 times a year between the main seasonal offerings.  And the special thing about Tweason'ale is that it's gluten free... for those that can't handle gluten.  I can, but I'll still give it a try!

Tweason'ale is brewed with strawberries and a sorghum base rather than barley.  It's a healthy 6% abv, but no IBUs.  Here's what they have to say: "For our first new 12-ounce 4-packs in nearly half a decade, we replaced the classic barley foundation of beer with a mild sorghum base. The hints of molasses and pit-fruit are balanced by vibrant strawberry notes and a unique complexity that comes with the addition of a malty buckwheat honey.

We believe health-conscious beer drinkers and the millions of Americans who suffer from Celiac disease can cut back on gluten while relishing the distinction and drinkability of this very special brew.

Tweasonale is a seasonal for between the seasons. It first hit shelves in late January 2012 and will be released four times a year through our national network of distributors."

Reviewers: Eric Ducote (BR Beer Scene), Jay Ducote (Bite And Booze), Brenton Day (The Ale Runner), Chuck Pierce (Me And My Big Mouth), and Kevin Cowan.

Serving: 12 oz. bottle.

Appearance: A clear copper color, bordering on red.

Sweet, a lot of berry flavors and no bitterness at all.   

Taste: Sweet, a lot of berry flavors and no bitterness at all.  Seriously, the taste is exactly what the nose conveys, no trickery going on here.  

Clean and easy drinking, but fairly bland.

Overall: No one really liked this beer. I could see it appealing to some and especially to anyone who can't handle gluten, but for the group of us this didn't hit the mark at all.  Probably the only Dogfish Head beer I can say that about.

Overall Rating: 45.2
My Rating: 35