Saturday, August 23, 2008

Dick's Best Bitter

The Beer:
Dick's Best Bitter
The Brewery: Dick's Brewing Company of Centralia, WA
The Style: Extra Special Bitter
ABV: 5.5%

Brewer's Description: Wonderfully balanced "session beer" in the ESB style. A combination of 75 L and 120 L caramel malts give this ale a nice color, maltiness and body. This is then balanced and complimented in the kettle with Magnum hops which contribute its clean but detectable bitterness. Mt. Hood hops are then added for a lingering hop flavor and aroma. We ferment our bitter with Dick's house yeast for that classic English ale flavor.

Color: Poured into whiskey hotel glass, bright copper with steady white head. Bubbles continually rise from the bottom of the glass, as they do in champagne.
Aroma: sweet toffee, caramel, some biscuity malt notes, no hop aroma
Taste/mouthfeel: medium carbonation, medium mouthfeel. Sweet caramel malts up front (although not as intense as in the aroma) followed by a clean bitterness.
Finish: bitter, semi-dry finish, although little hop flavor is present.

Notes: Purchased at Huckleberry's Organic Market in Spokane, WA. This is almost a text-book ESB, although the balance is perhaps a little skewed towards the bitterness. As the ESB is an English-style pale ale, hops are usually utilized earlier in the boil and sparingly at the end (these are called "finishing hops"). This results in a beer with hop bitterness but little hop flavor or aroma. This ale would pair well with sheppard's pie or go great with steak and ale pie.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Cave Creek Chili Beer

The Beer:
Chili Beer "Cerveza con Chili"
The Brewery: Black Mountain Brewing Company of Cave Creek, Arizona
The Style: Pale Lager (specifically: a Mexican-style lager with a Serrano pepper steeped in the bottle)
ABV: 4.7%
Brewer's Description: Golden, very low carbonation, pale lager with a whole chili pepper in the bottle.

Color: What looks to be a Serrano pepper is immersed in the bottle, as soon as the bottle was opened the chili rose to the top. Poured into gator pint glass, pale clear gold with aggressive effervescent bubbles. No head. Put chili to the side for later consumption.
Aroma: Hot chili aromas. Smells like Serrano, jalapeno, and perhaps some Anaheim.
Taste/mouthfeel: Medium-low carbonation. Some very faint sweet malt that is quickly dominated by pepper oils. The beer gives a pleasing "warmth" without feeling overpowered, sort of like a spicy bloody Mary.
Finish: Semi-sweet spicy finish, throat warming. No hops detectable.

Notes: Purchased at Wine and More in Tampa, FL. NOTE: If you do not like very spicy things you will HATE this beer. I have an incredibly high tolerance for hot sauces and dishes, I appreciated this beer. It's sort of like drinking a beer infused with pepper juice, if this sounds disgusting to you, I would not recommend this lager. This isn't something I could drink as a session beer, but I certainly enjoyed drinking one. This beer would make a very interesting marinade ingredient.