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December 2011

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Dec. 21st, 2011

Endings & Beginnings

I finally got off my lazy busy butt and got my OWN REAL HOMEPAGE!
Any and all new beer writings and beer reviews will be found here:

BEERAMBASSADOR.ME

See you there! ^_^

May. 28th, 2011

Night Stalker ~ Goose Island

Appearance: pours dark and delicious. No head, just black oil deeper than midnight. Only after a few minutes does a thin espresso crema head form. Swirls thick with espresso crema spots.

Nose: dense, dark, meaty, fudgy, tarry. Burnt caramel, espresso crema. Tar and char. Fudge, European chocolate bark and truffles – pure cacao infusion. Mud, dirt, and muck. Essence of a dank dark ancient rainforest floor yet untouched by humanity. Tree bark. Wisps of peat. Oily tobacco leaf.

Palate: thick, sweet, smoky, peaty, and dense dark fruits still lingering with essence of the earth it came from. Tar, burnt roots, mud, chocolate cake and chocolate bark. Long tar finish. Meaty dark fruits. Bacony salty umami finish. Each quaff has a fast zing-zang in the finish – primitive. Black and peaty – grabs middle of tongue and never lets go. Oily mouthfeel. Uncomplex and complex at the same time. Tobacco leaf in the breath, more cigar than cigarette. Leather in the middle. A long sipping beer.

Final Thoughts: this was one big beauty of a beer. As soon as I poured it I knew twould be the last beer of my night. From the first sip to the last it was a heartwarming experience in more ways than one. Yum.

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Hop in the Dark CDA ~ Deschutes

Appearance: burnt, black and delicious to look at. Khaki espresso crema head – bubbly and lacy with a nice collar. Swirls nice.

Nose: forestry. Lots of brush, bark, and dirty in a very good west coast way – squishing toes amidst the ground as I admire the endless evergreens and firs and greenage around me. Ferns and foliage. Tickle of dried chocolate along the side with bakers intentions; brittle. Dried raisins.

Palate: roasty and earthy. Burnt woods and bark. Burnt hops – take whole hop cones and roast over the fire. Lingering burnt woodsy delights. More simplistic than nose implied. Tar starts to grow along the edge which grows a tannic tang which grabs the back and underside of tongue, lingering after each quaff.

Final Thoughts: quite tasty but I don’t know. I was expecting maybe more – more roast, more toast, and more of what the west coasters boast about when they boast about CDA especially when in “dispute” against the BIPA. I’d drink it again though.

Photobucket

(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Reunion: A Beer For Hope 2010 ~ Belgian-style Scotch Ale ~ Bison Brewing Company

Appearance: deep mahoganies and garnets. Minimal head retains a thin tan ringlet. Swirls with nothing.

Nose: ooh, definitely unique. Chocolate cake, fudge, and chocolate sauce. Dark fruits skirt the edges. Belgian chocolates and truffles. Smores. Graham and chocolate graham crackers. Dates. Black root with a touch of black fruit tannins, lightly dry and leathered.

Palate: wow – not as dense as the nose but still rich and enticing. Plump dark fruits – black cherries, plums, dates. Soft, almost cakey mouthfeel. Touch dry atop the tongue. Plumpy darkness along the edges with a tart tannic tingle which tease and entices. Chocolate weaves in and out of each detail – black, dense, and European. Delicious. Nondescript spices tingle.

Final Thoughts: a fine tribute differently equally tasty as the Terrapin collaboration. If you can find a bottle (because this beer was a onetime only release) then be sure to savor because it’s a hard job but somebody has to do it.

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Malt Liquor ~ Okocim

Appearance: clear straws. White head fades fast into nothing. Swirls relatively thick but disappears just as fast.

Nose: powdered sugars, cotton candy, and candy corn ohmy! Regarding the candy corn, I’m talking the real deal – take corn kernels, add sugar, and candy-ize. Cornbread. Prepackaged honey rolls and honey buns. Hops have left the building. Saccharinely sweet cereal grains – pass the corn pops, please.

Palate: clean and light. Immediate hit of sweetness in the middle – honey buns and corn pops. Candied corn powdered sugar. Nothing lingers long.

Final Thoughts: there are better ways to get higher ABV beers than this. While it wasn’t great compared to some malt liquor beers I’ve tasted this one was one of the better ones; at least my gag reflux didn’t kick in.

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Hop Stoopid ~ Lagunitas

Appearance: clear coppers and oranges under a gentle pithy head. Head fades with bubbles, settling into a solid film with thick edges.

Nose: orange honey up front with a thick sweetness followed by a dryness of the honeycomb. Grapefruit and green grass in the back, dew-dropped and zesty. Inner pith of citrus fruit. Biscuit and melba in the very back – rather nondescript crunchiness, faint.

Palate: creamy and frothy. Sweet oranges and honey and citrus along the sides. Dry in the middle with pith and outer skin, white and pink grapefruit especially. The pink grapefruit adds more sweetness than zest which lingers.

Final Thoughts: overall quite tasty. Big bold hops that get right to the point from the first quaff to the last. I’d gladly quaff bold IPA on a regular basis.

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. pagiarism is not tolerated)

May. 18th, 2011

Vintage Ale 2010 btl # 087834 ~ Fullers

Appearance: clear brilliant ambers, ancient tree sap, tangerines and apricots. Bubbly pithy head which fades into a collar bordering blotchy foam. Swirls with lace.

Nose: cinnamon and spice. Mulled cider. Plums. Apricots and nectarines with skin on. Orange blossom honey and melba crunch together. Nutmeg, paprika, and a wisp of cumin. Coconut milk and candied pineapple.

Palate: wow and yum. Plums and orange blossom honey dance atop my tastebuds. Spice tickles along the edges. Essence of pinot grigio – green grapes, purple plums, chardonnay grapes. Spice continues to tickle. Apricots, peaches, and pineapple nectar – sweet and naturally so. Full, sticky, and a bit chewy in the middle. Can taste the ageability.

Final Thoughts: another classic for the cellar. Fullers is classic English and for that I am quite content.

Photobucket

(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

May. 17th, 2011

Tiny ~ Weyerbacher

Appearance: pours dense and black – not quite oily but impressive. Some head but nothing to write home about which is okay because it’d get in the way of the beer.

Nose: espresso beans, crema, bakers chocolate, pure black cacao. Hops skirt along the edges as a general bitterness with a touch of pine. The burnt and the bitter complement each other lovely. Tobacco leaf and woods, burnt sticks and twigs mingle. Background essence of charcoal and cooled embers. Green leaf. Chestnuts both whole and unroasted.

Palate: clean and creamy. Tingles along sides of mouth from first quaff to last. Leathers. Dense fudgy finish, brownies. Dark fruits, tar and char, leather tart tannic tingle. Meaty, dense, and chewy. Black cake. Plum in the middle flits in and out. Fudge and chocolates underneath also. Deliciously intriguing. Port wood notes. Earthen – old and musty – black forests of Germany. Amazing. Sensuous and of the olden times. Lingers long on top of the tongue.

Final Thoughts: it’s been a while since I tasted some Weyerbacher and maybe it’s time I went back to Pennsylvania to revisit some classics and some new world treats. Delicious!

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Tripel ~ Great Divide

Appearance: hazy oranges with a touch of baled hay. Soft bready white head fades into a bubbly collar surrounding a thin middle film. Swirls thicker along the edges.

Nose: orangey, doughy, yeasty. Zip of orange and tangerine zest in the back. Hint of banana peel. Aloe and green grass and cactus. Whole peppercorns. A pinch of sage in with the greenness. Playful and lively.

Palate: doughy, yeasty, and banana peels. Whole peppercorns, green aloe, and banana skins. Sage and spice. Bready, doughy, and yeasty underneath. Dry along the sides with straw and grass. Spice atop the tongue – whole peppercorns, sage, rosemary, and coconut husks.

Final Thoughts: another solid hit from Great Divide. While not the greatest Tripel a solid offering for anyone who enjoys this style. Good stuff.

Photobucket

(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Main Engine Start ~ Brooklyn Brewery

Appearance: clear coppers and blood oranges. Nice head fades into nothing. Slow steady stream of bubbles from first quaff to last.

Nose: yeasty, doughy, spicy, phenolic, and tropical. Green banana skins, papaya, and guava. Ginger and cumin for a solid kick of spice. Coconut husks. Raw dough.

Palate: clean, spicy, and yeasty. White pepper. Coconut husk, green banana skins, papaya, and guava. Lovely. Plantains in the back swallow, long and lingering. Ginger and cumin spice tickles back of throat. Tickle on top of tongue with bitterness of coconut husk, guava and papaya skins. Flavors melt together perfectly. Dryness is gentle and creates a welcome thirst for more.

Final Thoughts: another deliciously different and intriguing Brewmasters Reserve from the ever creative genius of Garrett Oliver and the Brooklyn Brewery.

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

La Trappe Quadrupel ~ De Koningshoeven

Appearance: cloudy woods and brush and twigs. Puffy off-white head, thick, lingers as a thicker collar with few bubbles amidst a solid blanket. Swirls thicker and richer.

Nose: quintessential Belgian quad. Nutmeg and cinnamon sticks. Brewer’s yeast and bread crust. Raisins, dates, figs all mingle together amidst dense breads. Candied sugars, raw pure sugarcane. Hint rooty and vegetal. Red apples. Maraschino cherries. Tickle of spice and heat in the back.

Palate: rich and yummy. Raisins, figs, and prunes. Cinnamon sticks and spice in the back of each swallow. Mouthfeel is cakey and bready. Orange candies and candied oranges. Lingering sweetness where candied pineapples join the oranges. Apple orchards border each quaff. Apple pie, apple strudel – stewed and saucy with cinnamon. Chewy prunes and dates.

Final Thoughts: a divine take on the quadruple style of Belgium. Is it a style? Some argue no, some argue yes. The fact that Belgian brewers still designate some of their darkly rich decadent brews as quadruple is enough for me. Sometimes what’s in a name is just a name, but as for what’s in the bottle…

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

May. 6th, 2011

Drake's Crude Oatmeal Stout ~ Erie Brewing

Appearance: deep blacks. Little to no head, thin collar, nothing in the middle. Swirls momentarily thick along the edges.

Nose: dry and brittle. Chocolate flakes, chocolate bread. Finely ground espresso and coffee beans, fresh, oily, and estery. Whole roasted oats, toasted, and dipped in chocolate. Toasted and lightly singed marshmallows. Graham crackers?

Palate: lovely roasted oats married seamlessly with delicate chocolate and toasted marshmallows. Super soft mouthfeel oozes fresh whole oats; finishes toasted and chocolaty. Truffles. Toasted almonds. Not too long of a finish with flavor firmly centered in the middle of each quaff. Chocolate cakes.

Final Thoughts: my few previous experiences with Erie brewing hasn’t been encouraging or enlightening, but I’m always welcome to be proven wrong. Sometimes the best surprises are the unexpected ones that rise to the occasion despite my preconceptions otherwise. Yum and yum. Groundbreaking? No, but darn tasty.

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

XXXX IPA ~ Shipyard

Appearance: deep rich ambers and blood red oranges. Orange pith head fades fast into a thin collar and nothing else.

Nose: fresh oranges and lemons. Orange blossoms and white pepper. Mango flitters about. Biscuit of the Whitbread variety. Tropical esters tease with coconut milk, mango, and papaya. Key-lime. Bitterness of skins in the back.

Palate: clean procession first quaff to last. Sweet then biscuits than malty then tropical then dry. Mango, papaya, guava. Raw coconut in the back and underneath, husky nuttiness. Sweetness of fruit flesh in the center, quick and fleeting. Long dry finish of fruit skins and white pepper. Lemon and key-lime. Lips are sticky with honey and mango nectar. Crunchy biscuits underneath.

Final Thoughts: loved the nice long lingering bitterness in the finish. Shipyard is hit and miss largely because these delicate beers are meant to be drank as fresh as possible and sometimes travel and time is beers worst enemy. Not always though as evidence by this tasty imperial IPA that both my Love and I enjoyed.

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Old Stock Bourbon Barrel 2009 ~ North Coast

Appearance: deep mahoganies, lightly worn with age and time. No real head, just a few bubbly wisps which disappear as fast as they appear.

Nose: bourbon barrels hit first in all their vanillin caramel molasses goodness. Black root, black strap molasses. Boozed prunes, dates, figs, and earth. Black cherry cordial liquor. European chocolate fudge; burnt Ghirardelli dry and brittle.

Palate: surprisingly light, almost frothy mouthfeel and weight. Sweet then boozy then both. Heat and spice in the back. Black cherry cordials covered in chocolate, aged rum, caramels, and vanillin. Very intense in the middle. Earthy and rooty. Black strap molasses. Boozed figs, dates, and prunes. Coats middle of tongue and dries the sides.

Final Thoughts: I have two bottles aging, but how much longer she needs to age is up for debate. I don’t think I’ll hang onto them too long, but curiosity calls. In the meantime, if you should be lucky enough to get your hands on some of this rare beer released seemingly once every millennia, grab it and enjoy.

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Anniversary Wood Aged Double IPA ~ Great Divide

Appearance: rich polished mahoganies. Gorgeous off-white oaky head is fluffy, light, lacy, and clumpy. Solid collar of lace. Bubbly clump floats in the middle, clinging desperately to one side of the glass. Swirls bubbly.

Nose: caramel, toffee, and Werthers Original. Truffle chocolate nougat. Fudge and brownies. Toffee taffy. Decadent. Torched oak and caramelization of sugars. Chocolate oranges.

Palate: creamy smooth silky mouthfeel. More oak which mingles with caramel, toffee, and taffy. Sweet up front with more oak in the finish, toasted please. Plum skins and whispers of ruby port. Fudge and brownies as it warms up, melting into ooey gooey caramel.

Final Thoughts: not overly complex but super deluxe and tasty. I initially figured the anniversary release from Great Divide to vary year from year, but seeing as this year’s 17th anniversary release was the same as the 16th anniversary I quaffed, no. if you’re a cellar advocate as I am, then keep this in mind and age a bottle or two for future lateral tastings.

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Gnomegang ~ Ommegang

Appearance: hazy orange – a solid cloud of haze. White head fades into a thick collar. Swirls thicker along edges with no lace but a thin film lingers.

Nose: yeasty. A tropical mélange of oranges, bananas, aloe, papaya, pineapple. Hand-kneaded dough for some lovely sweet rolls. Pureed raspberry and strawberry. Lemon sorbet. Playful.

Palate: doughy and yeasty. Green and freshly plucked and peeled green bananas. Papaya, guava, aloe, and orange in the back. Seamless procession of flavor. Raw tropical skins in the finish, sweet bitter fleshy. Lemon-lime. Lovely. Spice in the back – white pepper, grains of paradise; ticklish.

Final Thoughts: yum and yum. Ommegang never fails to delight and impress with their Belgian inspired beers. A little slice of far far away in Cooperstown, New York makes for a destination none should miss. If you come across any Gnomegang in bottle or draft, be sure to grab a quaff or three.

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

May. 3rd, 2011

Batch #10,000 ~ Bells Brewing

Appearance: almost solid but still some clarity when held up to light. Dark old aged mahogany and tobacco leaf. Voluminous foamy creamy head tightly packed with a few random big bubbles; khaki. Fades with massive clumps of lace and a puddly mess floating off-center. Swirls thick and enticing.

Nose: smoky and sweet, bacon grease and bacon fat, cedar planks, woodsy and rustic. Boozy pitted dark fruits. Dry brittle chocolates. Fresh leather – fresh car smell. Graham crackers. Nougat, Werthers Original, taffy. Bacon gives it a saltiness along edges. Fireplace crackling with smoke, embers, and blackened crumbly bricks of wood and coal – brings to mind merry old’ England.

Palate: medium weight, clean, frothy. Rustic burnt woody ashy finish, sharp acrid pleasurable finish. Dry brittle chocolates atop tongue after swallow. Leather and tannins. Earth and dirt, twigs, fire and smoke, black root, black earth. Dark fruit stones nutty and tannic. Bacony saltiness along back of swallow. Umami. Meaty fleshy figs. Varnished mahoganies. Old world.

Final Thoughts: wow. A totally different beer than the last Batch release and very lovely at that. Speaks of old world sophistication and primitive times.

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Bass Pale Ale ~ Samlesbury (InBev UK)

Appearance: clear orange and copper under an off-white head with lingering bubbles of all size. Wisps of bubbly lace. Swirls average.

Nose: dry biscuit malt. Lemon peel. Maybe some apple skins…maybe not.

Palate: crisp profile. Biscuit then lemon and feathery wisps of caramel. Caramel apple essence in the finish. Tastes a wee smidge more than it smells. Apple crackers. Starts to grow a hard bitter rind finish which nips almost painfully at back of throat. Hint of diacetyl.

Final Thoughts: plainly boring, and according to my beloved British beer critic who has drunk many Bass Pale Ales over the years, a poor pale shadow of its former glory.

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

My Antonia ~ Dogfish Head

Appearance: ripe straw/hay/grains under a lovely white head which leaves a solid film full circle. Fades into a blotchy film both thick and thin. Swirls nice but without more lace.

Nose: lemon, key lime, green grass and fresh damp sticky whole hop cones. Hawaiian bread and fresh sweet rolls. Caramelized sugar crunchies. Dry, brisk, and invigorating.

Palate: dry, crisp bitterness with crunchy sweetness along the sides. Bright dew-dropped green grass blades. Lemon peel. Hop pellets with a nip of concentrated musty herbalness. Soft sweet lightly chewy bready mouthfeel. Tingle of spice atop tongue and in breath. Drinkable and flavorable.

Final Thoughts: thinking outside the box is what Sam and Dogfish Head do best, a talent I am more than pleased to quaff over and over again. To take a truly classic style as the Pilsner and create a new classic with the fine folks at Birra del Borgo and imperialize it in divine tasty styles…yum is all I have to say.

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(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

Pale Ale ~ Red Brick

Appearance: copper and red apple skins. Perfectly clear though unattractively dull. Minimal to no head, leaving a bubbly thin collar. Swirls slightly thicker along edges; no lace, no head.

Nose: mild. Apple orchards, bread crusts, pear orchards. Husked grains. Dried orange peel. Hint of caramel and Werthers Original. Mild.

Palate: clean and crisp. Apple skins in the back of each swallow. Bitter orange and lemon peel. Hay, straw and bread crust underneath. Starts to grow a hard disruptive bitterness. Light mouthfeel and minimal weight. Mostly concentrated in the back of swallow with a mild front and middle.

Final Thoughts: I am so glad that I tasted the Blonde before the Pale Ale. What a difference. But I shall not stop trying Red Brick beers because it is gems like the afore mentioned Blonde. As for the Pale Ale, it barely even managed average.

Photobucket

(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

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