Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mikkeller - Monk's Brew

Happy Sunday Everyone! Today I was at my local Whole Foods and I was trying to find something that I haven't tried before, would probably taste pretty good, and was under $20 (as all the really expensive stuff on the top shelf is still left for me to try out). Well, this fellow was on the top shelf, but he came out at $13.99 which I guess is acceptable for a Quad. I have never tried a beer from this brewing house, but looking over their website and the 76 beers that they have launched since their founding, I am quite surprised I haven't. Mikkeller was founded in by two homebrewers and has been run exclusively by Mikkel Borg Bjergsø since 2007. Mikkeller's Bar has 20 beers on tap, mostly Mikkeller brews and some of the best brews from around the world.

This beer is very dark for a Quadruple, as you can tell from the image above, but a hint of red can be seen at the edge and bottom of the glass. This brew seems like it is lacking the carbonation of a normal Belgian beer though, as I poured it quite aggressively but it only produced a slight amount of head. The head lingered and was still very prominent when I took my first sip. This brew smells very dark as well, with subtle hints of citrus and an overwhelming smell of alcohol (like a Quad should). This brew is lighter than most Quads and Triples I have tasted, but unfortunately doesn't have a very good flavor. I am going to give this beer 2.5/5 stars, as it was more expensive than most other beers like it and and it doesn't have a very good flavor. The flavor is not sweet, but it is a tad bit sour, nothing like a lambic or a sour brew, but a hint of sour at the end of every sip.

Unfortunately this brew comes out like most of the expensive brews that I find at my local Whole Foods or Bev Mo... they have a nice label, they say all the right things on that nice label, but they just don't have the flavor or characteristics of some of the cheaper and better brews. I would recommend that you give this guy a try if you have tried everything else below $12 or you are looking for something like with a high ABV that has subtle hints of sour.

See you at the bar!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Coney Island - Human Blockhead - Imperial American Bock

Hey Everyone,

As you all know, life happens. It has been such a long time since I have tried a beer that would be worthy of a review, but the time has finally come. I couple days ago I was wasting some time before my volunteer shift at the Crucible for the Fire Circus (If you didn't see it, you really missed out) and I was trying various beers at Beer Revolution. Beer Revolution was hosting a release party for Coney Island's "Human Blockhead" an Imperial American Bock. There was this silly guy with a box on his head handing out flyers for this beer and other beers that they were releasing that day. I decided that since I was there, I might as well have a look at the beer and see if there was anything to it. I looked at the bottle in the cooler and noticed that the beer came in a 22oz bottle and was 10% ABV. I think this is the first American bock I have seen with such a high ABV. This beer was also aged in Buffalo Trace Bourbon Barrels (not sure what if that is a nice brand of Bourbon Barrel or not, but its a whiskey barrel none-the-less). It contains 7 types of Malts and 5 types of Hops, which are listed on the neck of the bottle... which I think is very cool and somewhat risky, as you can purchase these malts and hops at you local brew store and try to reproduce this beer. But enough of the story and introduction, on to the review.

This beer is a lovely dark opaque amber and when pour had a slightly off-white head. The beer poured like a Belgian, so make sure that if you don't want a large head, that you pour this guy very slowly. The head stuck around for the whole first paragraph above and is still holding strong. The aroma was very alcoholic and smelled of Bourbon, with hints of the hearty malts that were used to make this brew. The flavor has a VERY strong alcoholic beginning, that is quickly chased by flavors of woods and nuts. Wow, I am used to tasting beers of higher ABV than this guy, but was not ready for the hard hits that he hands out. After a few sips, I got used to the high alcohol content and was sadly disappointed that there really isn't much to this beer. As I am used to drinking Belgian beers of high caliber, I usually expect fruity flavors to precede the alcoholic flavors, but unfortunately this beer doesn't have any extra flavors to mention. I am going to give this beer 3.5/5 stars on the American-style microbrew scale, as it is VERY high in alcohol content and the color and head are AMAZING. I am somewhat disappointed that there isn't much to this guy, but some people like simple beers. So, to wrap things up... if you are looking for something that will remind you of bourbon and is very high in ABV and not very flavorful, give Coney Island's Human Blockhead a try, this beer was made by beer drinkers for beer drinkers.

See you at the bar!