Let’s continue with Part Two.
We left off at Germany and we’re going to stay in Europe for our next couple of beers, but in countries you don’t think of when you think of beer.
First up is a beer from Spain, La Socarrada Ale available in 750ml bottles. This 6% ABV is a Golden Ale with an 87 rating with over 30 reviews. It’s brewed with rosemary and rosemary honey. Seriously. This one got the best of my curiosity so I had to try a bottle for myself. Here is my review:
aroma: Smells like honey. I’m not talking about a Mead, I’m talking honey. Like open up a jar and stick your nose in it honey. Honey and bread is what it reminds me of for those of you who have just slathered a slice of bread with honey to eat, this is what this beer smells like. I get a faint bit of the rosemary, I know what it smells like since I cook with it usually when making pasta. There’s some white grape in the background, sort of wine-like. I’m not getting much else out of this, but what’s there smells pretty good.
taste: The honey isn’t near as prominent in the taste. It’s there, but more subtle. Primary flavour is like crackers, scones and baguette. There’s a hint of caramel and orange as well with pear and white grape to accompany the honey note. On the finish you get a firm but short lived kiss of the rosemary which is a nice touch. The rosemary only lingers on the palate for a few moments before it fades.
overall: I really enjoy this beer. It has a nice flavour and would be a great food beer. The body and mouthfeel were very good, it’s rather easy drinking and pretty smooth. If you don’t like rosemary this beer wouldn’t be for you. I think it adds a great bit of depth to the flavours. This would be a great beer to take to a Spanish or Mediterranean restaurant, luckily I have a good one only 10 minutes away (Barcelona in Pitman, check it out).
The other beer is from Israel. Malka Keha Dry Stout is available in 4pk bottles for and singles. I’m a Stout lover so I had to give this 6% ABV brew a try, besides, there’s only but a few other reviews for this one so here is mine:
aroma: Chocolate, cocoa, black bread, cake batter, light coffee notes and a bit of char and roast in the background. Smells pretty good.
taste: Oh hell yes. The coffee really steps up in the taste. Not like a straight up coffee infused Stout, but it’s solidly there, the main flavour. Nice slightly bitter chocolate notes as well with the roasted barley and malts, black bread and a tiny hint of vanilla that mixes with the coffee for a mocha-like taste. This is a basic yet well done Dry Irish Stout.
I think this one is worth taking a punt on and I don’t think it’s readily available so if you hesitate now you might miss out.
Next up are a few hoppy beers for you hopheads.
The first couple are from Three Heads Brewing of NY, both are available in 4pk bottles for and singles.
The Kind IPA is Three Heads first brew. This 6.8% ABV IPA has an 84 rating with over 250 reviews. The Kind’s flavours are a base of toasted bread, caramel and biscuit malts with hoppy notes of grapefruit, lemon and pineapple with the main focus being the dank resiny pine. This one is a near Imperial IPA by the flavours and the ABV, so it should please any hophead.
Three Heads second offering is Loopy, an Oatmeal Red Ale. Oatmeal? We’ve all heard of Oatmeal Stouts, but in a Red Ale? Curious. Loopy has an ABV of 6.6% and an 86 rating with almost 100 reviews. I just had to try this one so here is my review of Loopy:
aroma: Toasted bread and caramel up front with sweet citrusy hops right behind. Good opening aromas on this. Getting a little sticky toffee as well. The hops are orange mostly with pink grapefruit and lemon along with resiny pine. I’m digging the aroma on this.
taste: The malt tastes match the aroma with toast and caramel, but I also get stone ground cracker as well. While the orange aroma was strongest, in the flavour the grapefruit is the main player, though the orange is right behind it. The pine also comes into play to mix with the citrus and malts. In between the initial malt flavours and hops I get a hint of oatmeal cookie, nothing sweet but I it reminds me of the taste of oatmeal cookie.
This one was something different in a good way, so give it a try.
Our third hoppy beer comes to us from Victory. We all know Victory makes some really good beers and now we can appreciate their new Imperial IPA, which will be year round, Dirt Wolf. Dirt Wolf is available in 4pk bottles for under $9 (great value here!) and singles. It’s ABV is 8.7% and thus far it has garnered a very impressive 96 rating with over 100 reviews. Here’s my review of Dirt Wolf:
aroma: Bready malt, biscuit, light toasted grains. Fresh green pine needles. Soft notes of citrus and tropical fruits like pink grapefruit, tangerine, clementine, pineapple and mango. There’s also a faint flowery herbal scent like jasmine or lavender.
taste: That is a very clean crisp and somewhat dry DIPA. Very easy drinking and almost evaporates off your palate. Flavours are caramel, bready and biscuit malts, light grains with a soft green pine note and pink grapefruit and bitter orange. I’m not getting the tropical fruit notes I got from the nose, however. Very well balanced between the malts and the hops.
Next up are 3 Porters.
Innis & Gunn has released their Scotch Porter, available in 4pk bottles for and singles. Scotch Porter is a new beer for them and so far there are no reviews. It’s brewed with molasses and aged over Bourbon infused oak for 39 days. If you’ve had and enjoyed their other beers then this one should satisfy you as well.
Another addition to Leinenkugel’s Big Eddy Series is Baltic Porter, available in 4pk bottles and singles. This 8.5% ABV brew has an 84 rating with over 170 reviews. Baltic Porter has a cornucopia of flavours going on: caramel, toffee, dark fruit (raisin, cherry, plum), molasses, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, licorice and a bit of a Port wine aspect as well. For those of you who like to entertain your palate with a carnival of tastes, you would do well with this one.
From Port City Brewing of VA we now have their Porter, available in 6pk bottles and singles. PC Porter has a 7.5% ABV and a solid 90 rating with over 200 reviews. It’s flavours are roasted malt, baking chocolate, coffee, molasses and plum with an assertive Earthy herbal hoppy note for balance. Sounds like a solid Porter that any fan of the style would appreciate.
Our final beer is (for now) limited and we’ll be taking e-mail reservation requests for it, so reply back ASAP to have this one reserved and held for you to pickup when you can.
Founders Breakfast Stout
Breakfast Stout is available in 4pk bottles. For now it’s one 4pk per customer. The good news is that Founders is supposed to keep sending Breakfast Stout to NJ till Janaury, so we will see this one again and you will be able to purchase it again (hopefully at least 2 more times). How often and how much more I’m not sure, but it will be back again.
Breakfast Stout is an 8.3% Imperial Stout infused with coffee. If you like coffee flavoured beers this is one of the best you’ll ever have. It has a 100 rating with over 8000 reviews and is the #22 beer on BeerAdvocate’s Top Beers list. That’s very very impressive to say the least. It’s only available in Autumn and early Winter and in limited quantities, so make sure you get yours while we have it for you.