Dogfish Head – Midas Touch

I’ve had several beers from Dogfish Head in the past but I have to say this one is probably the most interesting from the brewery with an interesting name. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery is based out of Milton Delaware and offers a wide variety of beers. This beer is supposedly brewed with the ingredients that were found in drinking vessels found in the tomb of King Midas. It is an “Ancient Ale” and is brewed with barley, honey, white muscat grapes, and saffron, which is a very interesting combination. It came in a 12 fluid ounce (355 mL) bottle and is 9% alcohol by volume. It was purchased individually at a local liquor store.

The beer has a smooth pour and a small amount of head that dissipated fairly quickly. The color is a deep gold and slightly amber. The smell is a little sweet but also crisp and dry at the same time. It doesn’t quite smell like I would imagine based on the ingredients, but it tastes a bit more like I expected it to. The label mentions it being somewhere between wine and mead, which I find to be fairly accurate. My first though is that beer has definitely improved since the time of King Midas, but I can’t quite say I really dislike this beer. I’ve had beers I’ve poured out, but this will probably not be one of those. It has an interesting flavor that leaves me a bit confused. It tastes like someone accidentally poured a little beer in a cheap glass of wine. And for that uniqueness I almost want to like it, but will probably not buy it again.

Had any beers with strange ingredients or a unique flavor? Let me know in the comments!

 

Uinta Brewing Co – Anniversary Barley Wine Ale

Uinta is another brewery where the label looks very familiar, but I can’t recall any beers they’ve made that I’ve tried. Uinta Brewing Company is based out of Salt Lake City Utah and has a pretty cool bottle design with what resembles a compass just above the label. Upon inspecting the label, I also noticed this beer is past the “best before” date by over two months. And since I purchased this beer less than two weeks ago, that is a little disappointing. This beer is a barley wine ale and comes in a 12 fluid ounce (355 mL) bottle and is 10.4% alcohol by volume. It was purchased individually at a local liquor store.

The beer had a nice smooth pour with little to no head. I always wonder when a beer is past the “best before” date whether the taste or amount of head is affected by this, but I’m not sure. If I like it enough, maybe I’ll look for a bottle that hasn’t reached the “best before” date to compare. The color is a dark brownish amber color. The smell is rather light for such a high alcohol content beer and doesn’t have anything distinct I can identify. Maybe a light malt smell, but that’s about it. The taste is also fairly light, but definitely stronger than the smell and tastes malty with maybe some caramel. I don’t particularly like the taste, but I can’t say I hate it either. When I factor in the alcohol content, I suppose it’s not a bad beer, and with how cheap it is, I can’t complain too much. Probably not something I’ll seek out a fresher bottle, but not something I’d turn down either.

If you have another barley wine you’d recommend. Leave a comment!

Anchor Brewing Co. – Porter

I’ve had a few beers from Anchor Brewing Company in the past, and I’m pretty sure I’ve actually tried this one before. But even though I’ve tried this beer before, this will be my first time reviewing it. Anchor Brewing Company is based out of San Francisco California and offers a variety of beers that come in the same style of bottle. The bottle style is a bit unique from most other manufacturers. This beer is a porter and came in a 12 fluid ounce (355 mL) bottle and is 5.6% alcohol by volume. It was purchased individually at a local liquor store.

The beer has a nice pour and seems a little thick. There is a very thick creamy head that takes a while to dissipate so I had to be careful pouring the beer. The color is very dark and lets almost no light through. The smell is a very strong roasted malt and is slightly bitter. Any other smells are a little too weak for me to identify over the malt. The flavor retains a lot of the roasted malt flavor but adds some coffee flavor, but I don’t get any of the bitterness I thought I would. There is a bit of creaminess to the beer as I drink it and overall the taste is good. Definitely not something I would want to drink fast as it feels a bit heavy and strong even though it’s only 5.6% alcohol by volume. Overall a good dark beer.

Have a favorite porter? Let me know in the comments!

North Coast Brewing Co. – Pranqster

This beer comes from North Coast Brewing, which is based out of Fort Bragg California. North Coast Brewing isn’t a company that I really remembered hearing about when I purchased this beer. But after looking through their website I’ve noticed that there were several that I’ve tried. From what I remember, they were good beers too. Their logo is fairly discrete and I don’t think I really even noticed who made the beer when I bought it. It is a Belgian style golden ale which came in a 12 fluid ounce (355 mL) bottle and is 7.6% alcohol by volume. The label recommends serving at 50 degree Fahrenheit in what appears to be a chalice. It was purchased individually at a local liquor store.

This beer has a nice smooth pour with a decent amount of head. The head wasn’t very foamy and didn’t stay around very long. It has a nice golden color that seems slightly cloudy. The smell is a nice almost sweet scent with malt and almost smells a little like bananas. The taste is about the same but a little more pronounced with a nice finish and little after taste. You can definitely tell this is a higher alcohol content Belgian, or at least most of the ones I’ve tried. It’s definitely a good beer and I’m drinking it faster than I would have thought. Definitely another good quality beer from North Coast Brewing Company. I’ll definitely have to remember their name from now on.

If you have a favorite Belgian, let me know in the comments!

Squatters – Bumper Crop Honey Ale

According to the label, this is “truly summer in a bottle.” And that sounds like exactly what I need after a long day at working in this heat. This beer is an ale that is brewed with honey and lavender and comes from Squatters Craft Beers and is brewed by the Utah Brewers Cooperative in Salt Lake City Utah. Typically when I think of summer beers, they tend to include lemon, which I tend to dislike so this one seems like a good alternative to most summer beers. This beer came in a 12 fluid ounce (355 mL) bottle and is 5.5% alcohol by volume. It was purchased in a six pack at a local liquor store.

This beer pours nicely and has quite a bit of head that seems to keep coming. There is a nice golden “honey” color to it rather than the more typical reddish color for most ales. The smell is a nice and is sweet refreshing and almost smells like a Belgian or a Hefeweizen. The lavender definitely comes through more in the taste rather than the smell and with the honey is rather refreshing. There’s a local coffee shop that has a lavender latte I really enjoy so this flavor is really nice and very different for a beer. It’s a fairly light beer and goes down easy. I definitely like this beer and rate it pretty well compared to other summer beers I’ve had. I’m glad I bought the six pack!

If you have any other types of summer beers you’d recommend, let me know in the comments!

Founders – Porter

Founders Brewing is based out of Grand Rapids Michigan and has produced some very good beers. I like a variety of beers and porters are one of my favorites. The bottle for this beer is very nice and suits a porter well. The bottle and label are both very dark and is labeled with a darkly dressed woman and the words “DARK, RICH & SEXY”, which is exactly what a good porter should be. This beer comes in a 12 fluid ounce (355 mL) bottle and is 6.5% alcohol by volume and is rated by Founders at 45 IBUs. It was purchased individually at a local liquor store.

The pour is very thick and smooth with not a lot of head. The head seemed to disappear faster than it formed and was pretty much gone in a few seconds. The beer is quite dark and allows little light through it, but you can still see the brown hue of the beer. The smell is a deep and rich chocolate scent with some coffee and malt as well. It smells quite a bit like a chocolate or coffee stout and is very nice. The taste isn’t quite the same as the smell, but still a nice porter. It’s a little bitter and the malt flavor comes out more than the chocolate and coffee did from the smell. I’m a little disappointed in the flavor because of how wonderful it smelled. But for it being a porter, I don’t think it should have such a strong chocolate or coffee taste anyway. It’s hard to objectively rate this beer with the difference between the smell and taste. If I think about it as just being a porter, it’s pretty good.

If you’ve tried this beer, or other beers where the taste didn’t stand up to the smell, leave a comment!

Stone and Maine – Dayslayer

This beer is a collaboration by Stone Brewing  of Escondido California and Maine Beer Company of Freeport Maine. Stone Brewing seems to frequently come out with a lot of interesting beers, with even more interesting labels. I’ve tried quite a few of their beers and they’re usually pretty good, but few that I’ll drink regularly. Maine Beer Company isn’t a brewery I can say I’ve even heard of so I can’t say much about them. This beer is an India pale lager, which is new to me. The label says it is “an India pale lager fit for the lords of metal”, comes in a 24 fluid ounce (710 mL) bottle, and is 7.5% alcohol by volume. This beer was purchased individually at a local grocery store, and I’ve noticed that it is past the “enjoy by” date on the bottle.

The beer pours smoothly and has a little, but not very much head. It has a nice golden amber color to it and smells a bit hoppy with a hint of citrus and is very pleasant. I’m not sure what I should expect from an India pale lager, and I think this will be the first I’ve tried. I’m honestly not totally sure how to describe the taste of this beer. I was expecting the bitterness of an India pale ale but didn’t really get it. The flavor isn’t overly strong and the aftertaste goes away quickly. It has the nice flavor of an India pale ale, and the fresh taste of a lager. A little unsure of this beer, I had to look at what Stone Brewing said about the beer and found their description pretty spot on, “heavily hopped and boldly malted, the encore flavor for DaySlayer is a crisp finish that is deceptively easy to put away and decidedly hard to put down.” Overall I like the flavor and concept of this beer and find it easy to drink.

If you’ve had this beer or another “India pale lager”, let me know in the comments. I’m interested in trying some different types!