May 19, 2012 |
When brewers play around with fruit flavorings, they generally go for loud ones like orange or apricot or some sort of berry, but the Quebec outfit Unibroue makes this seasonal ale with the innocent apple. Hop heads may want to leave the room; as its name indicates, this is a very delicate, almost evanescent brew, a million miles from IPA territory. It's a white ale brewed with the addition of Granny Smith apple juice, as mildly hopped as a lager. It pours very pale cloudy amber with a huge white head.
April 3, 2012 |
2009 Delas Frères Crozes-Hermitage "Le Clos" This 2009 Crozes-Hermitage from the historic Delas firm has a true northern Rhone character. Wonderfully wild and fragrant, the syrah is inky dark, tannic, yes, but modulated. It tastes of plums, blackberries, dried leaves and earth, and it changes so much in the glass that you could use up a thesaurus of adjectives to describe it. Something to drink with your leg of boar, haunch of venison or just a good piece of beef. Region: Rhone Valley, France Price: From $40 to $60 Style: Full-bodied What It Goes With: Game, roast beef, duck Where to Find It: Duke of Bourbon in Canoga Park, (818)
February 9, 2012 |
It's a little hard to remember that Americans once merely tolerated hops. Sierra Nevada was one of the pioneers in teaching us to enjoy the flavor, and a few years ago it produced this hoppy extreme, brewed with the fresh herb, harvested just 24 hours earlier. The effect is a startling burst of hop flavor, almost dank with heady, resinous aroma. It's a seasonal brew, so it will go out of stock, but good news: Sierra Nevada will produce another Harvest Lager (Southern Hemisphere) in about six months.
November 9, 2011 |
Stone is known for major attitude - its flagship IPA is named Arrogant Bastard. So you'd expect something pretty hairy from its smoked porter. In fact, it's surprisingly elegant. It pours very dark brown with a dense tan head and a nose of yeast and a hint of molasses. The smoke flavor is very subtle indeed, perhaps somewhat hidden in the roasted-malt flavors that lightly suggest coffee and chocolate. The main impression is a very polished palate - malty sweetness quickly dried out by the hops (there are a lot of hops here, but the effect is not challengingly bitter)
March 10, 2011
Anderson Valley Brewing Co. Brother David's Double This is Anderson Valley's take on a Belgian abbey ale, hence the austere monk's habit color scheme of the label. It's a dramatic, highly flavored beer, though. Call it the opposite of an IPA: all malt, very little hops (though fairly powerful at 9% alcohol). Or maybe call it a glass of candy. The luscious nose is milk chocolate with a touch of molasses and dried fruit ? raisins, figs, apricots ? and it's malty-sweet in the mouth, though it finishes dry and slightly spicy.