30 September 2009

Terrapin Side Project Vol. 7: Maggie's Farmhouse Ale

Starting with a nice yeasty nose, Maggie's Farmhouse Ale comes on with a great full flavor, not too winey and without the yeast totally owning it. Goes down very smooth with a spice finish; great with food. Also, as an aside: the Side Project cover art represents a huge improvement over Terrapin's standard, idiotically cartoonish themed-turtle-mascot labels. Just stop guys, it's difficult to take your (otherwise great) beers seriously if you have a dumb mad scientist turtle as the logo.

Highland Clawhammer Oktoberfest Lager

Meh. Pretty flat, neither very hoppy nor very malty, not sweet but not that flavorful. Not a winner.

24 September 2009

Harpoon Leviathan Imperial IPA

During my time in Boston, Harpoon IPA was my real standby beer: very nice balance between hop and malt, crisp and refreshing with a solid copper body. Good local brew, and recently available here in NC – but it doesn't quite stack up to the West Coast IPAs in terms of pop, and Harpoon clearly knows it. So last summer they cranked up the Leviathan series, including the Imperial IPA, a Saison Royale, Big Bohemian Pilsner, Quad (a Belgian blend of yeasts), and Baltic Porter. All clock in at above 9%ABV, with the Quad at 11.75%. And I look forward to the others, because Harpoon Leviathan Imperial IPA is a real winner. Starting with a dynamite, sweet hoppy nose, it has a terrifically complex and balanced body: hoppy but not floral-through-the-nose, just enough malt to balance, a bit syrupy but not in an overly alcoholic way (you don't really taste the 10%ABV at all), and a great balanced finish with a bit of spice. One of the best little suprises recently: highly recommended.

22 September 2009

Med Deli Pita

Good news - Med Deli is starting to make and sell their own pita from local flour. Take this together with Bagels on the Hill and you can almost convince yourself that this city has legitimate ethnic baked goods!

15 September 2009

Paulaner Oktoberfest Märzen

So very German. In this case that's a compliment – this isn't as much of an all-star as the Ayinger Oktoberfest Märzen (more on that one later), but it's a great Oktoberfest beer, incredibly smooth-drinking and tasty. You really could see how drinking enormous steins of this for untold hours would seem like a good idea.

Weyerbacher Autumnfest

Solid, just as pretty much every Weyerbacher I've had. The Autumnfest Ale has nice not-too-sweet malt, and good full body. These guys need to work on their graphic design, though – the labels are highly mediocre, and the logo font is just awful.

10 September 2009

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

Nice. Punkin Ale has a nutmeg nose, spicy start and savory finish. Probably not a drinking-all-night beer but a great fall beer that doesn't come on as stong as a Raison d'Etre.

08 September 2009

Bell's Octoberfest

Really tasty! Bready, with a nice sharp tang and good bitter finish – not sweet at all. Definitely feeling the fall beers now, so several upcoming.

07 September 2009

Domaine du Jas D'esclans Côtes de Provence Cru Classé 2008

A lovely white wine: full-bodied, nice vanilla flavor, a bit of acidity and fruit. Went exceedingly well with scallops and garlic – definitely recommended. Also, check out that saucy wolf logo!