The latest beer in Boulevard's Smokestack series is called Two Jokers. It's a Double Wit beer which was something that intrigued me when I first heard of this release. As someone who loves wit beers (the wit/weiss style may be my absolute favorite style) I was initially very excited to try the Two Jokers... but then I got to thinking... "I really like wits, do I really need twice that much sour banana in my beer?" We all know there can be too much of a good thing, but does the same law really apply to beer? I'd say yes it does. Take hops for example. Personally, I can appreciate some fairly hoppy beers but when we get into IPA and APA territory my palate shuts down. I can't handle the hop overload... It's literally too much of a good thing, for me at least. So, did Boulevard create a sour overload with the Two Jokers, or were they able to find a good balance?
I've been looking forward to this beer ever since it was announced that Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada would be collaborating. I really like the Dogfish Head beers I've had, but I haven't been real crazy about Sierra Nevada's brews. I was anxious to see how Dogfish Head's extreme beer styles would jive with Sierra Nevada's tendencies to just throw a bunch of hops into a bottle and call it beer. Ok, that's a bit harsh... but that's what my experience with Sierra Nevada has been. I finally got the chance to have a glass of Life & Limb on tap and was quite pleasantly surprised.
My memories of Bamberg are too fond to allow me to write an unbiased review of one of the city's iconic beers. If the following paragraphs come off as too glowing or whimsically reminiscent, it's because Bamberg beers have cast a spell on me and I'll forever be smitten with them. I will say that, while Schlenkerla is probably the most well known Bamberg brewery outside of Germany, it's probably my least favorite. The tour groups that come through Schlenkerla each hour on their tour of the Altstadt really detract from the authenticity of the experience. That being said, Schlenkerla makes some great beers I'm always excited to drink.
I'm nearing the end of my Brouwerij Van Steenberge sampler pack I picked up about six months ago. These stubby little bottles have been consistently good, with a couple being phenomenal. Piraat is one of the beers that blew me away. It's been a tortured wait for this beer. Knowing that I had a bottle of this floating around the fridge at home meant I didn't want to order one while I was out and saw it on the menu. Well, now that I've killed the bottle at home I'll definitely be ordering this every chance I get.
Delerium is a beer I've had a hundred times before. It's my go to Belgian beer when I'm out and looking for a good Belgian beer. For some reason I never got around to writing a review of this beer though, probably because I tend to drink it on tap rather than bring bottles home. Well, I finally brought a bottle home and figured it was high time I formally reviewed it. Delerium is a beer I first had a couple years ago at a local beer bar and instantly fell in love with it. Delerium was THE Belgian beer as far as I was concerned for the next several months. I haven't had one in quite some time so I'm anxious to find out of my opinions have changed.
Stouts can be hit or miss for me. Like most people, my first Stout was a Guinness. I thought it was too dry, too bitter, too... dark. I've grown to appreciate not just Guinness but more complex Stouts. There are still some that I find too dry or bitter, but when I find a Stout that has the perfect balance of flavors, it's like there's nothing better. When I first had New Holland's Dragon's Milk, it was a bit like that. I remember this beer having some really strong Stout flavors, but getting them balanced so well that nothing was overpowering or too harsh on your palate.
It seems like all the beer Avery brews are bigger than average. Their IPAs are hoppier, their Stouts are darker and everything in between just has more alcohol in it. Avery has a series of even more extreme beers with alcohol contents pushing 20%. This bottle of Mephistopheles' Stout in part of the demonic series of Avery beers that are sold as individual 12 ounce bottles for $7-9 each. Mephistopheles' Stout is a 16.83% ABV Imperial Stout that looks as evil as it sounds. I'm hoping it is as enjoyable as The Beast Grand Cru I enjoyed from the same series last year.
I try not to seek out breweries or specific beers. I know that, in most cases, it will just lead to frustration when I can't find a beer I really want to try. Even worse is when I finally get my hands on a bottle of something I've really been looking forward to and it just doesn't live up to expectations. The Bruery is one brewery I've been wanting to try for the longest time and have been trying to find bottles of their beer while on vacation for a while now. It seems like their beers just don't stay in stock very long, which is great because their beers must be really good... but it doesn't help when I'm out of town and looking for a bottle to bring back home. I was finally able to pick up a few bottles of Bruery beer a few weeks ago and I'm hoping they can now live up to the hype that has been built up in my head.
My Russian River supply is dwindling as I pick up the pace and finally get around to drinking these beers. I'll be moving out east in a couple of weeks and I'm trying to get through as many beers as I can before the move. I'm not going to try and write about all of them, because that's kinda how I got into this mess of having a basement full of beer and no time to drink it all... I did think the Damnation was worth of an entry in the old blog, so I popped the cork on this 12.68oz bottle, grabbed my favorite tulip glass and waited for the suds to die down.
Scheldebrouwerij's Hop-Ruiter is a new beer for me. I've never seen this Belgian hoppy Blonde on the shelves and I've not tried this beer before. This particular bottle came to me about two weeks ago and I've been waiting anxiously to try it. This 750ml bottle has a label like a playing card, it has a mirrored shield which looks like a medieval coat of arms. The text dividing the two halves of this label says this is THE blond hoppy beer from Turnhout. I'm guessing Turnhout is a little more well known in Belgium...