Monday, January 30, 2012

3-fer Deschutes Porter, Sam Adams Spring, Ska Pinstripe

So, a 3-fer tonight, a surprising night in south texas, three beers that were not brewed by either MillerCoors or InBev.

First off, Deschutes Black Butte Porter:
They say: With a dark beer as our first and flagship brand, Black Butte defined Deschutes as a radical player. A slight hop bitterness up front enhances the distinctive chocolate and roasted finish. It’s prized for its creamy mouthfeel and intense complex flavors.

My thoughts: Well, it pours a nice dark brown, with a nice tan head.  It has strong coffee notes with a slight chocolate finish.  It has a very clean flavor, with moderate body, and has a nice linger.  All in all, a great beer.  Its no wonder it has one a long list of gold, silver and bronze medals from brew fests around the world.  I definitely wish that I could find this at home!!

Next,  Sam Adams Alpine Spring:
They say: Brewed especially for the season, this bright citrusy unfiltered lager is both satisfying and refreshing. It’s the perfect transition from winter’s heavier brews to the lighter beers of summer. Borne of our brewers’ many trips to Germany, Alpine Spring features a unique blend of lager attributes: the balanced maltiness and hoppiness of a Helles, the smoothness and slightly higher alcohol of a traditional spring bock, and the unfiltered appearance of a Kellerbier. The beer is brewed with Tettnang Noble hops to add a unique, bright orange-citrusy aroma and flavor.
And for the profile: Flavor: Crisp and slightly sweet with bright citrus and spicy hop notes
Color: Hazy Golden / 9 SRM
Original Gravity: 14.2 Plato
Alcohol by Vol/Wt: 5.5%ABV – 4.3%ABW
Calories/12 oz.: 186
IBUs: 19
Malt Varieties: Two-row Harrington, Metcalfe, and Copeland pale malts, Honey malt
Hop Varieties: Tettnang Tettnanger Noble hops
Yeast Strain: Samuel Adams lager yeast
Availability: Seasonal (January – March) in six-packs, 12-packs and on draft. It is also available in the Samuel Adams Brewer’s Choice Variety 12-Pack
First Brewed: 2012

I say: It pours a cloudy golden color with a fine white head.  It is extremely refreshing with a strong strong citrusy scent and flavors.  It is medium bodied and lingers nicely on the palate.  It is definitely the best beer that I have tasted out of Boston Brewery in years, aside from Utopias that is (but I don't really count Utopias as a beer, its more like a fine scotch).  Definitely worth the price of a 6-pack.  They say that it is a Helles Bock, but it tastes a bit more like an American Wheat to me, maybe I need to learn more about my beer styles.   Unfortunately the one downside was the dirty glass, there was all sorts of nastiness on the inside of this glass that may have thrown off the flavors a bit.

Last but not least: Ska Brewing - Pinstripe Red
They say: Puts you in a certain mood.  kind of like waking up to realize you are the king of your own country, one where there are waterfalls of beer all over the place.
Waterfalls of Pinstripe Red Ale, Brewed with Carmel Malts and Liberty Hops, it has a slight fruity finish and will dance with your tastebuds till last call, then take them home and not get wierd about it the next day.

I say: Well, Ska Brewing is one of my favorite breweries and has been since I first started drinking their beers back in '98.  Pinstripe has always been one of my favorites of there's, but something seemed a bit off with this batch.  It poured a nice red-amber with a nice white head at first.  However the head retention was definitely lacking.  I'm not sure if they used some sort of dish soap with fatty acids in it or what, but the glass was also far from clean and there were definite soapy flavors in the beer.  It is a shame when a bar does not adequately clean their glasses before serving such a high quality beer.  I was extremely dissapointed with this glass.  Some of the flavors were there, but the hoppy bitterness was over-pronounced and the typical fruit finish was completely missing.  Now, I am not going to blame this bad glass on the guys over at Ska Brewing because a lot can happen between when they send a quality product out and when a bar receives it then serves it, but this was definitely the worst glass of what should have rightfully been a great beer.  Normally I would say to go out and pick up a 6-pack of this, and I guess I still would.  Just make sure that if you order it at a bar they actually serve it to you in a clean glass, and while you are at it, make the drive to Durango and get it fresh at the brewery, it is well-worth the pilgrimage.

Well, its late and I am signing out..

Happy Drinking!

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