The Beer Corner: Flying Fish Brewing Co. Grand Cru Winter Reserve

We begin the holiday 6 pack with a Belgian Style Ale by the Flying Fish Brewing Company with their seasonal Grand Cru Winter Reserve!

The label and name of the brewing company got my attention as I scoured the seasonal section of beer. Poured into the official Beer Corner beer sampling mug at fridge temperature!

Pouring: Smooth pour, and you could smell the wheatiness of the beer immediately. A half a fingertip head forms and remains for the most part of the experience.

Smell: It is of wheat, and hops, slight fruity tinge. No noticeable alcohol smell.

Sounds: Nothing out of the ordinary here, but a small head does form and you can hear the carbonation, but it is not as evident as in other beers.

Sights: Begins as amber and perhaps darkens ever so slightly. Not much visible carbonation, but we do see it get to the top of the glass in the head. Liquid is cloudy, like most Belgian wheats, with visible particulate.

Taste: At first, you are met with a slight citrusy taste, but then becomes wheaty. A little on the “sticky” side when it comes to texture. Leaves a slight aftertaste.

Overall: This was an excellent first foray into the Winter seasonal selection. My first thought about this beer was how drinkable it was. It was enjoyable to drink, and I could see myself knocking a few bottles back. If I had to describe it, I would say it was like a hybrid of Blue Moon and Hoegaarden. It is tasty, but not the most unique of beers. I would definitely recommend it if you fnd it on tap or a six pack if you want to try something new that you and some friends could experience.

7.5 / 10 Bags

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The Beer Corner: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

We’re getting close to completing our first six pack! Up today is Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s Pale Ale.

This beer was chosen because I had always seen these at the supermarket or at parties or tailgates, but had never gotten around to trying it. As usual, poured at fridge temperature into my official beer tasting mug!

Pouring: A smooth pour, a moderate hoppy smell emerges, small foam head forms once contents are completely poured.

Smell: You can definitely smell the hops in this one. As noted, a moderate smell of it, not overpowering, but makes its presence known. Can smell the alcohol as well.

Sounds: A foamy head forms, and you can hear it if you put your ear to it. Beer sounded normally active for a beer that forms a head.

Sights: A white foamy head of 2cm forms, and stays for duration of drink. Color is a light amber, and beer is translucent. Also appears active, as you can see a lot of bubbles emerging to the top!

Taste: Was noticeably bitter at first taste, but not a distracting bitterness like the Hoptical Illusion. Was smooth, and like the smell, the barley and hops are able to be tasted. Did leave an undesirable aftertaste.

Overall: I was disappointed by this beer. I had heard good things about Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, but I did not enjoy it. Perhaps I am losing my tastes for pale ales? It was better than Hoptical Illusion, but something I am not going to run out and get. I am now on a quest to find a good pale ale, or at least competitor to Dogfish Head!

6 / 10 Bags

smallheap.jpg image by jmooser

The Beer Corner: Blue Point Brewing Company Hoptical Illusion

The newest beer I tried out for The Heap’s Beer Corner is Hoptical Illusion, an India Pale Ale (IPA) by Blue Point Brewing Company out of Long Island, New York.

This beer was chosen because I wanted to try out a different IPA, since I do enjoy that style of beer. As usual, poured at fridge temperature into my official beer tasting mug!

Pouring: A smooth pour, a slight hoppy smell emerges, small foam head forms once contents are completely poured

Smell: Slight hoppy smell noted, but actually seems to dissipate. The normal aroma of beer, nothing special.

Sounds: A foamy head forms, and you can hear it if you put your ear to it. Beer sounded normally active for a beer that forms a head.

Sights: A white foamy head of 1cm forms, and dissipates away as you drink. Color is a light amber, and beer is translucent. Also appears active, as you can see a lot of bubbles emerging to the top!

Taste: Was quite noticeably bitter at first taste. Decently smooth, but lacking the slight creamy texture of other favored IPAs. Left an undesirable aftertaste.

Overall: This beer did not offer the greatest experience… I was looking forward to trying this one since I do like IPAs, but it was just a bit too bitter for me. Probably the first beer in a long time that I struggled to finish. I did not enjoy it at all, but I will make it a point to give Blue Point another chance when I go to restock in the next few weeks. Would not buy again.

4.5 / 10 Bags

The Beer Corner: Dogfish Head Raison D’etre

The newest Beer Corner review is of Dogfish Head Raison D’Etre!

This beer was chosen because I am a fan of the Dogfish Head IPAs and I wanted to try something else they crafted. Served from a refrigerated bottle into my official review mug.

Pouring: A smooth pour, no interaction with air, as no head forms during or after pour. Strong raisin scent emerges as you pour, can be overwhelming

Smell: Distinct smell of raisins fill the air and is quite powerful. I was not close to the mug and could smell it. Was quite surprising.

Sounds: Since no head forms or there is not activity during the pour, there is no noticeable sound

Sights: No head forms after poring. Color is a robust brown, and is fairly transparent. No noticeable particles in liquid.

Taste: Like the color, it is very robust. You can easily taste the raisins. Sweet at first, moderate and enjoyable taste of alcohol, hint of a bitter aftertaste.

Overall: I love the DH IPAs (60 min and 90 min) and as I stated above, as interested in a different style of crafting from this brewery. It certainly was not what I expected (in a good way) and I was very surprised and how enjoyable the beer was. The raisin smell is surprising and strong. At first I couldn’t figure out what I was smelling, and then realizing it was the beer I just poured! An effort that would make the Belgians proud! Delicious. Would buy again.  Have to appreciate the beer’s “wordplay” with the name (The French “Raison” pronounced closely as raisin) Also, at 8% alcohol by volume, a nice little buzz.

8 / 10 Bags.

 

The Beer Corner: Sam Adams Cranberry Lambic

Welcome to The Heap’s newest segment, The Beer Corner! I’ve always been a beer lover, and I’ve come to learn about an appreciate all different types of beer and its intricacies such as appearance, taste, smell, and so on.

In town, we have a few stores that carry different craft and imported brews. One In particular, Total Wine, has literally an entire aisle of single bottles of beer! So what I will do periodically is go and “create my own custom six pack!” Thus, since trying new beers is sort of a hobby, why not blog about it, right?

 

Our first review is Sam Adams Cranberry Lambic!

Our first sampling actually occurred as an accident. I had initially bought this beer for my girlfriend (since she isn’t a fan of beer, but likes fruity ones!). She ended up not liking it so I had to drink the rest!

The beer was refrigerator temperature and poured from a 12 oz bottle into my official Beer Corner mug  (unfrozen).

Pouring: Pours smoothly, and you can notice the hint of fruity aroma while the mug fills up. Almost no head forms when poured.

Smell: Once poured, you can smell a cranberry aroma, but also, there is a more than expected scent of alcohol.

Sounds: Since no head forms or there is not activity during the pour, there is no noticeable sound

Sights: No head forms after poring. Color is reddish and beer is cloudy with noticeable particulates. Color is not as prominent as expected or experienced from other lambics I’ve tried.

Taste: Textbook Sam Adams Taste (hint of bitterness), Cranberry taste is not as strong as experienced in other lambics. Alcohol taste is much more noticeable and borderline overpowering. Minimal aftertaste.

Overall: It was an enjoyable bottle of beer. While lambics aren’t usually my cup of tea, Sam Adams’ venture into this Belgian style is commendable. I think it could have used more of a fruity taste, and maybe more of a reddish hue to really give it more of an authentic look and taste. Probably not something I’d crave or by a six pack of in the future.

6.5 / 10 Bags.