Friday, July 24, 2009

Wells & Young's - Young's Special London Ale

Perfect Balance.

Wells & Young's are the purveyors of this marvelous bottle-conditioned Real Ale*. Pouring a deep golden-brown, this beer has a thick creamy head that persists for some time. To the nose there's a hint of roasted almonds and honey. This is easily one of the most balanced beers I have ever tasted! On the tongue, it's all creamy malt with a luscious mouthfeel supported by a spicy/earthy backbone of Goldings hops. This ale is a multidimensional flavor treat. There are hints of figs, quince, pumpkin and savory smoke. The finish is a slightly bitter sweetness that doesn't linger. This is definitely near the top of my "all-time best beer" list! Harder to find "this side of the pond", this is well worth seeking out. I'd pair this with a good Prime Rib, gravy and Red Potatos with herbed butter.

*For more about Real Ale, visit CAMRA.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Snoqualmie Falls Brewing - PGA

Cream and Hazelnuts.

Snoqualmie Falls Brewing Co. is a newcomer to my pages. I'd been eying their brews for a while now and finally had a chance to try their "Perfectly Great Amber", an American-style Ale brewed in the little mountain town of Snoqualmie, Washington, near the iconic Snoqualmie falls. Beautiful brown-gold in the glass with a nice little head, this ale is very inviting. True to its name, this "PGA" is a great-tasting smooth drinker. With just a slightly bready nose, the flavor is all cream and hazelnuts with just the slightest hint of lemon rind - in other words this Pacific Northwest Ale eschews the hoppy balance of its brethren and revels in the malty side of things. A real Craft Brew in every sense! The finish is redolent of the aforementioned citrus tempered by a soothing hint of smoke. A pretty great choice for the warm days to come, this brew would go great with kosher dogs with all the fixins and a side of mom's baked bean casserole.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Port Brewing - Wipe Out I.P.A.

A Hop Smörgåsbord

Any beer by Port Brewing is worth close scrutiny and this West Coast-style IPA is no exception! Like the crashing surf on the label, the head is nice and fluffy, but not persistent. To the nose, there are overtones of pine and winter herbs. On the tongue, the flavor is extremely bold with Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, Simcoe and Summit hops all vying for your attention with a complex, deliciously piquant melange. Underneath is a warm, malty base, keeping the hops from blowing your head off as well as adding a hint of pecan and molasses. The finish is a lingering resonance of lemon rind and figs. As of this moment, it's one of my favorite IPAs. I'd drink a cold pint of this with 5-star-hot Thai yellow curry chicken with bamboo shoots and bell peppers over brown rice.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

St. Peter's - English ale

An Herbal Boquet.

Saint Peter's Brewery are the purveyors of this cloudy golden brew. Their catalog of imports to the USA are certainly unique and varied and this ale is no exception! On the nose it presents a grassy, citrus scent with a hint of malt. On the tongue, the surprising grapefruit-tart base almost covers the malted barley with its strident herbal character, though the sweet malt finally wins through in the subtle molasses-like finish. With notes of rhubarb and endive, I would pair this with a sharp English Cheddar and toasted Brown Bread.