Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Too much of a good thing? Nonsense. Indulge me, please. Lately it seems like every month I've got some new Boulevard Smokestack bottle to track down and frankly, I love it. With more on the way I find myself absolutely giddy over what's to come. BBQ? Yes! Imperial Stout? Oh God yes. This week we land on the new Harvest Dance Wheat Wine Style Ale. Admittedly I'm very new to the style and...well, if I'm being totally honest I have to divulge at this point that I've never, ever even heard of a wheat wine style ale, let alone tried one. However, being a rather HUGE fan of American barley wines I naturally found myself very excited over the news that Boulevard was releasing a wheat-based version. My excitement at least doubled when I happened to walk into Gomer's this afternoon to find case on top of case of it.
After spending the necessary (and totally arbitrary) one and a half hours inside my refrigerator I decided the bottle was plenty cool and it was time to journey into completely undiscovered country, which I believe any beer geek will agree after several years in the hobby is a fantastic and increasingly rare experience. I'm delirious by the time I remove the cork...honestly, I've turned to using a corkscrew. I tilt the bottle and...oh my...this has to be the thickest, frothiest head I think I've seen yet. As the picture will contend, there was about as much foam as there was beer in the glass, following an exceedingly gentle pour. After some reading I'm finding that this is a common experience with this particular brew and certainly made for one beautiful beer.
I probably go on a little too much about the appearance of beers but I really must say the color of this one is superb. A striking reddish amber capped by a slowly receding off-white head makes for one truly enticing beer. The head recedes to a thin crown that lasts throughout the session with medium lacing leftover. The smell is very tart, with lots of fruit and yeast along with a very strong citrus smell that kind of reminds me of the Two Jokers from earlier this year. Mouthfeel is thin and bubbly, with a smoothness that is possibly due to the strong head retention and certainly adds to the drinkability of the beer. The taste is somewhat tart, with a lot of sour fruit and a citrus hop flavor accompanied by an ever-present alcoholic dryness...this one makes no secret of its 9.1% abv. The whole thing is followed up with a very strong oak finish, which came on a bit heavy but certainly added a lot to the character of the brew.
This is a very drinkable beer, despite the high alcohol content. While I'm generally not one to suggest splitting a bottle, I admit there are some brews that might justify such an otherwise heinous action. This is not one of them, however, although I can't imagine finding myself wanting more after the bottle runs dry. Maybe it was just my palette but I found this beer oddly refreshing, and with a name change wouldn't have thought it out of place as a mid-summer release, but perhaps that's due my lack of experience with the style. All said and done, I really enjoyed the Harvest Dance, and hope to see it again this time next year. Meanwhile I plan on finding myself another bottle to lay down for a few months to see if that strong oak finish is rounded out just a bit. Enjoy!
Monday, November 9, 2009
To conclude, if you find yourself on the conservative, squashy pumpkin pulp side of the Great Pumpkin Ale Debate, you'll likely find very little to enjoy here. To my palette the pumpkin seemed like an afterthought to a variety of seasonal spices. On the other hand, if you've ever wanted to catch a buzz off a pumpkin pie, this is the beer for you. Enjoy!
Friday, September 18, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
I’m sitting on the porch of our condo watching the sun set over the ocean outside Bandon, OR, and for once I’m actually enjoying my latest bad beer adventure. I don’t know if it’s the cool temperature and picturesque beach, or the day’s activities wearing me down, or maybe just the knowledge of what’s in the minifridge waiting for me to get to it, but this can of King Cobra is alright.
Pouring the clear, golden contents of the 24oz tall boy can into a lovely snifter, one of the few clean glasses remaining at my disposal, I soon relate the irony of drinking a $1.09 can of malt liquor from such a vessel to the absolutely stunning beach in front of me that lies on the outskirts of a run-down old Oregon town. The lovely pink and gray sunset over the hazy blue Pacific has me feeling reflective. Or maybe it’s the booze.
Smell is, as usual, about what you’d expect from this type of thing. Not much happening here but what there is won’t put you off drinking it, assuming you’ve made it this far. I have to recommend pouring this one, since it actually seems to benefit from a little breathing room. Taste is somewhat mild, but that’s not unexpected considering the fairly weak 6% ABV. Generally the alcohol is all you taste in something of this quality but not so here. What you will taste is sweet corn and little else, followed by a very mild, sweet finish, with a pleasant level of carbonation.
The full can done and gone, it’s time to say goodnight and go inside. While I can’t see myself actively seeking this one out closer to home, I can say with some certainty that this is the absolute easiest bad beer review I’ve done yet. Whether it’s the beer, the sunset, or just the adventure of trying something new, this one’s ok.