Monthly Archive for February, 2009

Julius Echter Hefe-Weis Wurzburger Hofbrau

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This was a treat. The style is that of a Hefe-Weizen. Typically, these are of south Germany in origin and have a higher amount of wheat. ‘Hefe’ itself means ‘Of Wheat’ and this style does bring it. As a result, they often have a pale yellow cloudy look to them. The extra wheat often lends this style to be more flavorful than most wheat with the exception of a Belgian Wit.

Poured into a pilsner glass, this indeed was pale yellow in color, although not as cloudy as I would have expected for a Hefe. The head was very thick at first, but quickly went away and left little to no lacing though.

This was a treat for the olfactory senses, with scents of yeast, spice, and banana. A faint smell of bread and hops as well.

Upon taste this one had a strong yeast flavor, with fruit accents,and some acidity as well. What balanced this out was a mild hop undertone.

The longer this one lingered the more the yeast came out. Toward the end a very surprising but welcomes alcohol taste presented itself.

Overall this was a solid Hefe that I would welcome again. Enjoyed this one with some Gouda cheese, crackers, grapes and Fuji apple slices. Quite nice indeed and with only a 4.9% ABV you can enjoy this one twice.

Mississippi Mud

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This brew is what is known as a Black and Tan. Black and Tans are typically the mixture of a lighter colored beer, such as an American or English Pale Ale, and a darker beer, often a Stout. The Black and Tan is believed to have begun in pubs, specifically in Britain and have caught on recently in the united States. The origin of the name is debatable, however what is consistent is that most Black and tans are someones Pale Ale or lager, topped with Guinness Extra Stout. There are even variations of how to pour a Black and Tan!

The one thing that is interesting about the Black and Tan, is that it is not a style per say, more of just a beer mixture, something to be tried from time to time. Although you will see this in many bars or pubs in the U.S. and Europe, as well some pre-packaged blends, many breweries have not gone down this road. In fact, it seems that some in Britain do not like the concept of the Balck and Tan as something akin to beer heresy. I admit, I was skeptical as well.

I poured this one into a pint glass and upon first glance, it is deep brown in color, with a light tan tinge to it (gee, did I say tan? What else I guess, with this being a Black and ‘Tan’ review!).  It has a minimal head, which didn’t stick around, but did leave a nice lacing on the glass.

The aroma is what I expected, a combination of a nutty, chocolate stout and the slightly hoppy and spiced ale. However, in addition to these aromas, there were malt undertones.

The taste is not what I expected.  Although you taste much of what you smell with this one, the combination is that of either a weak ale or a weak stout. I couldn’t tell which and not the best combination. A chocolate flavor was predominant, with a hint of bitterness.

The longer this one lingered, the more the Ale becomes predominant.

Overall, this was ok. I won’t rush out to buy it again, but would recommend that it gets tried at least once. It weighs in at around 5% ABV, so it will not knock your socks off. Not sure what this would pair well with however…

Dogfish Head's Red and White. A Witbier or a Lambic?

Red and White

Dogfish Head bills their 33(6Red : – _ and White as a witbier, but is it? Dogfish Head has a reputation of pushing the edge with brews like their 120 minute IPA, but this? Is it a beer or wine? Typically, a witbier is a cloudy yellow color, has a high amount of wheat and sometime use of oats in the mash. Almost always spiced and accented with coriander. Fruit Lambics are generally beers where fruit has been added in the fermentation process, then allowed to mature longer; whereas an un-blended lambic is brewed with large amount of wheat, wild yeast and bacteria penetrate the beer while fermented in in airborne and tainted barrels allowing for a tart flavor.

On their website, Dogfish head describes Red and White as “A big, Belgian-style Wit brewed with coriander and orange peel and fermented with Pinot Noir juice. After fermentation a fraction of the batch is aged in Oregon Pinot Noir barrels, and another fraction is aged on oak staves. The beer is blended together before packaging. This has been one of our most popular Limited Edition beers at both our Rehoboth Beach, DE brewpub and at festivals. It successfully marries the refreshing citrusy qualities of a Belgian-style white beer with the robust complexity of a bold red wine.’

Well, that sort of wrote the review for me, did it not? Despite their already great description, I’ll give it a go:

Poured into a pilsner glass, Red and White is a kind of medium and cloudy orange hue in appearance. The head on this one is truly amazing, two fingers at least, and dissipated slowly, leaving a wonderful sticky lacing on the glass.

Coriander and orange peel aromas instantly hit the nose, along with a subtle but very pleasant Belgian yeast smell leaving one with a very pleasant sweet aroma.

My first sip of this was surprising, but pleasant. I expected a lambic feel to it. What I got was a distinct creamy Belgian yeast flavor, balanced with a mild hops and yes, some fruit: flavors of apple and orange. What was nice is that the taste of alcohol was subtle, almost an after thought, but present none the less, balancing the flavors together nicely.

Overall, exactly what I would expect from Dogfish Head. But a lambic it was not. The fruit flavors were not over powering and only accented the yeast flavors. This was a great brew to enjoy as I prepared for the Superbowl last Sunday. An nice sipping beer indeed that paired nicely with the cheese and crackers I was enjoying at the time. Weighing in at 10% ABV, the many wonderful flavors can cause this one hit you slowly.