Flying Fish Exit 8 Chestnut Brown Ale

April 13, 2012

Is this the best Brown Ale I have ever had? Yep, this is the best Brown Ale I have ever had. I know that sounds like I am damning with faint praise, as I am not a huge fan of Brown Ales, so let me go a little further: This is one of the best beers of 2012. Granted the year is young, but if I have many beers better than this one, it will be one hell of a year for beer.

Exit 8 Chestnut Brown Ale and Elk Steaks

Flying Fish is not available here in Texas, and it is one of the many things I miss about living in New Jersey (along with good pizza, WFMU, and the New Jersey Turnpike, the golden roadway of the East). I was lucky enough to secure a bottle of the recently released Exit 8 Chestnut Brown Ale in a trade with MZ, and all I can say is

HALLELUJAH!

HALLELUJAH!

HALLELUJAH!

This beer is really that damn good. Brewed with chestnuts and honey harvested in New Jersey, both of which are prominent in the aroma and the flavor, and which are balanced by the addition of Chinook hops and some nice warmth from the 8.3% ABV. I paired this with some elk steaks (one of the great things about living in Texas is that I have neighbors who hunt Elk, Moose, Bear, Wild Boar, Deer, etc. and they are quite happy to share their bounty with me) and it was an outstanding match. The Flying Fish Exit Series has been excellent from the get go, and this is a worthy addition to the roster, 9/10.

MZ also included a couple of bottles of the Exit 4 which I reviewed a few years ago. Not much to add to that review, just another outstanding beer from New Jersey’s finest brewery.


Flying Fish Exit 6 Wallonian Rye

July 10, 2010

I cracked open the Exit 6 Wallonian Rye Belgian Style Ale (named after the first Dutch* settlers in New Jersey), and it is another winner from New Jersey’s very own Flying Fish, and another in their Exit Series honoring the Golden Roadway of the East, The New Jersey Turnpike.  Using locally grown rye in the malts, the ale is hopped with East Kent Goldings, Slovenian Goldings and Japanese Sorachi Ace Hops.  The rye is prominent on your first sip, and the citrusy hops kick in subtly in the aftertaste.  This was the first beer I split with JPE and the V-Man last night (more reviews to come) and it started the night off in a grand fashion, 8/10. If Flying Fish keeps this up, they will soon be on the list of premier American craft brewers, if they are not already there.

*Go Netherlands!


Flying Fish Exit 4 American Trippel

May 7, 2010

Back for another round with my Jersey guys, Flying Fish.  The Exit 4 American Trippel is the first of the Turnpike Exit Series to be sold in six packs, which makes some sense as the Exit 4 probably has the widest appeal to the masses, although I could see the Exit 16 having a similar commercial appeal to the general public.  This pours a hazy golden orange, with lots of fruity malts in the aroma and a creamy thick head.  Lots of yeast in the flavor, along with some fruity sweetness (banana and pear) and the hops bitterness is in the background, along with a hint of clovelike spiciness.  This drinks very easily, and at 9.7% ABV, that can be dangerous.  The Exit 4 American Trippel gets a 7.5/10, and if Flying Fish keeps this up, they will soon be part of the list of the elite American brewers, if they are not there already.


More from Flying Fish: Hopfish India Pale Ale and Exit 16 Wild Rice Double IPA

March 23, 2010

Flying Fish is New Jersey’s best known craft brewer, and for good reason.  They make really good beer, and they are aggressively marketing themselves and their beers, at least here in New Jersey.  I am starting to see their beers pop up on taps in bars and pizzerias across New Jersey, and any time my beer selection is improved, no matter how incrementally, I applaud the effort.

One of their  flagship beers is the Hopfish India Pale Ale.  It is a crisp, dry IPA, nicely balanced by the malts.  It had a nice burnt amber color and fluffy white head.  It is not the hoppiest of IPAs, but there was enough pine and citrus flavor to keep me happy.  This is one of my “go to” beers.  I will grab a six of it on the rare occasions when I am overwhelmed by the choice of brews at my local beer emporium.  This is one of those beers to have if you’re having more than one.  Not the greatest, but damned good, 7/10.

Flying Fish’s Exit Series are limited edition beers inspired by the various exits of the Golden Roadway of the East, the New Jersey Turnpike.  Having favorably reviewed the Exit 1 Bayshore Oyster Stout, the previous release in the series, I grabbed a bottle of the latest release in the series as soon as I could. 

Exit 16 is the exit for the Meadowlands area, and the wild rice that allegedly grows in the Meadowlands swamps and marshes is the inspiration for the Exit 16 Wild Rice Double IPA.  Please note that wild rice that was used in the malt for this beer does not actually come from the Meadowlands.  Anyt wild rice growing in those toxic dumps would be some sort of mutant strain that would unleash Mothra if consumed.

This poured golden and clear with a fluffy white head.  It had a very distinct hops aroma and flavor, without being very bitter. It had a thin mouth feel, but was very tasty.  My only criticism is that it was not very hoppy for a beer holding itself out to be Double IPA.  I did not do a side by side taste comparison, but I think the Hopfish may have been  hoppier.  Other than that criticism, and it is a minor one base on my expectations as opposed to the actual beer itself, this was a good one.  Thoroughly enjoyable, and a beer I will gladly go back to often.  8.5/10.


Flying Fish Exit 1 Bayshore Oyster Stout

February 26, 2010

Oysters and stout, like coffee and doughnuts, spring and baseball,  and Martin and Lewis, is a classic combination, and I am certainly not one to question the wisdom of our ancestors.  It was a brave man who first shucked an oyster and thought to himself I must eat that; It was a genius who thought A good stout would wash this down nicely.  Many years ago, many more than I wish to admit to, I spent an afternoon in a bar in Galway, eating oysters and drinking Guinness, and chatting with a pretty French girl.  Of course my advances were spurned, which is more a testament to my lack of ‘game’ than the aphrodisiacal qualities of oysters and alcohol.

In recent years, some brewers have decided that if oysters and stout is a classic combination, stout brewed with oysters would be divine.  New Jersey’s Flying Fish is one of those brewers.  Flying Fish’s Exit Beers is a series of beers named after Exits on the New Jersey Turnpike.  Exit One is in South Jersey by the Delaware Bay, an area that was historically rich in oysters.

The stout poured a deep, dark brownish black, with a full head.  The complex flavor was more chocolate than coffee. This beer lacked the malty sweetness that many stouts have.  I did not notice any real oyster flavor, though the lack of malt may have been due to the brininess of the oysters.  No, I did not have fresh oysters with this, but I did have some raw little neck clams, and the stout and the clams complemented each other nicely.  8.5/10.


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