Some More Boulevard Brewing Beers

March 10, 2010

Having already reviewed Boulevard’s Long Strange Tripel, let me review the other Boulevard Brewing beers that I have tried.

Sorry about the lousy photo

First up is the Boulevard Pale Ale.  This beer was pale copper in color with a nice thick head.  Not very aromatic, but it had a decent hops bitterness with some fruity sweetness added to the taste.  It was medium bodied and smooth.  All in all, a decent pale ale. If it was available around these parts, it would occasionally crack the starting lineup, though it will never replace the great Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.  I give it a 6/10.

The Nutcracker Ale is Boulevard’s Christmas Beer.  This poured a deep mahogany brown and had the aroma of blackstrap molasses.  It was a slightly hoppier than most Christmas beers, and had a mild Star of Anise aftertaste.  This is a full bodied beer to be sipped and savored.  It was a good but not great Christmas beer, as the flavors did not really meld together, another 6/10.

The Single Wide IPA is my favorite of the group.  It poured a pale amber, and had a fruity and flowery aroma.  The beer had a mild hops bitterness, was crisp and dry on the palate and did not have any oak flavor that I could detect.  I would probably call this a pale ale in a blind taste test, but Boulevard says it is an IPA, and I am not going to argue with them.  As an IPA, it falls short of the mark, but as a pale ale, it is a winner, 7.5/10.


Southern Tier Krampus Imperial Lager

February 26, 2010

Who or what is Krampus?  I like to think of myself as an educated and cultured man, but I had never heard of Krampus until I picked up a bottle of this beer.  It turns out that Krampus is the doppelganger (please imagine the umlaut is in there) of St. Nicholas.  While St. Nicholas is handing out gifts to the good boys and girls, Krampus is handing out beatings to the naughty.  That is my kind of guy! Not only is drinking beer fun, it is educational too!

This is the second Southern Tier beer I have reviewed, and there is a reason for that.  These guys are good, and their beers are usually top notch.  Even when they miss, and some of their beers are not all that great, they miss because they are swinging for the fences.  Who dares, Wins.  That is true of the SAS, and it is true of brewers as well.

The Krampus Imperial Helles Lager is a winner.  It is Southern Tier’s Christmas Beer, so there may be a few bottles lingering on the shelves of your local beer emporium.  If you see it, grab it, because you will enjoy it.  The beer pours a crystal clear amber color, with a nice head, which leaves belgian lace to the bottom of the glass.  It has a nice hoppy aroma, which carries over to the taste, balanced by a sweet and spicy malt flavor.  9% ABV.  Good stuff. 7.5/10.


Brooklyn Winter Ale

February 25, 2010

Brooklyn Brewing Company is another of my favorite breweries.  They are not as experimental as Dogfish Head, for example, but they are a still damn fine brewery.  Their beers tend to be in traditional styles, and do not stray too far from the tried and true.  Brooklyn just does a damn fine job brewing those traditional styles, with a few misses here and there.

This is one of those misses.  I will eventually review some of their better beers,  but first up is the Brooklyn Winter Lager, which is a bit of a disappointment. I like my Christmas Ales to be full bodied, robust, and spicy, bringing to mind visions of sitting by a coal fire in a Dickensian Pub, and this beer doesn’t quite cut it.  It is a malty Scottish style ale, which is admittedly not my favorite type of beer.   In fairness, it is a decent enough example of a Scottish Ale, just not what I expect when the word “winter” is part of the packaging.  It is not a bad beer by any stretch.  I just expect more from Brooklyn Brewing.   I will give it a 5.5/10


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