Saturday, February 25, 2012

Abita Brewing Company Turbodog Brown Ale

Hello beer lovers and welcome to another edition of the NorCal Beer Blog's brew review.

Tonight’s featured beer is Abita Brewing Company Turbodog Brown Ale as I continue on with my “drinking Abita in New Orleans” special.  

From the Abita Brewing Company website:” Turbodog is a dark brown ale brewed with Willamette hops and a combination of pale, crystal and chocolate malts. This combination gives Turbodog its rich body and color and a sweet chocolate toffee-like flavor. Turbodog began as a specialty ale but has gained a huge loyal following and has become one of our flagship brews.

This ale pairs well with most meats and is great served with hamburgers or sausages. It is a good match with smoked fish and can even stand up to wild game dishes. Turbodog is also great for marinating and braising meats and cooking such things as cabbage and greens. Colby, Gloucester, Cheddar and Blue cheeses go nicely with Turbodog. It’s perfect with spicy Louisiana jambalaya or Spanish paella. Some even like it paired with chocolate!”
Let’s get started!
Appearance: Pours a dark chocolate brown with an off-white head and minimal lacing.
Aroma: Roasted, caramel and chocolate malts with some nuttiness and slight citrus hop scents.  Smells good.
Taste: Sweet malts – toffee, caramel and chocolate with a roasted nutty flavor.  Very slight hop bitterness in the back.
Overall: Well balanced, drinkable and a solid beer, Abita Brewing Company’s Turbodog Brown Ale at 5.6% ABV is well worth picking up and having a few of.  It may not be my favorite brown ale, but it is one I’d drink…happily!

Cheers!

Mark Harvey

Friday, February 24, 2012

Abita Brewing Company Purple Haze Raspberry Wheat Brew

Hello beer lovers and welcome to another edition of the NorCal Beer Blog's brew review.

Tonight’s featured beer is Abita Brewing Company Purple Haze Raspberry Wheat Brew as I continue on with my “drinking Abita in New Orleans” special.  I had heard a lot of good things about Purple Haze and since I’m a Jimi Hendrix fan I figure this is a must drink if not merely for the name.

From the Abita Brewing Company website:” Purple Haze is a crisp, American style wheat beer with raspberry puree added after filtration. Therefore, you may see raspberry pulp in the beer. The raspberries provide the lager with a subtle purple coloration and haze, a fruity aroma, and a tartly sweet taste.

This beer is best served with salads or light fruit desserts, such as souffl├ęs or chiffon cakes. Many people enjoy it with chocolate desserts. Purple Haze pairs well with certain cheeses, such as ripened Brie or any dessert made with Mascarpone. It’s also great paired with entrees prepared with fruit, especially citrus. Consider enjoying Purple Haze alone at the end of your meal as dessert.”
Let’s get started!
Appearance: Pours a golden color with tiny head (again, must be the glass) and very little lacing.
Aroma: Smells like a sweet wheat beer and raspberries.  Not over the top, but nice smelling.
Taste: Sweet malt and wheat flavors complimented by the raspberries very nicely.  The raspberry flavor doesn’t taste artificial, but rather quite fresh.
Overall: Refreshing and crisp, Abita Brewing Company’s Purple Haze Raspberry Wheat Brew is not too sweet, not too bitter, balanced very well and quite enjoyable and at 4.2% ABV very session friendly.  If you’re in the mood for
a “fruit beer” this is one I would recommend you consider.

Cheers!

Mark Harvey

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Abita Brewing Company Jockamo IPA

Hello beer lovers and welcome to another edition of the NorCal Beer Blog's brew review.

Tonight’s featured beer is Abita Brewing Company Jockamo IPA as I continue on with my “drinking Abita in New Orleans” special. I had this one on tap as well as in the bottle.

From the Abita Brewing Company website:” Jockamo is named for the tribes of dancing, singing, chanting “Mardi Gras Indians” who have marched in New Orleans for over 250 years. When you hear the drums, join in the song...“Iko! Iko! Jockamo fe na ne”.
Jockamo I.P.A. is a traditional India Pale Ale made with the best pale and light crystal malts that give the beer a copper color and malty flavor. This full-flavored beer is hopped and dry hopped liberally with Willamette and Columbus hops from the Pacific Northwest and has a 6.5% A.B.V. The spicy aroma of the hops contrasts nicely with the pleasant sweetness of the malts. Jockamo has a flavor that entices and excites the palate. The intense hop character adds more spice to the meal and makes it a perfect choice to team up with many spicy dishes. Cheddar and strong farmer cheeses stand up well to Jockamo’s hoppy character. Jockamo goes well with wild game, grilled meats and Thai or Mexican cuisine.”
Let’s get started!
Appearance: Pours an orangish amber with a small off-white head and decent lacing.
Aroma: Nice hop aroma – pine and citrus and light sweet malts.
Taste: Citrus and pine hops up front with sweet malts in the back.  Not as well balanced or hoppy as I had hoped.
Overall: Crisp and clean, Abita Brewing Company’s Jockamo IPA is easy to drink and the only IPA I was able to find when I was in New Orleans.  I would not say no to this 6.5% ABV brew, but I wouldn’t pick it up if I had other NorCal options. When in Rome…go get some!

Cheers!

Mark Harvey

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Abita Brewing Company Amber Lager

Hello beer lovers and welcome to another edition of the NorCal Beer Blog's brew review.

Tonight’s featured beer is Abita Brewing Company Amber Lager as I continue on with my “drinking Abita in New Orleans” special.

From the Abita Brewing Company website:” Amber is a Munich style lager brewed with crystal malt and Perle hops. It has a smooth, malty, slightly caramel flavor and a rich amber color. Abita Amber was the first beer offered by the brewery and continues to be our leading seller. Amber is Abita’s most versatile beer for pairing with food. It has been voted "best beer" in numerous New Orleans reader polls and is used frequently in recipes of great Louisiana chefs.
Because of its smooth, malty flavor, try it with smoked sausages, Louisiana boudin, or even with caviar. It’s great with crawfish and Cajun food. You might also enjoy it paired with a spicy gumbo or tomato-based pasta sauce. It also goes well also with fried catfish dipped in a tart, lemony tartar sauce. Parmesan, Pecorino and Romano cheeses are good pairings with Abita Amber.”
Let’s get started!
Appearance: Pours a copper/orange/amber with barely any head and a little lacing. The lack of head was due to my pouring this into a tiny hotel room glass, but you gotta use what you got when travelling.
Aroma: Toasted, pale and caramel malts with sweet toffee scents and fruit.
Taste: Sweet malts upfront with toasted malts not far behind. Very mild spicy and citrus hop bitterness in the back.
Overall: Enjoyable and very drinkable Abita Brewing Company’s Amber Lager at 4.5% ABV is very a sessionable beer and worth trying.  I preferred Andygator over this one, but if offered an Abita Brewing Company Amber Lager I would certainly not turn it down. It just wouldn't be my "go to" beer.

Cheers!

Mark Harvey

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Abita Brewing Company Andygator Helles Dopplebock

Hello beer lovers, Happy Fat Tuesday and welcome to another edition of the NorCal Beer Blog's brew review. After spending some time in New Orleans this past December I’ve decided to review a whole bunch of Abita Brewing Company beers since I’m in the Mardi Gras spirit.  Many if not most of these I drank and took notes on last year, but with so many great beers around I just didn’t get around to reviewing these until now.
Tonight’s featured beer is Abita Brewing Company Andygator Helles Dopplebock.  I was first introduced to Andygator at Acme Oyster House (here) based on our oyster shuckers’ suggestion.  Loved it. So upon my return I picked up a bomber of it (strictly for review purposes).

From the Abita Brewing Company website:” Andygator, a creature of the swamp, is a unique high-gravity brew made with pale malt, German lager yeast, and German Perle hops. Unlike other high-gravity brews, Andygator is fermented to a dry finish with a slightly sweet flavor and subtle fruit aroma. Reaching an alcohol strength of 8% by volume, it is a Helles Dopplebock.

You might find it goes well with fried foods. It pairs well with just about anything made with crawfish. Some like it with a robust sandwich! Andygator also is a good aperitif and easily pairs with gorgonzola and creamy blue cheeses. Because of the high alcohol content, be cautious---sip it for the most enjoyment.”
Let’s get started!
Appearance: Pours a light orange color (looks like apricots) with a large fluffy white head and sticky lacing.
Aroma: Sweet and roasted malts, very sweet and fruity with a slight hop presence.
Taste: Malt sweetness, very slight citrus hop bitterness and very balanced.  Hops back a far backseat to malt in this one and malts take center stage.
Overall: Great flavor and very drinkable, Abita Brewing Company’s Andygator Helles Dopplebock weighs in at 8% ABV.  Pairs well with all foods, but I specifically like to drink it on nights I’m makin’ jambalaya.  Pick some up and try it…it is delicious!

Cheers!

Mark Harvey

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Marin Brewing Company IPA

Hello beer lovers, happy SF Beer Week and welcome to another edition of the NorCal Beer Blog's brew review.

Today’s featured beer is Marin Brewing Company IPA.  I’ve passed this beer by many times and I’m not sure why.  On a recent trip I decided to pick a bottle up and give it a try.
From the Marin Brewing Company website:” This style was originally developed to be hard and bitter enough to withstand the travel and storage required to reach the torrid climate in India. When the soldiers returned home they found themselves so accustomed to its bold character, they requested it as a regular Pub offering. Our IPA is brewed with Canadian 2-row Pale Malt, Crisp Specialty Malt and triple hopped with Cascades and Columbus Hops.”
Let’s get started!
Appearance: Pours a deep copper color with a foamy off-white head and a ton of lacing.
Aroma: Mostly citrus hops, but there are pine and floral hops present in the nose.  I also detect toasted and sweet malts scents.
Taste: Sweet caramel malt, citrus and pine hops, but not overly bitter.  I’m so used to huge hop bombs this one is very nicely subdued, but in a very good way.
Overall: Very well balanced and incredibly drinkable, Marin Brewing Company’s IPA at 7% ABV is an excellent American IPA.  This isn’t a typical West Coast hophead beer, but one I will certainly drink again and one that I’d gladly recommend to others.

Cheers!

Mark Harvey

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Lost Coast Brewery Raspberry Brown Ale

Hello beer lovers, happy SF Beer Week and welcome to another edition of the NorCal Beer Blog's brew review.

Today’s featured beer is Lost Coast Brewery Raspberry Brown Ale. I figured since I like Lost Coast Brewery’s Downtown Brown I couldn’t resist trying their Raspberry Brown.
From the Lost Coast Brewery website:” Award-winning Downtown Brown Ale, with its rich chocolate malt flavor, is enhanced with an infusion of real raspberry.”
Let’s get started!
Appearance: Pours a dark brown with red hues, a nice white head and decent lacing.
Aroma: Raspberries and sweet, roasted and caramel malts.  Smells inviting.
Taste: Raspberry up front, but it is balanced very nicely.  Toasted malts, molasses, with very nice chocolate and brown sugar at the finish.
Overall: Much like their Downtown Brown, Lost Coast Brewery’s Raspberry Brown Ale is extraordinarily drinkable and one that I could drink often.  Fruit ales aren’t ones I tend to session due to sweetness, but this one I could see having a couple of (even at 6.5% ABV).  With all that said, if you like brown ales and you’re looking for something that pairs wells with BBQ or dessert Lost Coast Brewery’s Raspberry Brown Ale is one to check out.

Cheers!

Mark Harvey

Friday, February 17, 2012

Heretic Brewing Company Evil Cousin Imperial IPA

Hello beer lovers, happy SF Beer Week and welcome to another edition of the NorCal Beer Blog's brew review.

Tonight’s featured beer is Heretic Brewing Company Evil Cousin Imperial IPA.  I’ve had the opportunity to drink this on tap, but I thought I’d pick up a few bombers and crack one open (for review purposes, you see).
From the Heretic Brewing Company Website: “Evil Cousin is Heretic's take on a West coast imperial IPA. This beer is a bold, in-your-face hop monster. It has a light, easy drinking malt character that allows the hops to stand out. The hop character in this beer is intentionally on the dank side; big, sticky, and aggressive. This beer is for those of you who can't get enough hops. Join us on the dank side.”
Let’s get started!
Appearance: Pours an excellent amber caramel color with a great white head and nice lacing.
Aroma: Citrus (grapefruit and orange) and pine hops followed with a nice sweet caramel malt presence. Incredible aroma!
Taste: Upfront grapefruit followed by pine with a sweet caramel malt and biscuit backend. Extremely tasty and addictive! Very well done.
Overall: Well balanced, extremely drinkable and at 8% ABV a beer I could drink this for a little while. I look forward to seeing this at some of my local bottle shops.  I had to drive over to San Mateo to pick these bombers up, but WELL worth the drive. A VERY solid beer!

Cheers!

Mark Harvey