February 28, 2015

Spiteful God Damn Coconut Pigeon Porter

Brewed By: Spiteful Brewing in Chicago, IL  
Purchased: 22oz bomber bought at Bottles & Cans in Chicago, IL; 2015 (Batch #223)
Style/ABV: American Porter, 8.2%
Reported IBUs: ?

Mmmmm coconuts. About Spiteful

Spiteful Brewing was founded in January 2010 by Brad Shaffer and Jason Klein. Like many brewers, the duo started out homebrewing. As of today, the brewery houses a 2.5 BBL Brewhouse and 5 BBL Fermenters. Currently, as a nanobrewery, Spiteful Brewing is hand delivering to stores and bars. For more info, check out Spiteful's website, or their Facebook or Twitter
The God Damn Coconut Pigeon Porter is without a website page, but the bottle reads: "Pigeons gone wild! After a late night at the pub we flipped on the boob tube only to see those god damn pigeons flaunting their assets. We knew we had to get our hands on those coconuts for our porter. Beads were the answer, so we stuffed our bags with with 'em and headed south. The play worked like a charm. Brewed with toasted coconut, this pigeon porter will have you thinking you live on the god damn equator." 
Spiteful God Damn Coconut Pigeon Porter

This pours into your typical dark, cola-black body, with a finger of tan head. What is there to say about porters and stouts these days that hasn't been said.

The aroma on this is a nice fusion of coffee, chocolate, cocoa, toasted sweetness, and layers of complex roast. It's not a super complex beer, and I'm not getting much coconut in the aroma. BUT, it smells really good for what it is, and the aroma is bold with aggressive coffee, chocolate sweetness, and roast.

You do get some nice coconut in the taste, which is what I was looking for. This drops a rich mouthfeel with tons of chocolate and coffee, and then the back palate bombs you with sweet toast, complex roast, and layers of coconut. The coconut stays in the realm of sliced coconut with some toasted coconut, and never veers into pastry la-la-land like some more complex or barrel-aged beers do. And that's okay.

This is a full-bodied beer that coats your mouth and has satisfying duration. At 8.2%, this feels bigger than it is, and consequently hides a lot of the alcohol. Palate depth is good, and this has good complexity. Up front is a lot of coffee and chocolate; the mids roll into coconut, dark fruit sweetness, and layers of roast; the back end trails with roast, coffee, shredded coconut, toasted coconut, and tons of yummy toasted notes. This is a good blend of an American-style Porter with coconut, and works well.

Rating: Above-Average (4.0/5.0 Untappd)

I'll toss this a Strong 
Above-Average. Spiteful continues to do well with their God Damn Pigeon line of beers, and I'm happy that I picked this up. This isn't the most coconut beer I have had, but there is definitely coconut in the taste and it plays well with the strong base Porter. I could see myself buying another bottle to just sip on or pair with some coconut chocolate cake.

Random Thought: I hate not having laundry machines in-unit, ahhhh!!!

Tröegs The Mad Elf Holiday Ale 2014

Brewed By: Tröegs Brewing Company in Hershey, Pennsylvania  
Purchased: Single 12oz bottle bought at And Beer in Athens, Ohio; 2014 
Style/ABV: American Strong Ale/Christmas/Winter Spiced Beer, .%
Reported IBUs: ?

Blarrgghhhh. Christmas is way over but I need to review this beer. This was an impulse buy when I was in Ohio and to be honest, I have no idea what to except. And then there is Tröegs, which is just a pain with that freaking o. Anyway, about Tröegs:
Tröegs Brewing Company is a brewery based out of Hershey, Pennsylvania. The brewery was founded by John and Chris Trogner in 1996. The brewery/company was established in 1997, and is known for its use of English brewing techniques fused with American styles of beer. For more info, check out the brewery's Facebook page or their website.
Tröegs The Mad Elf Holiday Ale 2014

The Mad Elf is a seasonal beer released between October and December. It is an American Strong Ale brewed with cherries, honey, and chocolate malts. The beer pours into a red body, kicking up a centimeter of amber-tinged head. It's a hazy beer, but it also has been sitting in my fridge on its side for a few months. There is good head retention, and glossy alcohol legs to boot. 

The aroma on this is Belgian inspired, and reminds me of a hearty Belgian Dubbel or even a spicier, yeast-forward Dark Strong. I'm getting a lot of candi sugar, cherries, cherry cola, Quad-like sweetness, Quad-like cherries, sweet white sugar, lightly caramelized sugars, and tons of yeast esters. Again, the yeast esters smack of Belgian beer, with lots of clove and banana. It smells really inviting, and if you like Belgian beer you will have high hopes that it tastes as good as it smells. 

This is a blissful package of Belgian-inspired strong beer. It's in the same realm as cherry-infused Quads and strong Dubbels, and would be right at home next to a lineup of strong Belgian Ales. You get tons of cherries, along with bold yeast esters that range from perfumes to clove to cherries to overripe fruits. The fruits include bananas, overripe stone fruits, and some shades of darker fruits like plums. There's a lot of spice in this beer, with cloves and sugary spices that you would find in a holiday cake, and I'm getting a lot of sugar in the mix. There's candi sugar, caramelized sugars, and big confectioner sweetness.

I'm basically calling this a Belgian Ale...it's good. At 11%, this is both boozy and seductive, but the high carbonation and intense sweetness helps cancel out the alcohol. The palate depth is good, and the beer is complex. It's medium to full-bodied with lots of cherries, bananas, and yeast esters up front; that rolls into big spice, clove, dark fruits, and pastry notes in the mids; the back end trails with lingering spice, some hops, complex malts, and lots of candi sugar sweetness. It's a big warming beer, and certainly lives up to its name and intention.

Rating: Above-Average (4.0/5.0 Untappd) 

I'm feeling a Strong Above-Average on this. I would not only recommend this beer, but I would seek it out if it was distributed in the Chicagoland area. I guess I can make my peace since you can find similarly flavored beers in my distribution area, but having said that, I do think this is a fantastic beer. I don't know if I would pair it with any foods in particular...but I'd love to sip on this on a cold Winter night. Tonight happens to be a cold Winter night, but those are fleeting. 

Random Thought: I am glad that I am cracking this beer now. I would guess this ages well.

Revolver Brewing Blood & Honey American Ale

Brewed By: Revolver Brewing, LLC in Granbury, TX  
Purchased: 12oz bottle generously gifted to me; 2015 
Style/ABV: American Wheat Ale/Fruit Beer, 7.0%
Reported IBUs: ?

Tonight's beer was generously gifted to me, and I am excited to try it. This is a strong wheat beer described as an "ale brewed with blood orange peel, honey & spices. The bottle reads: "An unfiltered, deep-golden ale brewed with malted two-row barley and wheat. Finished with blood orange peel, Texas hone, and a blend of spices." 

The Revolver Brewing Company is a brewery based out of Granbury, TX. The brewery was founded by father and son, Ron and Rhett Keisler, with master brewer and cicerone, Grant Wood. The brewery uses in-house water from their own well, and incorporates seasonal ingredients into their beers. For more info, check out the brewery's website or Facebook page

As noted above, the Blood & Honey is an American Wheat Ale, brewed with malted two row barley and wheat. The beer is finished with Blood Orange zest, local Fall Creek Farms Honey, and other spices.
Revolver Brewing Blood & Honey American Ale

This pours into a juicy, unfiltered, orange-yellow body. It's murky and there is yeast sediment; it looks like orange juice and for all intents and purposes it might as well be. There's a firm white head that sticks around and will continue to stick around, as you'd expect with a wheat beer. It's purdy and if you like murky ass Saisons and rustic Wheat beers this is going to be right up your alley.

The aroma on this beer is overwhelmingly spice, with pretty pungent allspice, a little lavender, and maybe something in the realm of cardamom. Beneath the waves of spice is a nice dose of orange peel, which does come through on the aroma. The faint hint of malt on the nose suggests wheat beer, but it is blunted. 

I am instantly reminded of two beers: Jackie O's Paw Paw Wheat, and the Blue Moon Grand Cru. But this is better than both of those beers. For starters, it isn't a train-wreck, so it is an instant improvement upon the Blue Moon swill. Second, it is a bit lighter than the Paw Paw Wheat. I'm getting a really nice orange note, with lots of gentle spice. The spice leans towards allspice and flower/floral notes, with some cardamom in the mix. It reminds me of Blue Moon's Belgian White, and I would probably call this beer a White/Witbier if you handed it to me in a blind tasting. It's actually really nice, with orange peel and orange notes that continue to open up as you drink the beer. It's a real orange note, and I taste actual orange zest. The wheat malts ground the orange flavor, so this never drifts into a mimosa. The spice in the taste is much more mild than the spice in the aroma, which is a good thing. All things considered...I would classify this as a Witbier, and I would say it is really well executed. 

This beer is growing on me as I sip it. I'm not getting any of the mentioned 7% alcohol in the taste. This beer is medium-bodied with low carbonation that hits your tongue towards the mid palate. Palate depth is where I want it to be, and this is actually fairly complex. THIS ISN'T REFRESHING, per se. And should it be? Not at 7%...right? The carb, body weight, and heavy wheat malt finish never hint at summer beer to pound back while on the patio. I would definitely drink this in the summer, but this is truly the middle ground between something you would chug and something you would sip on. It opens up with lots of citrus peel, orange zest, and hints of grapefruit and mimosas up front; the mids roll into the spice and carbonation, dialing up some citrus zest, cardamom, tingly carbonation, champagne notes, and light allspice; the back end drops a healthy dose of wheat malts, and you get that hint of honey. The honey probably helps to weigh this beer down, and it feels like a beefed up Witbier in many respects.

Rating: Above-Average (4.0/5.0 Untappd) 

I'm feeling a Strong Above-Average here. Witbiers are not my style but this beer would certainly change my mind. It's really executed with finesse and has a refined quality about it that is hard to appreciate unless you have consumed a lot of different beers. It's clear that Revolver Brewing has a deft hand and they know how to infuse strong flavors like spices into their beer without turning it into a shit show. I would reach for this beer in the summer and treat it like a glass of sweetened iced tea. Something to sip on. I could also see this beer pairing well with a fruit salad, white fish, ceviche, and other summer foods.

Random Thought: I actually think this is a perfect "Texas" beer. It feels Texas to me.