Another month, another beer club! For the uninitiated, beer club is just a monthly gathering of friends from work for dinner and, of course, lots of beer (and often other alcoholic wonders). We had an average turnout, but still lots of fun and we had so much beer that we couldn’t even get to all of it… A transitional period in terms of seasonal beers. Some leftover fall seasonals, some holiday beers, but the majority of beers were regular offerings:
(Click for bigger image)
For the sake of posterity, some thoughts on each beer we tried are below. As usual, conditions were not ideal, so take it all with a grain of salt. Or as sacred scripture (as I’m sure you do with all my other posts). The choice is yours. In order of drinking (not necessarily the order in the picture):
- Tröegs DreamWeaver Wheat – A very solid Hefeweizen from semi-local Tröegs. I’ve actually had this a few times before, but there’s nothing particularly unique about it. A really nice example of the style though. B
- Amager Julebryg 2008 – Dark color, with a wonderful aroma that is filled with crystal malts and caramel flavors (and maybe some subtle spicing). Taste is a little more roasty than I was expecting from the nose, with some coffee and maybe a little chocolate apparent. Full bodied but smooth, a really nice beer. It feels more like a solid stout than a holiday beer, but it’s good either way (Beer Advocate calls it a dubbel, which sorta fits, but I probably wouldn’t have guessed that from the beer itself). The bottle sez it was spiced, and it was certainly complex, but nothing particularly stood out (this is actually a good thing). Brewer Amager warrants further exploration. B+
- Guinness Black Lager – This feels like a more crisp, carbonated version of Guinness’ famous dry stout with less roastiness. It’s an easy drinking beer, but the flavor seems oddly muted (perhaps because of the other brews of the night). Nothing wrong with it, but not a particularly special beer either. C+
- Abita Turbodog – A great name for a beer that turns out to be a standard brown ale. Certainly nothing wrong with it and a solid example of the style, but not particularly special either. B-
- Wychwood King Goblin – According to the bottle, this beer is only brewed under a full moon. It’s got that typical Wychwood style label which is fantastic. Unfortunately, the beer doesn’t quite live up to the branding. Lots of head and perhaps as a consequence, a little too light on the carbonation. Not quite flat, but it wasn’t a good mouthfeel at all. Taste was hoppy, but not in the typical American pale ale way – perhaps this is more of an English pale ale (BA has it pegged as an English Strong Ale). Not a horrible beer, but not something that I could really connect with either. I don’t know, Wychwood beers seem to be hitting me the wrong way lately… C
- Elysian Night Owl Pumpkin Ale – An interesting example of the style as it seems to emphasize the pumpkin more than the spices (which are still there, but not anywhere near as prevalent as they typically are in pumpkin ales). Smooth, tasty, and easy to drink. Nothing revelatory, but a good example of the style. B
- Ommegang Cup O Kyndnes – One of my contributions for the night, this is a really interesting combination. Basically a Scotch ale brewed with Belgian yeast, it features the hallmarks of both styles. Unlike a lot of style mixtures, I think these two styles complement each other well. Very sweet and malty, with that typical Belgian yeast character coming out in a prominent way. I actually have another bottle of this sitting around, so look for a full review at some point…
- Fegley’s Brew Works Rude Elf’s Reserve – Another beer I’ll probably review separately, but I will say that this is a hugely alcoholic (10.5% ABV) spiced beer. Kinda like an overspiced pumpkin beer without any pumpkin (I had one of these earlier, along with a pumpkin ale, and found this one sharing a lot of the pumpkin spices)… Look for a separate review sometime this holiday season…
- Dana’s Homebrewed Dubbel – A nice dubbel style beer, only recently bottled, so it could probably use some more time to condition, but it’s still pretty good. Nice traditional Belgian yeast character with a medium body. Easy to drink.
We didn’t get to try a few of the beers in the picture, including Troegenator, Hoptober, and Amish Four Grain Pale Ale. All in all, another successful outing for the beer club. I’m already looking forward to the next installment, as we will most likely be drinking all Holiday beers (aka, my favorite seasonals).
2 thoughts on “Novembeer Club”
I love Troegs, but I’m meh on the Dreamweaver…wheat beers just aren’t my thing.
I’ve heard of the Cup o Kyndness before (maybe here?), and it sounds interesting, but I tend more to the MacEwens/Harviestoun tar balck side of Scottish beers, and away from the malt explosions. Still, I love Ommegang.
I’ve hadturbodog, and thought the same…ok, serviceable, but nothing exciting. Abita’s Purple Haze is quite good if you’re amenable to fruit extract in your beer…blackberry if memory serves?
I guess as recently as the 80’s, Guinness made several different beers aside from the classic dry stout…I’ve had the Foreign Extra, and thought it was ok, but nothing exciting. I will have to look for this though, if for know other reason than brand loyalty…even though Guinness is DiaGeo these days, who have a large sharehold and questionable impact on the Scotch world.
And I’ve heard of Wychwood, but I can’t say I’ve had anything of theirs.
I don’t think I’ve had anything bad from Troegs, but at the same time, nothing’s really blown me away either…
Cup o Kyndnes is apparently a limited brew (not sure if they’ll try it again). I actually bought a “six pack” of the 750 ml bottles a while ago, so I still have two of them left… It’s certainly a distinct beer. I certainly enjoy me some Harviestoun, but then, that tends to be less distinctive than most Scottish beer.
I think I’ve only ever really had the standard Guinness dry Irish stout. I haven’t even really had the Foreign Extra (at least, I don’t think so).
Wychwood is famous for a beer called Hobgoblin, which I remember enjoying, but it’s been a long time and my most recent sampling of their beers hasn’t been too favorable. I love their branding though!