Today we compare / contrast two Central Coast Oktoberfest beers.
Firestone Walker Oaktoberfest, an oak aged lager, pours a pretty orange hue. You can smell the malts from arms distance away. Crisp with malt taking center stage. Simple and straightforward. A slight metallic note at the back but this is a lovely fall beer.
There Does Not Exist Oktoberfest Lager is another orange gem but this version is say more silky and missing some of the crispness. I get an Navel orange citrus note as well that mingles with the malt notes.
Winner – This is a tough call. I would like to merge the crispness of the Oaktoberfest with the TDNE complexity. But if asked which I would get seconds of, it would be the Firestone Walker.
I haven’t had a Great Notion beer in awhile but SoCal has been getting quite a few beers from the PDX brewery that I thought the time was right for some dynamite, or lack thereof.
You will read about where I bought it later today, but here is the review from me and two fellow tasters…
This was not a well loved beer. One gave it the lowest rating she had given a beer and the other found it not to his taste. Me well, I found toasted coconut big time with a neapolitan ice cream aroma. There was some tropical notes but more strawberry. It was almost like a sour stout in which the ABV over 11% does not really show.
It may be another while before I have another pastry stout
Time to crack open the impressively packaged Imperial Double Mash Stout from MacLeod Ales…
This is a gentle giant of a beer. Pours dark brown in color with just a few, fast dissipating bubbles on top. I get cherry, chocolate and a slight nutty taste at first. This is a smooth beer. The ABV is not showing. As it warms, I get Dutch chocolate pudding with a bit of coffee bean bitterness.
Thanks to City Beer Store of San Francisco, I snared a couple beers from Ruse Brewing in Portland.
Static Equation – pours a hazy yellow color. label claims apricot, grapefruit and dankness from the Citra-Simcoe-Mosaic hop trio. I get a dank Meyer lemon taste with a pillowy feel to it. Bit of a hazy burn at the back of the palate.
Ghost Coast – clear and yellow in color. has a good strong lemony bitterness. lot of malt chewiness here as well. gettin a bit of grassy character as well.
Thought Frequency with Great Notion – lightly hazed yellow color. quite spicy and herbal driven. light in texture. pine aroma to me. a bit of a toasted malt character here that is different from most hazies and not what I expected from a Great Notion collab.
Hazy and N/A? Let’s dive into the next Free Wave from Athletic Brewing
First item of visual business is that it is not holding the haze very well. It isn’t crystal clear but a little added murk is in order. The aroma is very much orange candy or soda. That carries over into the taste which has a pretty good level of piney dank bitterness but I am not getting the pillowy quality that should be in the style. Then the body fades at the end a bit. If this was labeled West Coast, it would get higher ratings but for a hazy, it misses too many marks
The second of the Three Weavers featured reviews is Light Trails IPA. Getting quite a bit of grape character to this one Soft texture here as well, the bitterness is nicely understated. The aroma is very red wine barrel. Not the usual aroma which wakes up the senses. Overall, a very tannic experience, the IPA for wine fans.
I have found a beer that I guess I hid out of spite for SABInBev. Time to open this 2014 pre-variant heavy slate of Bourbon County Stouts.
BCS14 – Pours a murky dark brown. Light bourbon on the nose. A little cherry in the taste but this is not heavy at all. Some chocolate and wood notes as well with a tiny touch of sour at the back. Alcohol doesn’t really show. Thinking that maybe 7 years was too much time? Just amazed at how thin it is overall
I got a nice care package from Three Weavers Brewing with an exciting single hop beer, featuring Simcoe.
This pale ale pours a vibrant yellow. Pine and earthiness are first to make their presence known followed by a minor note of grapefruit. For a pale ale, Deep Thoughts has a strong layer of bitterness to it while still being lighter in body. Additional citrus notes come through as the beer warms up making the flavor profile more complex.
I am hoping that maybe, down the road, there will be a mixed 4-pack each can featuring a different hop.
Peanut butter beers are the rage right now, but what would an N/A one taste like? Let’s see what Athletic Brewing can do with Nature Nut a collaboration with Justin’s Nut Butters.
Double N pours a nearly black color. The aroma has a slight peanut butter aroma to it. Akin to the smell when you stir up a natural peanut butter when first opened. Again, Athletic has made a beer that does not taste thin like others in this category. There is a bit of a cherry note amidst the carbonation that hits upon first taste which quickly leaves and then a pleasant but light peanut tastes lingers.
Happy 11th birthday (a little belated) to trailblazing LA brewery Eagle Rock and now let’s check out their celebration of 11…
Elevensies pours a close to dark orange. This is a cheek warmer for sure. 11 hops including the new Altus were used for this anniversary Triple IPA that tops the scales at not 11 IBUs but 111 of them. Initially a little hot and that ABV obscures a dark cherry type of flavor that I am getting. Maybe caramelized pineapple? Either way it is nicely sharp at the beginning of the sip and then glides into the slight burn.