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Archive for the ‘Beer Reviews’ Category

Belgium & Belgium Style Tasting

April 10, 2017

Our Guys Night Out group took a break from tasting wine this month to have a Belgium & Belgium Style Beer Tasting. One of our members recently returned from Belgium with two bottles of Westvleteren XII or “The Best Beer in the World” in tow. Thus the impetus for the tasting. So we gathered together various Belgium beers from our beer caves and threw together a nice little tasting of the World of Belgium Beers. Below are pictures of each beer we sampled, roughly in my order of preference.

I easily found the Trappist Westvleteren XII or “Westy 12” to be my favorite beer of the evening. As one of my buddies said “it’s all about balance”. Balanced, smooth with full flavor. I can see why many consider it the best beer in the world.

After that my second favorite was the Westmalle Trappist Dubbel. Once again a very balanced beer, smooth with solid flavor that is dangerously easy to drink.

Third place for me this evening was the Trappistes Rochefort 10. Sounding like a broken record once again a well balanced, smooth with good flavoring beer that I would not hesitate to order time and again.

Honorable mention to the Orval Trappist Ale (right up there with the top three in my book but I had to pick three) Maredsous 5 Blond, St. Sebastiaan Dark and the Steenbrugge Tripel. All great beers in their own right and any of which I’d love to be aging in my beer cave.

Solid beers all evening, all of which I’d love to try individually again in the near future so I can properly sit and reflect upon what is in the glass. In the meantime enjoy the photos and “Prost” to my beer loving friends.

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Cigar City Brewing Company
3924 W Spruce Street
Tampa, FL 33607
(813) 348-6363
http://www.cigarcitybrewing.com/

Cigar City Digital Beer Menu

Cigar City Digital Beer Menu

September 7, 2013

If you happen to be a beer afficianado then whenever you’re in the Tampa area a visit to Cigar City Brewing Company is a must. Located in the Carver City-Lincoln Gardens neighborhood of Tampa Cigar City Brewing is quickly accessible from just about anyplace in the Tampa area. In addition to offering tours of the brewing facilities Cigar City Brewing’s Tasting Room offers up an impressive selection of beers to be sampled. During our visit and over the weekend via carry out I was able to sample the following beers:

  • Jai Alai IPA
  • Maduro Brown Ale
  • Tocobaga Red Ale
  • Good Gourd Imperial Pumpkin Ale
  • Cafe Americana
  • Hotter Than Helles
  • Florida Cracker

I found all of their beers to be uniformly good quality with a few such as the Jai Alai and Maduro standing out above the rest.

Cigar City is open from 11AM until 11PM daily staying open until 1AM on Friday and Saturday. Attire is as casual as it gets. Just be sure and put on some clothes before showing up. Parking is free in the parking lot in front of the building. Don’t forget they offer tours on the half hour if your thing is to stare at large stainless steel tanks.

NOTE: Cigar City does not serve food but they will typically have a food truck parked in front of the brewery. Call ahead for details.

Cigar City Brewing Company: good for a couple of hour’s diversion

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I recently took a quick cruise through my beer cellar and stumbled across this accidentally forgotten bottle of Oktoberfest beer that a friend have me during a recent visit. Time to pop some caps.

Schlafly Oktoberfest

Schlafly Oktoberfest

Schlafly Oktoberfest

Tasted February 3, 2013

Tasted non blind. Served from 12 oz bottle. Bottled September 10, 2012. ABV 5.5%. IBU 25.

Dark amber color with an orange twing, a tiny bit of cloudiness, both probably due to age. Nose of toast, malt and an unusual component I can’t quite identify. Flavors of lemon, malted meal and a bit of something else on the clipped finish. I don’t know if this is the normal profile for this beer or if it is over the hill and fading. Frankly, I think this beer is over the hill already. No rating as a result.

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I have a friend (floydtp) who has been bitten by the home brewing bug. He recently brewed and bottled his first Belgian Triple Ale and he asked me to take it for a test drive and give him my unvarnished opinion. Here are the results.

floydtp Belgian Triple Ale

floydtp Belgiam Tripel Ale

floydtp Belgiam Tripel Ale

Tasted February 3, 2013

Pours a deep golden to burnt orange color with a full and a pretty good, retentive head. Color is a bit darker than anticipated for a Belgian (should be more golden, less burnt orange) and is a bit cloudier than anticipated but a good visual appearance overall.

Throwing a decent amount of sediment which is contributing to the cloudiness of the ale. Needs to be stood beforehand and poured carefully as a result but it still came through. Maybe fine it a bit next time? For the record I did stand this and left a quarter inch in the bottle to minimize sediment.

Nose of malt, spice, mixed citrus fruits and a splash of ocean spray. Light yet attractive with aromas that are true to form.

Flavors of apricot, orange, lemon zest and malt. Light to medium bitters. Good flavor profile that is light to medium on the palate as anticipated. The only negative is there is a tiny bit of a bitter/earthy finish when I was anticipating instead a medium, pure and clean finish. Definitely not a detriment though.

Body is light to medium on the palate, fairly nimble and refreshing as anticipated. Just the tiny bit of bitterness on the finish is the only negative here.

Alcohol seems to be pretty in check, I’m guessing closer to the 7%-8 mark than the 9-10% mark. Seems within range. Tasted towards the lower end, feels towards the higher end if that makes sense. NOTE: floytp later told me it was about 8.4%.

Overall balance seems good and true to form for a Tripel Ale. Served double blind in a flight of Tripel Ales I’d likely say it was as solid effort that was within the profile and likely a lesser known Old World made Ale. It is a bit more nuanced than most up front, in your face American renditions.

Overall: Good job and a great first effort.

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Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat Ale

Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat Ale

Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat Ale

January 13, 2013

Tasted non blind. Served from 12 oz bottle. No ABV or IBU on the bottle. Bottled 12/05/2012.

Light gold color in the glass, cloudy looking throughout with a short, slightly retentive head. Nose of wheat bread, lemon wedges and a bit of wet stones. Flavors of apricot core, lemon rind and a little wheat on the finish. Medium bodied with a medium finish. Good to very good. Let’s call this one three and a half stars out of five.

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Mothers Winter Grind

Mothers Winter Grind

Mother’s Brewing Company Winter Grind Coffee Stout

January 12, 2013

Tasted non blind. Opened and served from 12 oz format. 6.0% ABV. 18 IBU.

Black color in the glass, opaque looking with a short, slightly retentive head. Nose of coffee, mocha and roasted malt. Flavors of coffee, bitter dark cooking chocolate and a creamy malt finish. Good weight on the palate, medium finish. Good to very good. Let’s call this one three to three and half stars out of five.

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Goose Island Honker’s Ale

Goose Island Honkers Ale

Goose Island Honkers Ale

January 10, 2013

Tasted non blind. Served from 12 oz bottle. No ABV on the bottle. Bottled 10/10/2012.

Amber color in the glass, clear looking throughout with a tiny, non-retentive head. Nose of orange peel, hops and and a hint of birch. Flavors of orange rind, light flavors of root beer and light malt balls. Good weight and presence on the palate. Medium finish. Good to very good. Let’s call this one three to perhaps three and half stars.

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