Sunday, April 20, 2008

Boulevard Pale Ale

Today we'll review local favorite, Boulevard Pale Ale. This ale weighs in at 5.1% ABV and 31 IBUs. You can find this and their Wheat on tap just about anywhere in Kansas and Missouri so it makes a nice alternative to the usual crap from Bud, Miller, Coors.

Pale Ale pours crystal clear golden amber in color with a quickly deflating white head. The Cascade, Magnum, Simcoe, and Fuggles hops create aromas of lemon, flowers and hint of grass. The pale, Caramunich, and Caravienna malts add a light touch of caramel sweetness.

Flavor is similar to the smell, some light malty sweetness mixed in with a citric twang from the hops. Bitterness is mild at best. Mouth feel is light to medium bodied with a slightly dry finish. Overall this is a delicately balanced beer with no bold flavors but what is there is very good. A good ale for long sunny days.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Titan IPA

I found myself in the mood for some hops today, so I headed down to the Cork & Barrel Downtown to see if they had any fresh IPAs. I settled on Titan IPA from the good folks at Great Divide that was bottled in mid January. After my recent experience with a bottle of old beer I've been paying more attention to bottle dating and beer freshness.

Weighing in at 6.8% and 65 IBUs, the Titan pours out a hazy orange tinged copper with a big chunky white head that leaves plenty of lacing on the sides of the glass. This ale appears to be bottle conditioned so look out for some junk in the bottom of the bottle (you can see some floaties in the pictures).

The hop aromas hit right away with a burst of pine resin and grapefruit. There is also some caramel mixed in there as well. The flavor follows the same blueprint, the hops lay down a pine and grapefruit blanket of bitterness but there's just enough caramel malt sweetness in there to keep things balanced and tasty. The mouth feel on this one is just about perfect for an IPA, smooth and full with a long dry finish and lingering grapefruit bitterness.

Overall this is another really good IPA from Colorado with plenty of tasty American hops and just the right amount of malt balance. Compared to the Odell IPA I would probably choose Odell, but just barely, they are both really good and worth your time and money.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Trappistes Rochefort 8

Today we'll take a quick look at another great beer from the fine monks at Brasserie de Rochefort. Last time we looked at a young and amazing Rochefort 10, now its a Rochefort 8 that is over two years old.

The ale pours a beautiful deep mahogany color with a wispy tan head. The nose has a sweet banana and gingerbread-like malt aroma with a little anise mixed in. The flavor starts out earthier with some malty sweetness in the background. The mouth feel is a little light, but still rich, with plenty of carbonation and finishes with a light alcohol sting and a touch of anise.

Overall a very fine beer, I think I would like it more if it was younger – remember to subtract five years from the best-by date on all Rochefort beers to find the bottled on date. The body is not a rich as the 10 and, due partially to age, the aromas and flavors are not as strong as they could be.