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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Schell's Barrel Aged Schmaltz's Alt


August Schell Brewing Co.
Barrel Aged Schmaltz's Alt
Batch No.1
Purchased at Blue Max Liquors

My wife went to Minnesota and brought back a few local ales. Here is one of them which she bought because Schell's holds "a special place in her heart" due to Bock Fest.

Aroma: A bright and full nose of red cherries with just a hint of oak following that up. Some dark fruits are also noted. ABV is not stated on the bottle but there is a moderate among of alcohol spice coming off the beer as well. A bit of chocolate is just barely noticeable. No hop aroma.

Appearance: Black body with clear ruby highlights along the edges and top. Head poured about one finger of tan large bubbles, but faded quickly to a trace of a ring along the outside.

Flavor: Light caramel blended with some plum and roasted malt. Sweet chocolate works its way in as well toward the middle where hop bitterness makes a showing ever so slightly. Finish is very clean with a touch of malt sugars left behind for sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Light body with light carbonation. It's either the roast or barrel aging that give a sense of dryness on the palate right in the middle, then the beer ends very crisp and dry. Light visit from hop bitterness in the finish.

Overall: Surprisingly light flavors coming off this beer, especially when you consider the relatively complex aroma. The dark fruit and light cherry character is very nice in the nose, but doesn't fully transcend to the flavor. A nice beer to enjoy on a cool Autumn evening, but still an easy drinking ale.

I rated this beer a "B" on BeerAdvocate.
Blue Max Liquors (Link is to Yelp. Blue Max appears to have no website.)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Maui Brewing Coconut Porter


Maui Brewing
Coconut Porter
Style: American Porter
5.7% ABV
Purchased at 99 Bottles.

Aroma: Deep sweet chocolate almost completely dominates the nose. A rustic dry hay-like presence is noted lingering in the background. This can come of as somewhat grainy as well. No hop aroma. No detectable coconut.

Appearance: Black. Black like the shadow of a thousand crows. A light tan head forms after the pour but fades quickly to a ring around the edge of the glass. Light lacing.

Flavor: Sweet chocolate once again up front with a quick follow up of light coconut. The coconut adds a level of tartness, though it is very subtle. Roast presents itself toward the finish as well as a trace of hop bitterness. Finish is lightly sweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium to high carbonation. I say this because the carbonation comes off a bit 'fizzy'. Roast dries out the palate toward the finish and carbonation scrapes the tongue dry.

Overall: A surprisingly sweet porter with just enough coconut milk presence in the mix to make it noticeable. I would welcome a splash more coconut, but it's probably very easy to go too far with that. Carbonation is too high for me, but it does make this beer refreshing. Even with the thermometer at 90 degrees F today, the beer goes down well.

I rated this beer a “B+” on BeerAdvocate.

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Beer enthusiast and advocate. Recognized beer judge and traveler of west coast beer destinations.