This is the third year that Wicked Weed Brewing has produced this wonderful seasonal. With 220 POUNDS of raspberries and French Broad Chocolate Lounge coco nibs, this was quite the experience.
When looking at this Belgian inspired brew, it had a minimal head on pour from my growler and a nice dark caramel color with a hint of color from the raspberries. Aromatically, you definitely can tell that they did not skimp on the berries as it hits you with both sweet and tart notes.
This beer was also met with mixed reviews by my group of friends, as it is not a “beer tasting” beer. With the tartness of the raspberries followed by a bit of a sour note, not everyone picked up on the dark chocolate bitterness on the back end. We all agreed that the mouthfeel was like thin, syrup and just as sweet.
Yet another that you should not drink straight from the fridge, it does mellow and the flavors become more complex. Comments shared were “I want more chocolate with this” and “I want this with pancakes or crepes!”
Rating was 3.5/5
Recipe ideas: Use as a glaze for fish or in desserts.
Author’s note: It really was delicious with homemade pancakes during a “breakfast for dinner” evening. Yum.
New beer review, new brewery to try.
For the first beer from AleSmith brewing that my friends and I have tried, My Bloody Valentine was met with mixed results.
When first looking at this beer on my kitchen counter, it looked almost brown, but when brought into better light, it was a deep red color with a lighter colored head. When bringing the glass up to breathe in prior to our first sip, we had a nice citrus note that was somewhat herbal, like lemongrass.
Flavor clung to the back of the tongue after starting off light and crisp, leaving a slight bitter taste on the back end. This carried over in how everyone described the mouthfeel.
Admittedly, most of my friends were not as fond of it as I, but did admit that it was better as it breathed a bit and warmed up closer to room temperature. This beer was reminiscent of a blend of a mild IPA and a red ale.
Recipe ideas: I would love to use this in a bread recipe!
What to say about Waterfront Blonde Ale? This brew is made by Shipyard Brewing Company in Maine under the auspice of Waterfront Brewing Company. There is not much in the way of web-presence, but it is still found even down here in North Carolina.
This blonde ale has a nice golden color, with a hint of darker tones and a bright, well formed head when poured from the bottle.
When you breathe in the aroma, a bright, slightly sweet, citrus note comes through.
The taste has a mild hop flavor, with the over-all impression of grapefruit that carries through to the slight bitterness on the back end, but not much in complexity.
Of my friends and family who tried this, all agreed that for an inexpensive beer, it was easy to drink, light on the palate with a clean, crisp finish. A good beer to start with when you are first exploring.
Recipe ideas: This would be an adequate beer to try making your own shandy out of, or to pair with fish.
First beer review for the blog! See what we think about Goose Island's Honker's Ale!