Posts tagged ‘Belgian’

May 2, 2015

The Bracket is Mightier IV: A New Hop

No, you didn’t miss it.

We made the difficult decision last time to stop live blogging our beer brackets. Not only does it slow down the process as we furiously write up mid-tournament reviews, but, frankly, the quality of blogging declines as the bracket goes on (ahem).

So instead, here is our post-game analysis of Beer Bracket IV: A New Hop. There were a couple highlights this time around. For starters, its the first time that a #1 seed has gone all the way. The Cuvée des Jacobins Rouge, a delightfully tart and complex Flemish Sour Ale from Belgium, didn’t lose a single match up on its way to the crown. All our previous winners rose up from the losers bracket to take the top spot.

Southern Tier’s Choklat won the annual “top tier seed crashes and burns” award. Chocolate notes have many fans in the beer community, but our judges did not look favorably on what tasted like carbonated chocolate water.

This was also (sadly) the farthest a Washington beer has got in the competition. Elysian’s Punkaccino – a flavorful and well-balanced coffee and pumpkin ale – put up a good fight in the championship against the Cuvée, but was ultimately unsuccessful. Someday, Washington beers!

Here is how it all went down:

Beer Bracket 4 -Winners Bracket

Losers Bracket

And here were the entrants, seeded:

  1. Brouwerij Bockor Cuvée des Jacobins Rouge
  2. Southern Tier Choklat
  3. Elysian Punkuccino
  4. Fremont The Brother
  5. Black Raven Trickster
  6. Hop Valley Alpha Centauri
  7. Alesmith Yule Smith
  8. Uinta Sea Legs Baltic Porter
  9. Anchorage Galaxy White IPA
  10. Old Schoolhouse Ruud Awakening
  11. Elysian Dark O’ The Moon
  12. Schooner Exact Hoppy the Woodsman
  13. Two Beers Fresh Hop
  14. Black Raven Tamerlane
  15. Evil Twin Justin Blaeber
  16. Ninkasi Oatis Vanilla Stout
  17. Perennial Artisan Ales Saison De Lis
  18. Lost Abbey Witch’s Wit
  19. Eel River Raven’s Eye
  20. La Trappe Jubilaris
  21. New Belgium Salted Belgian Chocolate Stout
  22. 10 Barrel Big Ol Pumpkin
  23. Iron Horse Lagunatic Brew

Stay tuned, our fifth bracket is imminent and it is bound to be an exciting one!

July 5, 2014

The Bracket is Mightier III: A Game of Beers

7:13 update – We have a victor! The Delirium Tremens is the official champion of the third annual(ish) beer bracket. Congratulations to Zach, who entered the DT!


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December 7, 2013

The Bracket is Mightier II!

5:53 update – The decision has been made! In a 6-5 split, Black Diamond’s Peak XV Imperial Porter has triumphed over New Belgium’s La Folie. Kudos to all the beers entered!


5:28 update – The Championship Round is upon us! It’s New Belgium’s La Folie against Black Diamond Peak XV Imperial Porter. May the best beer win!

4:33 update – We have our elite eight! Still remaining in the bracket are:

  • Sculpin IPA
  • Alba Scots Pine Ale
  • Trois Pistole
  • La Folie
  • Wesphestanier Korbinian
  • Rodenbach Grand Cru
  • Flyers Pacemaker Porter
  • Peak XV Imperial Porter

4:02 update – First round of the losers bracket is up! Here are the results

Losers round 1

3:04 update – The first round of the winners bracket is over! We had a couple upsets, here’s where things stand!

Winners round 1

Original Post:

Veteran readers may remember the first beer bracket that we set up and liveblogged here on Rosemary Renaissance. Eric and Quinn both selected eight of their favorite beers and pitted them against one another until one – Firestone Walker’s Wookey Jack – emerged victorious.

It’s been a long time coming, but we are excited to announce our second annual(ish) beer bracket! We’ve made a couple changes this time though. It’s now a double elimination bracket, and we’ve opened it up for fellow competitors to enter beers as well!

Below is the bracket, the winners half at least, with match-ups starting at 2:00 pm Pacific. Be sure to stay tuned here or at the Rosemary Renaissance Facebook Page as we look to settle once and for all (but not really) what is the greatest brew of all time!

Beer Bracket II

The Beers:

  1. Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
  2. Firestone Walker Double Jack
  3. New Belgium La Folie
  4. Stone Double Bastard Ale
  5. Rodenbach Grand Cru
  6. Dogfish Head Burton Baton
  7. Unibroue Trois Pistole
  8. Weihenstephaner Korbinian
  9. Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro
  10. Schneider Weisse Original
  11. Peak XV Bourbon Aged Imperial Porter
  12. Iron Horse Irish Death
  13. Alba Scots Pine Ale
  14. New Beligum El Dorado Fresh Hop Ale
  15. Pelican Wee Heavy Ale
  16. Flyers Pacemaker Porter
  17. Schooner Exact Hoppy Holidays
  18. Wells Banana Bread Beer
  19. Iron Horse High Five Hefe
  20. Kulshan Trans-Porter
  21. Big Time 25th Anniversary IPA
March 24, 2012

The Pint is Mightier: Boundary Bay Brewery and Bistro

(Beer Connoisseur Eric Peters contributed to this post)

Ground zero for four of the eight years of our misguided youth (aka college), our next review comes from the great white north of Bellingham, WA.

Boundary Bay Brewery and Bistro

Located in downtown Bellingham, Boundary Bay is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike. Anyone on the street could have told us that what an amazing brewery it was, but asking other people isn’t how we roll. For us, tasting is believing.

First up was the Belgian Trippel. It poured an amber color into a tulip glass with zero head. It possesed a yeasty Belgian aroma with fruity undertones; a definite precursor to the flavor of this beer. The Trippel had many sweet esters and a very fruity taste, while faintest hint of hoppiness lingered on the end of your tongue long after the sip had been taken. It held an interesting combination of hops and malts that emulated a very good old-world Belgian flavor. It was very drinkable and had a good deal of complexity, which became apparent as honey flavors emerged halfway through the pint. In the end we felt the hoppiness clashed mildly with the other flavors in the aftertaste, but overall it was good, complex, and original Belgian style ale.

The Imperial Oatmeal Stout was next on our list. It had a very dark profile, maintaining its opacity even as a thin spindle being poured.  The pint was lightly carbonated with no head and little aroma. The flavor opened robustly, with a strong, dark roastiness that was also vaguely sweet. Despite a strong first impression, the stout unfortunately never moved beyond that single note. The aftertaste lingered, but never developed any additional flavors. Ultimately the lack of complexity in this beer made it rather boring as time went on. The rest of Boundary Bay’s lineup was much stronger; we recommend sticking to their many other great beers.

Speaking of great beers, next in line was Boundary’s Winter style ale: the Cabin Fever. It was dark and completely opaque in color with a surprisingly mild aroma. Upon the first taste we noticed the excellent balance of roastiness and hoppiness, a rare. Winter seasonals from this region usually either play heavily on the hops or heavily on the roast. Although both were strong in this particular brew, they were also wel balanced, setting it apart from others in its class. Overall a delicious beer this is one of the best winter seasonals we have had in our travels.

We rounded out our evening with the Boundary Bay IPA, a mighty good night to be sure. As with all our beers this evening, this pint had no head and has just a bit of carbonation. It was darker than most other IPAs with a amber hue, though the malts were relatively mild. This IPA had a great hop profile that was well balanced between bitter, fruity and floral notes. The lingering aftertaste was leaned more towards the bitter hop flavor, but in an entirely pleasant fashion. Overall this beer was a great medium-bodied, well balanced IPA worth trying whether you’re a hop-head or a hop-hesitant.

Excellent beer, tasty food and cozy atmosphere make Boundary Bay a must-visit for any beer aficionado.

February 4, 2012

The Pint is Mightier: Naked City Brewery and Taphouse

(Beer Connoisseur Eric Peters contributed to this post)

From the heart of Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood, our next review is…

Naked City Brewery and Taphouse

Based on the film noir movie by the same name, Naked City is a cozy, dimly-lit establishment. They have a broad selection of delicious microbrews on tap, which alone would be more than enough of a reason to patron the establishment. More important for our purposes, however, is the handful of beers they brew in-house. Strolling in with our trench coats and fedoras (note: there were no actual trench coats or fedoras) we took a break from the crime beat for a nice cold one.

After looking over the in-house choices, we started with the Duplicity Belgian Dubbel style ale. This beer was served in a goblet and had a dark brown color with a creamy looking head. The aroma was mild, but distinctly Belgian. The beer lacked any sort of bitterness and was extremely malty, as Belgians often are. The minimal carbonation made drinking it incredibly smooth, and the taste was creamy, sweet and quite authentic. The one downside of this otherwise excellent beer was that it lacked much of an aftertaste. Overall this beer was a great Belgian style, done the way it should be done.

Next up was an out-of-the-ordinary brew: the Naked City Peach Hefeweizen. The beer had a golden hue and definite cloudiness to it, with no noticeable head. It had a strong peach aroma that wafted outward from the glass.  Despite the intense smell the flavor was actually quite subtle; it was heavy in traditional wheat flavors with faint notes of peach that frolicked about in the aftertaste. Fruit-infused beers should occupy a small middle ground between underwhelming and overly fruity; this beer definitely hit that (not-too) sweet spot.

Our third beer was the Night and the City Black Ale. The beer was very dark in color and almost entirely opaque, with a very dark roasted aroma. The flavor was an intriguing mix, akin to combining a porter and a brown ale. This black ale went down smoothly and consequently was quite drinkable. The profile was well balanced and, after drinking it a while longer, we noticed some of the roasts coming out and lingering in the aftertaste, a pleasant thing indeed. While this beer was good, it didn’t quite distinguish itself amongst the many that we’ve tried.

We closed out our evening with the Smoked Porter. For all intents and purposes it looked like a traditional porter – dark and vaguely opaque – but the first sip revealed noticeable differences in the flavor profile. The best way to put it: Damn, this beer is smoky. The initial notes of porter were quickly overpowered by char and hickory; it was as though someone had emptied a small vial of liquid smoke into the pint. It wasn’t until the aftertaste emerge that the flavors became more balanced, countering smokiness with sweetness and roasted porter notes. It was a bit too much like barbecue for us, but if you’re in the mood for some smoke then this is exactly what you’re looking for.

Naked City pairs a classic theme with some good in-house brews and dozens of microbrew taps to create a spot that’s definitely worth checking out. In addition to generally being a nice place to grab a pint, they regular host events and movies in keeping with the film noir atmosphere. If you decide to go, let us know. Chances are we might already be planning a trip back.

October 29, 2011

The Pint is Mightier: Scuttlebutt Brewing Co.

(Beer Connoisseur Eric Peters contributed to this post)

From the shores of Everett, WA comes our next brewery review…

Scuttlebutt Brewing Co.

The brewpub is located a hop, skip and a jump away from the naval base on the Everett waterfront. From the outside a very modern looking building, the inside of Scuttlebutt is rather generic. Eric and I slid into a booth near the window as it started to pour outside and readied ourselves for Everett’s best.

I chose the Dirty Blonde Ale for my first pint. Expecting some variation of a Hefeweizen, I was quite surprised when I took my first sip – in a good way. The roasting of the wheat and other grains created an entirely new flavor profile I had never tasted in a beer. Even after Eric tried it and we deliberated for some time, we couldn’t come up with a good way to describe the taste. There were notes of caramel interwoven lightly with vanilla and faint hints of root beer. Despite all the different components it came together in a surprisingly cogent way, extremely well balanced between malty, roasty and wheat flavors. I highly recommend this beer, it’s delicious and I haven’t tried anything else like it before or since.

Eric’s first pint was the Scuttlebutt Porter, a very dark colored brew that arrived with no head to speak of. His first sip revealed the flavor to be very roasty. As he progressed through the beer, Eric notice light chocolate notes in the profile. The porter tasted creamy, with earthy malts that added some character to it. Coming in at 20 IBUs, this beer lacked any sort of real bitterness. The maltiness was even more pronounced in the aftertaste, leaving the beer with a strong finish. This Porter was nothing remarkable, but was well crafted, full bodied and worth checking out.

Eric moved next to the Tripel 7 Belgian Style Ale. A seasonal ale at Scuttlebutt, the Tripel 7 was a a very true New World Style Belgian Ale. This brew was quite alcoholic, coming in at almost 9% ABV. It was light in color with some opacity and a mild, yet pleasant, sweet aroma. The esters in the beer came through to provide a sweet, somewhat fruity flavor that had definite hints of raisins and bananas. However, you shouldn’t let that description fool you into thinking this beer is some sort of fruity tropical bonanza; it still has a strong, fundamentally beer-y taste. It lacked a discernable aftertaste, which took away much of it’s depth. Overall it was somewhat boring compared to other Belgian Eric had tried, particularly those from native Belgium. Though not the best Belgian Eric has had, he noted that it is a good example of an American Style Belgian and might be good for someone wanting to try something new.

My second pint was the Tell Tale Red Ale. It was a coppery color, and the lack of head belied the mild carbonation of this beer. The flavor was akin to an amber ale combined with a pale ale; medium-light bodied with mild bitterness and nice malts. Typical of a red ale, there were noticeable rye notes in the flavor profile. This beer was a good example of a red ale, slightly above average for its class. If you enjoy the style, you will enjoy this beer.

All in all, Scuttlebutt was a nice brewery. The atmosphere was somewhat lacking, but the staff was friendly and they had several standout brews. Although irrelevant to the beer, they also have some ornate and awesome looking – although expensive – growlers that are definitely worth checking out. If you find yourself in Everett, or even in the general area, it would be worth your time to step in for a pint or two.

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