Sunday, January 26, 2014

Wild At Heart (Ommegang)

The Brewery Ommegang has been beefing up their beer catalog lately with the creation of new brews. Last year they released two Game of Thrones themed beers starting with a Belgian Pale Ale called Iron Throne and then following up with the oh so delicious Take the Black Stout, which I had the pleasure of drinking.

Ommegang, a brewery once known for five or six of their regularly brewed beers is now broadening their horizon. A new series of beers called the Brewmaster's Obsession Series is making its way to beer stores all across the United States.

The first beer that caught my interest was Wild At Heart, an American Wild Ale with sour notes.

To make an American Wild Ale you introduce "wild" yeast or bacteria into the beer during the brewing process. There are three different techniques for doing this and one involves using sour-mash techniques.

I'm a big fan of sour/fruit inspired beer and I can happily say that Wild At Heart provides a pleasant beer drinking experience. Amber in color, the beer poured with a good amount of head.

The aroma was that of sour fruits, including mango, pineapple and passion fruit. The taste was spectacular. Just like a wolf (such as the one on the front of the bottle) is drawn to fresh meat, I couldn't help myself and had to keep drinking Wild At Heart after taking the first sip.

Soo good

The beer had the perfect balance of sour and subtle fruit flavors and had a slightly tart aftertaste. I felt like the fruit was more noticeable in the smell while the taste was dominated more by the sourness. Wild At Heart isn't for everyone, especially those that don't like a sour taste with their beers. I however love sours so it was a great beer for me to enjoy.

Wild At Heart was brewed by Brewery Ommegang located in Cooperstown, NY. Its ABV is 8.0% and is available at most local beer shops. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Shipyard Mint Chocolate Stout

Cold weather to me could mean many things. A nice fire built in the fireplace, a marathon of a tv show we've been meaning to catch up on (in my case Homeland), finally beating those video games that we haven't had time to play and delicious dark and refreshing beer.

Last night as I cruised through half of season 2 of Homeland, I cracked open a bottle of beer that I had been saving for just a night: Shipyard's Mint Chocolate Stout.

After being disappointed by the somewhat lackluster Stone Collaboration Mint Chocolate Imperial Stout I decided to give Shipyard's brew a try. I was left with a much better taste in my mouth thanks to my favorite Maine brewer.

To start, Shipyard's Mint Chocolate Stout was frothy after being poured into my mug. Always a good thing. The first smell I noticed was a spearmint aroma with a hint of coffee.

The taste was that of chocolate with a mint aftertaste. Toasted malt and barley also came through, as well as some coffee flavors.

If you're expecting this beer to taste like a scoop of Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream then you will walk away disappointed. I learned from my last experience to not hype up the beer too much and instead appreciate it for what it does well. In this case, a good chocolate stout with a slight mint flavoring.

At times while drinking Mint Chocolate Stout I felt overwhelmed with how strongly the beer smelled of mint. It was a little oversetting, but after getting used to it, the beer stuck with me as one of the better mint chocolate beers I have tried.

If you're looking for a new beer drinking experience and have a love of mints, look no further than Shipyard's Mint Chocolate Stout.

Mint Chocolate Stout was brewed in Maine by Shipyard and has an ABV of 9.0%. It is available in most beer stores although I picked up my bottle from Lake Ronkonkoma Beverage.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Schlafly Oatmeal Stout

So while finishing up the last two episodes of season 1 of Homeland, I decided to enjoy a light, but tasty beer in the form of Schlafly's Oatmeal Stout.

You might remember Schlafly as the same company who won my award for best Pumpkin Beer of 2013 after doing a blind tasting of six different pumpkin beers with Tom and his mom.

Prior to drinking the pumpkin ale they brewed, I had never heard of the company Schlafly. So when Kurt of Bullseye Wholesale Beverage posted on his Facebook page that he had some Schlafly products available I didn't hesitate to take a drive over and pick up a six-pack of their Oatmeal Stout, especially after how much I loved their pumpkin ale.

Being a stout it was dark brown in color, almost bordering on black. Poured from a 12 ounce bottle, it had a small amount of head that was a little less than what I would have liked, but just enough for me to enjoy.

My first impression upon smelling Schlafly's Oatmeal Stout was a delicious blend of coffee and chocolate mixed in perfect harmony.

The taste was also well balanced and was everything I would expect from a stout. Coffee and Chocolate were the most prevalent of the flavors I tasted and a malt aftertaste was noticeable minutes after taking each sip. Beer Advocate members who reviewed this stout also tasted raisins and oatmeal (obviously) in the beer as well.

Overall I enjoyed Schlafly's take on an Oatmeal Stout and I would gladly drink more of it in the future. I still have a couple of bottles left, so whenever I'm in the mood for a good stout I'll be prepared!

Schlafly's Tap Room is located in St. Louis, Missouri. Their Oatmeal Stout is 5.7% ABV and perfect for anyone who likes darker beers, especially those with rich flavors that break the unconventional mold of the average beer. 

Give Schlafly a try, you won't cry!