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Holiday Beer Tasting at RFD

beer_santahatThe Holidays are quickly approaching.  This is supposed to be a season of giving.  What better gift for a beer drinker than a beer event!  On Wednesday December 19, RFD will be hosting a holiday beer tasting.  Now this isn’t just any olde beer tasting; this is:  Happy Holidaze! The Multiple Guest Brewmaster Winter Holidaze Extravaganzee.

This year will be amazingly enough the 25th, yes 25th, anniversary of this event. It is more than merely a tasting though.  You’ll be able to gain some insight on the brews from the many local area brewmasters who will speak.

Doors will open at 6PM for the “7PM” start (like a beer event ever starts on time). Tickets are $45 and can be purchased on the RFD website.

I hope to see you there!

-Pyzocha

EDIT: I now have a list of the breweries which will be attending and it’s a great list: Lost Rhino, Sweetwater, Devils Backbone, Chophouse, Brewers Alley, White Marsh, Union Craft, Vintage 50, Rock Bottom, Gordon Biersch, Baying Hound, Dog Brewing, DuClaw, Heavy Seas, 3 Stars, and DC Brau!

Brew Review: Widmer Brothers Raspberry Russian Imperial Stout ’12

Widmer Brothers Raspberry Imperial Stout '12I stopped in at D’Vines in Columbia Heights the other day looking for something new to try.  I was hoping for something dark and strong to celebrate the cooler temperatures and found this beer.  I’m a fan of the Widmer Brothers Heffeweizen and figured that a Russian Imperial Stout would do the trick.

The beer pours black with almost no head.  There is some light fruity sweetness on the nose from the raspberry that is mellowed out by a bitter chocolate aroma at the end.  The flavor is mostly dark, bitter chocolate as expected from an imperial stout.  There is some fruit sweetness at the end whcih helps balance the lingering bitterness.  There is less  fruit taste than I expected from the aroma but that keeps the beer from being too sweet.  It has a surprisingly thin mouthfeel for a boozy stout, which I appreciated.

Overall, I enjoyed drinking this beer.  It is very drinkable for an imperial stout and wasn’t too sweet despite the raspberry.  The lingering bitterness keeps it from being a sessionable beer for me though.  Plus, at 9.3% ABV in a big bottle it could make for a short session.

-DK

Brew Review: Maine Beer Company Zoe Amber Ale

Saving the whales at less than $0.08 per bottle!

Maine Beer Company Zoe: Happy, Hoppy, Amber Ale; Portland, ME; 16.9 oz @ 7.2% ABV

I found this bottle of Maine Beer Company’s Zoe Amber Ale at D’vines in Columbia Heights and hemmed-and-hawed over buying it, which was asinine because when in doubt, buy the damn beer.  The description on the bottle, “Our Happy, Hoppy, Amber,” is intriguing because “hoppy” and “amber” don’t normally go together (well, aside from the ol’ Nugget Nectar).

The story on the backside explains that beer is named after Zoe, someone’s daughter who smiled at the Whale Museum, and is supposed to put that same smile on the drinkers face. My guess is that Zoe’s smile didn’t involve semi-glazed over eyes or wasn’t caused by a surprise hops ambush, but anyways, this brewery donates 1% of Zoe sales to Adapt-A-Whale program. For X, this gives him one more reason to drink — “SAVE THE WHALES!”

Pour: Dark deep amber that looks brown. The head is white-creamish and lasts a while. After about five minutes and three drinks, it’s still about 5mm high. Additionally, there is lacing on the glass for a good while.

Aroma: Hops! They were correct — at least on the nose (so far) — that this is a hoppy amber. The aroma does have a little surprise sweetness at the end.

Taste: Awesome! The taste starts off small, simple, and just a little less sweetness than most ambers, but then you turn the corner and BOOM! the hops kick in. My taste buds have been roped-a-doped by this beer, but that won’t stop me from having some more. Thankfully, this beer comes in 16.9 oz bottles, so there’s MOAR to drink.

Body: Medium body, but as with any hoppy beer, it feels larger once the hops kick into the flavor.

All in all, it’s a great take on the amber style. Sessionable? Not for me since the hops seem a bit out of place and strong; that said, it is more sessionable than Nugget Nectar, and I highly recommend anyone that likes hops or trying new styles to give this a whirl.

 

 

 

 

 

– Shintern1909

Brew Review: Fish Tale Organic Amber Ale

Where's the yeast? "Ingredients: Water, Organic Barley, and Hops"

Fish Tale Organic Amber Ale; Olympia, WA; 5.5% ABV

Back in April, Squirrel took a trip to Portland to visit a friend and came back with several gifts for me, including Fish Brewing Co.’s Fish Tale USDA Certified Organic Amber Ale (Thanks!). I do love ambers (the reason she grabbed it) and am excited to try it.

Pour: The beer has a super-cloudy copper color with a small, off-white head. Maybe the cloudiness is intended to prove that you are drinking a beer made with “Water, Organic Barley, and Hops.” In addition to using, evidently, in0rganic hops, it seems weird that water isn’t organic… Anyways, I don’t give a rat’s ass so long as it’s good.

Aroma: Getting some organic sweetness on the nose from the barley, not much in the way of hops. It’s clear who the star of the show is going to be.

Taste: It’s not as sweet as it smelled and is quite pleasant but isn’t anything to blog write home about. After the initial sweetness, the beer gives a hint of bitterness from the hops.

Body: Very thin and barely carbonated.

Overall: It’s a good beer, and I could have several if I were inclined to do so. I am glad to have tried it and thankful to have been given the opportunity.

– Shintern1909

Brew Review: Widmer Citra Summer Blonde Ale

Widmer Citra SummerI recently wrote an App for my Blackberry to make reviewing beers more efficient.  It takes input of various aspects of the beer, allows you to take a picture and then emails all of this to you.  This was in effort to get myself to review more beers.  Well, the App works as intended but so far I haven’t been as successful in reviewing more beers.  I think it will help because it helps me from forgetting certain aspects of the beer.

The first beer I reviewed using my App was the Widmer Brothers’ Citra Summer Blonde Ale.  I love most beers made with citra hops so I had to give this one a try.  It poured a light light golden blonde color with quick fading white head; as to be expected from a blonde ale.  The aroma was all about the sweet citrus smells from the citra hops.  It had a refreshing feeling even before I took a drink.  The taste started with a sweet citrus flavor that faded into a crisp refreshing finish.  At 4.3% it is a very light and sessionable summer beer.  This is definitely a summer beer worth trying.

-Pyzocha

Brew Review: Harpoon 100 Barrel Series Maple Wheat

Editors note: with several moves from the area and departures from the JStreet Team, we’ve added some new help.  DK will be joining the team as our newest reviewer.  Everyone say “Hi DK!”

Recently, I saw this beer on tap at RFD and decided to give it a try.  I’d had a few Harpoons and found them generally enjoyable but knew nothing about this beer.  The idea of maple in a beer seemed like an interesting twist on all of the summer wheat beers that are now available.  The name conjured images of frozen trees being tapped for syrup and snow being melted for beer which, in the middle of summer in DC, was a very tempting thought.  I was hoping for a mild beer with a sweet finish.  Sadly, the beer delivered none of these things.

The beer pours a caramel color with a medium head.  There is very little aroma at all.  The beer tastes like…actually, it’s hard to say.  It doesn’t have the mild flavor that I expect in a wheat beer.  It doesn’t have much maple flavor or any other sweet taste.  There is a mildly bitter aftertaste that could be burnt sugar, probably from the syrup, but not something that improved the flavor.

Aside from the slight aftertaste it’s a drinkable beer but not at all what comes to mind when one thinks maple wheat.  I guess I’ll just stick to summer wheats.

-DK

3xB Brother’s Reserve Lemongrass Wheat

This Week’s Big Bottle Breakdowns: Brewer’s Reserve Lemongrass Wheat

Lesson #1: Just because a beer is a “special release” it doesn’t mean it will be good.

Lesson #2: Finishing 3/4 of a bottle of wine after 3+ beers on an empty stomach is a bad idea.  Especially if it’s over 95 out. I apologise for any incomprehensible issues with this post.

This Brewer’s Reserve has been aging taking up valuable space for a while now, so with the heat index broaching 100, and my life frustration approaching ∞,  I decided this would be a good decision.

Lesson #3: When you’ve never made a good decision in you life after 29 years, it’s a pretty good indication you never will.

This was special release #5, a “wheat ale brew with lemongrass and muscat grape juice with lemongrass added.”  Yea, lemongrass gets mentioned twice.

It pours a orange colour with virtually no head.  It smells, well, funky.  Very earthy and floral, maybe a slight citrus.

It tastes, well, funky.  Malty core no doubt, citrus (lemon egad!), and some solid alcohol finish.  It’s a very coarse finish and not really enjoyable.

Maybe I was wrong, but I assumed this would be a nice refreshing beer on a hot day.  Nope.  It is, however, 9%, so it did accomplish the most important goal of all alcohol.

-X

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