Pale Ale Vs. India Pale Ale

2010/06/16

Diving into the vault for this one.  Which one do you like?  Do most of us really know the difference? Do most of us know that in both of these styles there are still subcategories?  It’s almost like music, as time goes on they keep adding new styles until it’s all just plain too confusing.  I found the one of the quickest explanations on 2baSnob.

Pale Ale – As in the English Bitters, there are varying styles of paleales. They all share a pronounced hop flavor and aroma with low tomedium maltiness. There is also a good deal of fruity esters. Among the types of pale ales are the English, the India (IPA), and the American. English have a dry character usually due the high sulfate content of the water. The India Pale Ale is usually stronger and hoppier because the higher alcohol content and hop acids acted as a preservative on the long boat journey from England to its colonies in India. The American is usually amber in color and has a bit more maltiness flavor than the other two. When brewing pale ales, fresh, quality hops is a necessity.”

To start off I’m taking 4 beers.  Two Pale Ales and two IPAs.  Both from the popular craft brewers Stone and Smuttynose.  Granted i did drink these beers some months ago so I’m only going to be going on what I wrote down.  I guess something is better than nothing.

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The nose comes off with some slight toastyness and some grassy spicy esters.  Tasting it the malt plays a big part.  A light caramel and toffee and a well balance from the hops with some spice and earthiness.  Very drinkable.

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Hops come through on the nose at first with strong grapefruit and some pine.  There is a bit of caramel and toffee in the background.  Smelling this you would think it would be really bitter.  Taste gives you much of the same.  However the malt comes in to even out the pine and make it much less bitter than the nose would suggest.

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Comes out with caramel and grapefruit with a hint of pine.  The taste follows the nose, however the pine is more prevalent on the tongue.

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This IPA is much like the Shoals Pale Ale only stronger.  So the Grapefruit and the pine come through more and there is more caramel malt flavor to balance everything out.

As i’ve once said I love Pale Ale’s and IPA’s.  I like all four of these tending to lead more towards the IPA’s mainly because I like the more assertive flavors.  Wither way I urge you to try these, try everything for that matter.  Get out of your beer comfort box and enjoy.  You never know what you might find.

Cheers

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Something Healthy

2010/06/09

Every once in awhile it’s good to do something healthy.  Today I decided to get off my ass and do it.

New Tire

After a rash of illness and flat tires I finally broke down and went to get a thicker tire.  Like most of us would do I needed to try it out.  So I drove up 41 to get away from the traffic and tourists, and set out.  Mind you I didn’t break any records not even any of my older fast times.  But it’s a start.  Now I just need to get the mountain bike fixed.

Cheers

Mikkeller Beats You

2010/06/08

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Here we are back to talking about beer.  And a really good one this is.  From Mikkeller Brewery the I Beat You IPA is one of the best beers i’ve tried.  Like I’ve said before I’m a hop head and if your like me you need to try this one.  The beer pours with a 3 finger head and leaves tons of lacing.  The smell on this one is supper sweet, tons of pineapple.  For the most part this beer smells like pineapple juice.  After smelling that you might think well this one is going to be sweet with not much else to it.  And you would be wrong.  The flavor is amazing, the hops come through with pineapple and pine but not as strong as they do in the nose.  There is a nice caramel malt flavor that really helps to balance out the hops.  And with a ABV of 9.75% it’s hidden really well.  The only taste inclination you get is a slight burn in the back of the throat.  Mikkeller isn’t a cheap beer but it’s worth a try, even if it is only once.

The Times They Are A Changin’

2010/06/08

It’s Tuesday and well for those of us that live in South Carolina the tasting law was passed yesterday.  So what does that mean?  Well, for starters your local breweries can now start to have tours and sell beer on premises.  That’s not saying that you can buy a whole bunch or get a discount.  On the Coast Brewery blog http://www.coastbrewing.com/ it says that you can buy one case per person per day.  And that by law they are required to sell the beer at retail price.  For the stores like The Charleston Beer Exchange http://www.charlestonbeerexchange.com/ things are better then they used to be but they’ll still be getting a ton of questions from the public.  It’s not going to be try anything you want on the growler station time.  Which most people including myself were hoping for.  What it does mean and I’m not completely clear on it but stores such as The Beer Exchange can have tastings.  The tastings will be limited on the amount of alcohol that can be opened and served.  I’m thinking this will probably go by monthly basis but again I’m not completely sure on all the logistics of the law.

As far as my own beer tastings concern well I’ve been slightly busy and all but here is a list of some of the tasty brews that are coming up.

Oskar Blues: Gordon, Ten Fidy

Smuttynose: Shoals Pale Ale, IPA

Mikkeller: I Beat You IPA, Beer Geek Breakfast

And many more.  Most notably my first beer.

Cheers

Busy Chocolate Eater

2010/06/06

Today was Sara’s birthday and this week was the first week of the Spoleto festival.  So I’ve been pretty busy.  We did enjoy ourselves some lovely chocolate today from Sweeteeth http://www.sweetteethcharleston.com/.  If you hadn’t noticed there is a surge of interest in local markets, and Sweeteeth just happens to be local.  I’ve got a whole host of beer reviews lined up for posting which I will get to as soon as things slow down just a little bit.

Local Breweries Spin On A German Classic

2010/05/26

This post is far overdue but I wanted to make sure that my facts were straight.  First off Altbier is a German style literally meaning Old [style] Beer.  It refers to the pre-lager days when people used top fermenting yeast like in pale ales.  If you want to learn more about it check out the write up on WikiPedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altbier.

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This is Coast’s (http://www.coastbrewing.com/) version of the classic German Altbier.  Now unfortunately I can’t tell you the little differences between what comes out of Germany and what Coast has made here seeing as I have never had a traditional German Alt.  The smell gets you with some nice grapefruit and a good amount of ester.  The hops are cut with a backbone of toasty malts.  The taste is a real good balance between the hops and malts.  You can pick up mostly the ester in the hop profile.  The Grapefruit really only comes through in the nose.  The toasty malts come in a round out the flavor of the hops and finishes with a little bit of pine.  Overall a pretty good beer.  Now i just need to try myself an original Alt.

Dogfish Head’s “Black & Blue”

2010/05/25

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Dogfish Head’s Black and Blue is the subject of this post.  To me it drinks more like a wine rather then a beer.  The smell is really estery, fruity and sweet.  Stands to reason that it would be fruity and sweet there are about 300 pounds of Black and Blue Berries each in each batch.  The flavor is not to sweet considering, and hits with a good amount of ester and yeast.  My suggestion would be to let it warm to cellar temp it seemed to be when the fruit in this one really come out.

Buried Hatchet Stout

2010/05/23

So this is the last day of American Craft Beer Week.  I haven’t posted anything really this whole week but that doesn’t mean I haven’t  been tasting new stuff.  I’m so backlogged on tasting notes it’s not funny.  Hopefully i’ll have a whole slew of tastings coming down the pipe shortly.

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This is Southern Star Breweries Buried Hatchet Stout http://www.southernstarbrewery.com/.  A great one for those of you who love a nice dark cup of coffee.  When I first poured it all i could smell was coffee and dark roasted malts, a really enticing smell.  Once you stick your nose in it you can also pick up some dark chocolate.  The flavor comes in with just like the nose with nice coffee and toasted malt.  Can detect some toasted marsh mellow that lightens the flavor just enough to make this one really enjoyable.  With the ABV. at 8.50% you do get some warming effect but it’s really smooth.  Surprisingly with the coffee taste there isn’t mush in the way of bitterness.  It’s actually kind of sweet and the mouthfeel is just think enough to coat the tongue.    A really good beer to sit down and enjoy after a long days work.

American Craft Brew week

2010/05/18

It’s American Craft Brew Week and you know what that means.  Put down that mass produced beverage and grab something from the little guys.  Preferably local if you have yourself a brewery near by.  Also check your papers a lot of cities and restaurants are having beer dinners and fests to celebrate.

To start my week off I went with one of my favorite.

Cascade goodness

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A Bell’s Two Hearted Ale.  If I could only have one type of beer for the rest of my life this one would probably be it.  Well until my tastes change.  Or someone changes my mind.  The smell on this one is amazing, that is if you like cascade.  It hits you in the face with fresh crisp smelling cascade hops.  See what i’ve been told is that they only use cascade hops in this beer.  You do get some caramel malt and some pine to level it off but lots of hop in this one.  The taste is a lot smoother than you might think with a beer this hoppy.  The malt really levels it out.  The pine is faint but you can definitely taste it.  Like I said this is one of my favorite.

Now i’m going to go check on my beer so i’m trying to wrap this one up quick.  Enjoy the week, drink craft beer.

Stateside IPA

2010/05/17

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After the last beer I felt I needed to give Mikkeller another try to make sure that not all there beers tasted like charcuterie.  I went with the Stateside IPA.  Pale Ales, IPAs, and Imperial IPAs are my favorite so I had good expectations for this one.

The pour was a cloudy kinda honey red color.  With about a 1 finger of really sticky head.  The smell is amazing.  Really hoppy with lots of grapefruit and caramel malt.  I seem to pick up a little bit of belgian yeast but I’m not sure.  The taste is a lot more malt forward than you would think.  But not so much that it overshadows the hops.  It finishes with a good bit of pine flavor and as you drink you really start to notice how sticky this beer is.  I saw a review of Mikkeller’s 1000 IBU beer and something he said about that beer I seem to pick up in this one.  He said that the beer tasted like hops.  Not that it tasted like grapefruit, pineapple, mango, floral, earthy or any of these. It tasted like you were chewing on a whole hop.  I pick that up a little bit in this one too.  If you like IPA’s I suggest you try this one at least once.  At 10$ for a pint it may be all any of us can afford.