Monday, September 30, 2013

Magic Hat Hicu

Here is, yet another, brewing experiment from our friends at the Magic Hat Brewery. There was only one thing they could name this one because it is concocted with hibiscus and cucumber in the ingredients. They named it Hicu, I guess Haiku was  taken?

The pour produces a caramel, red, brown ale with very little carbonation. I poured it aggressively.  The first sip is dominated by the taste of cucumber. The second sip is just more cucumber and a sour ale hint.

As the beer warms I can begin to smell a brown ale. At this point, I detect the taste of ice tea, but I can't get over the the cucumber taste. If there was a bit of oil involved, I would describe the mouthfeel as salad dressing.

The label invites us to compose a Haiku about Hicu, here's mine. 

Lovely brown ale
tastes like curcurbits
I'll not have another.

Grade: 2 of 5 possible pints.

Monday, September 23, 2013

French Broad, Gateway Kolsch

Here's another craft brew from right over in North Carolina, French Broad Gateway Kolsch. Sally is very fond of the light nature of Kolsch and I am also coming to terms with the style.

Gateway K pours clear, corny gold with better than average head retention. The first sip tastes of light beer and noble hops. The lightness reminds of wheat beer. And, brings to question, how did I miss the whole wheat beer season this year?

I guess I spent the season reconciling myself with the Kolsh style? A conundrum, since it's an ale that drinks like a lager. I have gained renewed respect for our German brewing forefathers who created this light ale which imitates their lagers.

So, as predicted, the mouthfeel is the impression of a Pilsner.

Grade: 3.5 of 5 pints

Monday, September 9, 2013

Moerlein Over the Rhine Ale

Why the sudden interest in Cincinnati brews? About a month ago, Sally and I managed to take a few vacation days and visit Cincinnati. We visited the Christian Moerlein Lager House and managed to bring home a few beers.

Here I'm sampeling their Over the Rhine Ale. It smells hoppy and produces a hazy brown pour. It produced a pretty good head for a bottled beer which was purchased at a grocery store. I imagine it was pretty fresh since Cincinnati is just over 250 miles from Knoxville, Tn.

The first sip is hoppy too but subsequent sips are more balanced.  This is no IPA, it's just a good old "Ale" and an inspiration to would-be home brewers, such as; myself. The hops and malt are very well balanced but the hops remain on top of the tastes, I like this beer more with each sip.

I just got a taste impression that was, very much, mocha, similar to iced coffee. That's what I'm calling the mouthfeel, sweet and sour, like iced coffee.

Moerlien brews are available locally, I will be looking for this one again.

Grade: 4 out of 5 pints.