Last Week in Untappd – 12/8 – 12/14

A weekend made of an early family Christmas in Wilkes-Barre, PA and a night game of Eagles football viewed at a local brewery didn’t yield a lot of high profile Untappd (DrewsBrewsReviews) check-ins, but I had a few good ones this week. I shuttled some recent favorites up with me, Big Lushious and Bourbon County Stout, and hit my favorite local beer place, Sabatini’s Pizza, for whatever treasures lurk in their two fully stock coolers. This time, Sabatini’s was beyond my expectations as I got a personal tour of their amazing beer storage area and I’ll be reviewing the fruits of this trip in the coming weeks. Huge thanks to Lindo for showing me around and selling me some extremely rare beers. But that’s for another week. Here’s last weeks best:

7 SwansThe Bruery – 7 Swans-A-Swimming
Location: Bar
Style: Quad
Score: 4/5
Original Comment: Peaty raisin, plum, astringent alcohol aroma, soft, dark, dark fruit, toffee,not quite candied sugar sweet, dry, plum finish, no heat at all

Additional Comment: This is a case where sticking to the traditional elements of a style, in this instance a Quad, yielded some pretty great results. There isn’t huge depth past the layered sweet of plum, raisin, dark fruits, and toffee malt, but it’s a tasty sweet that isn’t cloying. Not a lot beyond the traditional Quad flavors, but also not a lot of heat. As a matter of fact, this hid the 11% ABV completely. No hot coal in the stomach, no chest warming, and no real indication of alcohol beyond the heavier mouth feel. Smooth, straightforward Quad that tastes as if it already has a few years on it. Good stuff and reasonably priced ($14).

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Last Week in Untappd – 12/1 – 12/7

After that butt-kicking that was the Untappening, I took it a little easier this past week. Or so I planned. I had a pretty big beer on Wednesday (full review coming up soonish) and a beer-filled and rather painful football Sunday (being a Philly sports fan, I’m used to it). Thankfully, the sting of loss was soothed by the salve of new to the area big beers and a couple long journeyers via Kentucky and Maine. Big thanks to all the sharers for kindly including me on the pours. Here’s the most noteworthy of last week:

TweakAvery – Tweak
Location: DBR Manor
Style: Imperial Stout
Score: 3.5/5
Original Comment: Bourbon, coffee, malty RIS aroma. Syrupy, medicinal body/finish. Sweet, heavy malt and mild coffee, choco, char. Needs age

Additional Comment: Booze and syrupy thick malt dominates  Tweak, weighing heavily on the delicate touch of char, coffee and tobacco. Usually, I don’t consider those flavors to be delicate, but the medicinal alcohol is such a bruiser that everything else is dainty in comparison. I like the base beer, Mephistopheles, and the additions make it even better, but the bump up in alcohol makes this tough to drink young. This has potential to be aged into perfection, backing off the heat and blending into a luxurious coffee RIS with bourbon, deep, dark sweet malts and char. It’s a theory I plan on testing. As it stands, the balance is so firmly slammed down on the boozy heat side that the small pour I had is enjoyable, but enough.

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Last Week in Untappd – 11/24 – 11/30 – (The Untappening)

CaponesWell, it finally happened.The day I anticipate in a continual 364 day loop, that most wonderful of beer days, Black Friday, has come and gone and I think we took full advantage of its bounty. In the past, this meant waking up at the crack of 9 and sheepishly making our way to Capone’s in Norristown for a solid 6 hours of drinking in an atmosphere that can best be described as a bar from a bowling alley crashed into a 70’s diner and someone hung up Vaseline smeared TVs from the 80’s. I wouldn’t want it any other way. Not that I see much else beyond the beer list, looking to see what’s kicked and trying to anticipate what’ll kick next as I order 4 or 5 beers at a time. Yes, Black Friday is Capone’s day for me. Except for this year…

A detour to find the highly-coveted Bourbon county Vanilla Rye (we failed) eventually took us to Teresa’s Next Door Black Friday Sour Event and to indulge that artisanal siren call that is Tired Hands before ultimately arriving at the threshold to Capone’s. We were successful in getting a 4pk of BCBS, a bottle of Avery’s Tweak, and 2 bottles of Abyss. Not too shabby. Here are the best of the best from a full day of rare beer drinking and Untappening (20+). The Tired Hands beers will be coming in a separate piece as a follow up to my original brewery visit.

Cantillon Fou FouneCantillon – Fou’ Foune
Location: Teresa’s Next Door
Style: Lambic
Score: 4/5
Original Comment: Metallic, tropical, lemon/ orange acidic, slight dank yeast aroma, Salty/sour sting front, tongue raking mineral, dry, biscuity fin. Good

Additional Comment: The final part of my original comment that I didn’t have room for is “…but not great.” I don’t always understand the hype behind many of Cantillon’s offerings. They are typically good but no better than any other expertly crafted sour I’ve had. This is the first where I feel like I had a fleeting glimpse of something special even if the overall experience didn’t wow me.  I will admit that knowing Fou’ Foune is the highest rated sour on Beer Advocate (#14 as of this publishing) brought some expectations with it. I think a blind taste test could yield interesting results, but I don’t have the bank account nor the resource to make that happen. Glad I had it and definitely a tasty sour, but in the future I’ll probably pass over it for something new.

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Last Week in Untappd – 11/17 – 11/23

This was actually a busy beer weekend for me, but I stockpiled written beer reviews that will release over the next few weeks rather than check them in with a few brief comments. So, Untappd (drewsbrewsreviews) is a little light on check-ins. That will change with the impending Black Friday event at Capone’s unleashing the flood of fantastic beers that will surely culminate in the Untappening. I look forward to highlighting the best of my favorite yearly event, so that’ll be ready next week. In the meantime, here’s what I checked in the week past.

Narwhal - BBASierra Nevada– Narwhal (Bourbon Aged)
Location: Bulls Head Pub
Style: Imperial Stout (Bourbon Aged)
Score: 3.5/5
Original Comment: Buttery bourbon, vanillian, roast aroma, med mf, dark malt, chocolate/vanilla, raisin/plum finish, lingering heat. Decent, but too expensive.

Additional Comment: My “too expensive “comment is slightly disingenuous as I didn’t actually pay for it. A friend of mine did and was kind enough to share some with me. Plus, this was also purchased at a bar, which comes with a markup. That said, there are very few beers I will pay $30 for, and this is no where near one of them. A price around $12 – $15 seems about right based on what I had. Narwhal is on the lower end of imperial stouts I enjoy, I like mine on the heavier, near Russian Imperial levels, and Sierra Nevada’s imp stout is too thin and dark fruit heavy for my tastes. Obviously, if Narwhal is your jam, I can’t see you disliking a bourbon barreling of it. The difficulty in landing a bottle, at least around the Lancaster PA region, makes this a buy it when you see it beer. Mostly likely you aren’t going to see it again anytime soon.

Continue reading “Last Week in Untappd – 11/17 – 11/23”

Last Week in Untappd – 11/10 – 11/16

The beers of Untappd (drewsbrewsreviews) mostly came from the personal collections of beer enthusiasts this week, so many thanks to the people and their sharing spirit. Sad to say that a portion of this was guzzled during the Green Bay routing of the Eagles, but at least we had a big beer to make that big loss go down easier. We are nearing some major releases and events, so my Untappd is probably going to blow up soon. In the calm before the storm, I’ll be sneaking in some traded Gandhi Bot and maybe a Prairie Bomb. Looking forward to it!

bcbsGoose Island – Bourbon County
Location: DBR Bar
Style: Imperial Stout (Bourbon Aged)
Score: 4.5/5
Original Comment: Why not drown the Eagle sorrows in a vintage 2013 bourbon. Can’t wait to try the 2014 offerings.

Additional Thoughts: Always good to revisit an old friend right before we get to experience its 2014 brethren (and when your team is getting pulverized by the Aaron Rodgers TD machine). Obviously this wasn’t much of a beer review, but I’ve had this beer plenty and didn’t feel like adding much. A year on and the BCBS remained largely unchanged . The sweetness might have bumped up a touch, a dangerous aspect with such a syrupy booze blast of a beer that teetered on medicinal to begin with. Actually two of our group, one a major boozy beer fan, couldn’t handle it. Not for everyone indeed, but it got me pumped for the 2014 Vanilla Rye BCBS.

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