Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Spinnakers Cerveza Resposado

I love barrel aged beers. Contact with the wood mellows harsh flavours and can impose unique flavours upon a beer. Such is the case with this release from Spinnakers, the barrel aged Cerveza. Aged in freshly emptied Mexican tequila barrels, one can immediately pick out the flavours of tequila right away. While I was not keen on the addition of citrus zest and salt, this beer was simple and tasty. Good tequila is sipped, like a fine vodka, rum or whiskey, not shot back with a salt lick and a lemon wedge. But this is just my snootiness coming though.

Spinnakers Cerveza Resposado = 6/10

I should really rethink my rating scale because tasty beers like this never get high scores. The nose does not shock with it's calm gold tequila hints and wood character. Each sip too is one dimensional with golden ale, citrus (both from hop and additions), crackers, tequila and wood tannins. The tequila flavour was subtle and not overpowering. It was a little salty, not gose salty, but just enough to linger on the lips. Overall I liked it and you should too. That is unless you have had a recent bad experience with tequila and are adverse to the flavour flashback. I'm decades out of college, so I was fine.

Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5%
Value +1
Appearance +1

Glassware: Whatever is clean. A simple pint glass will do.

Food Pairings: Light fare would be best, perhaps seafood. Something with lemon and salt to resonate with the beer. This just screams fish and chips

Cellar: Nope

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Coast to Coastless by Phillips et al.

I know what an ESB tastes like, and this is not it. The previous BJCP guidelines had a category for extra special or strong bitter. The current guidelines now call this category the British Strong Bitter. Perhaps because ESB is a trademark belonging to Fullers; news to me also. The Brewers Association still lists guidelines for an ESB, but the Coastless still does not hit these marks either.  The strong bitter should be a fruity, malty beverage with noticeable hop bitterness and low alcohol presence. Maybe at the top end of the alcohol range (4.6-6.2%) you might get some alcohol flavours. This Coastless is boozy as all get up, it tasted like a Negroni with prune juice. If I were to classify the beer, I would call it an Old Ale. So, I shall review as an Old Ale; otherwise the score would be much lower. This is not a judging contest, but a taste evaluation. Thanks to Bradley for the nice photo.

Coast to Coastless = 6/10

As mentioned above, this beer is boozy. It smells like rum soaked cherries, but oddly the mouthfeel is thin. Not really medium light as BJCP would like. It was still quite boozy in the sip like a negroni cocktail muddled with treacle, prunes and a Macintosh toffee bar. Still more warming boozy in the finish. If it wasn't such a thin beer the boozy might not as be so noticeable. Still it would make an excellent Ole Ale

Taste +3
Aftertaste 0
Alcohol Content +1 7.6%
Value +1
Appearance +1 (simple label are relatively good description of flavour)

Glassware: A lager glass, common pint or a dimpled mug

Food Pairings: Roasted light meats, pork, burgers, lamb. Could also work with grilled vegetables or kabobs.

Cellar: The dissolved yeast might further change the flavour, but the simple malts and low hop presence, cellaring might not be suitable.

Vital Stats: ABV 7.6% and IBU 50. According the BJCP 2015 should be 4.6-6.2%ABV and 30-50IBU. Brewers Association 4.8-5.8%ABV and 30-45 IBU. Old Ale would fit better at 5.5-9% ABV and 30-60 IBU (BJCP) similar for BA.