Showing posts with label Fruit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fruit. Show all posts

Dec 18, 2016

Griffin Claw's Project Clementine

     When I saw this on the "Just In" shelf at a local beer monger I thought "What an odd time of the year to release a summery and citrusy brew." I mean, it's winter. As I type this it is 14 °F outside. It's usually dark and rich beers that may or may not be barrel aged and their warming effect that get all the attention this time of the year.
     Then I thought about. Boxes of clementines are always a gift from someone for Christmas. It started to make sense to me. And with the grey skies and painful cold blasts in the great out-of-doors, something that resembles sunshine can be very welcoming.
     The copper color reminded me of the first few minutes of sunrise. The scents of citrus and it's zests were right on top. Behind it was a sweet roasted scent and buttery toffee. On first sip, the citrus notes were very big and running neck and neck with a lot of piney hops. After letting it breath a bit, things became more well rounded with other flavors coming out. The tang took on flavors of pineapple and mango along with the obvious sweet orange flavors and the IPA backbone dialed back on being just another hop monster letting the malt come out a bit giving a fresh baked bread characteristic. Like toast and marmalade? Yeah, a bit like that. The finish is sweet and a bit tart that sticks around for a bit but not in a way that a lot of imperial IPA's stick for what seems like hours.
     The way the 9% abv goes about here is interesting. It's not "hot" or too pronounced but with each sip there is something lingering that reminds you that this isn't just some kind of shandy that can be knocked backed by the minute and still manage to walk a straight line to go jump in the lake. www.griffinclawbrewingcompany.com

Jul 22, 2015

Odd Side Ales Wheatermelon

     I'm not much of a watermelon guy. It's not some I hate or anything but even as a kid when handed a slice it wasn't really my thing. Between the weird stickiness that got everywhere and having to deal with spitting out seeds it just seemed there was too much effort involved with very little reward.
     My lady, on the other hand, is a fan. Whenever she picks some up at the store she always offers me some but for the most part I pass.
     One of the many things her and I do have in common though is being fans of Grand Haven, Michigan brewery Odd Side Ales. When they announced that bottles of their wheat beer brewed with watermelon would be hitting the store shelves for the warmer months this year she would give me the occasional reminder to keep an eye of for it.
     Eventually I did spot some around. I hemmed and hawed a little bit about picking some but knew, even with me not being in the water melon fan club, bringing some home would make for a happy lady.
     Pouring hazy orange with a reddish tint in color it looks like summer. The head was very minimal and faded fast but there was a little ringleft that stuck around for the most part through the entire glass. Not much as far as lacing was concerned.
     The smell was sweet and summery. Not really blatant as far as the watermelon was concerned but generally fruity. The aromas of fresh baked bread and a hint of banana that is usually typical in a wheat beer was there.
     Though the watermelon wasn't pronounced much in the scent it does make it's presence known on the first sip. The thing is though it didn't have me making the "Meh!" face the way watermelon usually does. It wasn't over the top and bursting with that musky weirdness but it did serve its job of being more than just an flavor accent it. It, along with notes of lemon and seasonal fruits like strawberries, gave the beer a fresh summer salad type of tartness without taking over and overshadowing the wheat beer base. It finishes clean.
     If you're seeking out some big fruit and booze bomb of a beer like a Short's Soft Parade, the subtleness of the flavors and a 4% abv of this is not going to make that list. For something crisp and refreshing to slip while hanging out in the sun (now that summer seems to have finally arrived here in Michigan) this fits the bill just fine.
www.oddsideales.com

Sep 20, 2014

Odd Side Ale IPA and Grapefruit Wheat

 
     Odd Side's Pineapple IPA pours a rich and luminous amber in color with a minimal head that melts fairly quickly. The pineapple comes out even before the nose is near the glass. Not not overbearing and is not unlike the smell when I slice up a fresh one on a summer morning. Giving it a more investigative whiff aromas of orange peel and caramel notes of the malt sit on top of a piney hop character.
As I sit here and write this it is one of the warmest days of the year here. I also just so happens, even though most people write it all off after Labor Day, that summer ends and fall starts in two days. Seems a good time as any to compile my notes on the last strays of these two I have had on the stash for later shelf in my fridge.

     A mix of tropical fruits such as tangerine, papaya and mango come into play first in the flavor along with the pineapple which though, based off the the scent, is not as dominant as expected at first. That is followed by some toasty grains and slightly sweet malts. A hop bitterness finds itself getting comfy with some refreshing fruit juices in the finish.
     As the beer breathes and adjusts to room temperature the pineapple seems to step up it's roll as the star of the show but still doesn't hop the limelight. Due to a bit of stickiness I don't know if I would have classified this as a beach beer but, then again, the weather kinda jacked most beach days this past summer. Either way I enjoyed my share of them for the season and it worked well while out in my backyard today while doing some end of the summer work and surveying the things I gotta do before the snow starts to fly.
     Though I have been a serious IPA head for many years and plenty of times over the last year it seemed that I have gotten a little jaded on the style. I like them getting ridiculous but there's been a few where I'm like "Calm down dude" in more recent times. This is a cool twist on the style though. It's different and in no way doing it over the top just for the sake of doing so. Looking forward to having some more of these when they come around again next summer.

     Slightly cloudy and gold in color Odd Side's Grapefruit Wheat produces a small foam cap as a head which slowly melts away. The smell of grapefruit is very faint on the nose but the bready and banana like characteristics that come with along for the ride when it usually comes to wheat beers is there. Giving it a little time to breathe some fruit scents come out but it seems to me more along the lines of white grapes along with a dint of earthy raw honey.
     The taste is dominant of that of a standard wheat beer. Light and easy summer drinking in that respect. The grapefruit flavor comes out much, much more in the flavor than it does in the smell but also leans more towards the rind of it than the juice. The finish has an odd sticky bitterness that doesn't seem to work right to these taste buds though..  
     Everything I've tried by Odd Side I have enjoyed immensely but there is something missing. Not saying it struck out when it went up to bat but never got past 2nd base for me either. Worth giving a shot if somebody offers one but no worries passing on investing 10+ bucks on a six pack of it.
www.oddsideales.com

Oct 23, 2010

Short's Bloody Beer

Just in time for Halloween. Nope, not pumpkin beer. I just had to pass on all those this year because I've had more than my share in the past but figured something called Bloody would work well for the seasonal theme and mention instead. What you have here is those crazy beer makers up in Bellaire, Michigan combining the ingredients that go into a Bloody Mary which in this case is Roma tomatoes, tellicherry peppercorns, celery seed, fresh horseradish and dill, brewing it up and bottling it. I'm all about a Bloody Mary almost as much as I am about great beer and judging from the ingredients it seems that they know what goes into a superb Bloody Mary so I was pretty curious about trying this.
There's an obvious red tint in the color from the tomatoes. No head to speak of but there is a somewhat of a runny and spotty lace that doesn't stick around much.
The scent of dill is really strong on the nose along with some slight notes of ground pepper and tomato juice. There is a slight thickness in the beer but hey-WE ARE talking about tomatoes here. The thing is though the flavor of tomato in the brew itself seems a little overrun by the domination of the dill that is all over the place. Letting it breath and adjust to room temp does take a slight edge off that, bringing some of the peppercorn and horseradish hot end but not by much. Dill everywhere.
Now, I can munch on some pickles while enjoying some suds but something here just ain't working for me. I do admire Short's for all their crazy experiments they do with beer. They deserve much credit for their ideas and innovations and but sometimes their things seem to fall into a novelty category. They have many things that get up and throw a no hitter-to these taste buds though, this is not one of their best days on the mound.
http://www.shortsbrewing.com/

Oct 3, 2010

Short's Key Lime Pie

It seems that every week now there's a new limited "weird beer" (Smashin' Transistors blanket term for all the odd and interesting experimental brews that use ingredients outside of you usual hop, malts and so on) made by up-north Michigan brewery Shorts. Almost too many. It's hard for this humble reporter to even keep up at times. On the label of this one it informs the potential drinker that it's brewed with mashmallow and lactose with lime and graham crackers added. Definitely not something the average beer drinker would think is "normal" wouldn't you say?
Burnt orange in color (not lime green but then again that might just be a little too weird) and clear with average sized off white fizzy head that fades somewhat quickly but leaves fair amount of spotty lacing. Lime peel and sweet bready notes (the graham crackers perhaps?) in stick out quite a bit scent. The taste first gives off a sweet milk cream flavor up from followed by a sour candy. There is a creamy texture all the way through the sips of the brew giving it a very soft feeling in the mouth. The lime flavor is noticeable but seems to stick out a little more towards finish even though it gets enveloped again by the sweeter cream flavors. There also seems to be a slight rye tinge in the aftertaste too.
Is this one of my most favorite "weird beers" from Shorts that I have tried? Not really. My vote still goes with their Soft Parade, Nicie Spicie (which is their summer wheat which I have to say kicks Bell's Oberon butt) and Strawberry Shortcake. Is it interesting and drinkable? Yes, for a couple of bottles it is at least. Give it a shot and share it with friends if you see some around. It'll make for some interesting conversation.
http://www.shortsbrewing.com/