Slightly off-season reviews

Posted by Jim on Nov 16th, 2009
Nov 16

I reviewed two beers over the weekend, a winter ESB and an Irish Red.

Clipper City Heavy Seas Winter Storm ‘Category 5’ Ale

B+ / 3.95
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | drink: 4

Served from a cellar temperature bottle into a pint glass. The beer has a dark copper color, almost brown. There was about a finger of tan bubbles when first poured that quickly dissipated. There is a strong hop presence in the aroma; it evokes grass and caramel. It’s quite pleasant. When you first taste the beer you’re greeted by a smooth maltiness. This quickly gives way to bitter hops. The bitterness lingers on after you swallow and evolves to a slightly burnt flavor. It’s complex and interesting. The beer has a fuller body than I expected; it really coats your mouth. There’s also more carbonation than I thought there would be. I find the Winter Storm to be very drinkable. It isn’t a beer I’d want to drink quickly, but it has some great characteristics that make me think I could slowly enjoy a number of bottles over the course of an evening.

Saranac Irish Red

B / 3.75
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | drink: 4

Poured from a cellar temperature bottle into a glass mug. The beer is a brown/ruby color and has a significant amount of head, made of small tan bubbles. The aroma is a good mixture of pine and herbal hops and toffee malts. The flavor seems to taste strongly of toast; I imagine the yeast ued to brew the beer has imparted itself to the flavor. There is also a hint of bitterness form the hops. It has a medium body and noticeable carbonation. It can be felt on your tongue as you swallow. This is a pretty drinkable beer. It isn’t exceptional, so I would be tempted to order something else after the first round, but I certainly wouldn’t complain if I was faced with a six pack.

In other beer and Jim related news, I have a few purchases I’m planning on making.  RSVP has two beers available that I didn’t pick up on Saturday that I’m going back for this afternoon: Fantome Hiver and Long Trail Brewmaster’s Reserve Robust Porter.  I’ve never had either, but I’m a fan of Fantome beers and the DIPA that was part of the Brewmaster’s Reserve series was the best Long Trail I’ve ever tried, so I have high hopes for these two.  Also, next Saturday is the Ohio State vs. Michigan game.  Being good friends with die hard Buckeyes fans has made Nissa and I de facto Ohio State supporters.  In celebration of the game, I want to get us some tasty beers from Ohio.  I spotted a six pack of Thirsty Dog Hoppus Maximus at RSVP that I’ll probably procure for the game.  We also have a few Great Lakes singles left over from our road trip this summer; this seems like a perfect opportunity to enjoy them.