Rising Tide Rarity

Posted by Jim on Apr 29th, 2012
Apr 29

Before heading out to Harrisburg PA last November, I had to run out to Downeast Beverage to secure myself a bottle of Rising Tide‘s first one-off bottling, Polaris, which is their Weizen Stout aged in bourbon barrels. I have since learned that it will be brewed and bottled again, which is exciting news!

Rising Tide Polaris

look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
A cellar temperature bottle is poured into a pint glass. This is bottle number 163 of 336.

The beer is completely black, with a decent of amount of tan foam resting on top. The liquid is too opaque to make out and rising carbonation. Lacing is good.

The beer has a strong bourbon aroma. It’s like sticking my nose into a glass of Jim Beam. I’m not really smelling any of the roasted malts that make up the nose in Ursa Minor (the base beer). There is a little bit of malty sweetness, but for the most part this beer smells boozy. If it still smells like this after 5 months of aging, I wonder how hot it was when fresh?

Luckily, the bourbon in the flavor isn’t as overpowering as in the aroma, although it is still strong. It provides some good oak and peat moss flavors, and a smokiness that works very well with Ursa Minor’s roasted malts. There is a slight chocolate flavor here that I didn’t pick up on in Ursa Minor, and Polaris doesn’t have any obvious wheat characteristics.

The body is thick, but not as thick as some other stouts. It leaves a slight stickiness on my lips. The mouthcoat is also sticky, but retains some decent flavors. Despite the strong aroma, there is no heat from the alcohol.

Although not an amazing bourbon barrel aged stout, this is an enjoyable beer. I think I would have liked to let it age a little longer, but I was in the mood for Rising Tide tonight, so I cracked it open. If you were one the people who sought this beer out, I think you’ll be happy with it. Hopefully, this is the first of many barrel aged releases that Nate has in the works. There is a lot of potential here, but I am left wanting slightly more. Still, no part of me regrets checking Facebook obsessively until I saw Polaris was on sale and rushing out right away to secure bottle. I only regret not picking up a second bottle (but with such a low bottle count, I wanted to leave plenty on the shelf).

Two “from Vermont”

Posted by Jim on Apr 9th, 2012
Apr 9

I still have two bottles in my cellar that I obtained while in Vermont back in August. One is a limited release from Hill Farmstead, the other an Austrian beer I learned about while visiting the Blackback Pub and Flyshop.

Hill Farmstead Civil Disobedience #1

look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
A cellar temperature bottle poured into a large red wine glass. I was lucky enough to get one of the last bottles available from the brewery, purchased a week after the release. It’s been in my cellar since that time.

The beer is a clear golden liquid with many streams of carbonation rising within. There is a large white foam head. It has settled down to about two fingers worth of thickness, leaving plenty of lacing.

Even while pouring this beer, I could smell a healthy amount of Brett. The Brett is still apparent while I actively inhale from my glass, but there is a lot more going on here than just the wild yeast. I smell orange and lemon citrus, Belgian candi sugar, and some grassy hops.

The beer has a light, grassy flavor. There is plenty of orange and lemon. I really like the sweetness a touch of funk in the finish. There is a great mustiness in the aftertaste that works really well.

The beer is slightly thick, with plenty of carbonation. Despite all of the bubbles and the sour flavors, there is hardly any tingling sensation. Nor is there much stickiness. A slight coat has plenty of fruit and grass flavors.

This is a really great beer. Like everything else brewed here, it is worth checking out. Too bad this one was a one-time only brew.

Meinklang Ancient Grains Ale

look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
A cellar temperature bottle with a best by date of 2012-05-31 poured slowly into a glass mug, keeping the sediment in the bottle.

The beer is translucent and golden orange in color. Lots of carbonation can be seen within, both clinging to the bottle of the glass and rising to the top. The head is large, white, foamy, and made up of many sizes of bubbles.

There area lot of grassy hops in the aroma, as well as many different grains. There is some citrus and some sweetness; the overall aroma reminds me of lemongrass.

The beer certainly has an interesting malt profile, thanks to all of those uncommon grains. The sweetness is subtle, and the bittering hops are especially strong. They seem to fade out after I swallow before the malt flavors do, which is rare. Although different from any other pilsner I’ve had, I like this beer.

The beer has a medium body and a lot of carbonation. In fact, there was so much carbonation, it was hard to determine the level of body. There is a lot of coating, but its not too sticky. The carbonation does tingle my tongue.

As I said above, this is a different kind of pilsner, but I enjoy it. It’s worth seeking this one out, especially if the odd grain bill grabs your attention.