Liam Deegan

The Return of Something New & Beer Review: Castelain Biere de Garde

In Biere de Garde, Reviews on June 17, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Welcome to the new website.  By new, I mean it’s the same site with a slightly different address, as I was the victim of some apparent domain hacking.  After some additional camera difficulties, It’s now time for a new post.  Hope you still like beer.  Here’s my review:

A bottle from France that isn’t wine!  Biere de Garde is “beer for keeping,” as it is traditionally brewed in the winter and spring and let to mature in the bottle before drinking.  It is a similar style to Saison.

Pours a golden amber color with a fluffy white capping of foam.

The nose is mostly grain and straw, hay and dry grass.  There is a light fruitiness and a lemony hop presence lingering with biscuity malt.

The prickly carbonation creates a lively mouthfeel, that gives a fruity, almost Belgian-esqe candi sugar sweetness upfront, grain in the middle and lemon grass and herbal notes that finishes slightly dry and crisp.

This beer is reminiscent of a German pilsner from the biscuit and herbal, grassy hop flavors but with a much more assertive yeast strain that hints at a musty funk.  Very nice beer, will make a great cheese beer so even with cheese in France, you can skip the wine!

Style: Biere de Garde

ABV: 6.4%


Beer Review: Newcastle Founder’s Ale

In Reviews on February 20, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Been a while since something new, having some domain issues with the site as well as some camera trouble.  One thing that helps: free beer.  Heineken USA was kind enough to send me some of their new beer: Founder’s Ale is a classic Bitter, a traditional English Ale, although not bitter by today’s standards. Here is the press release for the beer:

“WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – January 11, 2011 – Newcastle Brown Ale, brewer of the legendary “One & Only,” today announced the release of its fourth Limited Edition brew, Founders’ Ale. Available nationwide for a limited time, this beer tips its hat to the heritage and tradition of Newcastle’s five founding breweries. The introduction also marks the expansion of all Limited Edition brews – Founders’ Ale, Summer Ale, Werewolf and Winter IPA – which are now available nationwide on a rotating basis throughout the year.

Available for the first time in the U.S., Newcastle Founders’ Ale is a full-bodied, drinkable brew with dry, hoppy and roasted flavors. The classic Bitter ale is balanced by subtly sweet aroma notes of caramel and fruit with a short, clean finish.

“The iconic five-point star on our label recognizes the five founding breweries of Newcastle, and this beer further celebrates the legend of our original, hard-working Geordie brewers and patrons,” said Charles van Es, brand director Newcastle Brown Ale. “With Founders’ Ale we are answering consumer demand by offering all of Newcastle’s Limited Editions nationally in 2012, giving everyone a chance to enjoy a bit of authentic English history.”

Brewed with premium malts and Styrian Goldings hops, Newcastle Founders’ Ale has an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 4.8 percent with 20 International Bittering Units (IBUs).

Newcastle Founders’ Ale will be available nationwide from February 2012 through April 2012 in 6-pack and 12-pack bottles priced comparably to Newcastle Brown Ale. Founders’ Ale will also be available on draught at fine pubs in select markets.”

So if this beer sounds good to you, you have a chance to try it soon.  Here’s my review:

Pours a crystal clear burnt orange, tawny amber with an off white, soapy head.  Not a strong aroma coming out of the glass but some fruitiness, biscuit and caramel with toffee being the most dominant. Tastes of some breadiness, caramel and fruity malt with a barely there bitter snap and a very quick, tinged finish.

Not bad for a session type beer.  Offers flavor and I think it could be a nice gateway beer for people, just as the Brown Ale has been.  It lacks any truly assertive flavor though.  I’m not asking for palate wrecking flavor, but any flavor seems like someone shouting from a distance.  It would definitely benefit from more of the nice toasted malt and toffee flavors as well as the fruitiness it has that give a nod to the classics like Fuller’s ESB.  I will also add, I’m happy they are using a brown bottle for this one and not the clear Newkie bottle.

Style: English Bitter

ABV: 4.8%


Beer Review: Uerige Sticke Altbier

In Altbier, Reviews on July 30, 2011 at 12:56 pm

A very old style of German beer and one of the few ales that the lager obsessed nation brews, Altbier is refreshing and full of flavor.  Here’s my review:

Uerige Sticke (sticke means it is stronger than the regular Alt offering) (ed. my German is nein what it used to be.  “Sticke” means secret. Thanks Luke!) pours a rusty brown with a rocky off white head that leaves chunky lacing.  Sweet fruity malt dominates the aroma with notes of raisin, brown sugar, and a wine like grape characteristic.  The taste is very malt heavy, with juicy and fruity flavors, nuttiness, with hints of grain and husk that seamlessly transitions to a flinty and mineral dry finish with a touch of sour funk and a bitter hop snap.

This was a very tasty and easy to drink beer, but don’t let that fool you.  It is seriously complex.  The flavors change at every point as it makes its way over your palate.  I may need another one as I ponder where the first bottle has gone.

Style: Altbier

ABV: 6%