Stone Coffee Milk Stout. Escondido, CA. Milk/Sweet Stout with Coffee Added. 4.2% ABV.
Served chilled from a 12 oz bottle and poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark brown to black color with practically no head. There is a significant amount of sediment in the glass. Smells are of coffee and roasted malts with hints of sweetness. Carbonation is moderate with a medium to light body. For a milk stout this is incredibly light feeling. Taste is sweet, but not creamily like other milk stouts. The coffee flavor is strong, with an aftertaste that literally seems like black coffee.
This was the beer that Greg Koch was drinking the whole night at Draught 55 last week. It has received mixed reviews, but I really enjoyed it. It was unlike any other milk stout I have had before, and I always appreciate Stone's ingenuity. Keep up the good work!
Coffee Milk Stout
Stone Coffee Milk Stout. Escondido, CA. Milk/Sweet Stout with Coffee Added. 4.2% ABV.
Carmine Street Beers
Yesterday I had the chance to attend Carmine Street Beers' first anniversary event. They had special releases from all different breweries every hour, as well as tastings from breweries such as Brooklyn Brewery, Peak Organic, Firestone Walker and more.
My readers know how much I like this store, and find it to be one of the best craft beer locales in all of NYC. The bottle selection is extensive both on the import and export side, and rare bombers are always in stock. I had the chance to pick up some Goose Island Bourbon County Barley-wine, which I plan on reviewing at some point in the next few weeks. I have had it on tap once before but never bottled. This beer was bottled nearly a year ago so it is already aged. Since I had the chance to pick up a few I will continue to age the others for as long as I can (better said than done!)
Not only is the selection at Carmines great, but the staff is incredibly knowledgable and friendly. Ask for Shane when you walk in and tell him Scott sent you. His knowledge of new releases and different styles is impressive, and I guarantee that he could make some excellent recommendations.
Yesterday I had the chance at Carmines to try a few different beers in the samplings. First I had Brooklyn's Cuvee Noire, a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. This bottle is rare and hard to find, and clocks in at 10.6%. An expensive bottle, but an excellent beer. Hints of rum, vanilla and dark fruits. Additionally, I tried the Hammarby Syndrome, a Swedish Strong Ale that was actually quite nice.
So if you are in the West Village, make sure you stop by Carmine Street. And if you want to check their selection before you go, visit their beer menus page http://www.beermenus.com/places/11565-carmine-street-beers.
Congrats on your first year here in NYC and here's to many more!
Ballast Point Even Keel
Ballast Point Even Keel. American Pale Ale/Session IPA. San Diego, CA, 3.5% ABV.
Served chilled from a 12 oz can and poured (half) into a tumbler. Pours a beautiful copper-amber color with a weak one finger tan foam head. Smells hoppy and citrusy. Carbonation is moderate with a light body. Taste is very malty and citrusy, with hints of grapefruit and pine. There is literally no aftertaste.
Overall a pretty solid session IPA. I would put this ahead of Evil Twin Bikini Beer, on par with Stone Go-To, and just behind Founders All Day IPA. I do love what the can says though:
"A Flavorful ale that keeps you balanced: Our Even Keel is a hoppy ale designed for smooth sailing. A full flavored beer with a silky malt backbone and bright hop profile of herbs and citrus, it packs all the taste of an IPA in a sessionable alcohol content. This ale is perfect for leisurely days on the water, when all you want are a few beers and a level ride."
I couldn't analyze it any better.
Stone Brewing Co
Last night I had the amazing opportunity to meet Greg Koch, the brewmaster and founder of Stone Brewing Co. Draught 55, a high end craft beer bar in the city, held an event where 23 different Stone beer were featured. I had the opportunity to try Reason Be Damned, a Belgian abbey ale aged in red wine barrels and the 2013 Double Bastard, a strong dark ale. Both were on draught and were delicious.
Greg was a great guy and we had a nice chat about Stone's 2014 offerings. I had the opportunity to tell him about the blog, and that Stone is my favorite brewery. He was thrilled to hear this, and asked me to send him the blog website! Hopefully Greg has the opportunity to read this. I have thoroughly enjoyed each new offering from Stone, and anxiously anticipate each new release. Greg was drinking the new Coffee Milk Stout, which I have tried (but not yet reviewed here). I was able to give him my analysis which he agreed with! Overall it was a great experience being able to meet a Titan in the American craft beer industry.
In the next few weeks, I plan on releasing a post about my top 5 breweries. Don't be surprised which one lands on top.
The Alchemist-Heady Interview
Today I wanted to post an interview John Kimmich of The Alchemist gave about Heady Topper. He describes why to drink straight from the can, as well as when the best time to drink it is. It starts off a little slow but it turns into a good interview so give it a chance!
Lagunitas A Little Sumpin' Extra
Lagunitas A Little Sumpin' Extra! Ale. American Double IPA. Petaluma, CA. 8.5% ABV.
Served chilled from a 12 oz bottle and poured into a snifter (I've had it in a pint glass too-same great result!) Pours a murky golden/straw color with a slight orange hue and a one finger white foam head. Smells are of orange, pine, hops and some grapefruit. Carbonation is moderate to high with a medium body. This beer tastes amazing. Orange juice and citrus lead with a bitter, hoppy rush to finish. Other flavors such as pineapple and mango may be there as well, and the piney/oniony flavor persists. Wow!
This DIPA stands right next to some of the other giants in the category, and comes in at an incredibly reasonable $2/bottle. After I bought this for the first time several weeks ago, I immediately went out and bought a six pack. I've now noticed that everywhere else is out of the beer, and will do my best to hold onto the remaining 2! Lagunitas did it again here. Bravo!
Bar Tricks, Bets and Gags
In honor of the three month mark for this website, I wanted to mix things up a little bit and post a few fun videos. Specifically, bar tricks! Most of you have been to bars before and seen either the bartenders or patrons trying to impress everyone with their magic tricks. A seemingly useless talent, but one that will make you the life of the party. Here are a few of my favorites.
Now this first one (seen above) comes from an early episode of Cheers, and is Sam Malone's famous "bar slide." It is an impossible trick by the laws of physics, but when the show first came out the live studio audience flipped out in amazement. Check out this link below from Ken Levine, one of the writers from Cheers, in which he explains how the trick was done. Just a heads up, you may need to watch the video several times!
The video below is a fun one that actually teaches you how to perform The Cherry Trick. Makes me want to go out and buy a few more shakers.
I know you probably don't have all day to watch these videos (trust me I have plenty more, but we can save that for a future post.) This one below is 21 innovative ways to open a beer bottle. Some of them are pretty funny, but very few are practical!
Hope you enjoyed this one. Not a bad way to start off a Monday!
Ithaca Cascazilla. American amber ale. Ithaca, NY. 7% ABV.
Served chilled from a 12 oz bottle and poured into a pint glass. Pours a light brown color with a red-orange hue and a one and a half finger tan foam head. Smells are sweet, with hints of caramel malt and citrusy hops. Carbonation is moderate with a medium body. Taste is of caramel malts and is very smooth. Not much of an aftertaste.
A pretty solid beer from Ithaca. I had this one several weeks ago but have been saving the review. It still may be available at some stores. Check it out!
Aun Mas Cafe Jesus
Evil Twin Aun Mas Cafe Jesus. Imperial Stout with Coffee Added. Danish brewery but brewed in Connecticut with Two Roads. 12% ABV.
I purchased this beer at Whole Foods in Midtown East. I found that they have an incredible beer selection, and also picked up the new Founders Dissenter IPL (review coming next week) as well as a six pack of the Anderson Valley Gose. As many of you probably have figured, I am on a real Evil Twin kick, and have fallen in love with the stouts they make. Not really a summer beer, but I didn't want to wait until fall!
Served semi-chilled from a 12 oz bottle and poured into a snifter. Pours a pitch black color with a one and a half finger tan foam head. Smells are of coffee and roasted malts. Carbonation is moderate to light with a full body. Taste is of coffee, heavily roasted malts, chocolate and a creaminess. There may be some hints of very dark fruits, raisins perhaps, as well as some licorice. Aftertaste is somewhat bitter, and resembles the aftertaste of a cup of black coffee or espresso.
This beer was wonderful. It was a well balanced imperial stout, and scored highly for me in every analytical category. This definitely ranks up there with the best of the imperial coffee stouts, though scores just a bit behind Goose Island Bourbon County Coffee, KBS, and Parabola. If you can find this bottle, definitely pick it up, since it was brewed only once. It can be aged for several years or consumed fresh. I would definitely consider picking up another for aging purposes if I can find it.
$9.99/12 oz bottle (share with a friend to bring the price down!)
Evil Twin Yang. Imperial Taiji IPA. Danish brewery but brewed with Two Roads in Connecticut. 10% ABV.
Scott is a craft beer lover living in NYC who enjoys sampling new beers and educating friends and family on the diverse and exciting world of beer.