Sunday, June 19, 2011

Just A Dash Of Liquid Courage: #7

I'm a big fan of Belgian beers, and La Trappe is one of the more interesting brands I've seen. In fact, rather than just coming in your typical glass bottle, La Trappe packages their brews in fancy little ceramic crocks. Sadly, though, I no longer have mine.

La Trappe Trappistenbier Dubbel
500mL bottle at 7.0% ABV
Appearance: 9/10 (A-)
A frothy beer, with an excellent mahogany color and a light tan head. Unfortunately, the head barely lasts at all, quickly reducing to a thin layer. Excellent lacing.
Aroma/Nose: 6/10 (C-)
Definitely a very strong beer, with a smell that matches. It is, however, very pleasant to the nose, with fruity aromas of citrus coming through.
Mouthfeel: 7.5/10 (B-)
A very creamy beer, to say the least, with a very smooth texture and a warm feeling. It is, however, just a hint too fizzy.
Flavor: 8/10 (B)
Though the beer has problems covering up the flavor of the alcohol, it is nonetheless outstanding and strong, with a malty, citrusy flavor and a slight sweetness to finish it off.
Overview: 7.5 (B-)
A typical Belgian beer, standing out amongst most as a fine brew. Worth the ten dollars simply for the neat little crock it comes in. I'd like to try the blonde version of this beer.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Just A Dash Of Liquid Courage: #6

I always like a good mulled wine, especially if it's made with something other than grapes. This particular brew, made with boysenberry and apple, is no exception. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, mulled wine is a method of serving wine by heating it with spices and sometimes sweetening it. It was traditionally done as a way to extend the usable life of wine, and tended to be done with wine that was on it's way to becoming vinegar.

Redwood Cellars Mountain Thunder Apple-Berry Glühwein
1250mL bottle at 12.0% ABV
Appearance: 6.5/10 (C)
Dark and opaque, but not cloudy, this wine is definitely a strong one, and is unusually clear for a mulled wine. Of course, it's also bottled, so that's to be expected.
Aroma/Nose: 8/10 (B)
With hefty tones of crisp apple and sweet boysenberries, contrasted by soft tones of cinnamon and cloves, this wine also packs a punch. It's not something you want to sniff too much though, since it's hot.
Mouthfeel: 7/10 (C+)
With a certain spice and a definite warmth to it, this wine flows down smoothly and heats you from the inside out. It can go up your nose a little, though.
Flavor: 5.5/10 (D+)
Definitively sharp apple flavors and tones of boysenberry dominate this wine, complemented by a spiciness throughout, and a tail of what is perhaps nutmeg. Though medium to sweet, it's also rather tart, and may not be to everyone's tastes.
Overview: 7/10 (C+)
Definitely worth the bang for the buck, since it comes in a big bottle, and it's definitely a winter warmer to enjoy 'round the fireplace or out on the field watching winter sports.