Tagged: brown ale

Founders Sumatra Mountain

SUMATRA MOUNTAIN: 98 Points

Absolutuly deslicoius

Absolutely Delicious

This American Strong is a released as a rare beer in late Spring in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “This bold, imperial brown ale gets its body from a team of malts including Caramel malt for sweetness, flaked barley for dense foam, a bit of Chocolate malt for its deep color and Aromatic and Munich malts to add even more depth. German and Perle hops add a touch of bitterness to balance the malty sweetness. The addition of rich Sumatra coffee takes this perfectly balanced imperial brown ale to a decadent level.”

My Description: A superb beer from start to finish. It begins with a good sized, beige colored head that fades to a thin ring leaving behind a nice amount of lacing. The aroma is inviting with bold dark coffee notes along with caramel notes a faintest touch of dark fruits. Sumatra Mountain is medium/full bodied with a slightly lower carbonation level and a dry finish. This beer is delicious; the balance of flavors along with the depth makes this one addicting ale. Complex coffee notes are detected throughout but never become the dominant note, all the flavors work harmoniously together. Toasted malt notes, toffee, tobacco, and a hint of biscuit malt are present. The alcohol is beautifully hidden and the aftertaste is slightly bitter. Overall, the coffee notes in this beer tastes like the gourmet beans at the high end coffee shops. This is a must try for any coffee fan. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with tiramisu, creme brulee, or a mild cigar.

ABV: 9% Color: Dark Brown Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 3.5/10

Alaskan Heritage Coffee Brown Ale

HERITAGE COFFEE BROWN ALE: 90 Points

Lightly Roasted

Lightly Roasted

This Coffee Ale is a limited release in 22 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Our latest Rough Draft Limited is a collaboration with Heritage Coffee — a delicious beer we call Alaskan Heritage Coffee Brown Ale!”

My Description: This beer surprisingly works out. It begins with a decent sized, light beige colored head that fades to a thick film that holds the whole way leaving behind a minimal amount of lacing. The aroma is subtle with notes of brewed coffee, soft vanilla notes, and brown malts. Heritage Coffee Brown is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is rather simple but enjoyable with notes of coffee, sweet caramel/toffee notes, and soft brown malt notes. The aftertaste is minimally bitter with lingering coffee and caramel notes. This ale is easy drinking and smooth; the flavor profile isn’t complex but it doesn’t have to be. This beer is just what it says, a brown ale brewed with coffee. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with baked chicken or steak tips.

ABV: 7% Color: Brown/Red Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 2/10

Short’s Woodmaster

WOODMASTER: 95 Points

Bow to the master

Bow to the master

This Imperial Brown Ale is released seasonally in the Winter months in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Woodmaster is a high gravity, American Brown Ale fermented with Northern Michigan maple syrup and toasted pecans. This dark brown, full bodied ale is rich with sweet malt and syrup flavors. These flavors are complemented by the presence of hop aromas and a faint nuttiness. The very first batch of Woodmaster was brewed in Bellaire on March 20, 2007. It was the 289th batch of beer brewed at Shorts, and is one of the original beers from the Short’s Imperial Beer Series (#7 of 13 to be exact).”

My Description: This beer is excellently crafted with a very smooth body, a minimal alcohol presence, and a delicious flavor profile. It pours a good sized, light beige colored head that fades to a film leaving behind some spotty lacing. The aroma is inviting and sweet with deep notes of caramel malt, dark fruits like cherries, and some nuttiness. Woodmaster is medium/full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is soft but flavorful and complex with notes of maple syrup, brown sugar, over ripe bananas, caramel malt and a subtle but noticeable nuttiness. The aftertaste is just bitter enough to help combat the sweetness before it becomes cloying. This is a great choice for those cold Winter nights because this will warm you up before you even know it. It is best served around 55°Fa and pairs nicely with smoked ribs, caramel cheesecake, or mild cheeses.

ABV: 10.5% Color: Mahogany/Brown Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 3/10

Smuttynose Durty

DURTY: 94 Points

I love it dirty

I love it dirty

This American Brown Ale is released seasonally between January and March in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Big, Brown and Hoppy. Brown and hoppy; hoppy and brown – a rare pairing. But that’s the best way to describe Durty, Smuttynose Brewing Company’s new “mud season” ale. Take the caramelly notes of a brown ale, pair them with the hop aroma and flavor of a double IPA, and you’re right in this beer’s wheelhouse. Respected beer writers, bloggers and internet beer geeks have all praised Durty’s delicious balance of two styles. It has enough “oomph” to get you through the chilly nights and frosty mornings of early spring, but the light body and big hop flavor will awaken your tongue and senses for the coming warm weather. And at 8%, you won’t mind the extra mopping and snow cleaning that comes along with the seasonal thaw.”

My Description: Complex and highly enjoyable, this ale is brewed cleanly and the flavor notes work harmoniously together. It pours a good sized, beige colored head that lasts the whole way and leaves behind a nice amount of lacing. The aroma is robust and pleasant with a strong roasted presence accompanied by notes of caramel, nuts, and pine hops. Durty is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. This beer displays a great balance of flavors; there is a powerful malt backbone which is calmed by a smooth bitter aftertaste. Upfront, there are flavor notes of caramel, woodsy hops, brown sugar, and some nuttiness. This transitions nicely into an aftertaste that is not overly harsh with a lingering bitter note that forces you to take another sip. It also helps that the alcohol is completely hidden. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with spicy beef tacos, BBQ brisket, or roasted mushrooms with caramelized onions.

ABV: 8.4%  Color: Deep Brown  Sweetness: 3/10  Bitterness: 3/10

Cigar City Cubano-Style Espresso

CUBANO-STYLE ESPRESSO: 93 Points

No sugar please

No sugar please

This Brown Ale is released seasonally in various months in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “This rich brown ale is redolent with Cuban-style roasted espresso beans, sweet caramel and toffee and hints of dry nuttiness. Cuban Espresso is a popular drink in the Cigar City of Tampa owing to its many Sicilian and Cuban immigrants. The beans for Cubano-Style Espresso Brown Ale are roasted locally by Mazzaro’s Italian Market and Deli in St. Petersburg to our exact specifications.”

My Description: There is definitely a difference between coffee notes and espresso notes. Cigar City hits it dead on with a strong espresso presence that tastes great and smells very aromatic. It’s almost like drinking an alcoholic espresso! It begins with a large, tan colored head with a good retention level and it leaves behind a decent amount of lacing. The aroma is a huge espresso bomb accompanied by some malty notes as well. Cubano is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is similar to the aroma in that espresso notes dominate. Hints of vanilla float throughout and a thick malt backbone helps keep the flavors in check. The aftertaste is slightly bitter and helps the drinkability. This beer is really good, smooth, and enjoyable. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with chocolate desserts, cigars, or skirt steak.

ABV: 5.5%  Color:  Brown  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 3/10

Goose Island Sixth Day (2013)

SIXTH DAY (2013): 85 Points

It's a so-so Winter

It’s a so-so Winter

This American Brown Ale is released seasonally between October and December in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Every year to celebrate the holiday season, we brew up our Sixth Day, and with each year we change the recipe slightly so that you have something special to look forward to.”

My Description: This is a sweeter offering of a Winter Ale that makes for a good sipper and the alcohol is completely hidden. It pours a decent, light beige colored head that fades rather quickly leaving a minimal amount of lacing. The aroma has deep malt notes accompanied by caramel and toffee, toasted bread, and a touch of hops. The aroma is welcoming and pleasant. Sixth Day is medium/full bodied with a slightly lower carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is slightly complex with a malty backbone holding up an array of flavors such as tobacco, dark fruits, molasses, roasted malts, cherries, and a touch of spice. The aftertaste is minimally bitter and slightly chewy. Separately the flavors taste good, but together they do not compliment each other nicely in this brew. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with baked turkey, roasted ham, or vegetable stuffing.

ABV: 8.3%  Color: Dirty Brown/Red  Sweetness: 3/10  Bitterness: 2/10

Anchor Brekle’s Brown

BREKLE’S BROWN: 89 Points

Brewmaster Mark Carpenter's unique recipe

Mark Carpenter’s unique recipe

This Brown Ale is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Inspired by the all-malt brown ales in Anchor’s brewing archives, Brekle’s™ Brown has a coppery brown color and unusual depth of flavor with hints of citrus which makes for richness and complexity without heaviness. The classic, all-malt, single-hop brown ale.Brewmaster Mark Carpenter’s unique recipe—a tip of the hat to our first brewmaster—looks to both the past and the future. It starts with a special blend of roasted malts.For brewing and dry hopping, a single and distinctive new American hop variety called Citra creates nuanced flavors and aromas complementing Brekle’s™ Brown’s unique maltiness.”

My Description: This is a tasty beer and I love how well the Citra hop works with the brown ale profile. It pours a very large, beige colored head with a great retention level and it leaves behind an abundant amount of lacing. The aroma is on the sweet side with notes of caramel malt and woodsy/citrus hops; this beer smells very pleasant. Brekle’s Brown is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is slightly complex and satisfying. There are notes of caramel malt, bread, molasses, hints of dark fruit, and a touch of tart. There is also an interesting hop character throughout the beer that adds a welcoming flavor and brings goods balance. The aftertaste is slightly bitter with a faint but noticeable metallic note. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with sauteed mushrooms, veggie pizzas, or mild cigar.

ABV: 6%  Color: Brown  Sweetness: 2.5/10  Bitterness: 3/10

BROWN ALE: 83 Points

Average everyday Brown Ale

Average everyday Brown Ale

This American Style Brown Ale is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “This is the award-winning original American brown ale, first brewed as a holiday specialty, and now one of our most popular beers year-round. Northern English brown ales tend to be strong and dry, while southern English brown ales are milder and sweeter. Brooklyn Brown Ale combines the best of those classic styles and then adds an American accent in the form of a firm hop character and roasty palate. A blend of six malts, some of them roasted, give this beer its deep russet-brown color and complex malt flavor, fruity, smooth and rich, with a caramel, chocolate and coffee background. Generous late hopping brings forward a nice hop aroma to complete the picture. Brooklyn Brown Ale is full-flavored but retains a smoothness and easy drinkability that has made it one of the most popular dark beers in the Northeast.”

My Description: The Brown Ale is a good choice for an everyday beer but does nothing special to excite. In fact, I was expecting more hop character because of the description but found very little. It begins with a pretty good sized, light beige colored that doesn’t last very long and leaves behind a minimal amount of lacing. The aroma is welcoming with notes of roasted malt and deep aromatic notes. There is also a hint of chocolate but faint. This Brown Ale is medium/full bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. I feel the flavors are somewhat sharp and not clean enough. Roasted malt dominates the flavor profile along with some weak notes of chocolate and some nuttiness. I also taste a hint of sour in the finish, which isn’t unexpected because this style can be known for that. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with burgers, BBQ meats, or aged Cheddar.

ABV: 5.6%  Color: Deep Garnet  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 2/10

SÉANCE: 72 Points

Do not communicate with this beer!

Do not communicate with this beer!

This Saison is released seasonally in August and September in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Séance is a dark, complexly concocted Saison, rich with earthy hues and flavors. A mild tartness begins the journey, and an underlying hop bitterness sweeps the senses through a newly opened door of the mind, where you will soon find subtle hints of ripe fruit, bringing you to a place few dare to roam.”

My Description: It is never a good sign when the head of a beer is its best feature. This beer has a very large, light beige colored head that lasts forever and leaves behind a great amount of lacing that glues on. The aroma is interesting enough; it is dominated by malty notes like caramel and tobacco but there is also some spice and earthiness accompanied by a touch of funk. Overall, the aroma is intriguing. Séance is light/medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. Although the beer has flavor, it feels thin and very lackluster. The flavor profile is similar to the aroma in that it is dominated by malty notes with some hints of toasted bread and tobacco with some earthy notes but that’s about it. It is lacking Saison notes like Brett, funk, grass, light fruits, etc. This tastes more like a crappy Brown Ale with harsh hops. I would not repurchase. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with roasted turkey.

ABV: 4.4%  Color: Dark Brown  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 2.5/10

KOKO BROWN: 85 Points

A sweeter Brown Ale

A sweeter Brown Ale

This Brown Ale is released in the Winter months in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Is there anything more iconic of the lush tropics than the coconut? The delicious heart of this island treasure has a nutty, toffee flavor and aroma that sends you straight to the beaches of Paradise. Kick back with a Koko Brown, brewed with real toasted coconut, and savor the mahogany color and smooth, roasty malt taste.”

My Description: I enjoyed the coconut addition to this Brown Ale but there was not enough hop additions to bring balance to this sweet ale. It begins with a good sized, light beige colored head that fades to a film and holds for some time leaving behind a good amount of lacing. The aroma is pleasant and inviting with notes of toasted coconuts, roasted malts, and coffee. It is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. This beer is smooth and easy drinking. There are flavor notes of coconut, roasted malts, and a hint of coffee. There is also a nutty note that makes an appearance. However, I feel that this beer needs to be more fuller bodied with more pronounced flavors. Plus, there is very little bitterness to counter the sweetness. Still, it is a good drink and the coconut is interesting. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with Thai noodles, BBQ ribs, or roasted duck.

ABV: 5.5%  Color: Dark Brown/Red Tint  Sweetness: 3/10  Bitterness: 1.5/10

HOP KARMA BROWN IPA: 89 Points

Not overly bitter

Not overly bitter

This Brown IPA is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “The Terrapin Hop Karma Brown IPA is a head on collision between a hoppy west coast India Pale Ale and a malty, complex brown ale. Brewed with 5 varieties of hops and 7 different malts, this hybrid style represents the best of both worlds. PEACE, LOVE and HOPPINESS.”

My Description: This is a tasty beer with a complex portfolio of flavors. This beer is not as hop forward as I expected, this has a similar bitterness level to an English IPA rather than an American IPA. Perhaps that is what the brewer was going for. It begins with a decent sized, beige colored head that lasts for some time and leaves behind a good amount of lacing. The aroma is pleasant and rich with notes of malt, dark fruit, and earthy hops. It is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a dry finish. The flavor profile is more of a brown ale than an IPA but it is balanced very nicely. Upfront, there are notes of deep malt, bread, brown sugar, and a touch of pine hops. This transitions smoothly into an aftertaste that is noticeably bitter with coffee notes and some roastiness. Overall, this is nice ale to try on a cool night and is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with gourmet cheeses, steak burgers, or ribs.

ABV: 6%  Color: Dark Brown  Sweetness: 3/10  Bitterness: 3.5/10

MAPLE NUT BROWN ALE: 87 Points

Maple is a nice touch

This American Style Brown Ale has an IBU of 20 and is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “A delicate amount of Maple Syrup is added to each barrel of our award winning Maple Nut Brown Ale to impart a roasted sweetness. This addition balances the nut flavor produced by Munich, caramel and chocolate malts used in the brewhouse, producing a drinkable brown ale with a relatively low alcohol content.”

My Description: The maple in this beer is noticeable and welcomed because it adds a unique flavor and it tastes more like Vermont maple than Aunt Jemima, which is a good thing. The head was rather disappointing; I poured the ale aggressively and only received a small, tan colored head that dissipated rather quickly leaving minimal lacing. The aroma is strong with caramel and chocolate malts accompanied by a nuttiness and a sweetness, maybe its maple or brown sugar. It is medium bodied with a slightly lower carbonation level and a smooth finish. Upfront, there are roasted malt notes with a maple syrup flavor that sweetens up the taste but not overly so. There is also a touch of nuttiness and a chocolate aftertaste that is only slightly bitter. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with lamb chops, steak sandwich, or baked squash.

ABV: 4.5% Color: Dark Brown Sweetness: 4.5/10 Bitterness: 2/10

REALLY OLD BROWN DOG ALE: 89 Points

Really Old, Really Good

This Brown Ale is part of their Big Beer Series and is available in limited quantities and available at different times during the year. Each release is slightly different, the bottle I reviewed was released in 2010.

Brewer’s Description:  “The color varies from rich, dark amber to a very dark brown. This style features fruity, vinuous & deep, malty flavors, giving it an almost port-like qualities. Sight acidity is not uncommon.”

My Description:  This really old dog is really flavorful and really strong. The head is pretty decent but not big and fluffy, it disappears after a few minutes producing hardly any lacing. The aroma makes up for the lack of head because it smells great. It has a sweet base with notes of dark fruit, malt, raisins, dark cherry, nut, and some minor alcohol as well. The beer is full bodied and has a big mouthfeel. You’re definitely going to taste the dark fruits as soon as you start drinking it along with a roasted malt flavor that work well together. The aftertaste is slightly bitter with notes of chocolate. The alcohol will be apparent throughout the beer but it is not overpowering, it is just an added character to the beer. As the beer warms up, more fruit flavors develop as well. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with roasted duck, lamb chops, or desserts.

ABV: 10.9%  Color: Brown, Mahogany  Sweetness: 5/10  Bitterness: 3.5/10

OLD BROWN DOG ALE: 91 Points

This dog is delicious

This American Brown Ale is has an IBU of 15 and is available year round on draft and in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Old Brown Dog has been cited as a classic example of the “American Brown Ale” style of beer. Compared to a typical English Brown Ale, Old Brown Dog is fuller-bodied and more strongly hopped.”

My Description: I really enjoyed this beer; the quality stood out, the flavors worked really well together, and it was delicious from start to finish. It has a good sized beige head that fades rather quickly but never disappears; there we be some head left to the very last drop. The aroma is nice and mild with notes of roasted malt, dark fruit, and toffee. The flavors of this beer were slightly complex. At the front of your mouth you will taste some roastiness and dark fruit like plums and raisins. The aftertaste is slightly bitter with a hint of malt and definitely dry. Overall, the beer is medium bodied and smooth with a lower carbonation level, which makes this beer easy drinking. It is refreshing, best served around 50°F, and pairs nicely with roasted duck, lamb chops, or BBQ chicken.

ABV: 6.5% Color: Brown/Amber Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 3.5/10

TUMBLER: 92 Points

Autumn is a great season

This Brown Ale has an IBU of 37 and is available in the early Autumn months in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “We use malt within days of roasting at the peak of its flavor to give Tumbler a gracefully smooth malt character. So pour a glass, and grab a window seat to watch as the leaves come tumbling down.”

My Description: Tumbler may remind you of other brown ales, however this brown ale will stand out because the quality shines through and the touch of smoke malts helps to define the season that it is brewed in. It has a great sized, light beige colored head with a good retention level and leaves behind some good lacing. The aroma is warming and welcoming with notes of roasted malt, dark chocolate, and a touch of coffee. It is medium bodied with a moderate carbonation level and a rather dry finish. Immediately you will notice the strong roasted malt taste that dominates the flavor profile. This is accompanied by flavor notes of some smoky malts, chocolate, and a touch of pine hops. The beer is smooth, delicious, and the alcohol is invisible making Tumbler a very easy drinking beer. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with roasted duck, baked ham, or a dark chocolate dessert.

ABV: 5.5%  Color: Dark Brown  Sweetness: 2/10  Bitterness: 2.5/10

NUT BROWN ALE: 94 Points

Great Brown Ale

This Brown Ale is available year-round in 550 ml. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Brewed with well water, best barley malt, yeast and aromatic hops; fermented in ‘stone Yorkshire squares’ to create a relatively dry ale with rich nutty colour and palate of beech nuts, almonds and walnuts.”

My Description: I can see why this brown ale is known around the world as being in the top of its class. It has a tan colored head that has great retention and leaves some strong lacing. The aroma is on the sweet side with a strong caramel and malty presence accompanied by some nuttiness as well. This beer delivers a crisp, smooth, and refreshing taste that satisfies your thirst. It begins semi-sweet and as you drink it you will pick up on flavor notes of tobacco, roasted chocolate malt, some nuttiness, and notes of malt. The aftertaste brings great balance to the beer by providing a slightly bitter taste that is relatively dry and there is also some caramel notes too. If you like brown ales then you will love this beer, it’s great to have in your fridge at all times. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with spicy foods, roasted duck, or game meat.

ABV: app. 5%  Color: Dark Brown/Red Hues  Sweetness: 3.5/10  Bitterness: 3.5/10

HAZELNUT BROWN NECTAR: 91 Points

Hazelnut, nice addition

This Brown Ale is available year-round in 12 oz. and 22 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “A nutty twist to a traditional European Brown Ale. Dark brown in color with a hazelnut aroma, a rich nutty flavor and a smooth malty finish.”

My Description: I love the flavor addition of nuts in my Brown ales and hazelnut does not alter that opinion. It has a good sized, light beige head, that has sub-par retention and minimal lacing. The aroma is quite mild with notes of sweet malt, some hops, and a touch of hazelnut. It is medium bodied with an average carbonation level but drinks like a light body beer; it is smooth and thin. You will pick up flavors of of sweet malt throughout with a finish that is minimally bitter with a touch of hazelnut. The flavors are not profound, they are mild. It is best served around 50°F and pairs nicely with spicy burgers, BBQ chicken, or pork tenderloins.

ABV: 6% Color: Brown/Ruby Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 2/10

NUT BROWN ALE: 87 Points

Nutty Goodness

This Brown Ale is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles.

Brewer’s Description: “Our Nut Brown Ale starts out very smooth, like an English-style Brown Ale. The use of Chocolate Malt, Munich Malt, and Hallartau Hops give this beer a crisp, nutty finish.”

My Description: This beer tastes good and the quality is nice but it felt just a little too light and airy to fully satisfy my craving for a Nut Brown Ale. It has a good sized, light tan colored head with good lacing and a decent retention. The aroma is welcoming with fragrant notes of nuttiness, caramel, and a slight roastiness. It is light to medium in body with a moderate carbonation level and a slightly dry finish. The beer is nicely balanced with a semi-sweet malty flavor up front followed by a moderate bitter aftertaste with a lingering caramel note. There is also a modest roasted flavor in the beer with a touch of earth hops but the nuttiness flavor fades quickly. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with roasted pork, beef stew, or smoked Gouda.

ABV: 4.7% Color: Reddish/Brown Sweetness: 3/10 Bitterness: 4/10

RAISON D’ÊTRE: 88 Points

To Be a Raisin

This Brown Ale was first released in 1996 only in their brewpub but then was packaged and sold in 1998 because of its popularity. It has an IBU of 25 and available year-round in 12 oz. six packs.

Brewer’s Description: “A deep mahogany, Belgian-style brown ale brewed with beet sugar, raisins and Belgian-style yeast. It’s as tasty and complex as a fine red wine.”

My Description: This beer is pretty sweet and definitely complex. Those complexities add up to a beer that is really nice to have during dinner. The head is off-white in color and sub-par in retention producing no lacing. The aroma however is pleasurable; it is sweet and malty with the scent of sugar and dark fruits. The body is medium to full and really crisp and refreshing. In the front of your tongue you will taste the malt and sugar which really bring out the sweet side of this beer. As the beer moves down, some of that Belgian yeast will come though producing some spice notes that really compliment the sweetness. The aftertaste is fresh and slightly bitter-sweet with minor notes of dark fruit. The alcohol is present throughout the beer but it is mild and a welcoming addition to the palate. It is best served around 45°F and pairs nicely with steaks, duck, or gourmet cheeses. It is around$10 a six pack.

ABV: 8% Color: Brown w/Red Hues Sweetness: 4/10 Bitterness: 1.5/10

PALO SANTO MARRON: 92 Points

Palo Santo: Holy Tree

This strong brown ale has an IBU of 50 and was released in 2007. This beer is available year-round in 12 oz. bottles for around $10-$12 a four pack. Enjoy the Holy Wood.

Brewer’s Description: “An unfiltered, unfettered, unprecedented brown ale aged in handmade wooden brewing vessels. The caramel and vanilla complexity unique to this beer comes from the exotic Paraguayan Palo Santo wood from which these tanks were crafted.”

My Description: If you can’t handle this beer, put it down little man because it is too good to be insulted by someone who doesn’t appreciate such a marvelous beer. Yes, this 12% beer is really strong but it is of such high quality. It has a beautiful dark beige colored head that has great retention and leaves some pretty good lacing. The aroma is complex; you will definitely pick up the wood scent that smells similar to oak. You will also pick up on some vanilla notes accompanied by caramel and aroma hops. The smell of this beer is clean and nicely done. The first thing you will notice when you drink this beer is how strong it is. You not only pick up on some alcohol notes but you really feel it. It’s nice to have a beer like this every now and then to awaken your senses and make you feel like you are really drinking something. This beer is not just alcohol of course. The flavors are delicious; in the beginning you pick up on roasted malts and oak like flavors. The finish is slightly dry with notes of alcohol and caramel. It is also moderately bitter which is a nice complement to the flavors and alcohol. This beer is full bodied and filling. It is best served around 50°F and pair nicely with steak, spicy chicken, or German sausage. Enjoy!

ABV: 12% Color: Dark Brown/Black Sweetness: 2.5/10 Bitterness: 4/10