Tags

, , , ,

beerThis was supposed to happen last night but it didn’t and here is why:

I didn’t want to day-drink.  Didn’t get home from taping a game until 11, and I almost got trampled (might be exaggerating that a little bit).  Didn’t feel like writing last night so I just had a drink and crashed on the couch.  And I knew, besides finishing a sermon and bulletins, I had nothing really to do today and my wife was going to be gone so I could drink beer pretty guilt free.  So here we are.

I have two to review today, and I couldn’t have really chose two that were more different unless I wanted to, and that was an accident.  We went over to my favorite beer store (Family Beer and Liquor) and I decided that I was going to spend a little bit more than usual and get a beer that’s been staring at me for months.  Every time I go over, I see this four pack of beer that screams my name.  I mean, I literally hear it screaming my name.  “Robby, come here and buy me.  I am delicious and wonderful.”  I’m never quite sure if it’s the beer inside or the odd little charm that is on every bottle but every time I’m there, I get to converse with it.IMG_1366“Buy me Robby!”
“You’re over $3 a bottle.  I can’t.”
“You cheap %$#&!  BUY ME!”
“Well that wasn’t very nice!  Maybe if you are nice, next time I’ll buy you.”
“You’ll long after me when you get home and you know it!”

And every time it is right.  I’ve wanted to try this for a couple of years now.  I just am always in the mood for something different when I’m spending way too much on beer or not in the mood to pay $3 a bottle when I want a Doppelbock.  So I hadn’t yet.

But I decided that it was birthday, I wanted a Doppelbock, and I would buy it.

IMG_1367The bottle with the little charm on it.  I had to laugh because the first thing Nora says is, “What is the purpose of the horse thing?”  And truth be told, I have no idea.

IMG_1375This is what I came up with.  Now what to do with the other three I have no idea.

Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock

Appearance: Look at the picture.  It’s dark brown with a milky brown head.  What I do need to say is it definitely isn’t going to be confused with black.  It is dark brown.  It doesn’t stick to the glass like a stout would, either; it’s definitely a bock, not a stout.Scent: You get a hint of hops, yet it is darker than hops usually are.  A good beer reviewer would give you some weird definition but I’ll say it like it is: it smells like hops and good beer.

Taste: The hops you smelled are nearly absent from the flavor.  This is a very malty style of beer, and this particular brand is thick with them.  It is definitely heavier than other Doppelbocks that I’ve had.  It’s also sweet, but definitely not too much so.

Quality: The moment you taste this beer, you know it is quality.  I can’t imagine what this taste like at the brewery in Germany – someday a friend who knows German will take me there and basically guide me to the best beer.  Someday………

Drinkability: It is heavy.  It is a bit strong for some tastes.  I know Nora will prefer Sprecher’s Doppelbock over this one because it is sweeter.  But it does go down smooth and the bitterness of a lot of beers is not overly present here (probably due to the weaker nature of the hops).  Its easy to drink if you are beer drink, and probably still pretty enjoyable if you just like a little beer.

Overall: Amazing beer if you like Doppelbocks.  I don’t know if I’ve had one of such quality (maybe Sprecher’s).

Unbiased Grade: A.  It really is quite good….

Biased Grade: A-.  …but I can’t help but like Weihenstephaner’s Korbinian better.  I think it drinks easier.  My American roots are showing.  Maybe I’ll have to review that one next week.

Ayinger’s page on the Doppelbock

Same trip that I got the Doppelbock, I didn’t think 4 beers was going to be enough (come to find out 1 was enough with the massive amount of barbeque that we ate that night but logic wasn’t working the best and I didn’t want to have to drive over again the next day if I wanted something more) and the guy who was helping me out recommended this to me.  He asked if I liked red ales – which I do – and said this was a red ale, only different.  It had a berry taste to it, and he said he liked it a lot even if it was a bit different.IMG_1369

That’s the first thing I noticed.  “Beer….over ice…..okay…..?”  I just thought it was a dumb idea from a brewery that was trying to be different and subsequently forgot about it.

IMG_1372We got the drinks and food home, I decided that I was going to have a Doppelbock first, and never did get to the Rock Hard Red that night.  The next night I opened one, took a drink and tasted one thing:

Raspberries.

Not a hint of raspberries.  Not raspberries and hops.  Just raspberries (and then an aftertaste of malt).  Like I thought I was drinking Mickey’s with raspberries in it.

IMG_1371Wait, I AM drinking Mickey’s with raspberries in it.  Not necessarily Mickey’s brand or quality but this is definitely not beer.

IMG_1370Bottle, you lied to me.  I’ve had flavored beer before.  I cried every time (aside once, I think it was Sam Adam’s Cranberry Lambic, and I hadn’t been drinking beer for more than a year) and hated it.  Why would you tell people you are a flavored beer when you are clearly not and clearly taste better than a flavored beer?

IMG_1373No, your bulldog will not sway me.  Why did you lie to me?

….but damn, you are tasty and easy-drinking.  I will have to remember you because you are really tasty and go down smooth and I don’t feel guilty like when I drink Smirnoff beverages.

Rock Hard Red

Appearance: Not that it’s overly relevant this time, but here’s what it looks like over ice:

IMG_1379Not beer.  At all.  I would believe that it is berry soda if I didn’t know better.

Scent: I smell malt liquor and berries.  Irrelevant as a beer but it definitely smells nothing like a Smirnoff or Mike’s; this is definitely something more mature.

Taste: Raspberries followed by a minor hint of malt liquor.  I can’t even pretend to get highfalutin with it.  If it is over ice and not out of the bottle, the malt liquor flavor is less prevalent.

Drinkability: It goes down smooth like a girly drink.  Beer drinkers are going to scream and cringe; non-beer drinkers are going to rejoice.

Quality: This is a weird conversation.  It obviously isn’t beer so those conventions aren’t going to work here but as I drink it, I find myself drawn to it, and I think I figured out why.  When you read by description of the flavor, you will notice a distinctive lack of the world “sugar” or “corn syrup.”  When you drink this, it’s obvious that you aren’t drinking pop or “cheer leader beer.”  It’s sweet, and in the traditional sense, not the beer sense.  At the same time, it tastes like berries, not artificial flavor.  The flavorings aren’t there to hide the alcohol; they play nicely with it.  No, it isn’t beer, but if you are in the mood for something else, this is a great choice and doesn’t make you feel as guilty.  I give it a B+/A- for quality.

Overall: It’s malt liquor, not beer, but it is a quality malt liquor and the berry flavor tastes good, not crappy and super-sweet.  But beer drinkers will think it is.

Unbiased Grade: F, and here is why: it isn’t beer and it claims to be.  So it fails at being a beer.  If Knob Creek claimed to be beer, it would get an F, too, and I love Knob Creek.

Biased Grade: B+/A-.  I will get this again.  I love it.  It definitely isn’t complex, it doesn’t make you feel like you are true beer drinker, or even an adult, but it is tasty, goes down smooth, and doesn’t make you feel like a sell-out weakling, either.

Gray’s Brewing page on their beers (and non-beers as this case is)

Both of these are good, I would recommend both, and I hope no one thinks less of me for it.

To good beer (and malt liquor 😉 ) my friends!

– Robby

Advertisements