Big Ol’ Beer

Today I set out to review another leftover from my housemate’s party. The guy who brought over the Sierra Nevada had great taste, and luckily for me, the majority of my housemates like their thin and relatively tasteless. That leaves all the big, bold brews to be imbibed by ahm…there’s no word that describes me that begins with a “B” so I will have to end my alliteration early. All of these “B”‘s are suggestive of the beer I am about to taste, labeled as “Bigfoot.” Since this is wine month here at the Dram, I had to review a barley wine and this is a goody. So, without further ado:

A Full Glass

A Full Glass

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.: 2008 Bigfoot Barley Wine Style Ale – 25th Expedition

Tasting Condition: I enjoyed this brew after a pleasant evening and a nice dinner. I drank this beer cold from the fridge in a 16 oz. English pint-style glass.

Eye: In the glass this ale is a dark, cloudy amber with lots of gorgeous, creamy head. The head has good staying power, suggesting a fair bit of protein. The bottle is much like other Sierra Nevadas in stubby brown glass.

Nose: The nose is mostly hops and cloves with just a hint of mint.

Mouth: This beer is very interesting in the mouth with an almost indescribably, but pleasant flavour. There is a lot of hoppiness on the finish, but the start is very weird. I would almost suggest beef stock as one of the tastes, as well as some interesting spices, including a good bit on ginger, and lots of mint and bay leaf. All together, it is rather interesting.

Conclusion: This is a wonderful beer, and definitely one I am happy to have in the house. With so many thousands of wonderful beers out there, this is not outstanding enough for me to absolutely buy again, but if I saw it in the store, it would certainly complicate my decisionmaking.

Stay brewish,
The Scribe

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The Session: A Celebration

For those of you who are new to the Dram, what I do here is blog on beer and cocktails, in roughly equal portions. This month I am also blogging on wine. However, in general, you can find reviews of beer, usually three per month, plus beer cocktails, and other cocktails as well. Anyway, onto the Session:
Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a six pack of Tuckerman’s, which I usually drink when I get down from the eponymous backcountry ski area, one of the deadliest in New England. Otherwise, I tend to drink a sparkling wine for celebrations. However, this ale made this selection hard. In addition, since this is wine month here at the Dram, I had to find a barleywine, which is a style I don’t tend to drink. Then, serendipity struck.
This weekend was my roommate’s twenty-first birthday. This seems like the sort of the special occasion asked for by our good host. One of our guests even brought a little Sierra Nevada barleywine bottled under the name “Celebration Ale.” Honestly, could the synergy be any better?

It is an interesting beer. It’s a miserable winter seasonal, because it is not much of a winter warmer. However, it made an excellent summer cooler. It is my honor to present:

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.: 2007 Celebration Ale

Tasting Conditions: I enjoyed this winter warmer after work one day. I drank it from the bottle from, which had been sitting in the fridge for a few days. I drank it from a British pint glass of one imperial pint with room for some head proud of the pint mark.

Eye: This is a wonderfully honey amber ale. It had a lot of surge on the pour, but it subsided fairly quickly. The bottle is a fairly standard Sierra Nevada bottle, though it was in a winter theme.

Nose: There was a lot of good spicyness here, as well as some good hops, and some pleasant herbal notes.

Mouth: In the mouth this was a sweet ale with a pleasing bitterness. It was surprisingly refreshing for a winter beer, and had some Belgian tripel notes. There was also some sour, though more along the lines of cranberry than citrus.

Conclusion: I enjoyed this ale as a summer libation. However, I am not sure how it would taste in the dead of winter. In addition, I find winter ales to be the best seasonals. While this was good, other winter warmers do a better job in this regard.

Be sure to check out the wrap-up over at the Barley Blog.

May we have many more special occaisions,
The Scribe