Posts Tagged ‘Texas Beer’

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Day #365 – Rahr & Sons Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer

January 1, 2012

So here we are, at the end of a journey. 365 days ago I embarked on a journey, a journey which I did not expect to be so difficult. It was a challenge, and I succeeded. I learned a lot too, not just about the beer I was featuring or where it came from, but about myself. I set a goal for myself, began a project and saw it through to the end. It will be bittersweet to see this journey end, but I am ready. I will have an additional post after this one detailing some interesting statistics about my blog. Look for it soon!

Today I am finishing things up with one of my all-time favorite Texas beers from who else, but Rahr & Sons Brewery right here in Fort Worth, TX. One of the purposes of this blog was to feature quality craft beer and breweries from Texas, so I felt it was appropriate to end things with a Texan brew. Also, as a special treat today I will be sampling 2 batches of the same beer, one from 2011 and one from 2010! Glad I have some friends to share it with. 🙂

Rahr & Sons Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer

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This is one of the most sought-after beers that Rahr & Sons make. I remember several years ago when I had just heard about it, I tried and tried to find it but I was always out of luck. It seemed like every time I went out to try it, the place that had it had run out of it mere minutes before I got there. This dance happened for 2 years in a row until finally I was able to sample some a few year back. Last year Rahr gained the ability to bottle things in the bomber format which is a larger size bottle than the standard American longneck. I wisely saved a bottle of it from last year with the intent to try it side by side with this year’s batch. I am very excited to try it today! Rahr made a concerted effort to increase production and it can be found at some of the higher end beer stores and bars. I’ll begin with the newer batch, and here are some details. This is an English Strong Ale style that holds 8% ABV. Rahr takes recently emptied whiskey barrels and ages their Winter Warmer in them for a period of time. This will impart some additional flavors and aromas that is not already in the base beer. What results is what sits in front of me now, the Bourbon Barrel Aged Winter Warmer!

2011 Batch

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I’ve sampled this particular batch on draught before this season but I have yet to try the bottled version. I will use last year’s glassware for this beer.

This beer pours a very dark brown color that is difficult to see through. A small amount of light comes through but not much. A fizzy beige head is formed on top but does not last very long. There is also a fair amount of lacing on the edge of the glass as well.

The aroma is…WOW! Lots of woody notes, bourbon, chocolate and dark malts. Light bit of roasted notes. Very aromatic indeed.

The flavor is fantastic as well. Dark roasted malts mix well with sweet chocolate flavors. The finish is where the aging process comes in, adding woody notes and touches of bourbon. Man this is good. I highly suggest seeking it out if you can find it!

2010 Batch

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This bottle is a year old, as old as my blog. It is fitting that this will be the final beer I feature on this blog. Let’s go out in style. This one will be poured in this year’s glassware as well as the 2009 glassware, bookending this batch.

As it is the same beer only a different batch, the appearances are very similar if not exact. This beer pours a very dark brown color that is difficult to see through. A small amount of light comes through but not much. A fizzy beige head is formed on top but does not last very long. Light amount of lacing.

The aroma however is very different from the fresh batch. There is hardly any bourbon scents on the nose, which was very prominent in the new one. Instead it has a large chocolatey aroma and dark malts. Light roasted notes as well. Lots of wood shines through.

The flavor is also very different from the fresh batch. Dry and woody with some sharp flavors that sit on the back of the throat. Almost a bit tart but not sour by any means. Chocolate and wood notes are on top here with little bourbon. It leaves a large tingle on the palate that warms all the way down. I think I prefer the fresh batch more but this one isn’t too bad either.

Well there you have it folks! This blog is in the books. I’m finishing up my final glass with a small tear in my eye. It’s been fun, challenging, stressful and enlightening. Glad to have done it but it’s time to say goodbye. And for the last time…I bid you Cheers!

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Day #362 – Saint Arnold Brown Ale

December 29, 2011

Wow. Day #362. I am so close it is crazy! Got yet another Texas beer on the menu for today, and it’s funny that I am finishing up this week with lots of Texas beers that are available year round here. I’m always shocked when I haven’t reviewed these beers yet for my blog, it’s just that I always see them so I always pass them up in lieu of something else. Glad I’m getting around to them now.

Saint Arnold Brown Ale

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This is one of the year-round offerings from Saint Arnold. It is a Brown Ale at 5.3%.

This beer pours a very clear dark orange color with lots of carbonation. The carbonation forms a nice layer of white head at the top of the glass. I am using one of my favorite Saint Arnold glasses today as well.

The aroma is strong malts with a slight edge of toasted nuts/roasted grain and a finish of hops. Basically a solid blend of what goes into a beer!

The flavor is pretty tasty. I pick up the heavy malted backbone first with a nice edge of sweetness. The hop bitterness comes in near the finish to round things out. This is a solid brew and it’s unfortunate I have not drank more of this. This could EASILY be a regular 6-pack drinker.

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4 to go…(including this one I guess I should mention)

Cheers!

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Day #361 – Real Ale Rio Blanco Pale Ale

December 28, 2011

Yet another Real Ale beer coming down the pipe for you today. However at the moment it is 11:46 pm and I have just gotten home from a long day. Needless to say…this will be brief.

Real Ale Rio Blanco Pale Ale

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This is one of the year-round offerings from Real Ale, and I’ve never gotten around to reviewing it because it’s alway available. This is an English Pale Ale at 5.2% ABV.

Bottle from Central Market poured into my Real Ale shaker. This beer pours a clear orange color with a fizzy white head. Lots of carbonation.

Aroma is bready grain,rye chips and wax candles. The good kind of candles though. Certainly hoppy as well.

Flavor is dry, slight bitter grain with an increasingly dry finish. Lots of hop flavor and bitterness but almost too dry. Better than originally thought.

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5 left to go…

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Day #360 – Real Ale Coffee Porter

December 27, 2011

I LOVE coffee beers. Absolutely love them. The more coffee aroma and flavor in my beer the better. So you can understand how excited I was when I heard that Real Ale was coming out with a coffee porter. I will be trying this both on tap and out of a bottle today!

Real Ale Coffee Porter

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I am meeting with a very special guest today at the Ginger Man. You will find out more about this soon! Trust me, it will be very cool.

Real Ale Brewing Company came out with this beer quite recently, within a couple of years at least. It is a porter at 5.6% brewed with Katz Coffee.

This beer pours a very dark brown color with reddish highlights when put to the light. Foamy white head.

Aroma has lots of dark malts, roasted notes, dark Bakers chocolate and small bits of coffee. I want the coffee nose to be much more prominent.

Flavor is sweet and bitter chocolate. Some dark coffee as well with a bitter finish. Not bad at all but I want WAY more coffee!

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6 to go…

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Day #359 – Real Ale Sisyphus (2011)

December 26, 2011

I realized very recently that I had not yet reviewed this beer for my blog, and it was another shocking discovery. This is one of the only mass distributed barley wine that is made regularly in Texas. I’ve had it several times before, including a vertical tasting from 2004 – 2009 (excluding 2006 where it was not produced) which was incredible. Today I have picked up a fresh bottle of the 2011 batch.

Real Ale Sisyphus (2011)

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As I mentioned before this is a barley wine from Real Ale Brewing Company out of Blanco, TX. The ABV ranges anywhere from 10% to 11.5% depending on the batch, but I believe this year’s was 10. Barley Wines are usually best when aged, but often times can have desirable (albeit different) characteristics when fresh. Since I do not have a year to age this one, I’ll enjoy it tonight.

I let this warm up to room temperature before trying it.

This beer pours a very slick burnt orange color with light carbonation. The bubbles are small and thin that makes a short lasting head. That’s alright and matches the style.

The aroma has lots of woody characteristics but also a fairly large hop profile. That’s what I was talking about when I mentioned that a fresh barley wine has different characteristics. You can definitely smell the alcohol as well.

The flavor is woody, dark fruit with a hoppy bitterness and light sweetness. There is a noticeable tingle on the tongue from the raised alcohol content. This beer is certainly not for the faint of heart!

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7 to go…

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Day #358 – Real Ale Brewhouse Brown Ale

December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!!! As it’s Christmas I am spending all day with my family. This will be a quick post.

Real Ale Brewhouse Brown Ale

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Brown Ale from Real Ale Brewing in Blanco, TX. 5.4% ABV.

This beer pours a reddish brown color with a foamy tan head. Almost a ruby color.

Light roasted aroma. Very light though. Some nuts and roasted malt nose.

Light watery mouthfeel. Taste is roasted malts and nuts, with a slight dryness. Has the metallic flavor of a German pilsner. This has never been one of my favorites which is probably why I have put it off for so long.

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8 to go…

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Day #357 – Rahr & Sons Texas Red

December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas eve! Tonight I’ve got another beer from Rahr, but it was after I took a trip to Rahr and brought home an awesome present!! Check it out in the photo later on.

Rahr & Sons Texas Red

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I am fairly shocked that I have not yet reviewed this beer as it is one of Rahr’s year-round offerings. I will be wrapping up several Texas beers this week that I have yet to feature on my blog. This is a Vienna Lager at 4.7% ABV.

This beer pours an amber orange color with a white foamy head. Pretty easy so far.

Aroma is biscuit malt, some small scent of nuts and lightly roasted grains.

The flavor seems to match the aroma, with roasted grains, biscuity with a clean finish. Now check out my early present!!!

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9 to go…