Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Some quick beer reviews..

I'm not, generally, one to buy a 12-pack of beer. After all, most microbrews don't even come in 12-packs. But, when I found that the Shipyard Brewery (hailing from Portland, Maine) was offering their 'Captain's Pack' (featuring 4 of their 'English-style' ales) for only $9.99, I jumped on that.

Featured below are reviews of these 4 brews:

Old Thumper Extra Special Ale - A solid 'English Bitters' style ale with a pale blonde color and a solid head. I found it best served slightly warm, which smoothed out the flavor a bit. Overall, a very drinkable beer. Tasted like what I imagined to be served at the rural pubs in Genevieve's English mysteries, both subtly sweet and bitter, nothing fancy. A simple good brew.

Export Ale - Another Ale, this one with a strong amber color. Very hoppy right out of the fridge, but when warmed a bit, the sweetness really came out. Again, best to leave this one out a bit before drinking. I wasn't as impressed with this one as I was with 'Old Thumper'. Though the hops gave it some bite, I thought the beer was just kind of bland. Very drinkable, of course, but nothing to get excited over.

Bluefin Stout - Deep chocolate color, though the head was not as strong as your standard "Irish stout", which the Bluefin claims to be. Otherwise, has all the characteristics of the solid stout: bold coffee flavors, slightly chalky and full-bodied. It reminded me a bit of Mackeson's XXX Stout, but without as much sweet up-front.

India Pale Ale - Probably the biggest disappointment of the lot. Maybe it's me, but when I drink a IPA, I want that kick-in-the-pants hoppy bite. I want something that really bites back and the Shipyard IPA simply didn't. Sure, it did have a hoppy flavor, but it was too mellow and smooth for my tastes. It was a drinkable beer, but if looking for a good example of an IPA, I'd look elsewhere.