Recently celebrated my glorious day of birth, and – among the various mathoms – I received a pair of interesting brews.
Up first is E.S Bam from Jolly Pumpkin. I seemed to recognize this one, and sure enough, I found a review I did on BeerAdvocate (back when I was active) on 12-16-2008. I gave it a good review, here included in its original un-spellchecked wonder:
Had this and Bam Bier 750's back to back over 2 evenings. I actually think I liked the Bam Bier a bit better. This one just seemed a bit less complex, and a bit more unrefined. Poured a dark amber into my Church BrewWorks tulip glass. Craggly white head sits aloft. Immediatly getting a big ole yeasty farmhouse brett funk, which I definitely dig. Some other earthy grassy aromas in there too as the hops show up. I totally love the open fermentation and the tasty saison funk, but this just didnt meet my apparently high expectations.
It;s basically funly yeast with some hops dumped in. It's just kind of flat...not carbonation wise...but flavor wise, compared to other JP brews ive had.
So with this bit of 4-year old nostalgia revealed, We’ll be cracking this beer open tomorrow…look for the exciting update!
The second brew was by Upright Brewing, a very excellent brewery in Portland. This one’s a “strong lager” and inspired/tribute to The Clash (and/or punk rock in general).This brew poured with very tenacious carbonation, tart and crisp like champagne. The taste was more tart, also a bit peppery and floral. The carbonation added a lot of effervescence to the mouthfeel, and also brings out a bit of boozy heat (though it’s fairly tame at 6.75%). Overall a really cool style and very good brew. If you can find a bottle (limited release), grab one uppp!
Cigar City Brewing’s Guava Grove (or with an extra guava: Guave Groove)
Would I consider this a fruit beer? BA has it listed as a saison, which is curious. Poured into my Anderson Valley goblet and it shows a very hazy brass-yellow, with a good bit of head thanks to my overzealous pour. Foam didn’t go down and I had to suck it away after a few impatient minutes.
Fairly tart and tanic, with some fruity juiciness. I get the guava in there as it warms up. Bit of fusal alcohol heat in this one, especially noticed when I was chowing down on the foam, but also as it continued to reach room temp. At 8%, it’s a bit hot.
Flavors were exceptional, lots of citrusy fruit that sat ontop of a bready yeasty Belgian characteristic that showed up in the late taste. Only a mild funk, bit of cardboard must, apparent right away but in no way offensive.
Overall this was a really good drinking fruit/saison brew. On my patented rating scale, I will give it a 3.4 out of 4.
Troegs Brothers’ Perpetual IPA (perpetual ipa, perpetual ipa, perpetual ipa, perpetual ipa…)
What we;’ve got here is a now-classic American IPA, a nice hoppy offering from one of my old favorite east-coast breweries. It’s been a good long while since I’ve had a Troegs, and I wasn’t expecting to be disapointed. Sure enough, I wasn’t. It pours a nice copper orange with a bit of dirty haze.
Hoppy aroma, with a bit of soggy tea and pine hiding behind plenty of crisp citrus oils. Caramel biscuity in the finish and all around very well balanced and with a nice solid body to it. It’s got good drinkabilty and only a faint alcohol presence in the taste or smell when it’s on the colder side. Warming it up makes it a bit hot and the hops become slightly harsh and the mouthfeel gets a bit cloying. Overall, it’s a very well-crafted beer, but in the current IPA-soaked landscape, I would’ve liked this offering from Troegs to really stand out a bit more. On my patented rating scale, I’d give it 5 and half thumbs up.