Still clearing out the notebook. These reviews came from the Maryland area during the Obama Inauguration. The next day I just HAD to go back to DuClaw for some beering. They were the first place I ever reviewed formally, actually writing it down. I remember getting very fired up and thinking they were the best brewpub I've been to. Time for a little update now that I've been reviewing beers all over the world (at least the US and Paris) since then...
January 21, 2009
First off we had one more Saranac
Saranac Vanilla Porter
Deep brown and opaque. Seriously strong poofy tanish grey gead. Nose has a light choco and maybe some butter and veggie. Getting a hint of fruit as well. Tasting it I first notice the full body and strong bitterness, as well as a bitter finish. I can get a strong roast and subtle vanilla as well. As you get used to the bitterness with more drinking, I got some serious malt in the background. 3 Stars.
Now onto Du Claw. I loved these guys a lot but I do wonder what it will be like after a full year of reviewing beer all over the world (okay Texas and France).
RESPECT THE FLUID
We started out with a sampler like we did the last time.
A new style in the Australian tradition. Straw and clear colored with no smell. I rarely get a good nose off of the samplers anyway. Got to pay that price to sample all the beer. It's a little sour and bready. Another few sips and it's basically a bad kind of hops and water. 1 Star man. Right out the gate, DuClaw hit me with a beer that I put on the same level as Desperados and Southern Star Rauchbier.
I must have written all this down wrong, b/c I"m not seeing any of these on my last review. Oh well. Black color with light tan head. It has a strong malt and chocolate on the nose. Finally tasting it I get a full body and some citrus. It has a low malt but is way to sour and astringent for me. Not to mention the high carbonation. 2 Star.
A little cloudy with a cascade hops and malt nose. Oh yeah baby. Strong hops on the tongue that is pretty unbalanced. Decent bitter finish. It has a nice lacy white head. The 2nd draught has some subtle fruit as well. Not bad at all. 3 Star
Ah the "Venom". When I first had this, I used to think this venom (strong hops) was some blow your back out hops. After a year of drinking things from Avery, Green Flash, Sierra Nevada, Stone, and Victory. Not so much. It has a grassy hop nose. It actually smells kind of soda like. It's a little redder than hellrazer. Finally tasting it and I get a strong hops and a very smooth mouthfeel. Somewhere in there is a touch of bread, but these days I need some balance in my life. Strong hops... and strong malt. 3 Star.
Another new one. Copper and clear with a white very lasting low head. There little aroma. I taste it and there is a sense of malt. No real sweetness. It's more malty as it eat with the Thai style mussels. Low 3 Star.
Oh what name. Nothing like the milk coming from wherever Satan lactates. Smells very sweet and almost appley. Copper-red color. WOW! All that alcohol in this one. Good medium body and maltiness. Lacy head. It's a very warming beer. High 3 Star.
Wrapping it all up, I'm glad we were able to head back to Du Claw. Looks like they are mixing things up quite a bit. Top three beers from this trip...
2. Venom IPA
1. Devil Milk
That's Devil Milk is pretty painful stuff. I'm glad I had it on sampler or I wouldn't have made it back to the car. Great for drinking in the winter time. I could use some of that action while sitting outside on a chilly day. As per the rules of being a black blogger, I have to play a music video at some point.
And while we're here, I got me some Magic Hat
Magic Hat HI.P.A.
Perfect orange and some cloudiness in the appearance. Strong white foamy head. There is a nice citrus hop on the nose. It ahs a good malt balance to the strong citrus hops. Nice lace as well. The aftertaste has some hops and a touch of bread. High 3 Star. I was kinda hoping the Magic Hatters would have f'ed around and put some funky adjuncts in there like they like to do: calamine lotion, eyelashes, spaghetti sauce. Who knows.