Saturday, June 20, 2009

Shiner, Otter Creek, Belhaven: Who you kicking out of the hot tub

Beer Log: April 28, 2009
State: Hell if I remember...

As much as we downed it back when I first got into Shiner Beer after moving to Houston, I figured the 100 Year anniversary and the anniversary pack would be a great time to formally review some old favorites.

Shiner Hefeweizen
Oh man, this one is everywhere. It's at the Hooters, the mega beer stores in Maryland. It used to be one of their biggest sellers until the Black Lager took the Texas beer world by storm. Wheat and light ester/vegetal nose. Strong white poofy head with lightly clouded straw color. The taste comes in two phases, first you get thee nice banana and light bread, followed by some wateriness and metal. Leaves my tongue feeling very tingly (nullus). The aftertaste itself is pretty metallic as well. I considered giving it a low 3 Star for nostalgia, but metal is bad for you in this case. 2 Star.

It's a shame, as this bottle should have been pretty fresh with it has a nice 100 Year anniversary label on it and whatnot.

Later on that day while eating a Pale Ale turkey burger, pale ale baked beans, and some three cheese mac and cheese (with brie no less).

Otter Creek World Tour Sphinx
Ah some beer inspired by the Motherland. I purposefully did not read up on it as I was curious what this elixir would taste like. We picked this up while in Maryland. Smells of honey, grapes, and sugary sweetness. The taste is an awesome grain and honey (though not a mead) with a superquick finish and a delicate body. It's got a light gold color with a fleeting white head. It took me a while, but I was reminded of some of the various types of tea that are always at various conferences and conventions. Then it hit me, chamomile. As it warmed up it more chamomile like, and less beery. It was light and refreshing and I really appreciate what Otter Creek was doing. 3 Stars.

Apparently Otter Creek has put together a long series of beer based on different and historic styles, calling it a "World Tour".

Our 12th "stop" on the World Tour: "Sphinx" is an Egyptian-inspired multigrain ale brewed with Vermont honey and chamomile. The Ancient Egyptians were the first to brew beer, and they also were the first to grow many of the grains we use today. We brewed this golden ale with spelt, millet, rye, oats, barley, and wheat; for a well-deserved tribute to the ancient inventors of beer.

The Otter has been traveling the world in search of unique, interesting and unusual brewing styles. Whenever he finds something new and exciting, he teams up with our Brewmaster Steve Parkes and our capable team of brewers to produce Otter Creek's interpretation of the world's best beers. These unique brews are available in 22 ounce bottles and on draft.

The next day:

Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPA
An English version of our American IPA. Nice. Getting a great caramel light citrus hop, it certainly smells balanced. Clear with a light gold color. Massive poofy strong white head. This tastes like a nice basic IPA with a thin body. Strong hops for a regular beer. I would say it's on the low end of an American IPA in its strength, more like an American Pale Ale. In fact, it reminds me of a thinner Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. High 3 Star.


HolzBrew said...

Twisted thistle is a great name. Very cool that the Brits are finally copying us. I'll have to see if I can find this stuff around VA. Great reviews, keep it up.

The American Don said...

Thanks the reading the blog Holz. I think the Brits (and actually Scots in this case) are starting to get a little more American. But it's hard when (just like most of our beer), their main consumer base is used to low flavor beer.

Mike White said...

I love Twisted Thistle! It is a English IPA and doesnt have the body or as much hops as an American IPA. I had it on tap at the the Bay View Duck down in Bacliff. My favorite beer is Belhaven Scottish Ale. Great reviews my friend!