Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Cider, a Wit and a Stout

While it sounds like that start of a joke, it is not, and these were the last three styles I sampled.  Strongbow Cider (5% ABV) is the best selling cider in England and it pours straw gold with no head.  It has a cider aroma and is easy to drink with a dry finish.  My wife tried it and took my glass, so there was little sampling I completed other than some original tastes.  I will obtain additional ciders in the future to sample and there are a number of craft hard cider producers making some outstanding ciders.  If you like cider, you will probably like hard cider.

Hoegaarden Wit Blanche (4.9% ABV) is a Belgian Wheat beer and InBev owns the brewery.  Wit has won numerous awards in the Belgian-style Wheat/White beer and Hoegaarden's version is right to standard for the style.  Wit pours a cloudy yellow and instructions on the bottle inform you to use the last few ounces to swirl the yeast at the bottom to pour into the glass.  Wit has a lacey white head that takes a bit of time to recede and I filled a 20 oz. glass while pouring the 11.2 oz. bottle.  There is a nice aroma of spices (coriander and orange peel are used in brewing) and Belgian yeast.  This is a quaffable beer and you can easily drink these all day with the low ABV. 

Stout is one of my favorite styles and when I saw Left Hand Brewery’s Milk Stout Nitro (6% ABV and 25 IBU), I had to try it.  Left Hand is now adding nitrogen with the Milk Stout in the bottle to obtain a pour very similar to the pour of a Guinness Stout.  The instructions are to pour it hard and watch.  Milk Stout pours black and a nice, thick creamy head formed in my pint glass.  Milk Stout has unfermentable lactose sugars, so if you are lactose intolerant, do not drink milk stouts – some may be called sweet stouts.  This is a really good stout and I will buy this again.  A few people tried this at a party we had last weekend and they really liked it.  I poured a few beers and this one and Avery’s The Kaiser were enjoyed by almost everyone.  So, don’t be afraid to go to the dark side and enjoy a Milk Stout Nitro. 

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