Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Beers – a Brown and two Stouts

I sampled three beers over the Thanksgiving week holiday and I liked them all.  Firestone Walker’s Velvet Merlin (5.5% ABV and 30 IBU) is an Oatmeal Stout that pours black with a two-finger head.  Velvet Merlin has an wonderful aroma of coffee and dark chocolate.  This is an excellent beer with tastes of coffee, chocolate with a silky mouth feel that and would go great with an after dinner desert.  I liked this one the best.

Website description – “A decadent Oatmeal Stout brimming with cocoa and espresso aromas. Partially aged in bourbon barrels, this beer features a rich, dark chocolate and roasted coffee flavor with a creamy mouth feel and wonderfully dry finish. The addition of U.S. grown fuggles hops contributes the perfect amount of bitterness to this exceptionally balanced beer”.

Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout (6% ABV) is an American Stout that pours black with a large head.  It smells and tastes of coffee, chocolate and just a hint of licorice.  I was happy it was just a hint of licorice because I am not a big fan.  I thought they had just the right touch.  A very nice stout, but I liked Velvet Merlin better.

Website description – “Kalamazoo Stout represents stouts in the Bell's year-round roster, offering a blend of dark chocolate and coffee flavors with just a hint of brewer's licorice. One of our oldest recipes, it balances a significant hop presence against the roast malt body.

Commonly asked trivia:

·        The brewer's licorice we use is gelatin-free, making it acceptable for vegetarians.
·        The label comes from a series of portraits by a local artist”.

Lost Coast’s Downtown Brown (5.0% ABV) is an American Brown Ale that pours a dark tan with reddish notes and has a nice head.  Downtown Brown is a nice brown ale that is easy to drink.  It is not as roasty as a porter or a stout and is not as hoppy as a stout or an amber.  Downtown Brown hits that fine line of a lightly hopped, caramel roasty flavor of an American Brown. 

Website description – “A smooth, full-bodied nut brown ale, lightly hopped with a hint of roasted and crystal malts.  This ale is dark in color without the heavy taste of porter or stout.”

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