Friday, October 26, 2007

Coaster: Pilsner Urquell

I got this coaster in a 12-pack of Pilsner Urquell in 1997. I remember it because the coaster is made out of leather which is pretty unusual I think.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Dead Reckoning Porter

Brewer: Troegs Brewing Company
ABV: 5.4%
Poured: September 2007

Filled my Troegs growler while passing through Harrisburg, PA on Labor Day weekend.

Pours a nearly opaque dark brown with mahogany highlights. Smells of roasty and sweet malt but clearly a lot of spicy hops aromas as well.

The hops bite right up front. Certainly the hoppiest regular porter I've ever tasted. The only other porter that would rival its hop profile would be Flying Dog's Imperial Porter and that's saying something. Anyway, after the hops it's creamy smooth and some sweeter flavors shine through. The finish glows with hops and the hops linger long after the beer has entered the gullet. There's an odd yeasty profile too, somewhat English in character but I can't really put my finger on it.

Definitely a unique porter but plenty tasty. I had no trouble finishing off the growler!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Out of the Cellar: Rogue Old Crustacean and I2PA

For this installment of Out of the Cellar, a couple of 12 oz bottles from Rogue's XS series. When Rogue began switching from 12oz bottle to the big ceramic bottles for their XS series, I snatched up a bunch of the more reasonably priced bottles of Old Crustacean and I2PA. Both were hot and raging with hops so I put a few down to mellow.

Fast forward 3 years. Time to check them out.
Rogue Old Crustacean

This one pours a muddy opaque brown sporting a thin brown head. A whiff reveals huge citrusy hops(still!). Some alcohol aromas but not as overpowering as when young. Looks like the "heat" ahs subsided a bit. And of course rich decadent malt aromas fill the nose as well.

The first sip...still smacks you right in the face. Enormous hops, even after all this time, assault the tongue. Very citrusy, very bitter. Lots more alcohol than I would have expected in the flavor as well. Guess it hasn't mellowed quite as much as originally thought.

Overall though, it's not as hot, the hops have toned down a bit and the flavors are blending a lot more. It's also fruitier than I remember.
But this is all relative. It's still a wild one and it can go a lot longer. I have heard people say that this beer holds up after 11 years and I'm beginning to believe them.

Rogue I2PA

As a rule, I never even attempt to age any sort of IPA even doubles and triples. IPAs are meant to be drunk sooner than later in my opinion.

However, this one was so hoppy and so hot that I thought it might defy convention so I gave it a shot. Really, it drinks more like a blonde barleywine so it's a good candidate. This bottle has been in the cellar for two years.

The I2PA pours very hazy but luminous copper with hints of orange. Lots and lots of little yeast floaties in suspension and a dense and frothy ivory head. Lots of hops in the aroma, mostly cascade. Big citrusy smell of the hops, some sourish fruity malt and hints of alcohol in the aroma.

Taking a drink, the hops are agressive but toned down a bit from when fresh. There is a slightly fruitier malt profile and certainly flavors are better balanced. A bit of alcohol flavor is evident but nowhere near as pronounced when young. Sweetish finish and lingering hops after the swallow.

This one's ready to drink now. A couple of years on it has done wonders but she's ready to go.

So, to recap, Old Crustacean can keep on aging past 3 years and after 2 years the I2PA is still primed and ready.