Since this is already an otherwise lengthy blog, I'll refrain from boring you with any extra jabber in the beginning.  I will say, of the past few days - I was called back in to work at Copper Kettle Brewing Saturday afternoon and I remember just how much I really love that job.  Thanks to Greg for having me over there to lend a helping hand.  It really is a passion and I'm learning stuff every day.  Now on to the beers;
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6/19/2012 – Founder’s Brewing – Curmudgeon Old Ale – Grade 3.75
The definition by Merriam-Webster.com states – “ill-tempered, usually old man”.  Boy is this not foreshadowing of my birthday in 3 days.  Yes, another year older and grumpy still.  I never thought it possible for age to turn you miserable.  But in honesty I don’t think age is the factor; it be experiences.  I have many experiences of late to make me grumpier then I am but I’ll bare you the gory details.  See I’m not that old or that grumpy YET!  But this beer may be.  It is an Old Ale Style.  Beer advocate writes “Rich dark amber in color to a very dark brown; near black. Tamed aromatics. Although bittering levels can greatly vary, expect common fruity, vinous, intense malts and sharp alcohol characteristics. The often racy but mellow attitude of the beer may also include acidic notes, raisins and black currants.”  My take on Founder’s it’s a bit grumpy but maybe not quiet old enough in its maturity.  At 9.8% per volume these beers are brewed to be aged and battered.  They were traditionally stored in oak barrels where I suspect they would get some of their color.  This beer is amber in color for sure though not quite as dark as Beer Advocate may suggest.  The aroma is somewhat “tame” but really screams of dubious amounts of raisins.  I know this because it smells oddly reminiscent of a Barley Wine I brewed with many pounds of raisins in the brew.  There is really no head to talk about in the glass save a little island of murky mess on the top of the glass that barely qualifies as head.  The beer is not filtered at all as I see many little bits of brew remnants floating through the glass, so much so I thought at first it was carbonation.  Speaking of which the carbonation on this beer is a nice mellow punch that is a nice balance to the malty sweetiness this beer brings to your taste buds.  This thing explodes with flavor on your tongue but is heavy with some hop kick and raisin bite.   This is heavy on the alcohol and almost bourbon or whiskey type drinking.  As I’ve described it above, you may not believe that I’ve actually enjoy this beer immensely.  Unfortunately, I think this particular bottle was YOUNG and needed to put some hair on its chest before it was ready for the big game.

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6/18/2012 – Lancaster Brewery – Rumspringa Honey Bock – Grade 2.5
This beer is quite interesting for you none Pennsylvania Dutch followers out there (and I guess this could be for other areas – but I’m most familiar with it from PA Dutch history).  Rumspringa simply stated means adolescence.  There is a certain amount of rebellion that is tolerated in the religion.  This is roughly from age of 16 till the child decides leave the community or chose baptism and remains in the community.  I do not have the percentages but you are free to look it up.  The kids may do things that are not part of the religion like where “casual” clothes, drive automobiles and engage in premarital sex.  There are legends of big parties happening in Lancaster in barns for these events though I’ve never partaken in any.  Anyway, to the beer – this beer actually is a Honey Bock so I was hopeful for it.  It poured a nice light yellow honey color in the glass.  It smelt a bit sweet and sugary aroma to the glass.  The head was light and thin on top.  Up front the taste is nice and light and a bit sweet or lightly malty.  In the back the after taste is a bit dry and overly sweet.  It tastes a bit overly honey to me in the back and gives it a slight check mark against it.  Over all, it is a nice honey beer if those suit your fancy.  I would say it is 100% better then the Honey Browns of the world; but not one of my favorite beers for sure.


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6/17/2012 – Lancaster Brewery – Milk Stout – Grade 4
Straight from my home town land; well sort of.  I grew up in York County which is right across the river from Lancaster County.  Growing up there was (and probably still is) some rivalries about those to counties and a huge pride in the whole protecting the bridges between the two in on 30 and Old 30 or 462 or Lincoln Highway (depending on where you are from).  Anyway, as I’ve grown I’ve learned that Lancaster really does have a lot of great things to offer and this brewing is a relatively new thing but worthy offering for sure.  This brewer’s Milk Stout is perfectly named.  Not because of all the cows in the neighboring areas that produce a ton of dairy – but instead when you sip this it is like sipping a large glass of 100% complete fat milk.  It is thick.  It is creamy.  It is packed full of flavor and stouty goodness.  It is very bold and dark in the glass.  The head is huge on the top with a hint of brownness to it.  It is chocolaty and roasty with a bit of a nice dry finish.  I was reading an article recently that stated about not counting out Stouts and Porters for summer.  And they make a valid point.  It may not be a beer to sit and pound through a case of in a summer sitting.  But one of these on a later evening night while sitting back to relax and watch a bit of TV is MMM MMM Goodness.

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6/16/2012 – Innus & Gunn – Independence – Grade 3.75
I found this quote on a link:
“When we first produced Innis & Gunn Original in 2003, its wonderful flavor resulted from the interaction between our beer recipe and the American Oak in which we aged it.  And the success we have had internationally has only been possible because the USA has been the trailblazer for craft beer for over a decade. So we owe a great deal to the USA and we have brewed this special Independence Day beer to celebrate this.” (AllAboutBeer.com)

Which if you go and read the rest of the article gives a lot of great information about this beer.  As to not repeat or reiterate.  I’ll simply say that this is the third I&G that I’ve had and it has not disappointed.  Its unique flavor and style using the Oak Barrels is truly special.  The story of brewing this beer as a cask conditioner for their whiskey before throwing it down the drain is pretty remarkable as well.  In short, this beer has notes of caramel and oak throughout.  The picture I took of this is TERRIBLE and for that I apologize.  I had just finished a shift at Copper Kettle Brewing and the bar that I bought it was busy with a huge birthday party.  So, I didn’t get a great picture of the color.  And honestly didn’t take many notes.  But I do remember thinking it was a extremely nice and unique brew for sure.  It has a bit of a bitey hop kick to it that no doubt comes from the American Hop varieties they used to honor the country that created their oak barrels.  As a tribute to the United States these Scotts are alright in my book.  Slainte.  Here's tae ye to you I&G.  PS - I tried editing this picture a bit and even I could not fix this one it is so bad.  I must have been tired.  I've done wrong to Copper Kettle Brewing and Hough's for this picture.  I work this Saturday - I will get a NEW BEER (and maybe even another I&G and right this WRONGED picture)

As always - thanks for stopping by... Please come again!  Cheers!

 





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