Beer: Rare Vos
Brewer: Brewery Ommegang
Rating: *** (7.8 of 10)
Comments: A yummy beer enjoyed on draft at the Doubleday Cafe in Cooperstown, NY. A golden amber brew with a floral aroma, the beer has a bready, malt flavor with spices and hints of fruit, like apricot. A very well-crafted and quaffable beer with ineffable qualities.
Beer: Yuengling Traditional Lager
Brewer: Yuengling Brewery
Rating: * (5.2 of 10)
Comments: Yuengling has long been a sentimental favorite. First, the Yuengling Brewery is based in the same Pennsylvania county where by grandparents lived when I was a child. Second, when I came of age in Virginia and began drinking beer regularly, Yuengling was a standard. I’ve missed it since I moved to Massachusetts and was happy to see it reintroduced to the commonwealth this year. So, recently when a friend and I went to a swanky bar in the South End, I saw that Yuengling was on tap (and furthermore was the only reasonably priced beer on tap). And …. it wasn’t as good as I remembered. The flavor isn’t strong and the aroma is tad skunky. That being said, for the price it’s a decent quaff on a hot day. So, I’ll add this back to my list of cheap beer standbys.
Beer: Smuttynose Vunderbar
Brewer: Smuttynose Brewing Company
Source: 12 oz. bottle
Rating: *** (7 of 10)
Comments: Vunderbar! pours out a cloudy straw color with a lot of bubbly carbonation and a thin but solid head. Both the bubbles and head persisted even after quaffing a lot of the beer. The aroma is grassy with a hint of spice. The flavor is grainy with a nice balance and a bit of spice, the classic pilsner flavor. The taste was consistent through the emptying glass. This is a beer I could easily drink a lot of. Watch out for it on a warm summer’s evening!
Beer: Samuel Adams Grumpy Monk
Brewer: Boston Beer Company
Rating: ** (6.1 of 10)
Comments: Sampled on tap at Doyle’s Cafe in Jamaica Plain, probably the best location to try fresh, new Samuel Adams’ beers. There was a thin head on the beer which had a copper tone. The aroma is very mild, maybe some yeast and banana scents. The flavor is a balance of hops and malts, but not consistent. I like it better at first when I could taste the hops, but they weren’t overpowering in their bitterness. The finish is bready with a mouth feel that is too thick and sticky for my tastes. I couldn’t figure out what this beer wanted to be, but it was all right for a change of pace.
Beer: Old Stitch
Brewer: AleWerks Brewing Company
Rating: *** (7.2 of 10)
The waiter at Chowning’s Tavern is a beer aficionado and set me up with a sample of another AleWerks beer (I left him a generous tip). Old Stitch is brown with a cream-colored head. The nose is sweet and chocolatey, while the taste is nutty and well-balanced. This is a tasty brew and I wish I’d had time to sample more.
Beer: Dear Old Mum
Brewer: AleWerks Brewing Company
Rating: *** (7.6 of 10)
Comments: Visited Chowning’s Tavern at Colonial Williamsburg and enjoyed a mug of this locally-brewed, 18th-century recipe beer. Dear Old Mum is unfiltered with a honey-color and not much head. The scent is grainy and the flavor is spicy with a sweet, malt finish. There’s an effervescent tingle on the tongue and the flavor grows stronger the more you drink. Nice to see Williamsburg making a strong addition to the craft beer revolution.
Beer: Irish Whiskey Cask
Brewer: Innis & Gunn
Source: 22 oz. draft
Rating: **** (8.1 of 10)
Comments: A knock your socks off beer that is pitch black with a creamy head. The nose is an overly sweet caramel, while the flavor has hinds of whiskey and oak. The lacing is erratic and the head dissipates completely. This is an elegant stout with an alcoholic punch.