Archive for January, 2012

Sprecher Winter Brew

January 31, 2012 Leave a comment

Sprecher Winter Brew

Sprecher Winter Brew
Brewery: Sprecher Brewing Co.
Style: Munich Dunkel Bock
ABV: 5.75%
Availability: Winter Seasonal (Dec. – Mar.)
Serving Type: 16 oz. bottle

Label: The flavorful blend of a complex variety of dark roasted and caramel malts give this Munich-style dunkel-bock a smooth and robust character making it the perfect winter lager.

Beer Review:
Sprecher Winter Brew pours a deep, dark brown in color with a tan head. Aroma is malty, with caramel and toffee. As the beer warms dark fruit and cherry also appear in the nose. Smooth and medium-bodied with some soft carbonation around the edges.  Hearty roasted maltiness dominates the flavor profile of this beer. The smooth finish builds on that roasted malt flavor with subtle hints of cherry with a touch burnt malt toward the back. Hops help balance out the sweet maltiness of the beer.


Hinterland Winterland

January 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Hinterland Winterland

It was inevitable.

The weather may have been chilly at times in December, but it had been a mild winter. That is until January arrived and with it came the first major snow falls of the season. I was actually enjoying having a mild winter for a change. Not having to deal with shoveling and driving in slow traffic with slippery conditions was rather nice. Alas, I knew it was not meant to last.

Winter has finally arrived! One of the great things about living in Wisconsin, a state that has four definitive seasons, is also being able to truly appreciate seasonal beers meant for each type of weather.

Hinterland Winterland is an American Porter brewed with juniper berry. This is a 7.5% abv robust porter, that’s meant to be enjoyed during the cold winter months. The beer pours black in color with some slight amber highlights on the bottom and a tan head. The nose consists of cocoa, sweet chocolate powder, raisins, and juniper. The mouthfeel is full-bodied. Initial flavors of roasted malt and dark fruit appear on the first sips. A closer examination reveals the juniper berry midway and it leads into a long, dry finish. Burnt malt and dark chocolate are also tasted towards the back.

Hinterland Winterland is produced by the Green Bay Brewing Co. At the brewery there is an attached restaurant named Hinterland. A second Hinterland Gastropub is located in Milwaukee’s downtown Third Ward. Having eaten at the Milwaukee restaurant I can vouch that the food there is quite amazing and definitely worth a visit.

Likewise, if you’re a fan of porters, Winterland is certainly worth trying. The juniper berry is not overpowering and it adds a unique and unexpected twist to the flavor of a traditionally brewed porter.


Point 2012 Black Ale

January 24, 2012 1 comment

Point 2012 Black Ale

It’s fitting that my first review of 2012 is a beer called “2012”. More specifically 2012 Black Ale from Stevens Point Brewery. The inspiration for the name comes from the Mayan Calendar which stops recording on December 21, 2012, and as a result, is leaving some people with an ominous feeling that the world’s going to end this year.

Style-wise this kind of falls somewhere between a Schwartzbier (black lager) and an American brown ale, while weighing in at 5.2% alcohol by volume. The appearance is near black in color with a tan head. The nose is fairly light with a vinous aroma, along with that of soy, feint chocolate, and alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium in body with soft carbonation.

The taste starts off with a light, roasted maltiness. Caramel emerges midway, followed by some soy flavor toward the back. Very lightly hopped, with a low bitterness. In fact, according to the brewery’s website it’s only at 9 IBUs. 2012 Black Ale is pretty smooth drinking and very mild.

This is one of the more enjoyable beers I’ve had from the Point Brewery. I don’t mind their Cascade Pale Ale, but I find the flagship Point Special Lager somewhat lacking. I’ve been more impressed with their Whole Hog limited release series, than the line of regular offerings. I’d consider 2012 Black Ale worth a look, if you like malty beers, although it tends to remain on the mild side.

2012 Black Ale is available year round on draft and in 12 oz bottles and cans. The simple fact that you can purchase this in cans makes me happy. More and more craft brewers are releasing their beers in cans and this is something I’d definitely consider picking up again for that reason alone.

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