Archive for the Reviews Category

Review: New Glarus Enigma

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , on September 29, 2010 by sp1365

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This post is pulling double duty tonight (makes sense since I’ve been so lax in updating recently). First, I get to review something from my recent trip to New Glarus Brewery and second, conquer my fear of sour beers. The beer challenged with the task?

New Glarus Enigma from their Unplugged series.

A few weeks back a question was possed on Twitter, “What beers do you fear?” My answer was simple, sour beers. Sours have always been a fear for me. The whole concept just eluded me. After some good natured ribbing regarding my fear of sours, I made the decision to conquer my fear and try a sour beer.

My opportunity came a few days later when I went up to New Glarus Brewery with my parents for the weekend. At the end of the New Glarus Brewery’s “Hard Hat Tour” (highly recommended) was a tasting of their beers, including Enigma. It was time to face my fear and go for it. In the end it was not at all what I expected and I enjoyed it, which brings us to today. On to the review!

New Glarus Enigma

Apperance: Nice clear copper red color, quick falling tan head.

Aroma: First sniff is full of bourbon, vanilla, and oak. Eventually, an interesting interplay of sweet and sour. I definitely pick up from the aroma the sourness of the beer, but I also pick up notes of rich fruity sweetness.

Flavor: Acidity and sour are the main flavors that I pick up mainly in the form of tart lemon. Suprisingly, there is also a malty softness and sweetness that balances the acidity quite well. As for those aromas of bourbon, vanilla, and oak? They definitely are present in the flavor as well. Carbonation is light, yet prickly if that makes sense.

Overall: As a relatively new comer to sour beers, I must say this is a really nice beer. Once I was able to overcome my fear of sour beers and really dig into the beer I found a really flavorful, refreshing beer. 9/10

Review: Hobgoblin Dark English Ale

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , on September 8, 2010 by sp1365

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Time for another review and this one coming from across the pond. Hobgoblin is an English Dark Ale, though in truth I’ve never really heard of the style before so I did not really know what to expect. Fortunately for me, my copy of “The Real Ale Almanac” by Roger Protz had come a few days earlier. According to the almanac Hobgoblin is brewed with just Maris Otter and Black malt with traditional English hop varieties for bitterness and aroma.

From the pour a nice light tan head forms. Though the picture doesn’t show it well, this beer is not black in color, but rather a dark amber with red hues in it. Neither is it particularly clear, but I have never been a stickler for clarity.

The first sniff I get of the aroma really took me back to my time in England. I can’t describe the aroma in words to convey the what I felt, only that the aroma was similar to many of the bitters I had over there. Grainy, a little earthy, with a touch of fruity is the best I can come up with.

I drank this beer fairly slow and in doing that was able to pick up different notes at different times. The initial flavors were focused around a soft caramel like sweetness balanced with a nice earthy bitterness. There was also a touch of roast from the black malt that was barely noticable. One flavor that I picked up halfway through drinking was a sweet dark fruity flavor. The flavors definitely intensified as the beer warmed up and flattened out a bit.

Overall, a pleasant beer. Reminds me a lot of the Bitters I’ve had, which is not bad thing, but as a dark ale I kinda expected it to be a little different. Would I drink it again? Without a doubt. 7/10

Cheers!