A Celebration of Fall: November 2014 Beertography

bud_cameraNovember has now gone by, which means it’s time for my regular roundup of beertography from the last few weeks.

Below you’ll find some of my recent photos, which you may also come across on my Instagram page, Twitter account or even Untappd. If you like these, you can find all of my beertography on Instagram or in my running archive.

All my shots are taken with my iPhone 6 unless otherwise noted. Let’s see what November had to offer…

Hardywood Bourbon Barleywine – Warmth in the Cold

barleywine-barrel aged-hardywood-beer-craft beer-beertographyAnchor Brewing Big Leaf Maple – Coming of Fall

anchor-anchor brewing-big leaf maple-beer-craft beer-beertography-fallGreat Divide Oatmeal Yeti – Hunting Season

great divide-stout-imperial stout-yeti-beer-craft beer-beertographyTerrapin Liquid Bliss – A Savory Sensation

terrapin-peanut butter beer-peanut butter-liquid bliss-beer-craft beer-beertography-3Goose Island Festivity Ale – Tis the Season

goose island-festivity ale-christmas-holidays-beer-craft beer-beertographyI look forward to what December has to offer! As always, you can go back to see previous beertography posts:

+Bryan Roth
“Don’t drink to get drunk. Drink to enjoy life.” — Jack Kerouac

Gotta Get Up to Get Down: What ‘Worst’ Beers Tell Us About the ‘Best’


Before we wrap up this series on RateBeer’s “best beer” rankings, be sure to check out previous posts on declining ABV and geography of top beers.

Today is a bit of a hodge-podge collection of bits from my look into people’s beer preferences and appreciation via RateBeer.com. I suppose it would fall into the “Potpourri” category on Jeopardy.

As explained in part one, I looked into the top-20 rated beers from 2006 to 2013 because I felt keeping solely to the top 10 wouldn’t produce enough variety to show significant differences from year-to-year. However, I assumed that the bottom of each list wouldn’t suffer from any such drawbacks.

Essentially, if there’s going to be a group that would show volatility of beer brands, I’d expect it to be at the bottom of the list, where beers may come-and-go more freely thanks to new entries into the beer market and less of a group conclusion on how epic a particular beer really is.

While imperial stouts still fill up the ranks – they dominate throughout each list – looking at the “bottom” beers showed me some funny behavior of RateBeer’s users.
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Troegs Flying Mouflan

moufaln web

As with most pursuits in life, the more I’ve thrown myself into the world of beer, the more I’ve come to appreciate it. It wasn’t too long ago I was busy swilling Natural or Coors.

But as my tastes and palate have changed and matured, so has my appreciation for a variety of beers. I think I’ve hit that sweet spot with barleywines, which used to blow me away with their high ABV percentages, but now feel just right as a nice winter warmer. While I still love a heavily-hopped beer, the balance and malty sweetness of barleywines are great for offering a broad profile of aromas and flavors.

That’s one reason why I was excited to pop open a bottle of Troegs’ Flying Mouflan, a barleywine from the Pennsylvania-based brewery I acquired a few months ago in a trade with Scott from Beerbecue. I loved my initial exposure to Troegs with their Perpetual IPA, so I knew between that beer and the brewery’s reputation, I couldn’t go wrong.

Or could I? Let’s hit the jump and figure out how much my palate’s preference has changed over the years.
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A belated Thanksgiving with Boulevard Tank 7 and Roth Brewing FoeHammer

living_turkey edit

I am late to Thanksgiving this year because of my recent trip to Costa Rica with The Missus. However, we broke out the tofurkey and sides this weekend to finally get around to making our annual feast.

Naturally, that meant I had to find a couple beers to match up with our fake meat, mashed potatoes and more. Lucky for me, that wasn’t too hard thanks to handy tips from fellow writers at I Think About Beer and Beerbecue. After sorting through my local bottle shop I came away with Boulevard Brewing’s Tank 7 farmhouse ale and local (no relation) Roth Brewing’s FoeHammer, an English-style barleywine.

Why were they ideal? Hit the jump for some pint-sized thoughts. (see what I did there?)
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JW Lees Harvest Ale (sherry cask aged)

Well this was a wonderful find. The local beer store had a sale on select craft beers this weekend and there just so happened to be a selection of JW Lees‘ various Harvest ales, including one I haven’t had before – the barrel-aged version in sherry casks. The beer (overall) scores a 90 on Beer Advocate, but that encompasses all of the vintages.

A bottle like this deserved to be treated like a wine, essentially, so I paired it with a dinner consisting of tilapia covered with ratatouille, a sweet potato and corn. For the meat eaters out there, I’d highly recommend this beer or its companion versions with a rare/medium rare steak.

The smell of this beer was pretty easy and straight forward – there was the oak of the barrels and almost a wine finish. The star of the show is the flavors.

In order of flavors, I found notes of:

  • Sweetness (malt?)
  • Molasses
  • Oak
  • Fig/date
  • Caramel
  • Chocolate

On a whole, the tasting experience was pretty great. It started sweet, then went to an earthy bitterness, then finished with such an amazing chocolate warmness.

Sediment from the bottle

It was the chocolate at the end that was amazing, which was probably assisted by the amount of sediment that had accrued in the bottle over time. There was a lot and it was chunky. However, the complexity of beer was outstanding. Between the number of flavors and ABV (11.5 percent) it’s one of the most drinkable barleywines I’ve had. It has the same kind of kick on each aftertaste/finish, but nothing that’s going to bowl you over as you sip it. Did on 9.3-ounce bottle get my drunk? No. Did it give me a good kick to the teeth? A bit.

These bottles are a bit pricey but worth the experience. For an easier drink, keep it cold and drink fast. For a full experience, let it warm for 15-20 minutes and then enjoy.

Hit the jump for “Rate That Beer” notes.
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