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The Easter season is typically time for German Doppelbocks, all of which are named with an "or" suffix (i.e. Salvator, Celebrator, etc...), but emerging local favorite Neshaminy Creek broke with tradition by making their Easter beer a Weizenbock, but giving it the traditional "or" suffix anyway. As a lifelong fan of the original Terminator movie (and someone who laments most of what followed, even including the generally well received T2), I figured I had to check out the bottle with the clear homage to a T-800 foot crushing a human skull. Also, despite the fact that I haven't had a ton of weizenbocks, I do generally enjoy them quite a bit. So come with me, if you want to live:

Neshaminy Creek The Neshaminator

Neshaminy Creek Neshaminator - Pours a dark amber brown color with a finger of tan head. Smells of typical weizen yeast clove, but with a huge candied citrus character, orange, honey, it's complex and sweet. Taste starts off with a more typical weizenbock note, very sweet and spicy, a hint of dark, rich malt, hint of molasses, some more fruity esters emerge towards the finish, along with what I assume is that honey. Mouthfeel is highly carbonated, medium bodied, with a touch of richness but also relatively dry (no real stickiness at all, and this is exactly what I look for from the style). Overall, it's a rock solid take on the style, with a slight twist that matches well enough. B+

Beer Nerd Details: 8.5% ABV bottled (22 ounce bomber). Drank out of a flute glass on 4/10/15.

Neshaminy Creek continues to grow in Kaedrin's local mindshare. I will continue to explore their offerings, and am quite looking forward to the upcoming Rum barrel aged version of this beer. Let's just say that I'll be bock. Get it? GET IT? Also Genisys looks absolutely terrible in the best way and I can't wait to watch it. I mean, it's going to be terrible and not deserving of comparison with the original, but it feels like it will be ironically fun in a so bad it's good kinda way.

April Beer Club

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Beer club was yesterday! For the uninitiated, beer club is a monthly gathering of like-minded coworkers and acquaintances at a local BYOB for good food, optional libations, and general merriment. Since the last beer club was sparsely attended, we ended up back at Couch Tomato for some excellent pizza, strombolis (having had both, I would recommend the stromboli over the pizza), and some sort of weird greek plate. Better weather means better attendance, and we had a rather fantastic selection of beer to work our way through:

April Beer Club

For the sake of posterity, some thoughts on each are below. As per usual, I'm going almost purely from memory, and this was from last night, so take these notes with the appropriate shakers of salt. Or call it a sacred text and analyze it like the Zapruder film. I'm not here to tell you what to do. I am here to write indefensible notes on beer, so let's get to it:

  • Kaedrin Crom Approved - So it appears that this is doing ok, but I really feel like my challenges that lead to a clogged keg and having to transfer it to another keg really ruined this beer. Ok, perhaps ruined isn't the right term. This has a fantastic, tropical fruit hop nose. The taste definitely feels a bit oxidized, which I unfortunately makes sense and definitely detracts from what I was going for. I'm giving it a B, but the really disappointing thing is that when I first kegged it, I was thinking this was A level stuff. Oh, well, lessons learned, onwards and upwards. My next batch of this beer will be great.
  • Adroit Theory New Zealand Rye (Ghost 179) - I heard about this Virginia brewery a while back and have been curious to try their beers. A regular beer club attendee got down there last weekend and picked up a few beers to try. This one was a pretty solid rye DIPA, more malt and spicy rye than hops, but it also clocks in at a hefty 11% ABV and didn't feel like it at all. It was very nice. B+
  • Crooked Stave St. Bretta (Autumn) - Absolutely delicious beer, funky, light sourness, juicy fruit, really fantastic stuff, along the lines of the Summer (which I've had before)
  • Flying Dog Supertramp - This had a sorta berliner weiss feel to it, but not quite that tart, and while you could get some cherry character out of it, it also had a weird aftertaste. I just never got into this beer. C
  • Modern Times Blazing World - Dank, piney hops with a nice, hefty malt backbone, this is very nice. Just about in line with anything I've had from Modern Times, who seem pretty fantastic. B+
  • Intangible Ales (Pizza Boy) Acidulated Hive - One of Pizza Boy's Intangible Ales label beers (not sure why this is listed as a separate brewery), this is a great little saison. It reminds me of Saison Dupont, except with a lightly funky addition (I don't get much honey out of it, but it does perhaps remind me a bit of funky version of Dupont's Bier de Miel). Well worth seeking out B+ or A-
  • The Lost Abbey Lost & Found Abbey Ale - A pretty standard dubbel that is overwhelmed by raisiny flavors. Nothing bad here, but also nothing particularly special. B-
  • Adroit Theory Lux (Ghost 132) - This is labeled as a wheatwine, and unfortunately, it falls prey to a saccharine, sticky sweet character that would be cloying if I were trying to drink a whole bottle. As a sample in a situation like this, it was fine, but it's not really my thing. C+
  • Central Waters Bourbon Barrel La Petite Mort - A beer I've already reviewed, and it was just as good, if not better this time around. In fact, I think I'll bump it up to an A-
  • Oskar Blues Bolivia Newton John - A relatively low ABV coffee stout (6%), this is obviously not in my wheelhouse, but it seemed like a very well executed coffee stout. B
  • Weyerbacher Sunday Morning Stout - Another coffee stout, this one is an imperial stout that's also been aged in bourbon barrels. This is much more my speed, though again, I never really connected with it as much as I'd like. The coffee seems very well integrated, and the barrel aging adds a nice richness to the proceedings, even if I felt the barrel character was a little too light. Still, while not quite KBS level, it's on the same playing field, and you won't have to jump through many hoops to get ahold of this stuff. B+
  • Bonus Review: Boxcar Brewing Nitro Stout - After beer club, we walked over to Boxcar Brewing's new brewpub and had some stuff there. I grabbed this Nitro stout, a Dry Irish Stout, that might be my favorite thing I've ever had from Boxcar. Now that the brewpub is open, I'm hoping for good things from them... they're the brewery most local to me, but I've always been somewhat underwhelmed by their brews. This was really nice though. B
And there you have it. A fantastic selection this time around, and I am, of course, already looking forward to the next iteration...

Weyerbacher Double Feature

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Two new Weyerbacher beers have been making the rounds of late, and as a local brewery of import, I am, of course, on top of that. Because I'm awesome, that's why. Also, it's a good way to start my vacation.

First up is Viridis Lupulus, a new seasonal release meant to highlight various hop combinations. This year, we've got Apollo, Calypso, Centennial, and Galaxy hops, bottle conditioned in a 750 ml bottle with actual good artwork. I think this is worth noting. A couple years ago, Weyerbacher's logo utilized Comic Sans and their labels were hit or miss to say the least. Comic Sans! Now I'm not saying this thing should win awards or anything, but it's quite nice, and a big improvement over Weyerbacher's former designs.

Weyerbacher Viridis Lupulus

Viridis Lupulus - Pours a murky orange brown color with a finger of off-white head and great retention/lacing as I drink. Smells of dank, resinous hops with a nice citrus component that levels things out a bit. Taste follows the nose, lots of dank hop character, pine and resin, some citrus too, finishing quite bitter (in a good way!) Some malt presence as well, but the real star here is those dank hops. Mouthfeel is highly carbonated (but appropriate), medium bodied, with a dry, bitter finish. Overall, this is damn good stuff, I think I like it better than Double Simcoe. A-

Beer Nerd Details: 7.5% ABV bottled (750 ml caged and corked). Drank out of a tulip glass on 8/9/13. Bottled 061113. Best by 101113.

Next, we have Weyerbacher's 18th anniversary beer. Usually a small batch of an unusual style, like last year's "style-obliterating 10.5% abv" saison, or the previous year's Dark Braggot. This year we have an 11.1% ABV Weizenbock (or "Weizendoppelbock"). Last year, I found that the traditional "Weyerbacher anniversary requirement" of a strength around 10% ABV or higher to be something of a detriment, making for quite a "hot" beer. Will this year be any different?

Weyerbacher Eighteen

Eighteen - Another murky pour here, dark brown with a finger of quickly fading off-white head. Smells of typical weizen yeast, banana and clove coming through loud and clear, with some toasted notes and maybe even some nuttiness. Taste is very sweet and rich, with spice hitting strong, followed by some nutty toast and finishing with a wallop of fruity booze. Mouthfeel is rich and chewy, full bodied, lots of boozy heat in the mouth and that alcohol warming in your belly too. Overall, it's a solid, interesting beer. B+

Beer Nerd Details: 11.1% ABV bottled (12 oz.) Drank out of a flute glass on 8/9/13. Bottled 060613. Best by 060618.

So an improvement over last year's anniversary saison, and something could see aging rather well, but still a bit too boozy for now. Still, these two made for a good night, despite being very different styles. Indeed, that matched up well with my filmic double feature of Spring Breakers and Dial M for Murder, two very different (but both worthwhile) movies. Though I think I watched/drank in the wrong order (the brazenness of Spring Breakers matches better with Eighteen, I think, while Dial M would go better with the bitter IPA that's plotting your death in exhaustive detail). Oh well. Such is life.

In other Weyerbacher news, I also recently took down some Weyerbacher Aquila, their latest Brewer's Select beer. Basically a hoppy saison, I really enjoyed this one, even if I didn't take notes (What? I was with someone. I'm not a total social pariah, only a partial one.)

Television show pitch: A police procedural about a tiny, 3 inch tall (you might even call him "petite") French-Canadian detective named Mort. He uses his diminutive size to spy on unsuspecting criminals and has an amazing success rate. His partner is a talking Chihuahua named Nacho who is only slightly taller than Mort and in the pilot episode, he's only three days away from retirement. Of course, that means that... Woops, as I was typing this, the NSA was analyzing it on behalf of CBS, who has just offered to buy the rights for the "La Petite Mort" show for $3 million. Those guys sure love their police procedurals. So you're going to have to wait and see what happens to Nacho in the pilot episode.

So I'm rich now. I'll see you later, suckers. In the meantime, check out the tie-in beer (eat your heart out, Ommegang), already made by Wisconsin's own Central Waters (in collaboration with the awesome sounding Chicago bar Local Option). It's a bourbon-barrel-aged, Belgian-inspired Weissenbock. And I thought my stupid pitch was weird:

Central Waters La Petite Mort - Bourbon Barrel Aged

Central Waters Local Option Bourbon Barrel Aged La Petite Mort - Pours a deep, dark brown color with a finger of off white had. Not getting a lot out of the nose. Hints of bready yeast, fruit, and bourbon. As it warms, the nose opens up a bit. Taste has lots of caramelized sugars, maybe even some bready toastiness, an almost nutty flavor too, hints of fruit, with that bourbon and oak coming through towards the finish. Mouthfeeel is well carbonated, medium to full bodied, but only a hint of richness from the bourbon barrel. Relatively dry, which doesn't usually work well with bourbon, but the balance is on point here, so nothing is overpowering. Overall, this is good, really good, and a really nice change of pace too. It grew on my as I drank, too, which is always nice. Solid B+ material.

Beer Nerd Details: 9.05% ABV bottled (22 oz. bomber). Drank out of a tulip glass on 6/7/13. Vintage 2013.

Central Waters is a brewery I should probably check out more often. Nothing in the immediate pipeline, but their stuff seems available enough around here that I'll certainly pick some up at some point.

Divine Teufelweizen

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Beer brewing in wine country? Zuh? Alright, so it's not exactly a new thing, but Sonoma county's Divine Brewing has its foot in both worlds. Brewer Kevin Robinson has a background in both disciplines and currently splits his time by working at Russian River Brewing during the day (speaking of beer and wine combos) and building his own label at night and on weekends (more info on this story at the linked article). As such, Divine Brewing is a tiny contract-brewing operation, making small batches and packaging only in bottles.

Teufelweizen (thankful that I don't have to pronounce that and can just write it) is ostensibly a Weizenbock style beer, but Robinson has added a few twists. Primarily fermented with the classic Weihenstephan weizen yeast (which should yield that traditional banana and clove character), Robinson then adds in some wine yeast about halfway through the process (which will help with attenuation and contribute notes of its own). It's then bottle conditioned with a different strain of yeast, specifically chosen for its ability to age well. The bottles-only packaging was an intentional thing, as Robinson says he "wanted to make beers that can age", and Teufelweizen, a strong, dark, yeast and malt-focused beer, seems like a promising candidate for cellaring. Rounding out the overlap with wine, the whole thing is packaged in a black wine bottle, caged and corked for good measure.

Jay of Beer Samizdat was kind enough to send me the 2011 vintage in our last trade, so we'll see how that aging thing works out.

Divine Teufelweizen

Divine Brewing Teufelweizen (2011) - Pours a dark brown color, very subtle robey tones when pouring, and a couple fingers of tan head. Smells really nice, big malty aromas, wheat, maybe some caramel, and a pronounced fruity character that's really quite pleasant. Taste starts off very sweet, with a spicy pepper kick and dark chocolate (almost roast, but not quite) notes emerging in the middle, only to fade out into that fruity malt note in the finish. The effect winds up being a chocolate covered fruit (currants?) kinda feel, perhaps sprinkled with some cayenne pepper or something (according to the bottle, perhaps it's actually Sichuan pepper). Quite unique and interesting. Mouthfeel is smooth and velvety, well carbonated but soft and tight bubbles. Well attenuated, but not super-dry either, which just makes it easier to drink. I wasn't super surprised that it was 9.2%, but I don't think I'd have it pegged quite so high either. Overall, really nice beer, complex, unique, and interesting. Oh, and delicious. That too. A-

Beer Nerd Details: 9.2% ABV bottled (750 ml wine bottle, caged and corked). Drank out of a tulip glass on 3/14/13. Vintage: Fall 2011.

Quite a nice discovery, would love to try more from this operation sometime... In the meantime, I'll have to deal with a couple other CA pleasantries sent my way recently, including a Logsdon saison and some fancy looking barleywine.

Aventinus the Wise

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Both the name of this beer and its label make me think it's going to tell my fortune or something. Perhaps I'll open the bottle, and instead of delicious beer, I'll get a piece of paper with a cryptic message predicting my future, like "You will invent a humorous toilet lid" or "You will be aroused by a shampoo commercial" or something appropriately weird*. As it turns out, Aventinus was named after a famous Bavarian historian and fortunately, my bottle was indeed full of delicious beer:

Schneider Aventinus

Schneider Aventinus - Pours a very cloudy, medium brown color. Smell is full of bananas and clove, but in more of a wheat beer way than a Belgian yeast way. Really wonderful, complex aroma here. Taste is sweet and spicy, some fruitiness and spiciness (clove?) and a nice, dry finish. Wheat is also present, and it even comes out a bit in the aftertaste. Drinks pretty easy for an 8.2% ABV. Overall, a really good beer and I can certainly see why it's considered a classic. A-

Beer Nerd Details: 8.2% ABV bottled (500 ml). Drank out of a goblet on 9/3/11.

I'm quite behind on my reviews at this point, but I'm also trying to slow my intake down after the whole Texas debacle vacation.

* Yeah, yeah, another stolen Simpsons gag.


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Hi, my name is Mark, and I like beer.

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the Weizenbock category.

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