The other night, I was quite peeved that I forgot my notebook. I probably should chain it to my wrist, so that I won’t forget about it. I was really disappointed because I was ready to try a new way of taking notes on beers and performing a more thorough examination of the brews. Let’s see how bad my memory is and how good my pictures were.
Brewer: Rivertown (Middleton, OH)
Style: Nitro Vanilla Espresso Imperial Porter
This beer was a little bit surprising in aroma and taste. It poured like a normal porter, presenting dark with a creamy beige head. The head was a fine foam which is typical for a beer that uses nitrogen instead of CO2. For the aroma, I was expecting the beer to be a little boozy like a lot of imperial beers. However, this one had a fairly balanced aroma picking up hints of vanilla, coffee and dark roast malts. The Roebling tasted very much like a traditional porter with the roasted malt. There were hints of coffee and vanilla with maybe a touch of chocolate to mellow it out. For a 7.9% alcohol beer, it didn’t have a strong alcohol taste. I would likely drink this one again, as would most of the people at the table who tried.
Brewer: Founders (Grand Rapids, MI)
Style: Imperial Brown Ale
Served: Draft (Nitrogen)
I had this batch of Sumatra on a previous occasion, but it was at the end of night and they had just changed out the keg. I try not to review a beer if I have already had a few, because certain beers can be quite devastating to the palette. Anyway, it always amazes me the difference that nitrogen can make in a beer. The Sumatra poured dark with a thick creamy mocha head. The aroma was slightly malty with a heavier coffee scent. The flavor was a creamy coffee with hints of malt and a slight fruitiness. In all, I would say that it’s a well-balanced Imperial Brown Ale, and the table agreed that it’s a beer that we would all likely have again.
Brewer: St. Bernardus (Belgium)
Style: Abbey Ale – Quad
Served: Draft (CO2)
I need to ask if the ABT 12, being served, was actually brewed in Belgium. Aside from that, the beer was wonderful, and went nicely with the beers I was drinking that night. The beer poured very dark with a thick almost light cream colored head. The aroma was a combination of roasted malt with hints of fruit. I hate when I can’t identify the type of fruit much less the family of fruit. It’s something that I need to work on. The taste was well balanced and almost mirrored the aroma, dark malt with hints of fruit. The ABT 12 did come across slightly boozy, but it didn’t overpower the other flavors of the beer. It was a good solid dark beer, which a couple of people at the table agreed that it was worth revisiting.
It wasn’t a night of heavy sampling, but what I did sample is definitely worth drinking again. It figures that all three beers were dark ales, my beer comfort zone. For the night, I want to say that the Rivertown Roebling was my favorite. The Sumatra Mountain and the ABT 12 were both wonderful beers and I would be happy to drink them again. Next week, I will not forget my notebook and try to write be more focused on my write-ups.