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The Beer Friends write, review, and discuss Craft Beer as fans instead of experts.  They share their unique voice and affinity for craft beer through multiple platforms and offer a range of media to join their craft beer conversation.

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Filtering by Tag: Amarillo

Harpoon Night at Blind Tiger: Hangover Edition

Brad

Hello Beer Friends Nation!  Good Beer Month continues into August with Harpoon Brewery at the Blind Tiger NYC.  Harpoon Brewery is from Boston and a favorite of the two Red Sox fans in the Beer Friends.  Tonight should be fun with a few common pours, a few 100 Barrel series pours and a few from the Leviathan series! Beer! Brad 1st - Harpoon Leviathan Baltic Porter 2008: Honestly hard to get past the alcoholic taste on this one.  At 12 percent I knew it was high but most times the harshness is cut by another favor - not this time.

Graham #1 - Harpoon Landbier.  This German lager is a light, easily drinkable session beer from Harpoon's 100 Barrel Series. Tan in color, slight malt aroma and very light body, this easy to take down 6 of lager is not compromising on taste. It's got a burst of malt flavor that stays with you through a clean finish. If this was in sixers it'd b perfect for a summer day outside.

Paul's 1st - Landbier: This is a delicious session lager. It's hard to disagree with Graham's assessment about how often this beer could be consumed. I would love to drink this beer after work on a cool late summer day.

Brad #2 - Leviathan Imperial IPA; I love this beer.  The regular IPA is too light for me but this one does well with the 4 (Chinook, Centennial, Simcoe, an Amarillo) Hops used. Easy to drink and spicy enough to feel it, plus the 10 ABV is hidden under the hops taste which is fantastic.

Graham Número Dos - Harpoon Single [Delta] Hop ESB: Using a new hop variety with this one gives it a different hop character than the regular ESB. Easily drinkable with an herbal aroma and a bronze color, this brew has an earthy hop flavor to it that is delicious.

Paul's 2nd - Belgian Pale Ale (cask): I am already a big fan of this beer and having it out of the cask doesn't disappoint.  It's very light and sweet, the Belgian part of it gives the pale part of it a lot of flavor.  It's very easy to drink and the lack of carbonation from the cask makes it really smooth.  It's cloudy out of the cask and looks more like apple cider.  This was my favorite of the night and I was looking forward to it as soon as I saw it on the menu.  I only wish it came in a larger glass...

Brad #3 - Harpoon Leviathan Triticus: Triticus is Latin for "wheat" and this is a dark wheat wine-style ale and is delicious.  Slightly sweet and easily drinkable, this was the winner of the night for me.

Graham Number Trois - Harpoon Bohemian Imperial Pilsner: This brew is  part of the 32nd release of their 100 Barrel Series. It is definitely a bog beer with the 9% ABV and the increased malt sweetness. The hops are even more pronounced. It is definitely an "assertive but not overly aggressive beer" as Harpoon describes it, however it leaves me wanting it more aggressive. When ordering it I more wanted a punch-in-the-face mugging in the park imperial pilsner not a brisk walk through the hop/malt tourist part of the park.

Paul's 3rd - Munich Dark: This dark lager has a great bite to it.  It starts smooth but quickly jumps out and let's you know it's there.  This would be a great beer for late summer or early fall. Honestly, it would be a pretty good beer anytime, but it was a hot day in NYC today and I think I'm in a certain mindset... a hot, dehydrated mindset.

Graham 4th - Harpoon Triticus: Wheat Wine. I'm not sure what that conjures up in your mind...perhaps a barley wine style brew made with wheat malts instead of barley. High in alcohol taste with a sweet malt that will hope to overpower the 12% ABV. Well take that notion, drop the sugary malts, keep the ABV and add a boatload of roasted and burnt malts that blow this brew out of the water. This one drinks like a coffeeish, dark flavored imperial stout. Bit don't let it fool you, it's still 11.1% ABV.

Harpoon Blind Tiger FrontHarpoon Blind Tiger Back

Victory Beer Night at the Blind Tiger Ale House

Graham

A long, long time ago (less than a week) in a bar far, far away (about 3 subway stops) Victory Brewery held a night of epic craft beer proportions.  The Blind Tiger Ale House hosted Victory Brewery last Wednesday night, 7/14/10, showcasing 20+ of their brews.  Two of the beer friends made this long trek and their account of the night follows below.  Enjoy! Graham's Beers:

I arrived here about an hour before Paul did, just to check out the scene.  It wasn't too busy, but it was also early-late night, which is when this bar shines in my opinion.  You can always get a seat or a table and one has little trouble ordering or chatting about the beers with the bartender.  Even though it was 10ish (the event started at 6) there were still some of the Victory guys there.  Notably their regional marketing/sales guy and one of the head brewers.  And since it wasn't terribly busy they were available to discuss some of their beers with us (notably the difference between the holletaur and the holledaur).

Pursuit Pale Ale  - Amarillo

The Pursuit Pale Ale series is a bunch of pale ales brewed with different types of hops.  I started with the Pursuit Amarillo, which by name, is brewed with Amarillo hops.  The Amarillo is very drinkable, which is the pale ale part, but the Amarillo hop presence gives it a taste approaching that of an IPA.   The smells off draught is almost non existent which probably lends to the light mouth feel and easy drink-ability. How ever the flavor from front to back is straight Amarillo hops. Very pleasing and very much in the sense of earthy herbal Victory hop brews.  Hop Devil is next.

Scratch Hop Devil Sean, the New York City Regional Sales Manager (don't worry, he wasn't a suit and was very well versed on everything Victory Beer related) bought us a round of CBC Hollertaur - Belgian single hop.  CBC stands for the Craft Brewers Conference and is a series of beers that Victory brews.  They brew many different styles for the CBC series, most of which you can only get at the brewery.  Those of us at the Blind Tiger for the event however were lucky enough to score some of the CBC brews.

CBC Hollertauer

CBC Hollertauer is a Belgian Pale Ale.   It pours a nice golden color, which a good sized head.  The smell of bread and spicy noble hops greats me as I go for the first sip.  Very easily drinkable, approaching a medium body, the yeast flavor gives it a mellow Belgian underpinning but, like this beer is supposed to do, it completely showcases the hops. It is single hopped, of the Hallertau variety I believe.  Very herbal and satisfying. Easily drinkable with that good fruit/bready presence. Truly showcases Victory's range in the craft beer world in which they are already legends.

After the Hollertaur, I had to move on to the CBC Hollerdauer - a Bavarian Pale Ale.

It pours with a similar golden color to the Holletauer, slightly more on the copper side.  The smell is more of a weiss, with a similar bready smell that is complimented by a slightly caramel malty presence.  The brew approaches medium body but even though it is hopped with, I believe, 5 different hop varieties it comes off as less herbal and spicy that fades quickly leaving a very present weiss taste. It takes away from the 5 hop variety and lends to a much smoother finish.

Hop Devil

After having those Belgian brews that are showcasing the hops you are a bit let down with the Hop Devil. The beer is copper in color and smells of dominant bitter hops.  There is a strong bitter hop there and the malts are present but in comparison it is so easy drinkable.  I have had it many times before and very much respect it as a beer, but it comes off as being more of a strong bitter hop, rather than the herbal showcasing of the Belgian and Bavarian Pale Ales I had previously.  Still a great IPA and is a readily available Victory product here in NYC.

Old Horizontal Barleywine

To finish the night I went with the Old Horizontal Barleywine.  It's exactly as I remember it.  Darker copper/reddish in color and smelling of a strong alcohol burn that is almost perfectly complimented by that malts.  The taste is strong and bitter, there is a sweetness that runs side-by-side from start-to-finish with a strong alcohol burn.  It definitely leaves a warm feeling inside, that maybe was too warm for the temperature of a hot NYC summer night, but it left a nice haze perfect for the end of the night.  Have one of these and then have a cab driver get you home.  Which I did!

Paul's Beers:

Victory Helios - Saisons is a style I'm not incredibly familiar with but I generally like them. This one is a good ale. Smooth start that rolls over sweet and leaves with a taste you'd expect from a saison. This was one of the first Saison's I ever had. This is what I am expecting when I order a Saison.

Victory Scarlet Fire - what a delicious Rauchbier. This is another style that is new to me, but a lot of my friends like to call rauchbiers  "bacon" beers, but this is a different type of pork.  This is ribs, delicious smoky  ribs...

Victory Grassy Jack Bitter- very tasty beer. Its hoppy, but not overly hopped. The flavor is good and strong.  Its a beverage that I would like to have after work. Strong enough to let me know the day is over and shows me the gateway to the night.

Thanks Victory and Blind Tiger for a great event!  We hope to see Victory being showcased in the city soon and more often!