Wednesday, February 6, 2013
SPECIAL REVIEW: Central Waters Brewers Reserve Kosmyk Charlie Y2K Catastrophe Ale (AGED: 1 year - bottle)
Oh barleywines, how I love thee. Especially after aging, as the hops tone down and the beer usually gets quite smooth. The Y2K was a great representation of a barleywine with a very present black liquorice like profile for the first half of the beer from the hops and malt mixture. It then fades to a delicious toasted caramel flavor, something I think American barleywines do more of, and I love.
Although I haven't had this beer fresh, I can tell the aging process made the beer smoother, as there are remnants of its harsher past. As the beer warmed up, the hopes became more present and lingered longer, perhaps being a bit too hoppy and slightly too dry. The nose becomes more hoppy as well.
All in all, a delicious barleywine that's a beautiful hazy burnt orange and brown color. I've had the privilege of having the bourbon barrel version of this, which is an absolute five out of five. A year or two longer of aging might get this regular version a step or two closer to such status.
My brother gave me this because he's not a fan of barleywines (yet). Even to purchase, the answer is yes. A good representation of its style that is good for aging.
The Final Word
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Lagers often have a lot of flavor and then finish clean, which often works well for the lighter lagers. Black lagers are interesting because they're dark and, well, a lager. I don't think this always works well, but Uinta's Baba Black Lager is certainly one of the best I've had.
The beer is very dark, though a hint of light can be seen through it. It has medium body with a great and powerful roasted front end. This initial flavor lasts longer than most black lager, but disappears about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way through, finishing crisp but without much character. The flavor seems to last longer when drinking with food and letting it get a tad warmer, although I felt that the roastiness gets a bit overpowering as it gets warmer.
Overall this is one of the best black lagers I've had, and is a good fall beer or a dark beer you can drink in warmer months. It was especially good with salty food. It's not a beer style I gravitate towards frequently, but this was a good representation.
One of the better black lagers, though a bit pricy. As I stated, I'm not one to buy black lagers frequently. But if you like the style or you're put off by the big sweet stouts, perhaps give this a try.
The Final Word
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Fresh Hop beers are an interesting bread, something I haven't experienced much of but look forward to becoming more versed in. It's a beer that's made with fresh hops right off the vine rather than freeze-dried hops or hop pellets, giving the beer the freshest hop flavor possible. I'm told they're often less bitter and have more of the flavoring notes. They usually are best consumed ASAP so not to lose the freshness. I tried this Port Brewing version during the past fall peak.
My first impression was that this wet hop IPA tasted like a hopped up pale ale, as it was a bit light for an IPA, though that's probably due to the process. The fresh hop profile lingers throughout, but mainly is piney for the last 2/3 of the beer. Unlike my expectations, this led to a bit more bitterness than I expected at the end of its taste. I'm guessing there's also less malt in the beer, allowing the full impact of the hops to come out.
All in all this wasn't too bad, but didn't stand out as much as I hoped. Perhaps it was the hop selection used, as I was hoping for a more floral/herbal explosion rather than the piney notes. I usually like a bit more malt involved when hops with a piney character are used, creating a nice balance between bitter and sweet.
The bomber was only like $5 or $6, so yes. However, I look forward to trying other fresh hop beers to compare. This was certainly one of the cheaper ones I saw on the shelf.
The Final Word
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Pumpkin ales appeared to be all the rage this past fall, which I liked since I am a fan of this seasonal beer. The Punk'n was actually my first beer from Uinta, and it was a darn good one.
The beer had a slight, but delicious smelling nose of pumpkin and spice. It turned out to have a great balance of taste with these two flavors as well. The beer actually had slightly less pumpkin spices than your average pumpkin beer, but only slightly less, and I really appreciated this. This balanced allowed you to taste the pumpkin a little more without being too earthy. The pumpkin and spice were backed up with a nice malty backbone, further adding to its balance.
All told it was crisp on the front-end and medium bodied, with a great pumpkin and spice profile. It's honestly one of the best crafted pumpkin beers I've tasted. It's not as deep and complex as other beer styles, but certainly at the top of the pumpkin ale food chain.
If Uinta is available in your area, they can be a bit pricey. I was fortunate to grab this six-pack on sale, and it was certainly worth it. But even at full price, Punk'n is worth it, especially if you like pumpkin beers.
The Final Word