At a family gathering this weekend we debuted our new favorite pastime–beer tasting. We had a much larger group of tasters than usual, and we did our best to craft a list that would appeal to a variety of palettes.
First up…the Foothills Torch Pilsner, selected for our dear old dad, pilsner’s #1 fan. The Torch has a clean, refreshing opening but gets pretty bitter at the end. Overall, it was a crowd pleaser. We admired its perfect, golden coloring and agreed that it would be a great beer to drink on a hot day. There really isn’t THAT much more to say about this beer. It’s a good pilsner, but it’s pretty damn bitter.
Next was the Wild Wolf White Wolf. This was Rachel’s second encounter with this beer and my first, and I must say it ain’t half bad…actually it ain’t any part bad. As mentioned in a previous post, the White Wolf is both hoppy and crisp with a strong citrus presence. Our father found it to be surprisingly consistent, and thought it would pair well with pepperoni and crackers. We bitches bought 2 of the 22 oz bottles and only used one during the tasting, which gave us a chance to polish off the second during appetizers. Whether you’re an IPA lover or a fan of wheat beers, you will enjoy this delightful Wild Wolf offering.
The Southern Tier Imperial Pumking was beer #3. The Pumking has consistently been highly reviewed by two of my favorite bloggers and by the beer community in general, but unfortunately we were pretty disappointed by it. I actually didn’t detect as much pumpkin in this as in other pumpkin brews I’ve had this season, but definitely tasted the spiciness and cinnamon. Maddy found it to be too rich, and our uncle thought it had a syrupy, licorice flavor. I’ve read a few reviews that said the Pumking tasted different this year, so maybe this was an off batch? That being said, we aren’t ready to give up on this beer! We admired the deep, copper coloring and the bottle’s claim that the Pumking is “bewitched and brewed with pagan spirit.” We have another to try over Thanksgiving, and it may bewitch us yet 😉
Now for the Dogfish Head American Beauty. Inspired by the Grateful Dead, this beer is an American IPA, and was hands down the winner of the tasting. Brewed with granola (a fan chosen ingredient), American Hops, and barley, the American Beauty makes for one fine IPA. All tasters agreed that this is a complex beer with waves of flavor, or, in the spirit of the Grateful Dead, different flavor vibes of grainy citrus and mild hops. Our Uncle labeled this “real beer,” and we couldn’t agree more. I loved everything about it, from the bottling to the delicious flavor, and would probably choose it over most wheat beers (that’s saying something). I now consider it my fourth favorite beer. To finish, we’d like to include our brilliant sister Riley’s thoughts on the American Beauty: “As the night closed we could reflect and vibe out with a new IPA. Inspired by the Grateful Dead, the flavor is as complex as the ballads of this influential band.”
Dedicated to Aunt Ava.