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The Tasting Room

The Tasting Room

January 2014 Venue: Wycombe Publick House
Our final Tasting Room of 2013 took place in the heart of Bucks County. Located just outside Newtown, Wycombe Publick House has been open for just about a year and a half now, in a historic building that started as the Wycombe  Hotel back in 1899. Today, they are a premier neighborhood bar serving up ten craft beers on tap and over fifty bottles, along with a great pub food menu.

Our Notable Guests

Senator Chuck McIlhinney
Featured guest, Senator Chuck McIlhinney is currently serving his 2nd term representing Pennsylvania’s 10th District, Bucks County, in the Pennsylvania State Senate. More importantly to the readers of the magazine, he is also currently serving as the Chairman of the Senate Law and Justice Committee, which is responsible for reviewing legislation, regulations, and policies pertaining to the PA Liquor Control Board.

Steve Capelli
Steve Capelli is the production manager and a brewer at of one of the fastest growing new breweries in region, Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company. The bucks county brewery launched during Beer Week of 2012 finally giving the lower part of the county a production brewery to call their own. You may also recognize Steve from his appearance on their Concrete Pillow label, which he was the inspiration for.

Michael Ryan Lawrence 
Over the past few years, you’ve probably seen Michael Lawrence running around with his camera as he was making Philly’s own beer documentary, Beeradelphia. He joins us for this Tasting Room as the winner of the 2013 Philly Beer Geek competition. The annual competition held during Philly Beer Week commemorates the most passionate and knowledgeable craft beer drinkers in the premier beer drinking city.

crabbies-webCrabbie’s: Ginger Beer

3.5 out of 5 stars

that has four natural ingredients, including real ginger that is steeped in for 8 weeks.

ABV: 4.8%

Chuck: 3.5-Malt ginger ale. Refreshing on ice. Holiday treat.
Steve: 3-Nice clean taste. Strong aroma and flavor of ginger— almost candy ginger with the ginger bite.
Mike: 3-Lots of ginger up front, much like a ginger ale. Could be dangerous, but not my bag.
Jon: 3.5-For the ginger lovers. Not too sweet. Great for when you want something other than a traditional beer.
Mat: 3.5- Barely tastes like alcohol. Would be great for beer cocktails. Moscow Mule anyone?

 

Etienne Dupont Cidre Bouché: Brut de Normandie 2011etienne-web

4 out of 5 stars

Created using the traditional method of the Pays d’Auge. Cidre Bouché is full of fruit and freshness; the taste reveals the aromas of apples and citrus with finesse.

ABV: 5.5%

Chuck: 3- Fruity bouquet. Hedgerow memories from Normandy.
Steve: 4- Smells like a barnyard. Taste is bright and crisp and nothing like aroma.
Mike: 4.5- Dry and smoky, yet sweet. Lots of earthy cheeselike notes. Would love this beside a cheese plate.
Jon: 5- Funky, dry, sour apple. Awesome cider—one of the best I’ve had.
Mat:4.5- Fantastic. Funky, dry, crisp, and a little smoked cheese. What cider should be.

shawneecraft-webShawneeCraft:
Session Porter

3 out of 5 stars

This porter is rich and dark with chocolate and black currant overtones. Its slightly lower alcohol content reveals great subtlety of flavor and makes this a very approachable beer. 95% organic.

ABV: 4.8%

Chuck: 3- Nice porter. With a cigar it should pair nicely.

Steve: 2- Little light body for a porter. Easy drinking porter for people entering craft beer.
Mike: 3- Approachable porter with low ABV makes for a solid session beer. Notes of roast and chocolate.
Jon: 3- A good, simple porter. Lots of dark chocolate coming through.
Mat: 4- Nice chocolate flavors lead to a very solid porter. Strong, roasty finish.

lancaster-milkstout-webLancaster Brewing Double:
Chocolate Milk Stout

 4 out of 5 stars

A twist on the popular Milk Stout. Its rich ebony
color and light brown head entice the taste-buds
in anticipation of velvety smoothness and hints of
roasted dark chocolate.

ABV: 6.8%

Chuck: 3- Great aroma. Slightly bitter aftertaste.
Steve: 4- Smells like hot chocolate. Huge amounts of chocolate notes but not sweet or syrupy. Finishes clean and dry.
Mike: 4.5- Already love their Milk Stout, this double blew me away. Dark cacao notes, not overly sweet aside from lactose. Mikey likey.
Jon: 4- A great beer to start (regular Milk Stout)—adding chocolate makes it that much better.
Mat: 4- One of the thickest beers I’ve had. Not nearly as sweet as it sounds. Like a bittersweet chocolate milkshake.

flyingfish-webFlying Fish: Grand Cru

3.5 out of 5 stars

This strong golden ale is very lightly filtered and exhibits a complex mouth-feel, strong malt flavors, a spicy hop resence and soothing alcohol warmth, followed by a clean, dry finish.

ABV: 7.2%

Chuck: 4- Very smooth ale. Very balanced with no overpowering flavors.
Steve: 3- Good beer. Nice Belgian qualities of high fermentation with the alcohol not being present.
Mike: 4- Strong mouth-feel, strong malt, strong alcohol, and clean and dry in the back. Reminds me of Casey.
Jon: 4.5- A good solid beer. Really subtle fruit. Nice body.
Mat: 5- Light sweetness in the middle. Clean, surprisingly easy drinker for the style.

trip-webBOMBrewery: Triporteur

from Heaven3.5 out of 5 starsA heavily hopped beer brewed using home-baked malt. Triporteur from Heaven is the modern version of traditional hopped Belgian ale.

ABV: 6.2%

Chuck: 4- Very drinkable blonde.
Steve: 3- Nice, clean, carbonated Belgian wit. Very dry, clean finish.
Mike: 4- Aside from trippin’ out on the cool label, well-crafted Belgian blonde with a hoppy bite. I could get faced on these.
Jon: 3.5- Really nice, drinkable Belgian. I could have a few of these.
Mat: 4- Clean and crisp with enjoyable mellow hop flavors.Very refreshing.

kindryed-webOtter Creek: Kind Ryed

4 out of 5 stars

This big American IPA is built to accompany the big Eastern Winter. At 60 IBUs, Kind Ryed uses a combination of Apollo, Simcoe, Chinook and Centennial hops to create a drinkable brew that won’t wipe out your taste-buds.

ABV: 6.5%

Chuck: 3- A little too bitter—even for a rye.
Steve: 5- Really good beer. Nice rye aroma. Peppery taste. Not a malt bomb. Finishes clean with hops present throughout.
Mike: 5- A big, hoppy American IPA. Grapefruit blast with lots of hops. Makes a hippie like me smile. I could puff on this kind all day.
Jon: 3.5- Really nice, clean, hoppy IPA. Grapefruit and citrus up front.
Mat: 4- Hoppy, dry, bitter hop-head beer. Palate killer.

COB-webFree Will: C.O.B.

3.5 out of 5 starsThis beer began as an imperial oatmeal brown. Free Will’s brewer liked it but felt it either needed to be toned down or have something added. One Village espresso roast coffee was coldbrewed, Kimberton brand coffee was added after fermentation, and magic was born.

ABV: 8.3%

Chuck: 4.5- Lots of spice. Smooth aftertaste.
Steve: 3- Coffee on the nose and strong in the flavor. Maybe a little too much but still a decent beer.
Mike: 3- Lots going on. Big, warm alcohol bite with solid espresso roast. Silky smooth from the oatmeal.
Jon: 3.5- Interesting coffee/espresso flavors. I like it—I think.
Mat: 3.5- Full-bodied brown. Nice coffee flavors. Mild spice flavors.

 

local-species-webBlue Mountain: Local Species

3.5 out of 5 stars

A hybrid beer unlike any other. Belgian fermentation, American hops, Virginia foothills deep-well water and Kentucky bourbon barrels. Bizarrely delicious.

ABV: 6.6%

Chuck: 4.5- Was expecting a strong bourbon sweetness but was pleasantly surprised by its balance.
Steve: 2- Not getting any bourbon. Kind of strange: old, aged hops, very dry. Ehhhh…
Mike: 3.5- Odd and weird but totally interesting. Not much bourbon but almost funky. Hard to put my finger on it…so I drank it.
Jon: 3.5- Bourbon up front but dissipates quickly. Pine, vanilla, and some strange flavors I can’t describe.
Mat: 4- Odd beer. Little of everything going on, besides bourbon.Sweet, dry, funky…every sip is different. Really interesting.

rayonvert-webGreen Flash: Rayon Vert

4 out of 5 stars

A bold layering of hops finds balance from traditional malts. Bottle conditioning with fresh ale yeast and xrettanomyces finishes the beer, adding a delightful effervescence, dryness and continuously evolving character.

ABV: 7.0%

Chuck: 2.5- Very dry, hoppy ale. Over carbonated. Too bitter for more than one
Steve: 4.5-HUGE everlasting head. Lots of Belgian qualities. Very dry, clean, soapy. Really well-made beer.
Mike: 4.5- Epic head retention. Extremely dry from the Brett and, I’ll say it out loud, a nice version of Orval. Great job by Green Flash.
Jon: 4- Dry and funky—tastes like something familiar…
Mat: 4- Looks like Orval. Smells like Orval. Tastes like Orval. Not quite at Orval’s level, though.

 

dirtwolf-webVictory: DirtWolf Double IPA

4.5 out of 5 stars

The culmination of Victory’s double IPA series experiment with whole flower American-grown hops. This brew blends the powerful citrus aroma and fruity flavors, with the piney, earthy and mildly floral characteristics found in these intriguing hop varieties.

ABV: 8.7%

Chuck: 4.5- Scents of citrus, but nothing overwhelming. Tempting to have more than one but at 8.7%, it’s better to sip it.
Steve: 4.5- Great well-balanced West Coast style IPA. Low malt. High hop. Alcohol??? Where’s the 8.7% at?
Mike: 5- Near perfect DIPA. Balanced, yet hoppy, 8.7% ABV well-hidden, and my only complaint is it meant the death of Hop Wallop.
Jon: 4.5- Awesome beer. Super balanced and clean, not overly hopped— just enough.
Mat: 5- Germany meets the West Coast. I’d put this against any imperial IPA.

firestone-webFirestone Walker: Wookey Jack

4.5 out of 5 stars

Rich dark malts and spicy rye careen into bold citrus laden hops, creating a new dimension in IPA flavor. This Black Rye IPA has been left unfiltered and unfined to retain all of its texture and character.

ABV: 8.3%

Chuck: 4- Smooth-drinking but still full of flavor.
Steve: 4.5- Well-balanced black IPA. Not over roasted, still a strong IPA with bitterness in the forefront. Drink all day.
Mike: 4- Dark, malty, spicy, hoppy, and delicious. Would make Chewbacca proud.
Jon: 4.5- Great beer. Rich and flavorful with fantastic hop character.
Mat: 4.5- Fullest-bodied IPA going….milkshake thick. Perfectly balanced. One of my favorites from an amazing brewery.

lolita-webGoose Island: Lolita

4.5 out of 5 stars

Fermented with Brettanomyces and fresh raspberries, this brew is bright, yet deep with spices and edges of the fruit’s natural tart quality to give it a white wine kind of finish.

ABV: 8.7%

Chuck: 2- Lambic-style Belgian—a bit sour for my palate.
Steve: 5-Yes, InBev technically owns them, but this beer is amazing. Such a clean, dry, awesome sour.
Mike: 5- Much like Stanley Kubrick’s Lolita, this version is fresh, young, tart and sexy.
Jon: 5- Not overly fruity— sour and tart, but super clean & crisp. Phenomenal beer.
Mat: 5- It’s fantastic, I don’t know what else to say. This is everything a raspberry sour should be. Cleanest sour I’ve ever had

ofallon10-webO’Fallon: 10-Day Imperial IPA

3 out of 5 stars

A bold Imperial IPA brewed with a ridiculous amount of hops. A very hop-forward beer, with a sturdy malt backbone to balance. The malt gives 10-Day IPA a subtle caramel sweetness with a hint of honey. It is also dry-hopped to give a citrusy, piney aroma.

ABV: 9.0%

Chuck: 3- Ridiculous amount of hops is right on! Only the biggest of hop-heads will find this appealing.
Steve: 3.5- Finishes dry and not sweet, but too much malt in this one. Hops need to shine through more. 9% hidden really well.
Mike: 3- Malty and sweet throughout. Hoppy and piney,but wouldn’t have more than one.
Jon: 3- Not my favorite style, but not bad. Drinkable for sucha big double IPA.
Mat: 3.5- Very sweet and sticky, but finishes surprisingly clean.

hebrew-RIPA-webHe’Brew: Bittersweet Lenny’s RIPA

3.5 out of 5 stars

Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the death of Lenny Bruce: A rye-based double IPA. Brewed with an obscene amount of malts and hops. Shocking flavors, far beyond contemporary community standards.

ABV: 10.0%

Chuck: 3- Bittersweet. The rye comes through the aroma to the taste.
Steve: 3.5- Well-made for a double with 10% ABV. Wellbalanced with a good presence of hops.
Mike: 3- Sneakily hides the 10% with tons of malt and hops. Too big for me but cheers to Lenny Bruce.
Jon: 4- Well-done beer. Too easy to drink, not overly sweet, and very dangerously drinkable.
Mat: 4- Dangerous! So clean and smooth. Extremely hoppy and dry.

 

brooklyn-webBrooklyn Black: Chocolate Stout

3.5 out of 5 stars

Brooklyn uses three mashes to brew each batch of this beer, achieving a luscious, deep dark chocolate flavor through a blend of specialty roasted malts.

ABV: 10.0%

Chuck: 4- Great tasting stout. Brooklyn Brewery scores again.
Steve: 3.5- Roasted, almost chocolate notes and not too heavy. Rubbing alcohol nose.
Mike: 3.5- Big, black stout. Smooth and warm with dark, roasty chocolate malt. Would love to see it after it aged some.
Jon: 3.5- Dangerously drinkable. Subtle chocolate flavor. Nice beer.
Mat: 3.5- By far the smoothest, non-vintage version I’ve had of this beer. Barely taste the alcohol. A bit thin and slightly bitter, though.

madelf-webTröegs: Mad Elf

3 out of 5 stars

The combination of cherries, honey, and chocolate malts delivers gentle fruits and subtle spices. Fermented and aged with a unique yeast, this ruby red beer has significant warming strength that underlies the character of this ale.

ABV: 11.0%

Chuck:5- Sweet nectar! This is the year-ending celebration in a glass I wait for all year!
Steve: Sorry bros. Not my style. Can’t get myself to like it. Even when car bombed with Jäger.
Mike: 4- A watershed beer for me each winter. Some love it, some hate it—but it’s not winter in Bridesburg without the Elf.
Jon: 3- Overly sweet. I don’t mind the flavor, just overly strong and too sweet for my taste.
Mat: 1- Tröegs, I love you, but this is your one beer I just can’t get into.Reminds me of cherry cough syrup. Pass me a Perpetual.

 

weyerbacher-quad-webWeyerbacher: Quad

4 out of 5 stars

Massive and delicious, QUAD is an elegant and dark ale. Rich with complexity and flavor, try savoring it after a long day or during a fine dinner. You also might enjoy it as an aperitif or as an accompaniment to a dessert, but QUAD stands alone quite well.

ABV: 11.9%

Chuck: 4- Strong alcohol aroma, but the taste is very pleasantand clean. Is “beer cordial” a category?
Steve: 3.5- Aromas of alcohol, but well-hidden in clean flavor. Dangerously drinkable.
Mike: 4- Huge quad that’s complex, full of flavor, and delicious. Perfect for a night cap after dancing with [Chris] Wilson
Jon: 3.5- Good beer, but way too big for me.
Mat: 4- Another dangerously smooth, high-ABV. Light in color for a quad. Insanely clean. Very underrated beer from this brewery.

de-nuit-webScaldis: Prestige de Nuits

4.5 out of 5 stars *Belgian version pictured

Prestige de Nuits is made of Scaldis Noël aged in Bourgogne barrels from the world famous “Nuits St. Georges” vineyard. The result bis an ale of extraordinary complexity and depth.

ABV: 13.0%

Chuck: 3.5- Another nice cordial, after dinner special. Tad sour aftertaste.
Steve: 5- Aroma of red wine. Flavor: holy shit, 13%. Fuuuuuuck….I just don’t know what to write.
Mike: 5- So intense—WOW. As soon as it hits your lips….it’s so good.
Jon: 5- Seriously awesome beer. Effervescent, balanced, and clean—great beer!
Mat: 5- Dessert. Smooth, rich, creamy, delicate, and beautiful. Worth every penny this steeply-priced bottle costs.

prism-webPrism: Subsequently Don

4 out of 5 stars

Limited release barley-wine aged in Jim Beam barrels. Brewed in honor of brewer Robert DeMaria’s late step-father.

ABV: 11.5%

Chuck: 4- Great aperitif after a fine dinner.
Steve: 4- One of the best beers they make. Nice bourbon flavors. Well-hidden 11% ABV. This is really well-made. Nice.
Mike: 4.5- Full and complex across the board, yet masking its high alcohol. Outstanding. Loved it.
Jon: 4- Really great beer. Huge ABV, but easy to drink.
Mat: 4- Extremely well-balanced as the bourbon doesn’t overwhelm at all. Very clean aftertaste. A must try from prism.

The Final Picks

Chuck’s Final Pick:  Tröegs Mad Elf. Seasonal brew keeps you wanting more all year long. The anticipation is almost as good as the final product

Steve’s Final Pick: Goose Island Lolita. InBev owns it, but this beer is amazing and it’s still brewed at Goose Island. Finishes clean with sour notes, wanting you to drink more.

Mike’s Final Pick: Goose Island Lolita. I was torn between Kind Ryed and DirtWolf—both were absolutely sensational. Then I tried Lolita again and it made my decision for me. It blew my mind. 

Jon’s Final Pick: Dupont Cidre. Easily the most interesting and best cider I’ve had. Awesome!

Mat’s Final Pick: Goose Island Lolita. This was one of the best lineups we’ve had in the Tasting Room, but this beer really blew me away. Not sure I’ve ever had another sour like this.

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