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The Tasting Room

The Tasting Room

March 2014 Venue: Eulogy Tavern
Going along with our plans of incorporating more love for Belgium this year, we thought it would be fitting to host the first Tasting Room of the year at one of Philadlephia’s premier Belgian bars, Eulogy Tavern. A staple of the Old City beer culture for 11 years now, boasts a selection of over 300 bottles and 21 draft lines heavily focused on Belgian beers.

Our Notable Guests

Michael Naessans
You can’t host a Tasting Room at Eulogy Tavern without founder Michael Naessans. The Belgian-born Naessans has also been recognized as a Knight of Honor by the Chevalier du Fourquet des Brasseurs. He is also the owner of Bierstube German Biergarten in Old City.

David Tyler
Joining us representing Triumph Brewing Compnay is David Tyler. David serves as the director of operations for all of the Triumph locations

Matt Brasch
Matt Brasch is an Ambler based beer lover who is also a regular contributor to the magazine. On top of the two articles within this issue, you can also follow his writing on his site thebrewholder.com

 

Kelso Pilsner: Czech PilsnerKelso-web

3.5 out of 5 stars

Golden and slightly sweet with a floral aroma, the finish is dry. Lagered for six weeks.

ABV 5.5%

Dave: 3.5- A good beer to drink after mowing the lawn. A good session beer and I like beer in cans!
Mike: 4- Crisp, clean session beer. Hops have nice pils feel, straw, grass, biscuit and lastly hops.
Matt: 4- This is a solid pilsner. I should drink a few of these on a sunny summer day.
Jon: 2- Watery, mildly bitter—good fridge beer.
Mat: 3- Solid pils but with so many great local pils, I see no reason to drink this.

 

Sünner Kölsch: Kölschsunner-kolsch-web

3.5 out of 5 stars

Brewed in the long-brewing tradition Sünner after the German Purity Law of 1516. Spicy, aromatic taste, refreshingandwholesome.

ABV: 5.3%

Dave: 1.5- Kind of watered down. Lacks body or depth. Very drinkable, especially if you drink club soda.
Mike: 4.5- Biscuit, lemon in nose, mild hops, sweetness in a basic malt way, more complex than I expected.
Matt: 5- Very nice! I could drink many of these on a sunny day.
Jon: 4- Bright and slightly sweet maltiness. Well-balanced and rounded out.
Mat: 4- Exceptionally clean and refreshing. Nice citrusy characteristics.

Andechs Weissbier Hell: German Hefeweizenandechs-web

4 out of 5 stars

Fruity aromas like banana and honeydew melon,followed by fine cloves. A tangy, refreshing treat with a full, soft body with tastes of finely balanced sweet honey.

ABV: 5.5%

Dave: 2.5- Some banana and cloves up front, but then the beer falls off. Very effervescent.
Mike: 4- Banana, soy, yeast; higher sweetness than expected. Not as dry as typical clove cilantro.
Matt: 4.5- Aroma is typical German Hefeweizen. Clove and banana doesn’t linger in mouth. Clean finish.
Jon: 4- Clean and aromatic. Spice up front with a clean finish, mild banana lingers.
Mat: 4- Very smooth. Slight sweetness. A fantastic German Hefe.

Breckenridge Ophelia: Hoppy American Wheatophelia-web

3.5 out of 5 stars

Subtle hints of citrus round out the complex aroma of Mosaic hops, for a beer so drinkable, it’ll last through multiple acts.

ABV: 5.0%

Dave: 3- Yes, it does have hops. Light body. Citrus, peach, maybe orange?
Mike: 4- Very hoppy Mandarin orange. American pale ale flavor. Seems more like barley base than wheat.
Matt: 4- Wonderful aroma. I get the smell of peaches and the taste of orange, the hops’ bitterness lingers.
Jon: 3.5- Smells awesome. Hops are overpowering but a good, refreshing drink.
Mat: 3.5- Smells like a terrific IPA. Tastes like a solid pale ale. No wheat at all.

Seef: Belgian Pale Aleseef-web

2 out of 5 stars

Revival of one of Antwerpens’ best-known historical styles, by Johan Van Dyck.

ABV: 6.5%

Dave: 1- Very poor example of a Belgium beer. Did not like this beer.
Mike: 3.5- Fundamental Belgian pale ale, decent. Some medicinal spices.
Matt: 1.5- A funky aroma, but doesn’t do much in flavor for me.
Jon: 2- Effervescent, very, very mild funk—refreshing.
Mat: 2.5- Soapy and very average for the style.

Sprecher Winter Brew: Dunkler Bocksprecher_winter-web

3.5 out of 5 stars

A flavorful blend of dark roasted and sweet caramel malts defines this smooth and robust lager. The rich, nourishing flavors of a full-bodied Munich bock make
this Bavarian-style brew the perfect winter warmer.

ABV: 5.7%

Dave: 2- Other than the initial sweet caramel roastiness, not much here. Easy to drink.
Mike: 4- Toasted nuts, soft toffee, nice bold type feel; bread crust.
Matt: 4.5- I enjoyed this—bit sweeter than a dunkel, but not as much as a bock—hence the “dunkel bock.”
Jon: 4- Roasted malts and toffee espresso up front—finishes like a nice, full lager.
Mat: 4- Slightly sweet lager. Very clean, well-balanced and enjoyable.

Deschutes Red Chair NWPA: American Pale Alered-chair-web

4 out of 5 stars

The citrus punch of a big IPA, minus the one-dimensional hop sledgehammer. Seven select European and domestic malts round out the edges for a complex, copper-colored brew.

ABV: 6.2%

Dave: 4- Clean, well-rounded pale ale. Nice nose, good end bitterness.
Mike: 4- Cherry, barley wine in the nose; hops develop in layers in
an Irish red ale type feel. The beer seems to develop.
Matt: 4- This is a big hoppy pale ale—and fresh, very enjoyable.
Jon: 4- Deliciously complex—lemongrass and pine. Sweet malty finish.
Mat: 4- Hoppy aromatics which follow through into the flavor. Hoppy as an IPA but drinkable like a pale ale.

Thomas Creek Deep Water Dopplebock: Doppelbockthomas-creek-web

4.5 out of 5 stars

A full-bodied German style dark lager with arich creamy flavor, roasted nut tones and an easy finish with notes of coffee and chocolate.

ABV: 6.25%

Dave: 4.5- Classical doppelbock-style beer. A little sweetness, some coffee, and a clean finish.
Mike: 4.5- Good example of doing the basics well. Subtle, bitter chocolate, some nuttiness, I was pleasantly surprised.
Matt: 4- The malty aroma smells like steeping grains in your homebrew kettle—and slides down very nicely.
Jon: 4- Full, balanced, yet simple lager. Roasted malt—finishes clean.
Mat: 4.5- Well-brewed traditional doppelbock. Mild sweetness up front followed by mild hints of chocolate and coffee.

Evolution Rise Up Stout: Foreign Stoutriseup-web

3.5 out of 5 stars

A Caribbean stout infused with coffee. Rich anddark with a toasted brown head, well-balanced, roasty and full-flavored. Cold steeping with an organic coffee, from Rise Up, imparts a generous but balanced coffee nose and flavor.

ABV: 6.7%

Dave: 3- Tastes like iced coffee, good with dessert or to end a night at the bar.
Mike: 3.5- Mild roast coffee; coffee grounds seem present; mild sweetness; coffee acidity in the throat and mouth-feel.
Matt: 3.5- A solid stout, with a very bitter coffee bite at the end. I’d enjoy this with brunch on St. Patty’s Day.
Jon: 3.5- Great brunch beer—a great stout added to fresh, cold brewed coffee.
Mat: 3.5- Tastes like drinking cold brew coffee. Great beer to start your day.

Cigar City José Martí: Imperial American Porterjose-marti-web

3 out of 5 stars

An aggressively hopped, robust porter named for the Cuban national hero who also spent a significant amount of time in Tampa and gained prominence in Latin American literature from the poetry, essays, and publications he contributed to in his lifetime.

ABV: 8.0%

Dave: 2.5-If you like porters and you like IPAs, you might like this. I like both styles, not necessarily combined.
Mike: 3- Porter with more hop flavor than I expected, masks the porter as it develops; dark chocolate, caramel.
Matt: 2- Not much of a hop aroma; the taste of hops is up front but disappears quickly and doesn’t cut the sweetness.
Jon: 3.5- I like porters, I like IPAs—I think it’s pretty good. A little too sweet to drink too much, though.
Mat: 3- Great full body, but surprisingly sweet and hoppy. Very unexpected flavors. Really torn if I love or hate it.

Atwater Bourbon Barrel Aged Shamans Porter: Baltic Porteratwater-brew-web

3.5 out of 5 stars

A porter traditionally brewed in the Balticregion. Using the finest ingredients including Munich, chocolate, and black malts along with German hops to create the smoothest porter you’ve ever tasted.

ABV: 6.8%

Dave: 3.5- For a bourbon barrel aged porter, I found this easy to drink. Not boozy.
Mike: 4- Wood, smoke, oak up front, smooth mouth feel; no bourbon alcohol stay, maybe too cold?
Matt: 3.5- I’m not a bourbon fan, and the bourbon in this is light, so I actually enjoyed it after it warmed up.
Jon: 3.5- A smaller beer for those that want barrel aged without the huge boozy after effects.
Mat: 3.5- Sessionable bourbon barrel brew. Well-balanced and drinkable but lacks any standout qualities.

Orkney Skull Splitter: Scotch Aleskull-splitter-web

2.5 out of 5 stars

Named after Thorfinn Hausakliuuf, the seventh earl of Orkney, this reddish-colored ale has an intense vinous nose, is rich and satiny in the mouth with a long dry finish and deep, rich fruity notes.

ABV: 8.0%

Dave: 1- A little boozy. No flavors pop out, other than booze.
Mike: 3- Caramel and toffee in nose, mild grain roasted-ness. Some alcohol in taste and basic; not my type of beer.
Matt: 2.5- Malty rubbing alcohol? I guess this is normal for Scotch ale, but it does go down fairly easy with a little burn.
Jon: 2.5- Briney, sour and boozey! A little harsh, just not my favorite style.
Mat: 3- Not boozy for style. Odd sourness in middle. Easy to drink though.

St. Feuillien Grand Cru: Belgian Strong Alegrand-cru-web

4.5 out of 5 stars

A specialty beer carefully crafted by Belgium’s St. Feuillien Brewery. This extra-blond amber nectar masterpiece undergoes refermentation in the bottle, resulting in an unforgettable character.

ABV: 9.4%

Dave: 4- Subtle fruit flavor. Very light body. ABV is deceptive on this beer.
Mike: 4.5- Fruity esters, white pepper, lemon; sweet, peach, kiwi, grapes. Surprised by the lack of extreme sweetness.
Matt: 4- Very pretty poured beer, with nice compact bubble. It’s a clear beer that I enjoyed drinking.
Jon: 4.5- Nice effervescence, simple, clean and balanced. Very well-made beer.
Mat: 4.5- Too easy to drink, but the tamed sweetness makes it a favorite for the style.

Long Trail Culmination: Imperial Porter long-trail-web

4.5 out of 5 stars

This dark chocolate porter is a very rich, roasty beer with top notes of chocolate derived from freshly roasted cacao. Solid notes of coffee, licorice, mild chocolate and more subtle hints of fruit and spices.

ABV: 9.3%

Dave: 4- Makes you want to sit by the fire with your dog curled up on your feet and your girl next to you.
Mike: 4.5- Coffee, nut, milk chocolate and dark chocolate, some raisin, dark fruits. Easy drinking, almost stout-like.
Matt: 5- I really enjoyed it. In my opinion, best Long Trail since their collaboration with Green Mountain Coffee.
Jon: 4.5- Big and bold. Rich and creamy chocolate with hints of espresso and roasted malt.
Mat: 4.5- One of the fullest bodied stouts I’ve had. Drink this with a straw and you’ll think you’re drinking a milk shake.

Goose Island Gillian: Sour/Wild Alegillian-web

4 out of 5 stars

Ale with strawberries, honey, and white pepper aged in wine barrels. The ingredients are added at different stages to a saison and fermented with a normal Belgian yeast as well as a Champagne yeast.

ABV: 9.5%

Dave: 4- Lots of white pepper, salt, pink lemonade, like chewable orange children’s aspirin.
Mike: 4- Incredible nose, white pepper and salt up front; funky berry sweetness. I expected funkier but this a good beer.
Matt: 4- I’m not a huge fan of sours, but I can appreciate this. I taste pink grapefruit, I want to drink more.
Jon: 4.5- Nice peppery strawberry and grapefruit. Not quite perfectly balanced, but interesting enough to try.
Mat: 4.5- Wild nose. Intense sour up front followed by pepper and ending with flavors of frozen in syrup strawberries.

John Henry West Indies Pale Ale: American Strong Alejohn-henry-web

3.5 out of 5 stars

A hoppy strong ale comprised of old world malts and sugars and European hops aged on dark rum oak spirals.

ABV: 9.4%

Dave: 1- It’s like I found a Rum and Coke under my bed, threw a few ice cubes in it to cool it down, and then drank it.
Mike: 4- Molasses, rum, mild hops, nice body. I would relax with a beer like this if not judging it simply as a beer.
Matt: 5- The first beer I’ve tried that was aged in rum barrels. I really enjoyed this—it reminded me of Black Seal Rum.
Jon: 3.5- Cola and molasses sweetness, rum follows through but finished nice and clean.
Mat: 3.5- Much mellower than any other rum beer I’ve had. I feel like I’m mixing drinks, which might lead to a morning of regret.

Fish Reel Ales 10 Squared: Barley Winereel-ales-web

3.5 out of 5 stars

Ten different hops give Ten Squared a uniquehop character which has to be tasted to be believed. This is a smooth ale with surprising similarities to ten year old malt whiskey.

ABV: 10.0%

Dave: 4- Lots of white pepper, salt, pink lemonade, like chewable orange children’s aspirin.
Mike: 4- Incredible nose, white pepper and salt up front; funky berry sweetness. I expected funkier but this a good beer.
Matt: 4- I’m not a huge fan of sours, but I can appreciate this. I taste pink grapefruit, I want to drink more.
Jon: 4.5- Nice peppery strawberry and grapefruit. Not quite perfectly balanced, but interesting enough to try.
Mat: 4.5- Wild nose. Intense sour up front followed by pepper and ending with flavors of frozen in syrup strawberries.

Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot: Barley Winebluthering-idiot-web

4 out of 5 stars

Notes of date or perhaps fig on the palate follow a pleasurably malty aroma to your taste-buds. The finish is warm and fruity, and begs for the next sip.

ABV: 11.1%

Dave: 4- Reminds me of a tame Cognac. The flavors of a Cognac
are there. But they are subtle, relaxed, easy-going.
Mike: 4.5- Tropical fruit nose, casual sweet. Alcohol is wellmasked; dark, ripe fruit with skins on, very good.
Matt: 3- Very sweet, mouth-feel like cough syrup. Leaves your palate clean. Very different than when I had it in 1999.
Jon: 4- A huge beer that comes across way smaller than it is. Really well-done.
Mat: 4- Drinks exactly how you’d expect for a barley wine but aftertaste is so clean it’s almost non-existent…dangerous.

Victory Hop Ranch: Imperial IPAhop-ranch-web

4.5 out of 5 stars

Brewed by Cervejaria Colorado. This beer is known as Ithaca in Brazil, but Guanabara in the US.

ABV: 9.0%

Dave: 4.5- Floral, peachy citrus notes. Light in body. Not overly hoppy—not what I expected from a beer called Imperial IPA.
Mike: 4.5- Nice hops, pine, evergreen true, pinecones, basic malt backbone, enough to hold the hops.
Matt: 4.5- I’ve been waiting to try this! The aroma of pine and
lemon carry through to the taste. Really delicious DIPA.
Jon: 4.5- Sappy and piney. Sticky hops in a nice balanced beer—although huge.
Mat: 4.5- Incredible nose. Beautiful, hoppy flavor with simple, clean malt backbone but unlike DirtWolf, you can taste the booze.

Evolution Lot No. 6: Imperial IPAnno.6-web

3.5 out of 5 stars

All kinds of tropical fruit and citrus notes. Deep gold in color, massive additions of
American varietals of hops generate assertive bitterness and big hop flavor and aroma.

ABV: 8.5%

Dave: 3.5- Solid IPA. Drinks like a single IPA, not a double.
Mike: 4.5- Nice hops like an English IPA and West Coast hops blend. Good malt backbone, some sweet fruit taste.
Matt: 4- Lots of pine, very resiny. More malty than Hop Ranch. I like it. I like it a lot.
Jon: 3.5- Hoppy upfront with a sticky hop finish. Finishes nice and solid.
Mat: 4.5- Very well-balanced double IPA. Not sticky nor sweet but maltier than the Hop Ranch.

The Final Picks

Dave’s Final Pick: Kelso Pilsner

Mike’s Final Pick: St. Feuillien Grand Cru

Matt’s Final Pick: Long Trail Culmination

Jon’s Final Pick: Thomas Creek Deep Water Dopplebock

Mat’s Final Pick: Long Trail Culmination

About Mat Falco

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