Here’s the second installment in my weekly Tuesday Tastings series. Today I’m reviewing a Seattle beer and two Portland beers. On to it!
This was a bottle I picked up from Seattle’s Georgetown Brewing last October when visiting for Elysian Brewing’s Great Pumpkin Beer Festival; Georgetown is basically around the corner from Elysian, so it was a convenient and fruitful stop. Because Georgetown is strictly a production brewery with a tasting room, they offer all of your tastes for free (I don’t recall if this is a quirk in Washington state law, or just how Georgetown does it). You can buy beer to go (mostly growlers of course), but they also had a bottled beer available for sale, a Belgian-style Dubbel that’s 8.4% abv named Donkey Deux. Here’s their quick description:
A Belgian Dubbel style ale brewed with 110lbs of Candi Sugar, fermented with traditional Belgian yeast and bottle conditioned, DD is big on classic Belgian flavor.
Appearance: Dark brown in color, with chestnut highlights and a light tan head. It’s thick enough to be almost opaque.
Smell: Toasty malts, candi sugar, prunes, raisins. A touch of dark toast (rye or pumpernickel). Hints of molasses. The Belgian yeast characters is present, though mellow and restrained.
Taste: Rich and malty with toasty-crusty sweet bread, dark fruits (prunes again), fig, and a nice, sweet roastiness from the Special B malt. Balanced.
Mouthfeel: Medium-full body, a nice sweetness in the finish without being cloying.
Overall: Very nice, a well-brewed and balanced Dubbel (perhaps one of the better American versions I’ve had).
Lompoc Brewing Pamplemousse Citrus IPA
Lompoc’s IPA built upon grapefruit had been sent out to me a little while back, in a package that not only included two bottles of the beer but also a pint glass, grapefruit, and bottle opener/USB stick. I did in fact drink it around that time, and enjoyed it; at 5.8% abv it’s a little on the lower end of the American IPA spectrum but makes up for it with the 70 IBUs. Lompoc says:
This deep golden, medium bodied Citrus IPA offers up refreshment that will satisfy all your senses. Four hop varieties along with real grapefruit juice build a solid hop bitterness highlighted by citrus notes, both on the tongue and in the nose.
Appearance: Copper-gold color, bright and clear. Effervescent; the slightly off-white head is fizzy.
Smell: Hoppy citrus, as advertised, with grapefruit zest. Hints of juice, a clean green hoppiness punctuated by hints of sweet crystal malts.
Taste: Bitter right up front and it’s all citrus peel and pith and rind—kind of reminds me of that oily bitterness you get from the peel of an orange or grapefruit as it coats the tongue. The malt is clean, light, and neutral, serving primarily (and very well) to highlight that bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Light-to-medium-bodied, with an oily citrus peel bitter aftertaste that lingers.
Overall: Bitter, yet clean. While not nearly as citrus/grapefruit as Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin (which has become my new benchmark), it’s very drinkable and on the light(ish) side, and I’m enjoying the flavors.
The Commons Brewery Urban Farmhouse Ale
I had this awhile ago, and it’s high time I posted notes and commented on it. Urban Farmhouse is The Commons’ flagship beer, a traditionally-styled farmhouse ale that has garnered many accolades—with good reason.
It’s very easy drinking at 5.3% abv, meaning you can put down a full 750ml bottle of it by yourself (probably), though this is a great beer for sharing. Their description:
Traditionally, Farmhouse Ales were brewed on farms in the French and Flemish regions of Belgium. These beers were born out of necessity as most water was not potable and the farmers needed a refreshing beverage to offer the hardworking farmhands. Our rendition was developed in the spirit of that tradition. The beer pours golden with a floral nose and a soft underlying hop bitterness with a crisp finish.
Appearance: Hazy straw yellow with lacy, beaten egg white head. Fine effervescence yields tiny bubbles constantly and continuously rising as I drank.
Smell: Herbal, slightly phenolic, crisp wheat notes, spicy Noble(ish) hops. Nicely Belgian-y without overloading the senses in any particular direction.
Taste: Crisp, herbal, wheat and corn graininess which is quite nice. Clean bitterness that’s neutral with a hint of spiciness. Light for a straight-up saison but that makes for a nicely light presence on the tongue, making it eminently drinkable.
Mouthfeel: Light-to-medium body, highly carbonated (tingly on the tongue), very clean and crisp with a lightly bitter finish.
Overall: Excellent example of the style, and one I wish I could get more often. The Commons has it going on.