Friday, April 10, 2009

Beer Of The Week (Vol III)

Volume Three in the recently expanded beer tasting series. Once again, today's post is made possible by the fine folks at Glen Lake Wine and Spirits. That establishment has generously agreed to provide beer for weekly reviews and every brew featured here is available at Glen Lake Wine and Spirits. These reviews will be an expansion of the beer rating that I've been doing for years and will be more in-depth look at particular beers using the same rating criteria. And in addition to the just the beer itself, I'll be examining the whole aesthetic package; the bottle, the label, the name.

Before we begin, let me state for the record that I am not a big fan of Belgian beers. I've had some very good brews from Belgium when I've been in the Netherlands, but, with a few notable exception, most of my experiences with American breweries and Belgian style beers have not been overly pleasurable There's just something about the overriding taste that isn't my cup of tea.

So you can take my review of New Belgium Brewing's Trippel Belgian Style Ale with an appropriate grain of malt. Despite the name, my previous tastings of beers from New Belgium have been positive. While I've yet to personal rate their ubiquitous (and generally overrated) Fat Tire, I have enjoyed their Mothership Wit and Springboard Ale (which I believe is no longer available) offerings.

Their Trippel comes in a brown bottle with a decorative, attractive label that's become familiar with all New Belgium brands.

COLOR (0-2): Light and clear. 1

AROMA (0-2): Nice fruity punch. 2

HEAD (0-2): Good foam. 2

TASTE (0-5): Has a biting, almost sour flavor that I just don't appreciate. 2

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Decent. 1

OVERALL (0-6): Looks good, but like other Belgians this does not tickle my taste buds at all. 3

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 11

Next up is Kingfisher Premium Lager. Kingfisher is the number one selling Indian beer in the world. In the United States, it's brewed and bottled in Saratoga Springs, New York by Olde Saratoga Brewing Company.

I haven't had much of a chance to enjoy Indian beers in the past. The only one that comes to mind is Taj Mahal Premium Lager, which I've had at restaurants a couple of times. Kingfisher thus becomes the first Indian beer to be added to the ratings list.

The bottle is green with a bright, colorful label featuring the namesake bird. It's got a classy, put together look.

COLOR (0-2): Light and a bit cloudy. 1

AROMA (0-2): Lacks depth. 1

HEAD (0-2): Not enough volume. 1

TASTE (0-5): Decent flavor, very similar to other Asian lagers. 3

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Gone in a wisp. 0

OVERALL (0-6): For a simple lager, this is pretty good. I can see why it would be appealing to knock a few back on a sweltering day in Mumbai or Minneapolis for that matter. 3

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 9

If you gave up beer for Lent this year (something everyone should do once), I wouldn't recommend either of this week's beers for your Easter Day celebration. After forty days and forty nights without, you want to break your fast with a top notch brew not a middle of the road offering.

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