Friday, December 17, 2010

Beer of the Week (Vol. LXXXII)

Another edition of Beer of the Week brought to you by the bold folks at Glen Lake Wine & Spirits who can help you explore the beautiful world of wine, whiskey, and beer.

Beers from Tallgrass Brewing Company in Kansas recently started appearing on liquor store shelves here in the Twin Cities. Like local legend Surly, Tallgrass is a craft brewer who packages their product in cans and like Surly they come in four-packs of sixteen-ounce single servings.

They also seem to share an adventurous side with Surly's brewers and are willing to step out from the norms with beers that don't necessarily follow the conventional approach to the style. A good example is Oasis, our beer of the week:

Oasis is a Double ESB/IPAish beer that came about from playing around with one of Jeff’s favorite homebrew recipes. Here at Tallgrass we love malt and we love hops, and this beer has both of them in record quantities; well, at least records for our baby brewery.

At a hefty 7.2% ABV and 93 IBU, Oasis is a big beer that has to be priced a bit higher than our regular line of beers. We think that once you taste the over-the-top hops and surprisingly sturdy malt backbone you will realize why it’s worth it.

Definitely not a fruit-extract seasonal shandy, this beer is meant to be enjoyed on the back porch, the front porch, or even on the stoop. What's a stoop? Well, it's a good place to drink beer, is what it is.

Sun colored can with bold red font. Rays shoot out from what appears to be some sort of magician/medium/clairvoyant character who would be right at home in a circus sideshow. He hovers over what looks like a mirror ball. An interesting design which is yet another similarity with Surly.

STYLE: American Double IPA/ESB


COLOR (0-2): Reddish brown, lightly clouded. 2

AROMA (0-2): Hoppy, piney, and citrusy. 2

HEAD (0-2): Off-white color, loads of volume, and beautiful lacing all down the glass. 2

TASTE (0-5): Good combination with sweet malt flavors and strong but not overpowering bitter, fruity hops coming together nicely. Medium-bodied and pretty smooth, creamy, and drinkable for the style. Not much burn even with the higher alcohol content. 4

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Pretty mild as the balanced malt and hop combo carries through. 2

OVERALL (0-6): Many Double or Imperial IPAs seek to blow you away with their extreme hoppiness (not that there's anything wrong with that). Tallgrass' Oasis takes a more refined approach with a healthy dose of malt and hops that are definitely there, but not dominating. It's an interesting beer and one that I found to be very satisfying. While not quite in the same class as Surly Furious, it yet another example that great beer can come in a can. 4

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 16