Carla Jean Lauter

The Beer Babe

Category: Beer Reviews (Page 37 of 93)

Dogfish Head – Wrath of Pecant

Brewed originally for the Extreme Beer Fest, this collaborative Dogfish brew was born from some pretty intense and crazy brainstorming. The Alstrom Brothers and Sam Calagione pitched ideas back and forth until their brew was born – a “brownish” ale featuring malts smoked with pecan wood, and some plantain flour and carob added in for good measure. Not being a huge plantain eater, myself, I wasn’t really sure what this would taste like. As for the (awesome) name, it was left up to fans to decide. “Wrath of Pecan” (a reference to Kirk’s infamous bellowing of “KAAAAAHN” in the “Wrath of Kahn”) was chosen by a fan. Unfortunatly – the name had to be changed at the last minute.

Sam does a pretty damn good job of describing what went into this beer in this video, so I’ll let him speak to its origins.

It pours a nice dark orange, and just sits in the glass with some nice aromas floating up. I got a little smoky aroma, a little bit of sweet/bready smell and even some sugars – maybe that’s the carob?

The taste is very interesting and I don’t think I’ve had anything like it (not that I expected it to be ordinary!). There is a smokiness here – but not an overpowering bacon note like some rauchbiers I’ve sampled. Its a smooth smokiness (if that makes any sense) backed with something almost thickening. It has a great malt character, and a really nice finish. I can’t pull out the plantains, particularly, but the carob may be providing the really nice sweetness that I’m getting. Brews like this are very difficult to describe because basically I have little to compare them to. Suffice it to say, I’m enjoying this thoroughly.

A very special thanks to @chuckularone for managing to get a bottle of this into my hands!

Chatoe Rogue – First Growth Single Malt Ale

As I stood, staring off into the void of my friend’s backyard while the beginnings of a homebrew boiled on the pellet stove, I fantasized about hops. I was fascinated by the sharp and pungent bite of pellet hops we’d added only a few minutes earlier, but a yearning emerged. How much more satisfiying would it be to grow, cultivate, harvest and use your own hops in your own beer? To see them start as soots and end up as a bucket of fresh cones?

Not having a backyard myself, I think I’m a long way off from realizing that dream. But brewers at Rogue have released limited and exciting brews featuring ingredients grown at their own brewery – including the first growth of “Dare malts” from the Rogue Barley Farm, and Revolution Hops from the Rogue Hopyard. (Along with some pacman yeast and free range coastal water, of course). Because of their revolutionary motifs and hops, their logo is a great piece of graphic design – a bold fist clutching hops and barley.


With all the boldness of the logo – I expected a bold hop-forward brew. But instead, I should have read the label. “Medium bodied with a lush rich maltiness” oh – the malts are front and center here. Cool. Haven’t had one of those in a while…

It poured a respectable yellow to orange, with a pouffy head. The smell was that of a nutty malt and a lightness or spiciness that was really interesting. The taste wasn’t disappointing. Clean, drinkable with a really smooth finish, the malts are doing most of the talking. I was hoping for a fresh hop burst, but this is a nice subdued brew. Almost uncharacteristically delicate for Rogue, this one is one that is thirst quenching at the same time that it is light and delicious.

This may be a stretch, but I feel like this is somehow a humble brew from Rogue. Presented with a little bit of… restraint. I’m tempted to pick up another bottle and hold it to compare with next year’s version (second growth?) but I’m not sure if this will be an annual release. All in all, I respect their pursuit of a really independent sentiment – and of a tasty brew.


Lagunitas – Gnarly Wine

OldeGnarlyWineTapLogoI picked this up (like a few other recent reviews) in California, and it made the journey home to the East Coast and has been waiting for me to try it. Lagunitas beers are not impossible to find out here, but I do leap at the chance to find a good brew “from away” every now and then.

On the label: “The first sip is for thirst, the second one for pleasure.  The third sip is for knowing, and the fourth for pure madness.”

Sounds like a good end to a long day to me.

The color on this is a nice bright orange, and the smell is that typical yet amazing barleywine sweetness. It has that caramel/sugar scent that just makes you want to inhale it forever. The hops come in there, too, but its secondary to the sweetness. The taste, too, does not dissapoint on the sweetness. I always struggle to describe barleywines – there’s a sugary element, there’s a warming bit of alcohol and a bitter reminder of the intense amount of hops. This is bliss. Its warming, sweet, and stays in your mouth for quite a while. A barleywine in every sense of the style.

I’ve had other Lagunitas brews, specifically their IPAs, and was actually overwhelmed by the bitterness. However, this barleywine is a great one -and one I’d go back to again if I could get it more readily. If you need a beer at the end of a long day to calm you down or to lull you to sleep – this is the one.

Page 37 of 93

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