Archive for May, 2010

The Immortal IPA (Elysian Brewing Company)

Posted in Beer Reviews with tags , , , , on May 28, 2010 by bumpcitybrews

My loyal follower(s)…sorry it’s been 3 weeks since I’ve been able to post something. I know you have been bored to death not having any beer reviews to read.  Don’t get me wrong though as it definitely doesn’t mean I haven’t enjoyed any good beers lately and I hope you have had the chance to try some too.  Seattle Beer Week was this past week and I got my share of some great Ales.  On top of SBW I have been volunteering at a local brewery helping out with some odd jobs and so forth, so I’ve been busy with beer.  In the spirit of Seattle Beer Week, I felt it would only be appropriate to select a local ale for this review. 

 THE BEER:

 A little bit about the Elysian Brewing Co…

At Elysian we pride ourselves on our versatility and the variety of beers we produce. Whether classic ale and lager styles or their Northwest-themed interpretations, idiosyncratic treatments with unusual ingredients, or altogether new beers never brewed anywhere else, ever, we tend to have an astonishing array of offerings on tap.

Bump City Brews thoughts…

Pour:  A small white head that diminishes quickly after the pour, gently resting atop of a light pale straw body with brilliant clarity.  

Aroma:  Light straw-like aroma present mixed in with a light flowery aroma from the hops, almost smells like a clean farm with no animals on it.  These aromas become more prevalent as the ale warms up. No yeast-like aroma present.

Taste:  Medium body with a strong upfront bitterness as one would expect in an IPA.  Light malty/nutty back tones helps accentuate the hop bitterness.  Some hop flavor noted as well.  Finishes dry with a long-lasting bitterness on the palate, almost medicinal like.   

Overall:  Maybe it was the cloudy and rainy weather but I was less impressed with this IPA compared to other Northwest IPAs available in seattle.  While the hop bitterness was present, there was no other complexity to the ale that came forward to let this ale “wow” me.  Lets just say it didn’t leave me wanting more once I was finished…

Would I buy more of it:  Nah, it’s a standard IPA, that lacks interest.  I personally would prefer more hop flavor and aroma, this beer was just kinda “there”.  Before looking at the beer fact, my guess is that the grain bill is mostly 2-Row malt, a touch of Munich (nutty flavor) and a little C-40 for body/color. 

Vintage:  2010

BEER FACTS:

Name:  The Immortal IPA

Style:  India Pale Ale

Brewery:  Elysian Brewing Company

City:  Seattle, WA

Country:  USA

Container:  22 oz Bottle

Malts:  Pale, Munich, Crystal and Cara-hell

Hops:  Bittered with Chinook, finished with Amarillo and Centennial

ABV:  6.3%

IBUs:  54

Date:  5.21.10

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8-4-1 Expedition Ale (Limited Release)

Posted in Beer Reviews with tags , , , , on May 5, 2010 by bumpcitybrews

It all started when the Redhook facebook page was having a “Name the Pig Keg” contest and the winner was to get a free t-shirt from Redhook.  I thought about a name for a minute or two and submitted my suggestion, “Hamhook”.  Suprisingly enough, there was an overwhelming positive response to the name , so they chose my suggestion for the new pig keg.  The Redhook rep contacted me for my info and while a t-shirt is a great prize, I was clever enough to finagle my way into setting up a one-on-one meeting with the Brewing Operations Manager, Kim Brusco at the Redhook Brewery in Woodinville.  I met with Kim early this spring and he was nice enough to give me a behind the scenes tour of the Redhook Brewery.  It is a huge brewery, yet the brewers still have the flexibility to be creative and brew small batches while at the same time brewing their larger batches.  Regardless of the size of the batch, each beer always turns out with the same consistency, creativity, and liquid goodness (as Redhook might say).  After the tour, we sat down and had a few beers and talked beer.  I had the 8-4-1 Expedition Ale and Big Ballard Imperial IPA (which is heaven in a bottle in its own right).

 THE BEER:

 A little bit about the Redhook approach for creating this Ale…

Hand crafted by 8 brewers working in 4 teams, this Imperial Brown Ale was developed from their individual recipes carefully blended into one distinctive ale.  Rich and flavorful, brewed with cherry wood smoked malts and brown sugar.

Bump City Brews thoughts…

Pour:  A dense tan head that rests on top of a copper-orange body with remarkable clarity.

Aroma:  My senses must have been off this day because I could only note a light malty sweetness along with a slight floral aroma.  I did detect the presence of alcohol aromatics in it as well.  As the beer came up to room temperature, some of the malt sweetness intensified, but it still wasn’t as forward as I would have expected being an Imperial Brown Ale. 

Taste:  Full bodied, sweet maltiness with brown sugar combined with a touch of roasted malt and finished smooth with a kiss of honey and a lasting bitterness that stayed with my palate with some time after.  Out of the four specialty malts listed on the Grain Bill, I was able to distinguish the Caramel (sweet), Munich (Bready), and Chocolate, but not any of the smoked malts (which isn’t a bad thing). 

Overall:  The amount of Belgium sugars and malt used in this beer could have made this beer cloying, but the hop bitterness and the extra edge from the roasted malts made it a complex and balanced ale.

Would I buy more of it:  Yes, I have another bottle sitting with my private stash.  This one is sure to age well and more character will develop as it ages.  I might detect more malt aroma from aging as well.  This is a great beer brewed by a group of great brewers.

Vintage:  2009

BEER FACTS:

Name:  8-4-1 Expedition Ale (Limited Release)

Style:  American Style Imperial Brown Ale

Brewery:  Redhook Ale Brewery

City:  Woodinville, WA

Country:  USA

Container:  22 oz Bottle

Malts:  Pale, Wheat, Munich, Caramel, Chocolate, and Smoked Malt   

Hops:  Alchemy, Cascade, Willamette, Crystal, and Sterling

ABV:  9.5%

IBUs:  55

Date:  4.29.10