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    Entries in Beer Tasting Notes (123)


    Pilsner Urquell… Sip, Taste and Brew 

    Hops: Saaz

    Yeast: Saccharomyces Pastorianus

    Malts: Bohemian and Moravian barley malted at the brewery to 60-75% modification.

    Water: Soft local water.

    4.4% abv

    A very thorough study of Pilsner Urquell can be found in an article published by Brewing Techniques called The History and Brewing Methods of Pilsner Urquell.

    The following is Pilsner Urquell as tasted here at …

    For their side of the story try visiting these sites… Just click the following logos…


    HOMEBREWERS: Try your hand a brewing your own Pilsner Urquell clone…



    Special Tasting...the new Ballantine I.P.A. 

    Recently the folks who brew Ballantine Ale sent me a 750 ml sample bottle of the latest incarnation of Ballantine India Pale Ale. They also offered to set up an interview with the fellow who brewed it.

    In the late 1960’s I drank a good number of the Ballantine India Pale Ale that was brewed at that time in Cranston, Rhode Island. It was rumored that the unique hop tang was accented by the fermenting in pitch-lined fermenters. At the time I was less interested in how the stuff was brewed and more interested in where I could get a six-pack of those stubby bottles of bitter elixir.

    And so I was more than a little intrigued when I received the sample of the latest incarnation of the elixir of my youth.

    In order to sample the product in a proper environment and under ideal conditions I decided to hold the tasting at the Waterfront Alehouse on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, New York because I didn’t trust my memory or impartiality.

    Sampling the brew I found it a bit less emphatic than I remember it being. The color and head, aroma and refreshing character were all spot-on. However, the almost spruce-like spike of flavor eluded me. As you will see and hear on the following video, that observation is also spot-on. See you in the video…



    Sip, Taste & Brew… Seas the Day India Pale Lager

    Tasting notes…

    Here is a brew that combines the character of a crisp lager with an additional serving of sharp hop-flavor tang. As a style it needs explaining in that it is a lager fermented brew with just enough body to let the hop flavors add to both the flavor and aroma. On the “India Pale” side of the style it allows a more emphatic hop presence than a traditional lager but with a medium body of a lager.

    What is of particular interest is the refreshing “finish” or after-taste. This crisp finish gives this brew a profile that is more towards the lager style but lets the finish leave that crisp rather than rich impression.

    The next thing of note is that, although it is 4.8% alcohol by volume, it has a light enough body to make it a “semi-session” beer. In particular… if you should find yourself grilling up a batch of frankfurters, knockwurst or bratwurst. Should the rain drive you inside… a selection of thin sliced salamis and cold sausages served with a selection of cheeses will pair well with the rather intense hop tang of this “India Pale Lager”.

    Enjoy the summer!

    The technical stuff:

    Malt: 2-Row Brewers Malt, Malted Wheat, Oats, Biscuit Malt

    Hops: Galena, Warrior, Cascade, Simcoe®*, Citra, Centennial

    ABV: 4.8%

    IBUs: 55


    Coney Island Brewing Company

    3008 W 12th St (at Surf Ave.),

    Brooklyn, NY 11224


    However, most of the Coney Island brews are brewed at the new 50 barrel brew-house at the …

    Shmaltz Brewing Co.

    6 Fairchild Sq

    Clifton Park,

    New York, 12065


    Click on the logos to see what they have to say about this brew...







    Sip, Taste & Brew... Mermaid Pilsner

    Tasting notes…

    It's summertime, "the time for hot dogs and pretzels and beer" according to the late great Nat King Cole. In this case it is time for a nice cold Pilsner from an iconic symbol of summertime… Coney Island.

    In this case we are talking about a light colored effort beverage named for the more iconic Coney Island Mermaid. For those of you who do not know about the famous Coney Island Mermaid Parade I can only suggest that you stay abreast of this celebration. (Pun intended… check out the on line photos of the event.)

    In regards Coney Island Brewing Co.’s “Mermaid Pilsner” it can be said that it represents a summertime beer-style in two particular ways. Of special note is the spike of hop-tang that arrived at with the first sip. It is not often that I suggest drinking an ice-cold beer, however, in this case make an exception. It helps the hop flavor to refresh rather than overcome the senses.

    The next thing of note is that, although it is 5.2% alcohol by volume, it has a light enough body to make it a “semi-session” beer. In particular… if you should find yourself seated on a weathered wooden deck overlooking the ocean at the end of a long day.

    Enjoy the summer!

    The technical stuff:

    Malts: 2-Row Brewer’s Malt, EuroPils, Rye, Malted Wheat

    Hops: Warrior, Tettnang, Amarillo, Centennial

    ABV: 5.2%

    IBUs: 30


    N.B. The cyber tour-guide calls out to passing Coney Island web surfers … “Shmaltz Brewing Company invites you to step right up and visit the World's Smallest Brewery at Coney Island Brewing Company.” Yes, there is a small brewery on the Coney Island Boardwalk… 

    Coney Island Brewing Company

    3008 W 12th St (at Surf Ave.),

    Brooklyn, NY 11224


    However, most of the Coney Island brews are brewed at the new 50 barrel brew-house at the …

    Shmaltz Brewing Co.

    6 Fairchild Sq

    Clifton Park,

    New York, 12065

    Click on logos to see what they have to say about Mermaid Pilsner:



    Brew your own version of the Mermaid...


    Sip, Taste & Brew… Bone Warmer Imperial Amber Ale

    Sip, Taste & Brew Notes for Grand Teton Bone Warmer Imperial amber Ale

    My Thoughts:

    This is a brew that should be shared. First, it comes in a 750 ml. bottle and second, it is 8.2% alcohol by volume.

    Needless to say, after looking at the technical data below, and noting the hefty alcohol content, the temptation is to “cellar” this brew and let it rest for a year or so. Then comes the anticipation of opening a beer that promises to offer rich flavors and a truly bone-warming experience. Both of these are found with this “One-Off” from Grand Teton Brewing Company.

    The rich flavors are, after a bit less than a year in the bottle, blended so tightly that what at first seems to be a one-note flavor soon develop into subtle nuances that demand slow sipping to fully appreciate. Take your time with this brew and let the flavor and warmth develop. As I mention in the above video, share this with a friend or two and enjoy with a good meal and conversation.

    The Technical Data:

    Style: “Imperial Amber Ale”

    Malt: Idaho 2-row Metcalfe, Harrington barley malt, dark German Munich, Caramel.

    Hops: Idaho Chinook.

    IBU: 22

    SRM: 36

    Abv. : 8.2%

    Original Gravity: 22 Plato


    Click on the following logos to get their side of the story: