The Beer Savant

August 27, 2011

Purple Haze

Purple HazeDate: August 25, 2011
Cost: NA
Brewer:  Abita Brewing Company, Abita Springs, Louisiana
Alcohol content: 4.2%
Served: Cold by the bottle at Bud’s Louisiana Cafe

There are two things that make my heart sing, and that’s Cajun food and fruit beers. The shrimp and crawfish pasta dish I ate at Bud’s made my heart belt out opera; the Purple Haze beer I had with my meal…not so much.

The beer pours a slightly cloudy dark yellow/orange with almost no head. I could smell the delicious raspberries right away. When I took a sip, I also could immediately taste the raspberries…but that was about all I could taste. No grain flavors, no hops, no yeast; if I hadn’t uncapped the bottle myself, I would have sworn I was drinking watered-down Kool-Aid. The texture was thin with little carbonation, and the aftertaste nonexistent. If Miller Lite and Hawaiian Punch had an offspring, it would taste like Purple Haze. I’m sorry to say that the best thing this beer has going for it is its name.

Abita brews a number of tempting-sounding beers, and I do plan to overlook this weak sister and try more of their products. If there’s an Abita brew that you recommend, leave me a comment about it.

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August 13, 2011

Red Tail Ale

Filed under: Ale,Amber,American — hikingsandiego @ 9:06 pm
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Red Tail aleCost: $3.99/22 fl. Oz. bottle at Henry’s
Brewer:  Mendocino Brewing Company, Ukiah, California
Alcohol content: 6.1%
Served: Cold in chilled glasses

As fortune would have it, I was waiting in a long line near the beer cooler at Henry’s Market. Slipping out of line for a moment, I grabbed a bottle of Red Tail and slunk back to my spot. That night, we popped the top and gave it a try.

Red Tail pours a light red/orange with nice lacing and slight foam. The scent is enticing. It’s pleasantly malty and hoppy with just a hint of yeast and a dash of caramel. It tastes a little sweet at first but leaves just a slight bitter aftertaste when swallowed.  The carbonation is just right for an amber ale.

If you’re looking for a solid, tasty, no-frills beer with some zing, Red Tail is an excellent selection. I will definitely buy this beer again. If Red Tail is indicative of the beers created by Mendocino Brewing Company, then I’m anxious to try more of their product.

August 4, 2011

Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat

Filed under: Ale,American,Wheat,Witbier — hikingsandiego @ 9:31 pm
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Leinenkugel Sunset WheatDate: July 21, 2011
Cost: NA
Brewery: Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
Alcohol content: 4.8%
Served: Cold by the glass at the Spaghetti Factory in San Diego

It was a day of adventures. We spent the morning and afternoon at Comic-Con, where we took in a lifetime of weirdness in one day. It was grand! I listened to one of my favorite authors, Christopher Moore, speak on a panel. I learned how a steampunk proton pack works. And I watched as the entire cast of “The Big Bang Theory” walked across the sidewalk in front of me and entered their hotel. Whew! All that excitement works up an appetite and a thirst. We decided to take care of both at the Spaghetti Factory.

A day of adventures shouldn’t end with a mundane order such as spaghetti and red wine, so I ordered the crab ravioli and a Leinenkungel’s Sunset Wheat. Let me tell you, my choices were spot on.

Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat pours a hazy golden yellow, and indeed, it does look like a summer sunset. I could smell the rich fruity and floral fragrances before the glass touched my lips. And the taste followed through. The beer was served with a slice of orange, and I squeezed it into the glass, enhancing the already citrus taste of the beer. Orange, lemon, wheat, and a little spice made this an interesting and rich beer to savor. The carbonation was just right. I felt refreshed down to the soles of my very tired, sore feet.

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