We're back with another round of beer of the month reviews. This month feels perfectly late fall early winter to us. As always if you'd like to join the same cub as us you can join here: Click to Join
Sprecher Dunkel Weizen
Appearance: Dark and Hazy
Smell: sweet yeasty goodness with hints of wheat and cocoa
Taste: This is almost like Dunkel light, and we don't mean that in a bad way. A lot of dunkels can be very sweet and heavy. This is a refreshing version of this style and we dig it. There's a slight bit of chalkiness and a slight tannin like flavor but neither detract from the beer. It's fairly close to a traditional dunkel but just a bit drier.
Sprecher Winter Lager
Appearance: Dark amber with tan head
Smell: Sweet malt, very clearn
Taste: Lager is an ambiguous term, in this case this is a bock style beer, which tends to be a bit sweeter. The nice surprise with this beer is that it's not that sweet at all. While many like sweeter beers it's generally not something we enjoy. That being said it still tastes full bodied and has a great malt flavor. The finish is exceptionally dry, especially for a bock. It's great to see a drinkable, tasty winter beer that the brewer didn't just throw some spices into. Spiced beer is tough to do well, and is normally done well by putting very little spice into the beer. Sprecher has realized this malty deliciousness, with a bit of hop flavor in the mid-palette, is a great winter brew. We'd like more please! So far this beer of the month club is pretty damn tasty!
Yards Brawler Pugilist Style Ale
Appearance: Amber brown with a slight haze and a 1 finger off-white head.
Smell: Clean malt... this almost smells like a lager, but without the light sulfer aroma.
Taste: A light drinking, darker colored session ale with a decent amount of hops and some nice malt complexity. This is a super clean tasting beer that would be great for drinking all day. Just enough flavor that it's interesting, but not so overwhelming that you can't drink multiples.
Yards Pale Ale
Appearance: Light golden beer, quite clear, with a pillowy white head.
Smell: Hops. Delicious pungeant hops with a little ... No, mostly just hops.
Taste: Dry malt is there just to keep this from being overly bitter. It's nice and balanced, tending towards bitter, but the hop flavor isn't as strong as you'd expect from the smell. The Yards does some great flavorful, but very drinkable, beers and this is another one. Well done!
We've said this before but it's worth saying again. One cool thing about this beer club is that it makes us try beers that we forget about. Otter Creek is brewed close to us but it's not something we buy often. There's always so much new stuff coming out that we often forget about great things that we've tried before. The Otter Creek Pale ale and Porter are delicious, in fact after this review we went out and bought some more of them.
Otter Creek Stovepipe Porter
Appearance: Dark dark dark dark ruby red. Nice tan head.
Smell: Coffee grounds and cocoa. Yum! Smells so nice on a cool New England night.
Taste: Mmmm... so good when it hits your lips. We just remarked on how we have to buy Otter Creek beer more! This is a great, dry porter. Lots of coffee in the taste with just a hint of sweetness to make it palatable. This is a dark beer you can easily enjoy summer or winter. Thanks to Gourmet Monthly Clubs for sending the delicious Otter Creek beer. If you're not from around New England, these are the beers that make this club totally worth it!
Tremont Mr Oktoberfest
Appearance: Dark Amber
Smell: Smells like a malty ocotberfest
Taste: Ok first off this is an oktoberfest ale, octoberfest is supposed to be a lager. That said we're actually cool with people messing with stuff like that it just means we need to shift our expectations. This beer is really clean, but too clean for what we want. We like the big malty backbones that most octoberfest beers have and this is just missing that. It's a nice crisp beer but in honestly we're having a hard time telling our brains to expect something different than the lager flavors we're used to. It's interesting and we're glad we tried it, but it's messing with our heads.
Otter Creek Pale Ale
Appearance: hazy orangish amber
Smell: nice hops
Taste: very crisp, very refreshing, you can definitely taste the cascade hops coming through. We always forget how good this beer is. We could drink this all the time, in fact we really should buy this more often.
Tremont Freedom Trail IPA
Smell: Light hops and biscuity malt. The hops are a bit dank, even... definitely not light.
Taste: Good hop flavor! Must be lots of late hops added to the boil. It's not overly bitter, but the beer strikes a very nice balance. We wouldn't go to this when we wanted a tooth-kicking-in hop bomb, but we would definitely drink this again! This is much nicer than the old Tremont IPA. Approved!
This month's selection is actually really interesting for us. We're based out of Boston so a couple of these beers are very local to us. What makes them special though is that Buzzards Bay Brewing Co, is not longer making beer. So the beer we got is some of the last to leave the factory. This is great beer, really great beer and we're sad to see it go. For those who are already members of this club you got a nice treat here. For those who aren't this is a really good example of the type of cool beer you might get to try.
Tallgrass Brewing Company IPA
Appearance: Medium copper colored. Not too light, or too dark for an IPA. Fluffy white head.
Smell: Light hops, but not too many other strong aromas. Tropical fruit hops with just enough malt sweetness.
Taste: Oh wow! This is really good! Just enough bitterness to be a serious American IPA, but the real story is really great hop flavor! This is a really tasty IPA that you should check out!
Tallgrass Brewing Company Ale
Appearance: Brown with red hues, but definitely more towards brown. Bone colored head that quickly disappears.
Smell: Mild sweetness with a bit of malt aromas and just a hint of cocoa.
Taste: Sweet maltiness up front, but the beer ends in dry chocolate flavor. Definitely unexpected! This is a good, and quite drinkable, brown ale that we would be great to drink multiples of while out camping.
Buzzards Bay Alt Bier
Appearance: Deep copper color and white head. Everyone agreed that it looks like what people used to expect beer to look like. That's good!
Smell: Mild malt... not much else, it smells like beer.
Taste: Beer. This tastes just like a really good, smooth, easy drinking beer. We mean this in the best way possible. This is a great subtle lager that we would love to have more of! We're in luck that we live quite near to Buzzards Bay Brewery but, unfortunately, they are shutting down the brand. Buzzards Bay will be missed, but great selection by Gourmet Monthly Clubs in getting this lager out to the public!
Buzzards Bay Brewing Black Lager
Appearance: Dark, but clear, brown beer with a strangely white head.
Smell: Smells quite nutty! On top of the nuttiness you get some lightly roasted malt.
Taste: Crisp, light on the palette, but dark and roasty lager. Slight nuttiness in the flavor. Having this and the Alt Bier just makes us sad, though, because Buzzards Bay is shutting down. They made some of the best lagers in New England... actually, we'll go out on a limb and say they made some of the best lagers in the country! This was a great brewery and we'll be sad to see it go. Members of Gourmet Monthly Club are lucky to have tried this before they closed!