Commercial Bock, Saison, Rye and Amber Tasting

The family and I took a trip to Niagara Falls for Spring Break.  I knew I better bring some beers with me.  I decided to assemble a sample pack to evaluate.  I chose the beers based on what I have on tap:

  • Saison
  • RyePA
  • Amber
  • Bock

I wanted to see how my beers stylistically compared.

The lineup!
The lineup!
Ommegang Hennepin Farmhouse Saison
Ommegang Hennepin Farmhouse Saison

This is a bottle conditioned Saison.  This actually poured clear.  It was a very good Saison with spicy characteristics.  It tastes nearly identical to mine.  Mine is opaque and I filtered it too much.  I have wheat as a part of mine and I wanted it cloudy.

Samuel Adams Rebel IPA
Samuel Adams Rebel IPA

This was a decent IPA.  I was surprised at how light it was.  Very ‘not malty’ like a think and IPA should be.  It was like pure pale ale (or even lager) malt with little to no crystal.  It did have some decent hops.  It’s looks were deceiving.

Seirra Nevada Torpedo IPA (Extra)
Seirra Nevada Torpedo IPA (Extra)

This was a good IPA.  More maltier than the Samuel Adams – it had more body.

Summit Frostline Rye
Summit Frostline Rye

These Rye’s leave a distinctive ‘dryness’ in your mouth.  I wouldn’t even say ‘crisp’ but ‘biting’.  Not sure if that is a good thing.  The dryness wasn’t from the hops – those were well balanced.

Great Lakes Rye of the Tiger IPA
Great Lakes Rye of the Tiger IPA

Similar to Summit’s Frostline Rye.  That Rye definitely imparts a ‘biting’ cottonmouth aftertaste.

I’m not sure that ‘Rye’ is a drinkable style.  These two rye examples, I wish I knew the malt bill on them.  Mine was only 10% – I DO get some lingering ‘biting’ on mine, but more-so on these. – and these were less hopped.

Shiner Bock
Shiner Bock

I was looking forward to this as I don’t have many examples of Bock to draw upon.  This was a good, clean beer.  An easy drinker.  Mine was different as it had a much more maltier body than this – though still easy drinking.  Mine also was a little darker than Shiner’s bock.  I attribute this directly to my grain bill as I’m sure I followed the more ‘back-in-the-day’ recipes.  I would definitely drink it again.

Avalanche Amber
Avalanche Amber

A good, solid amber.  It differs from mine as I have a certain fruitiness (good fruitiness) in the aroma – probably from the yeast.

Blue Moon Valencia Grove Amber
Blue Moon Valencia Grove Amber

Another good amber similar to mine – any easy, all-day drinker…a good middle-of-the-spectrum beer.  Not sure if ‘Valencia Oranges’ have anything to do with this beer…none that I can tell.  Both of these ambers weren’t that close to the color ‘amber’ though.  I think I have done a good job with mine.

I appreciate beers like the above two as sometimes (for me, oftentimes), I want something clean and easy to drink.  I don’t need beers that are trying too hard to be ‘different’.  I simply want to ‘have a good beer’, and these fit the bill.

Gray's Brewing Busted Knuckle Irish Ale
Gray’s Brewing Busted Knuckle Irish Ale

I had to pour this out.  I took two drinks and couldn’t do anymore.  I was on the 16th floor looking out over Niagara Falls at night.  I wanted, at the minimum, a palatable beer.  This wasn’t a ‘bad’ beer…no off flavors or anything…just not a taste I like.  Not sure if it’s yeast related or the malt/mashing.

 

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