Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What's On Tap? (Ithaca: Jan 21st, 2015)

What's on Tap in the Ithaca area? Heavyweights from Bandwagon and Dogfish Head, new session IPAs and a whole lot more!

Ithaca Beer Taproom's big news is still their new 7.0% Kölsch seasonal, Daydreamer.

Daydreamer will also be on cask, dry-hopped with Nelson Sauvin while the latest 5BBL offering is a Session IPA clocking in at just 4.1%.

Bandwagon Brew Pub will debut two new brews this week, a 4.5% session IPA called 600 Waves plus Tuesday Night Circus, a massive new triple IPA weighing in at 13%.

Ithaca Coffee Company's latest Triphammer offerings include Goose Island Ten Hills IPA & Urban Wheat, North Coast Brother Thelonious, Ommegang Gnomegang, Horseheads Newton Brown Ale, Vanberg & Dewulf Lava, Ithaca Rustic Harvest & Flower Power, 21st Amendment Live Free or Die IPA, Anderson Valley Fall Hornin, Saranac Tramony Rouge, Woodchuck Hopsation.

ICC's Gateway location is new features are Bacchus Oatmeal Stout, Flores Fate Pale, & Cyclhops IPA; Anderson Valley Blood Orange Gose with Ithaca Dark Vine, 21st Amendment Bitter American, City Steam  Innocense IPA, Green Flash Road Warrior holding it down.

Ithaca Ale House is impressively serving up Dogfishhead's 18% Raison D'Extra and Stone's Double Bastard alongside Southern Tier - Tier De Garde, Bacchus Oatmeal Stout, and Sam Adams Boston Lager and still rocking Ommegang Spiced Saison, Horseheads Rye P.A., 21st Amendment Fireside Chat, Bell's Two Hearted, Southern Tier Live, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Ithaca Embrrr & White Gold, Stone Arrogant Bastard, Harpoon UFO, Stella, Wachusetts Blueberry, Pilsner Urquell, Guinness

The Westy are holding steady with Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Allagash White, Southern Tier Live & IPA, Abandon Nut Brown, Bell's Two Hearted, Bell's Edmond Fitzgerald, plus year-rounds from Yuengling, Stella, and Jever.

FInger Lakes Beverage Center just tapped Elysian Space Dust IPA and Horseheads Black Horse Ale and hanging tight with Southern Tier Pumpking & 2XMAS, Jack's Abby Kiwi Rising, Abandon Belgian Golden, Evil Twin Imperial Biscotti Break, Sierra Nevada / Allagash Myron's Walk, Sam Adams Chocolate Bock, and Saranac Cloudy Dream,

Hopshire Farm & Brewery hangs up Boggled until next fall and returns their Belgian golden, Sympathy to the line-up. Fiddler's Grain, Shire Ale, 'Virgil, Near Varna, Hop Onyx round out the tapline along with Beehave, which will be one of the featured beers in a pairing at Coltivare, part of the Winter Village Bluegrass Festival.

(If you would like your bar or brewery featured in these weekly posts, contact bubbablogs (at) gmail.com)

#303: Hopshire Farm & Brewery » Figgy Puddin' (Cask Brown Ale)


Figgy Puddin' (Cask Brown Ale) | ABV: 6.2%
Between the day-job and a Friday evening meeting, I scampered over Hopshire Brewing for a taste of their limited cask offering, Figgy Pudding. This brew is a variation of Round Yon Virgil (an enjoyable spiced brown ale in it's own right), cask conditioned with dates, figs and vanilla beans, which all sounded like a warming pause to a blustery and busy evening.

Figgy Puddin' introduces itself with a deep nose of red fruits with notes of sticky figs, plum, and mild red table wine peak through as well. The aromas are bright and juicy with a dab of sour cherry.

It's smooth, with a low level of carbonation. Layering notes of clove are well received against flavors of overripe red fruits and a touch of bourbon. Firm flavors of fig, cassis dance alongside smooth vanilla and punctuating vanilla extract notes rise quickly after the first few sips.

As for mouthfeel,it's not too sticky for a sweeter beer. It's wet, with a subtle spice mouthcoat that ends with a relatively clean finish for a fruit & spice brew.

Further through, a touch of sour cherry peaks through, which is a pleasant complexity balanced against the sweet fruits. All-in-all, a solid, warming brew.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

#302: Ithaca Beer Co. » Daydreamer, Milkstache, Red Hot Rosie, Za Vas!, Cascazilla on Cherrywood


After a couple weeks of a nasty cold, my senses were back and it was time for beer tasting. Ithaca Beer were on a release rampage in 2014, racking in notable new releases, some hotly limited and others expanding their seasonal line. 2015 looks to be no different with the advent of Daydreamer, I-Beer's latest seasonal offering.

Daydreamer (Kölsch) | ABV: 7.0% 
Weighing in at a hefty 7%, this kölsch serves up with a bright, mineral nose, with aroma of firm, bitter euro-style hops, all threaded with sweet pineapple. The palate is washed in soft carbonation and full body, punctuated with smooth, mellow tropical fruit flavors. A zesty, drying finish caps it all off with a touch of spruce.

Milkstache (Nitro Milk Stout) | ABV: 5.2%
One of Ithaca Beer's few nitro offerings, this stout is brewed with lactose and serves up jet black with thick, creamy, off-white head. Sheer aromas of chocolate and vanilla ice cream rise up from darkness. It's especially creamy, but light on the mouthfeel, never getting too weighty or coating. A silky-soft, subtle stout with firm earthy, roasted, and cocoa powder flavors.

Red Hot Rosie (Chili Porter) | ABV: 5.8%
Now for something not-so-subtle. Brewed in honor of a departing employee, Red Hot Rosie is a porter packed with Morita Chile chipotle peppers. Unabashedly starting out with sharp chili aromas, Rosie keeps the balance with plenty of smoke and a touch of vegetable pepper notes. Onto the palate, this beer is HOT, stacked with sinus clearing action. It's full bodied porter base keeps in from spinning out of control, providing an earthy, smoky base with a touch of chocolate. The heat on this one though, definitely makes it a sipper, pairing well with the carrot/ginger soup I was savoring.

Za Vas! (Russian Imperial Stout) | ABV: 8.8%
I've run across some fairly massive Russian Imperials of late. Ithaca Beer's spin reels in the soaring ABV of recent takes on the style. Literally meaning, "To You!" is a cheers to the senses with an inviting nose of rich chocolaty aromas, backed by faint milk and earthy notes with a touch of bourbon. It's brighter than expected and lively carbonated. Flavors of chocolate, ripe plum, apple skin all swirl across the palate. A solid stout, hiding it's 8.8% well, with a perceived girth just over session.


Cascazilla aged on Cherrywood (Cask Red Ale) | ABV: 7.0%
I am skeptical and very picky when it comes to hoppy cask beers. For my palate, I've often found softening hop-forward styles on cask or nitro can loose some of the best aspects of the style.

That said, casking and aging one of Ithaca's flagship beers, Cascazilla on cherrywood was an excellent choice, it's silky, grassy nose easing my apprehension at first whiff, seemingly stacked with notably fresh hops. It's unexpectedly bright for a cask ale, but still deftly smooth with soft notes of pine, white pepper, and subtle red wine character, complimenting the dry, velvety mouthfeel and finish. I have to say, this is my favorite Cascazilla cask variation thus far.

Monday, January 19, 2015

#301: Bandwagon Beer » Barrel-Aged Red Ale


Bandwagon Beer » Barrel-Aged Red Ale | ABV: 6.7%
After an energizing rehearsal with my band Mouth To Mouth To Mouth, a crew of us decided to head on down to Bandwagon Brewpub for fry night, where there just so happened to be a brand new brew on tap.

Another creation from head brewer Stephen Bareford, this Red Ale is aged four months in 6 Mile Creek Vineyard red wine barrels. As with BWB's recent run of aged beers, this was another enjoyable brew.

This barrel-aged red starts off with a tart nose of red grapes and cranberry with a deep earthiness and a faint hint of cocoa. It's lively and puckering, stacked with dense wine characteristics. Flavors of tart berries, specifically with a touch of cranberry, and faint, soft pepper notes. It's refreshing yet dry and a touch acidic. A fruity, fun, and complex beer.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

What's On Tap? (Ithaca: Jan 15th, 2015)

Thanks for joining us once again to find out what's on tap in Ithaca, NY!

Ithaca Beer Taproom kicks off their latest 6-Pack seasonal, Daydreamer, a full bodied Kölsch clocking in at 7.0% ABV. Draft & bottles should be widely available within the week.

As of Thursday, Cascazilla aged on Cherry Wood (cask) and 5 Barrel series offerings Red Hot Rosie (Chili Porter), Za Vas! (Russian Imperial Stout), & Milkstache were still on as well.

Bandwagon Brew Pub just debuted a new 6.7%  Barrel- Aged Red Ale, aged for 4 months in 6 Mile Creek red wine barrels. (Review coming soon!)

BWB Shiny Penny Coppy Lager (w. candi sugar & orange peel), Russian Imperial Stout, Udder Delight Milk Stout, Chai-Chili Porter, Sauer Weisse, Thank Hank Porter, Winter Brown Lager, CTZ IPA, NYS Trad Pils and other year-rounds are all on tap as well, plus offerings from Catskill Brewery, Ninkasi, Abandon, and Beak & Skiff.

Ithaca Coffee Company's latest Triphammer offerings include Ithaca Creeker, Ommegang Biere D'Hougoumont, City Steam Naughty Nurse, Brooklyn BLAST!, Anderson Valley Fall Hornin, Saranac Tramony Rouge, and Woodchuck Hopsation with Galaxy's The Void, Founders Big Luscious, Dogfish Festina Peche and Saison Du Buff,  and Wagner Valley Hop Tropic still in rotation.

ICC's Gateway location is now featuring Ithaca Dark Vine, 21st Amendment Bitter American, City Steam Naughty Nurse & Innocense IPA, Green Flash Road Warrior, Ommegang Art of Darkness, Saranac Caramel Porter, and Great Lakes Nosferatu.

Ithaca Ale House now features Ballast Point's Grapefruit Sculpin IPA, Ommegang Spiced Saison, Horseheads Rye P.A., and Southern Tier Live alongside Abandon Saison, 21st Amendment Fireside Chat, He’Brew Hanukkah, Chanukah: Pass the Beer, Bell's Two Hearted, Southern Tier Live, Victory Moving Parts 02, Green Flash West Coast IPA, Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, Ithaca Embrrr & White Gold, Stone Arrogant Bastard, Harpoon UFO, Stella, Wachusetts Blueberry, Pilsner Urquell, Guinness

Founders All Day IPA is back at The Westy with Southern Tier 2XOne, Abandon Nut Brown, Horseheads Brickyard Red, Bell's Two Hearted, plus year-rounds from Yuengling, Stella, Jever, and Great Lakes. Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout is on deck after 2XOne.

FInger Lakes Beverage Center has Southern Tier Pumpking & 2XMAS, Jack's Abby Kiwi Rising, Abandon Belgian Golden, Evil Twin Imperial Biscotti Break, Sierra Nevada / Allagash Myron's Walk, 21st Amendment Blah Blah Blah, Sierra Nevada Celebration, Sam Adams Chocolate Bock, and Saranac Cloudy Dream,

Hopshire Farm & Brewery bring back two of their most popular seasonals, Fiddlers Grain, Irish Red and Sympathy, Belgian Strong Golden are back at and on Friday, they're releasing Figgy Puddin - cask of 'round yon Virgil holiday ale with figs, dates and vanilla beans (wow!).

(If you would like your bar or brewery featured in these weekly posts, contact bubbablogs (at) gmail.com)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

#299: Terrapin Beer Co » Wake 'N' Bake (Coffee Oatmeal Stout)


Terrapin Beer Co » Wake 'N' Bake (Coffee Oatmeal Stout) | ABV: 9.4%
This 10th edition of W-n-B pours up a viscous jet black with minimal head, breathing out a firm cold brew coffee nose. This big, bold brew coats the palate with deep roasted coffee flavors with a touch of syrup notes, faint red fruits and smoke. Packed with amazing character that's thick and warming enough it could be medicinal, Wake 'N' Bake is a noteworthy brew and one of the best coffee stouts around.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

#298: Terrapin Beer Co » Liquid Bliss (Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter)


Terrapin Beer Co » Liquid Bliss (Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter) | ABV: 6.0% 
My partner & I pulled a few bottles of Terrapin from our Philly trip, including this Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter known as Liquid Bliss, originally released in 2012 as Side Project Volume 18 and now a year-round release.

An intriguing PB&J nose starts things off, full of bready, sweet, and nutty notes emitting from the jet black body topped with lacy, mocha head. Onto the palate, Liquid Bliss is just that, deftly smooth with dominating peanut butter notes, backed by rich roasted malts. Firm chocolate flavors arise further in with faint jammy notes and a moderately dry finish. An easy winner and a future go-to the next time we're in Terrapin territory.