Treat Yourself: Crooked Stave edition

Today I’m trying Crooked Stave’s Silly Cybies, a Belgian style dark ale aged in oak barrels with raspberries, that ran me $14.50 with an additional $1.00 corkage fee at Seraveza.

Which is a pretty spendy fee to use a glass, people.

I had some high hopes for this beer: Belgian dark ales work coffee and chocolate notes that often go well with fruit. Crooked Stave is a brewery that friends of mine rave about. Yes, they do sour ales but #notallsours are undrinkably sour for me. Plus, I just want to give this brewery a shot.

27340593232_9df7ee8285_cThe nose has a raspberry sauce scent;  not sweet but not sour, either. Tart is a good word; raspberries with a touch of vanilla, maybe a hint of woodiness? So that’s really promising. It’s definitely something I’d expect in to smell from a kitchen, boiled down tartness ready to put on a dessert.

It drinks like a sugarless blue raspberry soda. I have to admit, my initial impression here is a little disappointing, because the body of the beer feels quite thin. It shouldn’t: it’s a 9% beverage, and that means there ought to be some heft there, although by heft I am referring to a bit of viscosity on my tongue and perhaps some sweetness.

It’s the finish that’s doing it: north of sour and very, very bubbly, I’m almost put in mind of champagne.

As I continue to drink, though, its sour qualities begin to arrive in force. Very rapidly, I find myself not wanting to finish this beer because it’s turning my stomach into a pit of vinegar.

It this beer good? Is it bad? I’m having difficulty evaluating it properly, to tell you the truth.

It is not for me, though and perhaps that’s where I should leave it.

Common Ales: Worthy IPA

Whenever I can find beer in cans to try for the blog, I always like doing so and checking out Worthy’s IPA is probably long overdue. I always see this beer but I never, for some reason, consider it…until now. (Cue ominous music. CUE MUSIC I SAID).

I pick up resin and pine in the nose. It’s not overwhelming and it isn’t long lasting either but it helps set the stage. That’s a good thing, as it helps make the beer more accessible to people, I think. Also, it isn’t grapefruit, thank you so much.

26829454194_d48553bb1a_cThe back end of Worthy’s beer is bitter but not scouring; I could still taste something else when the beer is done and that’s a good quality for a commercial IPA.

There is a sweetness in the middle that becomes a little more pronounced about halfway through the beer. I’m not sure if that’s because the nose is fading or I’m used to the bitterness in the finish. That middle is almost peach-like; or some kind of ripe stone fruit. It’s a positive quality to pick up in the midrange and helps improve the beer’s drinkable qualities but it’s also subtle and doesn’t interfere with the resin notes on the front and back end.

I’d say this is a recommended beer.

 

Nudges

Continuing my quest to make a solid pale ale this year, today’s entry, Nudges, isn’t quite right.

The picture doesn’t show it as well as I would like, but this beer is far more orange-amber colored than it is reddish. I tried to get the photo in the light but things were still a little dark. Sorry: I’m very much an amateur when it comes to photos.

It’s so amber colored, though, because of this:

26415679104_ba385ed48c_c
Light malt extract

This is light malt extract (often abbreviated as LME in my recipes) and you may note that the color here is very similar to the color in the beer:

27022622962_15712cb01a_cIt’s got a soft nose of hops which are slightly fruity; the malt midrange is sweet, a little biscuit, maybe a touch of toffee. The finish doesn’t have a strong bitter quality; I’m starting to think I may have made an ESB instead of a pale. I am fairly certain that the C15 grains didn’t have that drastic an effect. Therefore, the Light Malt Extract seems like the most likely culprit. I should try Extra Light next time; I have feeling that will give me the results I’m looking for.

Still, Nudges is a good beer, drinkable and tasty. I learned something here and can put it to use on my next batches. A drinkable beer plus I learned something?  That’s a win-win in the best sense.

Brew date: 3/12/16

Steeping grains
3 lb Munich
3 lb full pint
2 lb C 15

Fermentables: 4 lb LME

Hops
1 oz Millenium @ 60
.5 oz Galena (pellets) @ 30
.5 oz Galena & 1 oz Millenium @ 10

Yeast: Imperial Barbarian (2nd use)

OG: 1.067

FG: 1.018

Notes:
1/2 tsp Gypsum in boil
1 oz Glacier in secondary
Secondary 4/2

ABV: 6.6%