Wachusett Brewing Night!

Busy night tonight! I bought a 12 pack sampler of Wachusett beers, and today has been such a day that I can easily do several reviews... Cause today sucked, and beer makes things less sucky.

So I started tonight with a Samuel Adams Boston Lager to get the pallet going... sort of a baseline...

Then I started the learning process with their Blueberry. Now, I don't really like fruity beers as a general rule. I don't even like flowery or fruity hops, let alone beer that's actually flavored like fruit... But I gotta say, this was a hell of a beer. The second I cracked the cap, it was like inhaling blueberry pancakes (which I DO like). It poured very pale, and somewhat cloudy. It had a crisp refreshing taste, a little yeasty, not bitter. It was sweet with a slightly sour finish. I liked this beer very much. I'd buy it again for those times when I just want one or two. I probably wouldn't drink a ton of these in one sitting (like I tend to do...).

I then moved on to the Pale Ale. I'm not the biggest pale ale fan. I find that they tend to be sort of bland and on the wrong end of my spectrum. I like heavy bitter hops generally speaking. ...once again, I have to say "That said..." this was a good beer too.

It was sorta bready, lightly carbonated, and, as the name implies pale. When I say bready, I mean that it really tasted like more of a baked good than a beer.... a biscuit, perhaps?

So now, we're up to date... BUT! I'm not done. I have at least two more beers to yap about.

Just FYI, I'm milking these, so it's not like I'm pounding them and eventually my writing will increase in typos and everything will taste the same to me... No, if there's one thing I do well, it's drink beer... And type. So. We're good. ...moving on.

I'm excited with the next beer. It's an IPA, my favorite type of brew. I was thrown off a little by this beer, because in this sampler, there were two different IPA brews (I know, awesome right!?) and I saw the other one first... If you look at this picture, the label is purple... I didn't read it right away, because I thought it was the blueberry.

I ALMOST drank this one first thinking it was blueberry. That would have thrown off my whole post! I started with the more mild stuff so that it wasn't as much of a pallet shock going from beer to beer... sorta worked up to the IPAs.

Right now, I've got a glass full of this stuff sitting right next to me, so you get the reaction as it happens. Don't you feel like an insider now?!

When I poured it, I poured it slowly. Even still, I got a dense head, about an inch thick. Even now, (after all my rambling!) about 15 minutes after I poured it, it's still got some suds on the top. Impressive, eh?

It's a pale amber, almost yellowish. It's not overly aromatic, but that may be because it's sat a while. I forgot to whiff it when I opened the bottle.

First mouthful was not bad. Better than I'd expected, given the lack of scent. It's generally more citricy than I go for, but it balances out well.  Light and crisp with a strong bitter finish on the back of the tongue. It's got a lingering sensation, almost like a halls cough drop. When I breath out, I feel like I can taste the fumes from it. Might be due to the slightly higher than usual alcohol content, at 5.6%.

I can say that I WILL buy this one again. Possibly this month, even.

So the next brew is also an IPA, but I don't have one with me... I also have to finish the current one, and I don't want to chug it. I want to taste it. So you're just going to have to wait.

OK, I'm ready.

This brew is called "Larry".

Once again, I'm excited. I love a good IPA, and when I cracked this one, it was like I crushed up pine needles and snorted them.

If you've read this blog before you may have read that I like a bitter pine cone flavored IPA any day of the week.... I like it to taste strongly, and I like it to burp just as powerfully. I've set myself up with some pretty high expectations here...

So let's get to it.

I poured it just as slowly as the last one, less of a head initially, but it grew a little more after the pour than the other one did.

Oh. My. God... OK, I have to share this... I was double checking the scent, and I accidentally tipped the glass a little too far, sniffed a little too sharply, and got a nose full. Obviously it was a shock. But I am looking at this as an opportunity! Where else can you get a review of a beer based on the sensation of snorting it?!

OK, so now that the initial pain or carbonated fluid surging through my left sinus, basically everything smells like bread.

Back to the task at hand here, this IPA, like the last, is still a little sudsy after about 10 minutes, and a nose dunk.

First mouthful... I'm a little disappointed. Bear in mind though, I really pumped myself up for this one, so it's not the beer's fault. I'll accept responsibility for that initial reaction.

This beer tastes much like the last one, the other IPA. Interestingly, the first post at Beer Advocate says "Tastes good, but not quite so good as the aroma had me hoping for." I bet he didn't SNORT it though... Still, he gave the beer an A+ and really, I have to agree... This beer is damn good.

Best part: This beer is 7.5%. For those of you who don't know what that means, Bud Light (which Beer Advocate gives an F, by the way... just saying...) is a 4.2%

SO! In conclusion, THUS FAR, Wachusett doesn't make bad beer... But I haven't had all the brews yet.



Woodchuck 802

I am continuing my research into hard cider tonight. I picked up a "Woodchuck 802" six pack.

This is a very pale version of the Amber I talked about before. About the same amount of carbonation, but a bit dryer, almost like the difference between Schweppes ginger ale and Canada dry. I like it, though I think I'd like anything I made to be just a shade dryer, maybe slightly more bubbly.

I still say a peanut butter sandwich would be the PERFECT compliment to hard apple cider.