Firestone Walker Mocha Merlin Oatmeal Stout

Since 1996, Adam Firestone and David Walker have been producing amazing beers in California’s Central Coast. The Paso Robles brewery has won the award for Best Mid-Size Brewery at four of the last five World Beer Cups. Renowned for crafting iconic pale ales and pioneering barrel-aged beers, they now have a portfolio of nearly two dozen year round & seasonal brews.

ABV: 5.5%     IBU’s: 23

Pour: A deep dark brown, almost black, with Mahogany highlights when viewed in the light. It is surprisingly opaque for the style. The one finger cappuccino colored head dissipates quickly but does leave a light lacing behind.

Nose: Offers up notes of oatmeal and roasted malts. Coffee and chocolate notes are plentiful and intertwine with a slightly smoky note. Sweet notes of molasses can be detected along with some earthy hop notes.

Palate: Tons of roasted malts. First you get the coffee, then the oats and chocolate flood the palate. There is a molasses like sweetness that hits at just about the same time that the smokiness does. A hint of vanilla is also discernible.

Overall: Mocha Merlin is a great coffee oatmeal stout from the folks at Firestone Walker. Has loads of coffee notes on the nose and palate making it an excellent winter beer that with a lower than average ABV can be drunk (instead of sipped) by the fireplace. Try pairing it with aged cheddar, pork mole or chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.

Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 4 Out Of 5 Pints


Troegs Jovial Belgian Dubbel

troegs jovialChris and John Trogner have been working hard to get Central Pennsylvania on the brewing map. Since 1997, these two Mechanicsburg natives have been handcrafting world-class beers that combine traditional English brewing techniques with eclectic American brewing style. One of their newest brews is a happy little Belgian Dubbel named Jovial.

The beer pours an opaque amber brown color with garnet highlights. The two finger frothy khaki colored head has amazing retention. Even after thirty minutes a one finger frothy cap remains atop the beer.

Aromas of Belgian yeast, candied sugar, toffee, biscuity malts and caramel are all perfectly balanced. A bright citrus undertone can be found lurking underneath a plethora of dark fruit notes like raisin, fig and prune.

The palate echoes the nose rather seamlessly. Caramel malts and Belgian yeast flavors provide the framework. Sweet notes of dark fruits dominated by fig are definitely front and center and are elevated by a hint of toffee. A touch of citrus adds a slight tartness and also works to brighten the beer. A little bit of spice is discernible on the finish.

Well balanced and extremely flavorful, Jovial is a great take on a Belgian Dubbel. Try pairing this one with Gouda, braised short ribs or chocolate ice cream.  3.5 Out of 5 Pints

The Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.5 Out of 5 Pints

Allagash Black

Allagash BlackAllagash Brewing Company started in 1995 as a one-man operation in a small space on the outskirts of Portland, Maine. Founder Rob Tod had worked in a brewery before, and recognized a void within the craft brewing movement. He designed a small 15-barrel brew-house, gathered the finest array of authentic raw materials, and began his quest towards the production of traditional Belgian style ales. Today, Allagash is known coast-to-coast for an amazing portfolio of delicious Belgian inspired brews. One of our favorite year round offerings is a stout named Allagash Black.

The beer pours a deep dark brown, just a touch light of black. When viewed in the light, a hue of dark cherry wood is visible towards the edge of the glass. The one finger frothy head show little retention. Once the head dissipated completely, a light swirled lacing remains.

On the nose, roasted chocolate and coffee aromas hit with notes of dark fruits. Earthy herbal and yeasty notes along with candied sugar, bready malt and cream notes bring complexity and character to the bouquet.

On the palate rich roasted coffee flavors are heightened with hint of chocolate. Spices, dominated by cloves, mix with feisty yeast notes and a hint of earthy hops build on the mid-palate. Dark fruit, vanilla and caramel notes add a recognizable sweetness and provide balance.

Kudos to Allagash for this silky, well balanced masterpiece. Perfect for dark beers lovers and Belgian beers lovers alike. Try this one with Gorgonzola, steak with fries or tiramisu. PintRate-4

The Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 4.0 Out of 5 Pints 

Please check with your local Bottle King store for current  inventory! 

Badger Hill Minnesota Special Bitter

As we continue our tour of craft brews from the land of 10,000 lakes we find ourselves with another offering from Badger Hill Brewery. This family owned brewery has been at it since 2011 and has gained quite a following since BADGERHILLMSB-ISOLATEDthen. One of their year round offerings is their MSB or Minnesota Special Bitter.

The beer pours slightly hazy amber color with orange hues. The thick two finger off white head dissipates at a steady rate and leaves behind a consistent layer of lacing a top the beer.

On the nose notes of breads and biscuits combine with sweet malts. Floral and herbal hop aromas peek through the biscuit and malt notes and are met by a resiny hop note. A hint of orange peel complements the rest of the bouquet nicely.

On the palate a clean and solid bready and malty backbone is well balanced by the same hop notes found in the bouquet. Mild floral and citrus hop notes are detectable amidst the strong herbal hop flavors. A bitter piney hop note carries over a mild fruitiness to the finish. A hint of black pepper spice is also noteworthy. The finish is bone dry and satisfying.

A great take on a Traditional English ESB or Extra Special Bitter style beer. A great easy drinking beer that acts as further proof that the Minnesota craft breweries are forces to be reckoned with! Try pairing this with a mild Swiss, beer battered Cod or bready pudding.3 out of 5 Pints

The Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.0 Out of 5 Pints 

Please check with your local Bottle King store for current  inventory!