Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Guinness Foreign Extra Stout

The eleventh beer to get reviewed is Guinness' Foreign Extra Stout. I had NEVER heard of this beer so I was pretty sure that a leprechaun was watching over my shoulder & guiding me in my selection, as this is different from their traditional stout. According to their website description,"Foreign Extra Stout is brewed with generous hops and roasted barley for a bittersweet balance & full-flavored, natural bite. Developed over 200 years ago for global export from Ireland, the addition of extra hops ensured this Stout would arrive to its destination in perfect condition."
Of course, we needed to drink Guinness on St. Patrick's Day, the best holiday of the year according to my late mother-in-law, Kathy Charsky, to go along with our slow-cooked corned beef & cabbage meal, so I anticipated picking up a few Guinness, in their fancy cans, for the husband & I, but I eyed these GFES bottles being re-stocked and couldn't resist checking them out. My logic went like this:
  • It was 9:30am in RSVP beverage store, on the morning of March 17th, and they were already getting replaced on the shelf, so either the GFES are very popular or since the store just opened they were simply replacing what needed to be replaced. 
  •  I went with my first thought and scooped up the 4pack of gold capped bottles for us to help celebrate our Irishness!
These bottles also served as an informative resource, telling their reader that the GFES is, "A beer like no other. The most full-flavoured of all.  Singular and striking.  Uniquely satisfying.  Refreshingly crisp.  Always rewarding.  Pure beauty.  Pure GUINNESS." Even better, the ABV is listed as 7.5%!

Taste: A delight mixture of roasted nuts that finishes with a slight tartness but it's not overpowering!

Color: robust brown

Thickness: Light and silky with a pretty caramel tan head of bubbles

Will It Help Me Sleep Better? Best mug in my collection, straight from the Guinness Brewery in Ireland (thank you Emily Ross) says, "My Goodness, My Guinness"--Yes, of course it will help me sleep better, it's Guinness!

Mom Factoid: Urban Mom Legend tells that Guinness helps bring in your milk during pregnancy--how awesome is that?!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Maine Beer Week: Maine Beer Co. Mean Old Tom Round 2

Mean Old Tom on cask at Sebago

I reviewed this beer back in March, 2010, but feel compelled to share it, again, with readers, as we are celebrating the First Annual Maine Beer Week, November 10-17, 2011, and Mean Old Tom just hit the shelves, again, in Portland. Actually, the husband brought home four bottles, tonight, all bottled on 11.10.11. Awesome! Can't wait to pour one over the next couple of days.  But, since I couldn't wait for these bottles, I went into Portland last night and sampled a Mean Old Tom on cask at Sebago Brewing Company. Wow, talk about delicious.  Okay, back to review, here it is but this time with pictures:

Mean Old Tom

The tenth beer to get reviewed goes by the name Mean Old Tom and is a stout aged on natural vanilla bean.  I was tipped off to this beer by a local mom friend who spotted it at Whole Foods Market in Portland.  It didn't take me long to remember all the necessities I needed to get from WF and off I went with Little J in tow, after Big Sister was happily playing at her Portland nursery school.  May I digress momentarily and say that shopping with a sleeping baby is so much easier than shopping with a three year old, although I did miss the constant background question of, "Mom, can I get a cookie now?"
Anyway, this beer is made locally by the Maine Beer Company, who I'm a HUGE fan of as they produce an ale called the Peeper and another ale, an amber, called the Zoe, which is delicious! So, I was thrilled to hear that they released a stout, since I thoroughly enjoy stouts and the added vanilla bean is the perfect complement!  Moreover, the bottle that I selected is Batch #1 which means I was tasting some brand new-to-the-world brew--exciting stuff!  Not only was I excited, but it tasted fantastic and the story behind the name of the beer added to the fun of drinking it, as I have a very close friend named Tom who I thought maybe this was named after---just joking TP!

Taste:  light vanilla bursts onto the palate with mild mocha hints in the background

Color:  a deep almost chestnut brown

Thickness:  light to moderate; very smooth almost silky with minimal head and a few bubbles

Will it help me sleep better?  The perfect number of 6.5% ABV means I could do fine with just one but two would mean bedtime!

Mom Factoid:  As mentioned earlier, I have a close friend named Tom which made me think of him while I was enjoying this brew.  Isn't it funny how names transform us to places and memories of people who have those names?  Speaking of, picking names is quite the adventure, between family ties, popularity rankings, meanings etc, you can have a blast or a headache leading up the the big day!

Mean Old Tom bottles

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Brooklyn Brewery Local 2

The ninth brew was tasted while I was still in Binghamton on "vacation" last month!  I had the privilege of sharing a special pint of the Local 2 Ale with my dad.  A friend of his, from his Suds group, gave this pint to him straight from the Brooklyn Brewery.  This beer was so delicious as it is an ale brewed with honey and citrus peel, a fantastic combination.  A more detailed description of the ingredients off the bottle include:  "We've combined European malt and hops, Belgian dark sugar, and raw wildflower honey from a New York family farm to create Brooklyn Local 2.  Our special Belgian yeast adds hints of spice to the dark fruit, caramel and chocolate flavors."
A really neat experience with this pint was that you had to uncork it, like it was a bottle of aged wine or champagne, which created a celebratory moment in my parents' kitchen!  So, if you are in the hunt for a special brew to enjoy at a festive event, search no further, the Local 2 is the perfect choice!  Enjoy :)

Taste:  beautifully sweet with a floral bouquet scent; like a liquid dessert, it was that yummy!

Color:  Amber dark

Thickness: heavy head and very frothy

Will it help me sleep better?  At a whopping 9% ABV it most certainly did!

Mom Factoid:  According to my dad, a farmer at heart, he detected butter cups and red clover in each sip.  I think it's fascinating that flowers are edible as well as beautiful.  The fact that they are used in the brewing process just adds to their brilliance!  Spring is around the corner, get ready to buy some seeds and plant flowers with your kids--watch them get excited as they grow & bloom in front of their eyes! What a great and fun activity :)