Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April Quads: Lake Placid Ubu Ale, Abita Turbo Dog, Sam Adams Noble Pils & Rising Tide Daymark American Pale Ale

Since April is the fourth month, I'm attempting to write four mini reviews in one post!  Time is running out for the month & I'm not pleased that there is only one review published on the blog.  To clarify, I've tasted more than one delicious brew this month but haven't had the time to sit down and write about the tastings.  So, let's get the party started!

The Lake Placid Ubu Ale is beyond yummy--perhaps, one of the best beers I've tasted in 2011.  I had this when I was visiting Binghamton earlier in the month and both my dad & I couldn't keep enough of them on hand.  There's a cool story behind this English-style ale from their website: "In 2000, the Lake Placid Pub was a stop for some White House interns accompanying Hillary Clinton on a trip through the area as she contemplated running for the Senate. The interns enjoyed the atmosphere and especially enjoyed Ubu Ale, the brewery's flagship beer. After hearing the story of Ubu's namesake, the friendly chocolate lab with a nose for great beer, the interns decided to bring some of the deep garnet English Strong Ale to President Clinton as a gift. Once he tried the brew, the President had the White House aides call the Pub to get more Ubu Ale for a party at the White House!"

Taste: silky smooth with a caramel malty finish--delicious!
Color:  deep brown with maroonish tones
Thickness: mild to moderate with a cream colored head of bubbles that create a pretty froth
ABV: 7%
MomFactoid: Story on the bottle says that the village of Lake Placid, NY, was once a home to a legendary chocolate lab named Ubu! My kids would LOVE a dog as would the husband but honestly, I think we're a cat family.  What about you?

Keeping with the dog theme, let's move onto Abita's Turbo Dog, which is a dark brown ale brewed with Willamette hops along with crystal and chocolate malts.  This brewery is located in Louisiana but their beers can be found nationwide & their Purple Haze is one that I look forward to reviewing in the warmer weather, which should be here soon! 
Back to their flagship brew, the Turbo Dog:

Taste: Very smooth with roasted nuts and chocolate bursts in each sip
Color:  Super dark brown with an almost tan head of frothy bubbles
Thickness:  Moderate to rich; not overwhelmingly thick
ABV: 5.6%
Mom Factoid:  Thinking that a trip to the Gulf Coast would be a great family trip.  Anyone been there & can recommend spots to visit, besides New Orleans?

I'm lacking a smooth transition from dogs to Sam Adams seasonal Noble Pils, but most days I don't have smooth transitions with my kids when we move from one activity to the next, but move on we do.  So, the Noble Pils, a traditional Bohemian Pilsner, is an award winning brew from Sam Adams.  According to its label, it is one of the only brews that uses all 5 Noble hops from the world's oldest growing region.  Moreover, the seasonal late winter released beer, from January to March, is a reminder to us that the warm days of spring are just a few weeks away.

Taste: According to the husband, he tastes flowers! Not sure which ones, but I agree that there is a floral spring quality in the sip with a crisp finish that isn't bitter!

Color:  Goldish bronze with yellow undertones
Thickness:  light and airy
ABV: 4.9%
Mom Factoid:  I recently traveled to Boston to see a Harvard Women's Lacrosse game & driving along Storrow Drive brought back tremendous memories of having attended school at BC. I can't wait to road trip again & explore the Boston Aquarium & Science Museum with the little duo!  Perhaps, for the sake of the blog, I can fit in a stop at a Beantown brew pub too!

From Harvard we move on to the Portland brewery, Rising Tide, and its newest release, their Daymark American Pale Ale. According to the bottle, a Daymark is a navigational tool used on the water, which connects, in my mind, to the rowers one always views while driving along the Charles River (which I did last weekend when I was heading into Harvard Stadium to view the women's lacrosse game). However, it wasn't the name that captured my attention of this brew, it was the bright yellow label.  Wow!  I immediately equated the vibrant label to spring and even further to daffodils and Easter. Given this was last week, when I was grabbing sandwiches at the Cheese Iron in Scarborough, I had to hope that warmer weather was approaching & that spring was lingering.  This internal hope was realized when the temperatures reached close to 70 degrees and the sun was shining brightly on Easter, here in the Portland region. The Daymark is a perfect selection for a sunny, joyous day.

Taste: light & slightly sweet; not lemony rather a dew drop scent and taste in the mouth
Color: bronzed caramel coin
Thickness:  very light with minimal bubbles & head
ABV: 5.5%
Mom Factoid:  Dedicating this review to a close friend's mother, who's favorite color was yellow & who sadly died two years ago, during the month of April from lung cancer. I thought of you, Jeannette, and your beautiful family when I toasted my glass of Daymark on Easter!

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