I have been a little distracted in my beer consumption lately. My favorite haunt, Washington Square in White Bear Lake has a promotion going where you drink 20 of their bottle beers and get a t-shirt. I got the t-shirt. I immediately went back to tap beer to have a Schell’s Maifest. I liked it as a good middle of the road beer. It wasn’t totally bland but it didn’t have a hit you in the face beer taste either. Of course, my palate may have been off due to the other beers I had just consumed along with the enchiladas.
No, I didn’t take off for Lent although it seems like it. I finally got around to going to the liquor store and picked up something on the list. I bought the Finnegans and love it. I have had it before and when I want a beer that doesn’t hit you on the side of the head and say “you just drank a beer”, it is Finnegans. I has just enough taste to be called a beer but doesn’t leave a bad aftertaste. I also find it different enough to be interesting.
It took quite a bit to find Surly 2 on tap. My favorite place said they had it and would put it on tap after they ran out of Bender. So I drank a lot of Bender. Finally, on Saturday after noon I walked in and they answered yes to my repetitive query. I had even tried to go to other locations and was denied a taste. I was getting somewhat worried about the taste due to comments that had been made. I avoid reading the other reviews until I finish mine so I have no bias. On to the review – I actually liked it. It did taste very fruity and had a cough syrup reminiscence but I could drink one at a sitting. There is no way I would have a second at the same sitting. Almost like finishing a dinner with port. In fact, I think that is the way I will use it next time. I know there will be a next time since Washington Square finally put it on tap and it will take longer to go through that keg than they did with the Bender. Another good thing was the fact that there is not a beer aftertaste.
The first sip of the Alt seemed like something other than beer. It took a couple of sips to determine what that taste was – butterscotch! You know that butterscotch syrup that you put over ice cream. I don’t recommend using beer over ice cream. It was creamy and sweet but not syrupy. I do recommend Bailey’s Irish Cream over chocolate ice cream but that’s a different story. All in all, I was able to get past the butterscotch taste and enjoy the brew. I also very much enjoyed the company and hope that we will have more meet ups during the year.
The Summit Winter Ale was exactly what I needed last night. The creamy ale flavor hit my tongue and made me happy. I have liked many of the Summit beers and was hoping that this would not disappoint. It didn’t. This is one that I don’t mind having on hand for sipping on a cold winter evening.
I have had this one on tap at my favorite pub a couple of times. This time I tried it in the can. It can stay in the can. It is much better on tap. I am sure that everyone is surprised by that statement. I expected hops from my previous taps. Somehow the can seems to make it even more hoppy and bitter. I will have to switch to a nice porter to cleanse the palate.
With such a large bottle, I knew that I would need to pour it in to a mug. It formed a nice head when poured into the middle of the mug. I really like the carmel color, but I am partial to anything darker than a lager. When lifted to the nose, I noted a fruity aroma to the beer. After that point, I was disappointed. The taste was flat and almost non-existent after the first couple of seconds. A few moments later after a few more sips, the flavor had built and was now quite pleasant. There is a hint of clove and a little fruity taste. There is not an unpleasant aftertaste. In fact, you want to keep sipping . It might be the reason for the large bottle; it takes a while to build up a great taste. It is definitely a sip and enjoy type of beer that can take a while to finish. By the time I finished the beer, it was slightly warm. Lost some of the flavor and I was happy that it was done.