Welcome to Cosmo's Beer Blog!

We’re a small group of friends and family scattered across the country who’ve all developed a thirst for craft and import beer. We decided that a blog would be a great venue for us to share our hobby. Here we will review beer, compare notes and challenge each other with "Beer Missions".

So welcome to our little world of discovering great tasting beer!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Maudite by Unibroue

Yet another bottle of beer with an appearance of the nether regions of hell inviting you to take a drink.  This one however scored much higher with me than the last 'bastard'.  The writing on the beer really does define the taste quite well:

"La Maudite (damned), referemented on yeast base in the bottle, goes down uncommonly smooth.  One taste of this excellent malt beverage will instill in you the highest respect and appreciation for its warm mellowing effect."

I highly agree, see the comments I wrote before I read the label below:

  • Brew Details: Maudite brewed by Unibroue
  • Serving Conditions: Served directly from the uncalibrated fridge into my 'Duvel' tulip glass.
  • Appearance: A foggy amber
  • Scent: yeast, very similar to a good hefeweizen (Franziskaner being my favorite so far)
  • Taste: Smooth and rich with a deep warming flavor well balanced with the alcohol content (not overpowering).
  • Mouthfeel: Lots of carbonation with a subtle and inviting aftertaste.
  • Drinkability: Definitely ready for another one, just not tonight.  This could be the beer for the evening and I would not be disappointed.
This is my highest tested ranking so far, I'm giving this one a 9.  I guess it just reminds me of my favorite hefeweizen too much, but with more boldness.  So far both drinks I have had by Unibroue are amazing; the other drink being La Fin du Monde.  Unibroue has now made my list of favorite breweries, I will be looking for more of their beverages very soon.

Next stop, Orval Trappist Ale...

broma theon
"food of the gods"


Monday, August 30, 2010

A Belgian Beauty... don't tell my wife!

My wife loves the Belgian ales, so I hope she's not too disappointed that I opened this one without her...

Brew Details and Conditions:
Brewer: Trappist Achel
Brew: 8° Brune
Style: Belgian Dubbel
Source: 11.2 oz Bottle
Glass: Large Wine Glass
Temp: 50 deg.

Appearance: True to form, the Trappist ale poured with an enormous head that lingered for an eternity. The color is a deep, murky amber.
Scent: Right off the bat, I notice that estery Belgian yeast. The aroma is warm and inviting with notes of plum and grape. In many ways it is more reminiscent of a glass of wine than a glass of beer.
Taste: I have waited very impatiently for the head to dissipate, but its still lingering. I guess I'm just going to have to dive in. The taste is very much like the scent: smooth, sweet and fruity. I can taste the grape quite well and note some more wine-like characteristics. In my experience that is quite common with many of the Trappist ales. There is a barely noticeable slightly bitter aftertaste that lasts for only a moment.
Drinkability: The mouthfeel is smooth and watery with small, punishing bubbles of carbonation. This ale is very, very drinkable which is good and bad. The satisfaction to the senses is good, but the 8% alcohol and the price tag could prove quite bad.
Notes: Time was no challenge to the head of this beer. Even when my glass was almost empty, a 1/4-inch head boldly persisted. The lacing was almost ridiculous as it lined almost half my glass. Warmth brought little change in the flavor. This beer tasted just as good at room temperature as it did at 50 degrees.

This is my favorite Dubbel so far. Awesome taste, inviting aroma, beautifully hidden alcohol, what more could I ask for?

For now, I give Achel 8° Brune a 9 out of 10. This may change as I try other Dubbels. I really wonder if there is a better example of the style, for my tastes anyway.

Eis Igian,

Friday, August 27, 2010

Arrogant Bastard Ale

After initially thinking I was picking up 'Dirty Bastard', I instead
found another bastard to take home.
Their bottle is quite hilarious as they seem to poke a little fun at
breweries spending millions of dollars in advertising convincing
everyone that they are small breweries. Here is an excerpt from the
bottom of the bottle:

"Questions or comments? If you don't like this beer, keep it to
yourself ---- we don't want to hear from any sniveling
yellow-beer-drinkin' wimps, 'cause this beer wasn't made for you."

  • Brew Details: Arrogant Bastard Ale by the Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido, San Diego County, CA
  • Serving Conditions: Served directly from Specs into my 'Duvel' tulip glass once I got home.
  • Appearance: Amber, almost ruby
  • Scent: Very strong citrus, grape fruit
  • Taste: Bitter, literally like a grape fruit. I love grape fruit so I do enjoy this beer.
  • Mouthfeel: bah..still don't like this weird term. Perfect consistency with a good balance of carbonation.
  • Drinkability: I am ready for a different beer once finish a glass, it doesn't hold my palet very well as it has a strong bitter aftertaste.

I personally give it a 6.5 out of 10, but that doesn't mean this is a
bad beer, it just doesn't fit my taste right now. If I was a huge IPA
fan I would probably enjoy this more as it tastes similar in citris to
some IPAs I've had. It really is an amazing beer, just not my current
flavor of choice.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Mission One, Round Three: Battle of the Old Timers

Believe it or not, I had never tasted Pabst Blue Ribbon prior to this review. I have read the lore of Pabst winning a blue ribbon in 1893 but I still had my doubts. In the back of my mind I was expecting PBR to be watery, sour and unsatisfying. I was right on only one account.

Brew Details and Conditions:
Brewer: Pabst Brewing Company
Brew: Pabst Blue Ribbon
Style: American Adjunct Lager
Source: 12oz Can
Glass: English half pint
Temp: Approximately 40 deg.

Appearance: The clear yellow brew poured with a small frothy white head that dissolved quickly. So far, nothing deviated from what I had imagined.
Scent: This was my first surprise. The aroma had slight citrus notes that were mostly comprised of orange. The scent shockingly reminds me of the estery odor of a Belgian Pale Ale.
Taste: The taste begins with a very watery orange flavor that transitions nicely into a light grain taste and finishes with an almost unnoticeable bitter finish. This is not a big beer by any stretch of the imagination, yet it is a nice tasting beer.
Drinkability: The mouthfeel of this lightly carbonated brew is very watery in texture. I don't know if there's enough taste to keep my interest long term, but the light body and low alcohol content make PBR a true session beer.
Notes: Warmth brought out a little more orange scent and taste, but it didn't seem to increase the light bitter finish. Surprisingly, warmth didn't bring out much of that sour grain taste that I associate with adjuncts.

PBR reminds me of some distant, diluted cousin of a Belgian Pale Ale. I have to say that this is easily my favorite adjunct lager. I might have to pick up a six pack to enjoy while mowing the yard and to keep around for my friends whose senses are offended by stronger beers.

I give Pabst Blue Ribbon a 6 out of 10.

Mission Results: While there are plenty of other American Lagers out there, I will end my incursion into Beer Mission Number One right here. In keeping with the mission parameters, I'll summarize my experience. Personally, I liked the idea better than the actual mission. I gravitate towards ales and big beers so I found it difficult to actually get excited about sampling American Lagers.

Obviously we each like different things, so Bud's claim of superiority is just good marketing on par with declaring a film "the best movie of the summer". Still, Budweiser has enjoyed enormous success over the years and their countless fans have enjoyed their brews. I have no interest in insulting the taste or judgment of Bud fans, but for me there just isn't enough flavor to entice me. Thankfully, the brew masters from Europe and the inventive American craft brewers will make sure that I have plenty of delicious brews to choose from. And if I happen to be in some remote part of America where flavorful beer is difficult to come by, it's comforting to know that a glass of PBR can carry me over until I get back.

Eis Igian,

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Utter Destruction Through Udder Delight

Historically, I have not been a big fan of IPA's. Mike has been telling me for some time that as I try more beer I would eventually come to crave IPA's. To say I was skeptical would be an understatement. I flat did not believe it. In recent months, Mike's prophecy has come to fruition. Last year, when Mike praised this rendition of the Double IPA, I wasn't very interested. This year my interest was peaked.

Brew Details: I am reviewing a glass of Three Floyds Apocalypse Cow. This is one of their takes on the Double IPA.

Serving Conditions: Mike poured about a quarter of the bomber into a snifter for me. This was straight from the fridge, so I'm guessing it to be at about 45 degrees.

Appearance: The brew poured with a very slight head that did not endure long. The color was a cloudy dull yellow.

Scent: Every time I have a Three Floyds brew, I can barely wait to bring the beer to my nose and enjoy the aroma. The fragrance of this brew was full of floral, pine and citrus notes. When I took my second whiff, I noticed orange peel and sweet grapefruit. Three Floyds has mastered the art of making their brews smell fresh and inviting and Apocalypse Cow is no exception.

Taste: The initial taste of this complex brew is an explosion of citrus flavors that scream fresh, quality hops. As the ale flows to the middle of my tongue I taste what almost seems to be sweet grapefruit and candied papaya. Finally, there is a mildly bitter finish.

The hops have been subdued and embellished by the sweet lactose sugar and the 10% alcohol content is hidden unbelievably well. Even when trying to notice it, I just can't find alcohol in either the scent or the taste.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is smooth, soft and a bit syrupy with light carbonation.

Drinkability: This is an easy drinker. It's so smooth that it just can't help but go down easy. I think that the syrupy texture would limit the quantity that I could drink, but I will say that it was difficult to put my glass down. While I've had IPA'a that are more drinkable, I've had none that were more enjoyable.

Notes: Warming this beer to room temperature finally brought out some booziness in the scent and taste. I had wondered where it had been hiding. The lactose sugar became more apparent as I also noticed more of the candied papya taste.

Three Floyds pride themselves on making flavorful, quality and unusual brews. Apocalypse Cow embodies all three of these traits.

So Mike was right: I now seek out and enjoy IPA's. My journey into India Pale Ale's developed slowly but Three Floyd's Apocalypse Cow completed the utter destruction of my previous presupposition that I would never be able to enjoy an IPA. Now, as I survey the vast post-Apocalyptic scenery, I find myself craving the freshness that only an IPA can deliver. Nothing will ever be the same.

I give Apocalypse Cow a 9.5 out of 10.

Eis Igian,