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, September 28, 2010

Coming Soon... Micro Reviews

When I first started posting reviews, I tried to write detailed accounts that highlighted as much of the experience as I could capture. More recently I have been trying to shorten my reviews a bit, mostly for the sake of saving time.

Even then, I still put a fair amount of thought into what I have to say and how I want to say it. Due to the cost in time I have found that I'm not typically writing reviews for beer that I wouldn't rate at least a 6 and even worse, I sometimes push interesting beer to the back of my fridge because I don't want to "waste" drinking it without reviewing it.

Some of the "alternative" review formats that Charles and Laura have been using got me to thinking that I'd like to try some shorter reviews. I am going to try a "Micro Review" style where I just hit the high points and give a quick summary. Or maybe even just the high points or just the summary.

I'll still write detailed reviews for the Beer Missions and I'm sure plenty of brews will inspire careful illustration, but I'm looking forward to trying my hand at a more expedient format.

Eis Igian,

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mission No. 2...success

Wow, I am really beginning to enjoy beer.  My picks for the challenge were all amazing and I kind of knew that going in. I chose the Westmalle Dubbel, Westmalle Tripel, and Allagash Four Ale to sample the differences in flavor between a dubbel, tripel and a quad.

The Dubbel is just the perfect loyal reliable contender that I knew it would it be as it amazes you both in the initial taste and after effect.   The first time I tried it I was tasting beers every other night by just drinking half of the bottle; I did not stop by just drinking half the bottle with the dubbel.  
The tripel doesn't settle as nicely as the dubbel, but its flavor is a home run.  It has a lot of carbonation, a little bit clearer appearance, and a little more of a kick.
And finally the Quad had the most amazing flavor out the three delivering a taste I had never had before, but now absolutely desire to have again.  With its warm 10% alcohol rating it manages to not overwhelm you while transferring a healthy dose of delicious amber successfully to its new resting place....my belly.  Grabbing the Allagash at $16 a bottle (priced at $20) I was a little nervous not knowing if it would live up to the price; I was pleasantly rewarded for my purchase.

If other quads are as rich in flavor and balanced in alcohol punch I think I might have a new favorite.  In short, the quad won the contest in fullness and flavor and desirability.  Since I didn't take the minute to write the review when I had tasted these amazing contenders I won't finish with the normal bullet point statistics.  All you have to know is that Allagash is truly an amazing beer along with the greatness that is Westmalle and is now on my sweet 16 hall of fame.

Success was indeed reached through this new mission as I found a new friend...Allagash.

Broma Theon


Sunday, September 19, 2010

PBR Gets the Blue Ribbon

Brewer/Brew: Pabst Brewing Company / Pabst Blue Ribbon
Style: American Adjunct Lager
Source: Straight out of the can and into an English half-pint

My opinion of this brew...
Well, I gave PBR the winning spot for the 1st Beer Mission! Granted, I tried only a handful of the many American Adjunct Lagers that are out there, but nonetheless, Pabst Blue Ribbon was my favorite. As I took my first sip, I tasted a little hint of lemon (just a smidgen). The flavor is neither sweet nor bitter and doesn't offend my taste buds at all. As the beer leaves my tongue, I taste a slight wheat aftertaste (something pleasant in my book). Mmmmm, it's just plain enjoyable and cost me less than $1 at the local liquor store. What more could I ask for??! Each mouthful leaves me wanting another one. Interestingly, the taste isn't really striking, but rather it's mild & has just enough flavor to be memorable. I truly like this beer and would certainly pay for another one. Congrats PBR and thanks for being less than a dollar!

My rating: 7 out of 10

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I Found My Mojo!

Brew Details and Conditions:
Brewer: Boulder Beer
Brew: Mojo India Pale Ale
Style: American IPA
Source: On tap @ Scotty's Brewhouse
Glass: Standard Pint Glass
Temp: Unknown

Appearance: My glass showed up with cloudy light golden brew adorned with a small white head.
Scent: Bringing this ale to my nose revealed floral and citrus aromas followed by light notes of bittering hops. Somewhere in the background, I think I smell hints of mango. This is a very nice smelling brew!
Taste: Mojo is a pretty complex tasting beer. The taste begins with an abundance of citrus flavors: I can taste mango, grapefruit and even a little peach. As the taste transitions into the aftertaste, there is a dry, crisp grapefruit finish and unless my tastes deceive me, a touch of wheat.
Drinkability: This is a very watery ale with virtually unnoticeable carbonation. Mojo is a very "sessionable" IPA.
Notes: I didn't let my glass quite reach room temperature, but I did detect that warmth brought out a little booziness in the taste which was surprising as Mojo only tips the scales at 6.8%. Overall, I really enjoyed this brew. It is tasty, light and has a great aroma.

I give this brew an 8 out of 10.

Eis Igian,

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dark vs Dark

This will not be extensive as I'm crazy busy tonight, but I thought I'd share non-the-less. I thought I would try Beck's Dark vs Shiner Bohemian Black Lager. Hands down the Shiner won the contest. I would not have guessed the local Shiner, TX brewery would outperform the German giant Becks, but that's probably because they are different beers. Shiner Black Lager is a Schwarzbier and the Beck's is a Munich Dunkel Lager. Next time I'll try the beers in their categories. I admit that I was just shooting for a dark vs dark and am glad I found the Shiner as I was very impressed. Without a formal review I would rate it an 8.

Here is a link to different Dunkels, sounds funny making that word plural.

Here is a link to different Schwarzbier beers.

broma theon,


A Belgian of a different sorts

While many of the Belgians that I've enjoyed are time honored styles, the Belgian IPA is a relative newcomer. As the name indicates, this is a Belgian take on the IPA.

Brew Details and Conditions:
Brewer: Picobrouwerij Alvinne / Den Bierzolder
Brew: Alvinne Extra Restyled
Style: Belgian IPA
Source: 11.2 oz Bottle
Glass: Large Wine Glass
Temp: 45 deg.

Appearance: The hazy golden colored ale poured with a very small head that didn't last long.
Scent: The scent of this one is an odd combination of aromas. I pick up on estery notes, followed by light yeast and finally slightly citrus hops. It smells like a Belgian Pale Ale... and a little like an IPA.
Taste: The initial taste is lightly citrus and little bit sour, once again quite like a Belgian Pale Ale. There is a small bitter aftertaste that must be the hops desperately trying to announce themselves.
Drinkability: The body of this brew is watery and lightly carbonated. A medium amount of taste + a medium alcohol content + a light body = a very drinkable ale.
Notes: This is only my second experience with a Belgian IPA, so I am not yet well versed with the style. While this brew is much more Belgian Pale Ale than IPA, I believe that is par for the style. Mostly this beer makes me think of a Belgian Pale Ale, only a little bit more sour and bitter. Overall, it's an enjoyable brew and something interesting enough to buy.

I give this brew a 6 out of 10.

Eis Igian,

Monday, September 6, 2010

Mission #2: Tackling the Tandem Trappist Task...

Since everyone seems to be in the mood to drink trappist brews lately, I figured it was time to deploy the beer brigade on a mission that I have been kicking around for awhile. Originally, I had planned to embark on this mission alone, but then I came to my senses and realized the extreme personal danger of being overwhelmed by those crafty trappists and their high gravity beers. Yes, troops... we are in this together, and you will want backup on this mission.

The Mission
This mission is basically an opportunity to further develop a palate while sampling some of the finest trappist beverages that are widely available. Brasserie de Rochefort makes the Trappistes Rochefort 6 (Belgian Strong Dark Ale), the Trappistes Rochefort 8 (another Belgian Strong Dark Ale), and the Trappistes Rochefort 10 (Quadrupel). The mission is simply to try these three beers and pick out the differences between them. The sweet malt backbone, apparent use of spices instead of hops, the dark fruit esters, and the differing alcohol content of each of these beers are all important characteristics that may help to distinguish differences and further develop your palate.

Mission Parameters
1) I do not think it is necessary to review each of these beers for this mission, but you can if you wish. A summary post of your adventures with the Rocheforts should give everyone a good idea of what these beers are all about.
2) Try to address the following questions during this beer mission: Did you like these beers? What did they taste like? What are the differences between them?
Optional parameter - If you wish, you can also try the St. Bernardus Abt 12 (Quadrupel) by the Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV and compare it to the Rochefort 10. How are these two beers different and which one (if you have a preference) did you prefer?

This beer mission is meant to be enjoyable without having to think too much. In my opinion, these are all great beers that will enhance your life with their unique characters. Have fun with this mission and enjoy the beer!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Orval Trappist Ale

With the words 'trappist' and 'Belgium' on the bottle I was sold immediately.  The initial taste is not the splendor that Westmalle is, but the more you drink it the better the aftertaste intermingles with the taste buds and provides a pleasant surprise.

Brew Details: Orval brewed byBrasserie D' Orval, Belgium
Serving Conditions: Served directly from the uncalibrated fridge into my 'Duvel' tulip glass.
Appearance: A very foggy amber, reminiscent of a hefeweizen.
Scent: Smells amazing, reminds me of other trappist ales.
Taste: Smooth, but a touch more bitter than I expected.
Mouthfeel: Lots of carbonation with a great warm aftertaste.
Drinkability: I could have another one, but I wouldn't choose it purposely.

It gets a 7.5, because the more you drink it, the better it tastes due to the amazing aftertaste.  The Belgium's generally do not disappoint and this is a great beer, just not in comparison to the Westmalle Trappist Ale.