In the continuing run up to New Belgium’s appearance in Ohio I’m doing a review of their flagship beer, Fat Tire. Like Accumulation and Ranger New Belgium sent this to me to review and help introduce our readers to their beers. Also like Ranger I previously reviewed this beer while on vacation in North Carolina, where New Belgium will soon be opening a new, second, brewery to compliment their original location in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Named in honor of our co-founder’s bike trip through Europe, Fat Tire Amber Ale marks a turning point in the young electrical engineer’s home brewing. Belgian beers use a far broader palette of ingredients (fruits, spices, esoteric yeast strains) than German or English styles. Together with co-founder Kim Jordan, they traveled around sampling their homebrews to the public. Fat Tire won fans with its sense of balance: toasty, biscuit-like malt flavors coasting in equilibrium with hoppy freshness. Fat Tire: Pairs well with people.
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If you haven’t heard then I’m happy to tell you that New Belgium Brewing Company will be coming to Ohio on December 16th, just over a month away. In perpetration for there roll out they kindly hooked me up with some samples. We took a taste of Accumulation last week when the first snows fell and today I’m trying their Ranger IPA. I first reviewed New Belgium’s Ranger IPA last year after bringing a bottle back from North Carolina.
Bring out the hops! This clear amber beauty bursts at the starting gate with an abundance of hops: Cascade (citrus), Chinook (floral/citrus), and Simcoe (fruity) lead off the beer, with Cascade added again for an intense dry hop flavor. Brewed with pale and dark caramel malts that harmonize the hop flavor from start to finish, Ranger is a sessionable splendor for all you hopinistas. Thank your Beer Ranger!
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In the beginning of my adventure into stouts I had one of Great Divide’s Oak Aged Yeti bottles and didn’t think too highly of it. With all the other imperial stouts coming out recently I decided to pick up the Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti and give it my thoughts. First off here is Great Divide’s sales pitch:
CHOCOLATE OAK AGED YETI IMPERIAL STOUT is another revered incarnation of our legendary imperial stout. We toned down the hops a bit to allow cocoa nibs to contribute some pleasing bitterness, while vanilla notes from the oak combine with the cocoa to create an aroma and flavor akin to a gourmet chocolate bar. A dash of cayenne keeps things lively, adding just a bit of heat to the finish. Another great Yeti? Hell yes.
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So far my excursion into dark beers has been less than stunning especially this week with cans of Guinness Draught and Murphy’s. I expect this beer to radically change all that, at the very least in terms of getting me drunk since this is more than double the ABV of either of those two.
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This is the last of the beers that Oskar Blues provided for us to review but keep looking forward to the Ten FIDY review in the next few weeks. So far I’ve really enjoyed everything they’ve made. I had G’Knight (imperial red) a few months back and it’s still my favorite, then Deviant Dale’s India Pale Ale is next up, followed by Mama’s Little Yella Pils, and lastly Oskar Blues’ scotch ale Old Chub. I’m happy to be drinking this red, white, and blue can of Dale’s Pale Ale after having done my civic duty and voted. As always, on to the beer!
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Continuing the hookup from Oskar Blues I’m trying their Scotch ale, Old Chub, tonight and tomorrow night will bring my review of Dale’s Pale Ale. This is a strong scotch ale, aka a wee heavy, and like all scotch ales feature lots of malt and almost no hops. This is historically due to the fact that hops don’t grow in Scotland and were expensive to import. Enough of that, onto the beer.
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Here comes the second of the four beers that OB hooked us up with. This is a pilsner, something I don’t think has every been reviewed on this blog before. They’ve gotten a bad rap in the past 15 or so years by us craft beer geeks. Some big brewers decided to brew the living crap out of this beer and to do so in the most cost effective way possible. That has turned out great for their bottom line, but less great for our taste buds. But that’s their fault (and our fault for buying it) it’s not the fault of the style of beer. This is a great, complex, and classic style of beer. One that I’m happy to give some more attention to here.
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