Pabst Blue Ribbon

2013-03-29 08.20.31My father-in-law was looking in the fridge for a beer, but all I had were the specialty beers I bought in the mixed packs. Since these had been bought for this blog, he felt guilty taking the Kirin Ichiban. (I’ll have to pick up a new one of those to review.) I felt that we needed something around the house to drink without feeling the need to review, so I picked up an 18 pack of Pabst. But, of course, I’m going to review it.

Pabst Blue Ribbon is an old American beer. The original Pabst Brewing Co. was founded in 1844. Since that time, the beer has fluctuated in popularity. Today, the beer is selling better than it has over the past several decades, and it deserves it.

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Pabst is crisp and dry. It goes down smooth leaving a mildly yeasty, bread-like aftertaste. It’s refreshing and enjoyable. The best part about Pabst is its value. I got eighteen beers for $11. That’s just slightly over 60 cents a bottle!

Would I buy Pabst again? Of course I would. Pabst is a wonderful value beer. Should you buy Pabst? Well, that’s hard to say. If you’re really picky with your beer, the monetary savings might not be enough to convince you to drink Pabst. But, if you like a beer that isn’t pretending to be something else, Pabst is a good, honest selection.

I give Pabst Blue Ribbon 3/5 caps.

Red Nectar

2013-03-29 08.26.03Red Nectar is brewed by Nectar Ales, a relatively young brewery founded in 1987. (I say relatively young since it was founded within my lifetime as apposed to breweries from which my grandfather probably drank.) The brewery claims this is in the style of an American Amber Ale, but it is, without question, unique.

Being a fan of red ales, I’ll often gravitate toward beers that have ‘red’ somewhere in their name. Sometimes this leads me in the right direction as with Red Chair NWPA, and sometimes it leads me in the wrong direction as with RedRice. Luckily for me, it seems to be leading me in the right direction more than the wrong one.

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As I poured my bottle of Red Nectar, the red coloring filled me with great hope. It appeared the same as my favorite beers. But, I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that a beer with ‘nectar’ in its name and pictures of humming birds on the label and cap should offer a flowery first sip. I immediately thought I was going to be disappointed by this beer, but as I drank it, the flavor revealed a complex estery quality. This beer’s evolving flavor leaves the drinker with something to think about. Luckily (for me), I didn’t have to think too hard as the flavor quickly revealed itself to be pleasant throughout the beer.

This turned out to be a very enjoyable experience. Would I buy this beer again? Yes. I’d enjoy this beer on a relaxing evening when there wasn’t much to distract me from it. I think it would also be a nice beer to accompany a visit from a friend where the intention is to sit, drink and talk. Its taste would provide its own topic for conversation. Should you buy this beer? If you like a slightly complex beer that will demand a bit of your attention, then yes.

I give this beer 4/5 caps.

La Rossa Birra Morietti

2013-03-29 09.15.10La Rossa Birra Morietti comes from an old brewery founded in 1859. At that time, the region in which this brewery was founded was still part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. With the unification of Italy in 1861, this beer developed decidedly Italian features. This heritage undoubtedly lends to this beer’s unique flavor and appeal.

La Rossa is sweet, but it has a dry finish. It’s a very light flavor, almost thin. It’s a vinous beer, wine-like, but not fruity. I thought this might be a good beer for someone who was not a big fan of beer, so asked my wife to try a sip. Although she didn’t gag (about as good a sign as I get from my wife when beer is concerned) she wouldn’t call herself a fan.

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Am I a fan of this beer? No, and I wouldn’t buy it again. It’s not terrible, but it’s not something I’d like to drink. Should you drink this beer? Maybe. If you’re learning about beers, as am I, it’s worth tasting. It’ll be good to have as a comparison to other vinous beers. Who knows? This might be the right beer for your tastes.

I’ll give this beer 3/5 caps. It’s not deserving of less, but in my mind it’s certainly not deserving of more.

Session Black Lager

2013-03-20 09.43.02Session is brewed by the Full Sail Brewing Co. Under this label, they offer the commonly found Session Premium Lager and Session Black Lager as well as the more rarely found Session Fest Red Lager. Session Black was on sale this past week.

Session is bottled in those little stubby neck bottles, meaning they’re only 11 ounces a bottle. One ounce doesn’t seem like much of a difference, but in a twelve-pack, that’s a whole beer that you don’t get. That’s the same reason I never eat at Quizno’s. Ten inches instead of 12? No thanks.

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But Session Black is better than a toasty sub. This beer has a light chocolaty taste. It is full bodied and very tasty. It has all of the flavor you’d expect from a dark beer but isn’t as overwhelming as other dark beers can be. I imagine this is due to its lighter alcohol content as compared to other dark beers.

Would I buy this beer again? Sure. It’s delicious, and it goes on sale fairly often. Should you buy this beer? Yeah, that sounds like a good idea.

I give this beer 4/5 caps.

Urthel Hop-It

2013-03-20 09.42.18Urthel Hop-It is a product of the Netherlands. It is a blonde ale that boasts of its choice of hops on the bottle – not surprising with a name like Hop-It. As far as its art, it has an amusing, gnome-like individual happily raising his beer on both the label and the cap. I’ll be very pleased to place this cap in an easily viewed position on the table.

This was one of the beers I bought from Total Wine and More during their opening weekend event. It was another beer grabbed haphazardly from the shelf without actually checking the price. Again, this single beer cost the same as a six-pack of another brand.

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Hop-It had a very pleasant hoppy taste, though this was mostly noticed in the aftertaste.  There was some other aspect of the aftertaste that I couldn’t quite place, but it wasn’t a negative. The beer was mildly bitter, and it was quite enjoyable.

Would I buy this beer again? Based on the price, probably not. However, I’d be really happy to drink this beer again. Should you try this beer? Yeah, if you have deep pockets. If you ever see it at a gathering or for a decent price, pick it up. It’s an enjoyable beer that you won’t regret drinking.

I’d give this beer 4/5 caps.

Odell IPA

2013-03-10 13.22.52Like Chang beer, this beer has an elephant on the label. Unlike Change, this beer has no elephant on the cap. The caps from Odell brewery are all the same design, but at least this brewery changes the colors of their caps as they change their beers. Because of this, I’ll be trying more from this brewery in the future. I hope they’ll be better than their IPA.

The first thing I noticed about this beer was a large amount of sediment on the bottom of the bottle. I tried to pour the beer, carefully, but it was of little use. A good amount of the sediment made it into the poured beer.

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Upon pouring the beer, I noticed a strong, grapefruit-like scent. After my experience with the Marble IPA, I was a little hesitant to take that first sip. When I did, the flavor of grapefruit was unsurprisingly present. However, this beer was slightly more enjoyable than the Marble as the grapefruit flavor was not as sour.

Would I buy this beer again? No. I’m really not a fan of the grapefruit flavor. This is something I’m going to pay closer attention to as I drink more IPAs. Should you try this beer? Well, if you like a drink that you can have at either dinner or breakfast, go for it.

I’ll give this beer 2/5 caps.