In the pursuit of perfect homebrew, failure still makes beer.

Beer Review Time!

I’m trying to develop a beer palate, excuse my fancy snobby language, so I’ve been trying to take notes on any new craft brews I try. I also try to keep my little notebook out of sight, in order to take refuge from the incessant crap-giving it would ultimately bring out in my friends. I’m following a standard tasting procedure I got from BeerAdvocate, but I didn’t bring my flavor wheel with me, so it won’t be quite so standard.

My first reviews came from two beers at the Thirsty Scholar. Nice atmosphere, big yet intimate with bookshelf-centric decor. Decent selection of beer, but more macros than crafts, which was unexpected around Hahvahd – I was expecting some more craft beer with all the snob. And oh yeah – the first scenes of “The Social Network” were filmed there. Our waitress, Britta, sat and had a drink with us afterwards, which was also cool. But I digress.

Drifter Pale Ale: Draft, Glass Tumbler

Appearance 4/5 – Caramel overall, with bronze to red tones. Pours clear with a thin white head which disappears quickly. Laces lightly on the glass.

Aroma 3.5 / 5 – Not much here. Malty with a hint of herbal earthiness. Lemon citrus notes.

Taste 3/5 – Bitter on the front end, with a sweet malty middle. Herbal greens on the back end. Not much bittering flavor. Not what I expected from an APA.

Mouthfeel 3/5 – Thin and crisp at the start. Gets chewy as it warms, almost like the malt sugar is affecting the density.

Drinkability 4/5 – A little heavy for the style, but hides its alcohol while it sits around 5.9%.

My grade – 3.5 / 5.0 I’d drink it again, but tentatively.

Sea Dog Riverdriver Hazelnut Porter – Draft, Glass Tumbler

Appearance 3.5/5 –  Dark brown to red, no sediment. No floating carbonation. Thin beige-colored head which dissipates quickly.

Aroma 4/5 – Sweet, caramel malt smell. No real hop aroma. Notes of hazelnut aren’t overpowering.

2/5  Tastes a lot like drinking a Starbucks iced black coffee – too sweet and candylike. The hazelnut hits like a ton of bricks, evolving into a wine-like character before bitter coffee character comes up the back. Slightly acidic aftertaste.

Mouthfeel 4/5 – Heavier, but still smooth. Stays that way towards the end of the beer. Carbonation is too light.

Drinkability 3.5 / 5 – A bit of warming at the end. Not much else here.

My grade – 3 / 5. A little too sweet for my tastes, but I would be able to stomach it again.

Those are my initial reviews. I also want to mention I had a Watou Belgian Tripel Abbey Ale over the weekend, but I didn’t review it. I will say, it was DE-freaking-LICIOUS.

Drank with Alipali. What a fox she is.

But those kinds of beers are way too complex for my novice palate right now. After maybe 100 more reviews, I’d be able to really review correctly something like that. But hold crap, it was delicious, especially paired with the mango chicken we had with it. But that’s for another post. 


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