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

I’ve got that Slumbrew Millionaire Feeling

So as I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve most recently become a Slumbassador. This moniker refers to the amicable members of the Slumbrew street team, who run your Slumbrew beer tastings and generally are delightfully quirky. Look for our patches and our happy demeanor all around the city, and even all over the NE region.

But, I’ll be honest in saying that while having all of the beers a few times before my first tasting assignment, I never really wrote down any notes. So, in an effort to bring the beer to more audiences and to help my own tasting perceptions, I sat down with a few friends and went through their current (but ever-changing) lineup of commercially produced beers.

I picked a few that have been around the craft beer scene for a while alongside some that are just getting into it in order to get ideas about how to communicate the properties of the beer to people who may not speak the lingo. (A.K.A someone who is a little confused about what words like “barnyard,” “resinous,” or “Brett” mean with respect to beer.)

Disclaimer #1: I like all these beers. But you should go out and try them for yourself. I’ve posted the website taste descriptions alongside the beer itself, so you can go and write your own review on BeerAdvocate if you see fit. They were tasted in what I feel was the best order, since the bitterness of the IPA could be so destructive to your palate you wouldn’t be able to taste much else anymore.

Disclaimer #2: When you get a bunch of people really looking to find what a beer tastes like, after a while the words that come out can be rather odd. Enjoy.

Slumbrew Happy Sol

Website Description: A refreshingly tart and crisp hefeweizen brewed with local MA wildflower honey, orange peel and coriander, and fermented with the juice from over 1,000 blood oranges. It’s a cloudy, yet effervescent beer, with lingering banana and citrus notes balanced against a healthy wheat backbone and hoppy finish from Mt. Hood and Crystal hops.

Our tasting panel:

  • Aroma: Tart, pleasant, lightly toasted wheat aroma; no herbs/earth/dirt; bananas and cloves.
  • Taste: Darker citrus flavor as opposed to sugary sweet oranges; fuzzy malt and caramel sweetness; palate clensing
  • Appearance: hazy opacity, lacing eggshell white foam that lingers
  • Mouthfeel: smooth and refreshingly mild
  • Overall Reaction: “Outside, late-summer balcony all night drink;” “Dead of summer, poolside”

Slumbrew Porter Square Porter

Website Description: Rich black porter with a unique blend of chocolate, coffee, roasted and nutty flavors. Brewed with cocoa powder and conditioned with cacao nibs from Taza Chocolate. Bold flavors from the cacao nibs and black malts are balanced with a special blend of pale malts, oats and wheat to produce a lush and lingering mouthfeel.

Our Tasting Panel:

  • Aroma: Sweet Coffee, roasted dark malts, some nice balanced cocoa
  • Taste: Roasted, coffee, dark chocolate; sweetness lingers a bit but tempered by black-coffee bitterness; fantastic chocolate flavor
  • Appearance: Root-beer-brown foam, dark toupe in color
  • Mouthfeel: Moderately creamy, rolls off the tongue to dissipate before lingering too long
  • Overall Reaction: “Pair this with a chocolate dessert or cheesecake;” “I never thought I’d want to make a beer float, but this is worth it;” Really delicious, like I’m drinking dessert!”

Slumbrew Trekker Tripel

Website Description: This smooth and alluring Belgian golden ale is full of complex fruity pineapple flavors set against a spicy finish. Dried jasmine flowers added in the boil work with a higher alcohol level to augment Belgian pilsen, caramel and honey malts. Hop character is distinctly Chinook with an aromatic peppery finish that comes from Motueka hops grown in New Zealand.

Our Tasting Panel:

  • Aroma: Floral, Belgian-style aroma; sweet berries
  • Taste: Ripe, fresh flavors of pears, nectarines; floral-hoppy aftertaste; no hot flavors, but warms your throat on the way down
  • Appearance: Very carbonated, but quickly dissipating head
  • Mouthfeel: Thin and drinkable, dangerously refreshing
  • Overall Reaction: “Yummy!” “I’d bring it to one-person parties.”

Slumbrew Flagraiser IPA

Website Description: Huge aroma and resin-y flavors from the elusive Galaxy hops are the signature of this beer. Built on a solid base of pale malts, this double IPA makes generous use of hops from Columbus, Crystal and Galaxy with the Galaxy hops taking the lead during ten days of aggressive dry-hopping.

Our Tasting Panel:

  • Aroma: Resinous, hop-forward
  • Appearance: Red-Blonde, very “sticky” lacing
  • Taste: Face-smashing hop bitterness with an earthy kick, malt backbone adds to complexity, lingering bitterness
  • Mouthfeel: medium-bodied, smooth
  • Overall Reactions: “This beer can turn my day around.”

Please, do yourself a favor and pick up a bomber of any of these beers or a pint at your local Boston beer bar. I promise you, you won’t be disappointed.


One response

  1. Dana

    Nice reviews. I haven’t had the Trippel or the IPA (as I’m not a big IPA guy) but I did have the Happy Sol and the Porter.. We are coming into the perfect weather for the refreshing citrus kissed beer. I am IN LOVE with the porter.. Just when I was tired of people adding chocolate to beer, Slumbrew made me believe again. A perfect porter, with perfectly balanced chocolate notes.

    May 17, 2012 at 10:21 pm

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