Beer Review : Boulevard Brewing Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale
Let me start this review near the end so that I can get this out of the way. This is one outstanding brew! It reminds me of some of the complex Belgian styles I’ve been enjoying as of late. This “farmhouse ale” is merely another name for a Saison style ale, and as a representative of that style it succeeds.
Boulevard Brewing out of St. Louis is one of my top five favorite breweries. Their smokestack series in particular is a work of true brewing art. This is my first time discovering their Tank 7 brew.
It pours a bright and lively yellow, the color of a summer daisy, filling the glass with a frothy head that foams up a solid inch above the brew in the glass. The head slowly subsides but persists through to the very last sip, protecting the beer from the effects of oxygen.
There is a heady spiciness as you breath in the aromas of wheat as of fresh baked bread and pineapple. On the palette this beer clings to your tongue with a smooth mouthfeel. It imparts a dry pepper and lemon tang that quickly fades to a final hoppy bite.
I would pair this beer up with salmon or any form of a creamy pasta dish.
This is one excellent beer. I give it three beers out of three.
Beer Review : Dog Fish Head Punkin Ale
The thing about pumpkin ales is that while you don’t want one tasting too much of cinnamon nutmeg, cloves or pumpkin you do actually want some of those flavors to come through with the beer. This pumpkin beer from Dog Fish Head doesn’t go quite far enough for my tastes. It doesn’t even come close to this rather mild version from Elysian.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a perfectly good red ale - it’s just that there’s not much pumpkin to it. It pours with a light, quickly fading head that pretty much disappears within a minute. It’s a pretty light colored ale that I think tends more towards the brown sugar that went into this recipe. It smells sweet with a hint of vanilla and then backs that up with a bit of the alcohol smells.
When you take your first drink it smoothly coats your tongue with the malty flavors of a standard red ale. It’s only at the very end that you detect something more as the esters ease up your nasal passages and you get a hint of spiciness. Otherwise that’s it.
As far as a red ale goes, this one is just fine, it just doesn’t go nearly far enough on the “pumpkin ale scale” for me.
A Good Beer, one beer out of three.
Beer Review : Elysian Night Owl Pumpkin Ale
One of the worst sins that can be made when brewing a special “seasonal” ale is to do too much of a good thing. This Elysian Night Owl Pumpkin ale is one of the first in what I know will be dozens of “pumpkin” ales released over the coming weeks. And on the front of “doing too much,” this one gets it right by not going there.
I love the color of this amber ale as it so well matches that deep orange brown color of a pumpkin pie as it pours gently into my glass. The head froths up to about an inch before quickly subsiding to a gentle lacing.
As I take a deep whiff from my glass I detect exactly what I’d expect, cinnamon first, then a more subtle nutmeg and cloves follows. While Elysian Brewery put ginger and allspice into the mix as well as roasted and plain pumpkin seeds and raw pumpkin I don’t really detect much of their smells.
Taking another breath and sip which delivers a subtle spicy tingle to my tongue followed by a smooth and slightly sweet ale. The spicy flavors are there but they do not overwhelm the buttery smoothness of the base ale. I have to assume that this smoothness is delivered by the combination of the malt and pumpkin used in the recipe. That smoothness continues throughout every last sip which ends much sooner than I’d like.
As the first of a number of pumpkin ale reviews I am sure I’ll be delivering over the coming weeks, this was a good start. I’ll be picking up the rest of that six pack in the next few days.
I rate this beer with two beers, a very good beer.