Saturday, September 24, 2011

Willimantic Brewing

While in CT, my wanderings brought me to Willimantic Brewing. Since I am here alone and it's about a half hour on back roads, I decided the best course of action was to get the five 4 oz samples. They all looked awesome, but here's what I got:

1). Overseas Mail Octoberfest - on cask.  Very helpfully described as a garnet bier brewed with German malts and hops. Way to be specific, guys. 5.8%. Anyway. Cask is served at proper cellar temperature. Mild malt, light hops. Biscuit aroma. Easy drinking. A nice beer, and god knows I'm grateful for the cask. A bit too subtle in flavor for my personal tastes. Glad it's on cask, I think if it was served any colder it would have been rendered even more subtle still. By the end of my 4 oz, though, I really was enjoying the flavor. Heh. (I'm liveblogging so you are going through the journey with me!)

2). Weiss is Nice. "An unfiltered tart Wheat bier loosely based upon tbe Berliner style." 3.3%abv. Beginner berlinerweiss. Tartness is very understated. Mouthfeel has that tart acidic feel though. No discernable aroma. A mild wheat. Obviously no wheat beer yeast esters, as it's a different style. Once you take the yeast flavor often found in wheat beers, there's not a whole lot of flavor left. Very pale in color. Wish there was a little more flavor characteristic in the malt bill or the tart/sour aspect, but as it is, it's a good way to get the BMC crowd to a weiss. That said, I imagine it would be very refreshing on a hot day. And at 3.3%, you could drink it all day long.

3) Simon Saaz-On. "Unfiltered Saison accentuating Czech Saaz hops and our Saison yeast." 5.7% Familiar saison yeast aroma. Oh! Interesting. The typical fruitiness of the saison yeast is prevalent throughout, but it's beautifully tempered with the Saaz hop bitterness. Saison flavors at the front, bitter saison flavors in the middle, and a hint of hop floral at the literally bitter end (I mean that as a good thing.) Mouthfeel: subtle, bright carbonation,almost tart. An interesting combination of rustic and sophisticated. Gold color. Cloudy due to not being filtered.  Some lacing, not much though. Quite delicious.

4) Saison Noir "unfiltered dark saison with 5 malts and hopped with Crystal, Cascade, and Sybilla for that wonderful farmhouse flavor." Hm. Sybilla? Am I a Philistine for not having heard of this hop before? Is it grown in like some Baltic country or, uh... Alaska? Anyway. 6.1%. Ok well I'm annoyed because it was a sloppy pour and now I am wearing several dark drips on a light colored shirt. Beyond that though,  the saison aroma is not as apparant as the previous beer... The malt mix makes this a very dark and intriguing beer indeed. Easy drinking. Very balanced saison. Dark as a stout or a schwartzbier. Complex flavors. I really like this beer. Even though it's a bit boozier than the others I've tried, it doesn't taste it. Though upon closer inspection, it is a bit warming. But not hot or boozy. I pronounce it: YUM.

Last but not least, the Hurricane Party Pale. I assume it has something to do with Irene? Kegged it that weekend or.something? Otherwise, I dunno what that's about. Anyway, it's described as "an unfiltered pale ale brewed with Pilsner and Crystal malts and plenty of Columbia and Cluster hops tor tbat tropical grapefruit kick." 5.6%. Ooh, interesting. They weren't kidding abput that tropical fruit flavor. I would describe it more as a pineapple rather than a grapefruit though. Aroma- floral hops, lovely. Taste- well balanced but plenty flavorful. The malt bill and the hops marry well. Makes a very enjoyable and drinkable pale ale. Bitter on the finish, complimenting the tropical fruit at the front. Lively mouthfeel. Another winner.

Sadly, I now must depart. But those were some very nice beers. Even the most mild of the group were easy drinking and quite pleasant. Glad I made the trek out! As always, WBC is definitely a great beer destination.

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