Posts Tagged ‘Left Hand’

A Couple Weird Beers

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

There are a few kinds of beer that I don’t drink much of, often beers with strange ingredients. Well tonight I have two, Left Hand Juju Ginger and O’Fallon Cherry Chocolate beer. I’m concerned about the ginger lingering in my mouth, so I’ll taste the chocolate one first.

The Cherry Chocolate Beer pours a very hazy burnt orange color. Some creamy off-white head rests atop. The nose is strong with cherry and chocolate flavorings, like a plate of cherry pie filling and tootsie rolls. There is only a bit of malt character that comes off as graham crackers.

The initial flavor seems much like a chocolate-covered cherry, but right away you notice it is actually quite dry. A balancing hop bitterness actually makes this beer quite balanced. The chocolate flavor melds into the malt, and an herbal hoppiness proves that this is beer. The cherry flavor lingers just a bit, a bit too sharp and at odds with the rest of the menagerie. Were it not for this, the Cherry Chocolate would be very drinkable.

The Good Juju Ginger pours a nearly clear copper-tinted straw color. There is almost not head, but what’s there is white. The aroma is fairly mild, with some ginger character and just a bit of malt. It almost smells like a ginger soda.

The flavor is likewise quite mild and mostly ginger. The noticeable bitterness from the hops and the spiciness of the ginger meld together. There may be an herbal hop flavor as well, and there is just the faintest malt sweetness. The carbonation is high, reinforcing the impression of soda.

+Left Hand Good Juju Ginger

3.5 (2-7-8-3-15)

+/-O’Fallon Cherry Chocolate

2.9 (4-6-6-2-11)

Oktoberfest: Domestics

Friday, October 30th, 2009

2009-10-30-lhThe month of October is almost over, and Munich’s Theresienwiese has been empty for weeks. Perhaps it’s about time for me to move on from my festbier stint. But before I do I must try a few domestic Oktoberfests. After all, they say the highest-selling festbier is not Bavarian, but American (Sam Adams). I won’t be trying that one tonight, but I do have a few good selections from Left Hand of Longmont, Colorado, Bell’s Brewery in Comstock, Michigan, and August Schell out of New Ulm, Minnesota.

The Left Hand Oktoberfest pours an orange-amber with a little creamy straw head. The nose is very thin.2009-10-30-bells A bit of herbal hops and the faintest hint of malt are overpowered by a strange vegetal character and cider aroma. A smooth malty flavor makes up for this. Rich toast character is backed up by a residual sweetness that is perhaps a little too strong, leaving a bit of a cloying sensation.

Bell’s Octoberfest is a yellower goldenrod with the same amount of white head. It also has a light aroma, with a good noble hop character and some toast. This same balance is reflected in the flavor, featuring a rich herbal and notably bitter hop profile accompanied by a clean malt taste. Just a bit of mouthcoating despite active carbonation.

The Schell Octoberfest is a gamboge color with a bit of bone-white head. A sweet, mildly malty nose almost escapes taint from the cider aroma.2009-10-30-schell A sweet, mildly malty flavor almost escapes taint from the DMS corn taste. The high level of residual sweetness and lack of bitterness throw the balance all out of whack.

+/-Bell’s Octoberfest

3.4 (3-7-6-4-14)

+/-Left Hand Oktoberfest

3.0 (3-5-7-3-12)

+/-Schell Octoberfest

2.6 (3-6-5-2-10)