Rogue Dead Guy Ale

Color: deep amber in color, Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale looks a lot like an amber ale.  The head is frothy and white with little to no lacing as it settles.

Aroma: Bready notes of malt and a little biscuit without any suggestion of hops.

Taste: Sweet and malty with hints of honey and cane sugar.  There are some slightly floral hop characteristics backing it up but the finish is smooth and clean.

Body: Medium bodied and slightly sticky this is an easy drinking beer.

Other Specs

  • ABV: 6.8%
  • No date visible on bottle or packaging but it’s the new label so we’re pretty sure it’s fresh.

Why That Glass?

Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale is an ale in the maibock style which gives us couple of different options for a Maibock. For Maibocks I’ll typically look for either a pilsner or a seidel.

For presentation purposes the pilsner is the way to go. You get a good look at the beer’s color while the narrower body and mouth help with head retention.  With it’s spicy notes, the Dead Guy Ale, would go really well in a pilsner glass.

So why did we go with a seidel?  When I opened the bottle and got my first whiff of the beer’s bready aroma I knew I was gonna have two or three of these. I could have gone for a pint but the aroma was so inviting I really wanted a little extra sense of it.  Hence, seidel.

More About this Maibock

The Dead Guy Ale is a beer that I’m kind of surprised I haven’t had before.  I’ve tried a lot of Rogue’s beers but  for some reason this one has alluded me (or didn’t make an impression).

Breckenridge Brewery NVP (Nitro Vanilla Porter)

Breckenridge Brewery's NVP (Nitro Vanilla Porter)
Nitro Vanilla Porter in a Pint Nonic Pint

Breckenridge’s NVP pours dark brown to almost black with about a finger of off white head that’s creamy like you’d expect from a nitrogenated beer. A thin layer of this head sticks around all the way down to the end of the glass.

The aroma is what you’d expect from a vanilla porter. I’m mostly getting roasted coffee, hints of chocolate milky-goodness, and bits of vanilla. As a dark beer guy, this is what I crave.

The taste is all malt – coco, roasted coffee – plus hints of vanilla. It’s sweet and it’s smooth and it’s everything I want out of a porter. No hint of hops – just silky smooth goodness.

Nitro style beers are silky and smooth and the NVP is no exception. It’s the right kind of creamy with a little bit lingering between sips.

This is another one of those beers that I treat as a dessert. Skip the ice cream, skip the brownies, have a couple of these and relax.  Actually, a scoop of vanilla or coffee ice-cream would be a great companion!

Other Notes

  • ABV: 5.4%
  • IBU: 16
  • A date of some sort appears on the bottom of the can as Month B Day (backwards-“B”) Year. (more on this below)

Why that Glass?

For stouts and porters I usually reach for one of three glasses, a pint (nonic or tulip), a seidel, or a snifter. With an ABV of only 5.4% the NVP falls into “sessionable” territory which narrows that down to seidel or pint.

Nitro beers look and taste better in pint glasses, so this was an easy choice.

More About This Nitro Vanilla Porter

Breckenridge’s regular Vanilla Porter is a beer I stop for often.  It’s a go-to sessionable porter that’s great for winter months or pairing with cold desserts. Having a chance to try it as a Nitro beer was definitely worth it!

I picked up this four-pack at O’Hara’s liquors in Worcester for about $12.  As of early March 2017 it was also on one of the Nitro lines at The Fix in Worcester.

The Willi Becher or Willybecher

Harpoon Octoberfest in a Willi Becher
Octoberfest beer in a Willy Becher

The Willi Becher is also known as the Willybecher or German-Style Pub Glass.

While not terribly popular here in the US this glass the go-to pint throughout Germany.

This German-style pint glass is similar to the shaker pint but about two-thirds of the way up its body the body tapers back inwards just slightly.

Some pilsner glasses have a similar design.

Benefits of a Willi Becher Glass

With it’s tall slender body and tapered head the glass shares a lot of function with the tulip pint glass.  The glass shows off a beer’s clarity, color and head in a rather striking way.  It’s tapered top also helps with head retention and trapping more elusive aromas inside the glass.

Larger versions of this glass also serve well for larger bottles of beer if you know you’ll be drinking at a “session” pace.

Other Notes

In the US, Willi Becher Glasses are typically 20 ounce glasses but you may also see them listed with sizes ranging from 0.2 l (roughly 5 ounces) up to 0.5 l (roughly 17 ounces) depending on the manufacturer.

What Beer Goes with a Willybecher Glass?

This glass pairs great with most german style ales and lagers so long as the ABV remains in the sub 6% region (give or take a bit.)  I specifically like them for märzens and rauchbiers.

You can also use the Willybecker to sub in for a pint or seidel when drinking something packaged in a 20 ounce bottle.

Where can I buy Willi Becher Glasses?

If you’re still starting your collection the Libbey Craft Brew Sampler Beer Glass Set that we’ve reviewed previously includes one as a “Craft Pub Glass” and is a pretty decent set-starter.  Outside of that you can also occasionally find them in Oktoberfest themed gift sets at your local liquor store.

If you’ve already got a decent collection of glasses I’d recommend just grabbing this in a four-pack of the Libbey glasses on Amazon.  They’re marketed as the Craft Pub Glass and can be seen below.

You should expect to pay around $4 a glass.

Tröegs Troegenator Double Bock

Tröegs Troegenator in a Pilsner Glass
Tröegs Troegenator in a Pilsner

Troegenator is deep ruby red moving towards brown with a thick fluffy toffee colored head.

It smells sweet and malty with hints of cherry, dates, and raisins.  You can tell right away that this is going to be a rich beer.

Up front I’m getting some bready malt flavors which are followed by dark cherry, raisins, and maybe a little beet sugar. It’s sweet but not overly so.

I’d call it medium bodied with medium carbonation. It lingers briefly with a mild sweetness.

Overall Troegenator is very tasty but a bit rich for extended drinking.  This falls into the realm of what I consider a “dessert beer.”  One, maybe two, after dinner and look forward to more tomorrow.

Other Specs

  • ABV: 8.2%
  • IBU: 25
  • A “Freshest By” date is printed on the label.
  • Troegenator is a year-round offering from Tröegs.

Why That Glass?

Doppelbock beers are best served in either a seidel or a pilsner glass. I personally prefer a pilsner because it kind of slows down how quickly I drink them.

With a rich, higher ABV, beer I like to move a bit slowly so I can really get a chance to experience it fully.  I’d end up drinking it took quickly from a seidel and my palate would get overwhelmed.

More about this Double Bock

Among the beers I’ve sampled since launch Tröegs has one of the more informative labels I’ve seen.  It offers up a suitable amount of info for your average beer geek and clearly offers up a “Freshest By” date which is excellent.

This info is easy to find and made grabbing this six-pack go much faster.

The Portion of a Troegenator Label Showing basic Info
Troegenator Info Block

Pop on over to Tröegs’ official page for this beer and you’ll find something really cool.  Towards the bottom of the page there’s a link to a PDF file providing food pairing notes.  Tröegs lists Complimentary, Contrasting, and “Adverse” flavors.

I might have to revisit this beer and try some food pairings!

The Thistle, or Scotch Ale, Glass

The thistle glass is a variation of the tulip glass designed specifically to look like a thistle. The glass is relatively tall, often holding between 15 and 20 ounces making it slightly larger than your average tulip. It features a long stem, pronounced bowl (or bulb), and is topped with flaring sides.

The design is specifically meant to resemble Scotland’s national floral emblem which provides a pretty direct clue towards its usage.

Benefits of a Thistle Glass

Like the tulip glass, the thistle glass has both formal and functional benefits. It’s pronounced bowl and flaring sides show off a beer’s rich color. The flared sides aid in head retention giving the beer something of a floral appearance – as if blooming in the glass.

These features also help with head retention (just like in the tulip glass) while the taller flared sides trap aromas in a space which delivers them easily to your nose and palate.

What Beer Goes with a Thistle Glass?

As mentioned, the thistle glass is designed to represent the Scottish thistle. That points us towards almost any beer listed as a Scotch Ale or Wee Heavy.

Scotch Ales are stronger, dark ales which tend to be on the the sweet side so you could also experiment a bit with Dark Ales or Quads if you wanted to change things up a bit.

Of course you could always just use a tulip glass in any of these cases.

Where Can I Buy a Thistle Glass?

These glasses will be a bit tricky to find.  I’m not familiar with any brewery’s that brand or package the style in the US (please let me know if you find one) and I’ve yet to see it turn up in any sampler packs.

Amazon has a 21oz “Super Thistle” for about $13 but given it’s rather niche roll in your arsenal it’s not something you really need to charge out and get.  We’ll keep this space updated if we see or learn more.

Cold Harbor Bilbo’s Brown Ale

Cold Harbor Bilbo Brown Ale in a Pint Glass
Bilbo’s Brown Ale in a Pint Glass

Hazy, dark brown with a head of fine ivory bubbles.  For a brown ale it’s a bit on the dark side reminding me more of a porter. I’m used to brighter, more clear browns so I’m a bit surprised by how hazy it is.

As it pours I’m getting smells of toasted oats, maybe some tobacco, and hints of black coffee.  When I go to take my first sip that tobacco is more up front.  This beer is dark and smoky and very inviting!

The taste complements the flavor and matches it pretty closely.  It’s slightly nutty but burnt tobacco and coffee flavors are the main attraction.  This beer is sweet and malty with a very mild hop finish.

Bilbo’s Brown is medium bodied with mild carbonation.  It’s soft and sweet with a slight hint of tangy-ness on the finish.  All-in-all this is a very pleasant and sessionable brown ale.

Other Specs

  • ABV: 4.8%
  • IBUs: 26
  • Poured from a 32 ounce growler on the same day purchased.

Why That Glass?

For a brown ale you can rely on either a seidel or a pint glass.  Browns are usually sweet and malty with very low ABVs.  As a result a pint or the seidel are ideal for serving.  I think you could also get away with a goblet.

More About This Brown Ale

There’s not much more to say about this brown ale. Cold Harbor doesn’t list many details regarding this beer’s availability or style on their site.  Next time I’ll have to get a picture of their board.

The Beer Flute or Flute Glasses

The beer flute is one of those glasses that kind of exists in between other styles. We’ll also use the word “flute” or “fluted” to describe certain categories of other glass.

By design these glasses are tall, very narrow, stemmed and hold smaller volumes of beer.  Some are cone shaped, some are tulip shaped, some are just straight edged like a stange.

With their tall and delicate stature you can’t help but turn up your nose a bit while drinking from them.

Benefits of a Beer Flute or Fluted Glass

In a lot of ways the flute matches the stange in both form and function.  Like the stange, the tall narrow body helps showcase the beer’s sparkling carbonation.  It’s narrow mouth also helps with head retention and concentrating volatiles right upfront and into your nose.

This is similar in many ways to what’s going on with the narrower versions of the pilsner glass as well.  What we dubbed the “European Pilsner” can also be called a “fluted pilsner” first, because it looks like a flute, but also because it shares some of these benefits.

What Beer Goes in a Beer Flute?

Generally speaking a beer flute will work for any light colored, crisp beer with lots of bright, sparkling carbonation.  If the bottle has a cork that might serve as a clue.

For specific styles, I really only reach for a flute glass when I’m drinking a lambic. Outside of that I’m typically happier using a pilsner glass, stange or chalice.

Where Can I get a Flute Glass?

For unbranded glassware you’re best bet is just to pickup some champagne glasses.  These are easily available at most Target, Walmart and Home Goods locations.  For fancier flutes you’ll want to look for lambic glasses or “fruit beer” glasses.

If your local beer bar serves lambics just ask if they turn their glasses over regularly.  These glasses are often decorated with a gold rim and brewery artwork that can wear down over time.  Restaurants and bars will sometimes throw faded glasses out or offer them up to regular customers as they replace them.  Amazon also has Lindeman’s lambic glasses for $15- $20 each.

Sixpoint Brewery Hi-Res Triple IPA

Sixpoint Brewing Hi-Res IPA in a Tulip Glass
Hi-Res Triple IPA in a Tulip

Light copper colored with a thick ivory head of fine white bubbles.  Visually this is pretty much identical to the Resin Double IPA.

It’s got a strong pine aroma with some mild floral hops backing it up.

Up front I’m picking up some mango and grapefruit and a little orange peel but the main attraction is the earthy, resinous pine that follows it.  Rounding it out, and balancing things nicely, are some biscuity malt flavors.

At 10.5% I was expecting a bit of an alcohol kick in the finish but it’s not there. It’s smooth and medium bodied with just a hint of a sticky finish.

This is another strong one that’s easy to drink so be wary where it takes you!

Between the two, this and the Resin, it’s a hard fought race.  I think the Hi-Res narrows it out but both are excellent options!

Other Specs

  • ABV: 10.5% (previous releases look a bit higher)
  • IBU: 115
  • SRM: 11
  • Availability Varies
  • Available in 4-packs of 12 oz slim cans.
  • Best By Date located on bottom of can and outside of box

Why that Glass?

For imperial IPAs I prefer to reach for a tulip glass.  It’s great for displaying the beer’s color and clarity and tall sticky head.  The tulip is also great for helping me pick out some of the more subtle aromas and flavors that these stronger beers have.

In a pint glass my palate would likely be overwhelmed too quickly. Despite this Imperial being so well balanced I’d miss those delicate citrus notes and get stuck on the pine and hops.

More About the Hi-Res Triple IPA

As I mentioned in my post on the Resin Double IPA, Sixpoint Brewery is fast becoming one of my safety breweries.  If I hit up a liquor store and can’t make up my mind I can just grab anything from Sixpoint and I know I’ll be happy.

Unlike the Resin, which is a regular offering, the Hi-Res falls under Sixpoint’s line of “cycliquids” – that is, beers that essentially come out when they come out. The Hi-Res appears to have had a few releases, it’s just not on a regular schedule.

If you’re in or around Worcester you can find this at Total Wine (as of 3/4/17) it’s worth checking out!

The Tulip Pint Glass or Irish Imperial Pint

Tulip Pint with a Nitro Beer
Tulip Pint with a Nitro Beer

The tulip Pint is also known as the Irish Imperial Pint or Guinness Glass. While you’re likely to see this glass a lot it’s not quite as versatile as some of the other  styles of pint glass.

This glass gets its name from it’s familiar tulip shape.  Unlike shorter stemmed tulips its top lacks a flared mouth and instead ends with walls pointing straight up.  These glasses are almost always 20 ounces but some mild variation can occur.

Benefits of the Tulip Pint Glass

Like other pint glasses the most immediate benefit is volume.  The Imperial Irish Pint holds about 20 ounces which is plenty of space for a large pour while still leaving a generous amount of space for a beer’s head.

With it’s smaller base and more pronounced bulb some people might also find it a little easier to hold than the nonic pint.

These glasses also provide a good look at a beer’s deeper colors while the wide mouth helps support head retention.  Of course it also helps with taking large sips of “Nitro” beers that have thick frothy heads.  For nitros keep a napkin handy ’cause a milk beer-mustache is in your future.

Other Notes

There are smaller versions of this glass floating around in various different sizes.  Many will be branded “Guinness” but will only be 16 ounces.

You want to be looking for a 20 ounce glass.  Due to a quirk in how we deal with fluid ounces there might even be some small variation there but that’s OK.  A true imperial pint will measure just over 19 US ounces and for our purposes that’s pretty OK.

Just avoid the 16 ounce ones.

What  Beer Goes with a Tulip Pint Glass?

Most people know this glass as a Guinness Glass so that’s a good jumping off point.  Irish Stouts are so tied to this glass it almost feels wrong to drink them in anything else.  The same goes for Irish Ales.

After that any beer billing itself with the term “Nitro” is a safe bet. The wide mouth at the top of the glass makes a beer’s creamy head and body that much more tantalizing.

This glass also works well as a utility glass for any ales or lagers poured from a large bottle.  Personally, I’d avoid lagers and keep them in something like a large pilsner or a stange but it’s not a huge deal.  You’ll have to go back to the fridge to retrieve the bottle more often but it’s worth it.

I’d also avoid beers with really active carbonation, sour beers, or beers with higher ABVs.  Those are better suited to other glasses.

Where Can I Buy Tulip Pint Glasses / Irish Imperial Pints?

These are going to be some of the easiest glasses for you to get a hold of.  Every liquor store, box store, and some supermarkets are going to have them.  Just check for either a 20 ounce volume marker or the imperial crown either on the bottom or lip of the glass.

They’re also a common inclusion in most craft beer glass sampler boxes.

Sixpoint Brewery Resin Double IPA

Sixpoint Craft Beer Resin in a Tulip Glass
Sixpoint Resin Double IPA in a Tulip Glass

Copper colored like a brand new penny and sporting a slight haze.  The Resin Double IPA has a frothy white head which leaves sticky lacing along the glass as it settles.

As soon as I poured this beer I picked up an aroma of floral hops with hints of pine. The smell bursts from the glass but it’s not overwhelming at all.  It’s very inviting.

First taste is spicy, floral hops with hints of sweeter malts.  They linger slightly as mild malty sweetness follows. It’s the perfect balance of hops and malt making it easy drinking. There’s virtually no trace of alcohol to warm of the beers higher ABV.

It’s got a medium body and the mild bitter finish you expect from an IPA – not nearly as bitter as I expected.

All-in-all it’s well balanced, easy drinking, and easy to recommend.  Up next, the Hi-Res!

Resin Double IPA Specs:

  • ABV: 9.1%
  • IBU: 103
  • SRM: 9.5
  • Available in “sleek” 12oz cans packaged in 4-packs and 6-packs.
  • Best By Date located on the bottom of each can.

Why That Glass?

With a name like “Resin” I had a pretty good idea of what kind of flavors I should expect from this beer.  A tulip glass (especially one with a taller neck) serves well for showcasing a beer’s more delicate volatiles and it helps retain the kind of dense sticky head you expect from an Imperial IPA.

More About the Resin Double IPA

Sixpoint Brewery is located in Brooklyn, NY but their beers are readily available at many Central Mass liquor stores.  You’ll recognize them instantly for their cans which feature their sixpoint star logo and brightly colored metallic schemes.

The Resin Double IPA is part of their core line of beers including the Sweet Action, Bengali, and The Crisp.

Along with the Resin Double IPA, Sixpoint also brews a Triple IPA that they call Hi-Res.  The Hi-Res is part of their Cycliquids line – we’ll be reviewing that in the next couple days.