Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sunday Suds - Starting It Off With An Ozzy

Here is another beer sent to my by my friend Brian in Baltimore. He raves about Brewer's Art all the time, so he sent me one of their rare bottled beers, Ozzy. It's a Belgian Strong Pale Ale (7.2% ABV), supposedly their interpretation of Duvel. It's pretty good on all fronts. It has the Belgian yeast character (earthy), it has the fruity esters and a light mouthfeel, but it's got a peppery taste to it too. The carbonation is very high so it takes a bit of work (swirling) to get it down to a manageable level. Quite good, I'll give it a 4.3/5.

After that first great beer from Brewer's Art we decided to knock down the second that was sent to me. This being Brewer's Art Le Canard. Classified as a Belgian Strong Pale Ale (8.5% ABV) by BeerAdvocate, it takes a much different approach than Ozzy. The first thing that came to my mind as I started drinking this was the similarity to Scaldis, a Belgian-made quadruple. It really supplied a lot of sweetness mixed with a generous alcohol punch, and of course a certain amount of Belgian yeast character that gave it a Belgian feel. I don't know if I just wasn't totally in the mood for this type of beer today or what, but it didn't hit the spot. Well, I didn't love it. That's not to say it was a bad beer or anything. I could possibly see myself enjoying this beer more on a cool Fall night than on a scorching Summer afternoon. I rated it a 3.55/5 and am happy to have had the chance to try it.

And lastly, one of the few North Coast beers I've ever had. This one is their Saison called Le Merle. Don't have too much to say about this one, other than it has quite the saison yeast strain phenols working for it along with a bit of lemon. Not the best saison I've ever had, but good anyway. 3.85/5


Rational Realist said...

I haven't tried too many North Coast beers either. I know it sells some through Trader Joe's - Acme Pale Ale and IPA and Red Seal - and has Old Rasputin. I did get a chance to try its PranQster, a Belgian-style golden ale, a few weeks ago on draft when I was in San Francisco and was really impressed. I'd never seen or heard of it before but would like some more. Well worth trying if you can find it.

Steve said...

Yeah I had Red Seal a few years ago... one of the first craft brews I had. It took me a while from there to try Old Rasputin and when I had a bottle I hated it, then when I had it on tap it was delicious. I had also targeted Scrimshaw Pilsner a long time ago but never got around to try it. I've seen PranQster on draft around here at the Yardhouse but have never ordered it. Might have to go pick up a bottle since I really love that style.