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Archive for the ‘Foreign’ tag

Minoh Beer Weizen – A.J.I. Beer Inc. (2012)

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BLC Says:
A.J.I. Beer Inc. Minoh Weizen was the second offering we tried from this Japanese, female run brewery. As the name may lead you to believe, it is their take on a hefeweizen. We enjoyed the bottled version while still in the United States, but many Minoh beers were offered on tap throughout Japan and especially in their hometown of Osaka. Since there were so many beers to try (and so little time!) we did not try the Weizen on tap but we were able to sample some of their other offerings including a delicious yuzu white ale at one of their Beer Belly Brewpubs. More about that to come but, for now, it’s Weizen time. keep reading...

Written by A+K

February 1st, 2013 at 10:56 pm

Posted in Beer

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Minoh Beer Stout – A.J.I. Beer Inc (2012)

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BLC Says:
A.J.I. Beer Inc is the name of the brewing corporation which runs Minoh Beer similarly to how Boston Beer Company runs Samuel Adams (and other subsidiaries). Obviously Boston Beer Company is much larger than A.J.I. Beer Inc but we wanted to kind of draw a squiggly parallel to illustrate why this brewery has an odd name.

Minoh Stout is a stout (in case you couldn’t have guessed from the label in the picture or the name of this entry) from this female run, Japanese brewery. They make a variety of beers, all with simple one word names that let you know exactly what you are drinking. These run the gamut from, Pilsner, Hefeweizen all the way to Imperial Stout and Yuzu White ale (all of which will soon be reviewed as well). The particular bottle of Minoh Stout we reviewed travelled from Japan to California and then to New York for us to taste. It came courtesy of Alicia’s little brother Jeff (hola, señor). We will be visiting one, possibly two, of Minoh’s brewpubs while we are in Osaka and look forward to trying the beers on draft as well. The brewpubs are called “Beer Belly” and each have a different vibe from the information we have received and have collected. Look for our notes and thoughts on “Beer Belly” soon also! keep reading...

Written by A+K

January 17th, 2013 at 8:58 am

Westvleteren 12 (XII) – Brouwerij Westvleteren [Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren] (2012)

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BLC Says:
Westvleteren 12. What really can be said about this beer? The beer is made by one of only eight Trappist breweries in the world (more on those soon). It seems to be one of if not the most sought after beer in the world. How did it come to posses such a large and wide spread reputation? The beer is brewed by monks at the abbey of Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren and is only available a majority of the time via an archaic call in and pick up system. So if you want to try a bottle, how the monks intend, one must phone in a reservation and drive a car to the abby in Vleteren, Belgium. Adding to the mystery of Westvleteren 12 is how it is bottled. It is sold in crates, real wooden crates of 24 bottles, with the words “Trappist Wesvletern” branded upon them. The brew comes in a simple brown bottle with no labeling at all. The only indication of what is inside is a cap which contains all of the necessary legal information the monks must provide. Recently the beer caused a mini frenzy when it was released here in the United States. For release it had to be labeled and a minimalist Westvleteren XII was added to the front of the bottles which were sold in six packs with two glasses. These sold out instantly and rapidly appeared on eBay for resale (these were all just as rapidly taken down). News outlets even picked this up and ran stories on the beer and the rush to get it. This beer seems to be one that is consistently sought after and is often held in high regard across the beer world (especially on the inter-web). Currently this beer holds the top spot on RateBeers Top 50 and is in the top 6 on Beeradvocate’s Top 100 list. With such a high regard being built and the beer being produced in such limited hard to acquire quantities it almost seems to be a “beer holy grail” for many. Is this truly one of the “greatest” beers in the world or has Westvleteren (nicknamed “Westy 12”) earned its reputation through its rarity and internet buzz? If this was available easily in your local beer shop or bar would you make it a staple or is this beer a paper tiger? keep reading...

Written by A+K

January 9th, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Fantôme de Noël – Brasserie Fantôme (No Bottling Date)

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BLC Says:
Brasserie Fantôme Fantôme de Noël is the Christmas saison from this Belgian brewery. It comes in a 750 ml bottle that is capped and corked with interesting label artwork featuring a ghost drinking a beer, Christmas tree and ornaments. We give them credit for getting more than one holiday involved and having their ghostly mascot drinking out of a tulip-like glass.

This saison emerges from the bottle bearing a hazy rust hue with mild visible carbonation. The foamy head is a cream white color and lasts for good amount of time. Eventually the head does settle into a light cap with clumpy lacing, but the brew easily comes alive after each sip or swirl. The aroma is a mingling of sweet, tart and funk along with some hay and a base of crisp malt. There is an underlying fruity, bright quality with a bit of Belgian yeast making an appearance as well. Fantôme de Nöel tastes tart and slightly lactic with refreshing fruit (apple and pear) in the background. Tiny tingling carbonation zips across the tongue and this brew feels light with a bit of weight to it. Notes of hay and malt echo in the finish. For a 10% abv beer this has surprisingly little alcohol presence in it and seems like it would be extremely easy to overindulge in. We suggest being careful or the Fantôme of drinking past may sneak up on you. keep reading...

Written by A+K

January 7th, 2013 at 9:38 pm

Saison Dupont (Vielle Provision) – Brasserie Dupont (2012)

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BLC Says
Brasserie Dupont Saison Dupont (still labeled as Vielle Provision here in the USA) is considered the standard of this refreshing Belgian farmhouse style. Saison (season in French) originally referred to refreshing ales brewed by farmers to be consumed during the summer. These beers started out around 3% abv but modern interpretations hover closer to 5-6% range. Saison Dupont is 6.5% and most current American saisons copy the yeast used by the Dupont brewery because it ferments better at warmer temperatures. Saison Dupont is popular all over the world and we have had the pleasure of tasting it in several countries including Belgium. This review is of a 2012 bottle purchased and enjoyed locally. We had our bottle of Saison Dupont on New Year’s Eve so this was the first beer enjoyed by BLC in the 2013. keep reading...

Written by A+K

January 5th, 2013 at 3:03 pm