Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock

Name: Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock
Style: Doppelbock
ABV (%): 6.70
Brewery: Privatbrauerei Franz Inselkammer KG / Brauerei Aying

BevMo, whilst being notoriously inaccurate in their wine ratings, is fairly reliable in their beer ratings.  That is to say, anything 95 or higher is generally an excellent beer.  BevMo claims that this beer is one of the best in the world, with a 98 rating.  Quite the claim!  Being a HUGE fan of doppelbocks, I had to take the bait.  This week’s beer and next week’s beer will both be doppelbocks with super high expectations.  This guy was poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into a freezer-chilled pint glass.

Yeowza, this guy is dark!  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised from a doppelbock, but the only exports I’ve had in quite some time have been golden Belgian ales.  This is the first German beer I’ve had in over a year.  The carbonation died down fast, and there isn’t much to look at in this beer.  Frothy, milky head, very rich, deep color.

I could smell this thing the second I opened the bottle, even though my nose was a foot away.  German yeast through and through.  I get a nice chocolate malt if I breathe deep enough.  My sinuses are still a little finicky from a recent cold,  There is some definite caramel, along with the nice fruitiness you often get in a good dubbel.  Hints of raisin, or maybe fig.

Sweet goodness, this beer is a party in my mouth!  It is super German, in that it makes me want to eat sausages and sing boisterously!  In all seriousness, this would be awesome with a bratwurst; maybe even some Italian sausage.  Chocolate malt and hops march all over most of the palate, with, some bitter fruit (which I still can’t pinpoint; help?) in the middle.  There is a mild biscuit on the rear palate to finish off this loud beer.

Quite bitter for a dark beer, but smooth.  The aftertaste is super bitter, but not off-putting like the bitterness in a lighter beer.  Again, I say this would be perfect with some sausage!

This beer is an absolute delight!  Less than 7%, it will not get you drunk, but it is strong enough to be full in body and flavor.  It is a bock, though, so don’t open one of these expecting to drink 3 with your dinner.  It is filling.  But that is not a bad thing.  And you can buy one for just over $2.  Did you catch that?  TWO.  DOLLARS.  Gorgeous

Look: 7
Smell: 8
Taste: 10
Feel: 9
Drink: 10
Overall: 8.9

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Chimay Première (Red)

Name: Chimay Première (Red)
Style: Dubbel
ABV (%): 7.00
Brewery: Bières de Chimay (Abbaye Notre Dame de Scourmont)

The famous Chimay Red!  Let me start by saying I love Love LOVE the Blue!  It is on my Top 5 Beers List (which will eventually be hyper-linked to an actual list), and I’ve certainly been anxious to try another Chimay.  This one was on sale and has been beckoning to me from my fridge for about 2 weeks!  Poured from a 1 pt. 9.4 fl. oz. bottle into a freezer-chilled glass.  I love the sound of the cork popping.

This thing, like the Blue, pours with quite a head.  When pouring, aim for half a glass.  That’s all your getting, unless you want the head spilling out over the lip.  But I digress.  This thing is so beautiful!  Golden caramel, with a thick and frothy head.  The head doesn’t subside much, with a lot of lacing left behind.

Biscuits and red fruits in the aroma.  Something tropical, and maybe a bit of fig.  There is a lot of experience in this beer.  I feel like I’m about to have breakfast.  Biscuits, jam, and honey.

Heavy biscuit taste.  Not as fruity as I expected from the nose.  Not even fruity as far as dubbels go.  I definitely taste fig and honey.  Prevalent malt, but not overpowering.  It behaves itself behind the other flavors.  Again, like the Blue, this has perfect hops (maybe the same used in both beers?).  This thing would be absolutely AWESOME with a steak.

Sooo easy to drink.  Smooth all the way down.  No sharp bite on the tongue.  Just enough bitterness to cut through some red meat.  Might also go good with a pork chop.  It feels a little heavy (see biscuit references?), but not too heavy.  This is probably a “one and done” beer, but not because it’s too much.  Rather, it is just enough.  I feel so content and satisfied after every single sip.

Normally, I rank the drinkability of a beer both on whether I would like another after I finish and whether I can physically have another.  At 7%, this is strong, but not too strong.  And it may be the exception to the rule.  While I certainly have no desire for a second beer, I am satisfied to the fullest (with the exception of a steak).

Look: 9
Smell: 9
Taste: 9
Feel: 9
Drink: 10
Overall: 9.1

WychCraft

Name: WychCraft
Style: English Pale Ale
ABV (%): 4.50
Brewery: Wychwood Brewery Company Ltd

Emily picked this one out.  I needed a new beer to try.  She’s nervous that I won’t like it.  I’m not.  I’m not a fan of English Pale Ales, but I’ve not run across many bad microbrews.  This one was poured from a 1 pt. 0.9 oz. bottle into a freezer-chilled pint glass.

This beer has a beautiful color.  Crisp and clear amber.  Other than that, nothing too remarkable.  The head leaves fast, but leaves a thin haze over the beer and around the edge of the glass.

Smells wonderful.  Clean and crisp.  It smells like spring.  Clean alcohol, full of citrus, I almost smell apple juice.  Maybe some white grape.  How interesting.  The smell isn’t deep, but it’s very complex.  I’d be interested to get other opinions.

The taste is much different from the smell.  I taste all the hops and malt up front, followed by a bit of biscuit, and then the citrus.  The fruit isn’t as noticeable in the flavor as it is in the nose.  How sad.  I was hoping for some complex citrus like in the Duvel!  The yeast and hops linger a bit after the other flavors have gone.

The bottle says this is a “Blonde Ale”, but I have no idea why they put that on there.  It doesn’t drink like a Blonde Ale.  A little bitter and unbalanced on the tongue, but it goes down smooth.  Surprisingly light on carbonation.  My palate is confused.

Very drinkable, if only mildly enjoyable.  It’s full of surprises.  The smell was awesome.  Rich with multiple fruits.  The taste went a completely different direction.  Bitter aftertaste, dominated by every flavor other than fruit.  This is a decent beer, but overpriced.  I am interested in trying others from Wychwood.

Look: 7
Smell: 8
Taste: 4
Feel: 5
Drink: 6
Overall: 5.7