Archive for October, 2016
Last Saturday, I visited the Santiam Brewing taproom in Salem, Oregon see what Fall seasonals were on tap.
Today, let’s talk about two Santiam beers – Hoppy Froppy (with Amarillo hops) and Coal Porter which is available on cask in the taproom.
Santiam Brewing’s Coal Porter
Now that winter is nigh, it’s a good time to start digging in to porters, stouts and the darker beers that are perfect on a grey, Oregon day.
Coal Porter is made with North American barley and English roasted and crystal malts. It’s a medium bodied stout that has a distinctive hop flavor that is 6.2% ABV and 29 IBUs. The beer is black licorice in color and contains hints of coffee and malt flavor.
The earthy hop backbone shines in this cask ale. I loved the slight beige head with yummy roasted flavors. Coal Porter balanced and an utterly perfect dark beer.
Santiam Brewing’s Hoppy Froppy Ale
Everyone who knows that I love my fresh hop ales. This September-October timeframe is my favorite as we have all sorts of pale ales and IPAs that are enhanced with powerful fresh hops.
Over at Santiam, the guys have prepared a few fresh hop ales and today we’ll look at Hoppy Froppy. This time when I was at the taphouse, there were two versions of Hoppy Froppy available – one with Cascade and another with Amarillo hops.
Hoppy Froppy pours almost-clear in color with a slight reddish tint. It presents a light head and has very light carbonation. This ale has a mild, but citrussy hop profile that is wonderful with the Amarillo hops coming forward. It’s hop-forward but not overly bitter or cringe-inducing. My wife, who isn’t as much as a hop-head as me, found it to be floral and refreshing.
Hoppy Froppy Amarillo is a crowd-pleasing fresh hop pale ale that comes in at 5.8% ABC and a moderate 70 IBUs. Pick it up today at the taphouse – they have a few kegs left so you should get in to Santiam in the next week or two! 🙂
(Disclosure: samples were provided to profile in this blog post. Thanks to Matt Killikelly for the samples!)
Just after fresh hop beer season comes around, we get to another season: pumpkin ale season in October. I’ve become a huge fan of pumpkin infused beers and I always look forward to this time of year.
Today, we take a look at one of Oregon’s few pumpkin beers, In Gourd We Trust from Vagabond Brewing in Salem, Oregon. This ale pours a brownish-amber color and has a strong scent of spice, I’m guessing cloves and nutmeg. The seasonal beer comes in at 5.5% ABV.
At first sip, there’s a bit of malt overtone at first, but then the sweetness of this beer kicks in. In essence, it tastes too sweet – I think the clove overpowers the experience of In Gourd We Trust. And unfortunately, I never pick up on the pumpkin in this ale.
Should I buy it?
So, if you’re looking for a sweet ale that celebrates the spices of Fall, then IGWT will be appealing to you!
For my palette, In Gourd We Trust is a little too sweet and goes more for pumpkin pie and not a classic Fall pumpkin-enhanced malty ale.
Have you had it? What are your thoughts?