Friday, October 22, 2010

New Releases: Old Standbys on Steroids

Redhook is one of those breweries that has always made solid beers but rarely strayed from the ordinary. Their Limited Release Series, however, delivers us beers that stand up to the bigger releases from the sought-after craft breweries. Redhook's twice-yearly Limited Release series brings us the latest (and a rarely brewed) release: Eisbock. The Eisbock style is made by freezing the beer and scraping off some of the water, laving a much richer finished version. This isn't Icehouse, that's for sure. Redhook's version is a 9.4% ABV beer that retails at $7.99 for a 22 oz. bottle. Another Pacific Northwest brewery making good-old standby beers is Widmer. Broken Halo was a fixture IPA in my fridge, along with the Hefeweizen for warmer weather drinking. Widmer's Brothers' Reserve series ups the game with beers like Cherry Oak-Aged Doppelbock, Prickly Pear Braggot, and now the third release in the series, Barrel-Aged Brrrbon. N0, I didn't make one of my many typing errors when spelling the beer's name. The beer is a base of the Brrr Winter Warmer that spends four months in Kentucky bourbon barrels. The finished product comes out to be a 9.4% ABV Warmer Winter Warmer! This 22 oz. special release retails for $12.99.

Odell, a brewery that is always attempting new, has come out with Woodcut No. 4, obviously the fourth release in the Woodcut series. No. 4 is a Double-Marzen, a rarely brewed style and a good choice for this very limited series. What sets the Odell version apart from the other few breweries that attempt this style (Avery's Kaiser comes to mind) is the fact that it manages to attain an 11% ABV without becoming overly sweet. A DIPA can usually mask sweetness with the hop addition, but a Double-Marzen does not have that luxury. And Woodcut is the only brewery making the style that ages it in oak barrels. This gives the beer cedar notes that I haven't experienced in any beer except Cigar City's Humidor; good company to be in! The 25.4 oz. beer is quite expensive at $23.99, but there is a reason it was my most tasted beer at Hopfest. A nice special occasion beer; buy one to drink on Christmas Eve.

No comments: