Saturday, February 22, 2014

Quick Sip 004. Shiner FM 966 Farmhouse Ale

Another good bet from THE Texas legends! The Little Brewery in Shiner brings us Shiner FM 966 Farmhouse Ale.

Truth in blogging moment, folks. This is not one of my stream-of-consciousness first-impression blogs. I've had this before a few months ago (or possibly longer, I forget).

I saw this big bottle at the store the other night (probably HEB or Randall's in NW Houston). Don't recall what I paid for it. Probably around $3 - $3.50, but it could have been as low as $2.49. All in all, not bad for a 1 pint 8 ounce bottle.

When you pop the top, the first thing that will hit you is a strong smell of yeast. Initially, this put me off, but I've come to like it. It's a nice change of pace from the many stouts, porters and hard ciders I've been drinking of late.

After the yeast comes the hops and some spices (probably pepper, but maybe clove and something else I'm not sure of). The pour is pleasant with a nice yellow (just a hint of gold) and a fabulous 2-finger head that left a marvelous trail of lace around my glass.

When it comes to frolicking in the cold, this ale is not a one-trick pony. That is to say, it has something to offer when served ice cold and something more to offer when served a little warmer (around 50 degrees F). The cold version delivers a tight, crisp feeling on your tongue and goes down with the flavors in tight control. But, as it warms up, there is a pleasant taste that is similar to a wheat beer, but not as strong. At both temperatures, the medium carbonation faded quickly, but the bubbles still felt nice dancing on my tongue.

I like this beer. It's the sort of thing I could picture indulging in on a warm Spring or early Summer evening.  I will definitely be buying this one again.
From their Website: Just south of the brewery there’s a road called FM 966. And now there’s a beer called FM 966. Coincidence? All we know is that this spring provisional ale made with pilsner and wheat malts is spicy, fruity, and always hits the spot.

My score: 7.5 out of 10

Saturday, February 15, 2014

057. Red Hook Audible Ale

This is an interesting ale...

I must admit, that half the reason I bought this six-pack of Red Hook's Audible Ale is because the label states:

"A crushable ale brewed in collaboration with Dan Patrick."

I think I heard him mention this once on his radio show, so I was curious to pick it up. And, to be honest, I'm still curious. I'm not quite sure what I make of it. I didn't care much for the aroma or the color (a few hints of hops and a rather bland yellow color that somehow reminds me of a cheap Mexican beer), and my first sip didn't wow me, either.

There's certainly nothing wrong with it. It's got a pleasant, dry flavor with a faint hint of sweetness that quickly fades. The one-finger head vanishes almost instantly at a cold temperature, but actually lingers fairly well at a cozy 55 degrees. There's not much lace to speak of, unfortunately. And, more unfortunate still, not much to say about it. The hops seem to be a little grassy, the super-teasing hint of fruit never comes to the forefront, and it just sort of sits there.

I think this is, sad to say, a rather boring American Pale Ale.

Nothing bad, but nothing great, either. It definitely doesn't live up to the hype from their Website:

"Redhook has teamed up with Dan Patrick to brew the ultimate craft beer for watching sports: plenty of flavor and aroma, and crushable enough to make you want another — without making you sloppy by halftime. So, whether you’re watching the Dan Patrick Show in your mancave, or tailgating in a parking lot, it’s time to fill your passion bucket with crushable craft. Listen to your thirst. It’s Audible."

Closing Thoughts
This is an okay APA. Nothing to dwell on, but nothing to make me gag, either. In short, it's okay. I wouldn't turn it down at a party, but I won't be buying it again. BY THE WAY, temperature is very important to this beer. Drink it a little warm (around 55 degrees) and you'll enjoy it more than you would ice cold. At 55ish, the hops aroma is released a little more, and the head and mouthfeel are definitely improved.

Thoughts from the bottom of the glass:
Type: American Pale Ale
Color: Yellow
Aroma: Faint grassy hops and a hint of fruit
Hops: Grassy but mild
Malt: Light but sweet
Head: One-finger
Lace: Almost none
Carbonation: Light
Mouthfeel:  Dry with hints of sweet
Temeprature Sweet Spot: 55 degrees an up
ABV: 4.7.%
My Rating: 5.5 out of 10

Other Reviews Worth A Sip:
Most of the guys over at agreed with me. This is just boring.