Sunday, January 20, 2008

Do Lions Kwak?

Today we have a couple bar favorites. Kwak and Lion Stout sell very well here at The Times and I thought I would revisit these beers today. Chris was off the day I opened these so I recruited one of our patrons Greg. Greg typically goes for the hops and these two beers aren’t known for strong hop character. Let see what we get.

Beer: Pauwel Kwak by Bosteels

Origin: Buggenhout, Belgium

Style: Double Amber

ABV: 8%

Misc: Very interesting glass that was made for coachman in the early 19th century. Look it up.

Tasting Notes:

As we poured the beer into the signature glass and rich and abundant head formed as a slightly off white pillow. The bubbles are very tiny and the head lasted for over 10 minutes. Good start so far. The beer has a nice toffee aroma with hints of citrus and a little bubblegum. The first taste is a pleasant round wash of malt with very little hops coming forward. Throughout the mid palette toward the finish revealed more toffee and caramel and some bacon fat interestingly enough. The bubbles linger into the mild finish where the hops pop up a little bit with a little citrus we found in the nose. It's not a long finish yet the balance of the beer is what I am digging. Greg enjoyed a “bloom” in the finish and also noticed the balance of the beer despite the 8% alcohol. The sweet malt character seemed to spark his interest as well. I am throwing down a respectable 90 points here because the brew is just that damn good

Beer: Ceylon Brewery's Lion Stout

Origin: Sri Lanka (Formerly Ceylon)

Style: Stout

ABV: 8.00%

Tasting Notes:

Lion Stout pours with a solid light brown head. The first sniff brings you sweet malt and after a minute or two I started picking up licorice which I really enjoyed. The nose also reveals notes of toffee and cream. This is one of the most complex profiles I have encountered for a while. The mouth feel of the beer gives you a medium body with lightly roasted coffee, sweet toffee malt and that hint of licorice we found. The alcohol even at 8% is well balanced with everything else going on, and there is a lot with this beer. Keep in mind this is not a huge beast of a stout. The beer is well crafted, balanced in whole and one of those rare treasures that is so very drinkable and still complex. Greg found the beer to be unique and not as "overblown" as many stouts he has tried. He also enjoyed the round sweet malt character. I score this beer at 94 points. This beer should be drunk out of a snifter at about 55-60 degrees to truly get what's going on. Lion stout is what you should be drinking right now.

Well both brews came up big today. One of the things to keep in mind all the beers we have tried so far are on the list here at Times. We will be bringing in new releases soon and will be trying those for you. If they don't make it so be it. We not carrying beers here just cuz. We are carrying what we feel to be great beers all around. Till next time...

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