Thursday, February 28, 2013

Bull Jagger Dirigo Crimson Lager

Bull Jagger has already started making a recognized name in just two years by making the first micro-brew lager in the Portland, ME. But tonight I have their Dirigo Crimson Lager, the second micro-brew lager in the Portland area. I can already tell it's going to be a good one before taking a sip: A deep red hue for a lager and a foamy head that I know will leave a long-lasting foamy residue on my lips.

My nose knew malts would be a BIG player in the taste, but my first though from my tongue was angostura bitters with caramel malts! This might seem to be a negative taste to some, but it's a phenomenal taste to me. The malts have a slight sweetness to them, but bitter is a stronger effect than sweet. There is a very crisp overtone from a bit of hops and the lager body. It is quite full in the body for a lager as well.

Dirigo certainly isn't a lager that can be drunk quickly due to the strong tastes in effect, but it also isn't hard to drink and can easily be enjoyed by anyone who likes a fine beer. So I'm giving it a solid A (excellent) and I recommend you grab a bottle to see what tastes the Maine micro-brew scene is expanding to!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Sebago Brewing Full Throttle Double IPA

When I visit Sebago Brewing in Portland Maine, it wouldn't be unacceptable for the bartender to bring me a Frye's Leap IPA before even asking me what I wanted to drink because I ask for it almost every time! Strong floral-citrus hops in the Frye's Leap IPA brew is going to be hard to out-preform, but Sebago's Double Throttle Double IPA is released only once a year. So why is it anticipated?

Unlike many other brewers Sebago's special IPA isn't just more intense than their 'standard', (the Frye's Leap is already very strong), it's a different approach on an IPA by adding malts and using many varieties of hops. The Full Throttle is best described as tasting piney and like grapefruit instead of just crisp and citrusy, because the malt with the hops puts in a unique sweetness. It's still intense on the palate and it isn't hard to notice that this brew is unfiltered. The last thing noticed when put down your throat is that there is little taste of alcohol and the malty-sweet aspect doesn't take away from the tingling dry aftertaste once swallowed.

After you try Sebago's Full Throttle Double IPA the first time, you know why they make it almost every year and why people anticipate it so much. It adds so many flavors and keeps it all balanced. A (excellent)