Monday, January 26, 2009

Beer Review, Empyrean LunaSea ESB & Third Stone Brown

Friday and Saturday, I finally had the time to sit down and give my attention to the final two brews sent to me by Bill.

The last two were the LunaSea ESB, and the Third Stone Brown.

Friday night, during Battlestar Galactica, I had the Luna Sea. This one poured a golden brown, and had a head that seemed to dissipate rather quickly. It smelled a little hoppy, along with some sugary malt. It felt rather thinnish, but was effervescent beyond what would be expected from the thin head.

Originally, it tasted bitter, but wasn't too sweet. There was a bit of back of tongue bite of bitterness. As it warmed, through the somewhat disappointing episode of BSG, the hops started releasing more flavors. It went from just a slight bitter flavor, to releasing some pleasant citrus notes. It wasn't quite an orange juice, but it did have a nice citric acid feel to it.

It was a pretty good ESB. This could easily be a gateway beer. I've long thought that ESB's and some other ambers make really good conversion beers. (Kriddy's first few beers that she really enjoyed were along the same line as this beer; Birra Moretti La Rossa, and Jack of the Wood Greenman Ales (Asheville, NC) ESB.) This one was an easy to drink beer, at 6.3% ABV, it's not gonna get you totally wasted real quick, it'd take some serious pounding to get completely FUBAR.

Our brewer’s pride and joy, that’s why we call it “Extra Special.” Big, sweet, caramel and biscuit flavors are delicately balanced with crisp, cedary, Noble hops.

Saturday's geek-fest consisted of Doctor Who, on BBC-America. The two episodes on Saturday were Midnight, followed by Turn Left. I had the final beer of the set with these. The last one was Third Stone Brown.

This one was dark brown, the color of Coca-Cola. It had very little head, that stuck around. It smelled a little grapey, like grape gum. It had a medium thickness, nowhere near milk, but thicker than a soda.

The taste initially was grape or raisin. I didn't get as much malty ... um... brown-ness as I would have hoped; at least not at first. As it warmed, more of the malt profile emerged, but I was still getting a little of the grape. Scott thought it tasted like a homebrew (which isn't necessarily a bad thing). I got a bit of that characteristic from it as well, just something about it reminded me of brewing on my stove. The hops in it weren't really noticeable. Wow, just looked up the hops used in this, Tettnanger and Summit. Tett has an AAU of around 3.5-4.5%, whereas the Summit has 17 -19%. Jeebus, use enough Summit, and you'll have an IBU bomb. They must not use a whole lot of the Summit, as the hops profile wasn't that strong.

Of the three beers, the Vanilla Porter would probably be my favorite. It would be followed closely by the ESB. The brown was good, but it wasn't the brown for me.

Again, thanks to Bill for the care package from Nebraska.

*note* Bill, if you are going to be shipping products like this again in the future, do NOT ship it through the USPS.

Other items, such as alcoholic beverages (beer, wine, liquor), are not considered hazardous but are prohibited and boxes displaying such markings are also prohibited.
Penalties for shipping prohibited substances can include fines, or imprisonment.

That's just for the USPS. UPS, Fedex... aren't federal, they may have rules against shipping things, but they (probably) can't send you to jail for shipping beer.

If a shipment does not comply with all FedEx requirements and applicable federal, state or local laws, FedEx reserves the right to refuse tender of the shipment, withhold the shipment from delivery, return the shipment to the shipper at the shipper’s expense or destroy it, at the sole discretion of FedEx.
That's a better option than jail.

Again, thanks. If you make it out here, or if I head west, I'll let you know, and we'll meet up for some beer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hopefully you won't be seeing me on Cops anytime soon for sending illegal things through the mail. My bad. Thanks for taking your time and attention on them. Bill.