Browse Tag


Lacrescent moon

Champlain Valley “Montcalm” Lacrescent (Vermont) – Sweet white peach, crystals, and slightly abrasive acidity. Very, very short. For a Vermont wine, this is decent. (6/08)


[bees]Honey Gardens “Traditional” Mead (Vermont) – I don’t have a firm handle on how to talk about mead quality. This is less overtly sweet than some, showing more honeycomb than honey (raw honey, beeswax), with a mown hay and vegetal underpinning. It’s an easy drink, though without much of a finish. It tastes, to my palate, not unlike a cheap Layon, such as one might find from a cooperative, and it might be fun to serve it blind. I’d buy it again, though without enthusiasm; I guess that’s as close as I’m going to come to a qualitative assessment. (3/08)

Sweet Melissa

Honey Gardens “Melissa” Sparkling Mead (Vermont) – Very cloudy, yeasty, slightly bitter, and volatile. There’s very little honey here, but rather a whole lot of pollen and a good deal of acrid, desiccating difficulty. I don’t like this at all. (3/08)

TN: Beer me

[bottle]Avery “The Reverend” Belgian-Style Quadrupel Ale (Colorado) – This is outstanding. Weight and intensity married, with enough thick, bracing, spiced stone fruit to carry the alcohol. It’s a powerful brew, but it’s complete and polished in every respect…a terrific exemplar of the style, and most likely the best I’ve ever had from a domestic brewery. (3/07)

Avery “Hog Heaven” Barleywine-Style Ale (Colorado) – Dark, thick and Scotch-like, with toasted old wood, French press coffee, baked plum and cherry stems leading to a malty, but round and mouth-filling finish. Nicely executed, and very polished. (3/07)

Rock Art “Ridge Runner” Barley Wine Ale (Vermont) – The aroma keeps sending me back to the label to make sure this isn’t a lager. Strange. There’s palate-deadening weight, bringing with it dried espresso residue and an old maple-syrup wash, but everything’s a bit hollow. (3/07)

d’Achouffe “La Chouffe” Belgian Golden Ale with Spices (Belgium) – Light in every respect, as if pushed through a filter, except one: the alcohol, which sticks out to an unpleasant degree. There needs to be more intensity if it’s going to carry that much burn. (3/07)

Dupont “Foret” Organic Saison Ale (Belgium) – Bright and summery, showing a good weight and pleasantly abrading hops. It finishes a little flat, though, like stale pre-ground white pepper. (3/07)

Le Baladin “Wayan” Saison Style Ale with Spices (Italy) – Hoppy and crisp, with unintegrated spice notes and a firm, monotone core that feels more like a Trappist than a saison. Despite being a little odd, it’s reasonably tasty. (3/07)

TN: It’s not crap

[label]Otter Creek “Otter Kilter” Scottish-style Wee Heavy Ale (Vermont) – Rich, heavy, a bit hot, but with a beautifully creamy, mineral-influenced thickness. Otter Creek succeeds most of the time, but they always do best with more naturally sweet-seeming brews. And: nice pun. (3/07)