Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tuesday Night Tasting - Sam Adams American Kriek and Berkshire Brewing Co. Coffehouse Porter

This past Tuesday, I convinced Adam we should maybe TRY some of the beer we acquired in the past couple of weeks that we seem to be stockpiling for some kind of Armageddon. He agreed and it was decided (i.e. I decided) that we should try the Sam Adams Barrel Collection "American Kriek" and he Berkshire Brewing Company's "Coffeehouse Porter".

First up, the Samuel Adams American Kriek:

The American Kriek is a a Belgium red that was oak aged with 40 pounds of cherries added to each barrel for two years.

First observation? The champagne style cork is TOUGH to get off. Which is why I reccomend making this the first drink of the evening rather than the last lest you find yourself bayoneting it on your porch out of desperation

(my cousin Dan actually bayoneting a bottle of Champagne at my Grandpa's birthday party last week. Not out of desperation though, more out of pure entertainment value)

In any case the bottle was quite tough to open but once that task was completed we were rewarded by a delightful beer!

It poured a nice ruby red color with a slightly pinkish head. The first taste is dry and somewhat malty and finishes with a slightly tart cherry finish. Adam enjoyed this beer thoroughly, as he is not a big fan of fruity beer. I also enjoyed it but did expect it to taste more like cherries than it did. I have read reviews of this beer on a few different sites saying that this beer is way too fruity. I wonder if they have ever had a truly fruity beer (like Paper City's One Eared Monkey or Concord's Grape Ale, or even Sam Adams Cherry Wheat), because this to me was not so fruity. More like a grown up version of the Cherry Wheat. If Cherry Wheat celebrates the young and sweet version of the cherry, the Kriek celebrates the older and somewhat bitter version. It was quite drinkable though, and not cloying at all as some fruit beers can be. I think this would be a nice beer to serve with appetizers as it's not strong enough to color the taste of what you are eating and is kind of a conversation piece.

"Oh cherries in beer? How droll!
"FORTY pounds of cherries per barrel? The mind reels"

These are the remarks I imagine people making at a party at which this beer is served.

The Sam Adams American Kreik retails for $9.99 for a 750 ml bottle and can be find at most local package stores. Use the beer finder on the Sam Adams website to find one near you!

Next up? The Berkshire Brewing Company (BBC) Coffeehouse Porter

Coffeehouse Porter

The BBC's Coffeehouse lager is a dark ale which combines the taste of real organic coffee ( an extract made exclusively for them by Deans Beans in New Salem, MA) with their popular Drayman's Porter.

Immensely easier to open than the Kriek. Now, this particular beer is not new to me. Last month I was over my cousin's house to watch a movie (New Moon, so what?) and she had a bottle (750 ml) of this beer in her fridge. She told me how she had discovered it randomly at our local package store and fallen in sweet love with it's java notes. After sipping from the glass she gave me I was hooked too. And I of course relayed this story of Love At First Sip to the nice Berkshire Brewing Company boys who were at Lamb Jam this past weekend and they humored me enough to act psyched about it. Adam also sampled a little of it at the event and immediately said "Oh yeah we are getting a bottle of this".

Coffeehouse Porter

Immediately, you can tell it is worlds apart from the Kriek. It rolls into the glass decadently and smoothly like a stout, with a thin creamy head. It smells of dark beer and dark coffee. The initial taste is silky with a chocolate smooth malty taste that fades into a rich coffee flavor laced with vanilla. Um, needless to say we LOVE it. I could write an erotic poem about this beer. I basically just did. Adam, who has had his share of Porters, claims this one as his favorite thus far in life.

This beer could qualify as a dessert, poured into tulip style glasses and enjoyed in front of a fire.

The BBC's Coffeehouse Porter comes in a 750 ml bottle and retails for about $5. Look for it in your local package stores and if they don't have it, see if they'll order it!


Andy said...

What a well written erotic poem to the coffee stout. Also, I love what your imaginary people say at the beer party. Holly Golightly throws a beer party!

AnnaB said...

Ha ha! Glad you liked the BBC coffeehouse. I actually had their beers a couple summers ago when I was camping in the Berkshires. I also recommend their pale ales.

Anonymous said...

We found Sam Adams Kriek to be undrinkable. No resemblance to Belgian fruit ales. Stick with Sam Adams Beer beer.