Posts tagged ‘Black’

Count Orlok Black Pumpkin Ale (Revolution Series #666 STL) – Urban Chestnut Brewing Company

Orlock II

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but the estate of Bram Stoker would probably disagree. Feel as you may about the overwhelming plethora of blood sucking freaks that have made their way pervasively through popular culture, there is no denying that some rip offs are better than others. On that subject, the seminal 1922 release of “Nosferatu” certainly rises to the head of the glass, so to speak. During the first World War, Germany had essentially banned all foreign films, and the side effect was the rise of the German Expressionist movement. Combining geometric absurdist design with intellectual explorations of dark themes, the films became a massive influence on many filmmakers, and remain cult classics to this day. Of course, while the presentation may have been wholly original, Nosferatu encountered more than a bit of a problem in borrowing content, namely the underlying plot of a slightly more famous vampire, “Count Dracula”.

Despite the iconic performance of Max Shrek as the less than suave, more than terrifying, rodent faced “Count Orlok”, there is no scorn quite like that of a widowed Florence Stoker. Perhaps rightfully, but nonetheless unfortunately, a court order was issued deeming the work a thinly veiled infringement of copy-written work, and all copies were ordered destroyed. It’s hard to keep a vampire dead though, and lurking about the shadows of Europe, a single print was recovered, copied by fans, and finally, distributed to become the silent iconic horror masterpiece adored by so many today.

Since it is now in the public domain, you can jump to the bottom of the blog to watch the full movie and download a copy for yourself. Happy Halloween!

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Name:  Count Orlok Black Pumpkin Ale (Revolution Series #666 STL)

Place of Origin / Brewer: St. Louis, MO / Urban Chestnut Brewing Company

Beer style / ABV%:  Black Pumpkin Wheat Ale / 5.4%

Specialty Prep / Individuality:  This German inspired bier noir is brewed with Golden Delicious pumpkins and features Pale & Munich malts, along with German wheat and Opal hops, a Bavarian yeast strain, and pie spices.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Packaging:

I think it should be said for the purposes of full disclosure that I am a huge student of silent films (I even have Lon Chaney Sr. tattooed on my arm).  So, I’m pre-disposed to be a raging fan boy over this “Revolution Series #666” bottling from Urban Chestnut, featuring the singularly creepy Count Orlok.  The Count, a vampire, was a character that F.W. Murnau christened in the 1922 film Nosferatu to avoid a lawsuit with Bram Stoker’s widow over the name Dracula.  And even though Vampires drink blood–I’m sure an exception can be made for this “Black Pumpkin Ale” around Halloween time. – Tim

Really cool “Nosferatu” themed design, fits the season and haunts my fridge. I’m a sucker for horror themes and this one takes the cake. – Rick

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Color:  7

Pours a murky mahogany brown color with very little head and the thinnest of white lacing around the edges. Due to the complete opaqueness of the class the only place you can catch the slight carbonation is at the top. – Brittney

A deep and opaque chestnut brown. Nearly black, but not quite. It sounds a lot less sexy to call it a REALLY DARK BROWN PUMPKIN ALE though, right? There is a nice single finger off white head (my color palate suggests “Fawn”), and the glass appears rather still, but who knows what bubbles are lurking among the shadows? – Mike

M- 8 / T- 6.5 / B- 5 / R- 8

 _________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Aroma:  6.5

Lots of nice floral yeast notes mingling with dry black malts. There is a silky sweetness floating over a mixture of oats and barley. It smells just like I imagined a black pumpkin wheat would.- Rick

So far this smells like sour ale. On second and third pass you start to get more of the sweetness of the pumpkin and a flash of cinnamon and clove. – Brittney

M- 7 / T- 6.5 / B- 6 / R- 5.5

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Mouth feel:  6.5

I’m really enjoying the mouth feel of this one.  It’s a solid medium bodied beer that is not too crisp and not too syrupy.  The carbonation isn’t offensive but there is enough of it that the sips aren’t boring and flat either. – Brittney

Much thinner than expected, I have to remind myself that this is a Black Ale and not a stout or porter, but even then it’s a touch too watery for my tastes and the carbonation is much lighter than the initial pour would suggest – which compounds the problem as well. -Tim

M- 7 / T- 5.5 / B- 8 / R- 6

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Tasting notes:  6.5

Charmingly subtle Dunkelweizen grains and mild sweetness on the first sip and the, as the fluid unassumingly sloshes around your maw, hearty pumpkin pie creeps out to snatch your taste buds away under their dark veil of liquid bread. – Mike

Vampires, as they are, have notorious reactions to garlic–of which this ale has none.  However, were cloves our rat-fanged anti-hero’s kryptonite, then this would be the ale to avoid like the plague–as clove is the undying profile on display here.  Some roasted pumpkin flesh and dark malts come into play, but for the most part this ale is studded with more clove than a holiday ham. – Tim (editors note: Tim doesn’t like too much clove).

I get a lot of roasted malt and wheat in the front of the flavor. What little pumpkin I smelled in the aroma has weakened and the only spice I can taste anymore is clove. This beer is either super complex or fairly simple but it leaves me at a loss. – Brittney

It’s an interesting twist. I like the choice of mixing dark malts into the wheat ale category, as it adds a bit of enjoyable smokiness to the profile of a beer that I otherwise might not like. Pumpkin spices are almost subtle, acting as an accent to an already delicious beer. – Rick

M- 7 / T- 5.5 / B- 8 / R- 6

 Orlock

Finish:  7

Lingering smoke, mace, and clove gather in the recess of your cheeks to skulk about awhile. Some banana esters emerge here as well, (again, assuming the clove esters may be lost in actual clove). Finally, a deep and granular earthy wheat dryness becomes the tomb to which the spices adjourn to renew their dark power. – Mike

Burnt dark malts embody the finish and really define this brew. It starts like a wheat, but the end is what sells it for me. A touch of smoke and some delicate hot spicing make for a great conclusion to this ale. – Rick

M- 8 / T- 6 / B- 7.5 / R- 7

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Flavor balance:  6.5

         Pumpkin to Spice balance: 6

There is actually a really solid pumpkin profile on this ale, and the character from the aroma leads you to believe this will be more pie than veggie, but it’s all so overpowered by the single-note clove spicing that it throws the whole thing totally out of whack. – Tim

Although these two elements of the pumpkin ale take a back seat in this brew, I do believe they are very well balanced. No spice stands above the other and they all help solidify the pumpkin flavor which becomes a great addition to this black wheat ale. – Rick

M- 6.5 / T- 5 / B- 6 / R- 7

         Sweet / Dry balance: 6.5

There is a kiss of sweetness that lights up each new sip, but overall, we lean to a smokey, spicy dryness. It draws you back fro more with each sip, not unlike the Vampyr’s hypnotic gaze, and believe me, the bite will be the last thing that you remember. – Mike

Some sugars profile in the body, bending into a sour tinge and finishing dry from the heavy handed spices–it’s not so much balanced as it is confused. – Tim

M- 7.5 / T- 5 / B- 7 / R- 6

         Multiple Drinkability?  7

I’m not the biggest wheat beer fan, but I’m really enjoying this. I believe that, had the malt selection been different, however, this beer might sink to the depths among other forgettable pumpkin ales. – Rick

While not the boldest pumpkin offering around, Orlok succeeds in being both interesting and exceedingly session-able. The beer’s foundation is hearty enough to please any Germanophile, and manages to include a nice seasonal twist that compliments the essential character of the base style. I could definitely do a few of these. Plus, vampires dude. – Mike

M- 9 / T- 4 / B- 7 / R- 7.5

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Overall:  6.66

M- 7.58 / T- 5.83 / B- 6.33 / R- 6.66

 

Advertisements

T.R.E.A.T. Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter – Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

treat1 WEB

Today sounds Round Two of our way, way up there beer double feature, and it’s a doozy. Sure to keep you warm on any winter night, (or spring, summer, and fall if you happen to be in Alaska), this Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter scored in spades with us, and to anyone who knows how much we tend to disagree, that should mean something. So raise a glass to the season, and take a solid draught of this black as the devil’s heart concoction. If you can find some, that is.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Name:  T.R.E.A.T. (The Royal Eccentric Ale Treatment)

Place of Origin / Brewer: Alaska, USA / Midnight Sun Brewing Co.

Beer style / ABV%:  Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter / 7.8%

Specialty Prep / Individuality:  This demented ale took home the Gold at the 2007 Great American Beer Festival, and is made with pumpkin, cocoa nibs, cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Packaging:

A wicked pumpkin king sits defiantly in front of the wrought iron gates of his spooky house on the hill while stars and lightning bolts illuminate the blackened sky behind him.  TREAT screams of a whimsical Halloween ale – right down to the tombstone proclamation decreeing this brew an Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter!   Have four simple words ever sounded so good strung together? – Tim

Very playful label, just like their Trickster. Cartoon style art with a colorful character of a pumpkin presenting a tombstone with what appears to be a haunted mansion at the top of the hill in the background. It’s cute. – Rick

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Color:  8

Black as midnight (if you don’t live in Alaska), with just the slightest of ruby hues and a head that’s off white enough that you don’t want to know what kind of snow it is. – Mike

This is a great pitch black fully opaque porter. It’s so dark, and I love it. The super light coffee colored head disappears quickly, but make for a delicious looking brew. – Rick

M- 8.5 / T- 8.5 / B- 7.5 / R- 6.5

 ___________________________________________________________________________________

Aroma:  7.5

Smells of espresso, bitter chocolate, and malt. There is also a faint aroma of a molasses and a black strap rum quality towards then end of the scent. – Brittney

Dark, Dark bitter chocolate and roasted malt. We’re close to stout territory here. No sign of pumpkin or spice, but vanilla is making it’s way through the mix. Mouthwatering, none the less. – Mike

M- 8 / T- 8 / B- 7 / R- 7

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Mouth feel:  7.5

A surprisingly assertive carbonation level for a porter, which brings forth an interesting contrast–one that allows the fuller medium bodied nature of the beer to bounce more freely on the tongue.  Intriguing. – Tim

Considering the darkness and depth of the color of this beer the medium body is thinner than I expected also there is a surprising amount of carbonation.  I expected thick still and syrupy and got medium bodied and active. I guess it is a porter after all. – Brittney

M- 9 / T- 7.5 / B- 6.5 / R- 7.5

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Tasting notes:  8.5

Sweet cinnamon, pumpkin, and chocolate peanut butter fudge. Like grandma forgot that Reese’s weren’t an ingredient in pumpkin pie, and served it up with Hershey’s syrup on top. Awesome roasty goodness. – Mike

Thick with roasted malts, lush pumpkin, cocoa nibs, blackberries, dark fruit jam and molasses blending with a notable touches of cinnamon, vanilla and  clove.  The beer envelops, it’s sweet and bitter all at once with enough pronounced notes of alcohol heat to keep you warm on the long sunless Saturday’s during Alaska’s famed 30 days of night. – Tim

Quite bitter at first taste, this beer then mellows to slightly smooth and slick and all the flavors of the nose arrive with bitter chocolate, espresso, sweet molasses and a surprising presence of cinnamon. – Brittney

A very well balanced brew indeed. Cocoa nibs, a touch of clove, and ripe pumpkins all build upon the great sweetness that holds this brew together. – Rick

M- 8.5 / T- 8 / B- 7.5 / R- 8

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Finish:  7.5

Long and boozy, bitter and sweet but never bittersweet.  The carry over spice from cinnamon and clove linger but the most prominent note on the close is chocolate and coffee. – Tim

The pumpkin shines here with almost a smoky quality to the back end. It is dry on the finish, but a tad sweeter than I had expected. – Rick

M- 9 / T- 7 / B- 6.5 / R- 7.5

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Flavor balance:  7.5

–         Pumpkin to Spice balance: 7

 

We are quite in check here. Though the spicing is subtle, it accentuates the beer, rather than defining it. – Mike

Complex and challenging, the pumpkin is overshadowed by the bold nature of the beer, the chocolate malts while imparting some notes in the body and bouquet were not distinct enough for a definitive “chocolate porter”.  But overall this is still a pretty great beer. – Tim

M- 8 / T- 6.5 / B- 6 / R- 8

–         Sweet / Dry balance: 7.5

Slick and sweet; the bitterness of the chocolate and the finish are not enough to contend with the fact that this is leaning towards the sweet side – Brittney

It leans sweet, but the dryness helps reel it all back in. Its not cloying either, which is something that had me worried early on. – Rick

M- 8.5 / T- 7 / B- 6 / R- 8

–         Multiple Drinkability?  8.5

I love pumpkin ales, and chocolate porters / stouts. This is an insane beer that could be a dessert for any holiday meal. And the appetizer, aperitif, and courses… – Mike

This beer is fun and unique enough to have as a part of a tasting flight to show some of the differences you can present a pumpkin beer, but I don’t think I would have more than one. – Brittney

This is awesome for an imperial porter, and one of my favorite pumpkin beers so far. I would try to drink as many as I could get my hands on. – Rick

Strong and Robust, I think a session of this beer would not only blow my plate apart, it would likely leave me in a coma that might last as long as the midnight sun itself.  Still, I’d go another round with this treat any day.  – Tim

M- 10 / T- 8 / B- 6 / R- 9

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Overall:  7.75

M- 8.83 / T- 7.67 / B- 6.83 / R- 7.50

treat2 WEB

GPBR Shirts are now available!

Obsessed with our blog? Need that rare tee no one else has? Just like to advertise that you might be a touch of an alcoholic? We’ve got ya covered! One of our friends was cool enough to design us these rad shirts, that are perfect for pumpkin beer festivals, or just fall drinking. You can have your very own for just $10 plus shipping costs, so shoot us an email with the size you need at greatpumpkinbeerreview@gmail.com and we’ll send you payment information!