Christmas Ale 2009

Purchased form Sam the Beer Man in Binghamton, NY in summer of 2010. 750 mL bottle, $8.99, Corked & Caged. Murky brown pour with a fair amount of yeasty sediment but a nice presentation in the glass. Good head forms, with a thick, mocha color and some nice lace. Looks good. Pleasing nose with some gentle fruit and spice, but that doesn't really manifest itself quite as strongly in the tastes. Perhaps even the few months age on this has not treated it all that well, and it would have been...

Phoenix Pale Ale

12 oz can from a recent trip to NY. Purchased at Finger lakes Beverage in Ithaca, NY, USA. Nice pour with a good, solid copper colored body. Head is decent and leaves some pleasing, broken lace. Carbonation is mild but in proportion. Nose offers good malts but also a lightly assertive bitterness - it has strength, but in no way do the hops overwhelm the beer or make it feel bitter. Tastes offer a similar balance to the nose, and the beer works nicely. It's definitely "American" in the manner...

Pikeland Pils

12 oz can. I've heard quite a lot about this beer over the years, and some of it I suspect has been simply because it has been canned; there seems to be a mild hysteria that accompanies some canned beers where people get ahead of themselves and forget to worry about what the beer actually tastes like! Pour is a well carbonated, golden body with some decent head. the lace is not huge, but a decent, semi-thick film hangs around on the surface of the beer. A strange, citrusy, lemon like smell...

Route 113 India Pale Ale

12 oz can. Very interesting beer. The pour gives an amazingly dark, copper color with superb clarity. The copper color is pronounced and quite dark for the style. Nice head, decent lace, good looker. There is a real, significant bitterness in the nose and initial tastes, but these change to a quite obvious, herbal, earthy, light spiced hop note. It feels quite organic. The beer lacks any real dry character (that I was expecting), but still delivers a firm finish. Hints of grapefruit are also...