Tonight we had some friends over for dinner. I thought it would be a great opportunity to do a GIANT double review. Yes, yes…I’m getting away from the Nashoba Valley Brewery reviews that I claimed I was starting a series on. Never mind that.
We first broke out this GIANT 1/2 gallon jug of Ten Penny Ale brewed by Olde Burnside Brewing. They are local to New England, brewing out of East Hartford, CT.
My co-reviewer tonight was my friend Mike. He’s very much a beer reviewing novice, and a perfect drinking companion in that right. I’m always trying to “get back to my roots” and think about beer the way I did before I started the blog; reviewing with someone like Mike always achieves that end.
We thought that Ten Penny was malty. I was picking up caramel flavors. Mike thought that there was a distinct floral flavor. The brew was generally well balanced, with an equal amount of sweetness and bitterness. Guessing at ABV I said 5% and Mike guessed 5.5%. He was right on the button.
Before I move on, I should mention that the Ten Penny Ale came as a gift from my friend Josh. Many thanks bud!
As Mike and I discussed the various flavors of beer, he asked what “spice” really meant in a beer. I told him we’d have to try something spicy next if he was up for it. A little later, out came the La Chouffe, which was yet another gift, this time courtesy my buddy Al.
As with many Belgians, the immediate aroma I got reminded me of bananas. I’ve never had a Belgian that tasted like banana, but they almost always smell that way to me. The aroma is spicy too. Mike picked up on a bready character also.
We thought long and hard about the flavor. The beer changes a lot as it warms, which made our analysis even more difficult. We came to the agreement that it closely reminded us of a spicy apple cider.
After finishing off the 1/2 gallon of Ten Penny, followed by 1Pt 9oz of 8% La Chouffe we needed some time to chill. Mike and I hung out for a long while talking about beer and other geeky things. Great times!