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Against the Grain MacFannybaw



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RATINGS: 179   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.46/5   IBU: 25   EST. CALORIES: 255   ABV: 8.5%
Truly a ground breaking beer, this Barrel aged Rauchbier was an attempt to replicate the flavors present in Islay Scotch Whiskey. We used Munich malt as a base and added copious amounts of Beechwood and Peat smoked malt, which provides the intense smoky and earthy peat flavors found in Scotch. Then the addition of Alderwood smoked salt lends a crisp brininess that is reminiscent of the sea air in the Islay region of Scotland. Aged in used Angel’s Envy Bourbon Barrels to give an intense caramel, vanilla and whiskey flavor.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
TylerGreenDC (803) - - OCT 14, 2016
Draft. Aroma of manhattan. Flavors follow nose, only with less sweetness than aroma would indicate. Lots of Scotch flavor but not a lot of smoke. Increasing raisin as it warms. Hides ABV well. Really wonderful.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 11/20
dmac (5625) - Toms River, New Jersey, USA - OCT 4, 2016
22oz wax dipped bottle drank at Havana for the Vikes Giants game. Poured a thinner looking clear light brown with a smaller foamy eggshell head. Aroma/flavor of campfire, whiskey, smoked pork, medium toast, vanilla and wood. Thinner body with average carbonation and a lingering aftertaste. Interesting to say the least.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 15/20
Jow (3511) - New York, USA - SEP 28, 2016
Tap at Rattle had my eye on this awhile but knew I didn’t want whole bottle so glad I could finally get flight sized portion. Hazed brownish yellow small head. Nose is peat and meat. Tastes of meaty ham, peat smoke, vanilla, and slick rubbing alcohol. I love Islay scotch with all my heart but smoke beers just don’t work in general for me but alas knock out the Rauchbiers in case it ever becomes a style here on RB.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
DocLock (9999) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 15, 2016
Shared bottle at Craft. Poured hazy brownish with tan head. Nose was smoked malt, mild citric acidity, oak, bourbon. Tasted rauchy, woody and bourbony, with some late citric acidity and salinity, some vanilla, and a complex finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
daje (4123) - NORWAY - MAY 21, 2016
On tap at Café Sara, august 25th 2015. Unclear golden body with a small white head. Aroma is smoky with vanilla, apple and plums. Taste is peated malt, part sweet, part sour, with an oak/orange finish. Burned wood sticking in the aftertaste. Special and nice.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Hansen (8435) - Assentoft, DENMARK - MAY 5, 2016
Abmer coloured and hazy. Has a white head, medium duration. Spicy aroma, no notes of smoke, and well, the delicate smoke is in the flavor, nice.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
EHSRanders (2008) - Tjele, DENMARK - MAY 5, 2016
Bottle. Clear golden color with medium creamy white mostly lasting head. Smoked flavor. Sweet flavor.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
HenrikSoegaard (13276) - Randers, DENMARK - MAY 5, 2016
Bottle. Frothy white good mostly lasting head. Amber colour. Moderate malty and light hoppy aroma. Moderate bitter fklavor. Some fruity notes along with the smoked notes. Average moderate bitter nice smoked notes. Average moderate bitter finish. oily palate.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Alengrin (4594) - BELGIUM - APR 23, 2016
Bomber bought online. I am a bit weary about this seen my previous experiences with this brewery and alas: upon removing the wax with a knife, a hissing sound already announced that it was going to be impossible to open this without gushing. Luckily I was well prepared for this and managed to reduce the ’beer loss’ to a minimum. Thin, regular, off-white to very pale beige head retaining well on the edges, hazy amberish orange blonde robe with somewhat pinkish hue. Aroma, as announced on the bottle, is heavily dominated by peat, in the medicinal iodine-like way I still haven’t completely managed to appreciate; underneath this peat bomb, I find hints of smoked bacon, (lightly moldy) orange, light caramel, hay, bourbon, honey, cigarette tobacco, fried egg, bread dough, wet wood but low in vanilla tannins. Sweetish onset, hints of peach, even a bit honeyish, orange freshness well-balanced with deep, gooseberry-like sourishness, medium carbo, supple and smooth malt body (not as heavy as expected from a 8.5% ABV beer), caramelly and pretty straightforward, almost ’Belgian tripel’-like fruitiness continues, while the peated iodine-flavors creep up on you and dominate retronasally, yet I must admit I expected them to be even stronger based on the aroma; they still leave room for ongoing juicy malt (and residual sugar) sweetness, some earthy, spicy hops providing late but effective and lasting bitterness and quite a lot of warming, even slightly astringent, bourbon-like alcohol; woodiness is, as in the aroma, present but very restrained and adds only an accent to the overall palate without drying effect. A ’deep’ sourish flavor lingers as well. I hate gushing to begin with but I must admit I expected worse from the taste; it has a kind of ’lightness’ and drinkability (not to say a rather thin body) paired with fruity, orangey sweetness and bourbon-like alcohol warmth, not that far removed from e.g. Muifel’s Beerskey from the Netherlands. The peat effect is strong in the nose, but remains more or less manageable in the mouth - there is much worse out there when it comes to this particular taste, which admittedly I still haven’t mastered entirely. Underneath it, there is still a somewhat messy arrangement of malt and esters which feels a bit ’Belgian’, and considering the fact that both beers I had from Against the Grain were violent gushers, I don’t think I’ll put my trust in this brewery a third time.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
weihenweizen (3179) - Charleston Area, West Virginia, USA - APR 8, 2016
Refrigerated brown bomber poured. Hazy golden with big white head. Aroma is smoke, light body, medium carbonation, and a little lacing. Taste is smoke and some meat.

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