December 1, 2013

21stA and Elysian He Said He Said

21'st Amendment and Elysian HE SAID Baltic Style Porter - Lager brewed with Pumpkin and Spices (2013)
Limited Release / Collaboration Brew.
24 fl oz. (2 cans) / $6.98 USD (1/2 the 4 pack) / 8.2% ABV

About: "I met Shaun in 1999. He walked into my Seattle pub, came over to me and said he'd always wanted to meet the Pumpkin King. Later on, while hatching a plan to colonize a planet entirely devoted to pumpkin and watermelon, I invited him to my massive pumpkin fest. Ten years later, Shaun asked if the invitation still stood. I punched him in the ribs and said yes. After some cajolery, Shaun and Nico begged me to do a pumpkin collaboration as soon as possible. I said we should brew a pumpkin beer like no other. A Baltic Porter with caraway and cinnamon in a light colored can. Courage!

Hops: German Northern Brewer, Styrian Golding / Yeast: German Lager Yeast / Malts: 2-row, Carafa II, Cara-Vienne, Dark Munich, Carafa III / Special Ingredients: Pumpkin Puree, Pumpkin Juice, Vietnamese Cinnamon, Caraway Seed."

Thoughts: Canned on 9/9/13. Drank 11/9/13. This one poured a seriously dark brown that's bordering on opaque black. The slightest hint of light comes through. The head was tan, huge, fluffed out and left the beer relatively clean. 

Smells pretty strong, and it is kinda pumpkiny. Smells like a cold pumpkin coffee without the sugar. It's pretty raw smelling. You can tell that there's spices in there, mostly a ginger like substance, but it's making the scent a little bit weird. It's got a weird fruitiness to it and kind of smells like an extinguished half smoked cigarette. Or even like the inside of a jack-o-lantern after you've had a candle burning in there all night. Raw, smoky, and a little funky.

The taste starts off just like the scent with that fruity gourd, then a ton of spice hits the mouth for a couple seconds before receding and letting that smokey dinginess have its way. There's really hardly any bitterness to this which is nice, so I suppose they didn't have to go absurdly crazy with the spices, wut-evur! It's pretty sweet for the most part, and a few seconds into the gulp it hits with a really sweet bang before getting softer. It's a bit cola like as well. A hint of grassy hops comes through about halfway and the cinnamon gets stronger as the beer warms. 

I really wish the spices were a bit more pronounced. Also, this one could use some Belgian candy sugar or brown sugar even. It's a thickly built beer as it stands though, for a lager I mean. While it's good, it leaves just a little bit to be desired, but maybe I'm just nitpicking about porters again. There's a nice boozy tone that really helps the beer along which is much appreciated. In the end it tastes like a mix of a Chirstmas beer and an Pumpkin brew.

21'st Amendment and Elysian HE SAID Belgian Style Tripel - Ale brewed with Pumpkin and Spices (2013)
Limited Release / Collaboration Brew. 
24 fl oz. (2 cans) / $6.98 USD (1/2 the 4 pack) / 8.2% ABV

About: "I met Dick in 2010. He walked into our San Francisco pub, came over to Nico and me and said he'd always wanted to meet the watermelon guys. Later on, while I was knocking his block off at Rock'em Sock'em robots, Dick mentioned his little pumpkin fest and suggested we attend. One year later, Dick asked me again. Then he kicked me in the shins until I said yes. After drinking the pumpkin elixirs, I told Dick we should do a pumpkin collaboration sometime. I said we should brew a pumpkin beer like no other. A Belgian Tripel with spices in a dark colored can that's as big time as it gets.

Hops: German Northern Brewer, US Golding, Sterling / Yeast: Trappist Ale Yeast / Malts: 2-row, Aromatic, Belgian Candi Sugar / Special Ingredients: Pumpkin Puree, Pumpkin Juice, Galangal, Tarragon."

Thoughts: This one poured a really cloudy golden yellow with a very white head full of small bubbles that popped away super quick and left this one headless as a whore'sman.

Mmmm... soapy water. Man, you gotta love Trappist Ale Yeast. The stuff is wondrous. This is so perfumy. Is perfumy a word? The one smells pretty tame. The peppery yeast dominates for the most part, and if you hadn't told me that this was brewed with pumpkins I probably would have only suspected. Smells good though.

Nice fumes with that first gulp. The taste on this one is soft, sweet, crisp, mild, and features a smooth almost cider-like quality to it. Alcohol strength is evident, but comes and goes. It's got a nice spice profile and is pretty tingly whenever you take another sip. Then there's the quick bite followed by a gentle haze that takes  a while to ride out. Doesn't really taste all that much like pumpkin beer per se, but you can taste the natural pumpkin in there that they brewed with. Alcohol becomes more evident as it warms and it gets a bit tart, like sour apples.

This one is a bit light for my tastes. It tastes similar to the other HE SAID, but that's only a few of the base ingredients and based on the fact it's all made by the same dudes. These were cool to try but I don't think I'd pick this up again. The artwork is kinda weirding me out as well. Got two cans left and I'm going to try mixing them against my better judgment. 

The Baltic Porter pretty much takes over everything scent wise and taste wise as well. I guess you can't do a straight 50/50 mix with these two because it ends up being 90/10 in the end. Lifting the cans for the second time around and I find out I actually poured about one third the Baltic Porter and two thirds the Belgian Tripel and still the porter took over. The mix doesn't taste half bad, but it hasn't improved on either one of the beers individually. It tastes a lot less like that Trappist yeast and a lot more like a blend of meh. It's all good for two beers as well as two beers mixed into one, but either or all three ways, it's still missing something special that just pops. My interest feigns, much like that of the reader's of this blog.

No comments:

My words are my own and as of posted from their creation forward I hereby claim originality to them. Pictures may prove to be promotional items and are the sole possessions of their respectful owners and/or companies. I do not sell, nor do I buy. I only rent, so therefore, nothing I own is truly mine.