winter brews from New York...

Sixpoint Diesel (6.3%): It's December, the holiday season..! With the weather gradually getting cold it's the perfect time for bold, thick, malty ales and stouts... When I am in a mood like this how can I resist to a beer from one of my favorite breweries called "Diesel"? This beauty comes in 16oz cans like the other releases from Sixpoint I reviewed here a few months ago. Look: Very very dark brown, almost black body with a quick disappearing beige thin head. Nose: Pine forest after a hard rain, iced espresso, dark rich chocolate. And tons of hoppy aromas. I really didn't expect to nose so much hop in a stout. Palate: A feast of hops surrounded by roasted malt and chocolate notes. Pine cones, pine nuts, juniper berries, coffee beans. It is too much carbonated for a stout. I would say a stout with an American twist. I liked the bitter and dry finish though. Overall: My expectations were too high, I am afraid. It is a different kind of a stout. It's bitter, hoppy, carbonated and thin in texture. I am still a little bit confused about the label. But it is definitely an easy drinking and satisfying dark ale if not a stout.

Long Ireland Beer Company Celtic Ale (5.0%): Long Ireland Beer Company is a small brewery from Long Island, Riverhaead. It is owned by two friends who started the business three years ago as an adventure. Nowadays they are getting a little bit broader distribution in NY area. I had a chance to taste their beer on a Sunday morning at my local hangout Black Swan in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn with my breakfast and Premiere League on TV. Perfect combination... Celtic Ale is a cask ale expression hand drawn straight form the cask to your glass. Look: Cloudy amber. Nice off-white, thick but not dense foam. Nose: Sour and yeasty aromas. Grassy and citrusy. Very distinct hops, green vegetables and a touch of sweetness like caramel at the background.  Palate: Typical sourness of a cask ale covers the mouth first, almost soapy. Wet grass, moist soil, shaved fennel and lemongrass. Maybe some over-brewed green tea and honey at the end. Very thin in texture. Overall: As a big cask ale fan I am very glad to see locally brewed cask ales finally. Nothing special or edgy about it but a typical and approachable example of its genre. A perfect daytime brew in winter and makes a great couple with an afternoon shot of whisky.