I have a running agreement with a buddy in Cali. I ship him homebrews (2-3 bottles of each batch) and he ships me several brands that I can’t get here in AR, to sample. I got the first box this week. It had He’brew Jewbelation 11, Meantime Coffee Porter, Traquair House Ale, Saison Dupont (750ml).
1)Jewbelation 11: I personally did not like this beer. I felt it was way too bitter. The bitterness was harsh and lingered a very long time after I had swallowed. It seemed like some of the bitterness was from some astringency, possibly. It made it hard for me to focus on what little malt flavor I could pick up. It was hard for me to finish. I enjoy plenty of big, high IBU beers, but this didn’t do it for me.
2)Meantime Coffee Porter: This is weird, but I really liked this beer, and it didn’t taste much like beer (and I don’t like/drink coffee). In fact, they could have called it “Coffee (enter any black ale name here). It had a very strong coffee flavor and aroma, but I found it very pleasant to drink. It was rather full bodied and finished with some lingering sweetness, but not overly sweet. Very well balanced. Not something I would drink a six pack of, but definitely something I would enjoy in the evening. It made me wish I had some decadent cheesecake to go with it. Very surprising….
3)Traiquair House Ale: This was my favorite. The color was a deep, dark brown, with hints of red. A chewy, full bodied beer. It had a light, roasted malt flavor over a solid, sweet malt background. I had one bottle and I was so impressed with the malt character, I didn’t pay much attention to the contribution of the hops. This is a solid beer that I would buy regularly if it was available in AR.
I haven’t tried the Saison Dupont, yet (saving for this weekend).
Let me say this, I understand that taste with beer is like almost any consumable. Much of it is subjective. That’s why I don’t say any beer is “bad,” etc. This is my take on these products. And I will be the first to admit that my palate varies from day to day. My perception of bitterness or sweetness can change varies.