The Brewer’s Garden Tasting Notes
Bison Organic Honey Basil Ale
This beer pours an amber-orange color with a thin white head. The aroma is slightly malty with a hint of the honey. The basil emerges in the flavor profile. It is a background note that comes forward, then reverses itself. This is a smooth drinker.
Dogfish Head Sah’tea
The brewery added this one to its full production line up in 2009. Dogfish Head takes a traditional Finnish sahti recipe that includes juniper berries and creates a bit of a twist with the addition of black chai tea at the end of the boil. The beer is a hazy orange color, with a decent white head—a nice sweet nose and several flavors that emerge with each taste.
Furthermore Knot Stock
Furthermore Knot Stock uses cracked black pepper that is boiled in a sack and then cold-infused in an American pale ale that features Northern Brewer hops. The brewery owners got the idea for the beer from an Italian cookie that used black pepper to add spice to its flavor. The ale pours an amber gold color with a thick off-white head. The black pepper is clear in the aroma. At 65 IBUs there is plenty of hop flavor in this rich and coating ale.
Moon River Rosemary Swamp Fox IPA
Savannah’s Moon River Brewing uses Centennial, Chinook and Brewer’s Gold hops, then dry-hops the ale with fresh rosemary. Rosemary Swamp Fox IPA leads with the rosemary, which is the lead element in the aroma and clear in the flavor. The hops are present, but soft when compared to many IPAs.
Stone Smoked Porter with Chipotle
This beer pours a nice dark brown with a khaki head of foam. There is a moderate level of smoke aroma with this brew. The first sip does not scream heat from a smoked chili pepper, but after a couple of sips you increasingly sense the warmth. It is not overpowering, but it is clearly present.
Saison Du BUFF
Stone Brewing, Victory Brewing and Dogfish Head combined forces in 2010 to form what they called Brewers United for Freedom of Flavor (BUFF). Saison du BUFF was released as a limited product with no plans to make it again. The one I tried was brewed at Stone and is a 6 percent ABV beer with a lovely aroma that is supported by the parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme used in the brewing. The flavor is a combination of floral, citrus and the spices. Lots of what you would expect in saison and some things you would not.
Rick Lyke is the founder of the Pints for Prostates men's health awareness campaign. www.pintsforprostates.org.