Monday, October 15, 2007
Posted by Bull E. Vard
The setup: 4 seasonal Schlaflys while watching a tense postseason Red Sox - Indians battle.
The participants: Schlafly Saison, Schlafly Pumpkin Ale, Schlafly Summer Kolsch, Schlafly Oktoberfest
The tools: My cracked Schlafly pint glass, Surround Sound remote, TV remote, garlic and greek popcorn and Old Chicago bottle opener
The battle is on. Fausto Carmona an upstart Indians pitcher vs. grizzled veteran Curt Schilling and the Fenway faithful.
I open my first of 4, the Kolsch. The pour offered a golden liquid with a slightly off white head, like a blond dude going gray. Not much head at all on this Kolsch, I'm using a standard 45 degree tilt to the pint glass as I pour. A little bit of a hoppy sweet aroma signals the goodness that is going to come. A little disclosure, I'm a big Kolsch and Saison fan. This Kolsch has a nice little citrusy taste, almost as if there was once a lemon in my glass but taken out before I poured the beer, followed by a mild hoppy bitterness. A little bit of sweetness lingers in mouth, makes a nice complement to the popcorn.
Fausto no striko throwo. Maybe they ought to release the gnats (if you don't watch baseball just skip the parts where I talk about the game). Luckily Schilling is just as sucktastic. Time for another beer.
Next up is the Saison. I've been looking forward to a Saison for a while, there aren't many bottled Saisons, you can usually only get them in brewpubs seasonally or some restaurant with 100 beers. Luckily, Schlafly bottles a couple of different seasonals for the fall. Step it up Boulevard! It pours a dark yellow nearing orange with a full off white head, a really pretty looking beer, it'd be popular in beer prison. The aroma is a bit flowery and fruity as a Saison should smell. The taste is of a fine Belgian beer, fruity but not any one fruit, maybe a caramelized pear with a little lemon. It also had a bit of a spicy herbal taste. A whole lot of flavor is going on in this Saison, it's going to be tough to beat.
Who would have thunk neither pitcher would go five innings. NOT ME! Raphael Perez should pitch a nice couple of innings. OR NOT! I really enjoyed those 2 home runs you gave up Raphael.
The next beer is the pumpkin ale. I wasn't really looking forward to the pumpkin experience, it's not my favorite fruit flavor for beer. The pour was a nice orange color, with a small white head, like pumpkin pie with whipped cream. The smell was the same as a warm pumpkin pie with the pumpkin, cinammon and clove. It even tasted like pumpkin pie, with very little beer taste. In my book, that's a strike, but for the pumpkin lover, this beer is spot on.
Kenny Lofton and Franklin Gutierrez really came through for the Indians in the 6th tying us up at 6. Now would be a good time for Fox to play some Ozzy Ozborne. They seem to be switching between "Cleveland Rocks" and some song from "Fever Pitch" depending on who is in the lead. What will they do? I missed it while getting another beer.
Ahh, Oktoberfest, another great fall beer style. This really is the best season for beer. This beer pours the perfect amber color that I like to see when I see a beer, with a rich full white head. It has a sweet malty aroma, kind of like when you're walking around a brewery, not a lot of hop smell. The taste disappoints just a little, kind of smoked malty taste with no hop bitterness. Still a good beer, but it does leave an aftertaste. I almost needed a glass of water to go with it.
I nursed the Oktoberfest for a little while because I wasn't sure when the game was going to end. The Indians relievers past Perez pitched lights out as did the Red Sox. I was thinking if we can just get them to use Gagne, we'll get them beat. Whichever beer I reach for in extra innings will be the winner of the Schlafly seasonal battle.
The winner is Saison. The Kolsch was strongly considered, but I wanted something a little heavier and could stand to be drank a little slower if need be (I needed it to taste good if it was a little warm, Kolsch doesn't fit that bill). The Indians had a marvelous 11th inning scoring 7 runs and Trot Nixon is the hero.
In the past couple of days I've really grown to enjoy the Pumpkin almost to the point that I would buy another sixer. The Kolsch was absolutely fabulous Sunday night when it was pretty warm in the house. The Oktoberfest might not have gotten the fairest initial review as it was last to be tried and I was very emotionally spent with the baseball game. I will definitely get the Oktoberfest again. Overall, the Schlafly fall beers are all spot on and the summer Schlafly's, Summer Kolsch and Raspberry Hefeweizen are hitting .500.