Draft Notes

One beer at a time…

Archive for the month “April, 2013”

Tommyknocker Brewery Maple Nut Brown

A few months back I received a gift of a Beer of the Month Club membership. I honestly have not had much to speak about from my deliveries; however, this week I received a beer which peaked my interest from Tommyknocker Brewery in Idaho Springs, Colorado. I am going to take a look at their Maple Nut Brown. Not a rare beer find or anything, as they distribute to over half the country and I have actually seen this beer at my local store. I have only had one beer with maple in it and that was Rogue’s Maple Bacon which was in my opinion a bit of a disaster. I have to think I can find better uses of maple out there.Tommy glass 2

My first question about this brewery is: Why the name Tommyknocker? Well, the brewery is located in a small Colorado mining town and Tommy Knockers are mythical creatures which live under ground in the mines. These creatures apparently are known to notify miners when a collapse is looming by making knocking sounds with rocks. Furthermore, they are usually the first suspect when I miner lost tools or were broken.

Couple of other quick facts about old Tommyknocker Brewery. The brewpub was founded in 1994, the town is at an elevation of 7500 feet, and they also make four types of soda. Wow!Tommyknock label
Maple Nut Brown is brewed with Perle and Willamette hops alongside 2-row, Munich, Crystal (75&150), Carapils, and Chocolate malts. As mentioned above and in the name, there is dash of maple syrup in the mix. The ABV is 4.5% and IBU level clocks in at 20. Let’s drink.

I am pouring a 12 ounce bottle into a beer mug as suggested by the beer club. The recommended serving temperature is 47-52 °F, so I let the bottle sit on the counter for 10-15 minutes to let it warm up a little.

Appearance is Amber Brown with a small amount of white head receding almost immediately.

Aromas are dessert worthy with roasted and nutty notes along with a dash of brown sugar mixed in.

Tastes I pick up immediately are caramel, nutty, and vanilla, followed by a zing of maple syrup in the finish.

Mouth feel is a medium body and minimal carbonation. Not as thick or syrupy as I expected. I think when maple syrup comes to mind, those are the qualities I am expecting and thankfully that is not the case. Quite smooth really.

Tommy glass n capOverall I am pleasantly surprised with this beer. It is very easy drinking with most of the traditional nut-brown flavors and a nice subtle twist of maple. I feel like it could be better by adding a little more toasted flavor and carbonation (a bit flat for my liking). I will rate Tommyknocker Maple Nut Brown 3.75 Mugs out of 5 on the Draft Notes scale.

For more information on Tommyknocker Brewery, check them out here: http://www.tommyknocker.com/

Want to know more about Tommyknockers? Check out the American
Folklores website


Boatswain Chocolate Stout

This is only my 30th review on Draft Notes, but the one review which gets the most views is Boatswain Double IPA Twin Screw Steamer. So, not Bells Hopslam or a Cigar City beer, Boatswain! Ok, to clue in those who are unaware, Boatswain beers are brewed by Minhas Brewery in Wisconsin and sold at Trader Joes for $1.99 for a 22oz bottle. Basically this is the beer counterpart of their famous “Two Buck Chuck” wine. Like I was when I first tried the double IPA, people are curious. Therefore, today I will be reviewing Boatswain Chocolate Stout.Boatswain Choc Stout Label

This Chocolate Stout weighs in at 5.4% ABV and 66 IBUs. The label states they use cocoa powder in the brewing process which is fairly common, but for the calorie counters out there, you should know that powder have a fairly high fat content compared to those using syrups or cocoa nibs.

I am going to be tasting this beer in a standard beer mug, poured from the 22oz bottle.

Boatswain Choc Stout w GlassAppearance is midnight black with a British khaki head.

Aromas are chocolate and roasted barley. Not much else and those present are fairly light.

Tastes like those aromas with the chocolate dominating and that roasted barley peeking in. I also pick up some coffee as dull bitterness rolls of the tongue.

Mouth feel is slightly chalky, medium body, and a moderate amount of carbonation.

Overall this beer is easy drinking and if I take the price tag in account, not a bad buy. It just doesn’t have a whole lot of anything that sticks out. Nothing bad, nothing great, needs more flavor. I will rate Boatswain Chocolate Stout 2.75 mugs out of 5 on the Draft Notes Scale. Boatswain Choc Stout Head

Give it a try, but I suggest paying a couple of dollars more for something like Young’s Double Chocolate Stout ($4.99 17oz) or Rogue Chocolate Stout ($6.99 22oz).

If you are interested in the cocoa type discussion (Powder, Nibs, Syrup,or bar), I thought this was a pretty good article and probably helpful for home brewers: http://allaboutbeer.com/learn-beer/home-brewing/recipes/2010/01/brewing-with-cocoa/

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