Draft Notes

One beer at a time…

Archive for the category “Maple”

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


Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale

Over the last week I was fortunate enough to spend some time with great friends in OBX (Hatteras, NC) and I decided it was finally time to bust out the Rogue Voodoo Bacon Maple Ale. Definitely the perfect time for a morning tasting with no responsibilities for days, so that is what we did once we got the bacon sizzling. Rogue, located in Newport, Oregon, is known for well… their rogue attitude when brewing beer. When I saw the bright pink bottle on the shelf offering a bacon flavored beer, I can’t say I was too surprised. This beer is named after Voodoo Doughnut, a legendary Portland donut shop known for their crazy toppings which I am proud to say I was able to recognize after seeing them on Donut Paradise (Travel Channel) a couple of years back. Don’t judge. With a little encouragement from the store keeper, I decide to make the $12 (22oz bottle) purchase to see if they could pull this off.

Rogue Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale

I poured out three four ounce samples for my first willing tasters and I. The appearance was a deep orange, maybe copper with white head. Nothing too strange there, but then I take a wiff of the aromas detecting a nice maple scent. Mentally it was tough to comprehend a sweet, sweet maple scent coming from my beer despite being fully aware of what I was getting us into. I was actually surprised that the bacon did not really stand out, though there was a smoke aroma which some may say is the bacon. Time to taste; so we clink the glasses to our morning start and dive in. Holy smoke! The 3 smoked malts used, to include house-smoked hickory malt, are quite overwhelming. Maple is definitely there, along with a hint of bacon and grain/wheat. The mouth feel is very smooth and moderately dense. I have only tried a couple, but the smoke taste immediately brought to mind a Rauchbier (specifically Sam Adams Bonfire Rauch). Overall, I was disappointed that the flavors didn’t really balance out well as the smoke flavor was way too harsh. It was definitely worth try, but I would not recommend buying this beer unless you have some friends around to finish the bottle with you. When I return home to write my review based on my notes and conduct additional research I realized this is considered a smoke beer (Beer Advocate) which some may say is the same as a Rauchbier. I did not taste expecting this, so I may not have been so taken by the smoke had I known. Hard to say either way. I give credit to Rogue for keeping it Oregon weird and will continue to try their off the wall ales. However, I have to give a rating of 2 Mugs out of 5 on the Draft Notes Scale.

Read more about Rogue at http://rogue.com/index.php and for the curious doughnut fans: http://voodoodoughnut.com/index.php

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