Surly Girl Beer Tasting & Cinnamon Apple Deliciousness 5


Thank you to everyone who joined me at Surly Girl Saloon last night. It was really fun tasting with people who share a passion for beer as well. Cheers!

Once again, there was a really good turnout for “Drink With The Wench.” There were some familiar faces; Roland, Josh (Project Sustain), and Keith (Columbusite) as well as some new faces: Rachel (The Fighting Librarian), Jim (CMH Gourmand), and Scott.

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This time around, I decided to order three different beers and challenge the group to taste and rate each secretly. After we all finished tasting the beers and filling out the rating sheets, we compared notes and discussed reasons for picking our overall favorite. Upon noticing our studious dedication to tasting the beers, our waiter brought out a round of shot glasses full of a local Columbus Brewing Company beer that Surly Girl Saloon will begin to offer in March.

The three beers we tasted as a group included Brasserie Des Rocs Grand Cru, Harpoon UFO Wheat, and Stoudt’s Scarlet Lady. The Brasserie Des Rocs Grand Cru was the overwhelming favorite, followed by Stoudt’s Scarlet Lady and the Harpoon UFO. All were completely different in appearance, aromas, and flavor – each bringing something different to the table. Here are our notes:

Brasserie Des Rocs Grand Cru: Belgian Abbey Brown Ale, 9.5% ABV, on draft. Appearance: Small, creamy white head, spare lacing, cloudy body, particulate/cloudy particles, dark ruby brown amber color. Aroma: heavy molasses/ caramel/ coffee malt, light flowery hops, average yeast, light alcohol, port, maple syrup, allspice. Palate: medium body, creamy texture, lively carbonation, metallic finish. Flavor: average duration, heavy sweetness, moderate acidity, light bitterness. “Surprising hints of acidity on the palate. Drinks very smooth like an aged port or sweet sherry.” “Strong, good stuff!”

Stoudt’s Scarlet Lady Ale: English-style Ale, 5% ABV, on draft. Appearance: small, frothy off-white head, excellent lacing, hazy body, lightly cloudy particles, red amber color. Aroma: light straw malt, heavy pine/ citrus hops, average musty/ earthy yeast, average alcohol. Palate: medium body, thick texture, lively carbonation, bitter finish. Flavor: average duration, light sweetness, moderate acidity, heavy bitterness, minerals. “Bitterness definitely comes through as the dominating characteristic. Not too strong, though. Overall nicely balanced hops.”

Harpoon UFO Hefeweizen: American Unfiltered Wheat Beer, 4.8% ABV, on draft. Appearance: spare/ fizzy/ diminishing head, spare lacing, cloudy body, heavy particles, light yellow color. Aroma: light hay/ straw malt, light grass/ flowers (determined by plant biology expert, Josh, to be honeysuckle), average yeast. Palate: light body, thin texture, lively carbonation, metallic finish. Flavor: short duration, light sweetness, moderate acidity, light bitterness. “Typical Hefeweizen. Nothing extraordinary, rather uninspiring. Probably a better summertime beer.”

The Columbus Brewing Company beer that we tasted was rated as follows:

CMC 90 Shilling Ale: Scottish-style Ale, from a bottle. Appearance: small/ creamy/ frothy white head, fair lacing, clear/ sparkling body, lightly cloudy particles, brown amber color. Aroma: heavy nutty/ coffee malt, light grass hops, average doughy yeast, smoke, light alcohol, port, nutmeg, tobacco. Palate: medium body, thin/ oily texture, soft carbonation, metallic finish. Flavor: average duration, heavy sweetness, light scidity, heavy bitterness. “Excellent balance of malt and hops. Looking forward to trying this on tap.”

After the “official” tasting round, we all order additional beers. Some stuck with the ones we already tasted, especially the delicious Brasserie Des Rocs, while others tried different beers. Here are some additional tasting notes:

Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale: IPA, 7% ABV, on draft. Appearance: spare/ fizzy/ white/ diminishing head, spare lacing, cloudy body, light red amber color. Aroma: average nutty grain malt, average flower/ grass/ grapefruit hops, average yeast, light alcohol. Palate: full body, creamy mineral texture, lively carbonation, bitter metallic finish. Flavor: long duration, light sweetness, moderate acidity, heavy bitterness. “A real staple, never disappoints.”

Abita Purple Haze: American Style Wheat Beer with raspberry puree added after filtration, on draft. Appearance: small head, fair lacing, cloudy particles, amber color. Aroma: light malt, light hops, light yeast, light alcohol, strong raspberry. Palate: light body, thin texture, soft carbonation, metallic finish. Flavor: average duration, moderate sweetness, light acidity, light bitterness.

Even though the purpose of the evening was to taste and rate beer, we could not resist getting a round of Surly Girl’s Apple Cinnamon Shots. The shot consisted of one part house-made apple-cinnamon infused vodka with one part Goldschlagers. Absolutely delicious! They also serve it as a cocktail with apple juice. Definitely worth trying.

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Thanks again to everyone who made it out, despite all the freezing rain and dangerous weather conditions. I’m looking forward to the next “Drink With The Wench.” Stay tuned for more details!


About The Beer Wench

Ashley is a self-proclaimed craft beer evangelist & social media maven on a mission to advance the craft beer industry through education, inspiration and advocacy. She is currently the “Director of Awesomeness” at Bison Brewing in Berkeley, CA — where her responsibilities include everything from marketing, sales, PR, social media & events. Ashley is also a freelance consultant and professional speaker on the subjects of social media, beer mixology, food & beverage pairings. She is the founder of DrinkWithTheWench.com & BeerMixology.com as well as a regular contributor to CraftBeer.com.


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