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Hockessin Community News
Norman Miller reviews brews, offers food pairings and writes about breweries.
New beers from Allagash, Baxter, Stone, Troegs reviewed
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By Norman Miller
Norman Miller reviews brews, offers food pairings and writes about breweries. Norman is a reporter and beer columnist for the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Mass. For questions, comments, suggestions or recommendations, email ...
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The Beer Nut
Norman Miller reviews brews, offers food pairings and writes about breweries. Norman is a reporter and beer columnist for the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Mass. For questions, comments, suggestions or recommendations, email nmiller@wickedlocal.com or call 508-626-3823. Or, follow the Beer Nut at his Twitter page at www.twitter.com/realbeernut.
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By Norman Miller
April 25, 2014 6:10 p.m.



Now that I’m done with all my “research” beers, I’m back to trying the latest and greatest new releases.

This week, I tried new beers from Allagash Brewing Company, Baxter Brewing Company, Stone Brewing Company and Troegs Brewing Company.

First up is the brand new Allagash Saison.

As you’d expect from a brewery that specializes in Belgian-style ales, the Allagash Saison is a well-done beer. The. 6.1 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) beer starts off spicy, but then gives way to a citrusy flavor from the hops, with just a hint of apples.

The Saison then finishes peppery and on the dry side. If you’re a fan of saisons, this is one to add to your “should try” list.

TarnationCling-01-1Next up is the new year-round beer for Baxter Brewing Company, Tarnation.

The Tarnation is billed as a “California-style lager,” or a California common. It’s a pretty beer, with deep amber color.

The 5.3 percent ABV Tarnation has nice floral and hoppy earthy flavors, which gives way to a toasted caramel flavor. The beer is easy to drink, smooth and crisp. It’s a winner.

Next up are two new beers from Stone Brewing Company.

The first is the Stone Saison, a beer brewed with ingredients grown on Stones Farm. The ingredients include lemon zest, lemon thyme and lavender.

To me, it’s too spicy. The added ingredients hide the saison flavors and dominate. The Stone Saison may be better to pair with a dinner, rather than to drink it by itself.

On the other hand, the Stone Sprocketbier was a surprise. This is the first beer from the Stone Spotlight Series and is a black rye Kolsch. I’m a huge fan of Kolsches, and wish more breweries would brew them.

However, the thing I like most about a Kolsch is its simple, delicate flavors that are refreshing. It was not a style that I thought should be messed with.

Shockingly, the Sprocketbier works. It tastes nothing like a traditional Kolsch, but it keeps its easy-drinking quality. It has slightly roasted flavor, floral flavors and a spicy rye finish. I would drink this again.

Finally, the Troegs Brewing Company’s LaGrave, an 8 percent ABV tripel, is the last new beer to be tried this week.

This beer is fruity, slightly sweet, with heavy carbonation. Make sure to pay attention when you pour, I had a near miss. The LaGrave has a strong yeasty flavor and just a pleasure to drink. It’s a wonderful tripel.

This is one worth buying. It’s not hard to find, it is available in the not-commonly-seen 12.7 ounce caged and corked bottles.

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