The following review notes were compiled with the aid of the beer tasting guide outlined in Beach Brewings Tasting Brews blog post.
Pere Jacques - Goose Island Brewing Co.
Style: Belgian Style Abbey Ale
Color: Amber and Caramel
Malts: 2-Row, Wheat, Caramel, Rye Flakes, and Special B
Slightly cloudy while maintaining a good level of clarity. Pours with a thin creamy head about half a finger thick. Fairly poor lacing.
Slightly fruity with heavy malt tones. Low levels of hop bouquet.
Initially a medium thickness with the sense of becoming more full over time. The flavor is reminiscent of fig and dried apricot with very subtle anise tones. Yeast flavors come through initially and then fade quickly. A fairly high alcohol burn on the back end, although it is covered up by lingering maltiness. Warming sensation (9% ABV) as it goes down.
All in all this is a very Delicious beer with big, robust maltiness. While Belgian Strong Ales are not our specialty, I would rank this up there with some of the better Belgian Ales we've tried including Tripels and Dubbels. While fairly heavy and full of flavor, Pere Jacques is very drinkable. Even though it is highly drinkable, at roughly 9% ABV, Pere Jacques does eventually lead to misspelled words and shortness of attention span.
IN A WORD: FIGGY
Big Sky I.P.A. - Big Sky Brewing Co.
Style: India Pale Ale
Color: Light Amber
Pours very clear. Thin creamy head less than half a finger width thick. Poor lacing.
Light malt aroma. Citrus and pine are prevalent while remaining separate from the malt tones.
Wow. This I.P.A. has a complex flavor with medium body. Big Sky I.P.A, while very hoppy, does have a light maltiness that shines through to balance out the bitterness of Simcoe. Initially the flavor is very slightly reminiscent of the smell of a sea breeze with a hint of saltiness (in a good way). Sounds odd but that is the only thing that comes to mind right away. A more traditional grapefruit juice flavor comes next with a bitter rind flavor following that. Finally, a subtle juniper, piney flavor lingers on the tongue long after swallowing. Little to no alcohol burn is present.
Being a hops powerhouse, Big Sky I.P.A., still has an accessible flavor that is refreshing and crisp. This medium bodied I.P.A. is moderately high in ABV but is very drinkable and ranks up there with some of the higher rated names on the market. Although very delicious, this complex beer should be consumed moderately as the hops start to overwhelm your taste buds (in the most flavorful way possible).
IN A WORD: GRAPEFRUIT