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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Tuesday Tasting: Three Big Beers

Tuesday Tasting is a regular feature of Lyke2Drink that explores some of the best beers, wines and spirits on the market. This week we're reporting on three great brews recently sampled at The Flying Saucer in Charlotte, N.C.

Rogue AltBier: Rogue is one of my favorite American breweries. They have a "push the limits, take no prisoners" approach to brewing. You may find one or two of the beers from this Oregon micro to be a bit over the top, but you will always remember the character of a Rogue ale. Rogue AltBier is part of the John's Locker Series of limited edition beers and is a tip of the hat to the style of brew made famous in Dusseldorf, Germany. This sample was on draught. Rogue AltBier is a dark brew with a very nice level of malt. If you've been scared away by the sometimes massive amount of hops in Rogue brews (I'm not), you'll find that the malt in this AltBier really balances out the firm hop character. I'd match this up with any traditional German meal and be quite pleased with the result.

St Sebastiaan Golden Ale Winter Solstice 2005: This brew came in a ceramic bottle that had the Flying Saucer logo and the "Winter Solstice 2005" designation stamped in blue. From the Sterkens Brewery in the Campine region of Belgium this beer weighs in at 7.6 percent alcohol by volume. It is blonde in color with a slight flowery sweet nose and lightly carbonated. The flavor was more dry than I had expected it to be and was very smooth.

Avery 13 Weizen Dopplebock: I've come to be a big fan of this Boulder, Colo., brewery and this seasonal did not disappoint. Brewed once a year in May, Avery 13 marries two classic German styles: weiss and dopplebock. At 9.5 percent alcohol by volume, this mahogany colored brew has hints of spice, toffee and fruit (figs?) in a wonderfully complex flavor profile. The 22-ounce bottle is large enough to share with friends, but you may not want to part with any of this nectar.

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