Dan Gordon is one of the co-founders of Gordon Biersch brewery in San Jose, California. You’ve likely visited one of their restaurants or brewpubs; there’s even a brewery here in Las Vegas, along with an attached restaurant, and a second standalone restaurant.
With winter upon us (well, not quite there yet in Vegas; the high is 70º F today), Gordon Biersch has released their winter seasonal, aptly named Winterbock. Lagers in general are under appreciated in the craft beer market here in the US, and of those, bocks are especially so. Bocks of all varieties are some of my favorite lager beers, with special recognition going to doppelbocks. Gordon Biersch’s Winterbock is no exception. The beer has a strong, toasty malt aroma and has the classic, clean lager fermentation profile. The flavor in this beer all comes from the use of dark malts; imparting flavors of plum and raisins, but finishing with a clean, dry finish. The aftertaste has a bit of a warm, alcohol sensation, making this perfect for a cold winter’s night.
I reached out to Dan Gordon to find more out about Winterbock, and the brewery in general. Thank you Dan for taking the time to speak with us, and thank you for brewing a delicious doppelbock! (more…)
Mammoth Brewing Company is tucked away in the mountains of California, and sadly, does not distribute to Nevada. Thankfully, it is close by to some of the Hooked on Hops extended family! We were able to get our hands on seven of their beers and had a tasting of them all. To get to the point, these beers do not disappoint! Next time you are in California, be sure to scope out some of these!
GOLDEN TROUT PILSNER
This is a solid pilsner! This is very refreshing, with a toasted bread aroma and a dry, cracker-like finish. There is a firm hop bitterness (as any good pilsner should have!) that gives this beer a nice, long, lingering grassy, finish.
REAL MCCOY AMBER ALE
As light and refreshing as the pilsner, but with less hop flavor, and more maltiness. This beer smells like caramel and has a maple-like finish. This is extremely refreshing and would make for the perfect session beer during the hot summer months!
PARANOIDS PALE ALE
This beer smells incredibly like fresh oranges, with a nice orange zest-like finish! In fact, this has such a strong orange aroma and flavor, that we decided to mix orange juice in with the beer to create one of the best beermosas we have ever had! This is very citrusy, with a lightly bitter aftertaste. Also, an amazing summer beer, or breakfast beer for that matter!
DOUBLE NUT BROWN
This beer recently won the gold medal at the 2012 World Beer Cup, and for good reason! An amazing coffee aroma greets you, along with a smooth coffee flavor in the finish. The aroma, and initial flavor, is lightly smokey with a nice smooth and chocolatey body. One of the best porters available!
Blondibock is an incredible uniquely flavored beer. This is brewed as a traditional blonde bock-style lager, but it is then aged for 3 months in bourbon barrels. The result is an extremely flavorful beer, especially for a lager. The nose is filled with bourbon and coconut, with a hint of pineapple, giving this an almost piña colada-like aroma. The flavor is also filled with coconut, in addition to a firm bourbon overtone. The overall flavor and aroma of this beer would make for an amazing candle!
DEVILS POST PALE ALE
If there was a grapefruit beer, this would be it. Generously hopped with centennial hops, this beer has a strong grapefruit aroma, along with a firm grapefruit style bitterness that lingers long after the finish. Calling this beer a pale ale is an understatement, as this beer has the alcohol and bitterness to match any other well respected IPA on the west coast!
Lastly, we tasted the juniper-themed IPA. The juniper is exceptionally strong in this beer, so much so that it is difficult to discern the sage that is also added to this beer. In the flavor, the juniper immediately jumps out, followed by a firm hop bitterness in the finish. A very solid, and unique, take on the IPA style.
All in all, Mammoth has some solid beers. We strongly recommend you seek these beers out the next time you are in California. The most favorited beers amongst the Hooked on Hops crew were the Blondibock and the Double Nut Brown Porter. Not sampled today, but also an exceptional beer, is their Hair of the Bear Doppelbock!
Photo Credits: Danny Szeto