Have YOU tried a Panty Dropper???

4 Sep

Yup, Kuhnhenn actually has seven beers in their stable that are “Panty Droppers”!

On Wednesday the Blind Tiger hosted Kuhnhenn’s NYC kick-off bash, and featured 18 of their beers on tap!  I stopped in and tried two before heading home to make dinner for the Crew… and tonight I came back to sample a few more… in the name of research 🙂

Wednesday night was super fun though for two reasons in addition to the beer…  #1, I finally got to meet Alan, the owner of the Blind Tiger… and #2, I found out that they serve ‘half’ glasses, which is SUPER handy if you want to be able to do sort of a sampling of beers ’cause, lets face it, it’s not really feasible to try a ton of beers, all of which contain at least 5 or 6% alcohol!!!

Kuhnhenn Brewing Company

True to form, when I got to the brewery event, I dove right in with an IPA, and it was delish!  Here’s the “official” BT description:

Kuhnhenn American IPA: This amber colored beer is creamy and delectable – probably Kuhnhenn’s best India Pale Ale yet.  Hops, hops and more hops will satisfy even the most extreme hop head – without just being hop-water.  A truly well designed IPA. (5.8% ABV).

So… I guess I have to agree, except for the creamy part, but that’s only because the idea of using the word ‘creamy’ at all in association with beer makes me feel icky.  Strange, considering how much I enjoy cheese with beer… meh, who knows!  So, this IPA really was a nice, classic, middle-of-the-road IPA.  Definitely hoppy, but not super over powering, and overall very much an easy drinking beer.  This would be a good beer to use to introduce someone to IPAs!

Having made my way through the American, I upgraded to the Imperial.  YUM!  This is definitely what I love.  Here’s there description:

Kuhnhenn Confusion Imperial IPA:  This double IPA pours an orange-ish copper color with a kind of sweet resin-y hop nose.  The taste has a great blend of hop plant quality with side notes of caramel and citrus.  This really well crafted double IPA has just enough kick to keep things very interesting. (8.5% ABV)

I really enjoyed this one, mostly because it did have a stronger kick to it than the American!  Oh, and it’s funny but they totally got the color thing right… in comparison to the American, this really did have a pretty copper color… see?

kuhnhenn confusion imp ipa

On my second night of Kuhnhenn tastings I started with the Simcoe Silly, and given the 10% ABV, I’m kind of surprised at how ‘light’ it tastes.  Light hops, medium feel, and given the description, i guess that the taste I can’t quite identify is the coriander?  I’ll have to get a jar of the spice & give it a sniff-test later to see…

My friend & her brother recently signed their dad up for a course to become a sommelier and she said that he has this whole collection of mini jars, each of which has a different spice or food, and he’s supposed to sniff them to become familiar with the scents on their own, so that when he tastes a wine, he can identify what the undertones are.  I totally get that now!  I read the descriptions of these beers, and sometimes i can pick up on things, but most times I’m totally guessing… clearly, my palate isn’t uber-refined just yet but, clearly, I’m working on it!

So I picked this beer to try for two reasons… number one, according to the brewery’s website, it’s one of their two most popular… and two, I got introduced to “simcoe hops” last night… and then again today, as I was reading TONY… what are the chances? lol I’d like to take this opportunity to reiterate that I am not even REMOTELY close to any type of expert or true connoisseur… I’m just starting the learning process here!  I may call myself the hops honey, but that’s not so much because I’m an expert on hops, but just because I’ve realized that I really like hoppy beers! 🙂 Here’s the official description of the Simcoe Silly btw:

Kuhnhenn Simcoe Silly: This amber-golden colored beer is made with Simcoe hops, Belgian yeast and candy sugar.  It exhibits a medium bitterness and finishes with the flavors of coriander and orange peel.  This beer has many aspects that make it truly unique.  Aromas of banana, bubble gum, orange and spices are subtly noticed while the strong American hop character gives it a well balanced finish. (10.0% ABV)

Next up was the Loonie Khunie, and I had to try this one even though its description is not what would normally pull me in, because it’s the other of their two most popular.  Lets start with the description, yeah?:

Kuhnhenn Loonie Kuhnie:  This pale ale is Kuhnhenn’s most requested beer.  Light amber in color, the head releases a nice citrus American hop aroma.  This truly refreshing session beer has a light malt flavor, with a medium to low bitterness and a finishing hop character that stands out.  (5.6% ABV)

I definitely did notice some light citrus flavor, but this beer was a bit light on flavor for my tastes.

Ok, so I am officially IN LOVE with banana-y Hefeweizens!!! I had my first earlier this summer (Look out for a Sweaty-Betty reference in a forthcoming post!), and now, just now, I’ve had my second… HEAVEN!  So clearly I’m an IPA girl, and previously I was never a huge fan of hefeweizens… but I’m definitely ‘coming around’ to them!  So, here’s the description of this offering:

Kuhnhenn’s Hefeweizen:  This traditional style golden wheat ale is conditioned to ensure a nice yeasty flavor of banana and cloves with a hint of bitterness.  This beer is traditionally served with a hazy yeast sediment, so don’t be scared. (6.1% ABV)

Really? This is GREAT summer beer… light, crisp, a tad fruity without actually being fruity, and tingly on the tongue!  Side note… I know they serve Heffs with a wedge of citrus… but i like them better without!

So I didn’t truly sample this next one, but I had a sip of a friend’s and, well, I’ll just let the description speak for itself… Yowsah!

Kuhnhenn Solar Eclipse Imperial Stout: this “ass kicking” Imperial Stout” is not (NOT) for the faint at heart.  This beer pours the same color as a solar eclipse and has a big coffee/mocha nose.  The taste has a boozy blend of strongly roasted malts, with bitter chocolate, anise, toffee, and cocoa.  This is a big, big beer… and has a strong sweet edge to it… you have been warned! (19.0% ABV)

Did you catch that??? 19%! Eek! To me, it smelled kind of like molasses, and just tasted strong and sweet… I doubt I’d be able to look for the undertones ’cause it would just seem super strong to me!

I also tried a sip of my friend’s Apricot Panty Dropper (no joke!)… funny name, super yummy fruity beer… if you’re in the mood for that 🙂

Last licks!  I just asked for a taste of 2 beers to see what I’d have ‘last’… and oh boy, it was a VERY easy decision… I tasted the 4th Dementia Flemish Brown (description below!) first, and ohhhh…. did I dislike it!  Yikes… first taste, sour face… no go!  However, I DID very much like the:

Kuhnhenn Grand Cru: This hazy golden hued Belgian style ale has an intriguingly viscious nose to it.  The taste is a blend of white grapes, candied spices, and a touch of underlying earth.  The beer is complex yet still maintains a nice quaff-ability.  (9.3% ABV)

Viscious nose? well…. no, not to me… sweaty socks nose? yep! lol  Luckily, it tastes a LOT better than I imagine sweaty socks tasting (thankful to say I don’t actually have a point of reference on that one!)  I definitely do get the candied spices description and I like the fact that it has a bit of a spicy kick, but when you first sip, there is a sweetness somehow… first inviting and then surprising!

The other highlight from last night… I picked up my Passport for NY Craft Beer Week, which starts next Friday the 11th… can’t wait!

~HH~

NYC Beer Passport 2009

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