I love beer and would like to say that I would write about it more often if it weren’t for the fact that I’m drinking other things these days. by Warren Bobrow
But that doesn’t preclude me from enjoying a glass of beer with dinner- or dare I say, with lunch. After all, when I was growing up inNew Jersey, there was often beer on the table at dinner. And when we traveled to Europe there was always beer on the table for lunch. It’s a habit that I got into and it follows me throughout my life.
Food and beer naturally go together and so for this tasting I’m enjoying a robust corned beef sandwich from Hobby’s Deli in Newark, NJ. The bread of course is Pechter’s and there is a thick mantel of chopped chicken livers topped with their special spicy mustard. My grandfather owned a business in Newark for many years and I know from the owners of Hobby’s that he enjoyed lunch there often. In many ways I pay homage to him by savoring the perfect blend of spice to sweet in their pickles and the deeply scented and candidly sensuous chicken soup makes me tear up. Matzo balls are not lumpy grapefruits in the shape of a golf ball; they are lovingly prepared to not just fill the stomach, but the soul. It’s that kind of place.
If I’m not drinking Dr. Brown’s Soda with my deli delights then it is beer. Ok, sometimes bourbon or rye will ply my attention as well, but for this article it’s all about beer. And an extremely fine beer it is indeed.
The Roscoe Beer Company in Roscoe, NY is the object of my affection. I’ve started by sipping from a handsome pint glass emblazoned with the logo of the Roscoe Beer Company. The first beer that passed my lips is named Trout Town Rainbow Red Ale. It is a robust beer with caramelized butter and nuts across my tongue in a soft palate pleasing finish. This could be a marvelous session beer with a twist. The twist is that the warming alcohol works its magic on my sensibilities and forces me to try another before I get too comfortable with my first glass of beer. I will tell you that the head is good and thick with a lace quality along with notes of bitter chocolate and toasted nuts. It had a lovely pinpoint bubble as well.
The Trout Town American Amber Ale is a delight! Fresh, light across the tongue and easy to enjoy, this is the perfect entry level beer for the American-style genre. It is creamy yet full bodied at first, giving way to toasty notes of whole grains. It’s also very easy to drink and puts a smile on my face with its efficiency.
They also do brown ale that brought me into thinking that the venerable Samuel Smith Nut Brown Ale somehow was on the flavor profile of this easy to enjoy ale. It’s soft across the palate and cuts the corned beef flavors easily without overpowering any of the parts of enjoying my sandwich. This is certainly a session beer with the emphasis on the grains instead of pure alcohol. Carefully made, the Brown Ale is textbook to the genre.
I also tasted another textbook example of the style of IPA. In this case the ale is reminiscent of the American IPA beers from the Pacific Northwest. There is a slight citrus and pine note that reveals itself quickly and the warming 6.2% by volume makes for a very lovely way to greet the evening. There is more notes of toasted nuts that come into view along with deeper flavors of raw honey and salted caramel candies. I love the brightly floral finish in this very American, American IPA. This beer is marked 10/29/14 which makes it very young. If I wasn’t reviewing it now, I’d recommend laying down a few cases to drink over the next five or so years. I think there is aging potential to this carefully crafted brew. Maybe not on a par with the Thomas Hardy Barley Wines, but this is different. This is beer for a hearty meal and cold weather. The Thomas Hardy is a meal in itself!
I think all in all the Roscoe Beer Company is doing solid work with the beers that they produce. I’m fortunate to have had the opportunity to taste them along with food, which is how the real world drinks beer. They drink beer with food!
As always, I never assign a score either in letter or in number. I feel that the Roscoe Beer Company has a way with grains and these grains are not far removed from the whiskies that I enjoy so very much. I hope that they release the American IPA because it is textbook. Spot on for the style of American IPA. I’m still hungry. How about a tongue and Swiss on rye with cole slaw next?