1. Rogue XS Imperial Younger's Special Bitter
Look at it, isn't it cute? Rogue has a small collection of 7 oz bottles, which I believe are the only "pony" bottles I've had since Rolling Rock in high school. I love the idea of breweries releasing their big beers in small bottles so I hope other breweries adapt this idea but doubt it'll happen. Sometimes, I'd rather taste 3 different big beers in small portions in one night rather than drinking one big bomber of beer. Anyway, this is a type of beer that's not common among American breweries; you'll see a lot of it in England. It's a malty beer with some faint fruitiness to it and a bitter finish. Very, very smooth and drinkable. In "Imperial" beers, a lot of times you'll get that burning alcohol taste and this beer does not have any trace of that. Yet another reason to love Rogue.
Overall Rating: B+
2. Schneider-Brooklyner Hopfen Weiss
Ahh, just rolls off the tongue. Why go to the bar and say, "I'll have a Bud" when you can say, "I'll have a Schneider-Brooklyner Hopfen Weiss"? This beer is a German (Schneider Weiss) and American (Brooklyn Brewery) collaboration, which was made two ways: the Brooklyner-Schneider uses American hops (Amarillo and Palisade) and this one, the Schneider-Brooklyner uses German hops (Hallertauer Saphir). I feel like this one comes out a bit more bitter than the American hop version with a bit of a citrus taste; the American hop version has a sweeter finish. I'd have to opt for the version with American hops, but if I were to judge in all fairness, I'd have to try this beer IN Germany. The American hop version is brewed in NY; this version is brewed in Germany. Travel (especially international) does not always bode well for beer. So...the logical next step is to start collecting money from my readers for a trip to Germany. Please mail me your checks. Thanks.
Overall Rating: B+