When I started this blog back in September 2008, I planned to include beer reviews as part of my regular lineup of blog post offerings. After a few months and a smattering of beer reviews, something occurred to me: I didn’t know what the hell I was talking about. I never claimed to be a beer expert when I started the blog, but a beer fan? Certainly. And I figured that was enough to be able to “review” some beers. I learned it was one thing to have an opinion about a beer — did I like it or not — and another thing entirely to be able to articulate what made a beer good or not. Since those early pup days, The Thirsty Beagle has come a long way in beer knowledge. I still wouldn’t call myself any kind of supreme expert, but I know a lot more than I did. Stuff that I hadn’t quite grasped — all the different styles and sub-styles, what goes into making a beer, etc. — is a lot more clear now. Another boost came when I started studying the Beer Judge Certification Program guidelines. I mean, who knew there were three different types of English brown ales, right? So, nearly three years later, I feel like I’m ready to take another shot at this. I’m basing my reviews mainly on BJCP guidelines. Of course a true, certified beer judge may interpret things differently (read: more accurately) than me, but I’m going to give it my best shot and hopefully someone out there will find these reviews useful.
-Aroma: Werewolf has a slight roasted malt aroma. Not too strong.
-Appearance: The beer falls somewhere in the copper to light brown range.
-Taste: The predominant taste is lightly roasted malts. Not very sweet.
-Mouthfeel: The beer feels fairly carbonated, producing a little kick on the front end. Has a light feel to it. Fairly easy to drink and with little aftertaste.
-Overall impression: This is a pretty easy-drinking beer that doesn’t take a lot of risk. Good flavor and drinking experience overall. Beware of advertising claims: Newcastle states it is “Naturally blood red in color,” but red hues were not detected. Another claim: “This … fall ale produces a combination of sweet berry overtones and a sudden bite of bitterness.” I didn’t pick up any berry, and the bite for me came more from the carbonation and less from any hop qualities.
Thirsty Beagle score: 7 points (out of 10)