Beer of the Week: Naked City Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands

By Iron Chef Leftovers

naked-cityBack in the day when they first started, Naked City was really known for Belgian style beers. Over the past few years, they have really expanded both their beer lineup and brewery, so now when you head into their taproom/restaurant, you are faced with a large, something for everyone beer list. The upside of that is when you are looking for a particular style, there is a chance they have it. A recent trip to Naked City on a warm day lead to me wanting something light and refreshing, so I gravitated towards the Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands, a blonde ale clocking in at just 5% ABV.

From the Naked City website:

The name is inspired by the final track on Bob Dylan’s brilliant Blonde on Blonde album. One of the many questions this song asks is: “Who among them do you think could resist you?” Made with British Pale, Munich, Wheat, and Crystal Malts, this light, easy-drinking session ale is hopped with Chinook and Styrian Golding. Once you have one pint of this smooth ale, you won’t be able to resist another.

The beer pours pale yellow in color with a significant amount of pilsner malt and slight floral notes and hints of grain on the nose. The beer starts off with a slight malty sweetness before showing significant pilsner character and touches of fruit. The finish is pleasant, with a malt start and finishing with hints of pilsner with a slightly floral character. The beer is pretty nondescript but pleasant and easy to drink on a warm summer day. I just wish it had a bit more depth beyond the significant pilsner character.

Naked City’s Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands tunes its guitar to 2 Rainy Day Women out of 5.

Beer of the Week: Populuxe Blond IPA

By Iron Chef Leftovers

imagesCAAR87MMThe concept of a blond IPA is a bit of an American invention, combining a pretty traditional Belgian style of beer with one that has become very uniquely American. The results of the odd union can be great but at the same time I have had a few that were complete disasters. Populuxe through their hat into the ring with their Blond IPA, clocking in at 6.0% ABV.

The beer pours light orange in color with significant amounts of citrus and hints of grain and yeast on the nose. It starts out slightly sweet coupled with a nice crispness before moving into bitter citrus peel with a nice bite. The beer finishes dry with a great combination of mild resin, citrus and citrus peel with just a touch of bitterness and hints of yeast that fade in and out, depending on the sip. The bitter finish is long and lingering in a very pleasant way and the beer shows great IPA character without overwhelming the Belgian notes that subtly appear.

Populuxe Blond IPA shows its natural color with a pretty 3 Marilyn Monroes out of 5.

Beer of the Week: Populuxe American Blonde

By Iron Chef Leftovers

imagesCAAR87MMPopuluxe in its short lifespan has produced several distinct versions of their blonde – the Euro Blond was followed by the British Blonde and those two have now been joined by the American Blonde (they also have a Belgian Blond which I haven’t yet reviewed). Their blondes are a great exercise in what a slight change to the beer recipe, for example, yeast, can do to the beer, producing a completely different character. Each beer has its own distinct character and, while they share the style name, it should not be assumed that these beers are similar to each other

The American Blonde pours golden yellow in color with just a hint of orange tinge. The beer is really light on the nose with just the smallest hint of yeast and grain. On the palate, it does a complete 180, starting out slowly and building from a pleasant grain to a slightly spicy and malty sweet middle before finally finishing with a tease of hop bitterness at the very end that lingers in a good way in the background with notes of pineapple, complimenting and playing hide and seek with the yeast and the malt. The beer is pleasant to drink with a nice clean and refreshing balance to appeal to lighter beer drinkers (it clocks in at 4.8% ABV) but has enough character and depth to please a hard core beer nerd.

Populuxe American Blonde sails its way across the pond a drops anchor with a solid 4 Mayflowers out of 5.