Tonight I thought I would try something different, and drink a beer. No wait, that wasn't it. Shoot, where was I going with this? Oh! I remember, I have two full pints in front of me for a reason. I am going to do a side-by-side review of two similar styled beers, AND Imma do it live! No re-thinking, just first thoughts, on the fly, on the paper...er, screen.
Reviews # 12 & #13
Lagunitas Bavarian Styled Doppel-Weizen ABV 9% vs. Left Hand Brewing TNT ABV 7.9%
Both poured into Chappel Beer Festival imperial pint glasses
A - Right away, there is a big difference here. The TNT is dark brown, bubbly with amber hued edges. Little to no head, what is there is gone in seconds. The Lagunitas has a golden luminescence to it, with a foamy white head that has a decent retention. Interesting start fellas... Oh, you wanted proof Amy Smith?
T - Bananas! No, I don't have shellacked white hair, backwards glasses and a convertible Camaro (well, I do have backwards glasses at times, but its night) but this Lagunitas is uber-ripe bananas. Orange and hops, and perhaps just a bit on the sweet side, even though I was expecting it. The overall flavor is a bit thin, doesn't really coat the mouth and leave you with a wow factor. The TNT is all smoke. And I'm thinking a bit of mirrors, too. Beyond the smoke and roast, there isn't much depth. Slight peat-y Scotch flavors with a tiny sweet blip on the radar after the smoke dissipates; citrus and some caramel? This does coat the mouth and the lingering aftertaste is much better than the initial liquid smoke onslaught.
M - Light carbonation is overpowered by the sweetness of the Lagunitas. Somehow, it still feels thin, except where the sugar hangs on the lips. The TNT is a surprise actually, being lighter and more carbonated than the appearance and aromas would've indicated.
O - I like both of these. I think that they would be better suited in different areas of the drinking arena, but they have their places. The Lagunitas wins just slightly for me, with the sweet stickiness being slightly more tolerable through half the glass than the smoky barrage of the Left Hand. I have a feeling I am going to wake up feeling like I ate BBQ wood chips. They are both very drinkable though, and I would gladly accept one again...if someone else was buying. That said, give 'em a shot, both breweries are quality and it won't stop me from going back to their wells.