Pub Review - Blind Tiger Alehouse (New York, NY)

member_headshots_20081217_1815175631The first day of July seemed as good a day as any to venture out into NYC for beer.  I headed to The Blind Tiger Ale House to meet a fellow WHALE for an event that found its way onto my schedule courtesy of my friend Pete, Area Sales Manager for Victory Brewing.  While at another establishment, he had told me that Victory would have every line at the Tiger running with a Victory brew, which I didn’t believe, but to my surprise Victory has a sneaky big beer lineup.  In this case, I was happy to be proven wrong. 

As we walked in we were greeted by the traditional packed house, we wading through the tide of patrons as they conversed in jovial circles surrounded by the classic woodwork and brain candy that adorn the walls of the Blind Tiger.  There was a bit of a cheese spread out with  some sliced baguette which was nice, right up until the last piece, after which I saw a gentleman lick the wax paper the cheese had rested on, stay classy my friend.

My buddy Mr. Fox secured a standing area, and I proceeded to wade up to the bar and got two proper pints for $15 including tip.  Fox had the Braumeister Tettnanger Pilsner, I the Hallertau Milfrau Pilsner.  Apparently Victory has about five new unfiltered, single-hopped pilsners that maintain the Prima Pils recipe, and they’ve been bringing them round to promos all over the tri-state area, so if you’re a pilsner fan it could be worth a trip there.  Each rendition is quite nice, really highlighting the delicate subtlety of each individual hop strain.  I’ve been reading a fair amount of negative reviews about these offerings, it seems like these people are looking for non-traditional flavors to come out of their pilsner, which is not a good idea in my opinion.  I like the idea of taking a traditional style like pilsner to showcase the complexities of each variety of hop. 

Next we went with a Harvest Ale; a 5.6% abv IPA using 3 varieties of hops grown in upstate NY, nice amber color with nice head retention, a flowery nose that’s well balanced and not too pungent, gives way to a distinct bitterness up front with nice malt flavor in the middle leading to a well rounded finish.  Then a Festbier; a 5.6% abv Marzen , amber color with a thin head, clean slightly sweet aroma, nice malty/grainy flavor up front without being cloyingly sweet, balanced slightly on the sweet end as to the style, a nice overall beer.

We met up with Victory Salesman Pete as he spoke with groups around the bar, he proceeded to hand us two goblets of St. Bouisterous Maibock; 8.5% ABV, nice nose could use a touch more malt, smooth and on the sweet side up front, hops come to the palate midway, followed by a firm alcohol warmth, it finishes smooth with a tinge of bitterness.  We thought it to be a nice representation of the style, although we thought it could use a touch more malt to throw it over the top.  This was followed by a Rauch Porter; not sure about the abv, nice clean nose with good smoke coming through without being overpowering,

As we perused the rest of the list, we felt a firm German hunger building inside of us.  Although there is a top notch German establishment nearby, Lederhosen, we decided to hit the much anticipated Zeppelin Bier Hall in Jersey City, NJ.

... Continued on the Zeppelin Bier Hall review.