- Mike Riedel
For well over a decade, if you wanted an Ogden-made craft beer, you had only one option: Roosters Brewing Co. Now, northern Utah has an alternative brewery called Talisman. Head brewer and owner Dusty Williams strives to carry on Old World traditions, while mixing in today's edgier beer-nerd attitudes. Please don't drool on the pages as you read this summary of some of their offerings.
Udder Chaos: Man, I love milk stout. It's right behind the tried-and-true vanilla porter in my magical beer playbook. These get me to my happy place tout-suite. This relatively new brew from Talisman pours an almost black color, with a solid finger of fluffy, dark tan head. From about six inches away, I'm already starting to get notes of chocolate, some dark roasted malt and hints of coffee. Initially, the flavors show a nice, almost-burnt roasted malt character, with some chocolate and a familiar Saturday morning cartoon sweetness. However, as the beer warms, the flavors become much more integrated, and any sense of harsh char disappears. The finish is long; it begins mid palate as the roasted malt recedes, allowing the sweetness and chocolate to emerge.
Overall: This is a nicely drinkable milk stout that I'll be happy to have again. I also think that this beer would pair nicely with a high-end blue veined cheese, like a Stilton or some Gorgonzola. You can find Udder Chaos at most grocery stores.
Killer Glove Blood Orange: This beer looks like an unfiltered hefeweizen, full of yellowish amber hues. The nose is rich with perfumey blood orange, with a good showing of toasted wheat. Along with these aromas come some background notes with strong lemon and a bit of grapefruit. The taste begins rather dry, with a wheat bread flavor accompanying a little bit of an orange sweetness. The orange increases ever so slightly, but remains quite light overall to the middle of the taste. Along with these flavors comes some yeast and light pepper, plus a bit of herb. The orange increases slightly toward the very end and leaves you with a dry orange wheat taste that lingers on the tongue.
Overall: A decent orange wheat brew that's on the drier side. If it were any sweeter, I think it would be less like a session. Luckily, the blend here is good—and it's available at most grocery stores.
Uplifted: Ladies, if the label's image doesn't draw you in, you're probably serving your mission. This big bottle pours reddish brown with a tightly foamed, tan, short-lived head that leaves some lacing. The nose has dark roasted malts, nuts, molasses and some bitter chocolate. The taste starts with roasted malts, chocolate and toffee, but once the yeast gets into the mix, doses of faint dark fruits and thin coffee begin to emerge. At the end, you're greeted with just a hint of smoke that is sweet from the chewy toffee remaining from the first sip. It finishes slightly malty and fruity.
Overall: For a 4 percent ABV beer, this has more body than I would have thought. The texture is silky and just creamy enough to convince you it's much bolder. Uplifted is a pleasant drinking experience that brings you back to the time of simple Scottish ales. Also available at most grocery stores.
Talisman's lineup is far from usual. Check these out if you're looking to get out of your rut. Hell, they're just a trip to your local beer aisle away. As always, cheers!