Posts Tagged ‘beer review’

Trade, North Carolina edition

Friday, July 28th, 2017

Thanks to another beer site that I won’t mention here, I have made a number of Internet friends over the last two years who I will regularly trade beers with. Scot constantly tells me that I do that blog on this site enough. And since he is right, I got inspiration for a couple of blogs to do with my latest trades, thus serving two masters, I guess.

The first one will be of a beer sent to me this week in a box from Ryan, a guy who lives in the Atlanta area. He and I first started trading because he was offering Creature Comfort’s Tropicalia in exchange for Three Floyd’s Zombiedust, and I was the first one to jump on it. He and I have been trading for a couple of months, as I t get him Floyd’s and other Chicago area beers for anything he can get me Georgia, Florida, and the Carolinas (he got me my first Burial beer, which was amazing).

Anyway, to the beer!

El Paraiso by Wicked Weed out of Asheville North Carolina is a bourbon barrel aged Imperial Coffee Stout with caocao nibs and coffee beans. It’s a terrific barrel aged flavored stout. As way of comparison, I had a Southern Tier Creme Brûlée last night, and that’s an example of a beer that’s too sweet. This one is a good example of how to balance flavors, but maybe the barrel helps.

It was bottled 2/17/17, and I drank it in a spiegelau.

Poured a lot of foam, still has a good amount of lacing after a while. One of the better looking stouts I’ve had in a while.

Smell is strongly sweet with plenty of chocolate and a slight presence of coffee and barrel.

The taste is the best part of this beer. I’d imagine there might have been a bit more barrel heat when it was fresher, but I think if the chocolate has faded by now, it may have been too sweet then. It’s got nice roastiness with plenty of chocolate and a mild barrel burn. Only weakness is a lack of coffee flavor, especially for a coffee stout. There’s a slight bitterness on the back end from the coffee, but if it was stronger, this beer would have been extremely well balanced instead of just well balanced.

Feeling on this is great. It’s not too heavy, maybe slightly too thin, but there’s very little oiliness to it. There’s a definite alcohol presence, but it’s not too strong. It’s very sippable, really flavorful, and quite enjoyable.

One of the best barrel aged I’ve had in a while (to note, the best recently was Three Floyds French Vanilla Militia 2017, but that’s on a whole other level).

Smuttynose Big A IPA Reviewed

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Tasting an American craft beer from another part of the country gives me an above average level of satisfaction as I know there is a good chance that I will not have a chance to taste the beer again. Big A IPA from Smuttynose Brewing Company was the perfect beer to fit into this category: it is an imperial ipa, comes from a brewery that I have heard good things about, and even though it is from the east coast, it has some west coast style.

smuttynose brewing company big a ipa

The bottle has an old school boxer in sepia tone with a red/pink hue background. I popped the cap, and as I always do with ipas, inhaled deeply to take in the fresh ephemeral hops. air yeezy 2 femmes Very pleasant and I didn’t hesitate to pour to take in more. Citrus and hops dominate at the beginning of the nose with mild caramel notes to balance. Unfortunately, a strong alcohol aroma took over form there and almost dominated (the only minus to the beer). The taste is a balancing act between a caramel sweet malt and floral, citrus, and pine hops. The bitterness leaves a congenial after taste that isn’t over powering nor lingering. A touch viscous and creamy forming a medium body with a bigger carbonation seem to round this beer off nicely. If not for the aforementioned huge alcohol on the nose I would rate this higher, nonetheless this is a really good beer. 8/10

The good news from all of this: I have another four bottles left to continue my taste testing and possibly improve my review. Enjoy!

Three New Beers Reviewed

Friday, January 29th, 2010

new glarus brewing company raspberry tart

Last night was Thursday, so Rich and I got together for our weekly (at least we try) beer tasting and reviews of American craft beer. We had a total of four beers but one of them, Raspberry Tart by New Glarus, I had already had. So this will be a discussion of the other three. 🙂

Iron Horse IPA by Mt. Pleasant Brewing was the first beer of the night. free run 4.0 v2 femmes We split a 12 ounce bottle with my pour being very cloudy due to the yeast trub from the bottom of the bottle. Foam was nothing great. Citrus and pine hops are there but not pronounced in either aroma or taste. There is a caramel sweetness to balance. Bitterness and spice are parts of the late mout both lingering into the aftertaste. Medium body and light carbonation seem to fit. A slightly above average IPA that is easily sessionable. 6/10

The Round Barn has been making wine for a long time in the South-West corner of Michigan but their entry into the American craft beer scene is relatively new. I had heard that the old brewer from Founders is helping them get their sea legs. Cocoa Stout was the flavor I choose from several others. Sweet lactose, chocolate, coffee, roasted, oat, and bitterness all play varying rolls to the senses. This is a quality stout that can feel mildly watery in the mouth at times, giving me only major concern in this otherwise well rounded brew. 7/10

Last beer of the evening: Arrogant Bastard Ale by Stone. The price point on this beer is outstanding: $4.99 for a bomber (22 ounces). The hop profile that I was expecting and heard about just wasn’t there. free run 4.0 v3 I think I purchased this bottle this past summer and who knows how old it was before that. With that off my chest, I still liked the beer but I don’t think to the complete extent I would a fresh bottle as the bitterness seemed so unbalanced. Until I get a fresh one, my current rating will have to suffice. 7/10

It looks like I will be at Half Acre tomorrow for their weekly tour and then Stockholm’s on Sunday with Rich. Enjoy!

Half Acre Magnus Worth A Full Acre

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

half acre beer company magnus

There are some beers that I purchase out of pure curiosity. Magnus by Half Acre Beer Company fits perfectly into to that motif. free run 5.0 In this case I was curious about the brewery and what they had to offer, since they are the new kid on the block while being readily available, somewhat, in the Chicagoland area. The curiosity also extended to the fact that Magnus is a Schwarzbier, a style that I haven’t found much of in the American craft beer industry (to this point, maybe I have also subconsciously avoided).

I opened Magnus with blind faith that I would enjoy this beer as I had Daisy Cutter Pale Ale, possibly placing Half Acre as a quick up and comer on the craft beer scene. Off with the cap, let’ try this sucker out.

Pours a perfect shade of brown with a single finger of tan foam. Frothiness develops as the foam dissipates leaving some sticky blotchy lacing. Roasted, toasted, caramel, and nutty malt stimulates the senses. Coffee comes in the finish of the beer; both on the nose and palate. A nice creamy mouth feel with a medium carbonation and slight alcoholic twang. Very drinkable and completely enjoyable beer. It is a shame it is a one shot. 8/10

Half Acre is quickly building its’ reputation with me. I have a bomber of Big Hugs Imperial Stout that I cannot wait to taste and rate. Enjoy!

AleSmith Anvil ESB Ale Reviewed

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

alesmith brewing company anvil esb ale

In my quest to have enough bombers to bottle my latest two batches of beer, I tasted and reviewed Anvil ESB Ale by AleSmith Brewing Company. Anvil is an extra strong bitter and is my fourth beer from the California based brewery.

Anvil pours with more foam than just about any other beer I have had. Huge. free run 5.0 +3 femmes I believe my first pour, which was vigorous, was about an ounce and filled the glass. The nose is hit with lots of nice toasted malt and some nice, pleasant dark fruits. A touch of floral, maybe from hops, is present too. The toasted malt is the center of the taste with dark and light fruits both intermingling along with a sense of wine and a musty flavor that seems to have its place. A medium body and light carbonation accent the beer well. A great balance of these complexities making this often avoided, by me, style really stand out. I now need to dig further into this style. I could see this beer going higher than my rating but I don’t know about lower by more than a point. 8/10

I hope to have several tastings tonight as the weather shouldn’t keep me from getting home in a timely fashion. Enjoy!

Crooked Tree Leads Three Reviews

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

dark horse brewing company crooked tree ipa

I am running low on bombers (which isn’t a good thing since I need more for brewing) so I turned to some beers I picked up while on a recent Grand Rapids, Michigan trip, that are 12 ouncers. In case you missed the excursion, I visited Siciliano’s Market who sells beer by the individual bottle. Yes, I walked away with a case of 24 different beers.

I recently was listening to some podcast on drinking beer and the craft brewery owner, can’t remember which, said that you should not drink from lightest in color to darkest, but from less alcohol and lightest body to biggest beers. air jordan 7 Makes sense and it usually seems that light color = light beer. Not with craft beers. Now I don’t know if my tasting followed that premise, but I tried and I wanted to save the American IPAs for last since I enjoy them liking finding a $100 bill on the side walk.

First up was Scotty Karate Scotch Ale by Dark Horse Brewing Company. A Scottish heavy ale that seemed to be infused with smoke, maybe peat. The beer was overall well balanced but the smoke was the one sticking point in terms making this beer rate higher for me. A little toning down of the smoke might put this beer over the top. Still a good beer with bready and toffee aromas and flavors coming through. 7/10

The middle beer I went into with some apprehension. Arbor Brewing Company seems to put out beers that don’t agree with me for some reason or another. I want to like them, I just can’t. Unfortunately, Sacred Cow IPA, and American IPA, reaffirmed my apprehensions. It started out ominously with the beer shooting out of the bottle as soon as I took off the cap. Cleaning up messes while trying to enjoy some American craft beer doesn’t make me happy. The aroma of the beer with the hops mix is really enticing and even in the mouth it is a good beer until the pepper hits. I didn’t get the pepper in the aroma, so it caught me off guard. Too much and lingering. An average beer, for me, because of the pepper and not something I will pursue again. 6/10

The last beer of the night, Crooked Tree IPA, was the one I most anticipated (Rich has told me wonderful things about this beer) and I wasn’t let down. A good end to the evening. The aroma is huge on hops: pine and citrus that are softened slightly by a floral hop addition. air jordan 9 A great combination that made it hard to resist tasting and wafting even more. There is a sweetness to the aroma and taste that help to balance the beer. The floral hops come out in the taste with mild bitterness at most. A really smooth drinker that is well worth a try from anyone that is a hop head. 9/10

Home brew club meeting tonight. I am bringing my Pot Licker Chocolate Milk Stout to share. I am hoping to get some feedback to make it better as most of my friends have liked it and I haven’t received any negativity. I know there is no way my second beer is flawless. 🙂 Enjoy!

Sea Monster Imperial Stout Reviewed

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

ballast point brewing company sea monster imperial stout

This time of the year I really enjoy having an American imperial stout. The rich malts, complexities, and full body are appreciated in the cold months.

Sea Monster Imperial Stout by Ballast Point Brewing Company fits the bill perfectly and was pleasantly appreciated. air jordan 10 The pour was dark with a small amount of brown foam that didn’t last with very minor splotchy lacing. The aroma and taste are filled with dark fruits (plum and raisins), chocolate, coffee, and sweet molasses. The chocolate is the stronger than the coffee in the flavor and leaves some creaminess and bitterness in the finish. The high alcohol is well masked but I thought I had a hit here in their in the aroma. Overall a real quality imperial that was easy to drink. I will try and get more of this and wonder how well it would cellar. 8/10 (could easily be a 9).

Even though I drank the bomber by myself, there was something missing. Hops. Down went my second Hop Slam that I have yet to review. Maybe tonight. Enjoy!

CHAOS!!! And Double Trouble Reviewed

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

flossmoor station restaurant & brewery chaos!!! belgian ipa

I have start off by saying that I have enjoyed the different IPAs that Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery has put out on what seems to be a bi-monthly basis. Some people don’t like the idea because of the limited release, the limited availability, as well as them not ever making the beer again. air jordan 12 That makes it fun. That makes it worth it. It is the thrill of the hunt. The rarities are what make all hobbies intriguing, wanting, and yes, in some cases, needing. If their weren’t these small releases would people around the country be making long trips and/or turning release days into family vacation?

Enough on that topic, let’s go to the reviews.

I guess I was expecting more out of an IPA named CHAOS!!!, especially with the capital letters and three exclimation points. The Belgian style comes out in this beer with the hops taking the backseat. Once you get over the lack of hops, the beer is really good. air jordan 13 The peppery taste, assumed from the yeast, it a little overdone; after drinking the entire bomber it felt like someone had poured pepper on my tongue. Has orange-red wax to denote. 7/10

For the first time, in a while, I fit a second beer in for the evening. Double Trouble by Founders Brewing Company is their winter imperial IPA. Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my Lunar Brewing Co. snifter, the beer has a pleasant citrus and floral aroma. The taste shows up with a resinous pine bitterness while the citrus and floral are absent. Sweetness to balance with a light body and ample carbonation. This is a good beer but not up to the standards of some of their other seasonals. 7/10

TNBC tonight, should be some good reviews tomorrow. Enjoy!

Four Beer Reviews Lead By Black Sun

Friday, January 15th, 2010

three floyds brewing company black sun

Rich and I had our “average” Thursday night talking about the site, about the events we want to attend, where the next brewery hop(s) should be, and reviewing a few quality American craft beers. air jordan 1 femmes Last night was a good line-up of beers that was almost capped off with a Hopslam but we both decided to call it a night after four as we had to go to work in the morning.

Our night began with a beer from The Bruery: Hottenroth Berliner Wiesse. We had both heard good things and were off running waiting to taste this tart wheat beer. A pretty clean beer with lemon and wheat in the mouth and nose, some tartness but not over whelming. Drinkable but low in alcohol and think pricey at $8 for a beer that registers not much over 3% ABV. 7/10

Mortality Stout by ReaperAle Brewing Company was our second beer review. A Foreign Extra Stout, Mortality comes from a style that I don’t have much experience. That said, I found it to be more of a roasted milk stout. Not a bad, just not a beer that jumps out at me and that could be the style itself. Also, not a style/beer that I could have more than one at a time. 6/10

Three Floyds Brewing Company is creeping up on me as one in which I will seek out their beers. I know most are already to that point but I don’t like to jump on bandwagons for the sake of jumping. Black Sun is a stout with a lot of citrus and pine hops that play with the malty profile of a stout. air jordan 3 femmes Similar to Alpha Klaus. 8/10

15th Anniversary Wood Aged by Great Divide Brewing Company is an American Imperial IPA that tastes like an Strong Ale. The beer is good but as a DIPA it is really far from it: no real hop aroma, flavor, or bitterness. From that aspect disappointing. I left it for last for a reason: I really like DIPAs. Downer. 6/10

The beers as a group weren’t as sensational as some evenings but nonetheless, they were still a good group and fun was had. TNBC this coming Tuesday. Enjoy!

Dreadnaught By Three Floyds Is Awesome

Friday, January 8th, 2010

three floyds brewing company dreadnaught

Dreadnaught is the answer to all of my American craft beer dreams. Based on the hop profile(s) I like, this one is perfectly made for my liking.

Three Floyds Brewing Company is known for their abundant use of hops and Dreadnaught is no different. air jordan 5 femmes I am sure this beer is dried hopped as the aroma immediately greeting my nose after the cap removal was a delightful sampling of what was to come. Citrus, peach, pine, and mango hop aromas gave me the feeling it was summer and I was on a beach soaking in the rays on my pasty face. The aroma in the glass was even more pleasing as it was stronger, bigger, and inviting. There was some sweetness to balance in both the aroma and taste with a citrus bitterness to the finish. I really didn’t notice the big alcohol level and, for me, that is a good thing. I don’t want a beer to wear it’s big ABV values on its collar. 10/10

I originally gave it a 9 because I just don’t like giving a beer a 10. In my mind that means it has no room for improvement. It is the pinnacle of American craft beer within the style. After sleeping on it, I am convinced that this is a perfect American Imperial IPA. Enjoy!