Dogfish Head Romantic Chemistry IPA

We get it, Dogfish Head, you make really good beers. Is it necessary to rub it in all the time? Don't get me wrong, I like a good beer, but you have to let other breweries have a chance to impress me with their wares. I can't believe that I haven't had a Sam Adams to try for this long, and you have come out with so many good beers.

The beer cascades like nothing I've ever seen before, and the head it leaves is patchy and sticky, and it sits atop an orange-ish copper beverage. The aroma is more floral than I expected, but it has fruits that are thick as thieves once you get past the flowers and gentle pine. It presents very well.

First sip is a bit aggressive. It is fruits and joy at the front end, but then it hits with musty pine, flowers, and yeast right at the back of the throat. The effect is not great, but I blame that on the sheer volume of hops that are trying to assert themselves. It kind of reminds me of the disharmonious way the hops struggled in the Latitude …

Innis & Gunn Original

Innis and Gunn's clear bottle gave me a skunked beer, and I lambasted them for it. They were really nice and sent me free beer to re-try it. The problem was that I was just dipping my toe in the idea of oak-aged beer, and I really didn't know what to expect. Well, I know what makes this stuff good now, and they switched to a brown bottle, so great things may be ahead.

The beer is a light copper color with a thin head that dissipates pretty quickly, and it leaves no lacing love for me. The aroma is rich and caramel with oak and light toast coming in over the heavy brown alcohol, and I think - this time - I am really looking forward to this.

First sip reminds me of the first time I had an Innis and Gunn beer, but I think I am expecting the right things now. The oak is heavy, and the toffee and caramel are compelling. I'm not tasting much in way of hops, but I'm getting earth in here, and that might be them.

Tip-in is very light carbonation tingle, and there is an unexpec…

Green Man Trickster IPA

One not great beer and one very good beer from Green Man so far, and I am still kind of creeped out by their face logo. I'm pretty happy with my new logo, and maybe they should think about getting themselves a more friendly, tech-savvy logo like mine.

The pale gold beer doesn't have much of a head, and it leaves pretty much no lacing as it goes down. The splotchy pad on top has a few bare spots and a few thick ones, but cascading bubbles are rising from the depths. I expected lots of hops, but I'm getting loose citrus with a lot more of a kind of doughy biscuits than anything else, and that is not right in some way.

First sip is floral hops with a light citrus hint and caramel with the biscuits relegated to a kind of backbeat that the others can play against. The tune they play is entertaining and a kind of swing that has some strong flowers in front, but it's the mix of everything that makes it enjoyable.

Tip-in is heavy biscuits with floral accents and carbonation ti…

Tallgrass Key Lime Pie Ale

Tallgrass has my respect. They are a relatively small brewery that manages to put out many interesting beers (including the absolutely fantastic Buffalo Sweat series). They try new things, and they usually do pretty well, so I like to encourage the testing of the waters. This might be a little too much of a test, I fear.

There is no spoon. Additionally, there is no head. I mean, this has bupkis after the very rapid settling; there isn't even the usual ring around the top of the beer that even the skimpiest of heads can manage. If it weren't for the fact that this is continuing to effervesce, I'd be convinced that this was a cider. Speaking of cider, the color is a very cider-like gold that puts me in mind of apple juice. The aroma is slight lime, but there is more vanilla and grains (maybe a crust).

First sip is very... unique. I was told that this would taste just like key lime pie, and I can't say that I agree. It does manage to have both a tartness and a sweetness g…

Anderson Valley Salted Caramel Bourbon Barrel Aged Porter

The other Anderson Valley beers were pretty good, but they all seemed to lack the punch of a great beer. Maybe this beer, with its added flavor, will be able to cut past the wateriness and bring the flavor density needed by the amber ale, for instance. This being a porter instead of the stout may actually work in its favor from that perspective.

Another black beer, but this one, unlike the stout, has a decent froth that has big, novelty-sized bubbles in the light tan head. There's very little lacing, however, so I has a bit of a sad about that. The aroma is sweet caramel and nuts. My mouth is watering just sniffing this, so I go in.

First sip is somewhat similar to the stout in that it sports a few flavors, but the overall drink is watery as heck. With that is caramel, vanilla, nuts, and bourbon. Again, it is not a bad taste, but it's a bit too mild during the sip.

Tip-in is light vanilla, sweet caramel, and nuts with a very light carbonation tingle. The middle is smoke and wo…

Huyghe Delirium Red

This is red - not pink, so don't go confusing it with the mildly bad beer that was produced by the same brewer, but only brewed by women. I have nothing against women brewers, as men can really make stinkers (thank you, Magic Hat) so I don't care if this was brewed by a man or woman, as I only want it to taste good.

True to its name, the beer is red. This isn't an amber beer - it's red. It's so red that the head is also red. It makes me wonder if they just brewed a beer and then stuck red food coloring in it. Mind you, they started with a dark beer. The aroma is cherry; I mean, this is a Cherokee Red kind of cherry, and that is pretty damn strange.

First sip is like a cherry cough syrup with a little less sweetness and without the medicine finish. I'm not saying it's bad, but I'm not saying it's great. I clearly should have been expecting a cherry beer instead of a red ale. So, I'm resetting my taste buds and going in for a swig.

Tip-in is sweet…

Evil Czech Czech-Munk IPA

I did not expect Evil Czech to be as good as they have been. These guys put out some good damn beer, and I'm going to stop making fun of their stupid, stupid name. I will admit to not liking the coffee-flavored white stout that I still don't understand how they got the color that way, but everything else has been very good.

The lovely copper-amber beer has a nice, sticky head that leaves lacing better than we deserve and an aroma of delightful floral hops and citrus. It's a little cloudy, and there are exceedingly few points of nucleation in the depths, so the visual of the beer is quite calm and relaxing, and I could do with that right about now.

First sip is a fairly rough malt/hops mix, but the bitterness that seems to be swelling at the front end just dies by the time the center of the drink is done. That's a lot to pick up out of the sip, but this is a beer that tells you what it's going to do, does it, and then tells you what it just did.

Tip-in is very light…