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Bierbrouwerij La Trappe Trappist Dubbel

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This sucker made me look hard to see what the name of the brewer was. I'm not even sure I got it right in the title of this entry, but I made the effort, and I hope I can get some credit for that. The fact is, this tries really hard to hit home with being "Trappist" more than anything else. Usually, that means the beer was brewed by monks (or monkettes - I don't really care) in Belgium or the Netherlands.

Oh what a delightful looking beverage. No, it doesn't have the head that I would like to see. In fact, it winds up having no head whatsoever. But the color is a delightful deep plum, and the aroma is that distinctly Belgian ale style of sour cherries, plums, and seltzer.

First sip is a deep pool of Trappist know-how; it has the plums, cherries, and molasses. The carbonation is pretty distinct and almost overwhelms, but there is more to this beer than just bubbles - it aches with the need to be tasted - to be gulped.

Tip-in is sweet cherries and dark fruits with …

Boulevard Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale

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Look, I'm not to beat around the bush. There's no reason for me to lie. I didn't like the first Boulevard beer I had, and I'm not sure that they can produce a beer I'll genuinely like. I picked this one up out of pure hope. Hope is a powerful force, but it's not directly influencing Boulevard, so I may be out of luck.

When initially poured, this beer had a look of something like a black and tan, as the top was filled with tiny little chunky bits while the bottom was a lot cleaner. As everything settled, the beer just attains an overall murkiness inside of its yellow–gold coloring. The sticky white head leaves just enough leasing to let you know that hops have been involved in this sucker somewhere. The aroma is a bit caustic, and it seems heavy on resin and wort.

 First sip is spiciness and fruits. It has a little bread dough in the back, but fruits like pears, peaches, and apricots are really filling things out. The spices seem to mask some of the plainness of…

Tailgate Southeast IPA

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When I picked up a few Tailgate beers last time I was at the store, it didn't even occur to me to look up how well the previous Tailgate beers had done in my reviews. See, when I started this blog, it was mostly just to keep a record of what I thought of the beers. I can't tell you if you will like a beer - I can only tell you if I liked it.

The bright yellow-gold beer has a suitably sticky head that leaves enough lacing to set it's claim as an IPA. It's surprisingly pretty clear, rather than thickly murky as many of the recent IPA entries have been. The aroma is citrus and pine hops with a fair amount of backing from the bready malt. So, we have the right ingredients for a great IPA.

First sip is pretty freaking awesome. It has some slick mixture of hops and that bread malt that results in a sweet and fruity beer with the pine managing to add a bitterness that makes this way too complex to just sip, doesn't it?

Tip-in is medium carbonation burn right on the tongue…

Nantahala Bourbon Barrel Aged Chocolate Covered Cherry Stout Ale

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Following up the chocolate-cherry brother that had too much of a coffee taste is this bourbon barrel sibling. The fact is, I expect this will be better, as the bourbon and wood will likely overcome the coffee that I found a bit off-putting from the other one. Let's all hope.

There is no mistaking this beer for the other from the get-go. The amount of froth that is contained in just the smallest amount of beer is quite impressive - no coaxing necessary. In fact, in order to get this picture, I had to let it settle three times and pour slowly down the side of the glass every time. The head has staying power to the point that I don't even know if it leaves lacing, but I suspect it does. The black-brown beer has the aroma of cherries and chocolate like its sister, but it adds that bourbon alcohol whiff.

First sip is strong and sour. It is so damn sour. It is like a sour apple coated with the sour dust from a Warheads candy. Under that, there is chocolate and cherry, but the sour i…

Nantahala Chocolate Covered Cherry Stout Ale

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This stout is coming from a brewer I am not familiar with, but I got this one and the bourbon barrel version of the same beer. I guess this will be a stout version of the Pepsi challenge, but cherries and chocolate added into the mix could throw this whole thing off quite a bit. Still, we don't know until we try (or read a report from someone who already tried).

The very dark brown beer is thicker than usual and has a light tan head that was very difficult to coax out. If I didn't know better, I'd say that this beer was aged in bourbon barrels, but I have a version of that coming. This one has an aroma of (not shockingly) chocolate and cherries. I also smell smoke and coffee in there with it, so this is going to be pretty solid.

First sip confirms the coffee, that's for sure. It's not nuts like some of the coffee stouts that I've had, but it is definitely overpowering everything else. The chocolate is noticeable, but I don't taste cherries at all. Of course…

Crown Valley Imperial Pumpkin Smash

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I'm not sure the pumpkin is intended for beer. Yes, I've tried many different beers that had pumpkin in them, and some of them were very good – but that doesn't mean that pumpkin is really supposed to be in it. Nevertheless, Halloween is upon us, so I'm going to try out another pumpkin beer.

The very dark beer is not completely impermeable to light. There is a definite orange/red tint to the beer when the sunlight shines through it. The head is at least somewhat sticky and there's enough of the tiny little bubbles hanging around that the beer never gets naked. The aroma just about reeks of pumpkin. It's not like a pumpkin seed drink or something – this is all about the meat of the pumpkin. The smell is like an un–baked pumpkin pie. Not sure if that's a good thing or not, but I'm willing to try.

First sip is unusually sweet. The pumpkin is all right up in my face, but there's a sweet and toasted backend with spices that are giving this beer taste wit…

To Øl Boys Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk Imperial Milk Porter

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Wow. That's one crappy label. Wow. That's a lot of head. Wow. That's a strange and seemingly inexcusable name you got going there, To Øl. So, we are starting with a blank slate in terms of beers, this side of the fact that this is a Belgian beer, and I tend to like the kind of beers these guys come up with.

She's a black beer with a tan head that has more lacing than you can possibly want from a beer. The aroma is cherry, sweetness, wood, and light smokiness. It isn't as smoky as most porters that I've had before, but different isn't necessarily bad.

First sip is very sweet. That malt is certainly sweet, but I think the lactose sugars are just going hog-wild with the sweetness. I can also taste a bit of the wood and definitely the cherry from the smell, but this is without a doubt a dessert beer.

Tip-in is sweet like agave right from the get-go. Carbonation tingles as the wood and smoke drizzle down on the syrup-like sweetness. The middle hits much harder w…