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Nola "Hoppyright Infringement" IPA

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I've only ever had one Nola beer before, and it was an Irish stout that I was okay with, but I wasn't really sold on. This one's an IPA, and anyone who knows me knows I like IPAs. The fact that this is an Imperial IPA means that, honestly, I may not like it as much. I find that Imperial stouts, Imperial porters, and Imperial IPAs tend to be less approachable than their standard counterparts. If you really want to do something with an IPA, I'd say go for a double IPA. But that's not what I have, so I'm just gonna drink the beer they made for me.

The hazy beer is the color of damp straw, and it has an off-white head that grips the sides of the glass, but it's not to be leaving any lacing. The smell is of lots of fruit. I'm getting citrus and tropical fruits, and they seem to be backed up with a kind of reedy malt. It's a good start.

First sip is surprisingly sweet and smooth. Even though this seems to have a whole bunch hops in it, they are definitely…

Saugatuck "Neapolitan" Milk Stout

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I don't like beers that make you guess. Fortunately, this beer doesn't make you guess. Instead, it's very clearly going to be a dessert beer. So, I can go into this knowing that it's gonna be a heavy beer that's kind of sweet and I probably don't want to drink too many of them in a row. That's just fine, as I'm not in this to get drunk; I'm just here to taste good beer.

The beer color is just like most stouts - impossible to see past the black but for the edges. The edges tell the story of a very dark auburn. There isn't much head, and it boils right down to an absolute nothing fairly quickly. The aroma is sweet with strawberry and vanilla on top of roasted grains. It smells really good, and Ima get me some.

First sip is a bit more coffee than I expected, and the vanilla is definitely there, but I don't taste the strawberries or even much of the chocolate. It's sweet enough to be a dessert, but it just doesn't seem to reflect the lab…

Boulevard "DDH Galaxy" IPA

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I'm pretty sure they intended for the "Galaxy" to be separate from the "DDH," but that's not the way I'm putting in the quotation marks. In fact, I'm still not even sure that I really like putting the name of the beer quotation marks, but it seems like some of the beers really need me to set off what the brewer decided was the proper name of the beer as opposed to the style of the beer. If you don't like it, feel free to ignore it.

The pale yellow beer has a bit of a tangerine coloring and an interesting amount of white sediment at the bottom of the glass. The head is medium-sized, and it leaves just enough lacing to show that it wants to, but it just doesn't have the skill level for it. The aroma is sweet tangerines and grapefruits with a lingering tartness behind it.

First sip is a surprising amount of thick fruit meat with a dankness that doesn't seem to stifle the sweetness that is deeper down from there. It's a good sip, but it …

Hi-Wire "Man Eater" Double IPA

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When I visited the brewery in Asheville, North Carolina, most of the beers that I had there were absolutely delicious. This reaffirms my belief that beer simply taste better whenever you're closer to the source and you get it fresh. Of course, this is particular to whichever style of beer you decided to try. Now that I'm back home, a double IPA sounds like it should be just about perfect here (having been given a bit of time to age).

The copper beer has enough head to bubble up and... there's the lacing of a beer that I have been longing for. The foam is a patchy and sticky substance that leaves splotches of big bubbles and trails tiny bubbles after them. The aroma is musty pine and citrus over a yeasty malt. I like DIPAs, and I really expect to like this one a lot.

First sip is more pine than I expected, and it is rounded out by the meat of a heap of citrus fruits and that malt is sweetening everything up very nicely. The bitterness and tartness re-enter before it finishe…

Grayton "Dubbel Barrel" Belgian-Style Dubbel

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How can of beer with two double barrel shotguns on the label still come across as something for a discerning individual? In this particular case, they do it by making their beer a Belgian-Style Dubbel, they aged in bourbon barrels, and then they put it in a bottle with a cork. If you ask me, that's a job done well.

The dark caramel brown beer has very little head (typical of barrel-aged beers) and the head that it has are big, lazy bubbles, so it's no wonder they don't have any staying power. The aroma is sweet, sweet booze above all else. There are probably things hidden under the bourbon, but I'm smelling almost nothing else.

First sip is almost wine-like smooth with a rough and tumble overtone of bourbon. The Belgian yeast is hidden too well to detect, but the caramel malt is definitely adding a bit of ease to the whole effect, and the result is a beer with a lot of personality that somehow manages to be pretty good for sipping.

Tip-in is all booze up front with the…

Oskar Blues "Can-O-Bliss" Tropical IPA

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Oh, can you not read the can? Well, you're not alone. I know it says "Can-O-Bliss" but anything beyond that is just speculation. I'm not sure why they went with such a confusing looking label, and I may eventually start a blog just on how bad beer labels can get, but this blog isn't about that. What we're about here is drinking beer to find the best that beer has to offer. And that's what I'm going to do with this.

The orange-tinted, honey-colored beer has the exact right amount of head for an IPA. When it boils away, it doesn't leave any lacing, but that's the price we pay, I suppose. The aroma is - would you believe it? Tropical fruits! It's got a doughy malt tamping down any bitterness, but it's not lending any sweetness to the hops.

First sip is a very nice tropical beverage. It isn't bitter from all the hops (thanks, doughy malt!) and it tastes of peaches, nectarines, pears, and pineapple. The taste is both crisp and smooth, a…

Yazoo "15th Anniversary" Ale

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When asked about Yazoo, I generally say that it's not the best brewery that I've sampled wares from in Nashville, but it's certainly not the worst (looking at you, Blackstone). The fact that they're celebrating a 15th anniversary means that they may have more beers under their belt that might be able to improve their standing in my assessments.

The orange-brass beer has a moderate head that fizzles down to a thin coat across the top with a reinforced line around the sides of the glass. The aroma is citrus, pine, and flowers. Based entirely on the smell, this would seem to be a very hop-heavy IPA, and it's not just a regular ale - hell, this isn't even listing itself as a pale ale. I wonder what it tastes like.

First sip is not particularly nice. It is citrus-heavy, but there's a funk and a tartness that are fighting with each other, and the casualty is my taste buds. While I was writing this review, I tried to find the ABV of this beer, and I wound up on th…