Tennessee Brew Works Nashweizen

The Tennessee Brew Works guys have produced other beers that I've tried, and I'm not going to sugar coat it - they haven't all been winners. The friendly Jeremy seems to think more highly of them than I have so far, and I like that guy and think he has a pretty good palate, so I'm going to go with this hops-infused wheat ale. Let's all hope.

The clear gold beer has a white head that has some impressive staying power, but it leaves little lacing. Still, the puffy cap on top of the beer is almost like how a child might draw a picture of a beer. That I'm forcing children to draw idyllic pictures of alcoholic beverages is okay, isn't it? I hope so. Otherwise, my master plan for taking over the world is ruined. The aroma is hoppier than I expected - with a kind of orange and wheat smell.

First sip is a whiplash of styles with a well balanced IPA and a slap of an outside-the-box hefeweizen with all that wheat and grains and ... it's really hard to wrap my hea…

Tailgate Fire Emoji IPA

Has Tailgate jumped the proverbial shark? They named this IPA after an emoji, so I am going to assume their target audience is hipsters. Actually, I don't even know if hipsters are still a thing. Who is the fire emoji supposed to appeal to? Well, I've had their beer before, and I like their beer, so I'm ignoring the name for now.

The quite hazy golden beer has a stark white head that leaves no lacing, but it does leave a smattering of bubbles covering the top well enough. The aroma is a great big pile of citrus, but the malt is definitely there to bring some bread to this meal in a can. There's grapefruit, lemons, and tangerines in here, and the smell is mouth watering.

First sip is exactly what the nose prepared me for - citrus with a malt backing. The bitterness is kept in check with that malt, and the hops are allowed to sing the sweet song of grapefruit, mango, lemon, and tangerine. The beer has a strong taste in general, and the bitterness seeping into the edges i…

New Holland Dragon's Milk Bourbon Barrel-Aged Stout (Revisit)

The first time I tried this beer, I had no idea what I was getting. I was at a bar with a football game on, and I was in the mood for a Guinness, but this was the only stout they had on tap. Anyone who knows something about beer would have told me that you don't go drinking any stout expecting it to be Guinness, or you will be disappointed - even by a great beer. It's like eating popcorn expecting butter and getting cheese; cheese popcorn is great, but when you are expecting butter, you aren't getting what you want.

The dark brown beer is indistinguishable from black, and the light tan head is difficult to coax out of the beverage that isn't as syrupy as other bourbon barrel beers I've had in the past. I'm not complaining - just noting the difference. Likewise, the head stays at least a little bit as a very thin sheet of bubbles right in the middle of the glass. The aroma is cherry, oak, bourbon, and oats.

First sip is rich and interesting. It's definitely …

Taft's Gavel Banger American IPA

When two brothers agree that I should try a particular Cincinnati beer, who am I to argue? I mean, they both have been drinking beer longer than I have, and they know my penchant for hoppy beers, so they know the audience and the topic - seems like a sure thing. Well, I've never had a Taft's before, and it's time to break that streak.

The delightfully amber-gold beer has just what I like to see - a sticky head that leaves lacing and a patchy quilt on top of the beer. Many of you may wonder why I always comment about liking a patchy head that leaves lacing, and I'll tell you that it just happens to be my preference, and I think the good IPAs tend to have this kind of head - but I haven't systematically gone through my reviews to validate this anecdotal observation. The aroma is citrus and biscuits.

First sip is very nice indeed. It isn't really hard-hitting at first, but it builds up (and this is just a sip, mind you) to a full throated citrus and hoppy bitterne…

Urban Artifact Finn Berliner Pale Ale

My tour of Cincinnati breweries continues with this other gift from my brother. I may have some of the best siblings a person could have, and I have very few hobbies any more, and this is an easy one to contribute to. So, my family has figured out that they can please me with the gift of beer. Pleased I am.

The pale gold beer starts with an okay head, but that head disappears into a very wispy group of uninspired bubbles floating on top. The aroma is mush more vibrant than the head, though, with citrus juices overflowing and a kind of wheat or grass alongside them. It's an intriguing beer smell from the little brewery.

First sip is pretty tart and juicy, but there is more earth in this and that indeterminable grass-wheat that is also throwing things into the mix. I think I'd prefer something to sip that just had the fruit all forward and crap like some of the other beers I've had, but this isn't a DIPA or even an IPA. As a pale ale, I guess you can have a lot more room…

Blackstone Black Belle Imperial Stout

This is possibly the nicest looking bottle I've ever gotten from Blackstone. I've been exceedingly underwhelmed by their beers so far, but maybe something that says it is a "Limited 2017 release" would be more up my alley than their other beers have been (this is being reviewed in 2017). I want all of the Nashville breweries to be great, so let's see how close to great this can get.

The syrupy-thick black beverage has no head, but the little that I am able to coax out is definite brown - no tan here. There are tiny little bits of stuff floating on top of the beer - but it isn't head, it is stuff. As soon as I start to pour this, I can recognize the syrup, no head look of a beer that has been aged in bourbon barrels. The aroma backs up the idea that this was aged in bourbon barrels (also evident on the label where it says this was Blackstone in cooperation with Belle Meade Bourbon).

First sip is a rough one. There is too much going on in this beer. I taste bit…

Rhinegeist Cidergeist Dry Hopped Hard Cider

Rhinegeist? The very name is too intimidating. From the previous beer, I know that this Cincinnati brewer can put out some good beers, but does that make the name any more approachable? The name means "Ghost of the Rhine" because the brewery is in the "Over-The-Rhine" area of downtown Cinci. What does this mean about the beverages? Damned if I know.

The clear yellow-gold drink had a head like that of a Sprite or 7-Up that was full and very, very short lived. Now, there is not a single bubble to be seen on top, but the inner points of nucleation are definitely still streaming bubbles to the top where they can meet their death. The aroma is tart granny smith apples.

First sip is more tart and watery than I expected. The very tart green apples are there, but the tartness is imparted while the flavor is very muted. Instead, the water flows in like there's no tomorrow. So far, this is pretty weak for a cider.

Tip-in is significant carbonation burn with the tartness …