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Bearded Iris Patina Dry Hopped Festbier

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What? Is this not an IPA? But... most of the Bearded Iris beers that I've had have been derivations of IPAs, and they have been interesting and made me want more. But this is an Oktoberfest. I can't blame them for wanting to try one of these out, and they can't blame me for trying it and telling you, my loyal reader, what I think about it.

The honey golden beer has a very patchy head that bubbles away to leave a little bit of lacing on the sides and wisps on top of the beer that look downright artistic. The aroma is flowers and honey. It's an odd combo for an Oktoberfest, in my opinion, but I'm not going to lie and say that I don't want to try it. In fact, I'm more eager now than I was before.

First sip is more doughy malt than I expected, but it has the honey highlights and the flowers are blooming. It's easy to overdo floral hops pretty much any time you go for them, but this one is nicely tamed by the malt, so the overall impression is a full bodied …

Mill Creek Batch No. 1 Double IPA

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Mill Creek has a history here of being a bit better than average (three beers is a history, right?), but they haven't had anything that was really a break-out beer. With a DIPA, they have a chance to put together something special. DIPAs somehow manage to smooth out a fierce IPA to bring a lot of flavor and a lot of calm at the same time. This should be good.

The beer is a light honey color with a nice, sticky white head that takes a while to dissipate, and it leaves the much loved lacing in its wake. It's not a sheet of lacing, but it's scattered bubbles that are defiantly gripping the sides. The aroma is sweet and piney. There are citrus hops under that, but it's breath of an alpine skiing resort.

First sip is an utter delight. It's got bitterness from the hops, but they don't overwhelm the beer, as the malt is honey and sweet and holds everything back. Instead, the general citrus and pine hops are really giving a mouthful of hoppy goodness with the bitternes…

Tröegs Perpetual IPA

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Another beer from the land of chocolate and coldness - Hershey, PA. I have had Tröegs beers before, and I know what they are capable of, so I can only hope that they formulated an IPA worthy of their name. I know most people outside of Pennsylvania have never heard of them, but that used to be true for Rolling Rock and Yuengling.

The very foamy beer has a white top with a clear yellow-gold liquid under it all. The aroma of hops overwhelms everything in the area when the beer starts to aerosolize as it pours. This certainly bodes well for a beer that claims to feature hops - that hops are the only feature from the aroma that I can make out. They are pine hops with some floral backing, and citrus hops spring forward quite a bit - but late.

First sip is bitter, but there is a sweetness to the malt that swims in the deep end to reduce the overall impact of the bitterness. This allows the flavors to assert themselves a lot more than if the bitterness were to overwhelm everything. Instead, …

Almanac Farm to Barrel Vanilla Cherry Dogpatch

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I have avoided sour beers, as I have put them in the category of things that hipsters are really trying to make happen, and I just don't want to befoul my mouth with a concoction like HiCu ever again. The fact is - I know sours have gained in popularity, and a sizable portion of the good beer section of my favorite beer store is starting to be taken up by them, so I need to give them a chance, right?

There's a red cast to the very clear amber beer that has absolutely no damn head at all. It's not flat - the head was like seltzer water with the way it popped up while being poured and then disappeared right back into the liquid. The aroma is stringent with the sour cherries and stems all up in my face with the smell of something that has been aged in oak and mixed with some fermented grapes.

First sip is damn sour nonsense to the point that I don't want more. It definitely has a wine backing, but those sour cherries are taking all the fun out of beer. Why must they do th…

Collective Arts Stranger Than Fiction Porter

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It appears that this beer has some kind of special artwork that they put on the front of the can. It's so special that I contemplated using a picture of it in this review, but I opted for the picture that actually had the name of the beer in it. I'm not sure that it would have translated well in this format (or the size of my pictures here).

The beer is so brown I'm going to let it slide into the "black" category without any fuss. The tan head eventually becomes a tiny layer of fuzz that evenly covers the top of the beer. The aroma is chocolate and coffee malts. Fact is, this beer looks and smells just like it says porters should on the box. What box? Every box that knows what a porter should be.

First sip is a lot more mild than I expected to find, and it's a bit watery. The chocolate and coffee dance well together, and they got joined by some milk and even a bit of earth. I don't mean the watery texture to sound as bad as it does, but it isn't as me…

Founders CBS Imperial Stout

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This CBS is not named after The Tiffany Network (Columbia Broadcasting System). Based entirely on the label, I'd say it was based on The Mounties, the Canadian ... err... Bouncing Stallions? I don't care. Jeremy went out of his way to save me a bottle of this and - no matter if I like it or not - I am very grateful for the opportunity to try it.

The exceedingly dark brown beer has a head that looks like it's made of some kind of whipped chocolate, and there is a LOT of that head. I swear I poured about as carefully as I could, and I still wound up with head of about 1/4 of this pint glass. The aroma is thick with oak, earth, maple, coffee, and chocolate; it's really rich smelling.

First sip is heavier with the coffee than I would like, but all those other flavors are definitely asserting themselves over it all. So, the effect of a sip is that this is an alcohol-heavy (checks label and sees that it's 11.7% ABV) hunk of thick bread with all of the ingredients in the …

Black Abbey Guy Fawkes Brown Ale

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Another Nashville Brewery for the blog. At what point does my blog achieve the popularity that the local breweries start to seek me out and give me free beer? I mean, I'm certainly accessible. And goodness knows I want to try more beer and would love to save the money I routinely put down at City Sliquors to buy more. What I'm saying is - call me, Boo.

The clear brown beer has a head that is definitely not leaving any lacing. It boils down to a light dusting with the ring around the sides of the glass, but the bubbles just aren't sticky in the least. The aroma is nutty and malty with a touch of brown sugar.

First sip is... gripping. It is nutty and all, but it adds quite a bit of bitterness from coffee, earth, and even pine. It's brown ale through-and-through, but that doesn't mean it's particularly approachable. Instead, it is packed full of flavor and quite heavy with potential. Let's see what the swig brings.

Tip-in is a little unexpected smoke, coffee, …