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Hi-Wire Horchata 10W-40 Imperial Stout

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When beers start to call themselves things like Pothole Filler and W00tstout, it becomes apparent that marketing is integral to the success of a good beer. Yes, Budweiser can sell itself on pure Americana (with a Czech name) but most other brewers have to work for it. So, claiming to be a kind of oil intrigues me enough to try this out. The fact that Hi-Wire's summer lager was so good means that this is tracking pretty good.

Black as the oil from which it gets its name, the beer has a brown head that disappears quickly and leaves a soft dusting of bubbles on top and around the ring. The aroma is thick with chocolate, vanilla, and spices. It smells damn good.

First sip definitely includes almonds. I almost expected the sweet smoothness of a milk stout, but this one is definitely the imposing malt of an imperial stout. It has those almonds almost mixed into almond milk and then added to the chocolate's bitterness.

Tip-in is heavy earth and sweet chocolate with almost no carbonat…

Terrapin Blueberry Thyme Saison Ale

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This brewery has bounced around a bit, but their highs are higher than their lows. I approach this beer with more than a little trepidation. This was the last beer that I'd been putting off drinking in my beer fridge. Once I do this one, the rest are all new beers - no holdover reviews (I do still have some beers in there that are already reviewed).

I didn't expect red. This is a red beer made with blueberries. BLUEberries. But, no, we're looking at a red beer, alright. The pink head fizzles quickly, and the very scant patch of bubbles remaining are notably small. The aroma is very strong sour fruits, but I think I smell cherries more than blueberries. I like both fruits, but I dislike sour, so I don't know what will happen next.

First sip is fortunately only slightly sour, but it's overall taste isn't good. The thyme and whatever other spices got tossed into the top of the vat are leaving a pretty nasty taste after the fruity middle (still haven't picked a…

Uinta Birthday Suit Sour Cherry Blonde Ale

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The nature of my relationship with beer is that I don't like sour beers. I really enjoyed the surge of hipster hop-heavy beers, as it aligned with my likes. The fact that the hipsters have moved on to sour beers means that our relationship is at an end. This doesn't mean my relationship with Uinta is ended, though, so I figured I'd just try it out.

This is a pretty beer. The presentation is certainly helped by the tall glass that was part of the set the wife bought for me. The color is more interesting than normal - it goes from yellow-gold at the bottom to a slight red tint at the top. The head is fleeting, but it keeps getting fed by a very carbonation-heavy beer underneath. The aroma is sour cherries; it's the let down in an otherwise good presentation.

First sip is sour nonsense with a heavy bread backing. It's got a dry tartness to go with the sour, but this is exactly what I'm not looking for in a beer (this side of coffee). It was a mistake to buy this.

Prairie Artisan Deconstructed Bomb "M" Imperial Stout

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Prairie Artisan and I have a very simple relationship - they make beer and I try the beer. Most of the time, I have disliked their hipster-centric ethos and "artistic" interpretation of how beer is made. However, Jeremy (the proprietor of City Sliquors) convinced me to pay actual money for this beer and the other Deconstructed Bomb beer. The last one wasn't the worst ever, but I had a KBS after it, and the KBS just worked in all the ways the Bomb didn't. Let's try this sucker out.

The very deep brown beer has a cap of brown suds that leave not a bit of lacing as it recedes so darn quickly. The aroma of sweet chocolate, oak, and syrup emanates pretty wildly from the top of the nearly naked beer. It's rich and full of alcohol. Yes, the aroma is full of alcohol. I said it - come at me, bro!

First sip is a LOT more coffee than I expected. It shouldn't be surprising, as these people slip coffee into beer without warning anyone, and I hate them for it. I don…

Prairie Artisan Deconstructed Bomb "B" Imperial Stout

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I blame Jeremy for this beer and the next one. I didn't want to try another Prairie Artisan beer after the crapfest that have been their beers so far, but he assures me that these will be much different than the others, and I rely on his expertise in these matters. So, I am willing to let them rescue their reputation.

The very dark brown beer has a dark brown head that is pretty thin and dissipates very quickly. The aroma is very heavy alcohol, wood, and vanilla on top of what seems to be a smoky chocolate malt. The alcohol in this beer is 11.8% ABV, and that is quite high, but not all beers that have that high (or higher) alcohol content reek of alcohol like this one does.

First sip is not bad. It's heavy with the alcohol and there is definitely some smoke and chocolate malt mixed with vanilla and oak. It reminds me a bit of the Goose Island version of this beer, but it comes off as a bit more stolid than the Goose beer.

Tip-in is syrup sweet with oak and chocolate being back…

Sierra Nevada Experimental Hop Pilsner

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The last of the 'experimental' beers, I figured out that the experiment is some kind of odd hops from the mountains of... Oregon? Washington? Mississippi? I dunno. I don't really care that much, either. Let's see how the experimental hops work to give me some kind of superpowers.

She's a pale yellow beer, as any respectable pilsner would be. The thin head leaves more lacing on the sides than any pilsner I can recall, and that may be from the hops. The aroma is a pleasingly sweet citrus with lemon and an earthy backbeat. I've come to this party for a hoppy pilsner, and it appears I've found one.

First sip is very laid back and pretty nice. I could definitely see this as a sipping beer with the low citrus, earthy pine and lemons all nestled together in a relatively sweet beverage. It's smooth and creamy for a pilsner, and it is highly approachable.

Tip-in is bread malt with lemongrass whipping through the mouth like it wants to be seen and tasted, but it …

Sierra Nevada Experimental Hop Session IPA

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Third of Four would be this beer's Borg name. The first experimental beer was a very good effort. The second beer should probably have stayed in Nevada (or California or North Carolina or wherever it was made). This, then, is the penultimate experimental beer, and it has a hole to dig itself out of.

The light straw colored beer with a fluffy head strikes me as a wheat beer on looks, and the aroma has lots of lemons in it to back up that first look, but the bread in the malt isn't grainy enough, so "session" it is. I guess they know what they're doing when it comes to naming these things. I try not to judge these beers based on amount of alcohol, but 4.6% ABV is pretty tame. I was nearly affronted by the paltry 6.7% of the first 'experimental' beer I had.

First sip is enough to make me think this is a wheat beer. It has heavy grains up front in the form of a whole wheat Ritz cracker with a dose of herbs, oranges, and lemons. It's not the best beer for …