Posts

Showing posts from January, 2017

Hinterland Packerland Pilsner

Image
A gift from a guy who I may have chastised a bit too much for having given away beer to other people before, this appears to be a beer from Green Bay for people who live in Green Bay. If it's anything like Iron City Beer in Pittsburgh, it is a right of passage to even drink the beer, and it is a badge of honor to let the beer define your beer preferences.
There is a slight haze in the pale gold beer with quite a disappointing head. Only a semicircle of bubbles around the rim is left when the beer settles - it makes me think of a somewhat flat beer I might get at a football stadium for like $8 a cup for a macrobrew. The aroma is bread and malt with a light hint of hops.
First sip is exceedingly simple. It's cold right now, and I suspect the beer is taking advantage of the cold to be eminently drinkable. The malt-heavy beer is grains and crackers, but it doesn't go a whole lot further than that. Even then, the heaviness is just in compared to anything else, as the overall b…

Prairie Artisan Phantasmagoria Double IPA

Image
I took a long break between this beer and the last one I had from this brewer. Mainly, I wanted to ensure I gave this one a fair shot after having ranted a bit about not liking the last one. I don't think I said anything about their mothers or anything that I couldn't take back, but I don't want to offend the beer, so I'm giving it a fresh start over a month after I had the last one.

The beer is a very hazy kind of copper-gold color with a minimal head that nestles into a shadow of itself spread across the center of the beer with a ring of demarcation around the sides where it shall not pass. The aroma is citrus, a bit of funky yeast, and flaking biscuits. It smells very inviting.

First sip is VERY funky. It's bittersweet and tart with lemons and grapefruit and that funky yeast that seems to coat the tongue with a furry layer of something dark and foreboding. I'm not sure what's going on with this off-the-wall beer, but I can't say I dislike it. Maybe I…

Goose Island Bourbon County Stout

Image
Hidden behind the counter, with a label attached to it with my name scrawled across it, this beer was waiting for me at City Sliquors, even though I had never heard of it, and it doesn't match my normal preferred taste profile (at least based on the label). Well, I say the label, but there is only a rear label on this bottle. Instead, the presentation is that of a very high-end beverage, as the bottle has embossed lettering on the front, and I love the look of this.

The beer pours like a syrup with its deep, dark brown body and almost no head to speak of. There are maybe seven bubbles on top of this thing, and they are really tiny (like nitrogen-sized), so I may be off by about three. The aroma is unmistakable thick, dark fruits and heavy brown liquor. Here's the thing, I'm usually not a fan of bourbon barrel-aged beers, but I find myself oddly looking forward to this particular one based solely on the past experience with Goose Island and the recommendation from City Sliq…

Seagram's Cherry Cola Hard Soda

Image
Okay, this is the last one of the bunch. The best of them was pretty middling, and the others were all short of the mark. Maybe this will be different - better than the others. Maybe this will be the breakout hit. Here's to eternal optimism.

I suppose it's just as well that they decided to add the cola color to this one. The clear ones just kind of freaked me out and made me remember at all times that I wasn't drinking something normal - it was some odd, artificial construct that was intended to simulate some other kind of beverage, but it had alcohol (in case you couldn't taste it, which you totally could). The aroma is not cola, but it's cherry and that all-too-familiar wine cooler alcohol (not that it is necessarily different from regular alcohol, but it... definitely reminds me of wine coolers).

First sip is pretty terrible. It doesn't taste like cola, cherry cola, or straight cherry. Instead, it's artificial ... what is it? Did you ever have those cand…

Seagram's Lemon 'n Lime Hard Soda

Image
When I picked up this sampler pack of hard sodas, I had high hopes. As the first one was a let down, and the second one was as well, I am now dreading these things. I started with the two that I liked best as soda, so I anticipate these next two will not be my friend.

The crystal clear beverage sports no head, but it was at least fizzy when I poured it. Scant points of nucleation let me know that it is not water just by looking at it. The aroma is more 7-Up than Sprite, and more alcohol than either. I have one more kind of Seagram's hard soda in the fridge, and I think I might just stop with that one and just stick to root beer if I see any new ones. The formula that seems to be used with these things is just generic soda + alcohol = enjoy, you lazy bastard.

First sip is not as bad as I expected. Yes, it's basically just generic Lemon-lime soda with alcohol added, but the alcohol isn't as heavy-handed as the last two versions of these sodas from Seagram's. I'm not …

Turtle Anarchy Portly Stout

Image
Look out, Terrapin, there's a new turtle-based brewer in town. And by in town, I mean actually in the town I live in, Nashville. They come out of the gate with a stout, and it's like they can read my mind for what I'm fond of. Is it some kind of peanut butter stout? A vanilla stout? Nope, they went for the classic, and I intend to find out how well they did it.

The beer is black. Don't give me that "dark ruby" or "deep brown" crap - this is black. Number of photons coming through the center of the beer is zero, and even the edges are relatively impervious to light. The light tan head had to be coaxed a bit with a more aggressive pour, but it leaves a nice little crown with a bit of lacing in its wake. The aroma is the reason to come to this party, and it is a rich, sweet smokey malt. There doesn't even seem to be much bitterness in the smoke - just sweetness.

First sip is chocolate and bitterness. They say that most of the taste that we can perc…

Catawba Mother Trucker Pale Ale

Image
My second Catawba beer. As the first one was a good beer, so I expect this one to be as well. Recently, a co-worker made a disparaging comment about beers from cans, and I hate to think that I was once among the group that thought that good beer couldn't be held by aluminum. That said, I find that glass (dark glass) is generally better suited to the task, but that won't put me off.

The interesting amber colored beer has tiny particles suspended in it somewhat miraculously still. The head is fairly minimal - as is the lacing. The aroma is exceedingly light, but I can just make out the lemon of the hops and some grainy malt. I expected more from the pale ale, but it's not like this is an IPA, so subtle is what it's going for.

The sip is slightly sour and not particularly nice. The grains are harsh and gritty while the sourness is rooted in something (maybe the yeast) that is just not doing the rest of it any favors. Any hops in there are taking a back seat, and their fla…

Catawba Farmer Ted's Cream Ale

Image
What the hell? I had a vanilla cream ale the other day, and now I find myself with a cream ale. So, will this be similarly good enough to be middle of the road, but not a breakout? I know that Buffalo Sweat got even better when the vanilla was added to the already very good original, but is it possible that vanilla actually detracts from this style?

What little head this thing starts with, it releases very quickly to leave just the occasional bubble atop the still, murky depths of the pale yellow beverage. The aroma is malt and grains with free ends of citrus and the malt is mostly a kind of fresh bread. It smells good and inviting, so I'm going in.

First sip is noticeable carbonation tingle, even though there is so little head. That's damn odd. The flavor is actually very good. I don't know what makes it a cream ale, as it tastes more like a pilsner, but the malt is most notable with grains and bread like a... well, like a five grain bread or something; the citrus is ther…

Terrapin Smoke on the Porter

Image
The last Terrapin beer was very good. On the whole, I like the company, and I look forward to them branching out into stuff like this - a smokey porter or the like. On top of everything is the fact that many of the tie-in beers that I've had have been tremendous.

The beer is so dark and ruby red that you would be excused for calling it black. The tan head is scant but sticks around in a thin film that is proud to be here. The aroma is smokey malt and barley that is just about what I expected (with just a touch more grain than I would have thought, but it isn't off-putting or anything).

First sip is not as good as I'd hoped. It's a flat smoke with a bitter coffee edge. They need sweet malt in there with it to cut back the bitterness, but they don't, so it's all lopsided and unrefined. I like a smokey beer, but I want there to be more underneath. This is smoke for the sake of smoke and then it just gives up on flavors.

Tip-in is a bit watery, but it has smoke and…

Prairie Artisan Christmas Bomb Imperial Stout

Image
Another small brewery here. I picked up three from this brewer, so I will have a second one come along pretty soon after this one is published. The beer in front of me just says that it is a Christmas imperial stout brewed with spices, so I expect this may be something like other seasonal heavy beers that I've had that all bring a unique character to the mix.

The inky black beer is brown at the edges with a dark tan head. The aroma is thick coffee... WTF? It says it's an imperial stout "brewed with spices!" It does not say anywhere on it that they decided to spoil a perfectly good beer by adding coffee to it. I'm not happy. I have avoided buying coffee beers where possible, and this one doesn't say what it is on the bottle, you hipster-beer-slinging assholes!

First sip is unacceptable. You know what? I'm not even going to bother doing the rest of this goddamn review. You worthless sons of bitches! What possessed you to put out a bottle of so-called beer a…

Dogfish Head World Wide Stout

Image
Say what you will about Dogfish Head, their name is unique enough that I, and the search engine of your choice, will not be confused when you go searching for it. When you DO go searching for it, you'll find that (at least on my blog) that they seem to do very well when it comes to brewing beers. This bodes well for a good, solid stout.

The aroma is what I noticed right off the bat. This beer has a rich, oaky, sweet malt and heavy grain smell that wafts wildly and enticingly from yards away. The color is black, but I get some hints of red. What hints? Well, there's the red head, for a start. I'm not sure I've seen a red head like this one before this side of a great Irish girl I knew.

First sip is overpowering. Is it possible that this is managing to overpowering itself? It definitely has the punch of a beer that has been augmented with the addition of rum or aged in whiskey barrels or had Scotch added or something like that. I see no mention of it on the label, but I …

Blackhorse Vanilla Cream Ale

Image
I've had a few Memphis beers, but I don't think I've had one from Knoxville before. See, Tennessee is a wide state, and I'm in the middle with Knoxville and Memphis on either side. I would expect that I would see more beers from Knoxville, and maybe I will in the future if this one works out.

The ale looks like a kind of dirty dishwater after rinsing a few Mountain Dew glasses. There's absolutely no head, but there are points of nucleation, so this isn't flat. The aroma is 0% vanilla, despite the name of the beverage. Instead, it's a very grainy malt that reminds me of nothing more than a wheat beer.

First sip is not a good one. I've had cream ales, and I've had vanilla-infused ales, and this tastes like neither of them. Instead, it tastes like the aforementioned dishwater with vanilla extract added to it. This might have hidden complexities, but I'm not liking the sip at all. Maybe if it warmed up a little it would be better - and maybe it just…

Dark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch Ale

Image
Dark Horse had one good one and one that wasn't great. I got this hoping that they confused themselves with the difference between a Scotch ale and a Scottish ale. I know that some of the best beers that I've had were Scottish ales, and some of the worst were Scotch ales. I hope they got this right. I hope.

The very hazy dark brown beer has a lot of red in it. The head really doesn't exist. I mean, there is both jack and squat on the top of this beer once things settle down - and it's not flat. The aroma is heavy with sweet malt and some significant alcohol. Is this one of those whiskey-barrel aged beers? That's totally what it smells like.

First sip is a lot of thick, fresh baked bread with sweetness and... yup, there is the oak and smoke with the alcohol that would indicate a whiskey or bourbon. It isn't doing THAT many bad things to the beer, so I might be able to come away from this with a positive review (as my dislike of brown liquors mixed into my beers …

Ommegang "Game of Thrones" Valar Morghulis Dubbel Ale

Image
I like the show, and it appears I like the beers. If Game of Thrones made pizza, I think I would be elbow deep in pizza right now. Ommegang has done right by the naming rights, and I want this to continue. Dubbels are not an easy style to get right, and the taste is certainly not for everyone, but I can definitely find good ones.

The brown beer definitely has a red cast added to the mix. The head is large enough that Jeoffrey would likely need two pikes to stick that thing up on the wall (#PoorSansa). The aroma is rich with sweet brown sugar and malty bread. It smells somewhat intimidating, but I will not shy away from this challenge.

First sip is Belgian ale. It's all kinds of dark fruits and caramel malt. The beer is like biting a solid chunk of beer and chewing the fruit of goodness. I'm going to have to break this down, and that works out, as that's my way.

Tip-in is light carbonation tingle with the dark fruits and yeast while the grains are more noticeable than you m…