Showing posts from August, 2018

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 …

Yee Haw Blackberry Beret Wheat Ale

This beer may have the lowest alcohol content of anything that I've reviewed that had any alcohol at all. I've had a few 4.0% ABV beverages, and I had one non-beer 0% that I'm not counting, but even the hard sodas that I've had were more potent than this beer's paltry 3.8%. I also admit to leaving this in the fridge for a little while, as I grabbed other, more attractive beers before coming to this one. I just don't have a good feeling about the blackberries, even though I generally like blackberries.

The blackberries are definitely giving this beer a dark red tint, but the base light yellow is evident. The beer is exceptionally clear - you could read a book that was on the other side of the glass. The head goes away almost completely - just a very light dusting, clumped in the middle of the glass remains. The aroma is blackberries and ... nope, just blackberries.

First sip is very tart. It's like a sweet-tart without the sweet. The berries are just unpleas…

Lagunitas Sakitumi Ale

I've never had sake before. So, I really don't know what I'm about to have, and I just hope it's great. For some reason, I've been looking forward to having a beer since about lunchtime today, and it's about time I got around to drinking one, isn't it? Lagunitas has produced this thing is a QUART bottle. I don't know why or what it might mean, but I'm on it.

The very light yellow-gold beer has a strangely IPA-like sticky, spotty head that leaves a perfectly honorable amount of lacing. The aroma is heavy on the yeast, light on resin, and then it has a background of tropical hops and a bread malt. When I say background, I mean I struggle to smell it.

First sip is... a beer. It has the taste of one of those popular sour beers that the hipsters love these days, but it's not nuts with it. Instead, it's a bit of meaty, bready malt that has lots of that yeast on it. It's interesting, but too brief.

Tip-in is oddly watery with a sweetness like s…