Showing posts from October, 2018

Tin Man Rivet Irish Red Ale

In a tin can comes the TinMan that says very clearly on the label (which does not present the words particularly well and results in a blurriness that makes the tiny words on the back difficult to read) that "Cans Are Better" and proceeds to explain why the recyclable cans are better for the environment.

She's red alright. Not sure if a beer from Evansville, Indiana can be Irish, but it's a red beer, so they aren't complete fibbers. There's a slight head with patchy bubbles that really doesn't stick to the glass, and why would they? This isn't an IPA; it's a red - an Irish Red! The aroma is fantastic with its delicious smelling powdery dough with a definite sweetness to it that is quite enticing.

First sip is not causing streamers and sparklers to go off in my belly. Normally, my complaint about reds is that they tend to be a bit watery, but that's not the problem we have here. Instead, this is muddy with the grains and the sweetness fighting …

Perennial Prodigal Imperial Stout

I didn't know if I had tried any Perennial beers before, so I looked back at my blog. Really, that's the reason that I'm doing all of these reviews – so I don't have to try and remember what beers I've tried and what beers I haven't tried. In this case, I have had one of their chocolates stouts before. My beer slinger tells me that this is the beer that they use as a base for all of their other beers, so let's see what the base tastes like before they start adding chocolate, mint, or even hibiscus and cucumber.

From the pitch black bottle with the pitch black label comes a pitch black beer. The beer poured syrupy thick like a bourbon barrel aged beer, but I don't remember seeing that on the label. The head needed to be coaxed out, and it's a wisp of a thing. The tiny little light tan bubbles are patchy at first, but they eventually go away almost completely. The aroma is toasted, almost charred oats and grains. Underneath the remnants of the fire is…

Mother Earth Sin Tax Imperial Peanut Butter Stout

This red can has a little picture of a pretty brunette with some kind of cosplay sexy devil costume holding what I assume is a glass of this beer and a pair of handcuffs. The actual logo appears to have more demonic devil wings or something in a different shade of red behind it. It's a lot to take in, but that is usually the case with the imperial stouts in general, so I can accept it from the label.

Hello there, black beer! See, when a black lager claims to be black, and then you come across something like this, you would also wonder what the "black" lager people were thinking with their dark, but not actually black, beer. The head on this is a very light tan, and the aroma is predictably that not-actually-peanut-butter beery smell that these kind of stouts get from, presumably, all of the non-peanut butter ingredients.

First sip is coffee bitterness right in the face with the peanuts and some sweeter malt managing to separate the beer from the coffee beers that don'…

Rahr & Sons Ugly Pug Black Lager

Pugs can be cute. I really like dogs, and I have some of my own. Pretty much ever since I grew up, I've tried to have at least one pup around the house. Ugly pugs? Yeah, I've seen them. Sometimes they are so ugly that they're cute, and that may very well be the idea behind the name of this beer.

This is more of a mahogany than a black beer. I have no shortage of truly black beers where manufacturers hint at their "ruby" or "dark wood" colors when, in reality, they just need to embrace the blackness. Unfortunately, it appears this deep mahogany ale has been labeled "black," and it seems I can't win. There's no head on this beer, BTW, and the aroma is roasted coffee and dark chocolate.

First sip is pretty nice. It has the roasted coffee grounds, but they are light, having been derived from the malt, which I've always argued is the place for them to come from. As a result, the chocolate and grainy malts are allowed to play around with…

Rahr & Sons Iron Thistle Scottish Ale

Many times, I have discussed the difference between a Scottish Ale and a Scotch Ale. Here's the thing about this beer: they haven't chosen. Yes, this particular can says Scottish ale, but I did a quick search on the brewer to find out a little more about them (like to see if they were founded by Scotsman or similar) and I found that this beer has been labeled as both kinds. You can't believe anything you read on the internet these days, am I right?

The red-hued beer is deep and dark like the depths of a giant ruby. The head is pretty minimal, and the little that you can see in this picture is the result of some serious coaxing on my part, but it winds up patchy and white. The aroma is distinctly that of a wee heavy ale with wood, caramel, and toasted grains.

First sip is caramel malt forward with a toasted grain giving substance to the whole endeavor. There is a slight coffee to the toastiness, but it's not taking over or anything. If you're going to have coffee in…

Rahr & Sons Dadgum IPA

Hailing from the Lone Star State, this Fort Worth beer sports the name "Dadgum." My dad used to say that all the time (dad never swore) and I never even thought twice about the word. Turns out (if the internet is to be believed) it was made up by Warner Brothers to circumvent censors on TV. They just took "god damn" and swapped the first two letters on each to "dag gomn" and Mel Blanc pronounced it "Daggum." From there, it was a natural progression to add the second "D."

The brassy orange beer doesn't have much head right off the bat, and the inkblot-style pad of bubbles that is left on top doesn't really cover much more than 50% of it. The aroma leaks out as a pine-citrus-bread mix that is shy of what I would think of as an IPA proper, but it might be strong enough for a farmhouse ale or a similar weak-yet-tasty style.

First sip is pine, resin, bread, and various sources of citrus (leading the way is grapefruit). It's not …

Mantra Roots Double IPA

Mantra produces good beer, they are made here in Nashville, and I've enjoyed most of what I've had. So, it is in that vain that I accept the challenge of a beer that has added carrots. The last one that I had with something added was tangerine, but it's not uncommon to add chocolate, coffee, or something to the mix. Sometimes it works out, but I would kind of rather that brewers master the usual ingredients first. Also notable was that all but one can distorted the top from internal pressure when I pulled them from the standard four pack holder.

Holy foam, Batman! This beer's head shot out of the can as soon as I opened it. When I tried to pour, I wound up with like 2" of beer and the rest was just foam that took too long to go down. The hazy, orange-bronze beer has the aroma of ... beer. I don't smell the carrots, and I'm quite the fan of carrots, so I would think I would detect the scent. Ah well, let's see if we get beer or a vegetable garden for th…

Grimm Brothers The Griffin Blood Orange Hefeweizen

"Let's name our brewery after the Brothers Grimm, but we will reverse the name to make it OURS!"
"That's a great idea, Bob. Is that legal?"
"We're in The International House of Pancakes. This is international territory. EVERYTHING is legal!"
"Bob, you're drunk."

The head is the most interesting thing about this beer. It is like slightly thick soda bubbles in the way they are all so big and they go away almost as quickly. Points of nucleation keep a steady stream of smaller bubbles rising to the top, but they die almost immediately upon reaching the crest of the bronzed orange beverage. The aroma is ... you know, I don't actually know what a blood orange smells like, but I bet that is exactly what it is. It's kind of a cross between mandarin oranges and regular oranges with maybe some tangerine and grapefruit tossed in.

First sip is about as tart as you can get. It's so tart that it seems to start to sour. Presumably bl…

Honky Tonk LeBrown James Barrel Aged Brown Ale

I'm not going to lie to you - this brewery has been quite the surprise since the word go. So far, I've only had two of their beers, and they were both 4/5. Now, anyone who knows anything about my ratings knows that this is a very, very good score on my scale, so I'm expecting even the brown ale (not my favorite style) to be tremendous. The fact that it is barrel aged will no doubt help.

Brown. Deep, dark brown. I mean - you thought you knew brown, but this isn't the lame UPS or cardboard-style brown. This is a deep, cosmic brown. Like all of the Honky Tonk beers, this has a substantial head and it takes a while to go down. Even settled, this has a good .25 to .35 inches covering across the top, and (while not sticky) it is lovely. The aroma is strangely a little chocolate, nutty, and woody.

First sip is sweet, woody, bitter, coffee, chocolate, and nutty. There's a lot is what I'm trying to say. No, it isn't the world's absolutely most complex beverage, …

Mill Creek Batch No. 1 Dark Strong

Mill Creek has been solidly better than average with all of their beers so far, and I am expecting a delightful Belgian Ale to really be the break-out hit. These Nashville guys have been coming strong with the mixture of beers, and I would expect the very good DIPA to be my favorite, but I'm okay if this one is better - I won't discriminate.

A spotty, clumpy head leaves some lacing as it adorns this brown beer with a slight amber hue. The aroma of yeast, caramel, and spices light up the night and entice the drinker to stop writing in his stupid blog that very few people ever come to and just drink the beer like he (and it) knows he wants to. I shall not be rushed, Mr. Beer.

First sip is like freebasing Belgian yeast. Well, I say it's like that, but I don't actually know what freebasing entails, so I don't even know if you can taste whatever you're freebasing, but in my imagination it is something like this where the effect is amplified. So, in that sense, it…

Honky Tonk Simple Man 2X Double IPA

The Badonkadonk was very, very good (4/5). But this here isn't a barrel-aged beer or even a stout. this is my new favorite style of beer - the Double IPA. I had been told that pale ales and IPAs are the easiest beers to make, as the hops tend to cover up a multitude of errors, but the malt-heavy DIPA, I imagine, does not have that kind of grace period. Let's find out if these guys need it.

The hazy bronze beer has a very sticky head that is the kind of dense foam that every beer should strive to have. Seriously - everyone else, take note of this Nashville-area brewer and this fantastic head! The aroma is citrus (lead by oranges) and some pine hops. Mostly, though, it's the citrus.

First sip is strong and crisp but very smooth. It's oranges backed with grains that are a lot heavier than I had expected. But, they are mixed pretty damn well, and that means that yes, I really kind of like just sipping this beer. Is that the Honky Tonk way? Maybe, but it's not my way.


Honky Tonk Badonkadonk Barrel-Aged Stout

I was happily surprised by how much I liked Yee Haw, despite the overtly redneck name. This one comes from here in Nashville, so they will likely earn the Honky Tonk name, and (being a local brewer) I will likely be trying others of their wares, assuming this one isn't undrinkable.

The beer is so dark brown that it may as well be black, and the head is a very pleasing and soothing shade of light tan. Eventually, the very little bubbles boil down to a thin pepperoni pizza across the top (there are a lot of small circles of bubbles on top that are fairly regularly spaced). The aroma is thick with unexpected chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, and wood.

First sip is a little more watery than I expected, but it seems to work in its favor. It takes what is normally a syrupy, heavy beer and kind of makes it mild and refreshing. Well, refreshing for a given amount of refreshing, I guess. I mean, this isn't going to beat an All-Day IPA for it, but it's actually not bad just to sip.