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Showing posts from November, 2018

Southern Grist Process Control Double IPA

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I would have sworn up and down that I had already tried something from this Nashville-based brewery, but I looked through my reviews and found nothing. In reality, this blog is really just so I can keep track of the beers I've had, what I liked or didn't like about them, and if I should have them again when I'm out and about. As a bonus, I share the experience with the world in general.

Okay, it's possible I've been drinking too many Bearded Iris beers lately, but I'm now almost expecting what this beer looks like: very hazy, juice-like orange with a full head that you can balance a quarter on (not actually, but you get the point). The aroma is citrus hops and mild grains (that may be toasted).

First sip is tangy tangerine, nectarine, orange, grapefruit, and the texture of papaya with the grains mixing in for the background. It's definitely got character, and I want to know more about it. There's only one good way to do that - the swig!

Tip-in is tart an…

New Heights 5th & Oak Pale Ale

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On tap at the reliable City Sliquors is this local Nashville beer. I was going to make some joke about this being brewed on the banks of the muddy Cumberland, but this is technically brewed in Franklin, I think, so it's not going to be anywhere near the river. Still, this is a rare enough beer that they don't actually mention it on their website (as of my writing).

Hello, hazy copper-brown beer. How are you? Oh, you say you've found yourself with a fairly thin head, but you leave as much lacing as you can with the little head you have going for you? Well, I don't think that anyone could hold it against a bready-citrus-scented beer like you. Your presentation is just fine - and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

First sip is a sweet caramel and bread malt with citrus lovingly caressing it. Am I anthropomorphizing this beer too much? Yeah, I probably am. So, let's just back off and say that the personality of this beer is precious, and you shouldn't judge a…

Perrin 98 Problems IPA

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When Michigan produces an IPA, I start to think, "Why should I drink something from Michigan instead of one of those great West Coast IPAs that I've had so many of?" Well, I'm not sure I have an answer better than the idea of why to climb a mountain - because it's there. The fact is, beauty can come from anywhere - even Michigan.

The somewhat hazy orange beer has quite the head on it, doesn't it? Lacing left on the sides is big old bubbles of awesome. Pine and citrus dance their sweet dance of hoppiness while the malt is ... let's go with understated to be honest. But, the presentation overall is pretty damn good.

First sip is a little more watery than I expected. It has definite flavor in there, but there is way too little of it in the middle. I know there's a malt and there are hops with bitterness. Aside from that, this is a watery mess that I had not been expecting or wanting. But, that's the nature of a sip, isn't it - a limited picture.

New Holland Hoptronix Double IPA

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When the world asks you what kind of beer you want, you have to pick. These days, I've kind of pivoted from my IPA or Guinness go-to. Now, I think I may be a DIPA man. The DIPAs always seem to have a good mix of strong hops with a malt that imbues the beverage with a lot of character and balance. Let's see if the trend continues.

The orange-amber beer has a fairly thin head that clumps together and spits lacing at the wall of the glass like an insulted waiter spitting in the soup. The aroma is sweet oranges - blood and mandarin oranges to be specific. Maybe there is tangerine in there with it, but the whole effect is a lot sweeter than any IPA and most DIPAs that I've encountered. Of course, that's just the smell, and we're about taste here.

First sip is solid but not as sweet as I'd expected. It has a lot more of the wheat and grains of the malt than the sweetness that I thought it was bringing. So, the hops? Those oranges and a spritz of grapefruit are lighti…

Hutton & Smith Igneous IPA

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This tiny brewer from Chattanooga has the unfortunate name of a lawyers' office or an insurance company (maybe a large computer manufacturer, but I'm just spitballing). I'm not sure why they couldn't come up with some kind of cool name like Choo Choo Brew or Rock City Beer, but I'm not here to criticize marketing blunders - I'm here to drink beer.

The very hazy copper beer has a LOT of carbonation - it overflowed as soon as I cracked it. The picture here was four pours to let it settle, and I can already see that it's pretty good on lacing. The aroma is dusty pines and bright citrus; it is absolutely mouth-watering.

First sip is strikingly different from most of the other recent IPAs. It has a solid caramel malt for the citrus and pine to sit atop, and the bitterness is there, but it is fleeting; the malt is doing its job very well. So, as a sip, I'd say this is a keeper, but a sip isn't enough, is it?

Tip-in is caramel malt, light carbonation tingl…

Gueuzerie Tilquin Stout Rullquin Belgian Ale

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The label of this beer is a bit of an enigma. It has half a dude's face and half a tree on the top label, and it has the dude (creepy as hell dude) leaning on the name of the beverage on one side of the main label with the other side as a black abyss from which no man shall walk out alive. Don't know what vibe they're going for, but this would be the bottle on the counter in a good slasher movie.

The very dark brown beer has a tight, tan head of tiny bubbles. If you were to judge by simple appearance, you might say that the reason it says "Stout" so large on the front of the label is that it is, in fact, a stout. The aroma is NOT that of a stout, though, as it is wild Belgian yeast, spices, and honey. It's pretty nice.

First sip is a goddamn sour. Is that what Rullquin means? Sour? Jeebus. What is wrong with this world when people can't label their beers properly? Well, it's sour and yeasty. I'm not happy about this right now, but I have a large b…

Mantra Citreamsicle IPA

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Mantra produces good beer. I've encountered so many good labels through this process - CSB, Lagunitas, Bearded Iris, Founders, and even this brewery - Mantra. So, I have another beer to try out, and it is clear from their past attempts why I should expect a delicious outcome.

The copper, hazy beer has a VERY aggressive and sticky head. The aroma is more of a bread malt with citrus dribbled on top than I would have expected from an IPA. It's got a bit of vanilla and orange just kind of resting on a fresh bread.

First sip is sublime. It's got that thick malt that is bread with a bit of cracker and maybe even biscuit in it, and on top of that is the orange, vanilla, tartness, and sweetness. It's a good sipping beer, that's for sure. The sweetness might be too much for some people, though.

Tip-in is sweet with a slight carbonation topping the sweet malt and citrus brightness. The middle is where the beer reveals its true self with the vanilla highlighting the sweetness…

Modern Times Orderville Hazy Mosaic IPA

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Not sure I've ever had a stronger recommendation from the esteemed Jeremy of City Sliquors fame (he is quick to point out that they are in La Vergne, TN and not Smyrna, as I have mistakenly said in the past). He said how much he liked this beer as he placed it into my cart, knowing that I would want to try it. He was right.

The very hazy beer is honey gold and has a very nice white head of foam that only shows slight signs of lacing. My wife got me the new set of glasses to make the presentation of the beer a bit nicer, and this is technically designed for a stout or something, but it still makes it look pretty, and this beer has enough aroma to overcome the smaller mouth of the glass. That aroma is musty citrus with grapefruit and mangoes out front; it's more inviting than a flashing "OPEN" sign.

First sip is sharp. It's got that snap of a citrus fruit with all those mangoes and grapefruit joined by oranges and a thin layer of oats at the bottom of the metal keg…

Bearded Iris Tunnel Vision IPA

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Don't tell me about my need to take a step back from my passion for Bearded Iris; I know what I'm doing. No, I'm no professional beer snob or anything, but I like to consider myself aspirational in that regard. Instead, I will simply say that I always take the opportunity to try another Bearded Iris beer, and I don't care who is judging me.

The traditional (for Bearded Iris) thick, hazy orange beer has almost no head - just some lonely bubbles meandering around the top of the beer like they aren't sure what they are expected to do. The aroma is citrus with a curious floral bend to it. I Didn't expect that.

First sip is different than anything else. It's the familiar pineapple and lemons, but they mix with some mangoes and maybe some apricot, kiwi, nectarine, and even some cantaloupe. I didn't get any of the floral that I smelled, but this thing hits you right in the face with the fruits.

Tip-in is grapefruit and mango with carbonation tingling right acr…

Blackberry Farm Peel Your Face Orange IPA

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My fourth Blackberry Farm beer, and this one has been sitting on my shelf for a while. I've been kind of avoiding a few of the beers I got, but I do so subconsciously. I don't know if the label has turned me away from them or if two out of the three on this particular shelf said they were some kind of beer I'm not usually a fan of. This is a mystery that scholars will debate for ages.

Ignore the strange dark distortion at the top of the glass in this picture - that's the Guinness label on the glass that I hoped would be blocked by the nice, fluffy white head, but it didn't work out in my favor. What IS working in my favor is the smell - orange and grains aplenty. To make things even better, the clear gold beverage is one of those beers that looks exactly like you would picture as a beer.

First sip is sour, bitter, spicy, and citrus. I didn't expect the sour - there's nothing about it on the bottle, but that's what I taste. I don't like sour beers, b…

Mother Earth "Born Blonde" Blonde Ale

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A blonde birthed from Mother Earth. This is my fifth from this brewery, and they have proven to be unfortunately fairly average. Almost every brewery has the one standout, and Mother Earth's, was pretty good, but I wasn't really nuts for it. Maybe this will be the real standout.

Lemon scented air causes waves in a grainy pasture (more grains than I would expect from a blonde, but not so much to be a wheat ale). The head isn't really much, and the slight, patchy cap that it is isn't really going to leave any lacing, but that's okay. The gold beer still draws me into its coolness and warmth.

First sip is lemon heavy, but it has bread backing it. It's a bit of a grainy bread, but this is definitely bread, not wheat or anything. The lemons have a little more (non-lemon) citrus flavor added to them, and that's for the better.

Tip-in is carbonation sizzle with lemons and light acidity. It leads into a middle that features bread with the carbonation seriously taki…

Mikkeller Hallo Ich Bin Berliner Weisse

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There are a lot of things about this beer that shocked me right off the bat. I didn't take the pictures of raspberries on the can seriously enough to anticipate the pink hue that this beer has, and I didn't expect to see that the ABV was an amazingly pedestrian 3.7%. I mean - is this even a beer at this point? I wasn't impressed with the first Mikkeller beer I had, and I don't really have high hopes now.

The color, as I said before, has a definite pink hue, but it puts me in mind of someone who has a very bad injury to their urinary tract, so their urine is intermingled with blood; sorry, but that was what I immediately thought of. The head is pretty nice, and it leaves a solid hunk of bubbles floating on top of the beer. The aroma is raspberries and little else.

First sip is sour, sour, sour, sour raspberries. WTF? I'm not buying another beer from these people. I don't like sour beers, and this is so damn sour. I have described the Warheads sour candies before…

Mikkeller Us Alive Belgian Wild Ale

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That's on odd name you have there, Mikkeller. I also see that the small print on the back of the beer is in ... what do you speak in Belgium? This isn't French, so that leaves Dutch or German, I believe. Based solely on the fact that I don't see any umlauts, I'll say this is Dutch.

That's one beer-colored beer, too. What color is it? Beer color. If you had to say a specific color, what would you say? Copper with brown? Sure. How about that head? Umm... off white? Well, the smell I can at least tell you is interesting. It's sweet caramel, fruits, and a few scattered flowers. Nothing more to report at this time.

First sip is not to my liking. I think it must be the "wild ale" part of this beer that is putting a funk and bit of sourness to it that I really find off-putting. It's odd, too, as the beginning of the beer had a lot of promise with the sweet caramel malt.

Tip-in is sweet malt and carbonation and a lot of effervescence on top with a sizzle …

Old Forge Bananas Foster Moonshine

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This hand-forged Tennessee spirit is distilled in Pigeon Forge with wholesome ingredients like Yellow #5! Mmmm. #5 is like the best one. I never wondered before, but why are the ingredients listed on these bottles? Are bananas even included in the recipe? I don't like the not knowing.

The yellow-gold beverage is poured inexpertly from the insanely difficult to pour from traditional jar (not a real Mason jar, but close enough for this purpose). Instantaneously, the aroma of bananas rise up into my nostrils. It's sweet and has a tiny little bit of crust on it, so I can see the bananas foster instead of just bananas.

First sip is like burning bananas on my lips. It is the familiar moonshine burn going down and pretty much through the mouth, but the sweet bananas are really kicked into high gear to ensure that the acetone taste of the donor white lightning doesn't manage to overcome the beverage.

Tip-in is a light, sweet crust with the strong banana and alcohol burn. The middl…

Mother Earth Boo Koo IPA

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Good old Mother Earth. She brings us the trees, wind, and water. She protects us from the nasty solar winds and radiation that would likely kill us. On top of all of that, she gives us hops, barley, and Nampa, Idaho. Without these things, we might not have an IPA to drink today. How sad of a day would that be?

The honey gold beer has a good enough amount of head with a patchiness that is common for an IPA, but the lacing isn't quite as good as it should be. Still, no one is perfect, and this might just have the taste to pull out a winner. After all, the nose is a delicious tangerine and mango citrus that puts me in mind of some of the best of the breed.

First sip is citrus, indeed, but there's pine in here with it to give it a leg up on the world. We're not just dealing with a one-flavor beer; this is something with depth. The honey malt is tossed in there to try to keep the pine and citrus in their respective corners, but they are dueling, and my mouth is the battleground…

Small Town Brewery - Not Your Father's Mountain Ale

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Not my first Small Town beverage, and this isn't even the first beverage I've had that is supposed to replace Mountain Dew in the great scheme of adult-style soda beverages. I figure these things exist in the space where Zima was or a wine cooler might still (although I hear Zima has returned). Let's hope it's better than what it replaces.

It is not the color of Sun Drop, but I think it is vastly closer to Mountain Dew than the WG version. It's an electric yellow with a head that, predictably, doesn't hang around for very long. The aroma is sweet and heavy with alcohol. Is it the sweet citrus smell of The Dew? Yeah, I guess it is, pretty much.

First sip is sweet and citrusy. It has the twinge of alcohol, but it's not doing much more than letting you know it's there. Instead, the sip just lets you know how crushable this beverage is and how much better than regular Mountain Dew this tastes. I definitely prefer it.

Tip-in is syrupy sweet citrus with loads…

Mother Earth Cali Creamin' Vanilla Cream Ale

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Mother Earth was new to me, but now, they are like some old friends coming over - and they bring beer! If only my real friends came over with beer :-(. I'm just kidding - my friends don't come over. Instead, I just drink alone and complain about Magic Hat.

The mostly clear gold beer has a head that is... nope, it's gone now. It's still got quite a bit of carbonation, though, so bubbles are still coming up to the surface to die. The aroma is light vanilla, and it's also strangely grainy. I'm digging it.

First sip is vanilla backed with the grains. The grains are pretty light, so it's like a vanilla cream with bitter, unloved malt from a blonde or a pilsner. I can't say this is working well from a sip. Maybe there's more to this underneath.

Tip-in is carbonation above all else, but there is a sizzle of slightly lemony water under it. Then, the middle is where the vanilla asserts itself with a very light breeze of grains. The finish is a whip-smack of …

Founders DKML Imperial Malt Liquor

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Founders hands-down knows what's going on. From their Grand Rapids brewery, I hope they have a good picture of what the beer market likes at this point, as there are few brewers I would trust with something simply called a "malt liquor." I think Zima might have been labelled a malt liquor, but I don't remember, and the internet is a whole click away - who wants to put that kind of effort into this?

The hazy golden brown beverage has a thick, big-bubbled, splotchy, sticky head that puts me in mind of some of the finer IPAs. The scent, however, lets me know that this is a whole different thing entirely. It has that particular bourbon scent with the alcohol-laden wood. 14.2% ABV? Yes, that is exactly what I'm smelling. I wonder what I'll taste.

First sip is wood and bourbon. There is a corn base for everything, and there really isn't a whole lot that is going to overcome that alcohol hit. I mean, this pounds home the fact that it is high in alcohol and it me…

Against the Grain Citra Ass Down Double IPA

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I genuinely can't remember if this beer from Louisville, KY, was given to me as a gift by my pal Jeremy of City Sliquors. Sometimes, I go there to buy beer and he yanks some stuff from his fridge that he wants me to try, and I graciously accept his kindness. Either way, it's not the brewer giving it to me, so it doesn't change any of my ratings or feelings, but I like to know if I should thank him. I'm guessing I should; Thanks, dude!

The blotchy head settles on the somewhat hazy amber color beer and emits a delightful citrus, honey, and bread aroma that absolutely makes the mouth water. This smells like something special.

First sip has a very approachable personality. Lemons and bread lead the way, and there is a distinct tang to it that I'm not sure I'm putting in the camp of either of these two tastes. It's likely yeast, but I can't tell from just a sip. So, bottoms up!

Tip-in is oranges, lemons, and tangerines with honey bringing a sweetness. The mi…