Showing posts from 2019

Southern Grist "Hoppy Timbs" Double IPA

I figure 3 beers into any particular brewer is enough to see if there's a pattern. These guys had one outlier that I didn't particularly care for, but then they had two that I would definitely recommend. So, maybe everybody is due at least one mulligan. They had theirs, so I would expect a double IPA - a particular favorite of mine - will do really well at this point.

The very hazy beer is straw yellow with a white head that leaves lots of lacing. The aroma is very light tropical and citrus fruits with a heavy, sweet malt lingering in the background, propping up what is mostly orange, tangerine, and grapefruit hops.

First sip is heavy on the grapefruit above the others with the tangerine and orange in tow - there may be a little mango tossed in there. The malt is light crackers, but it's very light; it's doing just enough to hold back the bitterness of the hops, and that is exactly why it exists.

Tip-in is mild carbonation burn with grapefruit, mangoes, tangerines, and…

Clown Shoes Baked Goods Hoppy Pale Ale

So far, these guys are really lingering in the average to below average area of my scale. I don't know what their deal is, but they seem like there really trying to send a home run into the bleachers with some of the strange beers that they produce, but they all seem to fall just short of being really a recommended beer. Well, hops make good beers. Let's see what they did with a hoppy pale ale.

The somewhat cloudy yellow straw-colored beverage has a very nice, fluffy head that leaves enough lacing to keep things interesting. Points of nucleation abound in the depths of the beer. The aroma is a mixed bag of hops with citrus, tangerine, and a hint of pine.

First sip is more gentle than I expected from a very hoppy beer. I guess I know why this is a pale ale and not an IPA. It has definite fruitiness and a slight bitter end with a biscuit malt hovering all around it like a bready fruit basket, but it's in moderation.

Tip-in is mild carbonation tingle with a very light, watery…

New Heights "Holy Mole 2" Milk Stout

Who's your favorite Nashville-based brewer? I ask that only because Nashville seems to have quite a few really good breweries these days, and this is just one of them. No, small breweries aren't usually the most consistent, but their experimentation often results in some pretty spectacular brews. So, let's see what this Mexican mole has to offer.

This is a milk stout, so it's going to be black. This particular one is black only because it's a really, really, really dark brown. The light tan head is filled with really big bubbles that fizz away to a few lily pads in the middle and a pretty strong ring around the sides of glass. The aroma is sweet chocolate and light spices. I'm not sure what else they put in this, and I'm not goona read the label. Let's just dive in.

First sip makes me read the label. There are five types of chili peppers in this beer. It's a really weird sensation to have the frothy, creamy milk center with the Chili's all bitin…

Burial "Ulfberht" Baltic Porter

Don't go all floral on me, Burial. The can says it was made with juniper, and I hope it was used sparingly. Definitely used sparingly were vowels in the name of this beer. I tried to pronounce it, and it comes off as a kind of sneeze when I say it out loud. The H and the T need some vowel in there to maintain structure.

The black beer has a light tan head that isn't much to talk about to begin with, and it fizzles right away to a very thin ring around the glass - no lacing for us today. The aroma is all porter. There might be a little highlighted floral scent added to the dark chocolate and coffee with earth tossed in to make it darker and more bitter, but this is about a textbook smell for a porter, and I'm happy to smell it.

First sip is kind of bitter, sweet, chocolate, coffee, oak, earth, vanilla, nuts, and a little black licorice. The juniper is giving it a little highlight of flowers that compliment the deep darkness of the other flavors very well. If I were to sip t…

Nola "Hoppyright Infringement" IPA

I've only ever had one Nola beer before, and it was an Irish stout that I was okay with, but I wasn't really sold on. This one's an IPA, and anyone who knows me knows I like IPAs. The fact that this is an Imperial IPA means that, honestly, I may not like it as much. I find that Imperial stouts, Imperial porters, and Imperial IPAs tend to be less approachable than their standard counterparts. If you really want to do something with an IPA, I'd say go for a double IPA. But that's not what I have, so I'm just gonna drink the beer they made for me.

The hazy beer is the color of damp straw, and it has an off-white head that grips the sides of the glass, but it's not to be leaving any lacing. The smell is of lots of fruit. I'm getting citrus and tropical fruits, and they seem to be backed up with a kind of reedy malt. It's a good start.

First sip is surprisingly sweet and smooth. Even though this seems to have a whole bunch hops in it, they are definitely…

Saugatuck "Neapolitan" Milk Stout

I don't like beers that make you guess. Fortunately, this beer doesn't make you guess. Instead, it's very clearly going to be a dessert beer. So, I can go into this knowing that it's gonna be a heavy beer that's kind of sweet and I probably don't want to drink too many of them in a row. That's just fine, as I'm not in this to get drunk; I'm just here to taste good beer.

The beer color is just like most stouts - impossible to see past the black but for the edges. The edges tell the story of a very dark auburn. There isn't much head, and it boils right down to an absolute nothing fairly quickly. The aroma is sweet with strawberry and vanilla on top of roasted grains. It smells really good, and Ima get me some.

First sip is a bit more coffee than I expected, and the vanilla is definitely there, but I don't taste the strawberries or even much of the chocolate. It's sweet enough to be a dessert, but it just doesn't seem to reflect the lab…

Boulevard "DDH Galaxy" IPA

I'm pretty sure they intended for the "Galaxy" to be separate from the "DDH," but that's not the way I'm putting in the quotation marks. In fact, I'm still not even sure that I really like putting the name of the beer quotation marks, but it seems like some of the beers really need me to set off what the brewer decided was the proper name of the beer as opposed to the style of the beer. If you don't like it, feel free to ignore it.

The pale yellow beer has a bit of a tangerine coloring and an interesting amount of white sediment at the bottom of the glass. The head is medium-sized, and it leaves just enough lacing to show that it wants to, but it just doesn't have the skill level for it. The aroma is sweet tangerines and grapefruits with a lingering tartness behind it.

First sip is a surprising amount of thick fruit meat with a dankness that doesn't seem to stifle the sweetness that is deeper down from there. It's a good sip, but it …

Hi-Wire "Man Eater" Double IPA

When I visited the brewery in Asheville, North Carolina, most of the beers that I had there were absolutely delicious. This reaffirms my belief that beer simply taste better whenever you're closer to the source and you get it fresh. Of course, this is particular to whichever style of beer you decided to try. Now that I'm back home, a double IPA sounds like it should be just about perfect here (having been given a bit of time to age).

The copper beer has enough head to bubble up and... there's the lacing of a beer that I have been longing for. The foam is a patchy and sticky substance that leaves splotches of big bubbles and trails tiny bubbles after them. The aroma is musty pine and citrus over a yeasty malt. I like DIPAs, and I really expect to like this one a lot.

First sip is more pine than I expected, and it is rounded out by the meat of a heap of citrus fruits and that malt is sweetening everything up very nicely. The bitterness and tartness re-enter before it finishe…

Grayton "Dubbel Barrel" Belgian-Style Dubbel

How can of beer with two double barrel shotguns on the label still come across as something for a discerning individual? In this particular case, they do it by making their beer a Belgian-Style Dubbel, they aged in bourbon barrels, and then they put it in a bottle with a cork. If you ask me, that's a job done well.

The dark caramel brown beer has very little head (typical of barrel-aged beers) and the head that it has are big, lazy bubbles, so it's no wonder they don't have any staying power. The aroma is sweet, sweet booze above all else. There are probably things hidden under the bourbon, but I'm smelling almost nothing else.

First sip is almost wine-like smooth with a rough and tumble overtone of bourbon. The Belgian yeast is hidden too well to detect, but the caramel malt is definitely adding a bit of ease to the whole effect, and the result is a beer with a lot of personality that somehow manages to be pretty good for sipping.

Tip-in is all booze up front with the…

Oskar Blues "Can-O-Bliss" Tropical IPA

Oh, can you not read the can? Well, you're not alone. I know it says "Can-O-Bliss" but anything beyond that is just speculation. I'm not sure why they went with such a confusing looking label, and I may eventually start a blog just on how bad beer labels can get, but this blog isn't about that. What we're about here is drinking beer to find the best that beer has to offer. And that's what I'm going to do with this.

The orange-tinted, honey-colored beer has the exact right amount of head for an IPA. When it boils away, it doesn't leave any lacing, but that's the price we pay, I suppose. The aroma is - would you believe it? Tropical fruits! It's got a doughy malt tamping down any bitterness, but it's not lending any sweetness to the hops.

First sip is a very nice tropical beverage. It isn't bitter from all the hops (thanks, doughy malt!) and it tastes of peaches, nectarines, pears, and pineapple. The taste is both crisp and smooth, a…

Yazoo "15th Anniversary" Ale

When asked about Yazoo, I generally say that it's not the best brewery that I've sampled wares from in Nashville, but it's certainly not the worst (looking at you, Blackstone). The fact that they're celebrating a 15th anniversary means that they may have more beers under their belt that might be able to improve their standing in my assessments.

The orange-brass beer has a moderate head that fizzles down to a thin coat across the top with a reinforced line around the sides of the glass. The aroma is citrus, pine, and flowers. Based entirely on the smell, this would seem to be a very hop-heavy IPA, and it's not just a regular ale - hell, this isn't even listing itself as a pale ale. I wonder what it tastes like.

First sip is not particularly nice. It is citrus-heavy, but there's a funk and a tartness that are fighting with each other, and the casualty is my taste buds. While I was writing this review, I tried to find the ABV of this beer, and I wound up on th…

Almanac "Vibes" Pilsner

The last time I had a beer from Almanac, it didn't go well. It's possible that I cast dispersions on the people who work there and their attempts to defile my mouth with a putrescence that has not been seen since the dawn of time. But, that was a sour beer. This particular concoction has a much better chance of finding the correct taste buds, as a pilsner will rarely offend.

The beer is such a pale shade of yellow that it absorbs and reflects out the colors from anything that surrounds it. I briefly thought that this beer was almost a green-hued beer simply because it was sitting next to the can and merging the beer's colors with the can's colors. The head is impressive and thick to the point that I didn't even bother waiting for it to go down and just enjoyed the thickness of the fulsome head. The aroma is lemon zest over grains. So far, so good.

First sip is a bit more relaxed than I would typically expect a Pilsner, but it has the heavy grains and the lemo…

Decadent "Vermont Maple" Double IPA

Decadent is one of those brewers that I've tried enough to attempt to see a pattern of how well they're doing. The first one got a good enough rating, but it was mid pack. The next one was an excellent beer, and I gave it a four out of five. Getting a four on my scale is doing god's work, so the next one was unlikely to meet that, but it still managed a 3.25 out of five which is a very good beer. Then there was the double toasted marshmallow. Everyone's allowed to make a mistake.

The very hazy orange – amber beer doesn't sport much of a head, but what head it has certainly likes to grip the sides. And what this means is my favorite thing about beer - lacing! Of course, taste will win the day, but lacing is what makes a beer's presentation particularly pleasant to my eyes. Maybe you don't agree. Get your own blog. The aroma is sweet and unmistakable maple with oranges and grapefruit backing it up.

First sip is very heavily mapley. I knew going in that decade…

Dogfish Head "Liquid Truth Serum" IPA

I recently heard someone I know and (vaguely) trust bad mouth Dogfish Head as a brewer. I suspect this is like someone saying that they don't like Sam Adams or Blue Moon; they have only had the one big beer that these breweries are known for, and they are missing out on some very good, lesser known beers. Well, I never heard of this one, so it should be good if my theorem can be confirmed.

The wonderfully golden beer has a very white head that has staying power and it's sticky and clumpy, but it only leaves moderate lacing on the sides of the glass. The aroma is joyous hops with their citrus and tropical smells wafting all around, and they just simmer in the daylight with an air of sweetness and fun to them.

First sip is almost creamy it's so juicy. Oranges and grapefruit bring pine to the mix with a bit of mango tossed in to make things interesting. There is a sweetness to the meat of the beer, but there is a dryness to the finish. I'd like to describe it more, but yo…

Yazoo "Dos Perros" Lager

This is not going to go well. I have a friend, Frogman, who recently had this very beer from the same batch, and he was very unhappy about it. Now, he and I don't share an exact taste for beer, but we are similarly aligned most of the time. The problems are compounded by the fact that this beer doesn't bother to list the ABV on the bottle or even what kind of style it is. I'm guessing it is a dark Mexican lager, but that's based on clues, and I hate clues. This stinks of hipster beer.

Speaking of stinking, the aroma is not bad with it's caramel and coffee malt bringing a sweetness and even a bitter aroma to the beer. The color is a deep mahogany brown with a slightly off-white head. No, there isn't going to be any lacing, but lacing isn't even expected in a lager, right? Certainly not a Mexican lager (if this is even a lager).

First sip is not terrible. It's a bit bitey, but the malt is caramel and toffee with an earth backing it up, and the carbonation…

Fat Orange Cat "Launch" IPA

This is the latest of these Fat Orange Cat beers. I wasn't a fan of the first one mostly because I don't like coffee, and they didn't bother to put on the label. The others were better, and I think the one in front of me may wind up being their best. I can't say I care for the cutesy nature of the packaging which confuses the type of beverage and name of beverage and then adds that "Twelve Percent Beer Project" tagline as if it's supposed to mean something.

She's a yellowy-amber beer without a whole lot of head and just a dusting that gets left on top. Lacing is actually not that bad despite the severe lack of head, though. The aroma is more bread malt than I would've expected from an IPA, but the citrus with its lemons and oranges seems to complement the malt fairly well. Of course, this is just in the smell. Here, we taste!

First sip isn't bad, but there's not a whole lot of substance to this beer. Instead, I get the notes of citrus goin…

Boulevard Brut IPA

I misread the bottle when I pulled this out. I thought this was a Bret and not a Brut. Bret, I wouldn't look forward to. That yeast is so overwhelming that the series of beers that I had that were intended to highlight different kinds of hops were positively overwhelmed with the yeast that just would not tone itself down in the presence of anything.

The very hazy pale yellow beer has a full, fluffy head that leaves the scattered clusters of tiny bubbles as a replacement for actual lacing, and it works well enough. The aroma is solid, yeasty bread with citrus and flowers sprinkled over it as an afterthought. The presentation - even though I usually like a lot more lacing - is pretty good.

First sip is bitter crackers, yeast, and light lemon spritz. I don't normally dislike an IPA right off the bat, but this is too bitter with not enough flavor. I'm not sure why there's so much bitterness, unless it's coming from the yeast. There certainly aren't enough hops in h…

Boulevard Southern Hemisphere IPA

The folks in Kansas City came up with this "Tasting Room Series" beer that I am drinking in my house which, if I'm honest, doesn't actually qualify as a tasting room. Yes, I taste a lot of beers here, but I also breathe, and that doesn't make this an oxygen bar.

The hazy gold-orange beer has a sturdy head that takes a while to dampen down. We have no lacing when it does, so it seems like it's kind of wasted effort. The aroma of citrus and tropical fruits is commingled with flowers and pollen. Despite the lack of lacing, the presentation is pretty good.

First sip is not overwhelming at first, but it then swells into a resin-soaked citrus sponge with bitterness and flowers in tow. It's rounded at the edges, so it's not cutting the tongue or scraping the roof of the mouth. It's nice enough, but a swig may be nicer.

Tip-in is sweet lemon, orange, and grapefruit with a gentle carbonation caress. The middle spreads into a bread-backed mix of the aforeme…

Victory "Hop Wallop" IPA

Victory is a sentimental favorite of mine, if it isn't a brewer who is solidly in the upper crust like a Lagunitas or Bearded Iris. Some of the first craft brews I ever had were from this Downingtown, PA company, and I'm not even sure it was referred to as a craft beer at that time. I certainly know that I hadn't heard the term yet, but I knew I liked their beers better than most of the others I had access to.

The yellow-gold beer doesn't have much of a head at first, and it leaves nothing more than a thin layer of dust with some solidity around the edges and one little island. The aroma is strangely a little skunky. I check the date, and we are well within our window for the beer, so I don't know if this is going to be a problem. The hops peek through with a little bit of citrus, but I'm not getting any malt.

First sip is actually very nice. It's not hop-nuts like a lot of IPAs (even ones from these guys) might be. Instead, it is nice and smooth from start…

Boulvard Chocolate Ale

This is the wrong glass. The problem with picking the right glass for your beer is that some guides will tell you to pick a particular glass for particular style of beer, and others will tell you to pick a particular glass for the color of the beer. Since this style is technically a generic ale, I was forced to go with the color. The problem with going by the color is that you have to already know what the color of the beer is. I picked the stout glass because the said it was chocolate and a figure to be darker than it is. My bad.

No, it's not really all that dark. It is hazy as all get out, and the deep copper color is certainly inviting, so the mistake is mine with the whole glass thing. There isn't much head to start with, and it goes away almost entirely; there's nothing more than a ring around the edge of the glass to let you know that this is carbonated at all. The aroma has more coffee in it then it seems to have chocolate, but I definitely smell some vanilla in the…

Van Steenberge Gulden Draak 9000 Quadruple Ale

This is not my first of the Gulden Draak family, but this is (to my own surprise) the first Quadruple Ale that I've reviewed here. This is also slotted in-between the 10.6% and 10.8% ABV beers - and it's another first. Honestly, I'm just as surprised as you. Moreso, in fact, as you probably don't care, and that's fine; don't invest yourself in some strange blog on the internet. Also, I am drinking this from the goblet that came with this beer. I wouldn't normally go for such an ostentatious design, but this is what the brewery intended.

The beer is a somewhat murky copper. It's not gold (or guld) and I didn't really expect it to be. After all, it's also not a dragon (or draak). It has an immense and impressive head that takes quite a while to dampen down. What is left is still a half inch of gloriously thick bubbles forming an uneven cap and leaving a smattering of lacing on the sides of the glass.The aroma is dark Belgian yeasts with earth and …

Braxton "Twisted Bit Dortmunder" Lager

I think I painted myself into a corner. I started off by talking about how the Revamp IPA was a great name in its simplicity and the way other brewers should follow suit and name their beers with similar restraint. Then, they added the word golden in their cream ale, and I was okay with it. Now, they couldn't just leave it Twisted, they had to add Bit, and I think Dortmunder refers to someone from somewhere in Germany. I don't know how it pertains, but I'm not a brewer, and maybe this means something to them.

The very clear amber beer has a pretty decent head on it, and it fizzles away to just about the same as the last one did - a covering on top that's stronger around the sides. It smells exactly like you expect a lager to smell. This has strong bread malt with that tint of yeast and a little bit of hops just kind of peeking through. So, presentation is exactly like a textbook definition of a lager.

First sip is very pleasant. It's not overwhelming with flavor, b…

Braxton "Storm" Golden Cream Ale

Okay, they added an extra word in here that they probably didn't need, but I still think that Braxton's naming is on point. They're short, simple, and easy to understand. I wish I could say the same about the tiny little lettering that they used on the front to say what the ABV was. There's so much bleed from the yellow ink that I really can't make it out that well. Thank goodness it touts the paltry 4.8% ABV on the back in much easier to read lettering.

True to its extra word in the name, this sucker is golden. It sprouts a pretty robust head that takes a while to go down. Once it does, it leaves little more than a dusting across the top of the beer and a tight ring around the outside. The aroma is wheaty, but sweet. So, presentation is pretty good, and I'm getting pretty thirsty.

First sip is very light with the wheat out front and the vanilla and spices backing it up pretty well. The bready malt is doing a good job of laying a base, but it's a fairly bla…

Braxton "Revamp" IPA

I surely can't be the first person to point out to Braxton that the logo that they've chosen is vaguely reminiscent of a Nazi logo, can I? It's not a good look to try and emulate Nazis, and this is especially true with their recent resurgence. I realize this is brewed in Kentucky, but I'm pretty sure the Nazis are generally frowned upon there, too. Still, this is a great name for a beer. This isn't one of those names that just goes on and on like some beers. It's the name of the brewery, a name for the beer, and the name of the style. More brewers should do this kind of branding (aside from the Nazi stuff).

This is a picturesque beer. Some beers just resonate a perfect look, and this is certainly one of them. The amber-gold color is striking yet inviting, and the head is thick, fluffy, and sticky as all get out. It leaves a spattering of lacing down the sides of the class as it descends, and this just makes the look even better. Initially, I thought I smelled a…

Founders "Trigo Hoppy Wheat" Lager

Ever since I got this set of beer glasses from my wife, I have struggled to really figure out why one class is supposed to be better than another for a particular style of beer. This glass is for wheat beers, but it says on the box that it's for wheat ales specifically. I'm just gonna go ahead and throw this be lager in here, and maybe we shouldn't really trying to select whether or not it's the right glass for this beer that came in a can.

The very pale yellow beer starts to turn a little orange toward the top where the liquid has area to spread out (I think I found the reason for the special glass). There isn't much of a head to begin with, and it tries to hang on the sides of the glass, but it's really not going to win this battle. The aroma is grassy and wheaty, and it has a bit of lemon and possibly honey coming through as well.

First sip is certainly not bad. It's very watery, but it has enough greens and grass and even that lemon to at least give the…

Fat Orange Cat "Living In Our Own Private Idaho" New England IPA

Holy crap, that's an exceedingly long name. Even after I just tried using initials for the New England India Pale Ale, that name is just too dang long. Could you imagine trying to order this in a crowded bar? There's a reason Budweiser is reduced to Bud, and it's not just because it doesn't deserve all three syllables.

The mostly opaque orange beverage has such an even color from the top of the glass to the bottom that I am not sure I would believe that this wasn't edited in Photoshop or GIMP or the like if I wasn't looking at it right here in front of me. There's minimal head, and it leaves a dusting on the very top of the beer, but it leaves little else. The aroma is very faint, but it has bread dough and yeast. I expected hops. Where are the earth-shattering hops?

First sip is sweet orange, grains, pine, and dough. It's a good sip, but it's complicated as heck. I can't say I would recommend drinking this beer by sips, as there is just so much…

Fat Orange Cat "Blood Orange Billy" New England IPA

Hey, what kind of beer is that?
Blood Orange Billy.
No, I mean what kind of beer?
It's Fat Orange Cat?
No, what's the style?
*reads small print*
*reads other, smaller print*
It's a new England India Pale Ale with blood orange.
Is that a thing?
Well, it appears these guys think it is.
Is that one of those 12% beers? 
Well, it's part of the 12% project, but some of their other beers are part of that project, and none of them are 12%. This is probably not coincidentally 6.66% ABV. I don't think their Satanists, though.
Oh. It's one of THOSE.

Pale straw yellow beer is very hazy. It has almost no head right out of the can, and that allows me to fill my pint glass all the way to the top. What little head exists is pretty much just white, and there isn't going to be any lacing on this beer. The aroma is sweet with oranges, but there's a bit of a bite like harsh grain or an errant spice.

First sip is pretty good. It's got the sweet orange right up front with kin…

BrewDog Albino Squid Assassin Red Rye IPA

I'm not generally a fan of rye beers, but this is BrewDog, and they put out Hazy Jane, so they have a wide margin for failure. Looking at the label, you might not even realize that this is a BrewDog beer immediately, as it has a stylized evil squid dominating the can to the point that I had to scour the can to find out what the style was.

The beer is only a little red. In fact, I'd probably call it a lightly amber-hued dirty brown with a realistic head that won't be leaving lacing, but it's doing a fine job of sticking around. The color of the beer is really kind of striking - like a dirty puddle outside a Glasgow pub that someone bled into after a hard-won bar fight that had the loser buying a round for the bar. The aroma is crisp apple, grapefruit, orange, and flowers.

First sip is not bad. It is mostly malt with the citrus around the outskirts, but the rye is like a thin red line that goes through the whole thing; it's not the most flavor beer, but it's not …

Victory Storm King Imperial Stout

I swear I've had this before. I can say that, as I know for certain that I definitely have. The problem is that it was so long ago that it was before I started to document the beers that I've tried. So, I'm backed into this corner of having to drink it as if it is completely new to me. Good news - I can handle this.

The black beer has an odd mix of brown and red at the extreme corners, and it is very reluctant to release any head. It's reluctant in the same way the bourbon barrel beers tend to be, but this is definitely not from a barrel. The aroma is rich and thick with coffee, chocolate, and caramel in the malt areas and a pine hop with dark fruit floating on top.

First sip is the thick, roasted malt with it's coffee and bitterness mesmerizing the tastebuds while earth and dark fruit make a subtle background for it to dance across. It's a bit much for a sip, but that's going to be the case with pretty much any imperial stout, isn't it?

Tip-in is syrup…

Sun King IPA

The ABV on this is 6.5%. The only reason I know this is that SKB (Sun King Brewery) has it on their website, but they don't bother to put it on the beer. Some small breweries do this because the ABV in the beer fluctuates pretty significantly from one batch to the next (a small brewery I went to once had a batch that they had accidentally allowed to get dangerously close to their local legal limit of alcohol, and they consequently restricted the number you could have while you were there. I had two. They were delicious).

The clear, brass-colored beer has a minimal head, but it's sticky, and it likes to leave lacing, so I'm going to go ahead and call it just about perfect. The aroma is very juicy citrus and a bit of mustiness from the doughy malt. It's got a sweet feel to it, and I'm in the mood for a good, sweet citrus beer.

First sip is not sweet. It is not sweet at all. It's bitter and tart, and the slight mustiness is a blanket of dust that covers all and do…

Gate City "Awe Juice" IPA

It says to drink straight from the can, but that would rob me of the picture I usually take. Screw them and their imperialist instructions - I do things the way I do them, and they don't get to own me. That said, I totally roll the can as instructed, as I am a good boy who behaves and does what he's told underneath all this rebellion.

As soon as I open the can, the juicy nature of the beer smacks me in the nose. The tangerine, grapefruit, orange, and lemon are all bringing their fruitiness to bare on me, and I'm here for it. The murky copper-gold beer's sticky white head is just the container for the juice, and I want some in my belly.

First sip is more bitter, pine, mustiness, and dank than I expected from the very juicy nose. In fact, I'm not sure I tasted any of the fruits at all past that bitter side effect of the hops. Where's the malt? Why isn't the malt doing something to tamp down these problems? Seems like this beer needs balanced quite a bit - the…

Bearded Iris Voyager Double IPA

The Bearded Iris guys are all about their mixes. I don't know how many IPAs and DIPAs I've had from them, but it has been quite a few. They aren't consistently great, and I'm not even sure I can say that they are progressively getting better, but I think their idea is that they will just pump out variety until they can't pump out more or they find the perfect beer. I hope it's the latter.

This is a bit more gold in color than the usual Bearded Iris fare, so it looks a lot less like fruit juice. It's still hazy to the point that minimal light can get through from one side to the other. The head isn't much, and it simmers down to a thin covering for modesty's sake. The aroma is a mix of citrus and tropical fruits, so the usual Bearded Iris touch may bring joy to my face after all.

First sip is all the citrus and tropical fruit that you would expect from a Bearded Iris brew, and it's got a little bitter twinge to it that I'm not particularly us…

Man Crate Moscow Mule

Anyone who's read my blog knows that I don't normally dabble in hard liquor - let alone mixed drinks. This particular crates was a gift from a friend, and I'm certainly grateful for the chance to try this out. However, I'm just letting you know right up front that I don't really know what I'm talking about, so I can only relay my experience with this particular Man Crate.

For starters, the beverage is clear and fizzy. This makes sense, as the main ingredient is nonalcoholic ginger beer. Now, the ginger beer was the only ingredient that was included in the Man Crate. Reading their description of the Moscow Mule, it would appear that it only has one other ingredient: vodka. This is self-evidently incorrect, as the can of ginger beer has the Moscow Mule recipe on it, and it includes a lime. So, after gathering up the other ingredients, I'm finally able to use the Crate.

I would really have appreciated detailed instructions with this Crate. I don't know why…

Bearded Iris Forecast Mexican Style Lager

Let's get this clear right off the bat: I don't normally add any citrus or whatever else may traditionally or anecdotally be added to a particular kind of beer. When I did my review of Shock Top, Blue Moon, and a few others, I did not add an orange or lemon or whatever the particular tradition was for that beer. That was because it wasn't actually written on the can or bottle. This one explicitly states that you should add a lime, so that's what I'm doing. I'm still against the idea of adding an external citrus to a beer that should be controlled by the hops, but I will follow instructions.

The beer is already a vaguely green-tinted yellow with a whole heaping of bits floating around all up and down the beer; these bits are not bothering to settle on the bottom. The head is pretty aggressive, but it's certainly manageable in its white yet foamy state. First sip is unsurprisingly lime with other citrus flavors tossed into the mix. While I don't condone a…

St. Arnulf Alery Hexagram Milk Stout

There was only one reason I bought this bottle of beer, and I don't even know how much I spent on it. I bought it for this weird paper wrapped around the bottle packaging. I'm not normally one to go nuts over a particular kind of packaging, but this really stood out in the beer store. It's odd that this strange and seemingly foreign beverage comes from Kentucky, but I think that just goes to show that good ideas can come from anywhere.

I can normally hedge the color of these black beers by saying they have a little bit of ruby or brown around the edges just where the light is coming through, but that's not this beer. The sucker absorbs all light. The tan ahead absolutely does not want to come out and play, and what you see in this picture is the closest I could come to coaxing some out, and there isn't much to it. The aroma is downright boozy with heavy alcohol, sweet malt, chocolate, and roasted wood. In the background, there be berries.

First sip is much heavier …

Knee Deep "Breaking Bud" IPA

This is my second Knee Deep beer, and it shares the strange anthropomorphic hop on the front of the can that its sister did. I guess it's just kind of their thing? In any event, this is an IPA from a brewer who clearly knows their way around beer, and I am welcoming to any kind of strange label that might surround a good beer. Aside from Nazis. I don't want Nazis.

The hazy, dull gold beer has a proper, thick IPA head on it that leaves lacing more than I had dreamed of (and I dream about lacing a lot more than you might expect). The aroma is predictably citrus and it has a good, wet dough malt backing it up with a hint of pine on the horizon. The whole presentation is making a thirsty man even thirstier.

First sip is much, much smoother than I anticipated. The citrus hops are playing very well with the doughy bread and it is backing it up like a champ. The resin is more than I could smell, but it's all very... harmonious in its presentation.

Tip-in is a bit tart, and the re…

Bearded Iris Finesse Pils

What the? Is this a Pilsner from Bearded Iris? That doesn't make any sense. When you're Bearded Iris, you make IPAs and double IPAs – you do not make Pilsner's, right? Well, this can would lead me to believe that I have been mistaken this whole time. So, I'm going to try this Pilsner from a beloved local brewery.

The pale yellow beer sports a seriously frothy white head to the point that it starts to drizzle down the side of the glass. The aroma of wheatgrass, heavy sour yeast, and flowers dominates the smell. I'm not used to pilsners from Bearded Iris, so I didn't have an idea about what to expect, but this is straight out of the pilsner playbook.

First sip is grass, spice, wheat, honey, and a dour yeast. The floral and spice nature of the beer tries to make it light, but the yeast seems like it's dragging it down a bit. Of course, that's what happens when you sip, and sipping is for tea and sacramental wine - here, we drink.

Tip-in is lemon, carbonati…

Mississippi "Mississippi Mud" Black & Tan

I did a quick search, and much to my surprise I have not done a review of a black and tan before. I have had many black and tans in my day, most of those poured at a bar using the proper technique with Guinness and Bass. This beer uses a porter and a pilsner to achieve what it calls a black and tan, and I guess these things are just up to interpretation. After all, I've had lots of different beers mixed and called black and tan (including some lagers).

The beer is surprisingly dark red (I expected something closer to black) with an off-white (but not all the way to tan) head. The aroma (I think I may be using too many parentheticals in this review already) is roasted malts and toasted grains; it's sweet and tangy, and I'm feeling its good vibes.

First sip is a slather of carbonation sizzle followed by watery toasted caramel soup. It's way too watery for a mixture of two flavorful beers. There is a bit of chocolate and coffee to try and mitigate the mild nature of this …

Knee Deep "Stoutello" Chocolate Stout

Hailing from California, this beer is a milk stout with chocolate and hazelnut added to it. It's possible Nutella was their template for this beer, and I'm a go ahead and go out on a limb and say that it almost definitely was. I don't know what the deal is with the freaky looking green hop–based, bow-wearing creature is on the front, but I think I complain enough about can art.

Color is a deep, deep brown to the point of being black. The head is a medium tan – kind of a khaki. The aroma is predictably chocolate and hazelnut. There are deeper aromas going on underneath those two, but they are definitely running with it. I think I can smell the malt, and it is lightly toasted. This really smells like a good dessert beer.

First sip is pretty good, but it's a little watery. It's got that overly mild sensation of there being carbonated water with some flavors added to it, but it's very watered down. That said, the flavors that have been added are definitely worth ad…

Ommegang "Game of Thrones - For The Throne" Golden Ale

This is my seventh beer from the series. I'm not sure if there are other beers labeled to coincide with the release of Game of Thrones, but I have tried all the ones I came in contact with. At this point, there are more beers that I have tried than there will be episodes in this last season. The battle of Winterfell has occurred, and we're just waiting for the last few episodes in the series. So, I drink this beer with a heavy heart. Nevertheless, I drink it.

True to it's name, the beer is a very rich shade of gold. The abundant, "Stark" white head is a mix of dense bubbles and big, fluffy bubbles that sits atop the beverage like a crown, and it takes a little bit to go down; when it does, it leaves a dense layer to protect the top of the beer. Emanating from the depths is a thick, moist yeast and grape juice mixed with grains.

First sip is surprisingly good. The yeast is mixing with the grapes to make a very unique beer-wine combination that has the fullness of …