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Showing posts from May, 2019

Sun King IPA

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 …

Sweetwater 420 Strain G13 IPA

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I'm expecting dank, how about you? I didn't realize when I picked this up that I should have noticed the big 420 written on the bottle rather than the smaller G13 IPA I based my purchasing decision on. I've had some good dank beers, but I don't know that I would go out of my way to pick another one up. But, Sweetwater is a brewery that knows how to produce some good beers, so I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Strangely, the first thing that jumped out at me when I started to pour was the aroma. This beer smells skunked. I checked the bottle as closely as I could to try and find a date, and I eventually found an incredibly hard to read number written at the bottom of the label on the back. It says this beer is good for at least another month and a half, so I don't know where the skunk smell came from. Aside from the aroma, this is a very hazy, straw-colored beer with a relatively modest head that does not leave any substantial lacing as it goes …

Stone "22 Anni-Matter" Double IPA

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I must have misread the label to think it said "anti-matter" like a dozen times. This is a 22nd anniversary beer, and it seems odd to me for a brewery to celebrate their 22nd anniversary, but it seems like the kind of thing Stone (brewers of Arrogant Bastard) might do. But, I'm happy they are celebrating with a DIPA, that's for sure.

The copper beer has a resilient head that may not be the thickest, but it has staying power. The aroma is delightful citrus and sweet bread malt; a honey highlights it all very well. I'm not saying this is the best DIPA ever, but that's only because I haven't started drinking it yet.

First sip is tropical fruits and bitterness. I'm really surprised as how bitter and musty the taste is for a DIPA from Stone. I'm pretty sure I could not sip this beer for very long before giving up entirely, but sipping isn't what this blog is known for (and it's not really known at all).

Tip-in is tart tropical fruits with mild …