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Showing posts from June, 2019

DuClaw "For Pete's Sake" Imperial Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter

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Here's the thing about these chocolate peanut butter porters and stouts: they're all pretty much the same, aren't they? I'm not trying to paint with too broad of a brush, but it seems to me that the chocolate and peanut butter tend to overwhelm all of the natural aspects of the beer. That said, the base beer often makes it stand out. I may be just talking nonsense.

The very deep brown beverage needed quite a bit of coaxing to get any head at all - it's very much like a bourbon barrel beer in that respect. The minimal head that it gets is a medium tan, and it has enough staying power to make things interesting, but we aren't even looking for lacing from this. The aroma is lovely; chocolate, smoke, peanuts, and charred oats.

First sip is a lot more than the log-as-heck name would lead you to believe. The chocolate and peanut butter have hit a wall of charred oats, scored wood, and sweet vanilla extract. It's a full sip, and it might be too much for the sip to…

Bearded Iris "Wavelength" Double IPA

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Why not? Why not another Bearded Irisdouble IPA? You ask me, there aren't enough of them. Now, many people may disagree with me. Those people may say that the dozen or so that they currently put out are really enough for anybody, but the people who make that argument should really just shut up. I'm busy drinking. Don't screw with my enjoyment of beer.

Now we're talking. This is the juice orange that I've come to know and love from these guys. A reasonable trace of lacing is left like footprints in the snow along the sides of the glass. The aroma is that familiar citrus with a moderate helping of tropical fruits to balance out the hoppy goodness.

First sip is sweeter than I imagined or expected from one of these hop-centric Bearded Iris DIPAs. It sure has the hops in it to give that fruit tang, but the malt is doing an amazing job at sweetening the whole experience. I don't know what to think other than that I have to drink this properly now.

Tip-in is agave swe…

Tyskie Gronie

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This is a Polish beer that my mother gave me to try after she was given a case of it by a Polish priest that she knows. The problem is, I'm not exactly sure how long this sat around before I got to it, and I'm afraid this might be a little out of date for me to even be trying. Nevertheless, I'm gonna try it.

The very pale gold beer has a white head of dense, scattered foam. What hits me first is not the color or even the head - the beer has a distinct skunk aroma to it. I check the date, and for sure, the "best by" date is two months past. I'm not thinking two months should be that far out of spec for the beer, but the aroma is really telling me different. Of course, I've had other beers that had a bit of a skunk funk that was just part of what they are.

First sip is ... not skunked. I guess that aroma is just part of its deal. Instead, it is a sweet malt and very light hops that might be pine, but they are really light, so don't hold me to it. It def…

Almanac "Love Hazy" IPA

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When I started this review, I was genuinely surprised to find that I already had at least one Almanac beer posted on my blog. I had no idea what it was, so I looked back to see. I'll be damned if it wasn't the sour cherry beer that I absolutely hated. That alone might have gotten me to not even try this beer, but I can't judge a brewery based on a single beer, can I? After all, I've since had a pilsner from them that was certainly fine. This is an IPA. I like IPAs. I'm going to like this IPA.

She's a very hazy (opaque) melon-orange color with a white head that is reluctant to come out and fizzles away as quickly as you like. The aroma is grains and light, bubbly citrus from grapefruits and oranges with some tangerine in there to spice it up a bit. This is starting off really well.

First sip is a little more untamed than I anticipated. The spices are high, and the fruit juice is tart and bitter at the same time while it's almost as if a pineapple skin is bei…

Tallgrass Sweet Tooth Belgian-Style Dark Ale

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These guys produced the two Buffalo Sweat beers that were so good that I'm not sure I'll be able to find fault with any of their beverages. It reminds me of when I had my first Left Hand Brewing milk stout and that led to quite a few Left Hand beers that I very much enjoyed. If Tallgrass keeps making beer, I'm gonna keep trying it.

It looks like... raisin juice? And the head is pretty nice until it dissipates, and it does that a lot faster than you might think. The aroma is very sweet caramel, brown sugar, old wood, and some dark fruits. It's inviting enough for me to want to get another, even though I haven't had one yet.

First sip is like a sweet, approachable version of the Chimay or St. Feuillien dark ales. The dark fruits are sweetened with the caramel and brown sugar while the salt is quite noticeable. It's a pretty good sipping beer, and I'm not sure I've said that about any of these dark ales before.

Tip-in is salt, caramel, and brown sugar with…

Southern Grist "Hoppy Timbs" Double IPA

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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…