Saturday, November 29, 2014

This is not from the Congress Street of my childhood...



Trillium Brewing Company, Congress Street IPA, Boston, MA

7.2% abv. This beer is two weeks old. It pours a brilliant unfiltered yellow gold color with a huge head and fluffy Belgian lace. Pine, orange zest, mango, and fresh cut grass aromas. It has an amazing silky smooth mouthfeel with an aggressive hop finish. This beer has a light and pleasant carbonation and it is so fresh it almost tastes cask conditioned.  Super drinkable with pine, apricot, orange, mango, grapefruit, and fresh pineapple flavors. Wow the 7.2% is sneaky. It is going down way too fast. This is a thoroughly enjoyable IPA and something I would definitely revisit in the near future. I may even have to make a trip to the brewery soon. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

I wish I lived in Bourbon County...

Goose Island Brewing Company, Bourbon County Imperial Stout, Chicago, IL


This one weighs in at a whopping 14.9% abv. It was brewed in August of 2013 and I cellared it until today. I should have waited longer, but I have another one that I am going to let sit for a couple of years. I'll be sure to compare notes when I review it again. Thankfully it comes in a 12oz bottle, it is a force to be reckoned with. 

Pours tar black with a thin tan head. Good carbonation generated through the middle of the beer. On first smelling this beer I get an immediate oaky bourbon aroma with a fresh raisin scent and touch of mild espresso. Plums and other dark fruits as well. The huge round body of this beer is obvious on first sip. It is big, syrupy and boozy. 

This beer has 450 calories! I just walked two miles and I should have walked a few more before cracking it open. While the alcohol is clearly present in each sip, even adding a peppery spicyness, it is not overwhelming. You want to drink this beer slowly of course, but it really doesn't become overbearing at any point. What an incredibly complex beer. I am getting oak, bourbon, sherry, molasses, maple, tobacco, coconut, candy sugar, dark chocolate, coffee, plum, raisin, figs, and a light citrusy hop flavor...and that is just in one sip. After about 10 more the gums start to tingle and the belly warms right up.

I stepped slowly away from this one for about 20 minutes and now I am back. The smell is simply amazing. Now I am catching a distinct bourbon vanilla aroma with some raw sugar, maybe even old school ribbon candy...yes, that shit your grandma used to give you and it would cut your tongue and gums! I am tasting new flavors as well, anise, dates, charcoal smoke, burnt caramel, and dried orange zest. This beer is fantastic. It gets more and more astringent with each sip due to the intense malt profile, but not in a bad way. It might be a really good thing that this beer is incredibly hard to find. I could drink it all night, but at 450 calories per bottle it is like adding an additional breakfast to your daily intake...it is so worth it though. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

This is a revival that I can appreciate...

Revival Brewing Company Double Black IPA

Label on the bottle depicts Chinook vs. Sorachi Ace. 8% abv. Given to me by Trevor Smith (thank you sir), who recently met the brewer. Bottled by Cottrell Brewing Company for Revival Brewing Company. Pours a rich dark brown color with big whitish tan head. Tootsie roll, lemon, cilantro, and roasted hazelnuts on the nose. First sip is a burst of tangy citrus and piney hops that finishes with a mild coffee ice cream flavor. The two hop flavors really do battle it out with each sip. Roasted nuts, milk chocolate and a few herbal notes. Extremely drinkable for the relatively strong 8% abv. Becomes astringent toward the end of the bottle, but not in a bad way. I am a big fan of this style and this one really holds it weight. This beer is a must try.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

And then there were eight...

For the longest time, there have been only 7 Trappist breweries, Westvleteren, Westmalle, Orval, La Trappe, Chimay, Rochefort, and Achel. La Trappe was the only Trappist brewery outside of Belgium and I never would have imagined that the next one would be in the United States...never mind in my home state of Massachusetts. Needless to say, this is an exciting development that enhances the already white hot craft beer production in this state.

Brewed by the monks at St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, MA. 6.5% abv. Pours a gorgeous, unfiltered orange color with a rich creamy head. Nice carbonation and head retention. This beer smells incredible, ripe banana, spicy clove, touches of floral and citrus hops, and fresh berries. Good Belgian lace. Great mouthfeel. First sip is cloves and dried tropical fruit, maybe mangos, papaya, and pineapple. About halfway through you pick up Belgian candy sugar and  raisin flavors. Pear skin and just the slightest white pepper finish. Crusty bread and dry cracker maltiness. Well balanced and excessively drinkable. The 6.5% abv make this a fantastic session beer. I think this an excellent first effort from the brothers of St. Joseph Abbey. I am looking forward to their next offering.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Mr. Kiwi Rising...

Jack's Abby Brewing, Kiwi Rising Double India Pale Lager
8.5% abv and 105 IBUs.

The brewery used tons of New Zealand Kiwi hops in brewing this one. Hopped 6 or 7 times during the brewing process. Pours gold with a thick cauliflower head. Great Belgian lace. Flowery and herbal hop aromas with a touch of piney resin. First sip is a hop bomb.  Alcohol is no wear to be found. Mostly grapefruit and orange, but pine and spruce flavors become more prevalent with each sip. Some caramel and malty cracker flavors try to balance this beer, but it is all hops. Another superb offering from the folks at Jack's Abby. Hey. I think that dog is eyeing my beer!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Hop on this Hoponius...

Jack's Abby Hoponius Union
Jack's Abby Hoponius Union
6.7% abv. 65 IBUs. They call it an IPL. Uniquely hoppy lager. Pours to a thick white head with great lace. Some murkiness from the sediment, but it is a rich gold color. Unmistakeable pineapple aroma. Crisp and incredibly refreshing. Fresh fruity malt flavors combine with crisp biscuit or cracker dryness and tropical fruit hops to make it a rather complex and super tasty beer. Hops are what drives it. This is a first class beer.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Might want to use google before naming your beer...

Ov-ral Imperial IPA, Mikkeller To ├śl Collaboration
Not sure of the origins of the name of this beer, but before distributing it in the US the brewers should have google searched the name. It is the name of a morning after pill! Anyway, it is a great beer.

10.5% abv. Pours a brilliant orange color with a wispy white head. Somewhat original aroma has a nice combination of caramel malt, banana, and pine. Super smooth mouthfeel with solid carbonation. Strong hops jump right out at you, followed by a sweet bready, dried fruit, caramel malt, and then a tinge of peppery alcohol esters. The wild yeast definitely give is a little bit of a funk as well. Gets a bit astringent toward the end, but not in a bad way. Some warming in the belly halfway through the glass. For some reason I find it somewhat somewhat reminiscent of Pliny the Elder, but much funkier.