Saturday, February 19, 2011

Another great beer from the folks at Otter Creek...

6% abv. It comes in at 60 IBUs. Pours pretty dark black with a massive cream colored head. Piney and grapefruit hops on the nose with touches of sweet roasted malt. Good lace. Surprising hop bite with rich coffee flavors on first sip. Slick mouthfeel with solid carbonation. Again on the second sip grapefruit and then espresso roasted flavors kicks in right after. Some licorice flavors as well. I think what I like most about this beer is that both the sweet and bitter flavors have an earthy rawness about them. It has a fresh, raw hop flavor that I really like. Some very mild spicy burn on the back of the throat that has more to do with the hop acidity than the alcohol content. Certainly reminiscent of a west coast stout or porter with heavy hopping. A very flavorful session beer. I got it in their winter variety 12 pack and I sure hope I find it in six packs. Another great beer from the folks at Otter Creek.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Fire in the Belly...

I was very excited last night to crack open a bottle I had been cellaring for about 10 months, Great Divide Brewing Company Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout. Or GDBCCOAYIS as I like to call it. It measure in at 9.5% abv. and pours oil black with a dark tan head. The tiramisu aroma is tantalizing. Dark chocolate morsels, mocha, bourbon oak, vanilla, and spicy alcohol on the nose as well. Good lace. I probably could have cellared this for a few more months to mellow it even more, since the alcohol is a bit more obvioius than I expected. It has a rich espresso flavor at finish. Very interesting cayenne spicyness on the back of the throat...I wonder if they added some kind of pepper. This beer smells amazing. Oak dryness is more pronounced at finish. Hop tingle develops halfway through the first glass. Hop spicyness and pepper combine for a really interesting complexity. Tingle on the front sides of the tongue. I love spicy, so I love this beer. However I can see how some people could be a bit distracted by what has to be cayenne...ok, did some research, it turns out it is cayenne pepper. Tastes like a Mexican spiced chocolate. Certainly a bit out of the ordinary, but I like it a lot.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Has Magic Hat lost its Magic...

I picked up a Magic Hat Spring Fever 12 pack the other day. It included the standard #9 and Circus Boy, as well as two new ones for me, Vinyl Lager and Demo IPA. My first thought was what happened to the days of Thumbsucker Russian Imperial Stout...that was Magic Hat at its pinnacle. Lately it seems that Magic Hat is either trying too hard or perhaps not enough. I am really not sure which it is. I keep thinking back to Wacko, the ale with beet juice added. Do I need to say more, beet juice to make it pinkish, are you kidding me. Anyway, here are of these two new ones.

Vinyl Lager
Pours a dark amber color with a 1/2 inch thick head. Wheat cracker and mild lemon scent. Crisp lemony hop bite on the sides of the mouth. Toasted caramel malt. Medium bodied with a decent drinkability. Dry and clean at finish. Decent lace. This is a pretty good lager, but nothing special.

Demo IPA
6% abv. Pours a surprising dark brown. Cascade hop aroma. Interesting balance at times of sweet roasted malt and citrusy hop. Really more of a pale ale or ESB hop profile with a little extra kick. Certainly drinkable. Decent lace. Some chocolate malt flavors at finish. An ok beer.

To quote Grey over at Razzball, these beers are quite "yawnstipating."