Saturday, November 3, 2012

Enjoy the fall harvest...

Founders Brewing Company 2012 Harvest Ale
6.5% abv. 70 IBU. Pours clear gold with a big white head. This beer is all grapefruit on the nose. First sip is grapefruit, pine, and tropical fruits. Not overly carbonated and  a bit oily. Much lighter body than expected. Sharp hop bite that leaves you wanting another sip. Hops linger forever with a slight minty essence. Kind of one dimensional, but very good. Maybe a touch of light caramel malt and biscuits, but really all hops. Another fantastic beers from the folks at Founders. They really can't do anything wrong over there.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I love that Headwaters...

Victory Headwaters Pale Ale
Victory Headwaters Pale Ale

5.1% abv. Pours a dark gold, copperish color with a white head. I love the smell of this beer. Citrus and pine with orange zest hop aromas. Touches of sweet caramel and papaya as well. It really has kind of pineapple or apricot taste that is refreshing. Smooth and drinkable for a hot summer day, but plenty of flavor to keep it interesting. This is as much flavor as you will find in a 5.1% abv beer. This one really defines the style and I hope I can continue to find this on the shelves as my local packie. Another fantastic offering from the folks at Victory.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

I spy with my Big Eye...

Ballast Point Big Eye IPA 
6.88% abv. Orange zest and pine resin on the nose. Huge fluffy head. Great lace. First sip brings a spicy hop bite to the tongue. Assertive hops continue with each sip. Columbus and Centennial hops used in making this one. Drank it at room temperature, so I am really getting all the flavors here. Slightest tinge of black pepper and lots of fruit, maybe dried apricots and tropical fruit. It does have a bit of a sweet, "bready-fruity-carmely finish." The caramel maltiness tries to compete, but the hops dominate. A very solid IPA. It gets better and better with each sip.

Friday, July 27, 2012

This beer is hardly tiny...

Weyerbacher Brewing Company, Tiny Belgian Imperial Stout

11.8% abv. Pours a jet black color with a light tan head. Dark chocolate, red wine, and anise aromas make for a very interesting yet subtle aroma. Pepper, clove, citrus, bittersweet chocolate and cocoa flavors on the first sip. Dark fruit dominates, including plums, red grapes and figs. Gets boozy after a while with a slow subtle alcohol warming on the back of the throat.  Belgian candy sugar and bourbon vanilla and molasses flavors as well. The mouthfeel is silky and smooth and stays that way throughout. I cellared this for at least a year. Overall a nice offering.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Red Betty, Red Racer, just call it good...

Red Betty IPA, Central City Brewing Company, Surrey, British Columbia

6.5% abv. Served from a can. Half inch head with a dark orange amber color. Piney and sweet grapefruit hop aromas. This is a smooth drinking and reasonably balanced IPA. The hops are certainly dominant, but it has a solid malt profile as well. Pineapple and other sweet tropical fruits. Grapefruit and floral hops flavors with touches of pine.The fact that a beer this good comes in cans is very useful for outdoor summer activities...summer BBQs, for the golf bag, hikes, and by the pool.

Called Red Racer in Canada, but Bear Republic won a recent lawsuit and they now call it Red Betty in the US.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Chocolate and coffee = yum...

Blackwater series. 11% abv. Made with Jamaican roasted coffee and bittersweet Belgian chocolate. Cellared for about 6 months. Smells like a chocolate covered donut dipped in a cup of coffee. Certainly a dessert beer to be consumed on its own or paired with your favorite chocolate dessert. The chocolate flavors seem to dominate slightly more than the coffee. Sweet and flavorful, but it finishes dry with a slight astringency from the big malt profile and coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Alcohol is well-masked at times, but there is a touch of booziness to it. Wide range of flavors including caramel, bourbon vanilla, molasses, citrusy hops, and just a touch of black pepper spicyness. Slight warming on the back of the throat and gums. This beer is really a combination of their Jahva and Choklat beers. I am a big fan of this series and this brewery. 

Saturday, March 31, 2012

16.83% abv.  Bottled December 2009. Crazy carbonation from live yeast coming up the center of my Chimay chalice. I believe it is saying El Diablo, El Diablo. Dark chocolate, molasses, anise, candy sugar and figs on the nose. Immediate warming in the belly, but the alcohol is surprisingly masked for this ridiculous almost 17% abv beer. Cellared this one for almost 2.5 years and I am sure that has helped tame the alcohol. Thick and viscous mouthfeel, but it has a dry finish. Slightest bit of herbal hops at finish. Very complex with black pepper, raisins, rye bread, cherries, dark chocolate, candy sugar, molasses, oak, bourbon vanilla, rum, and tawny port flavors. Wow, the alcohol sneaks up and hits you like a 16.83 lb sledge hammer. This beer is brewed only on December 1st each year and I am certainly going to track down some more this year.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day to me...

Founders Brewing Co. Imperial Stout
Pairing up a Founder's Brewing Company Imperial Stout with some Taza Stone Ground 70% Cacao Chipotle Chili chocolate. Happy Valentine's Day to me. Do you have anything special on the beer menu tonight?

10.5 % abv. 90 IBU's  Pours ridiculously dark black with one of the darkest heads I have ever seen on a beer. Smells like what I can best describe as dark chocolate covered espresso beans. First sip is all coffee. Virtually no carbonation. Second sip is all coffee with a strong hop backbone. Third sip if followed quickly by a third, fourth, and fifth sip. I am definitely going to have to cellar a couple of these to see how they mellow. This is certainly a beer that grabs your attention. Full bodied with a syrupy but creamy mouthfeel. The dry, citrus hops begin to come forward about halfway through the glass. They use all kinds of malt in this beer and there are a variety of great flavors, from dark fruit to anise to even a touch of smokey oak. Amazing how long the flavors linger on the sides of the tongue and gums. How do you balance a 90 IBU hop bomb, you brew something with an amazing amount of malt. Mission accomplished on this one. Another great beer from Founders. Now if I can only get my hands on some Canadian Breakfast Stout.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Bring better beer to Mississippi...

Just got an email from some folks in Jackson, Mississippi that are looking to open up only the second production brewery in the state. They have some seriously strict laws that restrict beer production and distribution and they could use your help. I will let them speak for themselves, here is the email and be sure to click the link to learn more. Good luck down there!

First, I want to say thank you for being a voice for craft beer and for the little guys like us. We appreciate all that you do and your work is truly an asset for the craft beer community. 

Lucky Town Brewing Company is a new planned brewery in Mississippi, and although there is no brewery within 150 miles of Jackson, the craft beer community here is thriving. As many of you know, Mississippi suffers from some of the strictest beer legislation in the country, which is one reason why there is only one production brewery located in Mississippi currently. Since the laws do not allow for many to bring their beer to Mississippi, we at Lucky Town intend to give the local craft beer enthusiasts a broader choice. 

Lucky Town recently launched a Kickstarter project, and our goal is to raise at least $20,000 to help cover some of our up front costs such as license fees, insurance costs, keg expenses, and ingredients costs among others. We raised over $6,000 in the first 10 days, and with the support we have locally we feel confident that we can reach our goal. We need your help to reach those who haven't heard our story yet - please help us spread the word. 

You can find our Kickstarter page here:

If you need any more information from us or if you would like to talk with us at Lucky Town, we would be more than willing to speak with you. For more information on our beers and bios, visit our website listed below in my signature. Feel free to follow us on twitter and facebook as well.

Again, thank you for all that you do.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Mystic descendant hits home...

7% abv. Brewed in my childhood hometown of Chelsea, MA. Pours dark brown almost black with a healhty four finger dark tan head. You can smell the molasses used in the brewing during the pour. After that it is all a beautiful Belgian yeast aroma with pepper, cloves, lemon -- maybe even a touch of dark chocolate. The beer is brewed with molasses, Belgian Renaud yeast, and American hops. Great carbonation with a dry finish. Has a very pleasant mouthfeel. Touches of stout, porter, and saison all wrapped into one. Dark fruits abound, including figs, raisins and plums. Candy sugar and some caramel. The carbonation just does not calm down on this one. Each pour is a foam filled yeast fest. This is a much better beer than their first release, the saison. Looking forward to more beers from this brewery.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Birch beer...

Colonial Ale Aged on Cedar 6.8% abv. Had this six months old. Pours to a crazy sudsy cauliflower head. Has a bit of a brettanomyces yeast funk. Interesting cedar notes give it a mild cask conditioned flavor. Insane Belgian lace. Just a touch of alcohol. Dark fruits, especially figs and a nice citrusy hop bite at finish. A decent beer, but probably not something I would go out of my way to find.