Sunday, February 22, 2015

Goose Island The Muddy Imperial Stout

This 9.0% ABV stout brewed with licorice is from Goose Island Beer Company of Chicago, Illinois (now owned by AB-InBev).

The beer pours black, with just the slightest bit of translucent brown at the top edge when held to the light. The aroma is quite mild for a stout, some char and light anise. The taste follows the aromas, char, light anise, and just a touch of some other dark roasted malt flavors, more implied than obvious. The beer drinks smooth and round with a tingle of carbonation. The finish is as dry as sweet with a light to moderate bitterness. This is an enjoyable enough stout, but it is much lighter and more subtle in flavor than I expected from the bottle description of “amplified sweetness with licorice notes.”


Blue Moon Mountain Abbey Ale

The Blue Moon Brewing Company is a Molson-Coors brand, based out of Golden, Colorado. This 5.6% ABV beer uses Belgian sugar and wheat.

The beer pours dark copper and brown in color, trending towards ruby. There is a half-inch of khaki head. The aroma is tart, fruity, oranges, cherries, and grapes, almost vinous, along with some caramel. The taste is the reverse of the aroma, with the caramel coming out first and most, with a lighter cherry fruit in the background, and a very light and soft vinous note. The beer drinks soft, a bit smooth, but with a strong, fine carbonation as well. Drinkable, but of course, Blue Moon beers are like the ultra-beginner level of Belgian influenced beers, barely giving one an introduction. 


Saturday, February 21, 2015

Keg Creek Black Cherry Stout

This limited edition Black Cherry Stout is from the Keg Creek Brewing Company in Glenwood, Iowa. The brewery is named after a nearby creek which was originally named Five Barrel Creek for the illicit whiskey found there in the mid-1800's.

The beer pours pure black, with nearly an inch of light brown, foamy head. The aroma is dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, with light coffee and char, along with fruity cherry. The taste follows the aromas, but with more intensity in the coffee, and in particular, in the char. The cherry is still there riding on top of the roasted malts. The finish is moderately bitter and dry. This is decent, but the cherry stout just isn't a style I like too much, just as I dont' really like chocolate covered cherries. However, this might be really great after aging in a cherry bourbon or cherry brandy barrel...?




Sierra Nevada 2015 Beer Camp Hoppy Lager

This Hoppy Lager, or India Pale Lager, is a one-time spring seasonal release from the Beer Camp series from Sierra Nevada Brewing of Chico, California. It is based on the 2014 collaboration with Ballast Point, Electric Ray, but is a distinct variation done solely by Sierra Nevada. The beer is 7.0% ABV with 55 IBU's.

The beer pours a dark golden in color, trending to amber. There is a tall head of thick, off-white foam. The aroma is hop forward, passion fruit, guava, mango skin, with light pine. The taste follows the aromas, mixing and melding them into a well-blended single flavor. The beer drinks smooth, but with a tingling carbonation and finishes with a moderate bitterness. I liked the collaboration with Ballast Point better.



Sam Adams Rebel Rider Session IPA

This is a 4.5% ABV West Coast style session IPA from the Boston Brewing Company, makers of Samuel Adams beers.  While their Rebel IPA came out about a year ago, doing West Coast style hoppy beers is still relatively new territory for this long-standing craft brewer. They also have a just released Double IPA in this lineup called Rebel Rouser, which I hope to try soon.

The beer pours a deep, sparkling golden in color. It has a tall, thick, foamy head of white. The aroma is citrus, mango, tropical, with a bit of pine. The taste follows the aromas, but is much more mild.  I wish the flavors were as strong as the aroma. It drinks very easy, crisply carbonated, ending with a light to moderate bitterness. This is nicely drinkable, but needs to have its flavors match the level of aroma to measure up to some of the better session IPA's out there.




Zipline Brewing Kolsch

This 5.4% ABV is a German style Kolsch ale from the Zipline Brewing Company of Lincoln, Nebraska. Kolsch's are brewed as ales, but drink closer to lagers.

The beer pours a golden yellow, mostly clear, with just a touch of haze. There is an inch of pure white foamy head. The armoa is light, grain, flowers and honey. The taste is mild and follows the aromas, honey and grain with a light fruity/floral note. There is a light to moderate bitterness and it is mostly dry on the finish. The beer drinks smooth, yet with a carbonated refreshment. This is very drinkable, but there are better kolsch beers out there.


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Indeed Rum King

This 10.5% ABV imperial stout is brewed with cane sugar and then aged in rum barrels. The beer is from the Indeed Brewing Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota.


The beer pours a dense, opaque black, as dark as blackstrap molasses. There is a tall head of creamy brown foam. The aroma is dark rum, vanilla, oak, dark sugars, molasses, and dark roasted malts. The taste is an elegant mix of all the flavors, a wave of dark sugar sweetness, then a wave of charred and dark roasted malts, then easing into a wave of dark rum. Despite all the sweetness, it finishes closer to dry, with a moderate bitterness and oaky astringency. The beer drinks full, round, smooth, creamy. Oh, this is nice!


2016 and now in 12 ounce cans, but still drinking nice: The beer pours deep black in color. There is a short head of light brown foam. The aroma is sweet and dark roasted, molasses, brown sugar, char, with light rum barrel. The taste follows the aromas, hitting the same notes, sweet, but finishing with a moderately strong bitterness. The beer pours amazingly smooth, soft, nearly creamy. This is a very nice combination of flavor and mouthfeel.



Keg Creek Apricot Wheat

The Keg Creek Brewing Company is in Glenwood, Iowa. The brewery is named after a nearby creek which was originally named Five Barrel Creek for the illicit whiskey found there in the mid-1800's.

The beer pours a clear golden in color. There is a very short head of white foam. The aroma is straight up apricot, very fruity, with just a bit of toasted wheat. The taste is a bit reversed, with just as much toasted wheat going on as apricot, but there is still plenty of fruit. This is like eating apricot marmalade on a white cracker, with a bit of orange rind bitterness thrown in. The beer drinks easy and crisp. Only down note on this beer is a bit of a medicinal/band-aid note in the aftertaste, not from infection, but it just gets incongruous in the aftertaste.


Zipline Barrel-Aged Barleywine

This is a 14.7% ABV barleywine that was aged in bourbon barrels. It is from the Zipline Brewing Company of Lincoln, Nebraska. 

The beer pours a hazy dark brown with a touch of garnet. There is a half- inch of thick and creamy tan head. The aroma is bourbon up front, vanilla and oak, sweet, brown sugar and caramel. The taste follows the aromas, lots of upfront bourbon, the sweetness of bourbon and barleywine sugar notes, tempered by lots of astringent oak, sending off notes of fruit, like cherries. The beer is smooth and round with a tingle of carbonation.  It drinks amazingly easy for its alcohol level, with no burn, but a subtle warming effect. This is a nice one!


Keg Creek Waseya Creme Ale

The Keg Creek Brewing Company is in Glenwood, Iowa. The brewery is named after a nearby creek which was originally named Five Barrel Creek for the illicit whiskey found there in the mid-1800's. The adjacent county is Pottawattamie, and this beer takes its name from the Potowatomi tribe dialect in which Waseya "very light, bright sunshine."

The beer pours a not quite pale golden yellow, somewhere between champagne and straw. There is a half inch of white foamy head. The aroma is cracked corn, dry grain, light honey, and light grass. The taste follows the aromas, with a dry, but light finish, almost no bitterness. The beer drinks smooth and easy, with a moderate carbonation. This is the type of craft beer that you can get a light beer drinker to try, but that can also please a more discerning palate that wants a refreshing and drinkable beer that is also tasty.


Friday, February 13, 2015

Sierra Nevada Nooner Pilsner

This 5.2% ABV German-style pilsner beer is from the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company of Chico, California and Mills River, North Carolina. They describe the pilsner as the original session beer.

The beer pours yellow golden, the color of bright straw. There is a tall, thick head of white foam. The aroma is grassy, cracked grains, floral honey, and zesty. The taste follows the aromas, balancing grains, grass, flowers and honey. The finish is very crisp, dry, and moderately bitter. It drink easy and refreshing with a sting of carbonation. This is very enjoyable.



Sunday, February 8, 2015

Clown Shoes Itasca Loonidragon Russian Imperial Stout

Clown Shoes Beer comes from the Mercury Brewing Company of Ipswich, Massachusetts. This is their Blaecorn Unidragon Stout aged in bourbon barrels. As a special release for their Minnesota customers, who apparently buy a lot of Clown Shoes, they called it Itasca Loonidragon and only released this one in Minnesota (the Loon is Minnesota's state bird and Itasca is a county, lake, and park in Minnesota, the park is at the Mississippi River headwaters). The beer clocks in at 14.5% ABV.


The beer pours a deep black. There is a relatively short head of tan, somewhat creamy, head. The aroma is sweet, chocolatey, with some light char and a tangy waff of bourbon. The taste is smooth, creamy, chocolate, bourbon, dark roasted malts and oak. There is sweetness in the deep malt and booze, but the oakiness brings a very dry finish. The beer drinks very rich and smooth, with a moderate bitterness on the finish, and some definite alcohol heat, very warming. 



New Belgium Portage Porter

This 6.0% ABV porter is a new seasonal release from New Belgium Brewing of Fort Collins, Colorado.

The beer pours completely black, even when held to the light. There is a relatively short head of dark tan foam. The aroma has lots of chocolate, dark roasted malts, some char, and a mineral tang. The taste follows the aromas, hitting all the same notes, but even bigger in the flavors. The beer drinks easy and smooth, with a dry finish and moderate bitterness. Nice! This is tasty, drinkable, enjoyable. 




Saturday, February 7, 2015

Dos Equis Invierno

Invierno, or "Winter" is a bock beer from Dos Equis. It is a special release and as far as I know only available in the current sampler twelve pack from the Cerveceria Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma of Monterrey, Mexico. 

The beer pours a deep, but still clear, amber in color. There is over an inch of foamy light tan head that leaves spotty lacing down the glass. The aroma is toasted malt, caramel, dark fruits, a bit of a tang. The taste follows the aromas, adding in raisins. It has sweetness, but finishes dry, without much bitterness. The beer drinks easy with a refreshing carbonation. 



Sol

Sol is from the Cerveceria Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma of Monterrey, Mexico. It is 4.5% ABV.


The beer pours a clear dark golden in color. There is over an inch of white, fluffy head that leaves light, occasional rings of lacing. The aroma is light grain, light apple, light malt, fairly mild all around. The taste follows the aromas, inoffensive in every way. It drinks light, smooth, with a soft carbonation. This is a beer made for beach pounding. 


Boulder Beer Scourge of the Dude

This is a 12.5% ABV barleywine aged in bourbon barrels. It is from the Boulder Beer Company of Boulder, Colorado. 

The beer pours a beautiful deep, yet clear, ruby and deep amber. There is nearly an inch of smooth, tan foam. The aroma is bourbon, vanilla, oak, white grape raisins, piney, lightly spicy, background of cherries, and ripples of caramel. The taste follows the aromas, melded into a melodious whole. The beer drinks smooth as silk, light (hard to believe it is 12.5%), but with ample body, with a tannic dryness on the finish. The vapors of bourbon fill the nasal cavities. This is transcendentally wonderful.


Dos Equis Special Lager

Dos Equis Lager Especial is from the Cerveceria Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma of Monterrey, Mexico. It is 4.3% ABV.


The beer pours a dark golden in color with a short white head that does not last long. There is a mild aroma of light malty grain and very light apple, with just a touch of lager funk. The taste follows the aromas, but is actually slightly better, mildly malty, drinking smooth and moderately carbonated. There is just a bit of a wet cardboard off note in the aftertaste. This is a touch bit better than Tecate.


Friday, February 6, 2015

Tecate

Tecate is from the Cerveceria Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma of Monterrey, Mexico. It is a 4.5% ABV lager. I picked up a mixed twelve pack from the brewery to get the Dos Equis Invierno, and was really surprised that I did not have reviews on here for the Tecate, Sol, and Dos Equis Special Lager (green bottle) that also came in the box.  Guess it's been longer than I thought. I must not drink beer at Mexican restaurants enough anymore.


The beer pours a dark golden, honey, veering towards a hint of amber. There is very little head. The aroma is a touch sweet, malty grain, a touch of wet cardboard, and a bit of a tang. The taste follows the aromas, but a bit cleaner overall. The beer drinks smooth and moderately carbonated. Not bad for an adjunct lager.