Sunday, May 14, 2017

New Belgium Whizbang Hoppy Blonde Ale

This 5.7% ABV beer from New Belgium Brewing of Fort Collins, Colorado features Mosaic hops.  


The beer pours deep honey golden. There is a half-inch of white head. The aroma is musky, citrus, mango skin. The taste follows the aromas, bursting with big, earthy, tropical flavors. The finish is dry with a moderate bitterness. The beer drinks with a medium body and moderate carbonation. Man, this really tastes good.  


Guinness Irish Wheat

From the famous Guinness Brewery, established in 1759 at St. Jame's Gate, Dublin, Ireland, comes this beer from their Brewer's Project, which has more varied recipes. It is 5.3% ABV and made with 100% Irish wheat.


The beer pours a hazed golden in color. There is an inch of pure white head, which dwindles down to a short soft layer of white. The aroma is citrus and light toasted wheat, with a light floral/banana yeast ester note. The taste follows the aromas, floral/banana, toasted wheat, and citrus all again. The beer drinks soft, smooth, with a mild to moderate floral bitterness on the finish. If you like wheat beers this is quite nice.  



Summit Pilsener

This 4.5% ABV pilsener style beer is from the Summit Brewing Company of St. Paul, Minnesota. 

The beer pours a dark golden with nearly an inch of white head that is not particularly long-lasting. The aroma is grains, French bread, bread dough, with a touch of hay and honey. The taste follows the aromas, hitting the same notes, great flavor here. The beer drinks easy, smooth, with a perfect level of carbonation, neither too strong nor too weak. This beer, along with their Keller pils and their summer ale, are like a perfect summer beer drinking trifecta.


Central Waters Y2K Barleywine

This barleywine is from the Central Waters Brewing Company of Amherst, Wisconsin. They age it for two years before release.


The beer pours a very deep amber and brown/orange, gem-like dark citrine. There is half an inch of tan head. The aroma is rich, buttery, caramel and toffee, along with dark fruits and candied orange peel. The taste follows the aromas, there is a deep roasted note holding down the end, it is sweet, but ending very dry and bitter, with an oak like astringency. The beer drinks smooth with a soft background carbonation.  


Rockdale Classic

This 5.0% ABV lager is Walmart's store brand beer. It is brewed in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, I am assuming by City Brewing under contract. There is also a light version. Is it just me, or is the can trying to be Coors?

The beer pours a deep golden in color. There is about an inch of white had that quickly fizzes down. The beer is well carbonated. The aroma is cooked cereal grains, with light cooked vegetable and wet cardboard. The taste follows the aromas, is mostly cooked cereal grains, with just a bit of the off-note vegetable and cardboard. It is about a draw between sweet and dry, the winner alternates back and forth. There is no bitterness, not much hops in this beer. It drinks with a pleasantly stinging carbonation. For its price point, this is fairly benign, meaning, not terrible.


Saturday, May 6, 2017

Breckenridge Stranahan's Well Built

This 8.8% ABV Burton style ale aged in Stranahan's whiskey barrels is from the Breckenridge Brewery of Denver, Colorado. Burton ale is an English style, a rich, dark, strong amber ale. 


The beer pours a hazy medium-dark brown. There is a short head of tan foam. The aroma is toffee, dark caramel, roasted, oak, vanilla, whiskey, cherry. The taste follows the aromas note for note. There is sweetness, but it comes to a distinctly dry finish, but with light to moderate bitterness. The beer drinks smooth, with medium carbonation. This is nicely done, flavorful and enjoyable.


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Hoof Hearted Miracle Toast

This 10.0% ABV Imperial Stout is from Hoof Hearted Brewing of Marengo, Ohio. It is made with maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon. 

The beer pours black, with a quarter inch of tan head, foamy and creamy. The aroma is cinnamon, vanilla, sweet, with dark roasted malt, light chocolate, and coffee. The taste is a well balanced blend of all of the aromas, with a moderately bitter finish, more dry than sweet. The beer drinks very smooth and creamy, amazing that it is 10%.


Friday, April 28, 2017

Boone Valley Brewing Ol' Griz 2016

This 11.5% ABV barley wine ale is from the Boone Valley Brewing Company of Boone, Iowa. It is an annual release, and this 2016 bottle is 375 out of 519.

The beer pours a cloudy medium dark brown. There is a short head of tan foam, not particularly long lasting. The aroma is caramel, dark caramel, toffee, a touch of vanilla, along with some dark berry notes. The taste follows the aromas, rich, lots of caramel, toasted, with an oaky astringency. There is much sweetness, but the finish is mostly dry. There is a fair amount of bitterness in the finish. The beer drinks quite smooth, with almost no carbonation. I would like to try this aged, and also barrel-aged. I would guess that this will develop nicely in the bottle over time.  


New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA

This 9.0% ABV Imperial India Pale Ale is from New Belgium Brewing of Fort Collins, Colorado. It uses Mosaic, Delta, Bravo, Centennial, Cascade, and Calypso hops. It is one of several new year round beers they are offering.

The beer pours light copper in color. There is a billowing tall head of off-white foam. The aroma is passion fruit, melons, floral and citrus. The taste follows the aromas, adding in some deeper, rich tropical tones, like guava. The beer drinks very smooth and soft, with light carbonation. The finish is dry and moderately bitter, just tamping down what is some ample sweetness from the malt. This is pretty good, especially considering the price (it was just under $9 for a six pack) for decently tasty 9% Imperial IPA.  


Clown Shoes Archdruid

Clown Shoes Beer comes from the Mercury Brewing Company of Ipswich, Massachusetts. This is a 9.0% ABV red ale aged in Irish whiskey barrels.


The beer pours red and dark copper. There is a short head of tan foam. The aroma is malty, caramel, whiskey, sweet, tangy, oak. I am a bit worried about the tang; is it congruous to the named style? The taste follows the aromas, hitting the same notes, but with a distinct sourness, something is not right here. A quick internet search shows that these bottles were contaminated and went sour. The beer drinks smooth. This actually made a decent malty red sour, in almost a Flanders red style, but I was in the mood for what the bottle said it would be, and unfortunately, it is no longer that.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Great Divide Yeti

This is a 9.5% ABV imperial stout from the Great Divide Brewing Company in Denver, Colorado.

The beer pours black like used motor oil. There is a tall half-inch head of dark brown foam. The aroma is big, sweet, a bit boozy, chocolate and char, with dark fruits. The taste takes the aromas, kicks them up a notch, and adds in a big kicker of very dark roast and char. There is much sweetness, but enough hops to bring it to a mostly dry, and fairly bitter finish. The beer drinks smooth and round, with tingles of carbonation.  


O'Hara's Irish Stout

This is a 4.3% ABV Irish stout. It is from the Carlow Brewing Company of Carlow, Ireland.

The beer pours black, with dark brown on the edges. There is a short head of tan foam. The aroma is dark roasted malts, lots of chocolate, a bit of coffee and some char. The taste follows the aromas note for note. The beer drinks easy, with some fizz of carbonation. The end is dry with a moderate bitterness. This is very nice tasting, and easy to drink.


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Warsteiner Grapefruit

This 2.5% ABV grapefruit radler is from the Warsteiner brewery in Warstein, Germany. 

The beer pours a lightly hazed golden and grapefruit skin in color. There is a fizzy inch of white head. The aroma is a blast of grapefruit juice, mouthwatering. The taste is grapefruit juice over toasted grain, both sweet and tart. The beer drinks smooth with moderate carbonation. This is very refreshing and a well done radler.  


Mistress Brewing Jackie Brown

This is a 5.0% ABV English-style brown ale. It is from the Mistress Brewing Company of Ankeny, Iowa. 

The beer pours a medium dark brown, yet clear, with very dark amber. There is a half-inch of tan foam, not long lasting. The aroma is toasted malt, followed by yeast esters, floral, cloves. The taste follows the aromas. There is a note of English-Style brown ale in there, but the rest of the Belgian/contamination notes are not right at all. It finishes oddly spicy, with a touch of soapiness. This is not good. I have tried three Mistress beers, and they better get better fast, or they won't last long. They are not currently good enough to survive in this very competitive, nearly saturated market.


Big Sky Moose Drool Brown Ale

This 5.2% ABV brown ale is from Big Sky Brewing of Missoula, Montana.

The beer pours a very dark brown with some dark ruby tints. There is a half-inch of tan head. The aroma is roasted malt, nutty, dark caramel. The taste follows the same notes as the aromas. There is just a bit of bitterness on the end, balancing out the sweetness of the malt. The beer drinks very easy; this is one quaffable brown ale. A solid standard bearer.  


Boone Valley Brewing Roxie

This 5.5% ABV Irish red ale is from the Boone Valley Brewing Company of Boone, Iowa. 

The beer pours medium brown, red tinged, dark copper tinged. There is a thin, short-lived head of tan. The aroma is malty, caramel and toffee, with some dark fruits. The taste follows the aromas, richly malty, much caramel, with some taste and tang of dark fruit, blackberry and raspberry. The finish is neither bitter nor sweet, in equilibrium. The beer drinks smooth, with intensely fine carbonation. This is very good, but could use just a wee bit more body for its wonderful flavor (but not too much, I like its drinkability; yes, nitpicking now).


Millstream Fuzz

This kolsch-style ale with peach is from the Millstream Brewing Company of Amana, Iowa.


The beer pours a cloudy pale and light yellow. There is a very short head of white. The aroma is a blast of peach nectar with a bit of toasted grain. The taste follows the aromas, blast of peach nectar, blast of toasted grain, followed by an alternating fade out of peach. There is a light to moderate bitterness on the finish. The beer drinks with a light smoothness. Many beers mixing fruit with another style of beer sound good, but don't quite meld together well. This is another.  


New Belgium Juicy Watermelon

This 5.0% ABV watermelon lime ale is a new summer beer from New Belgium Brewing of Fort Collins, Colorado. 


The beer pours an orange tinged honey golden. There is a very short and short-lived head of white. The aroma is mild watermelon and lime, over toasted grain with a touch of honey. The taste follows the aromas, mild, pleasant, watermelon, touch of sweet, and touch of citrus tang. There is no bitterness. The beer drinks soft and easy.  


Sunday, April 9, 2017

Mistress Brewing Wit or Without You Witbier

This is a 5.0% ABV witbier, ale brewed with coriander and orange peel. It is from the Mistress Brewing Company of Ankeny, Iowa. 


The beer pours a lightly hazed yellow golden. There is a short head of white foam. The beer pours with high carbonation, coating all the sides of the glass. The aroma is yeast esters, banana, cloves, along with coriander, toasted wheat and light lemon. The taste follows the aromas. The beer drinks with a good body and full flavor, yet light and easy drinking.The finish is a bit dry, with light floral bitterness.  


Peace Tree Ohhh!

This 5.0% ABV pale lager is from the Peace Tree Brewing Company in Knoxville, Iowa (and now Des Moines). It was made in collaboration with the annual Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival, which has its 10th anniversary this year. It was made to complement bacon.

The beer pours golden in color. There is a short-lived head of white foam. The aroma is hay, honey, a touch floral, with cooked, malted grain. The taste follows the aromas, a sweet, malty lager. There is a light grassy bitterness on the finish, which is as sweet as it is dry. The beer drinks easy, smooth, but with intensely tingling fine carbonation.  


Lagunitas The Down Low Ale

This 3.9% ABV session copper ale  is from the Lagunitas Brewing Company of Petaluma, California (and now with a brewery in Chicago, Illinois). 


The beer pours an apricot and burnt orange in color. There is a very tall, foaming, billowing head of off-white. The aroma is of oranges, citrus, a bit of guava or passion fruit. The taste follows the aromas, much orange, some overripe tropical, and an earthy, spicy, almost tobacco leaf like note. The beer drinks very light, with a light to moderate bitterness, and a dry finish.  


Sunday, April 2, 2017

Third Street Brewhouse Minnesota Gold Lager

Third Street Brewhouse is the craft beer offshoot of the Cold Spring Brewery of Cold Spring, Minnesota. They are doing lots of cans now, and this is their 4.9% ABV lager. 


The beer pours a lightly hazed golden yellow. There is about an inch of white foam head, not long lasting. The aroma is bread dough, with a touch of floral and citrus. The taste follows the aromas, malty and bready, a touch of clover honey, with a mild floral and grassy bitterenss on the finish. The beer has good body, a bit smooth, but with surprisingly intense carbonation (it's not super bubbly, but still has strong carbonation feel in the mouth). This is a good summer day American lager.  


Lift Bridge 93X Brotherhood Beer

This 4.5% ABV "Smooth-Ass Beer"  is from The Lift Bridge Brewing Company of Stillwater, Minnesota. It was made in collaboration with a Minneapolis radio station, 93X, and their Half-Assed Morning Show. 


The beer pours honey golden, lightly hazed. There is a relatively short head of white foam. The aroma is lightly malty, bread dough, a bit of honey. The taste follows the aromas, malty, bready, a touch sweet, with a mild grassy bitterness on the finish. The beer drinks smooth, with a soft carbonation. This is solidly inoffensive.  


Mistress Brewing Caught Red Handed

This is a 6.0% ABV red India Pale Ale from the Mistress Brewing Company of Ankeny, Iowa. 

The beer pours a reddish medium brown in color. There is a short head of light tan foam. The aroma is floral and yeast esters over caramel malt, a bit spiced. The taste follows the aromas, spicy, floral, caramel, adding in dark fruits and berries. The finish is very bitter. The beer drinks a bit smooth, with tingling carbonation. I don't like the clashing flavors, overwhelming, floral and bitter, with a tang on the back of the throat. I can see where some may quite like this, but it isn't to my taste.