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 melt 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.  


Exile Zoltan Session IPA

This 4.8% ABV session India Pale Ale is from the Exile Brewing Company  of Des Moines, Iowa. 

The beer pours a lightly hazy yellow golden. There is a short head of white foam. The aroma is light, with passion fruit, citrus, and just a touch of mango skin. The taste follows the aromas, with a bit of earthy dank on the back end. The finish is dry and lightly bitter. The beer drinks easy, crisp, refreshingly carbonated. This drinks great, but is a little light on flavor.  


Sierra Nevada Beer Camp 2017 Golden IPA

This 6.5% ABV golden India Pale Ale is a one-time spring seasonal release from the Beer Camp series from Sierra Nevada Brewing of Chico, California.


The beer pours a hazy golden yellow. There is a massive, foamy, bubbling white head that grows and comes out of the glass. The beer is wildly effervescent. The aroma is citrus, bread dough, with a bit of mango skin. The taste follows the aromas, and drinks very clean, with a moderate bitterness on the finish. The beer drinks crisp with bubbling carbonation. This is very enjoyable!


Saturday, April 1, 2017

Hoof Hearted Zipper Ripper

This is a 8.5% ABV double India Pale Ale from Hoof Hearted Brewing of Marengo, Ohio. It is made with wildflower honey.

The beer pours a hazy honey golden. There is nearly an inch of white, foamy head. The aroma is passion fruit and citrus. The taste follows the aromas. The finish is moderately bitter. The beer drinks with a moderate carbonation, quenching, melding in refreshment with grapefruit citrus and guava. The honey comes through in the aftertaste. This is solid.  


Hoof Hearted Everybody Wants Some!! DIPA (Mosaic)

This is a 8.0% ABV double India Pale Ale from Hoof Hearted Brewing of Marengo, Ohio. It features Mosaic hops.

The beer pours a hazy light yellow golden in color. There is a very tall, foaming, bubbling head of white. The aroma is a big, juicy, ripe tropical blast, loads and loads of mango, with some guava and passion fruit. The taste follows the aromas, a hurricane of tropical flavors, very lush. You can practically bite into and chew the flavors of this beer. The beer drinks smooth, with soft carbonation. The finish is dry, but with fairly light bitterness. This is delicious!


Hoof Hearted Key Bump Triple IPA

This is a 10.5% ABV triple India Pale Ale from Hoof Hearted Brewing of Marengo, Ohio.


The beer pours a cloudy light yellow in color, like a cloudy lemon meringue. There is over an inch of thick, foamy, white head that leaves thick curtains of lace down the glass. The aroma is bright, tangy, citrus, with tropical fruit, mango, and a bit of dankness. The taste follows the aromas, blast of citrus and tropical. There is fairly light bitterness, particularly for the style. The finish is dry. The beer drinks very easy, it is smooth, light and airy without being watery. It is amazing that this is 10.5% ABV. This is top notch stuff.   


Boone Valley Brewing IPA

This 6.8% ABV India Pale Ale is from the Boone Valley Brewing Company of Boone, Iowa. 


The beer pours a very deep and dark amber and copper. This is the darkest IPA I have ever seen,. There is a half-inch of thick light tan head. The aroma is big, sweet, citrus, oranges especially, and a bit of pine. The taste follows the aromas, big, orange, sweet, roasted and caramel malt, with a bit of tang and a lot of bitter, along with some pine. The beer drinks very smooth, with the sweet battling the bitter to a near win for the bitter. This is one very interesting IPA, and I would drink it again.  


New Belgium Dayblazer

This 4.8% ABV "Easygoing Ale" is from New Belgium Brewing of Fort Collins, Colorado. 

 The beer pours a deep golden in color. There is a half-inch of white head. The aroma is very mild, just a bit of toasted grain, mango skin, and lemon. The taste is also mild, light toasted grain. The finish is dry with light bitterness. There is a very light note of dank on the aftertaste. The beer drinks very easy and refreshing. This beer is well constructed, enjoyable in its way, but is so very light on aroma and flavor.


Friday, March 31, 2017

Schell's Hop Frost #4 Kolsch-Style

This beer is from the most recent sampler pack from August Schell Brewery of New Ulm, Minnesota. They are the second oldest family owned brewery in the United States (over 150 years and counting).  They brought in flash frozen hops from Germany and brewed four different styles of beer. This is a kolsch-style ale brewed with Mandarina Bavaria hops.

The beer pours a clear dark golden. There is nearly an inch of white foamy head. The aroma is grains, bread dough, light floral, with a grassy bitterness. The taste follows the aromas, adding in a light, but bright note of mandarin orange. The grain/bread notes are rich, with a dry bitterness refreshing on the finish. The beer drinks very easy, tingling with carbonation, a bit brassy on the end. The fruit amplifies in the aftertaste.


Shell's Frost Hop #3 Pilsner

This beer is from the most recent sampler pack from August Schell Brewery of New Ulm, Minnesota. They are the second oldest family owned brewery in the United States (over 150 years and counting).  They brought in flash frozen hops from Germany and brewed four different styles of beer. This is a pilsner brewed with German Huell Melon hops.


The beer pours a yellow golden, champagne, in color. There is over an inch of white foamy head. The aroma is hay, golden grains, bread, with light honeydew melon. The taste follows the aromas, hay and straw, bread dough, light melon, but with a bracingly bitter finish. The beer drinks crisp, fresh and easy. This is a tasty and refreshing take on the pilsner style.  



Schell's Hop Frost #2 Export Style

This beer is from the most recent sampler pack from August Schell Brewery of New Ulm, Minnesota. They are the second oldest family owned brewery in the United States (over 150 years and counting).  They brought in flash frozen hops from Germany and brewed four different styles of beer. This is a German Export Style beer brewed with Tettnang hops.

The beer pours dark golden in color. There is a half-inch of white head. The aroma is a bit sweet, floral, fresh baked bread and pastries. The beer drinks smooth, bread and pastries, with a floral and grassy bitter finish. This has a nice smooth and creamy body, but also crisp carbonation. This is tasty and pleasing to drink.  


Schell's Frost Hop #1 - Helles

This beer is from the most recent sampler pack from August Schell Brewery of New Ulm, Minnesota. They are the second oldest family owned brewery in the United States (over 150 years and counting).  They brought in flash frozen hops from Germany and brewed four different styles of beer. This is a Helles lager with Hallertauer Mittelfruh hops. 


The beer pours a gleaming golden yellow in color. There is a half-inch of white foamy head, not particularly long-lasting. The aroma is toasted grain, damp straw, light grass. The taste follows the aromas, grain, straw, a bit of bread, with a very bitter finish. The beer drinks very crisp, well carbonated. This is a beer's beer for lager drinkers.