Monthly Archives: October 2011

Victory Hop Devil

Victory Hop Devil

What’s in a name? The promise of a hop bludgeoning from Victory Hop Devil.  And one of the coolest labels ever.That’s a tattoo waiting to happen.

The aroma delivers on the hop promise but there’s more to it than just hops. Lemon and toast, as well. The flavor is big with hops, but thankfully not overpowering. Loads of citrus and pine, but a hefty amount of malt gives this beer a very nice body. The finish is dry, almost bitter enough to make your eyes water, and it’s got some staying power. Hop heads won’t be disappointed with this one.

I enjoyed it. Not for the weak palated!

Grade: B

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Avery Out of Bonds Stout

Avery Out of Bounds Stout

If you like your stouts big and roasty (and you should), then the inviting aroma of Avery Out of Bonds Stout will draw you in very quickly.

Color is right on, deep brown with amber edges. But it’s the smell that will hook you early. Luckily, the taste is even more delicious. Roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, anise, and big body. The finish is dry, quite bitter, and chalky.

This doesn’t have the accoutrements of oatmeal, coffee, barrel aged, or any of that, but it doesn’t need it. A stout done right, this is one to find. And at 6.3% ABV, a few will put you where you want to be without being too much.

Grade: A

 

 

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Ohio Brewing Cardinal Ale

Ohio Brewing Cardinal Ale

It’s always nice to try a new beer and a new brewery from my home state of Ohio. From Akron, this is Ohio Brewing Cardinal Ale.

Described as an Irish Red, the white head is tenacious. The color is more orange than red, however.Toasted malt and light hops come through in the nose. It’s  light and crisp, but the flavor is a little off. It’s sour and just plain doesn’t taste right.

Based on reviews I’m seeing elsewhere, and some of the sediment I’m seeing in the glass, I think I’ve got a bad bottle. At least I hope so. Not a great first try for Ohio Brewing for me, but I will certainly give them another shot.

Grade: Incomplete

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Mikkeller Chipotle Porter

Mikkeller Chipotle Porter

The elusive chile beer. It’s a style I’ve been wanting to try for years, literally, and I’m glad I finally got one with Mikkeller Chipotle Porter.

The color is spot on but there isn’t much head. A lot of roasted notes and smoke in the aroma. The flavor is like you’d expect. A velvety smooth smoked porter with chile heat at the end. It’s a late heat that really lingers. I’d put the heat on a level close to a mild jalapeno.Certainly not overpowering. And, since it’s a porter, if you search for some bittersweet chocolate, you’ll find it. The smoke comes out more as it warms.

Really pleased with my first chile beer and I want more!

Grade: A

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Flying Dog Raging Bitch Belgian IPA

Flying Dog Raging Bitch

Flying Dog Raging Bitch Belgian IPA.

I’m curious what will make this Belgian. The color is a light orange and the head is bigger and sticking aroun.

The smell is both hoppy and yeasty. Lots of orange and coriander before the hops come in. Not a ton of malt here. But a very bitter finish. Outstanding lacing. I’m getting more Belgian than IPA, but I like this. I believe I’m a fan of these kind of hybrids in general.

Overall, a pretty tasty brew, and it’s nice to see some innovation in the style.

Grade: B

P.S. I have only been listening to songs with Bitch in the title while writing this. Let’s dig on some Stones together, shall we?

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Bard’s Beer

Bard's

I’m rather intrigued by Bard’s Beer, as this is will be my first gluten free beer. I certainly feel for those who have celiac disease and can’t eat or drink anything with wheat or barley (so I assume they can have Bud Light), as I suffer from a similar disorder.

The color is nice, there isn’t much head, but the smell isn’t giving me a lot of promise. The flavor is…not especially pleasant. I can’t even figure out how to describe it. I knew not to expect anything like other light amber ales, but all I am getting is what I assume is the sorghum. No other kind of hops or nuances.

I really wanted to like this beer, but I just don’t. I think making an IPA out of this and masking the flavor the malt would be a good direction. I don’t think it’s badly brewed, I just think I don’t dig on sorghum. Unfortunate.

Grade: D

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Southern Tier Creme Brulee Stout

Southern Tier Creme Brulee Stout

The intoxicating and inviting aromas of South Tier Creme Brulee Stout draw you in the second you pop the top. Tons of toffee, butterscotch, and milk in the nose and a gorgeous dark tan head floating on a sea of black.

Sweet sugar with a little bit of char to go along with the butterscotch and warm milk and a very creamy texture. There’s also a hop bite at the back end to remind you it’s a beer. Never having had Creme Brulee (I know, how bourgeois of me) I can’t say how close it is to Creme Brulee in a bottle, but gosh is it tasty. Might be too sweet for some, but I think it’s delicious. The burnt flavor lingers more than anything, but it goes very well with the sweetness. Not even a hint of the whopping 9.6% ABV

Excellent brew!

 

Grade: A

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Founders Porter

Founders Porter

This is one I’ve been trying to get my hands on for a while, because whenever I tell people porter is my favorite style, the next question is if I have had Founders Porter. So I must admit, even before the first sip, the bar is set very high.

Pour is just what I like; inky black and there’s not even color around the edges. It’s solid black with a thin head that doesn’t last long. Inviting roasty smell. The roast carries on into the flavor, but it doesn’t over power the smooth chocolate. The chocolate notes here are not as bitter as other porters. More of a milk chocolate. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. Hops and toasted bread come out more as it warms. Long finish that’s dry with just a hint of bitterness.

Nothing not to like about this one!

 

Grade: A

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Life and Limb Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada

Life and Limb Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada

Clearly, every craft brewery wants to sell tons of beer and make huge profits, but there is a sense of camaraderie amongst craft brewers in a love of great beer. That love is displayed here with the Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada collaboration brew, Life and Limb. Heck, it even is its own website!

The expectations are high here and the beer starts off big with a huge off white head and deep mahogany color. Lots of spice and dark fruit in the smell. Tons of sweet malt, maple syrup, some smokiness, anise, followed by a long, dry finish. The hops eventually give a bit of a kick along with some cherries.

Big, complex, well balanced. There’s some boozy warmth, but I wouldn’t guess it is 10%. Delicious and a great of example of a beer brewed with passion, knowledge, and love. Get it

Grade: A+

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Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale

Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale

After a run of authentic Trappist ales recently, I’m interested in an American taken on the version with Dark Horse Sapient Trip Ale. 

The color is lighter than I expected for a Belgian Trippel. The fluffy white heads deflates rather quickly, but it is sticking around with tenacity. Lots of banana and sour malt in the nose. Similar flavors with more of the slightly sour malt and some clove and spice in the finish. Very smooth and crisp. Not even a hint of the powerful 8.5% ABV. Very little hop presence.

It tastes good, it’s easy to drink, but I think I’d rather have a Rochefort 10 or La Trappe Quad anytime.

Grade: B

 

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