Monthly Archives: February 2012

Mendocino Oatmeal Stout

Mendocino Oatmeal Stout

Perhaps best known for the bird theme on all its beers, Mendocino should also be noted for being part of the craft beer Renaissance in the US, opening in the early 80s. In fact, it was the first brewpub in California and second in the US overall.

The aroma of the Mendocino Oatmeal Stout promises lots of oatmeal flavor along with oily hops and perhaps some molasses. Full of big, earthy flavors, this is a very smooth stout. Roasted oats dominate (as they should), followed by bittersweet chocolate, bourbon, and wood. Floral hops make a nice presence at the end, but don’t overshadow anything.

Quite quaffable, but I wouldn’t be opposed to more oatmeal in this

Grade: B

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Diamond Bear Paradise Porter

Diamond Bear Paradise Porter

As I continue my way through a delightful collection of beers given to me over the holidays, tonight it is Diamond Bear Paradise Porter.

Some unfamiliar fragrances for a porter here with raspberry coming through quite a bit. Unfamiliar flavors, too. Gone are the chocolate and coffee you might expect, replaced with nutty malt, raspberry, pretzels, wood, and an extremely dry and chalky finish. The grassy hops are quite aggressive for a porter, too.

Very different. Give it a try.

Grade: B

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Jamaica Stout

Jamaica Stout

This will be my first journey to the Caribbean beer scene, and I must admit a stout is not something I would expect to come out of Jamaica.

It sure looks right. Completely black underneath a giant, frothy, khaki head. Smells pretty good, too, with lots of toffee and some bit alcohol notes. Mouthfeel is surprising light and slick, but there are a lot of flavors here to like. Toffee, rum, brown sugar, big alcohol bite, and at 7.6% ABV, that’s not surprising. The hops are kind of funky, and not necessarily in a good way.

I didn’t have big expectations, but this is unique and pretty tasty. Worth giving a toss

Grade: B

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Mustang Brewing Winter Lager

Mustang Brewing Winter Lager

This will be the first beer I’ve had not only from this brewery, but also the first from Oklahoma.

The color is just barely on this side being amber. Clear as glass with a quickly dissipating head. Cereal grains and grass come through rather strongly. The hops add just a touch of bitterness at the end.

I was excited to try a beer from a new brewery, unfortunately, this didn’t really stand out for me. It’s not bad, but it’s a pretty average amber lager. I have no idea what is supposed to make this “winter”.

If you’re looking for something with some flavor, not a ton of complexity, and won’t blow you away with hops or malt, this could fit.

Grade: C

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Abita Turbodog

Abita Turbodog

Once named America’s best beer (albeit by Stuff Magaine), Abita Turbodog is an English style brown ale. The aroma is full of toffee and that mineral rich hard water sometimes found in other English brown ales.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly light, with toffee and roasted (but not toasted) grain as the dominant flavors. The hard water character is there, as well, along with a bit of citrus from the hops.

It’s not bad, but the flavors seem a bit muddled and subtle. I’ve had this before and I remember thinking it was great, so I’m wondering if this is an off batch. It might be.

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Thirsty Dog Old Leghumper

Thirsty Dog Old Leghumper

Don’t let a somewhat goofy name like Old Leghumper fool you, Thirsty Dog’s Robust Porter means business!

Very nice black pour accented with a creamy beige head. The aroma promises deep, roasted goodness. And not just roasted, but a bit of char here. Loads of coffee, even a hint of marshmallow. Some bittersweet chocolate, as expected, but the toasted malt and coffee dominate. It’s nice that a beer branded as a robust porter is more aggressive than other porters.

Overall, familiar porter flavors, just a bit more kick. A lot to like here.

Grade: A

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Great Divide Claymore Scotch Ale

The first thing that surprised me about Great Divide Claymore Scotch Ale is how dark it is! Most Scotch Ales fall somewhere between amber to ruby, but this is mahogany to brown. Mind you, that’s not a bad thing.

I always start Scotch Ales with a bit of apprehension that they’re going to be too hopped. Thankfully, Great Divide has used restraint in the right way here. Smoked peat, toasted malt with just a hint of sweetness, but it’s far from cloying. Chocolate, raisins, and some wood in the finish. Hops do add some bitterness but they are kept in check, just like they should be in this style.

Pretty tasty!

Grade: B

Great Divide Claymore
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Heavy Seas Plank I

Heavy Seas Plank I

Heavy Seas gets me on theme alone, but this English Old Ale with a unique aging process, Plank I, really has me intrigued.

Murky brown with a beige head, just from the smell, expect this to be big and malty. Indeed, it is! Full and round butterscotch flavor coats everything. Decidedly on the sweet side of things, but the hops cut through at just the right time to bring some balance. Hints of cherry and vanilla are there and a certain wood-like quality in the finish. Though I’m wondering if I would notice it if I didn’t know to expect it.

Big flavor, creamy mouthfeel, not overly bitter. Complex and tasty flavors. Plank I is a winnerrrr!

Grade: A

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Where Does the Super Bowl Rank in Beer Drinking Holidays

Behind Easter, surprisingly!

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Weihenstephaner Korbinian

Weihenstephaner Korbinian

Brewing as early as the 8th century, and in continuous operation since the 11th century, Weihenstephaner has had a few years to get things right. Doppelbocks, such as Korbinian , were originally brewed to help monks sustain themselves during times of fasting, so of course you would expect these to be especially tasty, and nutritious!

Korbinian pours a deep mahogany with ruby edges. The aroma is caramel and a hint of raisin. The first sip, and you know this is special. Remarkably smooth, full, and creamy, the caramel, dark chocolate, and toffee flavors completely coat the mouth. The hops make a bit of an appearance, but this is, as it should be, a beer that is all about the malt. The 7.4% ABV warms just a bit as it goes down.

Love this beer. Full of delicious flavor, creamy mouthfeel, nicely balanced with the hops. Flawless.

Grade: A

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