Monthly Archives: March 2012

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout

If the name has you thinking this is a straightforward chocolate stout, the aroma will let you know you’ve wandered into Imperial Stout territory with Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout.

The pour is as dark as you’ll find with a fluffy dark tan head. The smell is filled with toasted and charred malts, dark fruits, and dark rum. The flavor is complex and powerful. A hit of alcohol comes first, followed by charred marshmallows, dark fruit, and chocolate. Noticeable kick from the hops leads to a long, dry, woody, slightly sour finish.

Very big, very tasty. Grade: B

 

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North Coast Red Seal Ale

Spicy hops aromas lead the way in North Coast Red Seal Ale. It’s more of a hazy copper than it is red, however.

Slightly roasted and slightly sweet malt are balanced very well by the spicy, piney hops. There’s even an underlying hint of ginger, I believe.The finish is long, dry, and more bitter than expected. Overall, the flavors are not overpowering or particularly big, but it tastes good and it’s well balanced.

Pretty tasty red ale, this. Maybe not on the same level as other North Coast offerings such as Old Rasputin and Old Stock ale, but you won’t be disappointed.

North Coast Red Seal Ale

Grade: B

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Boulevard Bully Porter

Boulevard Bully! Porter

A very well regarded brew, I have been wanting to try Boulevard Bully! Porter for a while.

Pours very dark brown, but not quite black. Chocolate, wood, and cherries fill the nose. Roasted flavors dominate the palate and a kick of bitterness speaks to a higher hops level than most porters. Charred wood, slightly overdone coffee and dark cherries come through in the flavor, as well.

It’s different than a lot of porters. Definitely hoppier. Considering they use 5 kinds of hops, that’s not surprising. This is on the side of hoppy porter more than it is Black IPA. Mouthfeel also might not be as creamy and smooth as other porters. Still tasty.

Grade: B

 

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Duclaw Sawtooth

Duclaw Sawtooth

With the weather we’ve had around here recently, nothing wrong with going for a beer with a distinctly more summer feel, like Duclaw Sawtooth, a Belgian White.

Big white head floats on top of hazy gold. The high carbonation is very evident. Nose is overflowing with orange, coriander, and spicy yeast, just like it should be. Sweet grapes and honey come through first followed by orange and lemon. Mix of pepper and a touch of bitterness from the hops at the end. There might even be a touch of anise.

Light, crisp, refreshing. All the familiar flavors of a Belgian Witbier, with a few different ones to make it more interesting. Plus, at only 4.8% ABV, you can easily enjoy several of these. I’m quite impressed.

Grade: A

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Boddington’s Pub Ale

Boddington's Pub Ale

A once thriving beer brought down after its purchase by InBev, Boddington’s Pub Ale is an English Bitter. The nitro can gives it an amazingly creamy and fluffy off white head. The color is nice, a crystal clear deep gold.

The flavor is, different. There are tastes recognizable from similarly canned Guinness. Some grassy grains come through, as well as an off putting metallic taste. Hops do provide a little bitterness.

It’s not getting any better as it warms, unfortunately. I’m glad this was a gift. To put it plainly, it just doesn’t taste good.

Grade: D

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Evil Twin Before, During, and After Christmas

Evil Twin Before, During, and After Christmas

Don’t let the name fool you, Evil Twin Before, During and After Christmas is not a winter warmer full of cinnamon and nutmeg, it’s a monster Double IPA.

You’ll know before the first sip from the hazy orange color, creamy white head, and huge hops aromas. Hops dominate the flavor, too. Lots of pine and citrus. A hint of caramel and bread. Outstanding lacing. Fantastically bitter, too. I wasn’t able to find an IBU rating, but it would not surprise me if this is 100+.

If you like bruising IPAs, seek this one out!

 

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Biere D’Abbye Lacu

Biere d'Abbaye Lacu

An Italian take on a classic Belgian style, the first thing you will notice about Lacu is its frothy, creamy, and unyielding head. This hazy golden ale’s aroma is full of lemon, orange, and yeast.

Sweet grapes, grassy malt, and a mix of lemon and orange. Hops provide just a touch of bitterness. The 6.3% ABV warms a bit, as well. I also like the champagne characteristics with its effervescence, slightly dry finish, and flavor.

Lacu is smooth, creamy, and exceptionally well balanced. It will also take forever to get through it because the glass is half full of foam after every pour.

Perhaps not mind-blowing, but my, is that tasty

Grade: A

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