Monthly Archives: May 2012

Foothills Torch Pilsner

Foothills Torch Pilsner

An angry Viking with a beard of flames doesn’t necessarily make me think “Pilsner”, but the color of Foothills Torch is quite a bit darker than your average macro pilsner. Still clear and see through, though.  Grassy hops in the aroma really showcase the difference, too.

The flavor is full of Saaz hops with a crisp, tart, dry finish. Slightly toasted malt comes through along with with hints of grapefruit. Hops get more aggressive as it warms.

Perhaps the most aggressive and hoppiest pilsners I’ve had. Still, very tasty and quite a bit of flavor compared to other pilsners. Only 5.3% so it’s a pretty good session beer.

If you want a pilsner with a kick, find it!

Grade: B

 

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French Broad Wee-Heavy-er Scotch Ale

French Broad Wee-Heavy-ErI’m very pleased that my fee for helping some friends move was a 6 pack of North Carolina beers that I can’t get here in Ohio. My first is French Broad Wee-Heavy-er Scotch Ale.

Pours nicely with a bigger head than most Scotch Ales, and that familiar deep amber color. Toasted malt and toffee are coming through in the aroma. Rather inviting. Surprising amount of chocolate in the flavor. Toffee and smoked malt are rather noticeable, as well. Hops provide just a bit of a bitter and dry finish, but don’t overpower anything, just as it should be with Scotch Ales.The 7% ABV give a bit of heat in the flavor and warmth in the finish.

I like this Wee-Heavy-er Scotch Ale. Perhaps not quite in the top tier of the style, but the chocolate gives it a nice twist.

Grade: B

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Old Speckled Hen

 

Old Speckled Hen

The Hen was first brewed to celebrate the 50the anniversary of the MG car factory.

Pours clear and deep amber. But the clear bottle does make me a little wary of skunk. None in the aroma, thankfully. That is rather inviting with toffee and fruit. Very crisp on the tongue. Toffee, apple, some cherries come through before grassy hops and a slightly bitter and dry finish. Goes down nice and smooth. Doesn’t pack a huge punch at 5.3% ABV, but a few of these would put you where you want to be.

Solid beer, this. Easy to drink, tasty enough.

Grade: B

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Smuttynose Homunculus

Smuttynose Homunculus

Part of their Big Beer series, Smuttynose Homunculus is their interpretation of a Belgian Golden Ale.

Hazy gold with a fluffy white head, the fruit from the Belgian yeast is very noticeable in the aroma. At first, fruit dominates the flavor as well, with orange, apricot, and banana. Even a bit of bubble gum. Hops flavors come through after the fruit with a peppery jolt, leading to a dry and somewhat bitter finish. The aftertaste is similar to butterscotch candy. Some heat comes from the 9.9% ABV, but not overpowering.

Very tasty. If they keep this is a yearly, seasonal release beer, I can see it get very popular

Grade: A

 

 

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North Coast Old No. 38 Stout

North Coast Old No 38 StoutPouring as black as the coal that likely fueled engine No. 38, this stout from North Coast offers quite the inviting aroma, as well. Overflowing with caramel, currants, and raisins. Very smooth on the palate and a bit sweeter than expected as there is a flavor of burnt marshmallows. The hops come in late and are not particularly strong, but just enough to cut the sweetness before it gets cloying. Charred woods comes to the forefront as it warms. The dry finish also becomes more noticeable.

Overall, another very impressive brew from North Coast. It takes a bit to get used to all the fruit notes, but the charred and toasted character along with peppery hops lead to a very nice balance. Pick this up when you find it!

Grade: A

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