Author Archives: chad

Anderson Valley Fall Hornin’

Anderson Valley Fall HorninThe first thing I noticed about Anderson Valley Fall Hornin’ is that it’s quite a bit darker than most pumpkin beers. Bordering on brown, even. Aroma of cinnamon and clove, but not overpowering. Loads of cinnamon in the flavor. I even think there’s a bit of cocoa in this. Not much in the way of pumpkin. Little kick of carbonation.

Pretty tasty. I could definitely see knocking back a few of these while watching football


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Southern Tier Warlock

South Tier WarlockI’m not quite sure what to expect with Southern Tier Warlock. They already make what I consider the best pumpkin ale with Pumking, but can they balance the different malt and not lose the pumpkin and spices?

Blindfolded, I don’t think I would notice a difference in aroma between this and Pumking. But the flavor and texture and definitely different. It’s heavier, dryer, and the finish is definitely more stout-like. But those delicious spices that make Pumking outstanding are still there and hold up. There’s something almost pop-like to start. Overall, it’s a tad more aggressive and the roasted malt certainly comes out.

If I had to choose between Warlock and Pumking for the rest of my life, I’d go with Pumking. But this is a very tasty change of pace.

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Hoppin’ Frog Frog’s Hollow Double Pumpkin Ale

Hoppin Frog Frogs HollowRather excited to get my hands on Hoppin’ Frog Frog’s Hollow Double Pumpkin Ale. I am a fan of pumpkin spice beers, and Hoppin’ Frog is one of my favorite breweries.

All the familiar spices are in the aroma. Perhaps cinnamon is the most aggressive. Light body, big taste of pumpkin first before the spices kick in. They’re milder than expected, but it definitely works. Cinnamon and clove stand out the most. Bit of heat from the ginger.

No surprise, it’s great. Definitely top tier of pumpkin beers!


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Rivertowne Brewing Maxwell’s Scottish Ale

Rivertowne MaxwellNot only is Maxwell’s Scottish Ale the first beer I’ve had from Rivertowne Brewing, it’s the first I’ve heard of them. This brewery is outside Pittsburgh, not to be confused with Rivertown Brewing in Cincinnati. Pours a deep amber that you can see through if you hold it up to the light. Not much in the way of aroma, but there are obviously some different malts going on. Starts out with a sweet caramel flavor with just a hint of smoke and wood at the finish. Almost no hop presence, as it should be. Good balance.

Smooth, good flavor. Quite nice.

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Stone Smoked Porter with Chipotle

Stone Smoked Porter with ChipotleWhat’s not to like? Stone, porter, smoke, chipotle. I’m hoping my expectations aren’t too high with Stone Smoked Porter with Chipotle Peppers.

Visually, it’s as expected. The aroma has more chipotle than smoke. That carries to the flavor, as well. This isn’t a sneaky hit, it hits you immediately. However, it’s not overpowering. After you get through the heat, there’s smoke, char, even a bit of chocolate. Lips still tinge for a bit, too.

This is truly outstanding. Everything in the title is there, and with phenomenal balance. Love it.


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Dixie Blackened Voodoo Lager

Dixie Blackened Voodoo LagerGotta love the name of Dixie Blackened Voodoo Lager. I didn’t know what to expect from the color, but it’s a deep amber. Aroma is driven by complex malt. Sweet, roasted malt in the flavor with a strong metallic finish.

I like this beer until that metal taste kicks in. That ruins it for me. Too bad. Hoping this is a bad bottle.

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Rogue Beard Beer

Rogue Beard BeerI can virtually guarantee you won’t have another beer like Rogue Beard Beer. Sure it’s got the ubiquitous water, hops, and barley, but the yeast is something very special. It’s been cultivated from the brewmaster’s beard. Fascinating.

Visually, it looks like a standard pale ale. Hazy, tinge of orange, nice head. Aroma is fruity. Not a ton of presence from the hops or malt, which is expected. Back off on those to make the star of this beer, the yeast, shine through. And actually, it doesn’t taste as funky as expected. Slightly sour finish. You could easily pass this off as a Belgian Pale Ale.

Maybe famous because of the novelty, but I think it’s pretty good.

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Clown Shoes Muffin Top

Clown Shoes Muffin TopI’ll admit, I bought Clown Shoes Muffin Top solely for the name and label. However, the style is intriguing, as well, “belgian style tripel india pale ale.”

Pours a light rust color with a frothy while head. Aroma promises lots of citrus, but not only from hops. A lot of what you’d want from a tripel is here. Lighter body, sweetness, complexity, the signature Belgian yeast characteristics. I was worried that the hops would be too strong, but they aren’t. The balance is superb. A slight kick in the finish is all you’ll notice. You can tell it’s big, but not 10% big.

Really good. And better than you’d think considering the name and the label. Silly name, serious beer.

Grade: A

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Oskar Blues Ten Fidy

Oskar Blues Ten FidyHere’s the question: should you pour canned beer into a glass? I decided to pour Oskar Blues Ten Fidy, and I’m glad I did.

Looked like motor oil coming out of the can with one of the darkest heads I’ve ever seen. The aroma is mostly chocolate and roasted barley. The first thing I notice is how smooth and velvety the texture is. Tons of flavor, but not overpowering. Chocolate, marshmallow, charred wood. Hops hit earlier than most. Although there is a lingering citrus finish. And the name Ten Fidy? It’s the 10.5% ABV, which is sneakily hidden.

Yes, it’s in a can, but this isn’t one for the beach or a camping trip! Pour it, savor it. Outstanding!

Grade: A


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New Belgium Trippel

New Belgium TrippelNew Belgium is still a relatively recent distributor here in Ohio, so I’m trying nearly everything I can. It’s also great that their beers are really easy to find.

Here’s their Trippel. The first thing to notice is the fluffy white head that never dissipates. Strong aroma of yeast and coriander. Surprisingly smooth and light for a beer with 7.8% ABV. Not bold flavors, but piquant. A touch of sweet grapes, but the yeast and coriander are the stars here.

Perhaps one of the more mild trippels I’ve had, but it’s well balanced with nice flavor. Dangerously smooth and light for a brew with nearly 8% ABV.

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