Category Archives: Beer Reviews

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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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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Ommegang Fire and Blood, Game of Thrones #3

Ommegang Fire and BloodI an am unabashed Game of Thrones nerd, so I love that they’ve teamed up with Ommegang to do these special release beers. This season, they’re going with a red ale called Fire and Blood. There are three different labels featuring each of Daenerys’s dragons. This bottle is Rhaegal, but I’d love to get all three.

Onto the beer!

Pours a deep amber. I kind of expected something a bit more red considering it’s got blood in the title. The aroma has a lot more yeast present than you’d think for a red ale. However, when you consider the brewer, it makes sense. Yeast dominates the flavor, as well, but those smokey ancho chiles sneak in eventually. Maybe some rye in there, too.

Really tasty, if a bit more yeast-forward than I expected. And it’s Game of Thrones, so I’ll like it regardless!

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Elevator Brewery Angry GOAT

Elevator Brewing Angry GoatApparently, this is a first for me from this Columbus brewery. I’d thought I’d had something before, but I guess not.

Angry GOAT is a nut brown ale aged in whiskey barrels. Clearly evident from the aroma. The only beer I’ve had with more whiskey in the aroma is Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale. There is some nuttiness in the back, too. Whiskey dominates the flavor, but there’s more there. Hints of nuts, sweet malt, and a sour finish.

Outstanding if you love whiskey. Which I do! Not sure the sourness is necessary.

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Fat Head’s Oompa Loompa

Fat Heads Oompa LoompaChocolate Cream Stout might not be the first style you think of when you hear of a beer called Oompa Loompa. But how could you not love that artwork?

Oh, careful when you pour!

Huge aroma full of chocolate, vanilla, and charred wood. Chocolate is more subtle in the flavor, but it’s there. More char, coffee, and a bite from the hops in a dry finish. Good flavor, great balance, more hops than most stouts.

Oompa Loompa, do-ba-dee-doo,
I’ve got a perfect puzzle for you.
Oompa Loompa, do-ba-dee-dee,
If you are wise you’ll listen to me.

What do you get when you guzzle down beer?
Drinking so much you can’t see clear.
Oompa Loompa do-ba-dee-da,

Given good beer you will go far.
You will live in happiness too,
Like the oompa loompa do-ba-dee-doo.
Do-ba-dee-doo

 

This is one to find.

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Great Black Swamp Brewing Bay Front Pale Ale

Great Black Swamp Bay FrontThis is the first beer I’ve had from this growing Toledo brewery, Great Black Swamp Brewing’s Bay Front Pale Ale.

Attractive in the glass with a clear copper shade and white head. Surprisingly fruity and not just from citrus hops. Sweet malt is definitely coming through. All leading to a lingering and arid finish.

Tasty, easy drinking pale ale. Looking forward to trying more from them.

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