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Category Archives: Beer Reviews
Chocolate 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.
This is one to find.
This 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.
It took a while to track this down, but I’m very excited to finally get my hands on Left Hand Fade to Black Volume 5. This year, a Black Rye Ale.
Pours like you would expect. More chocolate than expected in the aroma, still with plenty of roasted scents. The rye finally shows up in the flavor and lasts throughout the finish. Creamy and smooth. Finishes dry and bitter, but not much presence from the hops. Maybe a little bit of black pepper in there, too.
It’s very good, but maybe not mind-blowing as previous Fade to Blacks have been.
Color is perhaps the lightest I’ve ever seen in an IPA. If not for the cloudiness and the head, you might think like is a macro lager! The aroma is kind of funky. Kinda off putting, actually. However, that funkiness isn’t in the flavor. There is a fruitiness to it, but not quite like the citrus flavors from most hops. Mellow for an IPA, but I like it. Sneaky ABV at 7.2%
Gotta love the uniqueness. Bonus points just for that!
This winter has been abominably long, so stouts are still in play. Here’s one from Mother’s, a coffee stout called Winter Grind.
Strong coffee and not much else in the aroma, as it should be. A little bite from the carbonation. The coffee flavor is a bit mellower than the aroma would have you expect, but it lingers. Oatmeal in the background. Bitterness more from coffee than hops.
Straightforward coffee stout. Not much else going on other than the coffee. I’m not saying that’s bad, but that’s what it is.
This has been high on my want list for a long time. Porters are near or at the top of my favorite styles and I’ve heard amazing things about Deschutes Black Butte Porter, only recently available here in Ohio. Some even say it’s the best American made porter.
Color is right on. Head is creamy and beige. Aroma is very nice with roasted malts and chocolate. Velvety texture. Charred wood and chocolate dominate. Tight carbonation. Hops eventually are noticed in the finish, which is quite woody and dry.
Overall, this is great. One of the best porters I’ve had. The absolute best, though? Not quite.
The thing that makes fresh hopped beers so different is that the hops go straight from the field to the beer, no processing in between. Makes for a unique character. This is a one from Two Beers Brewing in Seattle.
The huge hoppy aroma and gigantic head are the first things that stand out. A delightful mix of pine, citrus, and grass. This carries over to the flavor with a blend of fresh Simcoe, Amarillo, Columbus, Centennial, and Cascade hops. Thankfully, they didn’t ignore the malt as the backbone stands up to the hops. Biting and bitter, as an IPA should be, this celebrates hops without being heavy handed. Although it does pack 70 IBUs and 6.2% ABV.
It’s really, really good.
I have no idea what to expect here from Lazy Magnolia Brewing Jefferson Stout. The title doesn’t reveal much, but when you read on and learn it’s brewed with sweet potatoes and lactose, it’s certainly intriguing.
Aroma is like a milk stout with a big dose of vanilla. Texture is silky smooth. The sweetness from the lactose comes through, along with vanilla. Finish is long, dry, and on the woody side. I’m not tasting any sweet potatoes. While I don’t particularly care for them, I was interested to taste them in a beer. More chocolate noticeable as it warms.
Excellent milk stout. Not sure what to think about the sweet potatoes.
My first beer from this Seattle brewery, Super Villain. They call it a Cascadian Dark Ale, I still prefer to call the style Black IPA (regardless of the contradiction).
Black body, big beige head and a ton of hops in the aroma. This is a good example of why I like the style so much; there is more to it than just overwhelming hops. Smokey malt, a bit of char, cedar, then the hops come in. More pine than citrus and lingering. It feels big, but the 8.9% ABV is still surprising. Cool label, too.
First off, I’m a little confused by New Belgium 1554. The label clearly says it’s an ale, but the only thing they have on the website is a lager. Interesting story on how it was created:
Born of a flood and centuries-old Belgian text, 1554 Black Lager uses a lager yeast strain and dark chocolaty malts to redefine what dark beer can be. In 1997, a Fort Collins flood destroyed the original recipe our researcher, Phil Benstein, found in the library. So Phil and brewmaster, Peter Bouckaert, traveled to Belgium to retrieve this unique style lost to the ages. Their first challenge was deciphering antiquated script and outdated units of measurement, but trial and error (and many months of in-house sampling) culminated in 1554, a highly quaffable dark beer with a moderate body and mouthfeel.
After just a little more research, there is a lager on the roster, too, so I’m wondering why the ale is no longer on the website. Anyway, it pours quite dark, not much head. Tight carbonation gives a little bite. Charred malt, marshmallows, black pepper, just a hint of yeast funk. Finish is dry and woody.
Quite nice: B