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Category Archives: Beer Reviews
It’s only been a few months that Massachusetts based Clown Shoes has been available in Ohio, so I’m excited to try something new. with their Chocolate Sombrero, a Mexican inspired stout.
Color is as you’d expect, dark brown with maybe a hint of ruby around the edges. Aroma is chocolate, vanilla, and a hint of chile. Light and smooth mouthfeel. Chocolate really comes through, followed by vanilla. There is a hint of heat, but not much. Bit of char in there, too.
I like this quite a bit. Nice texture, good flavor, good balance. Wouldn’t mind a bit more chile heat. Not a trace of heat from the 9% ABV!
Here’s another beer with classic rock roots, Dogfish Head American Beauty. If you couldn’t tell from the bear on the logo, this one comes from the band an fans of Grateful Dead. According to the video, the band wanted a big bold American Pale Ale. They then asked fans to submit other ingredient ideas and a story as to what that ingredient meant to them in relation to Grateful Dead. Expectedly, many were illicit. They decided to go with granola, although he doesn’t explain why.
To the beer!
Great head and really nice color. Honey, orange, and hops in the aroma. Flavor is similar, though the hops are more noticeable and there is a lingering sweetness. I know this is brewed with granola, but the nuttiness you might expect is very subtle. The orange, grape, and honey are firmly there. In fact, getting some hints of Midas Touch here.
Once again, Dogfish Head goes bold and doesn’t disappoint. Really tasty brew. Shame it’s a one-off run.
The color is attractive. As close to brown as red can get. However, the giant chunks of sediment are a bit off-putting. Aggressive carbonation tingles on the the tongue. This is, indeed, sour, but not unpleasantly so. A touch of caramel and even a fruity finish. But sour is by far the dominating note.
I feel like this is going to be a hit or miss. You’ll love it or hate it, depending on your individual feelings toward sourness.
I was very excited when I found Ommegang Take the Black Stout. I’m a huge fan of the Game of Thrones show and I just finished the first book. Plus, with it being from Ommegang, I have high hopes for this one.
Really easy to pour a bit too aggressively. Pours black (it better!) with a rather dark khaki head. The aroma is full of dark fruit, smoke, and anise. Interesting flavor. Dark bread, dark fruit, a bit of char and smoke. Hops don’t really come in until the finish. There is a hint of anise in the background, but it’s not overpowering. Also some of the flavor you’ll get from yeast in other Belgian Dark Ales. Lacing so thick, it practically coats the entire glass.
This is really quite good. I’d love to enjoy a few of these once the show is back on!
I’m a sucker for Trappist brews, so I couldn’t pass up the chance when I found this Westmalle Dubbel.
The aroma caught me the second I popped the cap. Rich, malty, inviting. Surprisingly carbonation leading into a creamy texture. Butterscotch, bread, and a little bit of yeasty funk. Spicy hops linger in a slightly bitter finish.
Outstanding. Go get it!
Black as the pit from pole to pole, the aroma is dominated by deeply roasted malt and charred wood. Velvety and smooth texture. Then WHAM! those hops hit. This would be shocking if you expected a stout but didn’t know the IBU content! Toasted malt, smoke, and charred wood stand up to the intensely bitter hops.
The autumn seasonals continue with Thirsty Dog Barktoberfest (side note, why do so many craft breweries use dog references?)
The interesting thing about the look is that it’s a cloudy orange. Many other marzens are perfectly clear. Roasted malt and a hint of orange in the aroma. Very tasty! Full body, a lot of butterscotch followed by a touch of citrus sweetness. Hops provide a dry and slightly bitter finish.
Really yummy. Immediately one of my favorite Oktoberfests!
In real life, I’m a classic rock DJ. You may have noticed my affinity for giving my homebrews Led Zeppelin song titles. So when I finally saw Iron Maiden Trooper on the shelf, there was no way I could pass it up.
Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson did, in fact, have input on this ESB. Clear and light orange color. Classic English hard water is immediately noticeable. A hint of sweet bread, then earthy hops bitterness. Nice mouthfeel and it goes down very easily. At only 4.7% ABV, you could easily knock down a couple of these during a show! Fantastic label with Eddie, as well. Perhaps I’m caught up in the novelty a little, but I’m a fan!
Yes, that name is correct. Oktofest, not Oktoberfest. But that is the style. Crisp and clear, perhaps a shade darker orange than most marzens. Aroma is malty and grassy. Quite nice body to this. One drawback some marzens can have is a watery body, but this doesn’t have that problem at all. Chewy and full of flavor. Tasty blend of malts with just enough hops to make you notice at the end. 6% ABV. Very nice marzen!
High expectations for Fat Head’s Spooky Tooth. A style I really enjoy and a brewery I am eagerly trying more from.
Pours darker than a lot of pumpkin beers. More brown than orange. Amazing aroma. Loads of warm spices and some pumpkin, too. The complexity is evident from the first sip. Using 8 malts and 7 spices and other flavorings, the balance is phenomenal. All the familiar pumpkin pie spices plus, guess what, pumpkin (which is lacking in many other pumpkin beers). Completely hidden 9% ABV.
Top tier pumpkin beer. No doubt about it!