Tag Archives: Maryland

DuClaw Sweet Baby Jesus!

Duclaw Sweet Baby JesusAnother Christmas gift beer here, DuClaw Sweet Baby Jesus!┬áIt’s a chocolate peanut butter porter. Even feet away from my nose, it smells like a Reese’s Cup! I believe it was originally a winter seasonal, but due to its popularity, it was promoted to year-round.

The flavor truly is just like a peanut butter cup, only made with dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. No sweetness here at all. Hops do kick in at the end and provide a bitter finish, but the majority of the flavor is chocolate and peanut butter. Sneaky alcohol at 6.5%

You may not think that a chocolate peanut butter beer would work, but wow it does!

Grade: A

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Heavy Seas Below Decks

Heavy Seas Below Decks

Heavy Seas Below Decks

Perhaps Heavy Seas are embarrassed by Below Decks, as it’s not on their website, but I’m not sure why.

Pours a surprisingly crisp mahogany with ruby edges. Inviting aroma full of malt that you’d expect from a barleywine. Really interesting flavor. Rye, raisins, cedar at first. Hops take hold for a bit, then hints of currants and cherries. Lots of warmth and heat from the 10% ABV. Each sip I’m trying to find a different flavor, and it’s there.

Take some time with this one. Savor it.

Grade: A

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Duclaw Sawtooth

Duclaw Sawtooth

With the weather we’ve had around here recently, nothing wrong with going for a beer with a distinctly more summer feel, like Duclaw Sawtooth, a Belgian White.

Big white head floats on top of hazy gold. The high carbonation is very evident. Nose is overflowing with orange, coriander, and spicy yeast, just like it should be. Sweet grapes and honey come through first followed by orange and lemon. Mix of pepper and a touch of bitterness from the hops at the end. There might even be a touch of anise.

Light, crisp, refreshing. All the familiar flavors of a Belgian Witbier, with a few different ones to make it more interesting. Plus, at only 4.8% ABV, you can easily enjoy several of these. I’m quite impressed.

Grade: A

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Heavy Seas Plank I

Heavy Seas Plank I

Heavy Seas gets me on theme alone, but this English Old Ale with a unique aging process, Plank I, really has me intrigued.

Murky brown with a beige head, just from the smell, expect this to be big and malty. Indeed, it is! Full and round butterscotch flavor coats everything. Decidedly on the sweet side of things, but the hops cut through at just the right time to bring some balance. Hints of cherry and vanilla are there and a certain wood-like quality in the finish. Though I’m wondering if I would notice it if I didn’t know to expect it.

Big flavor, creamy mouthfeel, not overly bitter. Complex and tasty flavors. Plank I is a winnerrrr!

Grade: A

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Flying Dog Raging Bitch Belgian IPA

Flying Dog Raging Bitch

Flying Dog Raging Bitch Belgian IPA.

I’m curious what will make this Belgian. The color is a light orange and the head is bigger and sticking aroun.

The smell is both hoppy and yeasty. Lots of orange and coriander before the hops come in. Not a ton of malt here. But a very bitter finish. Outstanding lacing. I’m getting more Belgian than IPA, but I like this. I believe I’m a fan of these kind of hybrids in general.

Overall, a pretty tasty brew, and it’s nice to see some innovation in the style.

Grade: B

P.S. I have only been listening to songs with Bitch in the title while writing this. Let’s dig on some Stones together, shall we?

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Heavy Seas Peg Leg Imperial Stout

Heavy Seas Peg Leg

When I want something big, brash, and bold, I usually reach for Imperial Stouts. Will Heavy Seas Peg Leg Imperial Stout plunder my wont for a huge, tasty beer?

The color is right on, but the head doesn’t compare to most others of the style. Very smooth. Might be the lightest bodied imperial stout I’ve had. There’s a hint of coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and some dark fruit. Late bitterness from the hops.

It’s not bad, but it’s just not doing anything for me. Very tame and I wanted something more audacious.

Grade: C

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Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter

Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter

Brewed in honor of Hunter S. Thompson, and featuring artwork by Ralph Steadman (as do all Flying Dog brews), Gonzo Imperial Porter is, in a word, unique.

Starts off deep brown with a nice tan head. Huge roasted malt smell in the nose. The taste is where things get a little off the beaten path. It’s creamy and a bit more bitter than most porters. Some vanilla sweetness up front. Chocolate and coffee in the finish along with some wood. A hoppy bitterness lingers, too. Flying Dog doesn’t mention if this is barrel aged, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

Overall, it’s more aggressive than most porters, and it certainly works.

The story of Flying Dog and the influence of Thompson and Steadman is really interesting. You should take the time to read through the history on their site.

Grade: A

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Heavy Seas Black Cannon

A couple of firsts for me with Heavy Seas Black Cannon. My first from them, and my first Black IPA. But even from the first sip, I know this won’t be the last! Smells like fruit and pine, like you would expect from an IPA, and it’s definitely black. I’m noticing some familiar stout characteristics with a dry, smokey mouth feel. Some chocolate and nutiness. It is a bit lighter than most stouts, and while there are some hops in the finish, it isn’t a huge, in your face IPA. Really well balanced, and there isn’t even a hint of the 7.3% ABV.

This might disappoint hop heads expecting a super bitter IPA, but I think it’s a great blend of two dispirate (yes, that’s on purpose) styles.

Plus, I’m diggin on the pirate theme.

I haven’t heard of many Black IPAs, but I could really see this catching on. Perhaps a future homebrew project of mine!

It’s very good, but I don’t know if I can quite go to great.

Grade: B

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Flying Dog Old Scratch

Flying Dog’s Old Scratch Amber Lager. This is one I’ve read great things about and was very excited to try. Pours a hazy copper with a decent head. The flavor is light caramel and fruity, but not citrusy. The finish is a little dry and almost tastes like butter. Perhaps more like butterscotch. Very smooth and drinkable. Another very good all-day beer. I’m not blown away by it, but I do like it and would certainly get it again!

To quote Flying Dog, quoting Hunter S. Thompson, “Good people drink good beer.” Indeed!

Grade: B

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