I’ve finally gotten through my backlog of reviews. I also took a week off from drinking and reviewing. I think that I’ll have something special tonight to celebrate getting through all of these reviews. This beer specifically is one that I was very excited to try. Anything that is barrel aged tends to be in wheelhouse and I don’t think I’ve ever had a barrel aged beer from Jack’s Abby.
Style: Baltic Porter
Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Big, bold, black, and aged in bourbon barrels with vanilla beans. The lengthy conditioning period in the barrels creates a silky smooth chocolatey mouth feel enhanced by the use of oats and brown sugar. Noticeable sweetness gets balanced by roasted malt and hop bitterness. Additional flavors include bourbon, vanilla, and oak.”
Random: This beer is an April release.
The brew poured with a one finger, khaki colored head that dissipated at a moderate pace and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose had bourbon, leather and tobacco with tons of smoke. The taste was filled with oak, bourbon and smoke. It had a caramel note too. I also picked up some toasted malt and some booze. It had a thick body with light carbonation. The finish was lengthy with booze, oak and smoke. I enjoyed this beer quite a lot, especially because it was free. If I saw it on the shelf again, I would pick it up to see how it aged.
Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0
Since my transfer, I spend a lot less time in the car. The only downside is that most days, I have to be in work by 4 or 5 AM. Val hates this. I usually get up around 2:30 AM or 3 AM and get in the shower. I try to be as quiet as possible and turn on as few lights as possible so as to not wake her. The cats, on the other hand, think I’m up specifically to play with them and want me to pet them. Eventually, it should feel normal to get up that early…I hope.
Style: American Strong Ale
Trivia: This is a winter seasonal.
Random: My office is freezing right now. It can’t ever be a comfortable temperature.
This beer poured with a one finger, cream-colored head. It dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the snifter. The body was a clear, cherry color. There was visible detritus in the body with no carbonation visible. The nose had raspberry extract and overripe raspberries. I couldn’t get anything else on this. The taste had syrupy raspberry extract with honey and light spice. It had a floral characteristic to it as well. This tasted nothing like a barleywine to me. The body was much lighter than a typical barleywine, although the sweetness was cloying. It had very little carbonation. The finish was lengthy and sweet with overripe raspberries. I have no idea what the price of the beer was since I got this as a gift, but I wouldn’t buy this one. It had no balance to it. At least the booze was hidden.
Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0
How I haven’t had this beer yet is beyond me. I was at the beer store and checked the blog thinking that I’d reviewed it and I was terribly wrong. I tried it the same night it came home from the beer store.
Trivia: According to merchantduvin.com, “Rochefort Trappist 6 is named after its original gravity measured in ‘Belgian degrees’ – a brewing scale no longer used today. It was first sold to the public in 1953. Reddish-brown color with amber-gold highlights; soft body leads to earthy flavors and an herbal character. Refined, soft spiciness in the bouquet finishes with a bit caramel. Bottle-conditioned for soft natural carbonation.”
Random: I could go for a pretzel right now.
This beer poured with a three finger, thin, khaki colored head. It dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was cloudy and mahogany colored. There was a lot of carbonation visible and some floaties as well. The nose had dates and figs along with yeast. There was a lot of coriander spice with some cocoa powder. The taste was all dark fruit. I picked up raisins, dates, figs and tobacco. There was a lot of bread and spice with coriander as well. I also picked up some nutmeg. It had a thick body with ridiculously high carbonation. The finish was lengthy with raisins and dates. Yeast and spice remained on the tongue as well. I bought this bottle for $5.45, which came to $.46 per ounce. This beer was simply exceptional. I haven’t had a dubbel in a long time and this beer could easily be the benchmark I use for the style now.
Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0
I’m listening to a podcast about the Black Dahlia murder. One of the people on this podcast is the son of the main suspect. He wrote a book that is now going on my Amazon wishlist. Let’s get to something happier…like this beer.
Style: American IPA
Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A ‘small’ IPA that’s been dry hopped with Mosaic, Columbus, and Simcoe hops.”
Random: If Val and I go back to Maine, we’re making our way back here again. The beers were outstanding and the staff was quite friendly and informative.
This beer poured with a huge, three finger white head. It took forever to dissipate and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was the color of melted lemon Italian ice with light carbonation visible. The nose was filled with lemon flesh and fresh-cut grass clippings. Weirdly enough, I got Lemon Italian ice too. The taste was also very light and not nearly as pungent as the nose. Lemon pith and a vegetal note too. It was almost like arugula. The body was thin with light carbonation that needed to be dialed up. It had a quick finish with the same vegetal notes and grass. I received this beer as a gift, so I have no idea how much it was and New Jersey doesn’t get distribution. This reminded me more of a pale ale than a true IPA, but it was alright. I don’t think it was their best showing, but definitely drinkable.
Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0
Today’s selection is from a relatively local brewery that I visited in South Jersey. This is one of their barrel aged selections.
Style: Rye Beer
Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We’re not your average startup brewery. We don’t have a storybook tale about leaving boring desk job to turn a homebrewing hobby into a business. The truth is, we never did the desk job thing. Head Brewing and Co-Founder Drew Perry has been brewing beer his whole professional life, working his way from the packaging line to head brewer. At his most recent gig, Drew lead recipe development and contract brewing for a Virginia-based operation that produced beer for dozens of other microbreweries. But the dream was always the same: to return to New Jersey and start his own brewery, using his own recipes and sharing the experience with friends and family.”
Random: I picked this beer up directly from the brewery.
This beer poured with a huge, one finger head that was thick and light brown in color. It took forever to dissipate. The body was dark brown, yet relatively clear. There was no visible carbonation because of the color. The nose had a lot of bourbon with vanilla. There was some spice from the rye as well. The taste was rye, with a lot of malt and caramel. Toffee was present too. The bourbon note was strong when cold, but much more balanced When warm. Vanilla and prominent booze were next. It had a thick body with light carbonation. The finish was lengthy with light bourbon, vanilla and toffee. I think I paid about $12 for the bomber, which came to $.55 per ounce. I thought this beer was decent, I just wish the booze wasn’t as obvious.
Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0
I remember reading a review of this beer years ago. Needless to say, I forget if the review was favorable or not. Either way, I ended up with a six-pack of these cans and saved one for research purposes. I have only had a few beers from the brewery, although they do get some distribution to New Jersey. Let’s see how this beer was.
Style: American Double/Imperial IPA
Trivia: This brewery offers tours on every day but Sunday.
Random: The can art for this beer makes it look a bit dated. I think they should look into a redesign.
This beer poured with a one finger, thick, off-white head. It dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was slightly hazy and high carbonation was visible through the cloudiness. The nose had light pine notes first and then a lot of caramel malt. The taste was a lot stronger than the nose. It had pine sap and grapefruit peel and an herbal note. It took me a few sips to place it. It reminded me of juniper. There was no malt on the taste. The body was incredibly thin with high carbonation. For a double IPA, I was shocked that the body was so thin. It had a lengthy finish with pine and juniper. This beer was another gift, so no commentary on price. I thought this beer was alright, but it’s just a middle of the road DIPA to me. I wouldn’t rush back to have it again.
Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0
Val picked this beer up for me. I’ve had the original Last Chance IPA a few years back, so I was curious to see what it would be like with the addition of apricots.
Style: American IPA
Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We’ve decided to take our Last Chance IPA and add a little twist…We started with our 5.9% ABV Last Chance IPA, a full-flavored IPA with pleasant citrus flavors of tangerine and grapefruit. To that delightful brew, we’ve added apricots. Not just a few, but over 15 pounds of them per barrel! While the apricot is subtle on your first sip, is is certainly more noticeable after several sips. Due to the high pectins of the apricot, this beer pours cloudy.”
Random: I still don’t love Weyerbacher’s label, but they’re better than the old ones.
This beer poured with a finger of white head that dissipated quickly. It left some lacing on the glass along with a crown. The body was a murky, dark orange with no visible carbonation because of how hazy the beer was. The nose was filled with old grapefruit flesh and crushed pine needles. There wasn’t any malt to it. The taste was really…interesting. It had apricot and a weird, astringent tartness. There was really bitter grapefruit flesh as well and a touch of cracker at the end. The body was overly thick for the style with carbonation that was too light. The finish was lengthy with the same tartness. A bottle of this was $1.83 ($.15 per ounce). I wasn’t a big fan of this. The tartness didn’t fit with the beer at all.
Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0