After a 14 hour day, I definitely need a beer while I’m waiting for our pizza to heat up. This is one that Val picked up for me that I’ve wanted to try for a long time.

pivo

ABV: 5.3%

Style: German Pilsener

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Everything we love about classic German Pilsner with a hoppy Bohemian twist. Pils is a bright straw colored lager beer with playful carbonation topped with beautiful white foam lace. Delicate lightly toasted malt flavors underscore noble German hop character. Hallertau-grown Magnum hops deliver the lupulin foundation while generous amounts of Spalter Select hops bring floral aromatic and spicy herbal notes. As a twist on the traditional Pils, we dry hop with German Saphir for a touch of bergamot zest and lemongrass. A refreshing, light-bodied and hop-driven Pils.”

Random: The Salt-n-Pepa episode of “Lip Sync Battle” was very disappointing. It could be the worst episode by far.

This beer poured with a two and a half finger, pure white head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. It also left a quarter-inch of crown on top of the clear, straw yellow body with heavy carbonation. The nose had floral hoppy notes with some clean malt. There was also a metallic note, which I’ve come to expect from the style. The taste was really clean with lemon hops, biscuit and pilsener malt. There was also grass present with floral notes. The metallic note wasn’t there, which I appreciated. The body was thin with lots of carbonation. It had a quick finish with grassy hops and light malt. This was $2.25 a bottle, which broke down to $.19 per ounce. Regardless of price, this was an outstanding beer and one of the best of the style that I’ve had. I’m not a fan of the style, but I could drink this beer all day long and would search it out. I’ll be having this one again.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0

The other half and I got new iPhones. Since I was using a 4 series, this is a significant upgrade. It’s a bit big compared to my old phone, but I’m slowly getting used to it. I do miss my unlimited data. But, I love the camera on it. It’s so much better than the old phone. Take a look below and tell me what you think.

choc

ABV: 9.1%

Style: American Strong Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “One of the brightest stars in a city filled with culinary treasures, Christopher Elbow has been handcrafting masterpieces in chocolate for more than ten years. In that time the reputation of his artistic delicacies has spread around the globe. Elbow’s sweets are distinguished by their use of unusual and sometimes surprising flavors and ingredients; in that adventurous spirit we joined forces to bring you a very special Chocolate Ale. In developing this beer, Elbow and Boulevard brewmaster Steven Pauwels sought to harmonize the interplay of chocolate and malt, with each supporting and enhancing, but not overwhelming, the other. Just the right chocolate was essential. Elbow recommended a rare variety from the Dominican Republic, prized for its robust flavor and aroma, and a personal favorite. More than a mere flavoring, the chocolate – in the form of nibs, or crushed, roasted beans – was incorporated into the brewing process itself.”

Random: This beer is a spring seasonal for Boulevard.

This beer poured with a three finger, off white head that dissipated slowly, but left no lacing on my Duvel glass. It did have a crown that was left on top of the cloudy, mahogany body. There was moderate carbonation visible. The nose had white sugar and milk chocolate. The taste was nothing like the nose. I didn’t get much chocolate or any sweetness. It had light cocoa powder, significant booze, and then lots of pumpernickel bread. The flavors were such a miss for me, especially since it was named “chocolate ale.” The body was thick with moderate carbonation. The finish was long with pumpernickel bread and really hot booze. For $12.99 a bomber ($.59 per ounce), this beer was an absolute rip off and one I would avoid.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

When I saw that Bell’s released a planet series, I figured that I wouldn’t be getting any of them since they don’t distribute to Jersey. But, there was a whole display of these bad boys at Half Time last time I was up there.

sat

ABV: 11.5%

Style: American Barleywine

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The fifth release in the Bell’s Planets Series is strong, robust and complex. Saturn is a bourbon barrel aged barleywine loaded with notes of toffee, caramel, oak and vanilla that finished with a warming touch. The first beer brewed for this series, Saturn has been aging in casks since July 2014. True to its name, this beer is well suited for vintage aging.”

Random: I always wanted a telescope when I was a kid.

This beer poured with less than a quarter of white head that dissipated slowly. There was no lacing left on the glass, but a slight crown was present on top the body. The beer itself was a hazy, warm mahogany brown with light carbonation visible. The nose was filled with nuts, maple syrup and molasses. There was significant oak and bourbon too. The taste was really nice. At first, I picked up caramel malts and toffee at first and then picked up notes of vanilla, oak and bourbon. After a few sips, I also got hazelnuts and molasses. The booze was very hidden for the style. It was really balanced. It had a thick, chewy body with light carbonation, making this a really nice sipper. The finish was long and warm with bourbon and oak. For $2.79 a bottle ($.23 per ounce), this bottle is an absolute steal. My only regret is not picking up another couple of bottles to age for a few years. This is one of the best of the style that I’ve had, and another outstanding beer from Bell’s. It’s out of this world (pun intended).

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0

The other half took Monday off, so we spent the morning planting all of our purchases from Home Depot. We have a cute little vegetable garden in the back and a very small strawberry patch. I’m hoping that the wildlife doesn’t consume any of them. I love being outside and gardening, but the other half is not as big of a fan. Especially when she gets dirt on her feet. Anyways, let get to the beer.

b

ABV: 8.5%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The Calling is an undeniable IPA we were driven to make. It’s our tribute to like-minded dreamers, adventurous spirits, and glass half-full optimists. It’s also our most heavily hopped beer ever, bursting forth with unmistakable tropical fruit and pine hop aromas and flavor supported with a slightly sweet malt character, tapering to a crisp, dry finish. Heed your call and enjoy.”

Random: I planted a lot of hot peppers. If I have enough, I’m going to try to make my own hot sauce.

This beer poured with a one and a half finger, off white, fluffy head into my IPA glass. It dissipated slowly and left lots of spiderweb lacing. The body was a slightly hazy, orange color with lots of carbonation visible. The nose presented with huge citrus notes and grass. I picked up juicy grapefruit as well. The taste had some earthiness to it, but also the juicy grapefruit and grass that was apparent in the nose. Tropical fruit in the form of mango was there as well, which made it really nice and complex. There was intense bitterness, but nothing this hop head couldn’t take. The booze was hidden insanely well. It had a medium thick body and high carbonation. It had a long finish with tropical fruit and citrus. My only complaint was that after a few sips, it was almost a bit too dry. Other than that, it’s definitely an IPA that is worth searching out and I would have it again, no doubt, especially because the price wasn’t too outrageous. The price on this was $3.00 for the bottle, which broke down to $.25 per ounce, which isn’t an awful price for a DIPA.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

I’m really enjoying seeing more of Flying Dog’s brews on the shelves. They’re exploring some really cool styles and this was one that I was excited to try. Hopefully, it’s as good as most of their other beers.

st

ABV: 4.6%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “In like a lion and out like a tramp, introducing Supertramp Tart Cherry Ale, a new spring seasonal that will be available at the beginning of March in all markets where our beer is currently sold. Inspired by two previous Brewhouse Rarities releases – a Sour Cherry Ale and a Black Lager with Cherries – Supertramp is brewed with both sweet and sour cherries, which are added at the beginning of fermentation. The beer begins with a clean, sweet cherry note followed by crisp light malt character and a tart finish. It also features brand-new, original art by the indelible Ralph Steadman. Needless to say, this tramp has legs for days.”

Random: Cherries seem to be a very popular adjunct this summer.

This beer poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated instantly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, light pink color with high carbonation. It looked like cranberry ginger ale. The nose reminded me of cherry cough drops and some tartness. The taste was like cherry flavored ice pops and bread. It started tart and then went into this weird sweetness and it was just all sorts of not pleasant. The body was thin with very high carbonation. It had a long, cloyingly sweet finish. This beer was $1.80 (with the NJCB discount), which broke down to $.15 per ounce. Although the price was decent, this was a rare misstep from Flying Dog. I won’t be having this again.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Today has just been a weird day. Work has been very busy and people are going crazy because they absolutely need their overpriced chandelier (or fill in other obscure furniture/decor piece) for Memorial Day and can’t possibly live without it. Not only that, they must have their delivery early because they need delivery of said piece, but are going away for the weekend and can’t accept at any other time. Makes absolutely no sense, right? That’s what I’m dealing with. So…beer time.

tb

ABV: 4.5%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Look for this farmhouse table beer to clock in around 4.5% and with a nice dry finish with fruity notes of pear and pepper undertones.”

Random: I’m glad it’s cooled off a bit. I still don’t like the heat.

This beer poured with a two finger, white head that was slow to dissipate. It only left some lacing on the glass and a light crown of white head on top of the body. The body itself was a hazy, lemon-yellow color with high carbonation visible. The nose was simple with lemon zest and bread. I didn’t get much else. The taste was all bread, like biting into a roll. It had very light white pepper and not much citrus. What was there had more rind than citrus flesh. It made this a boring beer. It had a medium body and very high carbonation. The finish was long and just bready, nothing else. This was $1.33 for the bottle, which broke down to $.11 per ounce, which is very reasonable, but there are so many better selections out there.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

I picked this beer up at Half Time since it’s not distributed in Jersey. Let’s see how their take on a tripel is.

dh

ABV: 9.5%

Style: Tripel

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Why is the Grim Reaper holding a mailbox? Well, that mailbox is from a dead Dark Horse beer. The Grim Reaper better known as “Death” was quite fond of our classic Sapient Summer Wheat Ale. When we changed it into a Belgian Style Triple, Death thought it would only be appropriate to bring something from that beer into this beer. SO he picked the mailbox, and we weren’t about to argue with him. You can say what you want about him, but that Death sure has a big heart. So anyway…we brewed this beer with a Trappist yeast strain so it is very traditional. The flavors are incredibly complex with notes of mild fruit and finishes with a bit of clove. Although this beer is higher in alcohol it is very smooth and finishes dry on the palate.”

Random: I like the label art on this one. It’s one of the better ones from Dark Horse.

This beer poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy orange with moderate carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of orange, peach and apricot with some yeast and spice. So far, so good. The taste was really bready, like a yeasty biscuit, but maintained its brightness with notes of golden fruit, specifically peach and apricot. There was spice present in the form of coriander, but it was not intense. It had some sweetness as well. The booze was well-hidden, making this a dangerous brew. The body had medium thickness with high carbonation, which made this very drinkable. I picked this up at Half Time for $3.39 for the twelve ounce bottle, which put the price per ounce at $.28, which is more on the expensive side. Despite this, I found it to be a very enjoyable beer that I would search out.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0