Mikkeller/BrewDog I Hardcore You

I hate Mondays like no other. Not that I think I’m alone in that, but it doesn’t help that I’ve been studying all night for a midterm tomorrow. So, now that I’m on a study break before I go to bed early, I think I deserve a nice hoppy beer.

ABV: 9.5%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to BrewDog.com, “I Hardcore You is a 9.5% Imperial India Pale Ale, an international collaborative effort between 2 of Europe’s most rock ‘n roll brewers. This beer is a blend of BrewDog’s Hardcore IPA and Mikkeller’s I Beat You (2 of my favourite beers). After the blending, the beer was then dry hopped a further twice. Making I Hardcore You a beer which has been dry hopped four times, or maybe even six times. We kinda lost count. As far as we are aware this is the first collaboration of this type anywhere in the world. The first time a collaboration beer has been made by blending beers from the respective brewers together.”

Random: I picked this brew up along with a few others I hadn’t seen when I was out to dinner with my sister. She said that she found a great beer store and I had to go. I walked out a very happy girl.

This brew poured with a one finger pure white head that dissipated at a moderate pace and left some lacing on the glass. After I poured the beer, I thought that I probably should have used a tulip glass…oh well. The body was a hazy orange color with some carbonation visible. The nose smelled inviting with some definite sweetness and then happy hoppiness. It reminded me of another beer that I’ve had and enjoyed, but I couldn’t really place it. The first sip was really good and exactly what I expected from the nose. I got a definite malt flavor and then some sticky piney hops. Minor flavors that started to come out were nuts, almost a little like a brown ale. The booze is pretty well hidden on this. The finish was more on the bitter side with hops lingering on my tongue for awhile. This is a pretty good beer, although definitely more malty than I expected. I would have it again, but not the best double IPA I’ve ever had.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Bud Light Lime

This was my second brew of the night. I know, I should have chosen something else, but I used to drink these before I got into beer. I wondered now that my palate was a little bit more cultured, so to speak, how bad I would think this beer was. This was a big mistake…

ABV: 4.2%

Style: Light Lager

Trivia: According to the manufacturer’s website, “Prepare for ultimate refreshment. Grab a Bud Light Lime and experience the just right taste of Bud Light with a splash of 100% natural lime flavor. Whether you’re hanging out by the water, chilling out in the backyard or just in the mood for a change of pace, one beer is sure to quench your thirst for something fresh and different. Make it a completely refreshing Bud Light Lime. And peel back the party.”

Random: I can’t believe I used to kill these without a problem.

I had this one out of the bottle, given that I really couldn’t expect much. It was a straw yellow color with mild carbonation. The nose is grain with some lime going on as well. This smells like a macro with lime flavoring. The taste was mild carbonation with some grain and definite artificial lime to it. After only drinking craft beers for awhile, this is downright gross. The finish is boring. I should have never gotten this. In a word, this is gross. I actually prefer Miller Chill. I wish I had more to say about this brew, but this was just a bad decision all around.

Untappd Rating: 1.0/5.0

Samuel Adams Noble Pils

I hate Sundays, primarily because I have to work Mondays. Last night was a great night with lots of good beer flowing and I got to break in my new grill. I’m trying out new recipes for the tailgate for opening night and my taste testers couldn’t decide between the chimichurri or maple brown sugar flank steak. Thanks guys. So, tonight because my sister was away for Sunday dinner and I cooked last night, I went out for some beer and food. The first selection was Sam Adams Noble Pils.

ABV: 4.9%

Style: Czech Pilsener

Trivia: According to the Sam Adams website, “Samuel Adams® Noble Pils is brewed with all 5 Noble hops for a distinct hop character and fresh taste.  Deep golden in color with a citrusy hop aroma, Samuel Adams Noble Pils is a traditional Bohemian Pilsner.  The honeyed malt character from traditional Bohemian malt is balanced by delicate yet pronounced citrus, floral, and piney notes from the Noble hops.  The winner of our 2009 Beer Lover’s Choice® election, this beer was chosen by over 67,000 drinkers for its crisp complexity and refreshing taste.”

Random: I’ve really started shying away from Sam Adams beers. They’re decent gateway beers, but there are so many others that I would prefer to drink.

This beer poured with a two finger white head that left mild lacing on the glass. The body was a clear straw yellow with mild carbonation. The nose was very mild and bland at first with a hint of hops and citrus and lemongrass, but upon later reflection, it may just be herbs. The taste was much of the same. It starts bland and some mild citrus and herbal flavors come out. The finish is quick and plain. This was a really mild and non offensive beer. It also has very low alcohol and is an easy drinker. There really wasn’t much to like or dislike about it because it’s so mild. I wouldn’t rush to have this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

BrewDog/Stone Bashah

It’s been a crazy week. I’m so happy that it’s the weekend. I was in a really bad mood today, so to make myself feel better, I made an unnecessary beer run and then went to Wegmans to get stuff to try out some recipes to tailgate for opening night. I came home, prepped some stuff, made a tapenade and a chimichurri and now it’s time to review some beer!


ABV: 8.6%

Style: American Black Ale

Trivia: According to BeerAdvocate, “Also referred to as a Black IPA (India Pale Ale) or Cascadian Dark Ale, ales of this style range from dark brown to pitch black and showcase malty and light to moderate roasty notes and are often quite hoppy generally with the use of American hops. Alcohol can range from average to high depending on if the brewery is going for a “double / imperial” version.”

Random: These brews seems like all the rage now. I haven’t had a lot of them, but I definitely get a little more smoky flavor on the ones that I have had. I’m definitely looking forward to trying this one, especially since it was on my list of beers to try for all of last year.

This brew poured a black color with mild carbonation visible at the top of the brew. The head was a slight off white and one finger high. It dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The nose didn’t really remind me of an IPA. I get some roasted malts and a slight hint of hops, but nothing all that inviting. The taste is mild carbonation and I definite got roasted malts and then a slight bitterness comes up. I also got a hint of peat as it warms. The hops also came up more as it warmed. The finish was slightly bitter and pretty quick. It was also pretty well-balanced. I thought the beer would be a little more impressive. It was good, but not great.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Mikkeller Chipotle Porter

Wow, I am sore as anything. I’ve been back at the gym for a few weeks steadily now, but I’ve started hitting the weights really hard and heavy. I am definitely feeling this week. No joke, everything is sore. But, at least I’m starting to see results and I always feel better when I’m at the gym. Some people have therapy, instead I have the gym. It’s one of the few places that I can really clear my hand. I think I’m going to sleep really well tonight, especially after a brew.

ABV: 6.6%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to wikipedia, “A chipotle or chilpotle, is a smoke-dried jalapeño which tends to be brown and shriveled. It is a chili used primarily in Mexican and Mexican-inspired cuisines, such as Mexican-American and Tex-Mex. There are many varieties of jalapeños which vary in size and heat. In Mexico, the jalapeño is also known as the cuaresmeño and gordo. Until recently, chipotles were almost exclusively found in the markets of central and southern Mexico. As Mexican food became more popular abroad, especially in North and South America in the late 20th century and into the 21st century, jalapeño production and processing began to expand into northern Mexico to serve the southwestern United States, and eventually processing occurred in the United States and other places, such as China.”

Random: This beer is also known as Texas Ranger.

I’m a huge fan of spicy food. I will put hot sauce on almost anything. So, when I saw a beer with chipotle peppers, I had to grab it. I had a Rogue beer that was made with chipotles a few years ago and really enjoyed it. Since I’ve finally finished getting the blog up to date, I think this brew will be the perfect end to my night. This brew poured with a two finger tan head on an almost black body. The head dissipated after a few minutes and left some lacing on the glass. There was no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose presented with some notes of chocolate and a very mild hint of smoke. There was no sign of the peppers in the nose. On the taste, the chocolate notes come out first, then a bit of smoke and then at the end, a nice bite of spice. I found the peppers! This almost reminded me of a mole sauce. The chocolate just went right into the smoke and the spice. The spice wasn’t overpowering, but it definitely lets you know that it’s there. The finish lingered with this spice, almost like the residue of hot sauce on the tongue. The peppers definitely dominate the flavor at the end, not that I’m complaining… The body of the beer is a little thicker than expected and presents with moderate carbonation. This is definitely a unique beer and one that I’m really digging. I wish that I had some guacamole to go along with this one. I would definitely have this brew again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Dogfish Head World Wide Stout

This is one of those beers that I’ve been waiting to try for awhile. And after a bad day, nothing makes a day better like a good beer. I’m wondering if the brew is going to stand up to the all the hype. This was one of the first “extreme” beers.

ABV: 18%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the Dogfish Head website, “YES! This is the beer you’ve heard so much about. Dark, rich, roasty and complex, World Wide Stout has more in common with a fine port than a can of cheap, mass-marketed beer. Brewed with a ridiculous amount of barley. Have one with (or as!) dessert tonight!”

Random: I searched out this beer for awhile, but I couldn’t find it. As soon as I bought it, I started seeing it everywhere. Just my luck…

This beer poured a dark brown color with visible mild carbonation with a one finger tan head. The head dissipated quickly and didn’t leave any lacing. The nose presented with definite intense booze, chocolate and dark fruit. The taste started with intense booze, dark fruit, licorice. My sister calls it liquid tiramisu. I also got a definite sweetness on the brew. There was just so much going on with this beer, I really don’t know where to start. I also got some molasses on it. The one thing that surprised me is how thin this beer is. It wasn’t bad, just completely unexpected. It also has some mild carbonation on it. As it warms, the raisin flavor really came out. The finish lingered for awhile with sweet molasses and warm booze. This is definitely a sipping beer. I really enjoyed all the nuances and complexities of it, but this is definitely a beer I couldn’t have every day. This is definitely worth a try, despite the price point.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Long Trail Brewmaster Series Centennial Red

Yet another offering from Long Trail. This was popped open after many weeks of passing it in the fridge and opting for other beers. I picked it up because I am really trying to get over my whole distaste for ambers/red ales. As I’ve said before, they’re not bad, just not my favorite style. So, here goes nothing.

ABV: 7.9%

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Trivia: According to beernews.org, “Long Trail Brewery is set to celebrate 100 years of the Long Trail. The brewery will replace Winter White this year with a new brew in the Brewmaster Series according to a brewery rep. Long Trail Centennial Red (an Imperial Red) will be released in early November in 22 oz. bottles, following the Imperial Porter. 7.9% ABV. The beer celebrates 100 years of the Long Trail.”

Random: I’m not the biggest fan of Long Trail beers, but the Brewmaster Series beers seem to be pretty darn good. This was one that I had on my list to get when it came out, despite the fact that it’s an amber, which is not my favorite type of beer.

This beer poured with a two finger white head that took about five minutes to dissipate and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a chestnut-brown color and slightly cloudy with moderate carbonation. The nose had a definite hop scent to it with some sweet caramel malt. The taste is not at all what I expected. The first thing that stood out to me was the fact that it had a metallic aftertaste. The second thing I got was a definite earthy malt flavor to it. There also was a hint of citrus. There was just something off-balance with the brew and I couldn’t get over the metallic taste. The finish was more of the same, but I’m just not a huge fan. The brew was also a little too thin for me. I wouldn’t have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Tommyknocker Maple Nut Brown Ale

Another day, another beer. I picked this up in a mixed six-pack because nothing else really caught my eye. I pretty much grabbed the first beer I saw, which was this one.

ABV: 4.5%

Style: American Brown Ale

Trivia: According to the Tommyknocker website, “A delicate amount of Maple syrup is added to each barrel of our award-winning Maple Nut Brown Ale to impart roasted sweetness. This addition balances the nut flavor produced by  chocolate malts used in the brewhouse, producing a drinkable dark amber ale with a relatively low alcohol content. 1996 Great American Beer Festival Bronze Medal.  1999 NABA Silver Medal.  2000 World Beer Cup Gold Medal.  2002 GABF Bronze Medal.  2002 NABA Silver Medal.  2003 GABF Bronze Medal. 2006 GABF Bronze Medal.”

Random: I’ve never seen this brewery in NJ before. After some research, it seems like this is a new brewery to come to NJ. I hope it’s good because the beer store has a lot of different brews from this place.

The brew poured with a barely there white head with no lacing left on my pint glass. The body was a hazy golden brown with moderate visible carbonation. The nose has definite caramel malts with a slight hint of maple that was mentioned in the name of the beer. The taste has moderate carbonation with definite sweetness and malt. The maple was very subtle, which isn’t what I expected. I was hoping for a little more maple apparent on the taste. This is a beer that has lower alcohol than I typically drink and it was pretty thing. The finish was quick and unremarkable. This wasn’t a fabulous brew, but it would be a good session beer, although I wouldn’t rush back to have it any time soon.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Four Loko – Grape

Sometimes I don’t know why I do the things that I do. This includes (but is not limited to) buying this malt beverage. I think I’m going to regret this decision…

ABV: 12%

Style: Malt Beverage

Trivia: According to wikipedia, “Four is a line of alcoholic energy drinks sold by Phusion Projects of Chicago, Illinois. Phusion operates as Drink Four Brewing Company. The name ‘Four’ is derived from the drink’s original four main ingredients: alcohol, caffeine, taurine, and guarana. It also contains carbonated water, sugar, and natural and artificial flavoring. Four debuted in the United States market in 2005. It is now sold in 46 states and in Europe. Four energy drinks have been the object of legal, ethical, and health concerns related to the company allegedly marketing them to minors and the purported danger of combining alcohol and caffeine.”

Random: There was so much in the news about this stuff that I really had to see what the hype was about. But, I have a feeling it has more to do with getting wasted than flavor.

This poured a dark people clear color with visible carbonation. I’m already not thrilled with this. The nose was an almost sickeningly sweet grape flavor that was completely artificial. It reminded me of grape soda. The only thing that was worse than the smell was the taste. Man, this stuff is gross. It was a definitely artificial grape flavor but a huge smack of booze on it with some carbonation. The only thing that could make this worse is if it were warm. It also had this weird bite that I couldn’t identify on the finish. There was absolutely no reason to drink this except to get wasted. This was a definite drain pour. Never again…

Untappd Rating: 0.5/5.0

Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter

This was the second brew that I had at The Pour House. I’ve only had one other, the Great Lakes Commodore Perry IPA and I remember being impressed with it.

ABV: 5.8%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to wikipedia, “SS Edmund Fitzgerald (nicknamed ‘Mighty Fitz,’ ‘Fitz,’ or ‘Big Fitz’), was an American Great Lakes freighter, which was known for its size and became famous after sinking in a Lake Superior storm on November 10, 1975, with a loss of the entire crew. At the time of its launch on June 8, 1958, the Fitzgerald was the largest boat on the Great Lakes and it remained the largest until 1971. It was one of the first boats to be at or near maximum St Lawrence Seaway size which was 730 feet (222.5 meters) long and 75 feet (22.9 m) wide. The Fitzgerald was a record-setting ‘workhorse,’ often breaking its own records. For 17 years the Fitzgerald carried taconite from Minnesota’s Iron Range mines near Duluth, Minnesota, to iron works in Detroit, Toledo, and other ports. The Fitzgerald set seasonal haul records six different times.”

Random: I really like the historical aspect of the names of the Great Lakes beers. Being a history buff, it’s something that I’m really down with.

This brew poured with a barely there white head that dissipated quickly. The body was a dark brown color with some visible carbonation. The nose was definitely smoky with some roasted malts and a hint of coffee. I think I found a hint of chocolate in there too, but the smoke just dominated the nose. The taste had moderate carbonation with definite chocolate notes and finishes with coffee and a hint of bitterness. This is a really well-balanced brew. The finish stayed around for awhile, but this was a good thing as I was really digging the beer. The body is on the thin side, which made this an easy drinker although the flavor is really big. This is definitely my favorite porter. Awesome brew!

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0