Terrapin Monk’s Revenge

Today was a crazy long day. It’s been crazy at work because of all of the evacuations and such, so I didn’t even get to the gym until 6. I had a great day at the gym and lifted like a beast. I can’t wait until this week is over though. My birthday is on Friday and I’m going to one of my favorite restaurants in New Brunswick. Saturday, I’m hanging out with some friends and playing some beer pong and cooking. Anyways, onto the brew.

ABV: 9.6%

Style: Belgian IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The high content alcohol of this beer make it perfect for cellaring…hide it away and pull one out for a special event 2-3 years later.”

Random: I’m watching the Deadliest Warrior and my sister asked me if you could have a Napoleon complex before Napolean (because Hernan Cortes is so short). She then revised this thought to having a pre-Napolean complex.

I’m definitely a big fan of Belgian IPAs. There is something about the Belgian yeast coupled with lots of hops. This one is a brew that I’ve been looking around for and have high hopes for. It poured with a one finger pure white head on a clear orange body with mild carbonation. The nose had a lot of notes that were reminiscent of a Belgian. I got some golden fruits and Belgian yeast primarily. I didn’t get a lot in the nose that would remind me of an IPA. On the taste, the first thing that came through was the Belgian qualities. I got a bit of sweetness and yeast and apricots. Then, on the end of the sip, I got a hint of hop bitterness with a little bit of citrus. But, this brew was definitely more Belgian than anything for me. The sweetness lasted around for awhile. The body of the beer was a little thinner than expected and I had to search to find any sort of carbonation. The alcohol causes a little bit of burn, but nothing intense. Although I really enjoyed this beer and would have it again, I think that perhaps the beer could have used a little more bitterness to it. But, again, I would definitely have this again and I loved the complexity of the brew.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Abita Jockamo IPA

It’s been a crazy weekend. I’ve been MIA because I’ve been working like crazy since Saturday because of the hurricane. Saturday, I got to work at 1430. I left work at 1530 on Sunday and went to my girlfriend’s house. I was lucky enough to not only be fed and get a chance to shower, but she also did my laundry and made me lunch for the next day. This is actually the first day I’ve been home since the hurricane. See below for my hurricane uniform…

Anyways, now that you’ve seen me dorking out, onto the brew.

ABV: 6.5%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Jockamo is named for the tribes of dancing, singing, chanting ‘Mardi Gras Indians’ who have marched in New Orleans for over 250 years. When you hear the drums, join in the song…’Iko! Iko! Jockamo fe na ne.’ Jockamo I.P.A. is a traditional India Pale Ale made with the best pale and light crystal malts that give the beer a copper color and malty flavor. This full-flavored beer is hopped and dry hopped liberally with Willamette and Columbus hops from the Pacific Northwest and has a 6.5% A.B.V. The spicy aroma of the hops contrasts nicely with the pleasant sweetness of the malts. Jockamo has a flavor that entices and excites the palate. The intense hop character adds more spice to the meal and makes it a perfect choice to team up with many spicy dishes. Cheddar and strong farmer cheeses stand up well to Jockamo’s hoppy character. Jockamo goes well with wild game, grilled meats and Thai or Mexican cuisine.”

Random: In all my almost ten years in EMS, I’ve never seen anything like this hurricane. At least in my area.

This brew poured with a one finger pure white head that dissipated and left a decent amount of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, chestnut-brown with lots of active carbonation visible on the brew. The nose presented with notes of fresh grapefruit, quickly followed up by a bit of nuttiness. On the first sip, I found the brew very watery with a decent amount of carbonation. After I got used to how thin the brew was, I got definite notes of hazelnut on the brew with some minor bitterness. I didn’t find this an overly hoppy brew, especially for an IPA. There was also a bit of sweetness and nuttiness that lasted onto the finish, which lasted for awhile. Overall, this was not a fantastic IPA. I wouldn’t rush back to have this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Grand Teton Trout Hop Black IPA

Another day, another beer. I had a crappy day at the gym. Honestly, I was due since I’ve been doing so well for the past 3+ weeks. I came home and started watching the Phils game. Again, it’s a massacre, well at least so far. My girlfriend is a diehard Mets fan, so needless to say, she’s not the happiest person in the world. Especially since last night, they lost 10-0 to the Phils. I’m also excited because we have reservations tomorrow at a restaurant in Princeton. So, at least I have that to look forward to tomorrow. Anyways, beer time.

ABV: 8.5%

Style: American Black Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Trout Hop Black IPA is a spicy and bold American-Style India Black Ale, with notes of fresh pine needles and spruce tips. Brewed with Idaho 2-Row Brewers’ Malt and German specialty malts, this ale has a deep rich color and roasted finish but does not have the thick and rich body that often accompanies malty brews. Kettle hopped and dry hopped with Pacific Northwest hops, the resulting bitterness is bold and pronounced, the aroma piney and zesty. The full body and dry finish create a refreshing autumn ale, perfect for any crisp afternoon or cool evening. The spicy hops of this ale complement bold, flavorful foods. Chocolate mole enchiladas, Indian and Thai curries, and barbeque ribs will go nicely.”

Random: Vance Worley almost looks like he’s going to seize before he throws a pitch. He does this weird glove shaking thing. I guess it’s better than licking your hand.

This brew poured with a two finger tan head that left lots of lacing on my imperial pint glass. The body was a dark brown, almost black, with no visible carbonation due to the color. Every time I pour a black IPA, I get confused because it looks almost like a stout. I’ve also never enjoyed a black IPA the way I enjoy a regular one, and perhaps because I just don’t know whether I’m going to get more roasted malts from it or the hops. Anyways, the nose had notes of roasted malts and a bit of pine, although the malts took over. The taste definitely shocked me. It reminded me more of a stout or a porter than a black IPA. Roasted malts came out with a bit of coffee and even a hint of chocolate. The bitterness was a bit more muted than I expected, although the finish came out with a hint of grapefruit. The body was thinner than expected with mild carbonation and the finish lingered. Again, not a bad beer, I just think my qualm was with the style. I wouldn’t rush back to have it again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Sixpoint Righteous Ale

Tonight is the night of my fantasy draft for football. I decided to a league with the guys from work (and my girlfriend) and we’re picking tonight. For me, it’s always difficult to choose who to pick and I always second guess myself. I’m picking 4th, which I absolutely hate. I prefer last pick because then you get the first and second picks in a row. Oh well. Hopefully I get someone decent.

ABV: 6.4%

Style: Rye Beer

Trivia: According to wikipedia, “Rye is one of a number of species that grow wild in central and eastern Turkey, and adjacent areas. Domesticated rye occurs in small quantities at a number of Neolithic sites in Turkey, such as PPNB Can Hasan III, but is otherwise virtually absent from the archaeological record until the Bronze Age of central Europe, c. 1800-1500 BC. It is possible that rye traveled west from Turkey as a minor admixture in wheat (possibly as a result of Vavilovian mimicry), and was only later cultivated in its own right. Although archeological evidence of this grain has been found in Roman contexts along the Rhine, Danube, and in the British Isles, Pliny the Elder was dismissive of rye, writing that it ‘is a very poor food and only serves to avert starvation’ and spelt is mixed into it ‘to mitigate its bitter taste, and even then is most unpleasant to the stomach.'”

Random: I’m really enjoying the whole beer out of a can thing. It’s really convenient for barbecuing.

This brew poured with a two finger, off white, fluffy head that left significant lacing on the glass. The body was a clear copper color with moderate visible carbonation. On the nose, I got a bit of hoppiness that was coupled with some nuttiness and sweetness, which I’m guessing is due to the rye. The taste had a bit of bitterness with some rye, followed with a little bit of citrus and toffee sweetness. The finish was a bit on the nutty side and quick. The carbonation is moderate on a thin body. For me, this was a really subtle, yet flavorful and refreshing beer. The rye doesn’t overwhelm the brew, but really adds something to it. I would definitely have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Saranac Black Forest

I ended up going to lunch today with my parents. This isn’t out of the ordinary, as I spend every Sunday having Sunday dinner with my family (it’s a big Italian thing). We ended up at one of the bars that I consistently go to. They have about 20 bottled craft beers and a few on tap. It’s now to the point that I’m running out of beers there to review. I actually have to check my blog to see if I’ve reviewed a beer or not before I order it. It’s mildly depressing. So, onto one beer I haven’t reviewed…

ABV: 5.5%

Style: Schwarzbier

Trivia: According to wikipedia, “The Black Forest is a wooded mountain range in Baden-Württemberg, southwestern Germany. It is bordered by the Rhine valley to the west and south. The highest peak is the Feldberg with an elevation of 1,493 metres (4,898 ft). The region is almost rectangular with a length of 200 km (120 mi) and breadth of 60 km (37 mi). Hence it has an area of approximately 12,000 km2 (4,600 sq mi). The name Schwarzwald, i.e. Black Forest, goes back to the Romans who referred to the thickly forested mountains there as Silva Nigra, i.e. ‘Black Forest,’ because the dense growth of conifers in the forest blocked out most of the light inside the forest.”

Random: This is an absolutely horrible picture, but the lighting in this place is atrocious, so I did the best that I could.

The brew poured with a one finger, off white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, dark brown, almost black color. There was no visible carbonation on the brew due to the color. The nose was very mild, more mild than I’ve ever experienced from a schwarzbier. It had hints of roasted malt and a little it of smoke. The taste had hints of smoke, roasted malts and even a little bit of coffee. Unfortunately, there were no hints of bacon in this brew. The body itself was very thin with moderate carbonation. The roasted malts lasted until the finish, which was very quick. There was no noticeable alcohol on the beer, which makes sense due to the low ABV. Although it seemed like this was a very simplistic brew, I really enjoyed it. I would have this beer again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Shipyard Old Thumper ESA

Today was a great day. I spent the day with my girlfriend, running errands in the morning and then we headed to Philly for the night. We went to Dave and Buster’s. Despite the fact that a) it was insanely crowded and b) the cover band for the outside bar was atrocious (they did this cover of Kings of Leon “Use Somebody” that was worse than a karaoke version), we had a blast playing video games and watching the ships go out. We got back around 1 and now I can’t sleep. So, I figured I’d do a quick beer review and hopefully be able to hit the hay afterwards.

ABV: 5.9%

Style: Extra Special/Strong Bitter (ESB)

Trivia: According to the brewery website, this beer was created in 1979 by Peter Austin of Ringwood Brewery. It’s considered to be a non-tradition English bitter.

Random: They made an arcade version of Fruit Ninja. It was even more fun than the app on my iphone.

This brew poured with a two finger pure white had that dissipated very slowly and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear amber color with lots of active, visible carbonation on the brew. The nose had a bit of sweetness on it and a hint of peat to it. On the taste, the first thing that hit me was the very active carbonation. The next thing that I got was a bit of maltiness that followed up with a hint of orange and bread. The body of the brew was pretty thin, which actually worked for the beer. There was also a hint of mild bitterness on the body. This bitterness lasted to the finish, which was pretty mild and didn’t last for that long. Not a bad brew, but I think that my qualms are more with the style than anything. I wouldn’t rush back to have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Mendocino Red Tail Ale

It’s almost the weekend. I have some plans to hit up one of my favorite bar restaurants tomorrow, which I’m definitely looking forward to. It’s also Jersey Shore night and one of my favorite past times is tweeting the things that my sister says during it. She’s absolutely hilarious. So, onto the beer for the night.

ABV: 6%

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Red Tail Ale is our flagship brand. It is brewed in the traditional ‘old world’ manner, using premium two-row malted barley, hops and our own special proprietary yeast strain. It is an amber ale with a rich complex refreshing flavor and a crisp dry finish. Like good wine, Red Tail Ale is a perfect complement to fine dining.”

Random: I love that half of the cast of the Jersey Shore isn’t Italian.

The brew poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy copper color with lots of visible carbonation. The nose had definite notes of caramel malt, citrus and hops. There was also a hint of a medicinal smell to it. On the taste, there were notes of caramel malt and yeast. I also got a bit of a metallic taste to it. Although I’m not a fan of ambers in general, I think this is probably one of the worst ones that I’ve ever had. The hint of metal lingered around until the finish. The only good thing about the beer? The body thickness was spot on and the carbonation worked well. Other than that, I really did not enjoy this beer at all. I wouldn’t have this again.

Untappd Rating: 1.0/5.0

Wormtown Pro-Am Porter

It’s been a bit of a crazy week. I’ve been spending a decent amount of time at the gym and just hanging out with friends and I haven’t found time to taste a lot of beers. I’ve been drinking some macros (yes, I know…this is what I get for hanging out with someone who loves Bud Light Lime) and watching a lot of baseball. I went to turn on the ESPN game tonight, which was supposed to be the Phillies and they were blacked out. So, I’m stuck watching the New York Mess until Deadliest Warrior comes on. So…beer time.

ABV: 6.8%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A collaboration with local home brewer Keith Antul. Inspired by the Great American Beer Festival’s Pro-Am competition we chose Keith’s American Homebrewers Association competition medaling robust porter recipe and scaled it up and brewed a batch with him at Wormtown. This limited one off batch is extremely dark brown with hints of red when held up to the light. Large roasted chocolate aroma. Medium body complimented by strong malt flavor that mixes roasty malt and chocolate. Dry finish with lingering cocoa and roast accented hop bitterness. Very British in style and ingredients.”

Random: It’s been forever since I’ve had a porter. Almost two months, actually.

This brew poured with a half a finger of tan head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was almost black with lots of active, visible carbonation on it. The nose was filled with notes of coffee and chocolate. Damn, this smells really good. On the taste, I was definitely impressed. The body was perfect for a porter…it wasn’t too thick or too thin. The taste had notes of coffee and chocolate and roasted malts that were apparent in the nose. I also got a hint of vanilla and bitterness to it. The finish lingered with some bitter chocolate. Carbonation on the brew was active and went really well with the thickness of the brew. I was definitely impressed with this brew and this was one of the better porters that I’ve had (although, I can’t remember a bad porter that I’ve had). I would definitely have this again. If you can find a bomber of this, grab it. You won’t be disappointed.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0

Abita Select Triple Haze

It’s been a few days since a review. I had a pretty decent week at work and I spent a relaxing weekend at home. I cooked yesterday and made some flank steak with homemade chimichurri sauce, a tomatillo salsa and grilled zucchini. Today, after not wanting to get out of bed because of the rain, I went to Surf Taco. I seriously love the food at Surf Taco. Anyways, I saw they had Triple Haze on tap and I had to try it, especially given my love of Abita brews.

ABV: 8%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery, “Our Triple Haze is a take off of one of our most popular year round offerings, Purple Haze. It is a strong golden lager made with malted barley and wheat. Despite being strong (8% ABV) it is still light in color. It is hopped with German Perle hops to give the beer a delicate hop flavor. After filtering the beer, a generous amount of fresh raspberry puree is added. Because we use real fruit you may see raspberry pulp in the beer. This gives the beer a tartly sweet taste and aroma, as well as a bright purple color and haze.”

Random: I think the best thing at Surf Taco is the garlic shrimp tacos…they are so yummy.

This brew poured with a one finger, pure white head that dissipated slowly and left a tinge of lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy orange with mild visible carbonation. On the nose, I got hints of raspberry with some wheat to it. On the taste, I definitely got a decent amount of raspberry, which is to be expected. What I didn’t expect was the bite that went along with it. It was almost like regular Purple Haze with more heat to it from the 8% ABV. The finished lingered with a boozy burn. Honestly, it’s not great. I prefer the regular version. I wouldn’t rush back to have it again.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Schlafly Export India Pale Ale

It’s been a few days since I’ve done a beer tasting. I’ve been trying to drop weight for my birthday and I’m down another 6 pounds. So, I figured that since I’m taking a day off from the gym tonight, I’d do a quick review. This is a beer that I actually bought a six-pack of and I remember enjoying the other five.

ABV: 8%

Style: English IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our Export IPA (India Pale Ale) is a strong, heavily-hopped, British-style ale.  This beer features a big malt backbone of 2-row and caramel malted barley.  Export IPA has a high level of bitterness from English hop varietals: Pilgrim and East Kent Goldings, which lend a spicy lemon flavor.  The English yeast strain adds a fruity component to the beer. Export IPA’s were first brewed in England for British troops in India during the late 1700’s.  To withstand the long voyage, regular pale ales were fortified with more malted barley, for a higher alcohol content, and extra hops, a natural preservative.  Many believe this strong ale was then watered down for regular troops, while officers and the elite would enjoy the full strength brew.  Today, most UK and American brewers recreate this style with alcohol content around 7%-8% ABV.”

Random: I kinda love watching Jersey Shore with my sister. Just saying.

This beer poured with a barely there white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a very cloudy orange color with a crazy amount of sediment visible in the body. There was also very mild carbonation visible on the beer. The nose had mild notes of pine and a slight hint of sweetness. On the taste, this was definitely an English IPA. The bitterness was very mild compared with an American IPA. I got a little bit of grapefruit followed by some sweetness and then a bit of nuttiness to it. The alcohol in this beer was insanely well hidden and I didn’t get any sort of burn on it. The finish was pretty quick. I’m not the biggest fan of English IPAs, but I thought this was alright, not great. I wouldn’t rush back to have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0