Fegley’s Brew Works Hop Explosion

The second review of the night. Katie came over to keep me company tonight, which was really nice. We hung out and watched some baseball and had a great time. So, onto the brew…

ABV: 7%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The smell of grapefruit, a sweet malt flavor, and oh by the way, lots of hop bitterness. Brewed in the tradition of West Coast ales, we have put loads of malt and hops in our kettle to come up with this sensational ale. Brewed with pale and crystal malts hopped with Tomahawk, Chinook, and Cascade from Yakima Valley, WA. This beer style has made many a microbrewery famous, and this one is sure to please all those who love hops. This amazing beer may very well bring you to your knees, detonate in your mouth, and take your hophead right off.”

Random: I really don’t get why baseball is starting the season in Japan. Seriously? It makes no sense to me whatsoever.

This brew poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated quickly and left mild lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy, orange color with moderate, visible carbonation. The nose was filled with crisp grapefruit and not much else. After I let it warm, I also got some caramel malt. The taste had a lot of grapefruit to it. It also had some other citrus and a nice note of bitterness. At the end of the sip, I got a mild hint of caramel sweetness. The body was thin with light carbonation. It completed with a quick finish of grapefruit. Not a bad brew, but nothing outstanding.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Rogue XS Imperial Red

Another day over. Today wasn’t as bad at work. Plus, it’s getting closer to the weekend, which is nice. I’m also headed down to the Atlantic City Beer Fest this weekend. It just so happens that my sister is down there this week for the Builder’s Convention, so I’m headed down to the Borgata on Friday night and then hitting the Saturday afternoon session. I’m definitely excited. So, tonight’s brew…

ABV: 9%

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A big beer with a spicy fruity aroma, chewy mid palate of figs and spice and a long lingering finish. Deep burgundy in color with tremendous drinkability.”

Random: I’m not a fan of the 7 ounce bottle…I understand that it’s a higher alcohol beer, but 7 ounces? Come on.

Wow, this brew’s a midget! Like my girlfriend. I constantly bust her balls because she’s shorter than me (I’m a whopping 5’2″ and she’s 5’0″), so needless to say, she’ll probably read this and I’ll get told that I’m like the Jolly Green Giant (sarcastically). The brew poured with almost no head. It had a hint of white head on top of a cloudy, chestnut body. I couldn’t tell how much carbonation to expect from this one due to cloudiness. The little bit of head didn’t leave any lacing on the glass. The nose started with a lot of malt and some booze. It definitely didn’t smell like a red ale. Wow, it didn’t taste like a red ale either. It started with a bit of hop bitterness, but malt came right after and stole the show. The booze was also pretty apparent. It also had a hint of brandy to it. Honestly, it reminded me more of a barleywine than an amber. The mouthfeel was thick and a bit syrupy. The carbonation was very low. The finish hung around almost too long with a bit of booze and sweetness from the malt. The brew was good, but it didn’t knock my socks off. It’s worth a shot though.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Southern Tier Oak Aged Unearthly (Imperial India Pale Ale)

This was the second brew that I had at Maloney’s. Since Katie was nice enough to drive, I could push the envelope with the ABV of the brews that I was having. Southern Tier seems to be a brewery that I tend to ignore, for reasons unknown. They have beers that are pretty unique and imaginative, but I never get them. It could be as a result of a lot of their beers being in bombers, but I’m definitely going to make an attempt to try some more of them if I can…so time for some Imperial IPA goodness.

ABV: 9.9%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “At the Southern Tier Brewing Company, vigorously hopped beer is our standard and inspiration. We continue a commitment to innovation with an aggressive offering. Oak Aged Unearthly is a manifestation of the brewer’s craft; skillfully balancing art and the forces of nature to produce a divine liquid. Delicately pour a taste of this oak aged brew into a fluted glass. Smell the enchanting aromas of the hops waft forward as your first sip divulges this beer’s fervent soul. To underestimate Oak Aged Unearthly is to trifle with the mysteries of the universe, so please consume wisely.”

Random: I was surprised that this brew was served in a full pint glass. After looking at some other beer sites, it is recommended that this brew is served in a snifter or tulip. Oh well.

This brew poured with almost no head when served to me. That surprised me because I usually see a decent head on beers of this style. My guess is that it wasn’t a great pour. What little head was there was pure white, but left no lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy, light brown with moderate, visible carbonation. The nose was very subtle…odd for an oak aged beer. I got pine and some malt, not much else. Then, I got to the taste. Whatever was missing in the nose was totally made up for in the taste. The oak was up front on the sip. It was silky with a bit of bourbon and smoke flavors. The hops were not all that intense and quickly balanced by the caramel malt. The body was on the thicker side with low carbonation. Damn, this beer was on point. I tend to love anything oak aged and this one really delivered. The booze was relatively well hidden with a long oakey finish. Wow, I’m in love. Unfortunately, Katie disagreed. I gave her a sip of this and she made another horrible face. Apparently I should just stick to letting her try fruit beers.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0

Dogfish Head Noble Rot

Yesterday was another stressful day at work. Since I had a bad day, Katie was nice enough to take me to one of my favorite beer bars, Maloney’s. Honestly, the ambiance and the crowd are really nothing impressive to me, but the beer selection and the sheer amount of taps are. They constantly get different beers and the taps rotate frequently. The food is pretty good too. So, the first selection of the night…

ABV: 9%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This saison-esque science project gets complexity and fermentable sugars from two unique wine grapes sourced with our friends at Alexandria Nicole Cellars in Prosser, Wash. The first addition is unfermented juice, known as must, from viognier grapes that have been infected with a benevolent fungus called botrytis. This noble rot reduces the water content in the grapes while magnifying their sweetness and complexity. The second is pinot gris must intensified by a process called dropping fruit, where large clusters of grapes are clipped to amplify the quality of those left behind. Noble Rot is brewed with pils and wheat malts and fermented with a distinct Belgian yeast strain. It has a spicy white wine body and a dry, tart finish.”

Random: I think that the onion rings at Maloney’s are some of the best that I’ve ever had. They’re grilled and not greasy at all…almost addiction forming, really.

This is another beer that I was really excited to try. Dogfish Head always tries to think outside of the box and do some crazy things with beer. This one, from what I’ve read, is no exception. From what they’ve said, they are really trying to bridge the gap between wine and beer, which I love, given the fact that I grew up in a wine-oriented family. This beer poured with a one finger, white head. I think that it was left on the bar for awhile before being served to me, because there was already a decent amount of lacing left on the glass with only one finger of head, whereas it looked like there was room for two fingers. The body was a clear, light yellow color with moderate carbonation. The nose had some pleasant honey sweetness and a bit of a Belgian smell to it. The taste…definitely a bit different than the nose and not what I was expecting. The wine grapes were very obvious on the taste, and for the first few sips, that was the only thing that I got. I finally got a bit of tartness as well with some hay. There really was not a lot of sweetness to it. This really tasted like carbonated white wine to me, not that I was complaining. It was really enjoyable, actually. The booze in this was completely invisible…making this incredibly dangerous. The body was very light with medium carbonation. It finished quickly with the white wine grapes that were dominant in the taste. I did have this brew on draft, so I’m not sure if it would be different than out of the bottle. This was definitely one of the more interesting brews that I’ve ever had. I wish my sister (the wine nerd) could have tried it. I let Katie try it and she made a face that looked like I kicked her cat. She quickly went back to her fruity, girly drink to get the taste out of her mouth, so I’m guessing she was not a fan. But, I would definitely have this again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

March Madness – Final Four

March Madness – Final Four

We’re now down to the Final Four. Every beer that’s made it this far is one that I’ve really loved. This is definitely going to be a tough matchup. Let’s see who makes it to the finals…

(1) Westmalle Trappist Tripel v. (3) Terrapin Reunion Beer 2011

Winner: Terrapin Reunion Beer 2011

Comments: I know, I know…how could Terrapin beat Westmalle? I loved both beers. You can’t argue with how solid of a tripel Westmalle is and against any other matchup, it would probably win for me. But, my favorite style of beer involves chilis and hot peppers. You give me a solid beer that gives me a bit of heat, it’s sessionable and incredibly flavorful? I’ll grab that over a Belgian nine times out of 10.

(2) Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA v. (1) Avery Out of Bounds Stout

Winner: Stone Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA

Comments: Another difficult matchup. I really couldn’t find much fault with Avery’s offering. What it came down to for me was that I’ve had better stouts than Out of Bounds, albeit not many. I have not found a black IPA that is any better than Stone, nor have I found one that made me sad when I was getting to the end of the bottle. The flavors were balanced and the roasted malts didn’t overwhelm the hoppiness. For me, it was perfection within the style.

Damn, that was pretty difficult. All of them were fantastic beers that I would love to try again. Here’s the updated bracket if you want to take a look Round 6. I’ll see you April 2nd for the finals!

Long Trail Triple Bag

Another Monday over with. Work has lately just been crappy in general. It’s really busy and really stressful, so I’ve been looking forward to going to the gym and coming home and relaxing. I just scared the crap out of my sister. She saw my cat eating “something,” thinking it was a bug. I picked it up with a napkin (it was a thing of fuzz) and said that it was a “big…scary…FUZZ” and shoved it in her face and she screamed. After which, I collapsed into laughter in the hallway. Now that I’ve composed myself, time for a brew.

ABV: 9.2%

Style: American Strong Ale

Trivia: According to beerpulse.com, “Long Trail Triple Bag: A high-malt version of Double Bag. Malty, full-bodied double Alt. Was supposed to be a one-off beer but surprise, surprise…”

Random: There isn’t any information on the Long Trail website about this beer…given how extensive their website is, that’s pretty surprising.

This is probably the most exciting Long Trail label that I’ve seen. The cow on it looks pretty bad ass. The brew poured with almost no head. There was an inkling of tan on top of cloudy dark brown body. There was also a bit of red to the body when held to the light. I couldn’t see any carbonation on the brew due to the cloudiness. The nose had a lot going on. I got raisins, brown sugar, caramel and an almost cloying sweetness to it. The taste was incredibly sweet at the start. I got a bit of raisin, but more biscuit malt on the taste than I got in the nose. At the end, there was a little bit of bitterness to it. The booze is upfront and apparent. The body had very low carbonation and medium thickness, bordering on the syrupy side. The finish was long with hot booze. Not a bad brew by any means, but not something I’d rush back to have.

Note: After it warmed for about 20 minutes, the booze calmed down a bit and the flavors were a bit more in sync. I would have this one again, as long as I let it warm up sufficiently.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

16 Mile Inlet IPA

This was a review I did yesterday, but forgot to write up. As I’m attempting to write this up, my cat is using me as a jungle gym. It’s like, no matter what I’m doing, he insists on climbing on me so that my focus is on him and I start petting him. And usually I do. It does help that he’s cute. So, here’s the last of the 16 Mile brews that I picked up.

ABV: 6.1%

Style: English India Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Aromatic hops accompanied by bold flavors of citrus; crisp and refreshing from start to finish. Connecting the Indian River Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian River Inlet provides fishermen and seafarers alike coastal and off-shore adventure. When stormy weather abounds, strong currents and large swells test the skills of local surfers.”

Random: I found my cat’s bunny ears for Easter. He was not thrilled wearing them.

This poured with a half a finger of tan head that lingered for awhile and left a lot of lacing on the pint glass. The body was a clear, dark mahogany color with decent carbonation The nose was a bit of floral hops with a generous amount of malt. It really smelled like an English IPA. The taste was a bit different than the nose. It was a lot of floral and grapefruit notes. At the end of the sip, the malt came through, reminding me that this was an English IPA. The finish was very bitter, even more bitter than I’m used to for the style. The body was medium and a bit stick, coupled with less carbonation than expected. This was really good from an English IPA, but I think I liked it so much because it was so hop forward. I would definitely have this again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

March Madness – Round Four

Now it’s getting to the really tough matchups…I’m going to be sad to see any of these beers go home, but let’s see who lasts to the next round.

South Region

(1) Westmalle Trappist Tripel v. (2) Fuller’s London Porter

Winner: Westmalle Trappist Tripel

Comments: This was a ridiculously hard decision. I loved the London Porter, but the Belgian-y goodness edged it out by a hair. 

West Region

(1) Founders Red’s Rye PA v. (3) Terrapin Reunion Beer 2011

Winner: Terrapin Reunion Beer 2011

Comments: Upset alert. I loved the Terrapin beer and I knew this was going to win because I would pull that out of the fridge before the Founders offering. But, Red’s Rye was a fantastic brew.

East Region

(1) Anchorage Bitter Monk  v. (2) Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA

Winner: Stone 15th Anniversary Escondidian Imperial Black IPA

Comments: I love Belgian IPAs like no one else, but I have a few that I could put in the category of Bitter Monk. The Stone Black IPA stood alone as the best of the style that I’ve ever had and was incredibly enjoyable. 

Midwest Region

(1) Avery Out of Bounds Stout v. (3) Green Flash Double Stout

Winner: Avery Out of Bounds Stout

Comments: This was another close one. I liked the Avery brew a hair more than the Green Flash one, so it edged out the win.

If you want to see the updated bracket, you can take a look here: Round 5

16 Mile Old Court Ale

A quick review on Saturday night. I’m getting ready for dinner and I’ll be heading out later to meet up with Katie after work. I think we’re going to try a new place in Red Bank, so hopefully they’ll have some decent brews. This is another 16 Mile beer that I grabbed when I was in West Deptford. I first tried them when I was down in Delaware.

ABV: 6.1%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “An American ale that reserves its right to be different. A bit lighter in body, Old Court provides a citrusy hop aroma and caramel finish. 16 Mile names this ale for Sussex County’s original courthouse, which has been serving judicial needs since 1791. Today it stands on South Bedford Street just south of The Circle in historic Georgetown, Delaware.”

Random: I took the cat out on the leash for the first time this year. He seemed to really like it.

This brew poured with a finger of pure white head that dissipated slowly, but left a half a finger on top of the body. The body was a clear, mahogany color with moderate visible carbonation on it. The nose had a bit of nuttiness and sweetness and another flavor that wasn’t really pleasant. The taste was a bit more pleasant. The flavor was a bit of a malt bomb. It had a lot of sweetness from the caramel malt and a bit of nuttiness. The only hop presence came at the end of the sip with some very mild bitterness. The finish was relatively quick. The body was medium with lower than expected carbonation. This was an alright beer, but nothing fantastic. For a pale ale, there weren’t enough hops to it.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

16 Mile Blues’ Golden Ale

The weekend is finally here! I went to dinner with Katie and my sister and had a blast. So, before I hit the hay, here’s from the newest six-pack…stuff I got at Joe Canal’s in West Deptford. It’s either brews I haven’t seen up North or have seen but couldn’t get in singles…onto the brew.

ABV: 5.9%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Balanced layers of flavor. The crisp and clean finish of Blues’ Golden Ale makes it the perfect complement to any meal. 16 Mile names this golden ale for The Delaware Blues who fought in almost every battle of the Revolutionary War. Also pictured on our label, a monument in their honor is located Outside of Legislative Hall in Dover, Delaware.”

Random: And as I was reviewing the brew, the cat ate a stinkbug.

This brew poured with a half a finger of pure white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear straw yellow color with intense, visible carbonation. The nose had some sweet toasted malts and possibly a bit of citrus, if you searched for it. Honestly, it smelled very similar to a macro. The taste started with a bit of toasted malts and some honey to it. There was also a bit of grain to it. The end of the sip had some subtle tartness to it. The body was on the medium side and the carbonation was as intense as it looked. The finish was relatively long with a bit of sweetness. Honestly, this would be a brew that I would hand someone as a substitute for a macro…to switch them over to the dark side. I wasn’t a huge fan of it on its own, but in the context that I just mentioned, it was alright…nothing great. I wouldn’t rush back to have this again.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0