Left Hand Barrel Aged Wake Up Dead

Oh Walking Dead, how we have a love and hate relationship. You started so well, lots of tension and action. You left…crazy. No joke, you were actually crazy. The whole Lori-Rick thing and seeing her ghost? Really? Totally not necessary. You had enough tension without that. This was my “zombie” selection to watch with the show. Kate’s selection was also zombie related.


ABV: 10.2%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “But don’t be discouraged. You are ripe for a revolution! Just like the Bolsheviks of the early 1900’s, our barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout doesn’t happen overnight. Patience is required. Wake Up dead hibernates in our cellars for over 12 months before being blended to woody perfection. Hints of raisins, cherry, licorice and toffee, followed by earthy, herbal hop notes that rise up, joining you in your fight for a better life. Don’t be afraid of the dark. All power to the stouts!”

Random: I don’t like Daryl being separated from the group. I’m down with the crossbow and general bad assery.

This poured with a hint of tan head that dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a dark black color with heavy carbonation visible, despite the color. The nose was a lot of oak with roasted malt. Coffee and chocolate came along for the ride. The taste was really nice. I got coffee, oak, dark chocolate, vanilla and a bite at the end that was very reminiscent of bourbon. Booze made an appearance as well. The body was thick with moderate carbonation. The finish was long with lots of oak. This brew could have been a bit more balanced, but was generally enjoyable.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Samuel Smith’s Organic Raspberry Fruit Beer

Finally! The last post before I’m completely caught up. I know that the picture is weird on this beer, but I thought that it was pretty cool that everything was pink.
Sam Smith

ABV: 5.1%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Handcrafted at the tiny All Saints Brewery set in a time warp in Stamford using the old manually operated brewing equipment. Finest organically grown barley and wheat are used to create a complex ale which, having undergone primary and secondary fermentation with different yeasts and extended maturation, is taken to Samuel Smith’s small, independent British brewery at Tadcaster. There it is blended with pure organic cherry, strawberry, raspberry or apricot fruit juices and more organic beer to create fruit beers of considerable strength and flavour. The smooth distinctive character of the matured beer serves as the perfect counterpoint to the pure organic fruit juice.”

Random: According to Kate, people should not have 19 children. I can tell that she’s reading her large families blogs.

This brew poured with a two finger, cream-colored head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy chestnut color with a pink tinge. The carbonation was generous on this bad boy. The nose was all raspberry, almost like a lambic. The taste was nicer than the nose (and I didn’t mind the nose). I got tart raspberries with a touch of mineral water and bitterness. The body was medium thickness with moderate carbonation. The finish was long with tart raspberries. Although this beer is all about the fruit, I enjoyed it. Since it was very similar to a lambic, I can’t see having more than one. Try it if you see it!

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Dominion Baltic Porter

I’m almost done with this huge freaking backlog. I never seem to have time during the week to update one or two posts, so it always waits until the weekend. It’s one of those things that annoys me about myself. I really need to try to update more often so that I don’t spend an entire day doing this. Anyways, onto the brew…

ABV: 6.8%

Style: Baltic Porter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Dominion Baltic Porter is brewed to meet your need for warmth on a cold winter’s night. Hints of licorice, toffee & chocolate mingle with a touch of Rye giving our Porter a full-bodied taste. Raise your mug to those who were bold enough to brave the Baltic!”

Random: It seems as if Dominion’s winter seasonal made its way into New Jersey. Nice!

This beer poured with a two finger tan head that dissipated quickly with no lacing left on the glass, but a slight crown left on top of the body. The body was a dark black color with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose was relatively mild with roasted malts and some hop bitterness as well. The taste had a lot more body with roasted malts, some vanilla, dark chocolate and coffee. I expected a lot more flavor from this beer, but was sadly disappointed. The body was thick for the style with high carbonation. The finish was long and roasty. This was only an okay brew. I was hoping that I got more from it given that it was a winter seasonal, but no. I wouldn’t rush back to have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout

I love Lagunitas. They make damn fine beers. I love how flavorful their beers are and how every one that I’ve had was really solid and most of the time, absolutely outstanding. So, imagine how happy I was when Kate stocked this one in the fridge for me. I’ve been waiting to try this one for awhile too.

ABV: 9.2%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We get some help from our friends/neighbors at Sebastopol’s Hardcore Coffee just up the road. The coffee beans are freshly ground when we drop them into the brew kettle and whirlpool, giving that deep coffee flavor without taking away from that even deeper beer flavor.”

Random: I forgot how much I like Snow Patrol. Except for that “Chasing Cars” song. That one annoys me.

This brew poured with a one finger, thick tan-colored head that took forever to dissipate and left some lacing on the glass. The body was pretty much black with light carbonation visible throughout. The nose was light coffee and a milk component. I’ll give it to Lagunitas, it smelled like a cappuccino. Some roasted malts were incorporated into the nose as well. The taste was the light coffee and milk that was apparent in the nose. I also got roasted malt and a hint of smoke. The booze wasn’t there at all. This could turn out to be dangerous, especially if you’re not sharing the bomber. The body was on the light side of Imperial Stout, with light carbonation for the style as well. The finish was long and creamy. This was a straight-out great brew…flavorful, balanced and not like every other stout. I would definitely have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Yards Trubbel De Yards

Oh Yards, you’ve put another new beer out for me to try. And it’s a Belgian style beer. Given that I’ve been having crazy cravings for Belgian beers, I saw one bottle left at the beer store and grabbed it. Hopefully this is a good one!


ABV: 9%

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Trivia: This beer is so new, there’s nothing on the website about it. The bottle says that this beer has “the spiciness of a tripel, the maltiness of a dubbel.”

Random: I have some sort of bug bite on my big toe and it’s itching like crazy. I wish I was like a bear and could go rub my foot against a tree.

The bottle art didn’t look a typical Yards beer. I’m guessing they wanted it to standout, which it definitely did on the shelves. This poured with a two finger tan head that dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing behind. The body was a seriously dark brown with heavy visible carbonation. The nose presented with raisins, caramel, booze and chocolate. So far, this was more of a dubbel to me. The taste started with heavy chocolate, some booze, but it was generally well-hidden and then went into Belgian yeast, prunes and the unexpected flavor of banana. Some complex caramel sweetness finished the sip. The body was on the thinner side of dubbel with moderate carbonation. The finish was long and spice. This was a very flavorful and unexpected addition to the Yards lineup, although I don’t know if I would call this a “trubbel.” It was a bit more towards the dubbel side.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Southern Tier Phin & Matt’s Extraordinary Ale

I’m not looking forward to getting up early tomorrow. I have a safety meeting at another location tomorrow from 0800-1100. Then, I have to head back to my location and finish a few things up and hopefully home by 1. My plans with Kate after are to hit up a beer bar and have a date while the kid is in daycare. Let’s cross our fingers that everything goes according to plan tomorrow.

ABV: 5.4%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, this brew is tasty with earthy cheeses. Good to know.

Random: We’ve now gotten to the country portion of my iTunes. I’m listening to “I Wonder” by Kelly Pickler. It’s interesting to listen to, especially because my daughter is adopted and I know she has a lot of the same questions.

This poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated instantly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a dark, golden-yellow color with insane carbonation visible through the glass. The nose was pretty hoppy with a bit of grapefruit zest, lemon and grass. I didn’t get any malt on the nose, despite the fact that the bottle says that three different types of malts were used. The taste was a bit different. I got grass and earthy hops, but not as much citrus. Bready malt took over at the end of the sip The body was medium thickness and the carbonation was borderline overpowering. The finish was long and the malt hung around for awhile. This was an alright pale ale. The flavors were decent, but nothing outstanding. With that being said, I’d have it again if a better option wasn’t available.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Goose Island Pepe Nero (2012)

Black saisons…in theory, should work for me. I love the coffee and chocolate and burnt flavors imparted by roasted malts. I also love the delicate and flavorful aspects of a saison with the spice and the yeast characteristics. Together? Not so much for me, at least with the ones that I’ve had. Hopefully this one changes my mind.

ABV: 6%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “With an aroma of roasted chestnuts and a mysteriously dark, mahogany hue, Pepe Nero is a farmhouse ale brewed with black peppercorns. His roasty sweetness melds into a lingering, earthy, black pepper finish that is ideal for pairing with grilled meats and roasted vegetables.”

Random: I’m getting more and more use out of this Allagash glass. It’s really nice to have a choice of big girl beer glasses at Kate’s now.

This poured with a huge and fluffy, four finger than head that dissipated very slowly. I think I’ve watched paint dry quicker. The body was a clear, very dark brown color that was bordering on black. Huge carbonation was visible throughout the beer. The nose was light with burnt malt with a touch of barnyard funk and citrus. The taste isn’t as good as the nose. It seemed confused. First I got bready and burnt malt with some yeast. Then some barnyard funk and citrus came through at the end, but the notes were a bit disjointed. I will admit that the more I let this sit, the better that it got. Some spice and peppercorn notes came through as well. The body was thick with heavy carbonation. The finish was lengthy with burnt malts. This just doesn’t do it for me. I think it’s one of those styles that I’ll never get into.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Schlafly Oak Aged Barleywine

Two hours until “The Walking Dead” starts. This means 2 hours to get 7 more reviews done and be completely caught up. I think I can get that done. I have a special beer to review tonight to celebrate. Anyways, I was having a barleywine craving with the impending snowstorm, so Kate picked this one up for me.

ABV: 10.2%

Style: English Barleywine

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Schlafly Oak Aged Barleywine has a deep copper color and an intense malt flavor balanced by assertive hops. Fermentation with American ale yeast allows the caramel malt to shine. We age the beer on new, medium toast Missouri Oak to enhance its complexity and to develop its smooth, luscious character. Barleywine is a classic English-style hearty ale. The term refers to a beer with the potency of wine and is often vintage-dated. This beer will continue to age well in a cool dark place for several years, but it is ready to enjoy now.”

Random: Kate’s one cat has been sleeping in the same spot for at least four hours. This cat is ridiculous.

This beer poured with a thick, two finger, cream-colored head that dissipated crazy slowly and left lots and lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a dark, mahogany color with heavy carbonation visible throughout. The nose was pronounced oak, caramel, booze, toffee and some tobacco and vanilla for good measure. There was definitely a lot going on here. The taste was just lovely. I got oak that tamed the booze a bit and was pretty well hidden, given the ABV. Then some vanilla and caramel came through with brandy sweetness as well. The sip finished with a touch of bitterness. The body was heavy with higher than expected carbonation, yet it wasn’t cloying. The finish was long with oak. This could be one of the best brews that I’ve had of this style. Get this before winter’s end.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0

Mikkeller Ris a la M’ale

There’s one problem I have with Mikkeller. They put out so many beers, so quickly that I can never get to a lot of them. I was especially excited to try this one. I have never tried a beer that advertised that almonds were used as an adjunct, and I love me some almonds.

ABV: 8%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to totalwine.com, “Pours a bright red/amber color. A tart, cherry aroma with hints of caramel, bready malts, earthy/herbal hops & a pleasant nuttiness. Tastes of tart cherries, nutty almonds, caramel malts & a kick of bitter hops on the finish.”

Random: Can someone please tell me why I have old school N’Sync on my iTunes? This is slightly embarrassing.

This brew poured with a huge and fluffy three finger head pink tinged head. It dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy chestnut color with a pink hue. There was light carbonation visible throughout. The nose was very light. I got a touch of almonds and tartness. The taste was an amplification of the nose. I got tart cherries and almond extract. Amaretto came through as well. The tastes were balanced and really worked with each other. The body was light and could have used a little more carbonation. The finish was long with almonds and cherry. The booze on this one was absolutely invisible. This was one of the more unique brews that I’ve had. The almonds and the cherries played off very well against each other. This is just a well crafted brew. Grab one if you see it.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Green Flash Trippel

So, I took a quick beer run in between writing up reviews. I needed to get away from the computer for a little bit and I needed some brews. I came to find that my local liquor store which has a pretty outstanding beer selection is expanding their beer area. I’m very excited to see if the expansion brings more good beers. What annoys me about this place as opposed to my favorite beer store is that the “exclusive” beers are hidden in the back (not advertised at all) and you need to ask for them. My favorite store lists on facebook what they have and then you ask. The other thing that annoys me about this place is that some of their beers are old. I went to pick up a “sale” beer just to try it, and it was a 2011 release. The beer itself was relatively low ABV, so my guess is that it’s not great anymore. But, I did pick this gem up there a week or two ago…

ABV: 9.7%

Style: Tripel

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Rich, pale malt flavors provide a solid base for zesty Styrian Golding and Czech Saaz hopping. Trappist ale yeast contributes the fruity, spicy profile of classic, monk-brewed, Belgian ales. Our Trippel is a luscious, fiery, golden brew and a contemporary rendition of traditional Belgian Trippel.”

Random: This brew won gold at last year’s GABF. Good enough for me.

This beer poured with a thick three finger white head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing behind, coupled with a crown on top of the body. The body was a cloudy orange color with heavy carbonation. The nose was big and Belgian-y. I got golden raisins, apricots, Belgian yeast, clove and a touch of booze. The taste was simply amazing. I got pears, apricots, and golden raisins. Banana and clove came through at the end. This was a seriously balanced and flavorful brew. The body was medium thickness with heavy carbonation. The booze was really hidden, making this a dangerous beer. The finish was spicy, but quicker than expected. Awesome beer. Get this now.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0