Archive for April, 2014

We’re onto Day 2 without the other half. I’m seriously missing her. I think I’ve overloaded on watching television. I did get a bunch of things done around the house, which is nice. But, it’s definitely way too quiet around here. Anyways, I picked this one up at the beer store. I’ve only had one other beer from 8 Wired. Let’s see if number 2 is as good.

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ABV: 10%

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Originally named The Sultan of Swing, I have brewed this beer every year since I started home brewing. Every batch has been different but it was always Belgian inspired and always brewed with a large dose of sultanas. This commercial batch is the fifth version and I finally decided to base it on a Belgian Quadrupel”

Random: The Flyers tie the series up and force a game 7. I’m very excited.

This beer poured with a two finger, light brown head that dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy, dark brown color with no visible carbonation due to the cloudiness. The nose had notes of dark fruit, specifically raisins with Belgian yeast and caramel as well. The taste was even better. I got raisins with nougat and booze and some fruitcake as well. There was also some burnt brown sugar as well. The body was on the heavy side with moderate carbonation. The finish was long with alcohol and raisins. Although this beer was really hard to compare to the big Belgians that I’ve had, this was a very solid brew. I would definitely have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

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When I went to make a beer run today, I got a very cool surprise. I got a key to the new brewery in Cherry Hill, Forgotten Boardwalk. I didn’t think that I could actually find one, so the fact that I found one by happenstance was pretty cool. Anyways, I picked up a pack of these brews last week. Let’s see if I enjoyed this one.

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ABV: 4.5%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our Sessions IPA is a smooth golden ale packed with the bold flavor and aroma of American hops. We crafted it in the spirit of the low gravity IPAs common in the UK where the style stands for hoppy, not heavy. India Pale Ales (IPAs) were first brewed in England during the late 1700s for export overseas to British soldiers in India. To keep their beer from spoiling during the long voyage, English brewers fortified their traditional pale ale recipes with hops as a natural preservative. Today, the term IPA is used for many full flavored beers along a wide array of recipes.”

Random: The one day my other half is gone, the Phillies have an off day. I have no words.

This brew poured with a three finger, pure white head that dissipated slowly, yet left no lacing on my IPA glass. The body was a clear, moderately carbonated amber color. The nose was mild for the style with some grass and floral hops. The taste was even more subtle for the style. It had some grass, a touch of pine resin and light malt backbone as well. There was some citrus pith present as well, but it wasn’t the dominant flavor. The body was on the lighter side with moderate carbonation. The finish was pretty quick and was mostly towards the side of caramel malt. This was a really nice session beer and one that I see myself buying throughout the summer. This one is definitely worth a try.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Yesterday, the other half and I went to Stuff Yer Face in New Brunswick. I ordered a beer. It came without a glass. I asked for a glass. I got a glass for it about fifteen minutes later. The glass was not all that clean, as you can see below. Anyways, I hadn’t tried this beer yet, so let’s see how it went.

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ABV: 6.9%

Style: Rye Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “After 25 years of running a brewery, Harpoon founders Rich and Dan thought it was high time they brewed a beer together. Truth be told, they didn’t want their name on it. Truth really be told, they have a running joke as to whether it’s Rich and Dan’s Rye IPA or Dan and Rich’s Rye IPA. Regardless of the order, the point is the same: they’ve been friends for three decades and still love having a beer together. It’s a testament to great beer and friendship, and it made sense, in this case, to name names. Grab your pals and toast to friendship with this Rye IPA! This beer is brewed with hops, a variety of malts, our proprietary yeast – the same yeast we’ve used since first brewing Harpoon Ale – and more hops. A lot more hops. Centennial and Chinook, and the dry hop addition of Falconer’s Flight add a multidimensional hop character, and the combination of Pale, Rye, Caramel 60, Flaked Rye, and Vienna yield a complex malt body that stands up to the spiciness of the rye and the pronounced hop flavor.”

Random: If you’re going to advertise yourself as a beer bar, you should at least offer a glass when serving a beer, just saying.

This brew poured with a two finger, cream-colored head. It dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the wonderfully clean glass. The body was a clear, amber color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose was light with some grassy hops and rye present. There was also some lemon rind as well. The taste was a bit stronger than the nose. There was definite rye notes with some spice and grass with lemon on the end. After a few sips, I got a touch of pine as well. The body was medium thickness with high carbonation. It had a quick finish with lemon. This beer was only alright and I wouldn’t rush back to have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

I finally finished season one of “Carnivale.” I still think that I’m going to watch season two in case it gets better, but I wasn’t a huge fan. I’ve now switched to “Big Love.” I watched season one and enjoyed it, so hopefully season two is as good. Anyways, I had this one yesterday and was excited to try one of the nitro offerings from Left Hand.

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ABV: 5.3%

Style: Extra Special/Strong Bitter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “On the first night of the 2011 Great American Beer Festival, Left Hand changed craft beer history forever with the introduction of Milk Stout Nitro in a bottle. Left Hand is both the first American and the first craft brewery to master the science of bottling a Nitrogen beer without a widget. Two years later, we expanded the bottled Nitro series with Sawtooth Nitro and Wake Up Dead Nitro. To our fortunate & delight, the beers have met overwhelming excitement and reception, as fans can now enjoy the draft experience of a Nitro beer from home!”

Random: This series is slightly more upbeat than “Carnivale,” and by slightly, I mean really.

This brew poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated slowly and left very little lacing on the pint glass. The body was a slightly cloudy burnt copper color with heavy carbonation visible throughout. The nose was mild with some caramel malt, vanilla and toffee. The taste was on the lighter side with caramel malts, nuttiness and some biscuit. There was a touch of hops at the end of the sip, but they were generally mild. The body was smooth and medium thickness with high carbonation. The finish was quick with caramel malt. The nitro version was very drinkable with decent flavor. I definitely enjoyed this one better than the regular version and would have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Today is very weird for me. The other half is away on a business conference, so I have the place to myself. Some people would be very excited about this. Me…not so much. I miss my other half and the normal routine that we have. She comes back on Wednesday, which also happens to be her birthday, but it can’t come soon enough. Anyways, I had this beer last week and it’s one of Stone’s newest releases and hopefully a wonderful addition to the session IPA portfolio.

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ABV: 4.5%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Since Day One, we’ve been abundantly forthright and fully transparent about our lust for hops. It’s led us to craft many an IPA, most of them imperial—some intense for their time and all timeless in their intensity. For Stone Go To IPA, we are embracing our hop obsession in a new way, funneling an abundance of lupulin-borne bitterness into a ‘session’ IPA delivering all the fruity, piney character of a much bigger IPA. To accomplish this, we employed ‘hop bursting,’ a new technique wherein an irrational amount of hops is added during the final phase of the brewing process to coax out extreme flavors and aromas while also imparting a burst of desirably pleasant bitterness. The result is an Alpha-acid-rich beer that fans can enjoy more of without missing out on the assertive hop character you, like us, crave. So, sit back and go two with your new everyday go-to IPA and bask along with us in the glory of the almighty hop.”

Random: I can’t watch “Ru Paul’s Drag Race” tonight because I don’t want to watch it without her (insert sad face here).

This brew poured with a two finger, pure white head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body is a clear straw yellow color with very aggressive carbonation visible throughout. The nose was very strong with citrus, pine and grass. There was a touch of pineapple as well. The taste wasn’t as impressive as the nose, but it was still good. I got lots of West Coast IPA flavors. There was pine, grass and lemon primarily. There was a little bit of pineapple and mango at the end of the sip. The body was on the medium side with very high carbonation. The finish was lengthy with pine resin. This was a really solid and enjoyable beer that I would definitely have again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

When I was at Atlantic City Beer Fest, I stopped by the DuClaw tent and tried this brew and really liked the small sample that I had. I liked it enough to buy a full bottle to review. Let’s see if I liked it as much this time around.

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ABV: 5.8%

Style: American Brown Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Dirty Little Freak Coconut Caramel Chocolate Brown Ale, first brewed in 2014, takes the traditional American Brown Ale and gives it a sensual new twist – Coconut! This medium-bodied, 5.8% abv brown ale is a feast for the senses from its dominant blend of warm, roasted malt, coconut, caramel, and chocolate flavors barely restrained by a gentle hop bite, to its tantalizingly satisfying finish. But if you submit to our Dirty Little Freak, be warned: there is no safe word.”

Random: I’m on the last episode of season 1 of “Carnivale.” I’m still not really enjoying it.

This brew poured with a one finger, slightly off white head that dissipated quickly, but left some lacing on the glass. There was a crown that was left on top of the body that was about a sixth of an inch high. The nose was really fragrant and inviting with toasted coconut and rich caramel. There was also some hazelnuts as well. The taste didn’t match up exactly as well as I would have hoped. The toasted coconut and caramel was apparent with some chocolate notes as well, almost like an almond joy. There were some roasted malts there as well, but the coconut was slightly more apparent in the nose than the taste. After smelling how inviting this one was, the taste was a little bit of a let down. I really enjoy coconut, so I was hoping that it would match up to the nose exactly. Despite this, it was really good. The body was on the thicker side with moderate carbonation. It had a moderately long finish with roasted malts and caramel. This beer was pretty good, although I can’t imagine having a lot of them in a sitting. If you like coconut, definitely try this one!

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

I love Victory beers. I have a special place in my heart for them, especially because I got into them when I first started started reviewing beers. This is one of their newest beers and happens to be a double IPA. Let’s see how it goes.

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ABV: 8.7%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Darkly heroic, Humulus Lupulus (hops) have empowered brews with bite and character since the 11th century. DirtWolf is a tribute to these untamed vines which rise from the earth with the voracity of a ‘wolf among sheep.’ Hops have made an assertive comeback in American craft brewing. Revel in the best U.S. varieties of hops, in their natural, whole flower form, as they bring a vital, pungent reality to the soul of a wild element in our dangerously satisfying DirtWolf Double IPA.”

Random: My feet are killing me. I wish I trained the cat how to rub them.

This beer poured with a three finger white head that was very slow to dissipate. It left lots of lacing on my IPA glass. The body was a slightly cloudy amber color with high carbonation visible throughout. The nose was very pungent. There was significant mango and pineapple, along with pine resin and then a touch of peach. The taste was really tropical up front. I got mango, pineapple and peach first. Then, lots of pine sap and grapefruit with some honey and malt at the end. The body was on the medium side of the thickness scale with high carbonation. The finish was long and grapefruit-y. This was a really flavorful beer that makes for a great addition to the Victory lineup. I would definitely have this one again. It was really outstanding and could be my newest favorite Victory beer.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0