Founders Dark Penance

After I was done working on Friday, the other half and I went to the movies and saw the new Hunger Games flick. It wasn’t my favorite of the series, but it was pretty good. Afterwards, we went to Uno’s across the parking lot. They were having a promotion for dark beers in a dark bar. Despite the fact that we decided to sit at a table, I still ordered one of their dark beers on tap.


ABV: 8.9%

Style: American Black Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A heavy malt foundation includes Crystal malt for sweetness and just enough Midnight Wheat malt to push the color to black. The bitterness is huge, but balanced by malt sweetness and alcohol burn. The hop flavors and aromas range from citrus to floral to pine thanks to a delicious blend of hand-selected Chinook and Centennial hops.”

Random: At least I’ve started Christmas shopping. Normally, I wait until the very last minute.

This brew poured with less than half a finger of cream-colored head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, brownish that was almost black body. It had light carbonation visible as well. The nose was filled with roasted malts and piney hops with some smoke at the end. The taste had very nice balance. It started with pine and grassy hops and goes into powerful roasted malts with smoke. The booze was well hidden. It had a thinner than expected body with light carbonation. It had a surprisingly quick finish with piney hops. Whenever I have a beer of this style, my biggest qualm is that there is no balance between the roasted malts and the grassy hops. As can be expected from a brewery like Founders, this beer is well-balanced and incredibly tasty. Since this is a seasonal beer, make sure you get your hands on it before December.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Jack’s Abby Mass Rising

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. Mine was nice, although I wish I had Black Friday off. The food was really good and I was stuffed afterwards. On Black Friday, we made leftover turkey sandwiches. Anyways, this was a beer that I picked up awhile back from Half Time. Let’s see how it was.


ABV: 8%

Style: American Double/Imperial Pilsner

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “In the spirit of our local history we are revolting against the status quo. We are writing our own story by fueling the fire surrounding extra hoppy beers. We infuse Mass Rising with increasing amounts of American hops during the kettle, hopbock and dry hopping processes. Together, we have taken a journey to redefine the term ‘lager.'”

Random: We DVR “Jeopardy” and before this week had over 60 episodes to watch. We’re now in the 40s.

This brew poured with an incredibly thick and creamy, ecru colored head that dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the pint glass. The body was cloudy with high carbonation and was a golden-yellow color. The nose had crisp notes of hops with grass and lemon peel and herbs. The taste was much like the nose. It was incredibly crisp and light for the style, with lots of grass and light hops. Lemon peel and herbal notes transition into light bready malt. The body was shockingly light with generous carbonation. It had a long and clean finish with grassy Saaz hops. This beer was exceptionally good and flavorful and had a really nice hop profile. I would definitely have this beer again. If only it was distributed to New Jersey.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Harpoon Imperial Pumpkin

Here’s the last post for the day. The other half and I have to start getting ready to head out. This is also one of the last pumpkin beers that I bought this season. Let’s see how it was.


ABV: 10.5%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Last fall our brewers were improvising a new beer in our 10-barrel kettle. We had some fresh pumpkin puree leftover from a recent brew of our UFO Pumpkin, so the brewers threw that in the kettle with a bit of molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg, and some roasted malts. It turned out to be delicious, so we thought we’d share it with everyone. Half imperial stout, half pumpkin ale, with aromas of dried fruit, chocolate, and freshly baked pumpkin pie, this black full-bodied stout is ready to be enjoyed now or saved for a chilly fall evening.”

Random: Despite the fact that the other half and I have no interest in ever getting a dog, we’re watching the National Dog Show.

This beer poured with a half a finger of cream-colored head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown color with moderate carbonation. The nose had notes of smoke, pumpkin and roasted malts. The taste was really intense with a lot of smoke and pumpkin along with typical fall spices, specifically cinnamon and nutmeg along with some mineral water. Light notes of molasses came through as well and the ABV was well-hidden. There were roasted malts and chocolate, but the pumpkin and spice aspect were held back by the intensity of the smoke. The body was on the thicker side with moderate carbonation. The finish was long with smoke and ash and fall spice. This was $7.09 for the bomber, which breaks down to $.32 an ounce. For that price, it was an alright beer, but nothing to write home about. I think it needs some tweaking.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Hacker-Pschorr Hefe Weisse Naturtrub

This was the brew that I ordered for my other half. She ended up liking mine better, so I finished it. Let’s see how it was.


ABV: 5.5%

Style: Hefeweizen

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A soft sparkling beer with an aromatic and mild character. The silky shine and intense golden yellow hue of our Weisse, topped off with a compact and creamy head of froth, is a truly magnificent sight. The yeast evolves gently to deliver a magnificently refreshing fruity and citrus note accompanied by a fine sparkling hint of acidity. The light sweetness of bananas and honey melt on the tongue and mingle with subtle and slightly more bitter notes of nutmeg. Only the best ingredients are used in our unfiltered Weissbier – brewer’s wheat grown in the Champagne Region and selected certified hops from the Hallertau. Thanks to a special brewing process this beer fulfills its promise and provides an excellent taste. Hacker-Pschorr has been brewing beer in the traditional Bavarian manner since 1417. The high-quality beers the brewery produces are all brewed in accordance with the Bavarian Purity Law and contain only water, malt, yeast and hops.”

Random: The elf floats are seriously creepy. If I were Santa, I’d run because I think they’re possessed.

This beer poured with a four finger, incredibly thick egg white head that dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the hefeweizen glass. The body was a hazy, orange color with lots of carbonation visible. The nose had expected notes of orange and Belgian yeast and clove. The taste was light and has some white pepper along with orange and minimal clove and bubble gum. The body was light with heavy carbonation. It had a quick finish with lemon and bubble gum. This was only an alright hefeweizen. There are many better examples out there…looking at you Fransizkaner.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest-Marzen

On Monday, the other half had a craving for burgers. So, we headed to Princeton to grab one at Alchemist & Barrister. They had this beer on draft and I ordered it for myself, but the other half ended up liking it, so I switched brews with her. Let’s see how it was.


ABV: 5.8%

Style: Marzen/Oktoberfest

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our Oktoberfest Amber Märzen is the amber colored version of the traditional Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest Märzen. The Original has firmly established itself at the Munich Oktoberfest and meanwhile wins out against the traditional Märzen. The Original boasts a golden amber color, typical malt aromas, defined by the various malting barley from the Bavarian countryside, complemented by a pleasantly light hoppy note — a taste sensation for every beer connoisseur.”

Random: Why is there a giant Aflac duck float in the parade?

This brew poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated quickly and left slight lacing on the pint glass. The body was a clear, sienna color with light carbonation visible. The nose was nutty and malty with toast. The taste had sweet notes with caramel malt, toffee and toast with a touch of honey. After it warmed, there were some mineral notes. The body was on the lighter side of medium body with light carbonation. I thought the carbonation should have been dialed up a bit, especially for the style. The finish was long and malty with toast. Although this wasn’t the best beer I’ve had of the style, it was crisp and solid, even if it was on draft well after the season.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Great South Bay Blood Orange Pale Ale

On Sunday, the other half and I headed to Tarrytown to see Ingrid Michaelson play at the Tarrytown Music Hall. I love seeing here live and we stopped at the Tarry Tavern for dinner. They had a few interesting selections on tap and I went with this one. Let’s see how it went.


ABV: 5%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This beer is the liquid personification of the creativity that drives us as craft brewers here at GSB. Blood Orange Pale Ale starts with the finest quality malted barley and American hops. We then infuse the beer with blood oranges to add the bittersweet flavor that rounds out this remarkably well balanced pale ale.”

Random: I don’t understand the suggestive dancing on the Dora the Explorer float. It’s a bit creepy.

This beer poured with a two finger thick, white head that dissipated slowly. It left lots of lacing on the Dogfish Head glass. The body was a clear orange color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose had light notes of blood orange with some complementary grassy hops. The taste had less blood orange notes than nose, which given how much I like blood oranges, was disappointing. After a few sips, it became a little bit stronger, but not as much as I wanted. It had grassy hops and lemon present, without any malt to speak of. The body was thin and watery with generous carbonation. It had long finish with blood orange notes. I was really excited to try the beer because I love anything blood orange flavored, but this was a letdown for me. On the positive side, it went down easily. If you like blood oranges, give it a try, but it’s not worth seeking out otherwise.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Half Full Bright Ale

The Eagles play the Cowboys tonight and I have to admit, I’m a bit nervous. I have little faith in Sanchez and our defense isn’t the greatest. Plus, if the Eagles lose, one of my friends at work is a die-hard Cowboys fan so I’ll hear him talk a lot of crap. I also have Sproles and Parkey in Fantasy Football and I’m up to second in my league. I guess I’ll just have to look at the glass as being half full…like this brewery.


ABV: 5.2%

Style: American Blonde Ale


Random: The Rockettes look like they’re freezing. You think they would give them festive jackets or something.

Despite a relatively careful pour, this one had a huge and thick, white head that took forever to dissipate and left lots of lacing. The body was a clear, light yellow with moderate carbonation. The nose had lemon and light grass with orange. The taste was a bit on the light side with lemon and grass and not much else. The finish was long with lemon and a touch of wheat. This beer was not absolutely terrible and for $1.99, I guess it’s worth a shot. It’s not one that I will be having again, despite the reasonable price. As you can tell, this is a beer that I’m on the fence about.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0