Captain Lawrence Golden Delicious

It looks like this is going to be the last review from 2014, and what a beer to end on. I can’t say that I’ve had a beer of any style that was aged in apple brandy barrels, so I was excited for this one.

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ABV: 11%

Style: Tripel

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “There’s nothing quite like Mom’s apple pie…but I am willing to bet this beer is pretty dark close. An American Tripel, dry-hopped with Amarillo hops and aged in Apple Brandy barrels from one of this country’s oldest distilleries. The tropical aroma of the hops and the delicate apple aroma from the barrels are a perfect match. Straight from the Captain’s cellar to yours, we hope you enjoy.”

Random: I hope everyone has a very happy New Year’s!

This beer poured with a two finger, white head that dissipated slowly and left generous lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy, light orange color with generous carbonation visible. The nose was fragrant with apple brandy, wood, and golden fruit along with some yeast. Booze came through too. The taste had an even more pronounced apple brandy note. Booze hit right up front and had intense warming on the back of the throat. Toasted oak and vanilla were there too and some yeast came through at the end. After a few sips, I picked up champagne notes too. The body was on the thicker side with seltzer-like carbonation. The finish was dry, with apple brandy. For $3.19 a bottle, which breaks down to $.27 per ounce, which isn’t insanely pricey, especially given how flavorful this beer was. I would definitely have this again. I may just pick up another bottle to age it.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Cigar City Big Sound Scotch Ale – Bourbon Barrel Aged

This was the last beer that I picked up on my birthday run to Half Time and what a beer to save. Let’s not waste any time and crack this one open.

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ABV: 8.5%

Style: Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “As a tribute to our love for fast and furious punk rock, we defiantly brew this rebellious Scotch ale as a slap to the face of lowest common denominator, insipid and utterly BORING beers! We won’t settle for the libations forced upon us by the establishment and neither should you. Raise a glass to the sound and the fury that we know as punk rock lest you be labeled as a milk sipping, mummie’s boy, poseur!”

Random: I really want to find some new beer review blogs. If you have any recommendations, leave them in the comments.

This brew poured with a three finger, thick, tan-colored head. It dissipated slowly and left very little lacing on the glass, but a crown on top of the deep, sienna body with moderate carbonation visible. The nose was very strong vanilla, bourbon, oak and alcohol. The taste was just mind-blowing. There was a significant vanilla and bourbon flavor, along with leather and tobacco. Figs and dates came through as well. Milk chocolate and toffee came through with some booze warming after a few sips as well. The body was on the thick side with generous carbonation. It had a long finish with some smoke, vanilla and bourbon. For $46.99, this beer was most definitely going towards overpriced, except for the fact that this was one of the best Scotch ales that I’ve ever had. The booze was relatively well-hidden and the bourbon barrel aging really made this beer outstanding. I would definitely have this again, despite the hefty price tag.

Untappd Rating: 5.0/5.0

Cigar City Brew Bus Last Stop India Pale Ale

I’m back to work after a few days off. I can’t say that I was looking forward to coming back, but I do have all of next week off. I guess this is one of the perks of not using any of my vacation time during the year. Not shockingly, I did the same thing last year. Anyways, let’s crack this one open and see how it was.

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ABV: 7.2%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This 7.2% ABV, crushable IPA, is the perfect blend of the refreshing notes of tropical fruit and citrus, along with the clean finish of fresh pine. Hopped with Magnum, Centennial, and Columbus hop additions give this IPA a strong citrusy, floral base with little hints of spice. And dry hopped with Amarillo, Simcoe, and Citra hops, the Last Stop IPA is sure to be a crowd pleaser.”

Random: The Jets fired Rex Ryan. Big shock, I know. I wonder what coach will inherit that mess of a team.

This brew poured with a gigantic head that was about four fingers high and dissipated very slowly. The body was a bright, light orange color with lots of carbonation was visible along with floaties as well. The nose was quite fragrant with grapefruit pith and tropical fruit. Most apparent was pineapple. The taste was just as strong with grapefruit, grapefruit pith, mango and pineapple along with a touch of sweetness from the malt. The body was on the thinner side with generous carbonation. It had a long, tropical fruit finish. For $2.39 a can, this is definitely on the more expensive side, but was incredibly flavorful and the alcohol was well hidden. I would seek this one out. It was just outstanding.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

JP’s Yabba Dhaba Chai Tea Porter

The other half and I had our last Christmas event with my parents yesterday. We had a really nice time with them, but we both needed some time to relax today. We’ve spent the entire day at home, which was definitely needed. This beer is one that I had a feeling was somehow tied to Stevens Point. I picked this up a day before my birthday at Half Time and only have a few beers left from that stash. Let’s see how it went.

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ABV: 5.5%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to beerpulse.com, “Fans of craft beer have four new reasons to reach for a cold one: JP’s Yabba Dhaba Chai Tea Porter, JP’s Casper White Stout, JP’s Ould Sod Irish Red Ale and JP’s A Cappella Gluten-free Pale Ale. JP’s Craft Beers are a division of the Stevens Point Brewery. JP’s Yabba Dhaba Chai Tea Porter is a traditional sweet porter brewed with chocolate malt. A chai tea blend from India, where a ‘dhaba’ is a truckstop-style roadside restaurant, is infused into the beer after fermentation but before the aging tanks. The result is a flavor extravaganza, according to JP’s Bremaster Gabe Hopkins. ‘In addition to chocolate notes, Yabba Dhaba Chai Tea Porter is alive with the flavors of cinnamon, cardamom, anise, ginger and black tea along with a little bit of lemon zest,’ he said.”

Random: I think I’ll end up getting another post or two in before the new year.

This beer poured with a one finger, tan head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. It left a slight crown on top of a cloudy, deep brown body that had a lot of visible floaties in it. The nose had a lot of tea with cinnamon and clove, along with milk chocolate and roasted malt. The taste was very unique. It was incredibly sweet, almost like an oatmeal cookie and had a lot of chai tea and spices (nutmeg and cinnamon, mostly). Vanilla and chocolate came through as well, along with roasted malts. The body was on the thick side with moderate carbonation. The finish was long and incredible sweet. For $1.99, this wasn’t an overly expensive beer, but the sweetness was overpowering and I would not have this beer again. It was just way too cloying.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Broken Bow Broken Red Ale

After spending a few days at Val’s mother’s house, we went to Larchmont to have lunch with her grandmother. We went to Polpettina, which has really good food. They have this eggplant chips that are drizzled with honey that I absolutely adore. I got an Italian beef sandwich for lunch with giardinara that was incredibly tasty, although it got a little bit soggy toward the end. This was a really local beer that they had on tap. Let’s see how I liked it.

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ABV: 5%

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our Broken Red Ale begins with a light toffee & herbal hop notes. This beer has a malty, lightly sweetened personality that is smooth & easy on the palate. Subtle caramel aroma, topped with a cream-colored head, this beer is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to food pairings.”

Random: The Eagles ended the season at 10-6. This was definitely disappointing.

This beer poured with a one finger, relatively thick, tan head that dissipated slowly. It left some lacing on the glass. It had a clear, dark reddish body with moderate carbonation visible. The nose was toasty with slight nuttiness and grain. The flavor was quite pleasant. It had sweet malt with nuttiness and touch of mineral water. The body was medium thickness with generous carbonation. The finish was warm, toasty and nutty. This was a beer that didn’t pull any punches, but it paired really well with my Italian beef sandwich. I would have this beer again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Two Roads Unorthodox Russian Imperial Stout

This was the second beer that I had at the brewery. This is one of the brewery’s year-round offerings that I’ve never seen before. Let’s see how it was.

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ABV: 9.2%

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Two Roads own brewing czar, Phil Markowski, has taken a traditional Russian Imperial Stout and added a touch of ‘Amerika’ to create a version that’s sure to please! This most unorthodox Russian Imperial Stout is brewed with malted rye and aggressively hopped with four different Pacific Northwest varieties to create a depth of character that’s unmistakable. Full-bodied with notes of rye, treacle, chocolate and espresso that join together to create a crescendo of flavor. You’ll want to do an unabashed Kalinka after just one taste!”

Random: We’ve gotten the DVR down to 46%. I can’t remember the last time it’s been that low.

This beer poured with a one finger, thick tan head that was slow to dissipate. It left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was almost black with no visible carbonation because of the color. The nose was lighter than expected for the style, with cocoa powder and coffee and a touch of smoke. The taste started with marked alcohol, cocoa, dark chocolate. After a few sips, some smoke and roasted malts came through. It had a medium thick body, which was thinner than expected for the style and had moderate carbonation. The finish was lengthy with cocoa powder and coffee. This beer wasn’t bad, by any stretch, but if you’re going to call a beer “unorthodox” I feel like it should taste like that. I didn’t get any rye and the beer wasn’t aggressively bitter.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Two Roads 20 Ton Ale

Since we were in Connecticut, Val’s mother was nice enough to go to the brewery in town with us. The brewery happened to be Two Roads, and the place was absolutely packed. We finally found a seat at the bar so I could try a beer or two. Last time we were there, I got a flight of all of their beers on tap. This time, since I’ve reviewed a lot more of them, I got two full size beers from them. This one was recently released and I hadn’t even heard of it until I saw it on tap. Let’s see how this was.

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ABV: 12%

Style: English Barleywine

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A blonde barleywine – aggressively hopped and made with heirloom malts. Named for our 20 Ton crane that adorns the middle of our 100-year-old building.”

Random: The star on the top of our Christmas tree is almost completely upside down. I think it has given up on Christmas.

This beer poured with less than half a finger of white head that dissipated quickly. It didn’t leave much lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, light maple syrup color with light carbonation visible. The nose was sweet with honey, booze and malt. The taste had a lot golden fruit, specifically golden raisins with honey, booze and grain. It had a thin body for the style with very light carbonation. The finish was long with booze and borderline cloying sweetness. This beer was only alright and one that I wouldn’t have again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Hoppin’ Frog Frosted Frog Christmas Ale

The other half and I headed to her family’s for the holidays. We were lucky and didn’t hit any traffic. We spent a few days with her mother and stepfather and it was really nice. Everyone was very friendly and the food was really tasty. They live in Connecticut, but not that far over the New York border. Anyways, this was a brew that I picked up a few weeks ago. Let’s see how it was.

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ABV: 8.6%

Style: Winter Warmer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The essence of Christmas is captured in this very bottle. Perfectly blended spices compliment Frosted Frog’s rich malt flavors, creating the ultimate Christmas experience. Celebrate the holidays as you savor this very special seasonal offering.”

Random: It’s been over a month since I’ve had a beer from Hoppin’ Frog.

This beer poured with a one finger, cream-colored head that dissipated slowly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, ruby-red color with light carbonation. The nose had currants, cinnamon, nutmeg and fruit cake. The taste started with gingerbread, raisin and figs along with fruit cake. After a few sips, allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon came through. It also had some booze warming on the end. The body was on the thick side with lighter carbonation than expected. The finish was long with a lot of holiday spice and booze warming at the back of the throat. For $10.49 a bomber, this was a moderately priced holiday beer that packed the spice. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would have it again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Broken Bow Broken In Russian Imperial Stout

We’re finally getting to the end of the original Half Time run from September. Let’s see how this one was.

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ABV: 11%

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to westchestermagazine.com, “Broken Bow Brewery, which started as a home-brewing operation in the Lamothe family’s Bedford Hills home in 2002, is just one of the dozen or so craft breweries that has popped up in the county over the last several years. The family-owned business, which opened August 17 of last year by former Merrill Lynch wealth manager Lyle Lamothe, has quickly attracted a rabid fan base. In its first month of operation, Lyle’s son—Michael Lamothe, founding partner and head brewer—whipped up about 10 barrels. Now, they’re moving approximately 100 barrels a month, self-delivering to stores like Stew Leonard’s, Fresh Market, and A&P, and quenching the thirst of diners at restaurants like Mambo 64, Burrata, and L’inizio. Aside from the 100-plus locations in which Broken Bow is sold, Westchesterites flock to the brewhouse’s tasting room, which sits stoically on Marbledale Avenue in Tuckahoe, the site of a former tile factory. But Westchesterites aren’t the only ones showing love; its Broken Heart Stout won the Judge’s Award Gold Medal at the Citi Field Bacon and Beer Classic last year.”

Random: I love these type of bottles.

This brew poured with a four finger, light brown head that dissipated slowly. The body was a dark brown, almost black color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose was big, with smoke and lots of roasted malts and espresso. There wasn’t any hint of booze on the scent. The taste was equally big. There was a lot of espresso, baker’s chocolate and smoke along with roasted malts. The booze was very well hidden and could easily knock you on your ass. The body was thick with moderate carbonation. It had a long, bitter chocolate finish. For $15.49, this was a beer that was on the more expensive side, but was a nice sipper on a cold night. If you see this one, it is definitely worth picking up.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Captain Lawrence Winter Ale

This was the brew that Val got when we went out to dinner. Captain Lawrence is located up in her neck of the woods since she grew up in Westchester County, New York. I’m hoping that one time when we’re up there, we get to make a stop at the brewery. I also have another beer from this brewery in my queue that I should be reviewing later this week.

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ABV: 5.2%

Style: English Brown Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The one thing we all need on a dark winter night is a beer to help us forget about the cold & remind us that sunny days lie ahead. Not too dark, but evenly brewed with spices and malts making it a solid winter warmer.”

Random: We got this pine candle that smells absolutely amazing. It makes the whole apartment smell like Christmas.

This beer poured with a half a finger of white head. It dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the pint glass, but did leave a crown on top of the clear, mahogany body. There was some carbonation visible through the body. The nose was that of the typical brown ale with toast and nuts and some winter spice. The taste was much of the same. It had toasted hazelnuts and toasty malt with a smackerel of spice. The body was too thin with overly light carbonation. It had a quick finish with toast and nuts. This beer was just boring. It was like the threw a winter seasonal label on the typical brown ale. I wouldn’t have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0