Ninkasi Tricerahops Double IPA

The other half and I are off today, so we’re watching “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” The cat is snuggled between us. This beer is another one that I had at the Tap Takeover. Let’s see how it was.

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ABV: 8%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Tricerahops is double everything you already love in an IPA. More hops, more malt body and a higher gravity define this Double India Pale Ale. Fiercely flavorful, guaranteed to satisfy. Double IPAs are noted for their hop profiles. Earthy, floral hop aroma and flavor are abundant in Tricerahops. The bigger body and higher alcohol balance the large volume of hops to create a beer that is very flavorful while still being balanced and drinkable. At 8 percent ABV the beer can be deceiving as it is very smooth.”

Random: I think we finally picked out a couch for the living room.

This beer poured with half a finger of white head that dissipated quickly and left slight lacing on the glass. The body looked to be a clear mahogany color with light carbonation, but due to the darkness in the bar, it was difficult to assess. The nose had lots of hops with grapefruit and pine resin and then caramel malt. The taste was clean with grapefruit, grapefruit pith and then pine and pine resin. There was some caramel malt to back it up, but the beer was seriously hoppy with no booze warming. It had a moderate body with moderate carbonation. The finish was long and hoppy. This was a really satisfying beer and I would definitely have it again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Ninkasi This Is Why I’m Hop

While we in Newtown, we stopped at one of my favorite olive oil/vinegar places. We tried a bunch of them and ended up coming home with some. We also replaced our apricot white vinegar, which we originally got at the Filling Station in Chelsea Market and ran out of. After that we headed to dinner and then off to Isaac Newton’s for the Ninkasi tap takeover. This was the first beer that I had there.

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ABV: 7%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “When I say I’m hop, this is what I mean… This juicy, hop-forward IPA brims with an impressive amount of full hop flavor and aroma. Brewed with Centennial, Citra and Mosaic hops, this beer demands attention. Take it slow, friends!”

Random: The bar was seriously dark, as you can tell from the picture.

This beer poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated quickly. It left light lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, amber with moderate carbonation. The nose was bursting with a lot of tropical fruit. I specifically picked up mango and pineapple. There was a lot of citrus as well. The taste was intensely hoppy and bursting with tropical fruit. I got lots of mango and grapefruit. It was intensely bitter, but then had some malt sweetness at the end. I didn’t pick up any booze on it either. It had a medium body with moderate carbonation. The finish was long and hoppy. For a hop head, this beer was exactly what the names suggested, intensely hoppy and satisfying. I’m glad to see this brewery in the area and will definitely be having more beers from them.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Morland Old Speckled Hen

On Thursday, the other half and I headed to Newtown (since we’re only 15 minutes away from it) and stopped at a local pub for dinner. It was happy hour, so they had half off of snacks. We ended up trying their pizza (which was only okay) and their truffle fries (which were really good). This was the beer I tried while there.

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ABV: 5.2%

Style: English Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “‘If, like me, you like to hunt out a hen, well there are plenty of opportunities to find one. ‘Old Speckled Hen’ is in pubs and bars across the country in cask and also as a smooth version at 4.5% ABV. You can also enjoy ‘Old Speckled Hen’ in 500ml or 355ml bottles and 500ml cans at 5% ABV from all leading supermarkets and convenience outlets. And for the jet setters amongst us, you can even find it in 47 countries around the world, from Australia to the UAE. ‘Old Speckled Hen’ has a full, smooth flavour and is very easy to drink. Its rich amber colour and superb fruity aromas are complemented by a delicious blend of malty tastes. Toffee and malt combine with bitterness on the back of the tongue to give a balanced sweetness. This, all followed by a refreshingly dry finish.'”

Random: The website has their mascot, which is a fox with creepy eyes.

This beer poured with a one finger, thick white head, almost like it was on nitro. It dissipated slowly and left generous lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, mahogany color with light carbonation visible. The nose had mineral qualities with sweet caramel malt. The taste was light with biscuit and the toffee sweetness. Other than that, I really didn’t get much from it. It had a thin body with light carbonation. The finish was swift with toffee sweetness. This beer had a little bit of flavor, but it was bit boring yet unoffensive. I wouldn’t have it again because it didn’t do much, but it was drinkable.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Harviestoun Ola Dubh Special Reserve 30

While walking the aisles at Half Time, I saw this gem and knew that it had to come home with me. I saved it until we moved to try since it’s such a special beer. Let’s see how it was.

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ABV: 8%

Style: Old Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We make Ola Dubh 30 by taking our Old Engine Oil (amped up to 10.5%) and aging it for up to 6 months in casks that previously held Highland Park’s phenomenal 30 Year Old single malt whisky.”

Random: The street we live on is really quiet. I guess that’s what happens when you live on the side of a mountain.

This beer poured with less than half a finger of tan head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was black with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose had intense roasted malts with a lot of smoke and peat with some booze at the end. The taste was incredibly smooth. It started with a lot of peat and whiskey. Then, smoke came through with roasted malts and espresso. After a few sips, I picked up vanilla and honey with some light pine. The flavors on this were very complex and I picked up something different on every sip. It had a medium body with almost no carbonation, making this a great sipper. The booze was completely hidden. It had a long, smokey finish with peat and toasted oak. This beer was really expensive at $19.49 for a twelve ounce bottle, which broke down to $1.62 per ounce. It’s definitely a beer that should be tried once if you see it. It’s outstanding.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Wyders Dry Raspberry Cider

I’m watching the last disc of “Gangland” and they’re discussing a New Jersey gang. As I’m watching this, I’m thinking that the landscape they’re showing looks relatively familiar. Then, they showed the “Trenton Makes” bridge. I then realize, they’re discussing a gang in Trenton. Wonderful. Anyways, this is a cider that I picked up a sixer of for the other half. This one has been sitting in the back of the fridge since December, so I hope it held up. Let’s see how it was.

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ABV: 4%

Style: Cider

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This cider is light in body and features mouthwatering raspberry notes. It retains a dry and sparkling finish.”

Random: We have a few woodpeckers here and they are so loud right now, it’s ridiculous.

This cider poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated instantly. It left absolutely no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, light pink color with moderate carbonation. The nose was like taking a huge sniff of raspberry liqueur with a touch of apple behind it. It had a lot of sweetness to it as well. The taste started with the predictable raspberry notes, which for once, were like natural raspberries and not raspberry extract. Some tartness came through and then light apple notes. It had a very light body with moderate carbonation and would have benefitted from more. The finish was quick with raspberry. This was $1.17 a bottle (on sale), which broke down to $.10 an ounce, which was a good deal for a cider that was an easy drinker, albeit relatively simplistic.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Flying Dog Bloodline Blood Orange IPA

I saw this on the shelves at Canal’s and knew that I had to pick up a sixer of it. Let’s see if it was as good as I was hoping for.

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ABV: 7%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “What brings us together, as brethren of craft beer, is an innate bitterness that runs through our veins, creating a thirst that can only be quenched by an all-out assault on our taste buds and an intense love of the craft. Brewed exclusively for the 2013 Craft Brewers Conference (and a collaborative project with Reyes Beverage Group), Bloodline is an intensely-hopped IPA brewed with Blood Orange peel and juice. According to our Brewmaster Matt Brophy, the result is a flavor profile that harnessed the best aspects of both the hops (Warrior, Citra, and Galaxy) and the citrus. He and his brewing team are very fond of hop-based citrus aromas, so experimenting with actual citrus was a natural extension of that.”

Random: This was apparently so popular they decided to release this in bottles.

This beer poured with a thick, two finger, off white head that dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, bright orange color with high carbonation. The nose was filled with tart blood oranges and grapefruit. There was some citrus pith, too. The taste was intensely bitter with grapefruit and tart, blood oranges. There wasn’t any malt to speak of, which was definitely in my wheelhouse. I didn’t get any booze from this either. It had a medium thick body with high carbonation, which helped to cut some of the intense bitterness. It had a long, bitter finish with blood orange and blood orange pith. This was $2.00 a bottle, which broke down to $.17 per ounce, which isn’t a bad price if you’re really into blood oranges like me. I would definitely have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Jack’s Abby Smoke & Dagger

According to the beer news, Jack’s Abby is coming to the Philadelphia market, which means that I can get their beers with more frequency, especially since I live just over the border of Pennsylvania now. I’m definitely excited for this. This beer is one of their year-round offerings, so let’s see how it fared.

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ABV: 5.8%

Style: Rauchbier

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Cloaked in mystery, this dark black beer skirts the line between a schwarzbier and smoked porter. The use of a small percentage of traditional Beechwood smoked malt adds complexity and balances the liberal use of chocolate malt. Notes of roasted grains, beechwood smoke and coffee accompany a full bodied and sweet chocolatey malt character. Smoke & Dagger uses locally sourced ingredients.”

Random: I tend to really like their labels.

This brew poured with a one finger, thick, tan head that dissipated at a moderate pace and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown with moderate carbonation. The nose had smoke and roasted malts. The taste had a lot of smoke and ash, which was pretty intense. There were some roasted malts, but smoke dominated on this one. There was a touch of caramel sweetness at the end too. The body had medium thickness with high carbonation. It had a quick and sweet caramel finish with ash. This beer was $2.19 a bottle, which broke down to $.18 per ounce, which is a pretty good deal for a quality beer. Given the flavor and the price, this was a solid beer, but nothing that will blow your mind. I’d have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Neshaminy Creek Tribute Tripel

A few years back, I added 500 discs to my Netflix queue to watch. I’m finally on my second to last disc. This is another disc of “Gangland,” which the other half is not a fan of, so I’m watching it before she gets up. My last disc is “Monsters University” and then we’re onto discs the other half picked. Anyways, this is a beer that I picked up a six-pack of when we moved in. Let’s see how it was.

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ABV: 9.3%

Style: Tripel

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “‘This is the greatest and best song (beer) in the world… Tribute.’ Not only are we huge Tenacious D fans, but we’re also huge Belgian Tripel fans, so this is our ‘Tribute’. Brewed with a whole lot of Pilsen malt, Hallertau and Saaz hops, as well a pinch of coriander and bitter orange peel, Tribute has a soft malt backbone that’s paired with a fruity, citrusy flavor, and spicy, yet not over done phenolic character imparted from our use of a genuine Belgian yeast strain. At 9.3% ABV the alcohol is well hidden and very deceptive, and the dry finish will leave you eager for more.”

Random: I loved the movie “Monsters Inc.” I’m a sucker for a good Disney movie.

This beer poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy, warm orange color with lots of carbonation visible. It had a bright nose with lots of citrus, yeast and golden raisins. So far, so good. The taste was just as bright. It had notes of orange and then light coriander came through. Yeast and golden raisins with peach finished the sip. The alcohol was intense and warming. The body was medium thickness with light carbonation. It had a long finish with citrus and heat. This was $1.67 a can, which broke down to $.14 per ounce, which was a great deal. I enjoyed this beer, although it’s not even close to the best of the style that I’ve ever had.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Flying Fish Exit 3 (Blueberry Braggot)

It’s Sunday morning, which means that the cat woke me up early to feed him and the other half is still asleep. I’m watching a DVD about a gang in San Diego and updating the blog. Let’s see how this one was.

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ABV: 15%

Style: Braggot

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Exit 3 is the gateway to a lot of farmland, so we’re using one the state’s favorite crops– blueberries. Braggot is an ancient style– written about since the 12th century. This Braggot features local blueberries and honey, a very limited amount of hops and is fermented with Belgian-style yeast. The result is a straw colored beer with blueberry highlights. On the first sip you will note a light sweetness along with citrus notes followed by a well rounded malt character. The beer has a medium full body.”

Random: Since the cat has been fed, obviously he went right back to sleep.

This beer poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated slowly with some lacing left on the glass. The body was a slightly cloudy, dark orange color with moderate carbonation. The nose was really sweet with pronounced honey and a touch of blueberry, not nearly as strong as I expected. The taste also had honey sweetness and the hot booze. The blueberry came through, but was not nearly strong enough, making the taste completely one-note and cloyingly sweet. Not shockingly, the body was thick with light carbonation and it had a long and sweet finish with alcohol. This beer was also on sale at Canal’s for $8.99, which broke down to $.41 per ounce. This beer was just a total letdown for me and probably the worst so far of the exit series. I wouldn’t have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Southern Tier Choklat

Now that we’re finally getting settled in the house, I can buy more beer. I happened to pick this one up at Joe Canal’s in Hamilton.

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ABV: 10%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The Popol Vuh, the sacred book of the Maya, unfolds a complex web of mystery around a beverage known as xocoatl (ch-co-atle). At Southern Tier, we’re not surprised that hieroglyphs of the ancient Maya depict chocolate being poured for rulers and gods. Even through the many voyages of Columbus, the mystical bean remained nothing more than a strange currency of the native peoples. Moving through centuries, the circular journey of cacao has been realized in our brew house, encompassing the complexity of the darkest, bittersweet candy together with the original frothy cold beverage of the ancient Maya to bring to you our Blackwater Series Choklat Stout. We have combined the finest ingredients to tempt your senses and renew the power and interrelation of history in every bottle.”

Random: This has been on my list to try for awhile.

This beer poured with a two finger, tan head that dissipated quickly and left light lacing on the glass. The body was a dark black color with no visible carbonation due to color. The nose had notes of chocolate and licorice. There were roasted malts as well. The taste was pleasant with lots of depth. Bitter chocolate started the sip with roasted malts and a touch of smoke at the end. Although I thought the booze well-integrated, there was definitely some warming at the back of the throat. It had a thick and chewy body with light carbonation. It had a long finish with bitter chocolate and booze. This beer was on sale for $8.99 a bomber, which broke down to $.41 per ounce, which isn’t a bad deal. I thought this beer was pretty good, but it was just missing something for me. Despite that, I’d have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0