Carton HopPun

This was the last beer that I had at Isaac Newton’s. It’s been a little over two months since I’ve tried one of their beers. I haven’t heard all that much about this once, but I do love Mosaic hops, so I had high hopes for it.

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ABV: 5.3%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to beeradvocate.com, “You can play boundary-pushing flavor games all you like but you should never turn your back on fundamentals. HopPun is born of playing with the most straightforward of beers – the hoppy American pale. We push around experimental hops 06300 and HBC342 with Super Galena and Mosaic, soften the edges with a traditional pale malt bill and then tie it all together with the fruity esters of British yeast. Look for the tutti-frutti/berry side of modern hop aromatics in a pleasant drinking straightforward Pale. Drink HopPun and keep the chops sharp.”

Random: Getting up before the sun comes up is still not something that I enjoy.

This beer poured with a thick, one finger, cream-colored head that dissipated slowly. It left lots of lacing on the pint glass. The body was a clear, orange color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose had light grass, some citrus and then fruitiness. The taste had light citrus, specifically grapefruit and citrus rind. It had a touch of sweetness as well and some berry notes. It was really, really dry. The body was light with high carbonation. It had a long, dry finish with citrus and berries. As usual, Carton puts out another great beer.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

La Trappe Witte Trappist

On Monday, Isaac Newton’s had a King’s Day event featuring all sorts of beers from La Trappe. This was a left over from that, so the other half got a tulip glass full of it and I gave it a try.

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ABV: 5.5%

Style: Witbier

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The world’s first and only white Trappist ale that continues to ferment slightly after bottling. Brewed using only water, wheat and hops. No herbs are added. Saphir hops give the ale its citrusy aroma. A real thirst-quencher on a hot summer’s day that also makes for a delicious drink at any other time of year.”

Random: Why can’t their food just be better? I really wish Twin Light Tap House reopened.

This beer poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated quickly, yet left no lacing on the tulip glass. The body was a hazy yellow with light carbonation visible. On the nose, I picked up lemon and lots of yeast. Some coriander was present as well. The taste was almost like witbier-flavored seltzer. There was barely any lemon or citrus, some yeast and a touch of coriander. There was also an odd note of very light anise that was completely out of place on this beer. The flavor was way too light on this. The body was also bordering on thin and the carbonation needed to be dialed up. The finish was quick with yeast and anise. This beer was really boring. I wrote in my notes the word “boring” at least three times. I would avoid this one. There are so many other examples that are better.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Ballast Point Dorado Double IPA

After the other half figured out that she didn’t like her beer, I gave her mine. She drank about a third of it and actually liked it. Let’s see what I thought of it.

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ABV: 10%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A huge, hoppy brew that will test your sea legs. Our Dorado Double IPA immediately hooks you with massive hops that never stop. Mash hopping, kettle hopping and dry hopping makes this beer a serious hop lover’s prize catch. It’s an amazingly drinkable, aware-winning beer that’s as beautifully balanced as it is big.”

Random: My legs still hurt from mowing the lawn. At least it should take less time this week.

This beer poured with a thick, one finger, white head. It dissipated very slowly and left some pretty lacing on the glass. It had a hazy, orange body with moderate carbonation visible. The nose had some sweet malt to it and then tropical fruit came through with citrus notes, specifically grapefruit. The taste started hoppy with tropical fruit (I specifically picked up mango), and then citrus. Ruby red grapefruit stood out to me. It quickly followed up with a nice dose of sweet malt to balance out the hoppiness. This was a pleasantly bitter beer for the style, but not overwhelmingly so. It also hid the 10% ABV insanely well. The body was thick and chewy body with moderate carbonation, which was perfect for this beer. The finish was long with sweet malt and grapefruit bitterness. This was an outstanding example of the style and I’m kicking myself for not having tried it sooner. I will be having this one again, that’s for sure.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Bullfrog Kiwi Berry Farmhouse Wheat

The other half and I headed to Isaac Newton’s last night because she was in the mood for burgers. We got the burgers for a 2 for $22 deal (with an appetizer included). It would have been great if our burgers were not overcooked and awful. This was the beer that she initially ordered and absolutely hated, so I ended up with it. Let’s see how it was.

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ABV: 6.5%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Dry, quenching farmhouse ale brewed with French pale malt and a portion of unmalted wheat. Fermented with a house blend of three different yeast strains including Brett. Finished by steeping with whole kiwiberries.”

Random: This brewery recently did a tap takeover at Newton’s that I missed.

This beer poured with no head on top of a hazy brownish-yellow body with light carbonation visible. There wasn’t any remnants of lacing left on the glass. The nose had notes lemon, tart berries and funk. It had this old musty smell to it, which wasn’t pleasant. The taste was really tart at first, and then the musty berry flavor came through. It was a mix of funk and old, dank berries. Again, I didn’t get kiwi. I would say that it was a combination between raspberry and lemon. There was some bready yeast to it, but very little spice. It had a medium thick body with moderate carbonation. The finish was long and musty with funk. This beer was an absolute chore to drink. The mustiness was really unpleasant and overwhelmed any other flavor that was in it. I would avoid this one.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Belhaven 90/~ Wee Heavy

One of the joys of owning a house is that I get to take care of the lawn. I got my battery-powered lawnmower on Friday and left work at a decent time so I could mow it. Despite the fact that the grass was probably too high since I let the backyard get slightly overgrown, I think I did a good job. My grass seed should be coming any day now so I can plant it in the bare spots. Once it looks decent, I’ll post some pictures. Anyways, let’s see how this bad boy from Scotland was.

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ABV: 7.4%

Style: Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “While 1719 may be the earliest documented evidence of the Belhaven Brewery, there may well have been beer production on the site pre-16th century as the wells and certain cellar vaults are known to date from around the time of the Reformation. Monks (noted for their brewing skills) settled in the area from the 12th century. Luckily, they had access to both fine water and top quality local barley.”

Random: I need to buy a trimmer for the areas that I can’t get to with the mower. Maybe that will be my end of quarter gift to myself.

This beer poured with less than a half a finger of off white head. It dissipated instantly with no lacing left on the glass. The body was a cloudy, dark brown with high carbonation visible. The nose was really rich and peaty with sweetness. Smoke was present too. The taste was better than the notes with more peat and smoke. There was some booze and then deep sweetness, almost like molasses. There was also some bready malt as well. It had a thick and chewy body with high carbonation. The finish was long with peat and molasses. For $2.70 a bottle (with the NJCB discount), this broke down to $.23 per ounce. This was a good beer, but was missing something that I couldn’t put my finger on. It wasn’t the best of the style that I’ve had, but was far from the worst. It’s worth a shot.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Heavy Seas Small Craft Warning (Uber Pils)

Before I started this blog, I had an apartment in North Brunswick that I would have Fantasy Football/Baseball draft parties. For one of them, I asked that everyone bring a six-pack of craft beer. One of the attendees brought this beer, because he was specifically looking for a beer that had “craft” in the name. I’ve had this beer on two occasions, one being that occasion and one being at the brewery. I didn’t review it either time, so when I saw a lone bottle in the beer store, I picked it up to review. Let’s see how it was.

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ABV: 7%

Style: American Double/Imperial Pilsner

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Arguably our most well-balanced beer, Small Craft Warning seems at once hop-forward and malt-forward; our brewers debate over which flavor force prevails in the beer. Small Craft exemplifies a robust pilsner – it’s crisp, well-carbonated, and slightly sweet. The beer is characterized by a firm malt backbone and a pronounced hop character. A fine aroma from an array of hops, completes this quaffable beer.”

Random: I do think that their labels are cute, even though the brewery tour could have been one of the worst that I’ve ever been on.

This beer poured with a half a finger of thick, white head that dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, golden orange color. There was high carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of sweet, toasted malt to it. I didn’t get anything else. The taste was sweet at first with lots of toasted malt. There was a mineral quality to it as well that came through after a few sips. Booze was apparent, but not overwhelming. Despite the description from the brewery, there wasn’t much hop character to it. Perhaps it’s an old bottle. It had a thick body (especially for the style) with high carbonation. The finish was long with sweet malt and mineral water. For $1.80 a bottle (with the NJCB discount), this broke down to $.15 per ounce, which is relatively cheap. Despite that, it was only alright and I wouldn’t have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Broken Goblet Bubba’s Tea Bag

One Sunday, the other half and I decided to go explore Pennsylvania and hit up some breweries that were open. Our first stop was Broken Goblet, which was really nice. Their tasting room had really nice decor and we ended up getting a sampler. This was the beer that we liked the most. Plus, we liked the little growler, so it had to come home with us. We also hit up Neshaminy Creek and Forgotten Boardwalk. Anyways, let’s see how this one was.

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ABV: 5.9%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “CONVENIENTLY LOCATED IN BUCKS COUNTY, PA. WE HAVE BUILT A BREWERY & BREWPUB FOR BEER LOVERS, WHO ARE READY FOR A TWIST ON THE TRADITIONAL TASTING. BROKEN GOBLET BREWING – LET US BREAK YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON HOW YOU EXPERIENCE CRAFT BEER … BECAUSE BROKEN CAN BE BEAUTIFUL.”

Random: I didn’t have any beers at Neshaminy that I hadn’t sampled before. It was somewhat disappointing.

This beer poured with less than one finger of white head. It dissipated instantly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a slightly cloudy, pink color with high carbonation visible. The nose was really fragrant with berries and lots of black tea. This is one of the first times that I’ve had a beer that used tea as an adjunct and I could pick it up in the nose. The taste started with floral notes, but followed up with a lot of tea and then berries. There was slight bitterness from the hops, but tea was definitely the star of this one. The body was medium thickness with high carbonation and went down really easily.The finish was lengthy and floral with the same tea note. This beer was really good. I wish it came in a format other than growlers, because it would definitely be in my beer fridge a lot. Even the other half liked it.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

New Holland Envious

End of quarter has its hold on me. For the next week, I’ll be pulling crazy shifts, getting very little sleep and looking forward to Saturday night and sleeping for at least ten hours straight. So, as you can see, I really haven’t had a lot of time to update the blog or have review beers. This is one that I had a week or so ago.

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ABV: 7.5%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to greatbrewers.com, “Michigan pears fuel a second fermentation, providing subtle nuance between grain & fruit. A slumber on oak and local raspberries adds depth and tartness.”

Random: The other half picked this one out. She seemed to like the labels on the New Holland beers.

This beer poured with a half a finger of tan head that dissipated quickly. It left no lacing on the glass, but a slight crown on top of the cloudy dark brown body with high carbonation visible. The nose was strong with notes of pear and raspberry. It had a marked sour note as well. The taste had old raspberries and sweet pears with oak and vanilla following those flavors. Honestly, it didn’t pair well at all. It had an odd musty taste with tartness that wasn’t pleasant. What made it worse was how thin the body was and for it being that thin, the carbonation was too light. The finish was thankfully swift with musty raspberries. I can see why the brewery discontinued this beer. For $10.79 a bomber (on sale with the NJCB discount), this broke down to $.49 per ounce, which is way too expensive for a beer that was this unpleasant. I won’t be having this again.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Goose Island 312 Urban Pale Ale

It seems like people have a love/hate relationship with Goose Island since they got bought by In-Bev. I understand that macro beer companies buying out smaller ones is less than ideal, but it does make their beers more readily available. In my opinion, if you’re putting out tasty beers, I’m going to drink them. I will say that I despise the new Budweiser commercial though. Anyways, I picked this one up to give it a shot.

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ABV: 5.4%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We are from the city that invented the skyscraper. We constructed our Urban Pale Ale on a balanced malt backbone, so the citrus hop aroma and crisp flavor can stand tall.”

Random: My first Goose Island beer was in Chicago in Pizzeria Due.

This beer poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was an amber color with high carbonation. The nose was really floral with grapefruit and was almost perfume-y. The taste was nice with grapefruit and then caramel malt right after. Despite the malt, it was definitely a hop forward beer. It had a medium body with high carbonation. The finished last awhile with grapefruit and slight malt sweetness. This beer was relatively simple, but it worked and was really drinkable, especially for $1.59 for a bottle. For only $.13 per ounce, this would be a beer that I would stock my cooler with for a barbecue to convert a few macro drinkers. I would have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

New Jersey Beer Company 1787 Abbey Single

During my last beer store trip, I found myself at the newly reopened Cranbury Buy-Rite. Since I used to live over there, it was my go-to store. I have high hopes that they will return to be the craft beer destination in the area. I picked up a few things there that were beers that I had kept saying I was going to try, but never got around to. This was one of them that I had while watching “The Good Wife” last night. Let’s see how it was.

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ABV: 4.8%

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “On December 18, 1787, New Jersey was the third state to join the burgeoning nation. We celebrate our state’s historic role with this Old World, Belgian-style Ale. Eminently approachable, and perfectly refreshing, the Abbey Single Ale is a proper session beer.”

Random: I am not liking this whole State’s Attorney storyline on “The Good Wife.” That and Kalinda will be leaving at the end of the season makes me sad.

This beer poured with less than a half of finger of white head that was slow to dissipate. It left some lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, golden-yellow color with high carbonation visible. The nose had a lot of yeast, hay and grass. There was coriander present too. The taste had a lot more spice, peach and lemon with lots of yeast. Grassy, herbal hops came through and dominated the delicate fruit notes. It had a thick body for the style with high carbonation. It had a long yeasty finish with spice and hay with hops. This beer was $2.03 for the bottle (with the NJCB discount), which broke down to $.17 per ounce. For that price, this was a really enjoyable beer that I would have again. And, it’s from Jersey!

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0