Archive for December, 2016

Happy New Year’s Eve! Val and I aren’t big fans of the holiday and usually just do something quiet at home. If you’re going out, make sure you have a designated driver or aren’t driving at all. Now, let’s crack open this beer.

victoryfrischeweisse

ABV: 5.2%

Style: Berliner Weissbier

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This refreshing beer features a grainy aroma, slightly hazy straw yellow body. Aroma is grainy, touch of lactic acidity. Slightly tannic, acidity is very refreshing but not bitingly sharp. Very refreshing and easily drinkable.”

Random: One of the beer podcasts I listen to discusses physics on their preshow. It’s quite fascinating.

This beer poured with a finger of pure white head. It took awhile to go away and left no lacing on the glass. The body was slightly cloudy and bright yellow. It had slightly less carbonation than I expected to see. On the nose, the dominant scent was tart cherries along with the expected wheat note. After a few sniffs, I lost the wheat and only smelled the cherries. The taste started with a white vinegar tartness. I also got apple with apple skins, but not the same as the off-flavor apple note. It had a lot of cherry notes with cherry pits as well. The body was thin with the same moderate carbonation that could have been dialed up a bit to make it go down easier. It had a lengthy finish with wheat and white vinegar. A bottle of this was $1.67 ($.14 per ounce). I enjoyed drinking this beer, I just wish it had more bubbles.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

I haven’t had great luck with beers from this brewery, but I hoped for the best on this one…

kexptransitoripa

ABV: 5.6%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the radio station website, “KEXP and Scuttlebutt Brewing Company have partnered to create Transistor IPA, a refreshing, session friendly Northwest IPA that will help fund KEXP’s New Home. Transistor IPA is available at retail establishments throughout greater Seattle, and 100% of the net proceeds with benefit KEXP’s New Home capital campaign. The beer is on shelves of local grocery stores in 12oz bottle six packs and can be found on tap at popular restaurants, clubs, bottle shops, and in the Scuttlebutt Brewing tasting room.”

Random: My Sirius membership is going to expire. I think I may extend it another year because I really like having it.

This beer poured with a quarter finger of pure white head that dissipated quickly. It didn’t leave any lacing on the glass. The body was incredibly cloudy with floaties and very light carbonation visible. The nose had an old orange syrup note, almost like a syrupy fruit cup. There was some simple syrup as well. I didn’t pick up any malt on the nose. The taste had some more bitterness with orange zest and orange segments. It drank more like a pale ale than a true IPA. It had some dried pine needles and kilned malt, but the malt didn’t provide any sweetness, just thickness to the body. Grapefruit pith came through after a few sips. It had a thick and chewy body with light carbonation. This was a big downfall of the beer, because some more carbonation would have made it more drinkable. The finish was lengthy with citrus zest. This beer didn’t have any balance and it wasn’t drinkable. For $2.50 a bottle ($.21 per ounce), I expected a lot more from the beer. I wouldn’t have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Tonight’s selection is from Long Trail. I cut my teeth on their beers and recently they’ve been putting out some seriously impressive beers. I got my hands on this one and was excited to crack it open.

greenblazeipa

ABV: 6.5%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Blaze a hoppy trail. Guide yourself through the lupulin landscape of pine, resin and tropical fruit hop notes in this trail-worthy American IPA. The newest year-round offering in our family of ales, Green Blaze IPA features big pine, tropical fruit and resin hop notes with a light, biscuity malt backbone. Pairs well with: Blue cheeses, sharp cheddar, colby, grilled meats, barbecue, hamburgers, spicy dishes, tacos, blackened chicken, pickled vegetables, shellfish and outdoor adventure.”

Random: I’ve started watching the new season of “American Horror Story” and it is super creepy.

The beer poured with a half a finger of ecru-colored head. It dissipated slowly and left a limited amount of lacing on the glass. The body had some chill haze with moderate carbonation and was a bright orange color. The nose was very piney and has a weird, spicy arugula note. There was almost no malt to the nose. The taste was super earthy with wet dirt, mature pine needles and pine oil. There was some malt to the beer, but was overtaken by the hops. It had a robust body that reminded me of a double IPA with high carbonation. It had a lengthy and sticky pine finish with wet dirt. A can of this was $1.67, which broke down to $.14 per ounce. For that price, this is worth a grab.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Today’s selection is a beer that brings me back to the summer. Given the weather in December, it’s a welcome change.

tropicalpaleale

ABV: 5.9%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We’re very excited to announce that a new year-round beer will be joining our lineup this spring! Inspired by our collaboration with Florida’s famed Cigar City Brewing, Tropical Pale Ale marries our love and mastery of balanced pale ales with the bright, refreshing flavors of grapefruit and passion fruit accented by juicy, citrusy hops. Tropical Pale Ale begins with a base of soft pilsner malt layered with Maris Otter, Munich and caramel malts. Huge late hopping with a blend of Mosaic, Citra, Topaz, Calypso and Azacca lends bright flavors of mango, pear, blueberry and citrus to a pale ale featuring slightly toasted biscuit and caramel/toffee notes. Tropical Pale Ale is infused with grapefruit peel, grapefruit juice and passion fruit juice at the conclusion of the boil, resulting in a refreshing acidity and bold tropical fruit flavor and aroma. Currently available on draft with cans scheduled to be released starting in the Greater Kansas City Area on May 10th with other regions soon to follow, Tropical Pale Ale is 5.9 ABV and 45 IBU.”

Random: I never tried the Boulevard/Cigar City collaboration this was based on, although I passed it on shelves a few times.

This beer poured with a one finger, thick, cream-colored head. It was slow to dissipate and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, orange-copper color with a lot of carbonation visible. The nose had a decent amount of brown, toasty malt and then the hops came through with passionfruit and grapefruit. Taste was a lot more tropical than the nose. I got pineapple, mango, grapefruit and passionfruit. Some malt was present, but it manifested more like freshly milled grain. It had a thin body with a lot of carbonation. The finish was quick and fruity with the same light grain. A can of this set me back $1.67 ($.14 per ounce). This beer wasn’t all that complex, but it went down easily and would make a great addition to a cooler in the summer.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

I picked this beer up in New York and aged it for a little over six months. I’ve had some experience with Pipeworks beers and enjoyed the liquid, but no real experience with a cherry barleywine.

cherrymurderous

ABV: 9.5%

Style: English Barleywine

Trivia: The only information on the website about this beer is that it is brewed with cherries and is 9.5% ABV.

Random: Going back to work after a few days off is always rough.

The brew poured with a half a finger of light brown head. It dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a bright mahogany color with light carbonation visible, despite the color of the beer. The nose was filled with brandy and caramel notes and quickly went into syrupy sweet cherry. It reminded me of cherry pie filling. There was some fusel alcohol as well with toffee at the end. The taste started with cherry and pie filling and then went into the same sweet, brandy note. It had caramel and toffee next with breakfast bread. Booze and ash came next, but the flavors were integrated well as to not take away from the primary notes. The body was thick, but silky smooth with almost no carbonation. It made for the perfect winter sipper. It had a lengthy finish with brandy and pie filling. A bomber of this was $12.99, which came to $.59 per ounce. I was impressed by this beer. It took the cherries and really enhanced the base beer. Next time I see this beer, I’m buying a few to throw in the cellar.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

One of the first beers that I searched out when I started the blog was Avery Maharaja. At this point in my adventure in craft beer, almost anything could blow my mind flavor-wise, but I was very impressed by that beer. When I heard they were released what appeared to be an updated version in cans, I was curious to see if it matched up to what I remembered about the beer and enjoying so much.

raja

ABV: 8%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Brazenly bitter. Dashingly dry-hopped. Raja is an audacious addition to our lengthy lineage of intrepid IPAs. Hops for all! All for hops!”

Random: This beer is available in cans and on draft.

This beer poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was bright yellow in color and had some chill haze as well. Despite that, I could see a decent amount of carbonation in the beer. The nose started with grass, sweet malt and a touch of alcohol. The taste had a lot more pine, which was quickly backed up by a sweet malt backbone with a lot of caramel. There was also some pine sap and crushed pine needs to tit as well. It had a thick and chewy body with high carbonation. The finish was lengthy with pine. The alcohol wasn’t nearly as pronounced in the taste as the nose. I picked this up for $2.17 a can, which broke down to $.18 per ounce. To get a quality can of a DIPA, that price is quite stellar. I highly recommend this one.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Merry Christmas! At this point, I’m probably stuffing my face with dinner and having some good beers. Here’s my gift to you…

funkygoldsimcoe

ABV: 7.5%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to beerlegends.com, “Simcoe Hops was released in 2000 by the Yakima Chief Ranch in Washington State. Its one of those hops that are closely associated with India Pale Ales, but its capacity does not stop there. Simcoe is used almost to obsession in varying ales, predominantly by American Craft Brewers. Its parents are unknown but is compared to Cascade Hops. Simcoe Hops is a dual purpose hops with high bittering potential. The alpha acid content comes in at 12.0%-14.0% with a relatively low beta acid content of 4.0%-5.0%. The co-humulone for this variety is very low (among the lowest) at 12.0%-15.0%. In total this makes Simcoe a good choice for foundational type bittering in beer. Simcoe is also known for its aromatic qualities. And is described as both fruity and an herbal piney earthy fragrance. The myrcene oil content is a skyrocketing 60.0%-65.0% which is among the highest. And naturally this leaves the other oils at a deficit from the norm with the humulene oil content at 10.0%-15.0%, and the caryophyllene oil content at 5.0-%-8.0%. The aroma in Simcoe Hops is complex, and this is part of what explains its popularity with bold hop heavy ales. Simcoe Hops is a heavy yielding plant at 2300-2500 lbs/acre, which is a theme from some of the Yakima varieties. The bright yellow lupulin comes from the medium size hop cones mid season after a moderately vigorous growing season. Going with the times, Simcoe has been bred for disease resistance which includes powdery mildew and sperotheca. As mentioned, Simcoe has made itself known for the American craft brewing and home brewing warriors, and is available.”

Random: I hate when breweries don’t list all the beers they produce on their website.

This beer poured with a huge and loose, four finger white head that dissipated quickly. I was surprised that it left no lacing on the glass. The body was bright yellow and completely hazy with no visible carbonation. The nose was filled with funk and white grapes. I got some grass and hay. The first thing that hit me about the taste was how dry it was. I picked up white wine grapes, hay and grass. After a few sips, some lemon verbena came through too. The booze was hidden. The funk was moderate on this. It had a moderately thick body with light carbonation. The finish took forever with lemon and hay. I picked this up for $12.99 for the bottle ($.77 per ounce). I enjoyed this beer and it reminded me a lot of a white wine. If you’re into that flavor profile, try to find this on the shelf.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0