Neshaminy Creek Imperial Chocolate Mudbank Milk Stout

Because Neshaminy Creek is right by my house, I don’t try their beers nearly as often as I should, since I can get them all the time. This is a beer that I’ve considered buying a million times and finally pulled the trigger on.

ABV: 9.1%

Style: Milk/Sweet Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Brewed with copious amounts of Chocolate malt and 28 pounds of semi-sweet Belgian Chocolate added to the boil, Imperial Chocolate Mudbank is a tuned up version of our Winter seasonal with all the chocolate bang for your buck. This jet black brew is chock full of bready two-row barley, biscuity Victory, and enough Caramel malt, and Flaked Oats for a bold, rich, big mouthfeel and taste. 9.1% ABV and only available in even numbered years.”

Random: I have to start searching for Coconut Mudbank from this brewery soon.

The beer poured with a one finger, tan-colored head. It dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown color with very little visible carbonation due to the color. The nose was filled with chocolate malt, lactose, smoke and some charred brown sugar. The taste was much of the same. It started with chocolate malts and a small amount of espresso. There was lactose and burnt sugar, along with some smoke. There was cocoa powder as well. The body was thick with moderate carbonation. The finish was lengthy with cocoa powder and smoke. The booze was well-integrated. A can of this was $2.99, which broke down to $.19 per ounce. I enjoyed this beer a lot. Since it’s only available in even-numbered years, get your hands on one now.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

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Rock Art A River Runs Gruit

Anytime I have a gruit, I always think that I need to have them more often. Let’s see how this one was.

ABV: 5.2%

Style: Scottish Gruit/Ancient Herbed Ale

Trivia: According to wikipedia.com, “Gruit (alternately grut or gruyt) is an herb mixture used for bittering and flavouring beer, popular before the extensive use of hops. Gruit or grut ale may also refer to the beverage produced using gruit. Historically, gruit is the term used in an area today covered by the Netherlands, Belgium and westernmost Germany. Today however, gruit is a colloquial term for any beer seasoned with gruit-like herbs. Gruit was a combination of herbs, commonly including sweet gale (Myrica gale), mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris), yarrow (Achillea millefolium), ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea), horehound (Marrubium vulgare), and Calluna heather (Calluna vulgaris). Gruit varied somewhat, each gruit producer including different herbs to produce unique flavors and effects. Other adjunct herbs included juniper berries, ginger, caraway seed, aniseed, nutmeg, cinnamon, and hops in variable proportions.”

Random: There was no information about this beer on the brewery website.

This beer poured with a half a finger of white head on top of a pink-orange body. There was moderate carbonation visible. The head dissipated almost instantly and left some lacing on the glass. The nose was very fragrant. There was a lot of lavender and chamomile along with some juniper. The taste started with a lot of herbal tea. Specifically, I picked up chamomile and some mint along with juniper. There was a floral note as well. The body was on the lighter side with moderate carbonation. It had a medium length finish with herbal tea. I’m not sure how much this beer was, since it was received as a gift, but either way, I enjoyed it.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Jack’s Abby Blood Orange Wheat

Every year, my family does a big barbecue at my parents’ house. I’m usually in charge of beer and cooking. It’s challenging to pick beer because I want to avoid the macros, but still give people what they want. This year, I went with Founders Solid Gold Lager as an alternative to macros. Hopefully, people like it. Anyways, let’s get into this beer from Jack’s Abby.

ABV: 4%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Blood Orange Wheat debuted in our Beer Hall and it quickly became a fan favorite. This German-style radler is fruit forward, juicy and bloody refreshing. Lean back and enjoy!”

Random: This beer comes in at 15 IBUs.

The beer poured with a one finger, white head. It dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was very cloudy and a reddish-yellow color. There was a lot of carbonation visible, despite the cloudiness. The nose was filled with wheat and a lot of blood orange juice. The taste was more pungent than the nose. It had the same wheat, but quickly went into tart citrus. I picked up lemon juice and lemon rind along with lots of blood orange juice and blood orange flesh. The body was very light with lots of carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with blood orange. Since this beer was a gift, I have no clue how much it was. Either way, I thought that this was a great Summer drinker and had lots of blood orange, as advertised.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Exhibit A Demo Tape Sixteen: India Pale Ale

When I was a kid, mix tapes were a big thing. You’d give them to your friends and play them until they got “played out” and didn’t sound right or if the actual tape came out, you’d have to get a pencil to put it back in.

ABV: 5%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Exhibit ‘A’ Brewing Company offers a fun look at storytelling through beer with a subtle nod towards the meaning of life. While we may know the answer (42), it’s the questions that keep us searching. We are all about experiencing life and having a great beer or three along the way. If the beer came from our own brewery, even better! We keep our lives, and our beers, simple and honest. Beer was meant to be enjoyed together. So we invite you to join us at our brewery in Framingham, Massachusetts. While you are here, enjoy full, half or sample pours of our beers in our brewery taproom and 16 ounce cans and growlers to go. We think our beers taste the best in our brewery, but they will probably taste even better in the comfort of your own home, shared with friends and family. That’s because we believe it’s the way beer was meant to be enjoyed. We believe we have a responsibility to our customers to protect our environment, our community, our industry and most of all our staff. We take our obligation to sustainability and acting in an environmentally friendly way very seriously. So we use efficient modern procedures, care for the beer from brewing to packaging to ensure a quality product and use the freshest and tastiest ingredients available. Above all else, we promise to cultivate and foster a positive place to work for our staff and design and operate a brewery where our guests feel welcome and appreciated. Come visit our brewery in Framingham, MA and sample our liquid evidence for yourself.”

Random: I do remember asking my sister what an eight-track was when I found one in the garage.

The beer poured with a one finger, white head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body looked a bit like orange-tinged mud. I couldn’t see much carbonation through the murkiness. The nose was very grassy and citrusy. It had lots of orange and grapefruit pith. The taste was equally citrusy and grassy. There was no malt to it, which was unfortunate because the beer could have used some malt. It had grapefruit juice and pith along with lemon peel. The body was on the lighter side with moderate carbonation. It had a quick, pithy finish. This was another beer gift, so no commentary on the price. I thought this beer was alright, but nothing amazing.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Shebeen Alpaca Blanca

Tonight’s beer is one I only bought because I thought the label was adorable.

ABV: 6.5%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to wikipedia.com, “The Alpaca (Vicugna pacos) is a species of South American camelid, similar to, and often confused with the llama. However, alpacas are often noticeably smaller than llamas. The two animals are closely related, and can successfully cross-breed. Alpacas and llamas are also closely related to the Vicuña, which is believed to be the alpaca’s wild ancestor, and to the Guanaco. There are two breeds of Alpaca: the Suri alpaca (es) and the Huacaya alpaca. Alpacas are kept in herds that graze on the level heights of the Andes of Southern Peru, Western Bolivia, Ecuador, and Northern Chile at an altitude of 3,500 m (11,500 ft) to 5,000 m (16,000 ft) above sea level, throughout the year. Alpacas are considerably smaller than llamas, and unlike llamas, they were not bred to be working animal, but are bred specifically for their fiber. Alpaca fiber is used for making knitted and woven items, similar to wool. These items include blankets, sweaters, hats, gloves, scarves, a wide variety of textiles and ponchos in South America, and sweaters, socks, coats and bedding in other parts of the world. The fiber comes in more than 52 natural colors as classified in Peru, 12 as classified in Australia and 16 as classified in the United States. Alpacas communicate through body language. The most common is spitting when they are in distress, fearful, or mean to show dominance. Male alpacas are more aggressive than females, and tend to establish dominance of their herd group. In some cases, alpha males will immobilize the head and neck of a weaker or challenging male in order to show their strength and dominance.”

Random: There’s a llama farm by our house and Val keeps asking me to get one.

The beer poured with a four finger, white head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a very hazy, bright yellow color. I couldn’t see much carbonation due to the haziness. The nose was filled with citrus. I picked up a lot of grapefruit along with citrus juice. The taste was much of the same. It had a lot of grapefruit juice along with grapefruit zest and booze. The body was on the medium side with high carbonation. A pounder can was $2.50, which broke down to $.16 per ounce. This was a simplistic IPA and I wouldn’t rush back to have it.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Fat Orange Cat Launch

I have two fat orange cats, so when I saw that this beer hit Jersey, I needed to buy it.

ABV: 8%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Fat Orange Cat Brew Co. is a small, seasonal farm brewery, opened for tastings and growler sales/fills August 13, 2016 out of our barn. We specialize in extremely high quality small batch recipes, and are making every effort to support and promote local agriculture. We are very fortunate that our property has a wetland and is in the Salmon River watershed area, resulting in exceptionally high quality well water. Many thanks to the UCONN Agricultural Extension for developing our waste nutrient management plan, enabling us to use all of our waste materials either on the property or for goat feed. Most importantly, we love brewing beer and always focus on creating delicious and varied brews!”

Random: Male orange tabbies get very large.

The beer poured with a one finger, white head. It dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a bright yellow color with some cloudiness with lots of carbonation visible. The nose started with some malt and caramel along with lots of hops. There was some pine and grapefruit that I picked up. The taste was definitely hop forward. It had some pine along with grapefruit pith and then some caramel malt. Mango, pineapple and some booze came through next. The body was heavy with a lot of carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with tropical fruit. I liked this beer a lot. The flavor was on point and the branding was awesome. This is definitely worth a try.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Cape May Follow The Gull

My job has a lot of Canadian Geese. It’s to the point that whenever I leave, they actually block the road. I have never seen so many geese in one place. There’s a lake by my job and they tend to hang out there. I had one that actually chased me into the building. It wasn’t cute. I just hope I don’t get a worker’s comp claim from a goose attack. Anyways, this beer was one that I heard nothing about and have no idea how much I paid for it, but decided to give it a shot.

ABV: 5.5%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Brewed with 5.5 pounds per barrel of Citra, El Dorado, Amarillo, Cascade, and Azacca, Follow the Gull is super juicy, ridiculously tropical, ultra-drinkable, and imminently Cape May. Brewed to celebrate Cape May County’s 325th Anniversary with the Cape May County Department of Tourism.”

Random: This comes in at 45 IBUs.

The beer poured with a one finger, white head. It dissipated at a moderate pace and left very little lacing on the glass. The nose had a lot of tropical fruit with pineapple and mango. There was some grapefruit as well. The taste was very bright. It started with a lot of tropical fruit, specifically mango, pineapple and guava. There was some grapefruit pith and segments. There was a slight sweetness from the malt as well. The body was on the medium side with high carbonation. The finish was quick with tropical fruit. I thought this beer was alright, but nothing amazing. I wouldn’t rush back to having this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0