Icarus There’s Always Money In The Bullnana Stand

This beer is one that got a decent amount of hype in the area, so let’s see how it was.

ABV: 10.3%

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to Icarus’s facebook page, “Well exxxxxxcccuuuuuussssseeeee us, as we announce our newest collaboration with the blowhards from Bolero Snort Brewery: There’s Always Money in the Bullnana Stand. Inspired by our mutual favorite dysfunctional family’s Chocolate Covered Banana stand this Russian Imperial Stout was brewed with overwhelming amounts of oats, barley, cocoa powder, cocoa nibs, and wildflower honey then fermented using a blend of our house yeast and a traditional German Hefeweizen yeast to bring out subtle banana esters. The result is a big rich chocolatey stout featuring notes of banana and weighing in at 10.3% abv (this one might require two sticks!) You can call this one a GOB if you want but just don’t forget, There’s Always Money in the Bullnana Stand! There’s Always Money in the Bullnana Stand will be released in the Icarus Tasting Room this Wednesday, February 6th, so hop on your segway or climb in your stair-car and head on over when we open our doors at 4pm.”

Random: One of my favorite shows is “Arrested Development,” so I appreciate all of the references.

The beer poured with a half a finger of light brown head. It dissipated at a moderate pace and left slight lacing on the glass. The body was dark brown, almost black, with no visible carbonation. The nose had dark chocolate and roasted malt and then went into banana notes. The taste was just as interesting as the nose. I got a lot of cocoa powder, dark chocolate and roasted malts. It quickly transitioned into banana and some sweetness from the honey. The alcohol was present and a bit abrasive. The body was on the thick side with moderate carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with banana and dark chocolate. I thought this was an interesting beer, but I definitely couldn’t have more than one.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Neshaminy Creek Dank Hill

After a short mini-vacation to Pittsburgh, I’m back to updating the blog. I had some really good beers in Pittsburgh, so more to come on that. But, let’s see how this beer was.

ABV: 9%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Dank Hill Wheat DIPA is a 9.0% ABV Double IPA brewed with barley and white wheat, and hopped with Apollo, Chinook, Simcoe, Equinox, and Amarillo, then dry hopped for two weeks with Simcoe and Amarillo. Bursting with tropical, citrus, and pine notes, this brew is dank, and resinous and coats your pallet with a metric shit ton of hops.”

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

This beer poured with a two finger, bright white head. It dissipated at a moderate pace and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was hazy and golden-yellow in color with no visible carbonation. The nose was very fragrant with a lot of pineapple and mango, along with pine needles. There was some sweet malt as well. The taste started with the same tropical fruit. There was some wheat as well, and then it transitioned into tangerine juice and pine needles. It had an herbal flavor as well as the beer transitioned into a slight, sweet maltiness. The alcohol was well-hidden. The body was on the heavier side with a lot of carbonation. It had a lengthy and sticky finish with tropical fruit and pine. I enjoyed this beer a lot and would definitely have this again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Cross Keys Orange Jumpsuit

It’s been over two months since we got our kitten, Sorachi Ace. We were initially concerned that our other cats, Simcoe and Citra wouldn’t take to him. Needless to say, we were wrong. They’re now best friends and spend most of their days in a giant, fluffy cat pile. They all play together and love running around the house at 3 in the morning. He’s starting to get bigger and loves to climb things or crawl into things (like large cardboard tubes). My wife definitely picked a good one. Anyways, beer time.

ABV: 7.1%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Cross Keys Brewing Co. is committed to providing a unique, comfortable and friendly environment for enjoying fresh and delicious craft beers. We aim to serve our community and to incorporate sustainable brewing practices in every barrel we produce.”

Random: This beer uses Citra and Azacca hops.

The beer poured with three finger of fluffy, white head. It dissipated at a moderate pace and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, lemon-yellow color with some carbonation visible. The nose was filled with Mandarin oranges and some grassy hops. The taste had a nice mouthfeel from the addition of oats and had a lot of orange segments and orange peel. There was a touch of pine oil and lots of grass. There was a touch of caramel malt at the end of the sip. The body was on the lighter side with a lot of carbonation. It had a quick finish with orange. I had no trouble drinking this beer, but it wasn’t overly complex. There are a lot of other options in the style that I would pick up before having this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

River Horse Mocha Lisa Porter

Despite River Horse being 5 minutes from my house, I usually only get there once a month at best. I picked this up at Cranbury Buy Rite after missing the brewery release.

ABV: 9%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “You don’t have to be in a dead end job to feel like you aren’t going anywhere. That’s the way we felt before River Horse. We were finance geeks living in a world without soul. Grinding it out everyday for a fee, wearing suits and kissing butt. Then this brewery chose us…she forced us to ask ourselves, ‘Is this desk job really how I pictured my life?’ We answered that question by taking over River Horse in 2007 and have not looked back. We may not end up as the greatest success story on earth, but at least we had the balls to try. Sometimes, for better or worse, your dreams get the best of you. Just remember, it’s a big world out there and cubicles don’t have doors, so you can walk out anytime. Come see us when you can. We are located in Ewing, NJ. Thanks for supporting the cause. Hope you enjoy the beer…”

Random: River Horse is now hosting goat yoga events. I was away for the last one but definitely want to go to the next one.

This beer poured with a three finger, light brown head that was thick. It took awhile to go away and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown color with no visible carbonation. The nose was filled with dark, roasted malts and melted milk chocolate. The taste was like an adult version of chocolate milk. I picked up the same roasted malts and then cocoa powder and milk chocolate. The alcohol in this was invisible. It had a thick body with generous carbonation. The finish was moderate in lengthy with chocolate. I liked this beer a lot. River Horse has been stepping up their game and it shows. This is worth a try.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Ship Bottom NYE Barleywine

I’m finally back on schedule with my posts and completely up to date. What better way to celebrate than with a barleywine?

ABV: 11.4%

Style: American Barleywine

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our humble beginnings started in the summer of 1995 in Ship Bottom, NJ. Back then we made our first batch of beer using a home brew kit that consisted of a plastic bucket, large spoon, bottling bucket and some bottle caps. We hardly knew what would be ahead of us 20+ years later! We learned a lot over the last 20+ years and feel that we really refined our craft. We have been encouraged to start a brewery by family and friends that love our handcrafted ales and finally decided to make our dream become a reality! We have grown a lot since opening a Nano brewery in Wallingford PA back in 2012. In the Summer of 2016 we opened a 15 Barrel Production Brewery in Beach Haven NJ located inside Bay Village with an incredible Bay View. We are open Year Round at the Beach Haven Brewery and have a Tasting Room where you can sample or purchase our Handcrafted Ales and Lagers to Go. Our distribution is in cases of canned beer and kegs throughout New Jersey and in South Eastern Pennsylvania. We hope that you will enjoy our passion for handcrafted beer as much as we do and encourage you to let us know how we are doing. Stop by the Brewery and Catch a Wave with Us!”

Random: This is my second beer from Ship Bottom.

This beer poured with a thick, one finger, tan head. It dissipated at a moderate pace and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, mahogany color with light carbonation. The nose had notes of bourbon barrel and caramel malt. There was some alcohol on the nose. The taste was hot. It had the same bourbon barrel note, but the alcohol overwhelmed it. There was some sweetness from the caramel malt. The body was on the thicker side with moderate carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with booze. I wasn’t a huge fan of this beer. I wouldn’t rush back to have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Stillwater Stateside Saison

Although my beer store regularly stocks Stillwater, I haven’t picked one up lately. This is one of their original beers, so I wanted to give it a try.

ABV: 6.8%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “In 2017, we reformed Stillwater’s origin beer, merging it back into our evolving stream of thought where once it sat untouched. Still paying homage to old world tradition while celebrating new world innovation, Stateside is now dry hopped and more refined. Naturally brewed with the finest European malts & fresh aromatic hops from the United States & New Zealand. The beer is then fermented using a classic farmhouse ale yeast and bottle conditioned to enhance stability. The outcome is a beer of unique design and exquisite taste, showcasing some of the best attributes of modern-day craft brewing.”

Random: It’s been awhile since I had a Stillwater beer.

This beer poured with a two and a half finger, pure white head. It dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a slightly cloudy, golden-yellow with lots of carbonation visible. The nose had some yeast notes first and a touch of citrus with orange. The taste had a bit more citrus with orange and grapefruit and then quickly went into a yeast note. It had a spiciness to it along with some cracker malt. The body was on the medium side of the style with generous carbonation. It had a dry and quick finish with cracker malt. It’s been awhile since I had a saison and this one did not disappoint. This paired well with food and I would have this again without a doubt.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Dark City Home Before Midnight

Val and I have a nice, long weekend planned in Pittsburgh. It all started because I wanted to go to a live show of the podcast, “My Favorite Murder” and tickets in Philly were sold out. We also got tickets to a Penguins game, which I’m really excited to see. I’ve also heard really good things about the Pittsburgh beer scene, especially from the podcast of “Craft Beer Radio.” Needless to say, I’m very excited about going there and I’m sure I’ll post some sort of recap when we get back.

ABV: 7%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to wikipedia.com, “Home Before Midnight is a 1979 British drama film directed by Pete Walker, written by Murray Smith, and starring James Aubrey, Alison Elliott and Richard Todd. It is set in London and follows a 28 year old songwriter who is put on trial for having sex with a 14 year old girl.”

Random: The movie “Home Before Midnight” sound really rough. I’ve never seen it.

This beer poured with a quarter finger of white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a murky, pink tinged orange color with no visible carbonation. The nose was filled with tropical fruit and white vinegar. I specifically picked up guava and mango. I did not pick up pomegranate. The taste had a significant sour note, which was quickly backed up by underripe mango and guava. Again, I was disappointed that I didn’t get any pomegranate. The body was on the heavier side and it needed a touch more carbonation. It had a sour finish that hung around for awhile. I thought this was an interesting beer, I just wish I got the advertised pomegranate.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Bolero Snort Moodoo Doll

I bought this one on a recommendation at the beer store. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 10.8%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to wikipedia.com, “The link between this magical practice and Voodoo was established through the presentation of the latter in Western popular culture during the first half of the 20th century. In this, the myth of this magical practice being closely linked to Voodoo and Vodou was promoted as part of the wider negative depictions of blacks and Afro-Caribbean religious practices in the United States. In John Houston Craige’s 1933 book Black Bagdad: The Arabian Nights Adventures of a Marine Captain in Haiti, he described a Haitian prisoner sticking pins into an effigy to induce illness. Its use also appeared in film representations of Haitian Vodou such as Victor Halperin’s 1932 White Zombie and Jacques Tourneur’s 1943 I Walked with a Zombie. In the 1975 film, Lisztomania, a voodoo doll is used, resembling Franz Liszt. In the 1984 film, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, a voodoo doll is used, resembling Indiana Jones. By the early 21st century, the image of the voodoo doll had become particularly pervasive. It had become a novelty item available for purchase, with examples being provided in vending machines in British shopping centres, and an article on ‘How to Make a Voodoo Doll’ being included on WikiHow. A voodoo doll had also been included in the 2009 animated Disney movie, The Princess and the Frog.”

Random: I’ve never seen “The Princess and the Frog.”

This beer poured with a two finger, light brown head. It dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown, almost black color. Since it was so dark, I couldn’t see the carbonation. The nose was exactly like cake. It had a lot of chocolate, cocoa powder and cinnamon on the nose. The taste was much of the same. It had a lot of chocolate with some booze. Cinnamon came through with some lemon zest. The body was thick and chewy with light carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with chocolate. I liked this beer, I just wish the alcohol wasn’t as hot. I’d be interested to give it a shot after a year of aging.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Victory Java Cask Gold

One of my favorite times of the year is the start of baseball season. This year is even more exciting because the Phillies had a ridiculous offseason of pickups, most notably, Bryce Harper. J.T. Realmulto is no slouch either. Assuming everyone stays healthy, we have a really good shot at successful season. It’s definitely an exciting time to be a Phillies fan.

ABV: 11.8%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Packed with One Village Coffee’s ‘Legend’ dark roast, cut with oats, brown sugar, milk, and cocoa then elevated further with 7 months aging in Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Barrels.”

Random: This is a seasonal offering from Victory.

This beer poured with a fluffy, slightly off white head. It dissipated at a moderate pace and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a medium brown color and clear. There was some carbonation visible in the glass. The nose started with bourbon and vanilla. It quickly went into milk chocolate and a sweet, caramel note. Coffee was present as well. The taste was even more complex. The same bourbon notes were there, along with vanilla. A touch of smoke complemented the cocoa powder and brown sugar. Coffee came through next and worked with all of the other flavors. The body was medium thickness with light carbonation. The alcohol was well-integrated into the beer. It had a lengthy finish with bourbon barrel and vanilla. I thought this beer was outstanding. The bourbon barrel notes didn’t overwhelm the more delicate flavors of the beer. This beer is worth searching out.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Dark City Jersey Triad (Sour IPA)

I’ve been trying to sample more beers from New Jersey, especially from breweries that I can’t easily get. This was hanging out on the shelf at my local beer store, so I gave it a shot.

ABV: 7.9%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to app.com, “New Jersey craft beer lovers, watch out: the Jersey Triad has formed. Icarus Brewing Company in Lakewood, Dark City Brewing Company of Asbury Park and Point Pleasant Beach’s Last Wave Brewing Co. have joined forces for Jersey Triad, a tag team beer collaboration. Starting from the same New England Double India Pale Ale base recipe, Jersey Triad is an opportunity for each of these three local stars to showcase their own personality and inventiveness. Icarus’ Brux Trois-fermented version comes to its Swathmore Avenue tasting room on tap and in cans 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13. Dark City will unveil its kettle soured version on Thursday, Feb. 14, followed by Last Wave’s Brut-fermented iteration on Saturday, Feb. 16.All three versions will be on tap at Jack’s Goal Line Stand, 149 Brighton Ave. in Long Branch, on Thursday, Feb. 21. Jersey Triad is a reference to a 1999 World Championship Wrestling tag team of the same name which featured Diamond Dallas Page of Point Pleasant, Asbury Park legend Bam Bam Bigelow and Chris Kanyon, who hailed from Queens, New York. It’s the latest in a line of classic wrestling-inspired beers from Icarus. The brewery has previously released beers inspired by Bigelow, Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart and Sgt. Slaughter.”

Random: I didn’t get to try the Brux version. It would have been interesting to try them side by side.

This beer poured with a one finger, pure white head. It dissipated quickly, but left a small crown on top of the cloudy, bright yellow body. There wasn’t much carbonation visible due to the haziness. The nose was filled with sour fruits and a touch of grass. The taste was also generous with the sour notes. I picked up some mango and guava. Some grassy hops came through next. The body was on the medium side with moderate carbonation. It had a quick, sour finish. I liked this beer, I just wanted it to have more complexity.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0