3 Stars Whisker Assassins

As you can tell from the label, yes, I definitely bought it because there are cats dressed up as assassins.

ABV: 12.5%

Style: English Strong Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “3 Stars Brewing Company is a brewery delivering on the promise of bringing locally hand crafted artisanal ales to the DC beer community. The company was founded by Dave Coleman and Mike McGarvey, two longtime friends who decided to seize the opportunity to build a brewery and produce high quality beer in the District of Columbia – hoping to make this world-class city a world-class craft beer destination. Mike and Dave started out as homebrewers, developing recipes on a homebrew lab system in Mike’s basement. What began as a hobby, soon became the main focal point of their attention. The duo then realized that building a brewery in D.C. was just the type of project they had been looking for. They began writing business plans, searching for a suitable property to house the brewery, and discussing the project with local friends and business associates as a potential investment opportunity. With an unwavering dedication to crafting and brewing unique, complex, forward thinking beers the guys set out a path for the brewery with the purpose of creating highly innovative drinking experiences. To date, the brewing team at 3 Stars has released over 40 different distinctive beers and cultivated a reputation for pushing the envelope when it comes to creativity. They have been recognized for their commitment to their craft, and have received multiple awards for their achievements. They have been named DC’s Best Local Brewery two years running by Washington City Paper, and were named Rising Stars in 2014 by Star Chefs Magazine. Be on the lookout as they continue to innovate and create outstanding beers that offer unparalleled drinking experiences.”

Random: 3 Stars is my favorite brewery in the DC area.

The beer poured with absolutely no head on top of a deep, dark brown body. There was some carbonation visible. The nose was pungent. Initially, I got a lot of the barrel characteristics, specifically vanilla, tobacco, smoke and char. I also got a note of dates. The taste was simply outstanding. I picked up the barrel characteristics again, vanilla, leather, tobacco, and char. There was a raisin and date note as well. The alcohol was present, but not overwhelming. It had a thick and chewy body with light carbonation. The finish was lengthy and sticky with the smoke hanging around. I picked this up directly from the brewery, so I’m not sure how much I paid for it. Either way, this was perfection in a glass.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

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3 Stars Techni-Color Life

Another night, another beer. I really have to start getting back into styles that aren’t IPAs. I’m starting to get sick of them.

ABV: 8%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “3 Stars Brewing Company is a brewery delivering on the promise of bringing locally hand crafted artisanal ales to the DC beer community. The company was founded by Dave Coleman and Mike McGarvey, two longtime friends who decided to seize the opportunity to build a brewery and produce high quality beer in the District of Columbia – hoping to make this world-class city a world-class craft beer destination. Mike and Dave started out as homebrewers, developing recipes on a homebrew lab system in Mike’s basement. What began as a hobby, soon became the main focal point of their attention. The duo then realized that building a brewery in D.C. was just the type of project they had been looking for. They began writing business plans, searching for a suitable property to house the brewery, and discussing the project with local friends and business associates as a potential investment opportunity. With an unwavering dedication to crafting and brewing unique, complex, forward thinking beers the guys set out a path for the brewery with the purpose of creating highly innovative drinking experiences. To date, the brewing team at 3 Stars has released over 40 different distinctive beers and cultivated a reputation for pushing the envelope when it comes to creativity. They have been recognized for their commitment to their craft, and have received multiple awards for their achievements. They have been named DC’s Best Local Brewery two years running by Washington City Paper, and were named Rising Stars in 2014 by Star Chefs Magazine. Be on the lookout as they continue to innovate and create outstanding beers that offer unparalleled drinking experiences.”

Random: I’ve now visited over 100 breweries.

The beer poured with a thick, one finger, pure white head. It dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy yellow color with a lot of carbonation visible. The nose was a bit light with some unremarkable citrus. The taste had a bit more depth, although not much. It had some lemon balm and then quickly went into pine oil and needles. There was some caramel malt as well. The body was on the lighter side for the style with heavy carbonation. The finish was quick with citrus. This beer was alright, but nothing outstanding. It doesn’t stand out, but I wouldn’t refuse one if it was handed to me.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

3 Stars Funkyard Dog

Tonight’s selection is a funky beer that I picked up directly from the brewery.

ABV: 7.45%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “3 Stars Brewing Company is a brewery delivering on the promise of bringing locally hand crafted artisanal ales to the DC beer community. The company was founded by Dave Coleman and Mike McGarvey, two longtime friends who decided to seize the opportunity to build a brewery and produce high quality beer in the District of Columbia – hoping to make this world-class city a world-class craft beer destination. Mike and Dave started out as homebrewers, developing recipes on a homebrew lab system in Mike’s basement. What began as a hobby, soon became the main focal point of their attention. The duo then realized that building a brewery in D.C. was just the type of project they had been looking for. They began writing business plans, searching for a suitable property to house the brewery, and discussing the project with local friends and business associates as a potential investment opportunity. With an unwavering dedication to crafting and brewing unique, complex, forward thinking beers the guys set out a path for the brewery with the purpose of creating highly innovative drinking experiences. To date, the brewing team at 3 Stars has released over 40 different distinctive beers and cultivated a reputation for pushing the envelope when it comes to creativity. They have been recognized for their commitment to their craft, and have received multiple awards for their achievements. They have been named DC’s Best Local Brewery two years running by Washington City Paper, and were named Rising Stars in 2014 by Star Chefs Magazine. Be on the lookout as they continue to innovate and create outstanding beers that offer unparalleled drinking experiences.”

Random: 3 Stars’s tap room was really open and inviting. It’s one of my favorites.

The beer poured with a half a finger of white head. It went away slowly, but left no lacing on the glass. The body was a golden orange color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose was filled with funk, white wine grapes and oak. Some warm vanilla notes came out as well. The taste followed suit. I picked up funky yeast with peach and bubble gum up front. The bubble gum reminded me of Juicy Fruit. There was also white wine grapes and then a generous amount of oak and vanilla. The booze didn’t make an appearance at all. The body was on the lighter side with moderate carbonation. The finish was quick, but tart with some leftover warm vanilla. A bottle of this was $15.99, which broke down to $.95 per ounce. I enjoyed this beer a lot, despite the hefty price tag.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

3 Stars Ghost – White IPA

Since I’ve started the blog, I get a lot of beer from out-of-state. Whenever my parents or my sister or Val leaves the state, they come back with beer. I’m not complaining, but lately I feel like I’m reviewing more beer that doesn’t get NJ distribution. This is one of those beers and as soon as I saw it, I loved the can and hoped the liquid would be just as good…

3starsghost

ABV: 5.9%

Style: Belgian IPA

Trivia: This beer uses Amarillo, Simcoe, Columbus and Citra hops.

Random: It’s going to start getting cold soon. I’m not looking forward to snow.

The beer poured with a two finger, thin white head. It took awhile to go away and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was clear, which I didn’t expect and bright straw yellow with lots of carbonation. The nose started with grass clippings and old pine but shifted gears quickly and wheat and caramel malt came through. It was actually pretty sweet on the nose. The taste was equally sweet with the same caramel malt and wheat. When the hops came through, they were muted and had a lot of old orange zest that you would find in potpourri. It had a thick body with moderate carbonation that made this difficult to drink. The finish was unfortunately lengthy with the same aged citrus zest. You can pick up a single of this for $3 ($.19 per ounce), but I don’t think they have NJ distribution (Val picked this up outside of DC). I didn’t like this beer at all. It was a chore to finish the pounder can and I wouldn’t have it again.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

3 Stars Peppercorn Saison

When Val was in DC, she stopped at a beer store for me. The person working there told her that she absolutely had to buy this beer for me if I was any type of beer nerd. So, it came home with her. I’m hoping that it lives up to the hype from the beer store, because I haven’t heard of this beer before Val walked in with it.

peppercornsaison

ABV: 6.5%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Slightly sweet fruity nose, hints of grass and coriander, smooth underlying bitterness, clean dry finish, smooth lingering citrus notes.”

Random: Val doesn’t like pepper, so I rarely use it anymore.

This beer poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated slowly and left slight lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy yellow with moderate carbonation. The nose had a lot of spice, not surprisingly, I picked up a lot of peppercorn. Yeast had a major presence as well, along with light citrus. The taste had a lot of pepper as well. It wasn’t overwhelming, but gave the beer a nice bit of depth. After that, I picked up lemon and orange along with some tangerine and very subtle banana. It was quite dry, with a medium thick body and high carbonation. The finish was lengthy with fruit and peppercorns. This was $8.99 for the bomber, which came to $.41 per ounce. This was a really well-done beer that highlighted the use of peppercorns without having them overwhelm the other flavors. If distribution were wider, I would get this again, but chances are that unless we go back to DC, we won’t be trying it.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

3 Stars Zombie Date Night

After we went to Allagash, we started to go to all of the other breweries that were in the same office park. The next brewery was Bissell Brothers. It was absolutely packed. They had a small window to order beers where you could peer into the brewery. Since it was so crowded, I couldn’t see much. They had no indoor seating, so we took a table outside. They ran out of two beers that day, so I got two samples of the remaining ones and they were really good. I can see why this place gets so much hype. Due to the large crowd, we didn’t spend much time here before moving on to the next brewery, but I did get a glass from them.

3 stars

ABV: 9.6%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Aroma is coffee, roast, and chocolate malt with raspberries, light earthy hops and dates. Flavor is malt dominant, sweet dark chocolate, light roast malt, light hops, medium bitterness, light raspberries, peppery alcohol and a sweet finish.”

Random: I thought the label art on this was cute.

This beer poured with a one finger, tan head that dissipated slowly and left generous lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown color with no visible carbonation. The nose presented with light roasted malts with lots of raspberry. The taste was dominated by raspberry juice. I picked up cocoa on the back-end with slight smoke. I didn’t pick up dates, but most likely because the flavor was so berry-forward. The alcohol was perceptible on the beer and created some warming at the back of the throat. The body was overly thin with light carbonation. It had a long and fruity finish. This was $11.99 for the bomber, which came to $.55 per ounce. I wanted to like this beer, but the fruit was just too much and hid all of the other flavors in the beer. I wouldn’t go out of my way for this one.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

3 Stars Citra & Lemon Peel Saison

Val went down to visit one of her college friends in DC for a concert. When she came back, she had a few DC local goodies for me to review, this being one of them. I’ve never heard of 3 Stars, but I was interested in giving it a shot.

3 stars

ABV: 5%

Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Bright & refreshing with subtle citrus notes and a touch of tartness from the lemon peel and hops. If it comes off the grill, it pairs perfectly. Also goes well with the beach, family reunions, and everything else that makes Summer great!”

Random: The brewery offers tours on Saturday. I think I’ll have to make a trip next time I find myself in DC.

This beer poured with a one finger, white head that dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy, dark yellow color with light carbonation visible. The nose was fragrant with yeast, lemon, lemon peel and herbal lemongrass. It was a scent that I’m not used to on a saison, but smelled inviting. The taste had notes of yeast, lemon and light spice. There was also a lot of lemon peel, lemon grass and a touch of earthy hops at the end. It had a medium body with light carbonation. The finish was long with lemon and lemon peel. This was an interesting saison that I enjoyed and would have again. It was a gift from Val when she went down to DC, so no comment on the price. Nice can art too!

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0