Denizens Big Red Norm

It seems like every year, I fall behind in blog posts right around this season. Work tends to get crazy (we’re working 7 days a week) and I don’t have time to queue up enough posts to get through it. So, I guess it’s time to work through the backlog. Last time we were in DC, we stopped by this brewery to check it out and took some beers home.

ABV: 7.6%

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Higher ABV and American hops make this red ale American in style. Medium-light in body, the subtle notes of blackberry and pine from the hops complement malt flavors of caramel and sourdough, making for a wonderfully rounded beer.”

Random: This beer was first brewed in 2014.

The beer poured with a two finger, off-white head. It left some lacing on the glass. The body was clear and a reddish-brown color with moderate carbonation. The nose was strong for an amber. There was a lot of pine and grass upfront. There was a pine cleaner note as well with some bready malt, but the hops took over the aroma. The taste was also very hop forward for an amber. It had a lot of pine and a touch of mint as well. It then went into notes of biscuit and toffee. The beer was thicker than I expected for the style with moderate carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with malt and pine. I thought this was a good beer and was definitely not was I was expecting from an amber. I would have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Beau’s Wild Oats Series No. 9 – Winterbrewed

This is another beer that had a super cute label. The monster reminded me of the snow monster from “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” but cuter.

ABV: 6%

Style: American Amber/Red Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Winterbrewed is an amber ale is infused with Mexican micro-lot organic fair trade coffee from Bridgehead. Fruity nuances of lime and peach show up alongside a bold roasted coffee presence, which is interwoven with caramel inflections from the malt. History & Style – Winterbrewed Coffee-Amber is a collaborative creation with our friends at Ottawa’s Bridgehead Roastery, celebrating all that brewing great beer and great coffee have in common. Beau’s Winterbrewed was a Bronze-medal winner at the 2013 Canadian Brewing Awards. Tasting Notes – Complimentary coffee and hop aromas reveal fruity nuances of lime and peach alongside a bold roasted coffee presence. Intense earthy, woody coffee flavours are interwoven with roasted caramel inflections from the malts. A balanced hop presence provides pleasant dryness in the finish. Food Pairings – Southwest spice & espresso rubbed short ribs; lime, cumin & chipotle braised chicken; or pancakes with double-smoked bacon”

Random: This comes in at 25 IBUs.

The beer poured with a four and a half finger, cream-colored head. It dissipated at a moderate pace and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a dark mahogany color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose was filled with hops up front and quickly transitioned into caramel, toffee, nutmeg and cinnamon and some coffee as well. The taste was more of the same. It had a significant sweetness from the toffee and caramel, but quickly went into Winter spices of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. There may even be a bit of clove, as well. The coffee was light, but came through next. The body was on the heavy side with moderate carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with spice. I paid $9.99 for the bomber, which came to $.45 per ounce. I liked this beer, I just found the sweetness of the caramel at odds with the bitterness of the coffee.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/4.0

Smuttynose Smuttlabs Baja Hoodie

With the onset of the colder weather, it’s been deer mating season. This means that they spend even more time eating what is left of my lawn and running in the street. The deer in my neighborhood are not afraid of cars or people. When I get home later at night, sometimes the deer like to get right next to my car. The kittens like watching them along with the birds too. Time to talk about beer.


ABV: 8.4%

Style: American Amber/Red Lager

Trivia: All I could find on the website was that this is an amber lager brewed with chili peppers and agave syrup.

Random: It is most definitely hoodie weather.

This beer poured with less than a finger of cream-colored head that dissipated almost instantly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a dark, cloudy mahogany color with a decent amount of carbonation visible. The nose had some caramel malts with hot pepper. The taste started with some sweetness. I assume this was from the caramel malts and agave syrup. It quickly transitioned into chili peppers. The transition was rough and not very good. It had a medium body with light carbonation. The finish was quick with hot peppers. This was $6.50 for the bottle ($.41 per ounce). I thought that this beer would be right in my wheelhouse, given the addition of the chili peppers, which I thought would be balanced by the agave syrup. But, I didn’t love the heat of the peppers, which I thought could have been more intense and the flavors were generally disjointed. I wouldn’t have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Queens Brewery Queens Lager

This was another beer picked up from Half Time. I had to grab this one, especially since I grew up in Queens as a very small child. I lived in Ozone Park from the time I was 1 until 4. Although I don’t remember much about Queens, my parents tell a story of when I went to pet a rat in Queens because I thought it was a “kitty.” Anyways, beer time.


ABV: 5.2%

Style: American Amber/Red Lager

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Somebody get me a beer, God I need a beer, Hoppy ice cold beer, QUEENS LAGER, Jackson Heights, Astoria, Long Island City too, Flushing, Jamaica, QUEENS LAGER, Drink-ups with the Village Lions, 25 innings with the Mets, 49 aces at the Open, QUEENS LAGER, Millions of thirsty people, Drinking ice cold beer, Sloshing pints together, QUEENS LAGER, Beer is in the Bible, Egyptians drank it too, We’re all just Beer’s children, QUEENS LAGER.”

Random: I hate the Mets so much, especially when my team is so awful.

This brew poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. It was a clear, light copper color with moderate carbonation. The nose had marked toasted malt with light nuttiness. The taste was intense for the style. There was generous nuttiness with toasted malts and the end of the sip had a touch of earthy malt and hints of maple. The beer was thick, especially for the style with generous carbonation on the tongue. It had a long finish with toasted malt and nuts. I had been putting off trying this beer because I thought it would be boring. I was wrong. It had a lot of flavor and after each sip, I found myself going back for more, trying to find more flavors. This was a really solid beer that I would definitely have again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Fort Collins 1900 Amber Lager

This was my review beer from Saturday night. Saturday was a little crazy. We had a funeral in the morning and brought Liz. Let me tell you, church is very different with a four-year old. I have never heard so many theological questions go back and forth. It was a Catholic mass and since I’m a lapsed Catholic, I usually get to field these questions from the child. Interesting…let me tell you. For the most part, she was incredibly well behaved. Katie had to go to work after that, so I hit the gym and came back to Fair Haven and had dinner with my soon to be father-in-law and the child. I am consistently in awe of how much energy the child has. Katie came home and then it was beer review time.

ABV: 4.5%

Style: American Amber/Red Lager

Trivia: This brew comes in at 30 IBUs.

Random: I finished my first week of couch to 5k. I’m actually starting to really enjoy it.

This brew poured with a two finger white head that dissipated slowly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear amber color with lots of active carbonation. The nose was pretty bland with nutty malt and not much else. The taste was just like the nose. It was all nutty malt with some mineral notes. It was generally unpleasant. There was also a little bit of maple sweetness to it. I really wish that I could say more about the brew, but it was just boring. The body was on the thicker side with lots of carbonation. The finish was quick and unremarkable. There obviously wasn’t a booze presence. I didn’t like this one at all. Avoid.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

George Killian’s Irish Red

Today was another busy day at work. I capped it off with a really good chest/biceps/calves workout at the gym. It was an absolutely beautiful day out and on the drive home, I listened to more of my ESPN audiobook with the windows down. It doesn’t get much better than that. Tonight I’m having another beer from my “Irish” six-pack, although most people know that this is made by Coors. I don’t have high hopes for this one…

ABV: 4.9%

Style: American Amber/Red Lager

Trivia:  According to the brewery website this is what the brew should taste like, “Toasted/roasted caramel malt introduction with nice bready characteristics.”

Random: This is one of the beers that I used to drink when I first turned 21. I think the experience tonight is going to be a bit different.

I pulled the bottle out of the fridge and initially noticed that this was a screw off cap. This is not a good sign. The brew poured with a half finger of off white head which was surprising. It lasted for awhile too, but didn’t leave any lacing on the glass. The body was a clear reddish-brown with a huge amount of carbonation visible. The nose started with some sweet bready malts with a hint of metal behind it. The taste was on the sweet side. It had a lot of sweet malts that followed up with a flavor of buttered bread. The body was middle of the road with a lot of carbonation. The finish was relatively swift with a bit of the sweet malt that made itself well-known in the flavor. Although I used to love this beer when I was younger, I just didn’t have the same affection for it now. It’s drinkable, but I wouldn’t rush back to have this. Yet, it does have a bit more flavor than the typical macros.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

Magic Hat Vinyl

I am sore today. I really went all out at the gym today and then came home and decided it was too nice to stay inside. So, despite the fact that my calves were already getting sore from my workout, I went out for a run. I think that I’m definitely going to regret this tomorrow. I took a nice warm shower and hopefully loosened some muscles up. Well, onto the beer. Since it’s St. Patrick’s Day, I may actually have more than one tonight.

ABV: 5.1%

Style: American Amber/Red Lager

Trivia: According to wikipedia, “A vinyl compound is any organic compound that contains a vinyl group (Preferred IUPAC name ethenyl). Vinyl groups (formula −CH=CH2) are derivatives of ethene, CH2=CH2, with one hydrogen atom replaced with some other group. An industrially important example is vinyl chloride, precursor to PVC, a plastic commonly known as ‘vinyl.’ Vinyl groups are alkene derivatives: Primary alkenes are made of vinyl groups. On a carbon skeleton, sp2-hybridized carbons or positions are often called vinylic. Allyls and acrylates contain vinyl groups.”

Random: I’ve been to Ireland twice and at a certain point, I was hellbent on moving there.

The brew poured with a half a finger white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. The body of the brew was a deep and slightly cloudy chestnut-brown. There was lots of active carbonation. The nose of the brew had some roasted malts and not much else. The first sip is definitely a bit on the nutty side with a bit of maltiness but it was just very simple. The finish was a little metallic. The beer was a bit thicker than I expected. I wish I had more to say, but this was just a really a boring beer. I could easily put away a few of these with no problem, but I wouldn’t want to if I had other options.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0