Leinenkugel Snowdrift Vanilla Porter

We’re through a month and a half of a stay at home order. I’m still going to work every day, albeit taking a lot more precautions, like wearing a mask and washing my hands 10,000 times per day. I’m happy to be able to have a job that does help people, but I still want a beer when I get home. Let’s see how this one is.

ABV: 6%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Robust porter style beer aged on real vanilla. Drift into winter with Snowdrift Vanilla Porter®, back by popular demand as our Winter standalone. A fuller-bodied brew with hints of cocoa, coffee and caramel brought out by roasted malts and aged on real vanilla, our Leinenkugel’s® Snowdrift Vanilla Porter® is smooth and creamy, making it perfect for warming up winter. Snowdrift Vanilla Porter® perfectly complements marshmallow sweet potato casserole, glazed ham with cherries and any combination of chocolate and cherry.”

Random: This beer comes in at 16 IBUs and is a seasonal that is available from November through February.

This beer poured with a half a finger of thick, light tan colored head. It dissipated slowly and left very little lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown with reddish hints and was clear. The nose started with some roasted malts and almond extract. I didn’t pick up much else. The taste had some musty roasted malts with a touch of instant coffee. I didn’t pick up a lot of vanilla or caramel and that would have improved the taste significant. The body was watery and the carbonation was light. The finish was quick with roasted malts. This beer just wasn’t my favorite. It was close to being a chore to drink. I wouldn’t rush back to have this again.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Cypress Jersey Winter

We’re finally getting into the Summer, so this beer is a memory of seasons past, with lots of blankets and sweaters. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 6%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Cypress Brewing is a 20 BBL micro brewery located in Edison, NJ. We take great pride in our brews and have spent nearly two decades honing our craft before bringing our product to market. We hope you’ll stop by our brewery for a tour of our facility and to check our beers on tap in our tasting room. Our lineup constantly changes, so check back often!”

Random: I still haven’t made it to the brewery yet. Next time I’m in Edison, I’ll have to stop.

The beer poured with a half a finger of tan head. It dissipated at a moderate pace and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown color with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose started with coconut and quickly went into a touch of oak and wood chips. Chocolate was present as well. The taste had a sweetness to it that I wasn’t a huge fan of. Chocolate and coconut came through next. There was a slight coffee bitterness at the end of the sip. The body was on the medium side with really light carbonation. The finish was quick with some coconut and sweetness. This wasn’t my favorite porter and the sweetness would make it difficult to have more than one.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Left Hand Hard Wired – Nitro

Left Hand was one of the breweries that I visited while in Colorado. They had a really nice indoor/outdoor space with lots of firepits, which is something that I always enjoy. Since we were going to so many breweries, I only had one beer there, but if we ever make our way back out, I would definitely stop there again.

ABV: 6%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “SUPER SMOOTH WITH CHOCOLATE MALT, COFFEE AND TOFFEE NOTES. Innately predisposed to be smooth when Poured Hard, this nitro coffee porter builds a pillowy, toffee-sweet head. Coffee and flavors of caramelized sugar, cacao and hints of blueberry lead to a light, smoky finish.”

Random: This beer is seasonal and comes in at 33 IBUs.

This beer poured with a one finger, tan head. It dissipated at a rapid pace and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown color and I couldn’t see much through it. The nose was, not shockingly, filled with coffee. There was some toffee, marshmallow and a touch of smoke as well. The taste was equally coffee forward. It had the same toffee notes with some caramel and smoke. Malted milk balls came through as well. The body was on the lighter side with a decent amount of carbonation. It had a quick finish with coffee. I thought this beer was alright, but I didn’t pick up any of the blueberry and it wasn’t super complex, which made this a middle of the road beer for me. I wouldn’t rush back to have this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

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

Kane Sunday Brunch

Val and I went to Hamilton to try a new beer place. The beer was good, but the food was terrible. The place was empty and it took forever to get any service. It was very annoying, especially because I wanted to watch some of the NFL playoffs.

ABV: 9.2%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to wikipedia.com, “The Township of Ocean was created by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 21, 1849, from portions of Shrewsbury Township, at which time the newly formed township stretched from the Shrewsbury River to the southern tip of Avon-by-the-Sea. Portions of the township have been taken to form Long Branch (April 11, 1867), Eatontown (April 4, 1873), Asbury Park (March 26, 1874), Neptune Township (February 26, 1879), Sea Bright (March 21, 1889), Allenhurst (April 26, 1897), Deal (March 7, 1898), Monmouth Beach (March 9, 1906), Interlaken (March 11, 1922) and Loch Arbour (April 23, 1957). The township derives its name from its original seaside location.”

Random: Kane changed their entire website, so no information about this beer.

This beer poured with no head on top of a dark brown body. The body was so dark that I couldn’t pick up any carbonation. The nose was filled with roasted malts, smoke and maple syrup. The taste was a lot of maple syrup sweetness up front and quick went into dark chocolate and roasted malts. There was some smoke as well. The alcohol was present, but not abrasive. It had a thick and chewy body with light carbonation. It had a lengthy and sweet finish with chocolate and maple syrup. I enjoyed this beer a lot and would definitely have it again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Cypress Alva Vanilla

Tonight’s beer is another Jersey beer. Since it’s getting colder, I’m getting more into porters and stouts.

ABV: 8%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to wikipedia.com, “Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931) was an American inventor and businessman, who has been described as America’s greatest inventor. He is credited with developing many devices in fields such as electric power generation, mass communication, sound recording, and motion pictures. These inventions, which include the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the long-lasting, practical electric light bulb, had a widespread impact on the modern industrialized world. He was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and teamwork to the process of invention, working with many researchers and employees. He is often credited with establishing the first industrial research laboratory. Edison was raised in the American midwest and early in his career he worked as a telegraph operator, which inspired some of his earliest inventions. In 1876, he established his first laboratory facility in Menlo Park, New Jersey, where many of his early inventions would be developed. He would later establish a botanic laboratory in Fort Myers, Florida in collaboration with businessmen Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone, and a laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey that featured the world’s first film studio, the Black Maria. He was a prolific inventor, holding 1,093 US patents in his name, as well as patents in other countries. Edison married twice and fathered six children. He died in 1931 of complications of diabetes.”

Random: Even though I lived right next to West Orange as a kid, I never went to visit the laboratory.

The beer poured with a two finger, cream-colored head that dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, brownish-red color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose was filled with roasted malts and vanilla. It had a significant sweetness to it as well. The taste was much of the same. It had a lot of roasted malts and quickly went into vanilla sweetness. There was also some sweet, sugary coffee as well. The body was on the thicker side with moderate carbonation. The finish was lengthy with vanilla sweetness. The tallboy set me back $3.50, which came to $.22 per ounce. This beer was good, just a touch too sweet for me.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Icarus King Arthur’s Steed

I’ve always been into medieval history and took a great class on it in college. I’m not sure what this beer has to do with King Arthur, but let’s crack it open.

ABV: 6.5%

Style: American Porter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Don’t Just Stand for Something Great, Brew It. Our mission is to cultivate a line of craft beer that will be beloved by beer lovers in Lakewood and the greater Ocean County area. This will be achieved by creating a much needed destination for craft beer lovers to gather. Our taproom will cater to new drinkers as well as those drinkers with more sophisticated palates, providing an experience in both beer and brewing. Our customers can expect a wide variety of hand crafted beers on rotating taps always inspiring with something new as well as taking inspiration from our community.”

Random: Almond Joy is one of my favorite candies.

This beer poured with a one finger, tan head. It dissipated at a moderate pace and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown that was almost black. There was no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose was filled with dark chocolate, roasted malts and lots of shredded coconut. The taste was more of the same. It was like the beer form of an Almond Joy bar. It had a lot of dark chocolate with shredded coconut and some sweet malt along with smoke. The body was on the medium side with moderate carbonation. It had a sticky and lengthy finish with chocolate and coconut. I enjoyed the pairing of dark chocolate and coconut a lot. I would definitely have this again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0