Archive for the ‘American Stout’ Category

On the way home from the city, Val and I stopped at Departed Soles in Jersey. I’ve reviewed a few of their beers before, but never went to the brewery. The brewery is on a side street and has a gelato shop attached. They had a few flavors that also had some alcohol in it. We didn’t try any, but if we go back, we’re definitely going to sample some.

modcup

ABV: 4.8%

Style: American Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Brewed in conjunction with ModCup Coffee in Jersey City Heights, our first local collaboration beer utilizes a cold brew coffee in a wort reminiscent of a light, dry stout. The end result is a coffee forward craft beer with minimal bitterness and a light coffee kiln and chocolate malt backbone, along with some lactose.”

Random: We get coffee from a place that has a huge sale every black Friday and it usually lasts us all year.

The beer poured with a quarter of a finger of tan head. It went away quickly, but left some lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, dark brown color with high carbonation. The nose was filled with black coffee, espresso and milk chocolate notes. It had a touch of lactose too, but coffee was definitely the start. The taste was milk chocolate and strong black coffee with some vanilla. Lactose came through at the end of the sip. It had a thin body with high carbonation. The finish was lengthy and filled with black coffee. I thought this beer was outstanding. It was even better because it was sessionable. This beer is worth searching out if you like coffee.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Despite the mixed pack getting less than stellar reviews on both content and price, I picked one up. I also was not a huge fan of the price and if I knew what the price was before I got to the checkout, I would have reconsidered my purchase.

stoutoftheunion

ABV: 7.3%

Style: American Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This stout hails from the land of sun, sand, and surf and proves that beach beer doesn’t have to be light colored and delicate. Stout of the Union is rich, roasty and full of deep malt flavor, creating a union of like-minded brewers together through beer.”

Random: My local beer store doesn’t have the best selection of mixed twelve-packs. They seem to generally be less popular than they were a few years ago.

This beer poured with a one finger, light brown head. It dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was dark brown with some carbonation visible, despite the dark color of the body. The nose started with smoke and ash notes and quickly went into dark chocolate. The taste was even more ashy, like licking the bottom of a cigar ashtray. It also had wood smoke and then dark, bitter malt. The booze was apparent in the taste along with shaved dark chocolate. The body was shockingly light for the style with moderate carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with the same wood ash and dark malts. A bottle of this was expensive at $3.08 ($.26 per ounce), and although I had no issue drinking the beer, I think it was a bit off-balance and wasn’t worth the price.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Although I respect Flying Dog a lot, I find the description of this beer misleading. If you’re into a fruity drink with an umbrella, this beer is not going to be for you. I can come up with a bunch of fruit beers that are much more appropriate for that comparison. Despite that, I enjoy a beer that pushes the limits. Let’s see how it was.

tropicalstout

ABV: 6%

Style: American Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Rich, roasted malt meets juicy pineapple and toasted coconut, making this beer the perfect replacement for anything that comes with a tiny umbrella.”

Random: I am craving coconut now.

The beer poured with a thick, two finger, light brown head. It dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The nose had coconut, like the type of coconut you buy in a bag at the supermarket to make macaroons. It had some roasted malt and cocoa as well. I didn’t pick up any pineapple. The taste started like the typical stout with roasted malts, light smoke, and coffee. After the beer warmed a bit, I picked up some toasted coconut. At the end of the sip, I picked up canned pineapple, but it didn’t offer a huge amount of sweetness, which I appreciated. The body was thick with light carbonation. It had a quick, milk chocolate finish. A single bottle of the beer set me back $1.92 a bottle ($.16 per ounce). This beer was alright, but if you’re going to call it a tropical stout, I want more coconut and pineapple.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

I’ve seen beers from this brewery on a California beer shipping service and been intrigued. I figured that these flavors could either be dynamite or go terribly wrong. Luckily, this beer was stellar…

johnpauljones

ABV: 10.2%

Style: American Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Brew Rebellion is an unusual place. We brew beer in quantities of thirty to fifty gallons at a time. The great thing about this is that we have a tap list that features a revolving, rotating list of six or so beers that are the result of the thought process that Andy, our master brewer, dreams up in collaboration with Brad, our brewery manager and Andy’s partner in crime.”

Random: I still love a good peanut butter and jelly sandwich, although my jelly preference is strawberry.

The beer poured with a one finger, thick tan head. It dissipated slowly, but left no lacing on the glass. It did leave a small crown on top of the dark brown body. There was no carbonation visible due to the color. As soon as I popped the bottle, the room filled with peanut butter and jelly. What shocked me was the fact that it didn’t smell artificial. It had roasted peanuts and raspberry jelly. The taste started with lots of raspberry notes. It had a significant jam sweetness. The peanut note was more muted, but gave the beer some balance. The body was on the lighter side of stout, with very subtle alcohol. There was a lot of carbonation on the beer, which made it quite easy to drink. The finish was lengthy with lots of red fruit. A single bottle of this was expensive at $9.99 ($.83 per ounce), but was worth every penny for the quality of this liquid. I thought this beer was outstanding and had both peanut butter notes and jelly. I wish this beer was distributed to Jersey.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

For Christmas, Val got me memory foam slippers to wear in the house. These things are the most comfortable slippers that I’ve ever had. The only other slippers I can remember owning are ones that were Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer slippers (mostly used to annoy the cat) and leopard print Steve Madden slippers (which didn’t get much use because I am not into leopard print). These are just perfect and like walking on little clouds. I have no idea why this beer made me think of my slippers, so let’s get into it.

smokedbelgianstout

ABV: 8.5%

Style: American Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “To decide on the lineup for our 2015 Brewhouse Rarities, our brewmaster Matt Brophy and his team had to narrow down 45 beer concepts to just eight. And there was just a little pressure from the rest of us. Why? Because they were all of our ideas. Each summer, our entire brewery congregates atop a historic overlook in the Catoctin Mountain Range and teams of our staff — from production to accounting to sales and marketing — pitch ideas for the next year’s Brewhouse Rarities. And once the beers are picked, each team is responsible for everything involved in that beers release, from sourcing ingredients to planning launch events outside of the brewery.”

Random: This was released right at the end of December 2015.

The beer poured with a one and a half finger tan head. It dissipated instantly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was black in color with no visible carbonation. I picked up a lot of wood smoke in the nose with coriander and a hint of clove. Yeast was there too, but the nose was all about the smoke, as I expected. The taste started with the same intense wood smoke that reminded me of mesquite wood. Dark roasted malts were next with some shaved chocolate. It had a heat to it, but I couldn’t tell if it was from the intensity of the smoke, but it manifested like a chili pepper. There wasn’t as much spice as the nose, but I did get clove. The yeast gave it a bready quality, which worked with the other flavors. It had a medium body with just enough carbonation and the alcohol provided a touch of warming at the back of the throat. It had a lot of smoke on the finish as well. This beer was interesting and I enjoyed the pairing of the Belgian spice and the smoke and the yeast. My only complaint about the beer was the smoke was just too intense at times. If you’re interested in getting this beer, it retails for $2 a single ($.17 per ounce).

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

While listening to Sirius at work, I found that Josh Groban and Kelly Clarkson did a version of “All I Ask Of You” from Phantom of the Opera. When I was a child, my mother loved that musical and played the tape of it constantly. Although I thought they did a good job, I’ve been so over-exposed to the Sarah Brightman version that it just doesn’t sound right without her. Now that I’ve bored you with a story from my childhood, let’s get to tonight’s beer.

cherrystout

ABV: 7%

Style: American Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Tinted ruby-black, Cherry Stout gains its signature tartness from 100% Montmorency cherries grown in Michigan’s Traverse City region. Rather than doubling up on sweetness, this tart cherry varietal serves as a counterpoint to the warm, dark chocolate notes from the malt bill. Lightly hopped for balance, this stout is one of the cornerstones of the Bell’s stout portfolio.”

Random: I like cherries, but don’t like cherry-flavored things.

This beer poured with less than a half a finger of khaki-colored head that dissipated slowly, but left no lacing on the glass. A small crown hung out on top of the dark brown body. I couldn’t see any carbonation as a result of the color. The nose had burnt coffee, roasted malts and tart cherries. It had some prunes as well. On first sip, the tart cherries came through. It quickly went into old, burnt coffee, toast and pumpernickel bread. It was really simple and had a very thin mouthfeel, which I’m not a fan of in a stout. The carbonation was lacking. It had a quick finish with tart cherries. I thought that I would really enjoy this beer, but it didn’t deliver for me, especially at $3 a single ($.25 per ounce). I don’t feel the need to have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

While watching the latest season of Top Chef, I couldn’t help but notice that Ballast Point beer made a bunch of appearances at their “pop-up” restaurants. I don’t think they were a sponsor, nor do I think it had anything to do with Ballast Point’s acquired status. But, it’s interesting nonetheless.

thecommodore

ABV: 6.5%

Style: American Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “The Commodore came out of our search for a medium-bodied American Stout. The recipe began at our R&D pilot brewery, but quickly became a favorite of our crew. Strong flavors of roast coffee and bittersweet chocolate balance with light citrusy hop aromas, highlighted by a crisp, bitter finish. One sip of this gold medal-winning stout will have you ready to take command of your own fleet.”

Random: This is a year-round offering from Ballast Point in twelve-ounce bottles and on draft.

This beer poured with a three finger, tan head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was an inky, black color with no carbonation visible due to the color. The nose had roasted malts, hot chocolate powder and smoke. The taste started with some bitterness, which was nice. It had roasted malts, cocoa nibs and smoke. It had some sweetness as well that was like the remnants of molasses, but the bitterness held strong throughout the sip. It had peat at the back of the sip. Coffee came through as well, but wasn’t a dominant flavor. The body was on the thinner side of the style with high carbonation. The finish was lengthy with cocoa nibs and peat and light bitterness. A single of this was $1.83, which came to $.15 per ounce. I really enjoyed this beer. I would definitely have it again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0