Blue Point Pumpkin Ale

Here’s another pumpkin review. I picked this one up in Delaware, even though they’re distributed in Jersey. I’ve never seen this seasonal of theirs. Let’s crack it open.

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ABV: 6%

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “According to Linus there are 3 things never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin. Our Pumpkin Ale, on the other hand, has made quite a buzz from New Hampshire down to Florida. Every season has its pleasures. Harvest your own with our Pumpkin Ale and reap all that Autumn has to offer. Brewed with pumpkins from only the most sincere patches, this seasonal brew is golden orange, crisp and delicious, with an innocent hint of cinnamon and nutmeg that articulates our favorite season. Gather with friends and family and enjoy the change of seasons while savoring a pint of Pumpkin Ale. Just like the leaves, it’s gone after Thanksgiving.”

Random: After trying all of these pumpkin beers, I’m craving pumpkin pie.

This brew poured with a two finger white head that dissipated quickly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a dark and clear sienna color with high carbonation visible. The nose was bready with caramel malt and a touch of alcohol. What I didn’t get from this beer was pumpkin or fall spice. The taste was equally malty. It had a lot of caramel malt with some sweet toffee and bread. I got a bit of pumpkin at the end, but there was absolutely no fall spice to it. The body was thick and the carbonation was generous. It had a long and sweet finish with caramel malt and toffee. This beer was not like any pumpkin ale I’ve ever had, nor want to have again. This is one to avoid. I guess I can feel better dismissing this beer now that the brewery is owned by InBev.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Blue Point Winter Ale

The other half and I were watching “The Voice” and she decided to make me watch this video of Bruce Springsteen covering “Royals.” It could be perhaps the worst cover I have ever heard. She made me listen to about two minutes of it and it was complete torture. Anyways, here’s a seasonal offering that I tried from Blue Point. Let’s see how it went.

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ABV: 7%

Style: American Amber/Red Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “You might not look forward to the colder months of the year, but this brew is guaranteed to warm your insides. Careful, it may even warm your heart towards Winter as a whole. Our Winter Ale is a hearty and robust amber ale. Brewed to chase away the chill of cool Winter nights, it’s created with pale, Vienna, crystal and chocolate malts. This uncommon amber is brewed with a tasty balance of malt and hops, only during the cold months of the year. One of our most popular seasonal specialties, just remember this special ale is gone with Winter’s winds.”

Random: I am definitely not looking forward to going to work tomorrow.

This brew poured with a finger of tan head that was slow to dissipate, but left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a deep sienna color with low carbonation visible. The nose was mellow with some nutty malts and not much else to it. The taste was luckily better. I got some toasty bready malts going on with almonds and hazelnuts. There was also a touch of prunes and dark fruit with some chocolate present as well. After a bunch of sips, I found some nutmeg as well. The body was thick and definitely needed more carbonation. The finish was quick and nutty without any booze warming, despite higher than average ABV. This beer was decent, but it wasn’t mind-blowing. I wouldn’t rush back to have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Blue Point White IPA

I’m finally home from work. For the past two days, it’s been insanely busy and we’ve been getting done really late. I was on 8 different conference calls today and barely spent any time at my desk. It’s not necessarily a bad thing because it makes the day go much faster, but at one point I thought my ear was bleeding from being on the phone so much. Here’s a review from a week or two ago that is one of the more popular hybrid IPA styles now.

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ABV: 6%

Style: Belgian IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Remaining at the forefront of experimentation, the brewers at Blue Point have produced a white beer/IPA hybrid that is well on its way to creating a new style for the beer description books. Our White IPA is an unfiltered European-style white ale with a fresh American IPA finish. Brewed with malted and unmalted wheat and just the right amount of west coast hops, it’s fermented with German yeast to give it a perfectly balanced character with less bitterness than traditional IPAs.”

Random: How about them Eagles? The first game was so much better than I ever expected. I hope the season goes the same way.

This beer poured with a two finger, white head that was very slow to dissipated with decent lacing left on the pint glass. The body was a cloudy, dark straw yellow color with heavy carbonation visible throughout. The nose was not what I expected. I didn’t get any sort of IPA characteristic to it. There were notes of orange, lemon and coriander. It was definitely more towards the “white” side of white IPA. The taste was also more towards the “white” side of white IPA. I got lots of citrus with Mandarin oranges and lemon peel. The IPA characteristic came out at the end with a touch of bitterness and grapefruit, but given the other flavors, it was relatively muted. The spice was present, but did not make a huge appearance. The body was medium thickness and had high carbonation present. The finish was long with citrus. This beer highlights every issue I have with hybrid IPAs. It wasn’t a true hybrid and went way too far to the witbier side. I wouldn’t have this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Blue Point Toxic Sludge Black IPA

One of the things I love about beer is that you see a lot of beers that are donating proceeds to local charities. Whenever I see a beer that donates money to charity or at least used to, like this one, it’s almost guaranteed to end up in my basket, even if I’m not normally the biggest fan of the style.
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ABV: 7%

Style: American Black Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We originally brewed this Black IPA to benefit birds affected by BP’s Gulf oil spill and donated all of the proceeds to the Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research. The charity program has ended but the beer became so popular that even with a name like Toxic Sludge, we had to keep brewing it once a year. Five hop varieties go into each batch at four stages of the brewing process to combine a hoppy India Pale Ale with a rich, dark malt base for a full-bodied ale that’s big on flavor.”

Random: This can looks like it means business! It’s something about a can being a tall boy and looking like that…kinda makes you want to buy it.

This brew poured with a two finger, thick tan head that dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, dark brown with moderate carbonation visible throughout. The nose was grapefruit and hops. There were some notes of roasted malts that weren’t as dominant as I’m used to for the style. The taste was really, really nice. There was an even amount of roasted malts and chocolate to couple with the grapefruit dominant hops. Some sweetness came through right at the end. The body was thicker with higher than expected carbonation as well. The finish was long with citrusy hoppy goodness. The brew was way better than I expected. I would use this as a benchmark for the style. Try to find a tall boy of this whenever you can!

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Blue Point Hoptical Illusion

Two Blue Point beers in a row? Honestly, didn’t even notice until I was going to type the review up. I’ve had this beer a few times, but never sat down to review it. Odd. Blue Point beers are usually readily available in this area and I’ve only reviewed 6 beers so far from their lineup. I’d really like to get to their barleywine by the end of this winter, but that’s for another day. Let’s crack this one open.

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ABV: 6.8%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We won’t go as far as saying you’ll see things after partaking in a few, but one or two will leave you craving more. Ancient Egyptians stuffed their pillows with fresh hops, believing the hop’s aroma brought on intense, vivid dreams. Today, our classic, American-style India Pale Ale (IPA) features a rare hop grown exclusively on a small farm in Oregon. One taste and you’ll understand why we bought the entire crop. Our Hoptical Illusion IPA is brewed with a generous amount of this select hop that’s added five different ways for maximum hop flavor. The delicious, resiny, citrus-burst that you taste is the “Essence of the Hop” which is balanced by a malty backbone yielding an intense, golden ale. Hoptical Illusion tantalizes beer lovers’ taste-buds, while its colorful, psychedelic packaging is candy for the eyes.”

Random: This was another selection from Kate and the second Blue Point beer that she’s chosen for me, if anyone’s counting.

This one poured with a half a finger of white head that dissipated quickly, but left a tiny crown of white head on top of the body. The body was a clear, golden orange color with heavy visible carbonation. The nose was grassy with citrus pith and some grapefruit. Some caramel malt also came through after a few sniffs. It was a clean and fresh nose. The taste was a bit more bitter up front with grapefruit and lemon zest. A floral note made an appearance as well. A touch of bready malt finishes the sip for some balance. The body was on the thicker side of the style with heavy carbonation. The finish was long with grapefruit pith.  This was a flavorful brew and very easy drinking, despite the ABV being on the higher side for the style. Grab a sixer of this, you won’t be disappointed.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Blue Point Sour Cherry Imperial Stout

Sometimes when I go to grab tasting beers, I just grab something that sticks out to me. Sometimes it’s because of the label or other times the name, but lately it’s having to do with interesting ingredient combinations. This one for example, I’ve never seen before, but it throws sour cherries in with an imperial stout. Definitely intriguing, so it came home with me.
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ABV: 9.2%

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Truly worthy its majestic name in fluid ounces, our Sour Cherry Imperial Stout is anything but sour. In fact, we have to make sure there’s plenty of it available for Valentine’s Day – after all, nothing says love like chocolates and a Sour Cherry Imperial Stout. This is an extremely complex version of the classic Russian beer style with plenty of roasted, black, and chocolate malts that delivers multi-layered coffee and sherry notes in a surprisingly smooth package. The beer is then matured with just a kiss of real sour red cherries. If you see Sour Cherry Imperial Stout on tap, give it a try – like true love, it’s sometimes hard to find.”

Random: From what it looks like on the website, this is new to being bottled. It lists the “offering” types as keg, draft and growler, not bombers.

This brew poured with a half a finger of tan head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. Instead, it left a slight “crown” that hung around forever. The body was a dark brown, almost black color with no visible carbonation. The nose was all stout, straight chocolate and cocoa with roasted malts. One thing missing here though…sour cherries. I didn’t pick up any of that in the nose, so I was hoping that it came through in the taste. The tasted started with roasted malts, then went into dark chocolate and espresso. Right before I was about to call Blue Point for false advertising (I kid), I got a tinge of cherry. The tinge was so light that I couldn’t even tell you if they were sour cherries, just cherry. The body was thick with low carbonation and a long roasty finish. The 9% ABV was very well hidden. For a stout, this was decent. For a stout that in the name says “sour cherry,” disappointing.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Blue Point Spring Fling Ale

Yet another selection from Katie. I’m pretty lucky. Anyways, she bought it and immediately said that she knew that it was out of season when she bought it, but I hadn’t tried it. Well, twist my arm…

ABV: 6%

Style: American Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “When the Winter is over, Spring is nature’s way of saying ‘hey, let’s party!’ Spring Fling is how we welcome the warmer weather and spirits. Spring Fling Copper Ale strikes a perfect balance between the malty flavor of special German barley and the zesty spice of fresh American hops that results in a delicious, extremely easy to drink brew. The exquisite blend creates a harbinger of the new season with a delicate hop aroma which delivers a perfect pairing for your Spring Fever. Handcrafted from a unique blend of malts, Spring Fling Ale is a perfectly balanced copper ale that delivers a crisp and refreshing taste with subtle hints of nuts and honey. The arrival of Spring Fling means Winter has passed and Summer is right around the corner.”

Random: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…their labels are boring as all get out.

This one poured with a two finger cream-colored head that dissipated quickly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, dark orange color with some light carbonation visible throughout the body. The nose had some grass and caramel malt, but it was relatively light. It really didn’t smell much like a pale ale. The taste was metall-y malt and some nuttiness at the end. Where were the hops? The body was way too thin and under carbonated. The finish was very fast. There really isn’t much else to say. I wouldn’t call this a pale ale, nor would I have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Blue Point Summer Ale

This was my second beer of Independence Day 2012. When I pulled this one out, I showed Katie since she liked the last label so much. She thought it was incredibly boring. I have to say that I agreed. I tend to like the beers from Blue Point. They’re not the best that I’ve ever had, but they’re pretty solid. I had seen the Summer Ale around for a few years in a row, but never got the chance to try it. Given the incessant heat on 4th of July, I was hoping that this one would be a real thirst quencher.

ABV: 4.4%

Style: American Blonde Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “There is a cure for Summertime Blues and the prescription is simple: 1 six-pack of Blue Point Brewing Company’s Summer Ale. Adult dosage: 12-oz servings as needed until mood improves. The delicious golden taste of Summer Ale comes from a substantial portion of wheat malt added to a traditional barley malt mix which gives this delicious brew a unique tartness not found in many beers today. No surprise – this light, thirst-quenching brew is best enjoyed on hot Summer days.”

Random: I’ve never tried oysters, but I just can’t get past the whole looking like snot thing.

This brew poured with a two finger, white head that was thin and dissipated almost instantly. It didn’t leave any lacing on the glass. The body was a clear tan-orange color with lots of active carbonation. Well, it definitely looked like a summer beer. When I stuck my nose in the glass, I got lemon, spice and wheat, but it was generally more subtle than I’ve come to expect from a summer brew. The taste had some lemon, coriander and wheat. The flavors were very delicate and could have been a little more prominent. The body was overly thin with a lot of seltzer-like carbonation. Obviously, booze wasn’t even a factor on this one. Although this brew was definitely drinkable, it wasn’t a standout summer brew. I wouldn’t have it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Blue Point Blueberry

Another review for the night. My Phils are finally looking like they should. I know that they can’t win every game, but I hate when they lose games early in the season. It’s also difficult when they have both Utley and Howard out. I have a new appreciation for baseball season because I now get to teach a child how to appreciate baseball. Katie’s daughter is actually really good for her age. I bought her a bat and a glove and showed her proper stance. It’s quite rewarding. Who knew that I would end up being a kid person? Anyways…beer time.

ABV: 4.6%

Style: Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Blue Point fresh Blueberry Ale offers an unusual twist on brewing that turns out to be just perfect. A wonderful blend of fresh blueberries matched with a thirst quenching distinctive ale. We carefully add 132 lbs of blueberries to each special batch. Brewed with 100% American ingredients. Enjoy a truly unique flavorful brew!”

Random: I’ve had this beer countless times and always enjoyed it.

This brew poured with a two finger white head that dissipated quickly and left absolutely no lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, straw yellow with lots of carbonation. The nose was filled with lots of fresh blueberries. It smelled absolutely amazing. I wish that the taste was as impressive as the nose. The taste had definitely blueberry flavors but were considerably less than the nose. It was almost as if you added a crapload of blueberries to a light beer. There really wasn’t many other notes. Maybe a bit of grain, other than the blueberries, but not much else. After a few sips, I got a bit of honey-like sweetness. The body was thicker than expected with generous carbonation. The brew finished quickly with a bit of fruit. Honestly, there are much better fruit brews out there, but this is worth a try.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Blue Point Rastafa Rye Ale

I received this beer as a gift from my friends Stephanie and Ryan. I think that I’ve seen this brew before, but never picked it up. I’m always interested in brews that use different ingredients, like rye. Although this isn’t the first brew that I’ve had with rye, I still haven’t made up my mind if it’s something that I really enjoy or not.

ABV: 7.5%

Style: Rye Beer

Trivia: According to the Blue Point website, “RastafaRye Ale is a hearty rye malt blended with fresh west coast hops, resulting in a delicious, deep copper ale with just the right amount of rye flavor to offset the spicy, floral characteristics of hops. A portion of RastafaRye sales will be donated to TOCO (They Often Cry Outreach) to help underprivileged children around the world.” I’m all about drinking for charity.

Random: I’ve never had a Rye Beer before. I’ve had a few that use rye, but none that actually are termed a rye beer.

This brew poured with a one finger white head that dissipated relatively quickly and left mild lacing on the glass. On the nose, I got some fresh hops and a hint of spice. There was lots of visible carbonation on the orange clear body. On the taste, the carbonation definitely comes out to play. It’s prickly on the tongue and followed by lots of hops on the taste with a hint of spice. I’m thinking that maybe this is due to the rye. I still can’t get over how damn carbonated this beer is. The finish is really long and hoppy. The alcohol wasn’t even noticeable. I enjoyed the beer and would have this again. Thanks Steph and Ryan!

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0