Cape May White Caps

It’s been a rough week at work. We’ve been super busy, so I’ve been going in early and working late. We’ve been getting take out for dinner because Val is super busy as well. I guess we’re lucky that we have a decent sushi takeout place nearby. We don’t have any good Chinese food here. Anyways, let’s get to the beer.

ABV: 7.7%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Brewed with hefty portions of wheat and oats, White Caps has a soft mouthfeel, a pillowy head, and a robust body. Featuring Mosaic and Citra hops, this effervescent Double IPA explodes with notes of papaya, mango, stone fruits, and citrus. Like the Atlantic during a nor’easter, White Caps is slightly dangerous, utterly crushable, and thoroughly New Jersey.”

Random: This beer comes in at 45 IBUs.

The beer poured with a one finger, white head. It dissipated quickly and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a pale orange color and hazy with moderate carbonation visible. The nose was filled with tropical fruit. I picked up mango, pineapple and papaya with some apricot and peach as well. The taste was similar to the nose. The mango came out first, with orange, papaya and pineapple coming out next. There was very little malt. The body was on the thicker side with moderate carbonation. It had a sticky finish with tropical fruit. A can of this was $2.49, which broke down to $.16 per ounce. I thought this was a decent beer, but not super interesting.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Cape May Boughs of Barley 2018: Scotch Whisky

Tonight’s beer is one that I really was interesting in trying. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 11.1%

Style: American Double/Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “‘Boughs of Barley has always been a fun and experimental route for us,’ says Director of Brewing Operations Jimmy Valm, ‘playing around with rarer styles of giant, spirit barrel-aged beers, and it’s always taken us in new directions.’ Our first iteration back in 2016 was a bourbon barrel-aged, bottle-conditioned barleywine that nearly broke the B key on our keyboard. Last year, we tried our hand at a Belgian dark ale aged in Cognac and Bourbon barrels. ‘I love variants,’ says Head Brewer Brian Hink, ‘and with big, barrel-aged beers, that’s a really fun playground to be in, but when we first started talking about doing Boughs of Barley I didn’t want to just do the standard vanilla, coconut, coffee, etc. variants, but instead let the barrel act as an ingredient and be the variant itself.’ So, this time around, we’ve been aging an Imperial stout in Cognac and Scotch Whisky barrels — the Cognac for about a year, the Scotch for 18 months. ‘When we first did Boughs of Barley,’ Brian says, ‘we wanted to let the barrels be the built-in variant, with the loose idea that the new barrel this year becomes the second-use next year when a new spirit type is brought in.’ ‘I’ve always liked to see what we can come up with through our barrel program,’ says Lab Manager Lauren Appleman. ‘This years’ Boughs of Barley lean to the dark side with two very different final products coming off of a good Imperial Stout base. The character of the barrels really shows through in each version.’ Last year was the first run with those beautiful Cognac barrels, so we were sure that they’d be up for refilling this year, and Jimmy has been wanting to barrel age using Scotch barrels since… well… since he’s known about both barrel aging and Scotch. ‘I lived in Scotland for four years and fell in love with Scotch,’ he explains, ‘which has more variation in flavor than Bourbon or American Whiskey, or even Irish Whiskey. There are sweet ones that were aged in ex-Sherry or ex-Port barrels, smokey ones that were made from barley dried out over smoldering piles of peat, and smooth ones that have been distilled an extra time to make a gentler spirit. The smokey ones are my favorite, and we managed to get our hands on some barrels from my favorite distillery out on Islay, the home of the peat-monster whiskies.’ Spending 18 months in those barrels, the Scotch version definitely picked up a great deal of the smokiness as well as a good bit of oakiness. When married with the rich chocolate overtones of the stout and the roasty flavors of the dark malts, the Scotch variant comes through with a great deal of complexity. ‘The guys on production who enjoy Scotch really enjoy this beer,’ Brian says. ‘It’s definitely peaty — or smokey — and that is the dominant characteristic out of the gate. The underlying Stout body and character are present and are big enough to withstand the barrage from the barrel’s character. The resulting beer is very intense.’ On the other hand, the Cognac variant is a little more subtle, a little more reserved. There was still quite a bit of life left in those barrels, but, as second-use barrels (for us, anyway), the lion’s share of the Cognac character was imparted to last year’s Boughs of Barley.”

Random: I have never been to Cape May Brewery.

The beer poured with a three finger tan head. It took awhile to dissipate and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was a dark brown with some visible carbonation. The nose was filled with smoke. There wasn’t much else except lots and lots of roasted malts and smoke. The taste was a lot of smoke and roasted malts. There was some dark chocolate as well, but there was so much peat and smoke, to the point of being overwhelming. Vanilla came through after a few sips. The booze made an appearance as well. The body was thick and chewy. The finish was lengthy with smoke. I thought this beer was alright, but needed to sit for awhile. I wouldn’t rush to have this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Cape May Bounding Main

I really love the trend of breweries going to pounder cans instead of bottles. This brewery is one that exclusively cans their regular beers. Let’s see how this one was.

ABV: 7.8%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Brewed with 5.5 pounds of hops per barrel, Bounding Main has a soft and pillowy mouthfeel, a gentle bitterness, and aromas of tropical fruits: mango, guava, citrus — all with a hint of dank in the background. Like many a stormy wind, Bounding Main will blow you away.”

Random: This beer comes in at 38 IBUs.

This beer poured with a two finger, cream-colored head. It dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy golden-yellow color. There was a moderate amount of carbonation visible, despite the cloudiness. The nose was filled with a lot of pine and citrus. It had pine cleaner along with some cat pee. There was a lot of mango flesh along with grapefruit and some pineapple as well. There was a touch of malt sweetness as well. The taste was much of the same as the nose. It started with a lot of pine needles and pine cleaner and quickly went into mango, guava and passionfruit. The grapefruit notes were more along the lines of grapefruit juice. The body was on the thicker side with a lot of carbonation and the alcohol made the beer quite dry and have a bite to it. The finish was sticky and lengthy from the citrus. A can of this was $3.62, which came to $.23 per ounce. This was a tasty beer and had a relatively low price tag attached. I would highly recommend this.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Cape May Anniversary Ale 7.0

My local beer store tends to get a lot of Cape May beers and I’m always a sucker for an anniversary beer, especially one with such a cute cake on it.

ABV: 7.7%

Style: American Double/Imperial IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A blend of seven of our absolute favorite hops come together at a rate of seven pounds-per-barrel to create a beautiful hop nirvana, blasting you in the face with a tidal wave of tropical and citrusy aromas. Layered throughout this celebratory feast of sexy hops, our Anniversary Ale 7.0 is dripping with notes of passionfruit, guava, and mangoes.”

Random: This beer comes in at 40 IBUs.

This beer poured with a two finger, white head. It dissipated at a moderate pace and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a hazy orange color with some floaties along with lots of carbonation visible. The nose was filled with tropical fruit. I picked up a lot of mango, guava, pineapple and passionfruit. There was a floral note as well. The taste was a tropical fruit bomb. It started with mango and pineapple first. It quickly went into grapefruit and guava. The alcohol was pretty apparent on this one and made for a slick mouthfeel. The body was on the thicker side with generous carbonation. It had a lengthy and tropical finish. I don’t recall what I paid for this, but I thought that it was a solid beer. I would definitely have this one again. Pick one up if you see it on the shelf.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Cape May Follow The Gull

My job has a lot of Canadian Geese. It’s to the point that whenever I leave, they actually block the road. I have never seen so many geese in one place. There’s a lake by my job and they tend to hang out there. I had one that actually chased me into the building. It wasn’t cute. I just hope I don’t get a worker’s comp claim from a goose attack. Anyways, this beer was one that I heard nothing about and have no idea how much I paid for it, but decided to give it a shot.

ABV: 5.5%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Brewed with 5.5 pounds per barrel of Citra, El Dorado, Amarillo, Cascade, and Azacca, Follow the Gull is super juicy, ridiculously tropical, ultra-drinkable, and imminently Cape May. Brewed to celebrate Cape May County’s 325th Anniversary with the Cape May County Department of Tourism.”

Random: This comes in at 45 IBUs.

The beer poured with a one finger, white head. It dissipated at a moderate pace and left very little lacing on the glass. The nose had a lot of tropical fruit with pineapple and mango. There was some grapefruit as well. The taste was very bright. It started with a lot of tropical fruit, specifically mango, pineapple and guava. There was some grapefruit pith and segments. There was a slight sweetness from the malt as well. The body was on the medium side with high carbonation. The finish was quick with tropical fruit. I thought this beer was alright, but nothing amazing. I wouldn’t rush back to having this again.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Cape May Brothel Madam

I’ve never been to Cape May, but I definitely have a reason to go down there now that there’s a brewery. I hear it’s also nice during Christmas with all of the historic houses lit up.

ABV: 9.5%

Style: American Wild Ale

Trivia: According to hauntedplaces.org, “Housed inside an 1880’s mansion, this historic inn was formerly a bordello and gambling parlour before its conversion to bed and breakfast accommodation. Guests staying in the Princess Louise Room have reportedly come across the apparition of a brothel madam, who has been seen and heard in the early hours of the morning. Others staying in adjacent rooms claim to have heard the whistling of a train, although the association of this recurring noise with the building is not clear.”

Random: This beer is named after the ghost that is in the Queen Victoria Inn in Cape May, New Jersey.

This beer poured with a half a finger of white head. It dissipated instantly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was very hazy and a bright pink color. There was no visible carbonation due to the cloudiness. The nose was filled with Brett and funk. It had a touch of warm berries as well. The taste started with a lot of yeast and Brett with some vinegar tartness. The same berry note came through with a touch of leather as well. The alcohol bite was apparent, which took away a bit from the flavor. The body was on the thicker side with generous carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with funk. I picked this up for $17.99, which came to $.82 per ounce. I thought this beer was good, I just wish the booze was dialed down.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Cape May Honey Porter

While we were on our honeymoon, I took a private surfing lesson. It was amazing! I actually got up a few more times than I expected. Val was a good sport and hung out on the beach while I did it. I can’t wait until I get to go again. Anyways, let’s get to this local beer.

ABV: 5.5%

Style: English Porter

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Here’s a taste of South Jersey, better known for farms than fist pumping. Roasted and dark crystal malts shine through in a smooth and light-bodied porter that is balanced by a hint of sweetness thanks to the local Jersey Fresh honey. Welcome to the Garden State, bro. Apiology is the bee’s knees!”

Random: This also comes in a nitro version.

This beer poured with a two finger, tan head. It dissipated quickly, but left no lacing, but a small crown on top of the body. The body was a dark brown with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose was filled with dark, roasted malts. The honey made an appearance as well. The taste was sweeter than I expected, I assume from the honey. There were dark malts, which imparted some smoke and maltiness as well. The body was on the thicker side with light carbonation. It had a quick and sweet honey finish. I don’t recall how much I paid for this, but it was a single on the shelf. I thought this was a good porter, but nothing amazing.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0