Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPA

I am ready for the weekend. My parents and sister are up in Brimfield…antiquing, of course. This usually means that they bring me home beer, which always makes me happy. Most times, they will stick me on the phone with someone who works there while they read off beers that they have and I tell them whether I’ve had them or not. It’s actually quite fun. So, I have that to look forward to. This was a beer that Val picked out for me at Cranbury Buy Rite. I’ve been trying to pick up more imported beers (not successfully) since I have a lot of American beers reviewed. Let’s see how this one was.


ABV: 6.1%

Style: English India Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A stunning India Pale Ale (IPA), don’t think Belhaven’s Twisted Thistle has anything jaggy, spikey, prickly or otherwise pain-inflicting in nature. Quite the opposite. Your taste buds will tingle with pleasure after a sip or two of this golden nectar. A real treat from our master brewers in Dunbar.”

Random: I like the rebranding of Belhaven’s labels. They are very hipster-esque.

This beer poured with a two and a half white head that dissipated slowly and left no lacing on the glass. It left a light crown on top of the clear, yellow body. It had high carbonation visible as well. The nose was on the herbal side of hoppy with some pine as well. The taste was equally herbal, bordering on medicinal. Pine was there with juniper notes. This was marketed on the bottle as an American-style IPA and I am not finding that at all. The body was on the thinner side with moderate carbonation. It had a quick finish with herbal notes. For $2.48 a bottle, this was $.21 per ounce. This beer was just missing something for me and I wouldn’t rush to have it again. It needed more hop character and not just herbal notes.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Greene King The King’s English IPA

Today is my first day of vacation. I’m off for a week and of course, I am up early. So, I threw on disc 8 of World At War (I’m sure the other half is going to be jealous that I didn’t wait for her to watch it) and here’s a post about a beer I drank last night that the other half picked up awhile back from Trader Joe’s.


ABV: 6%

Style: English India Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Ale has been a feature of life at our home since at least as far back as 1086. We know this because the Great Abbey’s ‘cerevisiarii’ or ale brewers are mentioned in the Domesday Book. But we’ve taken the traditional craft of brewing to new heights, producing what is arguably the finest range of cask ales in the country.
We are proud of this heritage and tradition. Today, we are as passionate about our beers, our service and our people as our brewing ancestors. Our broad portfolio of well-known, much-loved brands includes Greene King IPA, Old Speckled Hen and Abbot Ale.”

Random: While trying to find the trivia portion for this post, I found multiple blogs just dedicated to Trader Joe’s.

This beer poured with a one finger, off white head that dissipated slowly, but left minimal lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, mahogany color with moderate carbonation visible. The nose was incredibly malty with biscuit, caramel and tea. The taste was even more malty. Caramel malt and toffee came through first, then a bit of spice from the hops, which were relatively muted. There was biscuit as well as astringent booze. The body was on the thinner side with light carbonation. It had a quick but sweet, bready finish. This beer was way underhopped, even given that the style is not supposed to be as aggressive as its American counterpart. I wouldn’t have this again, despite not knowing the price since we threw the receipt out, but it just missed the mark for me.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Dogfish Head D.N.A. UK

While we were at Memphis Tap Room, the waiter said that they were offering free pints of this beer. Being one who doesn’t turn down a free beer, I decided to give it a shot.


ABV: 4.5%

Style: English India Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A collaborative brew between Dogfish Head and Wells & Young Brewery – a brewery based out of Bedford, England. This 4.5% ABV India Pale Ale is a marriage of East Coast USA and East Anglican UK brewing styles. DNA New World has a toasty, nutty start followed by a highly hopped, citrusy finish. ‘Rather than simply mashing new ingredients together,’ says Tim Sprake, International Sales and Agency Director of Charles Wells, ‘we’ve taken a special reduction from 60 Minute IPA and integrated it into our own brewing process. In other words, we’ve taken the very DNA of one beer and added it to the brewing process of another. As a result, we’ve produced a beer that is unique and diverse and a little bit special.’ This is the version of ‘DNA New World IPA’ that was brewed by Wells and Young that we made here at our Rehoboth Beach Pub. This batch of DNA UK will be tapped at our Rehoboth Beach brewpub on Monday, June 17, 2013 and will be available until it is all gone.”

Random: I liked the pint glasses that this was served in. I may have to get some.

This brew poured with a two finger, ecru colored head that dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the glass. I didn’t see a lot of carbonation on this brew, but keep in mind that it was served from a cask. The nose had a lot of pine resin with some malt, but definitely hop forward. The taste was not great. I got pine resin that quick started tasting like green NyQuil. It had a lot of malt right after, but it was really disjointed. I tried to put a finger on exactly what I didn’t like, but it just didn’t work for me. It had a heavy body with light carbonation. The finish was long with some herbal notes and malt. If the beer wasn’t free, I wouldn’t have reviewed it. It’s not worth a try.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Highland Kashmir IPA

One of the other shows that my sister and I watched during dinner last night was a documentary on Sacco and Vanzetti. As you know if you follow the blog at all, I am a huge history buff, so watching a documentary during dinner for me is pretty commonplace. It’s either that or baseball. My sister sat down and watched it with me and had never even heard of Sacco and Vanzetti. I asked her if she ever attended a history class in her entire life. It floors me sometimes how people are not interested in history at all. I guess I’m lucky that my sister has many other redeeming qualities.

ABV: 5.6%

Style: English India Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A full-bodied India Pale Ale. This beer is golden in color with a moderate malty character with full hop flavor true to the classic ale that has traveled on sailing ships from England to India. Bold and brazen. This is Highland’s version of the classic British beer which was designed to survive the long journeys from England to India on sailing ships. The higher alcohol content and much higher hop level provided the longevity necessary for the casks to arrive in India in a most drinkable condition. It is very often serious beer drinkers’ favorite style. Being ‘Just a wee bit different’ we chose Kashmir, a controversial section of the Indian subcontinent in the north and matched it with a Madras inspired plaid from the south.”

Random: I think I need a new chair at work. My lower back is absolutely killing me.

This beer poured with a half a finger of slightly off white head that dissipated insanely slowly and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear dark yellow with moderate carbonation visible throughout. The nose was really light, even for an English IPA. I got a touch of grapefruit rind with some clean malt notes and biscuit. The taste wasn’t bitter to me at all. The only hint of hops were up front with a touch of a floral note, but it came and went very quickly. The beer was quickly dominated with sweet malt and a dollop of honey sweetness. If you blindfolded me, I wouldn’t have put this as an IPA, English or not. The body was on the lighter side as well with high carbonation. It had a quick finish with a touch of the honey sweetness apparent in the taste. It wasn’t a bad beer, perhaps just mislabeled, although I won’t be rushing back to try it.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Southampton Burton IPA

I hate staying late at work. It’s not that I think anyone really likes it. It just bites because a) I’m salaried and b) I already work 50-60 hours a week. So, this week, when I have one of my best dispatchers out, I’m forced to stay to cover her shift. So, if there is a driver running late, my butt can’t leave. Anyways, I picked this brew up awhile back simply because it was one of the few sixers in the store that I’ve never tried.

ABV: 6.5%

Style: English India Pale Ale

Trivia: According to, “Balance. That’s what separates India Pale Ales. And that’s the difference between the Southampton IPA and most others. Southampton IPA is balanced between the hopped-up West Coast-style IPAs and the Old World characteristics of a traditional European IPA. You could say that Southampton IPA is located somewhere between Europe and California, figuratively and literally. Phil uses three grains and a blend of three American and two English hop varieties to make this complex and delicious IPA. It’s full of floral hop aroma and has fruity apricot and grapefruit overtones. It has an assertive hop flavor and a refreshing hop bitterness while still showing plenty of caramel malt character to balance the flavor. It features more balance than any other IPA brewed in America. The result is an American-style IPA with the Old World characteristics of a traditional European IPA.”

Random: Milton Bradley was apparently convicted today of domestic violence. Not that domestic violence is funny at all, but his name would always crack me up. His parents must not have liked him.

This beer poured with a full finger of white head that dissipated really slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy, light orange color. There was high carbonation visible throughout as well. The nose was grapefruit, mineral water and bready malt following in succession. I mean, if you’re going to name a beer Burton IPA, this is what I would expect it to smell like. The taste was light hops with grapefruit up front and then a huge mineral characteristic came through with biscuit malt. Caramel malt followed suit as well. The body was on the thicker side with high carbonation with a long malty finish. For a style that I don’t normally enjoy, this one was definitely flavorful and drinkable. I would have this again without a doubt.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Arcadia IPA

I’ve been seeing Arcadia beers everywhere. I’m guessing this is because they just came back into New Jersey after a short hiatus, but I’ve been picking up a bunch of them. It doesn’t hurt that their labels are pretty cool and relatively unique. Anyways, I picked up their regular old IPA to see how it was.

ABV: 5.9%

Style: English India Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Dry-hopped with Columbus hops in our open fermenters, our IPA boasts a bright floral aroma and flavor reminiscent of pine and lemon peel. The pronounced hop bitterness is balanced by a medium-bodied caramel and biscuity malt character with a nutty finish. It showcases many subtle earthy bitter notes, rather than the resinous citrus-rind bite often featured in many American-style IPA’s.”

Random: I’ve started using my new cat glasses. They’re pretty funny. The one above is entitled “dinner theater.”

This brew poured with a finger of white head that dissipated slowly and left lots of lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, dark burnt orange color with lots of carbonation visible throughout. The nose was grapefruit and tropical fruit (pineapple and maybe even mango?). It was very fragrant and fruity, definitely not what I would consider an English IPA as one very popular beer website calls it (although I will not mention its name). The taste was more piney than the nose. I didn’t get a lot of malt, wait take that back, I just got a little bit. There was some grapefruit present as well, but no tropical fruits. The body was thick with heavy carbonation. The finish was long and hoppy. This was a solid IPA, nothing spectacular, but good.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Meantime India Pale Ale

This was another beer that Kate picked out. I’ve heard great things about Meantime brews, but I haven’t tried any of them. When Kate brought one home, I was seriously excited. Let’s see how this one went…

ABV: 7.5%

Style: English India Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “India Pale Ale is the beer that sustained the British Raj – it did not just survive the passage to India, it matured to perfection on the long voyage. Original IPA was heavily hopped – up to twice as much as domestic beers – and so Meantime use plenty of Kent Fuggles and Goldings to help re-create the flavours of the world’s first great pale beer style.”

Random: I seriously have to catch up on my fall shows. I haven’t watched any of them for a month or so.

This one poured with a thick, tan head that took awhile to dissipated and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a cloudy dark orange color with moderate carbonation visible throughout. The nose was fruity and tropical. I got notes of pineapple and mango, which were odd for an English IPA. After a few sniffs, some mandarin orange also came out. Overall, this was a really pleasant nose. The taste was a lot of tropical fruit, specifically pineapple was the standout. I also got some orange and lemon, but not a lot of grapefruit. This was really different from the typical English IPA. It wasn’t crazy hoppy, but presented lots of citrus. The body was on the lighter side with lighter than expected carbonation. The finish was relatively quick and citrusy. I would definitely have this one again…it was really enjoyable.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Goose Island India Pale Ale

Long time, no update. Apparently wedding planning and a four year old take over your life. I’ve finally gotten to the point that I’ve accepted I won’t be doing daily beer reviews. I mean, it’s really not that much to sacrifice when I consider the whole wife and kid thing. So, I have a few reviews that I haven’t posted, so I’m going to try to get them all done tonight. Plus, I think Katie misses reading them at work. So, here’s the first one.

ABV: 5.9%

Style: English India Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Our India Pale Ale recalls a time when ales shipped from England to India were highly hopped to preserve their distinct taste during the long journey. The result is a hop lover’s dream with a fruity aroma, set off by a dry malt middle, and long hop finish.”

Random: God, I love “It’s Always Sunny…” It’s absolutely ridiculous. It almost makes me miss Philly Beer Week like crazy.

This brew poured with a huge, two finger fluffy white head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a clear, straw yellow with lots of visible carbonation throughout the body. The nose had some pine and caramel malt. It was really nice and definitely smelled like an English IPA. The taste was all English IPA with mild pine and malt without many other flavors. The body was thick with decent carbonation. Booze was obviously not a factor on this brew. The finish was really long with pine. This wasn’t the best English IPA that I’ve had, but not the worst. I would have this again, but I’m not in a rush to have it.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

16 Mile Inlet IPA

This was a review I did yesterday, but forgot to write up. As I’m attempting to write this up, my cat is using me as a jungle gym. It’s like, no matter what I’m doing, he insists on climbing on me so that my focus is on him and I start petting him. And usually I do. It does help that he’s cute. So, here’s the last of the 16 Mile brews that I picked up.

ABV: 6.1%

Style: English India Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Aromatic hops accompanied by bold flavors of citrus; crisp and refreshing from start to finish. Connecting the Indian River Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian River Inlet provides fishermen and seafarers alike coastal and off-shore adventure. When stormy weather abounds, strong currents and large swells test the skills of local surfers.”

Random: I found my cat’s bunny ears for Easter. He was not thrilled wearing them.

This poured with a half a finger of tan head that lingered for awhile and left a lot of lacing on the pint glass. The body was a clear, dark mahogany color with decent carbonation The nose was a bit of floral hops with a generous amount of malt. It really smelled like an English IPA. The taste was a bit different than the nose. It was a lot of floral and grapefruit notes. At the end of the sip, the malt came through, reminding me that this was an English IPA. The finish was very bitter, even more bitter than I’m used to for the style. The body was medium and a bit stick, coupled with less carbonation than expected. This was really good from an English IPA, but I think I liked it so much because it was so hop forward. I would definitely have this again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Berkshire Brewing Company Lost Sailor India Pale Ale

This is the first of the beers that I reviewed on vacation. Now, I’ve been to Provincetown, MA at least a half a dozen times. I never remember them having a great beer selection. I mean, the majority of people there are drinking Bud Light or Miller Lite. But, my girlfriend saw an Irish pub that I had never been to and we decided to eat lunch there. Little did I know that they had about 10 drafts and 70 bottles…yeah, I guess I’ll keep her around.

ABV: 5.5%

Style: English India Pale Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A classic British-inspired IPA, Lost Sailor keeps an even keel with a well rounded malt profile to support generous dry-hopping with the time-honored Goldings hop variety.  With its floral and citrus aroma and medium body, Lost Sailor is the perfect session beer, whether lost at sea or in the comfort of your own home or a local pub.”

Random: I had this one on draft…they had it on the menu as BBC Lost Sailor…it took me a minute to figure out which brewery it was. Yeah, not the brightest bulb sometimes.

This brew poured with a thick, one finger, off white head on top of a hazy orange body. There was also some mild carbonation visible. The head dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the glass. The nose was definitely grapefruit and bitter hops. For an English IPA, there was not a lot of malt on the nose, but that all changed on the first sip. The carbonation was moderate with a decently thick body. The flavor had the grapefruit that was present in the nose, but the sweet malt backbone quickly came through with some caramel and a bit of nuttiness. The finish lingered with the nuttiness. At the time I had it, I wasn’t aware of the ABV, but I definitely assumed that it was in the 5-6% range. Even though I’m not a huge fan of English IPAs, this was one was decent. Try it if you see it.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0