Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

This was another beer that came home because Val really likes the Not Your Father’s selection. She let me have a couple of sips of one.

ABV: 5.9%

Style: Herbed/Spiced Beer

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Driven by passion for American heritage and ingenuity, Small Town Brewery’s founder and brewmaster, Tim Kovac, is forever experimenting with cherished classics. Kovac’s fond memories of his family’s homemade ginger ale and hard lemon candy inspired him to spend several years painstakingly refining his recipe for a sessionable, alcoholic ginger ale with a nuanced, yet refreshingly familiar taste and aroma. Not Your Father’s Ginger Ale presents a masterfully-balanced ginger and citrus body, with hints of black currant lending complementary floral and fruity spice notes. The end result is a pioneering craft specialty ale that delivers what we believe is a truly worthy and unparalleled evolution of another beverage icon.”

Random: This is a year-round offering from the brewery.

The beer poured with less than a quarter of a finger of white head that went away instantly. It left no lacing on the glass. The body was clear and straw-yellow in color, filled with carbonation. The nose had notes of sugar and ginger. I kept sniffing, but I didn’t find anything else. The taste was a combination of fresh ginger and Sprite. It had a white sugar note as well. This was not complex, to say the least. The body was light and it had too much carbonation for me. The finish was quick with ginger and sugar. A bottle of this was $1.83, which came to $.15 per ounce. I found this to be a bit gimmicky and not worth a second try.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0


Val and I are watching the new season of “American Ninja Warrior” and it seems like every year, the obstacles get more ridiculous, and this year is no exception. I can definitely use a beer to drink while watching this one.

ABV: 8.5%

Style: American Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “At a Brooklyn beer event in October of 2014, 5 friends decided to join forces in a unique beer collaboration by beer industry women. The brew was so successful that the tradition has continued each year since! This imperial stout is brewed and fermented with cocoa nibs and a special chili blend, giving it a tantalizing chocolate aroma, and flavor with a heat that creeps onto the palate and builds into a beautiful balance of sweetness and spice.”

Random: I believe this brewery recently got distribution to New Jersey.

The beer poured with a quarter of a finger of tan head that dissipated slowly. It left some lacing on the glass. The body was dark brown in color with no visible carbonation. The nose had a lot of smoke and ashy chocolate. There was some chili pepper to it, but it needed more. Cocoa powder also made an appearance. The taste had a pleasant heat that hit in the back of the throat, along with shaved milk chocolate. Cocoa powder came through next with cherries. There was a marked booze note as well, which took away from the flavor. It had a thick body with light carbonation. The finish was quick with chili and cocoa. A bottle of this was $1.67, which came to $.14 per ounce. I wish this beer had more intense chili to it and less alcohol presence.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Since I was 2 in 1985, I have no idea what a 1985 style IPA drank like. But, I think it’s interesting that Evil Twin tried to recreate one. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 6%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “This is a tasty time-traveling tribute to an all time iconic beer style – the India Pale Ale. Though the style goes 200 years back this time around we re-created a 1985 style IPA – perhaps you remember the hip hop times. Enjoy a full on hoppy beer infused with everything you loved about the 80’s. The future is now.”

Random: This was brewed at Two Roads in Stratford, Connecticut.

The beer poured with a two finger, pure white head. It went away quickly, but still left light lacing on the glass. The body was slightly hazy and bright amber in color. There was some carbonation visible. The nose was muted for the style. There was some old grapefruit rind and pine needles. There was some caramel malt. The taste started with a lot of nutty malt and went into a lemon candy note with some pine cleaner. It had a medium thick body with moderate carbonation. The finish was lengthy with nutty malt and a slight pine aftertaste. I received this beer as a gift, so I’m not sure how much it was (and beer gifts are always appreciated). I thought this beer was good and it was reminiscent of some of the first IPAs I drank. I think it accomplished what it set out to do.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

When this beer came out, everyone on the beer Facebook groups went crazy, so I had to see what all of the hype was about.

ABV: 6.3%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Spring is definitely in the air and theres nothing better than some ice cream in a glass! Knowing what we now do about scaling we got this bad boy dialed in. Recipe has remained the same but our process was a little closer to last year’s canned run than this year’s first batch. If you loved either then be excited for this one! Awesome mouthfeel, tempered bitterness and orange and vanilla popping from the glass. New cans feature the BOLERO SNORT stamp along the bottom and have updated hop cones around the OVB logo. As always we recommend checking ahead before driving anywhere as deliveries are made throughout the day and may take time to hit the floor though we expect less issues as this is already in everyones systems. Any spots that didn’t already received last week’s allocations will get them along with their OVB drops. Tune back in as we’ll be updating the list throughout the week!”

Random: I loved creamsicles as a kid.

The beer poured with a finger of thin white head that dissipated quickly and left limited lacing on the glass. The body was clear and golden-yellow with high carbonation. On the nose, I picked up lemon and orange hops with orange peel and vanilla extract at the end. The taste started more hoppy and earthy than expected with grass and then went into orange and vanilla. Lactose was a player as well. The body was medium thickness with moderate carbonation. The finish was lengthy with vanilla and lactose. A pounder can was $3.25 ($.20 per ounce). I thought the beer was alright, but bordered on gimmicky.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Val seems to like the Not Your Father’s selections. I tend to not be a big fan. Their beers/hard sodas are on the gimmicky side and the success of their root beer lead to many other competitors and things like “hard orange soda.” But, since Val likes them, we usually have a few in the house. This was one that she was excited about, so let’s see how this one was.

ABV: 4.1%

Style: Cream Ale

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A creamy botanical craft beer brewed with Madagascar Vanilla, combining a lightly sweet savor with a smooth finish to create a refreshing botanical craft beer.”

Random: I only like diet sodas. I never got a taste for full sugar sodas.

The beer poured with a two and a half finger, off white head. It dissipated rather quickly, but left no lacing on the glass. The body was cloudy and amber, bordering on light brown. There was a lot of carbonation visible. The nose was not complex. It had vanilla, nutty malt and caramel. The taste was overwhelmingly filled with vanilla. Caramel and nutty malt came next with a lot of sugary sweetness. Balance was not this beer’s strong suit. The body was thicker than I would have liked and made the sweetness more cloying, even the carbonation couldn’t help fix that. It had a lengthy and sticky finish. A bottle of this set me back $1.83, which came to $.15 an ounce. This beer needed balance, otherwise it was just a vanilla sugar bomb.

Untappd Rating: 2.0/5.0

I’ve been walking a lot more at work and my feet are really sore. I used to get the gel inserts because I walked a lot. I think I need to get new ones and that should help. Tonight’s beer is one that I was really interested to try. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 7.2%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “An odd couple can make for some of the most incredibly unique tastiness. Take Hotbox Coffee IPA (7.2% ABV, 70 IBUs) for example – a piney, citrus, mango, Simcoe-hopped IPA and an infusion of cold brew extract made with Hotbox Roasters’ Ethiopian beans poppin’ with creamy blueberry and cacao notes.”

Random: This beer comes in at 70 IBUs.

The brew poured with a one finger, white head that was incredibly thick. It took forever to go away. The body was amber in color and slightly cloudy with a lot of carbonation visible, despite the haziness. The nose was light coffee that paired with pine. It had some blueberry and mango notes at the end. The taste was an interesting amalgam of cold brew coffee, blueberry and citrus. It had a touch of smoke along with unripe mango flesh at the end. The booze was completely hidden. It had a light body with generous carbonation. The finish was quick with blueberry and coffee. I picked this up awhile ago, so I’m not sure how much I paid for it. I enjoyed this beer a lot, especially the uniqueness of the blueberry flavor. Give this one a shot if it comes out again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

I’ve started listening to “This American Life” podcast. They pick these random topics, but have all of the different interviews they use are integrated very well. The one I listened to today was about pen pals and one girl’s story about how she had General Manuel Noriega as a pen pal and eventually went to Panama to visit him (this was back in the back in the 80s, so it definitely had to be interesting). If you haven’t listened to the podcast, I highly recommend it. Now, let’s talk about today’s beer.

ABV: 6.5%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: This is an occasional release from the brewery.

Random: The beer uses London Ale yeast.

The beer poured with a two finger, pure white head. It went away slowly, but didn’t leave much behind on the glass. The body was slightly cloudy and amber in color with moderate carbonation. The nose was strong and filled with grapefruit segments, pine sap and lemon seltzer. The taste was more intensely pine focused, but had fresh pine needles along with an earthy note. It had grapefruit pith and very little malt, which I was fine with. The body was thick, but had high carbonation, which made it easier to drink. The finish was lengthy with pine needles. I paid $3.25 for the pounder can, which came to $.20 per ounce. I liked this beer and it had good flavor, but it didn’t wow me. If someone handed me one, I wouldn’t hesitate in having it again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0