BrewDog Radio Zombie Phone-In

Sometimes I really enjoy a rainy weekend day. It gives Val and I an excuse to hang out at home. Since we had a rainy Sunday, it gave me a lot of time to update the blog, so I’m finally pre-posting again. Since BrewDog has a brewery in Ohio now, we’re starting to see more distribution in Jersey. This was one that I picked up awhile ago.

ABV: 14%

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Dial in those digits and tune in to this Russian Imperial Stout. Smooth talking, dark and decadent – imperialism goes digital. Aromas of roasted coffee and chocolate. Hints of pit fruits. Toffee, coffee and dark chocolate on the palate. Finished late with American hops for a dash of bitterness. Radio Zombie Phone In – a firm favorite amongst the living and the living dead”

Random: I really want to get to their brewery in Ohio. I really enjoyed Columbus when I was out there.

The beer poured with a two finger, light brown head. It took forever to dissipate and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was dark brown, almost black and had no visible carbonation. The nose was filled with roasted malts, dark chocolate and espresso. There was a touch of licorice as well. The taste was similar to the nose and started with the same roasted malts, dark chocolate and espresso. After that, there was some toffee and licorice, along with a large dose of alcohol. The body was thick and chewy with light carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with booze. There was dark chocolate as well. My biggest complain about the beer was that the alcohol was abrasive. I wouldn’t rush to have this one again.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Icarus There’s Always Money In The Bullnana Stand

This beer is one that got a decent amount of hype in the area, so let’s see how it was.

ABV: 10.3%

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to Icarus’s facebook page, “Well exxxxxxcccuuuuuussssseeeee us, as we announce our newest collaboration with the blowhards from Bolero Snort Brewery: There’s Always Money in the Bullnana Stand. Inspired by our mutual favorite dysfunctional family’s Chocolate Covered Banana stand this Russian Imperial Stout was brewed with overwhelming amounts of oats, barley, cocoa powder, cocoa nibs, and wildflower honey then fermented using a blend of our house yeast and a traditional German Hefeweizen yeast to bring out subtle banana esters. The result is a big rich chocolatey stout featuring notes of banana and weighing in at 10.3% abv (this one might require two sticks!) You can call this one a GOB if you want but just don’t forget, There’s Always Money in the Bullnana Stand! There’s Always Money in the Bullnana Stand will be released in the Icarus Tasting Room this Wednesday, February 6th, so hop on your segway or climb in your stair-car and head on over when we open our doors at 4pm.”

Random: One of my favorite shows is “Arrested Development,” so I appreciate all of the references.

The beer poured with a half a finger of light brown head. It dissipated at a moderate pace and left slight lacing on the glass. The body was dark brown, almost black, with no visible carbonation. The nose had dark chocolate and roasted malt and then went into banana notes. The taste was just as interesting as the nose. I got a lot of cocoa powder, dark chocolate and roasted malts. It quickly transitioned into banana and some sweetness from the honey. The alcohol was present and a bit abrasive. The body was on the thick side with moderate carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with banana and dark chocolate. I thought this was an interesting beer, but I definitely couldn’t have more than one.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Carton Cosmonaut

As a child on field trips, I always wanted to try astronaut ice cream. I only got to try it as an adult and hated the consistency of it and realized I really didn’t miss out as a child. Let’s see if a beer with it is any better.

ABV: 10%

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Super Galena hops early in the boil bring a strawberry touch. Russian imperial stouts have a dark chocolate presence with vanilla nuance; quite pleasing when accented by a bold hop addition. Our walk around this space had us skirting the territory of those three tone blocks of supermarket ice cream. All we needed was an ingredient you can ferment that would push those notions without running over the beer-ness of the flavors. We turned to that classic museum snack, freeze-dried Neapolitan ice cream. Drink Cosmonaut because exploration is what it’s all about.”

Random: This beer clocks in at 65 IBUs.

This beer poured with a half a finger of tan head. It hung around for awhile, but left only a small amount of lacing. The body is black with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose was filled with roasted malts and dark chocolate. I picked up some vanilla as well. The taste was equally filled with roasted malts and dark chocolate. Vanilla came through next with a touch of strawberry. I couldn’t specifically pick out ice cream, but it definitely had the vanilla and strawberry flavors. The alcohol was hidden and the body was thick and chewy. There was moderate carbonation. It had a sticky finish with roasted malts and vanilla. I really enjoyed this beer and I would search this out again. It’s perfect for a snowy night hanging out by a fire.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Icarus Vlad To Be Here

Tonight’s beer is one from Lakewood, New Jersey. I once went for a job interview in Lakewood. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 14.5%

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Jason has wanted to own and operate his own brewery since 2008. In order to turn his dream into a reality, Jason earned his degree in Food Science, specializing in Food Fermentation from The Ohio State University. He then took this further training in Brewlab at the University of Sunderland, training under staff from Heineken and Newcastle, and earning his Diploma in British Brewing Technology. In addition to this academic training, Jason learned from multiple breweries across Sunderland and Newcastle, learning the intricacies of multiple brewing operations and greatly expanding his practical brewing knowledge. Jason supplemented his training with a General Certification of brewing in cask ale from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling. Subsequently, Jason spent 2 years managing Rinn Duin, a 25 BBL startup brewery in New Jersey. During his time at Rinn Duin Jason earned awards for multiple recipes he formulated and produced including awards from New Jersey Star Ledger, and recognition from Beer Advocate. Most recently, Jason was the Distiller and Head Brewer at Van Brunt Stillhouse in Red Hook, NY. He plans on using the knowledge gained from creating whiskies, rum, and grappa toward a large rotation of barreled beers.”

Random: We went to a distillery in Philly and I really enjoyed it. I may start getting into spirits more.

This beer poured with a two finger, light brown head. It dissipated at a moderate pace and left some lacing on the glass. The body was a deep black color with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose was filled with roasted malts, coffee and black licorice. The taste was also filled with dark chocolate and roasted malts. There was some smoke as well. I didn’t pick up any of the licorice in the taste. The alcohol was present, but not overwhelming. It had a thick and chewy body with light carbonation. The finish was lengthy with dark chocolate. This was an outstanding beer that I would definitely have again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Oskar Blues Ten Fidy – Bourbon Barrel Aged

We had a few friends over for New Year’s Eve (luckily, early in the night, since I was so exhausted from work that I didn’t make it until midnight). One of them is really into craft beer, so I opened this to split with him. Let’s see how it was.

ABV: 12.9%

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Aged through four seasons and from a blend of the top Bourbons around, this Ten Fidy has morphed into a monster of cranked up flavor. Espresso, burnt sugar, rich chocolate, caramel notes are now driving alongside the vanilla, oak, bourbon from the barrel and been smoothed out during maturation. Even at 12.9% (75 IBUs) it is cool and drinkable, letting each sip add more and more complexity.”

Random: This can was a very odd shape.

This beer poured with a one finger, light brown head. It dissipated quickly and left very little lacing on the glass. The body was black with no visible carbonation. The nose was filled with roasted malts, bourbon and burnt brown sugar and a nice espresso. The booze wasn’t apparent on the nose. The taste was really complex. It started with the expected roasted malts and dark chocolate. It went into bourbon, vanilla, molasses and some caramel. The booze made an appearance at the back of the throat. The body was thick and chewy with light carbonation. It had a lengthy and sticky finish with bourbon. I enjoyed this beer a lot, although it would have been rough to kill the can by myself.

Untappd Rating: 4.5/5.0

Sierra Nevada Narwhal Imperial Stout

Happy New Year’s Eve! Val and I try to do something low-key every year. Staying off the roads and in pajamas is usually right up my alley. The first year that we were dating, we spent New Year’s in DC, which was great, but now that we have the house, it’s nice to just hang out and watch tv at home with family and friends. Anyways, stay safe tonight!

ABV: 10.2%

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “A malt-forward monster, highlighting the depths of malt flavor. Narwhal Imperial Stout is inspired by the mysterious creature that thrives in the deepest fathoms of the frigid Arctic Ocean. Featuring incredible depth of malt flavor, rich with notes of espresso, baker’s cocoa, roasted grain and a light hint of smoke, Narwhal is a massive malt-forward monster. Aggressive but refined with a velvety smooth body and decadent finish, Narwhal will age in the bottle for years to come.”

Random: I’m really digging Sierra Nevada’s rebranding.

The beer poured with a one finger, tan head. It took awhile to dissipate and left a lot of lacing on the glass. The body was black with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose was filled with dark chocolate and roasted malts. There was a scent of alcohol as well. The taste was much of the same. I picked up some cocoa and dark chocolate. There was roasted malts and a very strong alcohol note. The body was thick and chewy with moderate carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with booze and cocoa. A twelve-ounce bottle of this was $2.38, which came to $.20 per ounce. I thought I was going to love this beer, but the booze took over everything.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Yards Russian Imperial Stout

Before the wedding, Val and I spent a lot of time in Philly going to a jewelry store to get our engagement rings and later, wedding bands made. They screwed my band up, so I ended up having to get it remade and had to pick it up days before the wedding (not stressful at all). One day on the way home, we passed the new Yards taproom and Val stopped so we could try a few beers.

ABV: 8.2%

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “You don’t have to go far to get away this summer. Our new taproom and brewery at 5th and Spring Garden Streets offers 20 taps of fresh, quality Yards ales and a full beer-friendly dining menu crafted by Chef Jim Burke. Get together with some friends and have a beer and a bite to eat outside in the shade of our towering steel brewing tanks. While you’re here, go on a tour to see for yourself how Yards beers are brewed, bottled, canned, and kegged for the good people of Philadelphia and beyond.”

Random: There’s no information about this beer on the brewery website because it’s a brewery only release.

The beer poured with a finger and a half of tan head that dissipated slowly and left a lot of lacing on the tulip glass. The body was black with no visible carbonation due to the color. The nose was filled with dark chocolate, licorice and booze. The taste had slightly more depth. It started with dark chocolate and espresso. It transitioned into burnt malts, licorice and leather. The booze wasn’t as apparent on the taste as it was the nose. The body was thick and chewy with light carbonation. It had a lengthy and sticky finish with dark chocolate. I thought this was a good interpretation of a Russian imperial stout that was worth giving a shot.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0