Recent Beer Ratings & Reviews
Elysian Brewing Company
American Pale Ale (APA) / 7.00% ABV
2.47/5 rDev -32.7% | rAvg: 3.67
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2
Smell is like their jasmine ipa but slightly more better. Initial taste is flat and No flavor. The most blandest beers I had ever drank. Not worth the money.
Shmaltz Brewing Company
American Wild Ale / 9.40% ABV
3.75/5 rDev -5.5% | rAvg: 3.97
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Funky Jewbelation 2015; a blend of 6 ales and lagers, aged in 65% Bourbon barrels and 35% rye barrels. 9.4% ABV.
A: 2 fingers of tan head. Black in the glass; honey brown in the dimple. Slight sheeting. Almost no lacing.
S: Rye and sweet molasses up front. Slight black cherry, raisin.
T/MF: Surprising funky tartness, right away. Fig Newton filling. Tannic raisin. Slight oakiness.
Not as impressive as last years batch, but still fairly interesting.
Poured from a 22 oz. bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.
Small Town Brewery
Herbed / Spiced Beer / 5.90% ABV
4.56/5 rDev +5.3% | rAvg: 4.33
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
I love this beer. I love root beer in general. Initial smell is just like root beer. Initial taste is very crisp and tastes exactly like a root beer. Everything is great except the finish. The finish has a weird tangy licorice taste that I dislike but other than that, this is a great novelty beer
The Cromarty Brewing Company
English Bitter / 4.10% ABV
2.46/5 rDev n/a | rAvg: 3.37
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25
500ml bottle in Moskito, Glasgow (£4.10):
A real disappointment from Cromarty for me, I can't remember the beer being this bad the first time I tried it but that might be down to the fact I don't remember much of anything about the first time I tried it. A boring beer that was lucky to be given a 2nd tasting & definitely won't warrant a 3rd.
Brouwerij De Landtsheer NV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale / 10.00% ABV
4/5 rDev +0.8% | rAvg: 3.97
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
330 ml. bottle. Pours a pale hazy colour, with a giant head. Ring and lace seems to remain forever. Smell is complex, barnyard, ginger, orange, but there are some other fruits and spices that i really can't tell what they are. Maybe clove and coriander. It feels strong on the palate, lively carbonation, creamy. Taste is similar to smell, without the barnyard: ginger, apricots, fruits spices... A great one
Cigar City Brewing
American Double / Imperial Stout / 11.00% ABV
4.81/5 rDev +1.1% | rAvg: 4.76
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Bottle shared by Benzai, huge thanks to you, man! Smells like apples, vanilla, cinnamon, sugar, alcohol, taste is great, like apple pie with molasses and brandy. Awesome beer!
Green Flash Brewing Co.
American Double / Imperial IPA / 8.10% ABV
4.12/5 rDev +11.4% | rAvg: 3.7
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Look: Two fingers fluffy white head slowly dissipates. Slightly hazy burnt orange color. Medium-light carbonation.
Smell: Mild hops. Bright citrus. Really clean. Floral
Taste: Pretty big hops. Bitterness evolves through the sip; from non-existent to big to balanced. Its a little earthy. Really well balanced and pretty dang complex. Grapefruit really stands out. Not so much on the tropical fruits. Alcohol isn't readily present.
Feel: Creamy. Medium to Medium-plus body. Super satisfying. Exactly what I want from any IPA.
Overall: Awesome. Pretty damn close to exactly what I'm looking for in a DIPA. Pretty big hops, looks gorgeous and flavor to match. Thumbs up.
Brauerei Heller-Trum / Schlenkerla
Rauchbier / 5.20% ABV
3.95/5 rDev +1% | rAvg: 3.91
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Schlenkerla are, for me at least, the definitive brewers of Rauchbier - or ‘Smoke Beer’, and their Urbock is one of my all-time favourite beers. Now that is. When I first tried Rauchbiers it was a Schlenkerla Marzen (about 3 years back) and I thought “WTF is going on?!”: You see I didn’t know I was buying a Rauchbier; I thought I was buying a Marzen, which was a style I had become enamoured with at the time... little did I know then that today I would take a Schlenkerla Urbock over any Marzen any day of the week. How tastes have changed indeed. Moral to the story: Schlenkerla Urbock is an awesome beer, get it... now!
Poured from a 500ml bottle into a Stein.
A: Deep hazy seal brown body with a 1.5 inch light-beige head that slowly drops back leaving a hearty lace on the glass. This is where IT is at. Bring it Schlenkerla! 9/10.
S: Even though Schlenkerla only smoke the barley malt the aroma of smoke still dominates the aroma like nothing else. This is their Rauch-Weizen but you’ll be hard pressed to pick up anything other than that smoky bacon fragrance that I love the Urbock for... Hmmm, I take that back: a second deeper whiff reveals hints of sweet malt and spicy clove Phenols. 9/10.
T: Nah, get the Urbock. This tastes similar, although with a clove spiced ham to Urbock’s rauch schinkenspeck (smoked bacon) sandwich. However the Urbock has quite a bit more going on in the flavour (and the mouthfeel as we will soon [spoiler alert] find out). The wheat in this also makes it drier in the finish and consequentially less enjoyable than the Urbock. All the above said - even Schlenkerla’s average brews are still world class. 7/10.
M: Mid to light bodied with a light carbonation and a hint of creaminess. 8/10.
D: This was alright, I think the Weizen aspect of this could be a lot more pronounced - i.e. more banana and cloves to compliment the smoke, but I do still like this brew, tis a solid Rauch. Overall as a famous philosopher once said [this is someone from the future, in the future, talking about me] “If you can get Urbock: Get Urbock! If not, this is still decent... GET URBOCK!”. 8/10.
Food match: Christmas ham dinner or cheese and nut platter, decisions decisions.
New Belgium Brewing
American Blonde Ale / 4.20% ABV
3.84/5 rDev +13.3% | rAvg: 3.39
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a New Belgium Globe glass. Bottle says enjoy by August 16, 2015.
Appearance: Pours a deep copper orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of white head which settles into a thin creamy layer.
Smell: A crisp and fruity malt forward aroma with hints of fruit and grains. Pale malt with hints of grains, biscuit, caramel, cracker, and yeast. Zesty fruit hints of lemon, lime, peach, apple, and pear. Subtle hints of grassy hops. A solid smell.
Taste: Like it smells, a crisp and zesty malt forward taste with notes of grains and fruit. Pale malt with bready notes of grains, biscuit, cracker, caramel, and yeast. Subtle fruit notes of peach, lime, lemon, apple, and pear. Light background notes of earthy hops. A pretty decent Blonde style taste.
Mouthfeel: Light bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Crisp, clean, and pretty smooth with a drying finish.
Overall: A solid take on a light Blonde Ale. Crisp grainy malts with some nice fruit notes.
Odin Brewing Company
Belgian Strong Dark Ale / 9.00% ABV
3.94/5 rDev +8.8% | rAvg: 3.62
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
I'm not a style purist, which is a good thing with this beer. It's not anything like Gulden Draak (one of my all time favorites) or Rochefort 8.
It's an ale with lighter texture (mouthfeel, I guess) than typical BSDAs. The flavors are more subdued than you might expect.
Is it really a Belgian Strong Dark Ale? Well, it's not at all yeasty, like most Belgians. It's not strongly flavored (and the ABV is hidden). And it's not very Dark.
But just take this beer on its own terms: it's a wonderfully smooth ale, a bit subtle in effect, with dark fruit (figs? dates?) and maybe just a bit of smokiness. The ABV is very well hidden. It's a fine sipper, almost like a Port wine.
If you're looking for a beer on the heavy side, this isn't it. If you'd like a subtle concoction, you might enjoy this quite a bit, as I did.
I didn't ever have this beer fresh. My bottle was purchased on late 2013, and aged about 18 months from then. I think the aging probably contributed to the smoothness, but that's just a guess.
Pipeworks Brewing Company
American Double / Imperial Stout / 10.50% ABV
3.93/5 rDev -7.1% | rAvg: 4.23
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
A: Black body, fizzy mocha head that fades to the perimeter.
S: Cream, chocolate, coffee-based acidity, sadly perceivable alcohol. Something almost fruity, like strawberry.
T: That unannounced but distinct strawberry is on the forefront, followed by some chocolate, mild coffee, alcohol, and... more strawberry on the finish? I swear that's strawberry. It has a good balance of sweetness, bitterness, and acidity, but really more alcohol than I'd expect, even though it is high. Also more strawberry than I'd expect. Why strawberries? WHO PUT STRAWBERRIES IN THE MOCHA STOUT?
M: Medium bodied, again, the balance between bitterness, sweetness, and acidity make this somewhat salivating, somewhat astringent.
O: A good stout, but not what was advertised. Seriously, this was strawberry stout, not mocha stout. Still great.
Jackie O's Pub & Brewery
Russian Imperial Stout / 10.50% ABV
4.57/5 rDev +5.3% | rAvg: 4.34
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Reminders of a smaller Bourbon County come through on this one. Lots of rich bourbon, caramel/sugary sweetness, vanilla, milk chocolate, coffee bitterness, some alcohol on the back.
A medium mouthfeel.
Abita Brewing Co.
Saison / Farmhouse Ale / 6.20% ABV
3.33/5 rDev -7.8% | rAvg: 3.61
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25
As the heads of Abita and Birrifico Del Ducato brewers fuse into single taste, the mind goes to the Belgian-esque influence of Italy craft brewers but also to the hot and humid climate of Louisiana. Of course its the saison style that would reign supreme.
Deeply hazed in its golden-straw pour, the beer swirls with a short and creamy froth. Drawing the nose near, the plethora of pear, lemon, banana, orange, mango and lemon set a fruity tone as a tingle of clove and pepper follow closely behind. Its taste, however is sweet with powdered sugar and grain.
With the sweetness of malt propping up the fruit, the rich upstart is slow to fade, keeping the beer balanced and full, which opposes what Saison does best. But eventually the freshly grated white pepper and shaven clove takes command but yields a soapy and residually sweet, fatty body.
Though fuller than needed, the beer's finish trends dry, spicy and warm; rewarding the palate with the malty, fruity and spice medley that's more align with Tripel ale, except for the lacking hop bitterness. As is, the Saison is sweet, fruity and full: fine for some Belgian beer, but shy of the distinction that is farmhouse saison.
Small Town Brewery
Herbed / Spiced Beer / 5.90% ABV
3.62/5 rDev -16.4% | rAvg: 4.33
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5
Looks and sounds great from the instant it's poured. Fizzles just like any classic root beer and the aroma is right up there with A&W, IBC, Barq's, etc... the taste is pretty impressive initially but quickly shifts to an unpleasant metallic flavor that lingers on the palate a bit. Overall it's a nice change of pace and a good experience, I just don't see it as one I would ever really come back to.
Rivertown Brewing Co.
Flanders Red Ale / 6.00% ABV
2.74/5 rDev -16% | rAvg: 3.26
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5
A- murky copper, the head fades faster than you can pour. Lifeless.
S- raisins, and some funk, but no discernable sourness to it.
T- finally found some sour, but it is quickly washed away by caramel, brown sugar, and a stale malty taste. It tastes like a brown ale gone horribly wrong.
M- light bodied, almost no carbonation.
O- I'm glad that I tried it. Unfortunately, I purchased a six-pack and I have five left in the fridge. I will not purchase this again.
Stoneface Brewing Co.
American Pale Ale (APA) / 5.40% ABV
4.04/5 rDev -2.9% | rAvg: 4.16
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
64 oz growler was poured into a pint glass.
Appearance: A one finger head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pale yellow orange color with good clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass. Spotty lacing down the glass as the beer was drank too.
Smell: Sauvignon grapes, tropical, mango, and hrassy hops followed by biscuity, toasted, and pale malts.
Taste: Nice subtle Nelson hop flavors with a complimentary malt backbone in the rear. Some chewy and bitterness in the rear too.
Mouthfeel: Light bodied, crisp, refreshing, medium carbonation, a little chewy, and light bitterness.
Overall: Good to have visited these guys while on our little Eastern shore brewery tour of Redhook, Stonefsce, Smuttynose, and Earth Eagle. Looking forward to more of this beer in the near future and a new pit stop on the way up to OOB too.
Pfriem Family Brewers
American IPA / 7.20% ABV
3.51/5 rDev -10.9% | rAvg: 3.94
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75
Handsome amber color with ample foam in the Ciney snifter. Huge aroma of mango and line peel. Sharp and spritzy with a bitter middle and citrus peel in the finish.
So juicy and citrusy! The flavors start out with a sweet grainy taste, like white cake. Tastes quite hot and sharp with the acidity. The bitterness takes on a tannic quality that is not at all pleasant. Initial flavors with the malt and fruit and promising, but it tapers into a bitter dead end all too soon.
Well made, but my least favorite so far from an excellent brewery. From the 500 ml bottle purchased at New Seasons Market in Portland.
Cream Ale / 5.20% ABV
3.23/5 rDev -17.2% | rAvg: 3.9
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2
It has been a while since I reviewed a Sixpoint brew, and that is a shame because I do admire their dedication to brewing and Shane from Sixpoint, who makes more than regular appearances on BeerAdvocate and whom I personally met at a beer festival in Sydney - it’s rare for a brewer as big as Sixpoint to have such a personal connection in the craft scene. Also their efforts to revive long lost styles such as Lichtenhainer, a smoky/sour ale from Germany, are to be respected. These guys really are passionate about craft beer. Anyway time for some Sweet Action!
Poured from a 355ml can into a nonic pint.
A: Amber body, hazed with yeast particles floating around (BB is 07MAY15 - got to start pulling Plonk up on their out of date beers) with a 1 inch fluffy cloud cream-coloured head that holds up quite well. Apart from the yeast particles, which I don’t mind but others do, this looks good. 8/10.
S: Sweet caramel and corn, bready middle, and some Jackfruit/pineapple hop characters at the back. I know corn seems like the odd aroma out but this is a Cream Ale and corn is a perfectly fine brewing adjunct IMHO. 7/10.
T: Wow, this brew is either infected or there is an intentional sour twang, either way the upfront sour note gives this beer an intriguing angle. Following this is a caramel malt and bread centre, and it finishes with a citrus/herbal hop bitterness. If this is brew is infected it is certainly a fortunate infection because the sour blends well with the sweet and bitter... although it is still odd nonetheless. 7/10.
M: Mid to light, almost medium bodied with a light creamy carbonation. 7/10.
D: Yep it’s infected - the more I sip the more the sour note grows along with a big astringent aftertaste... will have to get this again to give it a proper review as I don’t think this infected can is doing Sweet Action justice... plus I imagine there is a nice, creamy session ale hiding in there amongst the infection. Still this is one of the better infected brews I’ve encountered - sort of a Lambic styled infection. I even finished the whole can! 4/10.
Food match: Null and void as this beer is infected.
Keep an eye out for the re-review in future, aka: watch this space.
Stone Brewing Co.
American Double / Imperial IPA / 9.50% ABV
4.4/5 rDev +15.5% | rAvg: 3.81
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Appearance: Crystal clear dark amber with an off white head, fades to wispy lace.
Smell: Resiny and floral hops combine with dark fruit smell.
Taste: Strong hop bitterness up front, reminds me of black tea and citrus. Gets engulfed by malts and Belgian style yeast. Slightly sweet, and somewhat sour (maybe from the red wine). Ends with barrel and moderate heat from the alcohol.
Mouthfeel: Pretty thick with moderate carbonation.
Overall: Weird combination, but it works together. The red wine and tequila (especially) are pretty subtle, but I like the DIPA-Tripel blend.